Sunday, July 31, 2011

I am

Right this moment, feeling a little hopeless.
Doing my best.
In great need, or perhaps desirous, of a few days away.
Waiting for my laundry day.
Happy to have my cats.
Probably going to be fat forever.
Wanting a real garden.
Wishing to wake up tomorrow morning to find nearly all of the books gone.
Grateful to have work that I love.
More grateful to have my family (most of them, most of the time) and wonderful friends.
Digging into that place where my strength might be hiding.
Being the change that I want to see in the world.
Stewarding my little corner of the world as best I can.
Honoring my gifts, even when it is so difficult.
Appreciating everything that I have and not longing for that which I do not have.
Staying mindful.
Cooking from scratch, but not wallowing in guilt when I cannot.
Close to mastering the granny square.
Willing to let bygones be bygones.
Working towards forgiveness.
Refusing to be beaten down any more, dammit.
Holding my tongue.
Not getting any younger.
Craving sweets.
Failing at so many things.
Reluctant to set goals.
Finished making the back-to-school gifts for my mentee.
Ready for tomorrow's meeting.
Desperate for change.
Frightened of change.
Dedicated to forward movement.
Relieved to have found two temporarily misplaced library books.
Just about to start a new zombie book.
Longing for a cigarette, or two or forty.
About to stop working for the day, go outside with my book, light some candles and have a whiskey.

Never going to give up hope.

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 85

Breakfast:  Eggs
Lunch: 2 chicken thighs
Dinner:  Soup, bread/butter
Snack:  Pineapple, in a little while

Today.  Typical.  Someone have a fork so that I can stab myself?  Limited time offer.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 84

Breakfast:  Eggs (over easy), rye toast (extra buttery), bacon (perfect), hash browns (extra crispy), coffee (lots)
Lunch:  Sushi, cherries
Dinner:  Braunschweiger liver sausage on rice crackers, more cherries

Coffee this morning was a small group again.  One of my friends gave me a fat quarter pack of Hot Wheels fabric, six different patterns.  I will use it for part of the car tote and play mat that I am making for the grandbabies.  The friend who wanted all of my good dishes and most of my daily dishes and the coffee machine for her sister was not able to come today and will not be able to for at least a month, so those things were left at the charity shop with all the rest of my crap.  It is becoming a relief to see this stuff go, and I am hoping that I just keep on picking up speed. 

I talked to the guy who was taking the donations and asked if they were really serious about allowing me to fill up the van with books that they would unload into their huge basket rack things.  He said that was fine.  I also asked if they would like me to call ahead and he said that would be nice.

Two more stops for a new kitchen garbage pail, and some small stuff for my mentee.  The discount store had a little kiosk thing with the school supply lists for all of the area schools.  Very cool, so I took one for her school and picked out a glittery spiral notebook, some stickers and a couple of fat quarters with which to make a small pencil pouch to match. 

Then to the grocery store where the computers had a fit, which locked-down a few of the check-out registers, which then freaked-out a few of the customers.  It was actually kind of nice, as we all stood in lines, chatting and most likely being thrilled that we did not have to go out into the terrible heat.  And, man, was it hot today or what!  All I wanted was a nap when I got home,but I have held off because these naps are messing up my schedule.  Well, they would if I had a schedule, which I do not, but, just saying.  I should not need to nap to keep from collapsing nearly every day.  Maybe I need vitamins or something.  It cannot be my diet, because I am eating better and making much healthier choices all the damn time.  It cannot be connected to nutritional issues.  Nope.

I wanted to stay up late and roast the chicken I bought for making soup, but I am going to try to get it all done tomorrow.  If I can stay awake long enough, that is.

Oh, and the person who betrayed me called this past week.  We talked and it is clear that the belief that nothing bad was done is still there.  Firmly entrenched.  Never to be moved.  I love this person so much and I have much work to do there because I realized, during our conversation, that I am still in pain over this and that I am holding a whole shitload of resentment. 

Please, just tell me that you are sorry, so that I can take a breath that does not hurt.  Please.

Friday, July 29, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 83

Breakfast:  Eggs
Lunch:  Flash-sautéd kale, curried chicken salad
Dinner:  More chicken salad

Man, less than three weeks left and I am only marginally healthier.  This sucks.  Sure, I am eating better food, less food, less often.  Sure, I am still fat, not quite so fat, slightly less flabby and jiggly.  Not enough for eighty-three days of effort.  I suck.

I got more done, but in doing so I had to drag some things out of a closet, so it has the physical appearance of a day spent moving backwards in the divesting department.  I can look over and see the six boxes of stuff that are going to the charity shop tomorrow and to coffee with me, plus the big coffee machine that one of my coffee friends is taking off of my hands.  That is good, because the Krupps machine is not nearly the burden that the loom was, is, will always be.  I can handle the leaving of the Krupps.

A loom is a wonderful thing, you just need lots of room and enough money to keep it properly fed.  I received a reply this afternoon from one of the many calls I made to friends that weave.  It was my friend, L; we used to work at the bookstore together.  Not only does she not need or want another loom, she told me that the one she already owns has been sitting untouched for the better part of this year.  Money and time.  Yep. 

So, anyway, I really could have used a nap sometime today, but the two-person gossip and criticizing society was at today.  Why I care about this is a genuine mystery to me.  Perhaps if I never heard them saying stuff about me it would not matter.  Well, that was dumb.  If I never heard it I would never know it, so it would not have the opportunity to stab me like it does because I do hear it.  Just plain mean.  I have to stop caring.  You know, I do know that allowing what someone does and says to hurt me is a choice.  I know that.  But, I just cannot figure out how to stop these feelings.  What I need to do first is to stop caring about someone who is not me.  Just because.  And, because I have to stop thinking and writing about this all the damn time.  Crap.

Well, I am off to take the boxes to the van so that I do not have to do it in the morning and arrive at coffee all sweaty and messed up. 

I need a pudding cup.  No, what I need is to be a better person so that I do not have to be so sad all the time.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 82

Breakfast:  Handful of walnuts
Lunch:  Soup
Dinner:  Soup, slice of gnarly bread with butter and radishes, salt

Busy morning.  It looks like I will be attending one of those journaling workshops that my friend and I used to give, maybe helping a bit, but I am hoping that I can do some actual work there.  Man, if anyone needs to work on their inner process, it surely is me.  Hell, I could be the poster child for a Desperate Inner-Process program.

I also heard back from someone to whom I had been linked regarding the new home for the loom.  She was just about twelve hours too late, as I gave it to someone else last night.  By the time I finished with all of those telephone calls, which were pretty nice, because every one of them was with a person who was glad to be speaking to me, has never been snarky to me (at least not to my face, so I really do not care even if they did) and I made it through the entire morning, intact and not attacked. 

I was only four minutes late delivering the loom, and I called ahead to let them know that I was finally on my way.  I have to say that this loom thing worked out most excellently.  The looks on the faces of my fiber friend, her husband and her children were so wonderful.  They are thrilled to have this loom.  It really could not have worked out any better and I am wondering if all the false starts and misleads and aborted contacts and changed minds were necessary for this outcome.  Maybe.  It seems a bit to fatalistic for my tastes, but the process was interesting and this successful outcome might help me move these damn books out of here. 

I had a goal, one that I sort of half-assed joined about accomplishing something during the week.  I said that I would get rid of a thousand books before the end of the week, which is in two days. 

Not one book has left the building.  Not one has been put on a pile or in a box with the intention of having it leave the building.  Well.

So, I decided to do something easier and whilst it might sound stupidly easy, for me it is not.  It was, still is, to take every single does of my prescription medications every day, all week.  Now, that is not a big problem, because I take only two medicines, with a total of three tablets each day.  I even have them in one of those pill boxes that have a section for each day.  I even keep it here on my desk, as it is a rare day when I am not here for at least a few minutes.  Still, I forget to take the damn things.  If this works, I can add the supplements I bought and that are still waiting to be taken.

However, for this week, I have been doing just that, taking every single dose.  Such a small thing, but maybe it will create some new synapses in my elderly and increasingly calcified brain about how to find a habit and then not misplace it right off.  Now, I know that creating a habit, at least one that sticks requires one of two things.  The first is that you have to do it for more than a week.  I think that it takes a month or two or three or something, but certainly more than seven days. 

The second way to develop a life-long habit is to choose to incorporate something amazing into your life.  I would use chocolate as an example, but I have already done that one.  It is a nice habit.  I have long believed that if I had access to a partner, you know, someone nice who would not use our relationship and my love for him to make me feel shitty about myself, someone who was nice and had good personal hygiene, and was funny and made me laugh all the damn time or at least once in a while, that having sex might be a nice habit to have.  I could really get behind that and be so supportive and encouraging and available.  Like constantly available.  But, that is only a dream because I am too old, too fat and too ugly to even begin to hope to attract anyone who would be willing to take their clothes off (yes, I would insist on that) and have at it with me.

