Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tricks and Treats

My treat-I've lost another 13 pounds. My trick-well, my truck isn't ready yet. I had a lot of blood work done to see if I have arthritis or some other immunosuprressive thing-a-mabob; or rather I will as soon as I fast and offer up a vein. I DID get a prescription for liquid Prozac-so Yay! for that. Or Yay as soon as I get it filled-looks like one more morning of Prozac Shots. Breakfast of champions.

Now, really and honestly, I should be grateful to have insurance and the ability to have all these wonderful things addressed. But I'd trade it all for boundless energy and a perfect body.

Worse, the result may just be that I'm middle aged, things start to ache a bit. How dreary.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wishing for Ordinary

My horoscope today reads "your thoughts and opinions of will be seen by others as out of the ordinary-hold to your convictions." Well shit. Some days I'd like to be just like everyone else, really. Well, not REALLY.

But it would be much easier. I pretty much try to go with the flow unless it's absolutely necessary, but it seems like even floating down the daily river can set me apart. Yesterday I was "different" in water aerobics cause I wore shorts to the class. Not IN the class. But three people commented on the fact that I had shorts intead of sweats covering my suit.

"Why aren't you cold?"

What kind of dumbass question is THAT?

"Maybe because I'm fat."

"I'm cold, and I'm fat."

I resisted the impulse to say "Maybe because I'm young." I should get points for restraint, don't you think?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Talking with the Voices in my Head

Me: No one out there really gives a shit, do they?

Voices: Wow, you are just starting to figure that out-brilliant arent we?

Me: I'm mean, look at my house, a complete pit, look at me, a complete mess, and the world just keeps on turning.

Voices: Yeah, so?

Me: I might as well do what I want to, it isn't going to matter in the end to anyone but me.

Voices: What about us? What are we, chopped liver?

Me: You can stay, but you have to behave. And you have to be on MY side from now on.

Voices: What what what?

Me: Yes, you have to encourage me, not bring me down. It's called "Positive Self Talk".

Voices: Oh great, you've been taking your Prozac again haven't you.....

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Names for Trailer

I put a poll on the side but feel free to offer your own suggestions. The Cowgirl Caravan trailers have names, and I cannot let my new trailer go un-monikered. The Scotty was the Green Lizard, and I never really liked that name.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thoughts on Bravery

Sometimes bravery isn't diving into the unknown. Sometimes bravery is diving in when you know it's going to be a shitstorm.

Is it brave to try try again, or just stupidity?

I was really bummed out today-the lunch just wore me out. And, I started revisiting many failed things-some of which are chronicled in this blog. I seem to be in a cycle of starting, but never finishing.

My scotty morphed into a cubicle and then into a tent with a stove. I missed the only two camping trips I signed up for and I almost let my sister on the fly membership lapse.

So, in a absolute act of stupidity, bravery, desperation, I went and bought a new travel trailer, and this time made arrangements to have my truck configured with the proper hitches and towing stuff. I got insurance and the whole 9 yards-no sneaking into the whole thing with a bargain basement thing that won't be road worthy. In other words, I set myself up for travel trailer success.

And, in another act of self preservation, I haven't told a soul-or rather I haven't told my parents. And I'm not willing to share the decoration of said trailer, or disclose future destinations or prices or anything. This is one thing that is just for me. I've made arrangements to park it at a trailer parking place. I have plans for trips and potential story ideas-in fact, this blog will take place in part from the road.

Now, some of Daddy's criticisms of the previous incarnations were valid-it wasn't the safest thing on the road. But the one thing I'm not willing to have critiqued at the moment is whether I deserve it, should have it or should ever even drive it off the lot. No one gets to decide that but me. No one.

So, piss on scotty. I'm beaming myself up.

Not Every Day is Golden Pond (Some are Golden Showers)

Last week I announced I wanted to go eat at Kona Steakhouse, my treat. No, I'd never been there, but I just wanted to try it. With my current realization about Mom, I should not be surprised at the outcome.

She's probably fretted over it for the entire week. She griped at Daddy all the way over, got him so flustered he couldn't park, then griped about where he parked. She didn't like that they brought bread out, didn't like the coconut in the butter and didn't like that Daddy and I took a piece of bread because she was afraid she wouldn't get a crusty piece.

