Monday, November 30, 2009
- I’m thankful for a lovely meal with my dad’s family. I don’t want to offend any of the womenfolk, but my Cousin Josh’s chocolate chip pecan pie was the absolute best thing about the meal. Well, that & my nephew (B2) climbing up into the tree to hang my dad’s star. The neighbors were probably wondering why 30 people were milling about daddy’s yard staring up into the sky.
- I’m thankful that I thought I smelled marshmallows toasting & happened to mention it, which sent daddy into the basement where he found that a pillow had been tossed up against the stove & was minutes away from conflagration. Yikes!
- I’m thankful that Dr. M spent some quality time with his folks & came up with some strategies to help in this difficult time. And I’m thankful that the nursing home where his mother lives seems to be the perfect place for her right now.
- I’m thankful that I had some catch-up time with my cousin Kim – we could probably talk for 8 hours straight & not run out of things to say. And they’re all important things! Really!
- We traveled back Saturday evening, getting home a little after 11:00. I had planned to enjoy looking at Christmas lights. But let me tell you, there are not very many homes along I-77, I-64 or I-35. Very dark country that is (except for the gleaming capital dome in Charleston, WV). So I spent a lot of time keeping deer watch. Thankfully, the ones that we saw decided not to have a close encounter with our windshield.
Dear Mile Marker 59 Rest Area:
You are beautiful to behold. Your landscaped grounds are soothing and lovely. Your automatic toilet paper, automatic flush, automatic water, automatic soap & automatic hand dryer are wonderfully hygienic. There’s just one problem. I
Love, The Bug
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
2. Tell me something concrete that you're thankful for. (Something you can literally touch, see, etc., not a concept like "hope.") I’m thankful for Dr. M’s job & our new life in our new town. We’ve waited a lot of years to get to this point – I’m so glad we’re not disappointed in the results!
3. You knew the flip side was coming: Share about something intangible that you're thankful for. I’m thankful for the resilience of the human spirit. We always yearn and that alone can pull us up from the depths.
4. Share one vivid Thanksgiving memory. It doesn't have to be deep or meaningful, just something that remains etched in your memory. Until recent years, Dr. M &I spent many Thanksgivings with just each other. I remember the year we decided to have a traditional meal that we gave each other. Well, we didn’t cook a whole turkey, but we fixed the things we wanted. I enjoyed how the day felt special with just the two of us.
5. What is one thing that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is going to happen this Thanksgiving because it always does, year after year? I will try valiantly to not overeat & I will fail miserably. Daddy – you do have plenty of Tums on hand don’t you? Also, my sister-in-law B will try to get me to go shopping with her the day after. I say “a pox on thee!” Not gonna happen. No way. No how. Maybe.
6. Do your pets get any left-overs? Yep – Daddy’s two outside dogs will have quite a feast!
7. Does your family pray before the big meal? If so, do you join hands while seated, stand, repeat a formal prayer or offer a spontaneous prayer? Who does the praying? Yes, we always pray. We’ll all stand around trying to decide & then make Vivian pray. Or maybe Ken. We’ll see.
8. Will you be watching football in the afternoon? If not, what will you be doing? We’ll probably be eating while the football is on. And we might have the TV on in the background. Go Raiders! Let’s win two in a row! Wow, that would make the season 4 & 7!
9. There are two distinct camps of people on this issue: How do you feel about oysters in the dressing/stuffing? I don’t like stuffing (after years of trying to figure out how I couldn’t like a dish made of bread I finally realized that I don’t like sage) and I don’t like oysters, so I’m going with no!
10. Do you consider yourself informed about the first Thanksgiving? Yes I do – just got a refresher from some blog recently… hmmm… who was it? Oh yeah – Brenda at Days of my Life!
11. Which variety of pie will you be enjoying? All of them! But especially pecan (the ooey gooey Karo Syrup kind!). And if there isn’t pecan pie I will cry.
12. Do you feel for the turkey?? (This is a humorous throw back question related to the 12th question in another Random Dozen!) Nope! I’m not a huge turkey eater anyway – I might go with the ham this year. Or, you know, I might eat both. Who am I kidding? It’ll be both. Boy, I already feel REALLY full!
Looking back on these answers I think I need to do an intervention with myself regarding the holiday. Here are some
• I’m going to be there until Sunday. There is no need to eat EVERYTHING in one sitting. Pace myself.
• Focus on spending time with family instead of on the food (this will be HARD).
