Saturday, February 28, 2009

Beliefs

Barbie posted the link to a quiz on Beliefnet last week. It took me awhile to complete the quiz because it's actually a serious quiz that I needed to read carefully and think about when choosing my answers. Not one of those frivolous ones I've been known to have fun with.

I've finally completed it, and pondered whether or not I would share the results here, and finally decided to. Mostly for myself, as a way of keeping the results so that if in future I want to retake the quiz I can see where I've grown or changed. I know that these results are very different than the results I would have gotten if I'd taken the quiz 15 years ago.

The quiz is designed to show where your own beliefs fit with various religions. It's interesting to me because I don't identify myself much with human-made religions, yet know that I am a deeply spiritual person. I've learned that humans make rules and decisions, draw conclusions and decide on truths which are not necessarily conducive to helping individuals along the path of discovering their own spirituality, or God, or universal truth, or enlightenment, or whatever you wish to call it. So I was intrigued to see my results. Make of them what you will, or make nothing of them, read them or don't, this is one blog that's more for myself than anyone else. Take the quiz yourself or don't, I'm a firm believer that each person must follow their own path when it comes to spirituality. I may share my story with others, but I'm secure enough in my life that I don't need to force others to accept what's right for me as their own truth. When others follow their own path even though it's different from mine I do not feel invalidated, because someone else' choice is not a reflection of me.

I do find the matches at the bottom amusing, in that since I only have 7% agreement with a religion, can we really say I'm compatible with it at all? Honestly, once you're below 70% why would you consider identifying as such? I don't know, I wouldn't, but then again I'm probably a bad example to figure all this out, since I don't really like to label myself at all.

If you do take the quiz, I challenge you to answer the questions and give them weight based on what you really believe, in your heart, and not just based on what you've always been taught, told, or heard in your own places of spiritual worship and learning. It would have been easy to click the answer that my birth religion taught me, I was very well indoctrinated. But when I really examined my feelings and beliefs, many answers were different, and a couple were even downright challenging.

Happy Saturday!

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Neo-Pagan (97%)
3. Liberal Quakers (95%)
4. Mahayana Buddhism (88%)
5. New Age (86%)
6. Reform Judaism (84%)
7. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (82%)
8. Secular Humanism (78%)
9. New Thought (78%)
10. Scientology (73%)
11. Theravada Buddhism (73%)
12. Taosim (70%)
13. Baha'iFaith (67%)
14. Hinduism (63%)
15. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (62%)
16. Sikhism (58%)
17. Jainism (55%)
18. Orthodox Quaker (55%)
19. Nontheist (48%)
20. Orthodox Judaism (47%)
21. Islam (40%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (33%)
23. Seventh Day Adventist (29%)
24. Eastern Orthodox (23%)
25. Roman Catholic (23%)
26. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) (22%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (7%)

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Wiped Out


I went back to work today, and even though I tried not to do too much, it somehow sneaks up on ya, and wham! Pain! I'm exhausted and achy, nothing that some rest and meds won't take care of. At least now I know why the Dr wanted me to go back on a Friday. She specifically chose today instead of this coming Monday so I could have the weekend to recuperate from the day.

Master still can't quite shake the bug that's been keeping Him down. Hopefully He'll be able to heal completely this weekend too.

I guess you know what will be happening here in the next couple days, lol. Lots of rest and boring-ness. :)





Thanks to CeeCi for teaching me how to do the little separator lines. I know without doubt that I could have figured it out on my own, but omgosh it was so much easier getting the info from her! I suspect some aspects of blogging mundane things will be easier for me with the line, because I won't feel like I have to write a smooth narrative. So after my last entry, when I discovered that writing about Ordinary Days was still important, I was thinking this would help. Thanks CeeCi!





It was nice to drive today. I've driven super short distances on just 3 occasions since the surgery, and was driving very little for weeks before the surgery due to being so sick. So today, with a 60 mile round trip commute (yes, I work 30 miles from home) I had the chance to really drive. And felt a lot better while doing so than in the past couple of months. Of course it helps that Master has provided a very powerful vehicle, a Mercedes Benz C32 AMG, with 350 hp and the suspension, wheels, tires, and everything else, to support going really fast. All I have to do is keep a look out for the Sheriff so I don't get a ticket. I LOVE to go fast, lol. His car has the smae engine as mine, but is a much smaller car, so He goes lots faster than me. Except this one time? I caught Him off guard and got the jump on Him when the light turned green. That's the only time I've ever won a race against Him though.





