Archive for the Fail Category

Wrapping up

This has been quite a year. I did not even accomplish half of my goals for the year. Life got crazy! For most of the year I was not only the only one in this house with a job, but the only one with a driver’s license. That wore me out and sucked up a large amount of vacation/sick time. But Jamie finally got her driver’s license, so the pressure is off to be everyone’s chauffeur. Oh, and we also only had 1 vehicle for much of the year, so I was still on the hook until we got another car.

I got my nose pierced. And I want to get my eyebrow pierced now. I also want a couple of tattoos, but that won’t happen until Petra gets inked.

My mom had a mini stroke. Adding that into the Alzheimer’s mix, she now has 3 distinct personalities. 1, she is still Mom, but has trouble saying the right words. She knows who you are, but can’t say your name. That’s the stroke effect. 2, she is still Mom, but she has no idea who people are. Thanksgiving, she would forget who the kids were, and thought I was Aunt Pearl. That’s the Alzheimer’s. It’s sad, but expected and fairly easy to deal with because she retains that same kind and loving personality of my Mom. But then there is that 3rd one – the paranoid delusional one. This one knows who I am, but thinks people are out to get her. This one infuriates me because she is nothing like my mom. Intellectually I know this is another aspect of the Alzheimer’s, but emotional detachment is not so easy.

The contract I worked on ended, and we switched to a new one with a new company. I got a 4 week paid staycation out of it which was great for the first 2 weeks. Those last 2 weeks, I was calling the security office nearly every day asking if my stuff had transferred so I could go back to work. And the first week back, I filled in as site lead while the site lead was on vacation. 4 weeks of nothing and then a week of everything because I was the only one left with working accounts. I still don’t want to be site lead. Oh, and I took a 10% pay cut. It hurts. But I love my co-workers.

I was forced to admit that I’m an alcoholic. By forced, I mean I was told I needed to quit for a while and I couldn’t. For those who don’t already know. Assuming more than 3 or 4 people read this blog anymore. Once I did the 3rd step, I realized I essentially rededicated my life to Jesus, and decided to get rebaptized as a matter of owning my faith as my own. And I am 11 months sober. One day at a time.

Throughout the year while working on my recovery through therapy, and through a 12-step program (which a LOT of people could really use), I have learned a lot about myself, and have come to terms and dealt with issues that I had never dealt with. I have grieved, and I have forgiven. I have learned to accept responsibility for my actions and reactions, and how to ask for forgiveness. And I’ve learned a few things along the way.

1. Life is more peaceful when you cease to be a victim/martyr.

2. Other people are responsible for their own choices and therefore their own consequences.

3. Life isn’t meant to be lived in isolation.

4. Trying to live up to a manufactured facade of other people’s expectations (real or perceived) will drive you insane.

5. It is okay to feel. Emotions are God-given. But let them be indicators and means of healing rather than living by them. Life isn’t sunshine and roses. You take the good, you take the bad.

And then it broke #NaBloPoMo

And then my quest to blog every day of November got squashed when I couldn’t log into my blog. By that I mean I couldn’t get to the admin site at all. I had to go into my hosting, rename the plugins folder which disabled all plugins, and that let me back in where I then reactivated my plugins one by one. It felt like work. Who knows which plugin shut me out.

Election day is over and thankfully I don’t have to hear any more campaign ads. I got so sick of them.

Amber only has 2 kittens left from litter #2. Our pet cemetery is filling up.

Random Randomness of Random

I should just go ahead an announce a blog hiatus because every time I have ever done that I’ve been able to write. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write, it’s just organizing thoughts into something coherent. Of course, there will be no coherency in this post just because. πŸ˜‰

I took off work Friday so I could take the hubster to court. Told him early in the week that I had the day off. Late Thursday night he informed me that he had another ride. Alrighty then. He nearly got arrested due to the county rescheduling and not letting anyone know but him. So he goes back in June and I will not be his transportation this time.

