The totally shame-free, actual-life, real-time blog where I tell all, show all--without nagging or whining (all right--maybe a little whining...)--in my attempt to stop being a fat middle-aged woman who avoids mirrors and clothing stores and start being a woman at home in her body...brought to you by a real woman, the Independent Weltha Herself. I won't give any advice, and I'm not asking for any--just companionship on my journey.

Every day...a new post. Every other real weight. Every pictures.

For every woman who has ever tried to just lose the extra weight and feel good...overall and about herself...and who lived to tell the story.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Days the 153rd - the 157th - Day 25 of 30 Days of Truth

No, we have not had another blizzard (it's April, people, and although our weather exhibits major wackitude, even that would be a bit much...)

No, I haven't fallen off the planet...or off the Eating Right For Better Health And Slender Body wagon...

Nope, girlfriend here has been sick.

Now, I've been at work every day, been at the final Lenten Study, and even at a long Choir Practice last night.

I will be at Church and 9:30 am Choir Practice on Sunday and I will faithfully participate in all the Holy Week events. And then sing at Feast of the Resurrection (what you non-liturgical types call "Easter.")

Girlfriend has the SHINGLES and it hurts like a big dog. No, I haven't been to the doctor for whatever and no, I'm not going unless this gets much, much worse.

I'm treating it with natural means...went online, got some excellent counsel, and here I am, feeling like I just scratched a really bad sunburn (except the pain doesn't go away...). Yes, I'm using apple cider vinegar, ice packs, drinking apple cider vinegar (blrghhhh) and using tea tree oil. And I'm going to buy eucalyptus oil later today. Yes, it hurts. No, it's no fun.

And it all wore me out. So...I have not posted. All of my concentration and effort has gone into work...until this moment. I am finally posting the blog.

Yes, I am eating well. No, I haven't weighed. Yes, I enjoy bagels. Not every day.

I just read Portia de Rossi's book, Unbearable Lightness about her terrible struggles with anorexia and bulimia. No, I'm not dealing with either of those thanks be to God.

Yes, I am hurting right now. As in "right this very moment"--not only defo when I am typing this but probably when you are reading it.

Still, it will go away. It will. It must.

Meanwhile, I just bought a memory foam bed topper last night and new sheets and pillows (because I desperately needed them...) and slept very well...much less pressure on my joints! Woo and hoo!

And...a really cute little shirt/hoodie with a sort of a nautical theme--it's cobalt blue with a little striped insert in the v-neck and a hoodie. And long sleeves. It's way cute. I'm wearing it right now. AND...I bought a pink Spring-weight sweater.

Yes, I'm stylin' now...

Meanwhile, back to 30 Days Of Truth, presenting Day 25--and the prompt is...

A Book You've Read That Changed Your Views On Something

And the book is: The Good Book by the late Peter J. Gomes.

It changed my attitude about being a Christian and relating to LGBTQ people. It helped me believe that the Bible--and please, try not to pick up stones to throw at me as you read this--does not condemn loving, committed relationships between people of the same gender. I know...I thought it said...uh huh, that's what I thought it said. Of course, it "says" that women should shut up in church, never teach on doctrine, and cook for the potlucks and watch out for the kiddies. All right, it doesn't quite say that last part, but it's defo implied. By a "reading" of it all.

Gomes' book doesn't just address homosexuality, which he calls "the last prejudice." He talks about how the Bible has been used to support slavery and the unequal treatment of women--but he also celebrates this most mysterious and controversial book as a narrative of a people encountering God. It's worth reading even if you are just convinced you are going to hate it to bits and disagree with every word.

You might be surprised.

No, this is not the time or place to jump all over me and tell me that I'm lost or off or in major error or a heretic or whatever. If you want to agree with me, fine. I'm all over that. But argue with me? I don't think so. I'll read your comments. I just won't publish them to the blog.

This is my answer--it's not me going out on a crusade. But Peter Gomes' book has certainly changed what I thought.

And I think that's a good thing.



Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day the 152nd - Day 24 of 30 Days of Truth

