Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"


Monday, December 31, 2007

Thank you to my sister in law.

Pam, this is for you, the explination about why I adore Pink.

The story behind why it's not just a preference, but I LIKE it.
Given our family history's .. .you'll get it. I've posted it on this blog before, so those who are reading this, can just read on by ...those who haven't feel free to read and get to know why I prefer pink. Adore pink, choose pink.

"Grandma brought presents!"

Grandma ... should bring warm fuzzie memories, but mine doesn't. She was critical ..and judgmental. She thought she was kind. I guess. She had this over powering way of pretending to be nice. An extremely condenscending way about her. She had 10 grandchildren. There isn't one of us that has a happy memory about her, except her pretty paintings, she was a great artist.

I can remember her telling me that I was such a pretty little, girl, it was such a shame I wasn't skinny like my cousins and sister. "You have such a pretty face, what a shame."
Looking back at the childhood pictures ... the ballerina cousins, and my too skinny sister that had to be taken to the doctor frequently to have her weight checked ... I was normal. I wasn't even chubby! My dad, my maternal grandmother ..constantly drilling into me that my sister was the normal one ... the reality, in the records my mom has, I was on the 30%ile for weight, my sister, not even on the chart!



One family re-union, she was the last to arrive. All three families there ... all of us kids already in the lake to swim. Grandma pulled up and called us. None of us wanted to go give her a hug ..swimming was more fun. She finally yelled "Kids, Grandma has presents!"

Out of the water we ran ... hey, we were kids ya know!

The packages were identical, but had our names on them. We opened them ... and then we looked. They were Tshirts from some place she'd been. The other girls all had pink, the boys dark blue ... mine ... was blue. I looked up at Grandma with tears in my eyes and said "Why isn't mine pink?"

Grandma looked at me and said "Meg, because, you're such a rough girl, you'd have the pink dirty in no time, it'd be ruined, you're not feminine enough to wear pink."

I told her again "My name is not Meg " and I called for my dog Meg and walked to the tent to put my tshirt up. My cousins all went to put theirs on while my mother proceeded to try to explain to my grandmother why I was crying instead of hugging her neck.

My sister came in and said "when Grandma goes, you can have my pink shirt"

I don't think either of us ever wore either shirt.

I was 40 before I wore pink comfortably. When I realized that her declaration of not being feminine enough to wear pink was'hogwash' (one of her favorite words) and I had every right to wear it. It is now, my favorite color!


So, My favorite sister in law dear. The pink shawl that you carefully took the time to knit for me, in pink, is precious to me. Not only is it femenine, and girly, and warm and snuggly, and PINK ... but it is all the things that my grandmother would have told me I would not have been pretty enough for. It's all the things that make me feel that I am a girl. I am female, I am a SHE and deserve to feel like a SHE in pink.

So thanks Pam, it was just what I needed. :) And in pink too. :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Year in Review.

It's been quite a year. I went back and tried to find the most important blog postings for the year and realized why my therapist has been so concerned about me. I've gotten a bit annoyed at her over protection of me, concern and feeling like she fusses over me. Looking at it as a whole unit ...it is a bit ... intense.
My best friends baby died, my mother broke 6 bones, my husband almost died ..and spent 45 days in the hospital, another friends six year old died, a blog friends husband died on Christmas eve, my pastor of 10 years resigned and my church went 10 months without a pastor, I left a ministry I'd been with for 8 years ...and left worship ministry all together (after being in worship ministries since the age of 13!) and started working with children's ministry. I had a book published, a brand new house my oldest son turned 18 and my youngest child turned 16. I've been in the media, which I was ill prepared for and I've come to terms with my own daughters death 19 years ago, when my friends baby died. My eating disorder relapsed (gee, wonder why) and my depression tanked. My health went up and down like a roller coaster and I have spent 51 days at a hospital bedside. *I* managed to stay out of the hospital and off the surgeon's table for the first year since I have been a mother!!! YEAH WHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've come up with some of what I consider to be the best postings of the previous year. If they are not linked into the previous paragraphs, they are below.

Thank you for the few faithful readers that have stayed with me. (my readership dropped from 65 to about 25 this year! EEKS! )

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's a bit late this year, but my annual Christmas poem!

Christmas at the Eagler's

by Peggikaye Eagler
Adapted, with apologies, from Twas the Night Before Christmas


'Twas the night before Christmas Eve, when all through the house
Not a creature was sleeping, not even a mouse;
The stockings were slung at the chimney with dispair,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were jumping all over their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads;
And I in my 'kerchief, and Dad in his cap,
Had just sat down, many presents to wrap,

When in the kids bedroom there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the floor to see what was the matter.
Through their door I had heard a loud crash!
Tore open the door, was it a head that was smashed?



The moon through the window, would it show?
What was the cause of the very loud blow?
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But two mischievous children a hold of each other's ear.

With a look that said, they better quiet down quick,
They knew in a moment, quiet better had stick!
More rapid than eagles my scoldings they came,
And I whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, children! Now, sons! Now, brothers stop vexing!
Or I will be forced to treat you to a parental flexing!
To the top of the bed! and next to the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So I promised their presents would follow them too
If quiet would not very soon begin to ensue!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard a the cry of a wolf,
The child was yelling it could be heard through the roof.
As I reached down and turned around,
The cat had jumped, it was in the lights bound.

She had stuff in her fur, from her head to her foot,
And her fur was all sticky with something like soot;
A bundle of toys she'd managed to find in the back,
And she looked like a thief who'd found the pack
.

Her eyes -- how they twinkled! Her meow how merry!
Her paws had obviously been in the pie, cherry!
Her little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And her paws were red, instead of white as the snow;

The stump of a ribbon she held tight in her teeth,
And the tape encircled her head like a wreath;
She had tape on her face and a little round her belly,
That caused us to laugh like a bowl-full of jelly.


She was chubby and plump, like a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of myself;
I gave the cat a wink, and I twisted my head,
Told the kids "quiet, you'll have nothing to dread";

They spoke not a word, but went straight to their work,
Picking up the room, then one kid said "you are a jerk",
The other kid answered laying his fist aside of his nose,
And once again the volume of fighting rose;

Dad sprang to their door and he gave a whistle,
And promised them he would sit them down on a thistle.
I heard him exclaim, to bed, get out of my sight,
"it's time for a
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOODNIGHT!"

Something Beautiful - Natalie Grant

see below

Something Beautiful - Natalie Grant

Job 11:15 - 20
15 then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear. 16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. 17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas long time ago, and Far Away

It will be 29 years since I've celebrated Christmas with my step father. I miss him still. I am starting to understand ... that I will never stop missing him. He was the core of what is good in me.


In 4th grade, my Dad asked my mom to make me a robe. He asked her to make me a princess robe. Because, I deserved to feel like a princess. (he asked her to make it in pink. If you'll note, it is in her favorite color purple, not the color pink that he asked her to do. Which, for those that have read my blog for a while, you know I dislike the color purple ...this, kind of thing has a lot to do with my dislike for the color purple).

princess robe

My Daddy thinking I deserved the princess robe, shiney, with the princess cut, full flowy bottom ...when I was alone, I'd twirl ..and twirl ...and I'd feel like the princess he intended for me to feel.

The previous Christmas had been TERRIBLE!!! I'd snuck into the shed and found where they were hiding the presents! I knew every single solitary present I was getting. Not a surprise in the bunch. I thought I'd accomplished a lot by finding these gifts! I was smart!

But there were no surprises for me (except ... the coal in my stocking!!! YES! They did that!!) and on Christmas morning as I unwrapped each known gift, the elation I had experienced every year ...just wasn't there. I was sooo disappointed. Nothing felt right. It was a lesson learned .... and ... well. From then on, I learned that it was far more fun to wait than to know.

I'll never forget the tears in Daddy's eyes as he saw the disappointment in my eyes. Maybe that's why he wanted my 4th grade Christmas to be so special?


That was so very long ago ... now my oldest is 18 and my youngest is 16 ... and soon, they'll be off with their own lives. Hopefully ..they'll think back to times of memories of presents of surprise (or the time Samuel snuck a peek and it wasn't such a surprise and how hard that was to pretend ...and what a let down that was! Especially with what a special present it was!!)

We're going unique this year. It should be fun ... Cornish Game hens, acorn squash, Sweet Potato Casserole (not candied yams! with manderine oranges not marshmallows) and garlic mashed potatoes. My chef to be 16 year old planned the menu. The Cornish game hens will be flavored with an orange sauce.