Since I had the day, I took care of some bidness at the insurance agent, and went to Chapel Hill to pick up my race packet for the Tar Hell 10 Miler.

I love how fancy it’s all personalized. More on the race later.

I was a little hungry and definitely thirsty, so I stopped in Pittsboro at Chatham Marketplace, and they had what I wanted. I decided to have some fun and sent my sponsor a text saying, “So I picked up a 6 pack for lunch…” I followed that up with this pic:


After eating the second one, I sent Petra a text saying that I had just had a mouthgasm. Yes, it was that good.

About the 10 miler. I woke up at 4:30 am with abdominal cramps from hell. Same thing happened about a month ago. So rather than treating it as a stomach bug, I took some ibuprofen and the pain was gone around noon. I don’t know what is up with that crap, or the hot flash from hell that had me up from 2-3:30 this morning. My knee is hurt also so there was a valid(ish) reason for not racing other than the fact that I haven’t run in so long I don’t remember the last time I ran.

After the meds kicked in Saturday, the good idea fairy showed up and convinced me that since it was such a nice day it would be a great idea to wash and wax my car. I’m pretty sure running 10 miles would have been less painful. 4 hours, and I am still sore today. I got some good sleeps that night and didn’t wake up until 9 yesterday.

photo 3

Oh, and Amber hatched Easter Sunday:

2 are already spoken for, thank goodness. She had 4, but one didn’t make it.

Enjoy your Monday.

Funday Friday #28

Another Christmas has come and gone. It started out pretty bad between me and Chad. He had a fit, I got my feelings hurt, I cried and fixed his new computer vowing never to buy him a new computer ever. But, he came and apologized, I hugged him, and all is well again. Well, at least until yesterday when I tried to download Windows 8.1 Pro. πŸ˜‰ But with a new computer now in his room, he only comes out to feed. Just like Jamie. Her new computer. Ugh. I don’t understand how they can have the same models, same specs, same filters, and yet hers keeps blocking what I specifically unblocked. First world problems. πŸ˜‰

Speaking of first world problems, I thought that again Christmas night as I attempted to put away the leftovers. I had more food than fridge space. And I ate so much that I thought I would bust, and looked about 7 months pregnant. I made a ham, dressing, gravy (from bacon grease), Granny’s fresh apple cake, and Aunt Betty Jewel’s easy fruit (blackberry) cobbler. I made James make the mashed potatoes because after peeling and coring apples, I had no desire to peel potatoes. The ham and potatoes turned out perfectly. Actually, so did the cobbler. I wasn’t sure about it because the recipe calls specifically for self-rising flour, and my gluten free all purpose flour is definitely not. More on it later. Anyway, I added about a teaspoon of baking powder, and it turned out just right. The dressing, though. I had some leftover cornbread, but needed another small pan. So, I made a pan of cornbread from scratch since I was out of cornbread mix. And this was where I forgot I needed to add baking powder. That pan of cornbread ended up about 5/8 in thick because all purpose flour – baking powder = no rise. :sigh: So parts of the dressing are a little dense. πŸ˜‰ The gravy ended up all lumpy. Pretty sure that was because I had too much flour for the amount of grease. And the cake fell in the middle, and nearly burned around the edges, and while it did get done, it was so moist that it just falls apart. And I forgot the rolls which are STILL in the freezer being eaten right now by me with leftover ham. All that said, everything tasted fantastic!

With Chad all the way back in his room, we have embarked upon cleaning up the mess he made all over and around the downstairs PC & desk. I’m pretty sure I swept up and entire bag of goldfish. But I also found almost all of our missing forks. There was so much nasty. Sticky nasty. Soda can tabs all over the floor, and I think there were more of those tabs than there were goldfish. I’m also looking over at the coffee table and thinking that needs another clean off. :sigh:

I really need to pick up some things today, but the thought of going anywhere is so unappealing. The fact that we are low on coffee is even more unappealing though. And I have 3 free drinks from Starbucks that I need to redeem. Because free. πŸ˜‰

Found my “missing” arch supports…in my Docs…which I also found. Haven’t found my missing boots yet, but I do need to clean the litter off of one pair that’s been on the front porch for 2 or 3 weeks. It is also time to break down and buy a new purse. :sigh:

My new favorite coffee mugs that benefit The Forsaken Children. I got one for Ethiopia and one for Senegal since I have friends serving in both countries.

