Monday, July 30, 2007

Kids at Camp

After Liturgy yesterday, we came home and packed up our kids for camp. The drive there took about two and a half hours. We dropped them off (the two older ones, that is) and the rest of us headed back. It was time for supper and we wanted to eat at some local place. Country Cookin'. We figured southern Indiana would be full of places like that.

We were wrong. The two or three places we did see along our route were closed because it was Sunday evening. We had a most unsatisfying meal at KFC, due more to the lousy teenage-hoosier service than the actual taste of the food. And while we were eating, I remembered that we'd forgotten to give the girls their spending money.

Fortunately, we were only fifteen miles away from Camp when I realized this. So, back we went, dropped off the spending money. That added so much time to our trip! It felt like it, at least.

We didn't get home until 10:45. Between driving slow to try and find someplace good to eat and having to go back, the trip felt like forever.

And to make it all worse, I was having a really bad day, physically. In pain all day long.

What's the purpose of that?

Today no pain yet. Just very tired.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Invisible Grief

I've been somewhat blue lately, and this evening I realized why. I'm coming up on the invisible anniversary. Why do I call it the invisible anniversary? Well, because it is. I lost something, it was early August when everything came crashing down...a few years ago. 2003, I think.

We'd done our home study and spent almost a year on tenterhooks. Every time the phone rang, my heart skipped a beat. But it was never that phone call. We wanted to adopt. We wanted to intentionally become a bi-racial family. Our hearts were open. Our wallet was open. Our family was open. We were going to name him Samuel. We'd done our homework, worked through stuff on special needs adoption. We'd heard the statistics: All these babies that "nobody wants" languishing in foster care. So, we wanted to give our lives and our love.

What a build up.

And there was the call from the social worker. A baby. A birth mother. A scheduled phone interview and a plane ride the next morning, and a baby for us. The social worker said it was a done deal. The birth mother was desperate to find someone and we were first in line. It was all good and we were IT.

At the appointed time, we called. She was in the shower, a relative said. We called back. And we got hung up on. We called the social worker...the one who said this was it. This was not it. Most definitely not it.

This was the third or fourth time we'd been down this dead-end. But this time it was worse, for some reason. I stopped believing that the statistics we'd heard were true. Nobody wanted us. There was always someone better, more "qualified"...richer.

So the next morning, when I started putting our clothes away, emptying the suitcase and putting it back in the attic, one of my kids asked me what I was doing. No Sammy. It didn't happen.

The children wailed. I have this memory of small children with heads tilted back, crying their guts out in disappointment and grief. We'd been praying for so long. And it just never happened.

Could we go on?

We decided to wait. Not pursue any out-of-state adoption possibilities, and wait on our local agency. After all, the director told us that most families got a placement within a year. So we waited.

January came and went. Time for us to renew our home study and no one contacted us to get that ball rolling. Nothing but silence. It was as though we'd never even been there. We decided that this was somehow a message to us.

Our kids could not take the roller coaster of anticipation and disappointment. We could not take it, either.

A year later, after I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, we got a letter from the Adoption agency: they were trying to figure out why none of the birth mothers ever picked our file...but they were confident the right child for us was still out there somewhere.

We wrote back: Don't bother. I was too ill to even contemplate adoption. The dream was over.

And there is this very very very real sense of loss. I feel really sad about it. I always wanted to adopt, and God said "no".

But it's like all our friends just breathed a collective sigh of relief when things went sour with these hopes and dreams.

I can't talk about this loss when women compare miscarriage stories, or infant death stories. My grief is less specific, less defined. Less mine. There was never actually a child of mine that I lost. Just a child of someone else's that never was mine to begin with. Just a bit of my heart. Just a bit of openness that got dropped in the dirt and forgotten.

And people telling us that it's for the best, even though it's probably true, just hurts, and makes me feel like all kinds of a fool for putting myself out there. Like asking someone you have a crush on out, and getting publicly turned down and humiliated. That's what it feels like.

And even the knowing that it would have done me in, physically, if it had worked out does not comfort me, either. Just makes me think of all the dreams and plans and hopes that constantly go by the wayside in my life because of my illness.

I need space to grieve. This was real for me, and it still hurts. It's only been four years, and they say grief takes seven.

