Thursday, October 31, 2013

What Do You Want?: Thursday Thirteen


Now that the 30 day blog challenge is done, I can go back to some of my other pursuits.  So, I decided to take up the Thursday thirteen again.

My mentor/sponsor/recovery hero often asks me, So what do you want?  I hate trying to answer that, so I normally tell him what I don't want.  He always tells me that's not good enough.  Why?  Because I can do something about what I want.  All I can do about what I don't want is whine about lament over it.  We've got two months left in 2013.  With that in mind, my Thursday thirteen are what I want by the end of the year.
  1. I want to be in one-derland by the end of 2013.  One-derland is that awesome magical zone where my body weight has a "1" in front of it instead of a "2."  This isn't wishful thinking; it is an attainable goal.  I don't care if it's 199.9!  Plus, I want to enjoy it and relish it so that I won't slump back into behaviors that put the weight back on.  Been there, done that.
  2. I want to find a good job, or at least have some definite direction on my career.  I'll keep fishing, hunting, praying, and asking.
  3. I want to run a 5k in 45 minutes or less.  I've only got a couple more chances at this one, so it may be bumped up to 2014, but I'm going to try.  My next chance is November 9th at the Kyle Comfort Memorial 5k.
  4. I want to find more opportunities to get to know my new church family.  I've been at my new church for a year and I still feel like I don't really know enough people.  I'm on the worship team and in the choir and, shameful to say, I still don't know everyone's name.  I'm trying to combat the urge to think that my serving is enough--there's not much friendship building in that.  Our Pastor taught on friendship recently, so I'm even hungrier for real, deep friendships.  This is going to take a focused effort on my part.  I can't expect people to come up to me.
  5. I want to finish my secret holiday projects.  Shhhh....it's a secret.
  6. I want to finish my current lesson in the Bible correspondence course I've been taking.  This lesson has been on hold for way too long. 
  7. I want to finish the spring cleaning I started...well, this past spring.  Look, it's no secret that this has been a rough year for me in just about every way possible and I've let too many things go.  This is one of them I'm picking back up.  Spring cleaning my living quarters is actually helping to boost my mood.
  8. I want to have a better Christmas season than last year.  I cannot control what anyone else does.  I can only make the right choices to enjoy celebrating Christ's birth.  It's up to me.  Though, I hope I'm not celebrating alone. No, I'm not doing a pitiful me, Cinderella can't go to the ball because her man's a pumpkin sort of thing.  No, I thought about having a Christmas cookie party, but wouldn't that make me a hypocrite?  I mean if I care about health, I can't be passing out candy and cookies at Christmas, now can I?  *sigh*
  9. I want to have better prayer and quiet times.  They are better than they have been for a long time, but they are not where they should be.  My days go much better when I can spend quality, focused time alone with God.  One thing that will help is to retrain myself to get up at the time I used to.  Until the mystery ick from September knocked me on my butt, I was pretty consistent at getting up at a decent hour.  I'm well now, but still sleeping too much.
  10. I want to clean up my computer hard drive and my social media sites.  After a while, things start to get disorganized.  It's just time to regroup.  This process takes a couple of days and I'm trying to spend less time in front of the computer.
  11. I want to get out more.  Winter is the hardest time for me because all I want to do is stay in the cave.  It's colder, and the days are shorter, so it's easy to stay inside.  However, I'm well aware that depression mode often isolates and often turns one into a hermit.  Hermit mode turns into Oh well, no one's here but me.  Why clean the place?  Why shower?  Why get out of my bed clothes?  Why even bother?  No, no, and NO!
  12. I want to try new workouts.  Actually, I think I'm going to issue a blog challenge for all of us to try some new stuff.  I can stay motivated if I know other people are doing it too.
  13. I want to go out 2013 like a BOSS, not like a punk!  I occasionally put this on my Facebook wall to remind myself!

As each item is accomplished, I shall come back here and update you.  At the end of the year, I'll post about how it went.  Have a good'n, y'all.  I know I will.

UPDATE 04/10/14:  I must not have wanted it bad enough.  I didn't accomplish anything on this list.  All I can do is keep trying.  Sorry, y'all.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 30: Do You Remember the Time...

