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Monthly Archives: September 2013

And how I felt was… Dirty.


 

Comedy Club (Russia)I went to a comedy club. I went there instead of going to a cooking club for church. I thought, “Hey, this will be a blast!”, and plus it was with some friends that, although they are of a different lifestyle than my church friends, are dear to me and very fun.

At the end of the night, I felt

Banana split

Banana split (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

dirty.

How odd. It’s just fun, right? Except for one thing. I don’t drink or smoke.  I am not really raunchy, and I believe in God. Kind of vanilla in the great banana split of life, right? .

As the comedy started, and the room started filling up with booze and smoke, I felt ok. “I am open-minded, and I love my friends. It will be fine.” And then the comedy started. As comedians came on, it seemed they attacked anyone that was vanilla. Anyone that doesn’t drink, smoke, have sex with anyone and everyone, and especially anyone that believes in God, was attacked. Not just made fun of. Singled out and attacked.

That was still ok. It was part of comedy. Making fun of things that they don’t believe in. I can understand it. I don’t have the same views, but I understand it.

What did happen as the night wore on, though, was this energy in the room shifted. As the room became filled with manic laughter and guffaws and catcalls and swearing and smoke, the energy turned… dirty. I felt dirty. I didn’t belong there.

I found it odd that I could feel so out-of-place. Not because I ended up being the designated driver only because I made them give up the keys (They had no problem drinking while they were plowed!). Not because I don’t like to have fun. I do.  I enjoy new things and am open-minded to do anything once. But I just realized that this doesn’t work in my life. I wanted it to be ok, and it wasn’t.  And that ticked me off.

I am a big fan of enjoying everyone. I feel it is not about what you look like outside, or habits that you do. It is about who you are inside, and respect and love and kindness is everywhere.  So why was I so uncomfortable?

This didn’t go with my view at all, until I realized it wasn’t about the people at all. It was about me. Me choosing to create my space is not bad. Nor is it small-minded. It is simply a choice. And I shouldn’t be ashamed of that at all. People decorate their homes, their bedrooms, their beds, and their bodies however they want. I just realized I didn’t want my space to look like this. No biggie.

So now I am on a journey to find what my space looks and feels like.  I have a feeling it will look more like cooking club, and warmth, and clean air. I am a big fan of clean air. And clean language. I am working on that myself. I guess I need to clean myself up if I want my space to be clean as well.

Oh, and I find things funny. Funny things can include what I’m about as well, without making fun of them.  Good news.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in gratitude, humor, Life, love, passion, Peace

 

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A New Day, A New Outlook…


Well. It is a new day, and after an emotional wreck of a day yesterday, and a lot of sleep, I have a new perspective. My dad is still on his journey with Cancer. I am still sad. And time is still ticking away too rapidly. I do see something new, though.

Nobody knows what will happen after death. Movies have been written about it. (Somewhere In Time, Heaven Can Wait, etc…) Books, articles, and stories are all about what CAN happen after death. Then there is the

Stairway to Heaven...

religion aspect of it. The faith that plays into BELIEVING what will happen after death. There are even people who have had a near-death experience. And they related their experience as well. But no one knows except the dead.

What comfort does that leave for us? None, unless we choose to buy in to a method of coping. I choose into the method of faith. Religion. Heaven, to be exact. I believe that I will see my dad on the other side. Which I guess means that death isn’t the end. Just a new beginning. I just have to wait a bit to see him. Which is what the sadness is about. I  will miss him. It isn’t that I don’t think I will ever see him again, it is just that I will miss that he isn’t there, in the flesh, in my house that I grew up in. It is a new phase. And I’m scared.

Life without dad. Not exactly true because I have the same memories that I have now. I live 8 hours away from him now, so I rely on memories anyway. My kids rely on memories. There is just something so comforting about the THOUGHT that he is in the house when I want to go see him. It’s my choice.  And now that choice will be taken away. Harrumph.

Well, I don’t have much to say except I feel better today. As I’m writing, my head is clearing, and I am learning a new perspective.

