Archive for April 2012

As the motivation wanes…

Seriously I hate being sick. I hate taking medicine. I really don’t like other people. But, yet, here I am sick…again. That hay fever thing I had going on last week? Sinus infection now. *sigh*

Anywho, so I never got around to posting on Friday. I have a vague recollection of being at work Friday. I don’t remember Friday night at all, and no, there was no alcohol involved. But I woke up sick as a dog Saturday morning…with a 5k pending…more on that tomorrow.

1. I got rid of an item that I possessed only because hoarding is hereditary. Karyn’s oven went out, and, well, it just so happened that I years ago Daddy bought a Mcgraw Edison Sears push-button oven-broiler which you can still order a few replacement parts for from Sears. I thought it to be perfect for taking camping, but really it’s not. It is, however, quite convenient for baking dressing at the same time you are baking a ham (or a bird), or anything really that requires a different temp. He bought it for summertime baking rather than use the cookstove oven which would heat the whole house, and picked it because it was big enough to fit a cake pan in. Anyway, hopefully it will work for Karyn. And the hubby will be happy if it doesn’t come back to our house. ;)

2. You know what’s funny? When you see a friend take their 5-year-old child by the hand and start walking them to the back at church, and hear, “I don’t want a spanking,” over and over. Oh, yeah, I sat on stage giggling (because I saw all but the act that warranted the spanking from my front of the building vantage point)…and it came back to bite me when I spied my teenage children sitting in the wing clowning around. ugh.

3. It is really aggravating to spend several hours getting everything all mixed up to make falafel, and then you see that you have to chill it for an hour. Yeah, it chilled for a day because it was going to be way to late to start frying that Saturday night. And I still can’t figure out what is missing from it so I can make it taste like Angelina’s falafel.

4. So I had to sing solo at church last night, and was not really nervous until….I got there and the Hispanic church was joining us…and I got stage fright all over again. Yeah, I had a case of the shakes. You would think since I stand up front and help lead singing nearly every Sunday that I wouldn’t still get a case of the nerves.

5. I have 3 running rules so far:

    1. The DragonLady doesn’t run in the rain. I will make an exception, though, if I pay a registration fee.
    2. The DragonLady doesn’t run if it is colder than 48 degrees (farenheit). This, too, will have an exception if I pay a registration fee.
    3. The DragonLady doesn’t run if she’s dizzy.

I came up with #3 today…on the track…

Be real

Every now and then I’ll have an epiphany. Really, I just think it takes a while for my ADD to connect the dots between information. Or maybe I am just slow. Hahaha But Tuesday, I read this article and it hit a nerve that was already inflamed. This followed the one I had with last Thursday’s post that showed I’m not the only one with a sensitive nerve. But I really don’t want to turn this into a regular feature where I bash the churches I grew up in over perception (whether or not grounded in fact or emotion).

Of course, I posted the above article on Facebook, and, of course, it elicited a rather snarky comment (which I totally agreed with, btw, snark & all). I’ve kind of been mulling it over ever since, trying to remember any example of confessing sins to one another in any of the churches I have ever attended. I can remember a handful of instances of people getting publicly caught in sin, but no voluntary confessions.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16 ESV)

Oh, and I sure as heck wasn’t ever going to confess mine. Seriously? Drop the mask and show I’m still struggling with stuff? And be judged? Because, of course, that is what I expected. But the main problem with this is there is no accountability, so you just get deeper and deeper until suddenly you find yourself unable to cover it up, and it’s out in the open, huge and horrible as opposed to way back when it was just thoughts. How do I know this? Because I am pretty sure I am not the only one unable to self-regulate.

The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV)

Left on our own with our own thoughts, it is really easy to rationalize and excuse….and do. For those of us who grew up in the church, I think we sometimes feel we are expected to have an easy walk especially if our parents were teachers or more especially preachers or deacons. I learned how to wear the mask as if I wasn’t struggling with sin, while at the same time, internally rationalizing how it was ok. “This isn’t such a big deal.” “That’s not really bad.” That stuff builds up…and hardens…and hurts when it’s broken off years later.

Somewhere along the line, I have learned from keeping my skellingtons locked away. I got to a point with a particular sin that was trying (and coming real close to succeeding) to manifest itself, I knew I either had to do the deed or get someone to help me through it. Prayer alone wasn’t helping. So I shared that struggle with 4 friends to hold me accountable to not do what I wanted to do, and who would be praying with me and for me. And that wasn’t an easy thing for an introvert who doesn’t trust anyone to do. ;) You know what? It’s not so hard to deal with now. The entire situation has changed. Not immediately, and the underlying issue is still an issue, but it is no longer overwhelming and consuming.

