August 30, 2010
Help, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 35
For me, there’s comfort and kudos when I can say I did it myself. From start to finish – whatever the project is. I love that there’s a time when I can step back and admire my work, my persistence, my accomplishment.
For me, that was last Sunday when I single-handedly applied a Stampin’ Up multi-pieced vinyl mural to my living room wall. It’s the same mural I had in my old house, just on a smaller scale. The first one took a few hours on a ladder and a very patient friend to help me engineer the levelness and artistic placement.
The second took an “I can do this myself if I exercise extreme patience and use the correct tools attitude”. A step stool, masking tape, level, and wooden shim – for lack of knowledge where the specialized plastic vinyl rub-thingy might be. I tested it, and it worked, so I was ready for action.
After many more than anticipated eyeballing trips up and down the ladder, I discovered that while the level might be level, the walls aren’t exactly squared, which was causing the mural appear crooked. Just about an hour later, I made the final trip down the ladder and crossed the room to gaze at my handiwork.
I was momentarily pleased. That lasted only a few seconds. It’s a very short step from contented self-containment to the solo realization that the moment can’t be immediately shared. That’s a very short comfort, isn’t it?
I stood there astonished, re-reading the chocolate brown words I had carefully applied above the chocolate brown tree of life silhouette. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15. Sometimes my brain works faster than even I can fathom, and it throws kinks into my working-on-being-happy life at the seemingly most unwelcome moments.
It is a well acknowledged fault of mine that I rarely ask for help. Most of the time, it needs to be foisted on me; taxing my friendships as others to struggle to “do” for me. In fact, I have said “no” so many times, that when I finally do ask, it’s hard to find helpers.
I’ve been shown this lesson before. I feel better when I “do”, so why should I deny others the pleasure they seek in their hearts and souls? Service sometimes means being gracious enough to understand that allowing others to assist may thwart a fleeting individual sense of accomplishment – but what is an accomplishment if it is not a true service to the Lord? It’s a merely painful moment: a shoulder sagging humble acceptance as I am once again reminded that GOD does not want us to be - or to achieve - alone.
Service is the key to sharing, caring, and temporarily not being alone. No, it doesn’t always last beyond the confines of the situation. Eventually you end up on your own, in your own little space, wondering where everyone went. The key is to keep coming back together, leaning on each other, asking of each other, and in my new definition of service - accepting assistance offered, as well.
In this issue: Stampin' Up!, Grieving the Loss of Dreams, Trompe-l'œil, and Shims
August 23, 2010
Hanging, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 34
I’ve decided it’s time to be all in - embracing what I know is only semi-permanence - with more than just half of my heart.
Put things where I want them, knowing I can always change my mind later on – rearrange at will with just a bit of putty and a slap of paint. It’s easier to make decisions knowing there are ways to reverse them, glossing over pinpoint scars no one would even suspect were ever there.
Even though that’s not really how I want things to be. I want to leave big I-was-here impressions, fissures - in a non-destructive way. I want to move right through - confidently knowing a not-so-gentle stir-things-up wake follows.
On a rainy Saturday, I started hanging pictures. Not so much pictures, though; folk art, modern art, handmade art, antique art. Not too many, carefully placed to stand alone, or compliment each, other as I see fit. Impersonal, but thematic. The personal ones remain closeted – pinnacles of achievement that sadly really didn’t, haven’t, and simply can’t define me the way I thought they could or would. Photos line the storage area wall, stacked up, laid out in a line.
Perhaps, I’m being too picky about what I choose to display nowadays. Careful calculations are becoming more of a mask than a declaration. Maybe I should hang them: if only to remind myself that they weren’t what I was really after, after all. Maybe someday, when I’m stronger.
In the meantime, I have another project in mind. Black and white photographs for a cabinet collage – some collected long ago, some not collected yet. Snapshots taken down to basic shades of grey drive a different kind of focus, evening out the memories. We see them for what they are, purposeful moments which we meant to capture, intent on hanging on to them with our hearts. Then, we begin to recognize previously overlooked obvious gifts from GOD, and HE turns them into treasures. I’m really looking forward to that.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
In this issue: Hercules, Hercules, Allen Toussaint, Accepting Responsibility.
Now posted: Humor, That's Random, Facebook Gems, July 2010
August 22, 2010
Facebook Gems July 2010
Ms. Feisty July.... yez - that's my nickname, too. (Monthly chicken post - FYI)
Organization - out the window. Crunch time chaos - grab it, box it, stack it, move on
Today's observation: Country Life sheep always look surprisedly perplexed. Cows look blissfully ignorant. Chickens go about their business and concentrate on the work at hand
Hard to believe - I'm courting chaos - and enjoying it!
