Friday, October 31, 2014

Running out of time

My Bell preserving book has seen some battle over the years.  It's been stained and burned and torn.  I was able to get 25 lbs of tomatoes from CCI so I could make tomato sauce.  Because I was short on time this week I found by accident the process I think I'm going to use from now on.  I was able to reduce the sauce by adding to the crock pot when I came home from tasks until the 21qt stock pot was empty and the crock pot was full.  Now I just need to find the time to can it.

I have to admit I'm tired.  Just...weary.  I'm not certain if its the medicine or not.  I have had a couple late nights so it's hard to tell if it's my body actually telling me something or it's being influenced by medication.

Our zombie cat won't eat any of the special food we put out just for her.  She is painfully thin.  She's always been a picky eater but the zombie plague seems to have set some things in motion with her body that are concerning.  We are struggling with the decision to spend money to do tests and x-rays and blood work versus the fact that she's 17 turning 18 and maybe she's just getting ready to die.

The neurosurgeon, thankfully, doesn't want to do a biopsy and so we're just going to monitor my "worry wart".

I'm a blunt person.  I'm also a fixer.  I have the impression that those are masculine traits but who knows.  Still, when I hear a problem, I first think about how I can help fix it or how the discomfort or sorrow can be mitigated.  It takes some effort to just listen.
I'm more like my mother in my bluntness.  I'd rather just go ahead and ask someone or tell someone the problem or issue.  My dad would be shuddering with discomfort at the very thought of directly telling someone that you have a problem with them.  He's very much a "don't rock the boat" kind of person.

So tonight is my friends Haunted House.  I'm heading over there in a couple of hours to start makeup and help finish up whatever needs to happen before the trick or treaters come.  I have too many friends that love this holiday not to participate in my own way.  I think of it like a theater production.  I'm just working a stage.  I may need to allow myself some laziness today so I can make it through another late night though.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wanna see my brain?

Brains are interesting organs.  I'm guessing that white spot is the size of a dime.  I'm also guessing it's probably nothing.  I am certain it's a good reminder that we aren't guaranteed our next breath and I can always use a reminder to keep my house a little cleaner, my life a little simpler and my message a little bolder.  I have decided to call it my worry wart.

It’s a song I think of as an anthem to my weakness.  I'd like to say it's not my anthem anymore but I still find myself worrying.  As I re-listened to it tonight I found myself remembering how true those things used to be, the things I was worried about.  I hope it's not as true today as it was in my youth but as you grow up you find new things to worry about.  It's such a small thing.  So instead I will thank God for the reminder to live.  Today, right now.  No more worry warts for me!
You can hear it here -

It's a Patch the Pirate song and the lyrics go like this:
My name is worry warthog
I live in misery.
Instead of trusting in the LORD I worry constantly.
Although I know it’s silly,
Although I know it’s bad
I guess I find a certain joy in always looking sad.
Yes, I’m a worry warthog *SNORT*
I worry every day
I worry (*SNORT* *SNORT*), worry (*SNORT* *SNORT*) all my time away
and if you want to look like me just fear and fret and snort (*SNORT*)
And very soon you’ll break out with a great big worry wart.
Sometimes my mother asks me
“Why must you worry so?
Our gracious heavenly Father loves all creatures here below.
You worry in the nighttime,
You cry when you’re alone.
I fear you’ll be one great big wart before you’re even grown.”
- Oh, worry! I’ll probably forget the words to this next verse! -
I worry that my pigmates
will treat me mean and cruel
And I might even fail a test and flunk right out of school
I fear my friends won’t like me as well as other swine
and maybe I won’t even get a piggy Valentine.

It's Wednesday again

Does anyone else wonder why time goes by so quickly?  I know they do.  I do.  I'm a little shocked my weeks have continued to be so full.  Adding more projects, more time with friends.  I don't regret the living I've done recently but I am tired and need to get to work.

My friends and family have been a little annoyed with me.  My personal way of dealing with death is to try and prepare my spouse for it by reminding him so he'll get used to the idea.  My husband is a caring and gentle soul and this causes him distress.  He doesn't want to talk about it.  With the introduction of something in my brain (See blog post "Something on my mind") I have renewed my efforts to get him "used" to the idea by talking about death.  I made him cry.  My grandmother, after giving me the hairy eyeball for doing this to my husband, gave me some good advice.  She didn't want to talk with my Grandpa about dying when he got cancer.  My friends also echoed the advice when they told me just to tell him every day that I love him.  Don't talk about death to prepare him, just talk of love so he'll remember.

