11/30/15 Tired of 270

image.jpegThis is hard, so much harder than when I was younger. “This” is weighing 270 lbs and one day, you just can’t take that number anymore. Your knees are killing you, getting winded from THINKING about going for a walk, and climbing stairs is akin to dental surgery with no anesthesia.

This is hard. Walking in to a Weight Watchers meeting room and joining for what seems like the 5,000th time. Not wanting to be there. But being desperately sick of weighing 270 lbs and feeling the dreaded “300” breathing down your neck. Looking at all the friendly faces assembled at said meeting who know EXACTLY how you feel. Some thinner than you, some not, but you’re all in that same darn lifeboat, “S S Here To Lose Weight” and encouraging each other: ROW, ROW, ROW!

This is hard. Joining yet another gym, showing up, seeing yourself in what seems like a thousand mirrored walls, TRYING to lift your pudgy legs, praying you don’t break wind or do anything to draw attention to your scared-to-death self.

This is hard. Writing your feelings in a public forum and hoping people will like you enough to cheer you on as you work harder than a donkey to lose those dreaded pounds.

This is hard, but it doesn’t have to be impossible.


04/25/14 You Just Never Know…

I had two realizations this week: Cats can fly! Just look at my boy cat Omar, lunkhead and adventure seeker extraordinaire. ūüôā We’re still not quite sure how he got up on our neighbor’s roof!




The second was more of a question.

During dinner with my friend Christine, we talked about places to possibly go for missions trips, in the future. It seems we typically think of third world countries with no running water, an abundance of flies, foul odors and famine; upon hearing the words ‘missions trips’.

In 2014, with the ever increasing problem of heroin addiction that decimates lives in Northern Kentucky and an area of Cincinnati known as Cheviot;¬†a weird thought crossed my mind. I wondered if someday churches might start sending people to Cincinnati and¬†my figurative backyard of Cheviot to spread hope and the love of Jesus? Cincinnati a missionary’s destination? It’s a bit sobering to realize there’s an area of such despair virtually within walking distance.

Maybe I can begin my mission work without packing a bag or setting foot on a plane. Helping out in the soup kitchen at Vineyard Westside Church in Cheviot, my home church, might be a most worthy ‘mission trip’.

I suppose I want to toss the thought out there that there’s probably SOMETHING each of us can do, to make our corner of the world a less suffering place. We don’t have to wait until that far off day in the future to help. The world and its many nooks and crannies needs our help NOW.


01/25/14 This Is The Day…

This is the day I think cabin fever might overtake me and I may commit a crime.

This is the day I might sit down and post a new blog for the first time in months.

This is the day one of my 3 extraordinarily irritating cats, (Mavis, Buddy and Omar) who are as bogged down as me by cabin fever, frigid temperatures and snow, might just drive me over the edge and I may commit a crime.

This is the day I work on my 2014 Bucket List, a project my minister Tim gives us every January, well, not 2014, but the bucket list part, and my mind refuses to come up with worthwhile words to fill in on the goals sheet. My goal today is to not go freaking insane!

This is the day I reflect that this crappy weather is a phase, just like everything else. It’ll pass, Spring will come, this will become just a memory.

This is the day a coworker of mine, Barb, has her funeral mass at a local church. She doesn’t get to be annoyed by anything today. She doesn’t have to listen to my squirrely rant or watch my eyes fill with tears because I’m so sad her end came the way it did. I went to her viewing last night in sweat clothes, because they were the only clean things I had. I nearly didn’t go, because one just doesn’t go to a funeral in sweats, but I thought, why not? Am I really going to let this silliness stop me from paying my respects. Is anyone really going to look at my bottom and have their day ruined by what’s covering my backside, or will they just be pleased I didn’t choose the alternative and¬†go buck nekky?

This is the day, if I look further than my nose, that I might go outside and at least pick up the snow shovel. I think it’s to work¬†on moving¬†the snow, but maybe it’ll be to WHACK one of my cats if they don’t stop annoying me!

This is the day I’ll do a load of laundry, in case something life shatteringly important comes up, so I won’t have to face it in dirty sweat clothes.

This is the day¬†I try to come up with something thought provoking to put before whoever reads this, but I got nothin’.

Yep, this is the day the Lord has made, I shall rejoice and be glad in it… and not commit a crime or whack a cat (though that part sounds appealing at the moment!) .