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 30:  List five things you would hope to be remembered for.
  • Well, first off, I hope when I shake off this mortal coil that I'll be remembered at all.  Hopefully, I will have lived a life worthy of being remembered for exactly what it was:  A life lived so that the preacher doesn't have to lie at my funeral.  
     * My love for Jesus.   
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) - Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
  • My love for people.  This would include creativity and everything that goes with it.
I John 4:7-8 (KJV) - Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 
  • Keeping the laughter going.
Nehemiah 8:10 (KJV) - ...for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
  •  Keeping the praise rocking
Psalm 150 (MSG) - Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship, praise him under the open skies; Praise him for his acts of power, praise him for his magnificent greatness; Praise with a blast on the trumpet, praise by strumming soft strings; Praise him with castanets and dance, praise him with banjo and flute; Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum, praise him with fiddles and mandolin. Let every living, breathing creature praise God! Hallelujah!
It didn't ask this, but here are some of the songs I might want played at my life celebration.  And, no, I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon...and I may change my mind by the time I get old--I'll probably want stuff more rocking than this!   :)

Untitled Hymn by Chris Rice
 
Gospel Ship by Mylon & Broken Heart
 
In Freedom by Hillsongs
 
Trading My Sorrows by Darrel Evans
 
Ready, Willing, and Able by Petra
 
Revelation Song by Kari Jobe


Look Out, There's a Monster Coming: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Shout out to From This Side of the Pond for the Hodgepodge questions.

 What's something you're dealing with that might be described as tricky?
Definitely finding a good job is tricky.
What's your treat of choice?
As far as candy goes, Snickers bars are my treat of choice.  I'm trying to come up with non-food treats to reward myself with.  Reminds me of a Pinterest pin:  Do not reward yourself with food; you are not a dog.
Did you/will you carve a jack-o-lantern this month? Which real (living or dead) or fictional 'Jack' would you most like to meet in person? Why?
No on the jack-o-lantern.  Can't really think of any "Jacks" I would like to meet.  Jack Nicholson and Jack Black would probably frighten me or gross me out more than anything. All my friends drool over Jack Sparrow, but I've never even seen Pirates of the Caribbean.
In your opinion, what's the grossest sounding word in the English language?
Arugula  - Sounds like a horrid disease; not something to eat.  "Yeah, I had arugula, but took some Exlax and got rid of it." 
When did your heart last skip a beat?
April 23, 2004 - the day my father died.   I was at work when I got the call.  My heart stood still and I thought it would never start again.
Monster Mash by Bobby 'Boris' Picket, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon, or Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghostbusters...your favorite 'scary' tune?
If I have to pick between this list, I'd pick Thriller. I was a big Michael Jackson fan in the 1980's (back when he was black). 
It was a dark and stormy night when______________________________.
...when I stayed home and read a book.
Insert your own random thought here.
I have spiritual convictions about not celebrating the spooky/satanic elements of Halloween.  However, it would be nice to dress up in a costume and go have some fun.  No harm in that.  I had intended to be at a good weight this year to wear a real batgirl costume and go out somewhere...I don't know, kidnap my nieces and go trick or treating or something.  But not this time.  I'm probably just going to stay in tomorrow.  Maybe next year.  Besides, I don't know if I'm ready to be around a lot of candy.

Here's a fun Halloween playlist.  Enjoy

 Look Out There's a Monster Coming
 
No Monsters
 
God is Bigger
 
 Rocky Horror - Whose Line style.

Yeah, I know, I'm weird.  But that's why you love me.  :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 29: Toy Story

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 29:  What were your three favorite toys/games as a child?
  • My first bicycle.
  • The Somersault Dog:  I think I was about five when I got this toy.  You wound it up and it would bark as it walked and sat down.  Then, all of a sudden, it would stop barking and do a back flip.  That was the funniest thing.  I wonder if they still make those?
  • The baby doll.  I only received one baby doll as a child that I remember.  I was five or six and I found out the hard way that just because a doll has black hair and brown skin, you can't do her hair like a little back girl.  The minute hair grease touched that doll's head, it was never right again.  By the time I finally threw that doll away when I was bout 30 years old, her hair was, of course, ruined, she had one eye that wouldn't close when you laid her down, and she wouldn't wet anymore when you fed her water from her bottle.  She was a hot mess!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 28: Love Will Keep Me Together

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 28:  What is your love language?

I read the book The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman back when I was a preschool teacher--an excellent read I might add.  I had as much fun learning each child's love language as I did finding out his learning style.  Fun, fun, and more fun.

I've never read the book for adults because I figured it was all about marriage (don't go there), so I had to take an online quiz to find out.  I scored high on three of the love languages (I told you I hate taking personality quizzes; I never score right).

The highest scoring language was Physical Touch.  From the website:
A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Appropriate and timely touches communicate warmth, safety, and love to you.
Sounds about right.  I also scored high on Receiving Gifts and Quality Time: 
[Receiving Gifts] Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are heartfelt symbols to you of someone else’s love and affection for you.
[Quality Time] In Quality Time, nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Whether it's spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities.
I scored nearly equally on all three; 9 on the first, 8 on the other two.  Does that mean I'm easy to love, or that I'm too needy?  The website doesn't answer that!

This One's For the Girls Challenge: Week 04


Photo courtesy of
Amiel Weisblum
Well, here we are the last week of the month.  I'm sorry that it has taken this long to come up with the last challenge, but finding a different workout was difficult.  This one is a printable file found here.  Please remember to use whatever weight you're comfortable with that will still give you a challenge.  Have fun, and thanks for participating in this challenge with me. 