I try to console myself that all of my beauty is on the inside and it would take only the right, or close-enough-to-right person to see through my outer shell and be able to appreciate my creamy middle.  That is another thing that is not going to happen, because the truth is that no one will give you a second thought unless you have some modicum of reasonable attractiveness on the outside, where your outer shell resides.  And, I do not have that.  I am clean. I am well-groomed.  I smell nice.  I do not have a lot of clothes, none of them fancy, but they are in excellent repair and not too far away from contemporary.  Besides, I have lived long enough to experience that just about every fashion comes back into fashion.  Eventually. 

I remember reading someone's theory about reincarnation and that if you experienced no expression for sexual congress, that you were more highly evolved along the reincarnation process.  But, if that were true, my best guess is that if you had achieved that level of consciousness and evolution, that you most likely would not have any feelings of need or loss or desire to have anyone roll on top of you and make you sweat.  I have never experienced any of that rolling or sweating except in my exceptionally rich fantasy life.  I have had only one sex partner and it just never happened here, I was just never good enough at it to make it possible for, you know, that person, to, well, never mind.  I had absolutely no intention of writing anything even close to this.  My plan was to write about how all of this divesting seems to have a flow to it and that I have difficult days, good days and really kick-ass days in which I can release all manner of useful things out into the Universe, or at least in the city near me.

But, I am going to let it sit here.  I never come back and read any of these posts, and this one will be no exception.  But, maybe just letting it flow out of me will help release some of that longing, because it certainly is not doing me any good to hold on to something that is never going to happen.  Clearly, since there was no idea or intent or anything, it needed to be expressed somehow, so, so be it.  At least it is better here than having it unexpectedly spew out in actual, face to face conversation with some poor, hapless and unsuspecting person.  It would most likely be someone I know well and that certainly has no potential for improving our relationship and it is most unlikely that it would be a total stranger who could simply stagger off, thrilled to have escaped my unscathed, but with a very weird tale with which to regale their friends.  Hopefully not the police though. 

So, I am going to quit while the quitting is good.  Man.  Inner process work, here I come, and not any too soon.  Man.  Double man.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It was

a dark and stormy night.  It was, I tell you.  Really dark.  Truly stormy.  Seriously.

Luvya Bulwer-Lytton!

Alas, I write badly, just not badly enough.

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 81

Breakfast:  Eggs
Lunch:  Soup, bread/butter, chocolate pudding snack cup
Dinner:  Japanese

Long day, needy clients and I was too tired to eat much for dinner and then forgot my leftovers at the restaurant.  Man.  They would have made a great lunch.

However, I did find a home for my loom.  A good home, too.  It is one of the women in my fiber club.  She missed the past few weeks and did not know that it was looking for new lodgings.  She is thrilled, although a little overwhelmed by the suddenness of having something that she has wanted for a long time.  I am delivering it tomorrow and I told her that if I have time, I will even dust it.  I am really, really happy about this.

So, anyway, in the quest for a home for the loom, I told nearly everyone I know that it needed to get out of here.  One of the employees said that she might have someone who would take it, so I gave her my telephone number.  I found out today, when she told the story in a fuller than usual lunchroom, that she had called my house and been told that I do not live there.  Twice.  She called a couple of days later, just to make sure that she had dialed the number correctly.  She was also told, when she insisted that I have given her the number, that I am sometimes there, but that she could not leave a message.  When she begged to do so, she was told that she could leave it, but that he would not give it to me.  She did.  He didn't.  And, now the whole joint knows my crappy business.  This sucks on so many levels. 

I think that the worst part is that he thought I would never find out, mostly because he was so beastly to her.  And, now I have to wonder how often this has happened before and I swear that it is taking every molecule of strength, should strength actually have molecules, to not weep for a week or two about this.  The really and truly worst part is that this is one more illustration of how stunningly stupid I am.  I hate to admit it, but I suck even more than everything else that has happened in the past month or so. 

I know that I can keep taking the hits and keep going, but I just want to run away somewhere.  Last night I had a dream where I was at a police station, way back in their parking lot, in the dark of a bunch of trees.   Still, someone noticed me there, sleeping in my car and told me that I had to move on and I kept begging to please be allowed to stay, but they made me drive away anyway.  I woke up thinking that there really is not any safe place in the world for some of us.  Not even hidden, way back, in a police station parking lot.  Not even in a dream.

On a brighter note, I did make a relatively successful granny square at fiber club today.  I still messed up where I got to the point of joining the rows or rounds or whatever they are called and forgot to use the short chain as one of the three double-crochets, so it looked like it had been slashed and had a scar form over that section, from the second round to the fifth.  So, I frogged it and I will start again, with a slightly larger hook so that it is not so dense.  I have no plans for what to make or what to do with it, so I thought that I might just keep going around and around until I use up the skein of yarn.  Maybe it will be the top layer on a small rug or a huge cat bed or something. 

So, something nice to give some balance here.  Getting close to making the ultimate granny square and my lovely loom gets a new home.  I guess I can live with it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 80

Breakfast:  Soup
Lunch:  Raw vegetables, bit-o-dip, 2 slices of bread
Dinner:  Chicken sandwich, bread, mayo, mustard, mild peppers, pudding snack cup

So, wherever this energy came from, it resulted in two batches of slow cooker soup in two days.  I have been craving bread for a week and finally made a loaf of whole wheat in the bread machine.  But, because I had waited through an entire week of cravings, it seems that I could not wait for the full cycle and used the rapid one, even though it is for white bread only.  Yeah.  Like I would let something like that stop me.

I started on the vegetables whilst waiting for the bread.  I kept is simple and low-calorie, even though I am not watching, much less counting, calories.  Especially with bread cooking away in the kitchen.  Really.  Celery, broccoli, green pepper and cucumber.  All easy to prepare, eat and except for the little bit of dip I mixed up, good on the whole calorie thing, were I keeping track, that is.

One short hour later, there were still a few vegetables and most of the dip left.  I raced to the kitchen and took out the baking container.  There is a reason that one should only make white bread using this setting.  I did not know that, but I should have just taken the machine's word for it and done white bread.  But...but...I wanted whole wheat!!  I wanted rich, nutty goodness and lots of fiber to help me justify eating bread, for crying out loud.  Healthy bread, or at least as close to healthy as someone who avoids most carbs should have.

I had to take a picture and left the bread container next to the loaf.  You know, just so that you could see what size it should have been, because a 1.5 pound loaf of bread should be well over the top of the container, nicely rounded and sweetly browned.

This is what I found.

A gnarly little loaf.  Stunted as only the wrong grain for the process could be.  You cannot see it, but the other surfaces look like money bread.  There are strange, nearly perfectly round holes that go deep into the loaf.  When I sliced it, it was dense and ultra moist.  It was still too warm, right out of the machine, but the texture was between a well-baked loaf of whole wheat and a steamed pudding, just a little drier is all.

It is delicious.  A nice crumb, albeit dense and really moist, but the wet-wetness seems to have gone somewhere with the cooling of the loaf.

I had two slices with butter.  No pictures because I was busy eating.  I cannot even begin to think what calories were in each yummy bite, and my chicken sandwich for dinner was wonderful.  Just a smidgen each of mayo and mustard and a nice layer of the mild peppers.  Really good, even though I used some of the chicken that was supposed to be curried.

I wanted to write an ode to the loaf, but I seem to have used up all of my juice today.  More stuff bagged and boxed for the charity the hell did all of this stuff find its way here...and I will load the car and drop it all off on Thursday.

Nice soup, bread and business cards to take to work tomorrow, all home and hand made.  Kind of nice that I have been able to accomplish so much lately.  Maybe I am lighter or less burdened with every bit of anything that leaves here.  I cannot remember who shared with me (who are you?) that when her elderly relative, maybe her mother, had to downsize to the essentials and felt so much better for it, lighter I think she said.  Yeah, maybe it is that.

And, holy macaroni, can it really be day 80?  

Taking a break for inspiration

You Art Brilliant, and The Earth is Hiring
The Commencement Address to the Class of 2009, University of Portland, May 3, 2009.
Paul Hawken

Just in case you are unfamiliar with Mr. Hawken:

Monday, July 25, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 79

Breakfast:  Eggs, flatbread
Lunch:  Soup
Dinner:  Soup, a few jalapeno chips, pineapple

So, the energy thing is weird.  I have tons of it and then I crash.  I did some organizing in the kitchen this morning, had lunch and then a long nap.  I actually fell asleep at my computer.  The afternoon and early evening found me frustrated with the cabinet organizing, so I pulled everything out and redid it all.  It looks really great and I filled another box with great stuff for the charity shop and a nice bag of all sorts of odds and ends for the trash, too.

In the midst of the afternoon stuff, I made another slow cooker of soup.  I mean, what was I thinking?  Even on the high setting, the darn thing just finished cooking and now I have to stay up until it cools enough to be refrigerated.  I used a roasted chicken from the freezer and just carrots, celery and onion, with a large can of chicken broth.  The soup part will be soup, but most of the chicken meat will be made into curry and frozen for work lunches.

