Overcoming Fear with Love and Faith and Hope

Yesterday my husband and I were talking about my return to him and our Florida home. We have committed to better communication and to setting long term goals for saving money. We have a few more years in Florida while his son grows then we will go to Colorado. My vision of that home is true and we will be there soon. Time flys really and so there is no time limit on this dream. There is a time limit on Jacob’s childhood so we are there for him. He is a great kid and as all children are, he is deserving of having both his parents in his life.

We have been confronting the tough issues, but none is as tough as fear. Allowing ourself to be vulnerable and to trust another person is so scary it can lead to us pushing away the other person with untrusting words. My husband is trying to help me get the money to come home, but he was afraid I would use the money for something else. This told me that he doesn’t know me, understand me or trust me. I was so angry and hurt by this that I was wondering whether I should even consider going back to that kind of a relationship. I felt so hurt by the lack of trust and the feeling that someone finds me untrustworthy I just wanted to run away to the mountains or eat a cake. I just don’t understand how anyone would think of me as untrustworthy. It must be some vibe I put out?

I in fear thought it will never work, he doesn’t really love me, he can’t even trust me, he thinks I would lie and cheat him? Mark and I were both scared and angry back and forth worried for our little ego and not really living in Faith, Hope and Love. We are now. We apologized and are ready to talk things out calmly and rationally when these fears attack us again.

Then I said God will provide. I don’t need to depend on my husband or his family to provide though God may provide through them. It was like I was treating God as untrustworthy. I had a lack of belief in HIS ability to provide for my needs and to get me home. I was in fear of being stuck here and ending up homeless and unable to get home to my life there. I felt God’s pain at our unbelief. It is like a knife to the heart, a wound to the soul. I can not do that to my God. He has always been there for me through all my yo-yo living. He has picked me up when I fall. He has clothed, sheltered and provided for me no matter what. I may have been homeless or living in a tent, but He was there with me while I was growing in the lesson of that situation. I am willing to do whatever He wants to get on the path to righteousness and healing. I know when I trust him in FAITH then HE never fails, falters or stumbles.

So I asked God for forgiveness for hurting him so. I have renewed my faith and I am trusting HIM to provide the way home. If it comes from his family or if it comes from another source I know it is from HIM. I already received a phone call this morning with a job offer in Bradenton. I am ready to head home. I have a couple of opportunities to explore there.

I saw that fear and dejection lead to bad behaviors like wanting to eat or drink or smoke it away. It is only through FAITH in God believing in HOPE and knowing in LOVE that it will all work out according to HIS plan (which is way beyond anything I could dream or envision on my own) that all things become possible. My life is a mess the world is a mess and the economy is a mess. If we return to FAITH in God and stop focusing on our fears and doubts and anger, we will see the amazing power of God to heal the Earth and all who dwell here.

And anyone of you that is saying oh God is just another crutch, you are wrong. When I leaned on a crutch for a broken foot, it supported me somewhat but was not comfortable or fully supporting. When I leaned on food or smoking to calm my nervous fearful feelings, they helped somewhat temporarily but led to other health issues ultimately making me feel worse. If I say there is no God this is all there is, I feel hopelessness and despair. It is the downword spiral that leads to early death and hell.

If I believe in God I am not partially supported like a crutch, I am fully supported and enlivened with Hope and Faith and Love. I am energized to well being and health and fitness in every area of my life spiraling upward to Heaven. So the devil wants us to think he and God do not exist so we will drown in the whirlpool and be sucked into the dark depths of hell. God says believe in me and I will make you a whirlwind clearing a path of destruction through the damaging forces in your life leading to a bright new life of open sky and fresh air and sunshine. Be a whirlwind not a whirlpool….

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A Time of Healing

I ran to California for a chance to start again away from the painful loss of love I felt in my marriage. I found instead that the loss of me really awakened my husband’s understanding of our mutual needs and painful abuses over the years of struggles. I am now planning my next step of the journey. Will it be back to Florida for a few more years or on to Colorado where I know I really want to be? I am not certain right now. My life in Florida would be changed if I returned, but would some of the things I learned about my Florida life make it more difficult as well? We still have some struggles to confront–child rearing, the ex, family dramas, work, friendships, commitments and financial issues. So we patiently talk it out as we try to find the right path of togetherness or separateness. We want togetherness, but we want to be happy together and no more painful feelings in our love. So we are talking and forgiving and planning together.