So rather than bash, I’m pleading. Drop the masks. Be real. Just because you have been justified does not mean you have been glorified. There is a whole lot of sanctifying that takes place between the two. That’s the growth. That’s where the fruit is produced. That’s where you cannot hope to grow alone. There is a reason non-believers think we are all hypocrites. We are. We put on our masks and pretend that we no longer struggle with our old self, and instead of dying to self, we are killing our witness and testimony with our own self-righteousness.

I don’t think that means what you think it means

Today is one of those days that I have a topic, I know what I want to say, I have the motivation, but I am not so sure I am really going to be coherent. Focus is not my friend today. I absolutely cannot block out the conversation around me. It’s not bad, it’s just blocking my concentration. So I’ve put on some classical symphony via Pandora, and it is not covering up any talking. *sigh*

Anyway, first confession time. Yesterday, as an office, we celebrated the birthdays of a current & former co-worker. We went to Andy’s, and I was thinking all morning how I could kind of halfway stick to my diet there. I looked at the menu for a salad which I knew wouldn’t by any means be healthy, but maybe not so bad. But looking at the ingredients, I knew that even grilled chicken would be gluteny, and the bacon would be full of msg, so I made a choice. If I’m going to be glutened anyway, I’m going to have a bacon cheeseburger…with onion rings. No doubt that is why I still have brain fog. I won’t lie, it tasted wonderful.

Since I have determined to eat healthy and natural, I have become increasingly aware of the deceptiveness of the use of “natural” or “all natural” in labeling.

“All natural” claim on food labels is often deceptive; foods harbor hidden MSG and other unnatural ingredients
MSG is sometimes hidden in food with labels that say “No Added MSG,”
“No MSG Added,” and “No MSG”

I think the problem boils down to the use of the word “natural.” Everything we eat is natural. (Hang with me, Petra. lol) There is no food product we consume that is created from nothing. It may mixed/enhanced in a lab, but at the basic level (and by basic, I mean atomic), it is natural. The difference is whether or not it is naturally occurring. If it isn’t naturally occurring, then “natural” does not mean what you think it means. Our bodies were designed to process naturally occurring foods efficiently and effectively. We have learned to manipulate substances to enhance flavor, but our bodies just aren’t going to process high fructose corn syrup or any of the artificial sweeteners the way it processes sugar. Plus, it isn’t going to process refined sugar the same way it will process raw sugar.

This is incomplete, and lacking in references, but my brain fog doesn’t care, just like honey badger. My only real point is, beware that the word “natural” probably doesn’t mean what you think it does. And I may or may not repeat myself redundantly. ;)

“You may be right…”

“…I may be crazy…”

I finally did this. Molly tried to get me to just upload and post the audio when I was complaining about the 3 hours it was taking to transcibe the 52 min of audio. That ain’t happening. Though it was slightly entertaining to notice my hillbilly accent thicken up as I got increasingly tired. There was entirely too much really loud heavy breathing. ;) Anyway, everything in italics are comments/thoughts I added in during transcription. I mumbled any time I was around houses where I thought someone might hear me “talking to myself.”

I used the Nike+ app on my iPod, so any reference to kilometers came from that….as well as references to my running playlist not being random…

…. is already hurting. This is gonna suck.

Ok, maybe this isn’t too bad.

rooster crows – seriously…

I don’t think Nike puts this on random

rooster crows again….

Rooster down. hahaha

rooster crows again…

Crap. no idea why I said crap…was all a mumble…as I was gasping for air

This hat’s going to irritate the crap out of me.

Oh yeah, that’s definitely not random. Oh, well, at least I’m getting the Sugababes out of the way now. That means all the Paula will be together. Maybe.

Holy crap, I can’t believe I’m still running.

Where am I gonna get…. another mumble…but I was thinking about lunch… There is no way I am gonna get groceries hungry. Unless I get back and make pancakes, there isn’t… mumble…clearly I can’t properly talk when I’m gasping for breath.. Except they’ll be crappy later. They always suck warmed up. I mean it’s not like they have the greatest texture to begin with. I mean you gotta pour like half the bottle of maple syrup on it …mumble more about the texture of warmed over gluten free pancakes… make it kind of feel like real bread. I miss gluten.