I am really liking those cabinets right now.  I do not have any pantry space, just three relatively narrow cabinet shelves.  They are wide enough for two sheet cake pans.  I now have my canned good on those two pans I noodled with a few days ago.  Everything is organized and easy to find.  Yay, Simpleton!!!!

A friend's sister is finally back in town, so I will take all of my good dishes and most of my everyday dishes to her on Saturday.  This is sad for a few reasons.  I like them, but because I cannot have guests here, there is no point in keeping them when someone else can use them right now.  You know, I chose them carefully so many decades ago, because I wanted them to be something I could enjoy using and they had to be inexpensive enough so that I could actually buy them.  Back then, accomplishing both of those goals was easier.  Today, not so much.  It seems that you can have nice or inexpensive, but not both.  I am hoping that she will agree to take all of the glassware I have, but I will not be able to ask her until Saturday.  I think that I will box it all up and take it along, just in case she wants any of it.  The rest can go in the charity boxes that will also be delivered on Saturday.

I cannot tell if this huge divesting project is good or not.  I am all over the place in how I feel about it, glad that stuff is gone and a little heart-broken that it is leaving.  I am still waiting to hear about the new home for my loom, but I just have to stop stressing about it, so I have given myself another month or so to find it a new home.  My life just kind of sucks right now, although I am mostly all right with everything.  You know, out with the old and all that jazz.  It is just that sometimes I wish I could simply walk away from everything.

Anyway, off to find containers for the chicken soup and maybe to bed in an hour. 
I have to print more business cards, so that will fill part of the time. 
I can also look for more slow cooker recipes. 
I am so tired, but I feel stronger today for some reason.  Tired all the damn time, but stronger.  Makes no sense.
Tomorrow is laundry day...yipee!  Clean underwear...woo-hoo!!  Fresh bed linens...ahhhhh!!!
Only two more weeks until a day trip. 
Only two weeks after that and a four-day trip.
Then, nothing for a couple of months.  Have got to fix that.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 78

Breakfast:  Raw vegetables and some dip
Lunch:  Soup
Dinner:  Nothing yet, but will be more soup, or a chop and salad, not sure

I did not have the whiskey last night, so that is being brought forward to tonight, but only if I can find a DVD around here to watch.

Yesterday I did grocery shopping on the way home from coffee and Kmart.  I intended to put on the slow cooker and have nice, fresh soup when I awoke this morning, but you know how those things go.  Being out and all that walking was just enough to make it too difficult to do much when I got home.  So, I did not do much.  I did slice the big roast that I bought for the soup into thick slices, salted and peppered them and roasted them.  When they cooled, I diced them and put them and the juices from the roasting into the refrigerator because I was done and done.

I had spent the roasting time doing a few things around her in the divesting realm and hit that painful joint wall.  So, the soup did not get started until around 7 this morning.  It was done by lunch and it is great.  Really rich, with more vegetables than meat, exactly the right balance.  I had three bowls.  Yeah, I know, but this stuff is really good.  It is all containerised and in the refrigerator and I sure do hope that I will have some left to take to work on Wednesday.

So, anyway, if doing things, you know, like walking for crying out loud, things that other people take for granted and can do without even thinking about it, stops me in my tracks, then I have to wonder what the hell is wrong with me.  O.K., I know, but it cannot be just the bad joints.  I needed a nap today and refused to take one, because falling asleep during the day, especially a day like today where I did not do anything strenuous, is just insane.  And, not only that, but I had such an intense craving for bread that I almost tossed a batch in the bread machine.  Really, carbs would make me more tired and that is what I absolutely had to have?  Insane.

I resisted both the nap and the bread, but am just about done for the day.  Despite lots of pain meds, everything hurts.  I would take a long hot soak in the tub, but I know that if I manage to get down into it, there is not any way that I will be able to crawl or claw my way out.  So, in a few minutes, more of that groovy soup, a look for something to watch, maybe that whiskey, a nice and long hot shower and off to read some more of my library book.  It has been a slow starter, but I think I might be understanding it a bit more and will likely finish it.

I made the slide-y sheet cake pans for the cupboards today.  The glue worked great and I have some of the stuff out of there.  I will finish dragging it all out tomorrow and get it all squared away and it will be wonderful, easy to use and my canned goods and I will live happily ever after.  I like happy endings.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 77

Breakfast:  Sandwich at Panera.  Ugh.  The coffee was not heinous for a change, though.
Lunch:  A few slices of sushi, California roll, 6 carrots, ranch dip (homemade), an Atkins bar of some kind, I think it had nuts
Dinner:  Nothing yet, but it will probably be the rest of the sushi and a glass of whiskey

So.  Lots of stuff.

I went two whole days...count 'em, two!...without anyone fucking with me, Diary.  Well, my daughter tried to last night,  not messing with me, but by wanting to pull me into the struggle between her and her father.  I obfuscated my ass off and we never had to deal with it directly.  Whew.  But, today is back to the same old crap buffet here, albeit a single serving.  However, it is still light outside and who knows.

So, I made a wish list.  Because I need something about which I can hope.  You know, like stuff that is not all sad and icky or mean or manipulative or mean, mean, mean. 

wish list

whirled peas

a room of my own, surrounded by other rooms that I control

a car of my own

access to public transportation

more cats than are healthy to have

someone to design a metabolic system for my body that allows me to eat any damn thing I want without injury or insult to the aforementioned body

a whole shitload of money...oh, you say, money cannot buy happiness...yes, it can and it can buy peace of mind and freedom from worry and the means to keep certain people out of one's life...and, if that is not happiness, well, then nothing is

There are times when having to be so quiet feels like one step away from madness.  I want to play music.  I want to sing, or what passes for singing for me, and dance around the house and have some fun and be silly and foolish at my own expense.

I want to garden.  I want to be able to take the long walks that I used to, or ride my bike or go to the park and just sit.  I can still do the park, but my health crap inhibits my ability to walk and riding a bike is too dangerous now and someone will not allow gardening.  I do have the rhubarb patch and two tomato plants, so I really should not be complaining.  Really.  I should not.

I figured out, last night just before I fell asleep, why I like this blogging stuff so much.  It is because I like writing letters and whilst I can still do that any time I like, all of the people to whom I write (mostly, have written) are not of the same bent or inclination, so if I am going to write without any return on the investment, then I can do it here.  I mean, Diary, why have I not thought of it this way before?  Really. 

This is exactly what it is, I am writing letters to myself.  Oh, you know the whole journaling thing and all is closer to what this truly is, but it feels like writing letters, real letters.  Well, without the paper, pen and stamps, but it is my equivalent. 

And, I like it.  I like the letter thing.  And, even though you can delete your ass off, nothing is ever truly gone from the Internet, but it might as well be, because most people will never see my stuff or be able to find it once I have let it go. 

I like everything about this.

I like my new printer.  I have used it only to print the business cards and some instructions on how to crochet a granny square.  The cards are nice, exactly what I need right now and they made the people at work happy, so, you know, like great. 

As for the crocheting, well, I could not follow the instructions.  They are easy, blazingly easy and I fumbled and knotted and finally gave up.  I am going to try again, but am just going to make up my own way until I get something approximating a granny square.  It is like the baby blanket that I started two years ago and just found this week.  I finished the row where I stopped, and then crocheted one more and then bound it off.  I did not have a pattern or instructions and it seemed so difficult to figure out what I had done and so it is finished.  One of the fiber club women said that it was so soft and matched her winter coat, so I gave it to her.  As a scarf.

One of the other women took a look at it and asked if it was a blank-blank stitch and I told her that it was not, that I just made it up when I needed to make the blanket all those years ago.  Of course, that then, yet-unborn baby is now two years old, so a scarf is a much better destiny for that project.

But, it and the aborted granny square attempt made me realize that I have some kind of sticking point with these instructions.  Sure, I can remember the abbreviations and what they mean, the kinds of stitches they are, but I simply cannot comprehend a page of detailed details.  Two of the women showed me their instruction books and that charts are often easier to follow than written instructions. 

I looked at the charts.  Both of them.  They assured me that charts were easy and that these two particular charts were particularly easy.  I could feel part of my brain calcifying as I tried to understand them, the charts.  I understood the women, because we were all speaking English, but the charts?  The instructions?  They are another language altogether.  One I do not speak or read or understand. 

I think I should just stick to making up stuff, this needlework stuff, as I go.  It worked for the tiny sweater and the blanket that turned into a scarf, and the washcloths.  Yeah, I almost forgot about the washcloths.  I made up those knitted patterns, too, and they look and work just fine.  No one would ever know.  Well, I know, but I do not care like other people might.