She thought the wedge salad Daddy and I split had way too much dressing (that's why I didn't offer to split it with her) and then she couldn't understand why I ordered it and only took one bite. (Hello Mom, Lap Band). HER salad had an onion ring on it-she only likes lettuce and tomato and EYETALIAN dressing. She made a face at her soup before it was even sat down on the table, and complained that the dishes were way too big.

I had a couple of bites of rib and then went and threw up and collected my thoughts. My main thought was disappointment at the Hawaiian aspect-there was no Hawaiian food in sight. So I said to myself, to Hell with it, I'll just eat desert. Because I really wanted to eat something.

So, I asked for the desert menu and ordered a cheesecake for all. I didn't even ask, we'd already discussed how we don't eat rich deserts and I said "that's fine, I want cheesecake, I'll share". How much more hell can take place over one small slice of cheesecake?

Well, first came the to go box for my ribs which I didn't want (I was giving them to Daddy) and that was fine, except that I mentioned that the leftover bread would be good crisped up. "take it home" urged Mom and I said "no, I don't want it" and I'm not really sure what happened then, but there was a long back and forth. I said something about not enough time, which opened entire tirade and I finally circumvented it by saying "No, I will eat the whole thing"..."but you can't...." I said "over time" she said "but" and finally I said "I don't want the goddamn bread in my house".

The next few minutes involved a discussion of the facts-last week I said I wasn't much of a dessert eater, I won't eat dessert at Mom's house as a general rule (too full usually) yet here I was ordering a high dollar cheesecake full of "all that rich stuff."

Then, blissfully, the waitress came with spoons and cleared the remaining plates. What more could happen?

"The waitress took my fork and I don't eat with a spoon, EVER." I sighed and said "I asked her to bring the spoons, I'll asked her to bring a fork", but the truth of it was I had my head in my hands when I said it, so there was drama on my part.

"NO, I don't want it".....and Daddy piped up and said "Well what DO you want then?" and it was on again.

Anyway, the cheesecake came, Daddy and I had a few bites and we left. The end amen.

So, what's going on here? Old age, dementia? What's going on with me was that I was disappointed that I couldn't go out for a nice, semi genteel lunch with my parents. I wanted to go to a place that was somewhat like I would choose, and enjoy a nice lunch. Instead, I spent 50 bucks for a horrid experience and a net 3 bites of cheesecake (the rest ended up in the loo).

The lunch I wanted isn't ever going to happen. It can't. Mom cannot deal with new places or menus that she's never seen before. She can deal with the Chinese Buffet, Jakes and the fish place. By the way, it's bad form NOT to eat dessert at the Chinese Buffet-FREE ice cream.

And really, in retrospect, why should suddenly I get Ward and June Cleaver at this point in the game? We don't get to pick our parents, we just get to love them no matter how they act.

The golden nugget here is not that my mom misbehaved, but that I expected her to go and be someone she couldn't be. And that really wasn't fair on my part, was it? And, honestly, learning to eat out at a lot of different places took a lot effort on my part, it didn't come naturally. So, while I can eat cheesecake with a spoon, Mom can crochet dog sweaters. It doesn't make either one of us better, just different.

I guess, for Mom, the Kona Steakhouse would be a little like asking me to put on a dress and go to church on Sunday. Or, giving your daughter a doll that YOU had always wanted when YOU were little. Thanks, but no thanks.

It's always humbling to realize your parents are just people after all.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Weird Girl Recipe Poached Egg in Miso Soup

Well, that'd basically it-boil some water, put in some miso soup mix, get it rolling and dump in a couple eggs. Not suprisingly, it tastes like a cross between miso and egg drop soup, but with the two egg thing going on it makes the soup a hearty meal.

Later on this week I'm going to dump an egg into hot poi and see what happens. This may be a whole new one dish culinary phase for me-dumping eggs into hot semi liquids.

I may also dump an egg into some hot corn soup-yum.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Social Anxiety Disorder

If my Mom were in to shrinks, she'd be diagnosed with it for sure. We had a mom/daughter shopping trip today and she said flat out "I don't like to eat at new places-what if they don't have anything that I like?" But it felt (to me) like fear when she said it.