You know, if I’d put my pony tail higher, this hat wouldn’t be a problem.

I love these shoes. My ankles aren’t hurting at all.

I really need to learn the names of our neighbors. I can’t name anybody off for a milestone until I get to the Webster’s.

Hills suck! it wasn’t a steep one either.

Ok, the inhaler does help. I’m out of breath, but I can exhale. Definitely will use the inhaler first before I run. Maybe I should do it at least an hour prior. Though today it was almost 2 hours since I sat downstairs talking.

1k finished, my butt! Oh, I don’t know. It’s possible. I mean I am getting sort of close to the 1 mile mark

Crap! That car’s coming this way. Not that that’s a car. It’s a Suburban. Don’t trip. Running in the ditch sucks. Ok, shoulder, but still. It might as well be the ditch. It’s not smooth.

Pace yourself. Get your breath. mumble… the hill. If you can make it up that hill. Gotta get to Asbury Church before it’s a mile.

Dammit another car. Dang, another one. What the heck? That practically was the ditch. there is almost no shoulder along this stretch

Holy crap! I think I’m going to make it up the hill! Oh, it burns. that would be my lungs Ok, now I want to vomit. Come on. Get to Asbury Church. You can make it. A few more feet. And don’t puke. Alright! You did it! You made a mile. Walk fast. Breathe. That’s not fast.

All these people mowing. Wish someone would mow my yard. Or even put the belt back on the blades.

Ugh, don’t puke. Don’t puke.

Walk fast. Walk fast. You’re not walking fast. You’re not walking fast at all. Double time! That’s so stupid. Nobody says “march.” They always say “harch.” That’s retarded. Yeah, that’s right, I said “retarded.” Bite me. clearly, I had some anger…

Up this hill. Down that little hill. And back up. Then round the curve. You should have your breath back enough to run.

Oh, look. He’s plowing. Squirrel! – lol He should do my yard. I need somebody to till me a plot. I don’t need a tractor to do it though. I still need a bigger tiller, though, than what I’ve got. Maybe I should listen to Karyn and see if I can borrow Gerald’s tiller.

Dad gum. It’s hot now.

I need to start taking that Claritin again. Get whatever’s in my throat out. I know it’s allergies.

Dad gum. Uphill again. Alright to the curve. Start running again. Try to make it to the community building. That’s the halfway mark. That’s close enough. Go.

This isn’t so bad.

Yeah, these shoes rock.

2 kilometers? I don’t think so. I don’t think this thing accounts for when I walk. Definitely gotta remember to calibrate it. If I can remember where the actual 3K mark is. it was all visual. Can’t describe…

This is really starting to suck. I may not make it to the community building. I may not make it to that next curve. I may not make it to the fire hydrant. that was really close…

I know I sure as heck don’t want to take that trash to the dump.

You know, I don’t know that I could really call this runnin’. Then again, it’s what I did in basic. And I was a lot younger then. And skinnier, too. should have said that as “and skinny”…lol I had good shoes though. They were ugly.

Why does my nose gotta run?

And why is it always windy on this road when it’s cold? there was no wind blowing

Alright, that next mailbox. I know, that’s the beginning of the curve. Whatever. Then again, I am recording this so I can’t use the “nobody’s gonna know it” excuse. Exactly. Sort of, I can’t. But it’s not like anybody else knows I’m recording. Yeah, screw it. Driveway. Walk it out. Walk it fast. Keep the time with the song. It’s a good pace.

Ok, it might be halfway for the 5k, but it’s not halfway for the whole 3.4 mile route.

Sun’s out. Yeah, great thinking wearing black. Huh. How ironic. Song from Twister; you’re wearing a hat from Twister.

Nothing hurts. That’s good! yet… Must be the shoes. Ought to, they cost enough. I never dreamed I would pay a hunnerd (yes I totally pronounced it just like that) bucks for a pair of shoes. Ok, I didn’t. The hubster did.

