Sunday, September 30, 2007

Not the same effing day.....

I love that quote from Janis Joplin-"And, as we found out on the train, it's all the same ******** day, man." She said this in a concert not long before she died, and you could hear the tiredness in her voice. Like Billie Holliday, Janis got better the worse she got-if that makes any sense.

But I don't want to be remembered for that. I used to idolize tragic figures, but that is when I wanted to tragically give up, and after I was gone people would know....know what? I dunno.

Anyway, I thought of that this morning as I struggled to get out of bed-It's all the same effing day...and it's Janis' voice I hear when I hear that quote. (Now not literally, don't go getting alarmed).

But in my voice I said-"it doesn't have to be." So today I am doing everything I possibly can different. Coffee was easy-I had a new flavor to try. Drinking it went to a new chair and while it brewed I let the dogs out and turned some snakes loose and had coffee with snakes instead of dogs.

Then I decided to deep clean the snakes, but not only rearrange their cages but move them around. I have spares, so I made different habitats-the jampea is spendng the day in the desert, the kingsnake in the forest floor. I have two big ball pythons and a reticulated python splashing in my bathtub.

Deciding where to put them is fun and takes away from the grunge of cleaning. I've also seperated the dogs for their nap-two big ones in the garage, the little uns in the kitchen.

As part of my "different eyes" theme, I'm looking through the recycle bins for things for the snake cages-a paper sack makes a great hide and it will be something different for Zsa Zsa.

And, for the first time in a long time, I'm having a lot of fun in my own home.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Stop, go Over it Again

After thinking about it, I am going to pass on the lovely border collie and take one of my existing dogs to class. I keep adding things to my list of things to care for because I'm not finding the "perfect" thing-the perfect life, the perfect home, the perfect dog.

Nothing is perfect, and I have to find peace with what I have instead of acquiring more.

I am pretty sure some of this has to do with not being able to eat as much as I could before-I have no choice but to face the issues. Actually, I didn't think of it, they are saying much the same thing on Big Medicine even as I write. Sounds good to me.

Oh GOD I've been unbundled

How can a person be nearly comatose and catatonic before 9 am on a Saturday? Well, try to unravel the mysetery of who you are and what your phone number is with ATT and the Dish Network.

ATT and the Dish network aren't sure who I am STILL. I am only sure I've been sending hundreds of dollars to someone on a regular basis and my satellite won't get animal planet. And frankly, I don't remember my phone number in Dallas-I am struggling with getting my NEW number right. I do know my social, but Dish is proud of the fact that they don't track it.

Finally we resolved the mystery of who I was by getting the serial number off the sattellite receiver. Apparently if I have a receiver box I can prove that I exist. Hey, it's something to work with.

I did win one debate. The dish guy said "m'am, there is no need to cuss" and I said "are you getting paid by DISH network?" and he said "Yes" and I said "Well, if you are getting paid by Dish Network, who is currently frustrating me beyond belief for the past 4 months, YOU are going to act as their agent and be cussed at whether or not YOU did the foul up personally yourself or not. Someone is going to be accountable and listen to me."

He finally unloaded me to ATT and I cussed at them a little bit-with the same disclaimer, but they when they sent me back to DISH to pay the DISH people they had no record of me again. So I hung up. I need to regroup and refocus and figure out who I am again.

But this whole-It wasn't ME thing-isn't going to fly. Give me the head of the person in charge, please!

Friday, September 28, 2007


So, I'm sitting here venting off blog to Michele, and I have a vision of myself in the wilderness. No signs in the wilderness. How do you know you are on the right path? Sometimes your heart is treacherous and tells you what you want to hear-and I have led myself astray many times.

I'm trying to listen to my heart. And it is telling me I'm on the right path, but still searching. I guess it's like the stretch of I:35 between Ardmore and Gainesville-you gotta travel it to get to Dallas, but there isn't much there. I actually LIKE that stretch because there isn't anything there-I do my best thinking there and in the shower.

I think today's lesson for me is going to be all about not carrying the weight of other people's expectations. BTW-that is going on a T-shirt in my new line-I really like that phrase.

Another image flowing through my mind is that of the harvest-it's time for some of these great ideas/impulses to bear fruit. That is where patience comes in, and maybe a littl faith.

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, I was a great achiever of things. Only, the things I achieved weren't what I set out to achieve-I just got money, insurance and a certain amount of status. I do want to rise again, but this time I want to achieve something that is real and has value to society or at least to more than a few fat execs.

I was valuable to the execs because I really believed in what I was doing at the time. Right now I'm not valuable to anyone because I don't have a clue what I'm doing. And it's hard and more than a little scarey. But I'm going to keep on doing it, because my heart of hearts is telling me this is the right path.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wow, that was quick

In between the last post and this one I've found a place that will let me train in my wheelchair and a lady has given me a perfectly lovely low drive border collie. Now, the Universe is not going to pave the way smoothly for me-the world at large (represented by relatives) is going to come up with 10,000 reasons why I don't need a dog, any dog and THAT dog in particular, who they've never met.

And I could come up with some reasons why I do, the biggest reason being it's hard for a person to bend down to chihuahua level to train. Well, dang it, it is.

And, for whatever reason, I want to train a dog. So, I'm just going to enjoy my little secret, go meet the dog next week, and then and only then, introduce it to the family if I think it's a go.

But here's the thing, I am almost tearful with gratitude, because I feel like somebody heard MY cry and gave me what I wanted. Now, the truth is, I went out looking for a class and a dog so maybe I gave myself what I wanted.

Maybe we should accept our own right to give ourselves what we want.


