"We Three"

"We Three"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Warm, cold, warm, cold...

The schizophrenic weather strikes again. Saturday we sweltered in triple digit heat. At Art for Life, I drank lots of water and ate a tiny dish of peach sorbet, just perfect for the day. And yesterday, we had sun and wind, cool breeze that could raise little bumps if it hit you right. Today, both furnaces are going and my feet are cold. Not putting on socks, though, since I got a pedicure on Friday and plan on displaying it as long as it lasts. Guess I will go swim, anyway. Water is warm enough for a baby bath. Only problem is getting from the pool to the locker room afterward, and I will take my cozy little hoodie for that. And wear sweats. And pack a tank in case sun comes out. And I think I am nutso.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The sweet smell of validation...

The cowwoman sold her painting at the silent auction today. Once again, it was just as the section was closing, very dramatic. And the buyer was a member of the board of Face to Face, to boot! Art is such a subjective thing, you know. And there certainly was a gamut of styles to choose from today. Beautiful prints on silk fabric, edgy abstracts, quirky artistic jokes. I just loved this Buddha with bull horns, and a pair of luscious figurines in flowing silver robes. Mylette Welch, one of my favorite artists, rendered a Boston terrier with Big Boy, the burger kid. A lot of pieces did not sell, or had not when we left, which we did as soon as my piece was snapped up. The economy has made everyone twitchy, it seems. But donated wines flowed, and everyone seemed pretty happy. I was thrilled with the Pelligrino, myself. Anyhow, it was a successful day, and the Zen Pair are sent off to live in their new digs, Face to Face got a $200 donation, and I got to be a real artist for the day. What joy!

Way outside the comfort zone here...

Let's take a moment to reflect on the sweetness of staying inside the comfort zone. For me, that's crawling into my bed with the 3" memory foam topper and fluffy Egyptian cotton mattress cover and the four billowy pillows, with a couple of warm puppies and a cool Wally Lamb novel at 8 PM. Not very exciting, but really sweet. Outside the zone is taking one of my concepts from its niche in the studio and hanging it in public with a for sale sign on it, then showing up to proclaim that I am the artist who rendered it. I was kind of disappointed to find my painting tucked away in a little corner last year. Now I am terrified to find it in a position of prominence this year. Okay, never going to be happy, not if I live another hundred years. But I am willing to push the envelope a lot here, see what happens. If I don't, I will never know, will I. What happens, I mean. More later.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Just pretend, it's all just pretend...

Seems about right. I have been pretending to be a grown-up all these years, when, in reality, there is this tender little being inside, just begging to not be hurt by the big, bad world we live in. Now, I am pretending I am an artist, off to the artists' reception tonight, wearing my name badge that says Participating Artist. Makes me want to crook my pinkie finger at all those who scoff. Well, scoff away. Think about the courage it takes to hang on a public wall a creation you birthed in your mind's eye, rendered in paint on canvas, stewed over for months, and finally released into this very rude universe. So, I am off for a pedicure, and maybe a trip to the earring store, because none of my current batch seem artistic enough for me now. And here's cudos to all those other kids in big boy/girl panties, who will show up tonight and play pretend with me. It's all about fun and games, anyway.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Like a wheel, it goes round, round, round...

And here we go again. It is Art for Life weekend. I took this little ditty in on Wednesday morning, picked up my tickets and a catalog. Now convinced this painting is crap, worthy of throwing rotten stuff at it. My reasoning was sound in selecting it, honestly. There has always been an affinity to pear paintings in the twelve years I have been attending this event. And I did this as a psuedo-homage to Cezanne, my hero, skewed the perspective, painted loosely, bright colors. How could I go wrong? Answer: easily. Will there ever be a day when I can just let sleeping paintings lie? Don't think so. And, in case anyone was wondering, the cupcakes are back! Yes, those little yummy things that yielded $22 per square inch last year have returned to wow the masses. Oh, hell. What was I thinking, anyway? Well, nice reception, fun time with other artists who are there to be seen, just like me, funny-looking rich people in interesting fashion statements searching for bargains, poignant moment of silence for all the county's victims of AIDS since the beginning of its outbreak here, great door prizes, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgance serving hors d'ouevres, and tax-deductible donation. Okay, I'm over it. Just don't say anything disparaging. I am a tender little (artistic) soul.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

There, there, little one...