I talked with him again today, and I made another memory. Sure it is a sadder one, as he couldn’t really remember what we were talking about, and he mumbled a lot. But I got to make it , nonetheless. What really matters is that he is pain-free now, and comfortable. This is not something I am in charge of, and frankly, it isn’t about me at all. This is his path. His circumstances. I’m just along for the ride when I can. When I can get out there. When he talks with me on the phone or in person. That is when my path coincides with his. And I am honored to take whatever part in it that I can. Right now it is just a painful part, that’s all. I will cry when I need to, and love the memories I have, and the memories I make.

I’ll take it one day at a time, and that is enough.

 

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Life Is Not Tidy…


What I don’t want to hear, or feel, is that life is not tidy.  It is painful now. And not witty, or funny, or even positive. I really believe that life feeds us lessons, in joy or pain, that are good. I am simply not at the point now where I can see the lesson.

My dad is dying. Really. He has cancer, and he is dying.

I am past the panic stage. I am in the acceptance stage. All the way until I talk with him.  He took a bad turn this week, and I talked with him today. I could hear the pain in his voice, and the grogginess as the pain medicine battles to take that pain from him. Oh how it hurt to hear!

This man is a good man.  A strong man. And today… well today, I am sad. His pain is undeserved and I am sad. No.  I am ANGRY! I am not a “Why does this have to happen” kind of girl, but this is a close reason to go down that road.  “Bad things happen to good people”… Blah Blah Blah.  I hate this. I am not ready to be rational, or see how this affects me, or the family, or him, for the good.

Yes, this brings me closer to my dad. I mean, I talk with him more now than I ever did before. Yes, it brings me closer to the family, and we have communication and compassion and caring in an open way.  Yes, it lets me have faith that there is something more in the universe. I firmly believe that I will see him again in another place and time.  I just do.   And yes, this gives me the opportunity to be gentle and kind with him. And genuine. Lets not forget genuine. There just doesn’t seem to be time to be sarcastic and witty anymore.

So there. There is the good news.  Now lets just put that aside, because I have tears streaming down my face, and gulping great gobs of air. I just don’t care about all the good stuff. My dad is dying, and I can’t fix it, I can’t stop it, and I can’t do anything about his pain.

I live 8 hours away from him. Yes, there is family there for him, but not me. Ya know? I have this need to be there and watch over him, and care for him. My heart is just aching to help. Yes, I have been out there twice since we found out that it’s spreading, and the chemo isn’t helping. Yes, I’m going out there in November, but it’s just not quick enough.

I have had people say “he’s strong. He will beat this”, and I want to punch them. Well not actually, but emotionally. No, he can’t. The tumors are inoperable, he’s 73, has had cancer 2 times before, and doesn’t want radiation. STOP BEING SO POSITIVE ABOUT THIS! Our family has worked to get past the bouncy, brave face. How bout comfort instead? How bout holding his hand and just being quiet?

OHHHHH. I hurt. That is all. Later is when I will be hopeful and calm and easier about this. But not today. Today is a day to cry. Today is a day that is ok to feel sad. And so I do.

Life Is Not Tidy. And that sucks.

 

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Never Too Late…


6th Grade Math Book_4912

I’ve decided to get up out of bed (a very comfy bed with controls for your head and legs, I might add), and live life with a purpose today.  What does that mean to me? Being outward focused, so I called my daughters elementary school. Parents volunteer, right? I mean, I haven’t done it since my oldest son (now 21) was in elementary school, but still.  I guess it is time.  PTA, and all that, right?

I started out by asking if they (the 2 teachers of my daughter, who’s in 6th grade) would like some help in her class.  I was told that they have plenty of volunteers….except for during math. That should have been my red flag, right there, but I remembered that I enjoyed math (until my senior year in high school, I mean), so I said sure I would love to help out, not realizing what I was in for.

The nice lady teacher, Ms. Harding, let me know that they do math at 10:30 every day. She did not, however, sound very enthused that I would be coming in.  In fact, she didn’t specify when she wanted me to start, or what I would be doing, or anything.  So I asked if she really wanted help in this area, or was she just being nice to let me volunteer.  She said that she has a high turnover rate of parents and math.

Well! That sounded like a red flag…

I got nervous.  But would I tell her that? Nope. I’m a bit stubborn.

I said I would be there next week, and hung up the phone. This would give me time to spiff up my 6th grade math. (I haven’t used anything other than basic math skills for years.  It’s true. Don’t tell my kids.) And how hard could it be, after all? It’s 6th GRADE, for crying out loud!