I am looking over some recently abandoned projects to see what I've missed. I think I've left a few things behind I shouldn't have.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Something I posted

On a forum-but I liked it.....

I meditated some more on your post and I came up with this-I'm really good at diving into things and good at things that require super human effort. Weight loss (for a big loss) isn't like that-it requires slow, consistent, regular effort-not my best thing ever. LOL.

The band is there to help us control quantity, but it's up to us to look at the other things and make good choices, which is what you are doing. Some of the things I've confronted in myself are not pleasant-but the band allows us to confront them without eating a bag of potato chips afterward.

We are all releasing weight at the rate that our mnds/bodies will allow-and that is the hardest lesson (for me to learn) is to just be myself. In fact by losing weight we are not changing ourselves, we are becoming ourselves.


The Universe eeems to be relentless in wanting me to deal with certain issues these days. I have decided to surrender to it and just look at them as they arise. No time table-if the dishes don't get done-they just don't get done.

I used a phrase in another post "the weight of other people's expectations" and that resonated with me. That seems to be the burden I always select to be my own. Any project I undertake suddenly becomes infused with other people's opinions, ideas. And while that is sometimes a positive thing, I believe I take that to a darker place.

Right now I am overwhelmed with all my own ideas and what people will think of them. I miss the distraction of a corporate job-without that distraction I am face to face with ME. Oh MY GOD, the horror.

I realize now that I am running around down familiar paths asking for permission to be me still. And the Universe is saying (much like Yoda) Don't ask, do.

I've been meditating lately and trying to get rid of good bad labels. I've been praying for help. Now it's time to gird up my loins and go out and be me. Whoever that may be.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Turd in the Shoe (part 2)

I was going through some old images I have, and I found this. I think I originally posted it on Poidogz as an example of amazing a performance artists the dogs I share my home with can be. But now, few months later, I still love this image.

I love the skill it took to place the turd in the shoe-and the fact that it was a one shot deal-no moving of turds after they are placed. If the shartiste was Greta, she did it at a time when she only had one good back leg.

I also get a sense of safety on behalf of the turd-it's a turd, yes, in a shoe, but the shoe protects it from the world of stomping feed and thundering chihuahua herds. The shoe's partner is nearby, helping to watch over the turd, and perhaps the other shoe.

But who am I? The turd, or the shoe or the shartiste? Maybe I'm all three.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Ok, I need to let this go. I sent pics of the kids to Mom and Dad when I was in Florida and I got back a "those were ugly pictures, why would you take them?" But I love those kids and I loved those pictures, because they were taken when we were doing something together. They are the nearest thing I'll have to grandkids, and it really, really hurt my feelings, even though I know the criticism was of the picture, NOT the kids.

But, I suppose art is not about approval, and I STILL love this picture, so here it is. Be free little ice cream face!

Who am I today?

In a nutshell, I couldn't use my wireless router that is connected to my DSL because it didn't recognize me. I've been connecting with the internet using a Merlin Card from Sprint, and I procrastinated so long that the ATT address was deactivated, permanently and irrevocably. So, I had to assume a new ID so my wireless router would recognize my computer and me.

Of course, Yahoo is having trouble recognizing the new me-but I usually sign in to Yahoo anyway, so truly, I don't care. I just need add the new id to the current list of possible me's.

So, Merlin is over in the corner cooling off a bit and I am using my dusty old wireless router for which I've been paying for several months unused now. I don't really think Merlin is a viable full time access method-it gets pretty hot.

Later on I am going to introduce the Printer to the Router and see if they recognize each other. Then I'm going to introduce Laptop 2 to the router-wouldn't that be great if they could talk? Then the two laptops and the router could have a little menage a trois, but the printer would probably want to take pictures and distribute them via the fax.

I was going to figure out why I keep getting billed for a phone number I haven't had in months-but that e-mail has disappeared from all known in boxes, so I guess that will have to wait for another day.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Family Trees

This is one of MY trees-well, Ms D probably planted it. It had a dual trunk, and was really a neat old tree. But it was old, and it was becoming a hazard.

Seeing the logs laid out from what used to be a trunk was very evocative for me. I dig trees. Really I do. It kind of reminds me of me, my Mom and my Dad, or for that matter, the entire universe. Because the tree will die if the indiviudal pieces are severed.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Get On With It

Since the Starbucks incident, two more people have questioned me about a purchase. Mom doesn't really count, she always does that. I was buying dog food at the vet and the girl behind the counter said "Oh, you can buy Fit and Trim at Walmart, it's really cheap and works good...." and I like the girl so I didn't want to tell her I don't feed grocery store food but I actually had to ask her twice to go the bloody damned reduced calorie dog food. SHIT.

The second one was at Academy Sports, and I'm afraid I lost my temper a bit over that one. I wanted a freestanding punching bag, so that is what I asked for. The guy walked over to the hanging bags and said "You mean one of these?" And I said, "No, I want one that stands on the floor."

He nods and says in a very omniscient way "Oh, you want a FREESTANDING punching bag" and I said "YES, that's why I ASKED for one". So Einstein goes for help and a ladder and at that point I noticed there were two kinds of FREESTANDING bags-well three if you count the one with the man's torso on it but it was like $300 and he looked a bit like a Ken Doll.

"What's the difference between the Everlast and the Freewave?" I asked. Einstein's helper replied "Uh, about 2 dollars" and I said "Fine, I want an Everlast"

Einstein was already at the top of his ladder and he says "But I'm already up HERE" and friends, my go with the flow just flew somewhere else. Before I could stop it, out of my mouth flew (in a scarily cheerful tone) "well, you better get your ass down here then because I want an Everlast."

