30 November 2005

Fear of harm to non-existent children

I was thinking about feelings earlier.  Actually, I was thinking about my lack of emotions.  I am very sensitive in some ways.  But I don't seem to experience a broad range of emotions as most folks appear to.

But I know fear.  I am acquainted with many brands of fear.  Fear is not rational.

It is, however, rational to feel fear.  Fear of dangerous sorts of things allow us to dump into flight or fight mode.  We cannot survive without a healthy dose of fear.

Some of us feel a disproportionate amount of fear toward what might not seem to warrant it.  For example, I fear harm to my non-existent children.  How can this be possible, you might ask.

Well, I have no children.  One of the reasons I have no children is because for most of my adulthood, I feared that I would be an awful parent.  I fear that I would somehow warp my offspring so badly that they would need counseling, therapy, and quite possibly drugs in order to cope with their own lives.

I know no one is a perfect parent.  I KNOW that.  But there is a difference between KNOWING and believing.  I have not yet allowed that knowledge to inform my beliefs that I might be a good parent.

Instead, I have this terrifying, hugely overwhelming fear that I would be an irreparable harm to my non-existent children.  It would be laughable if it weren't so damn scary.  Isn't it pathetic?

24 November 2005

sing it with me now...

you can have anything you want,
at Alice's restaurant...

This afternoon, after the roasted chicken, potatoes, candied yams, sauteed squash, seasoned mustard greens, whole-cranberry sauce, and salad...

but before the pecan pies, cookies, pecan treat with ice-cream...;

I heard "Alice's Restaurant" on the radio.  It's that station's tradition to play the song/narration twice on Thanksgiving Day, every year.  I'd heard the song long ago (clearing throat, maybe not that long ago, coulda just been a coupla-few years back) but it's been awhile and I do like to catch it when I can.

So, I settled back in my pink plush swiveling rocking chair and indulged in Arlo's rendition of his tale.  Poor kid.  For those of you who would like to brush up on it yourselves, check this site.

And remember,,,

it's around back, half a mile from the railway track.

oh my eyes!!

ya know that age old analogy...?  tummy's bigger'n the eyes...?  need i say more?  no, i didn't think so.

i stuffed and roasted a chicken and made the fixens.  burnt my arm.  then made the pecan pies.  i was kinda nervous about those, cuz i never made pecan pies before.  but i cheated and used ready-made frozen crust and the rest is as easy as, uh, pie.  (sheepishly grinning)


23 November 2005

My birthday suit

Yesterday, I discovered that my post-man left a package inside my car.  Normally, I lock my vehicle, even though I live in a safe neighborhood.  The area residents are small creatures like rabbits and mice, slightly bigger ones like foxes and coyotes, and the biggest ones are deer and the occassional lost mule that wanderes onto the property.

Anyway, the package was containing my birthday suit.  It was a very light box.  Because, let's face it, my birthday suit is not very heavy.

It's from my friend who knows that I would appreciate such a gift.  And I do.  I don't think my guy will.  That's because my suit cuts down on accessibility, so to say.

It's red fleece, all one piece, got feeties...a bit big on me, but better that than too small, right?  My guy leaned over the table and said, "I adore that you couldn't wait til we got home to open your gift."  I was tickled pink over the suit.  Though, I don't know how comfy the other patrons felt with me displaying my jammers.

I had told my friend that if she were to drive them here and hand deliver them, I would model them when we went for lunch.  She sorely regrets she was unable to do that.  Thanks, sweetie, I love the duds!!

bawwwwwk, bawk, bawk, bawk

Since my guy's mother is having dinner on Friday, I decided that he and I could have a little bit of a Thanksgiving Day dinner here tomorrow.  It'll involve a bit of a twist on the traditional dishes, but I'm sure it'll all be good.  One big difference is that my bird will be a chicken.  It's actually a whole-fryer, but I'll probably roast it with potatoes, carrots, and onions.  I'll stuff it, but I'm not sure with what....

