Monday, November 30, 2009


(victoria's parliament)

Laws control the weak. Honesty controls the strong.

~ from Paulo Coelho's blog ~

And integrity.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


(my piece of dessert at thanksgiving dinner #3--i only ate one)

Grace begins and ends prayer. Grace is what we call what is left over after the scouring of the self, the dying into self. Grace is what was there before we ever looked at ourselves in prayer. Grace gives us our initial impulse to pray.

~ Ann Belford Ulanov ~
from her book
Picturing God

"Grace gives us our initial impulse to pray." I agree. And it gives us so much more.

Grace. I even like the word.

Have you noticed a moment of grace in your life lately?

I have. I received over $100 in the mail today. Part of it was a rebate--part was overpayment of a bill I owed. it was my money. I still got checks in the mail today and I wasn't expecting any.

Oh...and I needed decaf. I went to the coffee shop where I buy it and it was free. (I had a full punch card.)

What about you? Tell me yours.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

a picture is worth a thousand words

I love this site.

On the tenth of every month, the new post appears.

She takes a picture.

He writes the story and creates the characters that the picture inspires...exactly 1000 words.

Friday, November 27, 2009

who named it black friday anyway?

The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself.

~ George Bernard Shaw ~
Irish Playwright

No shopping for me today. I am staying away from the mad (and maddening) crowds. When your budget is as limited as mine is, there isn't a sale big enough to draw me into the fray.

As a long time friend of mine says:

"For all of you shopping today, please remember common sense, common courtesy...and your butt is not a storage device for your head."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

love thursday 11.26.09 ~ thanksgiving

(the guys put the christmas lights up--i am thankful)

Genuine Christian love is forged against the anvil of our selfishness and possessiveness ... It is important to remember that love is more than a feeling. It is active and transitive. The real test of my loving is not that I feel loving, but that the other person feels loved by me. Love is what I do to create this sense of feeling cared for.

~ Morton T. Kelsey ~
from his book
Companions on the Inner Way

I am thankful for...

...kind people populating my day with smiles on their faces

...having the energy to accomplish what needed to be done


...turkey gravy

...elastic waist bands

...sparkling red wine

...Christmas lights that someone else put up



Happy Love Thursday!

(Thanks to Chookooloonks for starting Love Thursday.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

thanksgiving begins

This nation is affluent and has more than it needs. The realization that what we have is a free gift can deepen our desire to share this gift with others who cry out for help. When we bless the fruits of the harvest, let us at least realize that blessed fruits need to be shared.

~ Henri J.M. Nouwen ~
from his book
The Genesee Diary

Today is our first Thanksgiving meal of the year. Thursday, I will have two Thanksgiving with my dad and one with family/friends.

I have much I am thankful for--not the least of which is you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


(yeah, it's a repeat. thanks, rob.)

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

~ Dolly Parton ~

Been having a lot of rain here. Off and on--inside and out. I am almost through my depression. Hallelujah. Took lots of amino acids and stopped taking the pain meds. The good news is that I haven't needed them. Double hallelujah.

I am almost back to the pain level I had before the procedure. I'll take progress wherever I can get it. There's gotta be a rainbow in here somewhere.

Monday, November 23, 2009

i'm on drugs

(my big fat greek--okay, not greek--ankle)

While there is a lower class I am in it, while there is a criminal element I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

~ Eugene V. Debs ~
American labor and political leader,
and nominee for the 1924 Nobel Peace Prize

I'm depressed.

No, I am not on antidepressants--nor do I need to be. I am using pain medication subsequent to the procedure I had on Friday. The one where the doctor stuck a needle into my ankle and filled me with sugar water. Three times, he did that. Wonder why I didn't think to take my sugar orally?

The pain of the procedure wasn't bad. I tolerated it. The discomfort following the injections continues to reduce on a daily basis and I am still hopeful that this will prevent my needing surgery (even if I have to get another set of injections--or even two more).

I am grateful for the pain medication, too. While I am sure I would have survived and even tolerated the pain, I believe we heal better when a high percentage of our energy is not engaged in managing pain. So, I have used the medication that was prescribed for me. I have even needed and used less than the doctor suggested I could use. I have to tell you, though...I will be very glad not to need it any more because it depresses me.

This is a physiological reaction. I'm not depressed because I am worried about the outcome. I am not depressed because of other events or phenomena in my life. The aftermath of taking the medication I need is depression. I am glad I know that.

I am not taking it personally. I am not trying to find a cause for my depression or manufacture meaning out of it all. Sometimes, depression is purely physiological.

Several weeks ago, I attended a continuing education seminar on the immune system. Did you know that one of the effects of activating one's immune system and causing inflammation can be depression? In fact, research shows that taking aspirin can reduce sadness.

