Friday, February 29, 2008

Arising from the Ashes-Resurrecting old Dreams

I seem to be running around in ever tightening circles don't I? Buy buy buy-forsake all material things....horses....dogs....snakes....lizards....death.....dogs.....no horses....go back to nature....simplicity....in a brand new camper.

I could beat myself up some more, but there is a constant here-the search, the quest. Maybe the thing that made humans so successful is the very thing that drive us crazy when we achieve success. We don't know what to do with abundance, and yet we keep trying to get more.

I was actually considering buying self watering raised plant beds (glorified flower pots). I do want raised beds-in the long run it will make for easier gardening. So, without further adieu-I'm going to drill holes in the sides of my snack racks for drainage and set them on their side. Without the tubs, a snack rack is a square ABS Plastic box (in black which retains heat just like the raised beds). Why pay $100 for a square PVC plastic box with holes in it? Why give the snake racks away because of painfu reminders? Why dig in dumpsters for things to repurpose when I already have things to repurpose?

So, for this new phase, I am going to resurrect items and give them new life. What a fun spring project!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Leap Day


My Gorilla's Name is Segasira

http://www.alwaysforeveryoung.blogspot.com/ sponsored a gorilla on my behalf. Segasira is the son of Tuck, who is a 35 year old mountaing gorilla living in Rwanda. Tuck's mother was Effie. That would make Effie Segasira's Grandmother, and I too have a Grandma Effie!

Isn't it amazing how small the world really is?

Thank you, Forever Young, for this very special gift. I'm sure you will all be hearing more about MY Gorilla! What's that you say? Oh, I'm sorry. Apparently no one else here HAS a gorilla who has the SAME Grandma as you do....uh, wait. That didn't come out right.

Positive thoughts, not mean kiddo look at MY Gorilla thoughts....

If you would like your own Gorilla you can check it out online at www.gorillafund.org

Today is not the last day of February 2008

We get an extra day this year, however, we do not get an extra weekend day so it's not quite so wonderful. In my accounting days, it was nice, because we closed out January in February and were still very tired from closing out December and the year, in January. So, once very four years, an extra day in February was nice, until the following January when one had to remember to divide by 366 instead of 365. Usually this error was caught in February (the standard 28 day one) right after the year end Financials went out. It sucked.

Reason no. 127 why I am no longer an accountant-time ceases to make sense.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Beam Me Up Scotty: Wow-Not Sure what it means-Surprise...

Beam Me Up Scotty: Wow-Not Sure what it means-Surprise...

This was the last time I had the strength to indulge in midlife crisis navel gazing. I will say, the last three weeks have been a mental relief if not a physical one. Now, three weeks in Mexico would have been preferable, but the Universe gives us what we need when we need it, and maybe Mexico was full or something.

What I've learned is, that the world goes on with or without you. Now I don't feel guilty for not accomplishing many of my todo's in the past three weeks, I was sick. Really sick. But, nothing much happened on the universal front without my participation. My clutter waiting patiently for me. The dogs gained weight at the kennel. (sigh) The ground I tilled is still there waiting for seed.

The shrieking UNDONES didn't go away or change all that much, but the shrieks are somehow muffled now. My new trick is going to be to keep the shrieks muffled so I can begin to deal with these things that are just somehow not as important as they were. In fact, they were only ever elevated to such heights in my own head in order to bludgeon myself with them from a greater distance. And beating myself up about why it wasn't done BEFORE I got sick just seems silly, even to me.

Wow, I do have limits to my own self abuse. Who would have thought?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Easter Bunny Meltdown


Flu Haiku

Healing has begun
When a fart is just a fart
Simply that, no more

Alive and Sitting Up

Not quite kicking yet. But it's noon, and I've kept down 16 oz of fluids that contained 200 calories-that's more than I've kept down for the sum of the past few days.....victory!

Yes, I've been really really utterly and completely sick. First a nasty flu, then complications from the flu. My lap band swelled shut from the violent stomach activity. Now I have a local band doctor and I can pop in for the unfill that I should have gotten a week ago.

