Thursday, May 31, 2007

Finding a Friend

I'm finding out that here "in the big city", its hard to find a friend. Maybe my definition of a friend is too detailed and too strict. Maybe these kind of friendships just don't exist any more. I guess I'm patterning my ideal friend after my life-long friend Marsha. Marsha and I have been friends since 1st grade. We lived together at college. I would visit her in Kansas City. I can call her any time and we will pick up right where we left off. I'm looking for that kind of friend here.

Don't get me wrong - I know people here that I am friendly with and who are friendly with me in return. But that's different. I've even had coffee with "friends" and had dinner out with "the girls" - but still.... it just isn't the same.

This caused me to examine just what I think a friend is. There were a couple of important aspects that are lacking right now and there are things that I just desire out of a friendship.
1) A friend calls me sometimes (not always me calling them). I'd like to be called just to chat. I'd like to be called to be asked for a favor. I'd like to be asked out for coffee or to go shopping.
2) A friend is someone who shares secrets or desires or ambitions. Someone who wants your opinion. Someone who is trusted.
3) A friend is someone you can laugh with... hard. Belly-laugh. Laugh until the milk comes out of your nose.
4) A friend prays for you and asks for your prayers in return.
5) You should be able to ask you friend "Do I look fat in this?" and she can tell you "Yes my dear, you sure do!"

Its a busy world we live in. A lot of my acquaintences are younger and still have children at home to take care of, car pools to be a part of and homework to help with. I'm not annoyed with a single person. I'm not sad or upset with anybody. I just hope that someday I run into another person like Marsha... or Chelsie... or Rachael. I want somebody like them right here. I'll be patient.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A missing piece of my heart

I woke up this morning feeling like something was missing. As we used to say....something was missing from "mine" heart. I really couldn't identify it. I just sort of moped around feeling a little blue. I knew that there was this little ache and that it just kind of hung around all morning long. It had been a nice weekend and there wasn't anything particular on my mind of concern. Then it hit me - I knew what was missing. It was Braylon. I was missing Braylon John. I just wanted to play with him. I wanted Rachael to "drop him off" at my house so that we could read books and play "Put this bug in the bug house". I missed his sweet smile and I missed his hugs. I missed spooning big spoonfulls of yogurt into his little mouth. I just missed him. I still do.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Reality Season is Over

Survivor is over..... I wanted Yao Man to win....

Dancing with the Stars is over...... I wanted Leila Ali to win.....

The Bachelor is over.......I liked who he picked.....

American Idol is over..... I wanted Melinda to win...... Where's the justice?

Grey's Anatomy is over......I wanted Burke and what's her name to get married. I wanted Carev and the lady who lost her memory to get together. I wanted Miranda to get Chief Resident. I wanted Meredith to quit whining. I wanted George to get a life.

Extreme Home Makeover is over........I cried every single time....

OK. So where does this leave me now? All of my favorite shows are over. Technically I didn't watch all of Bachelor - it was just there the past couple of weeks so I watched it. But now what. What about my Thursday Nights ????? Yeah - WHAT ABOUT MY THURSDAY NIGHTS ???

Wow....maybe its time to take a small break.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wildlife in the City

Its just odd to me. The other day on my way home from the mall, there was a dead raccoon in the road. Road meaning 8-lane highway in the middle of the city. What was he thinking?

About a week ago, someone ran into a deer on the beltway. The beltway has an inner and an outer loop and it circles around the city of Washington DC. Just that city. I'm not sure how many lanes each loop has - I just know that it is always snarled. Avoid this area at all costs - especially in the mornings and late afternoons during the week. So where did this deer come from and how did it manage to make its way into the depths of the city onto the beltway? I'm guessing he had little time to re-think his plan.

The coolest "wildlife" in the city are the Canadian Geese. They are lots of places around the city. I even see them in my apartment parking lot sometimes - just wandering around. The funniest thing was the other day when I was on my way to the mall (yes, the mall again. I was returning something.. ok? ) There is a pond and a grassy area by the road. Geese are always there. Traffic came to an abrupt halt as a mother goose escorted her children across the road....oh so slowly. Nobody honked. Nobody rushed her. There was one car in front of me and about 8 behind me. We just patiently waited (surprisingly) and after they had all safely crossed, we went on with our business. No big deal.

Apparentlly wildlife and city folk cannot always co-exist in the same area (exhibit #1 being the raccoon and exhibit #2 being the deer). But there is hope. I'm not sure how the mother goose carried it off, but there might be a lesson there somewhere. It might have something to do with mothers. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

One of my dreams

I have a recurring dream. I'm guessing that I have it at least 3-4 times a year - maybe more than that.
The dream itself has some variations, but the basic premis is the same: I water thirsty plants.

Sometimes the dream takes place in a greenhouse. There are many potted plants around on tables and I take a hose and water them.

Sometimes the dream takes place in a house (one I cannot identify) but its always the same house. There are assorted tables with plants on them. There are hanging plants as well as big pots of plants on the floor. I remember there being "hidden" plants - or ones that are in a secret place.

Other times the dream takes place in my childhood backyard - in my dad's garden. Even though he had a vegetable garden, I am always watering rows and rows of young flowers.

In all three cases, the plants are in dry dirt. They aren't wilted or dying - but they are in need of water. In all of the dreams I use a water hose - never a watering can. I'm not in a hurry and there is no sense of urgency at all. I quietly and gently go from plant to plant. There is nobody else in the dream but me.

The thing that ties these three dreams together is the huge amount of satisfaction I get from watering these dry plants. It is an overwhelming feeling as well and I just cannot wait to get to the next dry plant.

My friend Tami and I discussed this - and we decided it was a desire to nurture. I think it is a "mother thing". I know that when the dream is over and the plants have all been watered, I feel good. I feel like I've accomplished something. I know that I've done what I can do to help them and that it is something that only I can do.

This dream is one of my favorites - and I cannot wait for it to happen again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

God never has museums

I just had to share a section of my devotion this morning from Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest.
"May God not find the whine in us any more, but may He find us full of spiritual pluck and athleticism, ready to face anything He brings. We have to exercise ourselves so that the Son of God may be manifested in our mortal flesh. God never has museums. The only aim of life is that the Son of God may be manifested, and all dictation to God vanishes. Our Lord never dictated to His Father, and we are not here to dictate to God; we are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants. When we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured-out wine to feed and nourish others."

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Pentagon Mixing Bowl

Have you ever been using a mixer and added ingredients when the beaters were on too high of a speed? Do you remember what happens? Things go splattering all over the kitchen counter, the toaster, the side of the fridge and the mess is one big headache.

There is an area in downtown DC called the Pentagon Mixing Bowl. Oddly enough, it is located right around the Pentagon (silly thought) and it is a group of roads that just kind of.... well, they sort of merge and mix and twist around and so forth. Traffic is always snarled there. I've been through there several times with Jay driving and we most generally end up taking the wrong road. I suppose for the seasoned veteran, its quite obvious which road to take. But for us, its just not clear. We always find our way out and we always eventually end up where we want to go, but its only because Jay has a homing device implanted in his brain. He just never gets lost.

In about a month, I'm going to end up driving to the airport at 10 o'clock at night to pick up Jay. I'm driving there all by myself. In the dark. By myself. Alone.

So today, we took a test drive. I always like to do that. Its a good idea and it makes me feel a lot better when I have to do it by myself. We've done it several times before. We drive to a new doctor's office beforehand. We drive to where a banquet is going to be that I'll end up driving by myself and meeting Jay there. Its a great idea and a confidence builder for me.

Today we were driving along - its Saturday, so really not a huge amount of traffic for the area. The radio is going and we're just driving along. He tells me to take a right onto 395 North. I do.... and I say to him... "As long as we're not going on to the Pentagon Mixing Bowl and I'll be ok."


I say again... "As long as we're not going on to the Pentagon Mixing Bowl I'll be ok."

I look at him. He mentions that we're having nice weather.

I knew it. I just knew it. He tells me I'm doing fine. But sure enough - here we are. Smack dab in the middle of it all. The good news is - he's with me and its not 5 o'clock on Friday.

I take a deep breath. I remember how that cake batter looks plastered up against the refridgerator. I keep driving.

Now, we're back home. It wasn't as horrid as I thought. We made it to the airport and back without incident. I guess the key is to keep the beaters on low while you're adding ingredients.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

"Talking to my Son"

In a world filled with so many types of communication, one can pick and choose. When it comes to talking to your 19 year old son, you can also pick and choose.

Josh and I can talk together - when he is in the mood. If he and I are in a vehicle together alone (I believe the term is held captive) then there is a really good chance that we'll have a great conversation eventually. The last time I was in Kansas, he and I traveled to St. Francis and back. The trip out was pretty uneventful as he slept most of the way. On the way back was a different story. We just talked and talked and it was excellent!

Sometimes when I call him on the phone..... not so much. He is probably just getting home from work and/or he is surrounded by his guy friends. Not a particularly great time to talk to your mom I guess. He isn't rude or anything - he just doesn't have much to say.

The other night I called him and it was pretty much a one sided conversation. I decided to let him move along and said goodnight. A little later on I got a text message from him. I answered. We ended up carrying on a "conversation" for about an hour. It was great. He really spoke from his heart on an issue and told me something I hadn't known. It was interesting that this form of communication made him more comfortable than actually talking on the phone. I don't care.

If I have to pick and choose, I will choose communication with my son, no matter how it happens.

Monday, May 7, 2007

I've been tagged

Apparently I've been tagged! I've never even heard about this - but I've been tagged by Jamie and its kinda cool! I have to tell you (my blog readers, whoever you are) 7 things about myself that you don't know. This is gonna be hard since two of you are my daughters!
#1 My mother made me take accordion lessons as a girl. I hated it so much. One time when we were having a recital, I was playing Lady of Spain (what else?) and we were supposed to dress the part. I had a long, flashy "spanish" skirt, a white peasant blouse and I had my hair pulled back with a long pony tail switch. For those of you who don't know.... a switch was a pretend pony tail. I thought I was pretty cute. I was the oldest one there and I was pretty sure that the little girls were awe-struck. Wow...get over it!
#2 I had my tonsils out when I was in 3rd grade. It was a pretty usual operation then - but I do remember they used either. They put the liquid either on a piece of cloth and put it over my nose for me to breathe. Pretty ancient, wouldn't you say?
#3 One time, I ran over a black snake with a riding mower. It gives me the willies to think about it now.
#4 Back in the day, when Lynn and I were in Jaycees....we used to go to Hatfield's Garage where Lynn worked.... we'd go there at night with Dick and Debbie Reeves, Ron and Teri Carlson, Greg and Marci Braden and maybe others, and we would disco dance. We loved it. Seriously
#5 My first car was a 1953 turchoise Ford with a round radio, three on the column.... and it was awesome!
#6 When I was a junior in high school, I was going steady with Terry Nash. We were working on prom decorations and when I got done, I drove down Main Street to see what was going on. There was my boyfriend Terry with my best friend Jill sitting next to him in his car. The next time through the loop, I signaled for him to go around the block. Jill wasn't with him then.... and he rolled down his window. I threw the ring into his car and drove off. Jerk.
#7 I love Grey's Anatomy, Survivor, blogging, Coldwater Creek and Starbucks.

Thanks Jamie.....this was awesome!

Now 7 friends.... wow. I don't know a soul who reads this. If you read this...and you're not Jamie, Rachael or Chelsie.... leave me a note and know this.... you're tagged!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A cloudy brain

Well, forget the last post. Except for the diet part - it continues. But forget about the surgery. My surgeon called me about 4 o'clock on Friday. He talked about the possibility of me having gastric bypass surgery instead of the Nissan. He suggested that it would be a "two for one" deal for me. #1 It would greatly help my acid reflux and #2 it would cause me to lose weight which is a good thing and which would again do wonders for my acid reflux. He said that even though my insurance doesn't cover it, they do have a payment plan and that I wouldn't have to pay it in one lump sum. We talked $$ for awhile and I was surprised to find out that it didn't cost as much as I thought. Not nearly as much as I thought.
The interesting part about this is that I had prayed very hard about this on Monday and asked that if it wasn't God's will, that a door be closed. I thought the door was closed when the insurance wouldn't pay it - but the fact that my doctor called me back and discussed this with me leads me to believe the door is still open.
My options now are this: I can cancel the Nissan surgery for now and have an appointment with the surgeon who does the gastric bypass - or I can continue on in the direction I'm going and just have the Nissan without going any further. I'm at the point now where I hate to make a final decision without all the information. Besides - losing weight is a good thing.
So - I'm going to call for an appointment on Monday and see what the surgeon has to say about gastric bypass. I'll cancel the Nissan surgery. I am still going to stay on this diet I'm on for now because first of all, I love being cranky. Second of all, I'm losing a lot of weight and thirdly - and most important - it will make the surgery more of a success because of a smaller liver.
This is why my brain is cloudy. Its trying hard to figure out what God wants me to do. So... please pray.........................thank you! :)