Last night’s sunset. I was playing with the settings on my iPhone, and the one without any filtering turned out best.

I waste so much time watching the videos on this YouTube channel.

2013 Goal Wrap up

At the beginning of the year I made a list of goals for 2013. Now that the year is almost up, I thought I would recap. Because I need a topic that can allow me to be a little ADHD. πŸ˜‰

Goal 1: Learn to rest

This didn’t turn out the way I originally intended. Meaning, I really didn’t know what kind of rest I needed, just that I needed rest. It took me nearly the whole year to finally comprehend (actual meaning – surrender) how I needed to rest.

β€œBe still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10a, ESV)

I was carrying burdens that weren’t mine to carry, some of which I have been carrying since I was a kid. Once I figured that out, and went through painful process of understanding what are my responsibilities and what belong to others that I have been taking on, it has been a lot easier to chill out. It took a lot of prayer, psalms, texts, therapy, Al-Anon meetings, and happy pills to get to this point. It is still a work in progress.

Goal 2: 13 races in 2013

This was met and exceeded! I did 14 races, and so signed up for 14 next year. I have a plan to do a race recap post sometime before the end of the year.

Goal 3: Crochet

I need a lot of practice yet with this one. However, I tried my hand at knitting and it is just so much easier for me than crochet. I finished a scarf for Chad, and have (twice) started a scarf for Jamie.

Goal 4: Pushups

Fail. I know there is still time to at least do one, but whatevs. I did a 30 day plank challenge in July, and barely managed that with all the drama.

Goal 5: Make my marriage and family priority

This has been both a win and an epic fail. I won’t go into great detail (though it’s mentioned in Goal 1 and I have blogged about it off and on), but it has absolutely been the biggest area of personal growth for me, and it was/is absolutely painful growth.

Goal 6: Journal every day

Yeah, no. I did ok, and then slacked of after a couple of months. But then I started blogging more and putting a lot of junk out on the blog that normally would be in a journal, so there’s that. πŸ˜‰

Goal 7: Eat healthy

I have been on and off this wagon. Eh. Another ongoing work in progress.

Will I make another list of goals for 2014?

Maybe. If I do they will be more measurable. Like finishing Jamie’s scarf. πŸ˜‰

Maniacal Monday #27

I’m in a pretty craptastic mood (still), and actually spent yesterday evening looking forward to going to work.

I got up Saturday morning and ran the 12ks of Christmas. I mostly ran the whole thing. James called me right at the last mile and nearly threw me all off so I walked up that last hill while putting my phone back in the carrier case. But, I ran down the final stretch determined not to be dead last. lol. And I got the finisher’s medal, and most of the tribers waited on me to finish, and Nicole and George both gave me hugs which was just so sweet. My 1 picture was made when I finally got back to the car.


Oh, and I am still tremendously sore. :sigh:

George invited me to a race on Facebook, and I thought it looked interesting and invited Karyn also just because. Well, she will actually be in town, and so we are both registered for the Morrow Mountain Trail Race 15K which we may or may not end up regretting. And on that note, I think we both signed up for 14 in 2014. I did anyway, and I think Karyn is going to if she hasn’t already. I don’t plan on running anything longer than the Tar Heel 10 Miler, and that one only because I signed up for it last year. Because finisher’s medal. πŸ˜‰

And the broken out window in the living room finally got fixed. It’s not completely fixed, but the panes are in place and just need to be caulked in. But it didn’t happen before tragedy struck. Sushi/Mako somehow got out of it, and the dogs made short work of ending her life. :wail:

RIP Sushi/Mako

RIP Sushi/Mako

I got caught up on grading this weekend, and got the kids’ work graded, mostly recorded, and new schedules made. There was one portion of Jamie’s Algebra II that I reassigned with “We will go over this together,” because she 1) didn’t seem to get it and 2) had a big “help” written on one of the assignments.