It's hot, hot, hot. Yes, we have hot weather. We're kind of glad, remembering our Blizzard of '11, but I'm sweatin' BBs, and I'm not lokin' it. Whatcha gonna do? We're never happy...just like women and their hair. I have really thick hair with curl and loads of body. It's naturally a medium brown with lots of red highlights in it. Naturally, I wanted string straight hair, black and lots less body. Honestly, hair or weather. No one is happy. Last night I did indeed have me some steamed carrots and green beans with a dressing I made that needs some help. I mean, it just needs some...somethin'...I didn't like it all that much. The vegetables were GREAT--the drizzle...not so much. I'll be working on a recipe and publish it when it's perfected... And then some homemade halvah. Sorry, I like chocolate and this is the one way I can have it without a bunch of stuff. Meanwhile, this morning was a veggie sandwich at Old School, on asiago (oh yummmmm...) and the Blackberry-Jasmine Green Tea. It's so good...and I love it so much... And lunch today will be more steamed vegetables. Very good for me. I'll be a-workin' on that drizzle to put on them... Poodle and I went to the Cherry Street Farmer's Market and it was...okay. I mean, it wasn't all that and a bag of chips so off we went to Whole Foods and then to his place to watch Will and Grace and remove the tags from some pics on his Facebook. And now, I'm getting ready to go with Kathy the Cantor out of town, with choir member Johna and Sandy to see Virginia the Fellow Alto's art show. It will be way fun, and I'm looking forward to it. Meanwhile, Poodle is out to eat tonight with a friend, and Mischa (formerly known as Woodstock) is in Ohio at a conference and then vacation with a relative. And I am thinking, "Let's get with it, Weltha. Let's lose that weight." Yes...very good of me. I may not get the elliptical...I just don't have the room for it...too much trouble.'s back to the rebounder. Well, why not? I have it. Might as well get with it. And...the moment you've been waiting for...Day 24 of 30 Days Of Truth. This is another day where I created my own prompt because the one for today "What are your pet peeves?" is way too much like "What irritates you?" and besides, I am tired of some of the negativity of these prompts. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not some shallow little dimwit who shies away from pain and sorrow. But honestly, some of this stuff is just...morbid. And dumb. And no, I'm not writing myself a love letter the last day telling everything I "love" about myself. Sheesh almighty... is the Weltha version of the Day 24 prompt: What Place Is The Geographic Center Of Your World? Now that one is easy. It's Linden, Missouri. When I was growing up, my dad's sister Helen had a cabin at the Lindenlure Association down in the Ozarks. I loved it. No, nothing fancy. And my brothers and mom always said, "Too many bugs and yuck." Maybe so, but that is where I learned to swim, to paddle a canoe (and remember, it's my Great Athletic Skill), and to love the Ozarks and my Ozarks heritage. When the cabin was still in our family, I always went to Linden in times of distress, grabbed the canoe, went up around the 2nd bend in the Finley River and docked myself at the gravel bar. And thought. And pondered. And sometimes, I cried. Or prayed. Or read a book. When we went when I was a kid, there was no television and no telelphone. I'm sure there's satellite or cabel today and probably computer access, but back then, it was sitting on the dock, swimming, canoeing, going for a walk, going for a ride over to Ozark or maybe a day trip to Silver Dollar City in Branson. I loved it. And when I was in about 5th and 6th grade, my mom stopped going and my dad and I went for a week around the 4th of July so I could shoot fireworks. And probably so my dad could shoot them too. and the memories I have of hanging out with my father, shooting fireworks, setting off the nighttime fountains and just generally being a kid. Those trips to Linden taught me that I was at home in nature and that I was indeed a child of the Missouri Ozarks, just like my parents. Ever time I went to Linden, I felt "something old" in the hills and the bluffs and knew that my people had been there a very long time and that in the most real sense, this part of the world was their home--and mine. I have rocks I have collected from down at Linden, and once in a while, I give one away to a very dear friend. But you ahve to be in the middle of my heart for me to give you a piece of Linden. I suppose it's not much. Nothing fancy...just a little encampment on a minor river. But to me, it was where my life began and ended. My deepest hope is that I could retire someday to a house that I would build down at Linden, and end my days reading, writing, taking my canoe up the river, sitting on my dock, watching the river and the light and shadows upon it... Independently, Weltha

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day the 151st - Day 23 of 30 Days of Truth

Oh CAMPERS! I'm back...and have had a leeeeeeeetle problem but have created a work-around...

My blog was somehow marked as either abusive or spam according to Facebook, where I try to post as much as I can of it. I don't know if it's because I posted 3 days all on one day (because I couldn't get to the library!) or...if someone marked me as abusive.


However, I filled out Facebook's form, sent it off, and now am posting links--it may look a little different on Facebook but not so much that you don't know it's my blog. Anyhoodle, I am able to post and that's where most of my readership is.

I LOVE the fact that someone in Russia, someone in Spain and someone in Italy is reading me!! Welcome, friends!!! I speak a lot of Spanish (still not fluent), a phrase or so in Italian and the same in Russian. I love all 3 languages and am so glad you are with me!

I meant to have fruit for breakfast but breakfast got away from me and I ate...nothing. This isn't too great, and I'm taking fruit and cashew butter HOME so I am sure I eat it all. And lunch was the usual...maybe apples later today. We'll see!