• We focus a lot on giving thanks to God, & that’s GOOD, but I want to remember to personally thank the people too.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
On the way to work I did not eat my breakfast, and only took small sips of water. I decided that not only did my jeans not feel looser – they feel tighter than they did last week (yes I wore the same jeans – to be consistent!).
I walked into A’s office with trepidation & started disrobing. Off went the boots, the earrings, the lanyard, the jacket. And with one eye shut I stepped on the scale. I may have fleetingly thought about lying to you guys if I didn’t like the number. Fleetingly. Really.
I’m three pounds down (if I were lying it would be more like 1 pound – no one who knows me would believe THREE).
I’ve been thinking about why the number means so much to me. Why I compulsively need to step on the scale at least once a day. Why I have my weigh in rituals & why I feel cheated when I’m unable to do any of the rituals.
I’m a Weight Watchers warrior, a veteran. And I know my body. In order to live a normal life while also trying to be healthy I typically lose less than a pound a week. Sure those ounces add up. And after 160 of them are gone I can actually tell in my clothes. But for me those 10 pounds might take three or more months. That’s a long time to keep doing what you’re doing without some tangible result. If I didn’t record those ounces on a weekly basis I would just give up on week two, convinced that nothing was happening.
I want to be healthy & eat good things for my body. But right now, with 60 pounds to lose & arthritis in my hip, my priority is to lose weight. It’s gonna be a long slow haul people – I hope you’re prepared to hear my weigh in ritual story every week. And I promise to not lie. If I gain, I’ll tell you. If I lose .2 (a regular happening in the past), I’ll tell you. If I lose three pounds again, I’ll faint first, then I’ll tell you!
Note: I won’t be in the office next week so I won’t be weighing in. Sure my Dad has a scale. But am I making myself crazy by weighing in the day after Thanksgiving? Not a chance!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
That made me feel a bit better about my progress – as usual, the surgeon is pie in the sky & why aren’t you swimming the English Channel, whereas reality is are you able to pull your hair back in a ponytail yet (the answer is yes!).
Yesterday I saw my surgeon again for another follow-up. They took an x-ray which apparently looked fabulous. He said, how bout we say I’ll see you when I see you! I thought that sounded extra fine. But there was the little matter of my physical therapist’s recommendation that I have another 6 weeks of therapy. And the fact that Dr. M & I had already discussed that I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be. So I told Dr. Surgeon that I thought I wanted to follow my PT’s advice. He agreed – admitting that the PT knows best at this point (duh!).
But then I’m DONE. Whatever my arm can do after six more weeks is what it can do. I’ll keep doing my home exercises, but as of Christmas, I’m finished with going somewhere I pay people to torture me. Merry Christmas to me!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
2. When you make a major purchase, do you go with your gut instinct, or do you do research to make an informed decision? I make Dr. M do the research & then he’s the one who gets to decide since he did all the work. I know, a major cop out! I think if I had to do it myself I would narrow down my choices with research & then go with my gut instinct to make the final selection.
3. There is an old kids' game that says you can find out what your movie star name would be by using your middle name as your first name and the name of the street you grew up on as your last. What is your movie star name? Well, this isn’t much fun – my maiden name is Wallace & the street I grew up on was Wallace Dairy Road! So I’d be Marie Wallace Dairy. Heh. Sounds like a character actor to me.
4. Would you rather give up your favorite music or your favorite food? This is hard! I rarely listen to music since I listen to books on tape – but I don’t know that I’d want to give any of it up. But food! For my health I should say I’d give up the food. This is my not happy to give up food face.
5. There are two types of banana preferences. One is pristine yellow, almost to the point of being green; the other is spotty and more ripe. Which is your preference? Banana bread! No? Ok, then it needs to be ripe enough that you can actually peel the thing, but I don’t like brown spots.
6. Your favorite tree is? Christmas tree!
7. On a scale of 1-10, how tech savvy are you? I’m an 8 I think – except that I’m not moving with the times. I don’t know how to text, twitter or DVR.
