Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I thought I was a person who was irritated by, but basically enjoyed the Holiday Season. Took a bout of immobility and my husband's fear to open my eyes. I have been going down hill for a while now. After Socks died I felt better. Why you ask? I had a reason to cry. But you can't sit around on your duff crying all the time and get any work done. So I got up to get back to work. Only I couldn't. You all know this condition so I won't describe it. Seven days ago I finally got up.
Husband and I were having a cold breakfast. I couldn't dredge up enough oomph to do more than put cold cereal and milk on the table. Mark said something, I don't remember what, and I lashed out at him. He, bless him, just sighed and said, "You get like this every Christmas. I wish I would get used to it." Shocked the jingle bells right out of me. "What do you mean 'Every Christmas'" I inquired in dulcet tones. "Every Christmas you get more depressed" he said. "Every Christmas?" "Yup, every Christmas for twenty years." "And what do you mean by 'more?'"
I got out my journals. Yup, every Christmas for twenty years. I apparently hate Christmas. I thought I was just stressed getting it all done. Turns out it goes much deeper than that. The journals outline the slow gentle spiral downward to my present condition, with a sharp decline noted each Christmas. In a nutshell this is what I am learning.
1. Striving for the "perfect" Christmas kills my spirit.
2. No family/friends close to hand kills.
3. Regret kills.
4. Spending money on crap kills.
5. The food fest kills.
6. Guilt kills.
7. Envy kills.
8. Not having a Christmas sweater that fits kills.
9. Fear kills.
10. Denial kills.
I am dubbing my current contingent of major depressive symptoms the Holiday Panic Flu.
I feel some better. Just knowing I am sick has helped. I have stopped scourging myself for not "doing" Christmas "right" and have begun to drink hot nourishing drinks and take healthy naps. I also take tears as needed.
Mark took the past week off to take care for me. That scared and helped me. I hadn't taken to a corner with a blanket over my head like my mother but I was close. I have had to fight off depression all my life and have been fairly successful, but since we moved up here I seem to be losing the battle. I am no longer able to hide my "shameful, weak, irresponsible" condition as well. At this Season of Cheer people are beginning to suspect. (smile)
I have resisted learning about depression. I research everything else like a fiend but know next to nothing about depression. I bought a book. If my pride will allow it I will read the darn thing. Yes I know, I probably need medication. But not yet. Maybe I can cure myself. Fat chance. Ho Ho Ha Ha. You get it.
Thanks for listening. Stop trying to be Martha Stewart and appreciate your blessings. Merry Christmas. Love Lynn
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I miss Socks something fierce. We have a mouse. It must have moved in the day after she died. It is in the kitchen wall behind the stove. I HATE MICE. I grew up with them in our hundred year old house and I can't stand the filthy little beasts. Socks loved mice. We never had one in the eleven years she was with us. Whomper Dinky could care less about them. I put her in front of the stove to at least put the fear of God in the mouse, and she will listen for a minute and then walk off. I am going to have to trap it. Of course I have no traps. It is the first of the month so we are flush again for awhile and the first thing on my shopping list is traps. I hope I can find some of those cardboard live traps. I don't like the old fashioned snap ones. But, if that is all I can find in our hardware store that is what I am buying.
Beautiful weather here. Cold as snot, but beautiful. We went for a hike Thanksgiving day. Was wonderful. The snow was getting pretty deep so we stopped after a couple of miles and just admired the view. We hiked up and down a canyon with a stream beside us. Thank God for my hiking stick. I slipped on the path and it was the only thing that saved me from sliding straight down hill into the water. I think of my self as a sedentary coward. I wonder why?
Okay back to ordering Christmas presents. Thank you all for your condolence messages and stories about the deaths of your own pets. I needed them. It is comforting to know other people know how bad I feel.
Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. Now comes the mad race to Christmas. Happy running.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The vet and her assistant were wonderful. Kind, caring and very practical. They sedated Socks and then took her out of the carrier. I am not quite sure how, but we all ended up sitting on the floor around her as she slowly relaxed into the bed they brought for her. I petted her and cried. Not just a few tears but sobs and snot. Believe me when I tell you NO ONE ever hears me cry. I might shed a few tears in public but I never make a sound. When I could talk again the vet asked, "Now?" Mark said yes and the vet found the vein and injected my Socket Set. It finished quickly, from gentle breathing to no breathing. Death is peace. I always forget the silence. Dying takes tremendous energy. When it finally occurs there is relief and rest for the first few seconds/minutes afterward. We all just sat there.
Mark was the first to move. In a strangled voice he said, "I'll go get her basket." He was gone a fair bit of time. When he returned we put her in her basket. I tucked her blue rat under her chin between her paws and straightened her collar and bell. The vet wrapped her long fuzzy tail around her. She looked like she was ready for a long nap. Mark covered her with the towel in the basket. We all got up. I still had on my coat. I'd never taken it off. I put on my gloves and picked up the basket. The familiarness of the warm weight in my arms was such a comfort. I blew my nose and tried to look normal. There were kids in the lobby.
The drive home was way too short. I held her and cried. Mollie sniffed her and then sat quietly in the backseat. I wanted those ten miles to be a hundred. I wanted to hold my kitty and never let her go. But all to soon we arrived home. Mark pulled into the garage and turned off the car. More silence. I couldn't move. So we four just sat in the cooling car. I began to pray. I thanked God for love. My love. My ability to love. My opportunity to love. My Rocket Socks who was love. I was and am so blessed by the cheerful long haired tuxedo cat who wandered into my life one fall day, collapsed in ecstasy into the leaves at my feet, and then stayed for eleven bliss filled years.
After the prayer, of which I remember not the words but the feeling, I got out of the car and took Socks inside. I put her basket in its normal place in front of the heater. Whomper immediately went over and sniffed her. She then walked off and did not look back. I sat on the edge of the sofa in my coat and gloves and cried. Mark went outside to take the plastic bags of dirt out of the hole we had dug behind the rose bush. The bags of dirt were frozen so this took some time. I finished crying and picked up Socks and took her outside. I sat on a cold bench and let the sun shine on her while Mark finished enlarging the hole. Socks loved sunshine. She would lay on her back in a sunbeam and I would sing the first verse of "You Are My Sunshine," and she would meow the second verse. We were a big hit at daytime parties. When the hole was large enough I went over and placed her at the bottom. I then got a big trash can and filled it with leaves. I took them to the hole and let them fall over and cover her. Mark cried. We took turns gently putting the earth back into her grave. When we had made a little mound we patted it smooth and went to look for rocks. The ground is frozen so it took a little time to find and dig out the right size and amount of rocks. I cried while I pried out the rocks. Oddly enough there was no one around. In our little hamlet there is always someone out and about doing something. But not that day. Just us in the cold clear sunshine. When we found enough rocks we covered her small grave to make a perfect oval. We moved the shovels, brushed the dirt off ourselves and stood one on either side of the grave. We held hands. Mark said a prayer and thanked God for "Our friend Socks." We cried some more. We were finished.
Grief is hard today. It was hard the past three days. I imagine it will be hard for the next few weeks/months. Friend Kim who just lost her beloved Peg suggested I get out pictures of Socks. This I have done. I have one in every room so I don't feel so alone. Before Mollie this cat was my dog. She followed me everywhere. When I sat down she was on or near me. TV watching is no fun without her. Doing my devotions in the morning is agony. Everyday we would have a fight over my Bible. She loved the feel of the thin pages and would lay on it and lick the corners. Very hard to read something with a ten pound cat right in the center of it. Phooey. I believe there are animals in Heaven. If God worries about sparrows surely cats HAVE to be included. I will see her fuzzy little self again.
But right this minute, I miss my cat. It snowed five inches shortly after we finished her grave. I can't even see it. I want her to come back to me. Phooey. Guess I will cry some more.
Take care. Love Bea
P.S. Gopher Girl: A cat who sits up on her hind legs with her front paws at her chest and waits patiently to be petted.
Friday, November 13, 2009
At friend Kim's wedding reception I was seated with some fun people and we were having a fun conversation. Being a group of mature nurses, we were discussing the good old days of health care and decrying the loss of compassion and concern in our chosen profession. This led to a discussion about the decline of civility in the culture in general. This reminded me of something I had heard on the radio so I said, "That reminds me of something Rush Limbaugh said yesterday." Well...the general intake of breath sucked the flowers off the center piece and put out the candles. The shocked looks of all and sundry was something to see. And this from a group of women who routinely discuss excrement and body fluids during lunch. The woman seated next to me scooted away, and a huge silence filled the air. Finally one of these ladies said, and I quote, "Anyone who listens to Rush Limbaugh is a stupid homophobic, racist, Nazi, fascist." Silence on my part. Then she smiled and offered me cream for my coffee. With this offer the conversation resumed around me as though I hadn't spoken. But I was marked.
