Monday, April 30, 2007

'Swab Your Uvula'

I have a nurse friend who wants to be called Consuelo.

Connie recently had a raging upper respiratory infection and went to the doctor. Nurses hate the health care system. We do not know our place. Are we fish or fowl or good red beef? Do we identify with the patients or with the nurses? We don't know so we attempt to do both. Instead of straddling the fence, this time, Connie attempted to climb over, and fell flat on her uvula.

The problem was that the doctor was out and Connie ended up being seen by a Nurse Practitioner. A Nurse Practitioner is not a real physician, mind you, just a regular nurse on steroids. A jumped up nurse. This is irrational erroneous thinking but common among the white shoed band. How to relate to this common nurse ennobled by the all powerful prescription pad? It seemed to Connie a battle to be won or lost. Should she be patient or nurse? Should she ingratiate or challenge? Ill and irritable, Connie chose the challenge.

The super nurse entered the exam room in street clothes and no name tag. In the hierarchy of nursedom street clothes and no name tag signal your assumption to the pinnacle of the profession. She was also being followed around by a uniform clad, large name tagged student nurse. As the super nurse began examining her Connie fired her first shot across the bow. "Where did you go to school Connie asked?" S.N. responded with the name of a very prestigious school. Damn. In the guerrilla war of one upmanship the super nurse had just scored a very effective hit. Connie reloaded, "When did you graduate?" The youngish super nurse, looking startled, admitted to a laughably recent year. Round two was a direct hit. Older nurses are venerated. Anyone who survives for twenty or more years in this eatem alive profession automatically receives a Purple Hat. Feeling sicker by the minute and anxious to complete the kill, Connie announced, "I was in the Navy. " Bulls eye. Military nurses are officers and have huge responsibilities. Getting to boss doctors around, many of whom rank below them, exploded the prestige of the S.N.'s steetclothes and prescription pad all to smithereens. But, at this point, Connie said she knew she might have gone too far.

With the student nurse watching wide eyed the super nurse completed the examination. In an offended stiff voice she announced, "To make a definitive diagnosis I will need to swab your uvula." The super nurse was exacting her revenge. With a non-nurse patient she would not have used the words "definitive diagnosis" and "uvula," but the heat of battle had also "affected" her. Connie realizing the fight might not have been in her best interests but still chuffed, replied with a curt, "Fine." The S.N. and her minion left the exam room to get the procedure tray.

Connie said she waited for ten minutes for some one to come in and give her a gown before she finally got up, rummaged through the exam table, found a gown, took off her underwear and jeans and got back on the table. She waited another ten minutes before becoming impatient and calling her mother.
"How did the visit go honey. Did they give you anything for your throat?"
"Not yet. I got a damn Nurse Practitioner and she is making me have a pap smear before she will do anything else. I just had one two months ago and everything was normal. I am pissed." Connie's mother, no stranger to modern health care and ever the practical woman said, "Well I certainly wouldn't pay for that." Connie was not able to receive any more of her mother's good advice as the super nurse and friend returned.

Upon entering the room Connie said the S.N. looked surprised. She was carrying the swab kit. "You didn't have to put on a gown she said." Now it was Connie's turn to look surprised.
"I always wear a gown for this," Connie said, slightly offended.
"I never have patients put on gowns."
"Must be a new way of doing the procedure," rejoined Connie . A Nightengalian standoff had been reached. Dead silence and confusion reigned. Finally the student nurse coughed, politely, as befits the presence of her betters, and said, "I think there might be a slight misunderstanding here."

A few emotionally charged minutes later, as Connie sat naked from the waist down having her throat swabbed, she reflected on the long painful distance pride had taken her in the last hour. She had learned a lot. About herself and her hard working compatriots. And about her body. There were now a million insightful miles between her uvula and her vulva.

This is for my "eggplant in a roomful of carrots." Take care of yourself. Love Bea

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Is Blogging Real?

For instance, I want to put up a link list and change this site around, but it will take too much time. If I give this blogging thing more than an hour per day I feel guilty. Guilty? Yes because it is not real. It has no purpose. It produces nothing. It is just me navel gazing on screen. All this is okay if done during off hours for entertainment, but not okay if it is taking up time during working hours. It is a big waist (hee, hee) of my time. And I am beginning to resent it. And I can't stop.