I idly mentioned taking something to his mother's for dinner.  He said that we could make pecan pies.  Uhhhhhh...I've never made a pecan pie, but I guess I can follow the instructions on the back of the bottle of Karo syrup.  I was thinking more along the lines of a salad, one that includes whip topping, cream cheese, some fruit, and other wonderfully decadent goodies.

Last year, for his birthday, I made him a turtle-pie.  His favorite cake, caramel, was already served at his mother's on Thanksgiving.  His birthday is the 28th.  What I did was I mixed caramel, chocolate, pecans, milk, cream cheese, whipped topping, and a few other ingredients.  Poured it into a graham cracker shell.  Stuck it in the freezer.   Hmmmmmmm good stuff.

I like his family, although all the women are little.  His one sister is 4'8", his mother is 4'10", and his other sister is 5'.  They are all little itty bitty in weight as well, hovering right around the hundred pound mark.

Compared to them, I am a giant.  I am an substantial goddess of 5'7".  I eat with the big boys.

The very first time I had joined the family for dinner was Christmas of 03.  His sisters were moving about fixing little plates with a smidge of this and smudge of that.  I thought they were making the kids' plates.  Nope.  The kids were happily chowing done, while their moms were eating little teeny tiny portions, moaning about holiday feasts.

I ain't no chicken...I'll be dining with them on Friday.  It's a bit of a challenge not to withdraw from the scene.  Shhhh, our secret.  Don't tell nobody.  Maybe I'm a lil chicken.  bawk....

22 November 2005

It occured to me a few years back that most of my students had no idea why the day after Thanksgiving is called "Black Friday". So I gave them this explanation, because it is a part of our society's culture. It makes sense.

Traditionally, that day is the day most retailers hope to be brought out of the red into the black. The red and black refer to the color ink that used to be used in accounting records. Red was in debt. Black was showing a profit.

Most small retailers have such high overhead costs that if they can hang in there til the Holiday season, they've got it made. The day after Thanksgiving is usually the day when gift-shopping begins in earnest and most stores will cater accordingly. They open earlier and close later than usual. They usually have incentitives to draw crowds to their stores, such as first 50 customers receive 50% off. Also they tend to have lots of extra stock on hand.

So, it's the spending habits that enable stores to show a profit that brings a store out of the red into the black that gives that day it's moniker. Some of my students thought it had to do with race/ethnicity. Uhm, how so? I asked. Some thought it was because that's when the Stock Market crashed. Every year. Uhm, nope.

21 November 2005

hey there! just a quick note...

yesterday, my guy and i went to my friend's place for their thanksgiving dinner. it was really nice and sort of put me into the holiday spirit. i have been feeling pretty removed from the holidays as a whole this year. but yesterday helped lots.

hope everyone enjoys their festivities!!

19 November 2005

I had a year's subscription included with my laptop. The following year, my folks kept my monthly fees paid as a gift to me. Then, I had the option of staying with AOL or going with another ISP.

I went with another ISP in Feb 05. Why? Because it was cheaper. Although AOL does have lots included in their package deal, like the email, virus/spam protection, easy-to-use features, etc.; for me, I couldn't afford $25/month.

So, I have another ISP with wonderful connection abilities (I have dial-up and the "new" ISP is faster than AOL was on it's best day). I use mozilla's firefox as a browser (it's free and it is fast and I hate MicroSoft's Internet Explorer for a variety of reasons). I use changenotes.com or bookmark sites as favorites if I want to keep up with pages. I use AIM and sometimes Yahoo! IM.

I had an AOL journal from Sept 04 through Jan 05. Then I tried Blogger and Blogspirit and some other blog space-providers so I could see what was what and what worked for me. When AIM journals were offered, I established another journal in May 05.

Happy to see folks again and be a part of the J-land community, I read and considered the angry voices AOL customers were issuing over AIM journals. That died down. Now I do understand to a degree the dissention amongst the ranks about the banner-ads.

I feel you should have been warned. I feel there should be disclaimers set forth. However, I also know that there is more to the service than simply the journals.

Also, since banner-ads have been running on my AIM journal since conception, I am used to simply ignoring them. I don't even actively "see" them, unless folks draw my attention to them. Which is what folks are doing increasingly.