Now I don't listen to Rush on a daily basis but when you are trapped in a car for two days with a broken CD player, no Ipod, and you have run out of conversation, you want to listen to something. Mark listens daily and has for years so it was no stretch for us to tune in and listen. I kind of like Rush. He's smart, sassy and his struggle with addictions (pain killers, food) is a sometime uplifting topic of conversation that I can relate too. But, I am by no means a political wonk and all that in depth stuff about Congress and the President just bores me. Or at least it has in the past. I find I am getting more political by the day. Each time some perfectly normal nice person calls me a "stupid homophobic racist Nazi" and seems to take pride in the rude idiocy of the comment I drift a little more to the right. I am not yet a total Conservative but I am heading in that direction.
One of the songs we listened to on our journey to Nevada was "Life's Been Good to Me So Far." I love rock. The louder the better. I love this song. The louder the better. A favorite line in the song is, "Every body's so different but I haven't changed." This is what is happening to me. The culture shifted and I haven't. I have what used to be pretty run of the mill Protestant and Patriotic beliefs. I was never very political, or if truth be told, very Christian. So it is still a shock when my formerly common place beliefs are now held to be way right of center and militant. Militant, me? Must be some other poor fool who has the temerity to still believe in sin and self reliance. And to voice those beliefs in the land of free.
God Bless America. Love Lynn
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Life here is returning to normal after the hubbub of the summer. I am glad. We bought a snow blower so I won't have to kill myself shoveling this winter. I washed the windows and we put up the storms. We have been having some nice days so I washed all the blankets and rugs and dried them on the line. I am back to teaching adult Sunday school, and choir practise starts tonight. I am thinking about volunteering at the Senior Center one day a week delivering meal-on-wheels. I went for a ride along yesterday. Threw me into an unexpected emotional tailspin. Too much like nursing I suspect. I am not sure I want to start driving around in blizzards and fending off dogs again to visit people in their homes. But I have to do something. I am seldom out of my comfort zone anymore. I do not think that to be a healthy situation. (The neighbor's four ducks just strolled by, Huey, Duey, Louey and Donald. Three black and one white. They walk upright like penguins, chatting up a storm the whole time.) I love being at home but I am losing touch with the wide world. It worries me.
I was counting on the new computer to pull me out of my backwater and into the river of life. No money for computer. Snow blower and vet bills took our stash. Phooey. Mark has screwed this old computer up so much I now can't get to one of my email accounts. He broke another printer so I can't print off anything, and the mouse pad has gone missing. I am currently using a piece of cardboard for a mouse pad. Like Virginia Woolf, I HAVE GOT TO HAVE A COMPUTER OF MY OWN.
Okay rant finished. About the comfort zone thing. What do you think, is being content at home worth the trade off of letting "life" pass me by?
I want to stay at home and be a sheltered housewife and write. I love being able to see the ducks walk by and hear the pigs snore. I love the silence of the house. I love hanging clothes on the line and seeing the mountains. I love doing the dishes and gazing down the valley through my kitchen window. I love being at home with this silly dog. I love not being responsible for anyone but myself and my immediate family. I do not love not having current marketable skills and being out of touch with the times. I still write letters and send them snail mail for God's sake. I do not love not contributing anything to anyone. Phooey. I fear I am becoming an anachronism.
Okay whine over. Take Care. Love Bea
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I knew she was not well when we left for the wedding. She was a bit lethargic and her breath smelled awful. She has had bad teeth for years. I kept putting off getting them all pulled as I didn't want her to be without teeth. As she was still eating like a horse and drinking like a fire engine I figured she was fine and I would take her to the vet and get the teeth attended to when we got home. I checked on her during the week we were gone and her caretaker said she was about the same. I was not worried in the slightest.
She had lost two pounds by the time we returned home. She was so dehydrated her skin was tenting up. The whole house stank of her foul breath. I rushed her to the vet. You guessed it. Renal failure. I should have guessed it too only I was so focused on her teeth kidney failure never occurred to me. I felt pole axed when the nice young vet told me she was dying. I couldn't think. He kept gently asking me to make a decision about putting her to sleep vs. treatment. I was unable to process what he was saying. Finally he left me alone and let me sit down and hold her and think. Eventually he came back into the room and talked to me. He said although her lab work was "off the chart" he thought she had a good chance of "coming out" of "this episode." She was still eating and drinking and eliminating. She did not seem to be in any pain. She was still alert. After much conversation I decided to opt for treatment. I was not ready to lose her.
She spent two days at the vet. They gave her two bags of IV fluid. A bag of IV fluid is almost the same size as a cat. They put her on antibiotics for her teeth. They let me bring her her rat. She curled up around it and slept. I spent the two days holding her basket and howling like another sick animal. Grief like I have never experienced it. I think I have lived in a house of grief my whole life but have never ventured beyond the foyer. Her death is allowing me to finally enter all the rooms and wash them clear. One more blessing she is giving me.
We brought her home. I am giving her oral antibiotics daily and irrigating her mouth with peroxide and salt water every few hours. She hates it all. Me too. She perked right up after all that fluid. Was almost like her old self for four days. But it was not to last. In the past twenty-four hours her eating, drinking and eliminating have slowed way down. We are going to the vet in the morning. I hope it will be for more IV fluid and a return home, but I am not counting on it.
When we were at the vet's the first time he told us how they dispose of their dead animals. They take them to the dump and throw them on the pile of all the road kill and untagged wild animals found during the past month. Then they burn them. I was so grateful he told us that. We will bring her home. I have picked out her favorite basket and blanket. We will wrap her in her blanket, put her in her basket with her blue rat, put all of that in a big garbage bag and then bury her beside the rose bush. It has been getting below zero here at night. Mark dug the hole a couple of days ago while the ground was still soft.
I intend to spend the evening holding and petting my kitty whom I love. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
Take care of yourselves. Love Lynn
Friday, October 16, 2009
We left Tuesday in a welter of last minute details. I forgot friend Kim's phone number and address, and the confirmation code for the hotel. We had to go back home to get it. Mark was not amused. We eventually got down the road. We made it as far as Wells, NV. The drive was wonderful. We toured southern Idaho to circumvent the Salt Lake. The trees were blazing red. Was a great drive. We then rode an old Nevada highway to Wells. Was like being in Wyoming twenty years ago. We did not see a soul for hours. I don't suppose on an August afternoon this would have been a wonderful route, but on a rainy fall afternoon it was magic.
The motel in Wells was dirty and noisy but at least it was expensive. Sigh. We drove into Reno the next day. Sunshine all the way. We drove right to the Peppermill even though I forgot the directions. We felt blessed. Here is where my story takes a u-turn. I had not been in a casino for years. And never one this big. Gad. It was like entering Dante's Inferno.
Can I tell you first about the cigarette smoke. I grew up with people who smoked. It was no big deal. At 52 after not being around it for years, it is a BIG deal. My eyes are gritty and I cough. My hair stinks, in fact everything we own stinks. I will even have to launder the suitcases when we get home.
In an effort to save money I booked the cheapest room available at the "Pep." Big mistake. We are in a ground floor room next to a busy street. I firmly believe freight trains playing loud mariachi music go by once an hour day and night. The room looks plush but is missing many of the amenities we have come to expect in hotels. Like tissues, towel racks, a microwave and fridge, and a coffee maker. It does have a fully stocked mini bar, a huge tray of candy and nuts in little jars, and a huge t.v. for in room gambling and porno movies. About that tray off food, everything is on a sensor. If you pick it up you have just purchased a five dollar bag of nuts. We don't go anywhere near it. Our room is in a small building miles from the main casino. This is good in that the smoke doesn't seem to have drifted this far, yet. The bad thing is that the building is made of cardboard walls. We seem to have a troupe of clog dancers above us. They must practice their various routines during the night. These numbers are punctuated by one of the troupe dropping five pound bar-bells intermittently. Mark is snoring through it all. Phooey.
We have seen friend Kim and her intended. They are in love, and lovely. A fine sight to behold. This should be a fun wedding. We have visited the art museum and the historical society museum. Both places well worth seeing. Okay I have to hurry I am having a manicure in five minutes. The hotel has a huge plushy spa attached. We are going to Lake Tahoe for wedding practise this afternoon. Then the rehearsal dinner.
Clothes and fat have turned out to be a non-issues. I am so happy to be here what I look like doesn't matter.
Take care, Love Bea
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I am out of step with the times. I do not want to:
1. Twitter or tweet
2. Face up to Face book
3. Read all the emails forwarded to me
5. Keep my cell phone turned on
6. Ride the continual wave on the blog surf
7. Kindle my books
8. IPod my music
9. GPS my travels
10. Pay my bills on-line.
Because I stubbornly refuse to be available to all comers at all hours, I am losing contact with people. I most bitterly regret that.
I love silence. I luxuriate in silence. I stretch and relax and purr in the silence. I regenerate in silence. I pray and am heard in silence. Continual noisy activity jangles and jars me. It sucks out my being. It is no surprise I wrote a thesis about medieval anchoresses, women walled up in a cell connected to a church. A bed, a table and chair, a good fire, a loving cat, a few victuals, books, pen and paper, and a small window to the outside world, my idea of Heaven on Earth.
My need for long stretches of quiet time is always misunderstood as lack of love and interest. Not true. I value my family and friends much more than they know. My need for contact is vital, but not daily, weekly, monthly or God forbid by the minute. This attitude is considered selfish and narcissistic at worst or standoffish and odd at best. It has cost me relationships, opportunities and experiences I was loathe to lose.
