Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Lease

We got the shed painted! Think a smallish unpainted wooden garage with barn doors. Think of painting this in 90 degree heat for six hours on Saturday and five hours on Sunday. Then rejoice with me. Now we have to paint the unpainted front wall of the car port. Then we have to rig up a gutter system on the open end of the car port. Then we can quit with the home projects for this summer. Or...we could die first.

I think I have turned some sort of corner food and exercise wise. I am ready to take care of my health again. I have struggled to just hold my own over the past year. Really struggled. But suddenly I want to get back in the game. I am hopeful and excited about taking care of me.


I had to create a home for my soul before I could take on the challenge of creating a healthy body. I need order and quiet for my soul to thrive. And this past year has been anything but orderly and quiet. A good part of the time I felt like I was just holding on by the skin of my finger tips. I could handle only what was immediately in front of me and was unable to plan or hope or dream. My soul did not feel "at home" in either my house or my body. I was living amidst chaos. Chaos is a killer for me.

With each project we finish I feel more "to home." I am calmer, and hope and peace have begun to seep back into my life. The fence made the biggest difference. It defined my space (for starters), and it gave Dog-dog some place to run. The deck has been pure delight. We eat out there at least two meals a day. Each morning early I sit out there with my tea, look out at the green mountain valley, and thank God I am alive. I have humming birds. When we go on our evening walk I have been picking wild flowers. I get enough for a bouquet for the house and the deck table. They last a week. I also have honey bees. Painting the shed to match the house made it look more like a yard tool shed and not like a farm out building. I have figured out where I want a long flower bed and where I am going to plant veg next year. I planted poppies in the old weedy irrigation ditch that circles the yard. I have crab apples by the bucket load (and the dog is eating them.) I may have even finally figured out how to keep the lawn green. There is light at the end of the fixer-upper tunnel. I can finally relax and dream about improvements rather than worrying about putting in the essentials. By-the-by, a deck and a clothes line were essential for me. A dishwasher and a vented over the range microwave were not. I have a friend who thinks I am nuts. I don't care.

Any hooo, I am eating better. Because I want to.

Take care. Love Bea

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Perfect Party

Well the brunch went off okay, sort of. I missed half of it because I lost my purse.

On Sunday morning I got up early to do last minute things before guests arrived. Of course I had left way to many "last minute things' to get done in the time allotted. I was also signed up to do the readings at church. So...I was stressed out by the time it came to leave for church. I had a gob of stuff to drop off at the church and my arms were full when I went out to the car. Any alarm bells going off yet? Mark does not like to be late and was sighing at an earsplitting decibel. (He does not yell or nag, he sighs.) I couldn't get the car door open with my load so I put my purse on the roof of the car to open the door. To mitigate the sighing I quickly jumped in the car with my load of stuff...and we drove off.

When we got to church and I was getting out I said,"Where's my purse?' Mark said, "You had it not me." Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I almost collapsed in the parking lot. Mark quickly agreed to read the lessons for me, and off I drove with the dog. We went twenty miles an hour all the way home. And then ten miles an hour back again, with me praying every mile. I located enough black (my purse is black) tire pieces and plastic bags to fill a smallish dump, but no purse. I decided to go back home and look in the house. Maybe I hadn't really laid it on the hood of the car. Arrived home. No house key. It's in my purse. Luckily we had hidden another house key in the garage and after I had a good cry I remembered it. I went in the house and looked around. No purse. The voice mail was flashing but I decided I was to overwrought to answer it. I went out to the garage and scoured it again and then walked up and down the road. Still nothing. By this time Mollie was wild. I let her out of the car for a bit and then decided to go back to the church. I got in the car, and something (Some One) told me to go back and pick up the voice mail. I did.

A very nice voice said, "Hi, my name is Greg Hill and I found your wallet laying in the middle of the highway this morning. I think you may want it, it has your checkbook and credit cards and everything." He left a number that I immediately called. Busy. And busy for the next ten tries. I finally gave up and decided to go back to the church to pick up Mark and alert all the guests as to a slight hitch in the brunch plans. I drove the ten miles back to the church for the fourth time. Upon arriving I fast called the Hill number. Now, nobody was home. I left a message. More crying.