The weekend was particulary nasty-even a medicine cup of water would not go down into my stomach-so for 48 hours I was really thirsty. Really. But my stomach, thinking it was hungry, would fill with bile and when the pressure built up, well, explosion. So for awhile my output was greater than my intake. I imagined it was like those people in that awful movie about the couple floating at sea till the sharks ate them must have felt. Not the shark part, the thirst. Frankly, if I was floating around, I would have been looking for a shark to end my misery.

For some reason, people with lap bands hang on that fluid for dear life-which is silly. It can be replaced. Hello. Adjustable gastric band. But in our minds, we want to add fluid, not lose fluid. Which is not to say that I wasn't being a complete dumbass, but it's a common mistake. So, I was a completely common dumbass.

I am being a little bit more savvy about refeeding/rehydrating, to the point of being conservative. I just don't want to puke EVER AGAIN.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Book Meme

So, here are the rules:1.) Pick up the nearest book of (at least 123 pages).2.) Open the book to page 123.3.) Find the fifth sentence.4.) Post the next three sentences.

I was tagged by Forevery Young-I'll tag anyone who reads this. (But I cheated, because the nearest book was the phone book) The NEXT nearest book was Eckhart Tolle-A New Earth

Page 123 sentences 6-9
Even people with heavy egos sometimes begin to relax, let down their guard, and stop playing their roles when they interact with them. It comes as no surprise that those people who work without egos are extraordinarly successful at what they do. Anybody who is one with what he or she does is building the new earth.

Wow-heavy stuff Eckart. The flu has made my attention span very short, I read three paragraphs, pause to think and drift off to sleep. But I'm enjoying the book-however it does seem to want you to think about it. I'm not allowing myself to read FY's book until I complete this one-but I will be ready for a light read after this.

Strange Tunes in my Head




Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mim draws a fish

Mim drew a fish and it brought Mexico back to me when I really needed to remember it most. I hadn't visited it in my mind in some time. It has been longer still since I thought about the fish, and my lovely reef.

The world is full of many things, and all are important things to be sure. But, the memory of playing with a parrot fish under a pier in Mexico, that is a prize beyond compare. Thanks Mim, for jogging my memory.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

In Limbo

I'm in the limbo stage between utterly sick and not quite well. It is probably my least favorite stage because there is no clear course of action. Well, that is not quite true. Puking guts out is hands down my least favorite stage. How quickly we forget.

My stomach is fickle at the moment. "Feed me, you haven't eaten for days"....uh oh..."Be careful, dammit, I'm weak, I could puke again....." It carries on, growling and grumbling, a naughty inner child.

Yesterday was a positive intake day though-I took in more than I threw back out. I slipped in some probiotics in the mix, little germs friendly to my aim to overthrow the invading buggies. Yesterday I was too sick to care, today I am aware of my own human frailty. Apparently I am not yet ready to step out from the confines of my own bodily functions.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday Challenge 2

Happy Monday. I actually did try to look at some long held beliefs last week and get a new slant on them. I have the flu, so flopping on the couch and thinking worked pretty good for me. One of the things I thought about is how we are so quick to put people-our parents, our bosses, our doctors, up on pedastals. We want SOMEONE to know the answer, because we sure don't!

But in truth, do they know the answer either? "The answer" is probably a pretty individualized thing.

Another thing I caught myself doing was making declarative statements about a situation, just to resolve the situation. "I'm not going to XXX, that's it." but the truth of THAT situation is I'm not sure what I want to do yet. Do we create solid realities for ourselves just to avoid thinking about them? I know I do.

This week's challenge is easy. Spend a few minutes each day connecting with nature. Study a blade of grass, pick up a handful of soil, plant something. Let's all spend a few minutes each day, even two or three, calling spring to us!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blowing Chunks

I haven't blogged because I have the flu. While I am consumed with it, I do realize no one is really interested in my nausea or the after effects. However, one cannot BE this sick without some sort of mind altering revelation, can they? I hope not. We'll see.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Medical Advice from Bro


Later in the day...


Look at all the Pretty Colors

The Okie weather map up in the corner of the TV screen cracks me UP. The state is shaded in either red, green orange or blue. Red is a winter storm warning, orange is travelers advisory, green is flash flood watch and blue is winter storm watch. The blue is kinda wedged between the orange and the green-it's the "we aren't really sure what is going to happen but it's going to be wet" zone.