A friend asked me how long it took my to craft my posts? Craft? I run up here type hell bent for election, hit "publish" and run away. Not a craft in sight. And it shows. Only sometimes I get caught. I love to read all the other blogs. Then I just have to respond. This takes time. I am spending hours up here reading and thinking and writing, when I should be working. Part of the problem is the computer situation. This is Mark's computer in Mark's office. I can only use it during the day. He uses it most evenings. I keep saying I am going to get another computer so I can "play" in the evenings on my "little" blog. But I feel guilty about spending a bunch of money for another "pointless writing toy."

Where do I get this crap?

My worker bee self is at war with this new writer self. My worker bee self thinks writing is okay if you are talented and making money wallowing around in all this verbiage. But otherwise it is a complete waste of time. Why would you be taking up valuable day time writing what is in essence a diary. Who the hell cares about all your junk but you? If you have to write all this stuff down get a decent paper book and have at it in the evenings or on Sundays. Stop using up your most alert, insightful, motivated time at the computer. You need this energy to keep daily life functioning, i.e. cleaning the toilet and doing the laundry.

The shaky, hesitant, insecure writer self says, "But what about everything I am learning. And creating?"

"Honey you are not creating anything. It is a diary for God's sake. And you are not Tolstoy and no one is interested in your mundane life. This is just more pointless introspection. Who cares when and if you lose a pound or get the cats wormed? Stop writing and do the dishes."

(I tell you what, I am getting damn sick of all these personality components bossing me around.)

"Well" the insecure writer self says, "maybe I could compromise. I will work all morning and then write in the afternoon.

"Okay says Miss Worker Bea, but see that you do actually do this."

It is 10:00 a.m.. Sigh.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Light and Shadows

I am at peace this hectic Monday afternoon. Deep soul restoring peace. This is not my normal state. I am by nature a nervous nellie. I am the little meerkat standing guard on a rock while the rest of the troupe snoozes in the sun. This inborn trait was honed to painful perfection by an appallingly idiotic childhood. But this afternoon I am at peace. I am grateful.

Wrote about my obsession with Gerry Butler/Phantom on Friday. Am very embarrassed by this episode and others like it. Felt shame in outing a bit of the darker side of my nature. From the age of twelve I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian household. I learned to shun the darkness and seek the Light. Satan was alive and well and hungering for my immortal soul. The thing is, when you have been abused you have difficulty pinpointing exactly who or what is Satan. Evil which could/can seduce me down to death I associate with pleasure. And, being the only form of security/happiness I was allowed to know, I have consciously and unconsciously sought it out. I loved/love darkness. The Light on the other hand is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I am safe cocooned in obsessive darkness (my main abuser's obsessive darkness.) Light love is scary. You have to stand up and see, and be seen. Nothing is hidden. Light love is not obsessive and yet is willing to die for you. It is tough and cheerful and clear.

I was taught and believed when I gave my heart to the Light my desire for the darkness would vanish. Nay not so Abou Ben Adam. I lived/live mostly in the Light but my forays into darkness were/are often enough to screw up my life and make me soul stranglingly guilty. And strangely enough, lead to massive bouts of creativity along with the smarmy pain. "Mine your pain" I believe the artist's say. What did I ever know from artists? I was/am a farm girl turned nurse. My mother was so sick, and she wrote reams of poetry. Not the road for me. I did/do not write or paint or sing or dance or sew or garden. I just stewed/stew in my own guilt. I was/am a big ole fat neurotic over sexed sinner. Until yesterday.

The sermon turned out to be about photography. "Light and Shadows," he called it. He talked first about the killings in Virginia and the darkness of the world without the Light of Christ. I believe this. I am living proof. God does dispel darkness and is slowly Lightening my soul. I want a world of no more darkness. What happened in Virginia was motivated in darkness. This was the main gist of the message. But at the end of the sermon he asked, "Have you ever seen an overexposed picture. The brightness negates the content." What the hey? Brightness as a negative thing? This caught my attention. "We need the shadows to see clearly what is going on. The shadows, the dark areas are the ground on which the light areas float." At this point I was outright crying. "The shadows are necessary to highlight the the action. They give dept to a photo and to our lives. The key is to be able to control the shadows. Too dark and all is obscured, to light and everything is washed out. Embrace and use the shadows in your life. Treasure them for putting all things in focus." Something in me was loosed.

This sermon is liberating me. I will no longer run from my energy filled obsessions. I will stop being embarrassed by them. They put all things in focus. I am going to wake Gilda up and find out about her need for Gerry Butler. Like the fat she is filled with much needed information. Anyone got an pick axe? I am going mining.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

P.S. We are going to look at a house on a mountain side tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Free Floating Obsession

I listened to Phantom of the Opera this morning as I did my Friday morning cooking. Big mistake. My obsession who had been asleep, woke up, stretched sinuously, looked at me, and winked. Help me God she is on the prowl again.

