Sunday, May 31, 2009

365 Project

Sunday in the Park with Lynn and Kristin. A terrific sunshiny day with a good breeze. We ate a little picnic lunch I brought and then Lynn and Kristin played.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

365 Project

Corny as it may seem, what I ended doing was a bird flying with my heart. It seems to me that I have been extremely earth bound these past few years and I long to be free again.

Today I attended a workshop put on by my friend, Sharon, who is a nurse and an amazing artist. She does these workshops periodically to help people access their hearts through art. I'm standing next to one of her recent paintings. This picture doesn't show it very well but it's of a little child going in a door. I think it is one of her best works.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Here's the collage I made in January that represents in images something about the life I'd like to have in 2009.
Not a great picture of the collage I made on the retreat. However, it's enough to get a sense of it. The meaning is quite apparent to me and was to a couple of my friends who looked at it. Basically, it represents the images I have in relation to creativity. It was fun to make.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Serenity Experiment Update

I have an accumulation of a lot of days of following my checklist. Things are neater around my house and I feel pretty good about being ready to face the world reasonably early in the morning. My meditation practice finally got much easier and the sense of peace I used to get returned. Right now, however, I've been remiss. Since I went on the retreat... I followed my routine the first day, but the second day I slept a long time and there wasn't time. I've been my usual slug since I've been home. It's Thursday and I'm still recuperating. I hope that when I'm able to return to the routine, it will be easier to do than it was when I first began.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This is a house down the street and I envy the landscaping. This is not the greatest picture. A closer view might enable me to show it to some of my friends who know what plants are.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Initiation of the Dead

I have been listening to an audio book in the car - which is an ongoing habit of mine left over from when I traveled long distances in my last job and the one before that. I fell in love with having something wonderful to listen to instead of being bored. Now, of course, I'm just driving across town, but I can still learn a tremendous amount by having audio books available. Currently the book is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I first read this book many, many years ago at the insistence of my husband's sponsor. He used to leave books in my mail box with notes that said, "You owe me ______." I knew it was to my advantage to read whatever book he left. This particular book was a big deal. Ron and I traveled to Ft. Worth, Texas, in the middle of the night to hear a day long workshop by Don Miguel.

One of the things Don Miguel talks about in the book is how close we all are to death. We manage to forget this fact in our day to day lives, but forgetting it is a big mistake. Enough people have left my life suddenly and without warning for me to know deeply that this is the truth. Don Miguel says the "initiation of the dead" is to take the Angel of Death as our teacher and learn to live each day as if the Angel was only a couple of steps behind us. I believe this is the right way to live because most of the nonsense that I do in a day's time is not what I would be doing if I was really aware. What I would do instead is to love the people in my life.

Behind the offices of my counselor is this lovely scene where there are usually flocks of birds. This afternoon all was quiet in the shade. I want a garden like this in my back yard.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

As a memento of our time together, each of us who were on the retreat received one of these candle holders with pine cones to remind us of our time in the woods.

Say hello to Shorty and Snowball - who are hopeful that someone will open the door to the log cabin where several of my friends and I spent the weekend on a retreat (the kind where you treat yourself over and over). Nobody did open the door, however. But these two had plenty of company on the front porch looking out into the woods.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My friend, Eric, is visiting today. He has become my dear friend even though we had only met once before the wreck. Ron was his sponsor. So, Eric appointed himself my caregiver and has been with me every step of my journey since the wreck. He has been the most amazing gift in my life. Today he is helping me get gardening supplies for some flowers I want to plant in my front flower bed and carrying things to the car for the trip I'm taking this afternoon to a retreat (the kind where you treat yourself over and over). Mule duty I told him. Of course most of his duties have been a bit more complex than that. He is a physician so he has provided much needed advice and has talked to my doctors. When I had my last surgery he stayed with me for almost a week. Thank you, Eric!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Here's my daughter, Bridget and her bedroom.
I went to see her today to take her some magazines that she likes to look at and for a meeting of her caregivers. It turns out the meeting isn't until tomorrow but it was a perfect time for some pictures. Bridget is almost 38 years old and has multiple disabilities. She lives just about a mile from my house in a house she rents with a roommate. Her story is too long to tell here, but she came to our family as a foster child when she was four months old. Her mother had Rubella when she was pregnant which caused Bridget to have vision and hearing loss as well as brain damage. She is enjoying her life, though, which makes me happy too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lomi Lomi