In my doldrums I believe myself to be a mentally ill neurotic who isolates herself in fear of a world she cannot control. Like my mother. In my blessedness I believe myself to be a quiet deep reservoir into whom flows Grace and out of whom flows Love and Peace. Like my God. I expect it is some of both. Anyway if you are still out there reading, for my part know you remain connected to me by intention if not deed.
We will leave soon for friend Kim's wedding. I am looking forward to it. I hope to heck it doesn't snow the whole darn way. I haven't yet got my winter legs.
Take care, Love Bea
Monday, September 21, 2009
Maybe the darn thing is too little. I swear to God, I can hardly move in it. I got the over the waist down the thigh model. With the "crotch gusset." (Like that is a major selling feature.) If I attempted to p** through that small hole I would have the same results as when I relieve myself in the forest while hiking. Wet hiking boots. The Flex camisole is a little better. I can breathe in it. Unfortunately when I inhale it snaps upwards and rolls into a rubber band around my waist. Not the look I am going for. Sigh.
I did find a big purple outfit. A skirt and top. A crepey polyester elastic waist tunic top affair. An XL is too small and a 1X is too big. I opted for the 1X and will take in the elastic on the skirt. With the tartan sash and black shoes and pearls I am passable. I look like the mother of the bride but "Oh well." As matron of honor I figure it is my duty to make the bride look swell. Now I just need clothes for the shower and the rehearsal dinner. Sigh.
I watched a sermon the other morning that went straight to the heart of me. It was about the safety of living within your boundaries. As a person hooked on security I was all ears. According to Joyce (preacher) living outside your boundaries sets you up for danger. Breached food boundaries equal ill physical, emotional and mental health. Breached money boundaries equal debt and stress. Breached sexual boundaries equal disease and broken hearts and self respect. As a pacifistic people pleaser I frequently step outside of my boundaries and get mugged. I love the idea of living within my boundaries and being safe.
My new anti-people pleaser answer to everything is, "I'll get back to you." Then I go home and figure out all the consequences of saying yes. A really
safe and smart way to live I think.
Take care. Love Bea
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This week I have felt like more of a fake than I have in years. I am tired of being the me others would like me to be. I am frustrated with going along to get along. I want to know what I think and feel, and say and do so.
I want a simple uninvolved life. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. "IRRESPONSIBLE AND UNCHRISTIAN" clang back and forth in my brain. If I do not feel concern or compassion I do not want to be forced to care or take action. "With that attitude you will end up miserable and alone." "What if everyone felt like that?" "You will hate yourself if you don't help." "That is not Christ like behaviour." Jesus have mercy.
I have spent my whole life being manipulated by people and situations into doing stuff I did not want to do. I have gone along with it because I figured that unless I was pushed I would sit on my ass and not do or care about anyone or anything.
This morning I rescued a horse.
Most every day at the crack of dawn we walk down a country road. We know all the dogs and cats and horses. This morning there was a big beautiful bay horse in a pasture full of hay bales. A pasture with an old, old fence and no gates. A pasture that is not meant to house livestock. It was dark and foggy. A busy county highway runs parallel to the country road we walk on. As we walked past the horse came tearing out of the pasture and ran up on the highway. I did not think twice. I ran after the horse. It stopped in the middle of the highway frightened by the lights of the oncoming traffic. I ran up to its head and said, "Come here." I was scared out of my wits so sounded very stern. The horse turned, looked at me and then followed me down into the bar pit and back onto the dirt road. I got between it and the highway and kept urging it forward. When we got to the place where I thought it belonged I took it into the corral and shut the gate. I then went up to the house and rang the door bell. Keep in mind it is only 6:30 a.m.. I said to a very startled woman in a bathrobe, "Your horse was on the highway and we brought it back." She yelled and ran to get her husband. At that point we left. I sure hope it was their horse.
The point of all that was, no one forced me to care about that horse. I could have just walked on and assumed someone else would care about it. But I didn't. I didn't want to. I wanted to help. I was in fact desperate to help. Like with Mollie. And the cats. What if I can trust the Love within me to direct my caring and concern? What if I don't need to be pushed and guilted into helping others? What if I can trust I will be led and motivated to help where I am needed? What then? I'll bet I will be way less fake. And way less frustrated. If I have something to offer in a situation I will want to get involved. If not...God has someone else in mind for the job. Whoa Nellie.
Take care of yourselves. Love Bea
Thursday, September 10, 2009
In the midst of the hubbub I am attempting to find a purple dress for friend Kim's wedding. What an emotional nightmare. I am in agony about my 15 pound weight gain and each dress I try on is a fresh hell. When you gain weight nothing fits. Not your underwear or your coats or your jeans or your shoes. It costs money to replace all of that so you make do with the couple of pieces that still fit while telling yourself you will soon lose the weight and won't have to replace everything. But then comes life. I want to have clothes that fit for the week I will be at Kim's. So what was just a hunt for a big purple dress has now turned into a marathon shopping event for a whole new larger sized cheap wardrobe. I hate it.
Over the holiday weekend we went to Jenny Lake Lodge for lunch. Having thrown caution to the winds I was eating the sumptuous repast and not counting the cost when I noticed a lady at our companion table staring at me. She was drilling me with her eyeballs. I was unnerved and faltered getting my chocolate cake into my mouth. When I dropped the bite she sort of came to and looked away. As we were leaving she stopped me and apologized for staring. "I have been on a diet for a year now and I almost couldn't tear my eyes away from that cake you were eating." As she was the friend of a friend and we were in no hurry I asked her about her diet. Turns out she has lost 75 pounds so far. She has plateaued and has been stuck for six months. She is living in abject fear. We sat down at this point and talked for an hour. We discussed "failure."
I feel like a failure and so does she. To be a failure at weight loss negates every good thing in one's life. We discussed our successes and blessings. Between the two of us it was quite a list. And it didn't matter a hill of beans. If you can't get and keep the fat off you might as well be dead. I see this is stupid thinking even as I write it, nevertheless....
I have no answers and am aware that this is not an encouraging post. But it made me feel better to say it out loud.
P.S. I look like Barney in those big purple dresses.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I have been writing about myself for three years. I thought most of my basic beliefs had come out by now. Apparently not.
I believe in God and I believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in sin and I believe we can choose "outer darkness" if we do not repent of our sins. I believe sin is what is described in the Bible as "sin." I also believe sin is anything that separates a person from God. I have made food sin because I think about it way more than I do God. I sometimes waste my prayer time thinking about the width of my thighs instead of the depth and breadth of God's love for me. I have made food a false idol in place of God. I have sinned sexually (Bible definition), and I am a terrible gossip (Bible definition). I sin a lot, and I repent a lot, and I am forgiven a lot. I am grateful.
Okay, I was going to give up writing about food, but...I have been given a valuable insight about me and my eating. I get joy from eating. Not just happiness at having my hunger/anxiety relieved, but joy. No big surprise right? Well it was to me. Joy and food do not belong together. Joy belongs to the divine not the mundane. My dog's smile, my lover's touch, an insight during a quiet bird filled morn, these things bring me joy, not cheesecake. I am trying to get food to bring me closer to God. It ain'ta gonna happen. Food is just fuel.
"Yes" to whoever said it was okay for food to be boring. In fact for me it needs to be boring. Too much choice sets my senses a whirl and I want more, more, more...ad infinitum. Same old, same old is my answer. I am grateful.
Tres interesting times at church as we all attempt to come to terms with ELCA's recent decision. The division is about half and half. Painful when a family of beloveds prays and comes up with exact opposite answers. We are struggling forward together at this point. I pray it will always be so. Amen.
Take care. Love Bea
Thursday, August 27, 2009
My heart is cracking. Our current church, Lutheran, just chose to ordain gay clergy. Our former church, Episcopalian, chose to ordain gay clergy. We left the Episcopal church because we do not believe in gay CLERGY. Yes I think homosexual behavior is a sin. I also believe gluttony is a sin. I go to church every Sunday. Church is the place you take your sin because you cannot cope with it on your own. It broke my heart to leave the Episcopal church and our church family. I may soon need to survive another broken heart, don't know yet. Pray for me and Husband.
I was going to write a funny about Mark and turkey. Maybe I still will. I am ambling my way back toward my food plan. Part of the plan is four ounces of protein at each meal. No problem with lunch and supper, but I get awful sick of eggs for breakfast. So I have been making lean hamburger patties, salmon, little pork chops and...turkey burgers. I have tried every turkey burger on the market as well as making my own. All of them taste from bad to worse, and smell h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e. So this morning I had a new brand of burger and decided to prekill the taste with a nice blend of herbs. I liberally sprinkled the herbs on the patties and flopped them on the grill. Within three minutes Mark came streaking into the kitchen from the shower. "No more damn turkey before 11:30 a.m.," he bellowed. "I don't want turkey burgers, or turkey breasts, or turkey meatballs, or turkey giblets or turkey legs for breakfast. What do you have against pigs? Why can't we just have bacon and ham and sausage like normal people?" Why indeed?