 This One's For the Girls

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 27: Hot Legs

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 27:  What is your favorite part of your body and why?

Does my hair count as a body part?  No, OK.

My legs...well specifically my calves.  As I talked about in an earlier post, my legs are what showed me as little girl that was fat, but they show me progress and strength now:
I see strength in those legs.  I see miles ran and miles to run.  I see a future of winter boots and summer heels that accent and show off the definition in the muscles of those legs (nothing provocative, relax).  I see legs that may learn to dance someday. I see legs that bounce babies as they laugh.  I see legs that sometimes recline on my desk when I'm reading a book.
I hope that's not a bad thing, because if it is...OH WELL. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 26: One Thing Remains

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 26:  What popular notion do you think the world has wrong?

The notion that God is mad at them.  They think that God hates them.  Instead of fearing God in reverence and awe, they are afraid of Him.  They've been told that He's just sitting up in heaven with a stick, ready to whack them when they do something wrong (which is a LIE).  No wonder, when so many believers in Christ feel the same way!  The only person who can impugn guilt on someone faster than a Christian is a mom (but I CARRIED you...).  So what do you expect?

OK smarty pants, show me that God isn't mad at me.  Now, in order for me to prove it, I'll have to use the only reliable source I know, the Bible--the Word of God itself.  Here's just a few passages:

Psalm 107:1 - Oh, thank God—he’s so good!  His love never runs out. (The Message) 

Nehemiah 9:17 - ...but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness... (King James)

Psalm 103:8 - The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

John 3:16 - This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.  (The Message)

Romans 5:8 - But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (King James)

Romans 5:6-8 - Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. (The Message)

Please, just think about it...

A great book by Joyce Meyer on the subject.

 
One thing remains.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 25: The Dinner, the Cliff's Notes, and the Wardrobe.

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 25:  If you could have dinner with anyone from history who would it be and what would you eat?

Author C.S. Lewis comes to mind.  Lewis is known for his writings on Christianity and his allegorical novels like the Chronicles of Narnia series.  To be honest, I've not read any of Lewis' non-fiction work and I didn't make it through all of the Narnia books.  So why would I want to have dinner with him?

The story of this man's conversion from being a staunch atheist to being a strong disciple of Jesus Christ is intriguing.  I would like to sit down with C. S. Lewis to give me a crash course in his writings--to give me an insight into how he thinks--to help me understand.  I often hear my Pastor quote from Lewis' works and it whets my appetite for wanting to know more.  However, for some reason, I can't bring myself to try it again.  When I tried to read the Narnia books, I couldn't grasp the allegorical themes and I didn't follow the characters very well.  As an avid reader, my stupidity frustrated me.  They ARE children's books for pity's sake! 

Now, as far as what we would eat.  When I first read the question, I had decided that whomever I named would have chosen the meal.  However, Mr. Lewis was from Ireland, but spent most of his time in England.  With apologies to my UK friends, from what I understand English food is notorious for being very bland.  If we could eat somewhere here in the US, then I'd let him chose what we ate.  If not, I'd be bringing a peanut butter sandwich...or at least a salt shaker.

Five Minute Friday: "Together"

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
 
Five Minute Friday
GO!

When I think of together, I think of the ultimate friendship.  Friendships like King David and Prince Jonathan had where you and your "bestie" are knit at the soul. 

When I think of that kind of commitment and sacrifice in friendship, I think of my Sunday School class.  We are called "Morning Blend" because we are a group of ladies at all ages and stages of life.  We are all so different and each of us has our own quirks and issues, but we are so much the same in that we love Jesus and each other.  Everyone encourages the rest of the group in so many different ways:  a kind word, a hug, food, gifts, prayers, support, laughter.   Our classroom is the most open, the most fun, and the least judgmental place on the planet.  These ladies are my heroes.  It's just a shame that we don't have more time to gather together during the week, but each of us is just an e-mail or phone call away.  I love my girls!

TIME'S UP!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 24: Workin' It.

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 24:  Describe your first job.

It was the summer of 1988 when I was 16.  I was a helper at the old Jacksonville Senior Citizen's Center (now a parking lot on the square).  During activity time my job was to assist the participants.  This mostly amounted to being asked, "Hey, girl, come'ere and play Uno with us!"  That was the easy fun part of the job.  In the afternoons, I helped clean up the activity area and the dining hall.  The only part of the job I didn't look forward to was riding along to help deliver meals on wheels.  Most everyone was nice, but we had a "cat lady" to deliver to--her house was "hoarders" nasty because she let the dozens of cats just go potty wherever they wanted (no litter boxes that I could see), plus she dipped snuff (yep, spit cups on display), plus, she didn't have any air conditioning, but kept her windows closed.  Now look, I've been a preschool teacher and cleaned a LOT of dirty bottoms, watched MANY kids eat boogers or hurl, and mopped up GALLONS of pee, puke, poop, and other solids liquids and gasses, but this was the only job that actually made me gag!  Now that's saying something.

