Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Show Me Missouri

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Springfield, Missouri. It's flat here. 
My question is how do you know which way you're going when there are no mountains to guide you.
I'm here for a friend's graduation from basic training. I'm traveling with his mother, Judy. They're my neighbors. 
I've decided after a day of ready Janet Evanovich that I need to write the western version of Stephanie Plum. Stephanie is of course Janet's bounty hunter heroine. I love this character because she's comfortable in her own skin. She makes no apologies for who she is -- and she's always in the middle of a disaster.
I haven't come up with a good name for my Stephanie yet. Stephanie lives in a suburb of Trenton, NJ. In Idaho terms, she is from Lewiston. 
Maybe I can create a western persona for her. Have to think about that...... hmmmm
So, not only do I get to see the neighbor kid graduate, I get to hang out with my friend Will. Will and I got hired at the Times News at the same time. At the time, our supervisors kept saying things like, "You two will either hate each other or be best friends, because you're just alike." 
I was a little nervous to meet him. When I first met him, he was pretty scruffy after having spent two days in a car with his two dogs. 
But sure enough, we are good friends -- and yes, we are a lot alike. He's the editor of a weekly newspaper in Sullivan, Missouri. He runs on adrenalin. He's always in movement. He's funny and kind. I enjoy chatting with him.
Well, damn. I've been looking forward to writing all day. Now I'm sitting here with the laptop on my legs and I can't remember anything I was going to say. The real tragedy here is that in my head waiting for the plane to land, I was very witty. Iwas crackin' myself up.
Those words apparently got lost in the middle of the gigantic Bass Pro shop mall a block away from the hotel.
I'm trying to not pick up Stephanie Plum number 9 as I have a book club book: The Book Thief  to read before the next meeting....
I'll give you a full update tomorrow...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oh my -- a job

Holy cow. 
Oh, my, gawd.
I got a job. A grown up 9-5 sort of job -- ok -- not really, but as close as I've had in a very long time.
I'm now the 4H cooridinator for Lincoln County. It's a job that has my name written all over it. Youth and community development -- leadership development -- working with volunteers. 
Essentially it's stuff I do for free all the time, but I actually get paid.
I'm scared to death.
Why am I here? I applied so I would have financial independence. But right now while things are stable it seems weird. I have so many things to do at home, but it was such a perfect job I couldn't resist. I interviewed and I got the job.
Heavy sigh.
It's overwhelming. The former coordinator was a friend and she did great things in the position that I'll be able to build on -- but her idea of office organization and mine appear to be a little different. I have to be in training quite a bit in the next week or so -- leaving my children for several days on end between scheduled trips and these new business trips. That makes me nervous.
But strangely -- even though I'm a little overwhelmed -- I'm pretty calm for the moment. 
This is a job I can do well and in which I can make a difference. I seem to function a little better with more structure in my world -- and I'm already always tired so that won't make a big difference...
If God gives you what you need when you need it -- it seems sensible to follow this through. 
More later --

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I was tagged the other day by my friend Sally at http://www.sallyacious.com. 

How very nice. Sally always has this amazing ability to contact me when I need to hear -- or in this case, read -- her voice. I've been thinking lately that I needed to do more blogging. I actually think about that all the time. After about a month or so of feeling invincible I thought I ran into a wall the other day. My doctor pointed out to me today that it was really more of a mud puddle

Somehow I fell back into my old routine -- being too tired and overwhelmed to take care of the things and people -- namely me -- who really need my attention. Now, I know -- because I've tried this a number of different ways -- that when I take care of myself first -- when I do things that bring me joy FIRST -- that everything else really falls into place. As usual, I can pinpoint the moment I stepped into the mud puddle -- I did something I didn't really want to do, but felt obligated to do. So instead of setting realistic boundaries, I jumped head first into this puddle of slime and now I'm feeling sorry for myself.

Well! Enough of that. Back to being me without apology.