I call her Gilda. With thanks to Rita Hayworth. Mostly she sleeps, sometimes for years on end. But when she awakens she makes me miserable...eventually. She passionately personifies the urge to merge. Kicking over the traces is her usual exercise. She has made me very popular in times past. Almost irresistible in fact. She is very persuasive. And demanding. She wants who and what she wants when she wants it. Trouble is, she wants the oddest people and things and then will not let them go. When I let her have her head I end up in trouble. If I give in she leads me into idiotic situations, and when I am up to my ass in a quagmire, she goes back to sleep leaving me to wonder "how did I get here," and to clean up the mess. Damn I hate her...mostly.

Alright back to POTO. And Gerry Butler.

Oh I forgot to say Gilda is filled with boundless energy. POTO is the barely disguised real life story of Andrew Lloyd Webber's mania for Sarah Brightman. The whole thing is obsessive from the first crack of its overwhelming overture to its final plaintive fade out. At least Andrew was able to put his obsession to some good use. He got an opera out of it. Gilda just runs amok creating havoc.

Anyway, for a whole series of reasons Gilda went nuts over Gerry Butler as the phantom. I had never even heard of Gerry Butler before Mark urged me to go see Phantom. I did not go happily. Jesus Christ Superstar had been enough Andrew Lloyd Webber to last me a life time. But I went, and Gilda woke up. I remember stumbling out of the theatre and wondering what the heck had happened to me. I knew it was unhealthy and attempted to put the movie and G.B. out of my mind. And I almost succeeded until Mark's secretary gave him a copy of Phantom. I watched the damn thing day and night for a couple of months. I also looked up G.B. on the internet. Whoa Nellie. I was to quickly learn Gilda was not alone in her obsession. I began to haunt these sites. I also began to buy all of Gerry's movies, t.v. appearances, and commercial appearances. I downloaded vids of him. At the time we had a 56K dial up modem. I tied up the telephone from 8am until 5pm. The hours Mark was not at home.

Mark hated Gerry from the first. He said it was because he liked Michael Crawford better as the Phantom, but I think it was instinctual. He knew I was choosing Gerry over him. He had also never before met Gilda. She'd been asleep for fourteen years. He was totally unnerved by her and rapidly began to despise the object of her affections. He said all of Gerry's movies stank. He was mostly right. He said the only good thing about any of the movies was that Gerry usually got killed in the end. I tried to keep Gilda under wraps when Mark was home. It was not easy. Damn she was determined to have her own way.

She has lots of energy. I was in the beginning stages of my abstinent life style. Just thinking about it really. She took one look at me and said, "We are going to get rid of that lard. I can't function dragging around all that fat." So we started. And I began to lose. Gilda signed us up for a Gerry Butler fan convention in Colorado. "I am going to get a look at him at least. You can come along for the ride." I convinced an unobsessed friend to go with me. Gilda and I began making preparations. Mark was not pleased. But I went blithely on. I hate to imagine how all of this would have turned out if God had not intervened.

I did not tell many people about Gilda and Gerry Butler. I knew it was nuts. But I did, through Grace, confess to my mentor about my overwhelming obsession. Mary is a wise Godly woman, she said,"Bea you are wandering straight into sin." SIN? Naaah, just a little harmless day dreaming. Not hurting anyone. "How about Mark," she said? Oh, Mark...who said Gerry Butler made "his guts creep." What was this obsession doing to Mark...? Gilda dropped off to sleep like she had been pole axed. What the heck was wrong with me? I had been acting like a fruitcake. "I have been acting like a fruitcake I told Mary. I will fix this mess." I called Pam and said let's stay home. She was agreeable. I went to the computer and deleted vids and websites. I gathered up all the movies and took them to the thrift store. When Mark came home I said, "I have been acting like a fruitcake, forgive me." He did.

But, I did never did get rid of the POTO CD. And I listened to it this morning. And Gilda woke up. This is all about energy. My ability to obsess is filled with energy. Like my fat. (See yesterday's post) This is in some way all related. I do not have it all put together yet. But with God's help, I will.

When Gerry's latest movie "The 300" came out Mark said we could go see it if I wanted. I declined but asked why he was so willing. Mark the inveterate history buff said, "I will enjoy the ending."

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fat As Stored Energy

This is Debra's concept not mine. I haven't figured how to do link things yet so go to "Weighing on Debra's Mind" for the original idea.