And then I cracked up laughing at myself and the whole ludicrous situation. And maybe, just maybe that IS going with the flow, because I didn't feel angry or insulted any longer. AND, when I went over to the hunting department and bought my buck knife, no one questioned me.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Around the House

My inner self and doggy vision

My inner self is not a practical being-I'm a dreamer. I just wrote on Poidogz about my vision of a neighborhood united by rescuing dogs. Ok, there is some self serving in that-if I got the neibhbors to foster dogs I could play with them (the dogs, not the neighbors). But there are a lot retired people around here, and if 10 people each took a dog in, fed it, trained it they'd either keep it (and that's ok) or they'd place it in a good home and take another.

These are the kinds of dreams that always get crushed under the weight of practicality and that shouldn't be.

Question to the Universe

Ok, the maid service said they'd be here at noon instead of 3.....problem is, I won't be here. So they are checking, and here it is-if I have to reschedule I'm going to cancel instead. I am putting it out to the Universe, should I have someone clean my floors or not?

Phone rings. (this is real time writing)

She can't get a hold of the girls. The Universe has spoken, I don't like the answer. But REALLY, after a week of going with the flow I am tired of vendors telling ME what the schedule or the latte is going to be.

Now, I'm an easy house to clean, but high maintenance scheduler-becasue I juggle a lot of schedules. Somebody has to juggle ME-because I'm not going to cancel a lunch date with my parents we've had for a week!!!!!! So I'll go eat ribs and then come home and clean my own dang floors.

The Universe is a tough taskmaster. Next thing you know I'll be asked to give up the lawn guy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Deepok Chopra and Ghost Babies

Ghost Babies

I'm glad to see someone is as troubled as I am.

Actually, I've had a pretty nice afternoon. Shut the door, put on some Depok Chopra I've been meaning to listen to, put cucumber cooler things on my eyes. I got so relaxed after Deepok that I went in and took a 2 hour nap. Some days, it's just better to nap.

Parable of Starbucks

I read that a cappucino has 100 less calories than a latte. To treat myself I got up, threw on a sundress and drove myself to starbucks-determined to have a nice morning. At the speaker, I got my first hint that all was not well.

"Have you ever had a capuccino here?" to which I replied "No". I don't talk a lot before I've had my coffee. "Well, it's got less milk than a latte" to which I replied "that's ok". (See, I'm using my new tool).

When I got to the window the barrista came over and said "I made you a latte, I didn't think you'd be happy." to which I just blinked. "I'm sorry," she said, "I'll make you cappucino and you can have this latte too."

I ended up just taking the latte-the line was long and it had all the correct components.

My first thought was "do I just have a sign on my face that says "tell me what to do?" and then I realized there was a message here, somewhere, in the latte.

"What do you want me to learn?" I asked. Is the lesson just let things go if they don't matter? Was it supposed to be to stand up for myself? WHAT WHAT WHAT?

Pressing on, I stopped in at Mom and Dad's in a pre emptive strike. We'd coffee, then I'd announce I had work to do. That is a discreet way of setting boundaries.

"You're up early" said Daddy. I told them, in a very matter of fact tone, about my strange starbuck's experience.

"She should be fired! You should call the manager! I've never heard of such a thing." screeched Mom from the kitchen.

"Well, she was only looking out for my best interest or so she thought. And the line was long. She meant well." I replied.

"It's your business what you want to drink. Even if the latte is the better deal, it's up to YOU to order what you want and her to make it. People can't tell you how to spend your own money!!!!" the squawking continued.

Daddy and I did a really good job of snickering out of earshot.

Parables are supposed to have a point, and I'm unsure of what this one is. I already know that what bothers us most in others is what we don't like about ourselves. Am I bossy? Does Mom drive me nuts because I'm just like she is?

Or was the lesson that it wasn't about ME at all-the lady of the window just wanted to do the right thing, and sometimes she (Mom) doesn't have all the facts,and I shouldn't take it so personally?

I made my way to the car. Mom hollered from the front porch "don't go too far in that dress, you can see your body right through it." and I kept on walking across the lawn and said "I'm just going to the car and I'm wearing underwear."

"WHAT if you'd run out of gas or had a wreck and had to get out of the CAR?" she persisted. "I can SEE your underwear."

"It's ok, I'm wearing nice underwear." I said as I took refuge in the Escape.

I think the lesson of the morning is just not to get all worked up over things that don't matter, latte's or high decibal conversations about your underwear.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Beam Me Up Scotty: Out of the Closet (secrets revealed)

Beam Me Up Scotty: Out of the Closet (secrets revealed)

I am really OUT I guess, because I have heard my weight loss reported all over the neighborhood now. I have also been sighted in an UPK (unidentified pair of khakis). I actually did tell someone (Mom) that I bought them, but I guess she forgot.

Now, I ask you, why can I report weight loss on Obesity Help, write about it on the Internet and cringe when asked about it face to face? I really don't know.


The OK thing is working pretty good, but not perfectly. I was unloading the truck (Home Depot and some trash picking) and Mom came down to feed the dogs their treat. I decided that I was not going to hide my flowers (which the neighbor was already hollering about anyway).

We went through the inventory of what I was unloading, where I got it, why I wanted it and how much I paid for it, and if it was free, what I intended to do with it. The grecian lady was inspected and approved, although her placement was guestioned-I wanted her looking back over the roses, mom thought she should be looking out at the street. "That's where I'd put it" she said and I said "OK" while thinking "No, you wouldn't have paid 25 dollars for the damn thing, but if you want one go spend your own 25 and let her face any frickin way you want." Is this maturity-not saying everything I think of?

She wanted to help me unload the entire truck because we'd need it on Sunday when we go to take Uncle John to visit Lee. But, me being the stubborn person that I am only wanted to unload those things that I was interested in working with at the moment.