You see, when you point out to someone those ads (even if it is to protest), you are doing them a wonderful service. You are promoting them, you are making them more noticable, you are drawing attention to them. So, even negative publicity is still publicity.

Most of these companies are large, well-established corporations that either folks use or not. If they already use them (ie Verizon), chances are slim to none that the individual is going to go through the hassle of terminating their usage and employing another. If they don't already use them, then is this fuss going to make that much of a difference anyway?

Now I know that someone is going to get all blown up and indignant over this post, feeling invalidated or trivialized. But the bigger picture is that there are more services that AOL provides their customers than just the journals. And there are more things worthy of taking a stance over besides this.

Yes, AOL should not have made this move with out proper research marketing on how it would affect their customer base. Yes, I think they should use disclaimers. No, I don't think that it's been worth all this fuss.

'nuff said.

17 November 2005

I do notice that the daylight hours are shorter and the night spans forever. I know that next month we will reach the apex, and then the days will slowly begin to lengthen and the nights will not suddenly slam the afternoons into midnight blackness.

Thursdays are my Support Group Meeting Days. The last meeting I co-facilitate is over at 3:45p. As I walk to my car, the sun is low in the sky. On the drive home, it sets. By the time I pull up to my mail-box, it is totally dark out.

I feel so odd about that. Like I ought to jump in my jammies and brush my teeth for bed as soon as I walk in the door. My pupsicles are not too fond of wearing their sweaters (well, I just tried it, it was an idea, and apparently not a very good one). They all three clamor and scamper about my knees while I'm trying to open the door, turn on lights, feed them. I choose to look at it like this: they LOVE me. Although, it could be a combination of...we are lonely, let us inside, feed us! water, we neeeeeed fresh water with no leaves in it....I'm going with, they LOVE me.

16 November 2005

(couldn't get this to "save" so I am trying to go thru AIM) went to bed feeling too stuffy and warm. This morning, I awoke to a much more frigid dawn then I've seen this entire season.

Could it have just been coincidence that it's my birthday? hm.

If you look closely at my ID, you'll even be able to figure out how old I am now.

dkb 11 16 1970 (cuz all those number run together can get a bit messy)

It wasn't a bad day. There were some very pleasant points. But I was grace itself as per usual. I twisted my ankle three times. The third time, I skinned my bad knee and now it's five lovely shades of black. OOOOOOOhhhh, aaaaaahhhhh.

I'm too old for this falling down stuff. It hurts now. And it takes a long time to mend up from it.

Goodnight to all.

14 November 2005

time for a check

It does not seem to me to be mid-November already.  The temperatures here have been unseasonably warm.  It's about ten days til Thanksgiving, less than six weeks til Christmas, and one week after that is the New Year.  I'm not sure why I always feel like I should have gotten way more done THIS year than I did.

Although this year has flown by remarkably fast, I feel as though I have done lots this year.  Did I push myself?  At times.

But I am learning my limits, how to accept them, and how to honor them.  For instance, if I am feeling very irritable, I know that being around alot of people is not a good idea.  So scratch the plans to visit Wally's World.

And yes, I do need to be careful and not hibernate the winter away, I do realize that there are days when nappage is required.  I try to meet my needs before they become too pressing.

I've gotten better at self-monitoring.  Sometimes I do miscalculate or simply don't see what is going on within me.  But I do better now than I had.

Speaking of which...it's time for me to toddle off to bed...zzzzzzzzzz

Viet Vets

Well, last Friday was veterans' day.  Sunday was the 13th and it was the day that the viet nam vets' memorial (the wall) was erected on the capital's mall in 1982.  On both days, I meant to write something special for my dad and the men I grew up with, who are his friends and viet vets too.

Mostly the reason I didn't was because there are so many mixed feelings, strong opinions, and odd attitudes that I wasn't sure how to approach the issue.  I know that my father joined the army (paratrooper) because he thought it was the right thing to do.  Shortly after being in-country, he discovered that the government (ours) was portraying the war one way, while it seemed to be an entirely different sort of war in reality.