So here's how this game works:

The rules of the game are:

1) Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog
2) Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird
3) Tag 7 more people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs
4) Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs

SEVEN Facts About Me

1)  In real life, I'm a night owl. This whole being an adult parent really cramps my style. I should be in bed right now, but I feel great sitting here in the dark, listening to my husband snore and playing here and on facebook. It will truly suck at 6 when I have to be responsible. Someday, I'll work on my schedule. My husband things it's all a matter of training. I think he's wrong. By nature, I like this time of day better. 

2)So last month, I told my husband to essentially either get help or get out. I didn't use those words exactly, but that was the message. His violent rage thing was sooooo very old. I, after all these years, was ready to leave. But here's what happened. The man actually took responsibility, admitted he had a problem and got help. Well hell. Now I'm not sure what to do. I spent all that time being mad and hurt and finally made up my mind -- and now he's well, like, nice to be around. Actually helps me. Doesn't yell. It's the damnedest thing -- and I'm a little disappointed....

3)I love hands. Hands are the cools parts of the human body. I love looking at other people's hands. I love studying hands attached to Idaho women -- they're unlike anyone else's hands I think. I love art that involves hands and have purchased a bunch of student art -- just because there were hands in the picture. Someday, I'm going to write a book about hands and the people attached to the coolest ones...

4)Someday I'm going to talk about my book on Oprah. No really. I can feel it. Maybe I'll be the next Oprah. 

Karma. That sounds good, eh?

5)I think in my past lives I was a 1) star or celebrity of some sort and b) a pioneer farm woman

6)I think that I'm willing to buy into the whole 2012 thing -- but it's not the end of the world -- it's a change in consciousness. My acupuncturists says I'll be on the forefront of that. I believe him. He's a Shakespearean actor named Bard who looks like Chris Isaak and Lyle Lovett ... how can he be wrong?

7)I am becoming a food Nazi. We have demonized food. This must stop.

So -- I don't actually follow 7 blogs. I might have to post a few of them later.

1) www.sallyacious.com -- Because Sally is just fun to hang out with.


3)Ok -- I'll have to finish this later ... those are the two I pay attention to the most... I have to find links to the others I check out less frequently...

This has actually been rather fun.....

Saturday, October 04, 2008

It's done. Now what?

Those of you who check my facebook page alreayd know I finally finished the first draft of my book: Fat and Then: A Journey to Self Acceptance. 
It felt great to wrap it up -- It will go through several versions before it's done. It was an incredible catharsis. Everyone who has read it so far has liked it -- so that made me feel good.
I'm tired today -- my knee is starting to hurt again. Damn. I think I'll go ahead and get another cortizone shot -- after everything I've been through with the knee and my health -- I guess it won't hurt to do it one more time....
I'm trying to come up with a way to check my progress without checking the scale. After everything that's been said and done it's still really easy to fall into the old numbers game. I'm down ten pounds since we got the thyroid problem diagnosed. I'm starting to get compliments on my figure again...but it's essential to focus on the inner changes instead of the external.
I'm thinking there could be some sort of check list -- similar to the one I used when I was learning to eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. 
Instead of getting on the scale -- I could -- I don't know take some sort of inventory... how I felt, how much sleep.... whatever.... any ideas?

Friday, September 12, 2008

What a difference a day makes

And a little bit of sleep.
After last night's purge of my latest drama, I must say I feel tremendously better.
I got up and went to jazzercise -- which I love. Then I came home and flopped on the couch and watched a Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire movie and cat napped. Then I puttered around the house and talked to my god daughter on the phone for an hour and did laundry and cleaned the girls' wing.
Then I went to dinner with my friend Marcella in Hailey. I just needed to dress up like a girl and have a night out. We had a nice meal at the Sun Valley Brewery and then went to this new place which probably would have been great as there was live music -- and I love that -- but the wait staff was wearing flip flops. This is a trend that just grosses me out -- so we didn't stick around long.
So we went to the Silver Dollar Bar in Bellevue -- I was sort of dreading this because I'm just not a bar-goer anymore. So we bellied up to the bar -- and Marcella proceeded to figure out how to steal a plastic monkey. In the process this guy came up and started talking to us.
You know what? He flirted with me.
No one ever flirts with me, they always flirt with my cute friends. I didn't even realize it at first, but Marcella pointed it out to me. Anyway we danced and played pool with this guy and another guy at the bar and it was great fun.
This guy ended up walking me to my pick up and he told me I was beautiful and that he wanted to make out with me. A million years ago when I weighed a lot less and was a whole lot more available, this kind of thing NEVER happened to me.
I, of course said, I'm sorry, but .... and he was entirely a gentleman. OMG -- this kind of thing never happens to me. It was so nice -- so very nice.
I know he was drunk and won't remember a thing come Monday morning, but the whole thing made my day -- my week -- my year, really.
The Universe continues to confuse and delight me -- and in spite of everything I truly feel like I'm on the right path -- and wow, what a ride....!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How I spent my summer vacation