I decided it was better to finish later so I said "I have to go in now" and added "work to do."...but that started a new line of questioning. What are you working on? What are you doing tonight? And I kind of said "uh, T-shirts, they'll be out on Sunday, gotta go"...and then IT happened.

She realized that I was going to leave the bromiliads out on the sidewalk. "You can't leave those there-someone will take them."

Apparently, you can't leave anything in this neighborhood past your front porch or someone (whoever that is) will steal you blind. They'll even take your bromilieads, by golly.

She moved to help me move them to the porch, but that is where I put the organic potting soil. I'm not really that hard core, but the new flowerpots and bromiieads are actually for the snakies to play in, and I needed organic soil for them. Oh shit.

"Moooooooooom, I'll do it later.................."...ok, so I didn't say OK. But it stopped her from rounding the corner where the organic potting mix was. Whew. Saved. Ok.

Pop Psychology

OJ Simpson-yes he's a sociopath and clearly off his nut. Truly punish him-put him away somewhere and ignore him.


According press reports the Goldman's got the rights to the vile book he wrote, addes some stuff and it has now been released as a confession. Unless they are going to donate 100% of the proceeds to a victim of violence charity, that' a little creepy too.

Britney, Lindsay,Paris-have moved beyond spoiled rich kids into the full blown drug addict stage. It's less about the spoiled and more about the drugs. Drugs are drugs whether you buy them on the street corner or hae them delivered to your mansion.

But, my biggest concern is for Oprah. What is up with you lady-you look pretty awful. I'm not talking about weight, I'm talking about the loss of that sparkle, that Oprahness. I don't know what is going on with you, but please call Maya Angelou immediately and talk about it. I'm worried and I care.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Scenes from My Life

Me at Mom and Dads. I've taken the two Spotties and Ms. Bitty down for a visit. I'm feeling pretty virtuous, I've taken Uncle John to the doctor out to lunch, I met with the lumberjack and I am spending time with my folks before going to pick the cat up at the vet.

Me: John had a nice Dr. visit and then we went out to eat.

Mom: Where'd you go?

Me: We went to eat Mexican food, John really chowed down.

Mom: He always chows down.

Me: I didn't know he liked Mexican food though-I'm excited because you and Daddy won't eat it with me.

Mom: That's not true. I would, you never ask.

Me (thinking I had it covered): Great! Next time we go you are invited, we'll have a blast.

Mom: Ok, where do you go?

Me (completely, blindly walking in to it): On the Border

Mom: No, I don't go to high dollar chains like that. There is a local business around the corner Jean Stewart goes to.

Me: OK.

Now, the Ok is a good idea and I think I'm going to use it as often as possible from now on. Because there is clearly no way out-I can't make Mom go eat at a high dollar chain for God's sake, and I don't really feel that I'll save a lot of money or time by driving across town, picking up John bringing and him back here for a sumptious meal at a locally owned business and then driving him BACK across town. Yet, if I try to play the gas card I'll open myself up for criticism of some sort, I'm not sure what.

In fact, for the remainder of the week, when I'm blindsided like that I am going to "Just say OK".

Task Mode

Today's tasks-take Uncle John to Dr. get him fed and shopped and back in time to meet the lumberjack who is going to chop down my big tree. Somehow I have to go pick up the cat before 6, but I can run do that while the tree is being chopped.

I keep talking about setting boundaries and schedules, but as I mentioned earlier this week, I'm not sure what it is I want. If you don't know what it is you want to achieve, how do you know if you are making progress?

I'm in the ever predictable cycle of angst, messy house and I'll just spiral down, clean the house and then it will be better. Part of the dance involves over scheduling so there is no time to clean the house.

Ahhhhh, the maid is coming on Friday to restore some order and sanity to my world. Time to doctor the dogs, saddle up and head out.

Ok, I m pretending not to know that the constant (so it seems) criticism, or rather the increased criticism is bringing me down. Hell I went shopping at night and snuck some clothes in so that no one could ask me where I got them or how much I paid. There is no good answer to that-today's shirt was on sale for 6.99 but Mom could have gotten it at the goodwill for 50 cents.

I've got to find a balance between shutting down completely and being open and just tryign to shrug it off. Maybe if I actually learned to shrug it off it would work, but how the hell does one learn to shrug things off?

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Truck

Daddy got a shiny new Ford Ranger and Mom was annoyed (surprise). I am preoccupied with an upset tummy, a sick cat and dog with an impacted anal gland, a looming earwax appointment with Uncle John and an existential crisis. So I was less than tactful. She said something and I said "at his age you ought to be glad he feels like going out and looking at trucks".

My friend Sue's daughter, Maya will say I HATE you /I LOVE you.....and I know just how she feels. Cause a few hours later Ma called to tell me Dr. Oz was on Oprah and she knows I don't watch daytime TV but maybe I would want to know????? Well, of course I would.

So I will record "The Truth About Food" tonight since "their satellite doesn't get Discovery.

The thing that scares me is that I have no idea what Mom wants or needs that she isn't getting, and apparently neither does she. And, while I'm not as cranky I do see some of that same frustration in ME. And it scares me.

Now, this is not neccessarily an age thing-Mom has always been high strung and cranky but the older you (and she and I) get, the less we are able to deal with the things that are ailing us emotionally. So, I'd like to get good and emotionally healthy while I still can. It shouldn't take more than one or two hundred years at the most.