I've been throwing everything I could think of and anything anyone could suggest at trying to heal my leg and my psyche. One of the things I've been doing for months is getting Hawaiian massage called Lomi Lomi. It is quite different than other types of massage I've had, and it has really helped. Here is the beautiful room decorated with Hawaiian artifacts and my massage therapist, Maalia.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Here's my friend, Dee, getting ready to eat dinner with me. One of the highlights of this day. We had a terrific dinner. Cisco the cat is looking up through the glass table to see what's going on.
I left my camera on all night and so when I tried to take the picture I planned for today, of course the batteries were dead. The picture would have been of me and my dear trauma surgeon in front of my xray that showed my femur solid as a rock. Definitely a memorable occasion!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not everyone has a dentist with such fabulous landscaping. If my camera hadn't run out of batteries, I would have gotten some better pictures.

For years I went from dentist to dentist, hating every single one of them. Then I found Bracken. He is terrific. And a fabulous landscaper. I didn't mind going today even though they found that I need a filling replaced.

Serenity is not what I'm feeling this morning. I'm excited because it seems like I have reached a point where I can actually do the things I want to instead of just working around my physical disability. I've finished all the stuff on my morning routine and it appears that I've lost 4 lbs by eating like the nutritionist suggested (even though not perfectly). AND I've not been one bit hungry. (Picture for the 365 project later).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Picture a Day

About two years ago (I think), my daughter and her husband gave me a wonderful digital camera for Christmas. I took some pictures under their supervision and then let the camera gather dust. Just recently I've begun to work at using it and downloading the pictures to my computer, and when appropriate, to this blog. My daughter has a post about a 365 day project of taking a picture a day. I love the idea because I want to learn more about how to use my camera. AND to take a picture a day that is meaningful will mean that I will have to pay attention.

This picture is of a bouquet given me by one of the women I sponsor. They are flowers from her yard. She said they were to thank me since she has finally lived someplace long enough to have flowers. In the past she has moved pretty much every year. Definitely a meaningful picture - to her and to me, for sure. I'm not sure what I did that helped. All I did was laugh when she told me she thought it was time to move.


My trip to the nutritionist yielded a bunch of new information as I posted a few days ago. So, I've been monitoring my hunger level before I eat; trying to eat only when I'm hungry. Well.... I can see that I eat on an unconscious schedule. If the clock says eat, I eat. Now, if what I learned is true, every time I eat when I'm not hungry, my body processes it right to fat. No wonder I don't eat much but still gain weight.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Anger Remedy

I used to love to be angry. It made me feel powerful when I was hurt or afraid. For quite awhile now I haven't been angry. I just stay at hurt or afraid and deal with that. Apparently, I skipped something and got angry. Now I hate being angry. It makes me feel kind of crazy and out of control - feelings I no longer enjoy.

When I discovered I was furious with some people and recent events, I really wanted to be free. My sponsor suggested (and these are tools that are standard in 12 Step programs and I've used them a million times but always forget until someone reminds me) that I pray for them until I wasn't angry any more. She suggested that I write to one of the people telling him how I feel but not send it - instead read it to her and we'll decide how to handle it from there.

I'm not surprised that I'm not angry today. It works every time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another Serenity Experiment Update

Well, this isn't going like I pictured, but it's going. I probably have more than three months of bedmaking (I didn't make a note of the date), several weeks of being dressed right away (didn't note the date), and now about a week of resuming my meditation practice. (I did make a note of that date). So far what I'm experiencing isn't very much like serenity. Meditation was harder to get started. I kept forgetting to start so it took three days to really begin. What I remember from my past meditation practice is that it brought me a lot of peace. Not what I'm getting this time. Every day I meditate I get in touch with how furious I am about a couple of things that I've tried really hard not to be mad about. But I am really furious. As I've mentioned before, a lot of my ptsd symptoms have to do with not acknowledging how I feel. Well, it looks like my higher power has heard my prayer to be relieved of those symptoms. I'm not sure what to do about this, but I guess I will stomp around today and grrrrrrrr.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


"I don't mind doing God's will now. At first I was afraid of what God's will for me would be - probably something I wouldn't like. Now I know that God's will is where my joy is." Member of AA.