Friday, May 4, 2007

The Two Week Diet

I'm having surgery on May 14th for my acid reflux. The surgeon is going to wrap part of my stomach around the bottom of my esophagus and make that opening tighter so that less acid can splash up. The surgery is called Nissan Fundoplication (I think that's spelled right). In preparation for the surgery, and because it is going to be done laproscopically, they need to shrink my liver because it tends to get in the way. Dang liver. So.....I'm on an Optifast diet for these two weeks before surgery. I am hard pressed to call it a diet - its more like a fast with a little bit of food. I'm not kidding. From Monday morning until Friday morning, I've lost 10#. Seriously.

I have three ingredients to eat. #1 is a beverage. I have two flavors: chocolate and strawberry. I mix that powder with 6oz of water. I drink it quickly because it tends to not stay liquid forever. Forever translates to more than 5 min. It tastes good, but is rather lumpy. #2 is soup. Tomato or chicken. Not bad tasting. Again, 6oz of water and drink it quickly because it also tends to get lumpy. #3 a protein bar. Honey and Oats or peanut butter. Very good, dense bars.
Breakfast: One beverage, one bar
Mid morning: One beverage
Lunch: One soup, one bar
Mid afternoon: One beverage
Dinner: One soup
Evening: One beverage

I kid you not. The funny thing is, I'm not really hungry. My stomach is not growling. I think its in shock. I have cravings - pizza is a front runner for something I'd like to sneak into the apartment. I know this is important though and apparently it is really working. I'll stick with it. The good news is that this might be breaking some of my bad eating habits. Also, the surgery should keep me from having continuous throat surgeries because I'm having trouble breathing. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

My Mother

My Mother. I just have to write about my mother. Its getting close to Mother's Day and I have to admit that she's been on my mind. Josh and I went to St. Francis to visit her. Its a sad thing to say, but nobody ever really looks forward to it. Honestly, Mom and I have never had a really good relationship - to say the very least. My brother Gary was always the Golden Boy - but even beyond that, I guess our personalities just clashed. Mother is "difficult" at best. Her true personality has really surfaced now that she's in the nursing home. She has become combative and rude. On my previous visit, she tried to back over another woman with her wheelchair.

So whats the history with her? She has always been harsh. It was her way or the highway. I always hated cooking with her because she would just never let me be. She was at my elbow the entire time, making sure that I cleaned up after each step, cracked the eggs "just so" and on and on. It was never fun.

Nothing was every fun with Mom. I don't remember playing with her ever. When I think about my mom, I don't have any warm fuzzies. I don't have any hugging memories. I'm not saying she abused me. She didn't. The thing is - I never felt loved by her. I never felt like I belonged to her - it was like I was some child plunked down in the middle of a family and they just had to deal with me.

Oh sure - she kept me busy with 4-H and piano lessons and accordion lessons (don't get me started) and Y-Teens and youth group... yada yada yada. The thing is, I think it was all for her. She wanted me to shine so that she would look good. Everytime we would have company, I had to play the piano for them. I kid you not. I absolutely hated it and I'm sure our company was just thrilled out of their mind to sit and listen to me play not just one song, but several. My apologies to anybody who had to sit through that.

OK. All that being said - I've been convicted lately about God's commandment to Honor Your Father and Mother. Despite everything, she is my mother and God asks that I act accordingly. She has just been on my mind. Through some counseling a couple of years ago, I was able to forgive my mother. I came to realize that because of her parents, she was just doing the best that she knew how to do.

When Josh and I visited her, I have to admit that I was anxoius to see her. Yes, conversations are pretty mundane. We don't talk about much of anything because she really can't focus on anything. We have the same conversations several times in a row. Bless Josh - she talked to him about what classes he was taking at Beloit and then about 5 minutes later, she asked what grade in high school he was. He just started the story all over again. What a trooper.

When it came time to leave, there were tears in my eyes. She is my mother and I do love her. No matter what our history is, I want to be obedient to God. I miss her. I miss what could have been. She did take care of me. She loved me as best she could. I want to be the best I can be for her now. Through God.....