Monday, October 30, 2006

SWB Monday with a Migraine! Oh Joy!

Yes, I started out this Monday morning doing so well. I was showered and dressed ready to go work in Marley's classroom when the parent I was subbing in for called to say that she could work after all. I can handle that. Later, after reading with her in class, one of the other moms and I decided to go for a good walk today. Yeah, I can handle that, too. Then, about halfway through the walk, I noticed my vision getting funny. I believe it is called an "aura." Nope, I can't handle that. Well, I sort of can, but I don't want to. I managed to hang on until we got back to my car. My handy-dandy Frovatryptan was in the car ready for me to take. (I don't go anywhere without my Frova, ladies and gentlemen.) Off to home, I traveled and off to bed. I am feeling much better now although my head is still hurting. So, here goes Sleeping with Bread for today.

In the last week, when did I feel most whole?

Although sometimes I still feel as though I have "miles to go before I sleep" in the health department due to my need to work on my diet and exercise program, I have actually been feeling more myself these last few weeks. In the last week, I think that was evidenced in my exploration of my daughter's personality type. This is the kind of thing that I just love to do and researching her Meyers-Briggs personality type, putting the pieces of her personality puzzle together and then coming up with life applications using that to help wrangle her is fun for me. (Excuse me, did I say wrangle? I meant parent. That's it. Parent her.) I am looking forward to seeing how this all works out. Then, in true Mary fashion, I'll need to find a new project.

In the last week, when did I feel the most fragmented?

That would be today. Migraines suck. It is always discouraging to get one, especially when there was so much I could have done with my day. I can't let that statement go it alone, though, because I am so fortunate in that my migraines are minor compared to what many migraine sufferers experience. Also, the last time I had any migraines was last spring. Those two headaches took a lot out of me. I know now they were particularly troublesome because of the sleep apnea. And now, I'm on the CPAP and feeling better today after just a few hours than I did for days afterwards the last time. So really, it is again, as it was last week, a desolation that comes right alongside a consolation.

Also Sleeping with Bread today:

atypical of nonsensical text: crispy crusts and melted butter

Sheila of musings of a mommy: Sleeping with Bread

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Little Kentucky Perfection

Update: I was having some problems with Blogger publishing and receiving an error that suggested this post was causing a problem. How that would have been possible I don't know. I tried deleting this post but am still having the problem. So... I've put it back and pasted the comments into the post.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

My friend, Michelle, otherwise known as chickenone of ky coop cast is quite simply one of the best people I could ever imagine knowing. Her move to the land of bluegrass and thoroughbreds was devastating. We've stayed in touch and have been fortunate enough to see each other often in the last two years. Is it two or three years? I can't remember.

Michelle joined me in the blogosphere in February of 2006 and I think she is Kentucky's best kept blog secret. She puts her special perspective on life as a stay at home mom of three rambunctious boys or as a newcomer to the southeast. In September I found myself laughing out loud at her post called Book Smart? I've already linked it up once before in the last few weeks but when I got the reminder email for September's Perfect Post awards, I knew that this would be my nomination.

In the way that only Michelle could, she takes a rough day as a mom and spins it into blog post gold. Check it out, I promise you won't be sorry.


At Monday, October 02, 2006 6:02:49 AM, Em said…

What a great post - thanks for sharing!

At Tuesday, October 03, 2006 2:41:29 AM, V-Grrrl said…

Oh I felt her pain--and the strength of her humor and good intentions. Great choice!

At Wednesday, October 04, 2006 3:18:23 PM, Kristen said…

Yay, Michelle! I remember this post - kudos for nominating it! :-)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I may regret this in the morning...

I've been brewing up a post about my travel to and from Kentucky and my adventures in extroversion during said travel. It just isn't coming together yet, so I will save that for another day. . . or not. We'll see.

Instead I find myself with no real direction but wanting to get something out there. I guess I could consider what that means. Why do I want to get a post up. Do I feel pressure to keep posts coming? Do I just want to "talk"? Blah, blah, blah.