Will it go round in circles-aha-will it fly high

...Like a bird up in the sky eye eye....Ok I have some funkadelic lyrics in my head this morning. Preceding this 70's blast was the thought that I do tend to go in circles, but in my wildest dreams I never thought I'd circle back here. I really thought I had looked at this Okie life from all perspectives and was done. Clearly I was mistaken, because here I am.

Of course, even I know it's not Oklahoma or my parents I need to look at-it's me. They are just providing the canvas for me to redraw myself. I think the lesson I've brought back with me from the wild out there is that I am the person who wields the colored pencils. I didn't know that before.

Of course, I always pictured myself coming back in a suit, driving a Corvette, about 103 pounds soaking wet. I'd have something exotic and wonderful like a borzoi for a pet, and my hair would have grown long and wavy. I think I would be two inches taller too. But that's not the picture my colored pencils drew for me.

No wait, that's not what I drew for myself. Case in point-my latest and greatest canine is an 11 year old Chihuahua who weighs about 3 pounds and would blow away in a strong breeze. In her youth, she probably was exotic looking, now she's just a frail dear old lady. And I wouldn't trade her for any borzoi known to man.

With my parents, Uncle John, a couple of old dogs, I am craving new life-a litter of puppies, something, anything. Yet, when I get to choose, I choose the old dog who needs me rather than the unborn puppies who really don't. My pencil, my picture.

I really didn't think any of this would be this hard

Hah-moving back home-giving up a career I was done with anyway-piece of cake! Oh, and I while I work through that I might as well go have stomach surgery and lose weight since I'm having trouble walking anyway from February's surgery.

I read a line in a short story a long long (teenager) time ago about a middle aged housewife-it said, roughly-"sometimes she wanted to take the glass globe of her world and smash it against the wall just to see where all the pieces fell." I loved that line-still do. And I've done just that several times. Maybe too many times, but maybe not.

My parents world is very orderly and hasn't changed much in the 20 years since Dad retired. I guess the last change before that was me moving out.

Mom was talking about the price of oranges and how she wouldn't pay it and they'd just eat other things or canned fruit. In the midst of this I realized that Daddy has all his food brought in for him and prepared. The trade off is, he doesn't get oranges. Now if he wanted one he could go get one, but he doesn't really know that much about grocery stores.

When we were in California Daddy and Bill were dispatched to buy two boxes of cherries and they came back with a crate (4 boxes). Yes, the crate was a box too. But neither of them really had a clue as to quantity beyond what they intended to eat.

There are things I don't like about my life right now-the chaos, the clutter, the indecision. I could focus on organizing the house and kitchen, cooking and preparing my own food and taking care of Mom, Dad and Uncle John. But then I wouldn't know how many boxes of cherries to buy.

Cages are safe, and they have their price and rewards. The world is a little more scarey, but I can't seem to stay out of it. Of course, if I truly knew the cost of all this change and chaos, I probably wouldn't have undertaken it, so maybe that's one of those things it's best not to know in the beginning.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Out of the Closet (secrets revealed)

The absolute truth is it is more like out of the clothing sack-the jeans haven't made it into the closet yet. But, out of the closet is a much better title.

Where to start? My name is Deb, and I'm wait. How odd that a clothing size would link in my mind to a support group. Anyway, I procrastinate. Hey, it's what I do best.

I reached a milestone of sorts in Conroe Texas at the Liz Claiborne Outlet at around noon last Friday. I actually tried on clothes in a dressing room for the first time in at least over 2 years. I love catalogues, I love Cato because I knew what size I wore-it was easy. Go in, grab, leave. Throw out the old, and done.

But losing weight, coupled with a desire to celebrate and a real need for some jeans all converged and put me in a dressing room with 2 possible sizes and an eons old dilemma. One size fit, but I'm losing weight, right? One size I could squeeze shut, and I looked like a sausage NOW, but I'm losing weight, right?

Both were the same price, no help, no sign from above. Just a fat woman who wants to be smaller. I thought about buying them both-really, the price was right.

I sat down in the dressing room and really really thought about it. For the first time ever that I can recall I chose NOW. The size that looked nice NOW. I celebrated the 18 pounds I have lost, not the 98 pounds I plan to lose. I celebrated the current accomplishment.

Now I chose a Size 20. Technically I am down 2 sizes because I thought my jeans were a 24 and it turns out they were a 22. Yeah, it's been awhile since I bought jeans.

I have never before revealed a current size in a non weight loss related forum. This is big stuff for me. It's hard to do and I'd really like to puke.

But, my heart is telling me that in order to have a different future, I have to do things differently. And, that includes being nice to myself in the present, not in the possibly slim future. Who knew being nice to yourself was so tough?

Apparently a lot of people. In a group therapy session as a teenager I had to sit an say thank you to compliments-only thank you. The only way I got through that horror was to tell myself "they don't really mean it".

But I really do mean it-I love these jeans, these size 20 right now fitting me jeans. And, I am really, humbly grateful that I could share an epiphany that didn't start out with "I was sitting on the toilet....."

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Lots going on in my head-but no words yet

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Anti Sugar Picture

I really don't have anything against cinnamon rolls-I rather enjoy them. Well, the smell mostly now since doughy bread sticks in my stoma. But I made this for someone in lap band forum who was struggling with sweets. I struggle with portraying snakes in a negative light, but in this case it was the snake portrayed in a negative light for a greater good. So that must make it alright. I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where the heck am I supposed to be?

Didn't get on the plane this morning-just didn't want to. Cold front coming through would have killed the reptiles IF the heater doesn't work. Apparently it does but it hasn't been used in two years and I couldn't take the risk. I woke up twice with a horrible pit in my stomach thinking "you are needed here today". One I could ignore, two, not a good idea.