My father became very soured on our gov, establishments in general.  In the mid-80s, he worked hard with some other viet vets in the area (PA) to raise funds to be able to attend Chicago's Welcome Home parade that was being given in April 86 for the Viet Vets.  It took quite some time for my father to get adequate treatment for various problems which stemmed from his tour of duty.  Mostly, the government declares its ignorance of the potential harm Agent Orange and other pesticides and chemicals used during warfare can cause.  However, the companies which produce those chemicals can show that they sent memos and other notices to the government addressing the harm that exposure can cause.  So it's no wonder to me that my father has just cause to not be so trusting of our gov's claimsmaking rhetoric.

I wish I could tell you that my father is well-taken-care-of now.  He's not.  He's still dealing with various health problems.  In addition, dealing with the VA is difficult to say the least.  I cannot tell you the number of times my father's records have been lost.  I know he isn't exclusively special in that regard, but that doesn't excuse anything.  It makes the situation all the more appalling, to tell the truth.

I'm proud of my father.  My parents have raised me to be a critical thinker.  In my opinion, they did a good job.  My dad had lots going on, while I was growing up, and yet he always made time to talk with me.

He has his own demons to fight and I can't really help with that, other to lend a listening ear.  My father is one of my most important heros.  I hope he lives to see many more years so that I can enjoy him more and more while he is here on this earth.

13 November 2005

Suggestions, anyone...?

My friend is having a very rough time right now.  Her mother is in a nursing home, with dementia progressed to the point that she doesn't recognize her own daughter much of the time.  My friend took care of her during high-school and college years, before her mom went into the nursing home.

My friend is very intelligent.  She knows lots about the political processes.  She was one of the founding members of the Green Party in Mississippi.

She is frustrated because she tires more easily, grows more easily confused, and has periods of depression that really get her down.  Sometimes she feels as though she is losing her mind.  This last thing is by far the worst for her.

Her father is dying.  He has colon cancer and is not responding to the chemo and the other treatments.  It may have spread to his liver, to his stomach, and elsewhere.

She is 30.  In her 20s, she had cancer, a brain tumor.  After chemo and surgery, she struggled with recovery and remission.

She wants to be strong for her dad.  She doesn't want him to see her upset, crying.  She knows this would upset, worry him and in turn that might have a bad effect on what health he does have.

But, she has no idea how she is going to get through this...

On the material side of things, she is concerned that the house that she grew up in, which only has 2 yrs of payments left, might be snatched out from underneath her.  Selling the house is not an option for her yet.  Her whole world is about to change radically, that house may be one of the only anchors left for her.

Her dad thought he had life-insurance.  Turns out that's not so.  She might have enough to bury him with the policy through the funeral home.

I feel helpless.  I cannot think of a thing that would help.  I want to, but I have no idea what to do.

If anyone has any suggestions, about any aspect of this situation, please let me know.  I appreciate it.

10 November 2005

New Doc in Town

Last week, I had a three month follow-up appointment with my psychiatrist.  Well, the old one had left and the new one started the week before my appt.  Some people aren't fond of the man.  But I like his style.

First, he met me on MY level.  He reviewed my diagnoses and discussed them with me.  We talked about the causation of the conditions.  We discussed the current medications and the side-effects.  Then we talked about desired changes and difficulties with the meds I've had.

In part, it is because of the new doc that I feel better, more optimistic about getting the weight under control.  We've changed two of the medications to PRN (take as needed) instead of taking them every day, several times a day.  We also upped my anti-depressant some, as I have been finding it increasingly difficult to actually get out of bed, let alone the house.  I want to hibernate.  THAT's not good.

And what I really like is that we have a plan in place for doing some gradual changes over the next few months that will hopefully help.  In two months, I go back to see the new doc (who won't be "new" then) and if all's well, we are going to switch one of the meds.  That is a very significant change so I hope it all is fine for me.  Then in a couple months after that, we might make another change in the meds.  Then I think I'll just coast for awhile and let it all sink in.

