Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23, 2009

Be Choosy About Your Friends

I always thought I needed to have girlfriends. Some I needed to have a steady diet of because I guess they validated my being. I have found that I am happy being my own guide and not having to depend on what someone that I care about really thinks about me. Never in a hundred years would I believe I had it in my power to be happy with myself without someone else’s approval.

I needed someone to raise my children with who faced some of the same situations as I faced trying to be the best of mothers. Someone to share a coke with. Someone to shop with. Someone to travel with to events we both enjoyed. I needed someone to laugh with, cry with, share secrets with.

There have been friends who I have lost whom I might have tried harder to keep. I have had friends who used me and I am sure I used them. I don’t think either of is consciously used each other, but maybe we did since the friendships have gone by the wayside. Some of the friends I made when I was younger weren’t good for me. I am easily influenced and made mistakes in judgment by having them as friends.

There have been friends who I know now I must have forced the friendship by being the one to suggest we do things together and maybe that isn’t want they wanted to do. I had friends who I pursued with much more fervor than they did for our friendship to remain intact. Some friends must have been bored and were a friend to me to ease that boredom and have something to do.

I have had friends who did more for me than I did for them both emotionally and financially. Maybe when you can’t keep up with the gifting that goes along with friendships, the friendship dies a natural death. Maybe one of us grows emotionally and leaves the other one behind. I haven’t completely figured that one out yet.

I have had friends who depended on me more than I could give. I am sure I have depended on friends more than they could take. There have been friends who probably think that I have let them down, but it wasn’t intentionally done. I have had friends who I have hurt and been hurt by. I have intentionally hurt some friends because I was hurt and struck back in an unkind way. I regret that I acted so immaturely, but I was immature at the time.

There have been friends in the different ages of my life that I have drifted away from because one or the other of us moved. There were friends from work, but when jobs changed and you weren’t in close proximity to them anymore, the friendship withered and died. I don’t believe they weren’t friendships and dear ones at the time, but circumstances changed things. Sometime our children drifted apart and we no longer had so much in common.

I have learned now that many of those, who at the time I thought were going to be friends until death, were really acquaintances who had a lot of commonalities with me at the time, but not enough to sustain the friendship over time. Our ships set different courses and they have sailed off in a different direction. It would be nice to reconnect someday with some of them. The wonderful thing about the Internet is that a lot of friends have reconnected if only briefly. It was easy with some to catch up with forty years between us in a matter of a few emails. Our tastes seem to have a way of changing.

Now the friends I have seem to be the ones I went to grammar and high school with. I think those friendships were forged in steel and our paths keep crossing at different stages of our lives. I have lost friends to death and that is heart breaking. At my age, that will happen more and more and all you can do is remember the fun times you had when you were friends.

I have few close friends now, but don’t look at that as something terrible. The friends I have now bring me joy, have faith in me, encourage me to do and be my best, to be creative. We laugh at the same things and cry as only women can do. My friendships are deeper now and less shallow as the ones I had when I was younger.

At my age, time is against having friends who aren’t what I consider real. There just isn’t time to waste on breadth and not depth. I like to think I am a genuine person and expect the same from the people I associate with. I don’t have time to play around the edges of the sandbox. Time is ticking.

My heart has been broken to the place that it isn’t mended completely by the loss of friends. I wonder where things went astray. I think deep down inside of me I know, but I will never really know what went wrong with some of them. You think you know someone to the core and you find out that you really didn’t know them like you thought you did. There have been friendships that have been extended that should have been ended so both parties could get on with life without regrets.

Via the internet, I have made some wonderful friends. People who share some of the same ideals I do. Women who like doing the things I do. That we haven’t physically met doesn’t make a difference. I have been fortunate though in making international friends who have put themselves out to come to visit me and friends who live in the states who have done the same. It is like we have known each other forever. Maybe we get along so well because we aren’t around each other all the time. My grandmother used to say to me, “Familiarity breeds contempt,” and I think she was really on to something. If we aren’t physically around someone very much, then we see mostly the good and not the warts. Possibly that is a Pollyanna attitude, but it seems to explain why these friendships come about and endure.