I was first annoyed with it on the corner of my screen. Okies, are obsessed with the weather. But, in truth, the weather is so varied here you would do your viewers a disservice by not plotting it out. The flash flood people have different worries than the winter storm people.

I'm not going to be snotty and say "bring it on-I have a new roof and NO trees" becaue the power lines go through a lot of yards to get to MY treeless yard, and not everyone has a new roof or even heat. No, this winter has humbled me. That might be a good thing.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The sky is falling----or the roof

Enroute to Dallas yesterday I came down with the flu, making the return trip longer and more painful than it needed to be. This is a nasty bug, involves puking and running noses at the same time. I made the round trip and fell into bed.

The roofers showed up at around 8:30. I still have the flu, making the roofing expereince a lot longer and more painful than it needs to be. It's now 12:10 and I'm losing my delight at the percussive noise-like drums on my rooftop.

Mom went to have lunch with Uncle John and take him the Valentine cookies. I do feel guilty for not going, but bringing in a bug to an institution full of residents is probably bad form.

I don't have any gatorade and I don't feel like leaving the house, and I certainly don't feel like asking for help. SO-I combined honey (sugar) and vanilla soy milk (some protein) and I'll be darned if it didn't settle my stomach and make me feel a little better. Now, I'm not claiming this is a miracle cure, anything on a completely empty stomach would probably make you feel a little better, but it did work by staying down and and by supplying energy.

Yikes, the roofers have taken a lunch break-time for a power nap!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wow-Not Sure what it means-Surprise...

I decided that I'd just go back to a 9-5 job, a real one, I mean really 9-5, not an 80 hour a week position. I put the dogs out, make some cold press coffee (heaven, let me tell you) and then flip on the news while I fire up the PC to job hunt.


And there is a story on Good Morning America about a girl who one a student academy award for an animated film...and how she always felt different, people made fun of her....and that people like that (me) should just keep on searching and being different.


Furthermore, I don't watch GMA as general rule, or any TV in the morning. I AM watching more news shows because it's an election year, but I don't think Hilary or Barack is sending me a message via GMA.


And really, this is what I DO-this is what I always DO. Just wake up one morning and decide how it's going to be and make it that way. I always run back to the easy schmeezy (not really) corporate crap that I hate. I really do hate it. Loathe it. Despise it. And, I despise myself for being good at it. Corporate america is like chocolate, not really good for me, but easy and kind of comforting.


As a SOX Compliance Manager, (Hah sounds important) I really and truly, with stars in my eyes believed I was going to out there and fight fraud, make our economy more productive and do some good. What I was, in fact, was a little beaurocrat with surveys and studies, and pats on the back and threats, but no real power. Essentially, I became what I hated the most.

But then I became something else, right? So, as FY says, no regrets. Move on. If, I jumped back into something I knew was not a good fit, well, obviously I haven't learned my lesson yet. But I really have. Better to be a failure in heaven than a success in hell.

Ok, so this isn't quite heaven yet. But I'm working on it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday Challenge 1

Instead of griping about it being Monday every Monday-I'm going to try this-the Monday Challenge.

I was contemplating the horse thing again the other night. Do I have this belief that I want a horse but can’t have one…..or do I really just not want a horse?

For instance, if I had all the money I lost on snakes this past year, I could have had a really nice horse. So, why did I buy snakes? It sort of just happened I bought one, and then another and then another. What cosmic influences made me feel it was OK to spend the money on snakes and not horses?

Believe it or not, there are some similarities. Both beasts require husbandry skills, and the bigger snakes, like horses, require some handling skills. Both require equipment and gadgets.

I have been able to afford a horse for years now, but I’ve just never made the time for one. Again, the money I’ve spent on rescuing dogs and cats over the past couple of years would have paid for a nice little gelding.

Honestly, I felt like a failure thinking of these things. But I challenge that idea as well. What is so wrong with NOT wanting a horse? It doesn’t mean I don’t like them a lot, that I won’t go ride every so often. It just means I have chosen not to have a horse. Now I know.