I told my story numerous times to all assembled. Much commiseration. Gave house key to guests and told them to open up the house, go out on the deck and have at it. I cared not one whit about what they were going to eat and drink, or how they were going to serve themselves or if there was dirt on the tables on the deck. Amazing how events can alter perspective. Mark suggested we look up the Hill address in the phone book and go directly to their house in the hopes of catching them at home. I decided to make one last attempt by phone before we did this...and a very nice voice said, "Hi, we got your message but we are just leaving to go fishing. One more minute and you'd have missed us. How about meeting us at the highway turnoff in fifteen minutes." This we did. A very nice young man then handed me my purse. I asked him if I could give him something for his honesty and kindness. "Nope," he said "just do the same for me when I lose my wallet." Then they drove off. I prayed their nets would break they would catch so many fish.

When we arrived home guests had found bloody Mary makings and were having a high old time. Other women served me a drink and food and I was allowed to be the honored guest at my own party! We had a great time. I have never been so relaxed.

The moral:
1. God answers prayer. He sent my purse back to me.
2. Hospitality is made up of good enough preparations and GOOD WILL.

In the past I have resented the very guests I invited because of my anxiety about having everything perfect for them. This time everything went wrong and it didn't matter. They still had a fun time. And so did I.

Take care of yourselves. Don't put your purse, or keys or coffee cups on the roof of the car. Love Bea

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Self Abuse

This post is courtesy of Vickie, Nory, Cindy and Frances. All these folks' recent blogs added to a big burst of insight for me.

I am self abusive. No I don't cut my self or pull out my eyebrows but I abuse my self all the same. My abuse is to my soul. This then translates into abuse (ignoring needs) of my physical self. I abuse my soul by hating it.

I consider my soul to be my mind, my will and my emotions. The following are the ways I go about hating my soul.

I can't stand the way I think. I perseverate on things. Round and round they run in my head. Why did I do this? Why did I say that? Why didn't I do or say this or that? Why am I compulsive? Why am I guilt ridden? I jump to conclusions and am impulsive. I think about me way, way to much. I am fearful and depressive. I am a black and white thinker. I analyze everything.

I don't respect my willpower. My almost super human ability to get things done and my inability to get any thing done. I can't control what or how I eat. I overvalue will power.

I am frequently attacked by my emotions. They blind side me with a club. I feel my way through life. Most of my actions are based on how I feel. And yet I try to avoid feeling because it is so painful. I am drug from pillar to post by my emotions. I do not believe I can control my emotions. I can shut off my emotions.

All of the above result in physical abuse of my poor body that is just trying the best way it knows how to cope with the struggles in my soul.

And...I have seen a light at the end of the tunnel. "Grace for today." Not for tomorrow or next week, just God given Grace for today. How many thousands of times have I heard this preached in my life? God only knows. I live mostly in the future with my To Do and To Worry About lists. Frequently I blanch and buckle under the weight of both lists.

Insight, insight. I am given Grace (strength, wisdom, humor, determination, peace) only for the current twenty four hours. No wonder I am overwhelmed and hate my self. I am living my life out in front of God's blessings. That means folks I am missing the blessings, and to quote Mentor Mary, "I am continually borrowing trouble."

When I live only one day at a time I feel peaceful, centered and happy. This peace stays with me even if the day turns sour . This is how God intended us to live. And (Giant Insight) if my soul is at peace I DON'T ABUSE MY PHYSICAL SELF.

So, what is the upshot of all that learning? I crave the peaceful feeling more than I crave cheesecake. And that's a bunch. I have begun asking for Grace for only this day and then I focus on today. I am also becoming alert for God's blessings in my life. When I get overwhelmed all I see is trouble and I miss my blessings. I am making my To Do list short. Three things that I can get done today. I am trying to think about what I am thinking about. If a thought cycles through my brain more than a couple to times I try to write it down so I can look at it and see if it is even rationale. You'd be surprised how many of my recurring thoughts are not. (Maybe you wouldn't) I am trying to run my feelings to ground and name them. Then I try to figure out where they originated. I am doing one thing at once. I focus on what I am doing. I let myself not think ahead. Most importantly, in the early morning I pray for God to direct my steps for the day and then trust that whatever happens (or doesn't happen) during the day is in the will of God.