I know a lot of people feel that way-especially about EATING OUT. Well, what if they don't have anything you like? You'll order something, eat a bit, decide you don't like it and one lunch out of your life will not be the best lunch ever. So what?

I steered away from Taco Bueno and went to Subway next door since today was not an adventuresome day for Mom. She was doing a bang up job of not howling about how much I spent and trying not to be too nosey, so such efforts should be rewarded with a lovely and comforting veggie delight.

When does a problem cease to be a problem and just become a way of life? Mom is mid 70's and will not be working any time soon and I live two houses down and make sure she gets out enough and stays in touch with friends. So, with no Paxil and no psychotherapy, she has worked herself into a position where she can live with SAD and still thrive, more or less.

We actually had a nice day, because neither one of us tried to change the other. Maybe we should try more of that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Still Working on Brave Thing Number Three

I have a lot to own it seems like. One of the things I'm sorting through is what I want to keep of my "old life" in Dallas vs. my "new life" in OKC. Seems the move to OKC didn't increase my hours in a day allotment to anything over 24. And this new idea of health eats up hours-for things like regular sleep, meals, exercise. AAAGH.

I added some social needs on to that-I've been getting out a bit lately with new friends. Yeah me. Added exercise, morning coffee with Mom and Dad on a daily basis and yes-a new habit-reading the paper. Seems the internet is not big in OKC and if I want to get a feel for the city I need to connect in some way.

With the weather changing I'm going to have to get Uncle John suited up for winter. He doesn't do well in the cold and he doesn't like heavy coats, so that is going to be a looooooong shopping trip. This afternoon we are off to the neurologist, but afterward we'll have a nice dinner. I like to end such tasks on a high note.

I'm putting on my gameface for the doctor visit, because they usually require my best, most unblinking don't look away self. My job is to face what John can't, and make the best decision possible for him. His Parkinson's is kicking up big team lately. I'm always torn between just letting him go (mentally) and not being willing to let him go. I still believe he has good days left, and every one of those good days is a day worth fighting for.

For those of us who still have good days, being in touch with someone whose days are limited can be a powerful way of appreciating what you do have.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Trucks, roads, patterns

My newest analogy this week is the image of a big semi truck starting from a dead stop-it takes awhile to build up speed. I'm trying to think of my life in the same way-I got off the highway, on to a toll road, and now I'm taking off again.

My friend Sue had a car accident this week-she's fine. Her van rolled but landed on it's tires. I hope I land on my tires too.

With Mom and Dad and John, it's better to have the illusion that I know exactly what I'm doing. And truthfully, I do know exactly what I'm doing, I just don't have a clue how it's going to end. But do any of us?

Mom is a great seamstress-she starts out with an end in mind, a pattern and works towards that end. She also knows in a general way how long it's going to take. I'm doing a lot of cutting, revising, throwing out and starting over. I have no idea how long this is going to take, or what the finished product is going to be. But it will be a product of my own making.

I put some numbers to it. I left home at 17 and I'm going to be 47 this year, so 17 years of this product is Mom and Dad's, 30 is of my own doing. I paid for my education (well, I'm still paying for it) and I've paid back every dime of the dollars I've had to borrow at times. So I'm declaring it OK for me to be the boss of me.

For some reason, exactly what it is I do all day and exactly what I eat all day is becoming a topic of conversation. And, I've started answering direct questions. Why not? I avoided them for awhile to avoid comment, but I'm past that now. Comments can't hurt me, and remaining vague about what one is doing indicates that you are not entirely happy with what you are doing. And I am. Well, not entirely, but I'm working on it.

And really, what has changed? When I told them about my day at the job, they had no idea what those things meant. The only difference is that before, a company declared it good with a paycheck, and now I am gambling on the public declaring me good with a paycheck. But, if you don't have a fundamental belief in yourself, you can't be self employed. So, I'm believing like a big dog, or trying to.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wipe Out

I know in this time of war and turbulence, this isn't a big deal, but it is a big deal to me and unless I acknowledge that, I can't move on.