Warning: The following contains a great deal of whining.
So let's recap: All of this has happended since May 1.
Since the last solstice, I have been diagnosed with plantar facitus (sp?fallen arches/bone spurs). This made it painful to walk, to do Jazzercise or circuit training -- all of which I love. I have been in the middle of a nightmare of a remodel, in which I gave the opportunity to a friend I figured I could trust. While I can trust him as a friend, the project has been filled with mistakes and hassles. One stress after another.
I healed up from the foot problem only to have my knee start hurting within 24 hours. Could it be a sprain? Bruise? Don't know, but it hurts so bad I can't get a damn thing done. Yard work, gardening, playing with my kids -- all of it painful. Great.
Then, I start feeling weird. Start shivering. End up in the emergency room, thinking I had pneumonia (Again)only to find out I just had some mystery infection that no one could freakin' explain.
I started feeling better and went about my usual routines only to find I am able to express alien green goo out of my left breast. That's fabulous, eh?
Later than same day, I went to a doctor about my knee pain. I have arthritis. It's going to hurt. Maybe I should swim more. Or bike more. But it's just always going to hurt. Great. Just great.
Next I got to spend ten days on vacation. If, that is, you call spending ten days in a double wide trailer with 17 other people, mostly teenage boys, vacation.
So I come home with about ten days to get my kids ready for school in the middle of the chaos of the remodel -- which at this point is just under a week behind, because "someone" forgot to call for the inspection, so the dry wallers couldn't come in, which meant the painter couldn't come in, which meant the floor people couldn't get in, which meant my children would start school living out of boxes and sleeping on couches. Stupidly irritating, but liveable. In the meantime, my husband is grouchy because he can't handle the chaos of the construction.
I go to the doctor, where I fall apart because I'm just a tiny bit stressed out. She comforts and medicates me and then drops this bomb shell:
"You have every sign of being an abused woman."
OK. So I think: "Yes, I know that. People have been telling me that for years. My husband is verbally abusive. I don't, obviously, know what to do about it. But when your doctor says it, that's a whole 'nother level of reality."
I then go to the hospital to get a mammogram. (The hospital is an hour away, so a simple trip is really an ordeal). I wait patiently only to find out they won't take me because the hospital where I got my last mammogram send my x-rays to the wrong hospital. While waiting for nothing, my perpetually painful right leg developed a charley horse which lasted 3 days. (But remember, there's nothing I can do about it, except for lose weight -- duh -- they say that as if I didn't a) know that, b) wasn't trying to do anything about it and c) like the pain is my own fault for my stupidity and lack of personal control. )I leave a message for the doctor -- no one calls me back for two days (four counting the weekend) Only to tell me I have all the signs of the a blood clot. That makes for peaceful sleeping. The muscle cramp goes away.
The green ooze turns out to be nothing serious. A bright spot in a depressing series of events.
I meet my funky acupuncturist. Another cool deal, but while he's helped eliminate most of the pain -- I still hurt. A lot.
So I go to another doctor. He is clearly convinced that I'm a fat stupid woman. He does however inform me after looking at an MRI, than not only do I have a mean case of arthritis, my knee cap is out of alignment and I have a tear in my meniscus. Great.
He, out of the kindness of his heart he tells me, does remove 52 ccs of fluid off my knee and gives me a steroid. (But it won't last he reminds me)Oh! there is a brace that would help, but, of course, my legs are too big to wear it.
As the summer progresses -- Clem continues to be cranky and yes, verbally abusive to the children and me. I talk to friends. I talk to a new counselor.
You know -- I really do try to do all the right things.
I watch my children demonstrate all the signs of living in a verbally abusive home.
So yesterday I tell my husband he needs to move out. He needs to give me a break. He is sick. He has problems and needs to get help.
He admits he has a problem. Agrees to go to counseling. But he refuseds to leave.
So I pick up my kids after school Wednesday and I drive away from the house I love and every material possession I own except a change of clothes and my pickup. I explain to my children what's happening. My two little ones handle it really well. My son is practically giddy. My oldest daughter falls apart. Kicking and sobbing.
We talk. We decide we'll go see my family in Buhl. We'll probably stay in a hotel. Everything will be ok.
My daughter calls her dad, crying. She wants to go home. I talk to him. I tell him I'm not coming home because I'm not going to get yelled at any more. More importantly, my children will not get screamed at anymore.
I'm crazy.
I exaggerate.
I always run away from my problems. Married people fight. This is just a bump. Everything is always about me. I never want to change, I always expect him to change. If I want to leave, I should leave the kids at home and go.
Are you kidding me? 12 years of getting yelled at, left out, humiliated, over looked and verbally bashed. Yep, you're right, I am a bitch.