A Little Answer


Today I silently prayed a little prayer. Just between me and God. Something my heart really needed. And God answered that little prayer in exactly the right way. He has not abandoned me. He heard my cry and answered me from His holy mountain.

Glory to Thee, O Lord, Glory to Thee!

Alone

For some reason, I've really been struggling with loneliness this summer. I've tried to organize a weekly play date for the kids to get together with other kids from our parish, and for the moms to have a chance to chat, and while the mom chatting has been nice, for the kids its been a bust. Meanness. Ugliness and isolation.

I know my kids aren't the coolest. So, I'm trying to figure out what to do.

I also wish I had a mid-week prayer service to go to that is close by. I like a good forty-five minutes from Church, an hour during rush hour, and that's what driving to Wednesday night Vespers is. I only go when I'm teaching catechism. Which has been twice so far. Many Wednesdays, our parish only prays an Akathist, or something short like that, and the drive just kills my motivation to go down there for something that lasts less than half the time of a one-way drive.

I checked out the other two Orthodox parishes in town and neither of then do anything mid-week. Sigh.

I look around at how much energy other people have and how much I don't have, and I feel isolated in that way, too.

I don't really know what God wants for me, or from me (and my kids) during this time of aloneness. Something that I was really looking forward to with my parish has been tabled and is not going to pan out. That was going to be my "thing"....and the door closed on it. Please pray for me not to be angry or resentful, but rather to let it go and to let God have this bit of grief.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

...Happy Golden Rule Days...

I'm so excited about this upcoming year of home school. For one thing, it's nice now that my kids are all going to be doing it. We can hopefully make the great feasts of the Church an integral part of our time. For us this will mean getting up at 5 am on the feast days to make it to the 7 am Divine Liturgy. I plan on making these days "field trip days" so that we do something special, extraordinary, festal...but still life-giving and educational.

For science, I'm taking the younger three through Botany. I'm excited about the textbook I have purchased. I myself will learn much from it. Botany is always something that has fascinated me, but I've never done more than have a unit on it in fifth grade. My oldest is doing Biology for her Science, and will have the opportunity to do her Labs at Asbury College. I'm happy about that, too. She's also threatening to listen in on the Botany lessons. One aspect I love about schooling my kids is the things that I learn along the way.

Math and English are still grade level Rod and Staff curriculum. No frills, but very very solid. I found myself knowing grammar that I never knew there was to know after last year with a daughter in fifth grade. This will be even more the case as time goes on. Again: Mom gets to learn. Except for my oldest. She's doing geometry, so I ordered her the kit from Teaching Textbooks.

History, ah! One of my favorite subjects. Boring, but necessary, we are doing ancient history this year and then Medieval next year and so on (I'd much rather learn about Charlemagne and Byzantium than about ancient Iraqis who killed even more ancient Iraqis). Ancient goes through the Roman Empire, which will at least include some early Church history...and of course lots of Old Testament, which I love, so it won't be all bad. I ordered some cool history portfolios for the kids to put together, time lines, that sort of thing. Hopefully we will enjoy the process, and continue on with the portfolios, until all four of the kids have a complete history set to keep as keepsakes. The neat thing is, these are ideally adaptable for each person to work at his or her own grade level.

And last but not least, I'm positively giddy about getting, for a mere $30.00 per year, on-line access to Rosetta Stone. Any and all languages they have, which are many. I have two who will be definitely studying Spanish, another who has expressed an interest in German (yay!) and me who would also like to learn Spanish, brush up on some French and start delving into Russian. We shall see what my time looks like, and how the lessons go. I dream big.

So, that's what I'm planning and dreaming in a nutshell. Things like spelling and penmanship will get filled in around the edges...oh, and lots of good literature. I'm going to make the kids pick books from a "great books" list.

Nothing gets my blood pumping at this time of year quite like a stack of freshly sharpened pencils, clean paper and never-used erasers, and the smell of new dry-erase markers!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Gloating

I SO nailed it on my predictions for the seventh Harry Potter book. I know it's too soon to blog about details, but my husband, with whom I shared my guesses knows the truth of it. And I'm not talking about who gets killed or not killed. I nailed my predictions about Snape and Dumbledore.