They, the other people, might think that I am not taking any of this seriously.  Well, I am not.  I am in it just for the fun.  And, I am having fun, but the serious about this stuff people might not think that it is fun.  They might think me stupid and simple.  That is all right.  I am simple, and I am often stupid about a great many things.  So what.  I am having fun with it and if all I ever do is to make up silly patterns or non-patterns, then that is fine with me. 

I went to Kmart today after coffee.  I needed to buy a new telephone because I gave my other one to one of the charity shops because it would not work well.  I have an unfortunate effect on electronics.  Especially telephones that are more than a simple trim line type.  If it has a menu or settings of any kind, our relationship is doomed.  Eventually, they stop working, but if I give them away to someone else they work just fine.

So, that is what I did.  After having a friend check it out and make sure that it actually did work, I gave it away and bought this other phone at the pharmacy for a dollar.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be worth only that dollar and whilst the person on the other end of the line could hear me, I could not hear more than every third or fourth word they spoke.  So, into the charity box and out to buy a new phone. 

You know, I am thinking that if I had kept all of those telephones, tape recorders and stuff, that I could have constructed my very own tower of babble.  Smiling.

Back at Kmart, no simple phones to be found, and I had to buy the least expensive cordless phone they had.  I am hopeful and pretending to be happy about this phone so that it will keep working for me.  It is charging now and I did manage to set the ring tone, the date and time and something else that I cannot remember right now.

One more thing about this shopping trip.  Kmart has one of those membership cards that is supposed to save you money or something.  Every employee you encounter has to tell you all about the card (as in required to try to sell you on the card and be persistent when you politely decline), that it is free and wonderful, simply wonderful.

Well, I found out, the first time it was mentioned that, after answering a ton of questions, that I was not qualified to have this free card because I do not:
  1. Have a printer with which to print out the coupons that give you the discounts. (Although, as of a few days ago, I do now have a printer.)
  2. Have a technologically advanced enough cell phone to accept the wireless coupons or text messages that a store employee could read on my phone so that I can be given the discounts.
Fine.  No problem.  But, every employee, unless they want to be summarily terminated, has to ask if you have the card, tell you about the card and then go through the entire process until they find out that you do not have the technology to actually use the freaking thing, whereupon every single employee has had to finally tell me that I cannot have the card, including one woman who told me, "Well, then I am not going to give it to you."  This is making you smile, Diary, yes?

Fine.  No problem.  I did not want it in the first place.  I laughed a little when she said that, which I am certain did not help either of us.

So, when I walk into the store today, I am accosted by the woman at the service counter who tries to sell me on the card.  My guess is that this like any other store where they have these cards and that employees are tracked on how many sign-ups they get and that it has a serious impact on their employment.  Yep, been there.

So, I try to tell her that I do not qualify for the card and she insists that everyone does and talks over me.  When she finally takes a breath, I tell her that I understand that she has no choice about sharing this wonderful information with everyone, but that the card requires expensive technology that not everyone has, myself included.  I tell her that I do not have a printer (forgetting that I do have one now), nor do I have a telephone that has e-mail or texting capacity. 

She just looked at me and I decided to stand there until she replied or something.  Finally, she said, "Oh.  So, you don't want it?"

I was the recipient of the same thing when I checked out with my new telephone, a travel toothbrush and two sheet cake pans (Yay...I finally got some!).  When I declined the card, all went well after that until she handed me my receipt and told me to use some code on it by calling the 800 number on the back of my card.  I am thinking what card?, so I asked, "What card?"  She looked up at me and realized that we had this exact conversation last week.  I do not have the card.  I do not have the technology that having the card requires.  I can not use the card.  I cannot have the card.

Still, this kind of thing is amusing, mostly because the employees have absolutely no customer supportive options available to them.  They either mention the card and then hustle past the customer's decline or objections and have to keep selling it, or they get bad evaluations or even lose their jobs.  The entire system sucks for everyone, and I know because we had the same fucked up process at one of my jobs.

So, I do not blame the employees, give them a hard time and it truly is amusing to me.  What I would like to do is to contact their higher-ups and suggest that they offer the card with the preface that it is for/benefits customers who have computers and printers and access to the Internet, or fancy phones that have e-mail and/or texting. 

But, I might not even bother, because that big company does not care.  I know that because one of my pre-retirement jobs was at a company that Kmart owned at one time, so I have plenty of up-close and personal experience with them.

But, I do have to come up with some other way of handling this thing, because I really do not want to keep going through the same song and dance every time I shop there, which is not often, but often enough to make me consider shopping elsewhere.  Although, it is only a matter of time until every store and/or company will be doing the same or similar stuff, so better to design a funny and gentle decline for when it is offered to me.

Well, off to have dinner and maybe even that whiskey.  Maybe watch a movie.  Maybe make some popcorn.  Maybe share something about the book I am reading when I come back here tomorrow.  I am enjoying it, but need to see if the ending is good, because I really want it to be fabulous.

Friday, July 22, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 76

Breakfast:  Burrito, sour cream
Lunch:  Raw vegetables, dip
Dinner:  2 burritos, sour cream
Bedtime snack:  A nice glass of Irish whiskey

More of the same for meals, but I did toss the rest of the deli salads.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 74 and Day 75

Day 74
Breakfast:  Eggs, grits, oh, how I love this breakfast!
Lunch:  Soup, 2 snack packs of applesauce, 1 snack size chocolate pudding, some rice crackers
Dinner:  Deli salads

Very busy day, but not so much that I should have been so tired.  By the time I stopped at the market, bought entirely too many prepared foods and came home, it was all I could do to eat some stuff and go to bed.  I did not even wash my face, although teeth were brushed.

Day 75
Breakfast:  More deli salads
Lunch:  Raw vegetables and dip
Dinner:  2 frozen steak and beans burritos, with some sour cream plopped on top

I woke with a deli salad hangover (with a side of éclair, which I forgot to list for yesterday).  I ate some sauced cucumbers and fruit fluffy stuff.  And the éclair.  Oh, the shame.  But, I could hardly walk properly, much less think whilst shopping last night.  I did buy the vegetables, too, and I threw away the other éclair that I bought.  So, a bit better.  The burritos were good, but mostly beans, so what the heck was that about steak? 

Anyway, I woke too early, probably because of that hangover.  I mean, what is the point of sleeping in if your body is going to get you up at the usual time?  I can probably blame that on my ancient bladder, but still.

So, up for more salads, this time cole slaw and noodle salad.  Both were disappointing, as only deli stuff can be.  It looks so wonderful and delicious when you are really hungry and exhausted, but the tasting never equals the yearning that made me buy it.  I also bought egg salad...I mean, who even knew they made such a thing there...and that was better.  I had it with lettuce on a flat bread (also purchased last night).  Managed to get some work done, but only for a couple of hours.

Then, I went back to bed for three hours.  More work and back to bed until mid-afternoon.  Diary, why am I so tired all the damn time?  I have managed to stay up and awake for the rest of the day, but it has been a struggle and I am done.  The naps, however, kept me out of view and resulted in not finding myself in trouble about anything.  Bliss.

I hope tomorrow is a more productive day and that I can squeeze in some more junky-gunky food.  Yum.  So much for healthy eating for the remainder of the week.  Alas.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 73

Breakfast:  Drive-through sandwiches
Lunch: Leftover steak, salad, green beans, applesauce, yogurt
Dinner:  Nothing yet, but probably some soup before I settle in for the night

What a day.  Even though I went to work a day early, I did manage to come home, take a nap and accomplish quite a bit this evening.

It was too blazing hot to go out and have the printing done, so I dug out the printer I bought a few months ago (about which I promptly forgot), set it up, installed it, and despite a faulty set-up disk, now have a working...very well, thankyouverymuch...printer, something that I have not had for nearly two years.  It did a great job on the business cards and I am looking forward to many wonderful printing experiences.

The last week problem manifested again today, but I am just not all that interested in playing with this person any more.  Oh, I know that I will be all angsty, hurt and frustrated the next time something happens, but for now, for this wonderful moment, when the new, albeit very small, thing happened tonight, well, I must be a duck because it ran right off of my back.  Yep.

Anyway, I have a couple of things to finish here, Diary, so it is soon off to bed, to read my new apocalypse book, which I borrowed as long as I was at work today.  I still do not have the energy or heart for GPs.  Alas.

No, it is not Tuesday

That is what I said at a little after 8 a.m. this morning, whilst dragging all of my crap into the study room I use at our Library, Diary. 

I was majorly confused, but finally accepted that they were right and I was twenty-four hours early for work.

I worked for a bit over five hours, catching up on all the bits that are left undone each week, including creating eight templates for client calling cards that they can use as adjunct documents when filling out job applications at businesses around town (yeah, some place still do the whole paper and pen thing) and for job fairs and for just a generalized feeling of self-worth for having the darn things in your pocket or bag.

Everyone keeps telling me to make my own business cards, but I have been dilly-dallying about it for nearly two years.  For all of that time, the only purpose that I could see for them was to have a little scrap of sturdy paper on which to write future appointments for clients, sort of like the cards the dentist uses when you have to schedule your next teeth cleaning six months ahead, something I also need to do when I get a bit of cash ahead.