God help me to understand that I am not in control, and never was.

Take care. Love Bea

Monday, July 14, 2008


Bless you all and especially bless Vickie. Yep. Co-dependant as heck.

Our friend is holding his own in the hospital and his wife is fairly comfortable at the hospital hotel. I would walk through fire for these people, but this time I didn't have too. I am at home. God resolved this situation for me and I am grateful. But...

I have let other friends take advantage of my health care experience. It is hard to stop being a nurse. I am old enough that when I went to school it was not a vocation I was trained for but an avocation. I didn't take the veil, I took the Cap. I haven't practised in almost fifteen years and yet when people ask me what I do for a living I tell them I used to be a nurse. I am not ashamed of being a homemaker, I just still see myself as a nurse.

And I am sick to death of people telling me about all their health care woes. "My own fault' she is quick to add. I frequently ask about the various problems and then offer unsolicited advice. I don't know how to relate to people other than as a nurse. Only now I want to quit. I have one friend whose phone calls I am avoiding because all she wants to talk about is her health. Make that three friends. I have dug my own grave and can't figure out how to get up out of it gracefully. I say gracefully because I did try to put a stop to the health care calls of one friend and it ended our friendship.

I do not want to be selfish and hard hearted, but I am beginning to feel like EVERYONE is a hypochondriac. I do not want to know about anyone's body fluids but my own. I am bored with ill health. That is the main reason I quit nursing. It is sooooooo boring. At least it was for me. With my health care callers I have tried to switch the conversations around to other topics that interest me. No dice. We end up back at signs and symptoms and meds and doctors. I am sick (no-pun intended) of being informative and supportive.

Plan of Action:

1. Do not ask about any one's health.
2. If asked for advice tell advisee I have been out of the profession so long my information would be all out of date. (too true)
3. If caller will not talk about anything other than health problems tell them I got troubles of my own and then tell them some.
4. Stop identifying myself as a nurse!!!!!

Now I am going to go back and reread all of those comments. Take care. Love Bea

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Home Again

Thank God.

All is not well with our friend. He came through the ten hour, six by-pass surgery fairly well and went home to recover. He was readmitted last eve with a raging septic infection. The hospital is seven hours over a mountain range from here. Mark can't go this time so it looks like I am on my own. And I am dog tired.

We got home late last Sat night. Sunday morning we got up and went to the early service at church. Then we went to lunch with friends, and then we came home and crashed. I did laundry and cleaned house like a woman possessed on Monday. Mark's mother and sister arrived for their previously scheduled visit on Tuesday. I had not had time to purchase groc or cook so we ate out allot. We had multitudinous in depth conversations about Mark's mixed up family life. Very wearing. We also shopped and hiked and watched fireworks. They left Saturday morning. I washed bedding and towels on Saturday and tried to stuff the rollaway and blow up beds back into the attic. We went to church early on Sunday and then over to friends so Mark could get a much needed haircut. Then we went home and crashed. Monday I did more laundry and paid bills. Tuesday I mowed at the lawn. Today I haven't done a damn thing and it is already ten thirty. I guess I did get the towels washed and hung on the line. And make breakfast and clean the cat boxes and pick up dog poop.

What I want to do is sit down and cry. Anybody with me? I am feeling very sorry for myself. I am tired, we are broke and we have used up a bunch of Mark's valuable time off. And now I may have to leave again. Poop.

I recently heard a sermon about "Life's Interruptions' and how to cope with them. Praying for strength and mercy "just for today" was the answer. This I am doing. I also am praying for anger relief as I am damn mad about the interruptions. Very embarrassing. I feel like a creep for wanting to stay home and get my own life on track before I go help someone else. Crab grass and dust and late bills are nothing compared to friendship and family. In my heart of hearts I know this. And I am still pissed off.

Pray for me as I will for thee. I hope you all are doing well. Love Bea.