Diet.  I was very naughty yesterday.  I have not stepped on the scale yet.  Witness live (figuratively) as I step on it now...ugh.  205.  I am failing to make diet a priority.  Neither am I making it a priority to eat.  Must get back to that as soon as I'm finished with the 10 projects I need to finish this week.

I wish I knew more video editors.  Someone to walk me through the tips and tricks and the best ways to do stuff.  I should take a class  but I keep telling myself this is not my skill set.  Why am I trying to do it?  And then the answer floats back to me. ....because no one else will.

If you haven't heard of CCI then you should.  Some people wonder what inmates do all day.  Some of  them work.  They work on raising animals or farming or making things.  They CCI sells them to help fund the work programs and to pay the inmate a wage.  I'm going to pick up 50 lbs of tomatoes this week so I can make pasta sauce.  I make great pasta sauce and I can't wait to have enough to last me all winter!  I love canning but when there's only two people it's hard to justify making a lot of canned goods.  CCI can't advertise for a couple of good reasons and so they rely on word of mouth.  So here's my word of mouth.  Consider supporting them.

I have got to stop filling up my time or I'm not going to get some things done that need to get done and off my plate.  I'm off to Crossfire today and I'm happy to give them the full day this time.

I'll stop by and get my next MRI scheduled because it's on the way to and from Crossfire.  Haven't heard from the Neurosurgeon yet but I didn't figured they wouldn't move quickly.

I had a fun, full weekend.  We did a lot of fun geocaching and had lots of friend time.  We went to Denver Monday and got to eat at a great restaurant that I wish we had in the Springs!

True Food

They cooked out in the open for everyone to see and it was delicious!  They based the restaurant on Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory diet which is just what I need.  It was all fresh, local and organic.  I'm going back as soon as I can get John up to Denver because..Yum!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Something on my mind

Well, I know why the neurologist wanted to see me.  The MRI showed something in my brain.  They don't know what it is.  Could be nothing.  Could be a tumor.  They want me to see a neurosurgeon.  *shrug* Okay.  Now is not the time to be worried.  Nothing I can do about it....nothing but praise God.  I got the MRI because I've been having a lot of headaches.  More than is normal for me.  The thing in my brain isn't causing the headaches but they found it because of the headaches.  My God is an awesome God.  I feel very blessed that God knows what He's doing.

Got home to a door to door vacuum sales person offering to vacuum my carpets.  I thought, why not, someone else can vacuum today.  I told them I had an appointment at 3:30.  I finally got the sales person out the door at 3:40.  Not the best way to stay calm.

The zombie cat's appointment didn't go that well.  We've been noticing her having trouble jumping.  Her back legs just don't seem to be on the same wave length as her front.  The vet felt something wonky on her spine.  They wanted to do X-rays.  The estimate was over $500.

I came home and my nose started to bleed.  I've never had a gushing nose bleed before.  I ruined my favorite handkerchief.  I took a picture but I won't gross you out.

Then the cat  threw up in the cat carrier.

Sometimes my body and I don't communicate well.  I think I'm perfectly calm.  Couldn't be less worried about a thing.  My brain and I are chill.  My body however seems to be FREAKING OUT.  It's stupid.  It's been happening to me since I was young.  It's part of the reason why my emotions pretty much trot across my face at will.  I can't seem to stop my body from expressing itself.  A guru I am not.

Thinking all this through a song pops into my head.  A potential brain tumor didn't bother me....a pushy salesperson, a large vet bill and a long nose bleed...that's got me upset.  Life is funny.  Someone reminded me the other week that I wasn't a unique snowflake.  My light and momentary troubles are not unique to me.  Other people hurt, other people endure hardship and other people have concerns.  This life, full of woe or joy, is so short in comparison to eternity.  I'm going to endure...I may even do it patiently.  I don't want to miss the opportunity for God to teach me, mold me and use me.

James 1:2-4   2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Whatever is going on in your life, I hope this helps a little.  Let me know if you want me to pray for you specifically.