July 7 follow up:
Wow, everyone for the misleading poetic oops. It's a what, not a him. Chaos is when you find yourself changing everything when really only one small step is what you were after, it's also those evil thwarted dunces in Get Smart. Hmmm.
36 hours! Oh, my. (moving countdown)
Glenda Gafner is the Goddess of Going Full Speed Ahead Despite Being Assaulted By Gargantuos Grouchiness. :-) (moving trauma)
Oh, what I wouldn't give for a tall, dark and handsome man to show up at my front door with a plate of freshly baked killer brownies, ice cold milk, and my freshly folded laundry.
Ladies, I would like to pass on some advice my father gave me as a young lady. It is as wise today as it was back then! Dad told me that there was absolutely no reason any young girl should get pregnant because everyone could afford birth control. Then he handed me a dime to keep in my wallet at all times. He said that... if I ever needed fail-proof birth control, I should simply put the dime between my knees and use them hold it in place. :-) A penny or a pebble would work just as well.
Dear Food Researchers and Marketing Geniuses:
If you're gonna put candy pieces in a frozen beverage, you'd best make sure them broke up bits of expected goodness fit through the straw-er you're providin'... otherwisen could make some peoples cranky. Or crankier. Just sayin'.
Went to the apt. took care of a potential soda hazzard (left a paper cup full on the counter), gave Fred a treat & some milk for not touching the paper cup (she loves to knock over liquids), measured the bathroom and entry way for rug sizes, drove the trash and the flattened cardboard boxes over to the garbage/recycling area. Back at work in 1/2 an hour. I'm giddy! BWHAHHAHAHHAH!
Good nature only goes so far... sometimes going gonzo is the only way to really get through....
Good nature left and I found myself not so quietly muttering a phrase I'd only ever heard my Dad use when he was in gangster mode. Not entirely proud of that, but am entirely and highly amused by it. :-)
(I'm gonna yank his balls out through his nose!)
Ok because I'm tired and too lazy to go fetch my glasses, I misread your post as "Pat is attending Church Caput." And I'm thinking...I'm pretty much caput so that's the church for me! (Truly said: Church Campout!)
August 15, 2010
Tattoo, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 33
Tattoos are permanent reminders of temporary feelings. Jimmy Buffet
Tattoos are permanent reminders of permanent feelings. jak
True, more than a few tattoos have been inspired by an altered state of consciousness.
For some it’s just a matter of being "cool" or joining an "in" crowd.
For some it is an ominous imposition – the result of looking for something more and finding loyalty requires a permanent demonstration of commitment.
For some it signifies a rite of passage; recognition of the power of determination and the freedom of self expression.
For most, a tattoo signifies a landmark in a lifetime: memories or
memorials, honorariums, self-validation, a purposeful constant reminder of love or loss, an assertion of who we are.
Emotions - negative or positive - are powerful things. They can
overload your mind with the unnecessary stress - fear of losing moments
Please do not mistake this note for outwardly directed justification.
It’s self-exploration: retrospective.
Oh, I could romanticize and compare tattooing to the deliberate reopening of infection-ridden healed over wounds and the subsequent careful debridemental healing required for healthy permanency, but that would merely be an over exaggerated and rather lame symbol-ridden gait towards the justification I don’t believe I owe anyone anyhow.
For reasons that remain un-definable even now, 17 years ago, I chose to begin carrying my emotions on me instead of inside me. I see them daily: they enforce who I am, they perpetuate strength. They triumphantly display ownership of my emotions, confidence in my own self-worth: akin to wearing my heart on my sleeve, freeing up space for loving GOD and loving you.
This is a good thing.
In this issue: Tattoo, Waring Blenders, Struggling to Find Your Voice
Now posted: Humor, That's Random: Facebook Gems June 2010
Facebook Gems August 2010
"Sometimes we don't really notice just how good it can get." Rob Thomas
My father once asked of me, "What will people think of your tattoo when you are 70?" My answer, "If I'm 70, and worrying about what other people think... I've got a bigger problem than my tattoo!"
Set up wireless network, printer & computers, except for the one that refuses to turn on, in my office today. Ran into a few problems, fixed 'em with research & cables & one 15 minute "this is ridiculous" iced tea break. Only took 3 hours. Can't really tell ya how. Pretty sure I can't duplicate it @ your house. LOL.