09/03/13 Living In Limbo

How I Really Feel!

How I Really Feel!

The attached photo may strike you as a little odd… it did me! It’s a squirrel in Britain helping himself to someone’s Halloween decorations. I like it for a variety of reasons. The squirrel and I both look ‘normal’ on the outside. On the inside, I feel more like the screaming skull the squirrel is wrestling with. Looking in the mirror, my appearance is pretty much the same as always; but nothing on the inside works as usual. My return-to-work date from this pulmonary embolism is uncertain… when I’m physically ready, I’m told. What about the psychological side, which is beginning to use my frame of mind for ping-pong practice. “They” say this roller coaster ride after a life-changing event is normal. Why does it feel so freaking weird then? I KNOW my thinking’s not right, yet, I can’t seem to change it to my liking.

Being an ‘island’ during this recovery slows down my progress. I’d prefer to not need anyone or anything to get back to ‘normal’, but that doesn’t seem to work so well. Last night, The Who’s ‘We Won’t Get Fooled Again’ played on the radio. The bit toward the end when Roger Daltrey lets out that bellowing “YEEAAAHHHHHH!!!”, I thought, “That’s IT, THAT’S how I feel.” For some reason, it’s comforting to put a known marker on a feeling. At least if I can name it, it’s one less unknown scaring the snot out of me.

A friend recommended I read ‘The Shack’. My minister, Ryan, had a copy. He always seems to have what I need to read on his bookshelf! It’s kind of funny how the same book can strike various people so differently. The ‘editor’ side of my brain read the first few chapters and thought the writer should have hired a different editor. His writing style is not my cup of tea, still, I’m seeking the spiritual insights it may offer, the message God might be trying to pass along.

I’m trying to turn off my inner editor! Actually, that’s probably a hopeful sign when my mind starts editing… maybe I’m feeling a little better, after all!

08/31/13 Why Am I Still Here?

Imagine sitting here talking with God about what He wants you to do with your life.

Imagine sitting here talking with God about what He wants you to do with your life.

I write this with a fresh cup of coffee at my dining room table. In my mind however, the surroundings look something like the setting in the picture. I’ve considered my DVT/PE (Pulmonary Embolism) as a divine appointment with God. I think He’d been trying to get my attention for ages, but I always had a good reason to blow Him off: too busy, making money, paying bills, sweating over inconsequential stuff, worrying about what people thought of me…. the self-absorbed list goes on.

He got my attention on August 8th, but not before I made a few more decisions guided by self-doubt and worry about what people would think of me: Go home instead of the E.R., people will laugh at the fat lady thinking she’s having a heart attack and if she is, she deserves it anyway, she takes such crappy care of herself…. The self-induced pity party and train wreck of thoughts can go on and on until they kill you. Or nearly.

Sometimes a little clarity and wisdom can manage to penetrate your addled mind. My seven-day stay in the hospital gave me time to stop running and actually LISTEN for His voice in my confusion. The quieter I got, the more receptive I could be to thoughts and insights.

If my life were a business, it would have closed down this year due to mismanagement and bankruptcy. As a human, I DID nearly shut down from poor management and spiritual starvation. God in His infinite grace stopped me in my tracks. For that, I am profoundly grateful. What do I do now? I think anyone who has had a life changing event occur comes to the conclusion that if they didn’t die, there’s a reason they’re still here… what is it? Unfortunately for we attention-deficit humans who want answers NOW, God doesn’t always answer you in the time frame you’d like (I want it NOW, YESTERDAY if possible)

For me, the path becomes clear one little step at a time. Sometimes there’s a lot of space between those steps, when I’m too caught up in myself to really care what God would like for me to do. Those are the days I only follow His prompts if it’s convenient for me. Arrogant little squirrel!

I’m finishing the third week of recuperation. During the first few days, I graciously told God I’d like to have this whole matter cleared up to my satisfaction as soon as possible, but if it took a week or so, I suppose I could put life on hold while I figured out what this lesson was for me to learn. How far do you think I got with that mindset?! I think it landed me in a giant pot hole and there I’ve squirmed around until I’m finally admitting I have to get off of this throne I’ve built for myself and let God have His rightful place in my life.

Wow, a bit more light and clarity dents my thick skull. I wasn’t aware that we squirrely people could have such hard little noggins. We could smash walnuts with our rock heads!!