Right after work, I'm going to Target to buy a really nice broom and dustpan set. I'm collecting the "good things" so that I have them rather than a lot of junk. I'm not big on junk that doesn't work too well, that has to be replaced often. I believe in buying the good stuff when it's practical, taking care of it and having it a loooooooong time. Sometimes, it doesn't matter; sometimes, it matters a big ol' bunch...

I had popcorn last night--I was one tired little pilgrim...and I haven't been getting to bed on time. This MUST and WILL change.

And I need to clean my room and prepare for my Lenten Study lesson which I will be doing on Sunday right after much fun!

Tomorrow is Big Fun Day and I can't wait to blog about it when it's all over.

Meanwhile, here is Day 23 of 30 Days Of Truth. The prompt is:

What Did You Learn From The Last Dark Period In Your Life?

Well, I learned so much and am still learning, but one definitely lesson was that God takes care of me even when I am totally helpless. At one point, I had no work, no working vehicle, and I thought I was going to have to move within 2 weeks. Oh, and no money, either. I now have work. My car runs just fine (thank you Ken--this would not be the case without you and a host of others). I have money (okay, not rollin' in it but still! Enough to get by on and then some.) I have just moved and am glad I did. Very very glad.

I learned that God loves me in the worst times, when I am not doing so well, when everything looks hopeless. He isn't just the "good God" when things are going well; He/She is the Good God when things are falling apart. My circumstances do not change his goodness--but I have seen the opposite take place. His goodness has changed my circumstances.

I've known lots of dark hours...but this isn't one of them. I'm learning in this bright hour how to live. How to let go. How to hold on. How to love. How to rest. And those lessons are the flip side of the ones I learned in the dark hours...

Have a good weekend, and I will report on Farmer's Market with Poodle and also on Virginia the Fellow Alto's Art Show with Kathy the Cantor! And...on my Lenten Study for Sunday--can't wait to be able to post on that one!

Thank you for joining in with me--especially those who don't know me personally but have joined up. Can't do it without you!



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day the 150th - Day 22 of 30 Days of Truth--WEIGH-IN THURSDAY

All right, I know you just tuned in to see what I weigh... I got ON the scales this morning and doggone if they didn't say 233. I mean COME ON PEOPLE! I have NOT--repeat NOT--gained 11 lbs since Valentine's Day. So...I moved the scales to another location and they said..."226." That's...better. I guess... These are electronic, I am going to get a GOOD cutting board, put the scales in my bedroom on the CHEAP cutting board (it's more stable than the wood plank floor) and we'll see what's what. So very discouraging because I don't KNOW. What I need to do is go to the doctor's, get weighed, come straight home and mess with the scales until they say what the doctor's scales say. And I am back to the mode of "let's get WITH this, exercise, eat right and LOSE THIS WEIGHT." Oh yeah, and get healthier too... I had NO BAGEL for breakfast but had an apple and put cashew butter ONLY on the last 2 bites. Good for me. Yes, I did have the green tea to drink and lunch was Salad Bar with Coleslaw. I was very happy. Tonight will be steamed carrots and steamed green beans. Very pleased with this and will make light dressing to drizzle. Good job ME! Tomorrow breakfast will be grapes and apples. I tell ya, I'm gonna lose this weight. LOSE IT. LOSE. IT. Andnow, we bring you Day 22 of 30 Days Of Truth with the prompt of... What Makes Your Family Unique? Let's see...I feel a LIST COMING ON:

  1. My dad was probably Springfield, Missouri's first traffic casualty (not fatality because he was 3 years old and hadn't married and had us at the time...)

  2. My brothers are mirror identical twins (look it up...very interesting)

  3. My mom worked for and volunteered for the American Red Cross for a total of 50 years.

  4. My mom had one Confederate grandfather and one Union grandfather.

  5. Mom's Confederate grandfather was kin to the Dalton gang of outlaws and let them sleep overnight in the barn once when my grandmother Daisy was 9 years old.

  6. On Dad's side, we are related distantly (by marriage) to John Wilkes Booth

  7. Mom's Confederate grandfather had a first cousin in Tennessee who sold a little slave girl to a farmer in Diamond, Missouri (slavery is a bad thing and so is selling a child). The little girl was named Mary and she was sold to Moses Carver. Mary grew up to become the mother of George Washington Carver...

  8. My mom was a double cousin (same cousins through both parents) because her mother Daisy married her father H. P. and H. P's sister Molly married Daisy's brother Jim. No, no one married someone they were related don't start that up with me....

  9. I was the first student in my high school history to be a Merit Finalist.

  10. I won a pie-eating contest 2 years in a row...

All right, that last one isn't much but hey! My family is without question "one of a kind."

You read it here first.



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day the 149th - Day 21 of 30 Days Of Truth

Alas, I forgot to weigh-in this morning. Well, what actually happened was I looked at my scales sitting kinda under a bunch of stuff, and I was almost dressed and I said, "One more day isn't going to make anyone crazy" so I didn't move the stuff and get undressed.

