A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

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Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'll Be Back

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If I Were A Good Friend

I've been hearing about all the bad weather you all in the South and East and Midwest have been experiencing these past few days and I want you to know I'm truly sorry about that.

If I were a good friend I would not tell you that our weather has been CRAZY SICK! Or, simply the best God's sent so far this year.

If I were a good friend I wouldn't tell you that last weekend I took two year old Ma and her eight year old brother Mooka to one of our city parks with manmade lakes and sand dunes. I wouldn't tell you that the kids and I walked around the lake enjoying the bright sunlight and slight breezes that tickled our faces and captured our laughs.

I wouldn't tell you that we enjoyed a semi picnic of sliced turkey w/mayo and cheese on white bread accompanied by chips, cookies and cool water.

If I were a good friend I wouldn't tell you that I had bought day old bread to feed the multitude of ducks and geese who migrated to the lakes or were put there by the city. If I did tell you about feeding the ducks I'd have to tell you that we were almost put upon by two gangsta geese that wanted to steal the kids' sandwiches. I had to forcibly chase them away to prevent them from bullying little Ma. But I'm not telling you all that.

See, if I were a good friend I wouldn't tell you that after walking around the lake and after the picnic I took the kids to the playground and let them run and play with about 700 other children also out enjoying the wonderful weather.

And you'd never hear from me that we sat and ate ice cream and snow cones bought from the waiting ice cream truck, and that as the sky turned from blue to orange to pink to purple, we slowly made our way back to the car and came home, tossing the remaining bread to ducks as they settled under trees and tables awaiting the night.

Most of you would really laugh at me if I told you that on Sunday after the Cardinals win over the Eagles, I washed three loads of laundry and hung them out on the clothes line and everything dried by sundown.

So because I'm not a good friend I'll tell you that we're having some awesome weather as you all are living in a freezer box. I'll tell you that I was THIS CLOSE to blowing my car's AC this afternoon leaving work to drive across town to a meeting.

Yes I know, what goes around comes around and I know some of you, when it's 117 and 120 here for three months straight will snicker at my plight and high energy bills. But for now, here's to you my cold shivering blogger friends. Where ever you are:-)

Here are pictures of last Saturday's outing:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Weekend's Too Short

I'm hitting the mattress early tonight. I'm just worn out.

These last two nights I was unable to sleep well because I had two sets of hands and two sets of feet probing, kicking, rubbing, poking, banging, sliding, crawling and hitting me. Now some of you may think this is a good thing, and it would if it were Dave Baptista but no, it was Mooka and Butterfly sleeping over this weekend. Mooka usually sleeps w/his aunt Niece but Friday night he insisted on sharing my bed w/me and his two year old sister Butterfly.

Both of these kids sleep like miniature horses and they both SNORE!! Loudly!! Having them in bed w/me also meant my not being able to open the window to see the moon and cool down my room. I didn't want them to get chilled after their showers so I had to make do in my hot room and pray I didn't roll over the little girl and smother her.

All in all it was a great weekend. I got a lot of nothing done, but I did walk around the Biltmore Fashion Mall in some of the prettiest weather God ever sent to Phoenix. I try not to be so sedentary when the kids are here and they incent me to get up and move. Plus, it's hard focusing on troubles when kids are around; they don't care about your troubles, they want to eat cereal, watch Saturday morning cartoons, tear up the front room, drip afore-mentioned cereal from table to sink, fight about who had a particular toy first and bring you joy and laughter.

I did do something unique this weekend: Saturday morning I wanted to actually cook for the kids. I can count on one hand minus three fingers the number of times I've cooked for the kids. I'm not a great cook. I'm not a good cook. I can just pass making a decent peanut butter sandwich. My sister's one of the greatest cooks I've ever eaten from (or met) so she's responsible for the kids' nourishment. But this Saturday, I wanted to cook and like all well laid plans....