I love to be reminded again and again in meetings that I my joy is in God's will. My self-will surely likes to tell me otherwise.

Monday, May 11, 2009


So, I am just back from the nutritionist and boy did I get an education in just an hour. It turns out that if you eat when you're not hungry and/or wait to eat until you are way, way too hungry, your body doesn't bother using what you eat for energy. It just immediately turns it into fat. So, as long as I eat only when I'm hungry (and not wait until I'm too hungry), eat 80 grams of high quality protein and seven servings of fruit and vegetables per day, increase my exercise, etc., I should be able to eat whatever else I want and not gain weight. Hmmm. I think the catch is eating only when hungry. BUT it is really wonderful to know exactly what I need to eat and how! Much peace of mind. As it has been, I eat pretty healthy food. But I never know if I'm doing what I should or not. Now I will at least know what I should be doing!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Here I am with one of my daughters. All my kids are wonderful. They're grown and this daughter and my other daughter have kids of their own. What a lovely thing being a parent is. Of course, it's been long enough from the teenager days for me to forget that part. It's totally lovely now.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

More on King Tut

Here I am with the King and here's Dee with the King.

Here are Liz, Aaron and Bec. Techies all but Bec always knows when her picture is being taken.

Here we are - ready to go inside.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Serenity Experiment update

Well, let's see...the great news is that my bed has been made every day with the exception of a couple of days when I went back to bed after breakfast. I have some kind of new annoying ailment - headaches - which I've never in my life had before. So, back to bed I went and slept until they went away. And I've been dressed directly (more or less) after with the above exceptions.
I feel incredibly silly documenting this unbelievably simple exercise in self-discipline. I really think I should be doing yoga or meditation - something more fitting with the word "serenity." But...nevertheless, the truth is, unless I get some smoothness to my morning and evening routines, I will never have any serenity. I'm sure part of the trouble is my ADD and the fact that for most of my life my morning and evening rituals were prescribed by having to bust my butt to get to work and/or getting kids up and fed. Any chance I got, however, I slept in. I was always exhausted.
Now I have time. I've taken the time to heal; and to get some perspective on what to do with the time on earth remaining to me. All that sounds incredibly important and as if making my bed and getting dressed in an orderly fashion are pretty stupid. But if you knew me well, you would know that serenity is waiting just around the corner from having a little bit more discipline.
I am adding the 3rd simple thing - back to my meditation practice which I had for years and years but since the wreck have not been able to implement. It's worth trying to press through whatever keeps me from resuming it. Besides that, it makes me feel a little less stupid to have meditation practice as part of self-discipline.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

King Tut

What fun! I really had never thought about it but if things were buried in a tomb in the desert, they really look pretty good even after 3,000 years. I had to keep reminding myself that the beautiful objects I was looking at at the King Tut exhibit on Saturday were 3,000 years old. Many of them were painted wood which I would have thought would have disintegrated into dust many thousands of years ago. But there they were - with the paint bright. I was left with a lot of questions, but there's always Google. I already found out that the king's mummy is in a sealed glass box in Cairo.

The rest of the weekend was wonderful too. I got to drive to Dallas and back with my friend, Dee, and I probably talked too much like I always do in the car. If there's no one with me, I just talk to myself. She seemed to be okay with it, thank goodness. I got on the subject of sociopathic killers because we watched "The Dark Knight" after we got home from seeing King Tut. I'm not sure why, but I have a bit of a fascination with sociopathic people. I've had some in my life and that's probably why. I have a theory that most of them go unnoticed and cause massive amounts of trouble for others.

It was great to be with my daughter and her family too. I am so blessed to have such a great family.

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