I left the job at the end of the summer when band camp started.  I'm so glad that my first job experience was a positive one.  All of the great people I spent time with have all passed on and I miss them.  It was such a great summer.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bipolar Winter: The Weekly Hodgepodge

 
Shout out to From This Side of the Pond for the Hodgepodge uestions.

When it comes to good manners, what two top your list of most important?
Showing respect and saying please, excuse me, and thank you.
Let's open a proverbial can of worms...Common Core.  Are you familiar with the term (talking education reform in the USA)?  If so, care to share your thoughts? In your opinion, what is one of the biggest issues schools (in your home country) face today?
Don't have any idea what it is.  I've just heard my friends who are teachers or who homeschool their children talking about it.  So, I have no opinion on the subject.  To me, the biggest issue facing our schools is the government's interference with the learning process.  Political correctness has infiltrated our schools and demanded that teachers merely cram facts into students instead of stimulating learning.  I wouldn't teach public school for anything in the world.
Name a celebrity whose fashion sense you admire and share why.
oprah_winfrey.top.jpg(Please remember that the question said fashion sense...)  Oprah Winfrey.  No mater what size Oprah is, she is always beautiful and always dressed like a winner.  I should do the same.


How are you affected by the changing seasons?
The transition from winter to spring always brings a pep to my step.  The days are longer and warmer.  It's great. I love spring, summer, and early fall.  Right now we are hurdling toward winter--shorter and colder days.  I'm already feeling the icy grip of depression curl its tendrils around my heart.  I thought I could head it off at the pass, but my body is already suiting up for depressive mode.  I've been sleeping too much, eating too much, having to force myself to leave the house, being cold and bundled up in bed when it's 70 degrees outside, headaches, and being achy all over.  My mind is trying to follow.  I hate this time of year.
Scariest book you've ever read?
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.  I was forced to read this mess in 11th grade.
What time of day are you most hungry? What's your go-to snack?
Mid afternoon.  I'm trying to stop going for the caffeine and sugar and choose something else, or nothing at all.
Do you lean more towards being too needy or too independent? Which do you find harder to deal with in others?
Both.  Wait, how can it be both?  Well, it CAN!  I know in my heart that I am too needy, but at the same time, I act too independent.  I don't state fully what I need or want, so I'm left high and dry a lot.  When I do try to state what I need or feelings, I feel very needy and clingy.  You see, THIS is why I never take personality quizzes; I always register as schizophrenic.   I really don't have time to be upset about someone else's neediness or independent spirit.
Insert your own random thought here.
Need a laugh?  I know I do.  How about a game of Freeze Tag?

Blog Challenge Day 23: She's Crafty

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 23: List your top three hobbies and why you love them?
  • Crochet - the creative possibilities are endless.  Everything from blankets, to wreaths, to clothing can come from a simple hook and some yarn.
  • Painting - I love creating a beautiful world on canvas. Still life paintings are my favorite.
  • Reading - I'm always inspired by the words of others.  They motivate me to continue to share words of my own.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 22: See it, Say it, Seize it!

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 22: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  10 years?  15 years?

Understand that the answer to this question is loaded with uncertainty, conjecture, speculation, prayerful hope, and a lot of wishful thinking.  So, if I'm wrong, I just believe that my life will actually be better than this.

In five years, I will be 46 years old (WTC?).  I will be out of "JackVegas" and living in southern California.  I will be out of debt and have a lucrative career in something in the entertainment and/or art business.  Hopefully my church out there will have a great choir and worship band and not need me to play or sing.  Then, I can serve the church in other ways; giving, teaching, etc,   I will have received my 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th year chips at Celebrate Recovery and will have been at my goal weight for several years.  I may even run my first marathon by then.  My blog will have exploded into hundreds of readers.  I will have finished the Bible correspondence course I started years ago, and I will be saving up so that I can begin study on my doctorate.  I may also study drama/theater at my local university.  My book on my health journey will be self published, then picked up by a major publishing company, and appear on the New York Times  bestseller list.  A possible book/comedy/music tour will follow.

In ten years, I will be 51 years young.  After completing my doctorate in Theology and my Bachelor's degree in Drama/Theater Arts (might double major in exercise science), my doctrinal thesis will be published along with other works.  I will have done voice overs for several popular children's movies and I will be a regular contributor to Scholastic books read-alongs and Mrs. P's children's book website.  I'll have been on several missions trips to Honduras and possibly Asia.  I will have travelled extensively.  I'll begin my A.C.E. training to become a certified fitness trainer.  I'll own my dream house and have many opportunities to help and serve others from my home.  My craft business is booming.  I'll continue on with Celebrate Recovery and hopefully be mentoring others by then.