8. Has H1N1 touched your family? Not that I know of – yet!
9. Are you an analytical person, or do you just accept things the way they are without questioning or scrutinizing? Analytical – this was especially evident when I was a child & had all these questions about the Bible…
10. Is your personality more like that of a dog, cat, or Koala? Hmmm, another toughie. I’m going to go with cat – leave me alone & let me do my thing. I’m gonna do it behind your back anyway…
11. Do you keep in touch with friends you made years ago? Yes - three friends from college (well, one of them is my cousin Kim so I’ve known her from birth). We try to get together around Christmas every year to have a meal & exchange gifts. I missed the year I was in Zambia, but I don’t remember missing any others. So that’s, what 25 years now? Hi Sherri & Jenny & Kim (and assorted hangers on otherwise known as your families)! Have you bought your ornaments yet? I have perused, but not purchased...
12. You are checking out at a grocery store. In the express lane, there are more people than the regular lanes, but of course, their load is less than those in the regular lanes. Which lane do you choose (assuming you qualify for the express lane) and why? I go with the self checkout lane. Oh, that wasn’t an option? Boy you’re strict. The express lane for me – I just think it will go faster than the grocery carts filled to the brim.
OK, now it's time to announce the winner of the I Won, You Win carnival. I put all six of the names in a lovely pottery basket & made Dr. M do the honors. The winner is Amy!! Congratulations!
P.S. I'm very conflicted about the floss - I have some teeth that are very close together, but I think the wax flakes off & gets lodged in there. I've started using Reach Gentle Gum Care Mint Woven Floss. I think it works best.
Monday, November 16, 2009
The story begins with two pen pals in elementary school and they continue with there friendship for many, many years through letters and emails, but they have never actually met, not until things change for the main character. Her life takes an unexpected turn and she finds herself face to face with her long time pen pal.
I began to think of the similarities between the two women in the book and all of you, my fellow bloggers.
As members of this unique internet community we enter into each other lives as we read each others posts, as we comment, share encouraging words or just a well needed giggle now and then.
But what I enjoyed as I read this book was the depiction of the friendship these two women shared. They had been intimately involved in each other lives but had never been in the same room with each other, never shared a cup of coffee over the kitchen table, never wept in each other arms. Yet they still shared in the deep bonds of friendship.
The relationship the two women in this book have is a real friendship, as real as friendships get.
I found the similarities between the book and the blogosphere to almost mirror each other.
The idea for “I Won…You Win” is two fold.
Once a winner is chosen I will send the book out into the blogosphere.
My hope is that whoever wins it will keep the “I Won…You Win” giveaway going.
The second requirement is once you have finished the book place your blog address on the inside cover, as well as the date you finished the book and then continue the “I Won…You Win” Giveaway on your blog.
Link back to me in your giveaway. Let’s see where this takes us.
I also want to encourage everyone who reads the book to mark your favorite chapter in the book with a note in the margin telling future readers why you enjoyed the chapter. Use your imagination, tuck a special note in the pages or a pretty bookmark, but put “yourself” somewhere in the pages of the book.
I am so excited to send this out into the blogosphere.
Let the giveaway begin!
I’ve finished the book (a quick and enjoyable read) & I’m ready to pass it along. If you’d like to participate, just leave a comment, with the answer to the following question.
Dental Floss: Waxed, or not?
I’ll announce the winner on the Wednesday meme. Good luck!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
One of the first things I had to do once I arrived (other than learn my actual job & borrow clothes from my house-mate Rebecca until my luggage arrived) was to find a church. I know! I was amazed that I wouldn’t be able to sleep in on Sundays too! I visited a lot of different churches, or maybe two. There was the bigger congregation where the pastor was one of the missionaries. It had a lot of diversity – missionary families and Zambians. But it reminded me too much of the churches back home. I wanted something different. And there was the church where Rebecca taught Sunday School – a tiny concrete block with a dirt floor. There was a lot of joy in that church, but they didn’t really need me.
I ended up going to the small informal Bible study that the campus ministry missionary had for the University of Zambia students. They wanted me to play piano. I was
Saturday, November 14, 2009
My program of choice is Weight Watchers (online) – Bug Style. I’m going to be weighing in on Fridays with a coworker in her office (yes, she keeps a scale in her office - heh). We’re both pretty determined to try to be healthier. That’s my goal this time around – I want to lose weight, sure, but I want to eat right & exercise too. If those two things can become a habit then I’ll be able to keep this up because it really is a lifestyle change, not a diet.
I’ll be posting my results each Friday. The whole post might be about how evil food is (food isn't really evil, I know - but it does have a siren call for me), or it might be about something else with a footnote. But I’m going to make my commitment to better health public & that means you’re my witnesses. You lucky dogs!