This concept will not let go of me. My fat as stored energy. An investment I have made over the years from which I can now draw. Gor blimey. Like a bank account. For a woman who has stored up waaaay too much of everything for fear of running out this is a profound idea. My fat has value other than as a flotation device. I have the means on my hips to power my dreams. Chokes me up.

I have seen my fat as a cover, shield, millstone around more than just my neck, curse and as an advertisement for sloth. I have never see it for what it physiologically is, fuel. Fuel for life. Fuel for movement, involvement, joy, sadness, anger, introspection, prayer, parenting, working, befriending and cat brushing. Unused calories turn into stored fat. Stored fat is to be used in lean times (ho, ho) and for energy for the extras of daily life. My daily life has been sadly lacking in extras. Gad how painful that is to write. Must give us pause....

Am grieving with the couch potato part of me but will move on. A strong work ethic, poor role models and a confused self understanding have robbed my life of extras. I kept storing up energy to use for those extras but just never got around to them. But by damn that is going to change. I am not going to wait until I am old to wear purple and waltz in the kitchen.

We bought bicycles on Saturday.

I have to mourn my lost years. I have to reflect on who told me I was not entitled to the extras. I have to beat the crap out of a log with a red plastic bat. I have to cry, a lot.

Hug your stored energy and think of all the extras you can add to your lives. Take care of yourselves.

Love Bea

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Behind The Times

I am a procrastinator. I have read a dozen books on the subject. I have had counseling about it. I have tried all sorts of home remedies to get things done. Nothing so far has helped. And yet I get allot of things done. I can put out a prodigious amount of work. But not unless I am under the gun time wise. I suffer.

Yesterday was a watershed day. Everything I had put off for days, months and years all demanded to be finished. Immediately. I crumbled. I haven't thought about suicide in years, but yesterday the pointlessness of my person came clear to me. (I am sure the killings in Virginia had something to do with this.) I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I needed and wanted to do and had put off. I was disgusted with my lack of discipline. I love discipline. The people I admire most are disciplined. I don't like them, but I admire them.

Small stuff that would take no time at all I am not getting done. The house is dirty. The laundry unfinished. The bills and finances are in disarray. We are out of toilet paper and cat food. I am eating sugar free raspberry jam and fat free yogurt at every meal because I don't want to cook. Mark is getting fast food. I am being crushed by the sheer volume of useless stuff we own. We need a new mattress, computer, glasses, teeth capping and a rake. We have the money for all of it. I think... I haven't balanced the checkbook in a coon's age. No checks are bouncing anyway. But I can't seem to get off the dime and purchase any of it. I am behind in my correspondence and phone calls. This writer thing will never happen unless I actually write something. But to write I need to clear off the desk, buy a computer, find a desk chair, put away the boxes in the office, download crap I have written from Mark's computer to an as yet non-existent new computer, learn how to burn CD's or find disks...Gott In Himmel. All I want to do is navel blog.

So, time. Summer is approaching. Relatives and friends are reserving rooms. Time pressures usually motivate me. And I signed up to host some church sponsored revolving dinner party. Fear should be prodding me to action. Wouldn't want anyone to see dirty house, unpacked boxes or leaf covered lawn. Very embarrassing to get shut off notices for lights because of unpaid bill. Cats look like walking fur balls because I am not brushing them, have to hide cats. Will begin to gain weight on diet of fast food and sugar free jam. But I am not moving. I was/am a mess.

Am I depressed? I sure have all the signs and symptoms. I don't think so. I think...perfectionism has just pummeled me into inertia. Again. Remember my motto, "If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing well." Bul-l-l-l-shit. I am "welling and shoulding" my self into a self induced early grave. I can't just do a little of something, I have to go at it like I am killing snakes. And I expect the results of my efforts to be spectacular. Perfect in fact. Who can attain perfection? No one. Yet that is what I expect of myself. Is it any wonder I put things off? Okay, I actually knew all this a long time ago but head knowledge is not enough. I don't need another plan or motivational speech or time constraint, I need deliverance.

Today I got up and gave my perfectionism and procrastination to God. "I can't control this. You will have to do it for me. Please help me. Amen." I then did not know what to do next. My mind again began to swirl with all the stuff I needed to do. "What now God?"
"Go brush your teeth he said. And don't think about anything other than teeth." Okay I brushed my teeth, now what.
"Make the bed. Only think about making the bed." Check, bed made.
"Take out chicken for supper." I had to go thru exercise cum store room to get to freezer. I stopped to clear off a shelf. "Chicken," God yelled, "just chicken." Check, chicken done. What next?
"Iron two shirts and two pair of slacks." Began ironing, and thinking of all the waiting work. "Turn on some music," God said, " and listen to the words. Don't think." Check, Frank Sinatra, no worries.