Between the pain medication and inflammatory response (which is how this procedure works--the desired outcome), I have lots of good reason to be depressed. So don't worry about me. I'm fine.

I am going to feel so good when it stops hurting. When my liver clears these drugs out and the inflammation has done its job, I'll be a new person.

Come dance with me....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

do you surrender?

Dear Wanda,

Do you ever feel like surrendering your blog?


Dear Jane,


For years--all the way through high school and college and even into my early adulthood--I kept journals. In the attic I have pages and pages of spiral notebooks. Much of it is mind garbage that I felt a need to offload. Little of it is inspired or inspiring. I just needed to write, so I did.

I can't remember exactly when I stopped writing in my journal daily. I think I was in my 30s and going through some kind of relationship crisis. "Why" doesn't really matter at this point. I stopped--and it wasn't good for me.

A few years ago, I started blogging as part of a class I took. I enjoyed it from the beginning. The first blog I started fell by the wayside, because I was no longer inspired by it (or for it). Then I started this one.

It, too, has evolved. I started it as an "advice column". However, with a small readership, I just didn't get enough requests for my infinite wisdom. I started posting my photographs, an inspiring quotation, and writing whatever was on my mind. Occasionally, like now, I would get a request and happily respond.

This year, I made two creative commitments: 1) Take a self portrait every day, and 2) post to this blog daily. So far, I have kept both.

Sometimes I wonder why I continue this blog. The short answer is...I need a place to write. And I need an audience other than the inside of my head. I don't know how many people come regularly to read--maybe a dozen? What is important is that I find my voice to share with others.

Will I continue to post daily next year? I don't know. Will I continue this blog? I don't know. The question that I have needed to answer is "Will you surrender to your blog?"

And for me, that answer is also yes. Because, Jane, if it weren't for this blog (and yours) I wouldn't have gotten to know you.

You know?


Friday, November 20, 2009

#500...and ankle follow up

Auspicious? I hope so. My 500th post on the blog is the update on my procedure. Something about the round numbers feels good.

The procedure is called "Prolotherapy." The doctor injects a dextrose solution into the soft tissue around the joint causing an inflammatory response, which "tightens" the ligaments and stabilizes the joint. Of course, as with all medical procedures, there is no guarantee and it doesn't work (or doesn't work well enough) in all cases.

The doctor I saw does the procedure under fluoroscope or real time x-ray. Many doctors do the procedure blind, using anatomical markers as the indicator of where to place the injection. That's how the technique is taught. My doctor has a fluoroscope in his office. I figure it makes his aim better.

(ankle: foot at the top)

Because the ankle bone is connected to the knee bone, and because I have had a considerable amount of pain at the knee as well as the ankle, he did an injection at the head of the fibula, too.


If you look closely, you can actually see the needle in the pictures:

(two injections in the ankle)

(one in the knee--the black line is the needle)

Looks like a pretty good aim to me.

Today, I feel like I have a badly sprained ankle that goes all the way up to my knee. That's how it is supposed to feel. For a couple days, I will be hobbling. After that, it should keep getting better and better.

I have another procedure scheduled next month. The doctor says it is possible that I won't need it and that one round of injections will be enough. Whether he was giving me a hypnotic suggestion or basing his comment on experience, it would be okay with me if one round did the job. I guess we'll see.

Thanks for all your good wishes and support. I'll keep you posted.

no food or drink after 7:30

The deadline fast approaches.

This afternoon, I am having a procedure on my right ankle. The doctor says no food or drink for 6 hours prior. So I got up a little early and fixed myself some breakfast...and coffee. The latter, of course, being the most delightful and important part.

If this therapy works, I will be able to avoid surgery [from my fingertips to God's ears]. Send good thoughts, please.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

love thursday 11.19.09 ~ 19 things i am loving on the 19th

(sitting on the charging station when he was little)

Distributing food is a unique act of love because food is the basis for life. When the church can distribute food, it can allay one of people's most primal fears -- that of going hungry -- as a way of helping people come to peace. When sources of food are close at hand, peace may be sustained.

~ Pamela Couture ~

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean, and professor at Saint Paul School of Theology

1. ...bringing my computer home from the hospital

2. ...finding new foods that I like

3. ...being able to help others when they ask

4. ...purring kittens nearby

5. ...three hour massages

6. ...SO

7. ...meeting new friends face to face

8. ...reconnecting after time apart

9. ...hearing the wind chimes (which is pretty much the only good thing about wind besides being able to sail in it)

10. ...sleeping past 6:30

11. ...reading good writing

12. ...a full tank of gas

13. ...being able to wear sweaters again

14. ...and cowboy boots

15. ...buying clothes that fit

16. ...having clean laundry (and therefore, options of what to wear)

17. ...working with polite competent people who take responsibility

18. ...finding lost items (where are you gloves?)