Here are a couple of images to help with my motivation. My "before" picture - is from a cruise I took in 2004 - I had hit goal a couple of days previously (you can see my gold WW goal star that I wore the whole cruise to remind me to not go crazy at the buffets!). Boy, am I a pear or what? The "after" picture is from this summer. I don't really think it needs any explanation.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I would really like to take him out to dinner tonight to celebrate his birthday. He got birthday money from my aunt M – we can afford it! He’s the cook in the family. There’s a reason for that. I could possibly boil pasta. And heat some sauce. Or put the frozen pizza in the oven. Hmm. I’m thinking Mexican – what do you think sweetie?
Twenty years ago I gave him a birthday gift for the first time. It was something special to us - & remains an important symbol of how we “get” each other. This year’s gift is more whimsical, but another example of how we get each other – strange obsessions and all (remember, he got to drive the car that said OPUSLUST on the license plate). I should have gotten him a personalized plate – SHEEP1ST. Heh.
Although we’ve had lots of hard things happen during our marriage, none of those things has touched our marriage. We are one for all and all for one. Even before those vows joined us together. They were just words – affirming what we already knew.
Happy birthday dear heart.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
If it's Wednesday, it must be time for the Random Dozen Meme from "Lidna" at 2nd Cup of Coffee. If you want to participate just go to Linda's site to link up.
2. Have you ever had “buyer’s remorse” over anything?
All. The. Time. Very rarely do I NOT have buyer’s remorse. There’s the bag that was supposed to keep my lettuce fresh (not!). The cute little MP3 player that I used for a minute because the toggle switch was too hard to operate. The Weight Watchers membership that I just ignored for three months (I’m starting fresh on Friday – really!). And most recently, the Snickers bar I ate yesterday.
3. What is something in your life that you are thankful for now that you didn’t think you would be at the time of the event? (Something that seemed ill-timed, inconvenient or hurtful which turned out to be a good thing)
Dr. M had an interview at a college in Lancaster, SC. They wanted someone to teach a different subject than the one that is his specialty, so we weren’t sure why they were interviewing him. It’s close to family, so despite the fact that he would have been teaching something unfamiliar & that it’s hot as you know what there, we were really putting a lot of hope into the job. Thank goodness they didn’t hire him! I think that where he is now is perfect. Someday it would nice to live closer to our families, but this is where we’re supposed to be right now.
4. Do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade every year? If so, do you have a favorite float or balloon?
I only watch if someone else has it on. I have a love/hate relationship with parades. I enjoy the floats, but for some reason the idea of a parade makes me sad. I haven’t really analyzed this phenomenon so I don’t know why.
5. Share a quote, scripture, poem or lyric which has been an inspiration to you lately.
I’m reading Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes (which I won from Linda). I’m almost done and I’ll be passing it along next week sometime. Today I read a passage where the main character was talking about the “sacredness of the everyday.” For some reason that reminds me of my meditation workshop where we were taught mindfulness. Can I be present in each moment? Can I see the sacred in that moment? Hmm. This needs more thought.
6. This is meant to be a fun question, and this is a G-rated blog, but please share a “guilty pleasure,” something that you enjoy that’s probably not the most edifying, time-worthy or healthy thing you could be indulging in. Did I mention--G rating?
Chocolate chip cookie dough! I don’t care if it might make me sick (and in fact it HAS made me sick before). It’s my drug of choice…
7. What Thanksgiving food are you looking forward to?
Corn pudding (are we having it Bren? Seems like I heard a nefarious rumor from Daddy that we weren’t?). If there’s no corn pudding (sigh) then pecan pie is my second favorite.
8. What is your favorite book to read to children, or what was your favorite childhood book?
Old Black Witch! It might have been all the pancakes, but my brother & I loved this book!
9. Do you collect anything? (Feel free to post a photo.)
10. Gift bags or wrapping paper?
11. Share an after-school memory from when you were younger. What was your routine like on an average day?
I have no idea what my routine was last year, much less 30 years ago! But here’s a memory: I rode the bus all four years of high school, so I usually did my homework on the way home. If there was something left undone I would finish my homework on the couch in the living room & either listen to my dad’s Rachmaninoff 8-track tape, or our Captain & Tennille 8-track tape (Muskrat Suzy & Muskrat Sam, doing the jitterbug in Muskrat Land…).
12. True story: Once, in a job interview, I was asked this question and told there would be no clarifying; I simply had to answer the question: “When you’re fishing, do you feel for the fish?” So what about you? When you're fishing, do you feel for the fish??