As Crosby, Stills, and Nash sang “So much time to make up everywhere we go, time we have wasted on the way. So much water runnning underneath the bridge, let the water come and carry us away.” I feel we are floating between two worlds not quite together not quite apart. We are wasting time apart, but not really as we are both learning about our true natures and desires. Will those things meet somewhere in the middle? Will we have to be apart longer than we want because of differences in dreams?

One song leads to another….Dreams by Fleetwood Mac always used to remind me fondly of my times in Florida when I was young and of my good friend and sisterhood with her. That has gone now, so I sicken at the sound of it. That change is one that will make returning to Florida difficult. Maybe that is why she did it? Did she want to make sure I would never come back? Did she do it selflessly because she thinks I will be better off if I stay away for good? Or did she decide I am no good for her brother? Or is she just a little looney or unable to deal with the emotional situation presented her between all of us? Who knows. It is time to let this person go and this song but not its title.

I still have dreams. I had a visionary dream last week as soon as we got everything moved into our new place here in San Gabriel. I was driving through a ranch gateway in the mountains, all green and lush with snow capped rocky mountains in the background. As I drove through the gate I knew I was driving home. I was entering my gate. Finally my home. I am clinging to this beautiful vision and claiming it by all the power we have to make our life what we choose. I choose this mountain home, a ranch beautiful home in the rockies where I can grow my gardens, hunt fresh game and fish in fresh rivers and streams. A place I will make completely self-sufficient with Solar, Wind and passive solar energy.

Even if my son can’t help me come there, I will be there. Even if my husband isn’t ready, I will be there. It is a place for me and anyone who will be with me will need to have the same dream…that is what I know for sure this is my dream and vision and I am creating it for my life.

The only question remaining is will it be this year or in two to four years. I don’t want to waste any more time along the way. Is it a waste being away from my love or my dream? Which is most important for my true self fulfillment. Can my love be my true love if we don’t share the same goals or dreams? Do I just go for my dreams and encourage him to go for his then see if those lead us back to each other? I do know I don’t want to give up my dreams for anyone any longer.

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Five Years Later

It was five years ago that I first reconnected with my then soon to be husband. June 7, 2006. I really thought it was a soul mate connection. We would write poems and prayers to one another. At that time I started on a path to health and beauty over our summer of romance before he moved to California to be with me. It was six months ago that I finally got back on the healthy track after the constant drain of fighting and talking about his ex had done it’s very nearly fatal toll on my mind, soul and body. I am back to my pre-Mark weight and healthier than I have been in years. I was looking at myself in the mirror this morning and I thought, if only I had kept it up five years ago, and not let his baby drama mama steal my healthy lifestyle from me. If only I had taken care of myself instead of focusing all of my energy on trying to help him heal. I did improve him over the years but not nearly as much as I hurt myself. I forgot rule number one. Love yourself. If you don’t then you won’t even be around to help your loved ones. So, it is not selfish it is the ultimate gift you can give to your family and friends. YOU!!!

I explained this to Mark, that I could have been thin all these years if he had done what he said in all those emails. When he came to California and I asked him to go for a walk to the beach or a swim in the pool or ride a bike, he should have said yes. All he wanted to do was smoke and talk about mama drama at nauseating repetitve length. I was so drained from always trying to encourage and support him that I became sick. Then when I would talk to him about my children, family or friends; he would say, “I don’t want to hear it! You are always complaining so much”.

OMG!!! I am such an idiot. I stayed too long. I should never have left California and I am getting back as soon as I can. The information that he missed out on 4 years of a sexy skinny wife because of his obsession with his ex didn’t make him happy. He was upset that I blamed him. I do a little because he did refuse me every request for a healthy happy connection as a couple, but I blame me more. I didn’t take care of me.

Oh, I know it is too late for Mark and I. I have seen nothing will ever change for him as he continues even today to allow that woman to steal his power just as I allowed him to steal mine. I won’t do that anymore.

I am all about finding the serenity in my life that I have truly sought. I kept looking for it in a man, but that I have determined is assanine. Men are not serene. They are the opposite of that. Sorry guys, no offense, but your very nature is warring or reserved. Not serene and communicative. You are from Mars and we are from Venus which means in fact that you are cool, aloof and distant from the Sun while we are hot and passionate and closer to the Sun. We need the beauty, art, music, creativity to just breathe. Creativity isn’t reserved for women only, but regular Joe’s (regular husbands) don’t always understand a woman’s need to create a place in their home for beauty and art and romance. It is a woman’s need to feel connected to the heart and passionate nature of our core. We have a need to put on a production, to shine.

