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  🙂

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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12/23/11 My Christmas Wish For You


Christmas cards with angels, scandinavian “nis...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s been such a busy time. I’ve noticed that the things I didn’t get around to in the past few years are the same things I didn’t get to this year either.

Sending out Christmas cards.

I even went so far as to put the cards I bought last year out on my dining room table (among the temporary home of the Polar Express set at the North Pole, courtesy of my son.) I looked at the bag nearly every night. I passed the bag often on my way to: working for a living, working on Christmas gifts for my elderly friends, writing poetry, journaling, breathing, watching Christmas films with my family and endless episodes of “Antiques Roadshow”. My husband is a bit addicted to the show! Alas, the bag didn’t get put into use. Maybe next year.

Losing X number of pounds by Christmas.

Nope, didn’t get that accomplished either. I gave that one a lot more thought and even an infrequent effort or two. Alas, I am still my soft, squishy self and the cats continue to love sleeping on my cushiony softness. In my next life, I would make a great role of toilet tissue. 🙂

Learn to stop getting annoyed at a second’s notice and popping my cork.

Well, I’m still menopausal, so I don’t really suppose this one is a realistic hope until that phase of my life is finished. How much it’s got to do with it, I’m not sure, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Actually, if I really think about it, I have probably made a wee bit of progress in this area. Or I’m deluding myself and I’m still a nasty old bat!

Have my life all together and be the picture of total contentment.

I’m sorry, I was so busy laughing at the notion of this last one that I forgot to keep typing. I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as I breathe on this earth, I’m going to remain a human and continue making mistakes at the rate of about 1,000 per day. The good news is: God has my back and He’s nowhere as clueless as I am!

Remember to send out Christmas greetings on time.

Hey, wait, I AM wishing my dear friends a Merry Christmas on time! You CAN teach an old cat lady new tricks. Yay, there may be hope for me yet! 🙂

My Christmas wish for you is that whoever you are, whatever you believe, and wherever you are in life at this time; I wish for you a very Merry Christmas, peace in your heart, discernment for God’s will in your life, family and true friends to support you and cushion the ride when life gets bumpy. And it will. As long as you’re breathing and taking up space on this planet, it will. But just like for me, God’s got your back if you let Him.

Now THAT’S an awesome thought at Christmastime.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

& Blessings to you!

 

 

12/14/11 Christmastime Hues


Some love this time of year
Anticipate it with golden joy
Be it pretty lights, family and friends
Or the birth of God’s little boy.

Others views aren’t quite so rosy
It’s the hardest time of year
No Hallmark family Christmas for them
Blue Christmas, not a whiff of cheer.

Then there are the ones, they feel some of both
Make it their quest to bring hope and love
Melancholy gray tries to swallow them up
They cling to God their Father above.

They miss the loved ones no longer here
Times from the past, now just a memory
Traditions, laughter, feeling connected
Waiting… to see what this Christmas will be.

11/29/11 Thanksgiving, Christmas Memories


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (TV special)

Image via Wikipedia

Hello everyone. My last post touched on some of my favorite things about the holidays.

I’ve thought of more things to add to that list. Definitely “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” cartoon version only, please. Jim Carey did a nice enough job with the film, but it can’t match the charm of the original, for me. We watched “Shrek The Halls” last night and enjoyed that a lot. I love Donkey!  

If I were to think about food that makes my holiday season special, that would be easy. HoneyBaked Ham. Jingles cookies. Home made Buckeyes. I’ve had a variety of store-bought Buckeyes. Not even close. Jingles. I realize that I might be the only person on earth who has such a rosy fondness for Keebler Jingles, but I just love them! When I was a kid, we could get them at Charlie and Hilda’s store down the street from our house. I loved them then, and still do. Maybe they remind me of childhood, I don’t know.

It’s funny how you can write a sentence or two about your childhood and that little door opens wide, bringing in all kind of memories. Christmas Eve, waiting in the kitchen with the door to the next room closed, while Santa delivered gifts. Neighbors stopping in to visit. This is the old days in a small neighborhood in Northside, where it seemed everyone knew everyone. I loved Christmas Eve back then. I can’t remember much about the presents I got. Oh, I remember when my brother Jon got the jump rope off of the box of tooth paste and wrapped it up for me! It’s the thought that counts. 🙂 Or the time we gave my mom some gosh awful smelly “perfume” from the corner drugstore. That stuff probably REEKED in reality, but we were very proud of ourselves, saving up enough to buy it for her. 

 Thanksgiving weekend went pretty peacefully. I ate too many junk carbs which left me feeling like a lead balloon come Monday morning. Frisch’s still wins for best pumpkin pie. Oh…. someone accidentally put the frozen pumpkin pie I bought in the refrigerator instead of the freezer. When I opened it Thursday morning to bake, it had the consistency of a pumpkin smoothie. Frisch’s pie later that evening seemed heavenly in comparison. We played a few lively card and board games at my brother’s that evening. How I got seated at the end of the table with the Special People…. well….. that’s okay, because we Special People kicked butt and won the games! Never underestimate the power of a delicate mind or bull-headed doofusses. We didn’t get to watch “Planes Trains and Automobiles” until Friday evening. We laughed a lot and I liked the ending.

As was “Bridesmaids”. I will not tell you which scenes got multiple airings in my house. Suffice it to say my son and I laughed so hard we were gasping and crying at the same time. We are SUCH rednecks…. but happy, so who cares?     

I did visit a few elderly friends over the weekend. We stopped at Judson Village on Saturday to help out with bingo and to visit a few of our Little Brothers friends. My son helped a lady named Martha who took a shine to him and told him about a million times how handsome he was. I didn’t know his face could stay that red for that long! I asked one of our Little Brother friend’s what he would like for a treat and he adamantly didn’t want fast food. He wanted fresh bananas.

Something I very much take for granted.

I’ll be delivering those bananas this week. Maybe I could dress up like the Chiquita lady and do a little dance. Hmmmm. Maybe not!

              

11/14/11 A Few of My Favorite Holiday Things. What Are Yours?


A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good evening friends. I sat down to write and couldn’t come up with a topic. After visiting various sites offering writing prompts and blog prompts, I still don’t! Wow, makes you feel like investing your time in whatever comes next, doesn’t it? I enjoy poetry prompts – they’re concise and specific. But writing prompts are sort of goofy. They suggest topics I don’t want to read about, I’m guessing you may not either.

The holidays are approaching. Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. That could provide a boatload of topics to blog about. “In search of the perfect pumpkin pie.” (Frisch’s continues to win that for me.) My favorite cartoons of the year air: “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The all time best holiday movie: “Christmas Vacation” I admit that this being my favorite Christmas movie probably sets me up for: “If “Christmas Vacation” is your idea of a holiday classic… YOU might be a redneck!”

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Image via Wikipedia

One might think with me being an unabashed follower of Jesus that I would love Christmas. I DO love the part of Christmas that celebrates His birth. 

I love getting a card or letter in the mail during the holidays that includes a snippet of what’s going on in someone’s life. Thinking about it, I’d relish receiving a card someone made from construction or notebook paper and a colorful pen with a few lines about how they and their family are doing. How many times have you went to the store (okay, this is only for the women reading this. I think I hear my brother Jon falling off of his chair laughing at the idea of going to the store and looking at greeting cards! Point taken.) and spent quite awhile trying to pick out the perfect card? I could retire on the pile of $$$ if I had a dollar for every time I spent an hour or more looking for the perfect card, then went home and left them in the bag, never addressed or sent, because I was just too busy with all the other pressures I put on myself during the holidays… or used to, in the past. The past few years, I don’t think I even bothered to look for cards. I happily joined the chorus of “postage is just so expensive”. Really? 44 cents to haul your sorry envelope across the country and deliver it in rain, sleet or snow is a lot of money?

Presents. I like buying things for my husband and son, some treats for the cats and dwarf hamster (I would love to find Chow a stripper costume since she loves to cavort in her cage like a pole dancer, but that’s another story for another time!) I like to bake and create things. Unfortunately, I only know one crochet stitch, so if you want a handmade item, I’m up for a scarf or afghan. Anything fancier than that and I’m lost! The present I’m seeking to give this year is of myself. My time. Maybe phone friends here and there, write a few notes, visit folks who don’t get much company.

There’s one present I ask for and no one ever buys it for me. Yellow legal pads. Why do people find that so odd? I love to write on yellow legal pads. I don’t know why. The specific color and bold lines on the paper appeal to my eye and writing pen. I can almost bet I’ll get a candle or some good smelling object from Bath and Body this year, but no yellow legal pad will make it into my Christmas stocking. 😦    Maybe I’m missing the point that I’ve been a rotten brat and Santa has no intention of putting the desired legal pad in my stocking? I’ll have to ponder that! Maybe point number two is that I’ve gotten rather odoriferous and don’t know it, hence the constant receiving of sweetly perfumed objects. Oh dear! 🙂

Sometimes my husband and son are notorious “present shakers”. I am equally notorious for putting decoy tags on their gifts or no tags at all (writing in code on the box). It is truly entertaining to see them try to figure out what the gift is and think they’ve narrowed it down, only to have me switch the tags to their rightful presents on Christmas Eve!

My favorite New Year’s Eve tradition for some time was to telephone a friend of mine in England at 7:00 p.m. my time.

She would open her back door and I could hear Big Ben chiming in the New Year.

@big ben
Image by shashish via Flickr

Ah, the simple things that make me giddy!

 I would like to hear about favorite holiday things of yours, whether it’s memories or traditions.

Or when the holidays are over!

Blessings!