Oh how the mighty can fall!

So this is me doing research online about what the 6th grade level math skills entail.  AND… I’m ticked. Good grief! I feel like I have no skills at all! I have forgotten how to solve for X, for starters. Let alone divide fractions! When did my head turn to mush?  I raised 5 kids and taught them how to tie their shoes, make their beds, cook, clean, and drive (Not my daughter, yet.  Just being clear…).

At what time did I trade in my scholastic education for the family education? Did I really let this happen?  And I’ll tell you what! I’m starting to panic. I almost, in my panic today, forget how to spell encyclopedia and Mississippi!  I ran through my math, science, history, and English highlights in my head, and it only took a few minutes! What the? Where’s the rest? I’m getting more and more despondent.  I realized that the more I texted the shortened versions of things like LOL on my phone, the less I think capitalizing and punctuation are important.  AAAAH!

By this time, I am sure that I am just minutes away from Alzheimer’s Disease. I hear that if I’m not expanding my knowledge, I am losing it, after all. I’m ready to lie back down!

So after I had a cup of hot chocolate and calmed down, I realized that all is not lost.  I put my cup away and hopped online. I typed in “6th Grade Math”, and there it was. All the info I needed to spiff up my skills. And when I get lost and have to look up what the FOIL method is? It’s right there too.

Whew!

Next, I went into grammar.  You know what? I didn’t lose those skills, I just forgot for a bit.  “I Before E, Except After C” does still hold true and make sense to me. Then Chemistry. The periodic table is still online if I need to cheat to find out what the symbol for Hydrogen is.  Tomorrow I will delve into history. Yep, history.   But first…

This whole path today led me to registering for free online classes from Texas University, Yale, and Berkley. Yeah, I said free. They are the same classes as people who are there, in person, but I get to piggy back and sit in for free. Oh I love technology.

Right now, I am learning about Pharmacy Drug Interaction phases. And am happy as a clam.

Thank you, volunteering process for 6th grade math. It got me out of my bed, led me on a merry chase, and put me all the way to the sofa, learning to love learning again. Even if I’m nervous about volunteering on Monday, I’ll be back in the right frame of mind.

And maybe I’ll stay and volunteer to eat lunch with my daughter.  I don’t really need to read up on that subject.  🙂

 

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PHO…


I love Pho. What is Pho?  I think that if you live in Colorado, you would have seen Pho places around every corner.  On every corner, and sometimes 3 places on that corner.  But if you don’t live here, I will tell you, it is a delicious soup and rice noodle dish that you customize.  You choose which meat to put in (I am not at the point where I ask for tripe. I simply go with P1. That’s the sliced rare steak.  It cooks in the broth. Yum!). You also choose what spices to put in, and you have the option of putting in Thai basil, squeezes of lime, bean sprouts, and Jalapenos.  I highly recommend them, by the way.

I had pronounced it “fo” each time I would look at the signs around town. It was always intriguing, so when we finally decided to try a place, that was when I learned it’s really pronounced “fuh”.  Fuh, do you see? Not pho. Fuh. Lovely! I phound this out the 1st time I went to a little hole in the wall joint called Pho Mai. It had phat phish in the tank, and beautiphul lights wrapped in thin paper. Lots of bamboo, and beautiphul pictures on the wall lent a bit to the ambience. Also, a TV screen that had “The Price Is Right” played silently.  Somehow it phit.

We were led to a booth, given a menu, and asked if we needed anything. I asked the nice Vietnamese guy for some “fo” and he smiled, professionally, but just a bit condescendingly.  It was obvious I had gotten it wrong.  So I asked iph I was pronouncing Pho correctly and he smiled and shook his head slightly. ( I phind that he hates correcting anyone.  And that his name is Muay.  That’s “May”. And I now call him Steven, at his request.)

So Steven told me it was pronounced “fuh”, and phrom that time on, I had the correct spelling of what I have now come to think of as my own personal ambrosia.  I also now have a new phriend. (He recognizes myself and my husband anytime we come in.  Which is about 2-3 times a week.  True.)