One of the Library mucky-mucks mentioned it to me recently and when I saw her before I left today I told her that I was on my way to have some printed.  She approved, so I guess that means that this gig is actually working out for all of us.  Nice, really, to have that support for the work I do there.

However, by the time I left, I was exhausted.  It is blazing hot here, heat indexes over 100 all over the place.  Last night was a misery and I awoke all lathered-up with sweat and had to get going and shower and wash my stupid hair all over again.  So, I came home and took a nap. 

Now I have to get dressed again and venture out into the heat that is hotter than it is inside here, just to get those darn cards printed.  This all sucks, but it only lasts for a few weeks each year, or it has unless the whole global warming thing is true, and if I get through it each year, then this time should be no different, except that I am a year older and much crankier about such things.

As long as I am out, I might as well return the huge baskets, look for something smaller or buy sheet cake pans and glue, glue, glue.  I wish that I could justify eating dinner out somewhere, but because I had to rush with all the extra hair washing this morning I had a drive-through breakfast.  Rats.  I still might do it if the heat makes me crazy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 72

Breakfast:  Eggs over grits
Lunch:  Japanese
Dinner:  Steak

So, anyway, I just thought to use the draft option here, Diary..  Again.  And, because I think that it might be a day with some surprises.  Yeah, those damn things.

I am on my way out to the home improvement stores in the city.  I am looking for a shelf thing that can sit or be fastened to the existing cabinet shelves so that I can pull it out to have access to the stuff at the back of the cabinet shelf.  I suppose I could try to look it up before going to the store and trying to figure it out there, although my guess is that the people who work there might know exactly what I mean.  It is a long drive and I probably should optimize my gasoline usage.

I already have two basket-like things in which I store pan lids, cooling racks and random utensils, but I want an actual shelf-like thing, to make better use of the storage space.

O.K., Home Depot.  Product directory.  Kitchen organization.  You know, if I cannot find anything, then some cheap sheet pans could work.  They would not be all slide-y and easy like something on tiny wheels or gliders would be, but those could work.

I hate dial-up.  I mean, I am glad to have it and have access to the Internet and everything, but it takes exponentially longer to do anything.  I tried to watch a video yesterday on hand looming (yes, I know how pathetic I am), and I never was able to see more than 2:27 minutes of the nearly 7:00 minutes of the darn thing.

So, I found baskets and some glidey things, like runners or something and finally ended up with some glide discs because they were less expensive.  Man, this kind of shopping just slays me, and not in a good way.  I know that it is for the ultimate good of home improvement, as well as helping my terrible joints, but the stress of spending, or potentially spending, that kind of money is uncomfortable.  I can plop down a hundred dollars for a weekend's traveling, but doing the same for this other stuff...argh!

Then, I get everything home and start to install it and the baskets do not fit.  So, much of it has to go back and since I could not find the stuff that I needed at the two home improvement stores, now I have to spend Thursday back in the city, visiting the hardware stores.  I finally got a clue about what this stuff is called, then called the stores and just have to go in and see if what they have will work in this kitchen. 

If I could afford to have it done, that would be wonderful.  You just tell the person who will be doing the work what you want and they figure it out, do the shopping and install it and it is done.  This doing it myself is a pain, Diary, because I am clueless to the nth degree.  Anyway, I am pretty sure that these things are called multi-use, wire baskets on runners.  Or, slides, maybe they are called slides.

This is just plain nuts.  All I want is to be able to put my canned goods and flour more than two cans deep in those cabinets without it being so expensive that I might not be able to afford to actually put any groceries in the darn things.  Is that too freaking much to ask?

O.K., I just browsered "how to store canned goods in wire baskets on slides."  I might be on to something.

Nope.  I am finding tons of small things and lots of pull-out wire basket things for cleaning supplies and the like, all of which are too tall for the cabinets. 

One of my other ideas was to just use cheap sheet cake pans and drag them in and out of the cabinets, but that sounds like it would be kind of heavy.  I wonder if I can glue those glide discs to the bottom of those pans and make it easier to pull and push them.

Oh, just found this Stor-Drawer system.  Too expensive.  Rats.

I give up.  This is too expensive and I am going to buy those darn sheet cake pans on the way home from work tomorrow night, epoxy the glide discs to the bottoms and be done with it.  And, if I stack the cans and stuff on them right away, I should be pretty sure of getting good contact and adhesion. 

And, Diary, did I have any surprises today?  Yes.  Yes, I did.  They were not nice, but I was prepared for that being the context and I am not feeling all crappy or anything.  Just disgusted.  You know that sound of disgust that dogs and teenagers make?  I am getting awfully good at that myself.  Small head shake, more of a quiver really; a short, quick exhalation from the top of my lungs, with a little punch to it; a brief flexing of my vocal chords, a little higher up.  Yeah.  Unfortunately, I am swearing again.  Shameful.  I also called someone a name today, and even though the other person did not hear it, more shame. 

I have so much to do and I just sit here and bitch. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 71

Breakfast:  Slab-beef...all right, half of a T-bone steak, jalapeno muffin
Lunch:  Pepperoni pizza
Dinner:  Rest of the steak, focaccia bread, cream cheese

Today is better and when that happens, that I am feeling better, I cannot believe how upset I can get by stuff.  Yesterday was pain and now it is gone.  Just residual sadness, but, cripes, everyone has that.  Big girl panties.  Pull.  Up.  Move on.  Easy.

I got rid of more stuff today.  Lots of old stuff just into the garbage.  I swear, we could have the best rummage sale ever if I was not throwing all of this crap away, because it is really good crap.  Some of it could go to the charity shops, but if I want to put those older appliances in the boxes I would have to stop and do a nice clean and shine and if I do that I know that I will get bogged down.  So, into the trash it is going.  The even better crap is going into boxes, which helps to minimize the whole guilt thing about throwing away perfectly good stuff. 

I am off to the home improvement store tomorrow to find something like a rolling shelf thing, should such a thing even exist.  I want to make the shelves on the lower cabinets more accessible, given my rotten joints.  I hate spending the money, but it is either that or not have any place to store the canned goods and stuff.

I figured that as long as I was divesting the loom, kiln and all of the pottery tools and molds, that I might as well get rid of all of my cake baking equipment.  As a young wife and later as a mother, making celebratory cakes was the only way that I could make spending money.  So, gone will be all of the fabulous pans and other stuff.  One of my friends spends lots of time at a senior center near her and I have already offered the couple of hundred sewing patterns that I have to them, and I think that I will call them in the morning and ask if they want all of the professional baking equipment that I have.  That would be cool.  Again, good homes, even though that should not be a consideration for me.  Just ridding myself of all of this should be enough.

After six days of this gutting of my life's activities, I am strangely kind of, maybe, sort of feeling reasonably good about it.  Well, except for the books, but my guess is that as I get deeper in the process of removing them from the house that that will be easier, too.

I ate dinner too early and am hungry again, so a can of soup and then back to my library book, which I do not understand, but am sticking with just in case it turns out to be worth the work.  I finished the zombie book last night.  It was not great, but it was good enough that I am planning to read the rest of the series.

I now have less than a month of this hundred days.  I fully expected to be healthier by this time, but I am not, at least not physically.  I do, however, have a broken heart and a lot less stuff, so it is all good, I guess. 

See ya.

Alrighty, two last things.  A friend was over and wanted to know why someone who is not me is weirder than usual.  I have no answer for that.  I also saw that there was a message on the answering machine and it was from another friend who said that she called my telephone number and was told by the gentleman who answered that that number was not my number and then gave her the number for the answering machine.  Ummm, both of those telephones are right here in the house, but, more importantly,  someone who is not me could not even take a message.  Yeah, a small thing, very small, but still weird.

The other thing is that I am liking my hair in braids more and more.  Easy to do, no drag on my scalp and if I lean back in my desk chair there are not any clips or pins poking me in the head.  Plus, it kind of makes me look like a looney old granny and if I can find my straw hat with the flowers, I will be set to go.  Yep.

I kind of thought about a GP today, but actually making one is not all that appealing.  More weirdness.

Two dollhouses

I gave away two dollhouses yesterday, furnishings, dolls and everything.  They are in a good home, as if that really matters big-picture-wise or anything anyway, and will be added to another dollhouse for the creation of a little neighborhood for a grandchild.  So, that is really great.  They had to go.  I miss them already.  I try to avoid having divester's remorse, but every once in a while I am stricken with longing for something that is gone.

