Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

dental blunder

boyd had oral surgery yesterday afternoon.  the dentist removed a bone growth from the roof of his mouth and in the process he knicked two arteries.  boyd bled from 1pm to, well - last i checked was 1030pm. the bleeding had slowed quite a bit by then - and i went to bed.  the doctor carterized the arteries, but they bled anyway and the doctor simply told us to apply pressure till it stops.  boyd is in alot of pain with this one.  it should give him more room in his mouth, but i think there will be pain for more than the expected couple of weeks. 

the doctor had the technology to see precisely what he was doing, when he was doing it - yet he still cut the arteries.  he has been a dentist specializing in implants and oral surgery for a long time.  he did my implants 10 years ago.  he is my age, and i remember reading his diploma the first time i met him - he graduated the same time i would have, had i persued that much education.  pisses me off!  what was he thinking about that he could not do his job correctly?  why would someone be preoccupied during a surgery on another human being?  that is why they make the big bucks - because they give up such a large part of their lives and devote it to the people who pay them for their expertise.  we want to be able to trust them.  and we can't.  not really.

everyone makes mistakes.

i still feel that doctors are required to live at a higher standard of excellence than most.  that responsibility is why they earn so much money.  many people could do the mechanics of their jobs.  give a person a book, the right tools, and there could be more doctors.  but it is the trust, the responsibility, the finesse that we look for in doctors.  we expect it.  we should be able to expect it. 

boyd is still resting.  he sat up the majority of the night watching movies...keeping his mouth elevated above his heart so the bleeding would be controlled. 


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

A time to remember fathers everywhere.  Good ones, bad ones, whatever - just send em a card, eh?  or call and say 'howdy do?'  or simply remember your Dad.  for what he was and what he is now.

i don't think i like to be told when to think of somebody though.  father's day and mother's day and valentine's day - really are about spending money, aren' they?  and that is disgusting.

i think of my parents everyday.  sometimes to appreciate. sometimes to remember, sometimes to blame (i said that just the way daddy does!), sometimes to be sentimental, sometimes to wonder.  i dont' send cards very well.  i am terrible at phone calls.  i do email and posts, but alot of people think that is too cold.  technology has made it so we can be closer to people, while really being at a safe distance.  we can control things better, we don't hafta listen - we can simply delete...but that's another story.

i truly appreciate fathers and fatherhood.  raising a child without a father is more than difficult, it is bad for the child.  there is so much a child learns from each parent - even how to argue is an important lesson.  for me - having a father is a good thing, having a grandfather was a good thing and having a father for my children (my hubby) is a good thing.  they have all influenced my children, they have influenced me.  sometimes good, sometimes not so much.  but even the not so much times can, and often do, result in good life lessons.

my father deeply loved his father...his love for my grandpa grew stronger as they got older.  from all the stories i've heard, their younger years were difficult because my father was much like my son, full of piss and vinegar.  the odds are pretty good that grandpa was that same way when he was a kid.  i know in grandpa's later years, that same chemical mixture was seen and heard at many of our visits.

being a father is a difficult job.  since kids did not come with instruction books, we all learned how to raise and react to children kinda on our own...with our own childhood as the base.  and kids are each so different!  can be confusing to say the least. 

dad's job=
  1. earn money for the family (being out of the house for about ten hours per day)
  2. come home after work and be expected to resolve conflicts, offer love, answer questions, play, etc. - even though you are tired.
  3. be interested in your child's life - school, sports, friends, problems
  4. be the discipliner; aligned with mom's decisions from the daytime when you were absent
  5. help mom change diapers, feed babies, shop, house stuff, even though you are tired.
  6. be a daddy for the rest of your life
  7. be a grandpa - i would think that would be more fun than being a dad  :)
  8. be a great grandpa 
  9. attend weddings, graduations, life altering occasions
  10. wonder and worry and take pride in your children for the rest of your life.
  11. feel underappreciated and sometimes forgotten
  12. probably more stuff i can't think of right now
I wish my father a lovely father's day - everyday, not just the third sunday in june.  thank you for being has been an interesting journey getting to know and understand you.  you are like a bottle of very good wine.  as you age the different textures become more apparent - and more lovely.  bold yet subtle, more tannin than fruit, yet the fruit still holds it's own in an almost stubborn way, a very subtle cherry - like your old pipe smoke. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

elephant and ego

i have always liked elephants.  one of my favorite photos is of a child and an elephant sitting on a bench and the child has it's arm around the elephant's back.  good friends.  when i was young ( about 4 years old i think)  i had fantasies of being the elephant tamer in a circus.  i was the small beautiful girl in a sparkly outfit telling the behemoth pachyderm what to do - and it obeyed me.  it would lift me up with it's trunk and i would ride high above as it did its tricks at my urging.  i would lie on the floor and it would pretend to step on me or lie ontop of me - stopping short, so the audience gasped but no harm was done, because the elephant loved and obeyed me.  i dreamed about this scenario the other night.  i had not thought of it in years.  te beginning of the dream was fluffy and pretty and fun.  and then it changed. the elephant in my dream went mad and the sparkly girl tried and tried to tame her elephant, but the elephant would have none of it.  the elephant understood that the routines the girl was using were no longer effective, no longer useful, no longer amusing, no longer safe -  they actually did more harm than good.  The elephant was tired of being hurt and abused by the small self absorbed sparkly child who only loved and protected herself.  The elephant wanted more.  The elephant wanted to love and be loved.  she was finally willing to break away from the tyranny of the child and find a more harmonious life.
I told patti about this dream and my history of he elephant and the sparkly child.  she was excited by it and truly happy for me.  this is an amazing thing she told me.

the sparkly child is my ego and the elephant is me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

One of my vices

I like to watch the Ghost hunter type shows.  I know, right?  I like seeing the different old buildings and learning their stories...the stories of the people who lived in them so many many years ago.  I like watching the grown men and women walk about in the dark talking to the darkness.  The night vision makes everything look eerie and there are always many bumps, creaks, and whispered voices.  Sometimes there are floating orbs of light, unexplained mists and fogs, shadows and apparitions, sometimes you can hear the voices played back on a recorder, sometimes it sounds like just noise- sometimes you can hear words.  Sometimes the investigators get hit or scratched.  Oh - and did I mention the temperature changes and the electronic magnetism field?  That goes up and down too.  The ghosts also drain the cameras of their power...they use that energy so they can use it to make themselves known to the investigators.

It was interesting to note that the investigators tell us that if a place has a high emf  (eltro magnetic field) - that certain individuals are sensitive to it and will become nauseous, paranoid and feel a heaviness on their bodies.  That can explain some people thinking a place is haunted.  I think that is interesting because when we lived in Big Creek and I walked past the power plant I always felt weird...I always thought that if their was an electrical storm I would be the one hit by lighterning.  The hair on my arms would stand up too.

I realize that all this stuff can be an illusion for dramatic appeal.  I agree that often these people look and sound kinda foolish...and they do foolish things.  I understand all this - and yet, still, I watch.  Boyd sometimes sits with me as i watch.  It is really hard for him to sit quietly though.  His remarks are mostly snarky jabs, as you can imagine coming from my rational hubby.

I know - it is a silly embarassing habit. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Chickens

The chicks are spending their first night out in the chicken pen.  Till now they have been in a small pen on the patio - near the house.  Much of their time has been under a heat lamp.  Now they all have feathers and they are large enough to be farther away.  Boyd built a nice sturdy pen - similar to what I built for our last go-round with poultry.  It is next to Magnet's pen.  We transported them down to their new home in a large cardboard box.  Getting them into the box was very noisy and very stinky.  Feathers and poop dust everywhere - with all those feathers flapping.  They have led a very sheltered life so far.  They did not like the changes being made - getting captured, put in a box and then dumped in a new place.  It only took a few minutes for them to adjust to the larger, cleaner, more organized space.  They were thrilled to find bugs to eat!  At dusk I went down to check on them and they were all huddled against an outside corner.  Silly chickens.  They will get too cold there, so I transported them yet again - two by two - to the interior of the pen.  I put a dozen of them on roosts - all but four of them jumped or fell down to the floor.  when Boyd finally checked on them they were inside and doing fine.

Several improvements have been made with their housing this time.  The floor is covered in old cement tiles and sand.  All of the cracks, holes or other openings have been sealed so that other birds and rodents can be kept out.  A rat, racoon, possum, skunk - can cause as much damage as a coyote or a hawk.  As soon as we put them down there this afternoon the hawk circled low to get a look at his new potential dinner.  Hopefully the chicken wire will hold tight for a long time.  Also, the nesting boxes are new.  We had an old wooden shoe rack that was in Laura's room when she lived at home.  The cubby sizes could be adjusted - so now there are 12 nesting boxes bolted to the wall.  There is a ladder to the top level.  There are 4 different roosting poles in there too. 

One of the roosters is crowing now.  Has been for about a week.  It sounds like three high voices straining in a desperate yell.  We don't know which rooster it is yet.  But there is one that seems to be the dominant alpha male.  When we opened the transport box in their new home all the chickens were pasted against the back wall of the box and he was facing them with his backside and wings as large as he could make them.  He was trying to protect or hide his flock.  Good man.