My first mistake was allowing Ma (Butterfly) to ride her tricycle outside while I was cooking bacon. Now I know that the hotter the skillet, the crispier the bacon so I had my four or five strips there and it was cooking nicely. I noticed the kids coughing a bit but thought nothing of it until Mooka asked if we could open a window or door. "What for?" I asked. It was still chilly outside. "It's a lot of smoke in here." he replied, swatting at the smoke like a true swordsman.

Ok, I conceded. Let's open the door so the smoke alarms don't go off and wake Wooka. I'm still watching the bacon and it's crinkling up nicely but now with the door open, Ma's quest to ride her trike is overwhelming her so I dress her for the cold. In the meantime, Mooka's coughing reminds me of the bacon on the stove. It was some of the best bacon I'd ever made in my life. Crsipy. Brown. I should have taken pictures. But there is a lot of smoke in the house so I turn off the skillet to watch Ma on the trike

As I'm sitting out on the porch I notice smoke filtering out the door and I think to myself, "That's odd. There must have been more smoke than I realized." By this time more smoke is coming out of the house and two of the smoke detectors are blaring. I go back in the kitchen and discover I hadn't turned off the fire under the skillet and it's smoking like Jackie Gleason after surgery.

Of course all the noise brings Wooka up to see what's going on. After proudly showing off my bacon and discounting the burning skillet as a one off situation, she decides we'd all be better off if she goes and brings back breakfast. Hey. I tried.

Well, that's it for my weekend. Monday looms bright and promising.
The Cardinals have made it to the NFC Conference game against the Eagles. I sure wish it were the Cowboys but that's okay. It could be worse. I mean, I could be a Titans fan right?

I've won some awards that you should know about. From Jeni:

From UglyBlackJohn:

Friday, January 09, 2009

Meandering Through My Mind

Nothing special to blog about tonight. Just some thoughts and ideas that have strolled around to the front of my thoughts. This is a picture taken of the setting sun. I wish you could have seen how spectacular it was.

Is it just me or is there something just too fishy about "the gentleman from Illinois" Burris? I haven't followed his career, heck I'd never heard of him until all this circus action went down a few weeks ago, but I'm wondering how much of his children's inheritance he had to pay his governor for that Senate seat. One part of me thinks this man's a fool to just show up as the Chosen One knowing the obstacles and disbelief he will have to tackle. The other part thinks he's the ultimate opportunistic all ready to get his. And isn't this the attitude that's gotten this country in the shape it's currently in?

Walmart announced lower than expected results and one of the genius market watchers remarked "This suggests that the lower income group is feeling the pinch more than we thought..." What?? How much does this guy get to sit around a big office and state the obvious? You mean to tell me that it took Walmart to make the country aware that poor people are struggling? The fact that milk costs more than a gallon of gas, millions without health insurance, increased forfeitures and high unemployment wasn't enough for them to understand that? How can I get a job like that?

Tonight's a full moon. Regular readers know how much I LOVE full moons. Tonight I sat outside talking w/JT and wondered how all that snow in Boise or Ely would look under a moon as bright. That's one disappointment about my Boise trip-each night the skies were overcast so I couldn't see the stars. Boise, having lower light pollution than Phoenix, is better able to showcase the majesty that is the night sky.

Have you ever watched rising steam as it dissipates into the air? We did that tonight too. Sat there chatting about work, watching the steam billow up, hold a shape then slowly fade away to nothingness. And I came to the realization that most of the shapes looked like characters from a Dr. Seuss book. Really! I could see Thing One and Thing Two from "The Cat and the Hat", residents of Whoville.