Well, I didn't.

So...tomorrow will be Weigh-In Thursday and forget the alliteration...Sorry, I meant to do it but it was one of those "get up and get going" mornings.

Today, I did have my Blackberry-Jasmine iced tea (green tea) but no bagel.

Okay, part of the reason (most of the reason. all of the reason) was not enough change in my purse, but I'd like to think that part of it was ALSO that I wanted to eat better. I had grapes for breakfast. Nice cold, sweet green Thompson seedless...I know they're good for me. I'm glad I did it. Yes, I'm eating lovely Work Salad Bar that contained--quelle surprise--pickled okra so I had me some because children, I'm ain't nothin' if not a Southern girl...And yes, they were great.

And now, I'm interrupting my lunch to type this blog. Last night, I did have popcorn and homemade chocolate halvah. They were both great. Love them. I was tired, but there IS stuff to steam in the fridge which I will do tonight post-Choir practice.

But first, a shout out to my friend Poodle who is a dear. We talked on the phone on the way in to work today, and we are going to see one another before Choir practice (Poodle is not in the Choir--my Choir Practice!) but I also received a very sweet text. People, THIS is what makes a good friend--someone who stays in touch whenever possible. All my friends are like that--Mischa (formerly known as Woodstock but the hair is no longer Woodstock and Mischa is a better name...) does his very best in the face of full-time work AND finishing his diss AND going to conferences. Debbie has her parents living with her (and she has Mr. Debbie...) and she doesn't have much time. Grammy Jean is one busy woman with work and family. Yet all of them do their best to stay in touch.

And Poodle's very sweet text meant the world. He's a GREAT friend. Everyone should have BFFs that I have.

Anyhoodle, I just had to shout out to Poodle--this is a great day to do that.

And now, we head into Day 21 of 30 Days Of Truth.

There are a million versions of these 30 Days out there and some of them have the lamest prompts. Today's was about what I worry about and why. Yes, I struggle with worry but honestly, I don't want to focus on that. I have areas of life in which I have to work on not worrying. I don't want to spell that out and give it a life of its own.

Instead, I'd like to talk about:

The Aspects Of My Life That I Love

I have plenty of them, and again, I will resort to a list (I love me some lists...)

  1. My wonderful church and my pastor Bishop. I have referred to him as the Big Kahuna of St. J's and he is (and he's also tall and slender and aristocratic-looking, not to mention hilarious.) He's a Good Shepherd of the Flock--much like the Good Shepherd Himself...

  2. My friends--I know you all hear over and over about Poodle, Mischa, Debbie, Grammy Jean and more...I have the greatest friends on earth. Add to that Dawn in Arkansas, Wes in Texas, Suellen, Martha and Melynda in Virginia...Rack and Eric and the whole Choir...and boy could I add more...and you have a set of incredible friends.

  3. My "new digs" with Tasha the Housemate and her two boys. I'm having a great time and I'm very happy where I live.

  4. The fact that I love Shakespeare and Milton--and really good modern novelists too--including the wonderful James Lee Burke and more...

  5. Where I work--with my wonderful supervisor and my wonderful co-workers. I am very happy.

  6. The fact that I will again teach. I will. I am so glad this is true and every day, I try to move toward THAT day.

  7. The fact that albeit slowly, I am losing weight

  8. My skin...I have lovely skin if I say so myself

  9. My sense of humor--I find me terribly funny

  10. My zest for life--which is returning in a major, major way...I mean, it's coming to its FULL FLOWER

  11. The fact that my lovely city has great museums and parks

  12. And Farmer's Markets all over the place not to mention fresh fruit and vegetable stands

  13. Hope. I have tremendous hope in my life.

  14. My cats--I love, love, love them and try to remember not to scold them even when Horatius butts my hand as I'm putting kitty food in the bowls and it goes all over or when Mimsey hollers at the top of her little lungs at me...they love me and I love them.

  15. My two brothers. They are the best. Maybe not everyone else's "best" but my best and I would not trade them for anyone on earth.

  16. My ability to crochet and knit and embroider and write academic and creative essays and sing and play the piano and the Appalachian dulcimer (not very hard but then how many people do you know who actually do?)

  17. The diversity of my friends and their interests and abilities

  18. My faith and the way in which I experience it as an Anglican

  19. My ability to decorate which I am continuing to develop...and I have a major plan for the future in terms of color and decor...

  20. My love of books and music and art and nature and film

There, that should do it! That's what I ABSOLUTELY love about my life.



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day the 148th - Day 20 of 30 Days of Truth

Hey, sports fans! Do you know what tomorrow is?

Uh's Weigh-In Wednesday. And Sister here will be a-weighin' in...