Menu shouldn't change too awful much, but ... I am giving Don a huge Better Homes and Gardens cook book ...Anniversary Version ...so, after he and Benjamin get their hands on it ..who knows what will be actually cooked?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mom

All the tests are in, and my mom is home.

The when all is said and done, the diagnosis ... with a "just to be sure, I'm not comfortable with this right sided weakness, let's do a CT scan"

My mom had a stroke.

In the ER on Sunday the doctor had given her heparin and the TP something or other that they give to stop a stroke while it's happening. He did everything that you hear about that they are supposed to do as a NOW ...just in case ...

My mom ... as some minor right sided weakness, that *SHE* was attributing to her post polio syndrome. PT was very uncomfortable with it. (this same PT is the one that convinced Don of many things in the hospital last summer, including that he could make it out of bed and walk again!) She noted that she'd had experience with post polio earlier in the year, extensively, and this did not appear to be post polio weakness. (ironically, the doctor had also had experience with post polio earlier in the year, as did the patients daughter ... etc etc etc ...)

Mom is home tonight, resting comfortably. Home health will be coming out. PT, OT and something else. We follow up with PCP tomorrow. MRI in one week. MRA as well.
And request by Dr. P for PCP to do referral to neuro for stroke care.

It was suggested that her cognitive problems might be related to previous ministrokes visible on both this CT and previous CTs on record. (my neuro had suggested as much before, he'd been overruled by the rest of her health care team by them saying 'she's fine' ) So, stroke related ... suggested that I ask for something 'bodies' as well as vascular dementia work up.

Monday, December 17, 2007

of body weirdness

So, my husband and I got extraordinarily beautiful rings for our 20th anniversary.

I would post pictures, but ... I can't find a picture of them on the web ..and I didn't have my ring at the time I had the camera's ...

Because of the lupus, I've had some joint damage (yes, I know, RA is supposed to damage joints, not lupus ...but my knuckles forgot to read the medical books, and my joints have some pretty significant arthritic damage to them) rings don't fit right anymore.

In addition to the joint damage, I have finger swelling that changes throughout the day, week etc ...

So, I talk to a friend of mine who manages a jewelry store. She says to not dispair, there are arthritis balls ... come ...see ...look! She gives us a coupon (the store was handing them out ... ) and the day before our annivesary we went and looked with our coupon in hand.

They also happened to have an apply for a credit card today and save an additional 20% ... and well ..we bought clearance rings ...and suffice it to say I'm not saying where we bought our rings because we bought them at a high end store and got them for less than pawn shop prices *HUGE GRIN!!!!!*

The day we went in, my fingers were pretty swollen, but I wasn't sure if they were or not. They hurt, but I couldn't really be sure. My fingers don't look swollen when they are. I've got these rinkydink small fingers. Before the damage, I wore a size 5 ring, and it was loose on me.

I tried the ring on ..and it was a size 7 ... perfect fit! We ordered the arthritic balls ...knowing that I'd need them and she said that it would allow for more swelling ...as well as when they shrunk again. It was hard to realize that my fingers were so damaged that it was 2 sizes. Part of me wondered how much weight played into it ...but that's the way my mind thinks. I know that I've been 75 lbs heavier and still wore the size 5 ...loosely.

So ... I wore the rings home so I could show them off ... with the plan of sending them with my friend after church the next day. That evening, my hands, with some rest and prednisone & celebrex and ice ... the swelling went down ... my ring fell off my finger. Just for the sake of it ... I put my original wedding ring ..size 5 ... on my hand ... yep .. it went on my finger. So, in one day ... my fingers went from a size 7 to a size 5. Thank you Mr. Arthritis.

I went to sleep that night, and woke up the next morning with the new ring DIGGING into my finger because of the swelling. WELL GOOD!

So today, at the hospital, I get a call from my friend "I'm holding your diamonds!"

So, I go get them. My hands, having sat and done nothing for the last week without power ..and the last 2 days keep my mom company ... and being very cold ... were about as small as they get. The ring, fit very loosely, enough, that we could tell the arhtritis balls would work, but still loose.

Tonight, after playing on the puter, my fingers are swelling ...and well ... the ring is starting to fit ...

I guess, when I tell the doctor the computer has no impact on my swelling and she looks at me cockeyed, I know why huh?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

fear

Fear ...
stark fear ...

Have you ever felt fear that is so
strong
that you can feel it in your toenails
and fingernails

...and in the very cuticles that your hair grows out of?

It takes over in waves and comes and goes like the tide of the ocean.

Sometimes higher,

sometimes lower ...

there is a calm that might last for a while ...

The waves gently come up and recede,
Nothing major,


gently caressing the beach

Reminding you,

Life has


Troubles.


Then hurricane season hits


and it comes crashing over the body


like nothing you can control and


not only does it come ashore on the beach ...


but it comes inland ...

causing havoc ..



and tearing up everything in it's path.





The winds roar


the rain beats down


the roofs are torn off the very shelters they provide



Safety is gone ... and injuries take place.




Window's made to look out at the world ... so beautiful
are broken, shattered
glass
thrown inside and out ...
step on it and
you'll have a cut so
deep
you'll need stitches
it will leave a
scar.

The rain falls in the wind,

soaking everything

the recently uncovered shelters

Velvet blankets

soaked, matted

ugly masses, useless.

Destruction. Everywhere ...

Fear ...

my mom

My mom walked into church this morning ...walked into the front doors and passed out. They think she's had a heart attack.

I may be MIA for a while ... I'll be up at the hospital with her.

She has hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, celiac ...her mother had heart disease and her father died of a stroke.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Concerns

When my sister got her power back on, her whole family found themselves with a case of the sniffles.
When my friends R&T got their power back on, they found themselves with a case of the sniffles ...
and the list could go on.

When we got our power back on ... Benjamin got a bad cough, my sinus' filled, my throat hurt and ... Don found himself coughing up gunk. The doctor started him on antibiotics. However, today, he is worse than yesterday. He feels like he did last spring when he went into the hospital.

I'm very worried, he's increasingly becoming more worried.

He made the comment today that was "at least we know I can go a few days without my bi pap machine"

But I wonder ... is this chest congestion a cause of not having had the bipap machine? Is he in fact, ok? My fears are building and I'm trying to keep them under control and not panic, but I can feel them from my fingers to my toes ... and if I stop to think for 2 minutes, even my chest hurts.

He's soaked 4 hankerchief's with the gunk he's coughed up and out. I don't think that's good. He, being him, will not go to the afterhours clinic or the ER. He is after all on antibiotics. (can you see me rolling my eyes?)
Personally, I think he should go in and get at least a chest xray, have a doctor listen to his chest and a breathing treatment or two.

Yes, I'm paranoid ...45 days in the hospital after hearing this cough 7 months ago will do that to a person. I'm not sure that he would survive a second fight ... he's not quite recovered from last summer's.

We haven't even started the Christmas routine yet ... 2 gifts purchased. One for Samuel, a mug with his girlfriends picture on it. One for Don with our family picture on it.
EndurancePoster
That's the picture! Isn't that awesome?

Tomorrow at church one of my favorite worship song writers is going to be singing at church ... Dennis Jernigan! I can't wait!! His songs have always touched me somewhere deep inside. It's going to be good.

Friday, December 14, 2007

More Tulsa Oklahoma Ice Storm

And ..another one

Some damage around the house from Tulsa Ice Storm

Another video I found. I don't know who it is.

As he said, it's kind of minor compared to some area's.
The people across the street from us have worse than anything on this video.

Tulsa Ice Storm

I found this on Youtube.
This, has been our city this last week. The reason I've not been blogging, or commenting on blogs.

I've been without power for the last 4 days.

Our city looks like a war zone has hit.
Big, strong, majestic trees snapped like matchsticks ... some scattered onto roads, over powerlines, smashing cars and onto houses.

Our beautiful big pecan tree has about 1/3 of the branches it did, most of them landed in our driveway, the big ones on our car ...how in the world there was no damage or broken windows is beyond me.

My sister's big tree is also in pieces, stacked and bundled on her front lawn waiting for FEMA to come pick up the branches.

Another friends HUGE tree, as large as our pecan, is now a stack 8 feet tall of logs.

We were fortunate to have an incredible company that made sure Don had plenty of oxygen, even though he could not use the bipap.

Shelters have absurd rules ... we could not have gone to one.

Habitat for Humanity used INCREDIBLE insulation while building our house, we were actually warmer than we normally are. We used the 2 burners from our gas stove. No wonder it gets so hot when we cook!!

I got sick last night. Headache, upset stomach, it looked like a heavy fog had set in the house. My blood pressure was 162/91.
My husband felt it was just my lupus or MG. Convincing him I was sick ... he kept saying if CO was going to get someone, it'd be him.