In fifteen years, I'll be a young 56.  The A.C.E. course has paid off and I have several individual fitness clients and teach classes at a local fitness center.  I'm still taking missions trips and travelling.  All of my business endeavors are doing well.  There are so many wonderful things going on that I can't think of all of them to write them down.  Life is good...and will continue to be so until I leave this planet. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 21: Trying to Fix Stupid

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 21: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would be the first thing you did with it?

An atomic open hand pimp slap that could actually slap the stupid out of people.  It would also be able to reach through television and computer screens. It would know no political, ethnic or religious bounds.  If anyone acts stupidly...SLAP...there, that fixed it.



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 20: Backpedalling

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 20:  Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood. 

Oh Lord, again? 

Look, I'm not writing that crap again.  I'll give you links to them.  Is that OK?

The day I found out I was fat.
My first experience with being a musician.
Burger King episode.

Thanks.

Blog Challenge Day 19: California Dreams

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 19:  If you could live anywhere, where would it be, and why?

If you've known me or read my blog for any amount of time, my answer to this question is no secret.  If I could live anywhere, it would be southern California.  Probably not right in Los Angels, but near it.  Probably the furthest I would live from it is Lake Forest, which is about 40 miles south of Los Angeles. 

But the South--where you live--is lovely!  Why on EARTH would you want to move to California? 

Hey, at least it wasn't New York!

Well, my home town (lovingly scornfully referred to as "JackVegas") is not exactly the ideal place to abode if you are well educated, artistic, or are media or entertainment minded and don't know the "right people."  It's a good place to get an education, but I need to get out of there to ever be more than I already am.

Yes, I know that California has it's problems, but it also has it advantages.  Yes, I realize that the cost of living is higher there, but so are wages and opportunities.  Yes, it's hard to break into entertainment, writing, music, or art, but I believe they are not so quick to turn down hiring a person with education who is willing to work a lower end job.  I'm sure they see their share of homeless divas who think they are too good to mop a floor, take out trash, or clean a baby's bottom.  Not me, girlfriend.

Unlike where I live, I don't think the powers that be in California would discourage me from  pee on my dreams.  They would not blatantly do things that keep me trapped in the system.  They would not discourage me from working and tell me that I need to just go and get a government check.  Oh yes I was told that on more than one occasion.

Along with the opportunity factor, there are more reasons I want to live there:
  • I've always felt like an outsider in "JackVegas" and I've been here since I was six years old!  The first time I set foot on California soil, I felt at home.  No, I didn't see any celebrities or spectacular views.  It was just a feeling in my heart that, I believe, came from God.  I've had a heart for California since I was a kid.
  • The weather.  It's Alabama Spring and Fall ALL YEAR.  No hot as hades, humid as the inside of a dog's mouth summers.  No winters that send your power bill into outer space.  Year round football weather.  Can I get a Roll Tide!
  • Bike lanes and public transportation. If I don't feel comfortable driving around, there are plenty of other ways to get there.
  • More entertainment and art venues.
  • More diverse culture - as I've said, my home town is very anti anything that is not already like itself.  It is also still very racially and socioeconomically divided--and they like it that way.  I don't.
  • Did I mention the weather?
It's very difficult to feel this way about a place and every door I can see to get to that place is closed and has furniture piled behind it.  I'm not sure how I'm going to escape the "JackVegas" vortex, but I WILL.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five MInute Friday: "Laundry"

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
 
Five Minute Friday
GO!

I've always joking said that laundry was my favorite sport.  It's not.  I really don't understand how a person who lives alone can produce so many dirty clothes.  Maybe that's a good thing.  It proves that I don't hang around the house in my robe or "nekkid" all the time.  Having laundry to do proves that I'm productive and that I do like to keep things clean. 

When I get my own house, having a clothesline is on my "haves" list.  The clothesline in the back yard is one of the things I like about my apartment.  There's just something about hanging laundry.  Yes, I know a dryer is faster and I use mine a lot.  But pegging out laundry on the line gives me a sense of...a sense of...oh I don't know, I just feel like one of those hard working pioneer women I read about in Janette Oke and Lori Wick novels.

Doing laundry also reminds me of how far I've come in my health journey.  You knew I was getting to that, so don't act surprised.  I was so happy when I got out of the 3 x's.  Now, I'm trying to wrap my mind around being in an XL.  Yes, I know that's still too big, but it's progress. 

TIMES UP!

Blog Challenge Day 18: To Forgive is Divine

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 18:  What is the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

First, let me say that the people involved in this issue are NOT members of my family (thank God).  Second, the guilty parties are either long gone or long dead.  Third, if you are ultra sensitive, you might want to read a different post.  Maybe something more upbeat.