Friday, October 17, 2014

I'm a wimp

I couldn't do it folks.  I couldn't tell the ministry that I needed to quit.  I psyched myself up all the way there and then just had too much work to do and so little time to give them.  I felt so guilty and the harder I worked the more I became convinced I couldn't tell them I had to back down.  I talked to my grandma the next day, who also volunteers there, and she agreed I couldn't quit.  They needed me too much.  I just needed to set better boundaries.  That's probably true.

I'm a minion

Minions don't get to say no.  Minions obey.  
The people I volunteer for would would be upset to hear me say that but I don't use this an an insult.  I like obeying.  None of them want to abuse me.  How do you set boundaries when at your core you believe you should just obey any slight request.  I'm struggling with that, but I have to figure it out or I'm going to have to leave people and organizations that are benefiting from having a minion.  Everyone tells me to just say no but it's not easy for me.  I like helping, people like me helping, why would I say no to that win/win situation just because my body hates me?   I know, I know...

So, diet.  We're at a stand still.  Maybe this next month we need to avoid any "supplement" based systems and just continue with a strict diet and exercise thing.  Not sure what to try next.  Being busy makes it harder to think about being prepared for food and fitting in exercise.  This is where prioritizing and boundaries would be helpful if I could actually do it.    

So, Prayer Warriors.  How are you doing?  Developed a routine that works for you?  What helps you maintain discipline.  I started making my list and was surprised by the number of people I had forgotten to be praying for.  While I was writing this another name popped into my head and I had to pause to write it down.  I'm still not in a rhythm yet.  Working on it.  

This has been a busy week and today I finally see the neurologist.  I'm a little concerned he wanted to see me after the MRI but not really worried.  We'll see what's up shortly and I'll let you know.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Today I'm volunteering at two of the three major places I volunteer.  Tomorrow I'll be volunteering at two of the three major places I volunteer but only one will be the same.  A little word problem to start your day.

The truth is on any given week I may volunteer at up to three places.  Some of them require working from home as well.  When everything's going well it's no problem.  When I add major projects on top of that, or get too back logged, that's when it becomes a problem.  It's hard for me to anticipate when it's going to be too much because it isn't all the time.  And the need is great and I have a hard time walking away from that reality.

This is the depth of a minion's mind.  I love being a minion and while minioning at three separate places can be draining and exhausting, which one do I leave?  Without thinking of the guilt and without the arrogant thoughts of "what will they do without me" I think I know which one needs to drop and I'm a little terrified.  Can I overcome the guilt of walking away?  Can I leave them bereft of anyone that knows how to operate a computer? I don't know.  If I don't do it I have a feeling God will and He doesn't always treat me gently in the process when I haven't obeyed.

As far as the diet...I haven't weighted myself today but I know I haven't had any sugar accept fruit and I haven't had any soda.  We've cut down processed foods to a very small percentage.  Now I just  need to add the exercise back in and we should be good.  I just have to have a day where I'm not double booked and I haven't had one of those in a while.

As far as the ninja I stealthy, am I stealthy?  Guess I still need practice.  

In all seriousness, today I start my list.  If you need to be on the prayer list, let me know.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Where are the warriors

I love helping people.  I have discovered this year that it really is my spiritual gifting.  I've struggled for years trying to figure out from the never ending "spiritual gift" surveys, that every church as made me fill out, to answer and agree with what the survey says.  I used to test out as mercy or administration...I never could figure out where administration was in the Bible.  It comes down to my greatest strength, and greatest weakness, are in wanting so badly to help people get through whatever they are struggling with.  I will fill any role if I'm needed and will be happy to do it, for a little while.  I was never meant to be a permanent solution in so many of the cases where I help.  But there's no one else to take my place and so I become more and more drained by being in a place I was never meant to occupy but merely to hold for a short while.

This is the heart and soul of my passion right now.  Where are the people?  Where are the prayer warriors?  Where is the help?

I know people are busy.  I get it.  Most people have kids or jobs or jobs and kids.  I'm in the unique position of not having either.

Here's the problem.  Charities are full of people past retirement age.  People that have limited physical ability and limited knowledge of technology.  They need help so desperately that the need can be overwhelming.