That phirst time, my husband and I took a look at the menu, and immediately got overwhelmed. Until we realized that the menu had subtitles.  Whew! I did NOT want to learn another language just to order phood. We didn’t have to.  We ordered our Pho and it came out pretty speedily. They laid everything out with phlair, by the way. Beautiphully done.

We didn’t know how to eat it, initially, but luckily, Steven took time to aid us.  He conveyed that we put the various ingredients into the bowl, according to our tastes.  There are little bowls that we can experiment with, putting different sauces together, etc… He let me know that he shreds the basil bephore putting it in the soup, etc…

Then, he said, you take your chop sticks (or fork, if you are a newbie to the Asian phood culture) and mix it up. So we did.  He left to take care of others, and we dug in.  The first bite was flavorful and surprising.  As I raised the noodles up to my mouth, I could smell the complex phlavors of the broth mixing with the bits that I added.  I loved it even bephore I brought it to my lips.  I was not disappointed at all.  Savory and fresh mixed together as the broth and basil/lime duo blended. The noodles and beeph strips satisfied my need for texture.  All in all, ambrosia.

Oh, by the way, the portions are enormous.  These bowls come in small, medium, and large.  So they say.  I will tell you the truth here.  They are large, enormous, and immense.  I usually get the enormous one.  I have a healthy appetite, and I have a very hard time phinishing this dish.  But I did phinish with a smile.  It was soooooo good!! It always is.

Our check came, and I smiled again, because the Pho is so inexpensive.  From $6.95 to $8.95.  That’s it. What’s not phantastic about that???

I am a phan.  I love it, and I highly recommend it.  Phind a Pho place a.s.a.p. and let me know how you like it. And go see Steven at Pho Mai in Broomfield. Just don’t tap on the phish tank glass. He works hard to make it beautiphul there!

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in family, fish, gratitude, Life, love, passion, Uncatagorized

 

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Where did the little girl go?


Really. It’s a mystery to me. One minute she is in my arms, holding me tight and telling me I am her bestest partner, and the next minute she is screaming she hates me and can’t wait to run away. I am, of course, talking of my 11 1/2 daughter. Not 16 year old, by the way. 11 1/2!!! It seems like just 6 months ago she was even-keel. Oh wait. It WAS!  She hit puberty, ladies and gentlemen. She hit it hard. Body changing, freaking out, the whole shebang. 

“Mom, … Is going on with … Part of my body. What is wrong with me???”  I have now heard this exactly 23 times now, and i dread talking to her about it each time. Not because there is anything wrong, but because I get to go back to that time in my pre-teen life and look at how terrified and insecure I was.  It’s like doing it all over again!  And the truth is, of course, I don’t have all the answers packaged perfectly in a hallmark After School Special. Or even a hallmark card.  I am messing up, people. There are books, DVDs, and websites that cover this, but ya know what? the questions, comments, and arguments don’t happen at convenient times. They happen in the car, or late at night, or as she is walking out the door to school or a friends house!  

I woke up tonight, sweating, that she would turn out….. Insert fears here…

i just don’t want to screw her up, people. She is fantastic, and I honestly fear screwing her up with my talks going wrong. I mean, she is just testing the waters, spreading her wings, and…. You get the idea.  I want her to look outside the box… Sometime. Just not now.  I want her to question for herself… Later. Not yet.  You see the dilemma, folks.

Apparently, I am having a bit of a hard time letting go of the apron strings. But how to loosen them up without letting them go completely? I am at a loss for that one.  I love this girl. I know she loves me. But that is the crux.  How to loosen without cutting the strings?  I am at a loss. I know she will survive this age. We all did. But if there is anything I, as a 40 year old woman, can do to survive her, well that is what I am looking for. 