When I got into recovery and started working the 12 steps, I found it very hard to forgive all the sexual damage that was done to me.  Rest assured, I kept my virginity through it all, but I had to fight tooth and nail to keep it.  I've been molested and nearly raped several times.  I had my first (and last) kiss ruined in college by some numb nut who thought I would like it if he tried to shove his tongue down my throat--I didn't want or ask to be kissed in the first place.  I've had other forms of perverse sexual behavior forced on me (a rather graphic incident at a swimming pool when I was nine comes to mind--I'll not write it here).

Well, if you kept your virginity, what's the problem?

It's a problem because now, at 41 years old, I am damaged goods.  People often ask me why at this late age--like I'm old or something--that I'm not married, or at least dating and looking.  Here's why; no man in his right mind should be subjected to all my junk.  Good men--not lazy, trifling, sorry, thuggish men--are tired of needy, damaged women.  It's not fair to subject them to such nonsense.  He would need to go through a 12 step program to date me.  No kidding!  I have so many fears surrounding sexuality and relationships.  Some of my hangups about this are why I've been obese for so long. I was afraid that a man would find me attractive...

Can I tell you a secret?  My most hated cuss word is the "F" word.  I don't like profanity--real profanity not southern cussin' (that's different)-- but I often wondered why that one word sends shockwaves through my nervous system.  Of all things, a TV program brought it out.  Craig Ferguson was doing an interview with Stephen Fry.  Both men are from Great Britain.  They were commenting on the differences in US television and programming in the UK.  Mr. Fry made mention of the "F" word and said he didn't understand the censorship of the word on network television in the United States.  After all, in his reasoning, the word simply meant "intercourse" or "copulation," which to him were beautiful things, and of course, Mr. Ferguson agreed.  Sorry gentlemen, not to me.  Yes, the word is a slang word for sex, but to me that act is only in the context of rape or a man taking from a woman that which has not been offered.  It is a man trying to prove his manhood by overpowering a woman and forcing her to do his will.  There's nothing beautiful about that. So there is a Late Late Show episode that had me crying with something other than laughter.

...So, if a man found me physically attractive, he would simply take from me what he wanted and go.  Now, do you understand why forgiving was so hard?  These males (I refuse to call them men) stole a lot from me.  They stole my dignity and my right to be a woman and act like a lady instead of a scared little wannabe tomboy.  For a while, they removed my trust of men.   They took some of my innocence away and replaced it with terror and dysfunction.  They stole any hope I have of acceptance.  In our society, it's unacceptable to be older than 30 and unmarried.  They pilfered my children and my mom's grandchildren, thus a lot of potential happiness.

I put on weight thinking that maybe that would deter potentially lecherous goobers.  No luck.  The heavier I got, the more it seemed to happen. (!!)  Now, I care more about my health than the goobers.  I most likely can outrun the goobers.  If not, I can always to Madea on them!  Or better yet, Bon Qui Qui--I will CUT you!

My forgiveness was NOT for their benefit, but mine.  My anger at them was hurting me, not them. My excess weight was killing me, not them.  I didn't forgive simply because God said to;  I did it because He knows that forgiveness is what brings healing.  Bitterness is deadly.  I heard Joyce Meyer say that harboring unforgiveness was like drinking poison hoping that the other person would die.  Doesn't work, does it?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 17: They're Grrreat...Sort of.

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 17: What is the one thing you most wish you were great at? 

Anything! 

OK, OK, that was a snarky, cop-out answer.  Let me try again.

There are many things that I know how to do, but wish I could do much better:
  • I wish I was a great friend.  I feel like I take more out of people than put into them.  I lost a good friend who left me stranded in a bus depot in Birmingham,Alabama over it 20 years ago.  I really don't want to do that to anyone else.
  • I wish I was better organized.  I'm great at maintaining order outside of my home, but where I live is far from the organization I can dish out elsewhere.  It may just be that other places have more space and supplies to organize with.  Well, when I get my own house, we'll see then.
  • I wish I was a greater musician and singer.  I've talked about not being sure if my playing is good enough for the masses outside of the church doors, but I am sure that my singing is not.  I don't have a horrible voice, and thanks to Dr. Samuel Brown at JSU, I can hear intervals very well and know when I'm off and can eventually get back on key.  The problem isn't mechanics, it is confidence.  If you ask me to harmonize, I'm there (even if it's not exactly what's written in the music).  If you ask me to sing lead, buy me some new undershorts the day you want me to do it.  I don't know what it is about singing.  If I miss a note playing bass or get a little wild with my drumming, it usually doesn't phase me.  However, if I sing one wrong note, it closes my throat for the duration.  I wish I could sing in front of people like I sing in the car--loud, bold, and free.  Maybe we need to hold services in my car...
  • I wish my cooking was great.  In my quest for health, of course I'm cooking more healthy meals for myself.  I am getting so bored because I only know how to make a few things well.  Surely there is a way to make flavorful, healthy food without using a lot of salt, sugar, butter, or expensive ingredients.  Surely there's more than one way to make a salad.  (Why can't bacon be healthy?)  My baking would be awesome if I could stop breaking an electric hand mixer every Christmas season.  I need a new one now. 
  • I just long to be an all-around great person.  When I'm gone, I want the world to have been better because I was born, not because I died.  Just saying.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Original or Extra Crispy?: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Shout out to From This Side of the Pond for the Hodgepodge questions.