I started this blog a couple of years ago when I was losing weight. In the past three years I have quit losing and have regained fifteen pounds. Should I still pretend to be blogging about weight loss? I weigh 195 and seem to be mentally, emotionally and physically stuck there. I read the Fat Crack book, and sighed. I don't want to work that hard at my food. I read all of your success stories and feel like a fake dieter and a big ole failure. I am thinking of quitting the blog because I have nothing to add to the weight loss conversation. Does is matter if I quit writing about losing weight?
What do you all eat protein wise for breakfast? No chicken or soy protein (veggie burger) suggestions. They were sampled and vetoed along with the tuna patties.
Take care. Love Bea
Thursday, August 20, 2009
For example, when I get extremely anxious I binge. My core belief is that I really "can't stand" suffering my off the charts anxiety (low frustration tolerance) and that I "have to have" the food to calm me down (fill in the empty spaces between the synapses). As all bingers know, that is a fairly cut and dried description of the ragged bleeding feelings that drive us to eat non-stop. Using RET to combat overeating is basically asking yourself a series of rational logical questions. The first of which may be, "Can I stand it? Am I standing it?"
I tried it. Turns out I knew full well I could "stand it." If someone had come to the door my binge would have shut down like I had been doused with cold water. I just didn't want to stand it. I wanted to get rid of the emotions, I wanted to feel the ahhhhh release, I wanted to relax and sleep. I did and do not want to feel my negative emotions.
I have never wanted to cope with my anxiety/frustration. Mark says my favorite saying is, "Why does everything have to be so damn difficult?" I did not realize I even said that. I eat because of low frustration tolerance.
Another of my core beliefs is that I am "owed." God or the universe "owes" me an easy life. What hubris. What irrational hubris. I didn't realize I believed this ridiculous thing. Since I am owed it is "unfair" when something bad happens to me. And I "just can't stand it." And I feel frustrated and anxious, and don't want to feel that way. And I eat to blot out the emotions. Round robin.
I only touched the tip of the information in this book. It is full of great stuff and has been a wake up call for me. If I choose to use the strategies of RET my life will change. It has already changed. Turns out the statement, "I can stand it," is VERY empowering. Addictions can be conquered.
I am sorry I am not reading more. I come up here once a week (maybe) to post and read. Seems like my time is filled up with other things and I do not think of this (blog) as a priority. I am rethinking this.
Take care. Love Bea
P.S. Yoga Fran says I am her most improved student. I can finally do the bow and last time I almost touched my socks while attempting the camel. I am a whiz at the plank.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I deep cleaned every square inch of my house and yard in preparation for guests. Then had two sets of guests. I have been to every fair and social gathering out there, and still have more to attend. I have purchased and cooked and eaten until I never want to see food again. (Alas, if only it were so.) I have shopped until I dropped and driven hundreds of miles to do so. I have spent money like it grew on trees. I have done so much laundry my washer is on permanent speed dial. I am having a good time but I am pooped.
I haven't had many insights lately because you have to be present to yourself for info to seep into the soul. I have been on autopilot. Cheerful autopilot, but still oblivious to almost everything but the next needful task. On one of these marathon shopping expeditions I did buy a book that is bringing me up short. "How To Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Absolutely Anything," has some uniquely useful thoughts. I know I have "minimal impulse control" but I did not know I also had "low frustration tolerance." These two conditions together are lethal for an addictive personality, or else they are the components of an addictive personality. I haven't got far enough into the book to know yet. I thought I had a high anxiety tolerance. Turns out being able to function effectively while anxious and under pressure is NOT low frustration tolerance. In fact tolerating this much misery for extended periods of time makes the condition worse!!! Low frustration tolerance is the inability to self soothe, I think. I have to read more about it to make sure. The condition is exquisitely painful and will be avoided at all costs. Addicts use their substance of choice to numb the pain of the anxiety. I'll bet this is another one of those things like impulse control that is normally taught in childhood. Bugger.... But I guess if Moll Dog's can learn impulse control, so can I.
I am going to do some research about this low anxiety tolerance thing. If any of you know about it please let me know.
Take care of yourselves and think of me as I smile sweetly at about a thousand more parties.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Horseshit. I don't know about you all but I have to be on my death bed before I darken the door of a health care facility. We just do not seek out health care. And when we are finally forced to, we are frequently offered substandard (read cheap) care. I'll bet overall less health care money is spent on us than our thinner compatriots. Mark told me about this idiot proposal just as we were going to bed. It mad me boiling mad. So mad I couldn't sleep. So mad I spent a good portion of the night sitting on the sofa thinking. And this is what I thought.
How long Oh Lord am I going to be defined by my fat? The print/video world is always ready to squash me like a bug because of my "elevated BMI." But do I have to agree with that world? Maybe not. Went to a another party this past weekend. Sat with someone who I did not know very well. In the course of our becoming acquainted I brought up my struggle with my weight. This person said, "I didn't know you had a weight problem." There I sat in all my fat, and she couldn't tell I had a weight problem? I was astounded. What gives? I think I might look fatter to me than I do to the world at large. (no pun) Hard to accept, but I guess I do not look obese. Just run of the mill overweight. Ho hum, no big deal. (again no pun) So if the folks I meet and the folks I know do not define me by my fat, WHY THE HECK AM I STILL DOING IT?
Because I am unwilling to let go of my past. I am more comfortable with who I was than who I am. I am not a nurse, I am not a historian, I am not a wounded sexual abuse victim and apparently I am no longer fat enough to cause comment. I am label less in my head. Does that make me a nothing? Sure feels like a nothing. Again around the same mountain.
Life is busy. Washing windows and curtains. Finished new flower bed. Carpet cleaning next on the agenda. Family coming second weekend in August. Fair will soon be in full swing. Pigs next door are on short time. Apples on the tree are beginning to blush. Hummingbirds are drinking me out of pounds of sugar water. Husband is in love with lawn tractor. Life is summery good.
Take care. Love Bea
Friday, July 17, 2009
I went to my physical and mamo apts. I have been having dreams about being raped ever since. My psyche does not like anyone touching my body. Had blood work done a couple of months ago at the health fair. Doctor reviewed it at this latest appointment. Blood work shows me as anemic. I don't think I am now. I think I was low on red blood cells because I had just donated a couple of days previous. I told doc this and suggested I get a blood panel now to check. But no, he is convinced I have gastrointestinal bleeding and need a colonoscopy. Give me strength. Yes I probably do need as colonoscopy as I am over fifty and have never had one. (Two saddled horses just strolled by reigns dragging on the ground. No, make that three. No riders in sight. Neighbor girl must be training them for the fair.) After much soul searching, I think I will go ahead with the procedure. But not because I think I have GI bleeding. I will do it because it is another opportunity to take care of myself. I hate going to the doctor. I went in for an annual physical and to get my prescriptions renewed and came out with bowel cancer. Oh yes, mamo went fine...no doctors involved. Phooey. (Okay here comes Rae with the horses. She must have been making them walk around the block.)
Sorry to all that I have not been reading. I miss you. Mark uses this desktop computer in the evening and I have been working like a dog during the days. So no computing. Next month is computer month for me!!! I have info about laptops coming out my ears and am way confused. Do I need a web cam and audio? Do I need a 15 or 17 inch screen? Do I need to burn CD's and DVD's ? How many USB ports do I need? What software do you all have that you couldn't live without? Do I need the pad that goes under the laptop to keep it cool? Do I need a mini mouse? What gadgets do you have on your computers that you couldn't live without? Thank you for your help.
Say a prayer for me about the colonoscopy. I am scared sick.
Enjoy the sunshine. I am. Love and kisses. Bea
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
1. Yoga is great. I have identified my stiff areas. Turns out my upper body is fairly limber and my hips are practically set in stone. I am working on this. We had seven people at the last class. Yoga Jan and I were so pleased as it was just us a few weeks ago. Having to move the pews before each class is a pain in the...lower back.
2. Went back on my food plan. I am tired of feeling like hell as well as being fatter. Sugar is my enemy. Why can't I remember that?
3. Have appointments for physical and mammo. This is a major deal for me.
4. Mark may run for office. I am trying to decide if I can cope with all of the crap that goes with the decision.
5. I have turned some sort of corner self esteem wise. I am what I am and you either like me or not. Makes me no mind. I like me. I am a hoot.
6. Attended a dinner of wealthy retirees (golfers) on the Fourth. There were 400 of us in the RV Resort "Barn." Was like watching very well dressed tan people dancing on the deck of the Titanic. Tres weird.
7. Was in the parade in one of the little burgs up here. Had a grand time.
8. Moll Dogs is terrified of fireworks and thunder. We have had fire works and storms for a week. She has been sleeping in the bathtub with a radio going. I hate pretentious NPR but it is all I can pick up other than country and western. So I have been listening along with her. Ugh.
9. We were given an old lawn tractor. It runs and saws off the grass. I spent my summers mowing lawns as a kid. Turns out I can still whiz around on a tractor. Sure beats the electric push mower.
10. Figured out my CA conundrum. In the past all my "fun" trips to the Land of OZ were filled with fear and misery. No wonder my body did not want to go. Has taken my brain a little while to put the pieces together.
11. Haven't watched the tube for a while. I am busy during the day and am sitting out on the deck feeding the mosquitoes of an evening. Am reading about France in the thirties. A much needed relief from self help stuff.
