Sunday, July 27, 2014

On Joining the Hyster Sisters

For the last ten days I have been trying to figure out how to share what is going on in my world right now because I need all of the healing energy I can get.  Most of the time, I am so busy telling myself that it isn't going to be any big deal that I don't have time to think about the fact that it IS kind of a big deal. I wish it felt like a better one. 

One week from Tuesday, on August 5th, I will join the noble ranks of the  "Hyster Sisters," when I have a hysterectomy of my very own.  (Cue the fireworks!). Again, I keep telling myself that it is nothing. Millions of women have them every day, many of whom are very close to me. They are all fine. I should be, too. Right? 

I am making To Do lists, making lists for my lists, checking things off, and adding new things to my lists at breakneck speed.  I am exhausted! But the minute my heads hits the pillow, my brain kicks into overdrive and I have to listen to the Buddhify meditation app over and over just to get to sleep.

My dreams have been ridiculous! I remember them when I first wake up, but they are so bizarre and disturbing that I'm pretty sure I am blocking them out completely within the first hour after opening my eyes. It is so loud in my head!   Does this happen to everyone?  Does it ever stop?

They tell me my recovery depends on many things, including whether or not it is laparoscopic, traditional cut, or a combination. That could mean anywhere from two weeks to two months or so!  I am a teacher. School starts for me eight days after the surgery, and the kids return exactly two weeks after the surgery.  This is one of my biggest worries.  I know that my school family is supporting me through this, and they will do all they can to help, but what do I do about not being there when the kids start?  How will that work? How do I prepare someone else to start the year with my kids in just a few days? I have so much that I want to do with them... I have so much that I want to do. Period.  The important stuff will get done, right? It always does, right?  All will be well, right?  Those are the things I have saying to other people for years. Why is it so hard for me to listen to it when I say it to myself now?

Hyster Sisters out there, have you wisdom to offer on this subject?  Thoughts from anyone would be most welcome. I am trying so hard to be calm, Zen, and accepting of this change.  But, good gracious, it is hard in the quiet moments!  At least I finally wrote some of it out of my head.  Now I need to go make another list.

Peace, love, and light.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day Three

"Longing for Gravity

You are on a mission to Mars. Because of the length of of the journey, you will never be able to return to Earth. What about our blue planet will you miss the most?"

If I left Earth, never to return, what would I miss most about it?  I would miss the air, the water, the fire, and the earth.  Driving with the top down, the sun just warm enough on my face, and the wind rushing over my skin.  The sound and sight of the surf moving, waves kissing the beach, or water giggling over rocks in the creek, and the feel of it tickling my toes before I plunge, head first, into the surf.  Being outside is my oxygen.  I can breathe in freely, deeply, and openly, suddenly overwhelmed with the (mostly) beautiful smells held in nature.  

I am renewed when I step outside, away from my desk, my chair, my kitchen.  I am strengthen and energized. I am now reminded to take more time to go outside.  Mars trip or not, I miss the wind, the water, the fire (light), and the earth.  I miss the balance that the four elements offer me when I take time to accept their gifts.  I need to step outside now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day Two

"Unsafe Containers"

"Which emotion(s) — joy, envy, rage, pity, or something else — do you find to be the hardest to contain?""

I have to be honest, I was not a fan of this prompt at first.  It frustrated me that an answer didn't immediately spring to mind.  In fact, I fought against every possible answer that popped into my head. I didn't want to do it.  But the whole point of a challenge is to, well, challenge oneself, so I decided to examine my reluctance more closely.

Which emotions do I find the hardest to contain?  After chewing on this for a while, I realized why I had been so reluctant to touch it.  I find ALL of them diffficult to contain.  When I am happy, everyone knows it.  I will tell total strangers how amazing everything is.  I feel like I am exploding  with joy, so I have to share it.  The same, I have found, is true when I am unhappy.  Whether it is sadness, frustration, or anger.  On me there is no hiding it.  

Through my students this year (middle school girls) I have learned that I actually wear the way that I feel in the way that I dress.  I was stunned by this realization.  I am a pretty happy person, and I typically dress for work in bright, vibrant colors, putting together accesroies that will add just the right pop of color.  I came in to school one day wearing khakis and a grey shirt, and my girls thought something awful had happened.  I was mindboggled.  I was just having kind of a blah day, a little down, but nothing earth-shattering.  I was told, in no uncertain terms, by my girls that I should never dress like that again unless something was really wrong because it scared them.  I have worn black to work twice since then, first when we lost Nelson Mandela, and more recently when my very dear friend lost his mother.  Both times I explained to the girls the reason behind my choices, and they understood that grief sometimes comes in darkness, and it is okay to feel that pain.

It seems that even when I don't mean to, when I don't think I am wearing my emotions on my face, I am wearing them on my body.  So it seems that the "unsafe container" is me.  I feel everything, and I show it.  I'm fine with that, and don't consider it unsafe at all.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Day One

The challenge today is to just write, whatever comes to mind, just write freely for twenty minutes, then publish what you have written.  I have my students do this all the time.we call it "Clearing the Clutter" and it always seems to help them immensely.  I, however, rarely participate. Today that changes. This is the start of another new habit for me, on this day of firsts. 
took my first yoga clas today at the most beautiful, relaxing, inspiring studio called The Lotus Pond. It is a lovely log cabin on a pond with a little waterfall in it.  What could be more relaxing? I am painting tonight in one of my mom's classes with a dear friend.  That should be fun.  I always enjoy my mom's classes. Wine, music, Mom, a paint brush and a canvas, what's not to love? And I am also starting a thirty day blogging challenge today.  I haven't posted to the blog since the fall, so that changes today, too.  So far, I love this day!
We are in the middle of The Great Purge of 2014 here, so if I don't need it, use it, or love it, it is out the door! The goal is for everything to have a place, a home, somewhere it belongs in the house.  Closet is already done: two garbage bags full of clothes for donation, and two garbage bags full of shoes to donate.  Still need to do bags, but there is time.  Books have been collected from the overflowing bookshelves and only the essentials were kept.  The ones we released went to gain credit at the used book story so I can continue building my classroom library, and the rest were donated to the Hospice thrift store.
Busy seems to be the name of the game. I picked out a yoga class for every day this week, then I have things going on every afternoon and evening.  People to see, celebrations to enjoy, work to do.  It has long been my practice to put all of those things ahead of taking care of myself, but no more.  I realize that if I always feel awful, I am of no help to anyone.  I will find time for yoga classes.  I may even work in time at the gym.  Wouldn't that be crazy? It is just time to feel better and focus on wellness.  I have had a headache or migraine almost every day for at least the last month.  Now we work on changing that.  It is time.  This is the time to do one thing for myself every day.  That will be my yoga class. 
We have seen so much loss this year, dear friends, parents of dear friends, spouses of dear friends, it is time to grab life by the shoulders and make the most of every day.  It is crazy how quickly it can all be gone.  I want to do whatever it takes to be healthy enough to stick round for the long haul.
My sweetheart and I celebrated eight years together last night.  Eight more will not be nearly enough.  We talked at dinner last night about what have been the best things, most surprising things, and most enjoyable things in the last eight years.  What is all comes down to is that we both feel so damn lucky to have found each other.  Have the last eight years looked like I expected them to? Not even close, but that have looked outstanding! I wouldn't trade a minute of them.
So now we begin the next phase with ridding ourselves of clutter, making time to reenergize, and to reflect every day.  But we do this one day at a time.
That's twenty minutes of writing! Wow, the kids are right, it helps a lot!
Peace and Namaste.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Autumn Ketchup

In celebration of the changing of the seasons, Michele and Mel have tossed us a new prompt this week.
In 57 words or less ... what for you personally 
signals the coming of Fall? 

Driving around town
With the car top down,
Music cranked up high, 
not a cloud in the sky.
Refreshing, cool breeze,
Rather than the sweltering blistering, 
Blazing, intense unmistakable Florida summer sun.
Finally making a trip from Point A to Point B, 
Top down, without sweating out half my body weight.
First sign of Autumn in Florida.

Thank you, to our lovely hosts for allowing me to play feature blogger this time! I felt like I won the lottery!  Y'all are the best!
Ketchup again soon!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Heaven, My Movie, My Food Fight, My Love : Ketchup #26

Guess what time it is, kids!  That's right, it's Ketchup time again! Mel and Michele are back again with a new and exciting prompt for us.

I have to say, as a movie lover, this was a tough one at first.  Then, once I thought about it, it was a no-brainer.  This is one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies.

Dad and I actually got to visit the Whistle Stop Cafe, where it was filmed, on our road trip two years ago, and the Fried Green Tomatoes were the best I've ever tasted!

Ketchup With Us - Prompt 26

In 57 words or less...if you could reenact one 
scene from a movie, what would it be?

To play in the kitchen, my favorite place, with my best friend, my love,
Preparing our favorite food, making a mess, devolving into ridiculous fits of uncontrollable laughter,
Slipping in the disaster we have created, 
For once, not caring about the clean-up.
Forgetting the world outside our kitchen.
Forgetting the world outside our love. 
My Heaven.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Forty Was Fabulous! Ketchup #25

Our beloved friends, Michele and Mel are at it again, this time celebrating the first birthday of their #KetchupWithUs series, so it is time to celebrate!


In 57 words or less, tell us about an incredible, disastrous or otherwise memorable birthday in your life.

"The ruby is the stone of the fortieth year," declared My Sweetheart, planning my celebration.  
Ruby slippers, 
Ruby chalice,
Guests dressed in shades of red.
Fantastic photo retrospective set to my favorite music. 
Delivery the Legend of The Hundred Year-Old Burmese Eye of the Guinea Pig, 
And most beautiful ruby I've ever seen. 
Forty was fabulous!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Filling the Void

It is amazing to me how aromas can blast us back decades in time in a single instant.  Today was my grandfather's birthday.  He died in 1999, but I still miss him like it was yesterday. 

I stopped at his favorite bakery, Housewife Bake Shop, on my way home from work this evening before dinner at my parents' house.  Pop Pop and I used to stop at the bakery on the way home to my house from his at least once a week while I was growing up.  As I pushed open the door this afternoon, l was hit with the old, familiar smell of sweet, fresh, deliciousness that I hadn't encountered in years.  I was overcome.  

As I battled the lump that instantly formed in my throat, I had to fight back tears.  I knew that I missed him, but damn!  Of course the first thing I saw were his favorite creme horns staring back at me from behind the same old shiny glass case.  I found myself stammering am apology to the sweet clerk behind the counter and trying to explain.  She said she had just lost her grandfather and now I was making her cry!  I tried to tell her that it gets easier, but I'm afraid I didn't look all that convincing. 

Thirty dollars, two white boxes, and one bag later I made it to my car. I closed the door, turned the key in the ignition, turned on the air and music, told Pop Pop how much I missed him, and let the tears fall. 

Yes, it gets easier.  Life goes on, just as it should.  But some days, the empty space feels cavernous and no bakery treat, no matter how sweet, will ever fill that void.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I'm a Goner!

Trifecta Writing Challenge’s thirty-three word weekend trifextra is "tooth.” 

Wasn't it just yesterday that first tooth furiously fought its way screaming to the surface? Today a giant smile full mischievously, lovingly, innocently, adorably strums the strings of my heart.  
Time does fly! 

Baby Boy and his sweet, soul-stealing smile!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

BRF Ketchup With Us #23

Our dear friends,  Mel and Michele have recently returned from BlogHer13 in Chicago and, after watching the most hilarious video there, created this super easy #KetchupWithUs prompt. Be sure to push play only when the kids are in the other room, or the sound is turned down fairly low, as it deals with the age old affliction of "Bitchy Resting Face."


Easiest link-up ever. All we want is a picture. Give us your best bi***/a**hole resting face. Blog-less? Email it to 

and we'll create a post of these entries. Want to remain anonymous? Find one in a magazine. Models are notoriously plagued with this disease.

Being the oh-so-friendly Betty that I am, I had to go way back to when I had hair to find a good picture for this one, but I think it does the trick. Why, you may ask, did I not just take a new photo? Good question! I asked myself this, too. The answer is that it is Sunday, and my back is spasming, and a big, heavy cat is sleeping on my lap, so clearly I am lazy, and vain, and it was easier to find an old one. Geeze, I should take a picture now! I bet I am making a bitchy face with all that going on in my head! 
Anyway...thanks Michele and Mel! I always love to ketchup with y'all!

My bitchy resting face back when I had hair.