I was too sick to say "Um, hello ...you're on OXYGEN!!!!"

He slept in the living room on the couch so that he could sleep reclined. Without the bipap, it was easier.

I finally went in my room, shut the door and had my son crack the window, after a couple of hours, I felt much better.

I woke up at 1 am with a HORRIBLE stomach ache. I came into the kitchen to get a bite to eat to stop the pain (this has been happening almost nightly) and I was crying, and I couldn't stop.

I don't normally react to a crisis like that. My husband claims it's a normal reaction to a crisis ...hmmmph.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

When God Ran - Prodigal Son

Almighty God
The Great I Am
Immoveable Rock
Omnipotent powerful

Awesome Lord
Victorious Warrior
Mighty Conquerer
Commanding King of Kings
And the only time
the only time I ever saw Him run

Chorus
Was when He ran to me
Took me in His arms, held my head to His chest
And said "My son's come home again".
Looked in my face, wiped the tears from my eyes
With forgiveness in His voice
He said "Son, do you know I still love you?"

It caught me by surprise when God ran

The day I left Home
I knew I'd broken His heart
I wondered if
Things would ever be the same

Then one night
I remembered His love for me
And down that dusty road, ahead I could see
It was the only time,
the only time I ever saw Him run

Repeat Chorus

It caught me by surprise, It dropped me to my knees
When God ran

Holy God, Righteous One
Who turned my way
Now I know, You've been waiting
For this day

Repeat Chorus

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Blue Willow Dreams

Here are some pictures of the Blue Willow Dreams come true. Thank you so much Chris (and Angie!)

Miniature Blue Willow

topview2

This is the difference in the size of a miniature tea cup and a real tea cup.
tea cups

My entire blue willow collection:
Collection3

A China Doll ... I know nothing of it's origin
3rd view

Churchill England Blue Willow China, Plate 1990's ... Cup 1980's
Churchill England Plate & cup

Plate from Japan
Special Plate (small plate)

Ok, these aren't Blue Willow ...but they're the latest pictures of Twitch and Sugarfoot!
Twitch
Twitch turns 3 on December 18.

Sugarfoot will be 6 in March.
Sugarfoot

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Im Not Who I Was ~ Brandon Heath

Ok, finally ... THIS is the video!!

Im Not Who I Was ~ Brandon Heath

This is a great song to post with my previous "Learning Lessons" post.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Learning Lessons

I learned a lesson the hard way this week. As a young child, I was bullied. I was bullied hard. My mother was the special education teacher for the school and the kids would tease me and tell me that I belonged in her class. I was called ugly, retard, useless and any imaginable name you can imagine. I even got a note in my lunch one day telling me that life would be better for everyone if I was murdered with the woman that had been murdered in our community that week. I was in the 5th grade and I will never forget the feeling of being so unwanted and so worthless. My own humanity was in question, although, I did not understand that that was what it was at the time.

Birthday parties would be thrown and no one would show up, save the 2 girls I went to church with. I would often go to the playground and go to play games only to literally be pushed into the mud, and wind up in the nurses office to get cleaned up, begging them to not tell my mom. Bloody noses were not an abnormal occurance for me. Being bullied, was the norm for me.
I did not know that no one had the right to put me in that position. I didn't know that no one had the right to put their own space on this planet as more important than my space. They did not have the right to crowd me out, so that they could make their space more comfortable. They only had the right to make their own space more comfortable with in their own, not at the expense of anothers. But I believed them. With each force, I gave in, and before long, I had no space left. I let them crowd me into a space that had no room to grow, and no room to expand, and no room to live. I believed I was stupid, I believed I was retarded, and I believed I was worthless.

Then, I moved away ... and an odd thing happened, I did well in school ...REALLY well. I made it into the gifted programs and got excellent grades. I had friends. LOTS of them. My 13th birthday party I had over 20 girls at it. Fitting in seemed strange, to me. What happened, how did *I* change? I didn't understand. I went back to my home town for the beginning of 8th grade and it almost started again, but the kids found they could not push me around. I'd learned to walk with my shoulders up. I never quite fit in, but they no longer could crowd in on me.

I moved to another state in late October ...and found the same thing I'd found in 7th grade. Lots of friends, good grades, teachers with confidence in my skills ... and no problems with fitting in. What had been wrong with me in the early years? I did not understand.

I never did get it. I still only partially get it. It wasn't me ... I was simply the target of someone who didn't like something they saw in me ... and became the punching bag. *I* became the cycle of others problems ... I was NOT the problem ...they had the problem. Not me. Had it been me, it would have followed me to church, and it did not. Had it been me, it would have followed me to the community, it did not. Had it been me, it would have followed me to the other schools ...and it did not. Had it been me ...it would have followed me. I was only bullied in that one school setting. In that one town ... in that one 5 year period. Only in that one town .. not in girls scouts ..not in church ..not in church.

It took me years to see that. But the severity of it took it's toll.

I managed to get past it, as much as any bullied child can ...

And then Friday ... It came back to me. In a flash, I was brought back to my knees, at the mud hole, with my face being pushed down into the mud by the school yard bully who hated me because she saw something in me she wanted for herself, but couldn't, or didn't have herself. Instead of handling it in a healthy way, she chose to lash out at me, and stab me in my most vunerable manner. She did it a month before, but I had not seen it till yesterday. An anonymous note left on my facebook account ... and it cut to the very heart of who I am as a person, to my character, to my very being. It took me back to that 10 year old little girl whom no one loved and no one cared for. That everyone picked on, and no one loved. It knocked the wind out of my sails and I reacted with fear and terror and I ran to the nurses office in my muddy dress, torn tights and bluddy nose.

The note read:
"you're nuts, stupid, and immature. No one really likes you or having you around. They tolerate you because the boys think you're fun to have around. No one in the church likes you and would be happpy to have you leave. Most people think you're the biggest fraud to hit southpark."


I contacted my youth pastor and said I'd never come back to the youth ministry, and wasn't sure how I'd come back to the church, I'd finish my children's ministry commitment, and beyond that, I wasn't sure how I'd step back in the door. I got an immediate, with in minutes call from him. He assured me that it was an attack by someone who was jealous, and immature attack, by someone who saw something in me that they wanted that they did not have and they wanted. It was a spiritual attack because I was being effective in ministry.

My husband asked me to please read the note in the light of the truth of God's word. Stop, think, listen ... Read it ..carefully Examine your heart ...Be still and know that HE is God ...

So I did ... and a few hours later ... I wrote a response to every member of my church on my facebook ...

There are a few things that are known to cause issues with self esteem. They are universal. People who have chronic illnesses tend to have issues with self esteem. Knowing that your body does not function as well as otherwise healthy people can make you worry what others think of you, especially if they don’t know that you’re ill, or they don’t understand your illness (es).
Being overweight is another one. Being overweight is an issue that damages most people’s self esteem. Not being attractive, not being what people think you should be. Not being what you want to be. Having others think if you just ‘did things the right way’ and knowing that no one knows the junk you go through … but knowing they all think they do and if you’d just straighten up, you’d be ok and be what they think you should be causes most women, especially, severe self esteem issues.
Living in poverty is a big self esteem shatter. It is the biggest shame in the USA today. There is no excuse as far as most people are concerned. No one really understands how, in this world of opportunity, why anyone could be poor. Yet, there is a whole third of our nation that is poor. A large number of those poor are poor because of chronic health conditions out of their control.
Any person, who lives with any one of these issues, has a battle on their hands. Combine one with another, and they really have to fight …if they have them all, keeping their head above water is something only God can do. Trying to keep the balance between educating people who are truly interested, and ignoring those whose only intent is to judge, is truly juggling act only the wise can achieve. To try to explain to those who just want to judge you is foolish. To not explain to those who are interested, and want to understand means they may miss out on a blessing and you may miss out on a friendship
These feelings are mostly universal for people living with these issues. There are exceptions to the rule, but they are few and far in between. Many people, with a relationship with God, and learn to deal with their fears, face them and work to serve God either in the face of their fears or in spite of their fears. They either overcome their fears or, their fears get shoved to the background to remain dormant.
I, live with all three of these conditions. For me, I don’t just have one chronic illness, I live with many. They aren’t just mild ones, they are quite severe and disabling. People don’t see me when I’m very sick, because I stay home, because I have no choice. When you can’t put one foot in front of the other, you have no choice. When you can’t lift the fork from the table to your mouth, you have no choice. For every 5 good days, I have 2 bad days. I have not gone 3 weeks without having to pay the piper in the 18 years that I’ve been sick. People see me at Church walking fine and smiling and laughing ..but they do not see the days that I spend in bed because of the activities that I do at church. My family does. My family have often had to pay the price for my activities at church.
I give my time, my energy and my faithfulness to the church, and I love it. I have a passion burning so deep inside me that I can’t even begin to express what I feel. It is not a desire to be active. It is not a desire for people to see me working (I’d prefer no one notice, that’s why I am often doing behind the scenes jobs). It is not a desire to be in the middle of people. My favorite times have often been on a quiet Wednesday afternoon, when no one has been in the church, doing my job. I have a passion to serve God and to make sure that His message is spread …both to those who do not know him, and to those who do know him.
What brought me to Southpark to stay was the banner across the Sanctuary that read “To give support to people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ”. That burned into my heart. My heart aches when I see hurting hearts. The idea that girls would grow up and fight some of the battles that I have fought, terrifies me to my toes. That boys would grow up and not know that they are the sons of the almighty God, and that they have a mission from God to be the gentlemen that God desires of them breaks my heart. When I see a child, or a teenager who doesn’t know that they are a child of the almighty God ..created in HIS likeness … my heart aches. When I see an adult, who has been shattered by the life that they have lived, I can feel their pain, and all I want to do is to find SOMETHING to do to help to ease their pain in some way. Through prayer, through helping with the praise and worship team, helping to serve their children …anything ..even if they don’t know that I am doing something.