Sometimes the little kid in me gets hurt. She skins her psychic knee, and needs a bandaid and a whole bunch of attention. She is the one in the photo on top of the little cabinet in the bathroom, the cherubic one, with a sweet curl on top of her head, and wispy little pigtails. She looks oh so innocent. Don't be fooled by appearances. She can wreak havoc at a moment's notice, if not attended to daily. That's the key: attention! Attention must be paid, or things get pretty dicey for the grownup me just trying to make sense of the world around me. If I don't, she then looks to others (well, wouldn't you?), and they always let her down. Then she is mad. At them, surely? Wrong, she is mad at ME. Not unfairly, either, because I am the one that let her down in the first place. So I am off to buy myself a sweet bouquet for my table, to remind Little Me that I love her and know she loves flowers. And maybe I will take her to a movie or the park, soon, if she behaves herself.

Monday, August 24, 2009

And the award goes to...

ME! All the tests are in from the myriad of labs and imaging clinics. Everything is peachy, inside and out. Everyone is happy. Especially me. Of course, I take excellent care of my little self. And I didn't always do that. Appearances always trumped health. As did substances that took away the pain of the Big Bad World. So I am gratified that my old bod can heal itself and keep the engine running at maximum capacity. Because I have places to go and people to see before I head off-planet. I figure I have another 20 years or so left here, and I want them all to be good years, brimming over with health and happiness. And how great is it to know that what I have been doing is actually working for me. So, watch out, world. I have a license to drive here!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cowwoman at the movies...

I have seen some pips lately. Julie and Julia (cudos for Meryl, raspberries for Amy in the reviews, what do they know anyway) was so delightful we all applauded at the end. Well, true Meryl was brilliant. Both the actress and her character were so well known, yet I totally bought her as Julia Child, so consummate is the art of this wondrous actress. And I liked Amy Adams, too, ditzy, bored with her life, feeling left behind (familiar feeling for this gal, too), and finding something to jazz up her life. Then I saw (500) Days of Summer, hugely well reviewed, and I thought ho-hum. Liked the main characters, liked that is was the guy who gets paralyzed with pain in the breakup, and it was OK. However, In The Loop was amazing, full of British pithy wit and nuance. Even beefy James Gandolfini could not ruin it for me. And last night, we saw Adam with that adorable Hugh Dancy (remember him as Grigg in The Jane Austen Book Club?) All about Asberger's syndrome, parental culpability, coming of age, finding your niche, a whole bunch of stuff at once, and full of quiet moments of just human stuff, an eloquent little movie, just so special, without becoming maudlin or saccharine. I felt really happy leaving the theatre, always a sign of something extraordinary happening there. And, oh my, the previews! There's an Ang Lee film about Woodstock that looks dynamite. The golden boys, the Coen brothers, have another one in the works, A Serious Man, that looks like a Woody Allen clone, and that dynamite Sideways guy, Paul Giamatti, is coming in Cold Soul, an imaginative movie like one of my favorites, Stranger Than Fiction, where a malcontent puts his soul in cryogenic storage. Oh, boy, lots of amazement and more coming! How sweet is that! All at the smart people's movie theatre! Paradise!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wherefore art thou, o muse of mine?

I keep expecting it to arrive. Other artists have said just to keep playing around, I will find it. I'm still doing that. I mean, I love oil paints. They keep their brilliance when they dry. You can always layer more on top if you don't like what's underneath. I haven't had a lot of luck at landscapes, but that's coming, for sure. Cows, wow, I love doing the cows, but can one do those forever? And the latest still life was a hoot for sure. I do best when I work fast and loose and don't let my mind overthink the creativity. Eckhart says modern art and modern music are ugly when they come from the mind. I want my work to be full of SPIRIT and elan. Matisse felt this, too. He thought of his audience a lot, you know. It was about seeing into the work deeply and being surprised and delighted, or sad and mournful, or maybe even pissed off. Anything, as long as the viewer was engaged emotionally in the work. Okay, probably not as engaged as Matisse himself was, but properly moved. That is what makes a great painter. Now trying to find that in the watercolor process. This medium offers transparent colors that melt into one another like a sunlight through a prism. Finishing up a plaid color project, where the primaries are painted over one another and show how they respond when blended. Color, what a concept! So, HP, drop in on me. I'm waiting!

Friday, August 21, 2009

You've go to be kidding, redux...

First day of drawing in my intermediate class, we 7Bs got cast adrift, to navigate the sea of uncertainty while Jean, delightful teacher, worked with the 7As as they drew their hands blind, well, they could see their hand, but not their drawing. I joined the throng as we toured the room, inspecting each other's work, always a trial for me. I compare myself, you see. Neither of my compatriots in the higher class finished their drawings. I did 3. Okay, two were contour ink drawings, which I executed as slowly as I could, upside down. That was interesting, less investment in the figure, more in the line. And here is my rendering of a Gericault study for The Raft of Medusa, romantic era painting of the survivors of a shipwreck, full of sturm und drang. She isn't letting us use erasers! Notice I blew the right knee several times before deciding where it was supposed to be in space. I really need to sharpen up my skills here. I am assuming things will improve dramatically with this teacher. She is a pistol. To begin the class, we did an exercise in getting to know one another. The first person to the right of the teacher in our circle said her name, the next said her name and his, and so on. I was next to last in the rotation, and managed to remember every name, 31 of them! In case you think that makes me special, later during the quiet drawing time, my drafting table top came crashing down because I had not secured it tightly enough. Aaaaarrrrgh! Mechanical I am not.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And another one...

This was my very first (official) watercolor painting. I don't claim those images I did a summer ago, because I had zero instruction on how to execute them. We had lots of tips with this teacher, and helpful ones, at that. I will be completing my plaid colors today, and going out to paint the sky from observation. Think I will wait for it to get interesting first. Right now, it is gunmetal gray.

Paint the sky...

Watercolor class is a hoot. As usual, my paintings don't look like anything anyone else did. We are working with the limited palette, and okay, I know about that. My last three oils were with the same range of pigments: lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, and pthalo blue. Except with oils, white is added. In watercolors, white is the paper. And Marsha, the teacher, limited us to just three in these paintings, any three we wanted. So here is cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson and ultramarine. I didn't know, but you don't mix the paint on the brush, you wash pigment over pigment, especially in this type of painting, which began with wetting the paper. I always feel happy that I refuse to allow fear to get in the way of creating any more. Those first timid attemts to draw my hand in drawing class have evolved into slashing and slapping, and being a force of nature with a brush in my hand. And cannot wait to find out what we are doing with 24 guage galvanized wire in drawing class this afternoon!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So much to learn, so little time...

Well, it started out strangely. You know how I always think if I can find the classroom, I have it made? I did that, early, and while I was sitting in there, the teacher put a note outside saying the classroom had been changed. Fortunately, she checked before class started, so I got alerted, and found the last seat around the room. So much for being too prompt. As usual, the first class was spent minutely perusing the syllabus, the supply list, and the RULES. However, she let us read them, one at a time. And she wants us to get to know one another, always a good omen. That is because we will be critiquing one another's work, and some knowledge of the personality involved always helps. I found another painting buddy from my oil painting class at the end of the table, and am all excited to have a friend in the room. Also got to know the guy next to me, one of the others who has some experience with watercolors, also retired like me and casting about for his new path in life. We saw a few slides of watercolors by the masters, and I was delighted to see many were painterly, not super-fussy. The teacher is friends with a local artist that I visited on the Art at the Source tour, who stays strictly inside the lines and creates photorealistic paintings. That worried me for a moment. Not my bag, being terribly neat. Not in any aspect of my life, actually. So, here we go! Create!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What's that, again?

I know I repeat myself here. No, I don't do that on purpose. I just can't remember what I said before, and am too lazy to browse the archives to check before saying it again. After all, if it was worth saying the first time, it must be worth saying again, right? Yes, that's circular logic, pretty weak excuse. Let's just say that I am a person of advancing age, and cut me a little slack. In fact, cut me a huge slice of slack. I'm worth it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Slipping the surly bonds...

