Prayer of a dreamer

30 09 2009

Dear Lord,

I have allowed too many doubts to arise and cloud my vision.

The voices around me have overwhelmed Your quiet, sure voice and I have lost my way.

Where my heart used to ache to spend another moment with You, it now vaguely wonders what today will bring. Ambivalent. Bored.

Far in the distance I hear a familiar calling but I can not quite make it out.

I can not discern my way to the Voice.

Gentle Shepherd, please, lead me back to the path that leads me to You and to my destiny.

Amen





Around the corner….

28 09 2009

I believe that we have turned a corner. Friends that see us out keep commenting on how good Ed looks. I have to agree as I have seen some color come back into his face and some weight come back onto his bones.

When he first got home from the hospital he was very weak and his face was absolutely grey. The struggle he has with his breathing was taking a huge toll on him while his body worked very hard to mend from a broken hip, two surgeries and blood transfusions. He couldn’t seem to stay awake for more than a couple of hours at a time and when he was awake he didn’t have a lot of energy to do much. Most of his energy was spent on physical therapy which, as it appears, has worked out well.

Lately, he has been walking more with his cane than with his walker. That alone helps him to look better because he is not all hunched over the walker. Carrying a ten pound canister of oxygen on his shoulder when ever he leaves the house is cumbersome but, hey, we are happy to be getting out. He is re-gaining his independence because he can drive again. He doesn’t fall asleep whenever he is left alone for more than 15 minutes. Life is exciting around here. hahaha.

We are people of faith. We have both been through a lot in our lifetimes. God is still on the throne of our lives and we are still madly in love with each other. We have turned a corner and it is good.





Spiders and Moles!

13 09 2009

So, my garden is alive with spiders. I have to be really aware of where I am walking because banana spiders love to take up a whole path by running their webs right across the whole thing. For reference to that fact see my post entitled “Ah, Nature.”

Here is a different banana spider in a higher part of the garden.

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I had to snap this shot because I was enamored with the way the sun illuminated the intricate work of the web. All my life, I have been really creeped out by spiders but, at the same time, I am fascinated by their artistry when the spin a web.

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How do they do this from tree limb to tree limb? Amazing.

Okay, this one looks like it arrived on a space ship! He could be used as a weapon! I wonder if he was the prototype for the Mace in the days of knights and dragons.

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I posted this pic on my face book and my friend, Emmy, said she thought it was called a crab spider. So, I googled crab spider and came up with some really strange looking beings and this guy’s picture was among them. The thing that is puzzling is that it is supposed to be indigenous to Florida. It has definitely crossed some borders to wind up here in NC. Carolyn says it is an illegal alien and I am inclined to agree. I don’t know which is the top and which is the bottom but this crab spider looks like it has a dual appearance. Maybe it is like a Jeckle and Hyde, one side dark and one side light. Or the two-faced character from the Dick Tracy comics.

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Well, I titled this post Spiders and Moles. I do not have a picture of the moles that live in my yard But I just wanted to whine a little.

Do you know that moles are on the endangered species list? It is not legal to kill a mole, even if they do tear up your yard from border to border. I have been thinking, (I know, this could be dangerous). Since moles are an endangered species and I have an abundance of them living on my property, shouldn’t the government be funding me as a Mole Rescue Mission? I think the word has gone out to all the moles in my area that they can find safety and grass roots to eat in my yard.

Here is another question. Have you ever seen a naked mole rat?? No wonder they hide under ground! Hilarious!

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So, when you are feeling bad about yourself, cheer up. You could be this fellow! And if I ever dug one of those up from my yard, I would have to break the law!





Hair for Coni by Coni (FCBC)

9 09 2009

It is happening again. The creative juices are flowing and I don’t have a head of someone else’s hair to work on.

My new friend, Gracie, was going to come over today and we were going to change her hair color and hair style. We had discussed it at am AA meeting last week. She asked me what I would do to her hair if she would let me. Hahahah. I love that kind of a lead in. I told her and she was pretty interested in my opinion. Yesterday, she asked if I wanted to do her hair and so we scheduled her to come this morning. Well, she is feeling yucky today so thought it best not to come over. I really do appreciate when folks are thoughtful enough to keep their potential germs to themselves. The last thing we need in this house is a flu or a cold. So, thanks Gracie. We can definitely do this another time.

But… that leaves wanting to do hair stuff and no model to work on. So…. here goes.

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This is me BEFORE!

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Here I am … AFTER.

I was going for a subtle difference.

I love cutting hair.





Laughter among the sorrow

6 09 2009

My mother and I had quite a tumultuous relationship through out my teens and early twenties. Due to her alcoholism, she became unable to care for me, the youngest and last of her children. It was 1960 and d-i-v-o-r-c-e was not something that folks spoke about in the open. I felt abandoned by my father when he left us and divorced my mother but when my mother turned me over to the care of my older sister, I felt doubly abandoned.

At the age of thirteen, I moved back with my mother. She was a single, working, alcoholic mother and my life was thrown into turmoil. I began to act out in anger. It was crazy because I loved my mother deeply. If I did not love her so much, I would not have been so devastated by her rejection. What I had learned was this; when you don’t care about a person, their actions may make you mad or upset, but they do not have the power to destroy you. I thought I could UNlove her and for the next several years, I did whatever I could to try to hurt her. I wanted her to feel as much mental anguish as I had experienced over the years. Little did I know that she had her own mental anguish to deal with. I could not see past my own pain and hurt. Self centered fear had wrapped me in a cocoon of  self pity.

