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, 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.