This went on all morning and is in fact still going on. "Okay now is the time to blog. Start writing." Check.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Friday, April 13, 2007

What If 181 is It?

She's baaaack. Had a massage this morning. Was great. She told me my third chakra(sex/money) was closed. Too right. Also asked me how I felt about myself? She said my second chakra was "void." You have to be semi secure to let this woman massage you... Told her I was struggling with my weight plateau. How discouraged I am about being stuck. She asked me how much I weighed, I told her. She asked me what I wanted to weigh (145) and I told her. She then asked very gently,"What if 181 is it?"

'IT?" I almost got up and left. How dare she even suggest I was not going to lose the rest of the weight. Getting to 145 has become my new life goal, my obsession, my raison d'etre. It is also making me hate myself...more. What if I don't lose any more weight? I have to face this.

I have lost 65 pounds. That is a goodly amount of weight. But it doesn't count. It is not 100 pounds. In my own mind I won't be a "real loser" until I weigh 145. Where do I get this stuff? I also am still fat. I am no longer obese (182 is cut off point) for my height but I am still fat. I wear 16-18's and not 3xs and 24s but they are along way from a size 6-8. I am still fat. Can I live happily with only losing 65 of my preconceived 100 pounds? I don't know.

First things first. Why is it only 65 pounds? At 245 I would have killed to lose 65 pounds. Now it is not enough. Why can't I congratulate myself for losing the weight? Every time I see Sonia she compliments me and says how great it is that I have lost the weight and am keeping it off. And I am keeping it off. Inspite of frequent meltdowns with a 3-4 pound weight gain I always go back down to 180. My body is apparently happy and fairly healthy at this weight. I walk every day, eat healthy and also have some treats. I like my eating and exercise plan. I can get around without problem, I can buy clothes that fit and I look fairly normal. Mark who loved me at 245 loves me at 181. If 181 is it, could I be happy? I would sure like to know I could be.

Is 181 "settling' or perfectionism or healthy?

Settling. I like my eating plan. But my body had gotten used to it. I need to make some changes, read lower calories. I don't want to go lower. I resent going lower. The plan as I am using it seems doable. Lower calories seem like hunger and diet. I don't want to get back into all of that. I finally feel free of all that. I also don't want to learn some new plan. I have this one figured out to a t. I am comfortable. If my preconceived plan notion would just die down I think I could be happy where I am. Is that a crime?

Perfectionism. Yes it is a crime. "Settling" for anything else other than the 100 pounds is just giving up. 181 is not thin. I am still hiding behind my fat layer. At 181 I don't have to get out of my comfort zone. I do not have to meet the world as a thin person. I can still be the me I know, the fat me. I do not have to develop any new facets or behaviors. Being unwilling to adapt my food and exercise plans to my changed body is wanting to stay fat. And that is why I started this long process, because I no longer wanted to be fat. 181 should bother me. It reminds me how far I have to go. It is a rest stop, not the end of the journey.

Health. Is a big question until the health fair. Will my cholesterol and triglycerides be within the normal range at the 181 weight? There is no doubt most of my other chronic health problems have cleared up. I feel good most days. I am seldom sick. My vital signs are marvelous. I think at 181 using my current food and exercise plan I am fairly healthy. If I wasn't menopausal and fifty years old I would have no physical problems to complain of.

I want to be content where I am if my "numbers" are healthy. If I lost more it would be great but I am tired of hounding myself about it. I have lost 65 pounds and that is really something. I accept my accomplishment. Amen.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Clothesline, or Perfectionism Unbound

I am a nit picker. I am problem focused, goal oriented and outcome driven. I am a perfectionist, and I am insecure. I occasionally have problems.

On Easter day I felt like a toad. I had gained four pounds and my new Easter dress was snug. I had a meltdown and went into fat mode. Fat mode is no place for an insecure perfectionist. I finally had Mark pray for me so as to be able to escape my abyss of self hatred. Did the trick. Recognized all the good things in my life not connected in any way shape or form with my shape or form. Day was then great...until about 2pm when Mark said, "let's put up the

I am a perfectionist. Mark is not. My credo, "Any job worth doing is worth doing well." Mark's credo, "The best is the enemy of the good." See a basic philosophical difference there? Has caused us no end of problems and this latest project was to be no exception.

I love to hang clothes on the line. Always have. Puts me at one with past, present and future. A farm woman thing maybe. This new rented house does not have a clothesline and the owners nixed us putting one in using cement. Mark likes to make me happy. (This statement alone should be enough to cure all my ills.) When the neighbor offered him her old clothesline he took it. It is a cast iron pole with a top resembling an open umbrella. Clothesline wire is strung between the ribs. It does not require cement to stand it up. It is home made and heavy as sin. We lifted the umbrella top off the pole and carried it over to our yard. We then dug the heavy pole out of a snow bank and also drug it home. That was two months ago. On Easter day in the rain Mark decided it was now time to put up this contraption. Said it would take ten minutes at the most. It took us five hours.

The PLAN was to, "Put the stake in the ground, slip the pole over the stake and then set the top on the pole." Now is always the time when our basic philosophical differences begin to tell.
I said, 'Is this the same size stake as the one we dug out of her yard? (He had gone to the store and bought a new stake a week earlier.) It doesn't look like it. Did you measure them?"
"Why do you always criticize anything I try to do?"
"I am not criticizing I am just asking. It looks smaller than the stake she had."
"Size doesn't matter," said he.... The new stake was indeed smaller. We then proceeded to pound the green and white steel fence stake into the ground. The rain was supposed to make the ground softer. It didn't. We took turns with the sledge and half and hour later it was in. "Now we just have to slip the pole over the stake."
"Which end goes in the ground," I asked? He looked perplexed. "I think it was the flange end," said he.
"I don't think so. I think the flange end will keep it from going far enough in the ground to stand up. I don't want it to wobble. With the skinnier stake I think it is going to wobble."
"You think I am an incompetent boob don't you? You are never satisfied I can do anything right." Things were getting warm in spite of the freezing rain.
"No I don't think you are an incompetent boob, I am just saying what I think."
"Just leave me alone and let me do this."
"Okay but I think you're wrong." Have you ever tried to pick up a cast iron clothes line pole and hold it up vertically even if you are mad at your wife? He couldn't lift it without my help. I went and got a ladder (which made him madder) he silently climbed up it, I stood the pole on end by leaning it on the ladder, and with both of us lifting we got it high enough to be able to drop it over the stake. It wobbled.
"Go get me some dowels. I will jam them on either side of the stake." I eventually found the darn things and he pounded them in. The ten minute project had now taken an hour and a half and I was soaked to the skin. (No raincoats, this was only to take ten minutes.) The pole was not solid but wobbled less. "Okay now lets put the top on." I decided ordering me around was better than no talking at all. We picked up the aluminum top and dropped it on. My clothes line looked like a slightly wonky open umbrella but at least it was up. With one small problem, it was at least eight feet tall. I am 5"5". "Maybe you could use a stool to hang the clothes," he said. He looked so dejected I decided to be nice.
"Lets get the sledge hammer and just pound it down some more," I suggested. He looked decidedly uncomfortable.
"We can't he said."
"Why I asked?'
"We've got the pole in upside down and the flange won't allow it to drop any further into the ground." I came unglued. I hate it that I swear. And on Easter day. I was so mad I cried. Mark felt worse. "We'll lift it off and just turn it over. It will all be fine." Remember the dowels? We could not get it off. And the rain continued. "Okay. I will just saw it off to the right height." Have you ever tried to saw off the top of a cast iron pole with a hacksaw, in the rain.
"You can't do that. It will make the pole wobble worse and it will take forever."
"Go away and leave me alone," he yelled. He never yells. He went and got the hack saw, climbed the ladder and began sawing. The pole wobbled.
"Hey, I yelled over the furious sawing, don't you need to measure that against my height?"
"No, I know how tall you are." I came over and stood by the pole.
"I think that is too short I said. The lines have to be tall enough to accommodate sheets." He ignored me and kept sawing. The pole kept wobbling. I went over and silently braced my body against the pole. He kept sawing. It was cold tedious hard work. We eventually began talking. A sort of comrade in arms feeling developed between us. We both felt a great sense of accomplishment when three hours later the pole was two feet shorter. We went and got the top and dropped it on. One of the ribs rested on my shoulder. I stood there in the rain exhausted, cold and angry. I had spent all afternoon doing something I had not wanted to do in the first place, and doing it in a way that went against every particle and fiber of my nature. I had a choice to make.

We went indoors, showered, sat in front of the fire and carb loaded. After much popcorn later, I decided in this instance "the best was the enemy of the good." I will simply hang the sheets in fourths. But, my perfectionist self is silently screaming.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Four Pound Alter Ego

Easter morning I put on my baggy jean jumper, a long sleeved high necked pastel striped blouse, small gold ball earrings, clunky shoes, minimal make up, my hair cap, and a sweater. I felt ugly. I looked like a missionary.

