Sunday, January 08, 2012

A Photo A Day - January 3, 4 and 8

January 3 - Something I adore.  No, not my beautiful male cat, Kyo, though I do adore his sweet and loving disposition.  No, this picture is of SLEEPING!  I adore sleeping!  Yes, I do!  Unfortunately, I don't do a whole lot of it, but I'd like to do more.  If you can't sleep well, then sleep often, that's my motto!  It seems to be Kyo's motto also.  Hm....

January 4 - Letterbox.  Folks, this isn't just any old letterbox.  This is a primo letterbox which was a gift from two of the nicest people in the world, my dear, dear friends, Billy and Melvin.  My letter box was tilting like the Tower of Pisa after someone who shall remain nameless backed her car into it.  Every day, it tilted a little more, but that unknown person ignored it until it was ready to topple over completely.  One evening after work, she noticed that there was a brand spanking new mailbox!  Which is why Billy and Melvin are the BEST.  If you don't believe me, you can look at my Facebook photo album entitled, "Why Billy and Melvin are the BEST."  No joke.

January 8 - My sky.  I just shot the waning sun through the trees on my front lawn.  Although I complain about the mountains of leaves to rake from my many, many trees, and threaten to cut every tree down from time to time, I really do love my pine and live oaks and magnolia and walnuts.  They are so beautiful, especially against the sky.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

A Photo A Day - January 2 and 7

January 2 - Breakfast.  This is my actual breakfast today, January 7th: Puffed rice, almond milk and coffee.  Usually I include a banana when I have cereal, but alas, no bananas in the house today!

January 7 - Favorite.  FAVORITE?  You want me to choose JUST ONE?????  AYEEEEEEE!  As I have said many times, a lipstick obsession is much more reasonable, cheaper, and smaller than a shoe obsession.  My mother's girlfriend, Jess Davis used to say, you are never really dressed without lipstick.  Words to live by, my friends.  Words to live by!  If I absolutely HAD to choose a favorite, though, I think it would be MAC's Plumfill.  Maybe.  I don't know how many lipsticks I currently own - you count 'em.  I'm too busy deciding which one I will wear today!

PS:  Here's a hint or two -- this is a 10" dinner plate, and in the center of the plate, the lipsticks are three deep.  Just sayin'...  I think there are few in my car that are not pictured, and I didn't check the pockets of all my skirts and pants, and there are a few in my desk at work..  Look closely and you will note lipsticks of all price points and manufacturers.  The most expensive one I ever bought was Lancome's Fetish because I tried it in a makeover with a friend, and I simply had to have it - it was like rose SILK! - and the cheapest being the 99 cent ones at CVS.  I love them both and everything in between, but my favorite manufacturer is MAC because they glide silkily and smell like vanilla.  YUM!

Friday, January 06, 2012

A Photo A Day - January 1 and 6

January 1: A photo of me

January 6: Something that makes me smile

I just love Christmas trees!  I don't really care about all the other types of Christmas decorations; for me, it's all about the Christmas tree.  I want the biggest tree that will fit, and I want it loaded with lights - so many that I cause a neighborhood brown out every time I turn them on - and I want the boughs positively groaning with so many ornaments. This is a picture of the tree in my office at work, it's only 2 feet tall, but it has two sets of lights and about 4 dozen ornaments on it!  Christmas trees make me smile.  Today is Theophany, and I will be taking down my tree here at the office and at home, so it's nice to have a picture to remember!

A Photo A Day

I'm coming to this six days late (what else is new?), but I'd like to try the photo a day for January.  I saw it on Jen Woodhouse's blog; it seems like fun, and it will help me to get back in the swing of blogging more often.  It may take me a day or two to catch up.  Here it is:

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Wednesday Words

Couple of things stand out to me today.  The first is from an article about Stephen Colbert, one of my absolute favorites.  He is brilliant and hilarious all at the same time.  While talking about his father and two brothers deaths when he was ten, he spoke of how his mother kept him from becoming bitter:

"She taught me to be grateful for my life regardless of what that entailed, and that's directly related to the image of Christ on the cross and the example of sacrifice that he gave us.  What she taught me is that the deliverance God offers you from pain is not not pain -- it's that the pain is actually a gift.  What's the option?  God doesn't really give you another choice."

What most people don't know about Stephen Colbert is that he is a devout Roman Catholic who truly practices his faith.  How profound a thought: God's deliverance is not from pain, but that you will come to understand the salvific properties of pain which make it a gift.  Gotta think on this some more, but deep inside, I simply know this to be true.

The other thing I read this morning that touched me is this, from Made to Crave: "You were made for more!  More than failure... more than this cycle of defeat... more than being ruled by taste buds, body image, rationalizations, guilt, and shame.  You were made for victory."  Wow.  God never intended me to be a slave to my passions, of which food is only one.  God intended me to share in His victory over sin and the results of sin which is death.  God intended me to become more like Him, to share in His beauty which is victorious over all.  As long as I get out of the way, that is.  More food for thought.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


I've been on Weight Watchers for about 11 or 12 weeks now, and am doing ok with it. I am in this for the long haul, and the goal for me is health rather than weight loss.  So, I faithfully record every point I eat and attempt to practice portion control.  Altogether, I've lost nearly 20 lbs (it was 20, but I did gain a couple of pounds over the holidays).

However, I am coming to understand that overeating, self-medicating with food, is not only a physical issue.  It is an emotional issue, speaking to my mental and emotional health.  Most importantly, it is a spiritual issue, because everything has a spiritual component.  Here is the scenario as I am coming to understand it:

Little Denise is afraid that her mother will die, so she eats.  Her grandmother, aunties, mother and cousins all believe that the best way to show love is to shovel more and more food into little Denise, and little Denise happily complies, setting the stage for self-medicating with food.  When bad things happen in Denise's life, and lots of bad things happen, she is strong on the outside, but inside, she is still that little girl, and she turns to food to get her through the bad times.  When good things happen in Denise's life, and lots of good things happen, she celebrates with food, because food is the source of good feelings.  Over time, Denise goes from being athletic to couch potato, from muscular to fat. This makes Denise feel bad, so.... she eats to feel better.

My question to myself is this:  Where is God in all this?  I turn to food to assuage my sorrows, when God is right there, holding His hand to me.  I refuse to grasp onto Him because my hands are full of chocolate and macaroni and other nummy goodies.  I rely on food more than I rely on God.  I think I must love food more than I love God - that's what my actions say.  Inside my heart of hearts, I think to myself, no no no - I love God!  I crave Him!  There is a hole in me that is God-shaped, and all the food in the world cannot fill that space that was meant for God.   Yet, I keep trying to fill that space with all sorts of things - food mostly - but all sorts of other things, too.

This process of getting healthy is about so much more than weight and food.  It's about God, too, and surrendering this life-long crutch of food to rely instead on Him.


I'm so weak, though.  The scriptures talk about finding strength in weakness.  May I find that too.

Goodbye 2011 Meme

  1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?  Hm... can't think of anything.
  2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  Kinda sorta.  I did get more serious about my spiritual life, and I did continue decluttering.  These are my goals again for this year, along with becoming more fit.
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Nope
  4. Did anyone close to you die?  For the first time in a long time, I can say no, no one I love died.  May it be so for 2012 as well.
  5. What countries did you visit?  The depths of despair and depression, but otherwise, I stayed home in the USA
  6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?  More health and fitness, more free time to paint and knit, more time with dear daughter and son-in-law.  Oh yes, a significant other would be nice.
  7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory?  March 27 and 29, and April 1.
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?  Forgiving my daughter.
  9. What was your biggest failure?  Not forgiving another person who used to be very close to me.  Still working on that.
  10. Did you suffer illness or injury?  Um.... yes.  
  11. What was the best thing you bought?  My wonderful droid phone, the HTC EVO Shift!  How I love it!
  12. Where did most of your money go?  Money?  What's that?  Providing a home, utilities, food, insurance, transportation and medical care for myself, one little dog and four cats.
  13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?  I guess this means excited in a good way, right? Hard to think of anything that I got excited about in a good way, other than my DROID PHONE.
  14. What song/album will always remind you of 2011?  Nebo E Zemla.  Go fig.
  15. What do you wish you’d done more of?  Praying.  Knitting. Walking. Sleeping.
  16. What do you wish you’d done less of?  Stressing about things and people I can do nothing about.  Worrying about a child that has to make her own way in the world.
  17. How will you be spending/did you spend Christmas?  Christmas Eve at my church, and Christmas Day with dear daughter and son-in-law at their adorable apartment for a fantastic meal and presents
  18. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?  It would be a toss up between dear daughter and Xenia - texting.  Actual phone conversations, that would be my beautiful cousins Roseanne and Ethel.
  19. Did you fall in love in 2011?  Not with a person, but with my DROID!  How I love you, Droid!
  20. How many one night stands in this last year?  None.  I don’t do one night stands.  
  21. What was your favorite TV program?  Doc Martin. House. Royal Pains. Grey's Anatomy.  Do we see a pattern here?
  22. What was the best book(s) you read?  Letters to a Beginner - its one of my most favorite books and I read it nearly every year.  Other than that, The Way of the Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way which I hadn't read in a long, long time.
  23. What were your favorite films of this year?  The Help was the absolute best!
  24. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?  My birthday is on September 14th and I turned 56.  I spent it studying iconography with the master iconographer, Xenia Pokrovskaya.  They sang Many Years to me at lunch, which was sweet.
  25. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?  Dear daughter not eloping.  That was horrible, but not as horrible as the way I found out about it.  Having someone I trusted not betray my trust. I'm still not 100% over these two things, but I'm doing my best.  Otherwise, more money.  More free time to paint and knit.   Having a special someone to share it with.
  26. What kept you sane?  My dear friend and sister of my heart, Xenia.  Knitting.  Prayer.
  27. What political issue stirred you the most?  The polarization between the far right and far left.  There is no one in Washington that represents my best interest.
  28. Who did you miss?  My mother.  She was the only one that never betrayed my trust.  How I miss you, Mom.  But its not forever.  We'll be together again. 
  29. Who was the best new person you met?  Not a new person, but I've spent more time at St. Martha Mary Monastery, and am forging stronger relationships with the nuns there.  That has been the best.
  30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.   Be careful where you place your trust.