So, I went to YouTube looking for a Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well, and found this.

Funday Friday #26

This has been an interesting week. Pretty sure I could have slept 24×7 all week. I’ve also been in a pretty cynical mood overall. And in pain. There might be a correlation.

I got my new running shoes!!

I couldn’t wait and put those bad boys on while still in my work clothes and did a sprint down the driveway and back. Thought I would die! Walked back in the house gasping, and James was like “What’s wrong?” Because he didn’t notice I had the new shoes on and thought that something was after me while he sat there engrossed with whatever he was watching on TV.

I started soaking in epsom salt this week because 1) to help get some magnesium intake without actually taking it and 2) I just like soaking in a tub of really warm water, especially around that time of the month. Only thing missing was wine to accompany the tub soak. Anywho, I had kind of a belly ache Wednesday. I thought nothing out of it since, like I said, that time of the month. Plus, I have been glutened multiple times over the last couple of weeks, and that always results in some significant intestinal cramping. So after trying out my new running shoes, I went upstairs and started running the bath. Put the epsom salt in, and got undressed. Before I got in the tub, or even to the tub, I decided that some gas needed to go. And that’s when I learned that when you have had some significant belly cramping never trust a fart. Oh.My.Word. Last time I had an incident like that I was 9 years old and KNEW I had diarrhea, and just couldn’t get to a bathroom in time. #everybodypoops

Speaking of running, I am running the Reindeer Run 12k tomorrow morning. Running may include walking or crawling so I can finish and get the finisher’s medal. πŸ˜‰ 70% chance of rain. πŸ™

I pulled out my old band jacket today and wore it to work showing my support for my old alma mater playing for state championship. It caused some laughing with “I can’t believe you still have that!” Like they don’t know I’m a hoarder. lol. Had it occurred to me, I would be wearing my class ring too. πŸ˜‰ I saw on Facebook that the championship game has been postponed from tomorrow until the 14th because of bad weather. And on that note, Carrie won the snow game yesterday which I called one of the AR cousins winning even though Jill is in the lead for wins so far this year. I am sure to lose all the time now since it will take a nor’easter for me to beat Jill now. πŸ™‚

Chad put the tree up yesterday. Just the tree. It’s a little crooked and the lights are plugged in the wrong order, but it’s out of the box. I might actually put some more stuff on it now. I guess at some point I need to find out what was done with the outside lights and put those back up. I really dislike putting those up, but I really love looking at them.

This is pretty stinking funny.

Just let it go?

Here’s a little something I’m dragging out of the drafts hole. It was written over a span of about 5 months from Sep 2011 – Jan 2012.

I had this little running “joke” with our former pastor on Sunday mornings:

Pastor: “How are you?”
Me: “Self-righteous and bitter.”
Pastor: “Alrighty then.” (or something to that effect)

I always answered it in a joking kind of way, but really, I was/am dead serious. I think he knew it. The result of being self-righteous and bitter is being angry…often. Combine that with out of control (or out of sync) hormones (that’s a story in itself, which my doc thinks is more likely linked to my diet and somewhat addressed here), and you have a volatile mix. I’m going off at the least little thing, nit-picking over insignificant things, and emotionally collapsing into tears either from sheer anger or guilt from getting so angry over something stupid. Did I mention I was never much of a cryer? But I digress.

The self-righteousness and the bitterness have been there for years, but I never really noticed them for what they were. Generally speaking, I filed them away under a blanket of righteous indignation. After all, I was right to be angry because I was being wronged, or someone I loved was being wronged.