I've had to have a friend remind me in the past few weeks that charities will always need help, need more people and that I can't feel responsible for it all.  It's a hard thing to do.  Of course they keep asking me to do more...Who else is going to do it?  I'm sure I'll talk more in detail in a later blog about standing firm in the limits of what you can do where you volunteer.  I'm still working on it but I have managed to maintain some boundaries.

What I really wanted to talk about today was prayer.  Prayer warriors are such a quiet and un-talked about part of ministry.  They are vital and necessary and they require an incredible amount of discipline to maintain their skills as a warrior.  How do you know who they are?  Maybe they're like prayer ninja's instead of warriors.  I ask because I'm not good about prayer.  I'll remember people before the Lord when he brings them to mind or when I learn of a need but I'm not a disciplined, daily, before the Lord on my knees, with my list of other peoples needs, kind of girl.  I want to be.  Who doesn't want to be a prayer warrior?!  But apathy is a mighty enemy and the extra attention from the spiritual warfare department can get uncomfortable even if you are disciplined enough to be a prayer warrior.  I say apathy but it's not an active uncaring.  It's a lack of focus on prayer.  People tend to forget unless they have an issue to bring before the Lord.  I know I start to wonder what to say on a daily basis.  So who stands in the gap?  Who are these unseen, absolutely vital, prayer warriors?  How do you become one?  I need some prayer warrior mentoring!  How do you begin?  Do you start by mentally putting on the armor of faith? Do you study God's word?  Do you have a list?  I'm sure everyone does it different?
I know this is just another thing I'm asking for accountability for but I want to maintain this journey.  This one's more important than weight.

So let's start this with a challenge then... Who do you include in your prayer time?  Do you pray for the leadership of our country?  Leadership of your church?  Leadership of your charity?  Leadership of your favorite stores?  Let's do that!  Elections are kind of here at least on a local level if the political ads or calls are any indication.  Let's pray for them!  The places you frequent...Pray for those places.  The places you go out of need and the places you go out of choice, pray for them.  Let's train up some WARRIORS!  or can be a prayer ninja.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm back

I got the chance to have a job again.  It's been quite a few years since I've worked for money and quite a few more since it was in an office.
Here is what I learned:

  1. Working in an office can be fun when you have fun and friendly people around
  2. You don't have to gain weight eating out every day if your boss is in agreement in choosing healthy foods and makes you walk a quarter of a mile an speed walker speed.
  3. No chair is comfortable for 12 hours.  I spent most of the time in a side chair.  The "guest" chair if you will.  I finally asked the office staff if I could have an office chair and they were shocked that I had been sitting on the other chair.  
  4. Working on a project is satisfying.
  5. I complain more than I thought I did.  It took an outside perspective reacting to me to realize it.  I've convinced myself I'm just sharing what's going on with me or expressing frustration  but really I'm just complaining.  I've been struggling with what the balance is since then.  I'll let you know when and if I figure it out.
Sadly I had to put off quite a few people during the last two weeks and I am very sorry.  It's been an intense couple of months for many reasons.  
The murder mystery is done and I think reactions were mixed.  It's always hard to tell if people are having a good time.  Several people said they liked it but there was more constructive criticism than anything else.  I probably won't attempt that style anymore.  I think a couple people thought my writing was good.  It was mostly the mystery and how I designed it that frustrated people.  I knew it would frustrate people who are finishers.  I tried to tell them it wasn't designed to be finished in one night but they wanted to anyway.  Several of them tried working together to finish it.  They were frustrated that they hadn't even gotten to the first stage.  I do have a new one to work on for new years.  It's a secret.  

I started the new med on Saturday.
So far I've had two larger headaches than normal.  My hubby started reading the second sheet of possible side effects and decided he didn't want me to take it.  I told him giving it a try wouldn't be that big of a deal.  He's not happy about it.  I think he's scared from last time.  

This week was going to be a reset week.  Clean my poor chores in general.  Instead my chore day has been relegated to today and my hubby's sick.  I keep joking to people I'm going to run away to a cabin where no one can find me but I think I'm serious.  I now have plans all week.  Something every day.  My choice entirely...except for a few things.

Diet...okay.  So today I'm 206.  I was 204 yesterday....who can understand the workings of the body.  The 24 day challenge is over.  I'll have to give some thought as to whether it's something I could do long term.  The food choices, fine.  The supplements up to 6 times a day....I'm not so sure.  I'll think about that more later.  
Today, I've got chores to do!