12. Have signed up to do way to much stuff at church. This is coming to an end. I am quitting committees.
That's all folks. I will be doing catch up reading later when I get this darn policy for the church Stewardship Committee done. I used to get paid for writing policies and procedures. I loved it. Turns out I don't love it no more. Well I better get cracking, I have to present it at the Council mtg. tonight.
Hosta la veesta Babies. Bea
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I am much recovered. Lolling around wishing to die just made me feel worse. And eat more. I began to feel like myself when I got up and replanted my dog dug up barrels. Hope to eventually have radishes, lettuce, peas and cucumbers. Went to the store and bought stuff for window boxes and big barrel out front and also got those planted. Restained the deck!!!!!! Yeah. One of the summer projects done. Also washed a couple of windows and killed some dandelions from hell. Movement is good.
I need to remember that sitting around does not make me well, it just makes me depressed. I guess I live to accomplish stuff. When I do nothing my self esteem tanks. Mark made me rest on the sofa for a few hours. No reading, no watching t.v., no talking on the phone, and I wasn't sleepy. I was just supposed to recline there and enjoy the view. Fat chance. Yes it's a pun. I was ravenous immediately. Enforced idleness just kills me. I can only rest good if I have 1001 things to do and am putting them all off. Either way, I eat.
Had my second yoga class. I learned something. Man am I stiff. Almost rigid. I don't suppose that comes as a surprise to anyone. I see that this yoga stuff could do as much for my mind as it does for my body. I am rigid. I got rules for everything and I do not roll with the punches. I have my plan and if it is foiled I sort of shut down for a while. Friend Kim's husband-to-be says he needs time to mourn Plan A before he can move on to Plan B. Exactly. I can do spontaneous if I am relaxed, but I can't change horses in mid stream if I am focused or tense. Makes me crazy. And no plans at all are worse than mis-managed mounts. To have no plans is like being dead. I want to loosen up.
So this yoga thing, I am terrible at it. I crack and pop and fall over a lot. But, I think it will eventually make me more flexible.
Did you know that Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim is littered with little shoes? I could not figure it out. I thought it was some sort of very avaunt guard landscaping thing. Or maybe some perverted child abuse thing. Wrong. Harbor Blvd. leads straight into Disneyland. I watched a tired family shuffling down the sidewalk back toward the hotel late one evening. Mom was pushing a soundly sleeping baby in a stroller and Dad was carrying two tired toddlers. As he slowly walked along both of the kids fell asleep...and then their shoes fell off. A California mystery solved.
Next time: How a $45 facial ends up costing $235 and, gives the facialee raging athlete's foot. Another California mystery.
Take care. Love Bea
Friday, June 19, 2009
I sat by a teenage girl on the plane. She coughed all over me from Santa Ana to Salt Lake. Car trip home was a nightmare. Poured with rain the whole entire drive. Getting up that canyon out of Salt Lake driving blind was awful. We were both exhausted when we left CA and about dead by the time we got home.
We arrived here at 6pm. Had rained here every day we were gone. Lawn was a foot tall. House smelled like cat pee. I don't know why. Cats and dog had been in dog jail for a week. I immediately began doing laundry so Mark could leave again at 6am for a three day trial. Took us all eve to get unpacked and him repacked. We went to bed about 11pm. Neither one of us could sleep. I am having hot flashes from hell. We got up at 5am and he left at 6am to drive 115 miles. I felt so bad for him. He looked haggard. The trial started at 8:30.
I slept in a chair after he left until eight. I then got up, showered and drove 30 miles to get the animals. Still pouring rain of course. Cost almost $400 to board them for a week. Mollie was wild. Like when we first got her. She jumped on me and scratched the heck out of my chest. Cats were more laid back. Ignored me completely. We all got good and wet loading up. Mollie whined and the cats meowed the whole way home. I cried.
Upon arrival and after more crazy running around Mollie finally settled down. Socks hid in the basement and Whomper pooped on the kitchen floor. I put in another load of laundry and sat back down in my chair. I woke up two hours later. I was ringy and removed, like I was functioning at slow motion under water. I switched the laundry around and in this condition I loaded the dog and drove to the post office to get the mail. Brought it home in a box. I put it down on the kitchen table (where most of it still resides) and went back to the chair to sleep. Woke up later and drove thirty miles to take care of a friend's cat. They are also on vacation. After cat duty I went to the grocery store. Are alarm bells ringing in your heads? I bought cookies, ice cream, pizza, frozen dinners, bagels and strawberries. I drove thirty miles home and after another laundry rotation, began to eat. I ate a whole plastic thing of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. That turned out to be ten cookies the size of muffins. Then I had half of a quart of ice cream. A friend called and asked me if I would help her move the next day. I said yes. The dog and I then went to bed. Mark woke me up to tell me how the first day of the trial had been. I vaguely recall talking to him. I woke up with nasty hot flashes off and on all night. Had terrible dreams about taking a shower with a bunch of horses in a box car. Gad.
Got up next morning at 9:30. Dog was nuts. She ran around the yard for half an hour solid. Ate bagels and strawberries for breakfast and showered. Still felt weird, and exhausted. Loaded up dog and drove thirty miles to friend's house. Friend's big house. U-Haul and our minister's wife's car were parked outside. No other cars. This was a surprise as a whole crew of men were supposed to be there. They never arrived. Three women over forty, one tired husband and a six year old moved and loaded furniture all day. I was a blithering idiot. I packed and carried and talked in a fog. I left at about 5:30 pm. I then drove to vacation friend's house and fed the cat. Then I drove home. I ate a whole big pizza, a bagel and the rest of the half gallon of ice cream. I passed out in the chair. Mark woke me up later and I talked to him. The dog and I went to bed. I slept in my clothes.
Got up at 6:30 to shower to be at the church for my first yoga class at 8am. I arrived first to set up stuff. I moved a couple of rows of pewchairs and set up the music. Yoga Jan and friend PW (preacher's wife) showed up. PW was as sore as me. She should have been incapacitated as she and the tired husband moved most of the furniture. Jan lead us in a wonderfully painful session. I stretched muscles I didn't even know I had. The relaxation thing at the end was priceless. I am looking forward to next week. We moved the pews back into place and all left. I drove to friend's house to help finish up with the moving and clean. We worked until about 1pm and then quit. She fed me a ham sandwich and then on my own I ate four of her brownies. Her little son really hated me for that. I drove to vacation friend's house and fed the cat. Mark called and said the jury had come back sooner than anticipated and he would be home in a couple of hours. I drove home and made the bed and did more laundry and did the dishes. The damn cats had pooped and peed on the the kitchen floor again. I cleaned that up and laid down on the couch to because I couldn't stand up. Mark woke me up when he got home. I couldn't talk and was so dizzy I couldn't get up. I cried some more. He made me some tea and tucked me in and I slept for the rest of the afternoon and evening. I ate a whole roll of those refrigerator biscuits when I woke up and then went back to bed.
Happy end of story. I slept all day yesterday. Mark went to store and got some real food (soup and juice and jello) and that made me feel better. He figured out why the cats were defecating in the kitchen and the house smelled of cat pee. I had forgotten to clean their boxes. Oh well. He took the dog out to play. He mowed the lawn. I am better today. I am not as ringy and my throat hurts less. I feel like I weigh a thousand pounds though. All those carbs have blown me up like a balloon. I have to take a shower and drive over to feed the vacation cat and that is all I am going to do today. Gad what a weird week.
Am I glad to be home? Mebbee. Love Bea Oh, and that athlete's foot I got while getting the facial is clearing up nicely. Later.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I did not want to make this trip. I went because Mark wanted me to go and I did not want to disappoint him. I made him pay every step of the way. I am not proud of that. He was a dear and I was a bitch. Phooey. This trip stripped me to the bone.
Long minutes spent waiting for Mark in the lobby of the Marriott with no plans, no reading material, and no food allowed me to face myself. It is a self I am not too fond of. Heck, let's call a tuning fork a road grader, I am miserable. I hate regrets. And I am looking into a bucket load of them. Not regret for the grand missteps in my life, those I look back on with some pride. Took a lot of risk to be that stupid. No the regrets that are currently plaguing me are the little foxes. They are spoiling the vines of my life. The "yeses" when I want to say "no," the "noes" that should be yes, the inaction that could be movement, the action that could be rest. (Just let the dog outside and I could hear the neighbor's pigs snoring. Is very quiet here.) My Marriott meditations showed me a life of much self induced misery.
I have thought about and written out my life priorities before but not as real attainable goals. They were more pie in the sky wishy sort of vague longings. I did not really believe I could do anything about making my dreams come true. God determined my fate and I was just sort of along for the ride. Wrong. This trip has made me see that unless I gather up my courage and energy my life might just fade into pointless oblivion. Yes I believe if I died I would go to Heaven, but I don't want to waste the time I have been given in the present waiting for future Grace. And dear friends I have been wasting my precious minutes hours and days in fear and pointless endeavor.