I would challenge you all to look at long held beliefs about yourself-starting with a fairly easy one like “I’ve always wanted a horse” and really look at them. You may, like I did, just surprise yourself.

If, like me, you find your belief was wrong, and you feel bad, I encourage you to push a little deeper. You may find out you’re not such a bad egg after all. And you may, just like I did, begin to look at some other long held beliefs with new eyes.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Arise Asparagus!

Mom made some outstanding steamed asparagus today. It was like eating a fresh bit of spring. It cheered us all up-food can do that sometimes.

I'm reading and thinking on "A New Earth", and working hard on a lot of random shit that is going on in my head. Progress is slow. For now, that seems to be the key. I always try to find the "answer" that is going to change everything-the big bang theory of my life. The reality appears to be closer to this: the "answer" doesn't exist, but is instead a series of small truths that add up to a better life.

Since giving up on sitting around waiting for the big bang and beginning to take small stabs at little truths, I'm less stuck than I've been in a long time. Now I must resist the impatient side of me that says "hurry up and get to the answer....." and instead look around at what is happening now.

Big bangs make great movies and theories and sex, but don't really apply well to day to day life.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Escape to the River

I picked up my bike today (remember the one I bought in December...well, I've been busy) AND I bought a spiffy new hitch rack that will carry either bike without a problem, a purple helmet and some new half gloves. And then, I did something I've never done before.

I drove straight from the parking lot, down to the river trail, and rode my bike before I even took it home. Tore the gloves off the cardboard, put the helmet on, and with no further fuss, rode. Because bikes aren't for sitting around in the garage, they are for riding, and today was perfect. High 60's, no wind.

The trail is lovely, wide, well kept, with no trees for boogers to hide behind. The dredged river is nice too. It has a ways to go before it rivals San Antonio as a tourist destination, but it's nice to see how far it's come. There is even a boat ramp on the river, not too far from the new Dell Campus.

It was a little lonely not to have a friend to chatter with, but it was also nice just to be alone and moving and in the sun.

I came home, backed into the driveway and unloaded the bike. Went down and said hi to Mom and Dad because they were out in the front yard gardening I didn't mention the new bike (both bikes are black, so they honestly may not notice) or the new bike rack. I did talk about riding on the river and how nice it was.

I think we are all learning the wisdom in "Don't ask, don't tell."

Friday, February 8, 2008

Invention of the PVC wine rack

I was trying to figure out an easy, lightweight wine rack for my cellar, one that wouldn't disentgrate in the damp. I decided there is a reason why people install sump pumps and pump them out rather than reseal them. So, the cellar will be what it is, a cellar, damp and cool and quiet. But I need the kitchen space, so it's also about to become a wine cellar.

I am going to get some PVC pipe, cut it to appropriate lengths and glue it (I love glue) all together and create my utilitiarian PVC wine rack.

The size and age of this cellar indicates that it probably was more of a bomb shelter originally than just a storm shelter. Later I think it became a work room for somebody. I will use it to escape the summer heat and yet still be "outside". I will also use it to escape tornados if need be.

I'm going to haul down some water (I have water all the time, but I keep drinking it) so I'm hauling down a few gallons of emergency water and a manual powered flashlight.

I'm also going to post a sign that says "The dogs live here, if you don't like them, go topside now...." because as a child some adult would always complain about my dog when they were in MY cellar and it scared me to think they'd convince my parents to make me put Ginger out. (They never did). Neighbors who arrive without their dogs will be sent back to retrieve them, because, if truth be told, I know and like the dogs better than some of the people.

Actually, I'll problably take down an ex pen and leave it set up for the dogs. I'm going to get comfy plastic adirondack chairs for Mom, Dad and I, but I'll also pile in a stack of other chairs so I don't feel bad about sitting in my comfortable chair while people stand.

I've often wondered where people go when their houses blow away? To shelters? To hotels? I guess I could sleep in the cellar or in the backyard till I could go get my trailer.

Clearly, I'm not current on all disaster prep, but if you have fresh water and light, the rest of the stuff is easier to figure out, and if push comes to shove, we can BBQ a neighbor's dog.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Conversations with Famous Dead People-Janis Joplin





I don't really expect Janis to talk back, but I am going to make this a semi regular feature. Why? Because famous people give us a common point of reference, and this is my blog and I want to.