In other news, I have already talked on "yesterday's post which was posted today" about what I have eaten AND I am going to have a sliced apple with cashew butter (maybe...or maybe not...) this evening. Or grapes. Or popcorn. we go with Day 20 of 30 Days Of Truth...

And the prompt is:

What Is Your Favorite Quote?

I could take weeks on this one because I would want to post 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Runners Up and Honorable Mentions and Special Jury Prizes, but the truth is, this is the one:

"I believe in the end that all will come right"--Winston Churchill

If you've been following this blog, you know that Winston is my hero...I once dated a guy after finding out that Winston was his hero, too. Okay, it didn't turn into Love's Young Dream, but we're friends to this day.

And in the darkest hours of WWII when Nazi invasion seemed likely, when England stood alone, Churchill said this in many speeches.

And my life--which has had its own dark hours--has benefited because I believe that in the end, all will come right. I do indeed.

All right, there is actually a tie: from J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, comes this statement from Gandalf: "I believe that there is more at work in the world, Frodo, than the will of evil."

There have been times I felt that evil was so strong and goodness so small...but this reminded me of the great truth from the Bible (yes, here I go...) that we are "not to be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good."

There you have it. This is a short post because I have to eat and then I have to slap on makeup and go to the Lenten Study tonight although I would just like to go home and relax. Oh well!



Day the 147th (Mond. 4/4) - Day 19 of 30 Days Of Truth

Okay, so I'm once more--ONCE MORE--a day behind. Honestly, I was tired last night and did not feel like doing Day 10 of 30 Days of Truth. You'll see why in a minute...

I went out to eat at Pei Wei last night--had the usual steamed edamame and the Asian Chopped Chicken Salad (minus the wonton and plus extra cucumbers and lots of cilantro...). It was just a treat to myself--I was tired and on top of it, I just wanted that salad doggone it!

This morning...yes, a bagel (I almost typed "a beagle" but I'm not eating dog...) at Old School Bagel Cafe--the "Berry Confused" with lots of berries in it, accompanied by Honey Almond cream cheese. And yes, the wonderful Blackberry Jasmine Green Tea...I just read that White and Green tea have antioxidents in them (we knew that part) that rev up your metabolism. Ah...didn't know that part, and I totally love it. Or maybe they help you burn fat (okay, kinda the same thing...) We're heading into warmer weather and I have this wonderful iced tea I make from a Lipton Green Tea. Yes, Lipton. It's the Lipton Green Tea with Cranberry and Pomegranate--sweeten it with liquid Stevia and it is wunderbar...

Yesterday was sort of a hard day--I felt like a failure. I struggle with this when the least little thing goes wrong. Fafnir would NOT get into his carrier and he growled and hissed at me (I know he was scared) and I felt like a failure and the tapes started runnin'..."If you were a better person, you would have had him neutered when he was really little and never mind the $$$ because if you were a better person, you would have all the money you need..." "If you were a better person, you wouldn't be doing temporary work and you would be already teaching and probably have your doctorate...but you're not a better person..."

Shut up, I say to the tapes. Enough. Do you have to tell the tapes to shut up? I sure do--and yesterday, I wasn't doin' such a great job. And my friend Woodstock--oops, I mean Mischa, which is his better name (he is Mischa, my Polish prince...okay, he's not Polish that we know of, but we enjoy the idea that he is Polish nobility...) called me about something and I realized that if I were a big failure, I would NOT have him or Poodle or Debbie or Grammy Jean as my friends--or Dawn or...well, all of you who follow this blog and many more besides. It's okay...Fafnir will eventually get neutered and it will be OVER and DONE with. Besides, he's an indoor cat and he's not making more kitties...

And yes, today's lunch is Work Salad Bar...and it's great as always. I never get tired of the GOOD coleslaw!

And now...on to Day 19 of 30 Days Of Truth!

And the prompt is...

What Are Your Three Least Favorite Moments In Life?

How hard this is to write because I can't--won't--go into detail because they are really awful and more than just "least favorite."

Two of them have to do with being let go from jobs when I was younger. One of them had to do with something I did that violated company policy (in a big, major way...and I agree with what happened as a result--and yes, this is EONS ago) and having to face the man who made the decision about it. It wasn't facing him--he was so kind and wonderful (Mark T, you know who you are...although you are not reading this)--but dealing with the aftermath...and it took years to get past it all.

The second of those two had to do with not being invited back to teach somewhere because I had had a rotten semester. It was so humiliating and painful and felt like the end of my dreams. It wasn't, but it felt like it. It has taken me years to get past it. I have struggles with getting past the mistakes, errors and sins of my past. I wish I didn't, but I do. I work on this all the time--to believe that God can change me and turn my life around. I tend to beat myself for years at a time...