Life is about loving one another. It is about driving 47 miles in rush hour traffic to meet someone you have never met. It is about cutting your nervous tired husband some slack. It is about not eating so much sugar you pass out. It is about coping with dog and cat dirt because of the joy they bring to you. It is about helping a friend move 24 hours after you have returned from a trip because you love her. It is about being grateful to God that you were up at 3am to hear the pigs snoring.
Take care of yourselves. Love Bea
P.S. Helen post away. As long as you don't post that picture where look like I should be wearing a stocking cap lined with tin foil I will be okay.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I am down today. I am tired today. I want to go home today. I miss my dog, cats and my isolated home today. I am well and truly out of my comfort zone. I wouldn't change a thing.
Meeting Helen was an eye opener for me. She is as kind and attractive as she seems online. She is also accomplished, cultured, savvy and brave. Her life has been, and is full of interesting people, places and experiences. I envy her internal freedom. I asked her where this ability to go out and meet life came from. I am not sure I received a direct explanation. I did get an indirect explanation. She was talking about attending Burning Man every year and how freeing was that experience. She spoke of a lack of boundaries and free form creativity. Called to something deep within me, which I squelch at every opportunity. I was taught that that upwelling of limitless thinking was sinful in the extreme. I am not talking about the abandonment of boundaries, that is for emerging teenagers and criminals, I am talking about the embodiment of...hope I guess. No one around me believed hope was a good thing. It was silly and dangerous. Hope was limited to a few privileged people who had the resources to dream. Po people don't dream big.
I think the message of Christianity is to dream big. I think that has always been the message of Christ. Limitless Heaven is offered to earth bound sinners. The mystics understood and understand the message. And some of the Helen's. And maybe someday, some of the Lynn's.
Turns out my funny colored clothes are the poor woman's version of "resort ware." I did not know about resort ware. Apparently you wear it at resorts. Anaheim is not a resort and everyone here seems to be dressed for a military funeral. Black, brown, grey and muddy colors are the order of day. Mark says the way he finds me in the crowds is by looking for my pastel colored jacket.
We are going on a beach tour this afternoon. We are going home tomorrow. I am glad I came but it will take me a while to regain my footing. But maybe it will be new footing.
See you at home. Love Bea
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I have talked to the "famous" Helen. She and I conversed whilst I was sitting outside at Bubba Gumps eating shrimp. Helen says this could have killed me. Taking to her was fun. Way fun. We will make contact Friday for dinner. I can't wait.
I am trying to figure out how to use the bus and Amtrak systems. Not as easy as advertised. We used ART (Anaheim Transport System) last evening. I spit on their system. We sat sitting for a total of two hours waiting for them to pick up and deliver us. I almost froze to death. Where is the darn sunshine? I thought it never rained in southern California.
The trip thru Salt Lake was a nightmare. Poured with rain, road construction out the wazoo and we got lost. Mentor Mary says a trip is not complete unless you get lost in Salt Lake City. We are batting a thousand. Plane trip was fun with the exception of the security check. The snake line took us forty minutes. The revolving door scan deal was a trip. Finding a place to put my shoes back on was exciting. I almost had to sit on some one's knee. Our concourse was outside and our plane was small. WE GOT TO SIT TOGETHER. Mark felt bad and fixed the seats just before we left. Hurrah. We sat behind two little girls. One was terrified and screamed and sobbed for the first fifteen minutes of the trip. The other girl was quiet as the grave until we left the ground whereupon she exclaimed in an awestruck voice "we are in the air." Made me cry. How did we earth bound creatures get so blase as to relax in out plane easy chairs and visit while we are leaving the ground? Is a mystery.
Okay I have to walk to the convention center and meet Mark for lunch. Looks like we will get to have lunch together every day. Yea. I need my fingerless gloves.
I will keep you posted as to my adventures. Knowing you all are out there reading has spurred me on to have some. Take care.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Mark and I are speaking again. After almost twenty years of marriage it was a painful procedure for us to confront the vast differences in our priorities. I value security and Mark values adventure. I want to own, Mark wants to rent. I want dog and cats, Mark wants a pet rock. I want a minivan and Mark wants a sports car. I want to camp, Mark wants to stay in hotels. I want to save, Mark is not afraid of debt. I want a computer for work, Mark wants it to play games. I am a planner and Mark wants to fly by the seat of his pants. I am detail oriented and Mark thinks in broad strokes. I am an adult and Mark is a child...with a real bitchy Mommy.
Like most married couples we are fairly opposite in personality. I believe God put us together to rub the rough edges off one another. After the past week we are both much smoother.
I talked much to Mentor Mary about the trip. She acknowledged my fear of going into debt in perilous economic times. She acknowledged my anger at having to choose between the trip and much needed necessities, i.e. glasses and dental work. She acknowledged my frustration at Mark's unwillingness to let go of something he wants. After I had vented for hours she gently asked me, "Honey how much do you value being vulnerable?" Crap, crap, crap. Phooey. She had me.
I value being vulnerable. I just refuse to do it. And that is why I eat. I am a fear based prudent prig. But I don't want to be. I want to be an adventurer too. Mark is a County Prosecutor who wins his cases. He is not irresponsible in his work life. At home he lets me take care of absolutely everything because it is easier to not cross me. I control with an iron fist. Lest in any way I should be vulnerable. He is not a spendthrift and yes we can pay off any debt we incur. Yes he has had lessons to learn here also, but I cannot learn his lessons. I can only learn mine. And my lesson about this f*#^ing trip is to let go of control and be vulnerable.
So I'm going. I will sit by myself on the airplane. I will stay in an off brand hotel. I will wear funny clothes because they fit. I will eat alone. I will spend some money so Mark can see some of the things I have already seen. I will call Helen even if she is way thinner than me. I will have a dad gummed adventure. I will be vulnerable.
Take care and I will be back in a week. Love Bea
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I do not want to take this trip. I don't want to spend the money and I am fat. I will be fat and broke in the vacation paradise of the tanned and thin. I do not have any summer clothes that fit and I don't want to spend money on more. The clothes I do have are just dumb. Stacy and Clinton would have a hay day with me. Peg legged elastic waist jeans and plaid camp shirts. And big ole sneakers. And a sweater jacket with lawn chairs printed all over it. (I look like some one's grandmother.) And I have to stuff all of this in a suitcase the size of a breadbox. So I am anxious. On Tuesday to calm myself down I began inquiring in earnest about "the plans." You guessed it. Mark had relied on someone else to make all the arrangements. And she didn't. He was not registered for the conference, had no room reservations and no plane tickets.
After many panicked preparations and much money agony we now have very expensive plane seats...in which we cannot even sit together. He is in the front and I am in the back in the middle. As I haven't flown in 17 years and am worried about all the changes, not the least of which is the seat belt fitting, this just pisses me off royal. Instead of flying out of Jackson (close) we have to drive all the way to Salt Lake (far) and stay all night (expensive). Of course the Marriott and Hilton where the conference is being held are full so we are staying three "city blocks" away in some hotel I have never heard of. I has been years but as I remember "city blocks" are much larger than our small town blocks. Mark will have to leave well before 8am and won't arrive back at the hotel until after 5pm, leaving me marooned in there for eight solid hours. We can't even eat together at noon because all the seminars he was planning to attend are jam packed. The only open ones are during the lunch hours. I was going on this trip so we could spend some time together. The conference was presented to me as having a lot of open spaces in which we could sight see. Not. He might as well be at work. I am so mad I could spit. I am not a sit around the pool kind of a gal, if this new place even has a pool. I DO NOT want to spend eight hours in a high rise hotel room with no egress to the outside. I do not have the money to go shopping, or get spa treatments, or do much sight seeing. What the heck am I going to do for five days?
By the by, I can't stop eating. I was down to 193 then came the news about the non-registration and I promptly went back up to 199. I do mean promptly. I have gained five pounds in the past three days. sigh
Why don't I just stay home you ask? Let Mark stew alone in his self induced mess? Because he wants me to go. Really wants me to go. He says he will eat beans when we get home and will wear ragged clothes and ride his bike to work. But please won't I go. It's no fun without me. PHOOEY.
Helen prepare yourself, I'm coming. I will be the nervous plaid grandmother who looks madder than a wet hen. Phooey.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
It was still raining and I had another massage scheduled at noon. After breakfast, to kill time until the massaging hour, we decided to drive around and see the local country. We headed south toward Utah. I am from farm country and do admire a well tended piece of ground. I was in hog heaven this whole excursion. All the farms were down on the valley floor and the houses overlooked them from the sides of the hills. These were old farms. Big mature trees and lush lawns around hundred year old houses and barns. If you plunked me down on one of those places I could be happy until the end of my days. Along the road we also stopped to see several historical sites. We learned about the Bear River Massacre, the prehistoric emptying of Lake Bonneville through Red Rock Pass and read several markers put up by Mormon families in honor of their homesteading ancestors. While we did all this it rained steadily. By the time we returned to the campgrounds I was sopping wet and frozen. I had a nice soak and then went in to have Mark's massage. I had scheduled one for each of us. He chickened out. Said he was not going to have some strange woman "rubbing" him. Too bad for him.
Now comes the not fun part of the trip. We skipped lunch because it was getting late and we wanted to get to Pocatello for a Wal-Mart run. We were going to eat there. We never did. And still it rained.