I noticed the daffodils are sprouting, a certain sign of Spring, even if it doesn't stay this warm, it won't be too long. I don't care if that rotten groundhog DID see his shadow, my daffodils say Spring is on the way! The picture above is similar to what the daffodils outside look like today.

My Mom sent me a basket of blooming daffodils and tulips (growing in soil, not cut,) when I had the surgery. They sure did cheer me up. I just have to figure out what to do with them now. I don't know if I can just go plant them as is, or if I have to do something to them. I usually just get my bulbs in bulb form from the store and put them in the ground in the Autumn. Not sure what to do with the whole plant.





I don't have much energy left so this is it for now. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, no matter what you're doing.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ordinary Days


I guess sometimes I'm quiet because I don't feel like I have anything to say. I go through my days slowly learning how to be the best me I can be. And when I think I've figured one thing out something else presents itself. But all in all this state of growing and changing is very comfortable and normal to me. I rarely have "A-HAH!" moments, instead things just sink in until one day I notice that the thing that was a struggle is simply routine now.

So lately, let's see. I've been growing stronger and doing more with less bad results. In other words, I don't spend the next day in bed just because I did all the laundry, or cooked a pot of soup. And the aches and pains are not as sharp nor severe with each day that passes. Today I actually scrubbed the bathroom floor.

What I've also noticed is the lack of pain and discomfort which indicates that I've been living with pain and discomfort for far longer than I realized. Things like that creep up on you gradually, in tiny increments so that you don't notice. It's not like breaking a bone or having a heart attack (in that it's not as serious as those, but also that it's not as noticeable.) We really do have to walk a fine line where we pay attention to our health and our bodies without becoming hypochondriacs. So I'm appreciating my doctors and my health insurance plan and the medical technology that have all combined to allow me to be well.

Otherwise things just plod along I think. Master deals with the things in His life which need dealing with. Sometimes I think He needs to just be. But it's not my call. I care and I love Him so I fret and fuss and worry. I attempt to talk to Him and have Him talk to me. I try to share my experience and my truths in the hope that they can benefit Him. And then I have to let go and sit back and leave it alone. He will do as He sees best, without regard to whether or not I agree. And I'm reminded of dear Andrades Girl who is also learning to tell her Sir something once and then let it go. I wonder which one of us will learn that lesson first. :)

O/our son is looking for work, along with many hundreds of thousands of other people. He is communicating long distance with a nice young lady, and he is growing into his manhood. I will never stop being proud of his accomplishments, and dreaming of his tomorrows. His graduation from High School last May, 1 year early (he was 16) and with Honors, remains a proud mommy moment for me. He recently had his braces removed, more than 4 years after they were put on. That was a happy moment, more for him than me I know. He's gaining confidence in his driving skills, and I remain hopeful that he will maintain his sense of caution and maturity as he gets more comfortable behind the wheel.

We continue to care for my Mom's dog, who is my own dear Duke's litter mate. Her name is Duchess and she was the runt of the litter. Mom and Dad picked her out first, and then, with no intention or desire to get a dog, we went back and asked if there were any puppies left. The mother's owner had just one puppy left which he was planning to keep for himself and then decided to give to us. Of the 8 puppies this one was the most special to the man, but he let us have him. Anyway, Duchess is staying here due to Mom's physical incapacitation which makes it impossible for her to care for a pet. I also think Mom is hoping to regain some mobility and ability and take Duchess back. But for now she's here keeping us company.

There are all the normal comings and goings of life. No need for drama, no special events, just living my best life day in and day out as well as I'm able to do. That doesn't really seem to me to be the stuff that interesting blogs are made of. And yet that's all I have right now. In time, as Sir continues to heal and grow and morph into the next version of His own best self, it is possible that W/we will be more social, go to play parties and such, or do whatever it is that He chooses, and which makes Him happy. And it's also OK that W/we aren't doing these things right now.

I'm very comfortable with the phases and cycles of life, and the changes we all encounter. And I've never believed that any particular phase was forever. Everything passes and the next phase begins. This was really brought home to me clearly when my son was born. Oh how I agonized over those sleepless nights of colic! And while they seemed never-ending to my sleep-deprived mind, they were in fact over in a heart-beat, only to be replaced by the next horrendous phase. In time the phases stopped being awful as I realized that they were just phases of his growth which I had better enjoy in spite of the difficulty, because when they were gone that was it, and they would be replaced by something more complex. THAT was a guarantee. And to my mind that is true of all of life.