The pain that eventually killed Janis (along with the drugs) was what made her soooooo damn good. I think maybe she was the so much the heavyset, kind of plain girl that she might not have heard her own beautiful voice. But would it have been beautiful without the pain? Janis, did you ever really hear yourself sing?
Janis on stage was mesmerizing. I believed it when she sang the blues. I still do, because I think it was truer than true. But I wonder, did she forget that the thousands of people who connected with her because of her music, also believed it, lived it, understood it? Janis, did you think you were the only one who was looking for love?
Today she'd have handlers, probably a plastic surgeon-then she was pretty much alone. But would it matter? Janis, would you have been alone anyway?
Janis, taking about her highschool reunion was probably more like most girls than she realized. That was on a talk show. A later interview, when she was back at home for the reunion, is painful to watch, because her pain is so out there. Janis, did you ever resolve those parental issues, or did you take them with you when you left?
I guess the question I'd most like answered is-Janis, would you trade the brilliance and the pain for....what? What didn't you get?

I think I'm going to plant a row of onions

I figured out that I need to stagger my onion planting or I'll have a lot of onions all at once. So, I'm going to plant a row today. Yesterday I put some bulbs in my planter out in front of the house-spraxis or axis or something I've never heard of, I just liked the way they looked.

I'm still not any closer to a clear vision of where I'm headed, but planting things in the dirt seems to relax me and give me faith in the future.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Storms

I'm watching the news about the storms east of here-and sorry to hear about the deaths. What's really kind of odd, is that I went into my cellar for the first time since I've been in this house just the other day.

I was out working in the yard, decided to go into the cellar and pump it out. I imagined the cellar to be a small underground closet; actually, it's an underground room. What I thought was the cellar was the entryway-the main room is off to the side. There are already plant drying racks on the walls and it is wired for electricity. At one time it had running water.

I love it! I'm going to put some chairs down there and will probably use it to "escape" when I need to. It's a quiet, dark little space where a person can think-or escape from severe storms.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fat Tuesday!

I didn't actually realize that that is what today was, but when Oliver and I showed up at the nursing home this afternoon, it became apparent to me that it was, indeed, Fat Tuesday.

Oliver was the life of the party, proving to me that he is a born dog therapist. It was also interesting to watch people interact with him-in New Earth, the author talks about how puppies, babies, etc. are unblemished and in touch with their true natures. I've taken the older dogs, but never a puppy.

Now, I'm not saying puppies are superior to old dogs for therapy. Dottie is quite serene and she passes that on to her people she visits. But for Mardi Gras parties, scruffy pups are the bomb.

A day or so early

I logged into the Oprah website last night and wondered where all the other enlightement seekers were. Turns out the class doesn't start till March 3, so I will have time to read the book after all. It is a great book, but not a sit down and read it from cover to cover. Silly me, I'm actually trying to think about what I'm reading!

Monday, February 4, 2008

More Sun, Some Roses, a thorn...

We set a new record in Oklahoma today-78 degress on February 4. Tomorrow, I kid you not, snow is forecast. That doesn't bode well for the 6 giant roses I transplanted today-they were already in their new homes before I listened to the forecast. The little garden in front of my house just couldn't hold the 6 old bushes, and I just couldn't kill them. So I dug six new holes, dug up 6 roses and transplanted them. Maybe I have indirectly killed them. Oh well, I got a lot of good exercise from the exercise.

While I was digging I came across the carcass of a horned lizard. Pretty cool. Of course, it was one I set free last fall, poor little bugger.

The last rose was a sympathy case. It was a spindly thing that lived on the SE corner of the house, where the sun rarely shines. It spent most of its life in the shadow of a the large cedar tree I had removed at the end of last summer, long before the sycamore masscre of January 2008.

It really is an odd shaped plant, but I felt bad for the hard life it had, so I dutifuly dug a hole in the sunny front yard and plopped it in. It didn't go without a fight-it was the only one that drew blood.

I went to return the sharp shooter shovel (my favorite shovel, I really must have one) and told my folks of the saga of the roses. I was ready for Mom to say "I don't like flowers in the front yard if they aren't in beds," and I said "I know. I do." and that was that. They both thought it odd that I felt sympathy for the spindly rose.