And what had me smiling all day? Well the news of Pacman Jones getting kicked the h-ll out of Dallas! Finally Jerry Jones counted up the costs and determined he and the 'Boys can do bad all by themselves. Pacman's lawyer is projecting that Pacman won't be unemployed long because he's young and all that. And he's almost right. What he should be saying is Pacman won't be free for long because he will soon join all the other thugs and untrained, unrestrained, Ritalin-reject losers like him in the county jail awaiting trail for something stupid he could have avoided. And without Jerry Jones' protection, what's he gonna do? Sit in jail and try to make bail. Now, if we can just get rid of that bottom-feeder Owens.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What I Know For Sure #2

Oh to be kept
By Jesus.
Lord at Thy feet I fall.
Life would be nothing
No, Nothing!
Thou shalt be my all and all.

2008 was THE worst year of my adult life. My family and I suffered a great loss which is still affecting us and will affect us forever I suppose. We have each changed because of it.

You've seen the articles and read the quotes about knowing your true self during times of adversity. I can testify that I indeed found out more about myself in some regards but stayed true to character in others.

I found out that I have trouble asking for help. I believe that if it's my problem, it's my responsibility to handle so when the problem came, I shut myself away from friends and tried to hide from my family.

Friends came to help and provide support and love but I stubbonrnly and at times, rudely refused, cringing from their offered embraces, ignoring their sacrificed time away from their own families and hectic schedules to come see about me.

I spent so many hours awake that I began to have migraines, which in turn caused my blood pressure to start spiking. The ensuing forgetfulness, vertigo, weight and hair loss was enough to send me to my doctor who promptly took me out of work along with prescribing an arsenal of sleep meds, stress meds, relaxation techniques, increased blood pressure meds and suggestions to seek psychiatric help or someone personal to speak to.

The sleep meds didn't work after three days, the stress meds made me feel as if I were constanly swatting at floating cotton balls and the blood pressure meds gave me an angry dry cough. I didn't want to go to a head doctor because it was my problem. It was my problem and I had to work through it even if I couldn't sleep and suicidal thoughts meandered into my waking brain waves. Even if I lost my appetite, when you're 400 pounds you should celebrate a fifteen pound loss. The hair loss? I wore wigs or braids anyway so it didn't matter, no one could see.

No one could see me in here suffering like that because I was always the strong one. I'm the 2nd daughter of the 2nd daughter. I'm the 7th grandchild of the 7th son born in the 7th month. I'm the first granddaughter and niece born three days after the death of my grandmother and who bore a strong resemblance to that one. I was the first and only child of seven to graduate high school. The first and only to graduate college. I could fix all of this myself, and I would do it where no one could see me struggling just to make it out of the bed and into the shower.

Somewhere along the line, I don't remember exactly, I stopped everything. Stopped going to church, stopped praying, stopped returning calls, stopped leaving the house, stopped blogging. Stopped taking the meds, just stopped. I figured my blood pressure would keep spiking and I'd have a stroke and die and finally be out of this hell-filled life. How happy I would be!

Although I could hide from my friends and the rest of the outside world, I couldn't hide or mask my suffering from my family. They noticed the weight loss (now 35 lbs), the thinning temples and bald spots in the top of my head. They knew I watched TV all night. They saw the unread magazines piling up in the holder and they begin to confer on how not to lose me.

My sister and baby brother coaxed me into revisiting the doctor after a long family therapy session and that day, as the nurse congratulated me on the weight loss, she also gave me a worried look as she announced my blood pressure was 200/95. I simply smiled at her and just started bawling. One of those good ones that have you hiccuping when you try to talk. Ever had one of those?

Anyway, the doctor came in and just let me weep until I could stop and she shared her experiences with her own loss and how most of what I was feeling she had too. Had to take a break, those tears keep coming up. She asked if I had anyone to talk to, I said no, I was too ashamed to ask for help or tell anyone how cowardly and inept I was at handling my business. She made me promise to get back on my meds and find both professional and personal help or she would be visiting me in a hospital soon. And she's so wise. You know what she asked me? She said "What if you have the stroke but don't die? Who will care for you?" That scared me into refilling those meds right away!