Look out California, I am coming home and I am going to SHINE again.

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Ready Set Go

I am working on the project of me. It is not a sprint, but it is a race. I feel like it is time to hear on your marks, get set, go!

I cleaned out my closet a little today. Spring cleaning is a good time to purge. I am working on the preparations for my next adventure. I have come to the conclusion it is all up to me. I don’t have to wait for help or decisions from anyone. I am heading back to me. Not to a physical place I know, or even a spiritual one. I am just seeking me as a healthy, happy, free person living, laughing, loving, and crafting…..

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Just 3 Short Months

Below is a letter (email) I sent to my husband just 3 short months after our marriage. It had already started, my giving away the farm and getting little in return. I have hung in for four more years since then and have cried a river of tears.

Dearest Mark,

I am bothered by an attitude I feel from you at times. While I know you love me, I don’t feel your passion for me. I have not lost more weight because since you got here, I have been working on building our relationship. I have forgone my exercise and music and walks on the beach for being a good wife and listener to you. I have focused all of my energy on helping you to heal and get over Jackie and get through this custody case. I have given my love, nurturing, commitment, healing prayers, money, time, and relationships with my friends and family all to you.

Yet, you still refuse to let Jackie out of your heart. You love me, but you are still “in love” with her or maybe the idea of her, I am not sure which. Maybe you just like being abused, neglected and taken advantage of. I can’t imagine how you can feel so much for her and yet not have taken the time to get to understand how much you hurt me by this or to truly see the magnificent person IT has given to you as a gift for all time in me.

When you said “You want me to send Jackie a hundred dollars for a graduation gift?” I could have choked you to death. I remember in January when you embarrassed me and made me feel bad at J C Penney’s for expecting you to buy a very inexpensive wedding ring for me. It didn’t cost much more than $100 and it is supposed to represent our never ending love and I will wear it the rest of my life. I have always shared everything I have with you and you seem to resent giving me anything. I like the sweet cards you got me for Christmas and Valentines Day and Easter, but why don’t you ever think of taking me out on a date? You keep saying you don’t have any money, but you would give $100 to Jackie for her graduation. When she sent you that horrible insulting pack of lies in an envelope with Jacob’s name on the return right before your birthday instead of an actual card or letter from Jacob for your birthday.

I didn’t marry you because I want to be Jacob’s mother. I married you because I love you as you are. But I love me too, and I can’t allow you to keep insulting the way I look when you don’t take any time to spend with me doing something that might be good exercise and relaxing for us like going to the beach or park and walking together. I will be a good stepmother to Jacob because he is your son and I love you and I love him. I love your whole family just as they are, but you wish to have nothing to do with mine, stating being around them too much will make you want to drink.

Well, I am okay with making you my family, because I chose you as my husband, but you have to make me your family too. I need your passionate kisses that I swear I have only had five or six of in the last 6 months. And I like our sex and the fun way we are open with each other, but sometimes, I need it to be love making not just horniness and needing to get off. I need to feel desired like I desire you. I need to know you can get aroused thinking of me, the whole me the person inside of this body you find so distasteful. I need to know that I am more important than Jackie. I need to know that you are more committed than just seeing how the relationship goes for the next three years. I need to know you more than just appreciate me for my generosity and kindness, that you passionately love me and want to spend the rest of your life with me.

So next time I try to give you a deep longing kiss, return it with the same fervor that you focus on the news, sports, Jackie or anything else but me.

And next time I ask you if you want to go for a walk with me, say yes, because just going for a walk together every night would help me to lose weight and would be relaxing for us instead of just sitting here fuming about Jackie, Jacob or just vegging out watching TV and eating chocolate or doing house chores.

We need to get a life. I have tried to give us that, but it takes two baby. It takes two.

I love you and I know there is a wonderful sweet gentle man inside of you and Avatar of God that truly can passionately love, I just wish it were me that you felt that way about.

Love your wife “

I am a slow learner. Seeing as how I have been saying the same thing for four years to this man and still have not gotten any better result, you think this is definitely a dead horse? I know it is. It is just so hard to know I failed again. I don’t fail. I am a straight A Student. Yet I have failed at marriage. I guess you can’t be good at everything…..Ce la vie!!!

