December 31, 2010


See, I got all busy doing nothing yesterday, and totally forgot to write today's post! Damn you, facebook!!!

I had intended to clean the kitchen and possibly the living room yesterday, but got entangled in a web of facebook friend-poaching and, before I knew it, it was time to go meet my friend for lunch (Panera Bread - So yummy!).

I really don't have anything terrible profound to write about today, but I do want to keep the ball rolling so that it doesn't come to a screeching halt!

I feel like I have so much to do today without the time to do it. In reality, I don't *have* to be anywhere until 8pm, so I have all the time in the world, really. I just want the downstairs clean and put back into whatever passes for order in this house. Cody's family will be coming over for dinner tomorrow afternoon/evening, and my goal is to have almost all of the cleaning done before we leave for a party tonight. That way I can prep food in the morning, then clean the bathroom and be done. Time to sit on my butt and relax before family starts showing up and the dogs go crazy.

My poor office. My goal is now to have the office project done by next weekend. I dare not say more, as I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I am going to surprise Cody with. He has been off work all this week, but when he goes back to work on Monday, I'll be going to town on cleaning while he's at work.

Being unemployed certainly has some benefits! It's so much easier to get housework done when Cody isn't here, especially when I get up to no good! If he's not here to ask questions, I have the opportunity to accomplish a task without him knowing so that he sees the finished product and is more likely to be agreeable than if I try to explain it ahead of time.

'Tis infinitely easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.....

December 30, 2010

did the pastor just sneeze, and no one said "bless you"?

So the first time I heard about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, I was about 21-22 years old. I was sitting in church, and the pastor made a reference to them in his sermon, causing those around me to nod their heads or whatever the appropriate reaction was in that instance. I, on the other hand, was completely befuddled! I had no idea what words had just come spilling out of the pastor's mouth. Being a full-gospel/charismatic/Pentecostal congregation, I was accustomed to hearing people speaking in tongues at various times. This was different though.

It turns out that the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is common knowledge for those who were raised in church. I was raised by Christian parents, but as a youngster, I never really attended Sunday School. That means a lot of these "common knowledge" Bible stories are completely lost on me. I know *of* a lot of references to these stories, but not the circumstances, and certainly not the details. Daniel in the den of lions, Jonah and the whale, etc... -- They're all vaguely familiar and yet totally lost on me.

So I eventually read about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. I learned their story, and it turns out that I love it. So I was filled with joy a few weeks ago when I got to read it again as part of my daily reading. -- I have a feed that comes directly into my reader every morning, as I decided last year that I wanted to read the whole Bible. --

Daniel 3

The Image of Gold and the Fiery Furnace

1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3 So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. 4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” 7 Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

8 At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You have issued a decree, O king, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” 13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, O king.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

I can't help it; I really do love that story. I just wanted to share that with you today!

December 29, 2010

a free post in my dashboard

So after scheduling today's post yesterday, I saw in my "dashboard" a draft for a post that I started writing in October! When I started reading it, I knew exactly why I was writing it and can luckily remember enough details to finish the story. So that takes care of at least one future post for me! I just have to take the time to finish writing it.

I've also been saving a post in my reader as unread so that I could write a post about that. So I finally copied and pasted it over here to try and speed up that process. Not to mention it also gives me the freedom to not have to constantly click "Keep Unread" every time I scroll by it...

So this post will make day three, plus the two mentioned above, which brings us up to five posts! That's almost as much as I've posted this whole year!!!

I have a lot I *need* to write about as well, so that should be worth at least another week. In addition to all of that, I've been invited to participate in the "One Word" thingy by Bethany, which is vaguely intriguing to me. Hmmm.... maybe I'll be a writer when I grow up?

P.S. @Pete - I love it when you're random. It's the glue that binds all of us together!

December 28, 2010

way too cold... put laundry away!

I had set the laptop aside to get dressed and get a little housework done. Since a lot of what I've got at the top of my to-do list hinges on getting my laundry put away, and my office (where my clothes are) is currently an ice-box of death, it turns out I've got time to start another post after all.

I really do need to get that damn office cleaned out. Since starting the planning and implementation of the Christmas concert at church, my office has spiraled out of control! The guest bed is piled with clutter of all sorts: books to be shared/donated, music the choir has performed that needs to be filed away, music that needs to updated/arranged/listened to/copied/distributed for future performances, files to be filed, files to be sorted/shredded/set aside to start another pile somewhere else, CD boxes that need to be tucked back into their obscure corners, etc. ad infinitum... Let's not forget that the bed itself needs to be stripped and taken apart to be donated to someone, somewhere, at some point in the near future...

Since I'm so limited on space in that office, our guest bed is going to be given away and replaced with an air bed (post-Thanksgiving sale, baby!) that can be folded up and stored in a closet. While I've lived here, that bed has been used on a total of two occasions, aside from when I was sick, so I think it will be safe to rid myself of the damn thing. Hopefully once I get everything that is currently hiding under the bed put into a new storage location, I'll have enough floor space to move around and *gasp* actually get some work done in my office from time to time!

For now, I'll settle for getting all the debris cleared off...

December 27, 2010

don't get all excited or anything

Those of you that know me are aware that I'm not a huge fan of New Year's Resolutions. I think making a conscious effort to improve yourself and the world around you is a good thing no matter what day it is, yet the once-a-year, make-myself-a-new-and-improved-(wo)man crap bothers me. I don't know if it's just the added strain we put on ourselves to follow through with our intentions or what, but New Year's goals tend to feel a bit heavier and more oppressive. Which of course stresses you out more and then you end up throwing a bit more guilt into the mix. It's just an all-around ugly experience in my opinion.

So, all that being said (written?), I really am going to try and be more intentional about blogging again. It's something I have enjoyed in the past, and has proven helpful in many situations. Not to mention it's a great way to communicate with far-flung friends and family members.

I have particular reasons for feeling like I need to write more now, which I'll cover eventually. For now, suffice it to say I've got the time and the desire. I just have to be more intentional about not writing a novella one day and then nothing for a week. I've got to shorten these posts a bit and schedule them to post later so that I don't "have" to write everyday if I get busy or just don't want to.

I'm not sure how far I'll get today. The little Christmas tree Cody and I bought to put up on the mantle out of reach of the dogs decided to take a tumble last night. Ironically enough, the reason we did that was to save our ornaments from destruction by these crazy dogs and their impromptu wrestling matches. Luckily we only lost two ornaments, despite a fall from about 4 feet.

So even though I had intended to leave the tree up through the weekend since we put it up late this year, I'm now going to be taking the tree down today. Most of the ornaments came off in the crash, so rather than take the time to re-hang them, I'm just going to put them away. I never got around to putting all the boxes back in the attic last week anyway, so getting those out of the way will be nice too.

I'm not promising anything, but hopefully I'll knock out at least a few posts this week and get them all scheduled to run this week...

Oh, and Merry Christmas!

September 25, 2010

for he's a jolly-good fe-e-low...

...which nobody can deny!

So Cody and I will be headed south to Cinci in a couple of hours, but I wanted to write this before we leave. See, part of the reason we're headed down there is to celebrate the sale of Pete's store, and his big move and new start.

