July 31

Today is the 212th day of 2014.

There are 153 days remaining.

153 days to

  • become
  • accomplish
  • change
  • add
  • subtract
  • multiply
  • divide
  • settle
  • disrupt
  • begin
  • stop
  • start
  • undo
  • grow
  • take on
  • put off

Don’t look back on the days now spent.  That’s not where the energy lies for your To-Do list today…tomorrow…the next 153 days.

You do have a plan for accomplishing your goals for 2014, right?  Take a look at it.

  1. Recalculate.
  2. Reschedule.
  3. Rephrase.
  4. Redefine.
  5. Realign.
  6. Refine.

Move forward with the plan.  Make each of the remaining 153 days move you into who or what you want to be January 1, 2015.

Only you can do this.

Do it for yourself.

Excuse me…I have A LOT of work to do. 😉

Throbbing Thumb Followup

Three days past, I posted about my throbbing thumb and what my plan of action was (ichthammol ointment and a bandage at bedtime).

I thought it best to provide an update on my thumb since I’m such a proponent of the smelly, black drawing salve – ichthammol ointment. 😉

When I placed the ointment on the bandage and wrapped it around my thumb, I found it necessary to place two more bandages over the one.  (The ointment is a bit oily and soaked through the first bandaid, and I really didn’t want to swipe my nose with that thumb in my sleep and smell it all night long.)

With the bandage applied, my thumb called cadence to my heartbeat, strongly throbbing with the added pressure of the bandage, and I wondered if I would be able to fall asleep.

Sleep I did, and when I woke my thumb no longer throbbed.  I removed the bandage and washed the black salve from my thumb.

The puss filled knot the size of a garden pea was gone and in its place was a small bump that was felt only when I rubbed my index finger over it.  The pain was gone.  Only a slight soreness remained.

Today, my thumb feels great.  No pain.  No soreness. No swelling. No knot.  Nothing to indicate anything had happened to my thumb.

Sometimes the old remedies are the best remedies.

Ichthammol ointment is available at pharmacies and online.  I purchased mine at CVS in the first aid section.  Some pharmacies (such as Walmart) keep it behind the counter. If you don’t see it…ask for it.

What Does Your Handwriting Reveal?

As we age, there comes a time when we begin to discard instead of accumulate.

Perhaps it’s because we’ve run out of room. 😉

Or, perhaps it’s because we realize we can’t take it with us and all this stuff we’ve held onto for oh so many years will just become a burden that’s trashed by those we love after we’re gone.

What better gift to give them than to attend to the stuff ourselves so they don’t have to make the emotional decision to keep or throw away things we held dear.

Mom has begun going through things she and Daddy stuffed into drawers or into boxes throughout their long years together.  Her eyesight is not what it used to be.  (Macular degeneration is such a thief. And, I might add…is a concern because it’s genetic.)

Occasionally, she will hand me cards I had sent her years ago and ask me to read the notes I’d written in them.

Sometimes my handwriting was neat, small, and (for the most part) legible.  And, sometimes it resembled more of a scrawl that even I had problems reading.

Over time, life changed who I was into who I am.  And, it continues to change me.

I’ve seen glimpses of who I was, revealed in the changes that took place in my handwriting.  The neat schooled penmanship gave way to a scrawl that even I couldn’t decipher at times. Sometimes tiny and tight, sometimes large and looping, some slanting left, some slanting right…all in the same note.  Eventually, in later years, it seemed to settle in to a larger style with more loops and scribbles, a combination of cursive and print,  and my own personal shorthand.

My hand no longer holds the pencil as it once did and is unable to write as she did long ago.  Those days are gone.  That person is gone.  That handwriting revealed the personality and thoughts of a girl long gone.

The scribble scrabble I churn out today reveals a multiplicity of complexities…or complex multiplicities….  Things are no longer simply straightforward and simple with me, or within me.

I am as different as my handwriting reveals.

On a lark, I took an online handwriting quiz – three times.  Each time I took the quiz, I did so according to how my handwriting appeared at a certain time in my life as revealed in the notes I recently viewed.

Here are the results – not in any particular order apart from the order in which I took them.  I’ll let you decide which is based on who I am and how I write now. 😉

 

 

  • You are dangerously impulsive. You are diplomatic, objective, and live in the present. You are reasonably open, but can be trusted with a secret. You are gentle, calm, and spiritual. You have a normal sized ego.
  • You are future oriented. You are negative, fearful, resistant, doubtful, and/or selfish. You are a secretive person. You are self-assertive, determined, and resolute. You have a normal sized ego.
  • You plan ahead, and are interested in beauty, design, outward appearance, and symmetry. You are unpredictable, nervous, erratic, fickle, and undisciplined. You are open-mouthed – it’s hard for you to keep a secret. You are self-assertive, determined, and resolute. You have a normal sized ego.