I had planned to wear a blue and black flowered linen sheath dress with little cap sleeves, a boat neckline and slits in the hemline to my knees. I had cute sling back black pumps and sheer black hose. I had an open weave black sweater with 3/4 length sleeves a big boat neckline and a waist, to wear as a wrap. I had dangly turquoise and black silver earrings, a silver and black watch and a beaten silver bangle bracelet. I was planning to wear my hair poofed up with product and dusted with luminescent spray. When I modeled this outfit for Mark on Friday he said I looked hot. As he detests Paris Hilton this was compliment indeed. And I agreed, I looked hot.

So what happened? On Friday I weighed 179. On Sunday morning I weighted 183. That's four damn pounds. Why at 179 was I "hot" and at 183 a missionary? I have no idea. And it is driving me mad.

I wasted half of Easter day detesting myself. I finally realized I was acting like a self centered nut, asked for God's and Mark's forgiveness, and got on with enjoying my day. But I am still in the dark about the self loathing that reared its ugly head with the four pound weight gain. Four pounds, no one could tell but me. And it was probably all water anyway. What was/is my deal? I spent two hours on the phone last night with a friend discussing possibilities. Here are our main conclusions:
1. Loss of control - I have gained four pounds and now I will continue eating out of control and gain it all back, and then some. I will not be able to stop myself from eating. I will hate myself.
2. Body dismorphia - My perceptions about my size are screwed up. I feel as fat with a four pound weight gain as I did with a sixty pound weight gain. And I will hate myself.

Okay I now see why the attack of self hatred. But why the unwillingness to do something about the ugly feeling. It stands to reason that if you felt ugly you would do all in your power to try and make yourself look and feel better. Doesn't it? But I did just the opposite. Instead of attempting to counter the weight gain and make myself look better, I tried to make myself look invisible. What's up with that? Is this more of the old tapes stuff? I felt fat as of old and if I was fat it was less painful to go unnoticed? Safer? Wow....I guess I haven't realized the extent of my fat need to hide. Hard to take this all in. If y'all have more insights I am in sore need of them.

What does this mean in the here and now? I want to look elegant whatever my size. I want to love myself enough to not look as though I were about to present the Gospel to the natives. Fat or thin I shouldn't have to hide out of fear. Gad, I feel militant all of a sudden.

Ethels, take your style, what ever size it is, to the streets. Stop hiding.

Love Bea

Friday, April 6, 2007

Fat Thanking and Easter

Markovian Theory #6
AARP is run by the Devil. Mark used to believe it was a wing of the Democratic Party but says his thinking has "evolved." He is 52.

I believe in the Resurrection. Christ's and mine. I am grateful, for the most part.

I am grateful to have my sins forgiven and hope of Heaven when I die. The thing is, am I grateful to be getting a resurrected body? Must give us pause. I have hated my body for most of my life. It has always been my too fat enemy. It jiggles and joggles and sticks out in all the wrong places. And now I am going to have to keep it for eternity? I don't know....

I want to be resurrected as me only with Audrey Hepburn's body. But that is not how it is going to work. I, me, the whole of me, will live for eternity. A healthy happy redeemed me, but me none the less. Cosmic dissonance. If I am going to live in my body forever I will at some point have to make peace with it, nay, love it.

Back to fat thanking. I tried it this morning. Good grief. How many tears can a person cry? Good thing I was in the shower. My body, the poor abused thing. An innocent I have ignored and/or tortured for years. By the Light of eternity I can see my way clear to making some changes. I will start small. I will treat it as my beloved child. Good food, appropriate rest, good health care and lots of play. Will be my chance to finally mother some one. Who would have thunk it would be, me.

Happy Easter to all of you. Take care of your eternal selves.

Love Bea

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


One of the things I love best about Mark is his Frankenstein imitation. He sticks his arms out straight in front of him and walks lock kneed toward me saying "F- r- i- e- n -d" in a deep voice.

I am trying to befriend my self and it ain't easy.

Gad this girl is resistant to niceness. She won't respond to compliments, praise or encouragement. I have also offered sympathy and empathy. She has turned them down cold. "Leave me alone. I am a fat pointless failure. No one really wants to be around me or cares about me," she says. What to do in the face of this implacable idiocy? I have first and foremost recalled God's love, and the many friends and family who love her. This seems to make some small impression. She will grudgingly admit,"Yes I do know I am loved." I decide to build on this.

