Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hypoglycemic? Craving sugars?

I graze throughout the day, all day, every day:)   I'm not super big on food, oh, sometimes I like it, sure, food can be good and fun at times.  But primarily I eat as we need the fuel for our bodies.   If M isn't with me, say, away at her dads for a weekend, I find that I"m out of rhythm of providing meals for her, and I have often forgotten to eat.   I'd go into low-blood sugar periods before itd click, oh yeah, have I eaten?  Certainly that's not good.  So, I've learned.  I make myself eat.   Even if I don't feel like it, and especially if I am hungry.   I don't really like to bother with the time it takes, I'm happy with something small but packed with a lot of uumph (my ADD and impatience?), thinking I'll eat larger meals later and oftentimes I do just that.   I always eat/drink something before I head out the door with Daisy (unless she's particularly whining and "can't wait").  I have two breakfasts, a mid-morning something, and then I aim for lunch, plus a pre-dinner then dinner.   M likes to eat something (healthy! I make sure it's healthy!) while I'm preparing dinner, or to tide us over.  M apparently doesn't like to take as much time as she used to always take eating her lunch, so she eats less then.   I pack enough for her to have a full lunch and afternoon snacks plus horse snacks.   Today, she packed minimally.   I added two Golden delicious apples, as I know that packing M one apple would mean two bites by her, the rest eaten by Chance, her current favorite horse.  And cashews.  Just cuz a quick protein snack addition isn't a bad thing.

Grazing is apparently healthier for me, though, eating smaller meals more often.  It helps to keep my blood sugars more level and consistent.   We're both less cranky if we have something to eat when first arriving home, too, early evening, plus dinner.  So dinner is smaller.   It works out (balancing for healthy foods). 

It clicked for me this morning, reading CanyonSun04's entries, that she is mentioning potential signs of blood sugar problems.   Whether she has blood sugar issues or not, is for her and her doctor(s) to figure out, other medicines, whatever.   Hmmm, I'll have to add her link later (to her private journal), as I'm not finding it now.  Update:   Ang since checked out http://www.hypoglycemia.org and took an online test.   Great idea for any of us!  To quote them, "A higher score is evidence of probable adrenal insufficiency and/or deranged carbohydrate metabolism (Hypoglycemia), and would indicate further testing. "  Wow, serious sounding wording.   They're pushing sales, but otherwise have a fair bit of information on their site.  Yep, I still scored very high myself.

Some tidbits I'll relay for anyone who may be craving simple sugars or sweets, who can feel unenergized sometimes, who sometimes even feels cranky and irritable but feels better after having eaten and otherwise doesn't know why s/he'd feel cranky and irritable, who can feel shaky and not quite able to think clearly.   At least, those are symptons I've had.  Remembering later, I'd get close to passing out at times, too.

Testing for hypoglycemia is not the same as testing for diabetes, similar but not the same.  Typically a longer time frame is needed.

Hypoglycemia is somewhat the opposite of diabetes yet very related.  In diabetes, the body cannot produce sufficient insulin to convert sugars properly and timely (or something akin to that).   In hypoglycemia, the body produces too much insulin and converts sugars too rapidly. 
This means that someone who is hypoglycemia who eats, say, a candy bar, will initially have her blood sugar level raised, perhaps even soaring.   Testing the blood sugar level then won't show the full picture.  In time, the blood sugar level drops, sometimes dramatically so, sometimes even the shakes and light-headedness can happen and the low blood sugar is similar to a diabetic low blood sugar then and is also dangerous if too low.   So, the key is that eating simple sugar products puts a hypoglycemic person on a roller coaster / yo-yo, feeling sluggish eat something to perk up, perks up but drops again, feeling cravings for more sugar to perk back up.  
(Blood sugar problems can be triggered by various things, such as pregnancy, also.)
If feeling a craving (and not a seriously low blood sugar problem in which case, drink orange juice, or consume a quick sugar plus then a protein).   If craving sweets, try a piece of fruit instead of sugar-sugar.  In time, they taste better than white sugar items (or soda).   I don't even like donuts, for example.  Albeit, I love ice cream:)  lol
Eat a piece of complex-carbohydrate such as a low-glycemic piece of fruit, along with, say, a piece of cheese or a yogurt to counter balance (the sugar levels) with the longer-acting protein and fat.  It'll help bring the blood sugar levels back upyet not in as chaotic way.  
I'm no doctor, obviously.   There are likely tons of websites on diabetes and hypoglycemia.  If you feel, see, read something that could be you, check with a doctor, please.
I've spent years learning what does and doesn't trigger my hypoglycemia.   I can have sweets, in moderation and balanced.  Some people can't.  I can't drink a regular soda unless it's with a meal, and sometimes even then it's too much for me.  When in a social setting where alcohol is an option, I have to balance that out, too, if I chose to drink, not eat as many desserts as others are AND a glass or bottle, for example, and that's okay.   I'm fairly regulated at this point, and I don't actually count the number of carbohydrates, thankfully.  I'd hate that but if I needed to to feel alright, I'd need to.  I started off with no clue about this, feeling almost faint all the time and yet not lacking sleep or exercise or iron.  I recall driving home from work one early evening, just feeling as if I could just close my eyes and die, I did not wish to die mind, just felt physically as if I could.  I had so little energy.   I had to be very strict about my diet at first, get my body back in whack.  I can still occasionally not realize I'm dipping (blood sugar levels), every thing I eat (or skip) counts.  Mostly, I'm balanced out now.  I can eat vegetarian even, just nixing most simple sugars and meats from ones diet can be trickier, and keeping my blood sugar levels level is more important, so there have been times I can't stay strict about my vegetarian eating preference.  
Each persons body is unique:)   If anyone out there is having symptons, and diabetes symptons can include being thirsty often and some other symptons, please consult medical information / professional.  
I'd love some semi-sweet "protein" bar right now (some of them are VERY high in carbs, have you noticed?  WOW).  But, I'll heat up my "savory lentil" soup (with carrots, etc.,) instead.   Ahh, I do love lentils, though.   And, I'll feel better for it.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Robert Burns Birthday alas a day short

Ah, what delight to revisit a journal I've enjoyed, and discover, oops, twas the anniversary of Robert Burns birth yesterday!   What, you don't know of him?   He was one of Scotland's favorite poets.   Please visit Robert Burns, Robert Burns - II, and the dinner party version, Thursday 25/01/07, all from Northern Trip journal, full of weather reports and photos as well.   (I told y'all I like weather, and heck, I've got almost as much Scottish blood in me as I do Irish.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Other Bloggers from Blue October @9:30 Club

Argh, let me try this entry again!  General consensus:  awesome show! :)  I knew that.

From a self-appointed "Blue Fan" -- blog.myspace.com/luvedgal  Hmmm, trying to capture her January 24, 2007 entry, not her entire journal......   AOL is not acting as nicely as it has previously........   wait, this may have worked out.  AOL Journals is still acting up, though.

I've posted this woman's entry previously:  Blue October concert at the 930 Club in Washington DC last night - Washington D.C. Metro Rider  She followed it up with a post concerning two metro officials not realizing that the last train in her direction was scheduled to depart at 12:21am, NOT at 11:xxpm.  However, only the search showed her words -- I couldn't find her entry any longer on her blog itself.  Hmmm, good writer, an "around town" blogger.  I may have to check her out again.

Another fan was not as lucky and heard he'd miss his train.   He was fine, anyway, even got to hang out with Blue October and Army of Me after the show!   That's worth missing a train over, IMHO! :)  Okay, not with M with me, not in a bar.  But, if she wasn't.  Wow.  I do bet that was fun.  blog.myspace.com/S1ndr0m3

This show was thursluv's first concert ever, what a start!  She's "spoiled" now even if having to share Justin's drumsticks with her sister -- thurstluv: BLUE OCTOBER RULES!!!!

Daggone aol.  Keeps cutting off my "highlight" about one blog. 
Who can blame this blogger for reminiscing about the show, instead of working on a job application?  blog.myspace.com/crow1138 Into the OceanIS a catchy tune:)
Of course, my two entries on Blue October and the show here (DC/9:30 Club) this week:  After the show and sound check:  Blue October ("They treated us well.")
and earlier that day excited in anticipation:  Day for "Celebrities"  Wow, I think this worked!   Obviously, I'm STILL reminiscing and happy we went.
M wore her Blue October long-sleeved black "girlie" t-shirt today, with the green flower on the front that glows in blacklight.   She also took in flyers to her big Irish stepdance performance to school.   She's a bit more awake today, only telling a couple people yesterday about the show, and a couple who had asked her.  The memory, though, will last.   :)

A New ADHD Journal!

Just wished to highlight a new AOL Journal with some emphasis on ADHD.  Amy has three boys, her middle son is Sam.   One of his different-abilities is that he is very much ADHD.   Here is her new journal focusing on him:  My Journey With Sam

Check out her list of famous people with ADD/ADHD!   It's inspiring:)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Blue October ("They treated us well.")

AWESOME show!   :)   Great music, great stage presence and dramatic skills (not overdone or "fake,") enough light show stuff to make the atmosphere but not detract from the musicians and music.   Wow.   Not even clear that M realizes how good of a show she just attended.  

An online friend/reader e-mailed me a nice comment last night, to which I responded (mostly) as the following (hence I suppose, my summary):

She's been asleep for a long time now, and I'm unwinding.    She is a good kid and I'm glad that this was actually a smoke-free, incident-free, non-explicit, sparingly albeit well used swear words, good "real" rock (with a touch of violin) show that I could share with her.   More my thing than hers, but she loves music and live shows.  Very excited she won the tickets. 

It was awesome.  The band REALLY nice "boys."  Who are trying to be positive, turn the bad into positive and not stay in the bad place, making that choice, to quote the gist of what Justin explained at the sound check when asked about the bands name.   The popular Into the Ocean IS about finding that reason to hold on, swim into shore once jumped from the bow of the ship and it's too far away now, that lifeline, "and tonight, you (audience) is mine.")
adding: At the show itself, Justin started out with the "story" explaining Into the Ocean, and the music almost seemed too pop comparatively at first, and yet, it so fit, it was right, and fun, and yes I believe everything was singing to that one, upbeat and enjoying themselves. 

Of course, Hate Me was the final final song.   Justin paused at one point, held the microphone out to the crowd, "For any of you who have been hurt.   For any of you who have done the hurting.   Sing with me........."   I don't need that particular type of catharsis right now in my life, but wow, I can see how it was or would have been for him and many who sang along.  Not that I didn't also sing, cuz hey:)
Many of there songs are romantic, too, really, soul baring, soul wrenching, etc.
Good show.   I'm tired lol.

I still wouldn't let her buy a t-shirt with "hate me" on it, as it could be so misunderstood by others.   She liked another one, though:)   I got one for myself with a quote from "She's my ride home" on it, about reaching for the stars.

Later, I rechecked in on M, giving her another kiss goodnight, another pull of blankets extra snug around her.   Getting under my covers, Daisy jumped on top, and Billy raced to jump underneath where he likes to go lately.   I thought more of the song, Hate Me.  I understand the concept of it.  Even the various nuances of the concept of it.   He's singing out that he wants the woman (his mother is implied) to hate him so that she can do what's right for HER, not be dysfunctionally enabling, etc.

Yet, I also think of Dougie, possibly feeling unlovable, as if he should be hated.   His coworker, at Dougie's viewing or sometime those few days, told me that he'd see Dougie show up at work several times all black and blue, swollen places and gosh, Dougie had a special bone disease that makes them break readily, too.   He wasn't perfect by any stretch, but he was worthy of real love.   True, non-abusing love, and yes, men can be victims of domestic abuse, also.   Those who feel unlovable, perhaps if Dougie felt that way, as if we'd be better off without him (which is so not true yet I know some get so depressed that they start to believe that), I want to just erase the idea of hating him, just erase the idea of hateful feelings away, his self-hatred included, remind him you are LOVED, Dougie, remind others, you were and are always so loved.  So deserving of love, also.

I give Blue October credit for being so soul and heart baring, so open about these struggles.   And the moving forward bit, too:)  None of them are stuck in that black hole space, at least what I can tell, but acknowledging that some are.   That can take guts, and can be useful for others to hear.

Army of Me opened for Blue October.  The lead singer acknowledged Blue October, saying that, "They've treated us well."  Among other things.  Yes, I do agree, to the 17 of us at the sound check, and to the fans when on stage, also.

Our "opening" events were hours before Army of Me.   Nicely the soundcheck was pushed back about 15 minutes.   The parking lot used for the shows doesn't usually open until evening and after the University permit holders are gone.   I hadn't wished to risk missing the last Metro train home, I preferred to have M be able to change enroute down and sleep enroute home.  And, Metro cost more with that Stupidcard (aka SmartCard) and fare charges.   Fine drive, luckily found a great spot, and got to save $10. which would have been the parking fee.   This isn't the same spot in DC this venue used to be in ages ago when I was in college and saw, hmmm, someone good lol, a college friend had tickets and asked me to join him.   The only "sign" was on a trash can, in front of a large blue bus that was Blue October's bus, and a different shade of blue on the outside walls of the venue.   I saw two people sitting on stools near doors, the directions fit.  Cool:)  (Army of Me was about, also, offloading from a white bus and inside the room where we were.)

To read a better-written review than mine is:) go to:  Blue October concert at the 930 Club in Washington DC last night - Washington D.C. Metro Rider

I picked up our "will call" tickets.  Two radio stations had given them out.   DC101 had Army of Men interviewed yesterday a.m. and gave out tickets to the show.   Mix 107.3 had Blue October interviewed yesterday a.m. and gave out tickets to the show AND the soundcheck party.   I like both stations, and others, but M prefers more pop than rock, oftentimes, so we are more likely to have on Mix 107.3 if not playing cd's.  Mix 107.3 and Cindy Maguire was on when I thought I was calling in for Goo Goo Dolls tickets and M got through and wow, "I love Blue October!" was what my happily surprised self ended up saying on air, lol.

I counted 17 of us guests inside for the sound check "party."   Perhaps there were 19 or 20, or that was the intent.   Small and cozy, except we were strangers and a bit awkward at that point, only some chatting with others.   We'd been chatting occasionally with a couple from southern Maryland, who are apparently older than me.   For our purposes, as it seemed Blue October had been fiddling around a bit already with their equipment, Blue October started off playing just the music from "She's My Ride Home."   I really like that song.   Beautifully done.  They played a few other songs as well, of course, such as bits of X Amount of Words (played fully for the show, the one song of theirs M really does not care for).   Their sound check songs includedone M and I both liked that I"m guessing is called "Chameleon Boy" from an earlier cd than Foiled.   They did not play "Chameleon Boy" later in their official set.  

M wanted to sit down, yet no seats.   She had plenty of room to sit on the floor, then, but declined.   That and occasionally not getting a good view was her only real complaint; standing the entire time was tiring, and it did bother her.   Yet, no smoking!, yeah DC laws for that effective this month, no hassles.  The crowd was real nice, too.

Nice guys, all came down, seemingly eager to converse with us.  Or, eager to be done with conversing with us and hence wanted to get it started and over with:)   Representative Alissa, whose cell phone we were given "good that day only" yeah right, but I won't misuse it, had checked us off upon entry, and given us a poster per person.  She carried Sharpies on her, and the guys each assumed they'd be signing every poster.  They took a few moments to chat with each person who wished for it, posed for photos I'm eager to get developed.   I'd read on their website that they allow recording of their shows, if not used for commercial gain and other legitimate caveats, a bit reminiscent of The Grateful Dead to me just more wise legally speaking.  I figured a camera would be alright, and it was, just not while they did their "sound check."   Fine by me! 

(I had my copy of their latest cd in my coat pocket but spaced about getting that signed.  They also sold their cd's there for only $15. each! yet I didn't dare risk our spot on the floor later on oh well.)

Jeremy (the drummer) was talking with another "couple" about the other band, a UK band, called Blue October.  Oh.  I'd wondered after happening upon their website.   He confirmed, just go to http://www.blueoctober.com  Okay, got it:) 

Jeremy and Justin are brothers.   Justin is the lead vocalist and has a natural flare for drama it seems, and one of the prime lyrics writers.  (He said for "Drilled a Wire Through My Cheek" that he didn't know where that song came from, just sitting in a hotel room.)   Justin said at one point last night at the show, "I'm having a blast."  It seemed as if they all were. 

He thought he was without eyeliner during the sound check (I was thinking mentally, hmmm, I have purple with me....... and brown.  He'd have wanted black, and seems he found some before the show.)  He said he'd try to keep the swear words down for the show, looking and smiling at M, and I told him that I knew they were few, and when used, were used well which he seemed to appreciate that notice.   And explained the bands name, which I mention above I think......

"Ryan's 33," M says, "I did the math."   He plays the violin and mandolin, adding that richer sound and touch to the Blue October songs.   Ryan said he started playing at age 4 years old, per his mother, carrying one instrument in each arm.  He told M to not stop her dancing as it could take her around the world.  Later, Ryan told someone else he's been playing violin for 27 years now and is still learning new things.  

Matt plays bass and CB plays guitar, both nice looking boys and courteous, nice acting boys, too.  They and Jeremy can really get going and wail it / rocking hard and good.   Or, the softer sentimental open heart-type songs.  

18th Floor Balcony is one of the songs Blue October played in one of their two encores.  I really like that song:)   Very open, tender treasure of a song talking about shared moments.   And, btw, nothing more explicit than "her head on my stomach" (while they tried not to fall asleep), and "she kissed me" which is done with more resolution than the simple statement would relay.  

I really really liked most of their other songs, from their previous cd's, too (all but one whose name I don't recall now).  Apparently one of the guys from the sound check asked Justin if they'd be playing Quiet Mind.  Ahhh, great lovely song, I'm glad it was requested.   I do need to check out their previous cd's now.

The songs off of Foiled that were played at the show itself include You Make me Smile (one of M's favorites, and I also like), She's My Ride Home, Into the Ocean, Hate Me, Overweight, X Amount of Words, Drilled a Wire Through my Cheek, Everlasting Friend which we were told was written approximatley 1998 just hadn't made it on an album previously, and 18th Floor Balcony.

Not played (from Foiled) which I would have enjoyed hearing was Congratulations, and Sound of Pulling Heaven Down.  I like both of those, more than X Amount of Words and Drilled, and even more than Overweight, but guess they didn't fit in.

A theme I learned with them is that the members of Blue October wish to, as Justin put it later on stage, be an equal member, be respectful, etc.   If I recall correctly, this was in preparation for the song, Overweight.  (Weight of the world type of thing, not physical overpoundage on a persons body.)  I'd not grasped fully the depth (or, the simplicity of the truth) of the concept behind that song when mixed in with all the others on the cd.   I wish the lyrics were on the cd itself, too:)   (That theme makes sense inregards to the song "Hate Me," also, in some ways, but that's a different paragraph, lol.)

Army of Me is a "local" band that the main Blue October rep, Alissa, mentioned had been found by Blue October while searching on the internet.  I can see why they were chosen.   AOM, as I see they refer to themselves as, has a musical style that fits well enough with Blue October, and a positive we can overcome sort of message.   Their song Rise is the best example of that.   AOM refers to themselves as alternative.   I'd say more alternative with an edge.  They are not only local, but really local, claiming a hometown that is one of mine, albeit graduating some 20 years later.   (We chatted with them real briefly after the whole show, before they joined some fans or friends in the downstairs bar and we headed out for home).   They'd said onstage how excited they were to be back home playing.)   M would comment on their lead singers vocals for each song.   She didn't like the vocals for the first song, but the second song she felt the vocals fit well with that song.   She even liked a song or two of theirs.  I did as well.  (Perfect and Rise I recall being better ones; the song about Wash. D.C. could be tweaked and improved, or it wasn't their best night?, good basis, though, with potential.)   They'll do alright, and I wished them well.  Even if Blue October blew them away, a possible likely fate for most bands:)

More on Army of Me on www.myspace.com/armyofme and Army Of Me, both of which apparently have a forum about their tour with Blue October.

M had fun:)   One of the venue staff spotted us later, and smiled at M and said, "Oh, you came back!"   I think M was mostly on the observant, tired but AWAKE tired, and legs a bit bugged, but she followed and watched, and commented.  She put in only one ear plug (I did relent and put in both of my ear plugs, sigh, my ears were actually hurting, and the beats could be felt even in my ribs).   She thought of wearing her shirt this morning, a long sleeved black one with glowing flowers on it, or at least glow in the darklights gosh I forget what they are called.  

There was a real range of ages at the show itself (including probably 1/4 to 1/3 or more under the age of 21, just harder to tell for certain as the older high schoolers and the 18-not quite 21-year olds look very similar to the other young adults there, only by the hand stamp can one truly verify, and yes, that was very enforced -- the 50-something guy from the couple from the soundcheck hadn't driven so left his license at home, nope, NO alcohol for him.)

My sweet child.   I'm glad she's still essentially sweet and innocent.  I'm glad that the show was a good one, nothing foul about it, and nothing disappointing about it.  Even if somehow, it feels to me as if she's that much older now for having gone.   Even had a nice dinner break, at Duffy's, good food at happy hour prices!, good beers available but I abstained, both of us downing Sprite's and overhearing conversations of others eager to see the band play, only a few of us having gone to the sound check party.   I think M liked that she was in a special few, not sure she wanted to be in photos but then quite willing to be in them when the time came.  

It was good to have some one on one time with her, too, her starting right away when she got into my truck and at dinner time, her only quiet during sound check, and then when the bands played as it got to hard to hear each other and she was watching and listening.   Her bowl for Empty Bowls charity worked out great this time, yeah, Topper Shutt looks hysterical in his sunglasses which M described, and M agrees she will "do" the dance recitals not the class play as we'd JUST gotten the dates for the class play which naturally are thee same dates.   M insists she'll never live in Washington, D.C.   I then ask her, even in the White House, to which she givesme a look.  Then says, "No." :)   She was assigned to watch the State of the Union last night, a first.   Too many had conflicts planned already, however, so she'll get a print out today about it to discuss another day.   I read her The Washington Post's headline this a.m. (about it), and some other tidbits of information in part to help her wake up hehe, along with the chai tea latte, and she heard a bit on the radio about it.   I let her make her own conclusions about him and other politics, and yet she does not like how he's run things and especially has never understood the war in Iraq bit.

May M not be TOO tired today for class today, and class photos.   I told her she could skip dance later if she wants, though.   Then again, she's rather eager to share with her musically-interested friends all about the band and the show.  :)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Day for "Celebrities"

Topper Shutt and Blue October.   What a day for my Missy M:)

Topper Shutt is visiting M's class today.   He is the Chief Meteorologist for a local television station (Washington, D.C.'s WUSA TV9).   We don't watch much television and rarely news other than for school closings:)  I just never know what will be shown or discussed, and didn't wish to be surprised as to what M was being exposed to when she was younger.  Now it's habit not to watch televised news.   I DID flip around last night to try to catch the news, in case we'd catch Topper.  (After "Everyone Hates Chris," a very good family show and one of the two that we actually plan to watch and is of interest to a middle-schooler and also at a level that's okay for her, too, nothing bad in it.)

M is studying weather and energy in her combined 7th-8th grade class right now.   Mr. L told me that he hopes to get their classroom/school set up as a weather station someyear, also.   He has this perennially optimistic excited expression:)  In the meantime, he's had the class study various weather items, and had them prepare for a debate, and with questions for this afternoon.   I've helped M understand a several-page document on global weather patterns, and she's watched Al Gore's movie with the class, did a big presentation on auroras after researching various weather phenomena which was fun for her to check out I *think*, visited a recycling plant which she claimed was a bit boring, yet she STILL comes up to me weeks later and tells me something she's learned from it, lol, and is currently studying solar energy.  (I was not happy to learn that the late President Reagan actually had one of his first acts as President be to REMOVE the solar water heater at the White House!  Truly I don't understand why, other than perhaps to appease his oil-business supporters?)  Again, I digress:)  M is excited for Topper Shutt's visit, and has her question all ready, "How do barometers work?"   She really does wish to know the answer to that question, first asking me what a barometer is when trying to read that long global weather document.

WUSA9.com | Topper Shutt | Chief Meteorologist  Hey, Topper's a celebrity in our area, whether or not known nationally really doesn't matter.   I think it's cool that he will take the time to visit area schools.   It may be within his job, or it may be an outreach tool.   To me, anytime a professional can share and spark interest in a scientific field, particularly increasing comprehension in a scientific field that has such practical aspects to ones daily life, it's a cool thing:)  He's a local celebrity professional.  (Okay, so I'm into weather, lol, I have printouts of hurricanes at my office among other things.   And "taught" her how to make a tornado in a bottle.  Etc.  Really.  Visit http://weather.gov for some cool stuff, or, if you know a girl in Girl Scouts, check out the Junior Badges related to weather.   *I* am excited that M's class gets such a visit.)

Then, after an afternoon with Topper Shutt, I'll pick up M and we'll head into DC.  

Yep, Blue October.   M won us tickets to see them, AND a special invite (along with other radio listener winners) to a sound check "party."   Not clear how it's a party but I assume there will be some meet and greet and hangout time, hopefully.   I did have to explain to M what a sound check is.   I talked with a coworker/friend who used to play in a touring band, and we've figured out it may be just a small group for this sound check bit, and he's not convined we'll MEET the band, gosh, I sure thought so, well, they sound like good guys, I hope we do.

I've verified so many times now that it's an all-ages show.   I haven't been to this venue since I was in college, joking with a coworker yesterday that I'll be the only one there with grey hair (yet, I don't really care).  I even let M buy some makeup last night, which she can only wear LIGHTLY (albeit the pink lipgloss is light, anyway).   I bought myself some cheap purplish lipstick, too, cuz I like that color on me, and I've lost mine from Clinique that's so good.   I'll bring some extra cash so she can pick up a t-shirt, too -- I like the "girlie" one with vines on it for M that I found on one of their websites.  Oh, and a Sharpie so maybe they can sign it, and our CD I had to buy just because I really wanted to, anyway, but once these tickets had beenone, I didn't wish us to be unaware of the rest of their current songs!   

These are my favorite websites for Blue October:

Blue October | Foiled



update: their official site is http://www.blueoctober.com

I couldn't find the interview with them from this morning's radio show.  Oh, well.   Blue October's opened for the Rolling Stones!, and is no overnight sensation, having Foiled as their 5th album, I mean, cd, (or they've had 5 previously? I'm unclear and can't find that bit of info right now to verify).   They played a comparatively acoustic version of "Into the Ocean," which M claims she doesn't like as much, lol.  

She took the Foiled cd with her to C's last visit, and now Si is even singing the chorus to that song.   M didn't let Si listen to "Hate Me," as the cd version has the "f" word in it, the only "bad" word I've heard on the entire cd.  (She and Md told Si that the bad word was "hate," because of course Si asked what the bad word was.)  I was concerned what their full range of music might be like, before I actually let M attend.   As a parent, I do check these things out just in case.  In this morning's interview, one of the guys said that sometimes fans are a bit surprised after their concerts, as they didn't anticipate the shows being so hard (hard rock style of music), or so sad and yet leaving them feeling so GOOD.   Okay, to me this says a lot, and is approximately what I've been anticipating.

Blue October mentioned this morning that the show is likely to feature "all" of their songs from Foiled, and 3-4 from their older cd's.  

I first got intrigued with Blue October with their song, "Hate me."  Yes, off their latest album, um, cd.   The lyrics caught my attention.  Good writing always does, and good lyrics in a song that's also good?  That REALLY does.   I tried to explain it to M, and I think that she understands.   The singer is saying to a woman (his mother) to do what is right for HER, not get dysfunctional and enabling which can be hurtful, for an addiction he'd had (but I hear everyone's been fine and "sober" for some time now, yeah).   "Into theOcean" is clever, also, dealing with depression and hanging on after feeling like drowning (after a breakup), with a very upbeat sound to it for such a, well, depressing topic.   I didn't even connect at first that these two songs were by the same band, until I felt compelled to actually call into a radio station and ask who did this "Into the Ocean" song which intrigued me so.   Now, I've gotten to spend some time listening to the other songs on the Foiled cd, and still like them.  Okay, a couple get a little, well, skip overable, but most of them I really like.   M herself is starting to enjoy "You Make me Smile."  :)

Blue October said that they would most wish to record with Peter Gabriel, who is, in my humble opinion, a musical genius I'm happy to have had the experience to see live, as a solo artist and in Genesis.  Yes, I'm telling my age, lol.  Also with a lot to offer, depth musically, lyrically, and with images.   Just not as focused on depression and such.

I'm getting excited for the show, and the soundcheck party!  :)  (It's sold out at this point.   Just like The Goo Goo Dolls show is that I've been drooling over and even like the one song I've heard of from their opening band.  Tis okay, I couldn't afford their tickets, anyway, but gosh.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Minus 5 with Wind Chill
At least, my neighbor dogwalker told me that's what was predicted for last night. It felt close to that this morning. I switched the heat off then back on, to re-ignite the gas flames which tend to go out and kick in the backup electric heat. I took in another comforter for M and wrapped her tight. She didn't require that, our home is warm enough for winter, but she'd think she needed it:)
Outside, I realized it may have been a good time to have put a coat on Daisy. Her fur isn't that long or insulating. She didn't mind. We were out a bit later than normal and she was ready to go. The air brisk. Little lines of white crystals in some of the sidewalk crevasses, or along the edges of windshield wipers. Like cocaine trails. Not that I think I've even seen cocaine since the early 80's, friends of my summer roommates indulging occasionally.
If I paid attention, sometimes the wind would blow a small flake, or another would drop down. Infrequently enough to have been pieces of dust instead of flurries. Maybe later. Most likely tomorrow afternoon and evening, just in time for M's rehearsal.
To think, Monday it was about 65F degrees or so, two youth in long shorts/capris for the hours we were in the woods clearing trails. This Monday, older Girl Scouts in my county were to enjoy a day off of school and go downhill skiing. Except weather's been too warm. They finally canceled. Now it'll be our best snow day so far this year, even if only 1/2 inch, with the ground cold for many days now, cold and hard. The snow will hold there. (M wasn't going.)
We should visit my mother, and most likely we will. We'd have more time today. We should visit my father, and likely will instead do that tomorrow between church and rehearsal...... find him new long pants today. I really need shoes for me, too, and M needs new hardshoe dance shoes (Ma told M that M should get the tips replaced for several reasons I'm forgetting, but they were used shoes, anyway, and other things aren't great about them, and I'll find it easier to just get NEW ones for her at thispoint
A few updates:
My father was lucid again starting the next day, calling me, not really remembering I'd been by, but figured I had for the stuff left (oh, yeah he says when I mentioned the cleaning lol). He's been good this week, too. AND, yes, put on the shorts I'd left him. Beth is also buying him some long pants, and I will again. He doesn't know where the pair is I got him for Christmas that he feels are too small. Sigh.

And C left for work early on Monday, no trail clearing, no staying with the girls until M was passed along to me, etc. I didn't write him back. I don't wish him to nix switching nights for M to be with me this week for the concert she won tickets to (and next morning is class photos). I didn't want him to withhold child support for even later in the month (January 1st's came about 2 days ago, so that's 2.5 weeks late but could be worse). Etc.
I was so scared Monday morning. I still get panicked.

This wasn't even that bad comparatively, but him being so nasty makes me wonder how it'll be, triggers those old emotions and fear. My stomach in knots having me need to visit the bathroom often (making me late argh). I was shaking even though I wasn't cold by any means, and I'd even eaten so it wasn't a low sugar spell. I've come a long way in terms of how I handle myself, how I respond, feel, think, but why oh why does he still trigger those horrible feelings? I pray, God, please, you take this.
I try to not harbor any feelings inside, and I've done well. I try to do "right" by M. I do have a right to stand up for M and for myself, and I've HAD to at times. I just never know how he'll react or retaliate. I know most of what he does or doesn't do I cannot take personally. I try to see it with humour, and with detachment, focusing on what matters. So, I was nervous and didn't get there at 8:30, anyway sigh, M in capris herself wait, we're in the WOODS child, clearing debris and prickly thin
things, but I left it up to her. She changed into the long pants she'd worn the Friday before and I felt better that she'd be protected from scratches and well, so warm out there could have been ticks. I don't know if they hibernate but it's frozen today. Soft Monday, not muddy as I had anticipated. Oh, I'm rambling. Sorry. Monday the time for meeting up had been changed, too, to 10am. not that we were told that, not even on "the board." Nicely, it made things work out for M, her not late.
I also received the withdrawal I'd been waiting for, just not confirmation yet that other things were dropped......... so on the financial end, tentative good news. :) Continued prayers that the money is credited in time is appreciated.
Blue sweatshirts. The school newsletter said that students are to wear their blue sweatshirts for photos this week. Not sure where M's larger one is, or if her class is even participating in that aspect. Last year, they took the class photo outside. Maybe this year, MAYBE, there will be some snow outside:) We shall see what Monday brings...... I'm just as happy without all this cold wind, even if I understand how it's necessary for global weather patterns, etc. The rest? Yep, snow would be
this aol journals thing via IM is acting up again ack ack

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fathers and daughters

Spent most of the afternoon and on at my fathers, 6-7 hours? minus a bit for grocery run for him. He wasn't having a good day today, but perhaps that's in part as he'd been asleep when I came by and then kept nodding off. Had a lot of work there I got done. Wish I could have done more HERE, or gotten into the office some. Oh, well. A friend of his, former client?, sent him some money he'd deposited.

It was nice to be able to get him groceries without worrying about the paying of them. Not splurging, but filling the basics back up and such, and pistachio ice cream on sale:) Alright, got some for M and me, too, YUM, that stuff is GOOD! My paycheck got deposited, too, so yeah, it felt nice to buy some groceries for us yesterday, too, including picking up a few things for Dad then. Even if I'm still waiting for that child support.

Dad wasn't waiting for me, well, not specifically for today. He kept asking me what day it was, and almost as often, where M was. I'd wanted a day without a lot of financial detail thinking with him, more of a social visit drop food by get some things visit. I almost dreaded coming by. I want him to have a nice home, and it be a "normal" type of visit. He woke up (sitting on the couch sleeping), but was not aware enough to even think details on finances today. He usually is lately.
This wasn't fully a social visit, either, just not there enough.

Dad had also slipped and fallen, he did seem to have had that on his mind waiting to tell me, a few times. He'd gotten his pants wet doing that. I couldn't find them (to take to wash). He must have then tried on the pair I'd gotten him for Christmas, as he said he has two pairs andone is too small.

Ugh, couldn't find that one, either, and I could have returned or exchanged that, if not worn. I handed him some boxer shorts and some outwear casual pant shorts to put on. He seemed shocked for a moment, egads, is he not covered? His shirt, thankfully, was long enough. I mentioned taking some things into the kitchen to wash, so he couldput on the clothes with some dignity.

He apparently forgot to, sitting back down but with a blanket over him as he likes to do, starting to nod back off. He wasn't fully aware any later, either, so I"m a mite worried for when Meals on Wheels comes by tomorrow! Well, if they come tomorrow, being a holiday. This time, he says that they are great, tells me how nice they are, the one person got his mail when he asked even.
This time, he had only one bag of trash bagged and out in the patio. The trash can by him was almost full, so maybe in his mind, he bags up the next bag when he thinks it's Sunday? Not sure.

Dad was unclear that I brought him some food, yet hadn't been to the store yet for things specifically for him. A few things I'd bought while I was out last night, and the banana walnut muffins I'd made. He ate one right away, enjoying it. While dad ate some other things, I told him where I had put the other muffins I'd brought. I always try to tell him where I put things, and, if I can, also show him. Usually he comes to look, walks around. Not today.

He didn't remember I'd brought muffins. "The others are on the counter, Dad." "You brought banana muffins? Really? Where are they?" Out of the bag as it wasn't a clear bag and he wouldn't remember to look IN the bag. He'll see things on that counter, though. I put most things there now, or in the freezer. Even paper towels. He doesn't remember to check the cabinets.

Something fruity had spilled on the coffee table next to where Dad sits. He gets fruit juice and milk each weekday. His misplaced cell phone wasn't there, but it can't be TOO far, he thinks it's upstairs by his bed, Meals on Wheels called him one day and woke him up. He had not called me, at first making me nervous, until I remembered he had daily visitors who have my number.:) About five pairs of eyeglasses were there, some bent. I washed them all.

Many soaked papers, too, and a phone book and change and lots of GUNK that I think had been soaked in something previously, too. A paper cup was on top, leaking through somewhat, used too often too long to still work properly. "Don't take that, it's my only cup." I speak gently to him, for I know he believes what he's saying, "No, Dad, it's not."

." I go to the Christmas gift bag of fun hard plasticware M had thought would be nice for him. He hadn't gotten them put away. "See, here's one." "Oh, oh okay. M chose these for me?" There is a set in his cabinets, also, nice looking glasses.

He was upstairs when I got back from the store, so I put things away that required it, all else on the countertop. And cleaned more. I'd done his dishes earlier, which he always leaves me he just has less now as Meals on Wheels brings the food in disposable containers. What an easier job for some things with a real mop, too:) At home I just use paper towels or special towels saved for cleaning floors. Dad's is a bigger place, and there's a new leak. I put back the small bit of cash

he felt I had to take with me, also. I have the debit card, it worked, I just knew tonight wasn't a night to explain that to him again. I'm so glad he's not like this typically. And, I wonder. How often, how long?

Back home to Daisy:) and our cats and trying to reach M..... and C's new e-mails. Life's too short, C. We never know our time or hour, not necessarily to die, but to not fully exist. My father wasn't perfect. And at this point, I don't wish to enable him. He's past that now, though. He wanted his salmon and aspirin, his two requests for the store. (Yet he had a can of soup on the oven rack...... I put the salmon in the freezer maybe I can make it for him, or he'll snap back again for

for a while). Dad, usually speaking, tries again now, as if he's less depressed than he was before I realized, holy cow...... and got him to help me clean up his place and it took a LOT. But, not as if he's been perfect, just still my dad, and he'd NEVER have treated me like C treats M and me. We can not know. The "good times" in life are too short.
I'm tired. It's late. I have no reasonable response for C right now. I wish Doug would help more with Dad. I have to talk with my friend early am about my "one big financial issue." Write a few letters. Mostly, get to M:) as she's not being brought home. And, see if I can call Dad, remind him to put on pants. Just in case Meals on Wheels comes tomorrow, but even anyhow. Oh, man, he could go pick up his newspaper am from the nice neighbor woman who brings
it up the driveway! (insert swear word here).
I want him lucid again. I want him capable. I want this easier. Sigh. I know. Life isn't easy. It helps us appreciate the really good things:) May things go okay in the a.m., for Dad and for seeing M. I don't get why THAT one needs to be hard. Life is too short for petty anger.

Of course, I could simply respond, "I'm happy to have her returned at the time the agreement states." Use his words back. Except that sounds snotty. still. If he's not returning her, which I truly believe he should, then M needs to be picked up earlier. It just is what it is.
Right now, I'm not responding. Likely best to see how the morning goes for me here. But, I'm tempted!
BJ asks me why C is so mean to me. Honestly, I don't know. But, talking with BJ helps:)
I may be the one scraping by financially at times, but I have a good relationship with our daughter, she's even a really good kid:) I'm not against her having a good relationship with her father, either. And, I won't tell her this bs he's written tonight. He does enough that she has to feel directly.
M had asked me why C and I can't BOTH help clear trails. I told her it's fine with me, that I felt things went well the day of her horse show. I don't know what's upset him right now. Yawn.......... just hope the a.m. goes well. Nighttime yawn is here........

Right now, I feel like asking C what bug got up his backside, but, I won't.
Well, C wrote me back again. He's just getting snottier and snottier and I'm just laughing at him doing that. It's so PETTY. And I'm NOT going to let that get to me. Which might be part of what's annoying him? Eh, whatever. I don't need to "go there" with him. He's now insisting that we switch for July 4th for January 23, or else no January 23 switch. That'll be up to M.

. Even if it's a regular weeknight switch for a big holiday, I'm fine with it now that I think about it, but only if SHE is fine with it. It also means I'm keeping her on Labor Day day, then, as I had thought of suggesting switching Labor Day for Independence Day with him. He'll want Labor Day come later on, as he'll want every hour straight he can keep Megan away from me.

Guess he hasn't looked that far yet to realize that she's with him for the remainder of that long weekend, including until that Tuesday a.m., so she'll come with me 9am Labor Day, in time for parades, and then he picks her back up 6pm. This may be better for M, seeing me some during that Labor Day weekend, her seeing him a mite longer of a time Independence Day and if switch, also night, during the otherwise 2 weeks straight she's with me.

C is insisting that I pick up M tomorrow a.m., but, at least I got him to actually tell me that in advance this time. He'd practically always bring her back until he moved. And he still does some of the time just not always and at least communicate, please. I'd written that he's of course still welcome to join her for trail clearing in the a.m. if he can get off work.

(He owns the business, but he may still feel he needs to be there for something that morning.) I rather wanted him to join her, as SHE wanted him to. I hope she's okay with this, though. I told him back that I'm sorry he can't join her tomorrow, and that if he's not bringing her down (my home or the barn), I'd need to get her before 9am as they're starting / meeting up at 9am. (She's due with me at 9am, this way, not 1/2 hour away at his place, and I suspect he'll be at work a while before
a while before 9.) Not that I want to be awake and dressed and driving that early on my day off, but she won't want to be late and then have to track down which trail everyone's working on.

So then I'm thinking: Ah, well. Could be worse. Could be a LOT worse. I could not know at all what he intended for tomorrow for one thing. Just do not get why C is still, hmm, acting so angry at me, as if I'm some enemy of his. I don't get it. We should be coparenting, we share a child, I don't like him by any stretch, but can't we not be enemies? It's been so long ago.

Oh, my he wrote me AGAIN, and I quote: I'll assume you meant to ask if it was okay for M(name) to return earlier than our agreement states.

That's it. Nothing about meeting M's needs, which is all I'm trying to do by being nice and picking her up, avoiding a fight with him as he is refusing to return her. She should be back HERE by 9am, AND, the event starts then. This is why I'd be tempted to ask him what is up with him? WHY be so whatever? Sheesz. Get a grip.
So, I won't respond right now. I don't know how early I'll be awake, realistically, anyway. I'll figure it out. I just do not "get" him.
What gives with some guys? Ah, well, I figure it's C's personal problem. Maybe with he and Sh even. It is possible that she's the one refusing to drive now since they've moved? Don't know. I do hope he can get over the anger and petty stuff, though, it's as if he lets it eat at him, for what cost? It can't help him, or M, I wouldn't think.

Oh, well. M's HOME tomorrow, and she can do what she wants (that I okay). Hopefully it won't be too rainy, either. I had hoped to talk w/ her tonight about boots and stuff, but naturally my call there wasn't answered. From how M words it, the phone never rings when she's visiting, so I think they turn off the ringer to help screen the calls.

So, now he wants July 4th instead. Switching a regular overnight for a holiday (instead of the more logical switch of another weeknight instead, at least IMHO, or maybe those aren't so easy for him?).

?). After being declined for a holiday he's not going to be around for, anyway, which is what slays me, and the overnight. He's grasping here, lol. I told him that he's apparently able to switch that particular night, just figuring out which one. Sheesz.

Well, the overnight portion of July 4th. M is scheduled to be with him that day, from 9am until 8pm. Which I thought was a joke when proposed by his lawyer, every/other Independence Day only until 8pm, not for fireworks? My lawyer said not to bring it up, nor that the other holidays (except Christmas Eve) are until 6pm and not overnights, as that'd mean an automatic additional e/o year overnight. Um, okay then. So I didn't.

Albeit, that is a good thing for this year if I can use it as leverage.

And she and I continue our traditions with our celebration of Independence Day. Except I'd hoped to switch it for Labor day perhaps this year, as a big youth group trip is that same week.......... that Youth Pastor needs another advisor for and it's a GREAT week trip M could really use and so I couldmaybe go with her meaning she'd go....

Ah, well. I told him I had to talk with her first, which will tick him off possibly. Oh, well. It's HER life we're talking about:) We have plans every Independence Day. Always have. Our holiday, her favorite.

Even if she'll likely want her horseback riding camp which only fits in, cuz of visitation schedules, for that 2 week period. (He's continued to not work with me about camps that go over into another week.) But it does make sense for her to stay over there that night. I just have to laugh at him. Maybe he's testing to see just how badly the night of the concert means to me.

. I know she's very eager to go to the concert:) But, I do wish to run some of this by her first. She's old enough for "basic" stuff (and input) at this point in her life.

Well, he did agree last year to get her to some of the days of her dance troupe camp (not clear if he thinks I paid for it or not; I didn't as she was with him that week), but this is new, and he otherwise hasn't worked with me about camps. Maybe, as I wait year after year:) maybe, this will be an improvement this year? Even him saying he's found something that's multiweek, fine. Ah, well. Three, no, four sets of summer information is outnow.

So I wait yet again for C. I'd also let him know that he is still, obviously, welcome to come join in the trail clearing with M if he wishes to and is able to get off work for a couple hours. To please let me know.

. (Partially, I really don't mind and I want him to know that, and partiallly, this is to confirm his dropping her off, without quite that edge of "fighting." Sometimes lately, he's flat out refused to bring her back trying to insist I pick her up, and yet doesn't discuss it, nor let me know that this particular time (whenever the time)

, I don't want her late for this thing, and I don't want fighting. He's not consistent with his "ruling," either, nor will he clarify for me when I asked. Hmm.

I wait to hear from her, I'll try calling her again. I hope Md stayed over:) I wait to see M, to talk with her again. To give her a hug, and don clothes and footwear for the muddy trails. Maybe there are tools at Dad's I can borrow. Maybe she won't have too much homework left over. A day to ourselves, ah, that'll be nice.

Minutes ago, I also waited for the banana nut muffins. I thought I was making Dad banana nut BREAD, until I'd mixed all the ingredients in the exact amounts for MUFFINS. Hmmm. Betty Crocker, like my late Grandma Betty, knows, though.

. Muffins are best for him, and easier for M's lunch, too, and me to grab:) I'd saved two bananas to add growing ever riper. The muffins are smelling real good now as they cool.

And I wait to hear more on a withdrawal I'm anxiously awaiting...... wow. An updated status today from Friday. I can't imagine they work weekends, nor Federal holidays, so happy to hear this stage confirmed, and I'm to re-call back in 2 more business days. Maybe, just maybe this will come quicker than they had estimated.

And I wait for tomorrow, hear how it goes with my friend who is helping me with the one financial situation that's being a royal pain, and the lawyer. (Hence why the withdrawal.) Actually, I will call him.

Tomorrow, or too late tonight to still go out, being I just know he's re-lost my cell number yet again and hence why he can't confirm taking me to dinner tonight:) I'm just feeling too busy with stuff I"m doing and working on. Or I'll call him tonight, anyway, confirm what size his daughter's wearing, so I can gather outgrown clothes of M's I wish to pass along, anyway.

I don't have to wait for prayers, I'm feeling blessed to have received so many:) I can feel them, so thank you. This one big issue is big, so to not feel entirely distraught and anxious 24/7 is a good thing. Sometimes, I'll still get that knot, that feeling as if I'm going to throw up. I check out information I have, I'm trying. It's just not "stopped" yet, even if I've sent payments, etc., so I get anxious but mostly this weekend, I'm feeling that support.

I stay trying to move forward while I wait, and I'm getting some answers, some steps confirmed.

Even if I'm also still waiting for the January 1st child support check. At least school knows, as I have just the last bit of M's class activity fee to pay. They nicely are only charging me half of this fee as a way to help "financial aid" M some. I'm thrilled about that, I don't actually have the whole amount, and waited a long time to hear this from them.

. I just need this check from C to arrive first. It'll get it before the end of the month. It's just due by the 1st. Ah, yes. He's improved a lot, really. Even if I was told three times within the past hmmm, 15 hours, that he's an (fill in swear word here).

). I don't refer to him that way myself, I try to do what's right for me to do, I try to focus on M first, try to let go of any anger or ill-will thoughts. It is, however, helpful to hear others recognize how "off" C still can be. And I'm thankful that there are many single dads out there who ARE really good dads, too.

Speaking of good dads, BJ? I sure hope the storms don't have you out too badly..... it's in the 60's here today, amazingly. Snow in Maine today, Vesta is going to be cozy and cook comfort foods.

. So glad to hear her update that my "niece," late cousin Dougie's oldest daughter, E, is yeah going to be able to stay in college next semester. She's a freshman, very talented artistically, like her dad had been. She's LOVING this, downtown Portland. It's really where I believe she should stay, just was a monetary issue. Yeah, another wait found out:)
I so wish I could help her out more. My goddaughter, along with E's younger sister, both start next year. Locations to be determined. So big.

And M, so excited she'll be 13 years old, a TEEN!!!!! in just 6 months now. She's waiting, growing so, physically, emotionally, intellectually. I'd like to get her growing a bit more spiritually, too. in time. Also means, yes, I admit, I count it, less than 5.5 years left of dealing with C for me! Well, we'll still have dealings, but not at all the same.
I'm sure Dad waits for me. I spent extra time with Daisy and home today, missing church which I know I need. I was too distraught over a notice earlier this week and missed my dancing, which I know I also need.
More rain here, and tomorrow. Eh, it'll be okay. We'll be okay. (Hopeful for my dad's, too, but that's a whole other issue......)

commercials now, Daisy begging, trying to quit but not lose what I've IM'd in here so far.....

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Soft evening. That's how I'd define tonight. The air outside, still moist and fresh from light rain, yet no longer raining. The temperature warm for January, not warm per se, yet definitely not cold.
No brisk slap in the face dry cool air of winter. I even LIKE that feel when it's not windy. Yet, this felt, well, nice. Walking Daisy in the early evening dark. I'd shut our windows again by then. Heck, it's 52 F degrees out NOW after 11 pm. I don't think it was much warmer earlier, though. So, soft evening. Napped instead of catching any of the Ravens/Colts game (which, I admit, actually spiked my interest, having remembered when they were BALTIMORE's Colts).
I'm sure BJ watched the other game. I'm hopeful M has her friend, Md visiting there with her tonight at C's home, M's father's. He doesn't usually have her have anyone visit, or let her go play/spend time with, someone she's known from outside of him and his circle of neighbors and friends. For Md's last birthday party, a sleepover, M didn't even get to go but was never told that, told "maybe" all along, not even told that day, just the time ticked by, not even a call to Md's home to say.
But this time, maybe, I am hopeful for her, it seemed maybe more likely. I'd had M call C on Thursday. Barn Director asked M again if C was coming to help with trail clearing, and M hadn't mentioned it to him when she last saw him. Barn Director is pleased M was the first and originally the only one to volunteer to help clear the trails of debris and growth in the park bordering the barn. B. Dir.'s planned for others to join now, too. M's scheduled to be with me on Monday,
C for the rest of the weekend. When M called C, he said he was working Monday. Not a surprise, really. I'm not sure he ever takes off for holidays unless they are "big" ones, such as Christmas or New Year's type holidays. He said he'd try to get off and I'm not clear if he meant that, or figured he'd say that, knowing she's scheduled to be with me.
We'll see. I have no problem with him coming out some and me being there, too, or just her and him, either way. To have M be with me the night of "the" concert she won tickets for, I asked for a switch of nights later this month. He then, after saying he's working Monday day, anyway, said he'd like the switch to be for Monday day and night.
Ah, huh? Beautiful child had no cavities! at the dentist, taller than anyone had seen her she's grown so fast lately, shiny hair, clean teeth. I'd finally had to schedule this during school time to get it in, calculating when she'd miss the least ("only" reallymusic which she's disliking this year). I talked w/ M about these switch ideas. She wants to be with me on Monday. She's had ideas and plans. And does NOT NOT NOT want to miss trail clearing, would like me there, too, and has other things
other things at home. There was my answer. Not me flipping out about how I'd like to switch a night for a night, not this when he's working, anyway (the holidays we alternate are daytime, not overnights). I suggested instead, maybe he could get a couple hours off, spend those with M in the am clearing trails, then she with me for our plans (ice skating is one big one with friends from school), and he pick her back up after her Monday riding lesson for the night.
I figure this could be a win-win for him and his work schedule, and primarily for HER. Logical. Even if one of his big goals is to have her away from me for extended, continuous time. He's said that more than once in the past. But, this would be better. I do hope he can see that. And, shrug, if he nixes the night, but wants time in the a.m., if it's trail clearing as that's her desire, then fine, anyway. This could be a lot worse.
M was anxious Thursday about whether or not she'd be taken to her added dance rehearsal Friday night. All last year, he so adamantly refused to get her to rehearsals or classes other than some of the final ones. I'm still not clear if Sh has pushed for this more, due to Si wanting to stepdance, also, or if he was told he'd better be careful as she's about the age of being able to decide for herself now if she even goes with him for visitation.
But, this year, it's been a lot more as if almost "normal" in terms of almost supporting her dancing. M was anxious about mentioning the Friday rehearsal when she called him Thursday, had been all week really per what she's said to me and asked me, having to tell her repeatedly that even reminder e-mails had gone out including to C and to Sh. In M asking about Md, M says C said Friday night won't work due to M's rehearsal. She was so happy, relieved. She shouldn't have to have this stress.
Though I rambled, I'm mostly hopeful that tonight she's with her friend, showing off her room there, and the six cats there, and yes, wee Si trying to play with them, too, both good girls (M and Md), so they would some and gently. If not, then I suppose we'll be real sure for the ice skating on Monday with M's classmates (whichwould include Md).
Sometimes, I'm quite content to stay within my world here. Maybe it's in part because I deal with people most of the other times. I need my downtime, too. Two guys had asked me out for the weekend, also, confirming things later. I'm completely happy to not see either, lol. Even if both are great conversationalists and I would have fun. Even if both of them were re-contacted for more business / friend reasons, lol. Women will suggest getting together again, but nicely there's no romantic push.
A third guy I'd had recontacted for some legal advice, he was happy to provide. Then told me a few times how he'd gotten this image in his head of "damsel in distress" me in an orange jumpsuit behind bars, and how incredibly hot that was, and would I like to go to dinner, and how hot that was.... ICK ICK ICK.
Wow, the radio alarm clock just went off. that's a surprise. I never even turned on the radio or television all day. Glad I'm awake:)

Anyway, nicely, I have some friends who are FRIENDS, too, women and men.

I did talk with a few people today while walking Daisy however many times she wanted to go out:) That's okay, it can be fun for both of us. We even talked a bit with dalmation Lucy again, without her owner I'm not sure I've ever met, her owner back home by now, her on her patio, protecting it yet wagging her tail and wanting to re-say hi to Daisy. And a woman I don't recall, who'd been neighbors with one of my former really good friends we'd just lost touch with. This neighbor and I seem to have a fai
r bit in common, so perhaps I will run into her again. Or, not. Someone, after a full week, these interactions, the guy with the 9 month old BIG puppy who's not 100% trained (yikes), the woman who thanked me for being so respectful. (For what? Oh, picking up. Well, yeah.). Some people I see often, some not. But, some days, these are enough social interactions for me. Replenish. Even took a nap earlier:) Warm, soft Billy and Liberty near/on me, Daisy nearby.

Last night was LOUD! I'd gotten there late, wanting to spend time walking Daisy and feeding the crits first. They are my priority, after my main one of M, of course. And I fit in there somewhere, lol. Seems the first band was the most appealing to those who share more in my tastes. Ah, well. It was practically PACKED! This was a great crowd! One band of the three I heard I liked the best, and those youth and the parents (parents don't always come) were SO polite and helpful. I got to talk some
some with them. That's part of it. Have guests feel welcome, and welcomed, for they are. Let them know that they are welcome BACK, too. (Well, except one band, the roughest-musically screaming "exorcism" I called it, ended up using the f word more than once, which is so not acceptable and not in the guidelines, so they are welcome back in the church as human beings or audience members, but NOT to play. If they'd kept their language fine, even their screaming lyrics wouldn't have gotten them nixed
, even if the style appealled only to the smaller parts of the crowd, it wasn't the style, but the words and one of the actions, that was not acceptable.)
So this band who had such polite members, and sample cd's I should have picked up, I usually do buy one to be supportive, seems they attend the Catholic parish closest to me. I've been there several times, and would definitely attend there if I was Catholic, I really like that church. The one father seemed apologetic, that he'd trained his sonin classical music, he doesn't know how this progressed. The boy got a guitar and (made sound of raging electrical strings lol). This parent also filmed the
the band:) They figured it's in a church, they'd okay the band playing here, it'd be okay. That's not always a good assumption for all places of worship, but our intent is to have it be a good, safe place for youth to be, any youth. No alcohol, no drugs, heck, most wanted water to drink, not the sodas. (Then again, it's the only "diet" drink last night, finally got Youth Pastor to realize that's needed, too.) All I met were nice kids, even polite. Most seemd to have fun, a few tried moshing to the
to the one band but we can't allow that, it could cause holes in the walls. They stopped, happily shaking their heads along to the beat instead. One girl looked a bit like the Corpse Bride, except with long blonde hair dyed St. Patrick's Day green. A larger variety of races there, a few more parents along, then normal. One girl I feel will really come back, a friend of a "regular," who clicked real well with another regular. The youth intern, who went to M's current school, asked me at one point,
"Admit it, you hate this type of music, don't you?" Actually, I don't. Okay, I hate the screaming stuff. (I don't like whiny high pitch opera, either, admittedly.) Some of the high school bands are not, um, fully skilled and experienced enough yet for a great full set. But the last band had some stuff I could maybe like. I think I'd have liked the first band. Sometimes, I've listened to the cd's I've bought, or been given. More than once:) Md's older brother didn't come. Eh, he was invited.
That one band, sigh, a mistake, but otherwise, very successful. Even if for many of them, it'll be a "safe" but fun place to go to. Only so many places for high schoolers to get out to. Maybe, maybe all of taht is part of why today, I'm fine chilling out, doing housework and verifying which new requirements in the Girl Scout IPP book M's completed, mostly by happenstance. :)
I will wish to clarify my last post some, but I believe I'll update that one specifically when I can get back into it. That's what I get for rambling writing, I suppose:) A couple points -- I've never known anyone, Catholic or Christian non-Catholic, or non-Christian for that matter, get negative or hateful over differences in beliefs about communion. A theological discussion I'd like to persue, but it didn't fit in with this post that otherwise had to do with politicsmixed with religion, and how hatef
hateful that can be. I also didn't explain evangelism as I should have, adding only "or am I stereotyping?" to beg the question in a way. I know the idea of "in your face" as being the only form of evangelism is stereotyping, and that even what I was involved with last night is one form of evangelizing, perhaps more accurately called outreach, but still. Thirdly, I believe what I really was trying to reconcile was the differences in beliefs different Christians have towards social responsibility.
I don't understand the idea of being Christian and not helping in the ways I consider helping (if able to in ways one can), yet, apparently some believe differently, that they are called in a different fashion. That's what I'm trying to comprehend. Ultimately, the hateful divisions that can occur, the political assumptions that are made and all the blech, that's what I don't like and feel is the most wrong, and gives the worst images of what a Christian is. And I got a bit sick of yet another e-mail
from a well-meaning otherwise devoted Christian, putting down an entire group of people with reasons that seem misinformed even. THAT's more what I was TRYING to say:)
So, last night was a "harder" edged night, with both our youth interns really loving the last band. Hey, btw, it's not the genre of music that makes or defines a Christian, but the heart and soul (and lyrics) in the song/music. Tonight, blessedly, a softer evening.
No news yet on the radio about the game (Ravens / Colts), or the other one with St. Louis and someone.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Know my Religion, Don't assume my politics

There are many good, well-intentioned people who are trying to do what they believe God wishes for them to do.   I know this.   I try to remember this, that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.   We just sometimes have different viewpoints on what that is, for ourselves, and for others.   A friend and co-youth advisor led a great youth group meeting on Sunday that helped me to understand this more clearly.   Thanks, Gary.   I'm quite unschooled in the differences between how different Christians faiths believe, so what I write here is my attempt at understanding this.   I question my own faith details sometimes, which isn't a bad thing to do, and I try to learn more, and I think I know how I believe in regards to many specific things

See, sometimes people put down others of a different version of a Christian faith, or who hold a different belief, and it's as if many forget that we are all one in Christ.   I know that we are.   At Amy's funeral mass this fall, her welcoming church had a notice that basically said that Catholics and non-Catholics can't share communion as we're not the same.   To me, that logic doesn't make sense.  I support them making decisions for parishioners within their church, and this is one of their core beliefs which I can respect.   I don't see their stated logic fitting in with my understanding of this gift from God, that that all of us are believers and one in Christ, no longer separated by nationality or race.   I actually believe similarly to many of my Catholic friends in other regards, and many of them have quite differing politics from each other, so please note that this entry isn't about them per se, just using this as one example.   This was at least done with attempts of respect and sensitivity.   I think when people start assuming that ones claimed faith assumes what ones political standpoint is, and putting others down due to this, that there is a problem.

See, I'm tired of people assuming my politics.  I'm tired of having my faith questioned.  I even read some information after the last Presidential election, written by a Reverand or a church, stating that all of those who voted for the Democratic candidate were followers of the anti-Christ.  Um, huh?  Since when does ones religious faith assume ones political party?   What does this man know about my personal relationship, or lack of one, with God? 

My brother, a registered Independent, tends to vote Republican.   We talked of each others reasons once.   Believe me, his reasons for voting Republican had zero to do with spiritual beliefs, or a fight for return for religious morals, lol not him, and were primarily motivated by financial reasons and his logic that fighting somewhere else might keep terrorists from our soils HERE.   I did vote primarily Democratic, as each of the candidates seemed to care more about the people, and about our environment God so kindly created for us to be stewards of.  

I'm certainly not perfect, nor do I believe that I can become perfect just that I am called to try to do what God wants of me, and be as Christ-like as I am able to.   Even if I don't want to and, admittedly, I don't always.  Apparently there are some Christians who believe that they can become as if spiritual entities themselves?   This was just touched upon, not gone in depth about, and new information to me.  Some Christians believe that the Bible is thee only document to use, and that it is to be taken very literally, that the Bible says that the world was created in 7 days, so therefore, it took 7 days.   Some Christians (like me) believe that there is allegory and symbolism written in the Bible as well as literalism.   I love the Book of Revelations and it's imagery, and discussed how exact, how literal all of that is intended once upon a time.   Some apparently find the Bible, and even Jesus, more as guides and a nice historical prophecy.   Some Christians believe in a conversion experience, and some that a conversion decision works.  

Do we all share a belief in the basic elements of Christianity?   Sure, or we wouldn't be able to call ourselves Christians, at least, not accurately.

A big difference is seen in how different Christian groups believe a Christian is supposed to then carry their faith into the world.   Seems that at least one type of Christian believes in staying within their own world of people who believe just the same as they do, some more strongly than others.   It can be supportive to fellowship with others.   I can understand this.   I don't quite think that 100% of thisis what God is calling me to do, anyway.   He sometimes associated with prostitues and tax collectors, and frankly, I've known two nice prostitutes (even if I abhor the entire idea of that "profession") and only one actual tax collector, but many many accountants:)   Yes, we can be tempted.   And yet, how would one spread the word?   Some Christians believe evangelism is a very strong part of how they are to live out their faith.  I'm not good at that personally.  I'm a quiet type:)  Or, do I stereotype?  Hmm.   Anyway, my personal belief is more to utilize ones gifts, and that not all are given that gift.  

The biggest difficulty I see as roiling our country and dividing Christians from Christians, other than when people fail to remember that we are all Christians and hence brothers and sisters, is between the groups of Christians who believe in individualized service / non-social involvement, and those who believe that they are called upon to serve others as part of their witness to Christ.   Or, maybe sometimes the politics is the same we just carry it out differently.  

Personally, I believe in the latter.  I believe in a loving God, who will get angry sure, that we are all unworthy of the grace bestowed upon us, that we are to respect others for who and what they are, first and foremost as fellow creatures of God and human beings.   Love our neighbors, do unto others.   In the ways that we can, in the ways we are able to.  To me, it does not matter the race or nationality or "tongue," and of course is with disregard to artificial geographical lines.   God created the world, God created us all, first and foremost as His children.   (BTW, just to point out, I am not condoning any illegal activity.)   What hateful e-mails I get forwarded sometimes, from Christians!, that shock me, sometimes even full of prejudicial assumptions.

God is greater and bigger than politics.  I link you to a journal entry that I believe explains some of this very well   Restore our Christmas and her "letter from God."  Love each other.  Do what we can, we don't have to be suppressed or anything, we have the right to our faith and beliefs, too, even if one feels called to politics because of it.   Just, don't go hating over the petty things.   Don't let the devil interfere and divide us over these things.


Alright, now for all the hate comments! oy.   Ah, well, they'll be drowned out.  Tonight I'm excited to help out our youth pastor again with his every few month concert event.   High school bands come and play at our church.  Only high schoolers or older can get in.  It's a huge outreach event, and, a safe place for high schoolers to go out and have fun for a night.   Mostly it's harder rock and alternative, some grunge, etc.  It's loud and it can be rough.   Oh, all the lyrics must follow guidelines and rules and such, no doubt.   Sometimes the bands even have a couple good songs ;)   Last time, after a band member signed their cd "to food mom," (I'd helped with snacks that night), I saw another boy walking by.   I'd not seen him before.  He wasn't from our congregation.  I forget his exact words.   Basically, he said something like, "This church is cool."  It's really fantastic to serve God by helping any youth feel even the tiniest bit more connected.   Some who like this genre of music don't fit well in "the mainstream" and hence sometimes don't even believe they'd fit in well in a church.   Hoping to see the older brother of M's good friend, Md, too, as M invited him, thinking he'd like it, and he has a band so may wish to play sometime.  It's a night about music, and God and Christ and the Holy Spirit, and more music, and some food, and offers of earplugs to the adults, and it works without anyone assuming my politics, nor I assuming theirs:)





Friday, January 5, 2007

Hello? What? Is this Spring?

I'm no longer "underwater."   I can hear, but not perfectly.   Then again, I think my age and history means I'll never ever hear "perfectly" again:)   Some ring tone that's apparently obnoxious and designed originally to scare away teens from stores, I cannot hear.  

The nurse at work grabbed me when I walked in yesterday, "Robin, I need to talk with you.  Robin, I looked at your chart......"  Uh-oh.  My ears haven't hurt much, but I HAVE walked by there a couple times over the past month or so, and she noted some things in my chart.  "You MUST call your doctor today."  So, I did.  My medical card is dropped accidently, and I can't hear what the receptionist says while I pick it up.   Typical for my week.  A 2:00 p.m. appointment and I'm seen around 3:00 p.m., which for them is on the better side, I forgot, even if I NEVER wait that long at ANY other medical office.  I remind myself he's a good man, just disorganized in the office, and I have a chart here, a history of ENT.   And sometimes, free samples when I've been the most strapped financially, once declining to pick up an Rx so instead I could get M groceries / food.   The intern sees me first, nice woman.   Anyway, wax-free (not a lot especially for never having been "flushed" before in 45 years, a weird procedure), yet still today trying to get the Rx called in.   I verified the pharmacy # before I left it, calling back today took a good 15 minutes or so, plus other back and forth calls.   My ear hurt more hanging on the phone so long, after I now have basic hearing back. 

Earlier this week, coming home from M's dance class and a quick casual dinner out with friends, I heard the dj announce tickets for the 10th caller......   I could have sworn she meant for the Goo Goo Dolls.   M in the backseat, seeing me trying to call in, tried for me on her cell phone, getting through!   She was the 10th caller!  NOT the Goo Goo Dolls, albeit the same venue.   LOL.   They had to speak to someone 21 years or older.  Thankfully, I like the band and could exclaim appropriate surprise for their snip of a recording on the air.   M is VERY excited.  It's on a night she's with her father, and I'm still verifying that the other songs they have are alright for her (the show itself is an all-ages show).   Besides, the sound check party would be completely fine, I would imagine.   I really like their cleverly-written lyrics, and the one song even sounds upbeat, almost belaying the lyrics.   We shall see!   Not even positive C would switch nights.

Rain rain all day, warm mid-60's rain.  It feels like Spring.   We're underwater, sure, warm wet.   Glad we didn't plan any ski trips.  Tomorrow will be in the 70'sF.  I wondered if my ear trouble could have been wax combined with allergies, plus that cold M and I had shared.   Nope, I don't have allergy troubles when it rains, and usually not in the Winter at all.   We haven't really had Winter, though.

Last night, I joked with M, "Do you want to see the cherry blossoms this weekend?"  They've started, or so I've heard in the local news.  Daffodils are starting out at her dad's.   Where is the snow?   Where is WINTER?   I don't mind Spring, other than the pollens readallergens, but, but, I want Winter, too!

I send a link to a great, scientific ozone hole / global warming-related site to Mr. L (M's science teacher).   He's all excited for his weather and energy unit.   Another parent says she's sitting in yoga pants, me in just a sweater and no jacket, and it's NOT global warming?   Welllllllll sure seems possible.   Or, is it part of a natural cycle, within the normal fluctuations?   Polar bears possible to be listed as endangered with correlation to global warming.   The US has been slower to embrace "The Inconvenient Truth" (and yes, Mr. L offered for me to borrow that dvd which I gladly took him up on). 

Last night, the moon appeared to still be full, starting to not be, huge and yellow and did I say HUGE and almost FULL in the sky, dark grey behind the moon, the moon apparently illuminating the black, with woods of barren black trees silhouetted in front.   Very cool watching it go by while on the highway........ 

Yesterday, a new Congress convened.   We'd gotten an invitation to the swearing in (wow!!) but couldn't attend, okay, the next door room with the televised swearing in.   Still.  We like our Congressman Chris Van Hollen, even if he defeated a very good Congresswoman Connie Morella a few years back.  (I used to be in Steny Hoyer's district, and thrilled he's still doing well in Congress, also!)  The local world is starting to buzz again.  M asks this a.m. if this means I'm getting paid again.  I try to re-explain in 3 sentences or less just what a Continuing Resolution means and what's been done for THIS year.  "Oh, that's better than just a fiscal year, right, Mom, doesn't that end in, like, September?"   My little smarty, knows just enough, absorbing still.  I'll point out to her tonight that the new House Speaker is a woman.  I didn't think twice about it, until I read Nancy Peloisi is the FIRST woman Speaker of the House.   Ah, and the first Muslim in Congress, being sworn in on the Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson.   How cool is that, special permission from the Library of Congress, was walked over and back.  A bit of history, again.   The world moves forward, our nation diverse, and better reflection of that in this Congress than in past ones.

Tonight it's a light grey sky, this morning would have been wonderful for sleeping in.   M may be finished working on Chance, some therapeutic riding to help him improve, or walking him, not clear which or both.   He even visited a horse chiropractor (sp) over his winter break, who also uses some accupuncture.   The Barn Directress says it's a growing field in our area.   Talking through his symptons and snapping back into place, etc., sounds like just what Chance needed.   M is thrilled to spend time there again, being none were to spend much at the barn there this week. 

Tonight's also the dance troupe's "post holiday party."   It should be fun:) and, I think M and I are both thankful it's being held after the mad rush of December.   Even if we were STILL searching for a suitable red frame last night (only started 2? months ago, and looking everywhere).   The Dad of the boy hosting this is a musician, and encouraged people to bring instruments for a session.   Yes, I have a pennywhistle, yes, I've taken lessons, no, NO ONE wants to hear me try to play it, lol.  I dance better than I play a penny whistle. 

Tomorrow, oh, the pleasure of a Saturday with nothing planned.   Hanging.   Her homework (how come a child who scores in the 99th percentile nationwide for her age in writing skills and other skills related to that, gets a 66% on a literary analysis, well, glad she's being challenged but we talked about her talking w/ Mo today about it, as M's not understanding this assignment, admittedly combined with her knowing that a sentence "sucks" and it's not her best as she had SO SO SO many projects due thee same day).  In the 70's.   I'll be on an Rx by then, Daisy's been loving having M home and the weather and will get a nice long walk.   Perhaps my overdue New Years one:)

Oh, just remembered, M has her package from Beth waiting at the Post Office!   See ya.

Dag, and the water at my father's.   New problems with that.  Oy, Doug and I were to talk again today about how to handle it all.   Maybe still a bit underwater.