Oh, man, I lost my time. Oh, no that’s not me, that’s Alex. (Van Halen) He changed the timing. There we go. Well ok, he didn’t change it. Eddie did. Or, no, maybe it’s me. Solos are so indulgent. heh. that thought was not getting spoken…

Oh look. A drum. squirrel? lol I was at the community building, door was open, and clearly set up for a band to play. Oh, looks like they’re gonna grill. Can’t read the sign though. But, that’s halfway. Halfway for 3.4 miles. up this hill, past the trailer, then it’s all downhill ’til you get past the church.

started singing Humans Being….badly… No wonder the kids have fits when I sing along with the radio… lol

Ok, someone’s in the yard. Quit talking so you don’t look like a crazy.

Caterpiller! yes, that’s how I said it

Ugh. Cramp. something about the slant of the road.

Started singing Love is a Battlefield…not quite as badly as Humans Being…

Alright. Almost at the top of the hill. To the driveway & then run again. Oh yay. Yippee. Just keep on walking fast. 2K to go. It’ll feel good when it’s done.

Oh… Ok. Right hip hurts. Lovely. I wonder if that’s because one of my legs is significantly longer than the other. Quarter to half inch longer. that shouldn’t matter given the way I’m running and the slant of the road. Then again, I’m used to leaning the other way. So it would put more pressure on it.

Dad gum. That hurts.

I hope that car turns. Oh man, there’s people at the church.

That hip’s not getting any better. mumbled something O crap, car.

Get down the hill. Bottom of the hill, cross the creek, to the driveway, then you can walk.

Stupid hat.

Eh, that’s close enough. Why nitpick over 2 feet. Oh, I may vomit. Car. That’d be fun. visualized puking as the car passed. Why is that dude holding a piece of paper in front of this face? I say dude like I can tell. Full sheet of paper while you’re driving? Up in front of your face?

1 kilometer to go. That sounds about right. maybe.

Huh. This hill doesn’t really seem so steep. That’s ‘cuz it’s not as steep as the other one. over by the Webster’s.

Definitely turn on the ac when I get home. And pee. what the heck?? If you make it.

Oh, Foo Fighters. Why don’t I have more Foo Fighters? started singing Monkey Wrench almost as badly as Humans Being. Nirvana still sucks. Just sayin’.

Man. Can’t wait to take that motrin. Can’t wait for that motrin to kick in after I take it.

I wonder if this thing’s gonna hit 3k before I hit 3.1 (miles). It does seem better than it was at the polo field. the Nike+ calibration

Kids playing in the yard, so quit talking to yourself. They’ll sure ’nuff think you’re crazy.

Car…look up… Yeah, I was looking down at the road…the narrow road…then looked up and saw a car way too close for my comfort level…

sang the end of Monkey Wrench…

Man that hurts.

Heh. Love Shack. Don’t sing it. Don’t sing it.

You’re almost to the 5k. Just past the chicken houses. 400 meters to go. huh. That’s a little short.

Oh, god, you’re doing that arm swing.

300 meters. I don’t know, it’s gonna be close. Alrighty, just past the chicken houses. 100 meters. That puts me up close to this house. That’s about right.

That’s a little short. Crap! I’m going to have to finish this up without music! I ended the workout on the iPod before I meant to Oh well. I’m not going to make it in under 45 either.

Start running at the driveway.

mumbly discussion about whether the marks on the road were 10° or 10′ deciding on 10′ making more sense.

Dang I gotta pee!

Crap! Car. Running on the shoulder sucks!

Almost there….

I may or may not ever do this again. The voice recorder I used was a lot more sensitive than I was expecting. Seriously, I could hear birds chirping. I noted the 3 rooster crows when I transcribed. I only remember hearing a rooster crow once while I was running.

Oh, hey there, Monday.

Did I even have a weekend? I felt like I was going non-stop the whole time. I don’t think at any point I really sat and just relaxed. Not even when Molly called. Seriously, I was pacing the whole time, and that’s funny because I was talking about the hubster and the son just last week how they cannot sit still and talk on the phone, but pace all over the house the whole time. It was probably even Molly that I was telling that to. Now, to be honest, the only reason I wasn’t sitting for that call was because I was upstairs, and my phone downstairs when she called, and I kind of ran down the stairs to answer it and so the pacing could be considered a cool-down. hahaha!

It took me 3 hours to transcribe 52 minutes of audio.

I can’t remember how many times I had to buy groceries. Yes, even with a list. Clearly, I didn’t have a good list. ;)

I realized Saturday afternoon that I am signed up for a race this Saturday. Somehow, I lost a week. Eek. I am totally not ready…

I ate a ton of garlic yesterday. My lunch today had a ton of onion. I know my co-workers are loving both. hahaha

Have I ever mentioned there are not enough hours in the day? Have I ever mentioned I envy stay-at-home moms? Yeah, I never thought I’d say that. Seriously I do.