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An Uncertain Future

An Uncertain Future. That is really an oxi-moron since it is impossible to have a certain future. The future is not set and we can not predict with certainty the outcome of our choices or decisions. That is the reason it is so difficult to make a decision or choice that is life changing. We all struggle with these big decisions. We even struggle with the little decisions. The biggest struggle and uncertainty occurs when we really don’t know what we want. Or our lives may not be what we want right now, but we have made mistakes in past decisions and are afraid the future change could be worse than the present situation. Blah Blah Blah!

It comes down to this…..I don’t know what the hell to do. I am still with my husband and trying to work things out as he has made a genuine effort to make things better. But I just tried to have a conversation with him about our future and whether we might ever move to a cooler climate than Florida. I tried to talk to him about my mother and perhaps helping her to move here to be near us so I would have some family here too. He could only say “I don’t think about that” and “I don’t know”. Typical. I have come to realize that Mark is actually incapable of having adult conversations or thinking beyond the current and immediate needs of his body. He says “No” to every thing I ask. I ask about making a garden bed. “No it is too hot to grow anything out there.” I ask him about building a shelf (me building it). “No, I don’t have any time.” I wasn’t asking him to do it and by the way, he spends about 8 to 12 hours a day on that freakin computer playing poker, checking sports and looking at porn, but he doesn’t have any time for doing anything for or with me? I tell him his sister is having a party for her birthday this Saturday at the Beach and that she was getting KFC and we could all bring something. He says, “I don’t have any money.”

I ended up spending the entire weekend with his son, his three sisters and cousin and nieces. He refused to come and participate because he is too tired. I know he is depressed and addicted to addictive behaviors and using the computer to keep him sober from drugs and alcohol, but isn’t any addiction bad. I mean any thing that becomes more important than the people in your life. More important than friends, family, fun outside?

I don’t want to be bashing him. He is a good man and trying to improve his personal behaviors. He is just a person with so many hard knocks. Born deaf; it is no wonder he has trouble communicating. Karmically I wonder if this is his lesson in life, to learn to communicate and listen with no ears to hear. It is a difficult karmic lesson for me too, born a Virgo Communicator verbal and non-verbal communication are both so extremely vital to my mental health that being married to a non-hearing and non-communicative person is just bazaar!!!

God only knows why. I wonder if I tackle tough relationships on purpose. Do I choose people who are broken so I can fix them or am I so broken only broken people are interested in me? I don’t know. I know that my marriage is not the worst or even that bad and that I could decide to just stay here and continue existing as I am. But it is not what it could, should or would be if I had my way about it. So why should I stay? Why should I waste any days being anything other than living and breathing and being who I am and who I want to be. I didn’t know in the past what I really want. I do now. Maybe, if given an opportunity to find it in the future, I will achieve it.

I wrote in a comment to one of my earlier writings that I realized I really want to live in Colorado. But my son doesn’t seem to think I would be happy there because of the long winters.  My mom just came up with an even better prospect. I have no family in this location, but it is affordable, with a low crime rate, lakes, small mountains, four seasons, country life within a small city/college town and centrally located about 1/2 way between both my sons. Not too much snow and cold like Colorado or too much heat and sweat like Florida. It is a cross between the two of them. Middle of the country but not in Tornado Alley or the flat lands. It has hills, and trees and fresh air and water. I am feeling it. Really. So that means I have to get ready and it is so hard to do.

I have to make some people very unhappy and I hate that part, but I have to make myself happy too. I have had to force myself to be happy and stay cheerful and on track here. It has been a hard fought battle to keep me on the path to health.  The lack of real progress in my marriage over the past five years is just wearing me out. I have gone through the depression over this and come out the other side determined to work to be healthy and live healthy.  I can and am doing that here, to some extent; but the vile climate and the lack of a companion, that will join in and make “HIS” hometown fun for me is making it hard. If you have to force yourself to be in a happy mood, are you really happy? Shouldn’t joy and happiness be spontaneous and easy?

It may mean I end up alone, that is what is scariest.  But I would be able to live where I like, the way I like and do what I like. I guess the compromise that is a natural part of marriage has just been too much. I have compromised too much of myself. I paid the full price for a relationship that I thought would be beyond anything and I got an unrelationship instead.  It is like thinking you are buying Gold and ending up with Tin. Tin is useful. It is good for cups while camping. It is good for cans to store food. It is just not shining bright and of highest value that you can trust not to rust. You can’t put tin on your finger without it turning your finger green. Gold wears a lifetime and we treasure it. Tin gets dented and old and rusted and we throw it away.