Many times, I work hard, and don’t want anyone to know how badly I’m hurting, physically. How tired I am, or, that I’m having a hard time physically doing the job that others are doing. I try to keep up with those who have healthy bodies and do the things that the others are doing. I walk at the same speeds and I keep up with everyone else. Then, I wind up in significant pain, and I wind up spending two to three days in bed to pay for it. There have been times that I have almost wound up in the hospital after an event at church. There have been MANY times where I’ve had to take high doses of steroids to deal with the fall out of such an event. (the senior banquet I served at, I was in bed for 3 days, and had to take 2 weeks of high doses of steroids because of what the effort of ‘being normal’ did.)
When I do take care of myself, and make it be known that I can’t keep up, it never fails that someone will say something to me. “I have an aunt who has lupus.” “I had a friend’s mom who had lupus” “I had a friend with myasthenia gravis” (which, is highly unlikely …only 37,000 Americans have myasthenia gravis) and it’s always followed by “and they work full time and no one ever knows they’re sick.” It’s a direct put down of me not having a job and not doing as much work as others around. I have heard this from adults in the church, and a few teenagers. One comment like this, and I tend to make sure that I do not let my health show for as long I can.
I have been in the bathroom stall when I heard my family referred to as “Trailer Trash” and I’ve been told to my face that I was a drain on the church resources.

I have lived a personal struggle with food, and food related issues, weight and fear. An eating disorder that has been an issue since I was 14 and has done more damage to my body than I can even begin to explain has been the biggest spiritual, emotional and physical battle than I could ever have imagined. To someone just looking at me, they’d think I just overeat and I should take care of that, but no one knows the struggle that goes on in my therapy, or that has gone on in the years that has attributed to my issues. They don’t know the fear or the panic. They don’t know that I am afraid to eat in public, they don’t know that I don’t enjoy food. They don’t know what my family knows … that I hate food. I never enjoy food and if asked what my favorite food in a group is, I’d make something up because I don’t have a favorite food. I have food I tolerate better than others.


I think, the biggest obstacle that I face is the one of poverty. It is the one that is least acceptable. While weight is an issue that is sociologically frowned on, it effects people of all social classes, and races. People get over it, and get past it. I can hide my illnesses for the most part if I don’t take care of myself and hide when I feel really bad.
But the poverty … I can only hide it by not participating or letting my children participate. In order for my children to participate, we have to ask for scholarships, and that, gets old. Very old, but, my children should not have to pay for our inability to pay for their involvement. So we ask, they ask … it gets done. Thankfully, we go to a church where it is available.

Many churches do not allow those who do not ‘give until it hurts’ to participate in ministry. And the church decides where the hurting point is, not the family. Southpark has been different from the start. They looked first at my heart, my love for God …and never at my pocketbook. To be allowed to serve God in spite of my poverty has never ceased to amaze me. I have never ever stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop. “If you want to continue serving in this manner, your giving must increase” Every time I’d volunteer for something new, I’d expect to be told no, because I did not put enough in the offering plate, and my children were scholarshipped on too many events. The flip side was the fear that I’d be told “In order for them to get you have to do this”
Never … not once … did either of those happen. Instead, I have been encouraged to participate where my gifts and talents could grow and develop. Sometimes pushed out of the box, but not for the sake of some benefit of Southpark, but of benefit of my decipleship of Jesus Christ.

In the general public, I feel often like a second class citizen. Like I’m less than worthy of being an American citizen. Like I’m not worth what I should be. When I’ve walked through the doors of Southpark, I have felt accepted and that has never ceased to surprise me. In spite of my lack of health, my weight and my socioeconomic status … I am allowed to minister. Like the widow with 2 mites, I give what I can and it’s ok.

Like Peter, I came to Southpark with no money to give but willing to give what I had. “Silver and God have I none, but such as I have give I thee.” Southpark accepted me, warts and all, lack of money and all, and let me serve. Unlike many churches that expect people to be the picture perfect, healthy and wealthy and wise … I was used where I was.

I now find out that I have unwittingly hurt someone. I don’t know how, I don’t know why. My intent has never been to do anything but to love, to share with those around me the gifts that God has given me. To support others to be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

To whomever it was that left the message, I’m sorry you feel the way you do. I hope and pray that you are wrong, that not everyone at Southpark hates me so, and wants me gone. I am sorry that you feel I am a fraud, but I am not. I simply don’t have enough energy to be a fraud. There is not a person who is a member of my facebook friends list that I do not truly love with the love of Christ. I pray for each of you daily, and my heart aches for you when I see you hurting.

I was left a message privately, and anonymously, and I am responding rather publicly because I don’t know who left it. They also imply that others feel the way they do. I pray that they are wrong. Please know, that whatever it is that caused you to lash out at me, I’m sorry. You are in my prayers, each of you in my facebook, and now that I know that I’ve hurt one of you, I will be praying all the more and trying all the more to show the love of God, to be more genuine, to be more of Jesus to those around me.

Please know ..that nothing any of you could do or say could cause me not to love you. I forgive you. I love you.



So then, I went through my facebook ... and I read a few things that a few of my friends had said about me ...most of them ... also left ...anonymously ...

'Honest'. 'Loyal'. 'Entertaining'. 'Humble'.'Playful'. 'Gentle'. 'Thoughtful'. 'Kind'.

"You make me believe in myself. Thank you."

"With everything you've been through, you have an amazing attitude. Good for you!"



Ok, so, obviously, not everyone feels the way the one poster did. I'd also gone to my youth ministry forum, where there was a bandwagon full of people who immediately, in the middle of their workday, jumped to my defense ... in a spiritual group hug, they picked me up, washed off the blood and the mud, and they cleaned me up, wiped off the wounds, and they helped me to see where I am, and helped me to remember who I am in Christ ...and slowly throughout the day, I got my equilibrium back.

By the end of the day, I started to think about the people on the facebook list ... why are they there ...I feel personally invested in each life. There is not ONE single person on my list that I do not truly love. I think they all have a call on their life ...and God has great things in store for them ... whoever it is, is broken ...and desperately needs our prayers.

So, I found a way to have a direct response ...
I don't know who you are, but you have to be one of the females in my friend list, so it narrows it down.

There is not one girl on my friends list that I do not truly care for and love with the love of Christ. I pray for each of you daily and desire God's will for You.

I just wanted you to know that the letter that I wrote to my church family does apply to you and was written specifically for you.

I will be lifting you up in prayer and whatever hurts you have that have caused you to lash out like this.

There is nothing that you could do or say that could cause me not to love you. Those are not shallow words, those are not words echoed because I'd heard them spoken too many times. You were invited to be my friend, or I accepted your invitation of friendship on Facebook, because I cared for you and was interested in your life. I felt invested in the life you live and desired to support you to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

Hate me if you will. That is between you and God. Loving you is my job. And I do.

But by this morning ... my feelings had evolved even more.

I'd had a chance to evaluate as Don had asked, and Ryan had asked. Evaluate me in the light of the truth ...
A couple of my girls had responded to my note ...and so, I responded to them:
Thank you so much Melissa and Candace. I was a severely bullied child. I've worked hard to get past feeling like that picked on child. It's not easy and is amazing how that can haunt you clear into adulthood.