 

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2013 in Life

 

Too Much Weight on Weight Loss…


Friday, September 6, 2013

I’m a nerd.  I am admitting it publicly.  Because if I don’t, I will keep on hiding the nerdiness to myself.  I say, “to myself”, because everyone knows my nerdiness anyway.  Everyone knows everyone elses nerdiness, by the way.  I can tell when someone else is trying to hide something.  It is in the way they walk, or talk, or cover up, or let go. It happens all the time.
Here is my nerdiness. I say it so I don’t hold it in and grab some something hardcore to drink.
I am overweight.  Everyone knows it.  They don’t hold any energy about it. They don’t care about it. But they know. Honestly. Most people don’t care that I’m overweight.  My nerdiness is simply that I worry that I will BECOME overweight.  LOL I already am, but I can’t admit it to myself. (Until now, apparently. I’m feeling brave.) To the point that I try hiding it.  I hide it by getting certain clothes that make me look a small bit less overweight.  I wear sweatshirts that are bulky and don’t show my curves.  I even will wear clothes that are 3 sizes larger than me, so I can feel smaller than I am.  🙂 Seriously.
Other people don’t notice that I spend so much time on my weight dilemma.  They just see the lack of confidence, the way I fall in on myself, and the way I don’t look em in the eye.  That’s what I mean about others knowing about my nerdiness.
(I feel like I’m spilling the great secrets of overweight people.  I’m sorry if I have done that, but I’m not a big one for keeping pointless secrets.)
What a rollercoaster. I obsess. People obsess. I wasn’t always PEOPLE, but this is how I recognized it lately.
People who obsess about how much they weigh, obsess about when to weigh themselves.  Like what time of day is best to weigh themselves. And even what to wear when weighing themselves. Robe, or no robe????  And, which scale is the most accurate. The Great Indoors scale, or Bed Bath and Beyond?  I can go on and on.  Why? Why wonder about this? Because I just went through it. I became one of “Them”.  Does everyone that goes through the ups and downs of weight loss go through this?  I wonder, because some of the things I do are pretty funny, thinking back over it.

For instance, the first thing in the morning, every morning, I will strip down naked and stand on my scale.  I will forgo eating or drinking or wearing anything that would make the scale move up higher than needed.  Micah will hear a groan or a yippee, every morning. And that is just to celebrate or berate my weight by an ounce.  Not a pound.  Now if I go down or up a pound, well! That will decide which kind of day I will have.  Would I stay in bed and starve myself, groaning about how bad I am for gaining a pound, or would I be up and moving, starting my exercise regime because I lost a pound, and was a good girl?  Yeah, it is like that.
Now it should be mentioned that the weight goes up and down for mystery reasons to me.  The reasons do not matter, it was just that they are there.  I do not exercise at all. Nor do I check my eating.  It is just a crapshoot whether I am good or bad, basically.
And I’m ok with this, on the surface.  I don’t usually go deeper than that .  Except for today.
Odd that.
I have been told that when I am ready to let go of old insecurities, the weight will just fall off. That I hold on to heartache and insecurities by building a wall around me. I layer fat around myself so that I will fly under the radar, and people will not notice me.   I think it is true.
 The fat is there, not because I don’t exercise and eat correctly,  but because I have some soul-searching and shrugging off to do.  I think that I am terrified, if you want to know.  If you want to know, I do not want any attention brought to me.  I do not want men to see me. To notice me.  I don’t want women to be threatened by my beauty or body.
I remember a time a few years ago when I was thin. thinner than I am now by about 60 pounds.  I fit into anything I wanted to, right off the rack.  I looked great whether I was sucking in or not.  In fact, it never occurred to me to suck in at all.  I ate small portions and never noticed whether they were small or not.  I could sit criss-cross on the front seat of the car, no problem.  And I could layer clothes and wear turtle-necks and sleeveless shirts without being conscious of eyes on me.
In fact, I didn’t notice people looking or not looking at me.  It didn’t matter to me.  I liked me. I was confidant and felt great.  So it was a surprise to me when my guy friend’s wife banned him from talking to me. She said I was after him.  Now nothing indicated, at all, that this was an option.  But simply by being thin, I was a threat to her.  I was also told that I was a pretty little thing, and I shouldn’t worry my pretty little head about…. whatever a man was talking about, when I asked for information.  And lastly, I was taken advantage of by a man, mainly because I was thin.  Because he thought he could.  And he did.
So here I am, 60 lbs heavier, and feeling a lot safer to be out in society.  Life is not tidy.
Hmmm so I guess the question of my day is…. do people gain weight because they like to eat and don’t like to exercise, or do people put on weight to hide from something?
The answer of my day is, yes.  They do both, sometimes.  And sometimes it is one or the other, but sometimes it is just …. because.
Man I’m craving closure on some insecurities.  And some Ice Cream.
 
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Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Exercising

 

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