So I go have a lovely dinner with my sister. My kids decide they want to sleep in Shoshone on the farm but at their aunt and uncles house.
We sleep late. I take the kids to school. I have to go back into town to get my oldest because she can't stop crying.
I find out from the counselor that my husband has made a commitment to weekly sessions and further mental health testing. He is contrite. He admits there is a problem, but the counselor warns me my husband's health problems are complicating things and that it will take a while to get a full assessment of where he really is.
I figure that's progress. Maybe I'll just move into another house on the farm. My husband suggests we just sleep in separate rooms. I have one child who wants to leave, one child who wants to stay and one child that could go either way. Upon pressing them, they don't want to stay in the other house because there's no tv. Great.
So I contemplate my situation. He's admitted he has a problem -- huge deal. My kids have been in their brand new bedrooms for one entire week. That's it. I'm exhausted. I'm whatever it is beyond exhausted. I can't think. There is food here. Beds made. I can stay in the extra room for a few days until the final two pieces of carpet come in and then I can fix up the guest room and Clem can stay in there and I will stay in the Master Bedroom and that will be the safety zone for the kids and I. If he starts to yell the kids can stay in there until I can get them out of the house and moved elsewhere.
I've applied for a couple of jobs. I have my name on a waiting list for a rental in town. I think I've been planning and thinking about this for years but my children and husband have been brought into this reality for 24 hours. Take time. Get help. Be prepared. I will be ok.
So I just start to relax. I will point out, however, that my husband starts to watch tv in MY living room. We have gone through this hellish remodel to build him, among other things, a giant DEN -- with surround sound and a big screen and a huge reclining sofa thing and he won't go in there because it's too big and not comfortable for him yet.
Are you kidding?
I sit down in the big "his"comfy couch in the DEN and I watch tv and it's quiet and I'm just about ready to go to sleep and I decide I should check in with my sister who reminds me that I should have left completely and I'm just going back in the snake pit.
So I have failed. Again?
I've had it. I'm doing everything I know how to do. I've jumped through one hoop after another.
When I couldn't lose weight I admitted that I had a compulsive eating disorder and I worked through hours upon hours of therapy to overcome it and I did. And just as I'm starting to get a handle on things my body starts falling apart on me, but I don't give up and every single freaking time I fix one problem another one crops up.
I planned and talked to doctors and counselors to make sure I am indeed being verbally abused and I pray and pray and pray that I'm doing the right things for my children and I really just thought that a good night's sleep in my house that I love might do me some good and then I talk to my sister and as much as I keep reminding myself that I'm in control of my own destiny and I have to do what is right and that no one else matters, all I can hear is that voice in my head telling me I have to get out and then the other part of me shouting that I just need to follow my instincts and take this process one moment at a time and between the two freaking voices I can't freakin' sleep.
I just want to crawl into a hole and sleep and while I'm in there I want the stupid divorce attorney to return my calls because she's in Hailey which is just under an hour away instead of having to call the divorce attorney in Boise which is two hours a way. Then, I want my husband to get a kick in the head and move out before I have to file for divorce to force him to get out. Also while I'm asleep I want this construction to get done -- correctly -- so I can come home to my own house and not hear the sounds of hammers or backhoes or anything else.
I truly don't think that's too much to ask, considering the circumstances.
And, furthermore, I know what you're thinking. Yes Karma you have to get out and then maybe you can take a vacation. I have thought about that, but exactly whom would I leave my children with? Their dad? And if I want to leave I need money so I can't really justify spending money on a vacation, now can I.
So instead I'm going to write because it's what I do and then even though I probably shouldn't I'm going to publish this and then my friends and readers will either think I'm crazy or that they're tired of listening to me whine or they'll be worried about me and try to call and I'll probably be asleep for the first time in months when they call and I'll be so touched when someone calls and it will be a great deal to me and then I'll still be exhausted.
I just really want to know it's all worth it. That all of this has some great divine motivation and I'm getting a big fucking reward -- and I'm really not so self absorbed I'm alienating my friends and family and screwing up my children.
The only thing I do know that when the solstice comes in a few days I'm going to celebrate the end of this wretched summer and pray that autumn, my most favorite season, will bring great renewal.
I think I deserve it, damn it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hitting rock bottom