Mom, Jean and I went to water aerobics last night. The water was warm, Mom was more relaxed and I moved away from her to let her interact with people on her own. So, the next thing I notice as I'm marching in place is my mother voice carrying across the entire pool (granted, it's a small pool) explaining about my lap band surgery, how much weight I've lost to date, when I'm going to weigh again, and yes, it was a method of "last resort". Because I'm very comfortable in the water, I left the rail to the ones who weren't, so I'm in the middle of the pool while this is going on, waving my arms and looking green.

It was a horrible, horrible experience. I might as well have been completely nekkid, oh wait, when we change I will be. I'm sure Mom will be happy to point out my scars.

And, people, being people, are going to be watching me now to see how I do. Which is what I wanted to avoid.

So, what does one DO? I'm not going to storm out of the class, Mom adores the class and so do I. If I speak to her about it, she's just going to shut down and not make friends. And she needs little old lady friends.

I guess the thing I learned so far was that a person can survive having all their "masks" stripped away. But it isn't a terribly safe feeling. No, it doesn't feel safe at all.

Yesterday started out so well, and ended so damn badly, and it's carried over to today and I'm not sure how to shake it. There is no right wrong to the situation, it's just Mom likes to talk and I am a very private person. Even now it's hard to think about it and stay with it to try and uncover what the "big deal" is.

Ironically, I thought I'd be able to lose weight without the fuss that accompanied the Medifast debacle-with nosey coworkers asking all kinds of nosey questions. Now they don't have to ask, neighbors, relatives and class mates get the latest news broadcast.

Ah, so is it becaue it's MY news? Or am I refusing to own my own weight loss? If we don't own the loss, we might not have to own the fat, right? I'm all about facing things, and this is just another thing to face. I have to own what I've done and what I'm doing. In a bathing suit, twice a week. I'll need some water shoes.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New Ideas

So yesterday instead of waking up to the litany of all I had to do, and I can think of about 7 months worth of work in a few minutes, I decided on 3 things to accomplish, based on the greasy wheel theory. I have no idea how I settled on three.

Today my three things are fix JOhn's TV, pay the bills and go to Water Aerobics. Those set the framework for my day. We'll see how it goes.

Mondays are really hard for me, and I don't work outside the home at the moment. But after 40 years of hating Mondays (I must have started young) it's just habit.

I'm also busy segrating the house into areas-a writing area a TV watching area, a bill paying area. No it doesn't look like one of those home improvement shows, it's just moving the clutter into distinct piles in distinct places as I try to get a handle on things.

So far the brave thing number three hasn't been difficult, just a little irritating. And I did put a magazine in my grocery buggy when I have unread books. BUT, I read the entire thing last night. All right, it was a gossip magazine, there I said it. Junk food for the brain.

Time to migrate from the writing area (the sunroom, which is a bit chilly) and move to the dog feeding area (the kitchen) and thence to the bill paying area-front room. That probably needs to migrate a bit, but right now that's where I set up my command center.

I really did have some aha moments this weekend, but after acoomplishing a few tasks I think I'll be better able to reflect upon them.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Brave Thing Number 3 Owning What you Have

I posted a lot today on Obesity Help about owning what you have, or asserting your right to health. I am a big offender of buying things and not using them. My way cool MIO tracking watch is still in the box. I've lived in my house since June, and today is the first day I've actually taken my coffee AND computer to the sunroom to work, a favorite vision when I first moved here.

Kahlil Gibran said that fearing drought when the well was half full is a thirst that cannot be quenched. And I think my (and probably others obsession with things and gadgets is part of that. I could be cool if I had a MIO watch. I could count calories if I had a Mio. But then, I get it, and apparently am not worthy of a 100 dollar watch (with part of the procedes going to breast cancer).

I have several unopened boxes around my house right now. And it is a habit I first noticed in my ex husband, so it's a habit a loathe. Of course pop psychology says I loathe it in him because I saw it in me. Who knows why I loathe it and does it matter. NO. I'm just procrastinating defining the parameters of my brave thing.

So-here it is and as uaual, it's a multi-parter.

1. I will buy nothng new until I assess whether or not I already own something that will do a satisfactory job. (I've been practicing that anyway, so it's not too brave).