Though the quiz was only a few questions long and quite simplistic in form, it did provide limited though fairly accurate insight into who I was and am now.

Is delving into the mysteries of handwriting something I intend to pursue?  Oh, no…not me.  I’ve no interest in demystifying why I write like I do or why I wrote like I did.  My days of introspection and seeking to understand the whys and wherefores of my life and me within it are behind me. I’m much more interested in living it and leaving the understanding of it to others.

I’m thankful for keyboards. They reveal only what I allow – through fonts, colors, words chosen – and delete is always an option should I discover I revealed more of self than I desired.

If you would like to take the quiz, it only takes a couple of minutes.  And, if you would like to check out a few interesting handwriting info sites, click here, here, and (especially) here.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Note that the title is plural.

That’s what we’ve killed here, in our house within the past two weeks.

And, I’m not talking about small Brown Recluse Spiders.  I’m talking about big ones – quarter size or larger.  Big enough that the two fangs and their six eyes are large enough to see without my reading glasses.

Scary.

One was killed on the wall here in our home office.  The other was killed in the pan drawer beneath my stove.

Mom killed one in her bathroom sink the same day WKRN announced a surge in Brown Recluse Spider bites.

It’s important to know that Brown Recluse Spider bites can cause death and because the poison is necrotizing, it can cause some pretty deep and awful wounds that may need surgery.

Take a minute and read what the National Institute of Health (NIH) has to say about Brown Recluse Spider bites.

Throbbing Thumb

I don’t wear gardening gloves.  They get in my way.  I want to feel what I’m touching, get my hands dirty….  If I get blisters on my hands, I prefer it be due to hard work and not from an ill fitting glove.  And, if I’m handling briars, thorned limbs or spiny veggies, I greatly dislike having to stop what I’m doing to unhook my glove from the points of said barbs.

Better the glove than the fingers, some would say.  But, I’m not some…I’m me.

And, yes, I’ve received some injuries that I wouldn’t have had I been wearing gardening gloves. And, I have the scars to remind me. Nuff said.

Still, I prefer to go sans gloves.

And, as I see it, for good reason. I’ve also prevented some awful injuries because I wasn’t wearing gloves.  When you’re snipping branches and can’t see what you’re snipping and going only by feel…it’s good to have bare fingers and not gloved fingers.  Gloved fingers won’t feel the snips until it’s too late.

Just saying.

Anyway, as a result of my sans gloves way of gardening, I sit here with a throbbing thumb. Every time it dances on the space bar I’m reminded that I prefer to garden sans gloves.

(How many times did I hit the space bar in the above paragraph?)

A few days ago, while picking cucumbers and okra from the garden, I grabbed one of the afore mentioned veggies (both contain needle like spikes) in my bare hands as I’ve done hundreds of times and introduced three of those needle like spikes into the pad of my right thumb.

Throb…throb…throb…throb.

I could see them but I couldn’t get them out.  My skin is tough and leathery and once in, things have a tendency to remain in until they work themselves out.

Throb…throb…throb….

Yesterday, as I sat to type I noticed my right thumb felt a bit “odd” as it banged the space bar on my laptop.  A quick examination revealed redness and a swollen knot.  By evening, the swollen knot had become puss-filled with a dark center (yep that dark center is the little needle like spike).

Before I went to bed, I coated it with a dab of ichthammol ointment and wrapped the tarry, smelly stuff in three bandages. (Ichthammol is a drawing salve – today’s over the counter preparation is not as strong as what was available 60 years ago, but sufficiently strong to produce results.)

This morning the knot strains against the bandage and throbs in time with my heart.  In a few hours, I’ll release my damaged thumb from its bandage and wash off the black stuff. And, depending on what I find, I’ll either apply more ichthammol ointment and wrap it again, or I’ll sterilize a needle and make a way through my tough skin for the spike to retreat as pressure beneath it builds and pushes it upward and out.

As I look out toward the garden, I know it’s time to pick okra and cucumbers again.  For only a moment I consider slipping on Hubby’s work gloves for the task of picking them…for only a moment.

Part of the joy of gardening (for me) is to feel – skin on skin. I love the textures, the feel, the lumps and bumps, the smoothness and roughness, the fuzziness, slipperyness, wet coolness or dry warmth of each fruit that I handle.  From touch I can tell the size, ripeness, health, maturity, and pickability of each thing that my hand grasps. My fingers see what my eyes cannot.  Touching – it’s all a part of the experience.  And, I want to experience it all.

