Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Year's Resolutions - NourishMe -


Twelve days into the year, and I'm so busy practicing my New Years' Resolutions I haven't had time to write about them.

But in a nutshell, based on a year of on and off angst and on and off pleasure, I have chosen to call this year my "NourishMe" year, and I have based my resolutions on that.

Last year was my Hygge and Glean year, and I was able to simplify my home and my relationships, but not myself as much. I was able to take what I needed and leave the rest when it came to gleaning information, materials, and knowledge, trying to not throw my weight around, but seeing where I was needed and give my best, rather than being perfect in what I did. Bruised apples still have value, even though they're not perfect, and that has been the image I've carried with me. I have value, even when I am not perfect.

This year, I really need to take care of myself. I stress too much about work - money, insurance, retirement, and honestly - I think I have so much to offer the world, but sometimes I think the world doesn't care who I am or what I do. And I'm not all that, but I do have offerings. So I'm going to focus on those offerings - but offer my gifts back to me and my family.

My NourishMe goals include:

Find Joy - At work and at home, and laugh.
Social Life - Reach out to friends more - hibernation is my easy chair, but I do need to socialize.
Relationships - Gotta work on a child, or two.
Home Environment - I love my home, it is my sanctuary. My heart is full here.
Home Cooking - Arrange my schedule so "at home" meals are more regular.
Physical Activity - 10,000 steps a day.
Health - Sleep, eat healthy lunches, exercise, Ommmm.
Education - Take advantage of educational opportunities, formal and informal.
Career - Accept where I am. Enjoy. Don't be so dependent on those above me, stand a little taller.
Finances - Have faith that all will work out, then be a little more frugal.
Creativity - Take more time to sew, stitch, write.
Spirituality - Pray, read.
And back to Joy - and I will be nourished -

Great article by Parker Palmer: My Five New Year's Revolutions. Palmer gave me the best mantra, the strongest truth, "God is Love, Love is God." This has calmed me in my roughest moments.

And Yours?


Monday, January 9, 2017

So Much Depends - William Carlos Williams -

I thoroughly enjoy William Carlos Williams' poetry. I've blogged about him before. The past six weeks have been tumultuous, and while I've worked extremely hard at waiting and allowing, I'm not gonna lie, it's been tough. Patience, while I believe it is my virtue, is also my vice. I do fine at waiting, then I get jumpy and in my head. I clear my head, go to my heart, and I'm fine, and then I slip back into my head, and even though there's no rational way of explaining my "situation," I get frustrated, irritated, and anxious. Then I pray, meditate, pause, and I'm good, until . . . And the cycle is vicious and taxing.

Tonight, at the 13th hour, some things came together. And I'm still a little suspicious, a tad hesitant, a bit skeptical, but . . .

I'm reminded of William Carlos Williams piece, The Red Wheelbarrow.

so much depends 
upon 

a red wheel 
barrow 

glazed with rain 
water 

beside the white 
chickens


And it is relevant. So much depends - 



Thursday, January 5, 2017

Uncle Newell - Last of the Family -

My uncle, Newell Walker, died yesterday afternoon, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was diagnosed with Leukemia last year, and he did a darn good job of living this past year to the fullest.

At my father's service (he died 6 months ago today), Uncle Newell leaned down over the casket and told my dad, "I'll see you soon."

Uncle Newell was an avid genealogist, loved writing life histories and histories of places, and he was a "gabber." He loved to visit, talk, share, listen. He was a good man.

Uncle Newell (I never called any of my Walker aunts or uncles their first name, alone. They were always prefaced with the title of Aunt or Uncle. My children called him "Uncle Noodle.") was the last of the 6 Walker siblings to die. All that are left are the in-laws, of which there are 4. Kinda tough to be "one of the remaining." They were a close family - my father and Uncle Newell were good friends, always had each other's back, looked quite a bit alike, and had similar loves - people, food, sharing.

I'm hoping there was a grand reunion in heaven with all the family members waiting at the gates to welcome Newell home. I hope there was fried fish and chicken, scones, pie, and lots of slobbery kisses and stories.