Or, I could talk about my recent re-delving into the book Nurture by Nature by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger, a book on personality and children. I've known what personality I think my son is for awhile but haven't really nailed down what I think my daughter is. I've gotten closer this week and it is sooooooo interesting. For those of you who are familiar with the Meyers-Briggs Temperament Inventory, she is swinging mostly toward being an ESTP with some ESFP leanings.

Then there's the comment my son made tonight that "Dad did better with us while you were gone than you do when he is gone." He was just stating his observation, nothing personal intended, I'm sure. (I do know that this is true as far as keeping the house up and keeping Marley busy but who wants that pointed out?)

I am about to go just a little bit insane watching all the political commercials as we get closer and closer to the next election. How do you know who to believe or what to believe? Where do you get the information to know whether Candidate A really took money from Insurance people or that Candidate B is really, never, ever, pinky-swear going to do that?

There is the cutest pregnant guinea pig at a small pet store nearby. They are going out of business in the next few days and I am glad. Marley asks for a new guinea pig every time we buy food or bedding for the ones we already have. Being the chief pooper-scooper, I have no intention of adding to our piggy duo; however, that pregnant piggy is so, so adorable that I start thinking how precious teeny, tiny little guinea pig babies would be. That store will be closed before those little temptations will be born. I repeat: I am glad about that.

Hugh Laurie is going to be on Saturday Night Live tonight. We'll be recording that for later viewing.

Maybe part of my problem is the weather. It has been hot and windy and my sinuses are acting up, probably exacerbated by the CPAP that is my night-time sleep partner. The air quality is also worse because of some horrible fires that are burning a couple of hours away.

Um... I'm getting embarassed now. This is rambling at its worst.

But I'm still gonna push that "Publish Post" button.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Happpy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

I stopped in to our local Tower Records and Books tonight. They are going out of business and so everything in the store is on sale.

Here is what I bought:

The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy
The March by E.L. Doctorow
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
March by Geraldine Brooks
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

I feel like Daffy Duck in the cartoon where he has found a cave of treasure and he yells with much elation, "It's mine, all mine!"

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

SWB Monday with Tardiness

I am a day late with my Sleeping with Bread post. I spent most of yesterday traveling and catching up with my family. These posts are so good for me as a reflecting point in the week, though, that I wanted to make time for it today.

In the last week, what has given me consolation?

Piggy-backing on last week's consolation, my time away was quite refreshing. I experienced rest, renewal and relationship: rest in the form of lazing about my friend's house; renewal in the form of the opportunity to read a few books; and relationship in the form of spending time with Michelle and her family.

What a treat it was to wake up whenever I felt like, shower when I wanted, exercise on my own schedule, not have to think about meals but just show up when dinner was ready. Yes, it felt as good as it sounds. I had been working on two books before I left and without the distractions of everyday life, was able to finish both of them: Revolutionary Road and The Banyan Tree. I then started working on Beach Music by Pat Conroy.

I really enjoy Michelle's three sons and although her husband was busy with some evening meetings, it is always nice to have some talk time with him. Although the joke between us is that he is lucky I like him, he's a keeper. And best of course, was time to hang out with Michelle, see a couple of movies (The Departed and Marie Antoinette,) try to catch her up on two seasons of Lost (not an easy task,) spend a day driving up to Dayton to see a rare exhibition of Rembrandt paintings and etchings and so on and so on. It was a dark day... who am I kidding... it was a dark few months when Michelle left California and I feel blessed to have had so many opportunities to see her since she left.

In the last week, for what caused me desolation?

It was so nice to get away for my "mommy vacation" that I can hardly think of any feelings of desolation at all. I did experience some loneliness for my kids toward the end of the week. What I noticed is that I usually missed them most when I was somewhere where there were things I could buy for them. There is a book called The Five Love Languages which discusses the different ways that people give and receive love. I am definitely a person who expresses love by giving gifts.