The idea of a surprise celebration dinner was thrown into the ring, and being the lover of food that I am, how could I resist. The Ladies Linn have suggested that during this dinner, we all talk about how awesome Pete is and give little mini-speeches extolling his virtues and talking about how proud of him we are. A wonderful idea, in my book!

Since I'm horrible about remembering all the things I want to say when I get put on the spot, I wanted to get it all saved here just in case. Not to mention, it gives all of YOU the opportunity to tell Pete how awesometastic he is as well!!!

In the few short years I have known him, Pete has grown by leaps and bounds. He has had so many struggles and issues to deal with, and yet come out swinging and on top every time! Upon first meeting, most would assume that Pete is shy and reserved. Little do they know, he is one of the most tenacious people I know.

After college, he was stuck in a terrible work environment, but he was working in his field of study, and let's face it -- the economy and job market haven't been great to our generation thus far! Upon hearing that a carry-out store in his hometown was up for sale, Pete decided he deserved more and pushed, pulled, prodded and pried his way into a new life as a store owner and businessman.

He could give you a laundry list of all the drama, hiccups and bills he went through during this period of life, but if you ask anyone close to him, they would poo-poo that right away. Not that he hasn't suffered more than his fair share of hard knocks, but he certainly did more good than bed in those years.

Despite going it alone and not having much financial backing, Pete was able to keep his business afloat for several years before deciding it was time to move on. He outlasted a lot more trials than I think most of us would. I know that I, for certain would have thrown in the towel a long, long time ago! Not Pete, though! He kept the business going, worked another job outside of there to keep the lights on, dealt with surly customers and immature employees for years because it was his dream, and he wanted it to thrive.

Even when the economy got worse, and pretty much crippled his business, he kept his heart in it and busted himself up physically and mentally on a daily basis to keep the doors open. He continued to remodel, rehab, and refurbish an outdated and challenging building. Yet he kept his focus on the customer and the goal the entire time.

He never forgot his dream, nor did he give up on it. He kept pushing until he could push no more, and then pushed some more. To the detriment of his health, Pete would get very little sleep and still manage to work two jobs.

Unfortunately, all the extra hours and stress eventually started to take a physiological toll on Pete at the same time. Though he never walked away, those nearest and dearest to him started to voice their concern, and eventually got through to Pete that something had to give, and it couldn't be him!

After a lot of heartbreaking consideration and soul-searching, Pete realize his time in that store was done. He had followed his passion to the end of it's road, and even though the destination looked different than he had thought it would when he set out on his journey, he was still a success. He had lived his dream; now it is time to move on to other dreams.

In the midst of all of this, Pete experienced a lot of other outside drama as well. Some directly affected him, and some only affected him indirectly. All of it wore Pete down to the point of throwing his hands in the air and giving up, but he Never. Did.

So while I've only touched the tip of the iceberg of your awesomeness, Pete, I want to let you know how very proud of you I am. You've been kicking ass and slaying dragons since I've known you, and I know you've got farther to go. I'm excited to see you at the start of yet another dream being fulfilled!!!

September 12, 2010


So I'm sitting here in the living room, all kicked back in my pajamas and reading blogs and such; not enough energy to do "X", and not enough time to start project "Y" or finish project "Z". I got through all the posts that I wanted to read, and all that was left were the more tedious posts that I just don't have the energy to trudge through tonight. Then I had an epiphany: I could write my very own tedious blog post!

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was short-lived since while waiting for my Blogger dashboard to load, I made the mistake of looking at the weather forecast. To know me is to know that I hate, nay despise being cold. It sucks the life and energy right out of me. Now it seems that autumn is upon us in all it's colorful splendor and that means the long-sleeves, sweatshirts, jackets and such need to be drug out to the front of the closets. So long Hawaiian print short sleeve shirts; hello dry, cracked skin and cold drippy nose.

Ugh. My muscles ache just thinking about all the shivering I'll be enduring soon. The house will be sealed up and stale within a few weeks, and the only play time I'll get in the yard is the unceremonious hacking down of the foliage in the flower beds. There's raking leaves to look forward to as well, but as much as I love blisters on my hands and shivering and sweating at the same time, I'm just tired of it.

The whole thing is so annoying, really. I shouldn't be such a Gloomy Gus, since I know there are so many people around here that don't have warm clothes or a safe place to sleep. I don't mean to be ungrateful, but - Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The sad thing is, I'm starting to get attached to some and the people and places around here. I can't see giving up our church and the family we've formed there. Not that it matters, as Cody is quite adamant that moving out of the state to head to a warmer climate is just not an option for him. I haven't gotten to the point where being warm is more important than him (yet), so I guess we'll be staying together in Ohio for the long haul.

I would still love to buy a huge piece of property in the mountains down south and go all John-Boy Walton. Well, I guess that's a bad example since he ached to get off of Walton's mountain to be a writer in the big city. I think I'd make a good Olivia though. Not that I want to be a woman and wear a dress, but I think I'd do a pretty good job of holding down the fort.

Cody thinks I'm insane, and while that point is certainly debatable, I am unanimous in this! I love the mountains and all that entails. I can't imagine being retired and growing old in the city. When I think of my old age, I think of a secluded life in the mountains, surrounded by nature and only what I really need. How I would love to live that dream now, but unfortunately the days of trading pelts in town for your staples are long gone.

I long to roam the forests and glens, the peaks and valleys. I yearn for the comfort of a quilt and a roaring fire, my man and my dogs at my side. To spend my days taking care of my own property instead of building the fortunes of others. Cutting my own wood rather than paying a corrupt system to deliver what little is left of the earth's more precious commodities.

See? I already sound like a grizzled old codger, so I may as well go with it, right?

August 22, 2010

i feel


My mind never stops. The wheels just keep turning and turning, and I don't think they'll ever stop. Even when I sleep, my brain goes 1,0000 mph, denying me the rest I so desperately want and need.


The medication that the shrinky-dink prescribed to help me achieve more restful sleep doesn't appear to have any affect on me whatsoever - good or bad.


I've been able to view all the test results from the blood work that the shrinky-dink ordered via my HMO's website. Nothing too low; nothing too high. It's good that I'm healthy in that way, but frustrating that what the Doc thought would be a simple explanation turned out to be inaccurate.


I can spend untold hours outside working in the yard, abusing my body to the point of being sore for days afterward. Yet for some reason, I have to force myself to do simple things like loading/unloading the dishwasher or folding and putting away laundry.


Yeah, well... I have anxiety/panic disorder, so this isn't really a shock. I seem to turn the most mundane things into insurmountable obstacles.

I'm anxious about a fairly important choir practice this afternoon. It will be the first and only time the choir gets to practice a song together to be performed next week. It is also the first time that the regular musicians from the church will be practicing with us.

I'm anxious about the work week. I'm 95% sure that I won't have to work on Friday, which makes a big dent in the number of days I have to get myself out the door. Since I'm on 2nd shift this week, my trepidation stems from knowing that the majority of my bad, can't make it to work cause I'm freaking out about even crossing the sidewalk days have been when I'm on this shift. I have too much time before leaving for work to get myself all worked up.