I hate Wal-Mart. I think they suck oxygen and joy out of the stores. After I have been in there for awhile I get woozy and mad. I hate myself and everyone in my vicinity. Mark walks behind me and pats my butt like you would do to a horse to urge it forward. This just makes me madder. Every three or four months we go into a big town to go to Wal-Mart. We were past due and out of everything. We spent three and a half hours in there. With no lunch, oxygen or joy. Two carts full of stuff later we finally left. We stuffed the car up to the gills. And then we proceeded to have a huge fight. A real donnybrook. I was hungry and tired and frustrated about spending a fortune on toilet paper and hoses and window shades. Mark was hungry and mad about spending our vacation time buying laundry soap, Swiffer Dusters and cans of garbanzo beans. The fight was about where to eat lunch. We never did eat. After the accusations and hollering were done we drove back to the campground in stony silence....
To a pre-scheduled romantic steak dinner for two in the campground grill to celebrate our anniversary. Ho, ho, ho. We arrived just in the nick of time, silent and wet, to the sweetest dinner anyone has ever prepared for us. They had cordoned off one end of the grill dining room and set up the table. Cloth table covering, napkins and candles. The lights were turned down low and soft music was playing. We were the only people in the dining room. Our table was against the floor to ceiling windows and over looked the hot springs. The springs were steaming because of the rain. The whole world was bathed in twilight fog. Could not have been more romantic. We were served a cocktail while out dinner was being prepared. The setting, the kindness and the alcohol had the intended affect. I started, "I behaved like an ass, again. I am very sorry. I hate Wal-Mart and I know not to skip meals." Mark's turn, "No I am the one to say sorry. I am not a twelve year old boy and I know we needed all that stuff. I was hungry before we even left the campground. Next time we will eat first, and then tackle Wal-Mart." We had another wonderful meal. We took our cheesecake back to the yurt and ate it after our final soak of the day. Then we turned in and had dessert.
I will write about the books next time. Take care. Love Bea
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I am frustrated living within our means. I want a new computer and we both need new glasses. The yard needs another load of gravel, we need a new picture window in the living room, and I am longing for another apple tree. But all that costs money, and we spent it on our yurt adventure. And we have to go to California next month. I do not want to spend the money to get and keep us there. This living without credit cards is a pain in the butt. In times past I would have put the computer, our yurt vacation and the California thing on the credit cards and then paid them off...slowly. I would have used cash for the glasses, tree and the home repairs. Not now. We are saving but that money is earmarked for our trip in October to friend Kim's wedding. So at this point I am just...waiting. Phooey.
On Friday of our yurt adventure we went sight seeing in the morning and spent the afternoon soaking and reading. Our first sight was the wetlands around the campgrounds. I know what sand hill cranes look like from a distance. I had never seen a flock of them up close. Wow. They sort of honk and they are tall. When they land they glide in like fighter planes. Their knees bend backwards. Mark thought he had died and gone to heaven. We almost did not leave the campground to see anything else. When I finally tore him away we drove into Pocatello and did the town. We saw Fort Hall, The Bannock County Museum, The Museum of Natural History and the Zoo. We toured the University. We had lunch in an Italian restaurant and visited a couple of book stores. We had a great time. Civilization is wonderful.
We got back to the hot springs about 3pm. It was raining. We put on our suits and dashed up to the hot pools. We soaked for half an hour while it rained on our faces. Heaven. We dashed back to the yurt and changed clothes. I turned on the fire place and made us cups of hot chocolate. We wrapped up in blankets and proceeded to read for the next several hours. About 7:30 we went back to the truck stop and had another wonderful meal. When we got back we soaked again. Bedtime was about 9pm with rain bouncing on the sky light. I wanted to move in forever.
Next time I will write about the books. I read them from cover to cover and learned much. I know the origin of my FEAR.
I hope all of you are having a good week. I am. Love Bea
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
First. I found a swim suit that fit at Wal-Mart. It cost $30 and I didn't have to do a thing to it.
Second. The yurt had carpet, a DVD player and mints on the pillows. Mark was disappointed. He was looking forward to the yak dung fire.
Third. I read those books until my eyeballs gave out.
Fourth. I climbed through an underground lava tube and slid down a twelve foot snow covered drop, in the dark.
Fifth. I ate everything in sight and lost a couple of pounds.
We left on Thursday. I was not sure I wanted to go. After working for days to get everything arranged and packed, I was frazzled and frustrated and given two cents I would have chucked the whole darn deal. I especially hated to leave Mollie at the dog jail. Mark calls it the dog spa, but Mollie and I know different. But leave we did. The drive over to Idaho was gorgeous. Mountains and lush green hills and birds of every description. Before going to the hot springs we went in to Pocatello so I could look for a total coverage swimsuit. Penny's and Sears were a bust. I was depressed, angry and knee deep in self loathing when Mark pulled into Wally World. This just made me madder. I knew I would find nothing in there but bikinis. I was wrong. I found a suit in jig time and we were out of there in half an hour. It was a miracle.
The hot springs (Downata Hot Springs) is in Downey Idaho and is about 40 miles south of Pocatello. Very majestic country that levels out into rolling hills. The resort is way off the main road in a small valley. The valley is a wet lands area. The Downata Springs comes out of the side of one of the hills and drains down into this shallow valley. Downata Hot Springs is 100 years old. It looks like a big park. Lots of mature trees and bushes and an acre of glowing green lawn. (Remember it was still winterish when we left. I hadn't seen grass in six months.) The resort consists of the pools, slides, pool house, office/store/grill, cabins, yurts and R.V. and camp sites. They also have tepees in the summer. It's big. We were the only people there on Thursday! Heaven.
Our yurt was plush. The floors are heated by the hot springs. Was cozy warm. The decor is Adirondack cabinish. We had a fridge, microwave, water cooler, sofa, queen size bed, table and a small electric wood burning style stove. The fridge was stocked with food for breakfasts for three days and we received a complimentary "goodie basket." Towels and bedding of course and plush robes for the treck to the hot pools. But no bathroom. The facilities were in a separate yurt about twenty feet from our door. We shared the two bathroom suites with the other three yurts. Mark hated this. The bathrooms were kept locked and the key was hooked to a long stick that was hung by the door in each yurt. This stick was the source of great trouble for us. I locked it inside the bathroom twice and dropped it in the commode once. One of us always had it when the other one needed it. Remembering Edina, Mark christened it the "talking stick" and kept offering to buy it. Was a pain.
We arrived at 6pm. I had a massage at 6:30 pm. Turned out the massage therapist had been stood up by someone and was looking for a replacement. I volunteered. The pool house had a sauna, two massage rooms and a "tranquility room." I have no idea what went on in there. Boy did I need that massage. She kept asking me, "Have you had a neck injury?" After the massage we soaked for half an hour in the little pool and watched the sun set through the trees. Then...we went to look for supper.
Turns out the grill was closed and the nearest restaurant was 30 miles away. "But you could eat at the truck stop at the end of the road." So we did. I had hamburger/tomato/macaroni soup and half and egg sandwich. I washed this down with a glass of milk and had rhubarb crumble and ice cream for dessert. I haven't had a meal like this since I was fourteen. Mark had fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans and bacon, and fried bread. He had lemon meringue pie for dessert. We drove back to the yurt and fell senseless into bed. The last thing I remember was watching the fire in the little stove and being so grateful to be alive.
Friday was yet to come. Love Bea
Friday, April 24, 2009
I just read Vickie's post about "real bodies." She said she always felt as though she were encased in a fat suit and wanted to unzip it and get out. Not me brother (sister). I feel protected by my fat. It is pound for pound who I am. It is my cocoon. I am not yet ready to be a butterfly.
I remember being thin. What a lot of hassle.
With a host of other sexually abused girls, I learned to relate to men through sex. I didn't know there was any other way to "know" a man. So I began having sex early and often. Until I got fat. Then they left me alone. I was finally at peace in my own skin. No one bugged me. I was invisible. But who wants to be an invisible fat 20 year old? I lost weight, and took up where I left off. What a lot of crap I went through in the next ten years. Then I got fat again. Safety in scale numbers.
When you are thin you are normal and are not cut any slack. You have to compete with your peers and be judged by them. I always felt like I would/could never ever measure up in any way to my normal sisters. If you are fat you are frequently given a pass in life's races. It is assumed at the outset you will be incapable of completing the task, so you are not required to try. I loved this. I had an excuse for not competing, and in all likelihood, failing. More safety in numbers.
After I lost 70 pounds I found myself constantly telling people about it. It seems like I was instructing/encouraging them to relate to me as my former 250 pound self rather than this unknown 180 pound person. While 180 pounds seems huge to many people, to me it seemed to be on the verge of normal. I was no longer obese. I was just plain ole fat. So were and are a lot of other middle aged women. I had not been normal for thirty years. I was a stranger in a strange land.
I seem to have stabilized at 198 pounds. I go up if I eat real stupid, and down if I drink a lot of tea, but in a short time return to the 198 mark. I hate to say it, but I am psychologically comfortable here. I am obese again, but without much effort I am staying below the dreaded 200 pounds. I am back to shopping in the fat ladies' section. I wear elastic waisted peg leg jeans and denim jumpers. I feel like me. I wish I didn't.I want to feel like I am encased in a fat suit. Trapped in an alien body. I want to walk through the world and not need/want my layer of protection. But until I get the fear sorted out I think I will be at home in my fat.