The third is easier--because it happened the longest time in the past. I was engaged about 3 bazillion years ago, and my fiance broke up with me "because I don't love you any more." And just like when I didn't get the scholarship to go to the Junior College near by, this was a good thing even though it hurt. This man and I would never have had a happy marriage, and I can definitely see a divorce as the most likely possibility. We were just not right for each other. He did marry another woman (met AND married her within 5 months after breaking up with me...yes, you read that right...) and sorry to say, he went through a very difficult and prolonged bad time in that marriage although I believe they are still together and I hope are doing well. I mean, I don't wish him ill. But I am so so so glad I did not marry him. It was really awful at the time, but good things came from it.

Good things came from the first time I lost my job (the second was a different issue; more of a "not invited back" sort of thing). I mean it; good things came out of it. And good things are coming from the "not invited back" thing because, honey, the opera ain't over 'cause the fat lady ain't sung yet...

I really try not to preach on my blog, but doggone it, I am a Christian, and I'll tell you right now that with God, it isn't over. Yes, we reap what we sow (or don't sow...) and yes, there are consequences in life. There are. I do not believe that the Lord Jesus is my permanent get-out-of-jail card in the sense of my living just any ol' way and not bearing any responsibility or consequence. I do not believe that at all.

But I believe with all my heart that God is the God of the second chance...and third...and whatever we need. He's not just the God of the "do over"--He (She--I think God is BOTH and probably more than just the 2 genders I know) is the God of the "START over"--the new beginning. I believe this. It gives me hope--and has given me hope in my very darkest hours. I have known the dark days, and I know that for me--as I seek God and allow His work in my life--that my greatest days lie ahead.

I need to write that. My "least favorite moments" defo top many people's--and are much less than those of others. But God has and continues to transform my sorrows and mistakes. He is that big--if I come to Him and acknowledge that one more time, I've messed up.

No, I've never committed murder or homicide or stolen or sold (or taken) drugs or fill in the blank, but I've messed up plenty of times. They have been painful times--they are without question my least favorite moments.

And out of them has come and will continue to come the great days of my life--why? because I've already seen it happen.

and there you have it. Thank GOODNESS, the blog prompt for TODAY is one I totally love but I'm tellin' out because you'll get it again from me...



Monday, April 4, 2011

Day the 146th (Sun. 4/3) - Day 18 of 30 Days of Truth

Hey campers! Once again, let's pretend it's...Sunday...okay? Good.

Got up...earlier than planned (dang! why can't I sleep until 8?) and got ready for church and then it was off to Bagel-O-Rama for an orange-cranberry-walnut bagel with honey almond cream cheese. With a large Blackberry Jasmine iced tea. Right, you're so surprised.

I know...I'm helpless these days in the face of bagels. And they are just down the street. And they are so good--and owned and operated (the store, not the actual bagels themselves; how would one "operate" a bagel?) by my friend Scott. And then to church to choir practice (great job on the duet, Jerry J and Virginia the Fellow Alto) at 9:30 am and time to chat with Woodstock (whom we are now officially returning to his OTHER nickname "Mischa" because he is no longer wearing his hair a la Woodstock but rather longer and thank you LORD he is using product which makes his hair look wonderful and he's lookin' great in fact yesterday, except for the doggone T-shirt and I do nag his socks off about not wearing a v-necked T-shirt under his shirts, he looked perfect, okay I might rethink the socks but honestly they added a certain wit to his ensemble) and show him pictures of me as a little and not-so-little weezer...

And then to lunch with the choir and FOC (friends of choir) and I would have gone with Rack and Eric and Kathy the Cantor to this movie with friends but I was meeting my friend Louix to see this wonderful Winston Churchill documentary by the Wiesenthal Center's Moriah films and it was great. Lunch with the choir was a sandwich at Mazzios, and I'm sorry to say that although it was delicious, I am sure the contents and ingredients were suspect...doggone it. And after Louix and I saw the documentary which we loved, we went to Bill and Ruth's for a sub and I got a Reuben, although to be fair, I always tell them "light on the corned beef and heeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaavy on the sauerkraut" because we knows I loves me some cabbage...

I ate an awful lot yesterday. An awful lot...I have got to get with it...

And now...we bring you Day 18 of 30 Days of Truth with the following prompt:

What Are Your Top 3 Favorite Moments In Your Life?

This is not easy--I have had many great and wonderful moments (and tomorrow is the 3 least favorite and yes, I've had more than three of THOSE)

I'll make a list with a little--or a lot--commentary:

  1. Going to Chartwell, Winston Churchill's estate, in Kent in the UK back in 2005 in the summer. It was a moment I had waited for my entire life, and it did not disappoint. I sat on the retaining wall on the back garden and doggone it I should have brought my disc of photos so I could include a picture...and looked out over the beautiful Kentish Weald as it slopes down toward the sea. I visited with a couple who lived in the area and who had been deported to Wales as children because Kent was so heavily bombed. I also talked to a lovely older woman who visited Chartwell every time she felt "low" since the death of her husband less than a year earlier. It was a sublime moment.