19. ...taking a nap while waiting

What are you loving today?

Thanks to Chookooloonks for starting Love Thursday. Head over there for more.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

make music with what remains

A story from Rabbi Harold Schulwies:

We have seen Yitzhak Perlman

Who walks the stage with braces on both legs,

On two crutches.

He takes his seat, unhinges the clasps of his legs,

Tucking one leg back, extending the other,

Laying down his crutches, placing the violin under his chin.

On one occasion one of his violin strings broke.

The audience grew silent but the violinist didn’t leave the stage.

He signaled the maestro, and the orchestra began its part.

The violinist played with power and intensity on only three strings.

With three strings, he modulated, changed, and

recomposed the piece in his head.

He retuned the strings to get different sounds,turned them upward and downward.

The audience screamed delight,applauded their appreciation.

Asked later how he had accomplished this feat,

the violinist answered

It is my task to make music with what remains.

A legacy mightier than a concert.

Make music with what remains.

Complete the song left for us to sing,transcend the loss,play it out with heart, soul, and might

with all remaining strength within us.

It is my task to make music with what remains.

I would have loved to see that concert!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

where are you?

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.

~ Ralph W. Sockman ~

I saw this on a friend's Facebook page. It made think. That's a good thing.

I am both...minority and majority. Sometimes I get my courage and my tolerance mixed up.

What about you?

Monday, November 16, 2009

the danger of a single story*

In how many "single stories" are you a character?

How many "single stories" do you know and live by?

Grab a cuppa and watch:

*Thanks to Chookooloonks for bringing this to my attention...and to her dad for bringing it to hers.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

we're tired

(mijo sleeping in the bathtub)

I did all my outdoor chores. Yes! Didn't get rained on once.

We did a kitty door lesson today. HoneyBoy and Mijo got their collars with their keys (magnets) on them last night. Now we are teaching them to go in and out the door on their own. I'd say the first lesson went well. They are getting the "out" part. The "in" part not so much yet.

While I was taking my shower after chores, Mijo fell asleep in the tub. I could use a nap, too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

feeding frenzy

(mijo at feeding frenzy)

People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.

~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross ~

When Mijo and HoneyBoy came to live with us, they were sick. We had to make sure they ate enough and stayed hydrated. We started mixing baby food with water, hand feeding them with a syringe. They loved it. As soon as they saw the syringes in our hands, they came running...straight up the leg and body to get to the food. Until a couple days ago, they both still loved it.

HoneyBoy, for some reason, decided he liked his baby food and acidophilus in a bowl--thank you very much. Mijo, however, still loves the syringe--and what Mijo wants, Mijo gets.

My computer is still in the shop. The DC power jack is bad. I correctly diagnosed the problem. They didn't have one in stock for my machine so it will be another 3 to 5 business days before I get it back.

Saturday is a big day. Lots of chores to do and yard work to accomplish. Then in the afternoon and evening we are having company. It has been way too long since we have had energy to entertain.

What's on tap for your Saturday?

Friday, November 13, 2009


(nemo lives at the same place where my dad lives)

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

~ Unknown ~

Unless, of course, their computer goes to the Krankenhaus for PCs. The power cord jack disconnected. The battery went dead. (Do you suppose there is some symbolism here?) No more internet for me--on that computer anyway--until maybe tomorrow. I am grateful that SO has a back up for me to use so I don't have to stand in line at the library.

Given that PC is sick, I also can't download photos from the camera and upload them to Blogger. I have been taking pictures with my Treo and emailing them to Blogger to use for a post. Amazing, no?

Oh, and happy Friday the 13th. May your triskaidekaphobia be ill-founded today.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

love thursday 11.12.09 ~ freedom from want

( sleeping on a pillow on top of the cage)

Him that I love, I wish to be free -- even from me.

~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh ~

They have graduated from confinement. The only time we lock them up is when we just can't keep them out of our plates or some other unwanted experience. They are growing up.

I am in love.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

it's raining

All truth passes through three stages:
First, it is ridiculed;
Second, it is violently opposed;
And third, it is accepted as self-evident.

~Arthur Schopenhauer ~
Philosopher (1788-1860)

No ridicule, though violent oppposition must give way to self-evidence.

May the garden be green.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

by daring to lose my balance i keep it

(remember how little and cute they were?)

St. Benedict tells me to run to Christ. If I stop for a moment and consider what is being asked of me here, and what is involved in the act of running, I think of how when I run I place first one foot and then the other on the ground, that I let go of my balance for a second and then immediately recover it again. It is risky, this matter of running. By daring to lose my balance I keep it.

~ Esther de Waal ~

from her book

Living with Contradiction: An Introduction to Benedictine Spirituality

In yoga standing motionless on one foot requires constant micro movements and adjustments to keep one's balance and remain motionless. Running demands that we continuously lose and regain balance, staying in constant motion. In either case, constant motion is required.

Monday, November 09, 2009

what? me worry?

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.

~ Matthew 6:34 ~

Ain't that the truth?

Sunday, November 08, 2009


(evidence: mijo and the squirrel)

Nonviolence is an intensely active force when properly understood and used.

~ Mohandas Gandhi ~

Evidence exists in the world that peace is achievable. One of the biggest contributing factors is that no one is hungry...

...especially when going into meetings and negotiations.

Friday, November 06, 2009

i am so screwed

I tried to call David Wu (my congressman) tonight to tell him to support Health Insurance Reform.


Because I just got the 3rd premium increase this year. The first was an age bracket thing and it was expected. The second was a 1% tax placed on premiums to help under- and uninsured (which, of course, the insurance company passed on to me).

This one? The third one? A 20% increase. Why? I have no flippin' idea--except they can.

Did I mention that I have the "Low Cost" option? Low cost to them apparently. I have the PPO and they pay 70% to preferred providers. 70%! Many pay 90%.

Did I mention that this 20% increase will put my monthly premium over $400? That is for one individual.

Oh, and I have $1000 pharmacy deductible, $1500 in network deductible, and $1500 out of network deductible.

I couldn't leave a message for David Wu because his mailbox was full.

Yep. Screwed.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

love thursday 11.05.09 ~ would you still love me...

Even though our faith may be 2,000 years old, our thinking is not. True progress is a balance between preserving the essence of a certain way of life and changing things that are not essential. Christianity was born a revolutionary faith, and we have preserved that ... Paradoxically, we have succeeded in not changing the faith that is itself dedicated to change.

~ His All Holiness Bartholomew I ~
Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Christian World

...if you knew these things about me?

~ I swear. Not like a sailor. More like a logger.

~ I love Jesus--but I am not "one of those Christians".

~ I don't believe that all people do the best they can all the time.

~ Obliviousness is one of my major pet peeves.

~ I think Starbucks is evil.

~ I think the insurance and pharmaceutical industries are evil.

~ There are plenty of things I hate--truly hate...

~ ...including built in obsolescence...

~ ...and bigots--I hate bigots so much I am one.

~ Some days I just don't want to get wet so I don't shower.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

~ Psalm 139:23-24 ~

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

mrs and mrs (or mr and mr) loving

In 1967 the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Richard and Mildred Loving, a mixed race couple who were arrested in their Virginia bedroom for being married and living together. Richard was white. Mildred was black.

The Lovings had married in Washington DC, then returned to their home state of Virginia. After the arrest, the judge suspended their sentence on the condition that the Lovings leave the state and not return for 25 years. They complied--and took their case to the US Supreme Court.

Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man, fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

Today, I am disappointed. The people of Maine voted to strike down the laws allowing same-gender couples to marry. In Washington state, the passage of a domestic partnership law currently leads with a narrow 2% margin and slightly over half of the votes counted.

People--since when do the voters get to decide who marries? Do voters get to determine civil rights? And furthermore, "separate but equal" is not equal. If it's not the's not the same.

Let me put it this way:

Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the...classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious...discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, ...resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.
Just as a little reminder, here is the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

How appropriate that the rights of interracial couples were won by a couple named Loving.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

day after day of the dead...or all souls' day

(left over halloween candy--yes, it's an eyeball)

We begin, sometimes without realizing it, to worship things, to relate to them as persons. And in the process, we inevitably relate to other persons as if they were things.

~ Edward J. Farrell ~
from his book Gathering the Fragments

Nineteen years ago yesterday, my dear friend Rob died. I still miss him.

Five years ago, Larry died. I still miss him, too.

Love those souls who are with you today.


Monday, November 02, 2009


It is finished.*

~ John 19:30 ~

Got'r done. Not the clean up. That will be an ongoing process; however, the ongoing construction and beautification project is finished.


*These three words in English translate only one word in Greek...tetelestai. It refers to a work completed. This was a cry of triumph, not a moan of defeat!

(Thanks, Pastor Steve Weaver.)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

all saints' day

(mijo--still in the sink)

Ama Deum et fac quod vis.*

~ St. Augustine ~

I much prefer All Saints' Day to Hallowe'en (All Hallow's Eve--or the eve of All Saints' Day). Of course, when I was a kid, I loved the dressing up and the "trick or treating" and the parties--all of it.

Now? Except for seeing the fun that the little ones are having, the whole thing is kinda creepy to me.

On another note...

If all goes well, I will be completing the project today. YES! All I have left to do is the hallway--put down the baseboard, fill nail holes, caulk, and touch up the paint. Clean up is another issue. Once the job is done, though, Mom can reclaim her house and we can start putting things back where they belong.

Thanks for all your support and cheering me on along the way.

*Love God and do what you want.