 What was your biggest worry five years ago?  Is it still a worry?
My biggest worry five years ago was that the sum total of everything in my life would be an absolute failure and that I would end up broke, homeless, alone, and too sick to care for myself.  Is it still a worry?  You bet your sweet bippy it is!
Yesterday (October 15th) was National Grouch Day...what makes you grouchy? What cheers you up when you're feeling grouchy?
Hmm...hormones, failure, slow or non-existent internet connections, broken things I can't fix, losing things I can't find, typographical errors I thought I'd fixed the FIRST time, rude people...probably the things that make most people grouchy. Humor cheers me up.  Eating cheers me up, but of course causes a whole other rash of problems to be grouchy about.
 In one word, how does it feel to be photographed?
@#?*!
Besides your parents, who would you say had the greatest influence on you in choosing your life path?  Explain.
Heck if I know.  I'm not even on a good life's path yet.  I have no one to blame for this mess but me.
The crisp days of autumn are here ...what's something you like to eat, but only if it's crisp?
Apples.  I cannot STAND soft, mushy apples.
What's the most useless object you own?
A fiber optic Christmas tree.  Because it's fiber optic, it can't be decorated.  Very useless.
Share a favorite fall memory.
All the football games and band competitions I marched in high school were a great way to spend fall.
Insert your own random thought here.
I'm not in the best of moods today, sorry y'all.  So instead of bringing you down...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cheeto Bump: The Simple Woman's Daybook for Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Outside my window …  a cloudy breezy day.  I hope it rains. 

I am thinking...  about yet more improvements I need to make on myself.  I took a blue chip at CR last Friday for a different problem.  I'm still, of course, working my recovery from food addiction, but I've got another big hangup I need to focus on.  It's not new, but the time to conquer it is NOW. 

I am thankful...
for humor and laughter.

In the kitchen...
  keeping it extremely light today.

I am wearing...
tank top and shorts. (Why do they ask this question?)

I am creating...
blankets, blankets, and more blankets.   

I am going... I've already been to the community center to walk.  Plan on going back tonight after community band practice.  I'll probably pick up a gallon of milk on the way home.

I am wondering... why?  Why does it seem that every door for me right now is closed?  I am under so much pressure to get to a certain place in my life.  I want to get there, but there are so many roadblocks keeping me from them.  I'm 41 years old and still living like a broke college student who doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up.  It's pathetic, and painfully depressing.

I am reading...
The Art of Prayer by Kenneth Hagin.

I am hoping...
that winter will not be a harsh one for me.

I am looking forward to...
the Gamecock Gallup 5k in two weeks.

I am learning
… that I need to go back to what works.  There were things I was doing in my life that worked.  Why on earth I stopped doing them, I don't know. 

Around the house... Finish the laundry, clean the bathroom.

I am pondering...   ???

A favorite quote for today...  "Look, the point is, I already know how to eat better; we all do.  Honestly, is there anybody out there that doesn't know how they should eat?  It's pretty simple; you eat more vegetables and fewer snacks that are covered with orange dust.  Ah, sweet, delicious orange dust.  I like to rub it on my gums like fluorescent cocaine.  Oooh, I need another Cheeto bump!"  - Craig Ferguson  (man, now I'm craving Cheetos)

One of my favorite things... flavored apple sauce.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  same old, same old.

A peek into my day...  Just catching up on a few things...and thinking.  

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook (http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/) . Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya' hear. :)

Blog Challenge Day 16: Just Done It.

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 16: What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
  1. Marching snare drum in high school. 
  2. Graduating from high school.  That wasn't supposed to happen.
  3. Graduating from college (twice!). That definitely wasn't supposed to happen.
  4. Playing for the Marching Southerners.
  5. Getting my driver's license.  I was 27 and had been told all my life that it would never happen.  HA!
Hopefully, I will have something more recent to add to this list someday. 

Blog Challenge: Day 15: Karma Chameleon

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 15:  If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Does Animal from The Muppet Show count (he IS a drummer)?  Oh lawd, this is like the question asked on Facebook yesterday:  If you were a punctuation mark, which one would you be and why?

I wish I could say an eagle.  Eagles are mentioned in the Bible as majestic, strong, persevering creatures of grace (Psalm 103:5,  Isaiah 40:31).  Eagles are also my high school mascot.  Yes, I know that a chicken (gamecock) is my college mascot, but that's a whole other story.  Oh, how awesome it would be if I could say eagle, but I can't.