I'm anxious about seeing old friends in a couple of weeks for the first time since I moved to Cleveland. Not to mention meeting a bunch of strangers at a party.

I'm anxious because I'm anxious. I hate feeling this way, and I always feel like it will get worse before it gets better - often times a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sometimes when I feel like I'm circling the drain, I get so tired of fighting the current and want to just let myself go. It's so exhausting sometimes that it's all I can do just to keep afloat, much less try to swim in the other direction.


I'm always so tired. If I sit still for more than 15 minutes, I'm almost guaranteed to start nodding off. The pull of sleep is so strong some days that I exhaust myself just trying to fight it. It's a symptom of the depression, but unfortunately it also tends to make it worse when I give in to it. It's also a symptom of not getting enough/restful sleep (see above).


I don't feel like I'm pulling my weight around here right now. My messy house is a good indicator of the rightness of this feeling.


I could, of course, start looking for a therapist, whether in or out of my HMO network. That would of course require motivation and the ability to push myself out of my comfort zone with strangers.


There have been so many times in the past few months that I could so easily have blown off plans and responsibilities. I just want to say "'Truck' it. I don't care anymore" about so many things in my life. If it weren't for my having to answer to about 16 or so people, not to mention Cody and our Pastor, I probably would have missed more Sunday services and choir practices than not over the last couple of months.

Going out with friends? "Eh."

Making dinner? "Eh. I can just have chips or something."

Making phone calls and/or returning emails? "Eh. Maybe later."





















Wow. Now this is a peppy little post, isn't it? What I wouldn't give for 20 minutes of blissful sleep right now. To find out that we won't be able to sing next Sunday, and therefore free to skip church and choir practice today. To lay on my raft in the pool all day, soaking up the sun and napping on and off in the heat of the day.

August 21, 2010

so what if i cheated just a little...

...I'm still posting, aren't I?

I've actually just copied and pasted this post out of an email that I sent to a friend, but it's mostly what I would have written here anyway. I thought she deserved better than for me to reply to her email via a blog post, so I sent her an email and I'm giving the rest of you a portion of that. I've got a lot of stuff I would like to accomplish today, and I'd like to get a head start before the heat starts to set in.

"Things" are kind of "eh" lately, but certainly better than they were two weeks ago. I've definitely been closer to up than down this past week, but it's kind of a zombie state with the occasional "manic" episode thrown in for good measure.

Cody has gotten a few good laughs at my expense (out of love, of course). The few times I've been a bit manic and had the time and energy to spare, I've done some insane amounts of work around the house. He says he hates that I have to go through the mood swings, and he worries when I'm depressed, but he can't help appreciating the amount of work I accomplish when I'm spinning on the up-side.

He hasn't hounded me, but he's definitely hovering a little closer, both physically and emotionally. It's sort of nice most of the time. Having coffee and conversation with friends, he'll gently rest his hand on my back just to let me know he's there. Stuff like that.

He did ask yesterday if I had made any progress with finding a counselor, and I was honest in my reply. I told him I was still waiting for the doctor to contact me about my test results before moving forward. I would like to know what, if anything, she'll prescribe as a result of those tests in order to be able to have a more accurate picture of what we're dealing with to make a plan of action with whomever will be shrinking me.

I did see in a little newsletter that my insurance company sends out that they offer classes and support groups for several things. I would be interested in their groups focusing on depression and anxiety, and Cody seemed quite interested in a support group for spouses and family members of people with these issues. I suggested that I could just get therapy by osmosis via him and his class, but he doesn't seem too eager to agree to that arrangement for some reason.

As far as test results go, I've received the results of four out of the five that the shrinky-dink ordered. The main one she was "concerned-ish" about was my vitamin D levels, and while I have gotten those results back, I'm not too clear on what they mean. I get an email notification whenever new test results are available online at their site, but there isn't any information more than my result listed beside the "normal" result desired.

If I'm reading things correctly, the two levels of my vitamin D they checked that my body produces naturally are okay, but maybe on the low side. The third level of vitamin D they checked is way low, but appears it might possibly be a supplemental level. I don't know if that needs to be higher unless my natural levels are low, so I am waiting to here from the doc on that one.

So I'm still kind of in limbo with what's going to happen with the therapy and meds, but I'm hanging in there and just doing my best to go with it. I've been tempted to just go buy OTC vitamin D and see if that helps, but according to the Dr., she would prescribe meds that are 50x the amount the OTC would be. I'm not really into taking 50-plus pills a day, so I'm just trying to be a patient patient. :)

August 13, 2010

this is MY bench!!!

So sick Jake and healthy Jake had little contest of wills yesterday - one trying to throw the other off like Clairee and Ouiser fighting over a park bench.

It seems that healthy Jake won this round again! Spending the day working in the sun yesterday (doctor's orders!) seemed to help tremendously. Not only did I get some sun, which hopefully kicked up that vitamin D production we're working on, but I also managed to get some work done, which gave me an added sense of accomplishment to help my overall mood and disposition.

-- Apparently my subconscious has decided to try and un-seat Bethany from the throne of longest run-on sentence ever composed by mortal hands. --

I'm feeling quite a bit better this morning than on the past few mornings. Let's hope it stays this way for quite a long while! As much as I love little vacations from work, I do need to make money to pay the bills. Thankfully I had a few hours of overtime last week to help offset the cost of being off this week.

First I need to update everyone on the kitten: When I got off the computer yesterday, I headed out back to check on momma and the baby. They were dry and safe, and I did get a few pictures. Unfortunately, since momma was napping with her body curled around the baby, I didn't get any of the kitten.

At some point an hour or so later, I heard a kitten's cry coming from one of the neighbors - either right next door, or the house beyond that. I thought it odd to have two kittens born in different places and the momma keeping them separate, so I went out back again to check. Sure enough, both mom and the baby were gone. I don't really know why she would have moved over there, except maybe she wanted a bit more shelter than what the little nook she was in could provide.

I'm hoping she's on the patio next door, as that neighbor tends to let things stay overgrown and unkempt. Usually an eyesore, it could come in handy for hiding a baby until it can see and start to fend for itself. On the other side, there is a beagle whom I'm hoping like hell does get the opportunity to turn this kitten into a toy. I will talk to that neighbor today when I get an opportunity, and let him know to keep his eye out for the kitten.

As much as I would love to see this kitten grow up in my yard (I love cats, but can't have them), I'm sort of glad momma decided to relocate. There have been a couple of hawks/falcons flying around lately, and while I love to watch them circle around and ride the thermals so majestically, I know they'd make short work of a kitten. As much as I love nature, there are some things I don't like to see or think about. I can't even watch nature shows on Discovery or Animal Planet without getting shaken up when I see animals, particularly babies, be killed by a predator. Yeah, yeah, Circle of Life and all that, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

To put Tim at ease, I will say this: If intervention in the lives of momma and/or kitten become necessary, they will be placed somewhere they can live a full and happy life. As animal lovers, Cody and I are huge proponents of adoption versus buying from a breeder. As much as I would love to have a couple of particular breeds of dog, consumerism and our sense of entitlement as a culture have created a dastardly and inhumane world for these animals. We're basically breeding discomfort, disease and pain into these animals to get the "perfect" animal. So rather than support that, Cody and I adopt mutts who are nowhere near being pedigreed. You'll find no AKC registration papers in this house. Tux and Vanilla were both taken from people who realized they couldn't take care of them in the way they should (God bless them), and Mischief (rest her soul) was rescued from a parking lot in an emaciated state and never claimed by her rightful owner.