We are going yurting this weekend at a hot springs. Mark is looking forward to mare's milk and a yak dung fire. Ha Ha I am not looking forward to the damn bathing suit. I dug out my new last year's suit. It is a beautiful suit. It still fits, sort of. I have to wear a bra under it because those soft cup things hold up nothing. Well, what with the too smallish suit, the bra that shows, and my white vieny blobby body, our much anticipated vacationette was turning into a nightmare. Decision time.
Since I can't change my bod before we leave, I have decided to change my mind. I am going to have a good time, and how I look is how I look. I know I will be judged, but I guess as long as they don't start throwing stuff at me, I will survive. I am not going to be made to stay at home so as not to offend anyone with my size. If they don't like the way I look, they can look else where. And I bought a really BIG towel.
Now, about my unworthiness. I have had an epifanny. (That's for you Kim) I have gone on ad nauseaum about the lousy mothering I received as a kid and young woman. Hereafter I am going to give those women a break. I think a huge part of my problem is not having had a father. Any kind of a father, anywhere. None of the women who raised me had men actively on the scene. Yes there were the perverts around the edges, but no men who routinely participated in my upbringing in a healthy way. I didn't think this mattered. "A woman (and children) without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."
In the past week through a series of very strange events I have come to believe the above statement is (excuse the language) HORSESHIT. Many of my primal fears come from existing in a world devoid of responsible men. Having no father has also made it almost impossible for me to relate to God as Father. But things are a'changin. Part of our long weekend will find me sitting in front of the yak dung fire reading several books I received out of the blue about fatherless daughters. I am so looking forward to this trip that the darn bathing suit issue has been downgraded to a minor hassle instead of the feature event.
I will be letting you know what I learn. Also how mare's milk tastes. Take care. Love Bea
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
This statement beats in my blood. And has for generations. It sucks the life right out of me. It makes me give in and give up and whine. And I am strong and tough. Very tough. Like a rock. I will hunker down and "take it" and I will survive. I will eke out some little joy in life and I will survive. But I will ultimately remain one of life's "havenots."
No one talks about slave mentality anymore because it is hard to couch it in politically correct phrases. But slave I was and slave I remain. My body may be free now but I was owned for many years body and soul. My soul still remains in bondage.
Vickie and Cindy both recently talked about empowerment. I read their free soul posts, bowed my head, and cried. I may never have their sense of empowerment.
How do you break chains of unworthiness? My sense of needing to be "beholden" to everyone started in the womb. I am "just damn lucky" Mom could not abort me. I am "just damn lucky" relatives partially cared for me as an infant. I am "just damn lucky" I was smart enough to take care of both of us when I was a toddler. I am "just damn lucky" relatives and foster homes fed and clothed me as a child. I am "just damn lucky" I was adopted by someone when I was a teenager. I am "just damn lucky" I got to go to nursing school." I am "just damn lucky" I could support myself and did not cave to sex, drugs and rock and roll as a young woman. I am "just damn lucky" my suicide attempts did not work in my thirties. I am damn lucky Mark wanted to marry me. I was no prize. I am damn lucky Mentor Mary found me in my forties and helped me. I am "just damn lucky" to not have to go out every day to support myself. I am "just damn lucky" to have lost some weight. I do not feel entitled to any of my blessings.
This is a stupid way for anyone to live. How does one get a sense of entitlement/empowerment? The assurance that "I have a right to an abundant life?" I do not want a life without problems, I want a life in which I feel empowered to overcome problems and thrive. I want to feel like I deserve a good life. I am sick of going through life on my knees grateful for every sop God and man are willing to toss my way.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Passing out should have been my first clue that I was sick. But no, I convinced Mark I must just be hypotensive???? Okay...chills and chattering teeth were sort of an odd reaction to more beans than I could tolerate, but hey, who knows, right? Man was I hot. "This hormone patch must be defective" I thought. Fatigue. "Lazy slob, get up and get the laundry done and the living room cleaned." When I did not make it to the bathroom in time I finally recognized I might be sick. This process took four days.
I have been living on tea and toast and Imodium for the past 48 hours. I feel better today, but am not willing to venture far from the facilities. I do have a moral for this stupid story.
I am so out of touch with my body I can't even tell when I am ill. I live in and with my head, and drag my poor body around like so much inconvenient baggage. I eat with my mind. My body did not want that chili at the cook off. I had to force it down while simultaneously telling myself how much I was enjoying it. My body did not want Easter dinner but I convinced it it did. I even fought off nausea to eat pie and ice cream for dessert! I fixed three meals on Monday and ate everyone of them because I knew I loved to eat. My body had to literally lose control before my mind would do the same. Only then would I recognize that my body did not want any more food. It was sick. My mind is dumb as a post sometimes.
I had a banana for breakfast and a cup of soup for lunch. Maybe I will eat supper, maybe not. My body is not hungry. My mind would like a pint of ice cream and a donut, with a latte chaser. I am ignoring it.
Take care of yourselves. Love Bea
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Suggestion, "write more." (Thanks Cindy.) What a thought. I started this blog so I would...write more. Have I done that? Nope. I want to get a computer of my own. Husband has this one set up to his tastes and barricaded by his junk. I have to climb over stuff to get to his chair and then clear his stuff off his keyboard. I have not wanted to spend the money to get a computer for just me. This is not his work computer. He uses it to play games and listen to Rush most evenings. Mark makes the money so I figure he should get to spend the lion's share of our surplus on fun stuff for himself. I made up this rule, not him. And then I resent him for taking full advantage of the rule. Foolish me.
I went to Jackson yesterday with a new friend. She also has weight issues. We talked about fat for hours. We went to Coldwater Creek to shop. I went into the same dressing room in which I had my "freak out" two years ago. I am now twenty pounds heavier than I was then. I got a bunch of XL's and tried them on. Some fit, most did not. I then went and got the 1X's. They fit. It was seriously painful but I forced myself to look at my bod objectively. I look like a 52 year old woman who weighs 198 lbs. Could be better, could be worse. I found some nice clothes. I didn't buy any of them. Fatter or thinner, I need to figure out my style before I purchase any more clothes. Odd thing, there was a woman in the changing room next to me who had just lost 60 pounds. She had half the store stock and two clerks in that room with her. She could not figure out what looked good on the new figure. It was deja vu all over again. She did not know who she was without the pounds. I thought about trying to help her but there was no room for me in the crowd.
All this activity plus the Star Jones interview on Oprah has set me to thinking. WE need each other. Getting fatter or thinner we need each others' wisdom and support. Who else but someone with a similar experience can sympathize with the newly thin woman who is depressed because she has literally lost half of herself. And the familiar half at that. Society assumes weight loss is all gravy. ( I could not resist the pun.) We know different. Who else but someone who has been there can bring you more 1X's when you thought you were still wearing XL's and laugh, or at least grimace, with you. Who else but someone who has been there can encourage you to get a cup of the vegetable soup rather than a vat, and half of a pesto sandwich rather than a cheeseburger to go with it. You guessed it, only someone who is also considering half a cheesecake for luncheon. We need each other.
In this spirit my new friend and I discussed ways we could support the women we know who have compulsive eating issues. There is not much help here for hardcore eaters. There is plenty of help out there for those who can save themselves. Some of us, and you know who you are, can't. I am looking into setting up an OA group at our church. AA already meets there. I have made an appointment with the pastor and am looking online for resources. I can no longer struggle with this alone.
Yesterday for supper I et raw veggies, a bowl of vegetarian chili and a beanie brownie, Lord have mercy. By the by, my new friend was surprised to hear that I had a weight problem. She said she had never thought of me as fat!!!!
Take care of yourselves, love Bea.
P.s. Congratulations Nory Roth on 30 pounds gone!!!!
Monday, April 6, 2009
I found a new recipe for brownies. First you drain, rinse and puree a can of black beans, then you add it to your favorite boxed brownie recipe in place of eggs, water, etc. and then you bake as directed. Worked like a charm. I found a whole wheat dark chocolate brand and just added the beans and baked. Then I ate six of them. Do not try this at home. Go out to a park, a big park.
I am going to stop our satellite t.v., and I am scared to death. I am blogging right now so as not to watch the television. My whole life is lived to the accompaniment of the tube. I want to be a woman who eats healthy and who does not watch television. What do people do who do not watch television in the evening? I already read. I can read and do anything. I can even read and drive. I do not recommend this. So reading is not the answer. I have no desire to indulge in the housewifely arts (knitting, sewing, embroidering) and I don't scrapbook. I do not want to clean closets at 7pm even if they do need it. I guess I could take up painting. I have no hobbies. What a sad commentary on a life. I work and read and watch t.v.. Phooey. What do you all do instead of watch the television?
More on fun with food. Boca burgers are okay but full of salt. Sassafras tea is yummy hot or cold. Cheese is full of calories. And so are nuts. This way of eating is not as fool proof as I thought. But is isn't boring.
Take care. Love and burps, Bea