11/25/12 G.L.A.D. Chronicles Week 8 – Reunions, God’s Presence, Life’s Presents


Cousins Kevin and Hayley
November 23, 2012

What an unexpected turn in the road my life has taken in the past few weeks. It started with a text from someone I hadn’t heard from in quite a while. At the time, the text annoyed me, because it caused a slight chink in the invisible wall I’d taken great effort to put all around me to keep out pain. I considered the text and answered as politely as possible. The person texted back. Really? Are we seriously going to go to that invisible place where I have to decide if I’m going to risk letting hurt and rejection in again? I truly didn’t want to. I more honestly wanted to scream at this person to leave me alone, I was having a hard enough time balancing the façade I tried to keep in place that showed everything is just peachy keen. She kept texting. Tenacious woman, I’ll give her that. I wouldn’t capitulate, but I left the door to my emotions open very slightly.

The next day led to more texts, from another female. That part of the wall dedicated to her crumbled a little, but certainly not entirely. I have become way too wary about humans to believe things can work themselves out that easily. Over the next few days, we texted and got to know each other a little better. This was a great way for me to communicate. I didn’t feel the pressure I can feel speaking on a phone. And I don’t tend to put my foot in my mouth so much. I felt a little light streaming into my heart where it’d been pretty dark for the past few years.

The calendar indicated Thanksgiving week was approaching. I could probably never adequately explain the vortex of confusion I feel every year beginning shortly before Thanksgiving and ending around January 2nd. Melancholy, missing those who have passed away or are gone from my life, the endless effort to seek the spiritual and divine meaning of the holidays, the sad observations of how ugly some people can get at this time of year when we’re supposed to celebrate love, the retailers never-ending campaign to reach into my pockets for money I don’t have and don’t care to use a credit card so I can pretend I do. Lastly, well-meaning people putting their hand out to take some of that same non-existent money to further some holiday campaign.

This year, I continue to say ‘no’ to the things that make me unhappy about the holidays, and my focus is on spreading some love to people who typically get ignored. They’re not poverty level, they’re the working poor. People who work incredibly hard at their jobs, but just don’t make enough to do much more than keep the heat and lights on and gas in the car. It is brilliantly fun to see the smile on a waitress’ face when I leave a possibly extravagant tip, as I listen to her story of working two jobs and being on her feet all day. I don’t just leave the tip, I give my time and listen to their story, express appreciation for their great work and kindness. Some of the time, you can see these people don’t hear nearly often enough that they’re appreciated. The feeling I get doing so is simply priceless.

I got a chance to visit with my great-niece Hayley and her family this week. What a gift this was to me! We had the most delicious lunch at Waffle House, went to see “Wreck It Ralph” at the cinema and did a little Christmas shopping at WalMart. I had the best time, and that flipping waffle was so unbelievably good. I bought a coffee cup from Waffle House to remember the day by! I haven’t seen Hayley recently, as they live out-of-town. It’s a joy to see what an interesting and wonderful human this girl is evolving into. I have to give a high-five to her folks, they’re doing a great job. The visit put a warmth into my holidays that has lacked a little.

I also got to enjoy a very nice Thanksgiving day with my family at home. I’ve decided the only thing that even remotely competes with my enjoyment of a Robert Downey, Jr. movie is a fragrant Honeybaked ham warming in my oven! Both cause copious drooling! I spent the evening enjoying conversation with family members at my brother Jon’s house. Previous years found the group gathering around the table a little larger in number. Some have passed on, others had different destinations this year. I found it one of the nicest times I can remember.

I’ve so strongly felt God everywhere I’ve been. He’s there when I’ve acted like a decent human. Unfortunately, he could see me when I was meaner than a junkyard dog! His unwavering presence is my greatest present of all, this holiday season. I hope to show more of His love as I celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Whatever you may or may not celebrate over the next few weeks, I wish you the best blessings, love and light.

Peace!

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11/17/12 G.L.A.D. Chronicles Week 7 – Progress, Peace, Squirrely Friends, Recipe For Thanksgiving


What a chaotic few weeks I’ve had… busier than a frenzied flea at the SPCA. I got to feeling like the doggie in the photo after a while.

What I felt like after this week!

Fortunately, a little sleep, (I might add that sleep, for me, is a marathon event between myself and Buddy the cat. He starts with the event Pillow Takeover: positioning himself above my head with claws strategically placed near scalp. Wait until human is asleep and then … CHARGE, out pop the claws, scalp moves south to get away, and Buddy gains a little more territory. After a few hours of this, he moves on to Butt Borders… placing himself down under to hog the warm spots and contort human even further. It’s a regular gold medal victory for that cat every night!) a few walks in the fresh air, hot coffee and decent food… I started to resemble the lassie with the cup of java….    

Feeling right as rain!!

                                                                                                     

Thank goodness I’m a resilient squirrel in a (lately) extraordinarily nutty world. Seriously! Have you caught the news at all? Some days, I think the entire planet has lost their marbles. And that’s saying something, coming from me. 🙂  But, I’m not here to wallow in reality, this is MY blog and I’ll make it as lilac-shaded through my glasses as I want to! In this little corner, things are okay.

I‘m back to eating well, taking walks and sweating to workout videos, getting to bed at a decent hour. I created a new Excel program at work that SHOULD make life easier. I can do a lot of things on computers, but I’m not a geek, so… I go through a lot of coffee and lotsa nuts before it’s just the way I want, but I DID IT! Squirrel tail salute to me!

Speaking of my furry friends, I’ve found a delightfully daffy fellow blogger who’s as loco about them as I am. This blog provides me with many smiles and a cheerful person behind that squirrely curtain: http://evilsquirrelsnest.com/2012/11/17/squirrel-butt/  Squirrel, said I’d raise a paw to you today!

On to other silliness, I post the following picture, courtesy of my friend Rick Gordon over at Facebook, who probably posted it courtesy of another FB’er. This week, we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving. Like it or love it, be it the meal, the games around the table after the dishes are cleared, or even those insane Black Friday sales, the following piece of wisdom is surely correct for some human mutant you’ll meet during the holiday season. 

 

I’ve told Rick I’d like to have this put on a t-shirt. For now, I’ll suffice with a 5 x 7 print out for my board at work. Coworker ticking you off? Pop the picture out… it’ll speak volumes!   Back to the holiday meal, I’m making a light, fluffy dessert I found on www.allrecipes.com 

Strawberry Fluff

Ingredients:

2 (3 ounce) packages sugar-free strawberry flavored Jell-O

1 (16 ounce) package low-fat cottage cheese, blended with a mixer for smoother consistency 

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, in its own juice, drained

Directions: In a mixing bowl, combine the gelatin powder, cottage cheese, whipped topping and pineapple. Mix together well, refrigerate until chilled and serve.  I personally prefer raspberry, so may make that if I can find the sugar-free variety.

Well, friends, that’s about it for now. Just remember, when your annoying family members are causing you to have dangerous thoughts, manslaughter is still illegal in the state of Ohio! (where I live) And probably in the area where you live too. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

11/10/12 G.L.A.D. Chronicles Week 6 – Changes, Life, “Cemetery Junction”, EastEnders


Life has hurtled so many spit balls at me the past few weeks, I’ve not had time to chronicle it. October and November are a busy time of year at my job. UNDERSTATEMENT! Part of this is due to my complete inability to parcel out work effectively in one particular area during the rest of the year. Hence, I work harder than a one-armed paper-hanger in October and November. The adrenaline rush is apparently worth it, as I do it over and over… Fortunately, I love my job and my coworkers. Can’t imagine going bonkers for people and work I didn’t like so much!

Hey, regardless of who you voted for, the election is over. No more mud-slinging, hair-pulling, name-calling (and that was just in my neighborhood!) and NO MORE POLITICAL ADS! T.V. advertisements are back to all of those pharmaceuticals that show in the small print side effects way worse than the disease or disorder they’re treating. I think the Viagra ad says (tongue in cheek) taking this product may make your wee fall off, but hey, it’ll be alert and at attention when it happens.

Evil, cunning empty carbs getting past my sensible mouth thwarted my attempts to lose weight, dancing with my taste buds and taking up residence on my hips and stomach. Okay, time out, here’s a pet peeve of mine. When women my age (I’m fifty-three) who are a few thousand pounds overweight, like me, call their stomach: ‘tummy’. Tummy? I had a ‘tummy’ for a few short months in 2005, after some serious work at Weight Watchers. That thing stopped being a ‘tummy’ when we couldn’t  wear pants with fitted waists anymore and elastic waist bands became our closest friend.

I had the pleasant surprise of hearing from someone this week I’ve not talked to in a long time. It’s been enjoyable to hear about the changes in her life and hear she’s doing well. I’m an endless wonderer, when it come to old friends I’ve lost touch with: wondering how they’re doing, if they ever think of me, did they win the lottery and want to share the love with me? (kidding!) (I don’t wonder if they think of me!!)

One fun thing this squirrel learned how to do these past few weeks is to watch movie via Netflix in a mid-sized screen on this computer while I worked with my data entry on another mid-sized screen. A brilliant Ricky Gervais film I watched is “Cemetery Junction“. Favorite scene had to be toward the end as Led Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song” soared in the background, the very satisfying ending playing out. If you like great British films, I highly recommend this instant streamer.

OH! Another absolutely thrilling discovery for me: finding out I can see current episodes of my beloved British show “EastEnders” on YouTube. Back in the day when dinosaurs trolled the Earth and I watched EE on P.B.S., our episodes were two years behind the current show. Imagine my state of gobsmacked delight to see that I can watch TODAY’s episode (if it’s Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday) on YouTube. Oh YouTube, how I love you! 

Through it all, I’ve been praying/talking with God about my ever-changing thoughts and interests. Like it or not, I seem able to dedicate about a year to any one thing I decide to volunteer at or do. After that, my mind craves a new stimulant. The past few years, I’ve gone through a phase of mystery shopping, volunteering at an animal shelter, visiting with the elderly, and writing poetry/short stories (which I still like, but my writing muse is on hiatus). We’re about to explore volunteering with Matthew 25 Ministries. They do a tremendous amount of good work throughout this country and internationally. Please check them out for yourself!  

http://www.m25m.org/

Touching on the D of G.L.A.D., decluttering is a bust at the moment. My living room is a “Sanford and Son”-dream of tombstones and Halloween decorations from the front yard. I am SURE my son Kevin will put them away TODAY, if he hopes to live until TOMORROW! 

D – Depression… my depression’s in an okay place. With the holidays approaching, I’d do well to increase exercise and getting out in the fresh air. Keeps the black hole sleeping peacefully and not knocking at my emotional door.

I made Texas-style chili last week. This week I may go for Inside Out Ravioli, if I can find my old recipe. It’s so good and fairly healthy!

Peace 🙂