Divesting for a good cause.  Great.  Really.  Crap.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 70

Breakfast:  Sandwich at Panera, it is Saturday, after all
Lunch:  Phở from my favorite noodle place
Dinner:  Nothing yet, but will probably be soup and crackers
Snack:  Some Tostito's jalapeno chips and cherries

O.K.  Panera.  Seriously, if you are going to sell a bagel called Jalapeno & Cheddar Cheese, is it even the teeniest bit possible to have some jalapenos actually in it and/or to have it taste even the teeniest bit like either the chili or the cheese?  Or both, for crying out loud?  Even the poor folk taking orders and money and making the food are puzzled.  They were nice and offered new sandwiches to the two of us, which we declined, and then offered some pepper jack cheese to add to our pathetic sandwiches, which we also declined.  It is not their fault, they were super-duper nice and helpful and tried to make up for the sandwich's shortcomings, but the breakfast stuff there is a constant disappointment and I will not be ordering anything of the kind again.  At least the coffee was better than usual.  I do, however, like their salads, which are quite nice, fresh and yummy, as well as their little rolls or baguette slices or whatever they serve with that, although I always take the apple.  We go there infrequently because only one of the ladies likes it there, and since there were only three of us today, I was able to convince the third woman to meet us there.  I mean, even if a place is heinous, and one of the group likes it, then you can go there once in a while.  Unfortunately, we have to wait until the more vocal and reluctant members are off doing something else.  Really, we should go places that each person likes, not just the places that everyone likes.  You know?

This kind of disappointment will always happen, because the people who love Panera simply love it and the company does not have to do anything to fix this stuff, which I am guessing they think is minor problem, or a non-issue.  And, the corn chips with jalapeno (just a hint or something like that) made up for the bagels, and were nicely spiced and a huge improvement over the pathetic bagels.  Plus, the chips were free because I had a coupon. 

I rarely use coupons because I can never remember to bring them along to the store and when I do put them in my bag I forget to use them, even if the checker asks me if I have any.  Yes, I am that lame.

I did get two more of those yummy jalapeno muffins, and a focaccia that is full of spicy slices, too, but not a whole lot of tummy-busting cheese.  All of it is being sliced and frozen so that I do not have some kind of breakdown and eat all of it before I go to bed.  Even the prospect of shame could not keep me from scarfing every crumb, thus, the freezer to the rescue.

They had nice cherries and I have been munching on those all afternoon.  Very yummy, but a bit too many, so I probably will not have any dinner tonight.

Lunch was the second best part of the day...the first best was being with friends.  I had phở at my favorite place.  I have to go by myself because I cannot convince anyone else to enter the place, much less eat there.  I am getting to know the people who own the place/work there and they are going to double the size of their restaurant as soon as the health department makes their inspections.  I guess there is a waiting list or something.  They are planning to open a second place near to where my daughter lives.  We could take the boys there, as they love Asian food.

I took another load to the charity shops this afternoon.  Man, there are places here that are looking kind of bare, which is fine because that is sort of the point of getting rid of stuff.  I took a few of my most favorite books to coffee this morning, and they have found new homes.  Yay.  I will be filling the back of the van with books a couple of times next week and am totally not looking forward to it.  I wanted to start today, but taking all of those lovely friends off of their dusty shelves is further fracturing my already bruised heart. 

It has to be done.  They all must go.  I have to finish this book divestment.  I just have to.  I mean, what if there is something waiting to enter my life, something good for a change, something or someone who is not going to curse me or smash me in the mouth or stab me in the back, and it/they cannot manifest because my house is full of freaking books?  What if? 

And, what about the other stuff?  I might have a new home for my loom, but the kiln and other clay stuff is going to be more difficult.  Both are expensive enterprises, and I totally understand that taking either of them on is a serious commitment.  Oh, god, just let me survive the books, please. 


I am not going to dwell on this past week, well, not if I want to stay sane, but I cannot help but think of these assaults as an earthquake.  With plenty of aftershocks, because the perps are so positive that they know everything and what they want should be perfectly acceptable to everyone else.  And, these aftershocks are not helping me in the whole forgiveness thing. 

Or, it could be that they are right and I am just a stupid and pointless and redundant fool who simply does not 'get' whatever it is that I am supposed to be 'getting'.  At some point, do you just have to surrender and admit that you are totally fucked up and clueless?  What if holding on to my ethics means that I am certifiable or out of step...and touch...with the modern world or something?  What if trying to be a good person, tread lightly on the earth, grow my own damn food, make my own damn soap and clothes and other stuff is the hallmark, the identifier of a person who is trying to live in a way that is no longer viable or that even makes sense?  Did I get left behind because I was not paying attention?

Friday, July 15, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 69

Breakfast:  Nothing
Lunch:  Soup, two bowls, the second one had some whole wheat couscous dumped in before heating it
Dinner:  Frozen pizza, spinach and something (Amy's, I think)
Snack:  Canned pineapple

I am still off balance.  Just cannot seem to find my way.  In my defense, it has only been five days and it was a terrible thing that happened, so I guess I can be patient, at least a little.  I guess.  The only good thing to come out of this so far is that when in pain, I clean. 

So, lots of stuff getting divested, as well.  I have another three boxes, a couple of trash bags, a brand-new dog bed, and a stool that I never used for the art project for which it was intended and that I bought at the same charity shop were it is being delivered tomorrow.  Or, was it that other place.  No matter, it is still leaving.

Another interesting thing is that I am getting rid of some big stuff.  I have a couple of prospects to take my big loom.  And, I am thinking that my clay studio is going to be emptied, as well.  The weird part is that I feel lighter.  Huge cliché, but it is true.  This week has been just one hit after another and I look around this place and see all of my lovely things and they just do not hold the same energy for me anymore. 

Yesterday was the worst.  I wanted everything in my life to be gone.  When the cleaning frenzy began, I knew that it would not take much time to work through the house, so there had to be more, and that more is stripping this place to its bones.  I am shocked at how easily I am letting this stuff go.  This is the final curtain for the books, too.  I took all of the cookbooks out on Tuesday, keeping only four, Alice's Restaurant (yes, that Alice), a low-carb slow cooker book, a tiny paperback that has some of my favorite healthy recipes, and a reprint of Housekeeping in Old Virginia, circa mid 1800s.  There is one more, but it hardly qualifies.  It is an original, 1893 copy of Good Things, made and done for every home and household.  If you need to make jugged hare or calve's foot jelly, this tiny book has it.  Nice ginger beer recipe, too.

As for the rest, well I thought that I had culled them as best I could last year, but now I want them all gone.  Books, loom, kiln, everything.  I need to just get rid of it all.  It is not going to change what happened, but when the day comes where I am no longer able to take this place, it will be much easier to pack up and leave.  I am still working on that whole forgiveness thing.  That part is difficult.  I am hoping that it is not impossible.  I never thought that I could be so conflicted about this aspect, but I am. 

Funny stuff

I am packing up and preparing to move out more stuff.  Things.  Mostly books.  Again.  Last year I got rid of tons of books and I could easily do that again, with a few hundred more thrown in for good measure.  I cannot remember what I am writing these days, Diary, so please forgive me if I keep repeating myself.  You know, maybe I actually need to be repetitive in order to do everything that needs doing now.  There is a lot of heartbreak in this process and it is mostly because of the stuff that happened, but I am finding some weird kind of joy about releasing even more of my crap.  I mean, really, go figure.

I am keeping only the books that I simply cannot bear to be without and am hoping that that does not measure more than a couple of hundred books.  It seems insane that any one person could have a use or be attached to hundreds of books, but with more than a thousand and a half to get rid of, I guess the percentage is not too bad.  I am also keeping most of my arts, crafts and sewing stuff.  Oh, and the yarns and needles and hooks.

Anyway, I am taking a break from the whole emotional mess.  As to be expected, I am finding lots of interesting things and especially papers, notes mostly, amongst the books and other stuff.  So, if I have already shared this stuff, just, well, just pass it by.

This is a conversation that I had a few years ago during the winter holiday season, in one of our satellite stores, in a mall, which I fondly remember as being the closest thing on the planet to being in the belly of the beast.  When people would ask me where I worked, I told them in the belly of the beast.  Interesting that no one ever figured out that that meant the mall, but I guess the perspective and tenor is different on each side of the counter, yes?

So, there was a nice woman and I helped her choose several items.  As I was checking out her purchases, I went on autopilot and shared the return policy and...

Hang on to your receipt, and keep the xxxxxx sealed, just in case you would need to exchange it.

No problem, all of this is being mailed out this week.

Yes, it is getting close to the deadline for mailing packages, isn't it.

Oh, we don't really care if any of this gets there before Christmas.  Besides, we're not even sure one guy is in the country.

Oh, military?

No, crazy.

The other two, well, I know that I have shared them before, but I am not sure where.  I suspect that it was on my other blog, the one dedicated to complaining, bitching and general navel-gazing. Both are original compositions of mine and were created in conjunction with some workshops that I was giving at the time, which is at least fifteen or more years ago.

I am coming back to this space, having just typed both of these, and, seriously, not only did these things mean something significant to me at the time I wrote them, but I found them again just when I needed to be reminded that I do have exactly what I need to get through this, and that I will survive in some way, even if the person who betrayed me succeeds in ruining my reputation.  Even if that goes, the public image that people have of me, I still have everything I really need.  I will still have most of my family and friends, the people who truly know who and what I am. 