The series is an excellent, excellent story, and as thoroughly Christian in the end as Lewis' or Tolkien's works. Crass commercialization aside, in my opinion this series is one of the greats.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Project Pictures





Here's my latest handiwork. It's a confection of a baptismal gown. Looks good enough to eat. Off white dupioni silk with white free-hand machine embroidery and appliqueed lace flowers. Fully lined. Cotton crocheted lace bonnet is by my thirteen year old daughter.

How to Buy the Seventh Harry Potter Book

By all reports, the lines at the bookstores were long last night, as Harry Potter fans lined up early to acquire their copies of the new release. At Barnes and Noble Booksellers, staff members were issuing armbands, so that people in line would receive copies of the book in turn. Those who pre-ordered first, of course. Others would have to wait. But everyone would, in turn, hopefully get a chance. And the lines were long. And the parking lot full. Around the world, fans camped out. Silly.

Such would my silly husband have been, were it not for my very sage advice.

At midnight, I sent him to the grocery store. I had, after all, forgotten Hamburger buns and Applejuice. The grocery store was also selling the Harry Potter book starting at 12:01, while supplies last. The grocery store is sort "ghetto". Half the people around here don't read much. And at least a fourth of them are fundamentalist enough to condemn Harry Potter books as evil, sight unseen. No concept of symbolic literature, Christian or otherwise.

So, to the ghetto Kroger store he went. No lines. No waiting. He said perhaps six people were grabbing copies of the book off the table where the store worker was setting up a display. He checked himself out using the U-scan express and got a five dollar discount for using his Kroger Plus card.

And then, dear readers, he had hours and hours to read in which, had he gone to the yuppie bookstore, he would have beens standing in line.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sometimes it pays to live in the ghetto.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Waaaaaaaaaaah!

^%$#%$%^$#^%$!!!!!!!!

I've been blocking my meds. In other words, my fibro has been getting worse lately, instead of gradually better. No wonder I've been so tired lately. No wonder the cane has been with me the past few Sundays. I'm so mad at myself. Several months of using the wrong toothpaste, and I may as well have been flushing those pills I've been taking down the toilet. How could I have messed up on the toothpaste I buy???

From now on I"m order my toothpaste from one of those companys that caters to fibromyalgics on the protocol I'm on.

Now I want to curl up and cry.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Video from my vacation....

A cup of cold water in my name....

I don't normally blog about almsgiving. It's supposed to be done in secret, after all. But this, well, this story must be told, because it is a story of failure. Sin.

My neighbor called out to me one day, just as I was frantically searching for my daughter: Do I have a washing machine and dryer she can borrow for a load of laundry? I said no, and kept going...looking for my bike riding, independent kid.

Well, the next day, she came into my yard. I was on my back porch. She strikes up a conversation about her hard luck life. A small, shriveled person. Probably my age or five years older, but looks twenty years older. Has a daughter the age of my kids, though, who does not live with her. She has substance abuser written all over her face and body. I wonder what kind.

She asks about the laundry again, and I offered to wash a load for her and bring them to her apartment when they are dry. She asks me for money: A hundred and twelve dollars. I say no. Do I want to buy some stuff off her. I say no. She asks to use my cell phone. Free long distance. I let her. Sitting there, listening to her call her dad and ask for money. Finally she asks for a dollar..."I want a beer" with a sheepish look on her face. I give her a beer instead. She drinks it and chats on the phone.

Later that evening I dropped off her clothes. Liquor bottles everywhere, and no rent money. Figures.


Well, the next day she's back again. With an empty, scummy coffee cup. Can she use my phone again, and do I have some coffee? I brew her some, while she makes the call to find out if her dad will send the money. I ask her if she's eaten today, and of course she has not. I make her a sandwich. I'm running late, need to get out the door, so wrap it all up. She asks if she can have some coffee grounds and sugar to take with her. Fine! I give her some of that, too. Does this woman think we OWE her? My resentment starts to grow a bit. She's making me late for my appointment.

So, she leaves, and I go back into my bedroom to change clothes, and I hear something. I come out, and there she is IN MY DINING ROOM! She asks me for money. Fine, here's two dollars, and do me a favor, please! DON'T come in my house again!