Many years ago I was given a book by Ann Kiemel called "I'm Out To Change My World". This collection of poems was delightful to me, and one in particular has stayed with me over the years. I have printed it out and it hangs on my office wall as a daily reminder.

So many mornings I'd say, "Mom, I don't want to go to school today."
And she'd push me out the door with my brother and sister and say,
"Don't you kids know
that life is made up of ordinary days
when there's no one to pat you on the back?
When there's no one to praise you?
When there's no one to honor you?
When there's no one to see how brave and noble you are?
Almost all of life is made up of ordinary days.
And it's how you live your ordinary days
that determines whether or not you have big moments.
Get out there and make something of your ordinary days.
-Ann Kiemel


I think even without making a conscious decision to do so that the spirit of this poem sums up my approach to life and how I try to go through my days. Doesn't make for titillating reading, it just is what it is. Honestly, I'm OK with some calm and tranquil and drama free days anyway. Like the picture above, I'm happy to walk along a boring, flat, and easy path. I don't need the struggle of steep hills and rough terrain. While there are times those places must be navigated, I'm good with the uninteresting normal days too.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

For Barbie


Reading Barbie's entry this morning (or late last night) I was so very glad to read her words. I recognized in them the same revelation I had some years ago which led me to begin my own self-discovery, finding myself, and learning to live in a way that is true to who I am. I hope all works out as well for Barbie as it has for me. Not to say my journey is over, it never ends quite honestly.

Anyway, at that time in my life, Christina Aguilera released the album "Stripped". The songs on this album were and are so very powerful, and gave me so much strength and feelings of empowerment and capability. I'm surprised I didn't wear the CD out playing it so much over and over and over and over again. But I didn't, and now it's safely uploaded to my Zune where I can listen as often as I like.

So I want to share this song, and the lyrics with you, and tell you, Barbie, that the whole CD may be just what the Dr ordered on the good days you're going to have, as well as the bad days that are sure to crop up every now and again. No one can ever take your inner peace from you.




Keep On Singing My Song, Christina Aguilera


Oohhh, Yeah, Oooh Huh
I woke up this morning with a smile on my face
And nobody's gonna bring me down today
Been feeling like nothings been going my way lately
But I decided right here and now that my outlooks gonna change

That's why I'm gonna
Say goodbye to all the tears I've cried
And everytime somebody hurt my pride
Feeling like they won't let me live life
And take the time to look at what is mine
I see every lesson so clearly
I thank God for what I got from above

I believe they can take anything from me
But they can't succeed in taking my inner peace from me
They can say all they wanna say about me
But I'm gonna carry on
I'm gon keep on singing my song

I never wanna dwell on my pain again
There's no use in reliving how I hurt back then
Remembering too well, the hell I felt when I was running out of faith
Every step I'm about to take is towards a better day

Cos I'm about to
Say farewell to every single lie
& All the fears I've held too long inside
Everytime I felt I couldn't cry
All the negativity I had inside
For too long I've been struggling. I couldn't go on
But now I've found I'm feeling strong and moving on

I believe they can take anything from me
But they can't succeed in taking my inner peace from me
They can say all they wanna say about me
But I'm gonna carry on
I'm gonna keep on singing my song

Whoa, & everytime I tried to be what they wanted from me
It never came naturally
So I ended up in misery, wasn't able to see
All the good around me
Wasted so much energy on what they thought of me
Then simply just remembering to breathe

Oooh, I'v learnt

I'm humanly unable to please
Everyone at the same time, so now I've found
My peace of mind living one day at a time

At the end I answer to one god
It comes down to one love
til' I get to heave above
I've made the decision
Never to give in
Til the I day I die no matter what
I'm gonna carry on I will keep on singing my song.....

(They can't take anything from me)

I believe that they can do what they wanna.
Say what they wanna say

(They can say what they wanna)

But I'm gonna keep on
(Keep on )
I believe it
That they can take from me
But they can't take my inner peace

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,

Say what you wanan say, but I'm gonna sing my song
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Giggle!

Can't sleep and poking around the interwebs. Have to share this one, lifted from the signature line of catize on the Collarme.com message boards:

Q: What do you get when you breed an onion with a donkey?
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A: Most of the time you get an onion with really long ears. But every once in awhile, you get a piece of ass that brings tears to your eyes!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Comfort Food


I've been wanting soup - real soup not from a can - ever since my dear friend ~koritzee~ brought her mom's chicken soup over this past weekend. We enjoyed a delightful meal together, and the soup was amazing. I don't know the name of it, it had chicken and rice, and lemon in it, and I don't remember what else, but it was awesome. I'd love to have the recipe, I just don't know if I'm allowed - it's probably a family secret...