I also felt some sadness in the last few days as I have been reading Beach Music. The main character, Jack, reminds me of my late uncle. The sadness is not so much about my uncle's death and grieving that but in thinking about the demons he faced during his life.

And I guess, to be perfectly frank, I would have to add the anxiety I feel when flying. My mother's little helper, Xanax, helped with that and the flights home were pretty smooth. Being the extrovert that I am, I also kept busy talking with my fellow passengers which helped to pass the time.

Also Sleeping with Bread this week:

Atypical of nonsensical text: when all you have are breadcrumbs.

Sheila of musings of a mommy: Sleeping with Bread.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

What I've Been Reading...

One of the joys of going away is free time to read, read, read. So far on this trip, I have finished two books: Revolutionary Road and The Banyan Tree. The Banyan Tree is written by Christopher Nolan. He is often compared to James Joyce and I can see why; however, I am at a loss to communicate in my own words the talent of this man. I told Michelle that I wanted other people I know to read this book so I could talk to them about it, but it isn't a book that many people would read, I think. Also, part of what I really want is to hear the book read aloud. It is that kind of writing.

One of the joys of reading is sharing what you've read with others, so I am quoting here a portion of book. I hope you can see in it what attracts me to this author and maybe, just maybe, one of you will be tempted to read it. This excerpt is from the first chapter and as I was typing the text into this post, I realized that this first chapter is really the whole book encapsulized in a few pages. If you like this, you will like the book.

That churn came out once a week, usually on a Friday. Big brown crocks of thickening cream stood there waiting for the fray. A great black kettle watched for its turn as it filibustered on the hot stove in the kitchen, while out in the drab dairy Minnie O'Brien fussed as she made ready to bring about a miracle.

The churn echoed in emptiness when she set it centre stage on the cold cement floor. A round-bellied barrel it was, its staves held together by four iron hoops. Eight days had passed since it was last used; its insides now waited their hot and cold baptism.

When Minnie felt that the churn was scrubbed enough, she set to next to sweeten its porous wood. At hand lay a bunch of freshly plucked hazel leaves, and those she thrust down inside it. Fetching then that big black kettle, she poured its boiling water in on top of the leaves. Scalded so, the leaves released their nutty sweet scent and the hot wood of the churn absorbed it into its druidic, dark drum.

Her hazel wand waved, Minnie disposed of the limp leaves before shocking the churn with, this time, icy cold water from the old spring well. Three white pails full it took to cool down the steaming hot wood, three whole pails full she used to freeze the churn in readiness for its sacramental rotations.

Nursing still their helium harvest the cataracted crocks waited, still playing their stoic games, but the moment they were lifted they yielded up their booty, listening in awe as their clotted cream dropped ploppingly down into the cold, damp coffin of dankness. There it lay fooling itself that it might yet escape, but then down slapped the lid snap went the clamps, and up the churn was hoisted onto its stand. There in total darkness the cream lay while the churn hung where it swung, while Minnie geared herself up for the imponderables ahead.

Eventually, her state of play ready, her sleeves pushed up to her elbows, her feet planted firmly, her children somewhere within earshot, she gripped hold of that handle and sent the engine of the churn Sundaying into life.

Plumbing its cargo the churn end-over-ended, the billygoat of its sum slopping and slapping against either end. Twisting the handle to the rhythm of an old O'Brien chant the churn and the churner gradually built up speed until the ginseng was singing:

'Going to Connecticut,
Going to Connecticut,
Going to Connecticut.'

There was, she knew, no great need for any member of the O'Brien family to emigrate, but with her hand still holding a loose grip of the handle, Ireland's long-ago potato famine but a memory, she activated the humbug until she had the rhythm reduced to:


A sense of lonesomeness equal to the evidence of an unkindness of ravens usually, and for no obvious reason, crept over her every time she churned, and it was then that she'd be glad to rope in her children, their complaining antidote to her sense of foreboding. 'Here Brendan, you take a turn', she'd say as she slid her hand away, and when properly humoured off he'd set on his drum-drum route to Connecticut. Sheila, when her turn came, always spat in her hand before she gripped the handle and, being a girl, and to prove her worth, she'd never ever give in till her mother shouted 'Whoa'.

By then the helium would be knocking for release, and it was the littlest of the three children who'd be chosen for the special thumb-task. Lifting him up, his mother would stand him on an old wooden box from where he could stretch in to place his thumb on the silver escape-valve. His strength was never sufficient to depress the button, so his mother would place her thumb securely on top of Frankie's and strengths combined, the little boy'd cheer as gas whistled from the churn. Minnie loved her littlest so, and making much of his miracle she'd hug him before lifting him down to the floor.

No time to let up. It'd be her turn again to grip the handle and set the churn in motion. Her right hand would grow weary and then her left as her journey upturned and turned up. Relief, though, would dawn when on stopping to examine the lid's little porthole window she'd discover that the cream had cracked and, yes, there they'd be, the little crumbs of butter sticking precariously to the round glass.

That would set her to change her tempo, for now she had to become as midwife to the crock of gold within the churn. Her hand rocking the cradle, she'd heel the churn over and back, see-sawing it until the butter gathered together into an island plashing around on a lake of blue-white milk.

Sesame-like she'd remove the lid, her eye taking in her harvest. Then, her hands washed, she'd lift up nuggets of the butter and hit them slap against the upturned and slanted lid. Milk hidden inside the butter would steal lava-like away and spill down to swell the milk in the churn. She'd never stop until her hoard of butter was ready to be dropped into a crock of fresh water. There it'd bob up and down as she kneaded and pummelled it, her children all the while keeping her supplied with ever more spring water. It was only when the water remained clear as nectar that her job was done, and even then she'd have to salt the butter to each one's taste.

The day's churning would be drawing near its climax, but Minnie would have yet to factotum the job. Cutting off a portion from that butter mound she, like a juggler, would toss her prize from one butter spade to another, slapping and slipping it, plopping and gripping it, until the golden butter was shaped to her mind's fancy and ready to be nudged onto a dark-green platter. There in its innocence it'd wait until, holding a spade pen-fashion, she'd inscribe her name upon it in a patter of dots and dashes.

Fridays of yore worried, but seldom now. The dairy was the location of those far-flung human endeavours. It was still there, but now its whitewashed walls grew seas of black mildew. The big brown crocks which had once held cream no longer held butter's promise; now they were laden down with the years' rusted junk. Voices, the young voices which once complained of tired turning of the handle, were silent now, flown to the four winds. Panicking behind the dairy door the churn, the focal point of those distant Fridays, crouched yonder in its place. The hoops which held in varnished staves were still there, holding it intact. The plughole piece of wood, the spigot, starved of moisture and now dry as cork, slept senile-stressed sleep underneath the dairy table. The two handles which used to loiter waiting their part in the lifting of the churn hung down in idleness, no need now their hanging strength. Yes, the barrel stood, but only just. Weary from the years' tomboy-thinking, it yet managed to hold its body together so that the round lid would have something to sit upon. Only the lid played God: there it sat upon its frame, a cobweb hiding its porthole window. Still waiting for the pressure of his thumb, its silver escape-valve damned well watched the door to see if the child might return to train his finger once again upon its button and allow it to whistle.

Excerpt from Anchor Books


I'm reading just a few blogs per day and commenting less than that. My trip is half-way over. Tomorrow is Michelle's youngest's "day off" of preschool so we will perhaps do something a four-year old will enjoy. On Saturday we drive up to Ohio to see a special exhibit of Rembrandt paintings/drawings that are only stopping at three places in the U.S. It is off to Lexington on Sunday where Michelle insists we will stop to take a picture of me with a horse. You know if it happens, I'll post it for you to see. Monday, I'm off to home. I spoke to Marley tonight who cried and said she missed me. Actually, Colin acted as facilitator because she wouldn't hold the phone. My heart tightened to hear her sad. I know she is fine and though I am still quite content to laze about the house here, I will be quite happy to see the kids and their dad on Monday!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sleeping with Bread Monday with Rest & Relaxation

In the last week, for what am I most grateful?

Kentucky! I'm actually looking ahead on this one. My visit in Kentucky has just started but it feels so good to get away. She is an excellent hostess and I am most comfortable here. (If you have been here, you know what I mean.) I had a great night's sleep, some exercise and Starbucks twice in one day! (Thanks to Logan for Round Two.) Right now, Michelle is cooking fajitas in the kitchen for dinner. Tonight, we head out to the movies. Who knows what else the week will bring? The great thing is, it doesn't matter. I am content to hang out in Michelle's life this week.

In the last week, for what am I least grateful?

I feel so far away from home that I cannot even think about what might have been bad about last week. Oops! I just remembered something. Ultimately, it wasn't necessarily bad, but it was difficult. I am experiencing some growing pains as a parent. Colin is experiencing growing pains as a teenager. There was a clash of Titans last week. (Titans being mine and Paul's idea of what should happen and Colin's idea of what should happen.) Like I said, it worked out okay but it is painful to see that the ways I could comfort my son when he was six don't work now that he is 14. Paul and I have as much adjustment to this age as our son does. Part of that growing experience for Paul and me is how Colin sees us function. I tend to be the mouthpiece (no laughing at my use of the word 'tend'.) I need to step back and give Paul more room to be the voice of some things at home. It isn't that Paul and I aren't in agreement, it is just that I am the town crier.

This actually brings me to another consolation. On the flight to Michelle's, she asked me about some of the things I have been saying here at Life, the Universe and Everything about my parenting. She was a great encouragement to me about what she sees as my strengths and she challenged me to consider that some of my perspective isn't accurate. I realized as she and I were talking how heavy this has all been on my heart but that realization came with the hope that maybe, just maybe, my kids won't grow up to hate me.

Also Sleeping with Bread today:

Sheila of musings of a mommy
atypical of nonsensical text
Zoey of life girl
TerriB of Tip of the Iceberg (This isn't formatted like a typical SWB post but it is intended to be a similar look at something in her life that causes both consolation and desolation.)

I've been trying to post both the blog site and the permalink; however, Michelle is running blogger on a MAC and there is virtually no tools in the create post toolbar. Seriously, a spell check and an a picture upload icon. That is it! C'mon blogger, help us out here.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oh, the sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home...

Well, it isn't my Kentucky home, but my friend Michelle's at ky coop cast. I'm leaving for a whole week--eight days actually--to go visit Michelle in the bluegrass state.

I'm very excited. The Santa Ana winds have passed but this mom is still in need of some R & R if I want to keep another Wall Rage incident from happening. It has been a year since I took a mommy vacation and there have been at least three 10-day business trips, in addition to all the other trips, for Paul. It's time.

Of course, you may remember if you memorized my 100 things list that I am afraid of flying. (You DID memorize it, didn't you?) So I get on the plane today, not brave at all, but grateful for the fact that my friend Michelle will be flying with me one way and that my doctor called in a prescription for six Xanax in case my anxiety gets a little overwhelming. My other coping mechanisms include a healthy dose of defensive pessimism (if you read the comments on this post, you will find my extreme way of dealing with flying) and a lot of prayer. Those amongst you who pray feel free to pray for my travel mercies. I do believe in retroactive prayer so no matter what time you are reading this, it isn't too late. Non-prayers: good thoughts are welcome, too.

I feel like I should be saying that you won't be reading any new posts from me or any comments in the next eight days--but really, who are we kidding? Michelle has a computer. It isn't like I'm going to be on a tour bus the whole time. I'm a blog addict. I know that. However, I may not post more than once and I can't spend three hours at a shot being a mouse potato when I've got my dear friend near to me.

Don't forget me though, okay?

picture by Marley

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Bloggy Book Recommendation

My sister-in-law, TerriB of Tip of the Iceberg just posted on a recent trip to a bookstore. One thing I have noticed in my corner of the blog'verse is that quite a few of us were English/Lit. majors and even more of us are book fanatics. I think the book lovers among us would appreciate this post called Books! Books! Everywhere, Books!.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Wall Rage

This is the doll bed I bought for Marley at Ikea.

This is the foot of the doll bed I bought for Marley at Ikea.

This is the imprint on the wall made by the foot of the doll bed I bought for Marley at Ikea.

No, Marley didn't do it.
No, Colin didn't do it.
No, Paul didn't do it.
Yes, I, Mary the calm and temperate, in a fit of rage one day, did it.

Bub and Pie recently wrote about the rage she has sometimes experiences. Writing about it was cathartic for her and she wondered if anyone else had posts brewing about her own rage.

While I did not have a specific post brewing, I did happen to glance over at the chunk I took out of what was, at the time, a freshly painted wall and I knew I could throw together this pictorial fairly quickly. It doesn't do anything other than show the physical result of one episode of rage but this is what I can tell you about that day:

I don't remember what I was so outraged by only that I was very angry and the doll bed was lying in my path. I picked it up and threw it at no particular target. The half-second of satisfaction I felt in my decision to huck the thing was quickly overshadowed by my disgust at myself--not just for throwing it but because we had just painted the walls a lovely shade of blue. I definitely had more than a half-second of remorse about it and was grateful no one was around to witness the spectacle.

Physically, the "wall incident" was me at my most extreme. However, in the past I have spent far too much time indulging my rage. Rage from hormone imbalance. Rage from sleep deprivation. Rage from feeling thwarted. My family was subject to verbal outbursts and my stomping about. When Bub & Pie describes, much more eloquently than I can, her emotion, I remember clearly feeling the same way.

Eventually, I started to see that I was justifying my anger--fueling it with excuses. Yes, I was tired. Yes, I have PMS. Yes, I was raised to respond that way. Yes, Paul should automatically capitulate to my every demand. (Kidding!) The satisfaction I gained, though, by giving in began to be outweighed by my realizations of the harm I was doing emotionally to my family and to myself. I began to fight those impulses and I got better... until this past May when I started feeling in a big way the effects of sleep apnea. I started giving in to my frustrations again... then things got better... again.

Something that helps me deal now with my rage is the awareness that my anger is temporary. It will subside. Like the Santa Ana winds I wrote metaphorically about recently, it will pass. I just need to hold on--hold on to thoughts of my family, hold on to a desire to be obedient to God, hold on to help and sympathy from friends and family, hold on to God. Just hold on.

(Let me clarify that when I say I am better at handling my rage, I am not saying I am perfect at it. I still get frustrated and thwarted and hormonal and raise my voice but I am much less likely to stew in it and more likely to process it in a good way. AND, I do believe it is perfectly okay to express frustration.)

Thanks to Bub & Pie for her post on rage and for her inspiration to write about it myself.

"...but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

This One Had Me "Rolling On the Floor Laughing"

ROFL button

Mommy off the Record and Izzy Mom have started the ROFL Award. Like the Perfect Post Award, the ROFL Award is an opportunity to share the bloggy love with others. In the case of the ROFL, it is a chance to share a post that had you Rolling On the Floor Laughing.

I knew right away which post I wanted to nominate this month. Aliki2006 over at World of One Thousand Different Things wrote one day in September about an exchange with her son, Liam called Sometimes you just don't know whether to laugh or cry. I chose to laugh. His way of dealing with her discontent over the state of his room cracked me up. And, if he ever finds a way to market that solution, I know one 14 year old boy who is near and dear to me who will order one in a flash!

Go check out Aliki2006's most inventive little boy.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fun with Slogans

Bub and Pie recently did 10 lists of 10 for her 100th post. One list was 10 slogans she got from this generator. Of course, being a follower, I headed right over. Here are 10 potential slogans for my blog if I ever get famous and need to advertise:
  1. A Smooth-Running Life, The Universe And Everything is a Relaxing Experience.
  2. Moms Like You Choose Life, The Universe And Everything.
  3. Maybe She's Born With It, Maybe It's Life, The Universe And Everything.
  4. It's Good To Talk Life, The Universe And Everything.
  5. I am Stuck on Life, The Universe And Everything, 'Cause Life, The Universe And Everything's Stuck on Me.
  6. Think Life, The Universe And Everything.
  7. I Want My Life, The Universe And Everything.
  8. It's Not TV. It's Life, The Universe And Everything.
  9. Life, The Universe And Everything - It Does a Body Good.
  10. Try Life, The Universe And Everything, You'll Like It.

Sleeping with Bread Monday with Friends and Frustration

In the last week, for what am I most grateful?

It is 6:40 a.m. I am bleary-eyed. Right now I can hardly recall the last week, much less what in it makes me grateful. Normally, I wouldn't try to do this post so early but I have to work in Marley's class today.

Wake up Mary. For what are you most grateful this week?




Okay. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I am most grateful for friends and my church family.
  1. I got to sit down with one last night over dinner and coffee and have a nice, long chat about life with kids, the universe of a busy mom with kids, and everything else you might imagine.
  2. I had another friend from church check in with me after reading about the Marley exploits this week. She asked how I was doing and made sympathetic noises.
  3. A good friend called to catch up. As usual, life interrupted us before we were finished talking. We did get in nearly an hour on the phone before that happened. An hour! How great is that?
  4. My sister-in-law (and good friend) called to check in on me after I missed a meeting with the graduate advisor. She had a meeting scheduled for the next hour. Both of us having the same last name, the advisor asked about me. Of course, I was fine. I had just forgotten about the meeting because of all the royal antics that morning.
Ne'er a week goes by that I don't have some meaningful connection with my friends and church family and for that, I am grateful.

In the last week, for what am I least grateful?

The sleepiness affects me here, too. Only, instead of making it hard to think of something, it makes it too easy to come up with a list of complaints. I don't want to do that. Let's see... I think in the last week, I am least grateful for myself. In looking over my personality profile recently, I recognize certain characteristics that I don't like right now about being an ENFP, including but not limited to:

  1. serious mistakes in judgment deriving from a tendency to focus on data which confirm their own biases
  2. being hypersensitive and hyperalert, thus a tendency towards muscle tension
  3. sometimes being too impatient with others
  4. becoming restless with painstaking detail and follow-through
  5. not always being interested in saving for the future
  6. and as mentioned in a previous post, being somewhat unpredictable as a parent, shifting from a role of friend-in-need rescuer to stern authority figure.***

The last one is the one that has been really bothering me lately. Who wants that parent? Does it matter how devoted you are if your kids never know which parent is going to "show up" on a particular day, hour or moment? I am trying to be productive with this problem. But of course, because I am an ENFP, I am apt to "heap burning coals of fire on [myself,] always berating [myself] for being so conscious of self."

Part of the purpose of Sleeping with Bread is to learn to take the things which cause you desolation and turn them into consolations. I hope this week that I will be able to take the sides of my personality that are bothering me now and turn them around... as long as it doesn't take too much painstaking detail and follow-through! (Wink. Wink.)

Also Sleeping with Bread today:

chickenone of ky coop cast: The Good and the Not So Good
Sheila of musings of a mommy: Sleeping with Bread Monday
atypical of nonsensical text: crackers may be humble bread, but they still qualify
Beatrice of Much Ado About Nothing joined us for the first time this week.

Upon further reflection: It is now much later in the day. Having re-read through this post, I would like to clarify that some of the dreariness is a result of the early morning hour that I was writing it, not the actual degree of "bad week." At the best of times, I am not a morning person, so in attempting to get the post in before leaving for the morning, I was not thinking all that clearly.

***From Please Understand Me by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates. I didn't using quotation marks for most of the bullet points because I didn't use exact quotes, just semi-exact quotes and I was too tired to punctuate it correctly.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Follow Up

For those of you concerned about the royal realm after yesterday's post, I thought I'd give you a little update.

