Posts Tagged 'Life'



Debates, Benghazi, Sandy…

Yes… I’ve been a little distracted of late. I’ve only managed to get around to working on Sky for two days since our White Mountain trip. So much has happened, so much to read about in the news: the debates, the election, the continuing, awful revelations about what happened in Benghazi, now Hurricane Sandy.

And boy have I been reading! You’d think I’d be writing about all that I’ve read, especially considering that I got plenty worked up about a lot of it (what happened in Benghazi torqued me the most — and the way the mainstream media’s just ignoring it — you can be sure that if George W. Bush were still in office something like this would be all over the news. But then, if GWB were in office it wouldn’t have happened at all…but still)…  ahem.

Anyway, while I was plenty worked up, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’d be coherent if I tried to write about it. Especially since I didn’t have a lot of time to devote to it (on account, in part, of all the blogs/news sites I’ve been reading,) and even more, not enough mental energy left when I actually did have the time. It just seemed too hard to sit down and try to describe the event and lay out my thoughts on it when all I wanted to do what howl about it.

Besides all that, I’ve had all the stuff to get caught up from after the trip as well as several social events to take part in and a general chaos around the house as a result of my hubby’s annual deer hunting trip which did not proceed in the normal manner. Usually he goes out, stays there until he gets a deer and returns.

This year he’s had trouble with his hiking boots. First the soles started to come off so he had to come home to get replacements — another, older pair. Those turned out to be too narrow and killed his feet so he had to come home again, for a third set, which also happened to be brand new, but were at least wide enough. This all over a period of several days.

Meanwhile my car’s engine is making funny smells after I drive it, but hubby can’t find anything wrong with it.  And I thought Quigley was coming down with another intestinal infection the other day when he woke me up at 6am to go outside (which he never does) and then, an hour after I brought him back in and went back to bed, he woke me up again, and me being half asleep, decided he just wanted to go bark so I refused, despite his continued whining and putting his head on the bed trying to get my attention. Finally he started throwing up.

Boy, did I fly out of bed then!

Too late. I put him out anyway, but then had the mess to clean up.  😕  Serves me right, I guess. When he deviates from routine, there usually is a good reason and it’s not just to go bark. In fact, he’ll bark just fine in the house; he doesn’t need to go outside to do it.

It’s just that I had been so hoping(determined!) to sleep in that day.

Anyway, his stools were a bit weird that night, but nothing came of it, just another opportunity to decide whether I’d put the matter in the Lord’s hands or try to handle it myself.

There’s been a lot of that lately, but not in ways one can write about in any interesting way.  Still, I did get into the office this afternoon and at least started thinking about Sky again. And I’ve now written this post, such as it is. So that’s a sign that things are finally getting back to normal, too.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll write another…

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Undecided and Unfocused

Well, here I am on Sunday evening, and I really don’t know what happened. It’s been almost two weeks since I worked on Sky. And, as is obvious to regular readers of this blog, I’ve also fallen off the wagon of doing five posts per week no matter what!!!!

Part of that was Introvert’s Fatigue, as I’m calling it. Doing a lot of things, absorbing a lot of information, consciously or unconsciously, and then needing not only to rest but to process. I wonder, often, if this is getting worse as I age, or if there’s simply more information to process. Or if there’s simply more to do than I think. Kind of along the lines of that problem I have with the space-time continuum.

Because when I come home after a trip, it’s not to this peaceful, sublime place where I can rest for a few days and then move gently and gracefully back into my routine.

No, the routine is in shambles, I have doubled loads of laundry to get done, the plants need tending to, the house is a mess from all the packing to leave and unpacking upon return. Sheets need washing, towels need washing, floors swept, carpet vacuumed, groceries to be bought… Blog posts “need” to be written, photos uploaded, selected, edited for the posts, the mess leftover from The Big Project needs to be dealt with…

And in the midst of all that I’m wandering around like… well… I hate to use this analogy, but I’m rather like Quigley in a target rich environment of different smells. I’ve succumbed repeatedly to the tendency I’ve described before where I go into another room to get something, see something new in the new room, forget entirely what I was doing in the old room, and start doing the new something, pull boxes off shelves, partially pull out the contents, move into another room to get something else, forget what I was doing in room two and go outside to hang out the laundry, return to deal with some of the paperwork on the table, then suddenly decide to go read blogs… that’s been really bad last week, what with the debate.

[Which I actually managed to watch in entirety —  except for the times I had to walk out of the room because I got so agitated….(“Calm down, Karen. Now go back in there and sit down and listen quietly. It’s okay…”)]

In addition to all that, or maybe in the middle of it, when I actually TRY to decide what to do, I can’t, because a flood of “you shoulds” and  “you musts” and “don’t forget about thats” and “you needs” engulfs my brain, and I don’t know which to pick. So then I go read blogs…

Why is that the default I wonder? Why is it easy to “not-decide” to read blogs? By which I mean, I don’t sit there and evaluate everything and consciously decide, it’s more like I get the sudden desire to read them and I act on it. Whereas everything else is a big …“I don’t know. Should I clean the bathroom? What about washing the kitchen floor? Maybe I should do tricks with Quig but I don’t want to. I should get started on my Christmas cards and…”

And then somehow I find myself sitting in front of the computer reading Drudge for “just a minute,” again. It’s like I was enspelled…

Or maybe I was just tired.

Cause and Effect

A while back I decided to try out one of the WordPress Daily Post’s challenges of the week which was to pick a random fact about your day, any fact, as long as it didn’t seem that interesting, and write about that in a way that would make it interesting.

Having no idea what in the world I would write about, I sat down and did a nonstop. And ended up with two posts. The first was Me vs the Space Time Continuum and the second is the following:

 

 

Today I had to suddenly interrupt my routine to spend half an hour cleaning big yellow fish oil stains out of my light blue pants and striped shirt.

It all started last week when I pierced the end of a fish oil capsule so I could squeeze the contents onto a saucer for Quigley to lick up….

No, wait… it actually started before that when I bought the fish oil capsules, the ones that were supposed to be burpless and odorless. They were two bottles for the price of one! That’s something like 180 capsules.

So I brought them home, poked one down Quigley’s throat, half fearing I was going to choke him to death, it was so big. And hard. These are for-people capsules but there is no way this side of heaven I would ever be able to swallow one of them (and once I’m actually in heaven I’m certain there will be no fish capsules to swallow, nor any need to!)

Anyway, he didn’t protest, so I sat down to eat breakfast and read the bottle – I always read the bottles, the packaging, signs… everything in sight… And thus I got to the part where it explains why this fish oil is burpless and odorless: because the capsule holding it doesn’t fully dissolve until it hits the small intestine.

But wait a minute. These are for people. People have a longer digestive cycle than dogs. By about three hours. What if it never dissolves and ends up as a “foreign body obstruction” in Quigley’s gut? [I have this paranoia about foreign body obstructions when it comes to Quigley if you recall. (If not, see Miscellaneous Update and Cut-off Paper Clips  from my old blog.)

So I decided to do an experiment. I got out two small bowls, put vinegar in one (because our stomach fluids are acidic) and water in the other. Then I dropped a capsule in each bowl and measured how long the capsules took to dissolve: about four hours for the one in water; more like 12 for the one in vinegar. Twelve hours?!

Fortunately Quigley was still alive after the experiment concluded, no foreign body obstruction, no several-hundreds-of-dollars worth of surgery bills from the vet… but it left me thinking it might be better if I just poked the caps open and squeezed out the oil for him to lick off a plate.

So that is what I was doing last week, when the capsule somehow twisted in my fingers just as I squeezed and squirted on my clothes… light blue shorts, light blue, white and black striped shirt. I put Resolve on the grease stains right away, then tossed the clothes into the washing machine. When they came out the stain were still there – just round dark spots on the fabric, the typical grease stain, not wildly noticeable. I wore them the next day, then tossed them into the dirty clothes where they sat for a week until my next laundry day. Which was today.

But when I pulled them out this morning intending to dose the stains with Resolve again… Aack! Those not so bad “grayish” stains had turned bright yellow. And expanded in size. And were not remotely unnoticeable.

Which necessitated the immediate interruption of my morning routine for an extended period of scrubbing, soaking, spraying on more Resolve, following that with a Fels Naptha scrub, to only the slightest effect. Finally I gave it up, tossed the clothes into the wash with the rest of today’s load. Alas, when the cycle finished, they remained unchanged.

So I applied more Resolve, more Fels Naphtha, helped along this time with my cleaning toothbrush… until I decided since none of that was doing the trick, and so put some Clorox for Colors right on the spots and washed them afterward. That worked. Sort of. The stains are still there but much fainter. Faint enough I can live with them now, though I’ll have to try more Clorox next time I wash them…

And the point of all this? It’s the Cat in the Hat sequence of cause and effect. One thing leads to another leads to another and suddenly instead of getting into the office in a timely manner to work on the book, I spend all morning messing with the laundry…

This sort of thing happens to me ALL THE TIME. I don’t understand. Why can’t things just be simple? Why are there always these hidden complications??

Life Needs Death

Believe it or not, I am still getting snail mail for my mother. Recently I received yet another missive from PETA, one of the organizations she supported, pleading with her to renew her membership, as they are in dire need of her funds. To guilt her into submitting, they sent along several sheets of cute mailing labels and a complimentary copy of their quarterly magazine informing her that while she should have gotten it last month, she apparently did not, and maybe she didn’t notice, so they are sending it to her in a special envelope along with the letter badgering her to re-subscribe. If they had included an SASE I might have sent them notice that she’s deceased and they should remove her from their mailing list.

Hmm… come to think of it I believe I already did that.

Anyway, when it comes I always take a moment to peruse the magazine. I’m not sure why. It’s so stupid. They make such a big deal out of nothing. I read the articles and always feel like I’m only getting a third of the story, along with a good dollop of hysteria.

This issue was particularly provoking to me. Mind you, I’m only skimming, but here are some of the titles, bullets and side notes that hit my eyes:

 “Did my meal have a mother?”

“Where did veal come from? Baby cows. Waaah!”

“How about the turkey? The steak? That succulent piece of lamb?”

Oooh. Those were once living creatures… a nice, feathery turkey, a sweet, lovable, innocent cow, a cute woolly lamb. How can anyone eat such things! Only because they haven’t really thought about what it is they’re actually eating — or they happen to be a horrid, cruel and vicious barbarian!

You are urged to always “Try to relate to who’s on your plate!” This statement was accompanied by an illustration of a plate with vegetables, potatoes and a tiny naked person… (Which turned out to be a photograph of an actual person lying on a huge plate at one of their “events” of the same name.)

It’s all emotional, overwrought and rife with anthropomorphizing the animals — ie, giving them human feelings and attributes they do not possess. I’m sorry, but turkeys do not have the attachment to their young that human mothers do. I’ve raised turkeys and was not impressed with their intelligence or their demeanor.

I’ve worked with cows, which are one of my favorite animals, but they are still animals — beasts. Kinda dumb ones at that.

I’ve never worked with sheep, but the Bible consistently uses them as an illustration of how stupid and herd-bound the people of God can be when they are out of His plan and following their own ways.

The authors even agonize over the plight of fish as they are “impaled and pulled into an environment where they cannot breathe”.

The Dalai Lama is quoted as having been “particularly concerned with the sufferings of chickens for many years.”

SIGH…

I think a lot of this comes from living in an affluent society where we are more and more divorced from the actual realities of what it means to survive. We, as a society, are so removed from our food sources now, we can afford to indulge such absurd ideas.

I say absurd, because if you get down to it, life requires death in order to continue.

All life. If you look at the entire ecological system, it is, as that silly Lion King song trumpets, a circle. The grass grows, the cow eats it, makes a baby cow, dies, decomposes, feeds the grass which the now-grown baby cow eats as it makes a new cow, which feeds new grass… etc.

Right there, in front of everyone’s eyes to see.

I would also like to point out that when one eats the grass, the grass dies, as well. So too, the spinach, the onion, the lettuce that vegans are so fond of replacing their animal foods with. Worse, when you crunch into that fresh spinach leaf you are in the process of crushing and bursting and killing living cells.

Ohhhh noooooooo. And should you cook the spinach leaf beforehand, you are subjecting those cells to lethal levels of heat and again the cell walls burst, the cells die…

Animal or plant, the stuff we eat is living either as we eat it, or prior to preparation for eating. We don’t eat rocks. And after we eat this living stuff it is no longer living. Thus, life requires death to be sustained.

A perfect, everywhere present, three times a day reminder of the Cross, and the fact that there is no spiritual life for fallen man apart from death — the death of the son of God, which provides true life — eternal life — for all who believe in Him.

 

Good and Evil Thinking

Recently I came across an article  entitled How to be Happy at Work by Geoffrey James on Inc.com.  I have no idea why I clicked on the link, because usually I don’t. I guess the title was a good one.

So was the article. It claimed that being unhappy is a choice and described a guy who was always miserable because everything mattered to him. The only time he was happy was when he won a million dollar account — which happened once a year. The rest of the time everything irritated him, and the reason he was always irritated was because he had all these rules. Or maybe just one rule, which was that for him to be happy everything had to go his way.

Or, put another way, if everything didn’t go his way he was bent out of shape. To be happy he had to win the million dollar account.

That resonated. That’s me. Well, minus the million dollar account. Maybe not “everything” has to go my way, but if a certain number of things don’t, I’m going to be upset. Mad, sad or bad, is the phrase I’m using.

When Quigley lags on the path, I get irritated, because my plan is to walk smoothly with no hitches, get the walk done so I can get on to the next thing. Also, he’s the dog and he should obey me and if he doesn’t I will get irritated because he’s not following the Rule. Finally, it starts to make my back hurt to have to keep pulling on him, and that makes me irritated too, because another Rule is that the dog should not make your back hurt.

Once I started looking out for this sort of thinking, I found it in way too many places. 😳

Going back to the article, another guy in the office was asked what made him miserable, and he said not much. What made him happy?

“Another day above ground is good,” he said.

What an attitude! This has such applications to doctrine. Another day of grace. Another day to bring glory to God. Another day to see Him work and get to know Him, and have opportunity to trust Him and thus bring glory to Him. It all has to do with choosing what your Rules are going to be.

So yeah, I have a million idiotic little rules I didn’t even know I had, and just now I came upon another one. Not only must things in my periphery do the right things and “go right,” but I must do the right things as well. I must follow the plan I have devised for myself, even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if conditions beyond my control have warped it enough that it can’t even be done any more.

And in this morning’s Sunday message, Pastor Farley cast a whole new light on this business with the rules: it’s thinking born of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

It’s thinking in terms of what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong. You’re constantly seeking in your own power to determine what is right about your periphery, your actions, your viewpoint and what is wrong; you’re wanting a law that you can live by, and if you can just abide by the rules, everything will be wonderful.

<<<ROTFL>>>

The Happy at Work article advised us to make new rules. So when something happens — like you get to the store and realize you forgot something and will have to return home — instead of getting all upset, realize you’ve made a rule about how things are to be and change it. So what’s the big deal about returning home — in my case a 5 minute drive? Why is that worth getting all angry at myself? You just go home, get whatever you forgot and return. Why is that such an awful thing?

Well, I can’t think why that’s such an awful thing — at least in my life. And I’ve started to catch myself in this thinking, and realizing how absurd it is. It really is a matter of choice and for believers in Christ, whose lives are supposed to be in Christ, whose God has ordered our days and allowed every detail that appears in them, it makes even less sense to go about in bondage to a million silly little rules…

And then Pastor Farley, took it a step further. But that’s a post for another day…

Potential Delivery Date — Meh

So I was going to use my progress the last week as an indicator of whether I should announce a potential delivery date for The Other Side of the Sky.

Clearly I did not announce one. The experiment was not a bust, but neither was it conclusive. I worked for 4 days. Then my hubby was off Friday and I had family things to do. On Saturday I installed an external hard drive on my computer to back up my stuff… supposed to be easy, but as with all things related to computers, it was not.

I barely had the accompanying program installed when an update announcement showed up. Unfortunately I had to somehow turn off everything that might require drive access — and I don’t even know what all that might be — and never succeeded. Not even with my antivirus program. As the hours drifted by, I finally gave it up. I didn’t have any external back up at all before. Now I have one. Maybe not optimum, but not worth the time of wading through obscure online instructions that never seem to actually represent what I’m seeing on my screen. Yes, I could call some  tech support person but…

Bleah.

I want to write, not spend all my time fooling with that. So I didn’t.  (Plus my printer’s pretty much just given up the ghost so I’m going to have to deal with that very soon..)

Sunday was church and an engagement party, from which I came home exhausted. For the first time, though,  it didn’t carry over to Monday. Lately I’ve been feeling pretty normal. Walking the dog again, doing my regular stuff. Or at least working back up to it. And I did no work on Sky during the entire three days.

Blog writing has also taken a hit as is obvious to regular readers. I wonder if it’s because I’ve gotten out of the habit.

Anyway, I have more to say regarding the  potential delivery date, but I’ll save that for another post.

Short Update

Hi everyone!  Thanks for your prayers and well wishes. The surgery went “exactly as it was supposed to go” (except faster) and I came home Saturday. No sign of cancer, only the pre-cancer stuff they’d already found.  We’re still waiting for the full pathology report, but I’ll take good news in whatever increments the Lord decides to present it. 

I’ll try to write a more detailed update tomorrow. Somehow the Lord took what most would consider a “dire” event and made it into a fun weekend…


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