OK, boundary set. "See you tonight," and she leaves. I dread "tonight". That was Wednesday. On the following Sunday I am on my back porch, reading, and here she comes again. "Things sure have been quiet around your place these past few days..." Oh, is she spying on me, or what? "Yeah..." "Hey, you got any spaghetti noodles? I have this sauce, and no noodles. I'm hungry" Well I'm tired and ache all over.... "Nope, no spaghetti noodles (you came into my house, lady, and I don't like that.) "Well, I borrowed your broom, and used it to sweep out my kitchen." I look. The broom that is usually kept on the back porch, is over by the fence. Niiiice. I just blink at her, astonished. "You got any macaroni noodles I can have?" No. I do not have any macaroni noodles you can have. (Yah, those are for my to feed my kids with.) "What you been up to?" she asks. "I've been sick." "You got the flu or something?" "No, I have a chronic incurable disease." She hops up and fetches the broom she'd dumped by my back fence and puts it where it belongs. "Oh, well. I was going to ask to use your phone, but since you're sick, I'll leave you alone."

Thank God for small mercies. I feel slightly crappy about my lack of generosity, and slightly pissed about the broom. I opted not to tell her that that's the broom with poop on it.

A few days later, there she is again. Can she borrow the phone? Sure. One quick call, I'm expecting a call. She makes two calls. But they ARE quick. Sigh. She sits and chats. She'd be happy to help me out: do some cleaning, whatever. She wouldn't ask much in return. Just some coffee or a coke, you know. I thank her and tell her I'd keep it in mind. (not that I have any intention of EVER letting her into my home to look through my stuff, you know)

She gets up to leave. "You don't happen to have a coke I can have, do you?" "Sorry, we don't drink coke." "What?! but it's good!" "It's really bad for you," I say, as I see her out the porch door.

Not five minutes later, there she is again. She's holding a glass full of ice cubes. Got milk? She's asking for milk! For crying out loud! NO! I do NOT have any milk you can have. And by the way, you constantly asking for stuff from me really bothers me. I was blunt. But I didn't yell. I wanted to yell. About coming into my house, about borrowing the broom without my permission. About boundaries. About rehab, or something. Should I help you out one more time? Here, let me make you a cardboard sign to you can expand the reach of you begging to the larger community. That's what was in my heart. Not what I say. I just tell her it bothers me, and she leaves. Without milk.

And I learned that I'm not as generous as I liked to think I was. And I learned that it's easy to give alms when it's on MY terms, but when it's on other's terms, I have a very short fuse.

And I'm wondering about addiction, enabling, and how that factors into almsgiving, and neighborliness. I've never given it a thought before. I've always said that hey, if I were homeless, I'd want a drink, too. Pinching pennies for meth hits? I don't know. Will she break into my house at some point, to get what she feels like is her due? I don't know. I wonder. I wonder about almsgiving and boundaries. Is there a point where it's enough, or does Christ call us to just give and give and give and give?

I feel dirty in all this. And I'm going to confession on Saturday and hopefully I'll have some more light. Because right now I don't ever want to see this woman again. Not to mention try to "be Jesus" to her, or see her as the "least of these"..as Christ to me. Nope, the love is just. not. there. O Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Communion of the Saints

Tomorrow night I,m teaching the catechism/inquirer's class. The topic is communion of the saints. I have done nothing, so far, to prepare for it, but pray. Yipes! Must dig through some books.

But I also have baptismal gown to finish...

It is going to be a couple of very busy days.

Update: Finished the sewing. Now on to the Catechism class!!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Give Us this Day our Daily Bread

There is a simplicity in this prayer. Not that I'm eating bread these days. But I'm reminded of when the One who is the Bread of Life said "Why do you worry about your clothes, about what you will wear? Does not your Father in heaven know...?"

My friend lisa is exploring some clothing related issues on her blog. To sum it up: Wearing and seeking out Fair Trade Clothing as a way of living justly in this world. One more drop in the bucket of the miriad of things that we do and buy in this world. Recognizing the impact that our choices make on others...even our neighbors in places we never give a thought to-like India. (I'm developing a fascinatio with Bollywood movies, but that's beside the point. I find that the Tamil language is very lyrical and beautiful, even when one does not understand one iota of it...but I digress...)

So, as a jumping off point from that interesting set of posts and comments, I've been wondering: what would a minimalist wardrobe look like, for me? I have a closet stuffed full of dorky clothes. But many of them are getting worn out. What if I don't seek actively to replace the ones that are starting to get holes in them? What if I just see how low I can go? What if I set aside some of my stuff and see how little I can functionally get away with wearing on a regular basis?