Boyd's favorite chickens are the rhode island reds.  Two seem especially smart.  He has named them Meg and Jack...but Jack might be a Jackie.  Not sure yet.  Meg is the smallest chicken - and really fast to catch bugs.  First one to the food and she pays attention to Boyd.  He named them that because of the white stripes and spots on their red necks...but the white is changing as they grow.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

some people seek adventure and thrills to feel alive.  they love the adrenaline rush from free falling, and/or the risk of.  falling is something i've never enjoyed.  boyd called skiing 'contolled slipping'.  he is so good at trying to trick my psyche.  :)  love that man.  but, my core still knew it was not in control during the many falls i took on the slopes of the sierra nevada mountains.  the most memorable fall was at sierra summit ski resort in lakeshore near huntington lake.  i body slammed a middle aged man at probably 30 miles per hour or so -  we both flew many yards eastward till the final stop, just short of the giant pylons of the ski lift.  he said he was okay and walked away, but you know how injuries are - usually you feel worse the day after.  very thankful that the snow was soft that day.  very thankful to have missed the steel lift base.  very thankful to have had a man slow me down.

i had been trying to snow plow - to stop - for many yards.  the physical dynamic did not lend itself to the proper end, which would have been to stop.  in other words - i didn't do it right.  either the hill was too steep, my weight too great, my snow plow not constructed properly...  not really sure.  but probably - it was my lack of confidence.  i always somehow knew that confidence was the most important requirement, yet i was not able to get past my fears.    i took alot of snow up my backside in all the falls of those mountain years.  if i thought i was getting out of control i would sit down and try to slow down with my arms.  kind of like snow plowing with the outspread wings of the snow angel.  i considered walking down the hills, but that seemed nearly impossible, the way the slopes were constructed.  the ride up the hill in the chair lift was amazingly beautiful and it  hard to resist going up the mountain.  i used to want to just ride the lift up and down.  dang operators wouldn't let me do it.

i enjoyed the 5 year olds that were in my ski class on the bunny hill.  they were sweet and fun to watch.  the instructor would not let them use poles.  they got so good at manuevering the hills it was fantastic to see.  my kids skiied with no poles too.  laura used finesse, coming down gracefully, and andrew was a speedster- straight down as fast as he could.

that mountain was an amazing opportunity for residents.  we were able to get lessons and rental and ski passes very very discounted.  it was offered through big creek school district.  everyone learned to ski.  it was kind of like swimming - a required class. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

i saw patty today.  i enjoy talking with her.  she understands me i think.  i hope.  we continue to travel down the healing path, and have discovered that it is cyclical.  i wrote about this before - or something very similar.  i examine my innerds - my psyche - watch, see, and clean up alot of stuff that has accumulated over time.  alot of pain and fear has dissolved.  but not all.  the basic fear - the root problem is still there.  but i am seeing it better now - and that is key to its dissolution.  my ego has worn individuality and apathy as a badge in order to have an important identity...a different identity.  since my ego demands perfection, it feels i cannot compete in the world of others, so i isolate and create my own type of world - and then hide by presuming to be more knowledgable, more mature, more spiritual.  the poor ego is rather pathetic really.

i have been able to be bold on the stage, to be bold in the workplace - but those were roles i was playing.  i did not show just jennifer.  just jennifer does not know how to be.  i've always had some type of role to define me.  when i have no role, as is my current situation, i fear being around people who might want to get to know me.  my neighbors for instance.  that is why it is so hard for me to walk in the neighborhood.  if i walk at the beach i am invisible...just one of the crowd.  same with shopping, going to the library - i am an invisible person.  most of the time that seems fine - but fear of walking in the neighborhood is too much.  it makes me a prisoner in my home, my yard.

my habit of saying something inflammatory right at the beginning of a conversation is another symptom of my fear.  it is like a scared wild dog - who bites first, rather than assessing the situation.  and of course, the loving concern, or a joke is the cover up.

i am very excited by this!  this means that i am closer to being open to the world - and perhaps living a bit before i have to leave earth.  to be able to feel content in myself, confident that everything is okay, even when it isn't, to have joy.

field of fear

it is easy to make the statement - 'live in the now' - it is another thing to try and live it. it is much more pleasant when you do not worry about the past or the future. the problem i am having is that one basic problem keeps rearing it's ugly head.  fear.  the fear is like a weed. a weed that starts out a small thing - and when i try to pluck it out, instead of coming out by the roots, it breaks off at the soil. it continues to grow - only now it will have a sturdier base. each time it is snapped off at the soil - the base gets stronger and stronger, until it has to be dug out with a shovel, leaving a disfiguring hole in the garden.  if it is not removed - it takes over the garden. it's seeds will be distributed amongst the beautiful plants where they will thrive and blossom and spread again - until there is nothing beautiful left, only a field of weeds.

too bad  'round up'  won't work on fear.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

a good book

i am reading a book called 'Empire Falls' - by Richard Russo.  i am almost halfway through the 493 page hardbound book.  i checked it out at the library a week ago, after i returned Russo's 'Bridge of Sighs'.  That was a good book, and my daughter said this one was good - (she read all of russo's books before interviewing him for her magazine) - so i thought i'd try it, especially since it won a pulitzer prize. 

i really like this book.  i can feel this main character.  he sees himself as a self induced failure;  perhaps by martyrdom, perhaps foolishness, perhaps combination of circumstances.  he knows he is a failure and as he stumbles through life we see that he is a nice guy, a quiet, guy.  if he were not living in a little town i'd bet he would be invisible.  mr cellophane.  he is also an enabler.  he is too nice to make the hard decisions.  his niceness appears to be governed by his spiritual innerds - but it is really caused more by the love and protective pride he has for his dead mother; a woman who tried to live close to the book; a catholic who lived a loveless marriage.

sounds pathetically depressing, doesn't it?  it's not.  russo has managed to portray this man and his life in a dynamic that is very alive, albeit depressed.  his daughter, his brother, his soon to be ex-wife and her lover, and the town matriarch all have their own stories that intertwine and seem to hold up a basic thesis of this story. 

can't wait to get back to reading it... 

Monday, May 24, 2010

happy bugs and bunnies - yotees too!

the bugs are winning.  the pumpkins out front have huge leaves that look like they are made of a delicate lace.  it is pretty - if you can forget that they are supposed to be bright green and solid - with no holes.  i put my super duper garlic chile oil soap around - and that seemed to work for about one week.  that chili mixture smells good now - at first it burned my nostrils - but time has turned it to a pleasant and yummy aroma.  maybe that is the problem.  it could get kinda expensive to reapply every week, even when i buy the ingredients at big lots. 

many wild creatures benefit from the garden.  the bugs are attracting more birds to the area.  unfortunately they snack on the apples and strawberries between bugs.  there are some gorgeous birds around now.  boyd says that since the codar fire there have been more species here.  the mockingbird is my favorite though - and the red tailed hawks.  they are less transient - and i notice them more.

my onions are ready to be pulled.  and now my husband has an allergy to onions.  and it is getting worse.  at first he could eat some well cooked onions, but - as of last week - he seems unable to eat any onions.  only onion powder and dried onion seems to not bother him.  what a bummer of an allergy.

the bunnies really like newly sprouted cabbage, lettuce, beets and radish.  they are well fed rabbits.  maybe i should just catch the rabbits and eat them instead of the greens.  such cute bunnies - and they'd be so easy to catch.  the yotees have been munchin on bunnies every night.  emma and abbey bark from a distance, but have learned that they are no longer a match against a hungry yotee eating it's dinner.  boyd and i find bunny leftovers daily.  sometimes emma and abbey find them first though.

so, i guess my garden is really a gift for the wild critters that live around here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


smokey is holding me down...i can't get up!  when i do not pet her - she bites me.  she is purring, in her wheezy way, as she commands my movements.  right now she is watching my fingers fly over the keyboard.  thankfully she is not annoyed by it.  if she was she would bite me again.

they are not hard bites.  warning half bites really.  a gnawing movement that pinches, not quite harmful yet annoying and enough to get an "Ouch!  Quit that!" out of me.  i am tempted to put her outside, but she needs her time with me. 

she has Boyd time needs and she also has Jennifer time needs.  We seem to give her different vibes or something.  or maybe she just wants to have all bases covered in her command.  alpha male, etc...her pecking order? hmm...  am i at the bottom?  sometimes i think i am. 

maybe she has a belly ache.  when she does not feel good she needs more "Hold Me" time.  she gives us that time when we are not feeling well.  she seems to know when we are sick - she will come and sleep with us.  when i had the flu, she did not leave my side - same with boyd.  she is a sweet cat really.

"Ouch!  Quit that!"

Gotta go...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Abbey's Haircut

The old Wahl clippers did their job well.  Abbey looks like a shorn sheep...sorta. 

Abbey's normal full bodied yellow coat is now about an inch long.  Except near her face  -  I left some of that and tried to taper it to the body hair's it doesn't look too bad.  She will be cooler and we can better control the stickers and mats she gets in the yard.  She loves to roll in the grass - and everything is in sticker stage now.

Abbey did not like it at all.  She was obediant, but at any hesitation on my part, she tried to stand and leave.   Her pleading eyes fixed on Boyd anytime he came near us; she desperate for a savior. 

It took two sessions.  Sunday night and the finishing touches this morning (Tuesday).  Abbey's stress level and the clipper's heat level have limits.  Boyd took her for a walk with him yesterday morning, before I could get to her to finish her haircut.  I guess he did not notice that I had not finished.  He said that a woman who asked for directions looked at Abbey and gave him a really weird look.  I'll bet!  She was uneven and silly looking yesterday morning.  Now she is just silly looking.  In a couple of weeks it will look better.  That has been my experience over the years anyway.