So although as my husband says “Everything should be fine. I don’t know what your problem is and I love you so much”. I do love him too and everything is okay, (not really fine).  As many times as I have tried to explain what I need that I am not getting, he has ignored what I was saying, refused it and or just plain turned and walked away without even trying to talk to me or “hear” me.   It is all fine and dandy for him and his life. Our marriage has greatly improved his life and has decimated mine. It has been too one sided.  Of course he says everything is fine because compared to his life before me, he is having an amazing life now of comfort and services. He paid for Tin and got GOLD.  I on the other hand have paid a high price and lost all of what I used to love about my life.  I chose to give it up for this one thing–this relationship.  It was a mistake to give up so much of myself and now I forgive myself and him, but I have to get to the next place on my gypsy path.  I hope in this place I can find a true home for all the facets of my personality. It appears to be a place where the cost of living will be low enough to enable me to still have some freedom with my time as I do have here.  Also, the cost to move is low enough that I can take all the possessions I have currently and not have to give up even more. I have already reduced my possessions by more than half over the past 4 years.  I don’t want to lose anything more.  I will miss having a companion, but I don’t really have one now.  I miss him when he is in the house with me.

Wish me luck as I venture out to my next role in life.

So there it is. I am going to go soon. I am going to move on to the next phase and hopefully find a real and fulfilling relationship in the future while maintaining the relationship I have established with myself. I don’t want to do anything unhealthy or unnuturing to my body or soul anymore.

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O’Boy How Time Flies!!

Sorry, I haven’t been keeping up the blog. I am just out of practice. I will try to do better.

My health progress is doing well. My hands have healed of the nueropathy that plagued them into inactivity. My blood pressure and blood glucose levels are now at healthy levels and I have lost 51 pounds. I am thoroughly enjoying cooking healthy with creativity.

Today we had a wonderful Easter feast and it was so simple and easy for me to eat healthy. I tasted literally one bite of some foods to be polite and also to keep from feeling deprived. I had fruit with cool whip for desert instead of the apple pie and I really was just as happy as all of my family. Actually, maybe even happier because now hours later I don’t feel sick and blotted and over stuffed as some may. So I am happy with the choices I made for today.

I have finished a few new projects in crochet/knit since starting my new healthy lifestyle. I finished a dress length coat for my mother, a prayer shawl in honor of my dear friend Kelly, and I am currently working on a size Med/Large sweater for me for Christmas in Holiday Red. Also, I am working on a beautiful Moorish Mosaic Afghan/Bedspread for my bed.

The afghan has me pretty excited. I have long wanted to do a real tile mosaic and I have wanted to make a beautiful warm heirloom quilt for my bed. I have the best of both worlds and get to work in crochet. Each octagon and square in the mosaic pattern are individual creative designs. Mixing colors in different ways across the pattern creates each octagon as its own work of art. I had started a snowflake patterned design last year, but I got bored making so many of the same exact pattern and then my hands quit working. Now I am able to use those snowflakes as the centers to the squares of this quilt design and it only takes five rows per square to finish them. I think I already have enough snowflakes made to finish this quilt.

As I look at the different colors of yarn and choose which I will use for the next octagon, I tap into a my muse and the layout of the colors seem to call to me as to the next color combo. I have many beautiful octagons so far, but I am finding the style and mixtures I like best within the pattern. I will try to figure out how to post the sample of octagons I have completed to give you an idea. Not sure how to do that here, but lets see if it works.

Moorish Mosaic Afghan

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Follow-up to Health Post 12-7-10

Well I made my start on the path to a healthier lifestyle the day of my last post.  I just had my follow-up doctors visit to see the results of my efforts over the 2 1/2 months since the start.  I lost 32 pounds, I lowered my blood sugar to nearly normal levels, I lowered my cholesterol by 22 points and my triglycerides to normal.  I improved in every area tested.  My blood pressure is now lowered to normal as well.  Hurray for me! 

How did I do this?  It is a hard thing to do on many levels.  First, you have to make the decision that your health and longevity are important to you.  Second, you have to decide how to achieve that goal.  This is the hardest part.  How do you achieve this goal.  Well, we all know how, we just don’t want to do the work.  It requires a lot of work.  It requires a single-minded focus on what you eat, when you eat it and how much you eat.  It requires a focus on getting your body in motion.  It requires getting up off the couch and doing something….anything.  It also requires cooking from scratch.  That is perhaps the most difficult part for most people.  No more fast food?  No more dining out?  No more quick and easy prepared foods?  Nope!  NO WAY YOU CAN GET HEALTHY EATING THOSE FOODS.  At least not if you have the multitude of obesity related health issues I have. 