Ah. I did my swim today. Sunday is the best day, there are fewer lap swimmers. I shared my lane with this dear man, Red, in his eighties. The years have bent Red over on dry land, but in the water he is like a humpback whale. He actually swims slower than I! We are happy lane partners. I like to swim on my back a lot, and look up, realizing that behind that blue veil, the universe is wheeling. I float a lot better at 65 than I did at 15. Probably because I have accumulated a greater percentage of fat over these many years. In fact, it was hard to get under the water at all, in the beginning. It's better now that I am slimmer. It was hard to get out today, but the day called me. Little picnic and trip to the dogpark this afternoon, then I decided the dogs should get some dunking, too. Both got a bath, Pickle first. She hated it. Boo tolerates it, and afterward, they were like puppies together. Me, too.

So our troubles we think are basically of our own making...

Some accidents are just not. Accidents, that is. Sometimes I seem to beg for them to happen. Like yesterday, when I was hauling in a Costco-sized package of toilet paper from the car, in my especially floppy flip-flops, and tried to step over the doggy fence that corrals my babies. Big boom. All the way down, I prayed my bones really were 30 years younger than my age. Funny prayer. Lord, let me bounce. It's always kind of shocking to find myself horizontal all of a sudden, so I had to kind of shake myself off, then gingerly rise again. And what a miracle, everything still worked! I hit my right arm, knee and hip. Wow, I thought, that'll leave a scar. But this morning, not even a bruise! Okay, a little on my arm, and I'm sore there, a little if I push at it, which I don't plan on doing again any time soon. Bit the bullet, again. Last time I did this was in the pre-Pickle days, because I remember Boo and I were perambulating along College Ave. in the area without a sidewalk, and I stepped down on a rock that just ruined my balance, and I fell into a ditch. That time, I bruised my shoulder pretty badly. Anyhow, it is a wake-up call, like PAY ATTENTION, cowwoman! I got the message.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

All the lonely people...

I am perpetually amazed at the variety of adult homo sapiens. And no where can one observe them all together in one room better than in AA. We are old, young (12 is the youngest I have seen), tall, short, fat, thin, rich, poor, educated, illiterate, male, female, straight, gay, white, black and every color in between. The Big Book says it best "we are people who normally would not mix". And we are absolutely united in our quest for sobriety, recovery, fellowship. Our disease brings us together in a way we would never find in any other venue. Not even the discount drug store, where the most oddly shaped humans seem to congregate, or the health food store, where everyone looks hungry (my son's observation, chip of this old block for sure) can boast of so many characters. And since our mission is to share our experience, strength and hope with one another, there is not another group of humans who know each other better, either. Well, actually, I know intimate details of many people's past, but seldom know what they do for a living. Isn't that interesting? Somehow it is not a criterion for knowing another human being in my milieu. What we are to one another is not predicated on external facades, but on what lies deep within: an abiding faith in the power of God to sustain and nurture us, a genuine interest in one another's well being, and a desire to be of service to one another. I don't know another fraternity or club that does that. So, I am grateful to be an alcoholic. I have the opportunity to become healthy and strong, if I follow just a few simple instructions. And if I don't, they can't even kick me out! Sweet!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lest we forget...

I feel pretty good most of the time. It is easy to forget that I am in recovery from alcoholism. This isn't unusual among us addicts, you know. Life gets good, and it begins to look like I can handle things myself. Bad idea. I get into all kinds of trouble, and have come close to drinking a couple of times, because my disease lives between my ears, and unless I engage my connection to God and the Universe, I kind of sink into its seductive logic that oblivion is preferable to pain. Well, duh. But years of slogging through it have taught me that pain is the catalyst for growth, and growing is always uncomfortable. It means leaving behind patterns and behaviors that no longer serve me, and trusting that the newness will be a sweeter place to live. For that to happen, I need to be bleeding and on fire first. When you sit down on a hot stove, you move really fast. I trust my sisters in sobriety to guide me at those times. Their view is unclouded with sentiment or bias. The telephone (and email) are invaluable tools in times of turmoil. And I have sat on the other side of the equation, a lot. Nothing gives me more joy than to be there for another who is in pain. It reminds me that working a program for nigh on to 20 years, I have picked up some wisdom along the way, from the women who walked this path with me. Nothing I have is new. Great mystics like St. Thomas Aquinus, Marcus Aurelius, Rumi, Jesus, Buddha, Albert Einstein, St. Theresa, St. Francis, they have all contributed to the vast store of knowledge and wisdom. So, I learn and grow, learn and grow. Painfully.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My days are numbered...

Remember Atlas Shrugged, when Eddie Willis looked up at the big calendar and realized the powers that be were numbering the days? My life is full of numbers. My age (65), my height (69 inches), my weight (150 this morning, yippee). Then there is my address, my phone number, my zip code, my area code, my credit card number(s), my social security number,driver's license number, former addresses (boatloads of them), grade point average, student ID number, Medicare number, health insurance number, bank account number, HELP! I am just lucky the gray cells are still perking, otherwise I would sink into a mire of numbers and never be seen again! Some of these numbers are 16 digits long, more than I can dredge up out of the murk. But I do know my student ID number by heart, ditto my driver's license number, and my bank account number. If I didn't, I would be in terrible straits, because I would never be able to remember where I wrote them down.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Life has a lot of sharp edges...

Perhaps this is not supposed to be easy, you think? After my glowing examination, I set off this morning to get the blood tests my doctor ordered. The lab was at 990 Sonoma Avenue, and the address is clearly noted on the street, so no problem finding the building. Or, actually, buildings, because this address is a bevy of little bungalows. There was a handicap van parked in the narrow driveway, so I took an empty space just inside the entrance. And, lucky me, there was a complex map! Except that Suite 18A was not on it. Okay. I did my little "you are here" figuring out where I was, always important, and I was right by the building that housed Suite 18. How convenient. No 18A. I did find a note that Quest Laboratory was in the back of the parking lot. Aptly named, don't you think? So I hiked back there, feeling triumphant. I gave my paperwork to the desk person, who asked if I was fasting, what was that in my mouth? Oop, I had popped in some gum, as usual (mouth is a dry as the Sahara without it). I got my hand slapped there, one of the tests was for glucose, for God's sake, but I assured her, no sugar in that gum. Then the technician told me my doctor's office had used the wrong diagnostic code and Medicare is a bear about that and would not pay for one of my tests, so I would have to pony up $23.47. And I said no thanks, let's skip that one for now. Everyone needs to get their acts together here! Including, well, me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nothing better than this!

The cowwoman went to the Dr. today for the first time in a long, long, long time. Now, she wasn't worried, not really. Okay, her blood pressure was on the high side, for her, so maybe she was, a little. And she got a clean bill of health. In fact, she is in pretty good shape for an old bird, toned and tanned, toned on the INSIDE, too. Now come the tests, a whole parade of them, including (gulp) a colonoscopy, the ultimate in humilitation. However, the cowwoman had one of those before, and they found not even one lonely little polyp up there, so she is not concerned. Getting a CBC, thyroid and colesterol count, and the dreaded mammogram, too. Oh, well, it's time. And there was only one pesky issue to be addressed, not really a health hazard, just a damned inconvenience, and we are working on it, we are working on it. Relieved and gratified here.

Oh my God, I am heartilty sorry...

I spent the glorious Saturdays of my youth in the Catholic equivalent of Sunday school, with scary nuns who dressed black down to their toes and seemed to eerily glide up behind you at the most inconvenient times. What they taught us was to be sorry, for our actions, for our thoughts. Mostly I was sorry I had to be there. I just wanted to lay in bed and listen to Big John and Sparky on my little Sylvania cathode ray tube radio. Confession was interesting. One priest was all soft and sweet, but you spent an inordinate amount of time in his confessional, examining the minute aspects of your poor venal soul. The other was a beast who yelled at you, and since the only barrier between you and the rest of the church was a velvet curtain, everyone got to hear his displeasure. But I went to him because we got it over really fast. I like my guilt in short, easy to understand bursts. I think I have learned how to be contrite best in AA, where we do regular self-inventories, examining our motives and actions and their impact on others. You see, once upon a time, I didn't think a lot about that. I only felt my own pain. As a sober person, I have to deal with the pain I caused others. I didn't always make the best decisions, and I suppose they will haunt me as long as I draw breath. And out of those decisions came some of the greatest blessings I have ever received. It seems all confused at the moment, but I have people who can help me sort it out. And a program of moral values to live by. It's all good, after all.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The many faces of blue...

Blue is my favorite color. It is sky, ocean, small winged things. And it is a mood, a musical statement, the robe of the Virgin. I am steeped in it at the moment, both sad and at peace inside. It has taken me a hell of a long time to become who I am. I don't apologize for it to many people. Just my family, who don't like me the way I am, and have tried mightily to change me all my life. It hasn't worked very well for any of us. Blue is in my box, for sure. Along with joy, and acceptance, and surrender, and humility, and gratitude. I think I will take my blue self out to the library today, and to the swimming pool, and maybe a sojourn to the used bookstore. The blue will never go away, you know. It is always running in the background. Wounds may heal, but scars are forever.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

LIfe is not fair, and it is often very rude, too.

You know, the cowwoman tries hard to be a good person. She shows up, even when it means traveling long distances and spending money she doesn't have, and enduring long moments with people she would rather never see again in this lifetime. And she thinks that if she is good to others, others will be good to her, value and respect her. Yeah, that'll happen. So, cowwoman is once again in the position of being in godawful pain. Now, she knows she has a part in this equation, and she is in the process of doing something about changing the way she does relationships. It may mean some relationships will end. Well, they deserve to die if they are painful. And she knows she does not have to justify or defend any of her own actions. That is pure gold. She can take that to the bank, for sure. So, life is mean and surly, but cowwoman, wounded as she is, is serene and centered, and firmly in the hands of her Higher Power, who loves her just as she is, always.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Always good to be reminded...

It is good to remember that this whole shebang is temporary. I watched the final lecture from Dr. Randy Pausch on UTube today. Young, vital human being. He is dead now, of pancreatic cancer. He took his disease as an opportunity to remind us all to live. Now. And to do it with dignity, integrity, and lots and lots of FUN! That was not part of my upbringing. Life was a serious business. All you were supposed to live for was hard work for a decent wage. Rewards came after this life. A long time ago I decided that was nutso. A balanced life, and that is my aim here, to become balanced, includes some work AND some play, hopefully on a daily basis. And if I can find an occupation that affords me BOTH, wow, I've got it made in the shade. And I am there! Finally! I love creating, the process of conceptualizing, executing and realizing a piece of art, which is, after all, just a little piece of my soul made material. Randy spoke of gratitude, and forgiveness, two things that are huge in my life. It is a gorgeous day. I am going out into it, and with every breath, I am going to live. Now.

Friday, August 07, 2009

It's not easy being me, vol. CCXXI...

For someone with all the time in the world to get things done, very little is being accomplished around the little yellow house. Lately, no painting, no housework, no gardening. I did water the tomato plant, and it obligingly gave me a red tomato for lunch the other day. The second offering awaits me today. How sweet! And I did get out to buy my daughter a birthday present, which now sits in the middle of the office floor, awaiting its wrappings, which I had to make a second trip for yesterday. And I have plans today, really. After my walk and swim, I am headed for a haircut and Costco trip, then dinner with a sponsee at our favorite Chinese place, then a movie with a friend (Julie and Julia, I have been waiting for it so long). So the day should provide some fun and wonder. But then, we plan, God laughs. One never knows, does one.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The cowwoman does some measuring...

I am of a certain age when I can no longer afford to ignore certain situations. At the moment, I am immersed in an eating and exercise plan, paring off the excess fluff that had accumulated here and there. I do this on a regular basis, every six months or so. Then, last night, while channel surfing, I landed on this program on PBS, a delightful woman gynecologist talking about her book on menopause, and in particular, the post menopausal time, which is my current era. Happy to note that I do a lot of the things she recommended, like take magnesium and fish oil and vitaminC. Need to add D to that mix now. And one thing she felt was vital was weighing yourself every day. Now, I threw away my scale in the move. It had gotten kind of grungy looking, and I really never liked it. It, or any like it, actually. But I saw the efficacy of this protocol. If I know what I should weigh when at fighting weight, then I could nip any incipient fluffiness in the bud! And that sounded like a good idea. It would also be a dandy incentive to keep butt in motion, year round. Having muscle attached to my bones lets me eat more and gain less. And I have to scrounge up my pedometer, which enjoyed a momentary popularity then got thrown into one of my many junk drawers. 10,000 steps a day. School should help a lot with that. Oh, and she said your waist should be less than 35 ins. (mine's 30 1/2) and your body mass index - ratio of height to weight, less than 25 (mine's 22.8). Truly, I rock!