For instance: I have this one sundress that is loose and flowy and forgiving and it feels like a night gown. Whenver it is clean, I find myself reaching for that particular dress to wear with my sandals. In fact, I like it so much, I often check for food spillage, and do the armpit sniff test and go European by wearing it (shock!) two days in a row before sending it through the wash again.

Now, I know that here in heat-and-humidity-land, that is not always feasible. But sometimes, perhaps it is.

I just want to challenge my thinking on how many clothes I think I need. And I want to challenge my thinking on acquisitiveness...just for the sake thereof.

Sigh...but every once in a while, along comes something like that April Cornell dress from the thrift store that seems like such a FIND...like a love note from God Himself who cares about the lilies of the fields and promises to take care of our NEEDS. And he does it in such lovely ways, so much of the time.

So, I do want to challenge myself...but I also want to have that anticipation: What will God provide? To me, often shopping at the thrift store is like that: I actually go and pray about the things we need, and often I find really cool stuff that is actually answered prayers.

I don't want to own too much, though. It's so hard to find the right balance.

Overdone

Burnt. Toast. Fried. Lots of such phrases apply.

We went to my husband's company picnic today. Yes, company pic nic. I'm just grateful he works at a company. Not to mention one that throws fun company pic nics with free food, etc. I was very good. I only ate what was on my diet but OH! I wanted something sweet so bad. My craving was for a diet soda, which I have decided are hugely unhealthy, so I had water instead. It was hard.

The big no-no that I indulged in was a tumble in one of those big inflatable obstacle courses. Wes and I raced, and he won of course. It involved, at the end, climbing a inflated wall with a rope and sliding down the other side. I knew when I was done that I should not have done it. Bad me.

Now I'm hurting and really tired. But it was fun. And then we got lost getting out of Louisville, so we didn't make it home in time to get ready for, and make it to vespers. Oh, well. Life happenslike that sometimes.

And I lost five pounds this week. Most of that was water, which is normal for the first week, but what a great beginning!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thy Will be Done


Sometimes you go along, praying about something, getting excited about dreams, ideas, "a vision", "a calling"...whatever you want to call it. And it seems good. And it seems holy. And the door slams shut in your face and it becomes clear that praying
"Thy will be done" can sometimes mean that even for the seemingly good stuff, you don't get your way.

That God has different plans.

Today is such a day, and I'm waiting for my emotions to catch up with my will to say "yes" to God...even God's potential "no's".

Story of my life.

In happier news, I found an April Cornell dress at the thrift store yesterday...in my size, and it looks nice on me! Pale yellow with pretty blue flowers. Not suave or hip or anything, but pretty, I think.

And a really pretty simple pink vase. Now I wish I had daisies to go in it.

This kids scored some cool finds at the thrift store too: my oldest, in particular, found the next level clarinet book in the series she's been using, for sixty cents!

Must. Get. Out. Of. This. Funk. And. Go. Do. Some. Chores.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

...and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance...

Two out of four of my kids learned to ride their bikes yesterday. One already figured it out a few years ago, and the youngest is thus far less motivated.

I'm very glad for them. Bike riding is fun.

I'm terrified. Bike riding can be dangerous.

...and I have learned how to: remove and replace a wheel, a tire, an inner tube, and readjust seats/handlebars and get a bike chain back in position. I don't particularlty enjoy getting my fingers greasy.

Seriously, I'm happy for my kids, though.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Just another Manic Sunday...

...oh, oh, oh...wish it were Monday. 'Cuz that's my fun day...oh, oh, oh...my "I don't have to run day"...just another manic Sunday.

Yeah, so I changed the words a little bit. I think the reason I"m so slammed is carbohydrate withdrawal. The fatigue is immense: like my body is in a cast and just does not want to move. But my brain is still alive, so I feel somewhat trapped.

I managed to make it the Church this morning, and even through the wedding. The pews at our parish are total spine-crunchers and I had to ask my husband to fetch me a chair out of the office. He brought it clear to the front of the nave where I was sitting, and there I perched. (Now don't go writing me and telling me I ought to be standing...HA!) It was a wee bit embarrassing. I don't think I've been this tired since needing a wheelchair at the museum in Chicago last fall.

And our reel mower is terrible. Not that we don't like the idea of a reel mower, just that the particular one we bought is a piece of crap, since the height adjuster is soft plastic, and just. won't. stay. put. So the machine clogs on regular grass because it gets it too close to the ground and it's impossible to use. The height adjuster of our next mower is going to be metal, durable and have notches or something. We are SUCH bad shoppers!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Out

I ran out of energy quite early in the day today. I was mowing the grass with our reel-mower and it was just a bit more than I could handle. I'm zonked. And I had to run to the store to pick up a few more things, and good heavens! I felt worse than I have in a while.

I've been mostly still and quiet this afternoon but it's not helping. I still feel zonked.

I think part of my problem, is I ran out of my meds a few days back, and have yet to re-order.

Sorry I don't have anything better to write.

Friday, July 06, 2007

For some reason it won't let me make a title.

Don't forget, the weight loss blog, "Move Your Bloomin' Arse" is taking invitations for participants. It will be a closed blog, for only the participants to see and write on, so that we can have a closed support group, and preserve our privacy a bit. However, right now I am at the point of inviting others to join in. There are two of us so far, with two invitations pending. More are welcome. Let me know.

I bought a scale today and Oh. My. Goodness! I've gained more weight than I realized. Tomorrow I weigh in officially and redouble my efforts. I need all the prayers I can get, too. Call me Cleopatra, everybody, 'cause I'm the queen of denial.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Team Blog for Weight Loss

OK, several of my readers have expressed interest in participating in some sort of internet diet support group. To that end, I'm setting up a team blog. Each member can post and we can commiserate together. I don't want morning coffee to be dominated by boring food lists, and stuff, so that's why I try not to blog about the never-ending struggle to battle the bulge.

Please e-mail me your e-mail address if you would like to participate in this team blog, and also suggestions of what we can call it. My e-mail address is alanaatigloudotcom.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Warning: Beee-otchy Self-Flagellating Rant


So, a friend took my photo last night. I'm extremely camera shy, and it was somewhat excruciating, but I love her and she's moving, so I let hr. Yipes! I'm fat! (despite what the very generous and kind Melania thinks.)

I'm at that point where I want to cry about it. I get this way sometimes, and it usually is a harbinger of change. I threw away my old useless scale that was ludicrously inaccurate a few weeks ago. The scale was one of those where you get on it, and it gives you weight A, then you get off and it stops at the 5 pound mark instead of zero, you adjust it, then you step on it again, and you get A-5, etc. So, who knows. The scale had to go.

But I feel like I have no lifeline, and that I'm drowning. Drowning in an ocean of daily less-than-perfect choices. I can step back and KNOW what the problem is, but when it comes down to it, I have trouble making better choices.

It's been like this ever since I gave up artificial sweeteners, diet sodas included. I've been cheating and allowing myself too many "just this once" sugar indulgences". Sunday's are especially difficult. My whole parish gets to watch me fail, and I SO feel like I'm always on display. And the crappy thing is, not only does it make me fat, it makes my muscles hurt, too. So, why am I destroying myself thus?

One reason is, that I'm trying to provide the foods my daughter needs to be healthy (gluten and casein free) and the making of them means I have less energy to make the lower carb things that I need and I end up grabbing whatever's available when I'm crashing.

Every time I go to confession, I confess eating too much, eating the wrong foods. Yes, I know in a broad spectrum sort of way that I have a big problem. I even know some of the foods that give me trouble: Panera pastries at Church, Tortilla chips, pop corn, and plain Cheerios. I ought to switch to low fat/fat free milk products but....sigh. It's funny that I feel guilty about the 1 gram of sugar in Cheerios, but have no qualms about making a "just this once" exception and popping a brownie inmy mouth, where the guilt comes AFTER the fact, not in time to stop me. Dense. And I use too much oil in my cooking. Those are my culinary sins, and they add up, don't they?

Part of me wants to do Weight Watchers, and I HATE weight watchers. This desire is a symptom of how desperate I feel. Ten bucks a week for annoying support and the chance to step onto an accurate scale. Accountability, commerically packaged for my convenience.

Wes, of course, does NOT want to have to pay for weight watchers. That's probably good, on a macro-financial level, but it's just sort of enhances that feeling of drowning that I have. Floundering on my own. Being alone in this.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know I'm PMSing, but that does not make how I feel less real.