The thing is, I may never know what I escaped or what I prevented, but I really feel like here is where I need to be and here is where I'll be. I also believe, since we are talking about such things, that God looks out for those who at least make a good faith effort-so if my vibes were a bit off, or my interpretation correct, I've still earned points for listening.

There are two kinds of vibes. One is the go ahead vibe, and that can sometimes be blurred by wanting to do the thing you are getting the vibe to go ahead and do. The DON'T vibe is usually dead on and when I do after being told don't, I usually regret it.

So, I spent the morning reworking, rescheduling but not minding it at all because I feel like I am where I'm supposed to be. Called Sue, she isn't sure what she's supposed to be doing, so I asked her to come here next weekend so we could sit in the backyard and watch the dogs and drink wine and talk about what we think it might be that we'd like to do. It's very convenient to have a dear friend who is as mixed up as I am.

So, I am going BACK to Houston to get a lap band fill, then will pick up an 11 year old dog in Dallas who needs a home. Take John for glasses on Saturday. John to Dr. on Monday. What else? Oh yeah, gotta clear out a bed for Sue.

A little more road time may help set my head right-it usually does. Road time with parents is different because there is talking, and it's good to share the road with them. But it's also good to go alone.

At this point in my midlife crisis I really have no map. And, it's a little frightening-when you don't know exactly what is wrong, it's very hard to know what to do. I would define depression as not being able to get out of bed and get moving at all. This fugue I'm in is different-I'm up and around, I just don't know where to go or what to do with myself.

I'm also being uncharacteristically cautious. Normal mode of operation is just do SOMETHING and see what shakes out. But right now I am content just to do what clearly needs doing and wait for a bigger picture. Is this wisdom or lack of nerve, or are both the same thing?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Zooming in on my way out

Back from Austin today-off to sunny Tijuana tomorrow.

Some of my carefully planned foodage was fed to a pride of wild kittens that lived near the condo where we stayed. Said feral cats feasted on gourmet chicken and salmon, but this morning there were 8 of them and the cat food I bought on Saturday was long gone. The deer were miffed that the kittens were fed first, but it turned out well and the biggest buck ate from my hand again.

Lots to digest (mentally) from this trip, but right now I have to wash some under garments and try and pick the last few prickly pear spines from my fingers and palms. I arrived back at my house at 8 pm and promptly began feeding lizards, snake cage cleaning and listening to the cat yowl about how she was neglected and mistreated while I was away. I gave her a nice yummy bit of tripe and whipped out a new cat bed I had saved for such a moment-bribery works well with old cats as well as small children.

I'm going for my first "fill" and my first weigh in since I had surgery. Last week I was nervous about it all, today I am just too tired. 1200 miles in 4 days will do that to a person.

Remember that I was concerned about telling people about my surgery? Turns out I needn't have worried-Mom and Dad have told ALL the neighbors (current) and today at lunch they told their former neighbors in Waco. News of my lap band surgery, done in MEXICO no less, has spread now to both coasts and the heartland.

And quite frankly, I don't care. All the memories of diet success and failures are just that. Today is today, and the past is just well, gone. And sticks and stones may break my bones and all that. Trauma and drama-be gone.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Pretty good day

Today was a nice day-Bill came down and saw the new horny toads and rode with me to take the dogs to the kennel. No one in the family has ever witnessed what it takes to leash up and transport 4 dogs and they were all reasonably well behaved. We had a nice talk about this and that.

Mom fixed leftovers for lunch because we had to eat up all the leftovers she didn't want to freeze before we went on our trip. In contrast, I will just clean out the fridge when I get back-actually, more likely when I get back from TJ.

I took Uncle John to have his eyes examined, and got mine done as well. Then we bought glasses, two pairs a piece. While we waited (he wanted to go to a national chain, preferably Pearle) we went to the Food Court and road the famous glass elevator-firt one in Oklahoma City I think. We ate a gyro.

He was nervous, even saying he might have a panic attack in the food court, but I wanted to push him a bit. Afterward we went and I had him climb in the photo booth and we figured out how to work it and had a photo sketch made. It was hard for him at first, but then he got into it and was very proud.

We picked up our glasses and he suggested ice cream. I was glad because I was afraid I'd pushed him too hard-and if he wanted to stay out longer that is a good sign. However, enough newness was enough, we both got Rocky Road.

After taking Uncle back to his place, I stopped and bought some mealworms and crickets for the horny toads since the ants didn't arrive. Then it was off to the store for our trip tomorrow-I am in charge of my own breakfast and dinners. I think I did good, got soups for a light day, salmon for one day and chicken breast for another-gotta love those new aluminum packs.

I think Mom is expecting TV dinners-she's been a bit crabby about not knowing what I was going to do, but I promised her she wouldn't starve. She finally surrendered to the process-if she isn't going to cook (and she shouldn't have to) she doesn't get to dictate what we are having. I was deliberately vague about what I was doing because dang it, I AM IN CHARGE OF DINNER!!!!!! Well, that and I thought it would freak her out if she knew it was the eve of the trip and I had no idea what I was going to go buy.

I gassed up the truck and reflectd on my somewhat domestic day. I even remembered to take the trash out to the curb-just like a regular domestic diva. As I served my biggest python her second rat on a platter, I decided I was the June Cleaver of 49th street today. Well, maybe not.

The sink is still full of recycling and dirty dishes and we will be driving out tomorrow in a dirty truck (or SUV as Daddy calls it). But all the really important stuff got handled. Well, maybe not. But, maybe enough.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sometimes you need a little finesse

Mom was having trouble adding something up and I took the opportunity to suggest we go to the Dr. When she said "huh?" I said "I noticed you've been forgetful lately and a little bit cranky." (understatement of the year I assure you).