  2. Finding out--and then actually hearing it as he introduced me--that Bill the Presence had referred to me as "brilliant." I mean, Bill is Brilliant (with a capital "B") and I have looked up to him ever since I was his student back in 2005 (yes, a banner year). And to have him tell people I'm brilliant, well, it's pretty doggone wonderful. I try not to think to myself, "Bill needs to get out more..."

  3. Receiving "Teacher of the Year" from the Class of '87 at the Christian School where I taught. That class was very dear to me--they still are--and it was a wonderful wonderful moment and yes, I still have the plaque (packed away.) and I'm in touch with so many of those students. It was a great moment.

There is a degree to which these were random choices--I have had many wonderful moments in my life. Trying to pick 3 would be like trying to pick my 3 favorite breaths of air. All of the good moments, great and small, have been...really good. Still, those three are very special to me. I probably should have a sign that reads, "Will work for praise and recognition..."

This evening, I post on my 3 LEAST favorite moments...what, only 3? Ah well, they are in the past, and that's a great thing.



Day the 145th (Sat. 4/2) - Day 17 of 30 Days of Truth

Yes, yes, I missed not one but TWO days of blogging.

And here's how it happened. Let's pretend it is Saturday.

I got up at 7 am (yes, 7 am. On a Saturday) to go with my friend Havah to the Gun Show. Why? Because I like jewelry and WWII memorabilia. And gun shows have plenty of both.

Went out to my car at about 20 to 9 to meet Havah for breakfast and lo and behold! I had a FLAT tire. As in...really flat. Called Havah who came to pick me up but had the wrong wrench to change my tire for the (very good and already inflated) spare.

Off we went to the gun show where I bought a necklace-and-earrings set of Chinese Turquoise (which I love because it's so pale) and then a pair of lovely Baltic Amber earrings set in silver.

And walked my feet off until I was tired. And was a wee bit worried that even with the right wrench, it wouldn't be possible to get the tire changed because it had been last changed with a power whatever and the bolts were on for Eternity it seemed...and I was tired and worried that I was not going to be able to get to work and oh WHAT would I do?

But Havah was INDEED able to change the tire, but by this time, I was indeed "tired"--get it?--and my feet were talking to me and all I wanted to do was lie down and sleep. And sleep.

And no time to go to library and post. So I didn't.

And I ate a lot of stuff that day. Well, actually, I ate a "real breakfast" of Western Omelet with Hashbrowns at a local...diner? greasy spoon? with Havah. It was fun and I saw some nice church friends.

The truth is I am not eating as I ought. This bothers me. Two reasons--I will stop losing weight and might even start gaining BACK but also I might have to go back on Prescription Meds and I hate that. Hate. It.

I'm not swilling Co-Cola as the South calls it nor am I face-planting in a bag of M&Ms or eating brownies or drinking coffee (blrrghhhh...) but just not being On Top Of It.

But, here is Day 17 of 30 Days of Truth.

And the prompt is:

What Irritates You?

This is somewhere in the same category with What Makes You Cry? in that I would again ask, "People! How much time ya got?"

Let's narrow it down to something that really irritates me: bad behavior in a movie theater.

I will list:

  1. People who talk or whisper and distract me. Unfortunately, I'm kinda tightly wired if you know what I mean, and I distract easily.

  2. People who make noise with their food or--and I truly love this--spill it.

  3. People who bring children who should not--for any reason--be in that movie, whether the child is just too little or not ready to sit still and watch or better yet, the film is an ADULT FILM and here is this child. Once a mother brought her little child to Pan's Labyrinth. This is an adult film with a child protagonist. It is not a children's film. And mom spent the whole time trying to explain the film to a clearly upset child.

  4. People who walk past me 10 times--that is, who walk over me trying to get somewhere else. I say, if you want to be somewhere else, go there and stay there.

  5. People who kick the back of my seat repeatedly until I cannot concentrate on the film.

  6. People who laugh like buffoons at things that are not funny. Americans have a terrible tendency to do this. If one thing is remotely funny, then every moment of pathos is treated as "Reason to Laugh" excuse me, that's "Reason to Laff." It's mildly annoying at documentaries, but when there is something poignant or sad, it's...maddening. I remember the group of teenagers who laughed at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan when medics feverishly worked to stabilize a wounded soldier on the beach of Normandy on D-Day under withering German fire, damn it (yes, I swore but that's how this stuff affects me) only for the soldier to be shot in the head through his helmet and killed. And these kids laughed. Until I turned around and gave them The Look. Former students know what I'm talking's not just "a look"--it's an implicit threat that I'm about to say something they are not going to want to hear...