It really matters now who I surround myself with. I need those who I can encourage and those who can encourage me. I need truthfulness by me at all times. I don’t need to hear something just because it is the nice thing to say to me. I need honesty. That is something I have preached to my children and all of the kids I taught – be honest, truthful, and never steal from another person. I don’t mean to say if someone’s dress or hair looks terrible I need to tell them, but I don’t need to tell them they look lovely either when they don’t.

I want someone who will cheer me up when I am down. Someone who will be there if I need them day or night and they can expect the same in return. I want to be there to support my friends when they are down and need lifting up. I want to matter to someone. I want someone near me who is happy when I do well and who can help me out when I don’t do so well. I want to be that kind of friend too.

Most women don’t realize the power they have to lift or to crush. Women need to be mindful of just how much power they have over the ones that you love – your children, husband’s view of you from your friend’s perspective, you parents. Women, myself included, need to wield that power carefully because they don’t know what effect they have on the people you care about. As women, we need to be kind and caring and if we can’t get the same in return from those who we believe are some kind of friend, then we need to shuck them and find someone where caring and kindness are utmost to them too. If no one around fits the bill, then enjoy your own company and devote yourself to what makes you happy and certainly do for your family first. If we can make ourselves happy, then we can go about making others happy. If there is a flaw we have that we aren’t happy within ourselves, then we will never be able to be that true friend to anyone else.

What kind of friend are you?

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20, 2009

(In reply to an email from my SIL about Brian Dettmer's art)

Would you believe I have been looking at his work lately? I found him by following links from blogs, which is now my "job." Bill asks me what I am doing and I tell him going to work each day. He just laughs. I don't know why he laughs as since retirement I get up each day and go straight to my work desk and begin my daylong job of
internetting. I just don't get paid for my work these days. Maybe that is why he laughs. Blink. Blink. No pay, no real job.

This guy never cuts the pages out of his books. He finds the pictures he wants and then using glue, puts the pages together so that he can use the
scalpel to cut away what he doesn't want. For about a nano second I wanted to go to Goodwill and buy one encyclopedia or dictionary and give it a try, but my brain said it just didn't have the go power to even go buy the book. I guess I will just have to wonder now if it would have been possible for me to do a piece like this. :-)

Moving things around to put up a new sewing table in the spare room that will allow me to keep my machine and
serger up all the time, I guess I picked up something too heavy. I couldn't sleep but fitfully Sunday and Monday nights, but knew I had to do something. My ortho surgeon had already told me that my problem is inoperable since it would involve plates and screws which he said would give me more problems than any pain I have. Of course, it wasn't him trying to sit up to get out of bed and by the hardest, doing so. Plus, he didn't have wet panties by the time he got to the potty from not being able to hold his bladder and use the muscles necessary to achieve a sitting up position. Why I was getting this room ready is another entire posting that I hope I don't forget to share with you one of these days.

My friend, Karen, goes to a
chiro in Shreveport that she swears by. I used to go to one a lot in Alexandria in my 20s, but when I moved from there to Denver I never went again. I called Karen's doctor and he could see me by the time I could get to the city. This is one cool doctor. He wears plaid flannel shirts to the office with his docker-type pants. I am sure he has to since his office is set about 2 degrees below Alaska in the winter. I will wear a jacket today.

He said with the bone plugs in my neck and the two new knees he was limited in what he could do, but did have a few tricks up his sleeve. There is this machine he has that you lay on that probably has the part that a tire fits onto an 18 wheeler made of steel and concrete combined. It runs up and down your spine and the tech said they raise the angle each time you come in. It makes you nauseous until you can find the maps on the inside of your eyelids to stare at as it does its magic. This is definitely not a table for whiners, which I am prone to be. This is a table for girls with "big girl" panties on and maybe even two pair at the same time. When the bell dings, the assistant, about the size of Barbie's baby sister, tells you to sit up, which you cannot do. Barbie's baby sister with every ounce of strength she possesses, she probably weighs all of 28 pounds, gives you a hand and you get up thankful that you didn't pull her down on top of you.

You wait. When it is your turn to see good-looking in his flannel shirt with his docker-like pants, he has you sit in this
playlike chair where you are sitting up, but laying face first into the contraption. You have already hears this loud Geiger counter blasting away when you were on the table getting your "massage" done with 18 wheeler metal tire rim and concrete and wondered if he was tazing someone. Now you get to see what the tazing was all about.