Winifred, bless her spastic little ass, was adopted from a nonprofit group that rescues dogs from high-kill shelters and fosters them for as long as necessary until they find a loving home. (Incidentally, Cody's mom's dogs were both rescued from a puppy mill. Now that she is retired and has more free time, she fosters dogs for the same organization which rescued hers. She is quite dedicated to the cause, and way more patient than I. Abused animals come with a LOT of baggage!)

So in short (a bit late for that now, Jake), these kitties will not be taken anywhere they won't be cared for properly. Even though Cody is not a huge fan of cats, he is an animal lover in general, and though he threatens me with some awful things if I were ever to bring a cat home, he would be sure that the animal is well taken care of.

To address Pete's comment... I know the cats of which you speak and how evil they can be. So I'm sure they will pay you back (and then some) for startling them!

Yes, I did decide to stop disabling comments on new posts. The reason I was disabling them is probably too long of an explanation for an already long post, but suffice it to say that I will leave them on so long as I can receive them in a healthy manner. (Besides, you DO have my email and phone number... Just sayin')

Now, the REAL reason I even started a new post this morning (after I've already taken up 14 pages to get to this point), is to sort of respond to a comment that was made outside of Blogger. The comment was made in private, so I won't call anyone out by name, but it was a good point, and one that I felt maybe should be addressed here so that others who may be wondering the same thing would understand as well.

"I find it interesting that you are loathe to go to doctors that over medicate you and see medicine as the only solution and you are grumpy (for lack of a better word) at having a doctor that is taking a wait and see approach before slapping more meds in your mouth."

This is a very valid point, made by someone who has been paying attention! This is not something that escaped my grasp. I have had a hard time forgiving my previous psychiatrist for prescribing medications rather haphazardly, and due to the side effects I suffered as a result of that, I've been extremely anti-medication since.

Making the decision to go back on medication last fall was not one I took lightly at all. If I weren't so lazy, I'd go find the post that describes that a little. Oh hell. Hang on a sec...


So when Cody and I were sitting in the shrinky-dink's office on Wednesday evening, and she told me that she would be willing to increase the dosage of my Prozac temporarily until everything else straightened out, I had a hard time deciding at first.

See, I still really don't like drugs. I think I have been quite lucky with the one I am on, side effect wise. It was rough in the beginning, but Cody supported me through it. Once the meds had been in my system for a while and I adjusted to them, the side effects started to decrease in both frequency and intensity.

When she offered to increase the dosage, I knew that I would have to go through the process of getting used to them again, with the distinct possibility that a higher dose may cause the side effects to intensify and/or not go away over time. Been there, done that.

The reason that I didn't just say "No" right off the bat though, had a lot to do with desperation. I was on my third day of spiraling downward, and I wanted it to stop at all costs. Not only was I tired of fighting, but I knew that Cody was too. God love him for sticking by me through all of this crap, but the poor man needed a break. He just started a new job and was physically exhausted every single day after work, and I knew that him having to worry too much about how I was doing, whether I was going to work that day or not, how we'd pay the bills if I didn't, and God forbid if I was having suicidal thoughts and not telling him... I knew that was all a lot for him.

So between not being willing to put him through all that again, and not wanting to spiral anymore, I was desperate. I needed something to change, and I needed it NOW. I honestly got to the point where I didn't care what they gave me, I would take it. I would have done anything short of submit to electric shock therapy and just deal with the side effect and ramifications later.

Thankfully, I was scared enough of seeing another shrink who could potentially damage me more than I already was that I took Cody to my appointment with me.

I sure do love that man.

August 12, 2010

i wonder how long...

...i can type with my eyes closed and my head resting on the back of the couch before i eventually nod off?

While it seems like a splendid idea, the reality is, I am an adult male over the age of 30, and nap time is no longer a daily occurrence in my life. Naps really aren't very good for me 99% of the time.

Ooh! I just had a fantastic thought!

Coffee!!! - brb

What the hell was I talking about? Oh yeah, nap time.

See, as it turns out, being sleepy and taking naps is both a symptom of depression for me as well as a catalyst for it. Drowsiness and fatigue are common symptoms, but it took me a while to figure out why, in my particular case, they seem to be a cause as well.

For starters, I think that when I'm super sleepy, it's probably a good indicator that my mood my be dropping a bit. Then when I lay down, I typically have a hard time getting motivated and waking up. Whether it's hitting the snooze button for an hour (or more) or telling Cody "Five more minutes," I'm just not good at waking up. When I finally do wake up, I feel crappy and guilty for sleeping so long. Add in the occasional guilt-trip when I realize how nasty I can be to Cody when he tries to wake me up, and it's easy to see how that can have a negative impact on my mood.

Today, in addition to having to get out of bed WAY earlier than I wanted because Her Royal Highness, Winifred, decided it was time to go outside, I'm just starting to get my legs back under me from being sick. No, it's not the flu or a cold, though either of those would have been like a walk in the park, comparatively speaking.

It was another spell of my favorite old crazy wackadoodle crap. Joy. This time around it kind of cut my legs out from under me, and the shame and embarrassment led me to keep it to myself for far too long. I haven't been to work at all this week, and I allowed my shame to defeat me by allowing Cody to believe that the reason I was home was due to more parts shortages at work.

I decided on Tuesday afternoon that I had had enough. My craziness keeping me from work was nothing new, as it has happened before. When I was paralyzed at the thought of leaving the house to put gas in my truck and get a few essential groceries, I knew something had to give.

I spent a fair amount of time Tuesday afternoon and evening looking up options, treatments, facilities and such on the interwebs. I still couldn't being myself to tell Cody what was going on, but I had every intention of doing something about it on Wednesday morning. As luck would have it, I was able to get a same-day appointment with a new shrinky-dink at 6pm.

Before I made any phone calls however, I forced myself to write a quick email to my Pastor to let him know what was happening and what my intentions were. I knew at that point that I needed to have someone to hold me accountable to my intended goal of getting help.

Hooray! Coffee's done...

Lucky for me, after I had my appointment set and had gotten the ball rolling to obtain leave from work, I noticed that Ms. Bethany was online. Talk about a freaking lifesaver. She whipped my ass into gear in fairly short order and set my straight about letting Cody know what was happening. As much as I hate to hear what she has to say sometimes, it's almost always the truth that I need to hear. Being able to talk to someone who can understand what I'm saying helps, too.

I have a few people in my life that I can talk to about this kind of stuff who are able to relate. Bethany is just the only one I have enough history with (too much history, probably) that I can go to when it's really bad. I can talk to a couple of other people about general things, and while I know they would be able to empathize when I get really low, I just feel more comfortable with her.