2. I will buy nothing that is not a neccessity until I open every box and put everything I currently have to use.

(that one cause me to have to go visit with a neighbor for a bit)

I think this is a bigger exercise than stuff, clutter or weight loss. It cuts right to the heart of those feelings of inadequacy that I have and have always had. It's very easy to say "Oh, I spend too much money" or "I start things and don't finish them" or "I don't have time" and dismiss the whole thing. It's a lot harder to actually take the stuff out of the box and look at it, and at myself.

That's why I posted it as a brave thing.

Oh, part 3. was posting it BEFORE it was accomplished....heh heh-I caught myself in another little head game, didn't I?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Brave Thing Number Two

I told a friend I was concerned about her, then when I got the "I know, I'll be allright" I pressed on and suggested therapy. That is a brave thing because I always worry about the friendship suffering. And it didn't. Once I said what I wanted to say, I let it go. To do more would be pushy.

As a result, I've caught myself volunteering to meet other people just to talk, etc. I tend to help people who are "safe" like my Uncle and my parents, who can't or won't reject me. Saying difficult stuff to friends is hard, very hard. But isn't that what friends are for?

Another result is that I'm saying more things to MYSELF that need to be said. After all, if I'm asking my dear friend to face things, I need to face things myself.

One of the most horrible things I've had to face is my ex-husband. He molested my daughter and he was promptly evicted from the house. And I've carried that anger and that hate for a long time. I still think it was a vile act.

But, it wasn't directed at ME. It was wrong, she was wronged, and I was betrayed, but it didn't happened because he hated me. He probably loved me a lot more than I ever loved him.

And, it wasn't MY fault because I married a man I didn't love so much because it was safe. It wasn't Divine retribution for all my sins. None of it was mine-it was his problem and his alone. I don't want it any more.

One of my favorite quotes is "forgiveness isn't saying it's allright, it's saying it's over." and I may be at that point now. It will never be allright, but it's really and truly over, for me.

I'm always looking for turning points and liminal moments, because I'm a writer and that makes good drama. But life is more like a river, there are eddies and currents and gradual blending of things that make us who and what we are.

Even Brave Thing Number Two got blended in with other things and just kept flowing down the great river of life.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I bought this girl because of the perfect Ankh symbol on her head.

I Wanna Look Like a Highschool Cheerleader

Is there no end to ways to exploit women's body image? This show is a like a Biggest Loser, only for regular sized people. It might be titled, I was Fabulous in Highschool and I can't STAND being AVERAGE. I'm trying to sit through the whole thing with an open mind, but my initial thought is, wow, does this mean if I was a nobody in highschool I'm doomed in my midlife crisis? Is there nothing to recover?

Actually, I was pretty cool in highschool. I had friends who were druggies and friends who were geeks and I was active in journalism. Cheerleaders-well I wasn't rich enough or pretty enough so that was kind of a bust, but I didn't care. I'm pretty sure I called one a narrow minded idiot, but I really don't remember how or why.

Of course, I was also a raging bulemic and I wouldn't go to school if I weighed more than 117. 115 was OK, 112 was golden. Once I got mono and got down to 110. Bliss.

One of the things I wished was that we'd had more images of real bodies and real weights. Back then, no one really knew what a healthy weight was or a decent weight was, thus we had nothing to go by except some old charts that didn't take into account that what was a healthy weight for a 5'4 teen might not look so hot on a 5'4 40 year old. So much we didn't know then.

I think I've said before it was a great relief to final realize that there was actually something wrong with my foot. I thought I just wasn't trying hard enough and somehow it was all my fault that I was a very slow runner. Back then I thought a lot of things were all my fault.

OK, I can't make it through the rest of the show. Sadly, I wouldn't do what they are doing to look like a HSCL, but I would probably do it for a guaranteed 50K. So, if anyone wants to film me for 6 weeks and humiliate me for 50K, go for it. At least my priorities have changed a bit since highschool....oh wait. Do you think THEY are doing it for the money too?

Water Aerobics

My Mom, her friend Jean and I signed up to go take a water aerobic's class at the Jim Thorpe Rehab center. It was quite an ordeal to get a permission slip from my doctor in Dallas-seems the Jim Thorpe center kept refusing an out of state area code. The little volunteer there could not understand why anyone would fax something to them from Dallas. A lot of us don't look far beyond their own backyard.