If I were an animal, I'd be a chameleon.  Like me, chameleons are very colorful and adaptable, yet they can easily blend into their surroundings and go totally unnoticed.  They also have strong tongues and distinct eyes.  Unlike me, chameleons have prehensile tails.  I have no junk in my trunk--prehensile or otherwise. 

Hey, my answer could have been elephant....ROLL TIDE!

Monday, October 14, 2013

This One's For the Girls Challenge: Week 03




Photo courtesy of
Amiel Weisblum
Ahh, last week's challenge was a really good one.  I got really sore from doing it, but it was worth it.  Well, here's this week's challenge.  All you will need for this one is a set of dumbbells (hand weights) or a couple of water bottles.  Some of the exercises in this set are more difficult than the last ones, but we all need to keep trying new things.  If you really can't do a particular move, either skip it or modify it.  There are some beginner modifications included in video.  Enjoy!
 



Blog Challenge Day 14: Gettin' Stronger

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 14: Describe 5 strengths you have.
  • I love to help people.
  • I have a persevering spirit.  At least I used to.
  • The gift of wit, humor, and sarcasm are a great strength to have. I love to laugh and to make others laugh.  God made me smart; I'm not that good on my own.
  • I'm a good musician...I guess.
  • I am creative.  What we call "artsy-fartsy."  :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 13: Weakness for Squirrels

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 13: Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
  • I care too much about what other people think.  I think maybe the people who told me that I was awfully arrogant to think that anyone is thinking of me at all are correct.
  • I let fear hold me back and stifle my creativity.  Some of my fears come from the weakness I just listed.  Some are just plain stupid.
  • I am easily distracted.  Is that a SQUIRREL!
  • Of course my addictive personality is a HUGE weakness.
  • I get depressed too often and too easily.  I know there's been a post passed around on Facebook and Twitter that stuff like that isn't a sign of weakness (it's mental illness week every week according to the internet), but it doesn't make me feel better.  For me, it is a sign of weakness and makes me a terrible representation of a Christian as well as a terrible human being.


 

Blog Challenge Day 12: The Daily Grind

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 12: Describe a typical day in your life.

My ideal day or my real day?  No, we're not going to play that game.  I can't yet give a set schedule of what I do.  Every day is different, but there are things I try to do every day:
  • Pray and read my Bible
  • Exercise
  • Write
  • Craft
  • Job hunt
  • Clean
  • Check e-mails, tweets, and Facebook posts
  • Check box for snail mail
  • Eat - well of course
  • Watch or listen to something funny
There are also things I usually do every week:
  • Go to church (where I sing in the choir for one service and play bass guitar for the second service)
  • Practice the aforementioned choir and worship band parts.
  • Practice percussion with the community band
  • Go to Celebrate Recovery
  • Biweekly - go to stitch night at our local yarn shop
  • Grocery shop and run errands
  • Help out at Sav-A-Life
  • Do laundry and chores
I know, don't even say it.  :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five Minute Friday: "Ordinary"

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
 
Five Minute Friday

"I'm so very ordinary.  Nothing special on my own." - Call On Jesus. Nicole C. Mullen
 
GO!

Ordinary...plain...those are words I use to describe myself and my life.  I know, it seems harsh, but it's better than referring to myself as ugly (which I am not).  But ordinary can be a good thing, as far as looks goes.  People want to be around you for something other than physical attractiveness.  For a life, though, ordinary isn't a good thing.  I would rather be doing great things--the extraordinary things I see in my mind that I should be doing.  I just finished the book Self Matters by Dr. Phillip McGraw.  The book just made me more anxious to break out of this ordinary, lifeless existence, and move on to higher heights.  I'm just trying to find what step one is.  No more "Auntie, Plain and Short."  If you've heard of the book Sarah, Plain and Tall you'll get the joke.  :)

Is there any connection out there?  Anyone who is extraordinary I can learn from so that I can break free from the status quo?  I'm sure there is.  I just have to trust God to lead me to them.  I'm open.

TIME'S UP!

 

Blog Challlenge Day 11: Pet Peeves

Blog challenge is from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine
 

Day 11: Describe a few of your pet peeves.
O.K. are we talking the weird ones like being annoyed by pens that don't glide or write darkly enough, or normal pet peeves like wanting to smack people who think that they are the only ones allowed to shop at the grocery store?  If you hit me with that buggy one more time...
Another question, should I list pet peeves about others or about myself?  I guess I should list my pet peeves about myself.  After all, I'm the only one I can fix.
Personal pet peeves (this is by no means an exhaustive list):
  • All the fear and insecurity I impose upon myself.
  • I spend too much time on the internet.
  • My eyesight is a big annoyance with me.
  • I'm plain and boring.
  • I can be lazy sometimes.
  • I'm easily distracted sometimes (SQUIRREL!)
  • I stew over things too much.
  • I'm not photogenic.
  • I have ugly feet.
Alright, that's enough.  I think you get the idea.