Hates when I got to search for something, get distracted, and then can’t remember what I was searching for.

Wonders how much of my hair will come out. It’s been coming out the last few days like it was before I went gluten free… *sigh*

Speaking of gluten, the daughter made gluteny pancakes last night and I almost picked one up and ate it. And someone needs to run up to Whole Foods and get me a loaf of gf bread….that isn’t frozen… Which reminds me, I am almost out of gf hamburger buns meaning I need to make a trip to Trader Joe’s…

Just because…

“Is that Freedom Rock?”

I don’t really have anything, and it’s getting late in the day, so…

I cannot to this day hear Layla start up without remembering that awful commercial.

This song always makes me smile.

Yes, it is on my running playlist, and yes, I always sing it out loud if I’m running with Jamie. That’s why she makes it a point to always have her iPod when we run together. haha

This isn’t on my running playlist, but it is on my iPod. Dolly only gets out “Why’d” before Jamie is saying “NO!” It always makes me smile, too, and remember sitting at Pizza Hut after getting off work at Sweeden’s with my friends who had all just gotten off work at Bonanza. Fun times.

This was so totally worth wading through multiple Four Seasons videos.

A lot going on with that group…

I love this song.

And this one:

And this one:

What? I said I didn’t have anything. ;)

Creed before Christ

Note: I wrote almost all of this post last week, but couldn’t manage to finish it until yesterday. So all references to “tonight” and “last night” were actually made last Wednesday & Thursday.

This rarely happens. I think up a topic I want to blog about while I am driving to work and I actually remember it when I get there and began a draft. By begin a draft, I mean I typed in the title, selected the category, and saved. Now here I am at the end of the day wishing I was in bed asleep but waiting on a load of laundry to finish so I can put it in the dryer…because I need it dry and ready to pack in the morning. I don’t know where to begin. So this may be long and all over the place since I won’t be finished before I go to bed tonight.

I grew up in church. I’ve been told never to start a testimony with that, but that is a huge part of it. My dad was a deacon up until I was 15. He and/or my mom taught small groups off and on up until I was 19. I got churched at church, and I got churched at home. I knew all of the major Baptist doctrine by the time I was a teen. Saved at 12, baptized at 14, and walked away from the church at 19. My best friend told me not too long ago that I didn’t just leave the church, I wanted nothing to do with “organized religion.” When I walked away, it was over racism, but over time I realized that was just the final straw in what I perceived as institutional hypocrisy.

After 2 decades of wandering in my own self-righteousness and slowly getting more and more debaucherous in my behavior, I got turned back. Yeah, it turned out that living my life in pursuit of instant gratification is empty – totally and completely unsatisfying. But I still had my anti-church bias, and even still after being an active member for the past 2 or 3 years after 20 years of living my life for me.

I am a member of a Southern Baptist(SBC) church now. I grew up in Missionary Baptist churches (which split from the SBC in the early 20th century) that were American Baptist Association(ABA) and Baptist Missionary Association(BMA). The BMA split from the ABA around 1948 or 49 ironically for about the same reason the ABA split from the SBC. My point being, each of the 3 hold to the same basic doctrines despite what the ABA old-timers have said for years. Remember, I stated my bias up front. ;) There are also General Baptists, Freewill Baptists, and Independent Baptists. The Independents, if I remember right, also split from the SBC during or following the 19th century Landmarkism movement (which was a lot of what was behind the ABA split), so they generally hold to the same doctrines as the SBC, ABA, & BMA with the added tendency towards King James Onlyism. I know I throw all that out without any references, but I’m blogging not writing a graduate-level academic thesis. That would be really long. Just sayin’.

And then there are the Westboro “Baptists” of whom I have nothing at all good to say, so I will save them for a day in which I am feeling particularly snarky.