Anyway, I limped past the line up and noted I was maybe not the largest person in the room but I was definitely the youngest. I don't have varicose veins but I do have a lot of tattoos and a pierced nose. But, the strange thing was, since we were all sitting around fairly exposed no one took notice. Each person was locked in their own private hell of embarrassment.

The therapy pool is set up specificially for arthritis patients. Fortunately for me, I have some arthritic "changes" in my foot so I qualified. It was perfect for Mom, small pool, small class, senior citizens.

A therapy pool is heaven. It's WARM. There is no muscle freezing cold shock, it's like being folded in a warm embrace. Because it's in a medical center, it's got lots of good chemicals in it and is just sparkling clean. EVERYONE must shower before getting in (praise the LORD!). The steps into the pool are easy to negotiate and grab bars abound.

I really appreciated all the care they took surrounding getting into the pool. For me, with a weakened limb, being IN the pool is great, but flopping around on dry land is a bit of a challenge. The dressing rooms opened right out into the pool, a few steps and you were in. No limping around the permimenter hoping you don't slip or that your left butt cheek isn't hanging out.

Mom, Jean and I and the rest of the kids used to go swimming in the public pools in the summer. And for a moment, it felt like that. Things have changed a bit, Mom is a little uncertain in the water, but she was brave, and took my arm when she needed to.

It was a very bonding moment. Roles might have changed a bit, but surrounded by the warm water and friends old and new, we were just two people who loved and trusted each other.

I went into this experience as an outsider-intending to write a funny piece about kicking it with the seniors in the therapy pool. But in the end, I acknowledged my own infirmities and shared the simple joy of weightlessness and movement with some new friends.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

LAWD lawd lawd

(I was beginning to wonder if that muse would ever return-glad to see she came back)

Snakes were late ba dump ba dump
John won't eat ba dump ba dump
And I got more pains in my aching feet
Lawd Lawd Lawwwwwwd Lawdy Lawd
I got them old hang dog
CAT eatin my smoked turkey BLUES.....................

No Map today

In the first 10 minutes I realized today was not going to be organized or in anyway the way I planned it. My snakes were arriving, John is losing weight, Mom is worried I won't get my paper signed for water aerobics class.....aaaagh. So, I tried to impose order-called John's Dr., headed out for the airport.

Will Rogers airport manages to be small and confusing at the same time. I got my exercise by abandoning the car and walking. Found Delta. Plane was late. What to do?

Get thee to a Starbucks. Time for liquid nutrition. Caffiene. Order from chaos. Checked the dogs, check. Visited with Mom and Dad....check. Picked up the snakes-check.

I'm letting the day decide for me what's next. Obviously I have to get the snakes settled. When I went in to the snake room, Bette was out of her enclosure again, sleeping on the top of it like a big old Snoopy dog. At that point, I just stop and took a picture. What else is there to do?

On some days, sucess is defined is making it through the day with some humour and by accomplishing something, whether or not it was what you planned to accomplish.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Family Dinner Table

I am having trouble eating around people an apparently that is a common thing amongst the banded. However, it made me think about the on air campaigns for the family dinner table. Is dinner really the best time to broach painful subjects or exciting subjects?

I do think families need the bonding time of sharing meals, but how we share those meals and what we share might be up for some revision.

Maybe we need to step back even further and say that eating is an activity worthy of it's own time and place and quit double tasking dinner. I mean, what would happen if we just sat there quietly and ate and enjoyed our food?

Since being banded, I get into trouble if I don't at least pay some attention to bite size, taste, chewing, swallowing. But I wonder, if I had done that before, would I have ever ended up being fat in the first place?

We have such confusing messages around food-eat eat eat DON'T EAT YOU'LL GET FAT.....and also, eat, eat but don't pay attention to your food, talk to me....Toddlers, now they know how to EAT. They touch, taste, feel that food, admire
the color, the texture, the smell.

Maybe that's what we should strive for-returning to that state where we interacted with our food before eating it. Back to the days where we had to pay attention or we'd choke.

What IS it?

Ok, here is the room I put on the "picture frame" that annoyed me about the front of the house. But what IS this room? An atrium? A greenhouse? A snake exercise pen? A dog potty for the winter? So many possibilities for this tiny little space, and I love it!