  7. People who repeat dialog as if there is a reason to do that--hey! the rest of us have ears. Honestly, we do.

  8. People who narrate what's happening on screen: "He got in the car!" Really, Sherlock?

  9. People who "wonder" out loud: "I wonder what he's gonna do..." or better yet, play Local Psychic, "He's gonna go up those stairs and The Monster is gonna get him." Thank you. I no longer need to watch the movie.

  10. People who do not realize that a movie theater is really a Temple of Cinema and don't make me go all Incarnational Aesthetics on you...

  11. People who have to play Local Film Critic during the film. Listen, buddy, if you're trying to impress the little Tootsie you brought as your date, wait until you're out of here and away from us--or someone (like me) might turn around and tell her that you're a moron and you don't know what you're talking about. At all. As in...At. All.

  12. Any use whatsoever (for any reason except being called away to perform emergency brain surgery) of a cell phone to either talk or text. Flogging is too good for these people. It causes me to despair for mankind, it really does.

Now I have worn me out, but as far as general irritation, there you have it. I am deeply irritated at these things. Deeply, deeply irritated. This is why I take a friend to a movie whenever I can--to soak up the extra psychic energy of these people so I don't find myself incarcerated for 30 to life for homicide at the cinema...

Of course, I would think it's justifiable so there you have it...



Friday, April 1, 2011

Day the 144th - Day 16 of 30 Days of Truth

Yikes-A-Mundo, I'm tired.

Of course, that's what happens when you go to bed at about midnight and then get up at 4:30 am...

I'm going to a funeral today and found out yesterday that the time was changing from 6 pm to 3, in early, worked late yesterday, short lunch today...get in all my hours and still make the service...Patty Shaefer, may you rest in peace and may the light of God's presence shine upon you eternally.

This is going to be fast--I'm typing on my break. Last night I had popcorn for dinner (because it was fast and easy, that's why...) and then I made the Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse (no, I'm not going Vegan as such--I just tend to eat that way a great deal--but not all--of the time)

It's great. My changes made all the diffo... is the recipe:

1 lb firm Silken tofu (Mori-Nu brand--and it's on the aisles not in the frig section--that's 2 packages. You will need to take all of one and about 1/2 of another to make your 16 oz=1 lb...)

1/2 cup soy milk (I use vanilla flavored...)

1/2 cocoa

1/4 carob powder (and you need to use the carob because it enhances the chocolate me on this...)

6 T. sugar OR 3 T. Powdered Stevia (I use the Powdered Stevia; if you use another sweetener in place of sugar, you're on your own. BTW, I think all the "sugar substitutes" are dangerous poison...just sayin'...)

1/4 t. vanilla extract (I use the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla from Watkins...)

Pinch of sea salt

Now, you can substitute as much as you want but remember, I said to use the cocoa and the carob. The silken soy has a delicate texture--MUCH different from the texture of the soy in the refrigerator case. Also, lousy vanilla, bad sugar substitute (or hey! refined white sugar from beets...), and regular salt...well, it's not as good for you AND it won't taste great.

THEN, I used my handy hand-held mixer and just mixed and mixed and mixed, and scraped down the sides and mixed some more at high speed.

Spoon it into 4 parfait type glasses and chill covered.

It has a somewhat fluffy texture and it's good. AND it's good for you--not bad at all. Yes, you need SOME salt in your diet. You do. And this is very little.

Today, a banana for breakfast. And Work Salad Bar for lunch today. Yum. And I mean it...

Now...Day 16 of 30 Days of Truth

And the prompt is:

What Brings You The Greatest Joy?

I would have to say that it's the knowledge that I have made someone's life easier, encouraged them, helped them, or taught them and changed them. In other words, it's when I'm "in my purpose" as Janis says.

I'm sure that one day when I finally bother to get married (and when I finally bother to meet someone...), I will find great joy in that relationship. But I'm convinced that relationships are not the greatest joy although they are tied into it. The relationship--of any sort, and i'm not privileging romantic/sexual ones--is a good thing but to find the greatest joy in it in and of itself is to burden that relationship with more than it can handle.

We were put on earth for a purpose. I know what mine is--to some degree; I don't think we ever fully understand all of our purpose in this life. We experience a general exfoliation (I'm using it in a literary and classical sense--we're not talking about your scrubby mask for your skin...) of our purposes, a general unfolding if you will.

I am convinced my greatest joy comes from--in the words of the Book of Acts in an unusual translation--"serving the purpose of God in my generation."

That's my ultimate goal. I mean, along the way, I want to enjoy literature, film, theater, music, friendships, love, you name it...but I want to serve God's purpose in my generation. And I know my small part in that purpose; that gives me the greatest joy.