Good Lord, could it be more muggy?! Sorry - I'm sweating like a hog just sitting here typing. And to answer your question, I'd still rather have this than be cold.

Now today, as if I didn't feel like enough of a heel for being a whack-job already, I'm dealing with what the shrink told me last night. She feels I have a vitamin deficiency. Apparently when your vitamin D and/or B12 bottoms out, it can cause depression that is not affected by medication. I did not know that.

She ordered some blood work and gave me a prescription for some kind of non-addictive pill to help me sleep better, then sent me on my merry way. I don't mean to imply that it was a little 5 minute visit, but I definitely walked out of there with very mixed emotions.

Here I am on day three of a spaz attack, and I need vitamins? I'm not a huge fan of meds, mostly because of bad experience with a couple I was on before. And while she did offer to up the dosage of my Zoloft while we wait for test results and such, I couldn't believe my ears.

Now, I had taken Cody with me for moral support due to being burned pretty badly by past therapists, so I turned to him as we were leaving to get his impression on how the visit went. According to him, the visit went well. I kept waiting for him to stop her before we left and say, "Now wait a minute. He's been sick for three days to the point of not being able to work, etc. We're not leaving until we get some concrete steps to take blah, blah, blah."

Nope. He likes her and thinks everything is hunky-dory for the time being. We're just waiting to get all the tests results back, and we'll go from there. If I do have a deficiency, I'm assuming she'll write a prescription for vitamin D in a larger dose than what is available over the counter and that will be that. In the meantime, she told me to try and get out in the sun as much as possible in order to trigger my body into producing it naturally.

-- Side note: According to this psychiatrist, everyone in the Cleveland area has a vitamin D deficiency. It's just a matter of how much of a deficiency. --

So far I have gotten my results online for my thyroid and my B12 level, both of which are fine. The doctor said it will take up to 10 days to get results on my vitamin D level, and I don't remember what the 4th vial of blood they took was for.

I just feel like such a massive dork now. I already have a tendency to beat myself up over these episodes, since it's generally hard for people to understand how you can be sick when they don't have anything tangible to go off of. So telling Cody, Bethany and my pastor how messed up I was, only to walk out of the doctors office with a prescription for something to relax me at bedtime and four vials shorter of blood had/has me pretty mixed up.

In addition to all that, I'm always warring in my head when I get sick like this because I don't want to lay around the house and be lazy, but I'm always afraid that if I do "too much," Cody will think I'm just faking being sick.

To top it off, despite my firm belief that we should all do our part to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health issues, I can't bear the thought of my co-workers and such finding out what's going on. It's easy for me to stick up for the rights of other whackadoodles, but when it comes to talking about my own issues I slam on the brakes like Sonny Bono headed for a tree.

What? Too soon?

It sucks when you're a huge proponent of living openly and authentically and then having to struggle with something like this. It feels so deeply personal and embarrassing, but I know that if more people would just speak a little more freely about their own struggles, it wouldn't be so bad for the next guy or gal.

Crap. Almost noon and I've done nothing so far today. I did take my paperwork in to work this morning, so I got that going for me. Cody had to schedule a service guy to come out and work on our garage door this afternoon because they don't work late enough for them to come out after he's home. So I've got that to look forward to as well. Let me tell you, finding out I had to answer the door and explain the problem to some random stranger when all I want to do is play turtle and hide from the world was not the highlight of my day yesterday. Since the job Cody is at right now has the potential to last up to 3-4 months though, it wouldn't be fair of me to refuse and make him miss work. Lord knows that man puts up with enough of my craziness already.

The shrinky-dink gave me the rest of the week off of work to get my feet back on the ground and learn to walk again, which was pretty cool of her to do. Judging by how hard it was to walk into work just long enough to turn in my forms, I'm pretty glad she did though. Thank God that someone at my place of employment was smart enough to fill the FMLA benefits coordinator position with the woman they did. It may not seem like much to someone in HR who is just trying to put a warm body in a chair, but when you are already having a rough go of it, walking into that office and being treated with genuine kindness makes all the difference in the world.

So now I have the rest of today and tomorrow to "relax and get as much sun as possible," which despite my trepidation of her diagnosis, is a pretty cool prescription to get from your doctor. The evil part of me wants to milk it for all it's worth and go lay on my raft in the pool all day eating bon-bons. If Cody says anything, I can just look at him and say, "I'm just following the doctor's orders!"

In reality, however, I know that I need to "do stuff" to get better. Kind of practicing being normal, I guess. It looks as though the sun may be out to stay for at least a little while, so I'm thinking I should probably go outside and try to do a little work in the yard. That way I'm following doctor's orders, but not being a worthless slug in the meantime.

I really would love to go hop in the pool, especially considering how muggy it is right now, but with the garage door guy due to arrive at any time now, I'd better not. Not to mention one of the stray cats in the neighborhood decided to seek shelter behind the garage where the pool is to have a kitten. I scared it yesterday when I went out there and it took off. Well, I should say we scared each other. I didn't see it until it ran away.

I'm sort of angry at the damn thing though. It took off without so much as hissing at me to try and warn me away from it's baby. I've never seen a kitten that young in real life before. It is absolutely adorable, but sad at the same time since it is so helpless. It was trying to crawl around on the ground, mewing for it's momma, and the poor things eyes aren't even open yet.

You know damn good and well my first instinct was to "rescue" it. I know there is no way that Cody would let me keep it though, and I can't bear the thought of getting attached to the poor thing and then having to give it up. So I didn't mess with it at all.

I walked back over to the patio to keep an eye out until I was sure momma came back before I went back in the house. The little shit did the same thing when Cody walked back there later to see it. No warning, no hissing; just took off and abandoned her baby to what could have been a predator.

I did get Cody to agree that if the momma totally abandoned the kitten or it was in imminent danger for any other reason that I could try to protect it until we could take it to a shelter or something.

I haven't been back there yet this morning, but I will go check it out shortly. We got some rain last night, and I'm hoping momma was smart enough to pull her baby into shelter. I don't want to chase the mom away again, so I've learned to sneak around the corner so that I don't startle her. I creep just far enough to see that she's there and then go back in the house. I'll take my camera back with me today just in case she's not there, but I won't chase it off on purpose just to get a photo. So depending on how negligent mom is feeling, I may be able to get a shot or two of it. Hopefully it's eyes aren't open yet, cause if the little booger sees me and comes towards me with that pitiful mewing, I'm going to end up spending the afternoon trying to find a way to hide it in my office without Cody or the dogs (yeah right) hearing it...

July 31, 2010

achy jake

The good news is that I was able to scratch two items off of my list yesterday. I Mulched the new bushes that we planted a few months ago, as well as the row of bushes by the "dog area" and around the rose that a friend gave us as an anniversary gift. I also managed to head out to Chesterland with Cody last night to pick up our friends truck. Oh, and I almost forgot! I picked up my niece's birthday present, too.