Before I put living things in it I've got to treat it with diatmous earth to get rid of unwanted living things, but I think this little cubby is going to be a delightful thing!

I do need to pull the grass around the roses-but the other side of the garden looks great!

Red Pansy

The pansies are in their pot out in the cool autumn rain. Ah, rainy days and Mondays.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Pansy crops aren't not that great this year. I went to Ace and bought some dirt and some pitiful pansies to put in my new oak barrel planter. On the way to visit Uncle John, I saw a garden center with stunning I stopped on my way home.

I decided to get a few really nice ones, and a few more. So, I had a plethora of pansies as I headed home. And the inner struggle began.

If I offer some to Mom, she'll ask how much they were. If I don't offer some, she'll notice I have nicer pansies and feel bad about her own. Maybe I should just mind my own business and not worry about it all. But Mom's pansies are my business, just like mine are her business.

So I pulled up in front of the house just as she was walking out. And the answer came to me. "Come on down and pick out some good pansies! We'll spread them in with the not so good ones". Now I knew she'd want the ruby red ones, so I said "Just leave one red one for me".

And thus, we both have beautiful pansies. And I learned that MY busines is HER business and vice versa, because we love each other.

And believe it or not, I haven't spent the past 20 years living in a cave-but sometimes it seems that way.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Brave Thing Number One

Started out as "take off down an unfamiliar road, get lost and get found". I left the highway somewhere around Rice Texas and started east then picked up what I thought was a section line road, but nothing is ever straight in Texas. After a while I had even lost north/south and I actually experienced a bit of vertigo. I'm pretty sure I saw where the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed, and I got a glimpse of a road runner. Cool.

I pulled out my compass to stop the vertigo and headed north (towards home) but the road kept curving back east, so I decided to follow the road until I came to a town. Knowing north/south stopped the vertigo but it was very disconcerting not knowing exactly WHERE I was or where I was headed, or worse where I would end up. Omigosh, kinda like real life, huh?

I ended up in Gun Barrel City at a gas station with a potty and a map. It was amazing how much confidence returned by just knowing where HERE was. So, I decided to up the ante.

While traveling the byways I listend to country and western music and I suddenly thought of a hat that Sue and I both despise. It's a straw hat that bends down on either side and it causes us irrational anger every time we see someone in it. I decided that I would stop in Anna Texas, where I had seen those hats on sale (during the purchase of the cubicle) and not only would I buy one, I would wear it home.

The odd thing, is that even thought of wearing on of those really really bothered me, and I almost chickened out. My stomach did hurt, I truly did puke in Anna Texas, but I bought the hat, and not outlandish pink one that screams NOT ME, but a straw one, one that fit, one that could be me. I took it to the truck, sighed and mumbled "stay with it stay with it" and put it on my head. And thus, to the world, I became one of THOSE people who wear those stupid hats.

I headed out again, and another person in an awful cowboy hat let me cut in line to get on the road. I nodded my hatted head and lifted my fingers (two of them) in a country wave. I sat up straight and was determined to be one with this new me.

Then I upped the ante. In Ardmore I stopped to pee at Starbucks, haven of the cool and uber-hip, and I walked into that Starbucks wearing that awful hat. After a whiz, I ordered a steamer from the cool lady in the mowhawk and had to fight the urge to declare "this is not my hat. This isn't's an experiment."

Steamer in tow, I wave a country wave as I drove off. I mumbled "stay with it stay with it".

Hats do not make us ignorant, prejudiced or stupid, but the truth is, not liking someone because of their hat, or avoiding speaking to someone because of their hat, is. And I have been guilty of that. Assuming when I saw one of those hats in Cancun it was a poor dumb Okie who saved up for 6 years for this one blow out weekend. So now, who is ignorant, dumb and stupid?

I upped the ante one last time. I stopped by my folks house with some fresh veggies and left the hat on. "Where'd you get that hat" my Mom asked. "Love's Country Store in Anna, Tx" I said. "Oh", she said.

Silence. I would not be Judas and deny the awful hat. For that moment, it was my hat, I was a wearer of a country hat, no explanations.