In today’s society very few young people even know how to cook, let alone from scratch.  I tried to find alternatives, but even so-called lean or healthy meals have too much sodium for my high blood pressure.  They also, don’t taste like real food to me.  I mean, when I cook, the food has a wonderful blend of flavors and spices without added salt.  I have found a way to eat healthy for me and make meals that appeal to my husband and son.  Amazingly, you can enjoy many of the same casseroles and quick skillet dishes you might have with pre-packaged foods, you just have to modify the proportions of the ingredients.  Here’s what you do:  lower the fat, increase the vegetables, lower the starches, change starches from white to whole grain & high fiber, do not add salt, use fresh or frozen vegetables primarily.  Then have fruit and low fat milk as desert.  

For most people, just these small changes would help them to lose weight, get stronger and have less stress.  So, let’s put fast food restaurants out of business unless they come up with healthier options.  Not just pretend healthy either.  Truly healthy, such as salads that are not loaded with too much cheese.  Or grilled chicken that is not filled with too much salt.  I would love to be able to go to my favorite fast food restaurant and have the option to order a grilled chicken salad with a fat-free low sodium dressing that had no more than 300 calories and no more than 300 mg of sodium, but I can’t do that.  It doesn’t exist except in my own kitchen.

Why don’t they offer it?  Well to give credit to a consumer based economy, they are getting better.  People are demanding it as they become more health conscious.  However, healthier foods are more expensive to maintain in a restaurant setting.  Then there is the addiction factor.  In fast foods there is the perfect combination of flavor and fats that creates an addiction in the consumer.  I was an addict to burgers and fast foods.  I didn’t think I could survive without hamburgers and french fries.  I really would try to stop going and getting tacos and burritos, but I would dream about it.  I had to have it even though I was never satisfied by the food when I purchased it.  I would be bursting from how full I was and I would still be hungry wanting more.  That is the thing they do.  I don’t know if there is some kind of seasoning that they add that increases appetite, but it sure seems that way when you are in the addictive behavior.

So how did I stop?  I took the first step and decided I wanted to live.  Then the second step of starting to eat healthy.  Then the Third step of attending health education classes.  These helped me see the options for eating healthy.  I combined those chosen foods with my cooking creativity and created a new plan.  Now, sometimes I still crave a greasy burger, but when I think of eating it, I feel nauseated.  I don’t want to go down that road again.  It is just like any addiction.  I quit smoking years ago and once in a while I still want a cigarette, but I don’t have one because I know the addiction would take back over.  I just remind myself I want to live, I don’t want stinky breath, hair, clothes, and most of all I don’t want to die like my friend who died January 19 of lung cancer at the ripe old age of 51.  She had been a two pack a day smoker since her teens.  She had less than three months from diagnosis to death.  These reasons all keep me from smoking.  So I do the same thing with fast food.  I want to lose weight and get healthy.  I want to fit into my clothes.  I want to watch my grandchildren grow up and dance at their weddings.  I want to swim and run and ride bikes, and if I eat those fattening, slough making foods, I don’t do anything else healthy either.  So I don’t go.  If I absolutely have to buy lunch on the run, then I get a side salad and a yogurt or a side of cole slaw and a vegetable and skip the meats completely.  The fast food meats just have too much sodium and fat.  Even my favorite healthy fast food sub sandwich shop has too much sodium.  One six inch sub has nearly half the fat, sodium and carbs you should eat in a day.  I used to eat a breakfast sub and a lunch sub, FOOTLONG.  Afterall, it was the most cost effective.  OMG was I ever trying to kill myself.

Okay, fourth step is getting in step.  Moving.  I am starting out slow because I have so much weight to lose.  I am moving more easily and add something everyday.   I will let you know how I progress on this in my next blog.  I will also post some of my healthy creations that can be made in 30 minutes or less for a family of four. Keep coming back.