Bubbles are perfection.
They exist as bubbles before we breathe them, as we breathe them into this realm and after they expand into invisibility.
Bubbles demonstrate how our sense of control is simply an illusion, a pleasant fantasy.
When we breathe a bubble, it is in a particular direction.
When the bubble as been formed, it takes the path it was designed to take, even if we press against the air to push it into another direction.
A bubble will follow it's own path, it's own destiny.
Bubbles contain all the colors of the Universe in an ever-changing circle of movement and re-creation.
Bubbles are precisely the size they are supposed to be.
Bubbles exist in this realm for precisely the length of time they are supposed to exist.
Bubbles meeting other bubbles create a new form appropriate for the union.
Breathing a bubble helps us to breathe properly, filling our lungs from the bottom to the top, expanding them for our maximum benefit.
Breathing a bubble helps us to focus on the moment, slowing our pulse rate and enhancing our ability to calm ourselves.
To become peaceful, in the midst of that which is not peaceful, is only one of the bubbles many gifts to us.

This one was accompanied by a semi-precious gemstone charm, in the shape of a turtle, more totemish than anything.

I have met the Turtle, and he is me

I am the Turtle.

I have a shell to protect me from the ravings, the comings and goings of those who would seek to disturb and perturb me.
I carry my protection with me wherever my journey leads me.
My protection prevents me not from living full, and consciously.
My creed has passed to me from our ancient ancestor, the Tortoise, whose deeds are legend.
Like my ancestor, I choose to live in the moment.
I choose to honor my goals, but not be held hostage by them
I choose to travel at the pace appropriate for me, resisting the contrived pace that others would set for me.
I choose to arrive at the finish line centered, informed, confident, successful and far ahead of that annoying, self-absorbed, little hare.

I am the Turtle.
Were you listening?

Oooooh, I must have been royally pissed at some person in my life that tried to be the hare and make me do something I did not want to do.  Yikes.  Still nice, though.  It is on a half-page card stock sheet and a little agate turtle is sewn to it.  The bubble one was given out with a small bottle of bubbles.  Hmmmm, I just put five bottles, brand new by the way, of those coloured bubble mixtures in one of the charity boxes. I might have to dig through them, rescue the bubbles and take them outside some night, if I ever can stay up late enough to go out in the dark with my martini.  Thank goodness that olives do not go bad, yes?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 68

Breakfast:  McDonald's, scrambled eggs, one of those potato slabs, a sausage patty, a pancake, I think that was it
Lunch:  Jalapeno muffin with cream cheese
Dinner:  Nothing
Snack:  Grapes, cherries

I had to wait for the car to be repaired this morning, so I planned on walking across the parking lot, down the street a bit and into McDonald's to wait and to have some food.  It was surprisingly good, like really good.  I did not eat all of the breakfast thing (maybe platter or something like that), but it was nice.  I had a senior coffee and a huge soft drink later, whilst I read some free newspapery magazine. 

I took a library book, but could not concentrate, even though it was about zombies...lurve 'em. 

Lunch was the other muffin from Tuesday.  I am glad to have bought only two, because they are also really delicious.  Dangerous.

Dinner, well I just am not hungry.  Another minor thing, much less than Monday's, but just as hurtful.  I am so sick of myself, that this crap continues to be something to which I simply cannot avoid responding with such sadness and pain.  I am a grown-up person and these assaults should not mean a rat's ass to me.  Seriously.  The constant picking and sniping is tiring, but I should be able to ignore all of it.  Man, I have so much more freaking work to do on myself about this stuff.  Double-freaking-man.  I probably should eat something, else I will be up in the middle of the night, roaming around and looking for something easy to eat. 

But, I probably will not because I am worn out and can hardly stay awake.  So, it is off to bed, an early night and I will not be able to go outside and have that martini I have been promising myself all day.  No energy for making a GP.  I really do not care about anything pleasurable now.  I suck.  Hey, Diary, so much for my plans and decision to not complain, moan, groan or whine.  Yeah, sucky day.

Amongst all of the other puzzlements, I keep wondering how I can be eating so little and still not be losing any real weight.  And, I must look like total crap, because at least six people at work yesterday asked me how I was feeling and another person at the car repair place asked me the same.  Great.  At least I have new underwear, which makes me so excited that I can hardly stand socks, too!!!!  O.K., then, things are beginning to look up.  Yeah, right.

Thunder Moon

I used to follow the moon phases.  It was part of my ritual life.  I used herbs and oils, drums, bells, smoke and water, song and chant.  It was a way to stay in touch with the world around me, well, at least the natural part.  I celebrated the Quarters and had a garden.  It was nice.  I was in touch.

Anyway, it helped me in many ways, not the least being that it provided a reliable and safe consistency during the decades during which my life was not a particularly safe place.  And, then, you know how it is when you start to go all numb because all of the crapolicious parts of a life are too unstable and wonky and the best strategy is to go to that place inside of yourself where you can be as quiet and unnoticed as a mouse, and then stay there.

That worked for an exceptionally long time, and it is only the last year and a half or so that nothing that I have tried or done or not done has kept me as safe as I used to be, even though I can see through the filter of time that any measure of safety was a delusion, and even though I was still very mouse-like.  I am kind of good at that kind of stillness and all, so I guess that is something.  And, I have really good reasons for staying where I am not honored.  I just do, Diary, and you know what they are and repeating them is just too painful and makes me feel too stupid for, well, for just about everything.  In the process, I kept silent about all of the stuff and now that it is falling apart, like literally, I am stuck with the consequences of that silence.

Truth is that the act(s) concealing the stuff means that I have to admit that it was lying by omission.  Even the best of intentions cannot be called upon when you keep that stuff to yourself.  Yeah, I managed to get to this age without having learned much of anything.  And, the hits just keep in coming and culminated in what happened on Monday, which is also something that I cannot bear to write about.

So, I am doing my best.  We all do, yes?  It has taken me a few days to begin breathing again, and I am staying as positive as possible.  I have no idea how I am going to find the way to forgiving the perps, but do it I must.  If I want to have any forward movement about any of this, the old or the newest, I have to find a way to forgive and get over what happened.  I just have to.

So, anyway, I had the car fixed today and stopped at a discount store to get some underwear and cleaning equipment, two categories of completely worn out and un-useful stuff.  And, as long as I was there, watches were on sale for only a few dollars and I bought one.  I has the little window to show the phases of the moon and when I saw it I sort of tingled or something, because I used to have one of these cheap watches and I really liked it.  For a pittance, I have one again.

Since I can never take something just as it is, it started me thinking about my pre-mouse ritual life days.  And, I remembered the full-ish moon last night and that it is July and that is the Thunder Moon, if you think about it as July around here having an abundance of thundery storms, which we have been having a lot this past week or so.  It is also the Buck Moon, which means that it coincides with the new growth of antlers on animals that have antlers or the potential for having antlers.  It is also some other kind of moon, but I cannot remember what that is.  Huh.

If you think about it, both are aspects of renewal, the whole new antler and growing up/older thing, and the thunder, auditory manifestation of lightening, something on which the prairies depended for cleansing fire which leads to more renewal.  That may be a stretch, but I do not care.  I comforts and pleases me and it helps me.  I just cannot seem to stop wandering back to feeling hopeful.  I am not complaining, even now when it seemed impossible.  I just believe in something better than pain, particularly when the meanness seems to be a justification in itself.

As for the forgiveness aspect, I am trying.  I really am.  I asked the betrayal's responsible parties why it all happened and there are no answers, just the statement that it was thought to be the right thing to do, given that I would not cave to the seriously unreasonable demands that I refused two weeks ago.  Of course, the demands were thought specious only by me and lying and creating this mess is thought to be an appropriate action and punishment, and, as long as we were discussing it, I was again asked to do the things that I refused to do in the first place because they are still personally unethical, although just this side of legal.  All I am feeling is stupid and distressed about how impossible it is for some people to like or love you for just who you are and are so willing to hate you for what you are not and cannot ever be.  I am stuck.  I am damned if I cave and attacked if I do not.

I do have to admit, Diary, that sticking to my ethics, even in the face of what happened, is a small bit of pride for me.  Big-picture-wise, it would be much smarter to just give in and do what they want, but no one could ever accuse me of being smart. Or, wise. 

As regards our Thunder Moon, I might not go out in the yard tonight, partake of a little naked drumming and howl to the heavens. It will be full and officially full at about 1:30 in the morning, but I am thinking that I could go out there, pull my chair out of the garage and enjoy her roundly, glowing and lovely, sweet fullness and a freshly made martini.  I might do that.  Man, I have been wishing for the past several days that I still smoked.  It is times like this that have me yearning for a fresh pack, a new lighter and a place to indulge where no one will shame me for it.  I mean, just a few cigarettes, not a whole pack or anything, well, maybe a pack, but no more than that, just enough to get me through this.  I mean, surely that cannot be asking too much, yes?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 67

Breakfast:  Eggs
Lunch:  Turkey, lettuce, mayo sandwich, small thing of applesauce
Dinner:  Japanese place

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 66

Breakfast:  Nothing
Lunch:  Frozen meat loaf and potato thing, microwaved
Dinner:  Mint chocolate chip ice cream bar, jalapeno muffin with some cream cheese, cherries

Mood altering

These are supposed to be jokes, so please do not freak, Diary.