So, having a plan is good.  I feel better.  I feel the doc is interested in what I have to say about my own health care.

09 November 2005


Tomorrow is Support Group Day.  Every Thursday is now Support Group Day (I even think in Capitals when thinking of Support Group Day is Thursday).  Tomorrow, I am giving an In Our Own Voice (Living with Mental Illnesses) presentation at the General Support Group in Columbus.  The meetings are held at Community Counseling.  So the administrator has let her staff know that they can choose to attend, but it is not a requirement.  So, I have NO idea how many people will actually be attending tomorrow.

When the holidays approach, when the daylight hours become shortened, when the weather changes, folks become more stressed, less able to motivate themselves to attend things like support groups, and sometimes they cannot even get themselves out of the house at all.  So knowing this, I tried to prepare myself for a decline in attendance, especially as these groups are relatively new.  But it was still disappointing when last week's numbers were down so far.  The only good thing was that it allowed for those folks that did come to really have some quality time discussing the issues that were the most pressing for them at the time.

And really that's what it's all about anyway.

But, I'm a little nervous about tomorrow.  Why?  I'm not sure.  I've no problem with speaking before groups.  I've given this same presentation to Adult Mental Health Care Providers just a few months ago.  So even if all the counselors show up, which is highly doubtful, I'd still know what to say and still be prepared.  But for some reason, I have just a little nervous activity going on in the belly and I'm hoping that goes away with a good night's rest.

Physical Therapy and Me

Well, week one of PT is through.  Three to go.  It's good, not bad.

See, I have gained about 40 lbs in the past year.  This makes for a catch-22 situation.  I need to exercise, but even walking is painful.  The weight is not good for my joints and other systems.  So I should exercise but ack.

So I persisted with my desperate pleas with my docs about assistance with this matter.  Cuz walking it off was not even an option.  I have curtailed and altered my diet.  I am increasing the intake of water.  Some of it is the medication and my thyroid problems and we are taking proactive steps now.  FINALLY.

And the physical therapy is to help strengthen my lower back and work my stomach muscles, some of my leg muscles, and mostly focus on torso so that my spine is supported the way it needs to be.  It took me the better part of 6 months to bring this to the serious attention of my docs.  In large part (pardon the pun) because I don't "look" like I weigh over 230.

Gee, you carry it so well.

K, yeah, well, see....It doesn't matter how "well" I carry it...my knees protest stairs, my back protests chores and a stroll to the mailbox, my blood rushes through my ears, and I get winded...ok, so no that's not good and so I don't really care if I look like I weigh less than that.

230+ is a lot, a huge amount of weight to be on this frame.  No matter how large my frame is.  That is still not healthy.

It took me stressing this point to DOCTORS and other health care providers (what's wrong with THIS picture??!?!) repetitively for months in order for me to get through to them that this is a serious matter.  Ya know, affects the health in all sorts of ways.  Not even to go into anxiety and depression....

But the good news is....

We're doing something now.

So, good on me.

So yesterday...

Yesterday I'm eating a hearty breakfast of pancakes at the local cafe (which is really a 24 hr diner) and I pick up the local university's student paper.  I see that there are three students pictured holding signs that are imprinted with:  It's not just a food, CHINESE NOW.  Basically, the students would like the Chinese language to be offered as course work at the college.  Hm, not a bad idea.

Then I drift on over to the side-bar and stop slurping my coffee.  My eyes did a rather audible blink, blink and the diner-clatter faded in the background.  What is this I see?  Nooo.  Yes.  Whoa.

"Denver says 'yes' to Pot"

And there were some interesting editorials too about the issue.  One woman focused her entire article on how the legalization would allow taxation and do all sorts of wonderful things for our economy.  Now, these are not original arguments but they are still good points to be made ri'cher in what is a sort of conservative place.

The ironic thing is (well, there are many ironic points, but the one for HERE is) that ri'cher in Starkville, MS we are about to go non-smoking in all public facilities, including bars.  Which I don't see as being entirely incompatible...but it is rather odd that while one area of our fair country is doing one thing, another is seemingly so opposite.