So all that weeding that needed to be done didn't get done. That laundry basket full of clothes that needs to be put away is still balance precariously on the knee wall at the top of the stairs. My office? Still a complete and utter mess.

I, in my infinite wisdom, decided that yesterday would be the *perfect* time to tackle another project that has been on my "want to" list for quite some time. I completely rehabbed the "island" flower bed in the middle of the back yard. My crazy ass dug out every plant (except for a 98% dead Japanese maple), turned the soil, and replanted (almost)everything.

I. Am. Sore.

While not 100% what I would want, I think it turned out halfway decent. I have issues with some of the plants that we have (mostly due to the frequency of thinning needed, which is what spurred this project), but as they are some of Cody's favorites, I used quite a bit of them in the re-planting. It looks a little odd, especially since the majority of the plants are done blooming. So, just like years past, I will eagerly be awaiting spring so I can see how nature takes what I have done and adds it's own spice.

I now have three buckets full of extra gladiolas and two buckets full of coreopsis to rid myself of. I did reuse the coreopsis in a couple of areas, but since it spreads like mad, I didn't need to use much. The gladiolas were pretty much the main reason I dug the bed out. They were so thick that when I replanted them, I used less than a quarter of what I had, and that's actually more than I personally would have liked, but as this is another of Cody's beds that I have taken over, I have to respect his preferences in the plants I use.

All that shoveling, digging, kneeling, stooping, stretching, hoeing, raking, re-digging, planting and stooping some more has had a seriously negative effect on my body. Not only am I not used to that kind of work for that duration of time, but I am SO out of shape. I keep *intending* to work out with my Tai Chi DVD on a regular basis, but haven't followed through on that. I also have a couple of youtube videos bookmarked on my computer for doing some relatively simple at-home workouts. So far the most energy I've spent on those is moving the mouse to "Add Bookmark".

Luckily, today will involve a lot of sitting and not too much physical exertion. Unfortunately, that also means more time for my muscles to tighten up even more. So I'll definitely be trying to stretch a bit throughout the day.

This morning we'll be heading to downtown Cleveland for "Open Air in Market Square" to man the first shift at our church's informational booth. We're then headed off to Fremont to see my family. We'll go to Josh's first to pick up a truckload of sandstone pavers that he has been saving for us (hence borrowing our friends pickup truck). Then we'll be off to mom & dad's to celebrate my birthday and my niece's birthday. We're doing it a bit early this year, since between our schedule and mom & dad's schedule, it had to be either this weekend or not until the end of August.

I'm kind of excited. I usually don't care too much about birthday's (except the years that a true realization of my age sneaks up behind me), but this will be the first time that I'll be able to celebrate my birthday with my family including Cody by my side. It's also the first time that Cody will be with both mom & dad and Josh's family at the same time. My nieces are enamored with him, so hopefully mom and dad have gotten comfortable enough with all of this that their reaction to seeing him won't be an issue.

I'm not too concerned since we'll be going to Josh's first and they'll be able to get most of the screaming out of their system. Not to mention that when we're at Mimi and Papa's, the girls pretty much want to play on the computer or the X-box.

Speaking of the girls, I still have to wrap those presents before we leave, and I'm not even close to having everything else ready to go. I think that means I need to stop typing and get my sore ass off this couch.

...and yes, by the way, I do intend to get some pictures up soon. For those who just can't wait, head to my Flickr page...

July 30, 2010

free at last

Well it only took 5 days of busting my hump, but I finally managed a day off from my days off!!! I've been pretty busy since Saturday, and while I haven't managed to check off a whole lot of items on my "To do" list for this vacation, I have accomplished a lot of things on my long-term goal list.

My vacation ramped up into high gear first thing on Friday night. Cody and I had the pleasure of attending a local independent theater's production of "Rent: School Edition". The cast was comprised of teenagers, and their were a few minor tweaks to content and language, but for all intents and purposes, it was the same show I've come to know and love.

The only drawback (other than some sound issues that I hope were corrected after opening night) was the heat! The theater company rents a space on the third floor of an old brick building (part of a church complex), which means no A/C. Those of you who know me know that I don't like air conditioning all that much, but Friday was certainly an exception.

We were sweating our asses off, and I felt so bad for the actors, as the play is set mostly in winter in NYC, so their wardrobe consisted of winter clothes - including coats and scarves! Not to mention the musicians and techs were sitting up near the ceiling... Those poor people were soaking in their own sweat all night!

Saturday went well. I mentioned in my previous post that I was working on a big surprise project and was planning to attend a birthday celebration. I got the necessary work done on the choir project in order to hand out music and have mp3s to play for practice on Sunday, thankfully.

The birthday celebration was a hoot. Great food, awesome friends, and learning a lot about the people I've grown to love as well as a few exciting bits of our denomination's history.

Sunday was started with church and choir practice, and by the time I got home, I was whooped. I had stayed up later than usual to finish up choir music, and unfortunately woke up way too early without being able to fall back asleep. I think that I was in the house, stripped to my skivvies, and in bed asleep within 10 minutes of pulling in the driveway.

My nap lasted a bit longer than I had intended, but I felt so much better when I woke up. Of course I had to hit the ground running and get some shopping done that afternoon. By the time I got back home from running errands and had dinner, the day was pretty well over.

We had a bit of a false start getting out of the house on Monday morning, but we eventually made it to the zoo sometime around 11am. A friend of ours met us there, and overall we had a pretty good time. Unfortunately, I was going on day three of a mid-grade headache, which made the day difficult at times, but I was determined not to let it ruin the day for Cody and Rick.

After the zoo, we went to Edgewater Park and walked the beach for a while. Talk about nasty. Our lake is filthy, people. We seriously need to work on that. And for all the exposes on the news about that park being a gay cruising area, the only questionable behavior we saw involved a man and a woman. Luckily what we saw was far enough away from any children, as the beach wasn't too heavily populated on this particular evening. While this "gentleman" may have enjoyed being serviced with a view of the waves rolling on shore, I was a little put off by the fact that they didn't bother to go behind anything. They were tucked back into the tree line, but there was nothing to block the dead-on view. Options for freaking them out were discussed amongst the three of us, but we decided to play it safe and not approach or say anything.

We then moved on to a restaurant in the area that is quite popular, and therefore had to wait over an hour and a half for a table. Talk about frustrating. It was after 9pm by the time we got our food. We won't be going back there that late anytime soon! The food was really good, but I don't know that it's so good I'd be willing to wait that long to go back.

Tuesday was just freakin' awesome. We went to visit Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, and even though it took a lot out of both Cody and I physically, it was well worth it. It is quite a beautiful place to visit!!!

Wednesday was a bit odd. I managed to get a little work done around the house before we headed off to have lunch with our Pastor. After lunch, I shut myself in the Pastor's conference room and sorted through a file drawer of old choir music. After having gotten about as far as I wanted for the day, I was ready to go, but Cody and one of the other guys had started a big labor-intensive project, and they wanted to get a bit further before calling it a day, so I was "stuck" there for a while.