Cross a:

Newfoundland with a Basset Hound
Get a Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisors.

Malamute with a Pointer
Get a Moot Point...oh well, it does not really matter...

Collie with a Malamute
Get a Comute, a dog that travels to work with you.

Deerhound with a Terrier
Get a Derriere, a dog that is true to the end.

Bloodhound with a Labrador
Get a Blabador, a dog that incessantly barks.

So, anyway, picture yourself lying on your tummy on a warm rock that hangs out over a crystal stream.

Now, picture yourself with both of your hands dangling in the cool, running water.

Birds are sweetly singing in the lovely mountain air.

No one knows your secret place.

You are in total seclusion from that hectic place called the World.

The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.

The water is so crystal clear that you can look down and easily make out the face of the person you are holding underwater.

Yeah, a joke, lighten up. :)

Translated by Coleman Barks

Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You're covered with thick clouds.
Slide out the side. Die,
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you've died.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.
The speechless full moon
comes out now.
  Yeah.  Blessed are those who are able and willing to love you for what you are instead of despising you for what you are not.  That is from me.

Well, I seem to have the dying part under control and am hoping that I can figure out the rebirth part before it is too late.

All I wanted was to live a decent life, be a good, honest and loving person and to be of service in the world, especially my little part of it.

And, it is not as though I was unaware of the people in my life who were more concerned about what I could do for them than just about anything else.

I saw them.

I see them.

And, I see that keeping them in my life kept me under their control and when I tried to break free, the consequences were greater and more horrible than I could ever envision.

I never saw that.

I see it now.

Just when you think that there are no more tears left, they flow from new wounds and old wounds that never really healed.

What was I thinking?

 In this new, huge divestment (the allegorical conflagration), I have been finding weird things.  The jokes at the beginning of this were two pages that I can now toss.

Another is a pewter Christmas ornament that one of my sisters sent to all of us siblings after another sister killed herself.

It reads:

Merry Christmas from Heaven

I love you all dearly,

Now don't shed a tear;

I'm spending my Christmas

With Jesus this year.

I do not think that I can toss this item, if only because it made me laugh again, just like it did when I first received it the mail.  Besides, it had a small raisin stuck to it...that must mean something, yes?  When I stop laughing, I will probably be going straight to hell, heck, I will probably be driving the bus there.

Monday, July 11, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 63 - Day 64 - Day 65

Day 63
Breakfast:  Eggs, toast, bacon, hash browns (breakfast with my friends on Saturday)
Lunch:  Made lunch with the babies, kabob sandwiches that they made for themselves, which included all of the prep work.
Dinner:  Pizza, the frozen kind.  I ate mostly just the toppings, which were cheese and pepperoni
Snack:  Shrimp spring roll and six small California roll slices

Day 64
Breakfast:  Nothing
Lunch:  Cornish hen, roasted plain
Dinner:  Other Cornish hen
Snack:  Some jar cheese sauce, jalapenos, corn chips

Day 65
Breakfast:  Jar cheese sauce, jalapenos, corn chips
Lunch:  3 soft tacos, black beans with cheese and hot sauce, at Qdoba
Dinner:  Nothing

I was pondering

the next thing that I need to do tonight and just sort of felt all slumpy and stuck to my chair, so I decided to visit a couple of the blogs that I follow.

This is what I found, and it was that kind of thing when you need something and open yourself to finding it and then, like magic, it is there for you.  Well, for me, actually, but it is worth sharing because maybe someone else might be a little stuck and slumpy, too.

I am referring to today's post, Monday, July 11th.  Everything there is wonderful, by the way, and I learn new stuff there all the time.

Life as usual

Two days of a wonky computer and a day of betrayal.  Practically the perfect trifecta.

Friday, July 8, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 62

Breakfast:  Nothing
Lunch:  Japanese restaurant, where I was a good and healthy eater, without any icky, that is
Dinner:  2 smoked port chops

This might not work because my computer is being all wonky.  It has for the past two days and I am so hoping that it is my connection or something and not the machine.  Fixing this, my sweet baby, is possible, but it will severely cut into my traveling money.  Oh, no!!!

I just ran a full scan and nothing came up, except for a few dozen tracking cookies.  I am hoping that it is all of the research I have been doing here for work.  Lordy.  It might also mean that I cannot upload a GP today.  Frankly, I am still fighting that exhaustion from a few days ago and cannot dredge up the energy to really care.

So, anyway, I had to go out and get stuff for the weekend with the babies and decided to have lunch at my favorite place.  I heard, whilst dining there, that there might be a Chinese buffet place opening up in the near vicinity.  If that happens, and it is a nice place, I am going to have another temptation with which to struggle.  I will worry about that if and when it happens.  It is just that it is wonderful to go there, eat only what I want and have absolutely no waste.  Today was garbage day and I had to toss out too many things again.  There was all that lovely lettuce and greens that the refrigerator froze, which is guess is not exactly my fault, but our crappy appliance.  But, there were berries, a whole bunch of fresh ginger and the turkey that I had frozen a few months ago, taken out to cook yesterday and then forgot about it in the microwave until this morning when I had to heat up the cats' breakfast.  What a freaking waste, and it is usually worse than that.  So, dining out at a cheap place actually saves me money, and, I mean, how messed up is that?

Next was the actual errands, the market, where I bought food for me and for all of the special meals that I want to make for the babies and their parents this weekend.  I have offered take the babies tomorrow and send mommy and daddy out to play and then stay overnight so that they can either stay overnight somewhere else, or sleep in on Sunday whilst I wrangle the babies. 

So, I bought some of their favorite stuff and got home and there is not any of those cooler boxes anywhere.  The largest one I found was the one in which I take my lunch to work.  Clearly, the berries, tomatoes and other vegetables for the lunch kabobs, the thick slices of ham and roast beef, and let me not forget the frozen pizzas they love, well none of that, except for a few of the vegetables, is going to fit in my tiny cooler thing.

Where the heck are those things?  Maybe I got rid of them during the last big divestment, but I doubt it.  Wherever they are, they are in a place where I cannot find them.  That means that I have to stop at another market on the way to their house tomorrow to re-buy all of the fresh stuff, which was most of what I bought today.  Not a huge problem, because I can eat that stuff, and there is always a chance that it will actually be eaten and not tossed in a week.  I guess.  It just seems like a huge waste of money to have to buy that stuff twice.  I will get over it.  Sigh.

This is such a small problem and I am obsessing about it.  What a dork.  Besides, something came back to bite me in the ass today.  I have been keeping a relatively low profile and minding my own business ever since the whole threats from my friend's boyfriend a while back.  You know, even if someone asks for your help with something, they might have some other agenda that prevents them from being nice when you do exactly what they ask you to do, and then their boyfriend calls you and says seriously unkind stuff to you and, well, it is just a mess.  Kind of like that sentence.  Sorry, Diary.

Anyway, I offered help, support and a bit of advice to someone yesterday, prefacing it with apologies about how I hope I did not overstep anything.   I heard back from that person and it seems that I was, despite my cautionary stuff, completely misunderstood and that was shared with me with a huge helping of snark.  So, I apologized again, as sincerely and genuinely as possible, but I think that this whole mess might have irreparably damaged what, to this point, was only a tentative relationship.  Big picture wise, I guess that I took a risk, was rebuffed and no real loss for either of us, but it still bothers me that I upset that person whilst simply trying to be myself.  I think that is the most painful part of this, that being me is enough to make some go all snarkalicious on my ass.  It was a huge 'ouch' and since I rarely have to learn that kind of lesson twice, that person should be pretty darn safe from me from now on. 

It still stings a little, but I guess that is part of the learning process for me.  I just need to mind my own business.  Plain and simple.  Even if someone asks me to get involved (friend/boyfriend/crappy telephone message), I will resist and change the subject by pretending to have a stroke or an aneurysm or rabies.

So, early day tomorrow, and a busy one, too.  'Nighty-nite, Diary.  Maybe I will get lucky and have a dream about how I helped someone and did not make a huge mess of it.  Yeah, like that could happen, even in my dreams.  Lots more sighs.

Location is still broken, so here I am, all scrambled up, which is also part of the name of the GP that is slowly loading.  It is named Scrambled Hearts and, seriously, how appropriate is that!  You probably cannot see it, Diary, but in addition to the wonky heart in the middle, there are smooth places and choppy chopped-up places and part of hearts all over the place.

Well, let me give that GP a try.