Steamers hint: thought the meal was dry, bland & boring til I realized there was wet stuff in the bottom of the bowl but not on my food. Huh? Oh! You're supposed to take the steamer tray out and mix it with the wet stuff. Much better...
August 10, 2010
Greener, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 32
It seems I’ve entered an era of disappointment, not in myself for change.
It’s the disappointments I’ve inspired in others that gives me some concern, and some peace.
Standing up for myself is not always easy, and I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, more than I think I ever have before, in rapid succession. It certainly isn’t my desire to bring on disappointment, but the result of discovering my own limits, and the realities of them.
I’m not a climber; socially or professionally. I’ve never had that priority. I find a place I like and stick with it for as long as it remains comfortable. Previous minimum 7 years. Current maximum 10. I stay until the last chance of challenge is gone, and the prospects are dry to almost petrified. I suppose some could consider that point too far… I just need to be sure... and GOD smacked.
My annual physical is coming up. I’m not worried at all about the physical part. The part where they peer over the clipboard and ask if you’ve had any major changes in your life is what I’m afraid of. I wonder how many checkmarks it takes before you are relegated to mandatory counseling? I don’t need counselling. No, don’t argue… won’t do you any good.
I’ve reached this place through hard personal work and I like it here. I had that little epiphany last week when I lost my computer to a virus for a few evenings. Thanks to my friends who have lovingly sucked me into the Facebook gaming abyss, I not only changed my home, my job and my age, I also became a café owner, farmer, and a frontier gal. I finally gave up the mall store... sort of.
Escapism aside the point here is this:
While it’s true the grass isn’t always greener on the other, sometimes it is.
The only way to find out is the change your perspective.
Letting GOD move you out of where you are isn’t always a smooth, quick or painless process.
But it seems to be working out ok for me.
Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters.
In this issue: Greenery, Chlorophyll, Job Burn Out, Escapism
August 03, 2010
Perfect Moments, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 31
I saw a post: “Perfect moments just leave bitterness.”
Incomprehensible; not understanding, I post back, “?”
What I’ve been thinking of as perfect moments have never been tinged with bitterness, rather closely followed by sadness.
I’m no longer sure that the sadness needs to be there.
It almost shouldn’t be because I have been given a gift, and then gifted again.
And much in the vein of last week’s note, even as I am storing these new nearly perfect moments as memories, they nestle amongst reminders of loss.
I rethink the reminders. I cry. Like now.
I let that come and pass. Lately it seems to pass more quickly into thanksgiving for the wonderful moment, and selfish prayers for another to soon follow.
Perfect moments are neither, elusive or impossible.
If perfect moments leave bitterness, the focus is not correct.
Or, perhaps, they weren’t ever perfect moments - only moments wished perfect.
Weighing wishfulness against thankfulness, the first is a far heavier carry than the second.
And if like begets like: light begets light – thankfulness begets thankfulness.
It’s a blessed cycle. It has to be the way of life.
It’s the way we live our moments – which are all perfect by GOD’s design.
In this issue: Bitterness, Magnanamous, Triggers, Lewis Smedes, An Attribute of the Strong
New Orleans, 2009: Repeat, Reunion
Faith, Current: Not With Me
August 02, 2010
Not With Me
Anger and hurt. I hold out for as long as I can.
Unfortunately, there is always someone or something that pushes me too far.
Telling me I said something I did not. Telling someone else I said something I did not. Ignoring me – repeatedly – even though I’ve calmly and, as often as possible with humor, explained over and over the implications and ramifications of your actions.
Expecting me to pick up the physical or emotional pieces you purposefully shattered during a tantrum – not going to happen.
I may, however, help you figure out how to gather them up, refit them, rebond them and make due with the consequences of your actions. I may not offer right away. I may wait until you ask for help, or I may just begin to help if I see you making the effort.
Even so, the voids are always mine to keep.
Bad situations leave dimples, dips or holes in my heart; sometimes fissures.
I have no choice but to fill them with GOD to heal myself….eventually.
For the moment I am choosing not to initiate self healing.
Under the guise of self-protective reasoning – if I don’t carry the hurt for a while, I’ll forget too easily what it feels like.
Under the guise of unfairness – if I fill up every hole I have with GOD, there will be no space for you.
I shouldn’t have to tell you you’ve hurt me. I don’t want to be magnanimous.
I don’t want to have to say “that’s ok” after you offer an excuse of an apology that only carries faultless insistence.
It’s not ok.
So, for now, that’s how we’re going to stay: me with unfilled holes, and you - not with me.