The royal disposition was much improved after the Princess of All She Surveys returned from the royal academy. Then, sometime in the later afternoon, some sort of attitude switch was activated and she became quite the perky princess. We, the royal subjects, were also quite relieved when it became clear this morning that perky and not persnickety was the mood of the morning. Her Royal Highness cooperated fully as she prepared for the day at the royal academy.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Three Things Thursday: There's an ill wind blowing in the kingdom this morning.

A Santa Ana wind that is.

I wanted to rant and rave but a long, rambling post on why this morning sucks would be too depressing and not an accurate picture of life overall. So, I will attempt to put it in short form using humor so that you might get the picture without having to get waist-deep in my muck.

Three Things Thursday starring Marley

1. Marley is apparently, unbeknownst to her family, the Princess of All She Surveys. Hence her tendency for barking out orders this morning to her brother, her father and myself. The Princess also refused to attend school. Just because.

2. The aforementioned Princess of All She Surveys loves nothing better than to emphasize a point by slamming her bedroom door. Not once. Not twice. Three times she signalled her displeasure this morning with the royal door slam.

3. However, her Royal Highness is not completely indifferent to pressure from the parliment. After a thirty-minute power stalemate in which she was placed in the Kitchen Tower, results were finally achieved by the threat of removing something very precious to her: The Annual Harvest Celebration, the event in which everyone in the kingdom dresses up in costumes and travels throughout the realm asking for treats. The Princess of All She Surveys is safely at the royal academy as I type this.

Special credit for Three Things Thursday goes to Sheila of Musings of a Mommy.

A very special thanks goes out to Michelle of ky coop cast in her role as advisor to the parliment. In her own kingdom in Kentucky she is finding threat of trick-or-treating removal to be effective. So far.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sleeping with Bread Monday with Pieces of Me

In the last week, when did I feel the most whole?

Being by nature an extrovert, I love to meet new people and welcome them into a group. Yesterday, I was manning an information table at church and was able to meet a college-age woman who was checking out our church for the first time. We spoke a little and I introduced her to the associate pastor responsible for college people and small groups. When I walked into the auditorium I saw her sitting alone and asked if she minded if I sat with her. Now, I haven't done anything like that in a long time. I've been too wrapped up in my problems to have the energy to reach out. I'm glad I took a chance. There were a couple of times in the service when I was able to explain how we did things and I was also able to talk with her just a little. At one point in the service, the pastor asked us to turn to the person next to us and share when someone had served us. I shared my example with her and she looked at me and said, "When you made me feel welcome today. I am served when someone welcomes me." I gave her my phone number and email telling her that if she had any questions to please feel free to call me. I also told her that I knew she was checking out different churches but that I hoped we would see her again. She looked right at me and said, "You'll see me next week."

Now, the point of this is not to show how I am such a wonderful person. The point is that, at my best, I am the person who seeks out and finds new people. It is easy for me. I am the person who will talk to a stranger in the elevator. Challenges being what they have been for months and months now, I haven't been myself. Sunday I got a glimpse of my true self again. I hope I see her more often.

In the last week, when did I feel the most fragmented?

Life being what it is, of course, I go from an experience like that on Sunday back to Raging Hormone Central. As I get older, it is just more and more work making it through certain days of each month. Years ago, while living in Texas, I took a weather class to fulfill my science-for-idiots requirement. One day we discussed the Santa Ana winds that Calfornia experiences. Being one of a few, possibly the only one, there who had experienced them, I likened a Santa Ana wind day to one in which your brain is just a little off. They make you feel a little crazy. Raymond Chandler wrote this about these infamous winds:
"[T]hose hot dry [winds] that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen."

That is my life with hormones right now. They are like the Santa Ana winds causing a shift in my brain that I know will go away when the winds go away. In the meantime, I feel that I should issue a warning to anyone near and dear to me. Watch your necks.

More Sleeping with Bread:

Zoey over at life girl: Sleeping with Bread Monday: Just Plain Scared.

Atypical at nonsensical text for: my yeast is outdated.