At first, being me, I answered this literally. I even said that I’m pretty sure I couldn’t eat a fish I caught myself – so, yes, I guess I do feel for the fish! But looking at it from a broader perspective, as perhaps a person who is trying to get something in life - I'd like to think that I feel for the person giving it to me. Not sure how successful I am at that. When I worked in HR I definitely felt for those job candidates who were so desperate for a job - I didn't like rejecting any - & sometimes I didn't like hiring them (because I wasn't sure we were the best fit for them). Tough question!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I’m taking a page from Ellen’s book & giving you some one-liners today (I know you were really getting bored waiting on the Wednesday Random Dozen – which I’ve already written, but won’t break Linda’s rules & post today).
- Dr. M & I are really close to just ditching the land line & going with cell phones (by close, I mean we’ll probably ditch it the next time we move).
- Friday night at the piano bar at the Brown Hotel was pretty fabulous.
- I want to play hooky at work one day this week but I keep getting up & going anyway.
- I’m really bored with physical therapy.
- This year I want to blink & it be January already.
- Arthritis sucks.
- I’m on part 12 of 15 of my V. I. Warshawski audio book – who killed Mark Whitby?
- I want pizza for dinner tonight (can you get right on that honey?).
- I’m pretty hooked on the show Weapons Masters on the Military Channel – it’s like Tim the Tool Man meets the Mythbusters – great fun.
- I’m pretty sure it was a bad idea to wear the stretchy pants today – sorry, folks who have to watch me walking away – ouch!
- I’m sad that Maine voted to repeal the gay marriage law.
- Tomorrow is Veteran's Day (US)/Remembrance Day (Canada).
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 1987
I ended up being able to carry my bag onto the plane in Atlanta – the stewardess was VERY helpful. And this was a good thing, because the airline lost my luggage. But that’s a story for another day…
Friday, November 6, 2009
I married a historian. I feel slightly lied to because at the time that we met & fell in love he was in seminary. I was bracing myself for life as a church worker’s spouse. I would have been GREAT. No? Really? Whyever not? The Dana Look? Hmmm. Anyway, he saved me from that fate by finding a different kind of calling. This calling is something for which he’s quite well suited - & it saves me from trying to be nice all the time. After all, it’s kind of expected that a University professor and his wife might be a little odd.
So we’re celebrating his birthday a week early at a history conference in Louisville. We’ll listen to some of his friends present papers. We’ll stay at the Brown Hotel. We’ll damage our arteries with a Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich. We’ll have some quality time in the car together. I’m looking forward to it!
P.S. I’ll try to get my Sundays in Zambia post out on time – but it might be a Monday in Zambia this week.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
But my limbs are heavy
and filled with the small purpose
of staying put.
I can see the surface
just there -
but oh the effort!
I spend all my
just catching my breath.
If you want to toss
I like cherry best.
Note: This poem is about inertia, not depression, so don't worry Daddy! I am struggling a bit with my current physical limitations - but I think that I limit myself more than my body limits me.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
7. Do you have any recurring dreams?
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I went to Zambia as part of the Journeyman program of the Southern Baptist Church. It was a program designed to use recent college graduates to fill temporary support positions in the foreign mission field. I was the secretary-bookkeeper for the Baptist Mission of Zambia from January 1987 until July 1988. Later I’ll provide more detailed info about what I did & experienced while I was there, but first I want to talk about who I was.
Based on what I remember (or don’t) from that time I have to conclude that I was a shallow, unobservant silly girl. I was pretty good at my actual job, but I didn’t have a lot of life experience and I didn’t know how to be really present in the experiences I was having. I was a flibbertigibbet & wasn’t as mindful as I could have been. I had discovered boys while I was in college (late bloomer here!) & I wasn’t done with them yet. I was 22 going on 16. Get the picture?
Over 10 years after I returned from Zambia I created a scrapbook (actually two rather large volumes) trying to recreate my experience there. The following is a poem I wrote when I completed the albums. I decided to use it in my first “Zambia Post” as my disclaimer.
Who was that girl?
with an occasional
flash of insight.
I hardly remember
or what she did
that long ago
time in Africa.
These are the
images she brought
home with her.
These are her stories –
remembered as in a dream
edited by time
reconstructed to suit myself.
This is her book
and mine too
Whoever we are!
Dana Wallace Rhyne
May 17, 1999
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