Reading that note brought me clear back to the 5th grade again and made me feel so small, worthless and unworthy to even be human.

It's a shame that someone feels so bad about themselves that they felt it necessary to make someone else feel that way. After much praying, and seeking some wise counsel, talking with Ryan as well, I realized that it was an attack, not just on me, but a spiritual attack as well. (Just as Melissa pointed out here.)

I am praying for that person in earnest that they would see the plan that God has for them so that they would not feel the need to lash out at someone else.
The prayers of a righteous man availeth much.
The note knocked me to my knees for a few minutes. You could confirm that with Ryan or Don. Then Don started to ask me to examine my life. To look at the fruit in my life. I've had many prayers answered, from my family life being healed, to my house, to the number of friends that I have.

There is fruit in my life, therefore, the fraud part could not be true. That knocks the sails out of the note right there. The stupid, well, she can think that if she wants, but I know differently. I know that I'm intelligent, I've had a book published and that's not easy. I know what my grades were in school ... I know what smart is ...
Immature ... well ... that's a matter of opinion and there is a lot to be said for fighting aging.
Nuts ... I work hard at being nuts. That is why I have tons of friends and I have too many friends in my phone and I have to hide at times.

So, the note has lost it's power today.

I know who I am in Christ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, the reality as it stands right now ... I do know who I am. I am not that little girl, bloody and bruised. My Christ took that on the Cross for me. He bore that. He buried in the tomb and it stayed there in the ressurection.

I learned something in the last 36 hours ... I might fall down, but I won't stay down. I'm protected by the full Armour of God. And I have friends that will hold me up in prayer and lift up my heart when I'm too wounded to do so and help me to remember who I am until I can stand again.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I am in absolute shock right now.

I opened the door for a UPS delivery man ..and found an anonymous gift ...for me, for my birthday.

It is a miniature blue willow tea set, very very much like the one I broke as a child!
bluewillow

I'm absolutely stunned and grateful beyond belief.

I cried for 20 minutes when I opened it.


I was in so much shock, I couldn't hardly move.

Whomever sent it, Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I've been tagged by Bardiac for the meme started by Pz Myers at Pharyngula to demonstrate evolution in cyberspace.First, the rules:There are a set of questions below that are all of the form, "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...".Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:You can leave them exactly as is.You can delete any one question.You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question.For instance, you could change "The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is..." to "The best time travel novel in Westerns is...", or "The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is...", or "The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is...".You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...".You must have at least one question in your set, or you've gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you're not viable.Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions.Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Pharyngula.My great- great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Metamagician and the Hellfire Club.My great- great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Flying Trilobite.My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock.My great- great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Primate Diaries.My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Thus Spake Zuska.My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is a k8, a cat, a mission.My great- great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Monkeygirl.My great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is DancingFish.My great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Dr. Brazen Hussy.My great-great-great-great-grandparent is AddyMy great-great-great-grandparent is Mommy/ProfMygreat- great-grandparent is Tree of KnowledgeMy great- great -grandparent is Harmonia's Necklace My grand-parent is Bardiac My parent is Artemis


The best old television series in comedy is: I Love Lucy

The best cult movie in comedy is: Monty Python's Holy Grail

The best novel in classic fiction is: Little Women

The best high-fat food in cooking is: quiche

The best recent movie in comedy is: Ice Age

The best fairy-tale film in fantasy is: Beauty and the Beast

The best fiction novel in young adult literature is: Little Women & Little Men

I have put the changes that I've made into italics. If you want to see what the questions were how I recieved them, you can go to Artemis's blog and check them out.
I tag TK, Dr. Dino,Deneice and Angie.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Aftermath

Note ... I've done something unusual with this post. I was not looking for comfort, nor sympathy, nor empathy ...nor advice ... I needed to get this out of my system and in a way that was more than just to me. I think, I needed to tell someone. However, to have someone comment ..."I'm sorry" would not help. So, I've closed the comments on the post. I don't believe I've ever done this on my blog, but this time, this post was just for me to tell someone, but not to gain sympathy. So, for those of you who look for the comment button, it's not there. Sorry.


I contemplated writing about Thanksgiving. I have, a lot to be Thankful for. A LOT. My husband still being alive, is an amazing gift, I will forever be grateful for. The chances of me being a widow this Thanksgiving, seemed, last June, to be greater than lesser. I have two extremely great kids who've beaten odds that most people will never even begin to understand. I have a house that a lot of people in our situation never have the opportunity to have. I have, a future that 5 years ago, I did not think I would have. I have my book, how many people write a book and get it published by a royalty publisher? The Myasthenia Gravis, that was so very difficult just 6 years ago, is responding FAR better to the Cellcept than it ever did to the Imuran.
I can walk up stairs, I can exercise, I can actually sleep through the night without having to get up and take Mestinon ... I can take timespan Mestinon and get through the day without having to take Mestinon every 3 hours, plus 2 timespans, just to function ...and still sometimes have to have help getting dressed, and not be able to walk distances, or up stairs ... or ... any number of things I take for granted at this time.
I am incredibly grateful for those things. I know that you can read the but coming at the end of this, and there is.

Any psychiatrist, psychologist, and most ER docs, and primary care doc will tell you that holidays are the hardest time of the year for people who've suffered trauma in their lives. People go into holidays with expectations of good times, their family will be perfect,

"THIS YEAR the family will get together and the fights won't start, Uncle Jim won't drink (I don't have an Uncle Jim by the way) and everyone will be happy and Norman Rockwell will be able to paint a picture of our family gathering!"

Then ... the day comes ...and the green bean casserole burns, and Uncle Jim shows up with 2 drinks already under his belt and immediately starts to drink some more. Mom and Dad are arguing because Dad is watching football instead of helping and Aunt Sally is complaining because Grandma is critisizing the outfit she's wearing.

The same thing happened last year ...and the year before and the year before. The expectation of the Norman Rockwell painting flies out the window and you're left hoping that he doesn't show up like you invited him to and then the doorbell rings and you have your own melt down.


This year ... I'd purposefully planned a quiet Thanksgiving with just my immediate family ... my mom over for the Macy's Parade, but not the meal. I would NOT answer the phone when my Father called, that way, when he said something offensive, he could not hurt my feelings.

Somehow, it still managed to blow up in my face. Two years ago, I recieved, from my father, a Christmas card. In the card was an obituary notice of my all time favorite teacher.
That, in and of itself was difficult.
That, I could have accepted, all though I would have been annoyed and thought it would have been crass and uncouth. However, attached to the obituary was a note that said "I know that it's not appropriate to send this with a christmas card, but I thought you'd want to know right away."

EXCUSE ME??? You *KNOW* this is unappropriate to send with the Christmas card, and yet, you send it anyway. You acknowlege TO me, that you've done something that will shock me and hurt me and is inappropriate timing? How ultimately crass.

I showed it to my psychiatrist, because I wondered if I was over reacting. He was appalled and asked me if he often tried to hurt me on purpose like this? Ok, so I'm NOT over reacting. At least it wasn't me.

I then found out, that my teacher had died 3 weeks earlier, before my birthday, before Thanksgiving, and my Father had talked to me 2 times between the sending of the card ...and my teacher's death and obituary. Ok, so it was quite intentional. Thanks Dad.

So, We come to summer 2005, I sent him a letter (and blogged about it) I told him that he does things that hurt me. He, was non responsive and says "I do no such thing!" Yeah, ok, whatever ..but if you continue to do so,I will not continue to tolerate it.

February 2007, he gets married again ...the weekend of the anniversary of my stepfather's suicide. Gee, thanks Dad. Just stab me some more.

Come summer of 2007, and he comes for a visit. My husband enters the hospital May 23, CRITICALLY ill and we don't know if he's going to make it. My father, decides since he's coming in mid june, he'll just wait to come then. Gee, you think you might be *needed* ???? No, we can't change our plans ... we're coming when we're coming.

He's asked a few times to not visit because of how badly Don is feeling ... he shows up anyway ... heaven forbid that someone say he didn't show up to visit his sick son in law. (ya know, the fact that he was ASKED NOT TO, might have been more important than the fact that he did)

So, then, he's sent an invitation to our renewal of our vows for our 20th anniversary. (December 2) He never responds to me. Period. I still, have yet to hear from him. At all. He's not said BOO. Not a single acknowlegement that he even recieved the invitation. He did, however tell my son that he had something else to do that day. And since we didn't tell him before he came this summer, it would be a burden for him to come this winter. By the way, he did not come to my wedding (my first wedding) because it was "in the middle of the school year". It was however, thanksgiving weekend. He was a schoolteacher.
My sister, got married May 20 ... his school did not get out till Mid June ... there was no holiday weekend. He had to fly out on Saturday morning and fly out Sunday night. But for my wedding ..it was in the middle of the school year so he could not make it ...a holiday weekend. (granted, that marriage did not last, but, he did not know that, and it is beside the point, he was not there, he's never been to a wedding of mine, and was not going to be at my renewal ceremony)

We have cancelled the renewal ceremony because of health issues ... I wish we were having it. But his not being there, would not have bothered me, just his refusal to.