My daughter, Jenna, wrote a beautiful tribute to the Walker family and to her memories of them:

I found out last night that my great Uncle Newell passed away. He was the last living child of my great Grandparents, Mike and Maple Walker.
Although they were a generation removed, I knew these people well- they are my kin.
I remember Donna. She lived west of Rigby, Idaho in house with a well manicured lawn and plenty of yard ornaments. She collected toothpick holders, had a slot machine in her spare bedroom, and always made sure there was an extra homemade craft for me. I love my Aunt Donna.
I remember Doyle- it was always Doyle and Lola. The two names were always attached. We stayed at Doyle and Lola's house in Hawaii. There was a huge turtle in their yard one night and a gecko in their bathroom the next morning. He was a goofball. I love my Uncle Doyle.
I remember Joyce. She always had a place for us in her home in the summers in Rigby. She had the softest beds, and I always remember the photo of her daughter who passed away much too young hanging by the stairs. She dyed her hair black. One trip to her home she was surprised when she mistakenly used what she thought was her hairspray, but was actually my spray deodorant and ended up with white hair! I love my Aunt Joyce.
I remember stories of Gail- he was the one I didn't know so well, but Grandpa spoke reverently and kindly of him. I love my Uncle Gail.
I remember Newell. He owned a restaurant in Idaho Falls, The Gangplank. We made it a priority to stop and have lunch or dinner there anytime we were traveling through. Shrimp and scones. More recently, I briefly saw him at my Grandpa's funeral. He was in the midst of a fight with Leukemia, yet there he stood with a sincere smile on his face, called me by name and a good strong Walker hug. I love my Uncle Newell.
My heart yearns for the eternities- where I sure hope it feels a little like Rigby in the summertime, eating scones, throwing around some stories with the Walkers.
January 5, 2017


Thanks, Jenna, for these beautiful words. Thanks for caring enough to know them. 


Photo taken 1979-1980
Gayle, Newell, Clyde, Doyle
Donna, Maple, MW (Mike), Joyce

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Gwendolyn Brooks - Bean Eaters -

Whenever Scott and I eat a simple basic meal, I think of this poem by Gwendolyn Brooks. The sparseness, nakedness, vulnerability, and perseverance of this piece had me the first time I read it several years ago. Last night, as we heated up leftover broccoli cheese soup, opened a few bottles of olives and pickles, and placed this all on our simple table, I began quoting the poem. Scott thought it was sad; I thought it was appropriate. Life goes on - 

The Bean Eaters     Gwendolyn Brooks1917 - 2000
They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.
Dinner is a casual affair.
Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood, 
Tin flatware.

Two who are Mostly Good.
Two who have lived their day,
But keep on putting on their clothes
And putting things away.

And remembering . . .
Remembering, with twinklings and twinges,
As they lean over the beans in their rented back room that
          is full of beads and receipts and dolls and cloths,
          tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Huffington Post and A Confession -

Confession - I read Huffington Post. Yup - my light-liberal reading; and while quite the gossip-publication, I find good reporting and writing.

Articles such as this one: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roshi-joan-halifax/compassion-_b_1885877.html inspire me to be better while teaching and chaplaining and just being myself.

And this one: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lgbt-center-to-open-its-doors-across-from-mormon-temple-in-utah_us_5845ddfee4b02f60b02476e1 tell me more about my community than what I can find in local media.

Today is no different. This: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-travis-bradberry/10-unmistakable-habits-of_b_13772102.html speaks to me - I want to be this, meaning this will probably be one of my drivers for the new year.

Sure - I get anxiety when I read the news, but it's here at Huff Post that I also find something to laugh with, which then calms me down enough to move forward with my day.



Saturday, December 31, 2016

Links to A Few Enjoyables -

Empowering



Worth the effort, if you have Facebook. I couldn't find it on Youtube:

https://www.facebook.com/ForestHillWaxhaw/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf


Tender



Just Plain Funny




Friday, December 30, 2016

Catnip, Fatboys, and Orgasms -

Oh my goodness, I'm still laughing, and I'm trying to figure out how to write about this experience without laughing at my patients. Here's my attempt -

Patient with no energy is living a "cat's life" right now.
Asking for clarification - eat, play, sleep, wake-up, eat, play, sleep, repeat.
"Is your morning Ritalin helping with your energy?"
"Well . . ."
"Isn't that what catnip is for cats, Ritalin?"
"Actually I've never understood what catnip does."
"Oh, well, we know. Catnip for a cat is like a fantastic orgasm for humans."
"So when cats are in ecstasy from catnip, they're really having an orgasm?"
"Yes, that's what cat lovers say."
Biting lip to try and quit laughing. "Oh."
"So, how are you feeling?"
Conversation continues on a somewhat normal tone.
"But does Ritalin give you an orgasm?"
"NO."
"I'm buying catnip on my home from work tonight."
"I didn't know you had a cat."
"I don't. I'm going to give it a try!"
Burst out laughing, then attempt to get serious.
"Two last things. I love . . .  and Fatboys."
Thinking large men here, following the orgasm strain. "Oh?"
"I take one bite and my mouth is just filled with goodness, ecstasy, fireworks, tingling. I feel warm and fuzzy and delighted and good all over. All I need is one bite."
Conversation is now out of control and two people are cracking up laughing while two others are serious.
"So kind of like catnip?"
"Yup."
"Well do whatever makes you happy."
End of conversation - for the most part.