Now, would someone who loved you push you to eat rubbery cranberry sauce left over from Thanksgiving at three o'clock in the afternoon. Even if you did mix it with fat free yogurt? "No," she will slowly agree, "it's disgusting." What would someone who loved you ask you to do? "Well," she temporizes, "I guess they would tell me to eat something healthy and good tasting." Might they also ask you why you are eating? "They might." Good land, this is like pulling teeth. How would you respond? "I would tell them to get fu...." Language, language. Now if you really accepted their love how would you respond. "I would tell them I didn't know." Well if you did know, what would you say? "I would say I don't know any other way to comfort myself." Is that true? "No...I know other healthy ways, they are just not as immediate." So what you really want is immediate gratification for any and all pain? "Yes."

Let's switch tracks. If you loved someone, as you are loved, would you encourage a life of immediate gratification? "No." Why not. "Is childish for starters. Only babies get to have immediate gratification." Did you get immediate gratification as a child? Now stop looking at me like that. "No probably not." Will you think long and hard about the ramifications of your last statement if we move on? "Okay." Why else would you not encourage immediate gratification? "Does not build patience or a sense of reward." These are important to a healthy happy life? "Yes. Self esteem is built on them." So...a friend would want you to esteem yourself? "Yes, if she loved me." Are you loved? "Yes, I am loved." Can you model this love and esteem youself? "Maybe." How? "I'll dump out the moldy crogurt and have a cup of tea. And maybe a nap."

Brava friend.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Markovian Theory #4
"Women all over the country are getting away with spousal murder in the name of healthy eating. Flax seed, like broccoli bits, kills."

I bought more flax seed. Mark maintains I am attempting to do him in. "Why would you feed me this lethal stuff? I am a good provider and I love you." I have assured him I am only trying to reduce his cholesterol. "Feeding me ground glass that sand papers my bowels will not reduce my cholesterol. And, at this rate, I will soon need a bowel sleeve like those plastic liners they run through leaking sewer pipes." I told him he was exaggerating. "You say that now, but will you say that when I am face down in the hospital? How many of these Beano pills can I take at once?" Our "healthy" life style is at times an uphill battle.

Markovian Theory #5
"Viagra makes you go blind. In ten years all baby boom men will need white canes."

No comment.

Just went and gave blood again. How nice to do this very normal thing. Fat, I was afraid they wouldn't be able to find a vein and/or the chair would break. Now I just go in sit down and get on with it. I may not be at goal weight, but for today I am thin enough. Amen.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Monday, April 2, 2007

Tasty Treats

In the past three days I have had a chocolate milk shake, fried chicken, crab & avocado salad, a prune danish, garlic mashed potatoes, various pasta salads, a steak, rye bread, two candy bars, several diet cokes and a brownie. I lost two pounds.

Fat is weird.

We had a wonderful time together on our anniversary trip. No snow and did lots of things. Did go to museum and see Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. Also Blood and Ink exhibit. Was a history of the printing of the Bible. I was ambushed by this second exhibit. Museum had on loan several Books of Hours. My thesis was going to include two of the very books in the exhibit. My abandoned thesis. My failure. The reason I am not a professor of Medieval history but am instead a fatish blogger. I stood in front of the Guisse Book of Hours and cried. Very embarrassing. I am not a good crier. Too many years of shutting it off. But, cry I did. I had forgotten how much I loved church history. How we as Christians theologically got to where we are today fascinates me. The world of professional history. The world from which I was/am shut out. I had not expected to run into it in a smallish museum in Idaho Falls.

Will I ever be willing to make peace with my expensive failure? Who knows? As the list above denotes I did not attempt it this weekend. I bought a candy bar in the museum gift store and ate throughout the rest of the trip. The food did the trick. I was able to shut off my buried feelings and enjoy the time I had with Mark. Went mattress and pop-up camper shopping. And made a Wal-mart and Macy's run. In fact we ran most of the time we were there. Probably accounts for the two pound weight loss. Bought new "foundation" garments, i.e. new bras, underwear and slip. Also bought a "body shaper." Can't believe I bought this thing. I hate girdles. It does make my sheath style Easter dress look better. The whole underwear buying thing is a blog in itself.

Snowing today and I am pooped. Hot flashes, herpes attack and no sleep last noc. I am going to have to address this thesis thing. I would rather gain ten pounds than open it all up again. I am comfortable being an ex nurse. I am not comfortable being an ex medieval history grad student. Yes Ethels I realize I have just run into (or been given, Grace you know) one of the reasons for my "plateau." Fooey.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea