Friday, September 30, 2011

steno is my life

Yes, Folks, right now this little guy and I are best buds, joined at the hip, constant companions, you name it. I hope to blog once a week-ish, but by the time I sit down to write something, my mind is numb, eyes swimming, back is stiff, etc. A steno education is so intensive, it approaches marriage- like commitment. I certainly spend more time with it than I do Bob. (FYI-he is not jealous, because; 1. Steno writer is stubby and boxy and really not my type (get it?) and 2., Steno writer may one day become the source of a respectable income for our family. Seems like I ought to name it..

All (okay,most) kidding aside, I am doing this for our family. I hope this career will be as lucrative and flexible as it's reputation touts. Also-it's not totally torture, I do like it. It's just that the process of making new pathways in my already mid life ravaged brain is painful, in a smoke-coming-out of-the-ears kind of way. The little victories are sweet, though.

I do have an intention that I ask all who read this to pray for. It's pretty serious. Thank you!

Hope you have a nice weekend. I will be holed up with, uh, (Insert name here).




Friday, September 16, 2011

7 quick takes---revisiting seven moments---

Corrie and Melissa, about 1992


 May 13, 2006

October 10, 2009
          having fun at Bilbo's pizza with Meghann and Kaden, April or May, 2010

Kaden doing his thing, last year around Thanksgiving

Father's Day, 2011

Big Band concert--required Big Time concentration

              hiking in the North Carolina mountains-- a nice memory



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Father Pavone--links that actually work!

Sorry folks for the broken link that I had up here yesterday. I liked it originally, because it contained many other links that one could click to keep up with the story as new information is released. Apparently, the blogger took it down, and I don't know if he or she will be putting it back up, so Here is a second statement from Father later yesterday, after he arrived in Amarillo--

and here,  a link to an article from Life News, pointing out that Father is still a priest in good standing.

Here is a blog that I like.For some reason, I could only link to the blog, not the specific post I wanted about Father Frank, but it should be easy to find.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

the battefront of the mind

This week has been a bit rough at my house. We are not yet settled into the kids school days routines, my own online school starts Monday. My daughter Corrie had another seizure at work, and my daughter Melissa is suffering. Her fiance suddenly called it quits, with no warning and apparently, little or no remorse. She is a college student, just getting settled in herself,or trying to. She has fought and overcome so much in her life already. One of my prayers for her is that God blesses her richly someday with a husband that loves her for exactly who she is.

Also, I have had some light bulb moments get past the noise in my brain. God is so impressive. When He wants to tell me something, He makes sure I get it. So much better than Fed Ex. But they're not bad.

Last evening, I drove out to pick up Melissa at her school. Her father also went to school there, and, at the time I met him, still lived near the campus. Whenever I would drive there, I remembered the directions by saying the name of the streets, in the order I took them. Yesterday, driving that route again, I saw them go by, and said to myself the names, the way I used to---High---Price.
Lesson learned.

Also, several days ago, while commenting on a friend's blog, I was telling about the time I was hospitalized for a  four month long headache. While writing, another one of those little lights popped on. Ah, the lessons taught by my friend, Hindsight.

During that time, I was; 1.a new convert; 2.In the process of extricating myself from yet another bad relationship; 3. Meeting resistance from said relationship-ee, resulting in being harassed and stalked at every turn; and 4; scraping to make a living for the three kids under my roof at the time, two in schools that required tuition. I will spare you the gory details. Cause they are. Gory.

The headache varied in intensity, but never went away. It was affecting my ability to work. After many doctor appointments, tests, and trials of medications, I saw the main doc of the headache clinic at Jefferson Hospital, a Russian woman, (and quite fabulous). She said I was suffering from a headache "cycle." That, basically, I was having the headache because I had the headache for so long. And that what I needed was to go into the hospital for three days, where I would be administered a cocktail of IV drugs that would "break the cycle." Again, I'll spare you the ins and outs, except to say that it didn't work right away, but within a few days, I felt a lot better, and though I did and do get headaches, it has never gotten that bad again. That is the human part of the story.

Here are my impressions of the supernatural part.

I was mired in a way of thinking for most of my adult life up to that point, and it was holding me back from being able to mature in my faith. The internal script-loop went something like this:

"I am tired and sad." (this was my depression mantra, not surprising, right?)