The reason I say seemingly is because one of the other points made was that if pot were legalized, it could be regulated, and harmful additives could be screened out.  Whereas we already know that cigarettes do not have those harmful additives screened out.  So, some have made the case that alcohol and nicotine and caffiene are far worse gateways to hard drug usage than pot.

I'm just saying...

food for thought, good on the mile-high city.


It's been over a week since I last posted an entry.  Since then, I've been trained to be a mentor for the Peer to Peer education through NAMI.  Yea!!!

I also was extremely tired last week.  But I had appointments and obligations and things along those lines so I didn't get to get caught up on sleep.  And now, I can't seem to relax enough to go to sleep.  argh.

Saturday, my guy and I went to see his sister and her new baby.  The little guy was so tuckered out, cuz being born is rough stuff, that he snoozed right through all the commotion everybody made with the oooohs and aaaaaaaahs.  My guy and I gave a basket of onesies, sleepers, and bibs.  Oh, and one of those soft and squishee chicks that probably will not make it into the baby's room as every one was coveting it.

When we left Tupelo, we drove down part of the Natchez Trace.  The fall foliage was beautiful.  Lots of folks were out, enjoying the weather.

Then we stopped at The Sweet Potato Festival in Vardaman.  It is a very small town.  I think the fest was really good sized for the area it was in.  There was lots of food, crafts, and games, as well as two performance areas.

On the way back to my place, we stopped at Woodland Furniture.  It is HUGE.  It occupies the buildings which used to house the school system.  There is a big map/directory posted outside the office, near the parking-lot.  We didn't even go through all the buildings.  Mostly we looked at desks and office chairs.

This week has been rushing by...Monday I finally got the flu shot.  Yea!!  I didn't even get a fever.  Sometimes, I get sorta blech for a day or two afterwards, but still it's way better than the flu for me.  When I get the flu, it takes a good 2 or 3 months for me to recuperate.  So it is a good idea for me to get the shot if I can.

Last Friday, I started physical therapy.  Today I had it again, and so will I tomorrow.  Usually it is a Mon-Wed-Fri thing, but my therapist will not be here this Friday.  Which is fine.  I'll have 4 weeks.  We are working on strengthening my lower back, in particular.  Actually, my torso is receiving the full work-out.  So far, it hasn't been too taxing.  I'm hoping that at the end of 4 weeks, I will be able to do some of the exercises at home.  Right now, mostof the therapy is on machines, with weights for resistance.

November is full of friends' birthdays....if you are reading, Brenda, HAPPY BIRTHDAY today the 9th.  My friend up in PA is having her birthday on the 11th, and another PA friend is having his the 17th.

J-Land's own Judy Heartsong is having her's on the 16th.  If I had to choice with whom to share my birthday, it would be her.  So, Happy Birthday to both of us.

Another friend here in MS is having his on the 22nd.  AND MY GUY'S is the 28th.

Of course, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  In fact, I heard an ad yesterday on the radio for the Christmas Parade that is scheduled for this Friday.  Can you believe it?  I'm so not even ready for the holidays this year.  But ya know what?  They are happening whether I am ready or not.

I haven't seen my parents in a year.  We might get together for Christmas.  But that remains to be seen.  The price of gas has put a crimp into travel plans.  Also, there are other small issues, like the furry critters.  I don't think I want to load up my car with three dogs.  One of whom has a spastic colon, another who does not travel well (he's a little guy and trembles, tucking himself into my chest and trying to burrow under the seatbelt), and although Shaddow travels very well, I think even she would find the space to be cramped.  I'm not sure if my folks could come this way or not.  If they do, they'd have to bring the RV cuz I don't have lots of sleeping room.  Also, mom's cat rules the RV when it is parked here.  My dad's dog gets along well with Shaddow but the other two little guys here haven't met him yet.  Clyde (dad's dog) is very mellow, so I am sure he won't have a problem.  But Ace, my boston terrier, gets to thinking he's big billy bad-ass and sometimes his growling challenges are hard to ignore.

So that's all the news here...