The anger wouldn’t be such an issue if it was just anger, albeit justified anger and not getting mad over something stupid. But, even if it is “justifiable” anger, it becomes an issue when it is something I’m not letting go of.

I keep dwelling on issues when they pop up in my head. The longer I stew on them, the angrier I get, and the angrier I get the more I want to go off on a self-righteous rant letting the “offender” know just how ate up they are. I have finally realized that the things that piss me off the most are things I do myself, and more often than not involve pride.

But at the heart of the matter, it boils down to a lack of forgiveness on my part. This lack of forgiveness is most blatantly on display towards my husband. Of all the people/situations I’ve stewed over and held grudges over, I have mostly held grudges against him, and not well held under control. But it is no more or no less venomous and vile. Sheer poison. It isn’t as if he is blameless. Even he will tell people there is only one thing that I have ever adamantly put my foot down about. It’s that one hot button trigger that holds the potential to split us up. I’ve threatened divorce (with every intention of backing it up), and I’ve wished all kinds of calamity on him from arrest to death. Yes, you read that right. I have wished he would die.

That’s cold-hearted right there. Completely unloving.

I know that my response is every bit as wrong as what he does that prompts it. I can see it coming, and I pray for grace to “shut up and pray”, and I quote scripture to myself and swear I will be quiet and let it go. But more often than not, I succumb to the voice that tells me I don’t deserve be treated like that, lied to, messed with, etc, and it all goes downhill from there. But then a day or two later, it’s over, we pick up and try again or just avoid any mention of what went down…pretending nothing ever happened and all is well. But it’s not. The hurt is still there. The broken promises still there. The “I want what I want and I want it on my terms” is still there, even when we confess and apologize to each other afterward. It’s a vicious cycle.

I’m left with questions. Why can’t I let go of the bitterness and resentment, and just forgive? Why do I insist on hanging on to it when I really don’t want it and know that it just eats me up?

Just to bring this up to date, my diet wasn’t the issue with my out of control emotions. In many ways it was a result, and that still remains an issue. Also divorce has been taken off the table as an option. I will add that once that no longer became an option, things got worse. WAY worse. I also have answered those 2 questions, and well, I pretty much had answered it within the original post. Self-righteousness for one, but victimhood also.

The solution is constant prayer. Constant preaching the gospel to myself. Constant reminder that the old me died with Jesus, and I’ve been set free from the bondage of self-gratification. Constant reminder that I am not God, that He sees what I can’t, and that He is in control. Constant reminder that He never promised ease and comfort in this life. Constant reminder of 1 Corinthians love. Constant reminder that I live in a broken and fallen world, and I am still a work in progress. Constant reminder to be thankful always.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in meβ€”practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9, ESV)

Demons are real

I started writing this post back in March, and then abandoned it to the drafts hole. As I write this “intro,” I am still teetering on the fence on whether to finish it and post it.

I have spent a week debating whether or not to write about what happened to me last week. For various reasons. Good, bad, or whatever. πŸ˜‰ I did tell a couple of people about it, so I didn’t hide it and/or pretend it didn’t happen. I mean, not that I could pretend it didn’t happen because I had a rough few days over it.

I had a demonic encounter. And I brought it on myself.

26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27, ESV)

I gave opportunity to the devil. And it was over something that didn’t directly involve me, and was something that I thought I had let go, but when I was struck, I knew immediately that 1) I had just “physically” been struck though I could not see what hit me, and 2) that I had dwelled too many times for too long on a particular event. That scared the crap out of me. Not the attack, but the fact that I invited it. Then I spent the next couple of days fighting off an onslaught of angry thoughts about various other events where I should have spoken up and pointed out how things that were said and/or done were both unbiblical and unloving. But I remained silent in fear of confrontation. Mainly. Because I have a strong fight or flight response to confrontation, and flight is default. Part of it is that I know deep down whatever pisses me off the most, is more often than not something that I struggle with. Also, I have been known to act/speak without thinking through the whole situation and ended up at least as wrong as whatever I got hacked off about.