But anyway, my Baptist doctrinal background is ABA & BMA, which differs little from the SBC. One thing I have noticed that is different between the ABA & BMA and the SBC is what is prominently displayed on the wall in the church sanctuary. That would be a huge framed poster of the church covenant present in every ABA & BMA church I ever attended. Yes, is was/is the most prominent feature. You know what else? I never could read it past the first paragraph before losing all interest. I would even try to make it into a song (in my head), but to no avail. It’s just something that irks me now, and I know it is only because of the statement about alcohol. Why? Because it is unbiblical. I’m not saying teetotaling is a bad thing, it just isn’t a commandment. Drunkenness is prohibited, not drinking. And I don’t say that just to justify my drinking. My drinking habit is best described as binging, which is why I voluntarily avoid it. Now. Most of the time. Unlike eating McDonald’s, getting drunk is still a temptation…unfortunately.

Anyway, my perception of the Christian life based on what I absorbed as a child and youth (whether actually overtly taught or not), was a tendency toward performance-based gospel. Yes, salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, but then don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, don’t have sex until you’re married, and try not to cuss too much. Hmmm, and dress up for church on Sunday, particularly Sunday morning. Dress or skirt mandatory. (Not so much anymore) Recipe for failure. Oh, sure, I learned very well how to look the part, but I failed (at all of them) because I didn’t get enough read your Bible and pray. I’m not saying I wasn’t taught that either, because my parents always stressed that (yet didn’t force me – wise, in retrospect, letting the Holy Spirit do the work), and I had a really good mentor for a few years from 10-15 years old who tried her best to get that through to me. It just did not sink in for 20+ years.

Ok, it was totally not my intent to turn this into a confessional post. Perhaps I should have finished it last night when I was fully snarky. haha Or maybe I should go back and read the blog post that got me riled up to begin with. But my point really is this: yes, doctrine matters. Yes, creeds, confessions, and covenants matter. But they are not the main thing. They don’t save, they don’t regenerate, they don’t produce fruit. Only Christ saves. Only the work of the Holy Spirit in a person saved by grace through faith in Christ will produce fruit. And good fruit isn’t just outwardly following a set of rules. There is no being good enough to win God’s favor. 12 year old me got that, and promptly forgot. 40-something me has had to learn the gospel all over again. Jesus is righteous, not me. He knew how I was going to rebel before and after accepting him, and he loved me enough to suffer and die in my place. And even when I can’t see it for seeing all my faults and failings (which are numerous), I am being conformed to the image of Christ. Much slower than I like, because patience doesn’t come easy for me, but when I look back at what I was, I can see the difference, and it keeps me running.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV)

“He put sugar in everything.”

I grew up in a non-traditional household. By that I mean my mom worked full-time and my dad was a stay at home dad. They weren’t parents when their work role-reversal took place, and the main reason behind it was because after Daddy got laid off from Boeing the last time, Mom said she didn’t want to move ever again. I came along about six years later. I won’t do a total breakdown of what each of them did, but Mom didn’t have to do much more than work, and Dad took care of nearly everything else: finances, yard work, gardening, auto maintenance, most house work (he wouldn’t dust), plumbing, electrical, and he did a lot of handyman stuff around the community & family. Anyway, before that all happened, he had taken over the cooking because he complained about Mom’s cooking one too many times, and she said, “Fine, you do it.” And he did. She’s not a bad cook either, but neither was he. In fact, I haven’t ever had a pie as good as one of his, particularly apple pie.

We ate very little “processed” food. He would buy pasta rather than make it, and ironically, Mom taught me how to make homemade pasta. Our meat came from the grocery store, as did our milk, eggs, & cheese. But rarely did we ever have store-bought vegetables. Daddy raised a fairly large garden for a family of 3, and we ate veggies from it year round. Except for cabbage (cooked, I would eat it raw) & bell peppers, I ate everything that came out of his garden. It was all so good. In fact, everything he cooked was good (except for chocolate gravy & neither was Mom’s). In mentioning that to my mom one day, she said, “He put sugar in everything.” Store-bought, white, processed sugar. That would explain why once when I was eating spaghetti, I had the urge to add sugar. I didn’t add it, I just wanted to. And, no, I don’t put sugar in everything, but I do occasionally sneak in just a teaspoon of raw cane sugar in stuff – enough to enhance, but not be noticeable.