As I mentioned earlier this month, I've been under a great deal of pressure on almost every front in my life.
By mid-month, I was ready to throw in the towel. I was done. Flat out done.
But, God sends angels to you and if you're paying attention, the people in your life are there not only for companionship, but to offer you something you need.
Last week, in constant pain, I went to a new acupuncturist. I was filled with dread. I was braced for the lecture on the benefits on vegan lifestyle -- something I think is ridiculous. I was prepared to hear how American farmers are polluting the universe. Then, I expected the sales pitch on $500 worth of supplements that will make my life all better. When he called to confirm the appointment, I told him I didn't want to hear those things. I was there because I hurt and expected him to fix it. That's it. Nothing more. He agreed that he wouldn't lecture me etc.
I arrived to find a cross between Lyle Lovett and Chris Isack. A tall barefoot guy wearing a western style shirt made out of Hawaiian print fabric. In his spare time, he makes the shirts and he has a big ol fury cat named Godfrey. Oh and he's a Shakespearean actor named, Bard. He has the Ramones collection in his cd stack.This is someone I can totally hang with.
To make a long story short he said the pain in my knee probably started somewhere else -- like maybe I was carrying too much spiritual weight. My thyroid problem might have something to do with the fact I wasn't speaking my truth to those who need to hear it. "You know what you need to do," he said.
Those words echoed in my head all weekend long.
"You know what you need to do." --
I do and did. So I started standing up for myself more around here and felt an usual sense of strength. Then I did what I really needed to do. I prayed. I prayed to God and the Universe and to anyone else that would listen.
When I pray I often write -- as it's easier for me to think at that level. Following is an excerpt of what I wrote/prayed.
Aug. 23,2008
This is my prayer today :
Dear Lord – I surrender. I give in – You can have it all – I can no longer live with this weight upon me – I can no longer carry the responsibilities of so much upon my shoulders my heart my knees…
My voice has been cut off by my own devise and it must it simply must come back to me – If not I will continue to die each day – die a little as my soul continues to darken.
I give to you the anger and resentment that hardens my arteries and weakens my knees….
My light is gone…
But I can get it back..
These are my truths –
I know that I was put here on this earth to do something special – to make a difference to someone – I don’t know yet what that thing is, but I know that I have a divine destiny.
I know that I am capable of a lot of things…that I can do many things, that I can stand out and that while it’s overwhelming to me and intimidating to others – it is who I am – but I must use these gifts with grace and good judgment.
I know that there is a little bit more work to be done – before my dreams come true. I know that I must get my proverbial act together… I know that I must get organized… allow my true self to do the work necessary without getting overwhelmed -- that there is indeed a higher purpose… that if I just allow my true instincts to be my guide that if I don’t get caught up in pity
I know that I have a gift of vision beyond my eyes – that I must not be afraid….. to listen to what I see there
I know that I am a good mother but I can’t allow my fear to interfere with my instincts… I have to set reasonable boundaries…. I cannot blow up anymore – I am in control… the power is mine…. I know that I am beautiful – stunning even… that the only person who doesn’t see it is me.
I know that I have a gift with words and that I can change the world – but I have to write the truth….
I know that I must do the things I love – I must create art. Photography cards, anything – but it must come first.
I know that I am a good enough just the way I am and that I never wrote another word or lost another pound I would still be fabulous.
Really fabulous.
So today when I feel so very tired, I should let myself rest without guilt. Everything else will fall into place. Honor my body, honor my instincts. I am in control. I have the power and this is my time to enjoy all that it means.

Is it over? Really over?

I had a rough day last week. The people that were supposed to put in my new flooring had screwed up. The construction project was behind, again. I had a ton of things to do and no time in which to do it. I was mad, frustrated, overwhelmed and just plain cranky. On the verge of tears, I disappeared into my office and asked my sister to keep an eye on the kids. Then the cravings started. I heard the voices in my head telling me what would make me feel better. The action that would take my mind off the frustrations.
Eating? Diving into the refrigerator and staying there until I could eat no more?
Nope. I wanted to take a walk.
That's all I really wanted to do. Walk.
Isn't that cool? When I realized that's what I wanted I about stopped breathing. Recovery. Control. Damn it was weird and wonderful all at the same time.
Not a year ago and I would have polished off a couple of boxes of Girl Scout cookies. But that day, I just took a deep breath and since my arthritis is making it all but impossible to walk without pain, I played with some photography on my computer. Fifteen minutes later, I was calm and ready to take on my next project.
I've noticed a number of new things in the week since. Things I'd been doing for a while, but hadn't really noticed. I don't feel obligated to eat --even if everyone else is eating. If I'm not hungry, I don't eat. When I'm upset, I walk away or write or find something else to do. Here's the clincher: when I'm full, I stop eating.
Novel eh?
While it's all wonderful, it's still a new experience. There are times when I stand in the kitchen and I don't know what to do with myself. When you can eat anything, and don't feel obligated to feel guilty, it's a new experience -- at least for me. I have been tempted to call my doctor and beg her to put me on a diet. It feels like it would be easier if I had to follow a plan, rather than rely on my own instincts. I keep thinking "what if I'm wrong?"
But when I can relax and know that my body will tell me what it needs, when it needs it, I can hang out in the kitchen without fear. The key is trusting myself enough to drown out the voices of Vicki and Ed (see posts starting at Dec. 11, 2006).
Is this recovery? Or, more accurately, is this recoverED? Man, oh, man, if it is, it sure feels great!

Returning to the roots

I started this blog to chronicle my journey in recovery from an eating disorder. I've gotten away from that on occassion -- either not writing at all or writing about my daily life. Sometimes, I feel like I should write something else because my readers will get bored with my story. However, it occurs to me that the people who read this do so because my struggle was familiar to them -- either because you've watched me from a personal level or because you found comfort in these words for some reason.
I'm going to return to my purpose her because I've been hearing from a few of you that you want more about my journey and because I think there are more people to help.
Please feel free to forward the address to others who might find something familiar on these pages.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Apricots and motherhood

I had to walk away.
Just take a breath and walk out of the canning kitchen.
I'm trying to can apricots. Something I would normally enjoy. But my kids were sitting on their butts. Now, this is something for which I have no patience. There is plenty of work for them to do be doing. But they're just sitting there mindlessly watching tv while I was sweating over a hot stove.
So I told the girls they had to pick apricots. CJ didn't show up. So I sent the girls back down to the house to get CJ under the threat if he didn't help he wouldn't be going to the birthday party set for this afternoon. All they had to do initially was pick apricots.
I looked out. CJ is sitting down. Katy is laying down. I can't even see Patti. I told CJ to come in the house and help me.
"But, Mommmm, all I want to do is pick apricots."
He could put apricots in the jars. So he did this to two jar. Then he was hungry. He didn't eat breakfast. Even though I told him to do so at least twice.
Then Clem calls from the main house. The tile guy was there to finish the backsplash. Was there a pattern to this? How far to the left do the tiles go?
Well, let's see. Does it look like there's a pattern? No. Not even close. Wouldn't it make sense that the tile goes all the way to the end of the cupboard? Do I really have to drop what I was doing and come down there to repeat this to the tile guy?
So I put the kids to work. Katy can split and seed the apricots, CJ can fill the jars and Patti can get another batch of syrup ready.
I repeated myself to the tile guy and came back down to my canning kitchen. They had smashed too many 'cots into the jars and managed to get water all over the floor, which was now mud, thanks to their dirty feet. I looked at the bucket they should have filled after more than an hour of at least two of them picking. Half full. Green apricots.
Heavy sigh.
Really heavy sigh.
I told them they had to clean up the kitchen before we could start the next project; a batch of apricot surprise jam. (The suprise is there's no apricots, just zucchini and apricot jello) The girls started cleaning. CJ disappeared. This is a common occurence. If there going gets tough, my son gets going. He was hiding in the pickup. Katy had swept the floor then walked away. Patti was moppping, but the counters were still sticky.
"Mom can we have gum?"
"No. You can't have gum. You need to go back to the house and find something else to do. (I didn't add, but thought: you need to get out of my site before my head explodes)"
"But CJ got gum."
CJ got gum because he stole it out of the pickup while he was hiding there to avoid doing work.
I called the main house and told Clem they were his problem.
I'm sure Dr. Phil would be telling me there was some other way of handling this. But Holy Cow! Clem and I work hard. It's not like either of us disappear when there's chores to be done. Somehow we've raised three kids with no work ethic.
Maybe I'm just not in the mood to be patient and supportive. I just don't want to make this a "teaching opportunity". I want them to use their brilliant little minds and pay attention.
Now this job that should have taken about 90 minutes is pushing 3 hours.
Is this normal? Will they still grow up to be productive citizens or will they be slackers? I know they can work, I've seen them do it.
Sometimes, though, it's easier to walk away now and go back and complete the job later without interruption. But then they don't learn anything. Holy cow. There's got to be an easier way to be a parent.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back in the saddle again

Wow -- Home feels good! That trip was miserable and if there is any justice in the world, it will be the last time I'm miserable on a family vacation.
No rest for the weary though -- Holy Cow!! We got home late Sunday and hit the ground running Monday morning. The construction in the house is, of course, five days behind. But I had to get some stuff out of what is now the garage so the dry wall people can turn it into the new den.
I also caught up on my chores. My young chickens are almost full grown. We should start seeing eggs from them in the next month or so. Something apparently tried to take out Taloose the Guard Goose as his wing feather look like they've been scraped off.
Today got off to a rocky start as well. Clem got a call at 4 a.m. telling him there was a fire on the dairy. A huge straw and feed pile was on fire and jeopardizing corrals and employee housing. He finally came home about 7 tonight smelling of smoke and purely exhausted.
The kids and I went to Twin about 10 and also got home around 7. We got ALL of the back-to-school shopping done, almost all of the shopping done for the remodel (like door knobs and drawer pulls) and made a pass through Costco. Keep in mind I try a 4-door pickup. I could not have put one more thing in that vehicle. Thankfully, my two little ones went home with my sister. If they hadn't, I would have had to strap stuff to the top!
Katy and I are watching How to Look Good Naked on Lifetime Network. http://www.mylifetime.com/on-tv/shows/how-look-good-naked. This is one of my most favorite shows. Host Carson Kressley teaches women how to dress and carry themselves in such a way that they forget all their body hatred and be who they are. He talks about perception -- how so often we think we're so much bigger than we are. Attitude is everything. I wish sometimes, he'd deal with even heavier women, like me, but the show has really cemented some things I'd already started doing. I've been showing off my chest more -- even bought good bras! I dress the way I feel, not the way I think I should dress. It's rather difficult sometimes I still hear ED (see posts from 2006 and 07 about ED and Vicki) telling me that I shouldn't wear anything low cut because "fat isn't sexy". Then there's things like my sister-in-law that keeps telling me I wear ugly shoes. I caught myself scrutinizing the shoes I took with me on vacation because I knew she'd be there and wanted to make sure she didn't say anything about my shoes.
Earlier this summer, my friend and I made a pledge to swim each morning. I don't really like to swim, but I've been having so many problems with my feet and knees, it's about my only option. My friend, the night before our first "date", called to say she wouldn't go because she didn't want to be seen in hear swim suit -- especially by the zero-body-fat-hard-body pool manager.
I was crushed. Not just for myself, but because she's still trapped by that body shame weirdness.
My kids and husband and I have been going every night when he gets off work. It's not the aerobic workout I had planned, but it's a nice time with my kids -- and WAYYY better than sitting in front of the TV for three hours before I go to bed.
The rest of the week will be hectic -- I have a doctor's appointment in the morning to check on several factors as I seem to falling apart. Mammogram on Thursday. In the meantime, the contractors are coming to finish texturing the new part of the house and the tile guy is coming to do the back splash in the kitchen. Painting gets rolling on Friday and Saturday and carpet and flooring next week. That and my babies start school Aug. 21. All three in school all day. (More on that in another post)
As if all that weren't enough, the apricots are on in a big way and a tree blew into my brand new chicken coop, so I'll have to figure how to deal with all of that hassle. Arggh...
Love to you all -

Thursday, August 07, 2008

And we're back...

Sometimes you just have to listen to your inner voices. OK -- you always have to listen to your inner voices. Especially when they're screaming at you.
I need to write. I need to write because it's what I do and it's what keeps me sane even though I avoid it sometimes as it's just one more thing on a very long list of obligations. But my "voices" are telling me I have to do this -- to myself and others (hopefully) along the way.
I'm on vacation and I'm miserable. It's that annual vacation with my husband where it's, as always, all about him. I've spent a week in a pity party -- just wanting to go home, but can't. Just wanting to cry for a variety of reasons -- I'll get into them later.
So today I scheduled a massage. On the way into the spa, I seeped with tears -- just being overwhelmed with everything.
But I forced myself to turn off my head and turn inward -- to be in the moment (which I totally suck at) and I walked out feeling like I just might make it -- but I can't do it alone.
I've been reading a lot of Kris Radish lately (http://www.krisradish.com) and her books are always about women and friendship and taking care of each other.
I realize only about 4 people read this and you're all people I love and cherish and since you're scattered all over the country this site seems to make the most sense. I need to get back to chronicling my life -- and spending virtual time with you.
At this moment, in this bookstore/coffee shop, all I know is that after years of talk, nothing really has changed and it's more than time to step into my power and truly embrace all that is me. I know, you've heard this all before, but I think I've truly hit that proverbial rock bottom -- it's time.
So today, I allowed the massage therapist to massage my belly. The part of my body I detest the most right now. You know what -- it has served it's purpose for me and it felt good to allow someone to touch it in a healing way.
Typically I would have just hidden beneath the sheets. But I really needed the healing touch and I did it.
My challenge to the world today is to do the same: Find that place, either within or without, and touch it. Find a way to accept whatever it is and embrace it. (OK you sick minds, I know where you're going -- and that's OK too)
I'm going to where we're staying now to watch my kids play in the water -- and know that you're there with me -- so when things get weird I won't have to curl up in the fetal position. You're like a giant beach floatie...
I promise this will all make more sense later -- but I'm running out of time on the computer.
I love you all,