Sometimes, the best intentions go astray. This is true for horned lizards, roses and people. The only thing you can do is just keep planting, hoping that some day, some will grow.

Sun Sun

The good news about Okie weather is that it does change. It got up to 70 degrees yesterday. On the bad news front, the piece of roofing that blew into my front yard came from MY roof. Not unexpected, the roof was dicey when I bought the house and I've just been waiting for something to blow off....because, when I get a new roof, dang it, I'm getting some sunlights and solar tubes too. Here comes the sun do ta do do, here comes the sun.....

Hows that for making lemons from lemonaide...errr, no, making lemonaide from lemons?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Is Personal Growth Tiring?

Yesterday was kind of a breakthrough day (in a good way) for me, and today I just have zero energy and ambition. I did work out some, but not enough to be this tired.

So, I do see some wisdom in Mom's stickler to routine routine. She gets things done, tired or not. But my way gets things resolved, after 40 years or so of ruminating. Thank goodness the cat is yowling in the garage to be let in, or I might just lie on this couch forever.

Or, I might, as I just did, go let her in and then return to my musings.

So, why is personal growth draining? I can see why stress would be, but growth is a good thing. Of course, sex is a good thing, and done properly, it can be quite tiring as well.

I believe I will plant some onions today. I bought some, gave some to Mom, and will plant some of my own. I don't eat that many onions, but dang it, I wanted to grow some of my own to pull and give to people. It's like Shirley Mclaine's great line in Steel Magnolias, "I don't know WHY I do it, I'm an old southern lady, we grow things in the dirt. It's what we do."

I actually have quite a lot planned. I'm going to grow yellow squash, zuchini, eggplant and cucumbers since I now have a sunny backyard. Mom is in charge of the tomatos. She's going to experiment -plant again in her "cart garden" that she moves around to get sun, and my "high dollar" upside down tomato garden that I ordered "from the computer". We are both curious to see which will work better, and looking forward to the harvest.

But, first must come the spring, and the growth.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Saturday saturday

I spent all day on the phone training to be a group leader. I learned all about Weight Loss Surgery, Nutritional Requirments and Group Dynamics. It really was interesting. My group, The Virtual Bike Club probably won't discuss any of it, we just encourage each other to ride our bikes.

Then I got a lead on a company that is hiring people to work from home-I'd like a little part time something something just to add structure and variety whilst I figure out my life's purpose. I don't think my life's purpose will end up being a customer service rep, but it would provide a little cash, a little structure and maybe quiet the speculation about what it is I DO all day...

I have turned a corner of sorts. I bought a ventless natural gas heater, and once it is installed I will not be a refugee from my own home. It is being delivered next week, so I went down tonight to have a conversation with my parents. I said "I bought a gas heater and I'd like your opinion on where to have it installed" I let them talk for a bit about generators and carbon monoxide. Strangely, it was Mom that was frantic, trying to imagine what it would look like and where it would go. (It's cute, it looks like a cast iron stove).

She fell into her standard "you don't need it" diatribe, stating "I have lived here all my life and I've NEVER been without electricity, and if I was, I'd just GO somewhere..." and I turned that corner. I say turned the corner because before I would have gotten frutrasted and snapped. Instead I looked her right in the eye and said very quietly, "Well, I've been here 6 months and I've had to leave my house twice. I've lost thousands of dollars in snakes, and easily spent another thousand in kennel bills. You are welcome to come down to my house if you ever need to, but I'm getting a heater and I wish I had bought one back in the summer when I was thinking about it."

And that was that. The world did not end, I was invited to lunch tomorrow.

Sometimes people can't live beyond their own experience. I am a person who lives on other's experiences to some degree, but I'm learning to fall back on my own experience for certain things. Like back up heat. And I'm learning not to apologize for it.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I joined Oprah's book club so I could go through this 10 week course on A New Earth, by Eckhardt Tolle http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webevent_registration.jsp.

I like the idea of study that is free-why should we always have to go to University to seek knowledge? And 10 weeks of figuring out my life's purpose just fits right now, what can I say?