When I was finally finished with Abbey, and she had trotted off wagging her tail, Emma came up and laid down in her place.  Emma wanted her turn.  So funny.  Emma's short hair doesn't need a buzz, so I brushed her out well - and she seemed pleased. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

water woes

we tightened our water conservation belts about a week ago.  we are fairly frugal anyway (compared to many),  but we want to save even more.  i use alot of water for my plants, and i know the water district will begin rationing and raise prices again this summer, so we figured maybe we could offset our plant usage with less house use.

the biggest (visual) savings we have is when we capture the cold water that runs while waiting for the hot water to come out of the spigot.  we use large plastic snack containers - from costco - sans snacks;  shove them under the faucet till the water runs warm and then take that water to a bucket that eventually will be poured on a plant outside.  since our water heater is a long way from the kitchen sink - that adds up quickly.  i've also become more conscious about turning the water off more often during teeth brushing, etc.  boyd uses a bowl of water to clean his razor in between swipes at his beard.  he used to use running hot water.
when it gets a bit warmer i will use less water in the shower - but, for now, a hot shower is glorious.  :)  some people save with their toilets - only flushing the nastiest of things...but I hate smelly bathrooms.  i suppose when i see the water bill rise i will become more militaristic about it all.

boyd and i just compared last year and this year's water bill for april.  we used 48% less water this year - and paid only $5 less than last year.  the price went up ~ 45% in a year.  AND the serious pricing increases will begin with the next bill.  it will include payment tiers.  if you use x amount of water - you pay on that  x scale.  if you go over that x amount of water - you pay the extra water at a higher rate.  ouch. 

we are setting ourselves up for a pretty hefty bill.   that is some expensive lettuce i'm growing.  (big sigh).  i knew it would be when we began our garden project, but somehow it feels different when you see the actual numbers --- on the bills and in the checkbook.  hmmm.  i think i will change the water sprayer in the garden to a sprayer that is more exact about where the water lands.  i don't want to waste any water on something that i don't want to grow.   maybe i should research a soaker systems.  big lots has 50 foot soaker hoses for $8 now.  i hope we can make our garden work - and stay ahead of the increased cost.

it really is amazing that southern california continues to have green spaces.  with the diminishing water supply - the water department's answers can be harsh to abusers.  they will shut off your water if you use too much, and there is a fine.  sometimes the state will tell the avocado and orange growers to cut down their trees!  there are many flower growers in north county that will close down because of the water situation here.  Some already have.

when the rains were in full swing - and the mountains were full of snow - I thought maybe we could end this drought.  it was a good season, but not good enough.  maybe next year.

Friday, May 14, 2010

torture administered by nice ladies

today is mammogram day. 

nuff said.

maybe not enough said...if i have to get one - you do too. 

be sure to have your boobs squished and photographed every year!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Magnet is 20 years old.  Most of the llama reference books and sites tell me that 20 is old for a llama.  One site said - 30 is old for a llama.  Laredo passed when he was 20 years.

Magnet is acting like a grumpy old man lately.  His bottom lip hangs open a bit, which is indicative of a llama who does not feel well.  I have been taking him out of his pen and sharing different areas of the yard with him...he loves to graze and eat lots of different plants.  (Boyd and I have been careful to expel all the poisonous plants from the yard - just for the llamas.)  He likes to watch the horses too.  He seems to want to be near the house lately...with the dogs. Closer to us too.  The stoic is turning into a crabby "i'll do whatever I dang well please" attitude.  Constantly pulling at his lead when we walk.  He was a well trained packer - now he is ignoring that old way of being.  He is more uncomfortable in general.  Sometimes I think he is depressed too.  That is saying alot for a llama.  They typically don't show their weaknesses.

Makes me sad.

yotees and beans

my veggie/legume/fruit field is turning green.  !!!  we do not have the fence up yet and i saw this morning that the rabbits like a certain bean that is (was) about 3 inches tall.  i'm not sure which bean it is cuz it came out of a dried 10 bean soup package.  this bean can be saved - if i protect is from the hungry bunnies by tonight.

the rabbits and coyotes must think we planted all these goodies just for them!  the rabbits love the greens, and the yotees love the rabbits.  (i call coyotes yo-tees.)  yeah, i found a bunny tail near the bean plant.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the blind lady begins to see

i saw a flaw i have that affects me and my relationship with people.  i've been told about this flaw by people who love me; those closest to me can see it, however i have never seen it before this past saturday evening. 