"We might get some rain tomorrow." offered Mom. Could it be that my uptight Mother had fewer hat hangups than I did?

The road trip/hat thing really challenged my need to believe I know who I am and where I'm going. At first it sounded superficial to me, but coming face to face with your own superficial prejudices is a brave thing. And it brought home to me the fact that even with a hat on, or not knowing where exactly I was, I was still, essentially me. And that things that I think are really awful, no one really notices. Maybe, just maybe, that extends to other flaws that make me self conscious.

Lots to ponder.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Ground Shocks

I'm sitting here in the hotel room with the black out curtains drawn trying to wake up and write. My bottle of water is on the desk beside me when the movement catches my eye. Groundshocks.

Every so often, the water in the bottle just starts dancing. Remember that scene in Jurassic Park? (shiver). No, I don't think a T REx is on it's way-the maid is probably vacuuming the room above me-but watching the water dance made me think.

Thinking pre coffee is dangerous, so bear with me.

My thought involved me sitting here oblivious to something that was having a big effect on the water. Obviously events were unfolding all around me, perhaps T Rex in magnitude, perhaps vacuuming. Sometimes looking inward too long can obliterate the view.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I have committed to doing four brave things in October on the following blog.Bravery

Off to my fill, but will keep you updated on this one.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Off to Houston

I'm taking a few things to work on, and hoping that when I come back the seeing the picture from a new angle will help me resolve some issues once and for all.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Beam Me Up Scotty: The Horned Lizard Massacre

Beam Me Up Scotty: The Horned Lizard Massacre

Well, what if enough isn't enough? How will you know if you don't even try? It's that fear of failure that kills ideas and dreams before they every get off the ground. I'm not always optimistic, but I am nothing if not tenacious.

I'd like to get my curiousity back though. Facing the unknown with wonder, not fear. Wow, look at that-never expected THAT to happen!

Today is a better day. I had a good experience that started out odd. I got a chair stuck in my bedroom door last night and finally just climbed over it and went to bed. This morning, rested, with a new perspective, from the other side of the door, I saw immediately how to bring the chair on through.

It doesn't take much to give me hope, does it? But there it was, flaming up in my heart before I even made it out of the bedroom. Wow. A new day.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I make myself sick

I was whining to a friend and I said "but my living room is now clean." Why do I always have to look on the bright side, nothing is ever ALL bad. Well, sometimes things suck, and that's OK. It's ok to be sad, it's ok to be angry. But there is some stupid never say die cheerleader alien being that just won't sit down and shut up and be gloomy.

Look on the bright side. AT least the little lizard was free and basking happily in the sun when the UPS boot snuffed out his life forever.


The Horned Lizard Massacre

Stupid UPS man stepped on one of my horned lizards. Poor little thing, he was one of my favorites too. He was just out basking on the sidewalk, not hurting anyone and splat, the modern world comes and that's the end of the little platy rhino.

At least he died quick, on swift stomp and that was it. I went down to get some sympathy from mom who said "He probably thought it was a bug and he was doing you a favor...AND if you cared about them you wouldn't have let them loose in the front yard." Great. So now the fault is mine. Brilliant Ma.

I thought they'd be safer in the front yard than in the back, less predation, more places to hide. I did the best I could, and it just wasn't enough to help this one. I suppose that's a lesson too, sometimes all you can do just isn't enough.

But, I still have the dream of seeing wild horned lizards caper in my rose garden one day.

I'm tired today, I'm having Band Rage (can't eat so I'm stressed without that outlet) and the chainsaws and the lizards and the general lack of any sign from the Universe that I'm doing the right thing is getting to me.

What if my life is like that lizards? What if all I can do just isn't enough?

The Chainsaw Massacre

The utility company is trimming trees around power lines in my neighborhood. They worked all day Saturday on my old Sycamore and started again today at 7:30. Now, I'm all about thinning trees-it's good for them, but at this point I am beginning to fear for the old things life. At what point are they gong to call it good?

Couple this with it being Monday morning, the dogs barking constantly at the arboreal assault and the incessant chain saw droning on and on....I'm not a happy camper.

I guess today's lesson will be about overcoming adversity brought on by a chainsaw crew. Who can stop us from celebrating, right?