Now, all of this, some people would say there might be reasons for ... except ..that he left my mother the day that he found out that she was pregnant with me. He's been rejecting me since the day he found out that I was in existance ...

Is it me? No, it's his problem, I just get to pay a price for it.

Yesterday ... he did not call. I was relieved ... till I got an email at midnight. I would have been happier if he'd not made any contact at all. I had gone through the day thinking "he's getting it! He's finally getting it!!!"
Then came the email .."I tried to call you, but no one answered, is this your phone number?"
No, it wasn't ...
but the problem is ... he has my cell phone number, he has Don's cell phone number ... and he could have gotten our number from information, my sister, off the internet ... from my mother (who he has her number) and off the web ... not to mention that he also, as far as he knew, our home number is connected to the internet, with an 8' phone cord and we didn't use our home phone for conversation. (this, has been true for EIGHT YEARS!!!!!!!) He's not called our home phone to talk to us, since we got our cell phones.

So, emailing me at midnight, telling me that he and his new wife did not go anywhere yesterday, but that he tried to call, but could not get through ...all it did was say "I didn't really want to talk to you, but I had to say *I* tried, but it's your fault I didn't get through"

I'm done, I'm simply done.
Why this hurts, I don't know. I guess things between parents and children always will. A daughter deserves her father's love. It's his fault. I don't deserve this, and I know this! It's weird to be hurt by something that you don't even want. I guess, when you're satisfied by the lack of contact, it's one thing, but when they pretend to contact you, and then blame you, it's an opening of an old wound.

We won't even go into the sappy insincere birthday card he sent this week.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thank You - Southpark CC

This, is my church. This video, was made by a wonderful guy named Foster Cryer.
Tomorrow, I will post his website. He's a terrific photographer.

He did a great job putting this together for our church! Thank you Foster. If you search youtube you can find a couple of other video's he's done of our church ... search under fostercryer (one word).

Monday, November 12, 2007

TOM HOPKINS 21ST CENTURY PASTOR SOUTHPARK TULSA

This is our other video. I like it better. Yes, this is really our new pastor.

TOM HOPKINS SOUTH PARK COMMUNITY CHURCH TULSA

This, is my church. This, is my new pastor!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Chapter two of Willow's Bridge (NaNoWriMe

climbed back onto the bus quietly. Her gym bag was thumping against the back of her legs with each step, reminding her that she wasn’t the winner she thought she was. “That’s” right step; “What” left step; “you” right step “get” left step. “That’s” right step; “What” left step; “you” right step “get” left step. “That’s” right step; “What” left step; “you” right step “get” left step. “That’s” right step; “What” left step; “you” right step “get” left step.
She finally reached the back of the bus and plopped her bag down and just about fell down onto the seat herself. She scooted over knowing that one of the girls would be sitting next to her for the ride home. At this point, she didn’t even care if it was Claire who sat next to her. Coming toward her were Kelly and Sandy, Sandy sat next to her and Kelly sat right in front of them. Sitting sideways, and putting her bag in her seat so no one would sit there.
Sandy and Kelly were laughing and so were many of the girls. Even the coach didn’t seem upset, angry or defeated. Cassandra sat there confused. She wondered if these girls were playing the same game she just played. Why were they not upset? Did they not realize they needed to go home and face their families and tell them they lost?
Suddenly, she realized, most of them, if not all of them, had their families there. They had no one to face, except those at school on Monday. They’d be facing the school together, as a team. The school, would be supportive of the team, not critical. Cassandra realized that she was alone in telling of their losses today. She suddenly felt more despondent, more alone and wished even more that she could just escape to the garden of the willow tree.
She stared out the window and wondered if Kwang Se ever felt alone? Her mind wondered back to the time that it always went to at a time like this …back to the willow garden.

Kwang Se looked out her bedroom window in the palace. She wondered if her days would ever be different. She looked at the fence that bordered the garden. How many people had praised it’s craftsmanship? Her father had paid an emperors price for that fence. Its beauty probably was incomparable in lands far and near.
Who knew that it was not meant to be decorative? She looked at the dew on the grass. The drops of waters sparkled like diamonds on the blades of grass. Each one reflecting the sunlight and shrinking as the sun warmed them, till they disappeared into the day. As she watched the dew disappear, Kwang Se’s eyes moved toward the butterflies flitting around the flowers. There were two or three of them diving and pitching toward each other, then alternatively at the flower as if they can’t make up their mind which they want to play with; the flower or the other butterflies.
Kwang Se got up and got dressed into her most comfortable daytime dress. She hoped that if she went into the garden this morning, no one would notice, especially her father.
“Just a walk in the early morning” she said out loud and startled herself.
Kwang Se carefully brushed her long black hair. She decided to leave it straight today. She could put it into a bun later. But for now, she’d let it hang down and let it be free. Putting it up, would take much too long and increase her chance of being caught and stopped before her escape into her beloved garden.
Kwang Se put on her slippers. She knew that the grass was dry enough to not get her slippers wet, so she didn’t worry about getting into trouble for soiling her slippers. She quietly opened the front door, hoping none of the servants heard her, they might alert her father to her presence.
Once she closed the door, Kwang Se sprinted for the creek by the bridge under the Willow tree. How she loved that tree. She stopped and picked a small branch from the tree to hold while she walked through the garden. She wanted to breathe and smell the life of the tree while she walked.
She turned slowly toward the creek and looked at the flowers, trying to find where the butterflies had been just a few minutes before. There was no sign of the 3 flighty creatures that had brought a smile to her face. The smell of the flowers wafted up to her and she was tempted to just sit down and soak it all in. Kwang Se knew if she did, she’d sit there and get lost in the scent and not get up. Then she’d get into trouble, again.
She picked a beautiful blue morning glory and smelled it’s nectar. Was there ever anything as sweet as the smell of a flower just after the dew of the morning? She wondered. As she worked her way through the flowers, her thoughts wondered. How wonderful it would be to be able to share this with a friend.
If only one of the girls from the village could come and spend a few days with her! They could have tea in the garden and they could sit under the willow tree and giggle about boys and they could fly kites in the field. But, Kwang Se knew her father was never going to allow her to leave the grounds, nor bring in a child for her to talk to. She was company enough for him, and he said, he was company enough for her. If only he understood how much her heart ached to share her dreams with someone just like her!
As she got to the fence that was so respected among the villagers. Her mood turned sour. Why did they think this fence was such a thing of beauty? Did they not know it was not only to keep her in, but to keep them out as well? Did they not know it was not a piece of architecture to be admired but a wall of separation and division?
What would happen if she crossed the bridge by the Willow tree that led past the fence of beauty? What if she just walked over it and kept walking into the village?
As Kwang Se started to think her rebellious, thoughts, her heart started to beat fast. Excitement started to build. Such thoughts had never occurred to her that there might be a life outside of the palace and her garden. Then her eyes caught sight of the Willow tree. Could she leave the willow tree? She loved her beautiful garden, but she so desperately wanted the company of others who shared her love of beauty.


The bus came to a stop and Cassandra was forced back into the present. Time seemed to dissipate when she ‘visited’ Kwang Se. ‘If only’ Cassandra thought, ‘I could have been friends with her.’ Cassandra looked around the parking lot for her parent’s car. She saw her father’s secretary instead. Cassandra didn’t know if she was relieved or disappointed. It meant she didn’t have to tell them till later that she lost, if they’d even ask.. but it also meant they couldn’t be bothered with picking her up.

Her father’s secretary, Heather, smiled at her and told her that she was there to take Cassandra to the restaurant where everyone was celebrating the recital that was up and coming. The practice had gone perfect and Camille’s song had been flawless.
“Not a surprise” Cassandra said, as she swung her bag into the back of Heather’s car. She was nice enough to swing by the house and let Cassandra take a quick shower and change. Cassandra assumed it was because she didn’t look presentable or worse … her mother had asked that she make sure of it, so Cassandra didn’t embarrass them by coming in her ‘sports costume.’
Dressed in a simple dress and minimal make up, Cassandra came back out and the secretary gave a tense smile. Little did Cassandra know that Heather approved fully of how Cassandra looked, but she knew that Cassandra’s parents were going to be less than supportive.
They got into the car and arrived at the restaurant just as the food was being served. Dorothy had taken it upon herself to order for Cassandra in her absence. That didn’t quite surprise her as much as the fact that she’d ordered for her father’s secretary as well. Cassandra could see the surprise on Heather’s face. Was she offended? Cassandra couldn’t quite tell. Maybe her mother’s lack of manners weren’t just obvious to Cassandra after all!


The next obstacle that Cassandra faced was getting through the meal. With over a dozen people present, she hoped no one would even pay attention to her and her food. She knew that the fact that she’d been to a game was already done and forgotten. No one in her family had asked yet. They would not ask. She would not have to tell them of the loss.
As Cassandra looked at the plate being put in front of her, she wanted to get up and walk away. She knew it would be unacceptable behavior and her parents would never tolerate it. How could her mom ever have thought she’d even want to eat duck? Duck is one of the highest calorie meats that she could think of. She didn’t even know that anyone would fry a duck, as if it didn’t have enough calories on it’s own. Cassandra stared at her plate of fried duck, placed elegantly on the plate next to scalloped potatoes and snow peas swimming in a butter sauce.
The calories staring at Cassandra made her head swim. The cheese on the scalloped potatoes alone would be more than the calories Cassandra had allotted for the day. Yet, here she was, caught in the middle of this large group of people, this high fat food and no where to run. Cassandra picked up her knife and fork and started to cut up the duck. She cut the duck into tiny pieces. As small as she could get pieces, she kept cutting until the bites could be recognized as meat, much less fried duck.
Then she put down her knife, laying it gently across the top of her plate. She looked around the table. Everyone was talking, and eating their food. She’d yet to take a single bite and some were already half way done with their meals. Camille was obviously enjoying her dinner. Cassandra briefly wondered what it would be like to sit at a table and enjoy the experience. She couldn’t remember ever enjoying it. She thought for a moment, wondering if she’d always been afraid to eat.
She took her fork and started to separate the foods from each other. Putting the potatoes into their own box, they must make a perfect square before she could take a bite. The snow peas would not cooperate. They were uneven and their butter sauce ran. Cassandra could feel the panic rising in her throat.
The foods must go into the boxes.
They cannot touch each other.
They cannot contaminate each other.
They cannot continue to flow outside the parameters set!

Cassandra reached for a dinner roll in the basket of rolls in front of her. She ripped the roll into half, then half again. Four equal portions of the roll. Then she carefully took the crust off each quarter of the roll, and set the crust on the plate beside her dinner plate. She took one of the quarters to absorb the butter sauce. She could feel some of the tension and panic leaving. Her fingers relaxed a bit as the plate’s patter was visible under where the butter sauce had been just a moment before.
She put the butter filled roll down, and picked up another, to absorb the cheese sauce from the potatoes. She slowly dabbed it up, making sure the roll got every single calorie that she was unwilling to digest. With each stroke of the roll on the plate, Cassandra was able to breathe just a little better.
With the clear boxes and no sauces running, Cassandra then started to cut the snow peas into smaller bite size pieces as she had done the duck. She knew that cutting the snow peas would make it smaller, and would make it appear that she’d eaten more than she ever intended to eat. After she’d cut the peas just as small as she could, she took a small nibble. She chewed the requisite ten chews, then the necessary eight that followed. Ess Enn Ohh Double Eww, Pee, eee, Aaa, Ess. She spelled the word out in her mind instead of counting. She needed to do that because of all the people around her. The chatter was so hard to tune out. Not impossible, but hard.
She gulped down some water to help her swallow the small bite of food and took another bite. One two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, Ess Enn Ohh Double Eww, Pee, eee, Aaa, Ess. Then four gulps of water to help her swallow. The anxiety level increased to a point where sweat was actually forming on her forehead. She knew that if she took another bite, she’d have a reaction and everyone would watch.
She turned her attention to the potatoes, and started to cut them into the tiny shreds she’d done with the rest of her food. Cut, cut, cut, cut, slice, slice, slice. The conversation going on around her sounded like buzzing. She was lost in a world that was filled with food that she was obsessed with not consuming.
She thought for a brief moment. Scalloped potatoes. She’d be able to take her time on chewing this one. She took a small bite like she had the peas. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, Ess, Sea, aaa, ell, ell, ohh, pee, eee, dee, pee, ohh, tee, aaa, tee, ohh, eee, ess. She picked up the water to help her swallow the remnants of what was left in her mouth. She took another bite and repeated the routine. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, Ess, Sea, aaa, ell, ell, ohh, pee, eee, dee, pee, ohh, tee, aaa, tee, ohh, eee, ess. Again, she took four gulps of water to down the food that she imagined being left in her mouth. The reality was, after chewing that many times, the food had been all but annihilated.
Then she was left with the duck. The horrendous, high calorie, high fat duck that her mother had for some unknown reason, thought she’d actually want. Who in the world eats duck? Took her fork and put as little as she could manage on the fork. There was no winning with the duck. It was either high fat meat, or there was fried breading. How in the world could she do this? A four letter word, that wasn’t nearly enough! She put her fork back down and picked up one of the quarters of bread that she hadn’t used to absorb the sauces. She dabbed it all over the duck to pick up any possible extra fat or grease that might be on the duck. She put it back down and then took several drinks of water.
The waiter came by and filled her water, he was also taking plates and asked her if she was done. She readily put her napkin on top of her plate and handed it to him hoping no one had seen how little she’d eaten. She could not wait to get out of there.
Other’s were ordering desserts and she knew she’d be stuck there for a while, while everyone sat and visited over dessert and coffee. She asked for some lemon for her water. “At least I’ll get some vitamin C” She justified to herself, the lack of calories and getting some nutrition in the water.

Cassandra asked her mother if it’d be ok if she went and looked at the Koi Pond outside of the restaurant. Her mother said that yes, it’d be fine. Cassandra felt silly. She was fourteen years old and asking if she could do something like she was nine. Why hadn’t she just excused herself from the table and quietly told her mom what she was going to do. Sometimes she felt like she was just a dumb kid.
Cassandra stepped outside into the cool night air. She loved this time of year. She sat down on the rocks next to the Koi Pond and marveled at the beautiful fish. The fish were large, and friendly. They loved attention and they all swam toward her. She knew they were looking for food, but she didn’t have any. Cassandra dangled her fingers into the water and a few of the fish swam away, but most of them kept coming.
Cassandra thought Kwang Se and the Willow garden. Kwang Se must have gotten to see Koi every day in her garden. No Chinese garden would have been complete without Koi.


Kwang Se finished her breakfast with her father. The flowers she’d picked earlier in the day were in a vase in her room. He seemed to be unaware that she’d been out in the garden. She knew this was a good thing. Her father did seem to be in a good mood today. So maybe it would not have mattered.
The Emperor looked at his daughter and contemplated what she might be thinking.
“So, my daughter, what time are your tutors due today?”
“ They will be here shortly, my father, and my learning will be hard, and swift and they will leave the palace before you’ve even known they were here.”
Her father smiled, his daughter was not only learning the history of the great Chinese world, but she was becoming wise beyond her years.
“How is your flute coming along? I heard you playing beneath the willow tree the other day. Not all of it sounded like the lessons you have been given.”
There was a certain sternness to his voice with this last sentence.
Kwang Se was not sure how to answer.
“Yes, my Father, I was practicing under the shadow of my most favorite tree. I practiced my scales, and the music given to me by my instructor.” Kwang Se answered carefully, “Then, and only then, did I practice some music I have been working on that comes from within myself.”
Her father’s shoulders stiffened.
“See to it, that your instructions always come first.”
Kwang Se was so relieved that there was no mention of the messenger boy. How she would have answered to her direct eye contact with him, there simply was no answer.
“Father, my Father. May I take a stroll along the Koi pond before the instructor’s come today? I could practice the names of the flowers and the water garden plants while I am down there. It would not be wasted time.”
“Go, my child. Do not disturb me today. We may be going to war.”
Kwang Se got up and walked quickly to the door before he changed his mind.
As she walked toward the pond, her mind immediately went to the messenger boy. Could it possibly be the nation that he came from? Surely, it is not his land? Oh, they could not be getting ready to war with him. Kwang Se had never seen such beautiful eyes, the idea of being at war with him, broke her heart! She prayed peace would be found before a solution of war was sought.
She reached the Koi pond and looked up at the bridge. Just a few days ago, this young man who’d changed her way of looking at the world crossed that bridge. Would he ever cross that bridge again? Kwang Se sat down at the edge of the pond and dangled her fingers in the water. The Koi came to the edge of the pond hoping for some food. Kwang Se would not disappoint.
As she tossed them some food, she talked to the fish.::: She had names for some of the more distinct fish. The white one with the one orange dot on it’s head, she called Bride. She often imagined Bride as the leader among the fish. She sparkled the brightest in the water. Surely, the other fish knew that she was the most glorious. There was an orange one, as deep orange as the oranges that grew on the orange tree behind the castle. He had black dots all over him, as if someone had carelessly shaken a pen right after being in the ink well. She called him Feather, for the feather pen that she used to carefully write her letters.
She laughed as Bride and Feather fought over a crumb she tossed into the water. Suddenly, their reflection seemed to be covered by shade. It wasn’t cloudy, and there were no tree’s here to block the sun, so she looked up to see what could be blocking the beautiful fish’s reflection. As she looked up, she smiled. Chang was leaning over the wall of the bridge, watching her.
“Hello Kwang Se. Do the fish talk back to you when you talk to them?” He teased her and stood up straight.
She stood up straight and walked to the foot of the bridge.


“No, they do not, but if they did, I imagine they would be great conversationalists. Telling me what it is like to swim everywhere they wanted to go, as they pleased, with no one to tell them what they had to do.” Kwang Se, sadly looked toward the Palace. “Do you bring news for my father?”
“Yes,” Chang said solemnly “ I am afraid the news is not good. I was told to hurry, but I could not make my feet rush. My emperor is not willing to bend and your father is not willing to give.”
“My father is a stubborn and willful man.” Kwang Se said quietly. “It seems to serve only himself, and no one else.”
“For that, I am truly sorry, Kwang Se, you deserve much better” Chang looked to the palace. “I was hoping to hear your flute again. I hear it as I fall asleep. I dream of the day I will hear it again.”
“Maybe next time you come. There will be a next time?” Kwang Se asked, half hopeful, half afraid. She was shameful for being so forward about with this boy, but her heart seemed strangely attached to him.


Cassandra stood up as she heard her father’s voice. He was opening the door for their group. They all came out laughing and talking at once. No one seemed to notice that Cassandra had not walked out with them, so she just joined with them and walked to the family car.
“Thank you for picking me up today.” Cassandra said quietly, as her father’s secretary waved goodbye. She winked at Cassandra and took off to where she had parked her car.
They got into the car and for once, the family was quiet. Cassandra knew there would be no questions about her game. She’d grown accustomed to that, and today, she was relieved. Reporting on such a dismal show, would not have been pleasant. It would have given them proof she didn’t need to be competing.
They had driven about half way home and Camille spoke up.
“Dad, did I do ok?” Her voice sounded remarkably timid. Was Camille the Perfect actually asking for approval? Didn’t she know that she automatically had the seal of approval for everything she did? Cassandra was a bit surprised by Camille’s timidity.
“Yes, you did just fine.” That was it. No critique, no criticism. Just a pointed “fine.” It was far more approval than Cassandra ever got, but Cassandra was starting to see that her father didn’t give approval to anyone, not even Camille, without some begging on the part of the person who was looking for it.
They pulled into the driveway, and Cassandra went to her bedroom. She changed into her pajama’s and climbed onto her bed. She took the Blue Willow tea cup from the window.
“If only.” She placed it back in the window, wishing she could just go to the garden herself. How wonderful it would be to be able to talk to Kwang Se.

Friday, November 09, 2007

various

My nano novel is coming along fine. By today's quota, I should be at 15,003 words. Today, I'm at 17,726 words.

Willow’s Bridge
By Peggikaye Eagler

Cassandra starred at the cup, she would keep it there, in her window sill, a reminder that one day she would find the beautiful place she longed to be. Her parents’ conversation in the next room could be heard through the vents. They weren’t even trying to talk in hushed tones, so as not to be overheard. Her face burned in embarrassment. Her heart sunk in despair. Once again, her father was finding fault, and her mother was failing to rise to her defense. Would she ever be able to meet expectations?


That's how my story starts ... I have found the subplot easier to write than the plot itself. I think, because my main character has an eating disorder, it probably makes it a little more personal. Difficult even.

Speaking of which. My therapist comes back Tuesday. YEAH!! It's been a long 6 weeks that she has been out. I'm just glad she's back. She did not think she'd eve be out a full month. She said 4 weeks at the outset. I'm personally, surprised that it's only 6 weeks. Major surgery, not exactly young, and rheumatoid arthritis ... not exactly easy to bounce back. Regardless of how tough you consider yourself.

Good timing, I've decided that I need to discuss my new psychiatrist with her. I thought I liked her. My last visit, left me, eh ...unnerved.
She made a comment that had me a bit alarmed at the time, and the more I thought about it, the more alarmed I became as I realized ... SHE THINKS I'M LAZY!!!!!
Her exact words were
"Even with a chronic illness, you have to have a regular schedule, you can't just lie around all day. Hasn't anyone ever told you that?"

My answer? NO

The reason...
They're all trying to get me to LAY DOWN AND TAKE IT EASY!!!!!!!!!!!!

The farther out I get, the more miffed I get.
There were a few other comments that left me a bit ...um ... uncomfortable. A hint that I might be abusing my pain relief medications and sleep aids ...

yeah, ok ..whatever. I get a script for anxiety.
My former psych spent 3 years trying to talk me into accepting a script for it. He finally convinced me in February. The agreement, was with my nighmares and panic attacks and the severity of my eating disorder, I'd take them regularly, until otherwise noted. When Don went into the hospital, I kind of complied. Sort of. Kind of. Not really.

I have a monthly supply, I've had a total of 3 scripts filled (including, the first one) since he first prescribed them. 1 and 2 refills. Yet, I'm supposed to be taking them regularly. That's 9 months ... and 3 fills. Yep, I'm abusing them.

My pain medicines ... I have a monthly supply of those as well. I have filled those 3 times this calendar year ...
yep ... I'm so over doing those.

The reality is I take FAR less than prescribed and what I'm what is Rx'd on a regular basis, I'm taking on an as needed when I just can't take it anymore basis. Am I afraid of addiction ... YOU BETCHA!

Am I abusing my medications, I don't hardly think so. Unless you consider not using them when I should, abuse.

Maybe allowing pain when I have the means to not be in pain is abuse?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Blogaversary

I started to sit down to write on my Nano Novel and realized I still needed to write my blogaversary post.

My mind wavered between the two ..and I went and took a nap. Nothing like procrastinating one writing for another!

Today, is my third anniversary of blogging!


My dear friend Deneice talked me into blogging.


In the 3 years that I've been blogging, I've had the chance to 'meet' several special people. It amazes me, how much you come to know about someone else's life through blogging. It hit my blogfriend Moof as well this week. I'll let you read about it there. She words it much better than I ever could. Moofie and I, just about share a blogaversary. Hers is November 1, mine the 3rd. I know when she has hers, I need to get on my toes and get ready to post my blogaversary post. It's nice to have her keep watch for me. ;)

Like her, I've talked on the phone to many of my blog friends. Some of them occassionally ...some of them more frequently. (hmm one of them I'm supposed to talk to this evening!)

The most important time .. when Don was in the hospital this summer. I shot off a quick email to Moof, and she notified our corner of the blog world.
Calls and prayers immediately were wrapped around me. Never, for one moment did I ever feel alone in the battle for my husband's life. You all will never know just how much your support meant to me.
I wish I could mention all of those who offered support during that time

I started to ...but I'll leave someone out ... and that would be wrong.

Over the last 3 years ...

I've shared about my kids and their progress.
My husband and our struggles ..and our triumphs.
I've shared our journey to get a Habitat House ... and moving in ... those who've read this blog for a while ...do you realize, that we finished the house this weekend ...a year ago!
I've shared about my heartbreak with my stepfather.
My worries over my mom as she ages.
My book being published.
My being ready to take my kids to the nearest bording school. *grin*
My being so proud of my kids I could burst.
I've talked about my cats. Over and over again.

I've shared about surgeries and illnesses ... I've answered questions about myasthenia gravis and lupus ... and tourette's syndrome and ocd.
I have shared about my eating disorder, both in good times, and in relapse.

But most of all, I had the privilege of sharing my faith. For that, I am forever grateful.

I have been encouraged when I have been discouraged and rejoiced with when I am rejoicing.

So, for those of you who read this blog and comment ..thank you.
Those who read this blog ... thank you.
Those who happen along this blog ... I hope you come back.

For all of you ..thank you for the privilege of being able to share a little of my heart.

Now off to Nanowriting!