That same afternoon two things happened. They may seem irrelevant but for them to both occur at the same time was too coincidental. I received an email from Dave checking up on me, and a phone call from a long lost friend who was just trying to reconnect.

I was so surprised and happy to see Dave's email; he doesn't know me from Eve, just another Blogger but because I hadn't posted for almost three months he wanted to see how things were. I shared w/him and later Jeni what I was going through, but nothing as intimate as this. I can see now how people can get so caught up in Internet relationships, especially if they're lonely and hurting. Thank God I found two people who were just giving encouragement and not trying to hurt me!

So now here I am, seven months later, looking at the rest of my life. I don't know what's going to happen but what I know for sure is the next time I need it, I'm gonna ask for and accept help.

I'm not allowing comments on this post because it's pretty heavy and I've just sprung it on you unawares. For those of you who do read this, even if you don't believe, please pray for those of us who have lost a whole lot: Dr.S (Peggy), Jeni (Aunt Mike), and Dave who lost Tony.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

What I Know For Sure #1

Hi everyone! Back home in rainy Phoenix, AZ. We drove in yesterday at around 7:15am and I can honestly say I have NEVER been on a trip as scary as this was. We had to drive through some of the scariest, dangerous weather that I could never imagine I'd ever experience! Those dreamy visions of snow falling benevolently over the earth and covering everything in a pristine, clean whiteness has been replaced with the reality that snow can fall in turrets substantially strong enough to reduce visibility to less than three feet, and can confuse even the strongest traveler and cause people to be lost and not found for days, weeks and even months.

The blame of what happened is twofold: us for not leaving until after noon which would cause us to travel through Ely and Twin Falls-areas that see very active weather at all times; and Weather.com for not telling us to expect snow. We had checked the weather report Thursday night and it told us to expect rain in Twin and showers through Jackpot and Ely, no big right?

When we arrived in Twin we did indeed find rain. Jackpot was clear but cloudy and the few flurries we encountered after leaving Jackpot were no cause for worry because we expected no additional inclement weather. I guess you can liken it to the Falcons assuming the Cardinals' defense would be something they could easily conquer (shout out to all my Cardinals fans).

Further down US93 the snow finally hit and gradually became harder and the roads icier. By the time we got to Ely we were in a full-fledged snowstorm and had to make the decision to either drive and go forward or stay put until the weather cleared.

Now normally, when we get to Ely we take a shortcut through US318, a back woods path that shaves about two hours off of travel. There are small towns along the way but nothing that can be found on 93 if we needed the services. Besides, when we pulled out of Ely, 318 was so dark and scary looking we decided to take 93 hoping and praying we would quickly come through the storm. That didn't happen.

As we continued on the way the snow just kept coming. Large wind gusts kept visibility at short distances, the snow so thick and hard driving that using our bright lights diminished the already severely reduced visibility. Aside from one other solitary car traveling southbound, we never encountered a snow plow, large truck or highway patrol. Common sense should have told four responsible adults to turn around and go back to the nearest town and stay put, but, I wasn't the one running the show and my vote, just like my vote for President, didn't pull any weight so onward bound we went.

The snowfall cleared, only to be replaced by small cone-shaped ice pellets. This, my niece Shauna declared sadly, was an ice storm. Our little foray which had started out with cloudy skies and changed to light rain to snow flurries to snow storms had now turned to ice. This time we did pull over because my brother feared the windshield was going to be split open by the force of the ice hitting us. Of course. As long as it were our lives my brother wasn't concerned but when it came to hurting his precious little truck he was more than ready to seek safety. Ain't that a bit**?

Finally the lower elevation brought just rain and clear highway and we rolled on into Vegas a lot wiser, very tired and glad to be closer to home!

So, what do I know for sure? That Grace still abounds for fools and children, and that I will Never! Ever! drive to Boise during the winter months.

Here are some pix I took on the way up to Boise.

This is a storm that we successfully outran.

Here I was channeling Ansel Adams. Oh to have his talent!