I had been planning for a couple of months to try and make time to sort through several boxes of old music that were stored up in the seldom-used gym balcony. Since I was going to have to wait around for who knows how long, I decided to dive into that. Suffice it to say that the project ended up being a bit more involved than I thought, and I spent several hours working on it again yesterday.

I had to run out and pick a few things up before heading to the church to work, and while I was out I finally got the Starbuck's I have been craving since the beginning of my vacation.

By the time I got home and let the dogs out and mowed the lawn, I had just enough time to have a few PB&J sandwiches and then head right back out the door. Cody and I were at the foodbank last night for a couple of hours sorting through food with our couples group. We were both so exhausted when we got home that even though we wanted to sit and watch a movie together, we were having trouble staying awake and decided to hit the sack.

Which brings us to today! I kind of want to head back over to the church so that I can try to finish the project I started, but Cody and I have decided we need a day to be home before this vacation is over. Granted, I've got a lot of house and yard work to get done, but at least I'll be at home.

Other than heading out to pick up a friend's truck later this evening, we have no need or desire to leave our property today. I'm hoping to be able to get some tangible work done around here, but I also want to be able to relax a bit too. I guess we'll hust have to wait and see...

July 24, 2010

already sweating at 7am

...but don't get me wrong. I'd much rather be sweating than shivering any day! A lot of times, in mid-winter when I complain about the cold/snow, people will say, "You'll be wishing it was this cold/snowy in July when it's 90 degrees out!"

To them I say, "Pi-shah. I have no desire to get back to winter, or ever spring for that matter."

Besides all that, I'm off work until next Monday, so it's definitely all good. This week is our summer shut-down at work, and I'm loving the fact that I don't have to go in for a week! I could potentially be busier over the next 9 days than if I were at work, but when I'm busy doing things on my own list versus "working", it's SO much better.

I've got a lot to get done today, and I hope I can accomplish it! I have the pleasure of being able to attend a birthday open house for a dear friend this afternoon, and I'm really looking forward to it. The only problem is that the other REALLY BIG item on my "To Do" list for today absolutely must be at least 99% complete by bedtime! Since I don't know for sure how long I will be gone today, I have no idea how much time I'll have to work on this project tonight. Which means I've got to bust my butt this morning to knock out as much as possible.

It's a project for the choir at church, and while I'm excited about all of it, there is an aspect of surprise surrounding one of the items on the agenda that has me quite geeked! I'll not mention it here, for fear of the possibility of anything being given away to the wrong person(s).

All that being said, I really need to get off the laptop and get my ass upstairs to the sweat lodge I call my office. I'll have to make a quick detour for a towel though, because I'm quite sure that I'll be needing it!

June 26, 2010

le sigh

What a fah-reek-ing week. A lot has happened, a lot has changed, with more changes to come. I'm writing for a host of reasons, though I have no idea where I'm going with this. First off, I have to mention that I have deleted my facebook account. I want to start there because I know that the handful of people who read this blog will eventually notice my absence there and be wondering what's going on.

The decision to delete my profile was not made lightly, nor in haste. I've felt the pull of facebook and the sense of affirmation I seek there growing stronger and stronger of late, and I finally started to realize that not only had it become an unhealthy addiction for me, it was also becoming a crutch as well. Even when I had nothing to say myself, or anything to say on the status updates of my friends, I "had" to be logged in and checking it constantly. I needed affirmation that people found me funny or witty. I needed the sympathy, the love, the interaction. It was becoming quite unhealthy.

When I went to conference, I decided to not log into facebook at all, even though I did post the occasional picture or status update from my phone. Due to the settings on my account, I was receiving emails notifying me of photo comments and messages people left directly on my wall or in my inbox, but other than that, I was free from the chains of needing to log in.

When I finally logged back in last weekend and scrolled through a couple of pages to see what I had "missed", I finally realized that I really and truly hadn't missed anything. There were the occasional updates involving "real" life and "real" news, but for the most part it was just the same random stuff like always. Not that I'm judging the content of what my friends have posted, as I'm probably more guilty than most in the mindless drivel department. It just took a week away from it to realize that the connectedness that I thought i felt was for the most part false.

I've also realized over the last few weeks just how very much time I waste on the computer in general. I have unsubscribed from a lot of blogs in the last 2-3 weeks to keep from spending too much time seeking out entertainment in my false worlds rather than quality time and relationships in my real world.

I've not been healthy in the head as of late, and I felt that taking a step (or several) back from the little online world I had created myself was essential. After some of the events of the past week, it became clear to me that the idea of deleting my facebook account was a crucial step in my journey towards wholeness and peace of mind.

When the "last straw" occurred a few days ago, I admit that I was angry when I went through the process of deleting the account. In the peace of a new day and a fresh perspective, I realized what I had done and reactivated my profile (it takes 14 days for your account to be totally deleted once you start the ball rolling, and signing back in during that time reactivates everything). It took less than 12 hours for me to realize that even though the final decision was made at a time of anger and emotional unrest, the decision was still the right one to make.

It has been odd since that time, as I'm used to being able to interact with people whom I otherwise have no means of connection. I miss a few of them terribly, and will probably continue to do so. Yet the people who matter most to me are able to contact me or vice versa through email or telephone anyway. It may take a while to adjust, but I will be fine in the long run.

I have also decided to adjust some other things in my life that were causing stress or strife as well, but out of respect to those people which it affects, I'm going to refrain from saying much about all of that until such a time as I am able to give them a personal explanation for my decisions.

At any rate, the Cleveland Gay Pride Parade and Festival is today, and I have a lot to do before I leave. I'll be marching in the parade with my church, as well as helping to babysit the booth for a period of time. I'm looking forward to a bit of frivolity and entertainment today.

God knows I need to lighten up a bit...

June 16, 2010

it's a hard-knock life

Seriously gang, it just doesn't get much worse. I've got the whole week off of work, which if you know me well, you know how much I love going into the shop every day. I'm stuck in Columbus, OH with a large group of friends from my church attending our Ohio District Adult Conference. To make matters worse, when I decided to update my blog this morning, the most relaxing spot I could find to sit and type was just outside the sliding glass door of our room, in a lounge chair that overlooks the hotel pool.

I just don't know how I'll ever survive this torture until Friday afternoon!

In all honesty though, other than the few boring or less-appealing parts of the day down here, this week is already going by too quickly. I'm used to the whirlwind vacations that Cody plans going by super quick, mostly because there is always something to do all day long, and they're always enjoyable. I knew that our "free time" from conference in the afternoons would go quickly while we were hanging out with some awesome people. I just didn't realize the WHOLE week would fly by like this!!!

One big down-side is that Cody and I are in a completely different hotel than the rest of the participants from our church. We were "forced" to look for a different hotel since the "official" hotel that the conference partnered up with for a group rate didn't have any smoking rooms. In addition to that, even with the group rate, we're still getting a much better deal where we're at. We're just a couple minutes farther out in the opposite direction from the other hotel, it's much cheaper, and seems to be nicer in my opinion. The other hotel is newer, but ours has been kept up quite well, so I'm happy with the choice we made. Not to mention that, with Cody still not working, a cheaper hotel (provided it's a clean and decent one) will definitely take priority over being with the rest of the group.