She said she wasn't interested, but the thing is, my heart is telling me that that opened the door for her to bring it up some time in the future. We'll see.

Daddy popped a tendon so now all three of us are limping around like chubby little frankenstein monsters. Mom let me order another pair of shoes for her because the only thing that really works for her now are the crocs, so I asked her to let me try. She agreed, then Daddy popped HIS tendon. He doesn't listen to me at all.

Actual scenes from my life: A TALE OF TWO MONITORS

In my living room putting together snake cages and computer monitors with Daddy and Bill.

Daddy: You have the same flat screen monitor as I do

Me: Cool

Daddy:Where did you get yours?

Me: Circuit City

Daddy: Mine cost less, I got it at Walmart

Me: I'm sure you're right about that.

Bill: Now wait-how much was yours Daddy?

Daddy : 195

Bill: Deb?

Me (thinking game/set/match): 189, plus got 400 airline miles and it was ready at the door when I got there.

In Daddy's living room, Daddy and Bill have just returned from Doctor. I am using the electrostimulator leg treatment voodoo machine I bought for myself and ended up taking down the street for public consumption and Daddy is fiddling with his new blood pressure monitor.

Mom enters from the kitchen and looks at the Monitor

Mom: What is that?

Daddy: Blood pressure monitor, Dr. said I needed one

Mom: Where'd you get it?

Daddy: Walgreens

Mom: It would have been cheaper at Walmart.....Debra Kay, WHAT is so damn funny?????

Weird Girl Recipe Salmon Patties

I cooked two salmon patties in olive pam spray. Sprinkled a little Hawaiian sea salt and some dill on the patties. Took a tbls of light mayo and added some dill and garlic, and when I finished flipping the patties I spread that on top to heat.

In the meantime I nuked some leftover corn and pumpkin with a little garlic.

Both patties/sauce and the veggies were about 300 calories, lots of protein, fiber and veggie values. It took 10 minutes to make.

I did pretty good today eating according to band rules-and eating solids. Solids really fill you up-and you stay full. Duh. That's why they make the rules.

Truly at first there is a fear factor in eating solids, but once you get the hang of it it's great.

Hummingbird Fly Away Fly Away

A pair of hummingbirds has raised a baby this year near my Mom's house, relying heavily on the nectar she puts out for them. Daddy walked out on the porch and found the baby sitting there alone, crying pitifully. I guess he ran into the glass door.

The baby couldn't take off from the ground, so I held him in my hand, not restraining him, just giving him a warm place to get his wits about him. His cries were heart rending, he was one scared little birdie. Two drops of nectar were still on his breast feathers.

One of his wings was extended, but apparently not broken, he was just frozen with fear. I stroked his wing and marvelled at a real bird wing the size of a small, extended paperclip. The muscles and bones were visible beneath the feathers.

Yes, there were feathers so small it was ahard for my brain to register that they were feathers. Emerald green feathers, with longer, perfectly formed flight feathers. Part of my brain was running down a checklist-broken bones, look at the pupils (tiny little pupils), heart rate....hmmmm it probably should be faster but how fast? The other part of my brain was in complete and utter shock and this marvelous minature creature.

The parents dove around, clearly distressed. Hummingbirds are wary little creatures and they didn't like my interference. We have watched them investing their daily lives into raising this chick. He tried to fly out of my hand but just couldn't get the lift he needed, so I picked him up again.

We sat on the porch, this little hummer and I. "Be calm, be calm" I told him with my mind. I don't think words are terribly comforting to a wild creature. I did think about a camera, I wanted the camera, but I didn't think that was best for the task at hand.

After a bit, I took him the the feeder and offered him a drink. He didn't seem interested. I thought that if he could get up on the perch he might be able to take off from there, since they don't usually start on the ground. Now I have had parrots step up on perches, but this perch was the size of a spaghetti noodle and the bird could not have sat on my finger if it wanted to. So I just moved the palm of my hand under the perch and waited for the guy to step up.

Like any other bird, he stepped up with one leg and left the other in my palm, unsure of which way to go. I just waited and he finally got in the perch.

When we checked a few minutes later, he was gone-not on the perch and not on the ground. So, I guess it worked.

While holding the bird, the thought came to me that sometimes that's all we need-a quiet place to sit and be safe and gather our wits. I am honored to be that place for that bird, it was a miracle that few people get to behold. Sometime the best help is to do or say anything, but rather just be there.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Head In the Sand

Once upon a time I went to Mexico with a couple who were about to be divorced. Only one of the couple knew it, and me. A strange time was had by all.

I feel the same way about the upcoming trip. I'm taking my parents down to Austin (which doesn't thrill them at all) and to Houston to see the Grandkids and back to Waco to see an old neigbhor (which does thrill them). Even if I don't talk with my mother about "the issue" until afterward, I already know it's going to happen.

Once upon a time I ran away from these self same people (my parents, not the couple in Mexico). I moved with my BF into a Serro Scotty (go back and read the beginnng of the blog). I was trying so hard to get away from THEM. And now I am trying so hard to figure out how to keep them around a little bit longer.

All the distance and indulgences and jobs and things of import I have carefully put between us are pretty much gone.

A little over a year ago I lived in Dallas, I had a nice paying job, I traveled a lot and I talked to my parents once a week or so. Often I called them from where ever I was. Now I live two houses down, I don't have a "real job" and we can no longer avoid what is happening.

To add a layer of weirdness, I knew it was happening, or I thought so. This was why I moved back to Oklahoma. There has to be bonus points in there somewhere for walking into it when you knew it was going to be bad.

How do I tell you, you're cRazy?