He puts some kind of small bar-like thing in his hand, or at least you presume it his his hand since you are sitting face down into this chair thingy. He proceeds to Geiger you in each vertebrae and also does your shoulders, which you have already told him your surgeon wants to replace, but that you refuse to have done as long as the
MRSA virus is alive in this world. Now, this machine is like ten strong men working each joint and it hurts so good that you don't want him to stop and feel like telling him things like, "move it over just a tad to the left/right, down a little, could you turn me over and do my ribs and the tiny riblets across the top of my chest...." you get the picture.

After your time is up there, you get to face a wall that has a large canvas on it that is made of gray felt. Well, that is what it looks like, but I don't know what its purpose is. Could be that once in a while with this next treatment he could
accidentally drop you and you would fall against this wall and with the felt it wouldn't leave too many bruises/lawsuits on you/him. He has you put your right hand on your left shoulder and visa versa, but you remind him that your shoulders need to be replaced and your right hand cannot reach your left shoulder. He then has you put your left hand on your right shoulder and the other hand somewhere in the vicinity of the left shoulder. He gets up behind you, if you were younger you could really get into this since his body parts are touching yours, but at 64 all you can do is wish. He then tells you to relax, right, and all but lifts you off the floor twice in succession without any warning.

You are finished for the day and go and pay only a $5 co-pay. Now, if gasoline weren't what it is, you would ask if you could come to see him multiple times a day, but he suggests he will see you again in two days. Yeah!!!! I get to go back today. Wonder if they will raise that back roller and if they do will I have to concentrate harder on the
roadmaps on the backsides of my eyelids to keep from puking all over his floor and probably on myself as well.

I must say, the back is still hurting, but not quite as badly. I am still finding it hard to get up into a
sitting position from being prone, the washing machine is on double time keeping my unmentionables all nice and clean, but I am looking forward to more torture. I will keep you posted on my progress and let you know if I get straight again or if I will have to live out the rest of my life at a 90 degree angle with a case of Depends near me at all times.

Have a nice day and run get a scalpel, some glue, an old encyclopedia or dictionary and the next time I see you, I want to see a piece of work like Brain's. You might even inspire me to find a
scalpel, glue, and old picture book. However, I will be looking for a book with one picture on each page. That way, I can glue a lot of them together and cut down to the bottom picture. Do you think I will need an Esty shop?

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 16, 2009

Yesterday Bill and I went to Shreveport. I had seen a sewing table in the Jo
Ann's circular that I wanted. There is a place to put your sewing machine and also a place to put your serger. We bought some baskets, lots of baskets, to put on his new bathroom's shelves. I think it will look better if there aren't any doors where the shelving will be. Now all of these baskets match. Some are larger than others. Two of the large ones will fit on a shelf and three of the small ones will fit on a shelf. I am hoping this will keep his bathroom looking neat instead of like a dump.

Today he had to go to the skin doctor and woke me up at 7:30 to see if I knew where his wallet was. I don't even know what his wallet looks like. Blink. He finally found it under the cupboard where he sits at the bar. I guess I will have to start looking into a nursing home for him if it gets any worse. :-) He still cannot find one of the wallets and it has money and a $50 gift card to a fancy place in Bossier that you can't afford to go to unless you have a gift card. Who knows where he has put it.

I am cleaning out the spare bedroom to put my new desk in. That is one heck of a job. I work for 15 minutes and then my back won't take it anymore and I come back here to the computer and sit for a bit. At this rate, I might have it done by next Christmas. It is fun to go into a room that has been abandoned for several years because there are all kinds of treasures you find. I even found part of our friend's Christmas present from last year. As soon as I see them I will have to give it to them as we aren't exchanging gifts this year. They are keeping their money and flying to NYC to see Phantom of the Opera and NYC at Christmastime.

There are two bookshelves in boxes to be put together and a DVD bookcase too. I used to be the one who did all of the construction on things like that, but it is so hard with even new knees to get up off the floor that the fairies will have to come and construct these. I believe I am going to bring them into my bedroom and unload what is in my hutch onto the shelves.

By doing that I can get shelving out in the newest part of my kitchen because at the rate those two new rooms are coming along, I will be dead and gone before the ones that I wanted built ever get done. Should I get lucky and get the shelving and counter tops built before I die, then I can move the hutch into the spare room and take down some shelves I built about ten years ago that are pitiful looking. Just raw wood is what I used and of course they never did get shored up and painted by you know who. I don't know why it is so hard for me to remember that if I want something, then I sure as Sam better do it myself if I don't want to wait until Death's Door swings open for me.