My mother and father had been married for 17 years when my father blind-sided her by asking for a divorce. Dad was a full time musician working the night club circuit. Mom stayed home and took care of their four children. She gave birth to five children but my sister, Janice, died from “crib death” when she was 10 months old. Somehow, my mother lived through that but, I assure you, she never recovered from finding her baby dead. The stress and sorrow almost broke up their marriage after that tragedy.

She had finished ironing his shirts for the gigs he was going to do that week when my father told her he was leaving her. She thought he was joking at first. The look on his face told her he was serious.

From there, my mother’s life spiraled out of control. She was tormented by feelings of guilt, rejection and failure while trying to hold together what was left of her family.

After I got clean and sober and had exorcized many of my demons, I was blessed with the ability to look at life through someone else’s eyes for a change. Reconciliation with my mother became possible when I stopped thinking about me for a minute. As I learned what made this woman tick, my resentment turn to admiration. Oh, not instantly, but over time. I saw past how it all affected me and grew able to see how all her life lessons had formed some of her ideology. Her stubbornness was one of her strengths. It is probably what kept her from suicide. The way she did not pull any punches but could be brutally honest came from her disgust at being BS’d by other people in her lifetime.

There are so many things I have learned through my relationship with Mom. In this post, I want to point out how fruitless it is to hold onto a resentment with anyone. We do not know what crazy nuances have that happened in another person’s life that cause them to be the way they are. There may be some dreadful past event that haunts a person, causing them to seem cold, rude or downright mean. Perhaps they are trying to protect themselves the only way they know how, by keeping you at a distance.

I am not talking about people who commit egregious crimes and blame it on their past. That is a whole ‘nuther series of posts.

I was completely baffled when my mother called me at work one night. She was babysitting my 3 month old daughter while I worked at the local bar across the street from our home. She was drunk and crying and I could not make out her words. I left work like a shot and ran home to find her leaning over Fawn’s crib, sobbing. She was saying, “Please let her live to be more than 10 months old.” In my panic, I pushed her out of the way to discover that Fawn was sleeping peacefully. It took a moment for me to realize that my mother was re-living the horror of finding her baby girl, lifeless and blue in her little crib 20 years earlier. I still can’t imagine how she survived that whole ordeal.

My mother was a pretty amazing woman. If I had never let go of my own selfish hurt and pride, I would have missed out on ever knowing that.

My dear daughter Fawn, THAT is just one of the stories of your Grammy. There are many more. A lot of happy ones and, of course, several funny ones. But the truth of life is that there is laughter among the sorrows. That is life.





Weight Watchers

3 09 2009

It’s a new season in my life. Today is day one of my NEW Weight Watchers adventure. They used to call me a Life-time Member but that was back in the old days. I used to go to one meeting per week and get weighed in. I set a goal to reach 140 pounds and I reached that goal and kept my weight off for a few years. Now, 22 pounds later, I am trying weight watchers again. It is quite different this time because I will be doing my meetings online and weighing myself in each week. This fits my crazy schedule much better. Now, I have NO excuses when I go out of town to work.

Someone said to me today, “But what if you lie about your weight loss?” We both cracked up laughing because… WHO would I be lying to??? My jeans? I can hear me now, “Of course, I lost 15 lbs and 2 dress sizes. So, quit squeezing my waist and making me look like I have a muffin top!”

It feels like a completely different system using the points this way too. I have to educate myself all over again and get used to converting my food consumption to points. I am totally up for the challenge.

My Mom and I were Weight Watcher buddies once upon a time. I wish she were still with us so we could do this together again. We were pretty good at keeping each other encouraged and accountable. We walked the through neighborhood together three or four times a week. Not only did we get our exercise in but we had some great talks along the way. She told me stories about her growing up, about her and my Dad and what family life was like before I was born.  I learned  a lot about what my Mom was made of. Those will always be treasured times for me. And we shared a weight loss success story as we both reached our goal weight.

So, here I am again. About to embark on a NEW success story in Weight Watchers. I will keep you posted from time to time on my journey although I will try not to bore you with it.

In case anyone is interested, they are running a special online. You can check it out at WeightWatchers.com The only thing I am not crazy about is that they automatically charge you $16.95 a month for continued membership after your 4 months. So, you need to be mindful of that if you don’t want to continue in the program. You can quit anytime. They are, however, very up front about that and post it in a couple of places so you know what you are getting into. Please let me know if you decide to join. Maybe we can encourage and motivate each other and share recipes from time to time.

Get ready twenty extra pounds. You are going away!





Ah, nature

2 09 2009

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Today is perfect weather for a walk in my garden. It is amazing how simple it is to relieve stress.

I start off just sauntering across the grass in my back yard, heading toward my flagstone path through the trees. Already I can feel my  mind slowing and my thoughts turning to nature. Peaceful thoughts replace worries.

I stop for a moment to admire the moss in between the flagstones.

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The shrubs that are planted around the perimeter give a nice sense of containment without taking away the natural feel of the garden.

We left several of the trees that are indigenous to our area which means…..

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HOLY MACKEREL!!!!!

I nearly got a face full of this! Okay, all the stress is back now. Along with a few goose bumps.

Note to self; wear your glasses when relieving stress in the garden!