I haven't had the strength to go to the grocery store to pick up ingredients to make any of my favorite homemade soups (vegetable beef, split pea, corn chowder) so I decided to improvise with ingredients already here today. I started with diced onion sauteed in olive oil, to which I added diced polish sausage. After these sauteed together for a little bit, I added diced carrots and potatoes, and water to cover. While this simmered together I added a bay leaf, some whole peppercorns, thyme, basil, salt, a little freshly ground pepper, and let it get comfy together. After an hour or so I was checking the flavor and decided that it really needed celery, but I didn't have any, so I added a can of cream of celery soup. This all turned into a really yummy soup, everyone enjoyed it, and I have leftovers in the freezer!

I also put the ingredients for an Italian Herb Bread in the bread machine and served that with the soup. What could be better on a cold winter night than homemade soup and fresh, hot, homemade bread? I think this was just what the Dr ordered!

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

That's A Relief


So I've been really worried because the surgeon's pre-op chat with me led me to believe I would be back to normal, returning to work, and just tip-top by now, but I haven't actually felt that well. So I was worried that something was wrong.

I just left her office, and it turns out I'm doing fine and healing well, and just need more time. So I didn't need to stress myself over this at all. Perhaps the surgeon could change her pre-op chat just a little so that it doesn't sound like this is no more serious than having a tooth pulled...

It's been 12 days since the surgery, and she's giving me another 9 before attempting to go back to work. It also turns out that I need more pain meds, I have been holding back when it's OK to take them. Honestly, they make me dizzy and feel funny in my head so I weaned off them when I thought I was able. And I also thought I needed to wean off them since her pre-op chat led me to believe I would be returning to work now. Sheesh.

OK, well, as I said, I'm relieved to know that everything is ok even though I know I'm not well yet. The Dr used the phrase "sometimes it takes a little longer for some people to bounce back than other people."

I guess I'm not as bouncy as I used to be. But I'll be fine in time.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Thank You

Just wanted to thank everyone for the cards, emails, thoughts, prayers, and comments. The surgery went very well, I'm recovering from that on schedule I believe, and should be back to normal shortly. In the meantime I have unfortunately picked up Master's flu bug and it's got me rather down for the count. I'm actually quite dizzy and congested, and as you can imagine it hurts quite a bit to cough.

But no worries, this too shall pass and I will be right as rain directly.

Today is the first day I've felt up to even looking at the computer screen. The laptop is a tad too heavy to lift just yet so I had my son pick it up and place it on my lap. I will eventually make the rounds and catch up on what is going on with all of you, but I've found reading is too much for my eyes and dizzyness at the moment.

I do really appreciate everyone's thoughts, I know it has made a positive impact on the procedure and recovery.

I hope that each of you are well (heard something about bad fires in AUS which made me worry) and when I hear of other events in places where I know you all to be I fret. But I'm trusting that you are all well, while I pray for those who are experiencing tragedy.

Peace
T
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Funny Commercial

Since we can all always use a laugh, and since humor is the best cure for physical ailments (just ask Norman Cousins,) I thought I'd share this delightful video.






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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

All Set


I've finished all the pre-op testing, all the registration stuff is complete with the hospital, and I'm all ready to go.

Just need to get the liquid diet (for the first 24 hours) in place, and then the gentle foods for the following week. (Guess no spicy or fatty stuff for me for awhile.)

Then I need to get the Advanced Directive stuff sorted out, not that it will be needed at all, of course, but you know how those hospital types are.

Final thing is to show my son where his grandmother's Dr appt is on Friday since I won't be able to take her. I really am glad he's driving now. Oh - and I think a bit of laundry since my favorite comfy nighty in in the dirty clothes hamper.

OK - so I guess I should have said almost all set, lol. But the hospital/Dr stuff is done, and just a couple things left to do around the house. And in approximately 41 more hours I will be free of this pain-inducing organ. Yes, I'm masochistic by nature, but I did not consent to the pain I've had recently. Never once has this pain helped me soar into sub-space!

I'm incredibly grateful for all the well-wishes and support. I know the universe responds to such positive energy, and I am made stronger knowing that energy is out there on my behalf. You all Rock!

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