Even if that means the occasional thorn in the flesh. 😉

As I See It

My view and viewpoint are mine alone.

“As I see it” is just that – as I see it.

But, too often personal perspective is taken as the only perspective.

And, it’s not.

“As I see it” filters everything through my life experiences, understandings, prejudices, beliefs, hopes, personality….

“As I see it” is not as you see it.  Oh, we might agree on the surface, but if we dig deeper and examine the ins and outs, ups and downs of a thing we would soon find that as I see it is not the same as you see it.

This is true even within self – if I close one eye and look at an object, “as I see it” is different depending on which eye I am seeing with.  Ex: If I look through my left eye only, things look brighter and whiter. As I see it, the computer screen is blindingly white. If I look only through my right eye only, as I see it the screen is less bright and has a pinkish cast to it.

“As I see it” doesn’t make it fact, except for me.

“As I see it” is my perception of a thing, not necessarily true, nor must it be the whole truth of a matter.

But, I will doggedly defend a thing, as I see it, because it’s what I know (or all I know), is within my comfort zone, springs from the essence of who I believe myself to be, and is wrapped tightly in my ego and pride.

As I see it, my view is not the only view.  And, as I see it is important only to me when I insulate myself from others as they see it.

Strip me of life as I see it and force me to see through the eyes of another – I’m lost…blind…out of focus…without a point of view to anchor me.

And, this…this is when I grow, this is when I learn, this is when knowledge permits “as I see it” to expand beyond self and selfishness. As I see it becomes as we see it.

And, as we see it, there is room for expansion beyond self, a need for community, and wisdom in understanding life as others see it.

Rage

Rage is a terrible master.

Of all the emotions, rage is the most terrifying – the most dangerous.

As one who has experienced rage first hand – as bystander, victim and perpetrator – I know all too well its power and its potential.

Neither are good.

To those against whom I’ve raged, I ask your forgiveness.

To those who have raged against me, I offer my forgiveness.

To those for whom rage has become the normal response for dealing with life’s frustrations, I offer advice.

Rage doesn’t empower you.  Rage makes an idiot of you and hurts those closest to you.

Rage divides and destroys. And, ultimately rage will rob you of everything you hold dear.

So, stop it.  Now.

Be kind to yourself, and to others.

Feeding My Habit

For our anniversary, Hubby and I gave each other annual zoo passes.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Several weeks have passed since our last visit to the Nashville Zoo.

I miss the fresh air, the sounds, the animals, the paths, the crowds, the smells, and yes, I even miss maneuvering around the strollers.

It’s time for us to return to the zoo.  I know it is.

It’s time to feed my habit again.

Come on, Hubby, let’s escape to the zoo sometime soon! I can’t wait!

Apollo 11 – What if it Failed?

For those of us who grew up during the space race, Apollo 11 ignited a passion to boldly go where we’d never gone before, to follow in the footsteps of those who had trod upon new ground, and to imagine one step becoming a giant leap that would propel us into the unimaginable.

What if the mission of Apollo 11 had failed? What if they were unable to leave the moon?

There’s an interesting article on Space.com that’s well worth the time it takes to read (especially if you remember watching the live black and white broadcasts on the TV in your living room like we did).

Within the article is a speech written for then President Nixon – a just in case speech.  It was the speech with which the President would address the nation in the event that the mission of Apollo 11 failed.

Here’s a teaser.

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

 

 

Light Living

Jesus’ invitation, “Come, follow me” was a call to learn of Him…to know His Father….

And, it was more.

“Come, follow me.”  That’s a personal call to leave where you are and go where someone else is. It’s a call to draw close and not remain at a distance. It’s a call to embrace and interact – to make it personal. It’s a call to make a decision to stop going your way and follow the lead of someone else.  It’s a call to pledge allegiance to Jesus and what He taught and not to ourselves and what we think or want.  It’s a call to lay aside who we are and what we do and become someone else doing something else for someone else.

In scripture, those who followed Jesus left all when they followed.

Followers of Jesus (then and now) experience a putting off and a putting on.

They put off their old way and put on His way.

I don’t know any better way to say it, so I’ll quote Paul in Ephesians chapter 4 (beginning with verse 22, using the New International Version).

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life,

  • to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 
  • to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
  • and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
  • Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and
  • speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
  • “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
  • He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
  • Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
  • And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
  • Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
  • Be kind and compassionate to one another,
  • forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

I don’t know about you, but from what I just read, I’ve been giving lip service and not truly following Jesus.

God, forgive me and empower me to truly follow Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.