It's really not funny, but that phrase keeps going through my head with Cat Steven's voice and the tune to How do I tell you that I love you.....

My brother is here on his visit and we finally had a chance to talk. I didn't want to have to talk about it-his MIL just passed away after a fairly lengthy illness and sporadic in home dementia. But I think our own mother is in the first, well, well into the first stages of some type of dementia.

Dementia Rescue on Yahoo has been a great source of support for me. And, I have a lot of practice with Uncle John. Yesterday I unclogged his sink (he'd put a big piece of cardboard over the drain hole) and today I just shut the open refrigerator without comment. But Uncle John was already IN the hospital when he came back to me-and he's my Uncle, not my mother.

Bill said there was a lot of wisdom in just letting the doctor handle it-and following "medical advice". He's had a lot of experience lately and Dr.'s orders carry a lot of weight with that generation (my parent's not my brother's).

I love both my parents and the truth is, they are probably both in the dementia years, but Mom's getting to the hurtful outburst stage. The other thing is, I am always and will forever be the black sheep of the family. If I am suddenly excommunicated from the family for suggesting a Dr. visit, that will be really awkward since I live one house down. But, if that happens, maybe they'll both forget that they hate me in a little while.

The thing is, it's not about me-it's about what's best for Mom, Dad and their life. I would hate to feel like I could have done something to make things better and didn't because I was afraid to. Mid life crisis is not all about red sport car and affairs withh hot young men.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Crazy Sexy Cancer

Just watched it on TLC-I recorded it last week because I didn't feel like I could manage to watch anyone's illness or pain. It was actually very good-and upbeat. It talked about living through whatever life dealt you-we all have challenges that cause us to grow and become (hopefully) better people.

Today was a nice day. I went to lunch and shopped with Uncle John. We stopped in for a scoop of ice cream on the way back. Uncle John is easy to be with and always has been. He's like my brother-some people are just born agreeable.

I had a weird pain in my port incision off and on all afternoon. I swear it felt like a gas bubble (from the surgery) was bumping it. I'm sure it's still healing. My foot has been assaulted with various shooting pains lately-but I think that's the nerves healing.

I feel like today and yesterday was my pleasant respite from the previous week's angst and bad moods. Maybe it was the Lunar Eclipse-the whole Dark Side of the Moon.....and if the dam breaks open many years too soon, and if there is no room upon the hill,and if your head explodes with dark forbodings too-I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.....No finer words were ever written.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

EEL!!!!! Thar she blows

Ok, I'm turning into Mom with all the food posts-but today's find was canned smoked eel at the Asian food store. Well, it was actually a lot more than that, but I got 6 cans of smoked eel and some Unagi sauce. Since I can't eat the rice with sushi, I'm good to go. Got a tube of wasabi and I already have sushi ginger because I eat it like it's going out of style.

Most of the Asian markets are over in the near north side - OKC is still fairly segregated. But, in a nice new shopping center was a nice BIG Asian market and I had a big old time loading up on things I thought you had to go to China or California or at LEAST Dallas to get.

I must have had a big smile on my face because several people commented on how happy I looked. No one there thought it odd that I stocked up on eel, jackfruit, dried mustard and sea salt.

And, as I was driving out of the center, I saw it. A Pho house. Oklahoma may be civilized after all.

The nice thing about Pho is that even if I find I can't eat the noodles, there will be plenty of other stuff in the brew that will fill me up. I can't wait to go try out the Pho house! In Sunnvyale (California) the Pho house was a little refuge for me from the duel job of my real job and sorting out Uncle John's affairs. English was rarely spoken and I could go there and sit and enjoy a bowl of soup and not be distracted by conversation or evesdropping. From the blue roof I surmised it began life as an IHOP, but I liked it much better as a Pho house.

At Big Lots I found several nice bottles for my voodoo potion (mustard foot soak) so I stocked up for gifting purposes. At the Natural Food store I found, wonder of wonders, Tofu shaped like spaghetti noodles. I know I can eat tofu and have steered clear of pasta since it's not really worth getting stuck for.

I've been halfway praying for a sign of some sort to know that I'm still on the right track with this move and embarking on home business, lap bands and my current reptile fascination. I've really felt lost in the past few days-but a town that stocks several brands of smoked eel is MY kind of town.


I've made some cool t-shirt designs for my website-inspired by my bad mood of the past, oh WEEK....LOL. One I call Bandster Hell. I'll load them later, I don't want to bust my good mood by fiddling with technical stuff.

First I'm going off to stock the larder. Shopping has been weird because I'm not sure what I can eat, what I will want to eat, and if I want it, if I will be able to finish it before it goes bad. The lap band has wreaked havoc upon my fast food habit. I actually cooked with a skillet this afternoon.

Next time I go to Jakes I'm going to get a full dinner because I could eat abut 5 meals on one full size dinner and ribs freeze great.

Weird Girl Recipe Faux Fish Tacos

Even before my band I didn't care for flour tortillas, so I had my favorite restaurant make fish tacos with bread. Now bread isn't an option, so I decided to mix up some of my own fish tacos, sans bread. And instead of using fish, I used some of the that faux crab meat.

Bag of crab meat (I used chunky cut, tuna would be nice too or some left over mahi mahi)

Small (cat food size) can of chopped green chilis.

The last of the can of sweet n sour cabbage-between a fourth and a half

Some dried onions

One pack of taco seasoning-I went nuts and used the whole pack and was glad I did.

Blop it all in a skillet and cook till it's hot.

I can see possibilities with corn tortillas but I just ate some Caesar flavored snap peas and used a spoon for my taco mixture.

While I thawed my crab in the microwave I gave myself an electronic reflexiology treatment-way cool.