I wonder...

Whenever I do something really dumb, and fortunately for me and the world at large, it is less often than I used to, I doubt my sanity. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a therapist on call, one who is intimate with all my quirks, to ask "Am I okay here?" In times of dire emotional straits, I have done just that, fearful that I was unraveling at an alarming rate. And she told me that I was still in one piece, just in shock. And she talked to me about making better choices in the future. I think that part eluded me, because it wasn't all that later that I found myself in pretty much the same hot water, albeit was simmering and not boiling that time. I am pretty much resigned to my human frailities, too. And I still hate it when they bubble to the surface and cloud up my nice clear life stream. And notice that my self-doubt is all fuzzy, no hard edges to injure myself on anymore. Certainly, it is never a bad idea to examine the inner landscape. That is, after all, where I live.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Eye of the beholder, yeah...

There is not an area of my life that could not be cleaned up in some way. The housekeeper seems to have run away, with the gardener. The lawn is brown. Well, it is a drought year, and watering it has never kept it green, anyway. I could rake, though. I only planted one tomato plant, and hey, despite sporadic watering, I picked my first red one for dinner last night, and there are 15 more coming along. I vacuumed, last week. Dusting seems to have eluded me, though. And there is more month than money here. Sigh. Fortunately, it is all temporary. As is everything here on the Big Blue Ball. Think I'll just go for a swim.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Could I get a do-over, please?

I had a moment of abject humaness yesterday as I backed out of a parking place only to encounter a solid object in my path. It was, unfortunately, another vehicle, one which had previously been invisible to me. I left a nice little crimp in its bumper. Several expletives came to mind. On the other hand, my bumper was barely scratched. That was good. Usually, it is my car I manage to crumple up. There was no one around, and did it come to mind to just drive away? Yeah, it did. I am not all that well yet, you know. And I did the noble, character-building, honest thing and left my card under the windshield wiper, confessing my booboo. And so far, no one has called me. Is that strange or what? And my conscience is now berating me for not waiting around longer. So I had a plethora of guilt-laced dreams, where I was always in the wrong, and always trying to slither away without anyone noticing. I just wrote an amends letter to myself, you know, where I promised my self that I would treat her kindly and with compassion that I would show to a beloved child. So, I am not telling her how stupid she is. That in itself is an improvement. And, without these little moments of venality, how would one ever get character, anyway?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The oldest question...

My daughter and I were philosophizing over crispy chicken and avacado salads yesterday about which has the most influence on our eventual life circumstances, heredity or environment. She leaned toward the latter, whereas I believe in the former. Certainly, I can see how both have wrought the person I am today. I come from parents who strongly believed in the American Dream of owning a business and making a bundle, and one can excuse them for this attitude since they grew up during the Great Depression. What is hard to excuse is their single-mindedness which made them rather unavailable, and unequipped to deal with a child like me. I am intrinsically sensitive, emotional, prone to excess, and terrified of everything and everybody. I hated being embarassed, and it happened to me many times at the hands of my parents. And though I had the ethic of moderation shown to me in my parent's drinking, I became an alcoholic. My daughter did not. Since half of her upbringing occurred in my sobriety, could this be the reason? Or did that gene become recessive in her while dominant in me? Isn't it possible, since we know that heart disease, certain forms of cancer, and a whole panoply of dreadful diseases are indeed hereditary, that we also pass on proclivities like addiction? Oh, one could debate forever. Mark Twain said all men are like watches. Some are Rolexes, some Timexes, and that's that. Well, I know that's not true. But I also know that both my children behaved differently in utero, and that behavior continues to this day! I think in the end it comes down to overcoming the genetic markers, and developing CHARACTER. That is not a natural occurence, character. That is an acquired trait, one to be greatly desired, and very hard to live up to on any given day. Hey, I'm working on it.