Honestly, I had no idea what I was going to write today, but I had an email conversation about healthy eating and how to avoid MSG & artificial additives, and was reminded of the putting sugar in everything conversation. Actually, that is the second conversation I’ve had over healthy/clean eating this week, and it just blows my mind because this time last year I was not paying any attention at all to what I ate aside from attempting portion control…and failing at it miserably. But really, it is not only expensive, but difficult to eat clean and healthy in today’s American society. To avoid additives, pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified stuff, you have to do a lot of research and read the labels on EVERYTHING. It is such a challenge in our house because the hubby & I ate almost exclusively processed food for years because it was cheap. (I still gag at the thought of eating Hamburger Helper.) So of course, that’s all the kids had, and now that’s pretty much all they want. So after I go through the “trouble” of researching, and reading labels, and cooking from scratch (made even more difficult for me having to avoid gluten), the hubby is the only one who will eat what I cook unless I good steak or bake a Cornish hen. Both kids will eat steak, and the daughter will eat most chicken.

It frustrates me that I grew up on predominately home grown fruits & vegetables, but got so caught up in convenience at the expense of health. Yes, that is the ultimate cost. That’s another thing my doctor told me. Eating grass fed, hormone free meats and fresh fruits and vegetables may cost more now, but won’t cost as much as medication 20 years from now. But it is still hard in the here and now to eat right because it is time-consuming planning meals and then actually cooking them, and it is fairly expensive.

I really need to set aside the time to prepare a garden plot…

“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”

I openly admitted yesterday that not shaving my legs is a lame excuse for not running. But, really, that wasn’t the only reason. As the day progressed, I had a much better excuse for not running. I also mentioned an allergic reaction to hair dye yesterday, and, well, after both eyes swelled up, I decided to stop by the urgent care on the way home from work. They were really cool and didn’t openly make fun of me while I was there. hahaha They gave me a steroid shot, which I fully expected, along with a prescription for prednisone, which I also expected. Suffice to say, I’ve gone to the doctor with contact dermatitis before. I had 2 bouts in the UK that I never figured out what caused them, and several here in NC that I blamed on poison ivy, except for the last 2 on my scalp (before this) that I haven’t yet determined what caused them. But the fact that this latest bout progressively developed right after dyeing my hair led little doubt as to the cause. Upon discharging me (they made me sit there for a few min after shot for observation), the PA told me that if I wake up better that I didn’t have to take the prednisone.

I didn’t wake up better, but worse, and called in sick. When I go back to work tomorrow, it will likely be with Sleestak sunglasses. I hesitated on posting a photo, but what the heck. This was post shower this morning:

That is a good enough excuse not to run.

Maniacal Monday #1

I really don’t have the motivation to blog today. That isn’t really any different than any other day, I know, but it hits home more now that I have come up with theme days to help my stay consistent in writing. Mondays & Fridays are the wide-open topic days, so here I am on a Monday morning with no idea what to write. So, you get a rundown of my weekend…starting with Friday.

1. I opted to take the weekend off for running in order to recuperate. Apparently my tripping incident on Thursday hurt me because it was very difficult to get around Friday. I still feel a little leg achy today, but that isn’t why I’m not running today. I didn’t feel like shaving my legs this morning, and it will be too hot to run in long pants this evening. I know that’s lame. I’ll get on the stationary bike tonight.

2. I succumbed to temptation Friday night and bought a bottle of wine…and then drank the whole thing in about an hour and a half. I woke up Saturday morning with quite the hangover. I’ve had worse, mind you, but still. It threw off my groove and robbed me of any motivation I had to do anything. Though I still managed to get the kitchen mostly cleaned up.

3. I decided to try coloring my hair again, and did so Saturday morning. I used a brand and color recommended by my cousin Kelli, and the color was perfect! However, every place the dye touched my skin gave me hives. I am all swelled up today which makes my melon head even bigger. Thank goodness I still have long hair which I am letting fall in my face today whereas normally, I don’t because it bothers me to have hair in my face. But, I’ll make that sacrifice rather than look like an Area 51 alien. haha

4. Last night I was the only member of the music team at church so not only was I the only accompaniment, I was also the only vocal leader. Now I knew the piano player would not be there so when we did the schedule for April, I made sure I picked hymns that I knew well. Or so I thought. Neither of the evening songs are really that old. Both are copyrighted 1982, so while they were 80′s contemporary, they are old enough to be in our hymn books. Anyway, like I said, I felt confident that I knew them both…until I started trying to sing We Will Glorify. I was standing there (still playing and singing) and wondering why the congregation was singing differently from me. About midway through the second verse I actually took enough time to glance at the notes and realized, “Oh. They are singing correctly. I’m the one that’s off.” Fail. At least it was the evening service and only members. That would have been worse yesterday morning when we had a ton of visitors. haha

This has been in my head all morning: