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28 June 2010


Can i be brief?  I'm not sure.

We missed church all the month of June until today.  The first Sunday after the excommunication, i simply wasn't in the mood to go to any church, anywhere.  The following Sunday Duane was away for a SAR commitment.  The one after that was Father's Day & we never attend either that or Mother's Day (although Duane was off the mountain that day, too).  

So today was our first day at a service for the month.  We tried out a small church that is affiliated with Assemblies of God.  Very passionate church.  I liked that there are a lot of children there.  I don't think either Duane or i would be comfortable attending there often.

The truth of the matter is that we like liturgical services.  They are what Duane was raised with.  They are part of a healing in my life coming out of an unhealthy church background.  They feel "safe" to me - i know what is going to happen when & what to expect (except when G was doing the service!).  And, frankly, most Protestant churches that are non-liturgical feel incomplete & unbalanced to me.  The lack of the liturgy is such a loss.  Also the loss of regular communion.  

So, "home" is probably not to be found.  But that's ok.  Church hopping feels fine for now.  I'd like to get involved in a "small group" so that we can meet others & perhaps make deeper connections.  But, maybe in time.  

Maybe, because the page is so wide now, this will look brief!  :)


26 June 2010

Under Construction

I've had this blog for almost 18 months now.  I've made relatively few changes to its set up.  I like the current format in a lot of ways.

But Blogger has come up with a lot of new & beautiful designs.  I switched over I looked for love.  It took a bit of work.  I lost a couple of things.  I've played with different formats & colors.

I'm going to switch this one over, but i'm a bit fearful.  I don't want to lose anything!

I do like & use these colors:  

Ok, these didn't line up so well.  These are the colors, to wear & to look at, that i'm drawn to again & again.  I use similar colors in the blog set up currently.  What i'm seeing in the other designs is that i tend toward a greener look, more like what I looked for love is currently.  

Anyway, i'm going to give it a try.  I'll probably also create tabs for most of the info currently in sidebar.  I like a wide page without a lot of other stuff to distract from it.  So, wish me luck!  If this doesn't work, it may not be easy to recreate what i currently have as Duane has re-written some of the HTML for me.  :)

(Ok, it is done, what do you think?  Is it too irritating to have the background show up thru the post?  Post #350 ! ) 

Ok, a few things are still under construction, but most of it is up.  

Here is how it used to look, just 'cause i want to remember.


25 June 2010

Which is better?

One long, long post, or a bunch of little short ones?  Not sure you (my reader) have a choice.  It is my tendency to not write for a couple of days & then do it all at once.

The quality of light in Southern California is really incredible, often.  Right now the coastal areas are having "June Gloom" in the mornings.  Marine layer moves in & the mornings are cloudy & grey.  But then the sunlight comes out & the flowers seem to glow with an internal light.  I took the camera down with us this week to try & catch some of that.  I'll be honest, the pictures are a poor representation of the original.  I love blue morning glories!  They are just amazing.  In some light they are a deep blue & in other light a glorious purple.  (I also hate dys.lex.ia!  I can't begin to count the number of words i've had to "fix" so far.)


 I have fond childhood memories of big mimosa trees.  They grew in a way that made them very easy to climb.  

I remember the beautiful blooms.

Somehow, California mimosa just doesn't have the same quality for me now.  It looks paler & kind of scrawny.  


 But maybe that is just lost childhood. 

 Bougainvillea seems especially to glow in the June sunlight.  I didn't begin to capture that here.  This is just one of the colors.  We also have a beautiful red/fuchsia & deep purple.  Well, there also is a salmon/coral color, but i'm not particularly fond of it. 

 Impatiens from my MIL's yard.

 Sweet William from a planter at my MIL's house.

I didn't get any of the qualities of this flower i wanted to catch.  I should have tried from a different angle, but i was in a hurry.

The original Mother's Market was on 17th Street in Costa Mesa.  I lived 2 blocks away & often walked there to shop, long before i ever began seeking "healthy living."  That store was there 27 (? i think) years.  It was not all that well set up, but they did the best with what they had.  They have built other stores in Southern California since the first one opened.  I think there are now 6.  But the original one has just moved into this, the new store.  It is on 19th Street, about a mile from the old one.  I think they will do well.  They seem to always have a lot of people there.  

My pics of the inside were too blurry, except this one.  I love the colors of the produce.  (Well, it is a bit blurry, too, but i like it anyway.)

But i hate the parking lot!  Here is just one (out of about 8) pic i took of why it is so awful.   That darn truck is almost 3 feet out into the driving lane.  But the parking spaces are much too short.  As well as being too narrow.  The parking lot is a nightmare to navigate, but i knew it would be.  It was just the same when Border's Books was there.  Worse now, because there is always a crowd at this store. 

We've not heard anything from the church.  I don't know if we ever will.  Today was suppose to be the "Ladies' Luncheon" & my intent was to go.  Not every month, but this first one because i didn't want to allow myself to feel that G had "shamed" me.  However, the person i was going to go with (who strongly feels i should go & hold my head high) is not going.  So, not going to happen.  I don't think i could just walk into the group without feeling someone still liked me. 

Mine is an eclectic blog.  I read a lot of blogs & some are specialized (Gluten-Free eating, or infertility, or health, or decorating, etc.).  I don't want a specialized blog.  I like writing about all kinds of things.  I like showing pics of our area or Orange County, or wherever.  That is why in February i started the I looked for love blog.  Not that i wanted to isolate/separate my journey of faith or talking about my view of God or Christianity from my everyday life, but because i could see that talking about faith or belief was threatening to overwhelm my ability to write an eclectic blog.  As i'm not as well-rounded as the Pioneer Woman, it made sense to me to start another blog.  At a blog that is bigger than mine, i suppose it would be a tab, a list of something else in my life.  But in my little life, it is just another blog.  (Also, if i'm looking for something specific, i find PW difficult to navigate.)

Yesterday at I looked for love i got the most encouraging comment from LutheranChik
She wrote of "religious xenophobia" which i thought a very, very good term.  Too many churches tend to label other churches as the enemy or foreign.  I think having his children bicker like that would be painful to God.

This is a closer view of the drive down on Tuesday.  We are in the clear lanes & paid $2.05 for the use of them.  That was one day it was definitely worth it!

Yesterday i got a surprising phone call.

Years ago, Jan & i were roommates when i was just out of high school.  We were only roommates for about 9 months because i wanted to move somewhere that i could have a cat & i rather wanted to live by myself.  But Jan & i stayed in contact, more or less, for years.  We might not hear from one another for a while, & then when we did it was like no time had passed.  

But it had been many years since i had heard from her.  She never married, but she had a daughter & when her daughter was about 3 years old they had a house fire.  I spoke to her once after that & somehow we lost touch, tho i tried several times to find her both before having a computer & once i had one & could do online searches.  

Wednesday night/Thursday AM i really didn't sleep much, & while browsing online i thought to try again.  I checked Facebook, & low & behold!  There she was!  (FB does have its uses, much as i dislike it sometimes.)  So i sent her a short message.  She responded & said to call her this weekend, giving me her phone #.  I sent a longer message, telling her what was up with us & gave her an email address & phone #.  She called yesterday.  We chatted for about half an hour.

I have to say i find her completely unchanged.  Now, i know that there must be some changes.  It has been a long time.  She stayed on in OKC for a long time.  But now she is back in MT.  Her voice is exactly the same.  Her commitment to God is the same.  And her lifestyle much the same too. 

Jan is as much of a free spirit, or gypsy, or "Christian hippy" (depending on your viewpoint) as anyone i've ever known.  Now, whether or not this is true, i remember her ready to do anything at just about any time.  If you wanted to go on a day hike, she was ready.  Go to Yellowstone for the summer?  Pack a bag & a couple of boxes & she was ready to go.  (Each time, after praying for direction, of course.)

I was just the opposite.  I wanted to "settle in" to a place & not move again for, oh, say 20 years or so.  (The place where Duane & i were living in Costa Mesa had been my home since my junior year in college.  I'd been there almost 15 years when we moved.)  Moving is a big deal to me as i've china to box up, & books & books & books, & linens & keepsakes (although we have a minimum of those displayed).  I have let go of things more as time has passed, but i still have a tendency to hold on to things.

I'm a "stay at home" girl & Jan was always an "adventure girl."

Her faith was always amazing to me.  She just told God her needs & somehow what she needed came thru.  I've essentially never had such an experience.  But, then, i do tend to worry.  And sometimes i think my "needs" were not exactly basic.  Jan moved to back to MT to take a job that then didn't work out.  So she's doing this & that.  She said it has been so exciting to see God provide for her that she almost doesn't want a regular job, she's happy just waiting to see what God will do.  

A few days ago she wanted to go to Bozeman for the afternoon (she's in Billings now, 143 miles away; we lived in Bozeman when we were roommates).  She didn't have the money for gas.  She mentioned it to God & forgot about it.  An hour or two later a friend called, said he had $40 for her because, "God wants you in Bozeman this afternoon, Jan."

Part of me thinks - has always thought - that is what the Christian life "should" look like.  Maybe it is.  But i have grown enough to know that i can't make myself squeeze into that mold.  It would be like trying to wear a mask all the time.  Maybe that is what i "should" be like, but i know i can't be.  I also know that God accepts me as i am, even if i can't walk with as much faith as Jan does.

But i will always admire her strength of faith.

If i can find a pic (& scan it), i will. 


22 June 2010

Today, when we got to the Farmer's Market at about 9.30, we could see fire on the North Shore.  It was being taken care of.  News reports that it was resolved by about 11.30 AM.  At one point flames were clearly visible (looked like a large tree was engulfed) but i didn't get the camera ready in time to get the pics.

 The copter was dropping water siphoned from the lake, the plane some form of fire retardant.

Which road would you rather travel:

 The first is our trip into OC this AM - & i don't think Duane caught as much traffic as there really was.  At times you can't see all that traffic as well as at others.  Definitely FasTrak (the toll road) paid for itself.  We probably saved 30 - 45 minutes in travel time.  

The second pic is the road into Holcomb Valley taken on Saturday was we were out "picture hunting."

Yes, the second is where i'd much rather be!  But traveling the first means we can afford to live where the second is only minutes away.  :)

I keep meaning to write about the book O Me of Little Faith at my other blog.  Frankly it is so well written i'm having a hard time, because what can i say but to recommend that you read it?

So glad they got the fire contained. 


21 June 2010

Yesterday's Pics

Yesterday we went picture hunting.

I've decided to change the header & a couple of side pics for winter/summer.  I was going to do all 4 seasons, but the truth is spring & summer don't show all that differently in our coniferous part of the country.  If i find i'm wrong next fall i will change, but i don't think so.  

So, here we are:

Yeah, i put them up there.  Jazz stayed for a while.  Mac didn't stay long.  Duane caught Jazz while jumping down, but not quite the shot he wanted.

These are the flowers Duane got me for my BD.  But i have to put them up high where the cats can't get to them & knock them over.  The vase was a wedding gift & i don't get to use it very often.  

Isn't the basil beautiful?  I wish i could say i grew this, but i bought it at the health food store last week.  Duane thinks it smells "stinky" but i like it a lot. 

Just different pics of around the lake & the mountains.  The crane in one of the above pic is building a new bridge to bypass the road over the dam.  The dam is unable to continue to handle the stress of the road on top of it.  

Then we ended up at a steak house for dinner with my BD money, but i had crab.  They brought me lots of crab, so i'm going to have crabcakes later in the week.  :)

I kept trying to get a pic of the moon in the blue, blue sky, but this is the only one that was even close to good.  

Isn't this pico de gallo beautiful?  I worked so hard on this today to go with Duane's fajitas, which were also a lot of work.    I made the pico de gallo with parsley instead of cilantro, because Duane doesn't like cilantro.  Turns out he doesn't care for pico de gallo at all.  Next time i need not bother.  It's ok.  It will go into a spaghetti sauce later in the week. 


20 June 2010

True Confessions

There is a thin person in my body desperately wanting to get out!  (Does that mean i'll be left with only the fat one?  Maybe if the thin one leaves the fat one will be thin?)

I did not one single productive thing yesterday.  I don't think i even played with the cats.

When i was 28 i swore i wasn't that old.  I was just two 14 year olds.

Maybe i'm not really this fat, i'm just two thin people.

I need to clean up my dining table & it is such a mess i'm overwhelmed.

I wear no make up at all.  On a rare occasion i'll use mascara & a bit of something to tint my lips (allergic to lipstick).  

I do color my hair.  

I swore i never would.

I love sweets & think i'm seriously addicted to sugar.

I will be 50 next year.  

I don't think i look it.

I have cornmeal soaking in the kitchen to make cornbread.  I've been to lazy to do it. 

My mother has always had beautiful skin & all my teenage years i heard folks tell her she didn't look old enough to have a daughter my age.

It feels narcissistic to write this (a post of true confessions).  Also to post two posts on the same day.  

That is just for me.  I don't feel that way about anyone else.

When i was 15 i was being mistaken for 20, when i was 18 i was mistaken for 30.  

When i was 30 i was being mistaken for 22.  

What's up with that?

Yesterday i waited so late to eat that junk seemed an appropriate response to hunger (at about 5 PM).  

My mother colored her hair & i never wanted to imitate her in any way.

I used emulate in the previous sentence & discovered that is not a correct usage.

I was working on clearing the dining room table.  I got overwhelmed.

I found my first white hair at age 26.

About a month before i'd met someone with long, long hair who had let her hair be natural & i thought the long black hair shot with white made her look like a witch.

I didn't want to imitate her either.

I think if i could just drink a "protein/mineral/vitamin" drink once a day that would keep me healthy & not have to worry about food, i'd be quite happy.

I don't believe than any such drink IS good; eating food as it is from its natural state is the best.  But i struggle with it.  

I'm feeling lonely & very much wanting to "connect" with others.  No one is blogging or on FB.  I figure other people have lives.

When i tell folks i found my first white hair at 26 they often "correct" me & say i mean grey.  ???  I laid it on a sheet of paper.  It was white.

I did eat beans, avocado, olives & tomatoes yesterday; also cherries & a peach, so it wasn't all junk.

My hair was long enough to sit on when i was 26.

Part of the reason i began coloring it (besides the white hair) was that the bottom part was strawberry blonde, the middle was red, & the top was growing in a reddish chestnut.  Left natural it looked like i'd done a bad dye job.

There are few chemicals i still use in my life.  Coloring my hair (with something from the health food store & minimal chemicals) & getting pedicures are the ones i still utilize.

I take my own lotion & oil in when getting a pedicure/manicure.

I'm very tempted to try some of the new blogger blog designs for this blog.  But i like it the way it is!  I just think it could be better.  I've not changed the design since i started it 17 months ago.  Some folks change theirs every week.

This has been a distracting/keeping me busy thing while i've been doing my hair.

It is done now.  

Good bye.  :)


Cautious Optimism

 A couple weeks back i had a really weird experience.  After eating a meal, i felt drugged.  As if someone had put Demerol in my food.  The first time this happened i prepared the food myself.  The second was eating at a restaurant.  The second time was worse.  I also had heart issues (called Premature Ventricular Contractions - PVCs but not considered problematic by most docs).  

I went to my "go to" buddies at Hawkes' Health (& let me tell you, it is the best alternative health forum on the net!) & presented this issue.   The response i received was that something similar had happened for a couple of other people, & that for them it had been following a meal that had food-trigger/allergy issues for them.  Most specifically gluten or dairy.  

As i knew that it wasn't gluten, it could not have been that.  However, both times were "cheese heavy" meals.  

I know that no one hears they may have a food allergy & says, "Hooray!  I can't eat _______!"  However, i'm already eating GF, & mostly vegetarian.  I also try to keep in mind Dr. Davis' recommendations on carbs/low carbs.  I struggle with that.  The idea of no dairy in my mostly vegetarian life doesn't excite me whatsoever.   

Regardless of my lack of enthusiasm, i had the doc i work with test me for food allergies.  He uses muscle testing (kinesiology) to do this.  Kinesiology for diagnostic work is somewhat controversial, especially to "real doctors" (said with much sarcasm).  I wasn't sure what i thought of it originally.  Three times now when he has used kinesiology to diagnose something for me, i've had it verified by lab work, & so i have come to trust it.      

The news was not as bad as i feared.  I am responding to some cheeses, but not all, & other dairy isn't a problem.  He didn't have an extensive selection of cheese to test me with, "mixed cheese" was the problem.  I'm ok with Swiss.  Also butter, raw milk, cottage cheese, yogurt.  Thank God!

The beauty of this particular system is that i can take in samples of what i actually use at home & have him test me on them individually.  I have not done so, yet, however.  Almost certainly cheddar will be an issue.  

When i got this news, however, i kind of threw up my hands in despair.  Many of the foods we like &; i have Rebecca make are cheese heavy.  One of our favorites - Mexican Lasagna - has a great deal of mixed cheese.   So i decided that for now i'm no longer going to try to do "integrated" meals for Duane & me.  I'd been trying to make vegetarian meals that we both could eat, or that i could just add some meat to his serving & we'd be ok.  That now just seems too hard & so i'm planning meals for Duane & i just eat, whatever.  Mostly veggies.  I tried sweet potatoes - which i really like - as a main part of my diet.  But they were distressing my insides.  I'll probably try a different variety again in a couple of weeks, but not now.  

Anyway, the title comes from the fact that i think i've got a bit more energy eating this way.  Managing the energy is a whole different & complex issue.  However, i am cautiously optimistic that if i'm careful, that i could see some improvement & am excited about that.  Because, frankly, i had been getting worse the past few months & was afraid of where that would land.  I almost feel "ADD/ADHD" with more energy, however, & need to work on focus. 

I've not been at a good place.  I thought that i needed to see an endocrinologist as hormones seem to be at the root of some of my issues.   However, i've not had good results in working with mainstream conventional docs (& have come to trust them not at all).  My friends (who are RNs) have warned me that most endocrinologists don't have a good handle on dealing with Chronic Fatigue issues & that their recommendations could harm me more than help.  That doesn't surprise me as i credit mainstream medical as being a large part of the cause of Chronic Fatigue for me to begin with.

You would think that being in Orange County, CA for 2 days a week would garner me access to all kinds of places.  And it does.  But i'm also spinning my wheels in neutral.  You see, there are alternative docs available.  I've been to a few.  Three of the have not worked for me at all, & we have spent/wasted a lot of money on them.  Another helped me some for a while, but i think i need to move on to something else.  Having spent a lot of money i hesitate to spend more.  If i could at least use insurance on a doc who was open to seeing things differently, it might be worth it.  I've even had recommendations on a couple of people now, but for one reason or another i hesitate.  So my indecision has me frozen in place, not sure where to go.   

Friday was suppose to be Rebecca's last day.  They are moving this coming week.  But her daughter was ill & Rebecca was starting to not feel well, either.  The other new person, Nina, had conflicts too.  They may come tomorrow.   I have the things to make fajitas for Duane.  I need to do that.

My BD was Wednesday.  Duane's parents took us & his brother to dinner.  (Not to sound *bit*hy* but i thought it odd that i wasn't asked where i'd like to go.)  It was a nice dinner.  Duane bought me lovely flowers.  I need to take pics of them.  He knows i like daisies.   I would have liked to go down the hill & spend time with some friends, but Duane had obligations this week that took him down the hill.  He wouldn't want to have to go back down when he gets home (in a little while).  So we'll probably just go picture hunting & end up having dinner in town.  :)

So, i really should go & use some of "my energy" to get things done before Duane gets home.  I think he kind of wanted me to go down with him this weekend, but i wasn't very enthused about that.  I don't know what i would have done while Duane was busy.  Since today is Father's Day, (yes, this is selfish) i thought if we were both down there we'd end up spending much more time with his family than i want to today.  If i'm home then he'll be coming before too long.  

Pics today are whatever goofy things i have in iPhoto.  The top one is how Duane used to sign our names.  He drew himself alone like the goofy guy for a long time.  When we got married he started adding me in.  He doesn't do this much anymore.  (He still draws himself, but doesn't draw me much.)