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April 9, 2010—40 years ago today

Forty years ago today my life turned on a phone call.  I changed immediately from a child to head of the family.  My father died one month after coronary bypass surgery.  My stepmother was left 7 months pregnant with 5 little girls to support. As the oldest, it seemed to fall to me to help keep the family together.  Tough job for a 12 year old.  So Daddy died and I was forced to start thinking about supplying the needs of a family.
 I was thinking today about my recent job change and withdrawal from the rat race.  I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I actually sat relaxed and not worrying about a job, or work, or money.  It was in those long ago days of Minnesota, 27 years.  Anyway, I was thinking about what I should be doing.  When working under the influence of workaholism, I could keep going on the job because I had a goal.  I was working toward a promotion, more pay, support for my children then a retirement pension and a home of my own.  But since I came to Florida, I lost the house I thought I was going to finally get to own.  Then six months went by before I found a full time job.  That has never happened before.  I was so frustrated then to be off of work, but now I am happy to be off of work.  Why is that?  Well, it gives me time to work on my crafts and to focus my attention on the creative muse.   I appreciate sleep more.  I appreciate relaxation.  I appreciate home.  I appreciate the removal of stress.  While working in Florida, I always have been under paid, driven a long commute, and endured a loss of reasonable benefits such as paid vacation and decent health care. 
I know, I know, I bitch about Florida too much.  What can I say, it has been tough.  I moved here for what I thought were noble and right reasons.  I have been disappointed at every turn.  I accept responsibility for this disappointment.  I could have told my husband no we can’t leave our great house and jobs in California to go to Florida when there is a recession on.  If it hadn’t been for the seemingly easy to buy property situation at the time, I might not have considered it.  I wanted a home so badly and I wanted to keep my husband happy and I thought it was important for Jacob to know his father while he was growing up.  My boys had missed out on knowing their father after age 4 as I had after age 12.  It is important for a child to have a real relationship with both parents and that both are a regular part of their lives.  While Mark may not be the kind of father I would be, he is a good father to Jacob and they love and need each other in their lives.  I am happy to be here for that.
So I do feel it was the right decision, it has just been a tough row to hoe.  Like a row filled with boulders ten inches under the dirt so you think it is good soil until you start to turn it over to make rows and plant something.  You have to dig up the boulders and get them out of the way so there will be deep enough soil for the roots to grow.  I am just now starting to put down roots, but I think it is the long cool winter and the so far cool spring that has gotten me to feel this way.  Plus moving (for the final time in Florida) closer to the beach.  I don’t know, maybe the four moves and the three jobs in 2 1/2 years were the boulders I had to dig up.  Perhaps the low pay and lousy benefits that have plagued my employment was God’s way to get my focus back onto what is important and to stop relying on hard work and a job to fulfill all my needs. 
All I need to remember is that it is God that I should be relying on.  I should be grateful and live with an attitude of gratitude.  And, I should always remember that family and creativity and faith are more important than work, a home or the weather.  I am happy to be here with my husband and to watch Jacob grow.  I am missing my family and pray everyday to be able to go see them soon, but I am content to continue pursuing the crafts and Avon business options and just being still and know He is God and He is the only true Provider of my life.
So I thank God for each day I don’t have to sit at a desk crunching numbers for pay too low to pay my bills, for each day I don’t have to sit in traffic for hours, for each day I don’t spend money on fattening fast food, for each day I get to create a new fashion statement in hand knit or crochet.  I thank God for time to create, for a home that is easy to maintain and close to the beach, for my husband, my sons, my grandson, my daughters in law, my moms, my sisters and my mostly for my life.  I am what I am and that’s all that I am.  I am finally finding the fifth agreement, the TRUTH!!!!
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Vacation at Home

Sometimes I can take a vacation within my own mind.  But it just doesn’t do what a nice trip to the mountains and getting away from TV and computers and regular daily life does.  Now this weekend I am having a vacation at home because Mark is housesitting and having a guys weekend at his sister’s house.  This is an opportunity for me to get some long over due rest from stress and to rejuvenate for what comes next.  I have left my day job.  I am working on two orders for baby gifts.  The first is a beautiful lacy white and pastel baby afghan.  The second will be creamy pastel floor blanket.  This will be made of thicker Cotton for a padded surface to lay on the floor for baby to play on or for changing.  Although, I may rethink that after seeing how lovely the lacy blanket feels and looks.  I might have to make it more like this but perhaps in a four large square pattern rather than nine strips.  Anyway, enjoying my vacation at home which definitely includes working on crochet and knitting.  This just isn’t work, it is passion  The below set was made for Kalia Gwin Miller Collins my newest grand niece born on March 3.  Welcome Kalia…….
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