But anyway, as I came out of this encounter, I faced several things about myself that were exposed because of it.

    Self-righteous arrogance pisses me off because I am so self-righteous and arrogant.

    Gossip and backbiting piss me off because I have done and find that I still do it myself so often.

    Controlling busybodies piss me off because I am such a control freak.

    Dismissive know-it-alls piss me off because I have long been a dismissive know-it-all.

    Elitists piss me off because I am one too.

So as I envisioned my anger as righteous anger such as Jesus had when he drove the money changers out of the temple, it seems as though I have a lot more in common with the money changers. I love to be right. And I love to argue, except that I hate to argue because I suck at it. I realize the complete contradiction that statement is.

All that said, and everything offset in the blockquote is from March, this hasn’t been an isolated incident. That was just the first one that happened where I recognized what was happening. I had suspicions that there was demonic activity going on around me, and prayed for discernment. I still continue to pray for ongoing discernment to know the truth about my own ongoing struggles to know which are internal and which are external. In other words, what is coming from the old me, and what is demonic influence/oppression.

Now at this point, I still haven’t seen a demon while awake/conscious that I am completely sure was a demon. I did see something run through the living room earlier this year that I thought at first was KitKat until I looked again and couldn’t find her in the living room (and she can’t move silently that fast anyway), and then asked Jamie if KitKat was in her (locked) room. Which she was. So it wasn’t KitKat. Too small and dark to be Gizmo. So I erred on the side of caution and rebuked it.

I have had dreams (nightmares) over the years where there was a presence trying to get me that I could feel, but never see. These dreams are always different from the nightmares of murderers, rapes, nuclear detonation, snakes, spiders, car wrecks, falling, tornados, etc. In the last couple of years, I had one of the “presence” dreams only I saw it coming at me, and knew exactly what it was waking up as I cried out to Jesus. I have since heard people describe demons they have seen, and it was exactly what was in my dream.

Why am I sharing this? I think there are a lot of Christians who are completely ignorant as to what spiritual warfare is about because they don’t truly believe demonic activity can have any contact with them. That said, I do not believe that a believer in Christ, sealed with the Holy Spirit can be possessed by demons. But there is no scriptural basis for the teaching and belief that demons can’t do anything to you once you are saved. In fact, I would say the Bible teaches just the opposite. They can touch us and they can afflict us and they will do it because the enemy “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” He already has the lost, and he has already lost. But what better way to keep unbelievers in darkness than to damage the Light because as believers we are the light of Jesus here on earth.

So don’t believe you can’t be touched or influenced because you are still at war, and the enemy is real.

Ephesians 6:11-18 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do

I got up Sunday morning ready to run. That is a lie. I was not ready, but I knew I had to, and kept telling myself, “It’s only 14 miles.” Right. That said, I started off slow and tapered off. lol But seriously, I was ok from about mile 3 to mile 8. I wasn’t enjoying it, but I felt confident I could finish. Then I hit mile 9.

Mile 9 was about where my lower back really started hurting. When I got to my last turnaround, I stopped briefly and dropped to one knee to see if that eased the pain. It did, and I took back off. The pain came back and about a quarter mile later (when I got back to a shady spot), I laid down on the side of the road on my back and pulled my knees up to stretch out. I made it about 3/4 of a mile and then laid down in the church driveway. Another half mile later, there I was in the road again and just a little over a quarter mile from the house. At this point, I was thinking about how I was going to get in the last 3 miles. But about the time I got to my driveway, I said “Screw the full. I’m doing the half instead.”

So there it is. I feel pretty confident that I can do the half because I’ve done halves before. I’m sure the back pain is my body telling me it’s time to buy new shoes. They are almost a year old. But I can’t afford a $120 pair of shoes right now and don’t want to break in new shoes right before a race.

Therefore, the half it is.