"I am not allowed to be happy."

" I got myself into this situation (enter the bad situation of the day here), so I am stuck with it."

"I need to stay with my current choice of a man and prove to God and the world I can have a stable relationship and life." (never mind the fact that God gave me plenty of warning about how I made my choices, and let me know He was never invited to that particular party. Oh, I thought I had asked Him, but it was the kind of asking your kid does when they're already halfway out the door, coat on, friends waiting outside, "It's okay if I go out, right?" _not that my kids ever do that_)
* (I must qualify a teeny bit here and say I am not advocating everyone to abandon their marriages. All but one of the relationships I am referring to here were not the married kind. And the one that was, was 1.invalid, and 2. abusive)

There were other premises I worked around, but that gives you the idea. My point is, all that talk was occurring in my mind. In my head. My head was the battlefield .My thoughts were being held hostage, and God, seeing as how I converted and all, now had His proverbial foot in the door. So He went to work. It was kind of a labor and birth. The headache part was the pushing. (Gar, those poor newborns!) I think God was saying, "okay, I am intervening here, and taking back the territory of your mind (and heart) so you can finally move past this destructive pattern. And to top it all off, I am going to bring your future husband into the picture. Cause, girl, you can't do it yourself!" And He did. Somehow, once I addressed the headaches, the bad life-stuff started to unravel and get worked out. I still had plenty of work to do, but the results were starting to show.
*(another note. If you have not read the part of my conversion story in which I explain the power of the Eucharistic Lord,you can find it--here. Wow, I refer to that post a lot.)

Do I ever still think wrongly? Yes. But the difference is, I see it quicker that I used to, because it seems so out of place now. Do I still need lots and lots of work? Yes. Lots. But Praise God, it doesn't seem to involve headaches.But please do pray for my dear friend Joyce over at The Little Way. She suffers with monstrous ones.

Blessings and Peace


Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11th Again--Written by a fellow blogger who lives in NYC

Autumn Again

The maple tree in front of my neighbor’s home
divides in two like Siamese Twins
bound at the hip.

Its leaves have turned early again,
crusted red like dried, crusted tomato sauce-
or is it blood– pinned to their stems,
nailed to the wood.

The summer air has ended and
the cool scent of autumn smacks you in the face.
Again. Enough to topple you over.

Neighbors go about their motions,
school has started,
baseball winds towards its Series,
talk of November elections cross the radio waves,
football has kicked off again,
all beneath a sky so blue it reminds you
of a little girl’s iris.

I enter my car, parked in front of my house,
ready to go to work.

A red leaf comes off the tree—
the first of the year, perhaps-
drifts down floats like a slip of paper while suddenly
two morning jays, blue and white tipped,
sweep across the street.
Their peevish caws proclaim the end of summer,
the end of little league and girls soccer,
reclaiming dog days for the approaching equinox.

Such demonstrates ballistic coefficients,
a floating leaf, a swooping bird.
I watch this liturgy as I hang from
turning the ignition.

There was a night I slept in the car
in some parking lot, chilled by the northern nip
unable to return home.
They barred the city shut.
I had a blanket in the trunk for such emergencies
and I took it out and threw it over me and
pitched the seat back almost to a bed and
listened to the fly buzz of radio static all night.
The sirens that had been blaring all day
finally stopped, and the crickets still alive
began their evening prayers,
unable to distinguish autumn air from crumbled dust
that floated and sooted all our homes,
all our clothes, all our lungs.

I turn the ignition, the motor crackles,
and I almost put the car in drive when another
leaf, this one still green but a frozen green,
like it had turned to stone, floats down and lays
beside the red one.

This is the kairotic moment,
when the curdled leaf falls with a plop to the ground,
the thump circling inside the cavity of my head.
I turn the ignition off and decide to walk around
the block.

I pass Mr. Sackman’s house.
His son lost his life a few years ago, and
loses it again at the end of every summer
rushing up a staircase to afflict a fire
started by a man no one around here ever heard of
and lived half a world away.

The leaves around the block
had also turned and the nails
that pinned them had been yanked or reaped,
obelisks in the mind giving way

leaves scorched red by zipping aero planes
which blasted into towers.

The leaves around me, dozens now,
are falling like three thousand bodies
coming down again

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a boy and his giraffe

My grandson has been going through an illness, and while being tested to find the cause, his symptoms are being treated with this. Kind of sad to see such a little guy having to do neb treatments! His mother, my daughter Meghann, is undoubtedly proving to be a great teacher in nebulizer technique, though, seeing as she spent a good deal of her childhood hooked up to one.

A couple weeks ago, the kids and I spent the day at Rehoboth Beach, where Malaika won an adorable stuffed giraffe. She chose it over other prizes, knowing how much Kaden loves them. So we sent it to him, in hopes of cheering him a bit.

That did occur. What we didn't forsee, was Meghann gaining another family member.

 His name is George.

                                                                         He may get a bit of store anxiety, considering his origins. He does look a bit nervous here.
       Bringing comfort when needed.


                                                                                       A bit of  head bumping or tail pulling just goes with the territory.

 Also neck exams.
                                                 I'll have whatever he's having...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

weathering our storms

This was our corner of the sky the day after Irene went through. It actually was quite a beautiful day. Very breezy/windy and very comfortable temps. Some, who were impacted with flooding were probably not able to enjoy such things. The street and neighborhood where I grew up had terrible flooding, in some cases, roof high. My condolences and prayers for them, and everyone struggling with Irene's aftermath.

 I am glad that storms do pass, eventually. All kinds.

I spent last Friday at Melissa's college, helping her get the last of her things moved in, attending orientation, and doing some of the obligatory line-waiting and the moving around of funds.

On my way home, it being Friday AND pre-Irene, there was lots of traffic. At one point it was at a standstill. Right in front of this house.
 This is the house the kids and I last lived in, up until 1998, when my 13 year marriage breathed its last. Five of my seven are from that marriage.

It was not boarded up then, or as overgrown, but it never was in great shape, as it was slated to be torn down, even when we lived there. It's kind of fitting that it has the dreaded "condemned" sign out front. That marriage was in trouble from the start, and hung by a thread for many years. Some awful times were had in this house, for me and for the kids. I experience much regret when I look at that place where some things went on that I should have put a stop to long before September 1998. For me, it was a mixture of hanging onto my vows and putting my faith in God; and having the boiled frog syndrome. You know--put him in the water and turn the heat up so slowly that he doesn't realize he's being cooked till it's too late. I knew things were bad, but I was so indoctrinated to the way things were in our house, I didn't really grasp how bad for a long time. Plus, I just wanted everything to get better.  I wrote about this time a little in the post entitled  Salvation History Part Four, from then till now.
 Sitting in front of the house, I felt compelled to call my eldest daughter Meghann. She lived through what may have been some of her toughest years here. I was looking at the front porch, recalling some vivid memories of my children in their much younger years, and some tougher ones too; when just to add to the strangeness of it all, Meghann (who was simultaneously caught in a traffic jam in Michigan), witnessed the immediate aftermath of a horrible accident in which she got a close up view of a driver slumped over his steering wheel, and by appearances, possibly dead. There were no rescue vehicles around, no people there,  just this poor man, alone, and possibly dying alone. She had her little boy with her, so she couldn't stop herself. We hung up and she tearfully called 911. She was able to see the rescue vehicles arriving since she was moving so slowly in traffic herself, so that was some comfort, but we both prayed for the poor man. (She later was able to find out that he is still alive, though in critical condition).

That's really what our life was when we lived in that house. A car wreck. And many of us were dealt life threatening blows. They just didn't show yet. Some of our family walked right up to deaths door in a very real way. Thank God that we all, in our own ways, are still recovering. If you think about us, please say a prayer. Some are still in the trenches.

But there is that blue sky, clouds being blown apart by the fresh wind. The Holy Spirit is often referred to as the "breath of God."  So, wherever we are right now,  we are all under that sky that He created, and His breath is upon us. The storm really can actually be in past tense. There can be a new chapter, fresh air and a fresh, clean outlook. Even though our memories can't be erased, we can put the car in drive and move on. The windows are boarded, and the place eventually will be razed.

 Here is my house now. I bought this african violet when it was in bad shape and just kept feeding, watering and pulling off the dead leaves. This is the first time it has bloomed in a couple years. The little glass Blessed Mother keeps watch over all the goings on in our kitchen.  She is a bit chipped from some rough times, too.

Blessings and Peace to all my dear readers. In Him we can weather all our storms.