My back is rested again and it is time for another 15 minute session in the room from you know where and it starts with an H.


Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13, 2009

Yesterday was my Friday 13th. So far today has been uneventful.

Our sweet and faithful pet dog, Bisquit, had to be put down. He had a tumor that had been removed last year and it came back. He could no longer get up on his own, but most of the time once we picked him up, he could walk down the stairs and go outside to the bathroom.

We did have to pick him up to get back into the house. He has been back and forth to the vet's for several months and since he was still eating and drinking and able to walk, the vet didn't think he needed to be put down yet. He didn't appear to be in any pain either.

Yesterday, he wanted me to hold him it seemed like for hours and that was so unlike him. He was a very independent dog. He couldn't seem to get comfortable and with that tumor growing like lightning, he had a hard time drinking and wasn't interested in eating.

Bill called our vet and we decided it was time to say goodbye. Just the shot that calms them down before "the shot" took him out. He must have been hanging on by a thread. Needless to say, two grown adults cried like babies. I think since he is the only dog who we ever let into the house made it harder than losing all of our yard dogs over the years. We missed them, but there was something special about Bisquit.

Twice today I thought I heard him "yip" like he did when he wanted you to pick him up to go outside. We are going to miss that little old rat terrier. Once he got down in the back though, he was never the same. He hasn't even been able to wag his tail for a few days.

I just know since God created everything, he must have a special place for dogs in Heaven and one of these days we will see our beloved pets again. They will be whole like everyone else will be.

By sweet little boy dog.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8, 2009

I guess I won't be journaling everyday like I planned to do. Seems life gets in the way of keeping up my journal. Maybe it is because I am trying to get a book ready to make a "real" art journal. I have been cutting pictures out of magazines to put into the journal since I can't draw a straight line. There are tons of wonderful examples of these art journals out there and that is where I have been spending a lot of my time.

Since I had to go to the doctor on Monday and wouldn't be here for a HSN shopping experience I didn't want to miss, I checked the site and was able to order what I wanted a day before the show aired. I have a Cuttlebug and there are several folders that are new and two of them could only be gotten on HSN. I am a happy camper to get these folders.

My cholesterol was high, but I don't remember which it was. My doctor wants me to take some meds and see her in two months to see if the number has gone down. Just when I got my meds down to four from twenty-one a day, I have to add one. Something is going to kill you eventually and I hate that I have to take meds. No one is going to leave Earth alive, so I would rather live each day to the fullest without all of the stupid chemicals in my system. I did discontinue one without permission, but it is for muscle cramps and unless I get some cramps, I am not going to take the meds. Just call me Doctor Jane.

Wednesday I went to Young at Heart at my friend's church in Natchitoches. It is the first Wednesday of each month at noon. They had a great program. Two student actors put on a short play that was darling. The lunch was the traditional turkey dinner. I got to sit across from Doris who used to be the preacher here until she retired. Saw several of my old professors and got a lead on a favorite professor in Arkansas. I wrote him a note, epistle, and hope to hear back from him. It has been years since I have seen him or his wife.

Saw the foot doctor which is necessary if you are diabetic. Ate at the Chinese buffet where they have shrimp done in a gazillion ways. Always a good place to eat.

Melyssa and I went to Alexandria yesterday to see my parents and her daughter-in-law and granddaughter, my great-granddaughter. She is such a delightful little girl. Happy and smiles all the time. She has three teeth now and is pulling up. Won't be long before she is walking. I had found her several cute little outfits. I will get to see them this next week too as they are staying until Lee gets off duty on Tuesday evening. Supper with all of them this Wednesday.

Tomorrow I have to go to the USDA office and judge their essay contest. Then I hope I don't forget to get my oil changed.

There is a baby shower for my friend's daughter on Saturday. I need to make a card and wrap her present. She is going to have a baby girl. The baby should come in November.

Ate supper with Heath on Friday evening and then followed him to his house for a nice visit. He came in by himself to fill the deer feeders and hunt. I don't know when he will be back as he plans to have Thanksgiving and Christmas up in Conway this year.

Guess that is all for the time being. Hope I don't wait so long to come back here.