I'd better go for a walk. But that's the other thing: I've been hit hard with the fibro lately (in part because of my bad food choices, I know) and YET, I still force myself out the door almost every morning, for a four mile walk. It's hard to be happy about walking, even though I theoretically LOVE it, when I'm aching all over.

OK, that's my rant. Now I'll let guilt drive me out the door for some exercise.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Tagged


Michelle Melania tagged me. Eight random things:

1. I have really small ears and a big head. Hats rarely fit me.
2. For a chronically ill person, I exercise alot. Come to think of it, I exercise alot, for an american. And I"m still fat. Go figure. Hate to think how fat I'd be if I didn't exercise. This IS the "good version" of me. Today I walked four miles.
3. I love submarines: pictures of them, books and movies about them, the way the water looks flowing over the front part, etc. Oh, and bonus trivia, I like Naval histories as well. And another bonus, I've never been on a boat on the ocean.
4. I'm horribly afraid of heights, but not of flying, per se, although I'd be afraid to fly now days for fear of getting stuck on a tarmac somewhere for eight hours with no food.
5. I'm allergic to peanuts, and did not develop that allergy until I was 36 years old.
6. I love to sing and think I'd have a very good voice if I ever got voice lessons.
7. I write songs.
8. I speak/read four languages, with plans to learn at least two more soon: English, Swiss, German, French, and I'd like to add Spanish and Russian. I've also studied Biblical Greek, but can't seem to locate the file in my brain where most of that information is kept. I think it got erased and written over by the motherhood files.

I'm too lazy to tag anyone.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Into Great Silence

I went and saw the film "Into Great Silence" (Die Grosse Stille) this afternoon. I went, barely knowing what the film was about, with no expectations.

I was the youngest person there.

Here is what the website says about the film:

Die Grande Chartreuse, das Mutterkloster des legendären Karthäuserordens, liegt in den Französischen Alpen. ›Die Große Stille‹ ist der erste Film, der jemals über das Leben hinter den Klostermauern gedreht wurde.

Stille. Wiederholung. Rhythmus.

Der Film ist eine sehr strenge, fast stumme Meditation über das Klosterleben in sehr reiner Form. Keine Musik, bis auf die Gesänge der Mönche, keine Interviews, keine Kommentare, kein zusätzliches Material.

Nur der Lauf der Zeit, der Wechsel der Jahreszeiten und das sich stetig wiederholende Element des Tages: das Gebet.

Ein Film, selbst mehr Kloster als Abbild.

Ein Film über Bewusstsein, über absolute Präsenz – und über Menschen, die ihre Lebenszeit in aller Klarheit Gott gewidmet haben. Kontemplation.

Eine Reise in die Stille.


Translation: "The Great Chartreuse, the mother house (main house) of the legendary "Karthauserordens" (Something House Orders), is located in the French Alps. "Into Great Silence" is the first film ever made to capture life behind the monastery walls.

Silence. Repetition. Rhythm.

The film is a very strict, almost mute meditation of monastic life in a very pure form. No music, except for the monk's songs, no interviews, no commentary, no extra material.

Only the passage of time, the changes of the seasons and the ever-repeating theme of the days: prayer.

A film, itself more monastery than documentary.

A film about awareness, about absolute presence-and about persons who in all clarity have yielded their entire lives to God. Contemplation.

A trip into silence."

My take on the film: I loved it and I did not love it. The silence is deceptive, because it is not truly silence-as-emptiness, but rather silence-in-prayer, and the stillness of the movie failed to capture the prayers I knew the monks were silently praying. As I was watching it, I longed to participate with the monks in these prayers, but was only given silence and visuals. It seemed like it would be more appropriate to bring a prayer rope or a rosary and intentionally allow the movie to be a call to prayer. I think that's what the monks would want.

I was struck with the pure joy exhibited throughout this film in the lives of the monks. That was beautiful. The scenery, too, was breathtaking.

However, I was also left feeling like I was a peeping tom, looking in at something holy and private. Like a gawker. This aspect left me a bit uncomfortable.

At one point in the film, the monastics were in Church, doing something Latin ina sombre Gregorian chant. I was fervently wishing there were subtitles of what was being sung. But soon, the camera shot changed, to focus in on the song book. I could decipher just enough Latin to recognize the Polyelios! Ah, I knew what they were praying! I pray those prayers, too! A connection.

Go see this movie. Take along a prayer rope or Rosary. Join in.