I have a few snippets of ideas and thoughts to ponder for the time being. God never lets me in on the next step until I’ve got what I need to from the step I’m on. I know my life needs some changes. Sometimes I wish God would send a life coach to help me figure things out, and then I realize He does, but I can’t see the next move until the time is right.

At the rate I’m going, I’ll be 225 years old before I get it all sorted out!

A year ago I almost died.

This talented writer does a great job shedding light on DVTs and PEs. I would encourage you to also do a search on this site for DVTs and PEs. Something you read might help to prevent this from happening to you or your loved ones. Peace.

Fight Deep Vein Thrombosis

I was 25-years old and staring death in the face. My leg hurt and I had difficulty walking, but I otherwise felt and looked healthy. No one would have guessed that I could easily drop dead at a second’s notice. I was young and in relatively good shape. In the past year, I’d run two half-marathons and I was now in the middle of a month-long backpacking trip through Southeast Asia with my friends.

But I somehow ended up on a seven-hour flight from Malaysia to Tokyo, alone, and seriously wondering if I would make it to my 26th birthday the following week. Three days earlier, I had been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in Kuala Lumpur, nearly ten thousand miles away from home, and although I didn’t know it, I had already developed pulmonary embolisms (PEs).

I want to tell my story in the hopes…

View original post 1,268 more words

08/28/13 I’m Still Alive – I Hope I Never Take That For Granted Again!!

Vin Diesel Riddick Standee 080813This is a¬†post¬†to tell myself and whoever’s reading this…. I don’t think I’ll take the saying about “appreciating today for tomorrow is not promised to me” for granted again.

August 8, 2013 I experienced what I thought was a heart attack, in all places, at a movie theatre, while¬†I was doing a part time job of putting together a Vin Diesel “Riddick” standee. It would take a whole separate blog to adequately describe that night.

A heart attack, it wasn’t. Severe, massive Pulmonary Embolism saddle blood clot lodged in my lung with countless other little mutant clots riddled throughout my legs and lungs, it was. Forgive me for saying, “What the f**k?” to the doctor when he told me that. I don’t have blood clots, sir, you must have me confused with someone else. He didn’t. A stay in the i.c.u. for a few days followed by another few days on the 15th floor of the hospital gave me a lot of time to think about things.¬† There’s a part of me that’s still convinced this is all in my imagination, much like my favorite Robert Downey, Jr. daydreams…

but Denial only stretches so far. The part of me that can’t quite reconcile what I’ve been told about how many people ‘buy the farm’ when this happens, that part is still accepting that I’m alive for some purpose, I don’t really know what yet. It can’t just be to drive my family crazy! Maybe because there are still Robert Downey, Jr. films to be made and for me to watch! Maybe it’s some appointment with the divine and there are some things I need to do, I don’t know.

I’m still at home recovering, until these unnerving dizzy spells are under control. Part of me misses my job and coworkers like crazy. Part of me thinks I could get used to this lazy-piece-of-human-sitting-idly-watching-life-go-by gig. Not really, it’s driving me even squirrelier than I already am.

I have decided if I ever meet Vin Diesel,¬†I will cheerfully tell him, “Son, you put me in the hospital!” I’m guessing he’s never heard THAT one before!

12/29/12 G.L.A.D. Chronicles – Deciding My Course

I’m taking a few days to think about my goals for 2013. This came up yesterday during lunch with friends Tim and Joanne.

Writing is at the top of my list. I want to study and learn how to write fiction. As much as I love to read¬†fiction, it¬†irks the snot out of me that when I try to write it, my mind goes woefully blank. I have a few unconventional study guides to try to rectify this frustrating situation. I can blame it all on Nancy Drew. I passionately read every adventure of hers that existed when I was young. I thought if I couldn’t be her, I’d at least like to write great mysteries. The only mystery I seem to¬†write so far is whether I’ll make any progress¬†with losing weight. As reviewed in Mysteries Weekly: She’s up, she’s down, her roller coaster weight-loss¬†effort¬†reads like the never-ending nightmare of “Will¬†Government Solve The Fiscal Crisis Before We All Go Over The Cliff?” Actually, I probably WILL lose weight and keep it off before government solves anything!

Back to writing, I feel it’s time¬†for¬†quiet and learning. Read, study, homework, whatever it takes to see if there’s an exciting mystery in me willing to come out. In the meantime, I’m reading so many good authors work now. Some of the best I’ve seen are my fellow writers at www.fanstory.com They’re miles better than what I’ve¬†viewed in the bookstores and on my local library shelves. Maybe that’s one reason I’m not so sure ‘being published’ is any true measure of a writer’s worth. I see published books that aren’t worthy of using for toilet tissue and I read unpublished¬†authors’ writing¬†that absolutely blow me away.

Another goal is to continue the work I started in 2012 of putting myself first. That remains an alien and sometimes guilt-producing notion with me. However, as my personal clock ticks and time on Earth grows shorter, I am left with the knowledge that I don’t have forever to get this thing called life right. If I don’t work on it now, who says I’ll be here tomorrow or next year to make it a priority? I may never be a size twelve, calm, rational, island of tranquility… who am I kidding? I’ll NEVER be that! But I can at least move toward a serene nature and away from a squirrel-on-speed self!

Something interesting I’ve noticed since the last blog… I received various responses to last week’s piece about looking at myself without clothes on. Every response came from a woman either: younger, slimmer, prettier, etc. than me. None expressed being ready to look at themselves in this way (in the mirror buck naked). I find this interesting and a statement of the baggage women carry. Compared to them, I am a human who resembles a Caucasian Shrek. Yet I found no judgement. It wasn’t about how I looked cosmetically. It was about acceptance of who I am. The odd thing is, when I put clothes on again that night, the judgement began to seep right in. I’ve decided the only answer for me is to move to one of those “Nekky Colonies”. Not a nudist colony. This would be a “Nekky Shrekkies” oasis. We’d look like animated movie characters, hence we’d all look quite normal! I think I’m on to something. ūüôā

wpid-5754027156_1c88c839b8_o_thumb.jpg                                                                                                     shrek

12/20/12 G.L.A.D. Holiday Smorgasbord

Queen Porkunia, By Bill Seitz

Queen Porkunia, By Bill Seitz (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

So many things are going on in the world lately, one could be forgiven for wondering if the Mayans might be right! If so, I thought I’d post one more post before the big…. what…. what happens if it IS indeed it? I have no clue. I wasn’t too convinced the end might be near until the Twinkie nightmare (normally sensible people everywhere burst through doors of retail establishments to scarf up every Hostess product in sight, except, it seems, for the Blueberry Muffins. I saw a few boxes of the poor muffins sitting lonely as could be on shelves at Remke Biggs, very near their expiration date.) Another sign that the end might be near? I realized, in a most unexpected way, that I don’t hate myself anymore. I always felt I’d learn to like myself: a) when pigs flew (I’m in Cincinnati, pigs fly here. That was a bad choice of markers!), b) when I was pushing up daisies at the cemetery (meaning, I had died), or c) when the world ended. As I said, pigs DO fly in Cincinnati, I’m still upright and breathing, so the world must surely be nearing that apocalyptic day.

I pondered long and hard about whether to share the next bit with you, not sure if it made me a questionable person, or a repressed woman in a world with few limits anymore. The answer to that still eludes me, but a friend said my story might inspire other souls. My life-changing moment came about a few weeks ago. I wanted to recapture a feeling of freedom I got to experience this summer, freedom from a lot of emotional baggage I’d carried most of my life. This desire led me to question my appearance, avoiding mirrors, body image, those things that some women are doggedly pursued by. I wanted to know what I look like, REALLY look like. Not the image I present to the world of a body covered by whatever black, blue or gray fabric gets pulled out of the closet that day. But ME. The naked truth. I thought about this for days. The part of me that felt this was just bad on my part wrestled with the inner person who questioned, “why?” What was I afraid of? I didn’t know.

One night, I screwed up my courage, uncovered down to the skin I was born with, and looked in a mirror. It’s almost as if I were looking at an exhibit in a museum, observing myself from this angle and that view. I made the surprising discovery that I didn’t have a single negative remark to make about myself. WHAT? No slams about the excess pounds making me a loser, lamenting that I wasn’t a size two, no haranguing that someone who looked like me had nothing worthwhile to offer the world? No. I merely commented, “So this is what I look like.” I think the past few years of embracing my inner squirrely self has taken some of the pressure off of me. It’s given me an ability¬†to embrace my squishy softness that huggers and cats everywhere seem to be attracted to. (Or do the cats just¬†think there’s really a squirrel in there?!)¬† Honestly, it doesn’t get much cuter than my squirrely self, what do¬†you think?

                                               Sue Glamour Squirrel

The interesting result I’ve noticed is that I want to take better care of myself since viewing the real me. It’s not: “Oh, I need to lose a billion pounds, though a loss would be beneficial, I’m sure.” It’s more a case of feeling an acceptance¬†toward myself that I’ve never experienced before and wanting to treat myself like a friend. I go for walks now, eat more sensibly, go to bed earlier, all kind of strange things that people who like themselves do!

The shooting last week in Newtown, Connecticut brought such a sober, harrowing twist to the holiday season. I don’t know why the shooter did it, or why fantastic people meet such an awful fate. I’ve been¬†awed by the acts of heroism the teachers displayed at Sandy Hook Elementary. I’ve been blessed by all of the good that has poured forth in this nation and from around the world in our country’s time of sorrow. I pray that blessings rain down on the people of Newtown.

Christmas is upon us. I’ve had a real mixed bag of thoughts this year. Money is tighter than ever, which rules out¬†giving cash to a variety of good causes. My energy level hasn’t been up to snuff in ages, so giving my time isn’t happening as much. I’ve kept my holiday projects a little closer to home and am focusing on people I hope can use a little love. Sometimes I question if I’m following the right path or not, but my current actions feel right for this day. My goal continues to be to show Jesus’ love to everyone I encounter as I celebrate His birth. Some days I feel as if I do that so poorly, those days when a rabid pit bull is cheerier than I am. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is pretty¬†amazing about weaving some calming presence into my soul and my attitude straightens out again for another day.

I hope my blog has added a bit of light to your week, a little humor with your coffee or an insight that helps your day. Every single one of you reading this are a warm blessing to me.

Blessings and Peace¬† ūüôā


12/2/12 G.L.A.D. Chronicles Week 9 – Pondering

Rain Bunny Pondering

Rain Bunny Pondering

It’s hard to explain how realizations – good or bad, tend to rock my squirrely mind. The old saying about ‘hindsight is 20/20’ is sadly true for me. Imagine my mind¬†resembling the interior of a gypsy’s crystal ball: the past swirling¬†about¬†like¬†an old-time London fog. Thoughts about certain persons in my life appear in the haze and begin to make sense. Some of these thoughts¬†are from events that happened five, ten, twenty years ago. They stand out now, with a clarity that escaped me then.

Sometimes¬†I’m¬†a great, compassionate person with a few useful qualities;. Other moments, witness a snarky, anxiety-ridden squirrel who obsesses over thoughts whether I want to or not, because that’s the way I’m wired. Pondering the situation is half¬†the joy for me. Pondering also uses up valuable time that I could actually be DOING something, when I’m in an ‘avoiding’ sort of mood.

In the past, I suppose I thought I was being kind to overlook things a person might have done that really bothered me. At the time, I didn’t¬†have a lot of boundaries. Letting people mow over me and figuring¬†I should¬†ignore controlling,¬†manipulative behavior because that’s what a good Christian did. I’m not sure where in the Bible I thought I read, “Thou shalt imitate a door mat with rude, inconsiderate clods.” I think I’m finally accepting that sometimes you outgrow a relationship: be it a friend, a relative, a coworker. Possibly the relationship worked well enough for a time, but¬†now its season is over. This doesn’t make me a rotten tomato. It does, however, enable me to open the door to a little more peace and serenity. But in the meantime, squirrel sister has to ponder, ponder, ponder…. and usually ingest a Titanic-sized load of empty carbs while I do. Judging from my size, me thinks I ponder just a little too much! It’s okay to ponder, but I need to pick up a new partner for it, maybe: “Thou shalt only ponder endlessly whilst moving one’s bodacious behind.” It’d certainly be a healthier pairing.

The thing is, this blog’s goal is to reflect God’s grace in my life. It is SUCH a fine line between declaring your freedom and behaving like a jerkwad toward someone who’s treated you poorly. I really do want to take the high road and show grace as I decide what’s positive for my life and what’s not. I will so enjoy the day when I discover how to ponder and just feel the feelings. One can hope.