So far the conference has been pretty cool. There are definite pluses and minuses to it, but overall I'm pleased we decided to attend. The best part for me is getting to know a handful of friends a bit better, followed closely by the class I chose to take. We can take up to two additional classes each morning, and Cody and I decided to only take one so that we could spend a little more time relaxing before we leave each morning. This is our vacation in addition to a conference, so even though we don't have big enough blocks of time to do some other things we might have liked to do, we are trying to make the most of it and get the best of both worlds.

I enjoyed the Bible study yesterday morning, and look forward to the remaining sessions, but unfortunately Cody was a little less impressed. He may take that time to kind of meander and meditate for the rest of the week, but I'm not sure.

I decided to join the conference choir at the urging of a couple of friends as well. While there have been a few frustrating points that I won't go into out of respect for a couple of people whom I otherwise like quite well, it's been kind of nice to sing in a choir again. Plus we get to keep our music and take it back to our congregations! Since recently taking the interim choir director position at church, I've been looking for some ideas and music, and I'll definitely be utilizing one or two of these new songs.

The evening vesper speaker has been getting some kind of mixed reviews so far, and I have to say that I haven't quite made my mind up yet. I know that I haven't gotten anything out of it that I've taken to heart to walk away with as of yet, but hopefully the matters he's spoken of will be seated somewhere in my heart or subconscious to still be somewhat effective in my life at a later point.

Cody and I went to the other hotel during free time yesterday to hang out with a few of our friends and go swimming in their pool. It was actually quite nice. We had a chance to talk amongst ourselves without anyone being called away for this, that or the other. I know that our Pastor really enjoyed it. I think that's the longest I've been around him without someone coming to him with something that needed his attention or his phone going off. Pastors need to relax, too ya' know!

This afternoon we'll be headed out as a group to visit the shops and such on High St. It's supposed to be a nice little eclectic row of mom & pops, novelty and kitschy stores. It's a bit of a tradition for our congregation and they all seem to have really enjoyed it in the past, so I'm looking forward to it!

I think several of us may skip dinner tonight at the conference and go out to eat, as fish is on the menu, and most of us are either not into it or indifferent enough to be willing to skip it for something a little better with the group.

Alas, Mr. Man has just reminded me of the time. I need to shave and shower so we can head out in time for our first session.

May 30, 2010

waiting 8 years for one meal

Well, gang, what do I say? Where do I even begin to start? Oh... I know!

Thank you!

Thanks to each and every one of my friends, family members, church family who have so lovingly and graciously been so supportive the last couple of days. All the prayers, kind words of encouragement, hugs, knowing glances with a glimmer in the eye... All of it. Every single thing helped boost Cody and I up these past two days.

The true love and devotion that you have all shown leaves me awestruck. I can't even begin to tell all of you how vital you have been to Cody and I making it through this weekend without pulling our hair out. I can assure that every kind thought, word or prayer was truly felt deeply. You all helped carry us through, and I can not thank you enough.

As far as the actual meeting itself, there is really not much to tell. I was a bit uncomfortable when we first got there, as Cody's nervousness translated into a LOT of talking. I feared he was trying to hard, but if mom and dad thought anything negative of it, it certainly didn't show.

We just sort of chit-chatted a bit while browsing the menu and waiting for our food. Talk slowed down a bit as we all started to dig in to our meals, and then we chatted a little while longer while waiting for the check.

Mom asked Cody about work (*gulp*), and he handled it quite well. He didn't lie about being unemployed, and made a great point of sharing all the volunteering that he's been doing without going far enough to feel immodest.

To be honest, I think Cody and my parents talked more than I did (which I'm totally okay with). There were no uncomfortable questions about our relationship; nothing was mentioned about how this was such a momentous occasion in our lives. It just was.

As we were saying goodbye in the parking lot, my mom actually gave Cody a big hug! She told him that she really was trying, and I know that was an enormous step for her. Cody told her how very much it meant to him and to us, and was finally able to properly express his gratitude, in person, for the prayers and support that they gave while his Dad was sick and after he died. I think that between the hug and being able to get that out finally, he was overjoyed.

So while it is and was a very big deal, it really was just one meal and a bit of conversation. But it was also the biggest step taken by any of the four of us since I came out to them 8 years ago.

Thanks again, guys. You truly are very dear to Cody and I.

May 29, 2010

it has finally arrived

You know that day that we all talk about? The one where you suddenly feel like a "real" grown-up? I finally had mine. It was sometime in the last week, and I'm not sure exactly what time on what day that I made the transition, but I realized last night that I may finally crossed that threshold.

First, let me say that updating this damn thing more regularly really IS on my priority list. I enjoy sharing a lot of things on here, and would like to get back into the habit of doing so on a more consistent basis. Not to mention, getting some of the not-so-pleasant stuff off of my chest is quite helpful to me most of the time.

That being said, a lot has happened since last we talked. First of all, the anti-racism team at church, which is the group responsible for getting the new choir started, asked me to be the interim choir director until we find someone permanent (and more qualified!), and I accepted the offer. We had already had our big debut at the church talent show a month prior, but Pastor Allen wanted us to sing the song again this past Sunday for the entire congregation. It was a bit stressful, mostly due to technical issues (like the fact that our woefully inadequate sound system is even more inadequate than I had realized - no monitors on stage!), but when all was said and done, I think the choir did an excellent job.

I'm a little stressed right now since we'll only have two practices to learn I song that I've never even heard before. Our first stab at it will be tomorrow, so sometime tonight I have to sit down and get music printed out and such, all while listening to it over and over so that I can be of some use to the choir tomorrow.

I'm also a little freaked out about what will be happening after choir practice tomorrow. Cody and I are headed to Sandusky to have dinner. With. My. Parents.

I'll give you a minute.

When I had mentioned to mom in an email that Cody and I were not going to be camping this weekend, she called to see if we would be available to meet up on Sunday. I knew that this day was coming, and had started to finally process that something I didn't think would ever be a possibility was now an inevitability. I didn't realize it would happen so very soon. My mom telling me that dad was still having issues made me think that I had a bit more time to deal with it myself.

I had a somewhat long conversation with my mom on the phone after she had revealed her desire to meet. It was important to me to at least know where she was coming from. I didn't want to be surprised with any kind of "attack", whether perceived or real. So it still baffles me a bit, and I still haven't been able to really digest it or understand it, but I do feel somewhat better after that conversation. My mom and dad are taking a big step out of their comfort zone too, so I'm not the only one.

So last night while I was thinking of all that I needed to do this weekend, the realization that I'm a real adult now finally hit me. I've got a lot responsibility to others, as well as myself, and I think that that has a lot to do with it. Also the fact that, even though I am anxious and all the usual emotions, I'm not freaking out completely. It seems I've gone into, "This is your life. Deal with it." mode or something.

All things considered, while I have a lot on my plate this weekend and I'm not sure how I'll accomplish it all, I know that I am and will be fine.

Just as an F.Y.I. though: I don't intend to actually "act" like an adult just because I'm being more responsible. There's just not enough fun in that!

Have a great weekend, gang!!!