i have a habit of beginning conversations (with people who i feel anxious around) by saying something negative.  in fact, it is usually something aimed at the other person's sensitive areas.  this is very ugly and i do not like it.  i mask it in loving concern or jokes, but it originates in negativity.  it is not loving. 

~~~~~~~~~~if i have done it to you, please accept my apology.~~~~~~~~~~

mind + emotions + life experiences = ? 

our reactions to the world are based on the "truths" we see through this equation.  they are skewed truths.  tweaked and seen through filters so that we can survive within ourselves.

the ego is formed by this equation.  beginning at birth, we learn how to survive in our world.  nobody's world is perfect - and everyone's world is at least a hair different.  remember that genetics are involved also.  and disease and chemicals and physiological dynamics as well.  the human brain is an amazing thing. 

all people have an ego.  it helps us survive.  it is very young and it will do anything to survive.  it is tricky and will elude discovery at all costs.  it is a liar.  imagine a very young child, raising itself - choosing what it wants to be, as it gleans information from life experiences.  all interpretations of life experiences are self centered.  it creates a world that may resemble reality, but is actually reality only to itself. 

the ego needs to feel value.  the ego needs to feel special.  the ego needs to feel vindicated and righteous.  the ego does not want to feel failure or low status.   the ego is the one who tells you - what is failure, what is low status, what is weak and what is strong.  but remember - the ego is a child and has defined those things through juvenile, self serving eyes.  the ego also knows the limits of what your mind will accept.  if you are a gentle spirit, the ego knows that it must mask everything in a loving righteousness.  the ego is a liar.

this is difficult for me to explain.  i hope you can understand this.

i think my ego has kept me blinded and unconscious for most of my life.  i have led a reaction based life - and i have chosen to live in a simple naivete - hiding from true realities because i "knew" i was strong enough to get through one more struggle, hold on till the end of the road.  something in me was smarter than everyone else.  i was special somehow.  i isolated myself - i was the goalie trying to keep the enemy out of my territory.  it is really the ego's territory.

by performing a pre-emptive strike i can alienate people to stay out of my end zone. 

during the past 7 months i have made it my goal to discover who jennifer truly is and to be able to be freed from the constant companion called fear.  emotional fear, by the way, is owned by the ego.  i feel like i am making progress, yet still have far to travel.  i have found that by watching my actions and reactions i can disempower (and perhaps dissolve) parts of the ego and thus, the effects in my life are alleviated.  it is difficult  (but not impossible!)  to find the quietness inside myself in order to truly see things.  prayer, meditation, working in the yard and with the animals helps.

Friday, May 7, 2010

still cleaning up? or what?!?

i feel like my goal of cleaning up my soul, spirit and psyche has been a good one - and it is still processing.  much of the chaff has blown away, leaving the heavier problem children to deal with.  jennifer is in there...and she isn't much different than i thought she was, however, she still has scabs in various states of healing.  some of them will never totally heal.  i don't expect them to;  they are memorials.  a big part of my goal is that none of them turn cancerous and deadly.

what is left:

i hate the woman who is responsible for my job loss.
          she caused others (and me) to see me as a failure
self loathing and sabatouge

a critical spirit



So, - Wow!  seems as though nothing has been accompished really.  all this delving into the center of my own storm has been for naught?  a waste of time?

maybe it was my way of trying to nurture myself;  licking my wounds, trying to create something larger and more significant out of a pain that thousands (if not millions) feel daily.  i certainly can find causes of my inadequacies; of my negative aspects - but that is not a solution.  i want a clean spirit - i want to be able to live life without blocked energy - i want to be able to say YES to life and feel good about it.  I want to be able to look at life and not see it surrounded by walls of fear.

i am tired of this rut.  climb over the rut and look at what is on the side of the road...look at the part of the road that is less travelled.  it is not smooth, but the view is different.

is it really just a matter of habit?

it cannot be that simple.  if it is that simple, then i would have the option to change it - there would be no excuses anymore.    part of what i want is simplicity.  clean is simple. 

when i make a big deal out of it, the smoke and mirrors give me validation for being the way that i am being.  no - for acting, the way that i am acting.  my being is more than the way i react. 

my true being is part of your true being; part of a collective true being.  by isolating myself, i elevate myself in egoic status.  it is a way of controlling my view of myself.  it is not truth.  it is a show.  the ego needs to feel important.  i have no outward status, therefore i try to create my own - in my isolation.


why do i do this?  fear.  i think that is as basic as it gets.  and i'll bet most everyone feels it.  perhaps in different ways - definitly with different reactions to it.  tender human egos don't want to die.  do they need to live?  no.  maybe.  i'm not sure.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Tomorrow we travel up to Santa Monica for my sister Jill's wedding.  All the sisters will be there, Dad and Maryann, Aunt Karen and Uncle Owen and alot of Jill and John's friends.  Andrew and Laura and Ian will be coming also.  I am not sure of Rhiannon, Gabe and Kurt.  It would surely be nice to see them.  The wedding is on the sand and the reception is at the Annenburg Community Center, which used to be the Marion Davies Estate back in the early days of Hollywood - the 30's specifically.  Hearst owned it and it was used something like the Castle up in San Simeon I understand.  The Northridge earthquake (in the 90's?) damaged it and much was rebuilt since then.  I think it is lovely that it is used for the community.

On Friday there will be a dinner at a restaurant called (I think) "Ocean House" in Santa Monica.    There is no rehearsal and this will be a family dinner instead.  It is hosted by my father and stepmother.

Jill and John will be going to Maui on their honeymoon.  I think Jill said two weeks.  That will be wonderful for them.

Jill is a registered nurse, studying for a master's degree - so she can teach, and John is a sound technician in Hollywood.  If you google his name, you will see he is quite reknowned in that world.  He has done alot of movies I've seen (and heard).  John is going to teach the trade to Vincent (Jill's teenage son).  I think that is fabulous!  What an interesting career.

My sister Sigrid called me the other day to tell me that her son Kurt,who currently serves in the U.S. Army, will be getting married on June 6th is Paso Robles at one of the vineyards.  I think the 6th is a Sunday, so I will have to double check that date.  His bride to be is named Michelle. 

It will be great to see Kurt again.  It has been years!  Kurt will be deployed again to Iraq soon after the wedding.  I believe it is the last deployment of U.S. soldiers to the middle east on President Obama's plan.  Perhaps Kurt will be part of the clean up and clear out crew?

I like the idea of a wedding in a vineyard.  I like the contrast of soft wedding clothes and rough the dynamic of a growing vine and baby grapes everywhere.  And I love the beauty of June in Paso they should be pretty.  Still smallish (harvest is in fall) - but some green on the trellis' by then.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Back in the Garden Again...

The super dental drugs have helped heal up my hands, wrists and knee!!  Yipee!  Time probably was a helper too.

Implant over and pain contolled, I re-entered the gardening world yesterday.  I planned out, plotted and laid our new vegetable garden.  It is a 30 x 30 foot plot.  A 40 foot chain link fence will soon be put around it, to try and keep dogs and bunnies out. So far, our plan includes:

Bell Peppers
Sweet Potatoes

In the front yard I have some tomatoes in pots, and several self-starts (leftovers from last year) in the onion bed.  Also, I put spinach and pumpkin in an old planter box.  The garlic I thought I was planting is actually Garlic Chives (onions).  So, I will try again somewhere with garlic.

That's alot of food, eh!?  No zucchinis though...maybe later, I dunno.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Procedure

The boss's silver gray hair and beard are worn closely shorn and crows feet are pushing their way through the otherwise smooth olive complexion. This 8am meeting has been decided upon months ago; the consequence of negative reactions to stress on my part.  I am clearly nervous about this and he knows it.  Everybody in his office can see it.  All of his cohorts offer smiles and friendly hellos, but I know the truth of the pain that will be upon me soon.  I offer light banter to the boss, perhaps to befriend this man with the silver tools designed for efficient torture and effective long range results.  He grunts in reply and then goes on to lecture me about rules and boundaries and plans and restrictions.  All of the consequences of breaking the rules will begin to show their ugly heads today - somewhere in this office.  He has followed a carefully worded outline that he has me sign and date.  I don't want to agree with him, but his threatening  growl of a voice demands obediance.  We have a contract and contracts are not to be broken.

An attractive young woman leads me to a "procedure room".  The walls are covered in soothing tones of teal and aqua.  The pleasantness fails to offset the coldness of the bright steel instruments and large gray procedure chair that dominates the bright florescent light in small room.  The woman has me sit in the chair and she covers me with a heavy lead apron and funky full body blue paper blanket.  She dons bright purple plastic gloves, asks me if I am comfortable, and tells me not to worry - she will give me some drugs to mask the initial stages of the painful torture I am about to be submitted to.  I ask about the paper blanket, and she pauses, looks at her feet and tells me that this particular procedure can get kind of wet.  She gives me a large handful of pills and a dixie cup of water which I gratefully down in one slug.  I start to tell her how nervous and jumpy I am.  She tells me she has just the thing for me and she straps a heavy rubber mask across my nose and tightens it down behind the chair.  I tell her it is pretty tight and she condescendingly reaches behind me and pretends to make it better.  The mask digs into my face.

The boss comes into the room, sits on a low stool, pulls on his white gloves and black rimmed eyeglasses that have what appear to be jeweler's magnification glass attached to the regular eyeglass.  The chair I am sitting in begins to move; I am quickly lowered to a nearly upside down position, face up, head lower than heels.  My face is basically in the boss's lap.  He tells me tilt my head back farther and then he yanks my mouth open wide with a strong thumb and forfinger; allowing him acces to the deepest recess of my jaw, and slowly he thrusts a long needle into my head.  Eight injections of novacaine in eight different spots.  Eight.  The injections are monitored by a machine that keeps track of the dosage and timing.  Every few seconds it beeps and in an English accent it sounds like the machine is saying "Bruising, ... Swelling".  I am going out of my mind with the pain.  My feet and arms flail with each new piercing, every new dosage.  After about ten minutes the boss smiles and tells me he will be back soon.  Purple gloves asks me if I am okay.  I grunt at her through my tears and wonder how much worse would this feel without all the pain meds she she gave me, if they really were pain meds.  Slowly the novacaine begins to take effect and my jaw, upper mouth and sinus go numb.  Purple girl appears to be fiddling around and then suddenly she is in my face and inserts an unusually shaped metal object deeply into my mouth, bruising the bones in my face.  She tells me to be still.  After my controlled gagging - she removes the object.  An image appears on the computer screen above - it is a picture of my teeth, jaw and sinus area.  She tells me that she will take three pictures during the procedure.  What, do they show it to others to warn them?  Do they want to be sure to cause as much pain without causing permanent damamge?  Or is it part of his trophy collection?

Boss returns, glances at the picture and jostles through his tools.  The collection of instuments looked so organied when I entered the room and now it sounds as though he can't find what he wants.  He growls at purple girl and she leaves the room but soon she returns.  I observe through various comments that Purple girl is not the brightest of the crayons in the box. 

My mouth is then forced open as wide as it can get and the two of them begin to mess around with my teeth and gums.  I'm not sure what they are doing really, until I see him jam a drill in the back of my mouth.  The noise vibrates my innerds and the sound is grueling.  Purple girl is flooding my mouth with salt water.  Instantly nausea overwhelms me.  Now I know why it is a wet procedure; salt water plus a hole in the head equal  vomit and blood.  Purple girl takes another picture and then the boss decides to drill deeper.  He rummages for a 10mm something-or-other instead of the 8 mm something-or-other he had planned on.  He thinks my  head has more room before puncturing the sinus.  When he finally finishes with the drill he jams a piece of titanium steel into my head.  His belly is leaning against my right arm, shutting off my circulation, but I am afraid to move it for fear of him losing his control and doing permanent damage.  Eventually he stands up to put more torque on the screw he's inserted.  My arm is relieved, but Purple girl continues to drown me with the toxic liquid.  She ineffectively vacuums it out when I begin to gag.  I lose track of time in my semi-concious state, but eventually I can feel that the novacaine beginning to wear off.  I can feel each stitch they put in my mouth, each new piercing in the already inflammed area.  My sinus feels as though it has a football shoved inside, and my mouth feels battered and bruised, thoroughly inflamed.  After the boss finishes with me, purple girl leads me to a different room where another pretty lady asks me for money and tells me to return in week.  I druggedly ask her if am I to return for more of the same.  She giggles and gives me a reminder card and a receipt.

Really -
This is Implant surgery seen through the mask of "Laughing Gas".  Nitrous is cool.
The doctor and the office was fine, my imagination had fun.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

a slow period

slowly getting better.  there was a period of no pain this morning!  i was limpless for about an hour.  that was encouraging.  i am afraid life is more boring than usual lately, so there really is nothing to write.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

just another day...

doc told me it will take 6 to 8 weeks for my knee and wrist/hands to heal.  he told me to use heat, massage and wear braces.  he prescribed a stronger anti imflammatory for me, since the ibuprofen is not working.

so... heat and massage are good.  :)

WOW!  it just started raining torrents!  it is awesome to see, hear and smell.  :)  love it!

doc wants me to quit working so strenuously in the limit my time spent on each activity.  impatience and obsessiveness are my strongest suits though!  well then, i guess i will clean up inside and perhaps do some sewing...or finish my book...

i do need to find something to wear to my baby sister's wedding in may.  the dress code is casual elegance.  so that should be easy...simple, dark, with embellishments added.

watched "The Informant" last night with Matt Damon.  True story.  good movie.  i found myself not able to guess the ending.  boyd knew the ending cuz he remembered reading it in the news.

interview on monday was good - sort of.  what i mean is that i did well - I was emotionally, mentally stable throughout.  i presented myself well.  the hr director looked bored.  there were other applicants waiting in the hallway when i left.  guess it was interview day and he felt done, even thoguh he wasn't.  he told me that there were many, many qualified candidates for this one position.  i won't hold my breath.

i've been thinking about training for a different vocation.  my current interest is in horticulture.  perhaps we could grow a salable crop here.  i will research the possiblites further.  mira costa offers an associates degree and/or certification.  wonder if i could still receive my unemployment benefits while training?  hmm...

another boring entry.  i will look into putting photos on this blog. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday the 18th of April

chicken is in the oven baking.  potatoes have been peeled and are sitting in a bowl of water, waiting to be cut up and either deep fried or baked.  brocolli is still in the fridge - hoping i don't forget him.  salad is made (leftover from last night).

hands, arms and leg are well enough to do some more gardening.  i transplanted pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers - from the seedling bed into small pots.  the garden bed is being prepared as i write.  loads of well aged horse manure from across the street is being dumped across the south eastern quadrant.

baby chicks are thriving.  none have died yet.  :)  seems that we usually lose 10% in the first month.

i'm about 3/4 through a book called "The Bridge of Sighs" by Richard Russo.  It was hard to begin, but I am now thoroughly enjoying it.  Thank you Laura for the recommendation.

i bought a new pair of pants and blouse for my interview tomorrow.  Same as what I wore before, just a size larger.  :(

i am now going to watch the movie "Auntie Mame".

Oh!  We really enjoyed an off beat movie called "Howl's Moving Castle".  :)

it looks and feels like tornado weather this evening.  kinda windy and the leaves are swirling upward.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hurrying Hazzard

i decided my hands and wrists were healed enough to do some work this morning. i got cucumbers and lettuce transplanted and stairs in the island formed (almost). boyd got the go-ahead from the neighbor about using his tractor, so we had to hurry up and unload the trailer so we could load it with manure for composting.  We pulled all the items out of the trailer and I wanted to sweep it out because there were some metal and paint shavings in with the leaf litter.  I proceeded to climb into the back of the trailer without using a stepstool.  normally i can still do this - but it is because i use arm strength to pull me up.  with my hands and wrists still healing, their strength is not there - so the strength had to come from my right knee.  right leg up, muscle flexed and GIGANTIC POP!!  i went down.  embarassed i got myself up as quickly (and awkwardly) as possible, hobbled to the house and downed 4 ibuprofen.  i continued to walk and do work.  as i walked and the ibuprofen did its magic i felt okay for about 60 minutes.  but the pain soon returned and  grew until i had to stop and come inside for a closer look.  my right knee is swollen.  so - ice, elevation, ibuprofen and rest.  ugh.

and, of course, it is friday.  if i choose to go to the doc - i go to urgent care.  i'm always afraid i'll get sick there.


this wouldn't happen to a pre-50 jennifer.

Nerves and a New Suit

I actually have a job interview on Monday afternoon.  In La Jolla at La Estancia Hotel.  The position is Restaurant Supervisor in their "Mustangs and Burros" Restaurant.  The human resources director thinks I am a great fit for this position per our phone interview and resume, etc. 

I am very nervous.

I am afraid of getting a job.  I am afraid of loving a job and then having it yanked from me.  I am afraid of not fitting in.  Not being good enough. 

I have to face this fear.  I probably will not get the job - but I need to interview anyway.  I've been in my cocoon long enough I think...and I do not want this fear to paralyze me.  That is like being in a self imposed jail cell. 

boyd says my job problems have stemmed from me taking jobs that i wanted to use as stepping stones.  they were not really what i wanted - they were step away from what i wanted.  he says i should only take a job that i really want, with a company that i can respect.

So - I will go look for a new suit.  I am certain my old one will not fit.  Dammit.  20 pounds in six months gained.  (insert big sigh here).

what colors are my colors now that my hair is gray and white?  guess i will research that when i research the hotel and restaurant via the internet.

another big sigh.

Baby Chicks are here!

we went to the feed store yesterday and picked out 24 baby chickens.  the dealio is - 8 free chicks if you buy a sack of feed.  it used to be you got 10 chicks per sack - but - well, you know.  6 rhode island reds, 6 bard rocks and 12 aracanas.

boyd made them a little cage and a heater lamp with a waterer and feeder.  they seem happy - and so far, none have died.  that's the thing with chickens - our experience has been that they don't all live.  yeah.  so - i told boyd that the chickens were his thing.  i will do the dogs, cat and llama - he does the chickens.  he's cool with that.  he loves the way they imprint on him and he trains them to do little things.  he likes it.  he says he is going to be more proactive in protecting them from the coyotes, hawks and rats this time around.

before we went, boyd looked on the internet to see how to sex a chick.  we want only 2 or 3 roosters.  when you choose blindly you end up with about 1/3 roosters.  so we tried to decipher who was what sex - at first by looking at their bums - but that was inconclusive to our untrained eyes.  so then we tried the leg hang method.  supposedly when you pick the chick up - the rooster pulls his legs up and the hen lets the legs dangle.  i also employed my hang your hand in the cage method.  the ones that attack your hand are roosters.  it will be interesting to see how well we did in our choosing.  i hope they are not all roosters.  most roosters turn into chicken dinner.  we will keep some roosters because they are great protectors of the flock.  it is awesome to watch him warn everyone of an approaching hawk or other danger.  he is a violent mate however - I don't care for that part.  the hens loose their feathers on their necks.  ick.  but, we do want to have more babies - so i guess i will have to deal with it.

smokey and the dogs are curious about the odor and noise from the caged area.  smokey is actually more than just curious.  age has not affected her appetite that much.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

figurin' it out

the worse part of the allergic responses has finally gone.  i have still been outside in the grass, plants, etc...but walking, not messing around in the dirt.  i think the thing that caused the worsening was in the dirt.  perhaps a mold.  i did find a crop of mushrooms growing with the onions and garlic this morning. 

my hands and wrists are slowly healing.  taking gobs of anti-inflammatrory and wearing a brace on my right wrist to remind me to not move so much.

have not yet had the interviews.  they should happen this afternoon.

boyd's mouth is healing.  the surgery went well and he should be fully healed in another week.  i am glad he had it fixed.  without the extra bone he should be able to enunciate better.  that will make him happy.  and that makes me happy.

we got a letter yesterday about the zoning plan here.  all the work boyd did with the county and the city was for naught.  they will not give us (or anyone else in this area) what we want.  We are limited to building 2 houses here.  that was very discouraging.  another neighbor, however, called boyd this morning to discuss the situation.  they might have one more chance to speak their piece.  this whole ordeal has proven to us that the government is run by thugs who are not here to help us.  they have their own agenda and it is governed by money.  just because you "own" land does not mean you can do what you want to with it.  it seems un- american to me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

weekend woes, etc.

it is difficult to write in this brace thing on my right hand/forearm.  i strained it.  yup.  getting old sucks.
i figured my muscles would in the old days.  the muscle pain would eventually subside and the result would be more strength.  when my arms went numb i figured there must be a i took some time off.  after some ibuprofen and rest - the pain localized and i realized my wrist was strained.  i can barely move the dumb thing to 90 degrees.  it used to feel good to do that.  now it causes me to make monster face.

allergies are worse than ever this year.  of course, i have been outside more than ever this year.  doing manual labor in the sunshine - working in dirt, grass, weeds, plants, animals...all known allergies of jennifer.  i have been taking benadryl pretty regularly, but lately it has not been working.  in fact the allergic responses changed to a more difficult symptom.  breathing became much more labored in both my nose and my chest. 


i wanna grow a garden.  i wanna work outside.

stupid body.

my time off has helped.  i feel much better - but not totally okay.

i have two telephone interviews this week.  i have mixed feelings about them.  i feel angry when i think about it.  like i assume everbody who wants to hire in f&b has that certain mind set that will hurt me.  f&b is alot of work for not much money.  i am good at managing crews and overseeing that everything runs efficiently.  but i hate having people try to hurt me in the name of business/politic...whatever.  i take everything personally.  and just because someone tells me it is not personal - that's shit.  a cop out.  it is personal.

i think that my crews are special because i do take it personally.  people need respect in order to give good work and good attitude.


Friday, April 9, 2010

I did not know this...

Do you pronounce these names correctly?  I got most of them wrong.  Good thing I never met them and embarassed myself.


Thursday, April 8, 2010


Emma is a wonderful dog.  She is a very intuitive animal and I love her.  She responds to certain attitudes, key words, voice inflections and physical situations.  It is fun to watch her. 

Since I've been working outside - she has been with me alot.  When I sit on the ground she comes over and covers me with dog loves.  Messy - but happy and fun.  When I am working she does not get in my way, but she stays nearby and keeps her eye on me - quickly responding if I let out a shriek.  Those shrieks happen if I find a gopher or a snake...sometimes a lizard or mouse will run past or over my feet.  She has eaten a few gophers lately.  Maybe that is why she hangs out with me...I scare the gophers up.  Hmmm...

She helps me work when I am pulling weeds.  All the animals do - it is funny and it makes me happy.  They all begin to eat grass...they figure Mom is grazing, guess I will too.  They all like to eat the oat grass.  It is Magnet's favorite too.  (Which lead me to research oat grass --- it is very healthy --- and I would like to grow my own oatmeal eventually, but that's another story)

Emma knows her boundaries well.  She is not always obedient though.  You can tell which rule she will eventually break.   When you introduce something new to her she gets a certain sparkle in her eye  - and you can be confidant that she will eventually break that rule or boundary.  She is certain that the world is really hers and she is humoring you for the time being.

As she ages she is not quite so bossy with the other animals here.  She turned 14 years old on March 1st.  I think she is arthritic in her back and legs and feet.  She also has some tumors on her chest.  I thought they were cancer...and they still might be, but she seems healthy and strong for the most part.  Her age has slowed down her ball chasing too.  She still loves it, but only once or twice - and not so far please. 

I like Emma.  I like her personality, her bull in a china shop charm.  My baby sister called her a tank.  She is built solid and low to the ground.  She's my tank.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Houston, I think we have a problem...

You ever feel like you have resolved an emotional issue and find that it is only your mind that thinks it has been resolved?  Your body is still in angst and will forcefully show you that you are actually upset. 

When will they be in sync?  Ever?

I dunno...

I had an appointment with Patti today.  I got ready, drove to her office, parked the car, went up in the elevator, began walking down the hall towards her office and it hit me.  IBS.  No warning at all and BAM! I was outta commision for at least the next hour.  I wrote Patti a note and was going to leave it in her office.  It sounded like she might be alone - so I knocked and left her the note in person, while I edged towards home. 

So embarrassing.

She is very sympathetic and kind.  I will call her to reschedule.

Why now?  I have not had an IBS bout in over 2 months.  Is it attack of the yeast again?  My diet has not been great lately.  Or is it the upset I have been feeling about going to a family function in the near future?  Maybe both.  I have felt angry for the last 24 hours or myself and the unsettled crap that always rolls around in my mind when it comes to parties or social stuff.  I feel strong when I am in my own element, but if I have to be out of my safety zone I am very uncomfortable.

I really needed to keep the appointment today.

A Goat Named Baby

The bleating returned.  The kid was not bbq!  Baby is a young female goat that the neighbors are keeping for milk production.  They think she is pregnant now.  She is about the size of a pygmy goat...still a young un.  She is a pretty brown color with some black markings.

Baby is currently tied to the fence between our properties.  She is in the shade of the willow tree as her owners construct her pen nearby.  When Magnet saw her he sounded the alarm!  What the heck is that noise and that small animal next door?  He was extremely curious, so I haltered him up and we went to meet Baby.  The dogs decided to join us, as they had not been properly introduced.  We all exchanged nose/face hellos and the dogs got the foot stamp and the snort.  She was not fond of the dogs, no matter how polite they were being - they were wolves to her.  Emma and Abbey were polite, but you could tell by the gleam in Emma's eyes that, given the chance, she would chase Baby for fun.  Abbey's caution turned to friendly and then to indifference after she got the foot stamp.  I think that the foot stamp is universal for Stay Away!  Magnet and Baby had the best exchange.  She likes Mags and I tied him out there for her.  She calmed down with him nearby.  After he'd stared at her for a long time he began to graze and that, I think, was comforting to her.

I am happy that Magnet now has another herd animal friend nearby.

Did I mention that Baby is pregnant?


Animal as Pet or Food?

We heard a young goat or sheep bleating yesterday.  He or she sounded alone and lonesome.  We surmised that it was coming from our neighbor's garage.  Shortly after Bill and George returned home with their relatives who are visiting from Greece, the bleating stopped.

When I first heard the young creature I was happy that more of our neighbors had decided to keep farm animals.  I was daydreaming about happy little lambs and kids playing in the meadow when I realized that the young animal had been put into a bbq pit for a family meal.

As much as I enjoy the thoughts of being "off the grid" - I don't think I could eat an animal that I had to kill.  Granted, I have never been in a situation where I felt starved.  Perhaps then I would do so - but if I have money in the bank I will purchase butchered meats.  The thing with me is that I personify almost everything.  Everything has a spirit.  Everything has feelings.  Even my plants and rocks.   I talk to them and care for them.  I don't have that native American sense of "circle of life" - or the habit of thanking my food before I kill and eat it.

I've seen some turkeys that I could kill though.  They were mean.

I am NOT a vegetarian.  I'm just a sissy.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Common Cold

Last week it was - work, work, work, in the sunshine and lovin' the heat and sweat...and then the allergies came.  And then I got sick.  Ugh...a cold has had me in limbo this week.  I thought the sore throat was allergy, but it kinda morphed into a regular old cold.  I finally gave into it and sat around feelin' sorry for my dumb ass cuz I have not been taking my diet routine seriously for awhile.  Hence, a lowered resistance and a cold.

It never fails, ya know?  When I am sick I make plans to adhere to a clean food routine, with all the right carbs, proteins, etc.  But, when you are sick do you want to eat salad?  No.  You want comfort food.

Last night I started making brown rice.  I did not know what to eat, and I needed to use up the food in the house.  So I sauteed an onion, a green bell pepper and a red bell pepper and some garlic and added it to the simmering pot of rice.  Then I considered the ground sirloin that I had defrosted two days before and thought I'd better at least cook it up so it doesn't go bad.  So I cooked it in a crumbled form, added some garlic salt and pepper, drained the grease.  What the heck!  I added it to the rice pot too.  Then I scraped up the pan the meat cooked in and made a sort of herbalicious gravy and poured that flavor into the pot as well.  When the rice was finished cooking it was dinner in a pot.  Boyd has been keeping a food journal, so he needed to call it something for his list.  He called it Inside Out Stuffed Peppers.  It was good.  And it was comfy.

I'm getting better, but still cussing the stuffed sinus and impromptu clearing of sinus.  Not something to do in public yet - so I'll settle for the couch, the computer and television for awhile.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Life and Rocks

My muscles are getting stronger.  I don't have the lactic acid sting anymore and I have been doing alot of shoveling, weed pulling, etc.  I feel stronger and I like it.  I actually like feeling the sweat roll off of my face as I grunt doing hard work in the sunshine.  And I like not having to ask for help all the time.  Of course, I have set new precendents - and I hope I don't live to regret it.  Boyd knows I can do some of the harder work now.  He has seen what I can do.  Now he may expect more and more of me.  Eek!

Outdoor work is much more Zen-like than office type work.  I can just BE and not have to think too much about people-type things.  Watching the seeds sprout and turn into baby plants is very encouraging...very basic and true.  No duality there...just a being doing its thing.  It is positive energy and it feels good. 

I went to see my shrink yesterday.  I told her how life has been the past two weeks...pretty boring stuff to most people.  I told her I was afraid my language skills were suffering from lack of human contact and feeling a bit isolated.  I have seperated myself from most of the world lately.  All I want to think about, focus on, are really basic things - gardening, my animals, basic housekeeping stuff and meals for the two of us. 

I enjoyed cleaning out my rock garden.  Pulling the rocks up, clearing the weeds and leaves, washing the rocks and replacing them in a different pattern.  Examining and considering each rock.  Many of the rocks were gifts.  They come from various places...some are from Big Creek, Shaver, Huntington Lake and the back country, various camping and backpacking trips.  The little girl who lived next door to us in Big Creek used to put pebbles and gravel in our mail box.  It was a gift game we played.  Some have ancient fish, shells, plants engrained in them.

Anyway - Patti thinks I am healing.  She is not worried about me - and thinks I am doing well at just BEING.  Which is something everyone needs to experience.  I am slowly changing and the many fears that I have - (that have created the false reality I have lived in for 53 years) -   are subsiding and eventually they will disappear.  I am becoming more aware of things, learning to NOT try to second guess things.  I don't have to have the answers or be the quickest and it is okay if I cannot accomodate everyone's whims.  It is okay if I cannot please everyone.  Hopefully when I free myself from that tangled web of that false reality I will be able to see what is truly happening right in front of my eyes at the time it is happening.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


my hands and forearms feel muscle bound from all the gardening I've been doing.  i'm a wimp, but seriously - i think i did alot - on sunday especially.  i cleared a small hilly area of most of its iceplant.  i stopped short of finishing because my hands had no strength left.  the roots were large and strong - and boy, was it wet and slippery!  and heavy. 

beneath the iceplant i found LOTS of bugs, insects - and baby snakes.  at first i thought they were worms, except they were black rather than gray, a little slimmer than earthworms and upon closer look (with glasses) - they had heads.  i watched one 3 inch long shiny black thing slither away and knew by its movement that it was not an earthworm.  all the others looked dead.  they did not move.  Boyd told me that if it was too cold they would not move - and yeah, it was in the 60's, so i guess they were sleeping.  i tossed them out of harm's way and they were under a rosebush when i left them on sunday.  boyd said they were probably king snakes.

i have to be honest with you - the only reason i handled them is because i had on gloves.  i hate snakes.  they give me the creeps.  when i was a little girl - about 4 or 5 i think - a little boy put a snake down the back of my shirt and smashed it.  yeah.  it is one of the major gross outs in my memory bank.  i have a few snake stories there, but the smashed snake is the creepiest.

when i was in the 11th grade my friend Tracy and I would play hookey sometimes.  Once we went hiking in the hills behind her house.  It was a fairly isolated area with lots of tall dried grasses and weeds and an occasional oak tree.  Tracy was the trail blazer as we walked along talking and singing.  I looked at my feet most of the time, to be sure of my footing...Tracy just looked out at the world with confidence and gusto...and then she stepped over a mound of gray and brown and gold swirl of reptile about 1 foot across.  I stopped two feet in front of it.  I could not move.  The rattlesnake was about three inches wide in much of its body, which was coiled around itself with its head lying on top - looking at me.  I screamed and cried and could not get my legs to move.  My arms were moving plenty - flailing hysterically while I bawled like a baby in fear.  It is the only time I've ever experienced that.  eventually i got myself to slowly move in a wide circle around the snake and no harm was done.   we were across the valley from tracy's house and her mom was watching us.  she thought we were dancing and having fun.  we were being punished for skipping school.

Tracy fell in love with a guy who kept snakes.  Yeah.  Big pythons and boa constrictors.   Tony was a weight lifter, so to him the weight of the 20 foot python and a 12 foot were not a big deal.  But when those snakes got loose in the house, and Tony was not there - it was a problem.  One time Tracy and I were house sitting and snake sitting.  Her parents house - and the snakes were brought over because Tony was gone for some reason.  One night when Tracy was gone and I was in bed trying to go to sleep the snakes got loose.  I did not know it at the time, but I heard a strange sound in the night that in retrospect I believe was the snakes moving along the carpet.  I did not get up and I don't know what they did that night, but we could not find them the next day.  We went out during the day and returned that evening to find Tracy's room a mess.  The things on the bookshelves had been knocked off.  Some heavy stuff fell on some delicate stuff.  We assumed the snakes were exploring and knocked things over.  We still could not find them.  We thought maybe they'd gone down the plumbing and called the water company to see what they thought we should do.  There was nothing to do about it.  When Tracy's parent returned from their vacation and they were putting away their clothes - Tracy's Mom found Samantha, 20 foot python, curled up on her closet shelf.  the boa was in a corner behind the clothes.  Yeah.  Mrs. Weston was cool screaming.

My last personal experience was with a rattlesnake in a house we were moving into.  Everyone was moving things out of the trailer and into the house.  The house was in Big Creek - which bordered ton the National Forest - full of wildlife.  Well, in my usual way, I impatiently found a quicker way around the line of slower moving folks and jumped down a gully type area to bypass the crowd.  I wanted to move faster than the crowd did.  I jumped down and I heard a hissing sound - like a tire was losing air fast.  I was carrying a piece of plexiglass in my right hand and it was in front of my leg.  Thank God.  Boyd told me to be still and look around.  there was a rattlesnake near my right foot - between the plexiglass and the corner of the house.  it was hissing at me - rattling it tail and sticking out its tongue, ready to strike.  I immediately began trying to get out of the little ditch and I could not quite get out.  I began jumping and Boyd said I looked like a cartoon character.  Eventually I got out and Boyd killed the snake.  He put the snake head in a sealed can in the garbage.  Apparently they are still poisonous even when they are dead.  Its body wriggled until sometime after dark.  That was about 14 years ago.  Still gives me the creeps.

So, anyway - had the snakes I found been larger and awake, and I did not have leather gloves on - I'm sure I would have run screaming for protection in Boyd's arms.  I'm kind of a baby about it, but I think I have good reason to be.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

seeds and seedlings and garden review

I've never had good luck starting plants from seeds.  I think it is the same weakness in me that flips the pancake too soon...patience is kinda hard for me to practice.

This year I planted many many seeds in shallow containers.  They live   in the dining room near the big sliding glass door - so they could get the light...even though seeds don't need light yet.  (the momma in me tells me that they need light, warmth and water)  The packages of seeds all had various timing on them.  Watermelons should take 7 to 10 days to germinate.  Garlic may take 14 days, etc.  Well, everything I planted took longer than the package said it would take.  I was on the verge of tossing the whole project out in the dirt, when my wise husband told me to just start a fresh batch of seeds and consider this the first batch...just be diligent and wait and see if anything happens.  What's it gonna hurt to just wait?  There are many variables that may change the germination date.  Okay, so - I did not throw them away.  Between he and I we kept those little containers of dirt wet.

We now have a tray full of inch high garlic seedlings.  :)  They will go out and live in the raised onion beds in the front yard.  The rabbits and gophers have left the onions alone.  I don't think they like stinky savory stuff.  We also have a tray of pumpkin seedlings!  It was an ancient package of seeds I'd had in my gardening stuff forever...and they are ALIVE!  I'm really jazzed by this.  :)  In my trays of watermelon seeds we have only one seedling sprouted - but it was an old package too...and who knows?  maybe I will just keep watering it and they might sprout...??  ...  we will see.

Today I will transplant the pumpkin seedling to larger pots.  they can live there while I prepare a bed for them out near the street.  I want the kids in the school bus to see the pumpkin patch come fall.  I'd like to plant corn out there too.  and have a scarcrow.

Many more seeds will be started today.  That gives me a month to get the main garden bed in shape.  I still need to bring over the horse poo (from across the street - he said we can have it for free) and work in into the clay.  Eventually enough organic material will create lovely garden soil. 

I have been working the soil in the front yard area and on the "island".  Transplanting the sea lavender and geraniums and iris and daffodill bulbs I am finding many earth worms.  Hooray!!  Signs of healthy soil.  Signs that my persistance is paying off!  I love it.

I would love to be able to live off of our land here.  I almost feel bad for planting anything that is not food. 

Our neighbors Bill and George are older their 80's.  They are from Greece originally.  They own an island over there and Bill visits it quite often.  He was talking to Boyd the other day about the economy in Greece and bad it is.  They told him how in the past depressions that they survived because they had grown fruit trees and kept chickens and rabbits for food.  they have many many fruit trees in their yard now.  And they've planted grapes on the fence between our yards.  They are very happy that we are planting vegetables.  they believe that the time will soon come (again) when we will need to be able to sustain ourselves through our land.  They are impressed that we have changed the geography of our land to take advantage of their runoff.  I think they like that frugality.  I have a feeling we will be trading squash and tomatoes for grapes and pears, etc.  I like that alot.  :)

we will be starting chickens again next month.  maybe we should get a goat.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Views of Ireland

Yesterday, being St Patrick's Day, the evening tele shows were themed Irish.  Boyd and I watched scenes from Dublin, Doolin, County Cork.  We watched people seek out Leprachauns in a forested area that has been preserved by the government to protect the little people.  Many local folk testified to their eyewitness accounts of the leprachauns and the fairy circles and the pot of gold.  The scenery was breath taking.  Green pastures, white sheep, rock walls, castles, gray skies and people in wool and tweed speaking with a thick brogue. 

The Irish people portrayed in the show were very proud of who they are, where they are and the legends and stories that are their culture.  The history lends itself to the belief that the Irish are a hearty folk with a love of stories and superstitions.  A way to knit themselves together to survive the intense harshness beneath the greenery.  It may not be harsh now, but it certainly has seen many a difficult day, and the past is worn proudly - as a badge of courage and strength. 

Guiness on tap and certain Irish whiskeys as well as the many many ways to prepare potatoes were also explored during our Irish television fest yesterday.  The restaurants and tourist venues are becoming more modern, while keeping their roots in tact.  The Irish have the bounty of the sea available to them, but in the past fish had not been a popular item to eat; partly because of the Catholic influence of fish on Fridays as a penance.  Nowadays, however, many Chefs are discovering and promoting the wonders of the ocean, making Ireland a competetive force in the culinary and hospitality world.

Boyd and I have alot of Irish blood in our genetic backgrounds.  It might be interesting to see the places where our ancestors lived.  Of course, the ones I know about left Ireland for America as soon as they could.  Their lives certainly changed when they landed in New York. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

accepting the unchangable

it is normal for me to believe that bad things can be changed into good things...that broken things can be "fixed".  that seems like the american way.

it is not always true. 

some things are what they are and nothing can be done to make them better.  i am refering to chronic pain from a physical situation that will only get worse, never better.

accepting a seriously limiting situation is almost unbearable.  some people seek out those dramatic realms and wear the limiting qualities with pride, however, most folks are bucking broncos to the bitter end.  i do not think either type is a happy person.  how can one be content when there is always tear inducing pain in the background of everything you think, say or do?  the only flip side is a zombie like druggedness that allows the person to exist in a semi concious state. 

how can one be contented and happy when there is no way out of the pain?  all avenues have been explored and exhausted.  the pain stays.  forever.  there is no hope for anything better.  ever.  and you have another 30 years to live this way.

you manage your pain medication as best you can.  you see the physiotherapist monthly.  you try to be sure to get all your basic survival list covered - get enough food, water, sleep, rest.  you try to maintain a relationship with a world that does not understand a limitation like this.  a cynical world of unsympathetics who cannot understand what you live with.

the physical pain is one thing.  the anger is another.  the anger comes out of the pain.  anger at the doctors who caused the pain.  anger at the people who do not understand you, who are not able to understand you.  anger because your life is controlled by people other than yourself...doctors, insurance companies, corporations run by robotic money making machinery that is based on statistics and personal agendas of billionaires who have no interest in the "little guy", only their own pocketbooks.

the emotional pain does not go away either.  it is always there and it grows.  there is a large holding tank in your psyche crammed full of the rage you have felt for years.  the rage of a hopeless man.  and everytime a piece of life happens that the emotional pain in that holding tank can relate to - all the rage begins to quiver, shake...and eventually a tsunami of anger washes over everyone in the wake of that dark energy.  the people close to you are hurt and now you feel even worse than you did before, because you have hurt people you love.

so you try to love them more.  you try to make up for the pain that seeps out of your cracks and infects those who love you...those who will not go away to save themselves.  it infuriates you and it comforts you at the same time to know that these people love you as they do.

how can this pain be diffused?  how can it be made non-toxic?

eckhart tolle tells me that it must be accepted.  that we must surrender to the things that cannot change.  he says that surrender is freeing and not a weakness.  that there is great strength in it and only a surrendered person has spiritual power.  through surrender you will be free internally of the situation.  drop all inner resistance and feel the here and now. 

i think that can help with the emotional pain.  the physical pain will be what it is regardless, however, perhaps if the emotional pain is diffused then the physical pain might be lessened somewhat.  stress and depression do cause physical pain.  perhaps part of the physical pain is due to the emotional stressors.

accept that the pain is here to stay
accept that it was caused by someone else and there is no recompense
accept it is unfair and that is the way it is
accept that people will not always understand you and your situation - and that has to be okay
accept that you are not what you do, but what you are
accept that you have limitations - and that is okay
accept that you still do have some choices to make with your life.

there are probably more things to accept.

this is a big deal.  a huge deal.  it will take a very strong person to be able to do this.  a strong person that might appear weak to some...a paradox.

Monday, March 15, 2010

watching and learning about toxic energy

I had been doing well keeping my emotions at a livable level and then something happened to throw me off kilter.  it is a typical thing; has happened many times and I have always been affected by it.  the problem will always be a problem and it will always be somewhere in my life.  i will not bore you with the details of the problem.  the point of my post is about how i am trying to deal with it.

i took the advice of eckhart tolle and "watched" my emotions play out in me.  watching was difficult.  it was supposed to help me to detach from the pain of the problem, and still be connected with  my clean essence.  it did not work well.  perhaps because it was my first try.

hearing, seeing and being with the problem (that nothing can be done about) is emotionally painful.  my energy fell to zero instantly.  i began to feel ill with nausea and pains in the body.   i felt unmotivated and lazy and i wanted to nap or watch television.  i also wanted to eat cake.  it was bread making time - so i made sourdough french and irish soda bread.  however i sabatoged the soda bread by putting more sugar than necessary - and cooking it so that it was much more like a cake.  and i ate about half of the cake.  the breads were good and i loaded them with butter.  the warmth was soothing and comforting.  the sweetness in my mouth was pleasant.  but i did not feel nourished by the food.  i still felt the void caused by the toxic energy.  i did not feel that the pleasantness i received from over eating the carbohydrates was of high enough quality to compensate for the unbalanced nutrition.

i was not able to connect with me yesterday.  i only felt the toxic energy and my emotions waltz around and toss me in their wake, trying to get my breath and not be drowned by the whole dynamic.

eventually it was bedtime and i succumbed to a dream filled nightime.  i slept longer than usual and awoke to renewed positive energy.  the toxic atmosphere had gone away.  the problem had been put away.  the problem's vessel is trying to live in cleaner energy - but we are all constantly learning how to abide with pain.  it is a very thin line.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


i went to the emergency room back in september for stress induced chest pain.  everything checked out okay and i was released with a clean bill of health. 

i am still receiving a bill from the hospital's laboratory. the bill does not belong to me.  it belongs to my insurance company.  the insurance company says they won't pay it until the lab puts it on the proper form.  the lab won't put it on the proper form.

yesterday i received a notice telliing me that they are sending my unpaid bill to a collection agency.

how does our society continue to exist with such ridiculousness running things?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

grass, weeds, dirt, bugs, bunnies and gophers

when your house sits in the middle of 4 acres of dirt, grasses, weeds - and the southern california winter is unusually wet, you get a proliferation of green growth.  most of the dirt here is clay and holds the mositure for quite awhile, but when it dries, it is like cement.  boyd and i planted pepper trees around the perimeter this year, and the rain was perfect for them.  they are flourishing; all of the "babies" are full of newly sprouted growth.  fortunately magnet does not bother them very much.  pepper trees must not be very tasty.

we have cordoned off two areas for Magnet to roam.  He keeps one very close shaven, but the one in front is still quite tall.  He enjoys that pasture immensley.  We like to pretend we have a few areas that are actually "our yard".  They are nearest the house and I planted flowers, veggies,herbs, etc. and I keep it trimmed up and mostly neat. 

However, that leaves probably 2 1/2 acres of wildness.  I've been mowing for three days.  I have chosen to use the gas powered walking mower so I can get in some more exercise.  Surprisingly it is very tiring.  The sunshine and cool air have been great.  I've been getting tired muscles and a suntan.  Nice.  I feel accomplished when I stand back and look at the completed parts.  Most of the grass/weed mix is about shin high and is still pretty wet.  The mower bogs down often and when it stalls out I turn it over and scrape wet grass from the underbelly of the cutting machine.  The dogs love to eat that mess.  I put most of it in a pile to mulch.

The thicker portions of green are the most difficult to manage and yesterday I decided to do them later - and to attack the easiest areas first.  I need to see the accomplishment in order to keep my motivation up.  Constantly banging away at the thick stuff can be brutally disheartening after awhile.  I will climb aboard the riding mower today and finsih the deeper areas.  I figure once I have whacked it down once with that,  I can re-mow with the walking mower and chop it closer...and the walking mower will pick up the piles of cut grass and spread them over a larger area, hopefully to plant more grass seeds, etc. etc.

Something really icky happened yesterday though.  I was skirting the perimeters, so I could see the edges of hills today on the riding mower.  I dont wanna go slip sliding away.  I ran over a bunny.  It screamed and legs went flying.  Yeah.  It was horrible.  Emma thought is was great.  She and Abbey happily took care of the remains while I got angry and cried. You'd think the noise of the mower would have scared it away before I got to it!  Dumb bunny.  poor bunny.  After that I stopped the mower for awhile and listened to crickets yelling at me...I was disturbing their home and they were angry I was changing their ecosytem all around.  i was the ugly american.  it was disturbing.  i decided it was time for a break.

after an hour of rest and water i re-entered the grass world and continued my swath of destruction.  i pushed the clinical thoughts into my mind.  rabbits are pests that eat my veggies and herbs.  gophers too.  then i ran over a gopher.  yup.  a medium sized pup.  ack!  since when is mowing grass such a vicious undertaking? argh.  big sigh.

the grasses and weeds have to be kept low.  it will soon turn brown in the southern california summer the law tells us it has to be short due to fire precautions.  and it looks so pretty when it is short.  of course, it looks pretty long too... argh.

Friday, March 12, 2010

magnet and the ladies

After Magnet eats his breakfast of rolled barley I take him out to the front pasture to graze.  I don't mow the grass in there yet and he can happily munch away at the different grasses and weeds.  He is used to this routine and approaches me when I bring the lead and harness towards him.  His natural llamaness still rears its silly head sometimes, but usually he is fully cooperative.  He likes the front pasture; He can see all the horses that live on the other side of the street.  For the past week there have been several different horses move through the closest corral.  The ranch breeds their stallion and we often see various gigantic horse trailers loading and unloading their beautiful mares.  After I lead Mags to the pasture and let him loose, I hang around and watch them for awhile.  The horses in the corral are attentive at first.  Most horses have never seen a llama and are quite curious.  Magnet begins to slowly amble over to the fenceline to get a better look, but he won't look at them as he walks over.  He will stop here and there for a bite of grass, turn his back on them for awhile and nonchalantly glance at them.  Ultimately he will plant himself squarley in front of them and stare for 3 or 4 minutes.  the ladies are funny about it too.  They pretend they are not looking at him.  They turn their backs on him, go poop in front of him, perhaps claiming their territory - I don't really know for sure.  They pace nervously and whinny a bit, as if they can't quite make it out.  What is that thing?

I am easily amused.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I arose earlier than usual today.  Since I have no formal job at present I have developed a habit of rising after 9am.  Today however, I was up at 8ish.  Boyd and I were up late last night watching disc number 5 of season 3 of the LOST series - we were up till midnight.  Don't really know what prompted my arisal, but it is a beautiful day and I am enjoying it while hubby sleeps in. 

I love the quiet of my home.

The sun and breeze and clouds combined with birdsong is wonderful.  From my computer I look out onto the back acre full of green grass with clover and little yellow flowers making a carpet out to the eucalytus trees.  the young CA oak tree is crammed full of new growth.  I think the tree will actually double in size this season.  Gorgeous.  all the trees are gracefully choreographed my mother wind and a harmony fills my heart.  beauty, peace, inner stillness are short lived qualities that i adore when they present.

smokey has had her morning rituals completed and is happily snoozing on her chair.  abbey and emma await their breakfast, as does magnet.  i have some veggie leftovers for mags, which emma will inspect before he is allowed to eat them.  emma owns the world.  she will turn her nose at cucumber peelings and bell pepper tops and allow the 315 pound llama to eat them.  if it were something she liked however - she would take it from him.  he would chase her around the yard, trying to stomp on her - and she would escape the  fence line to lie down and taunt him with her claim.  she is such a control freak.  and on occasion she likes fruit, mags favorite.  especially bananas.

coffee is brewed, oatmeal is made and consumed while i check facebook for friends comments, etc.  then i check on my mafiosa and collect my incomes, do my jobs, send gifts, buy guns, whatever the family needs are - i take care of it - and then i retire to either blogspot or scrabble and comics for awhile.  what a life, eh?  i love it actually.  sometimes i am bored, but usually not too much.  later i will work in the yard, pull weeds, start the pumpkin seeds, plant two early tomatoes, and perhaps mow some more grass.  that is a never ending job here.  the only appointments i really have are dentist, doctor and shrink.  i like going to the shrink.  the dentist gives me gas, so i like that okay - except when the pain meds wear off, and the doctor is kinda benign.  he just likes to keep check on the basics of me a few times a year.  no biggie there, except to hope you don't get sick by going to his office.

i apply for jobs every week.  they are few and far between.  in my field - f&b management - they have pretty much dried up.  i am now applying for clerical positions as well.  i will never be hired for any of them.  the competition is so much stronger than i am now.  i do not have that animal-like striving in  my core anymore.  don't get me wrong - we need the money, but i am willing to live with less in order to have less stress.  the stress hurts me. i dont like that.  neither does boyd.  i receive unemployment until it runs out - perhaps by christmas time.  we will have the upstairs remodeled and rented out by then i think.  we are also looking to remodel our family tv room as a small efficiency apartment to rent.  between the two we can pay the mortgage.  that will be very helpful.  thinking about this used to make me ill, but i think we are okay now.

my mug is empty.  on to another cup a joe and scrabble.  by my rules.