Wednesday, August 12, 2009
A day or so ago, the Spark People's Healthy Reflection email contained the following quote:
Without forgiveness life is governed by...an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation. - Roberto Assagioli
It's true, there is no doubt. It's also something that brought up a painful subject for me.
I am Native American. My mother doesn't show her heritage, but I do. When I was a kid, I lived out in the sun and my skin was a beautiful shade of very dark brown. My hair is curly and almost black.
My father and his immediate family were a bunch of bigots. His sister's husband liked to ask me ugly questions such as "how do you like your dog cooked, Julee" and "what kind of indian are you, nigahoe?".
Oh yeah and it didn't stop there. He urged his son and my own brother to call me things like 'blacky' and the n word above. Let's not forget the 'nappy' hair comments that riddled my childhood.
Another relative told me that "we lynch people like you". I was FIVE but I understood what lynch meant and I was afraid of these people. Needless to say, I developed anxiety disorders and fear disorders. I kept them well hidden, tho, because those people were like animals - if they smelled fear on you, they went for blood.
My own father stood there and said nothing one time someone asked me that ugly "what kind of indian are you...." question.
While I was in college, the son of the uncle mentioned above already had a terrible drug problem - one time when he was loaded on cocaine, he tried to rape me and told me he'd never had any 'dark meat' and wanted to see what it was like.
OK, fast forward to present day. My brother (who is blue eyed and blond) is now married to a blue eyed blond and they live in the same city as that uncle mentioned above.
A few years ago, at my brother's birthday party, said uncle was there. He was very neutral to my son, though he thought my daughter was cute (take a look at their pics - you'll see why) and when we were all leaving, he told me NOT JUST ONCE, but SIX TIMES "Hey Julee, did you hear that Al Sharpton buried the word N----- today?" I tried to ignore him, but he kept at it. Finally I said "yep, and they should have buried every idiot that USES that word along with it" HE got mad and was ready to go.
Brother and SIL have been urging me to go to family reunions with these people. They've called me unforgiving and hateful because I refuse to subject myself and my children to these people. My sister in law unfriended me on facebook and didn't talk to me for months. That hurt some.
My maternal grandmother (my beloved Nana) always told me "Juleebug, you can't choose your relatives, but you can choose your friends. You can choose who you want to hang out with no matter what."
I have chosen NOT to expose myself or my children to them.
I seriously don't hold a grudge! I am not feeling hatred or anger right now. I have considered the source. Like any wound, if I pick at it enough, I can dig up pain - but I choose not to. Ignorance is ignorance and you cannot teach something to someone who doesn't want to learn. So let them live in their stupidity.
Even though you have forgiven the fire for burning you, are you going to stick your hand back in the flame?
Am I wrong?
Monday, July 06, 2009
In previous blogs there are pics of the 20 Ton pile of dirt and tales of starting the garden - late because of the dental disaster. As you may have read, the dental disaster didn't really end until the June 2 pulling of The TOOTH.
The garden got started late - in early May.
In spite of the late start, things are going pretty well. Everything except the strawberries were planted as seed directly into the ground. I chose mostly heirloom varieties with the exception of the summer squashes and the okra (spineless!). Planted yellow pear (a cherry variety), mortgage lifter(these are supposed to get between 2 and 5lbs EACH), cherokee purple and super sioux tomatoes, zucchini and yellow summer squashes, clemson spineless okra, anaheim peppers, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, cucumbers (to slice and eat), cantaloupes, moon & stars watermelons, sweet orange watermelons, pumpkins, basil, cilantro, lemon balm, cumin, honeydew melon. Planted a thing called Lemon Cucumber last week just to see if it would do it's thing - we'll see if it's actually going to come up or not.
I have to admit that I am AMAZED at the seed performance in most things. Every single tomato seed planted has come up - same for cantaloupes, summer squash, okra, peppers, basil, cilantro, cucumber and green beans(only planted 2 green beans just to see if they'd come up and have already eaten some!). Three quarters of the pumpkin seeds came up, half the watermelons came up. The failures - Honeydew melons, lemon balm & cumin did not come up at all - think it was way too hot for the seeds by the time I got them planted. That's OK. Will be really hungry for them next year.
The strawberries are UNDER the summer squash - the summer squash protect the little plants from the summer heat and sun and the strawberries are spreading like wildfire under there. The variety of strawberry chosen is Fraises des boises - it's an alpine variety that is rated to Zone 10. We're not quite zone 10 here, but there have been some days in the past (& some to come) that got well over 110 with 3 percent humidity, so for things that I'm not certain about, I choose zone 10. Dealing with our extreme heat in the summer is similar to what folks have to take into consideration in places where they have a very hard freeze in winter - it can be very extreme and hard on persons and plants.
Our tomatoes are all indeterminate which means that they are continually growing and producing. Determinate varieties make a bush that needs little support, give you a bunch of tomatoes during a time and then give up the ghost. Already having to get creative with supports and am certain that will continue! Figure that if I get a few warming lights and keep garden quilts handy, we can have fresh tomatoes past Thanksgiving. We'll see.
Already have a few baby pumpkins & asked the kids what they wanted to do with them. PUMPKIN PIE was the response. Figure we'll have enough to make plenty of pumpkin everything and a couple for jack o'lanterns, too.
Have been using certified organic seaweed and fish emulsion for fertilizing and foliar feeding - the squash are 4ft tall with 12+ inch leaves. The tomatoes are covered with fruit and blooms - there are over 30 tomatoes as of today and countless blossoms. There are too many cantaloupes to count, too. The day after a foliar feeding, the plants are noticeably bigger - it's amazing.
I prefer Integrated Pest Management - basically, if you see a bug that's a good guy, leave him alone; if you find a bug that's a bad guy, kill it with your shoe or whatever and keep an eye on things. Don't bring out the big guns til you have a real problem. For real problems, which I am very lucky not to have many of, have used hot pepper wax, Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap, and diatomaceous earth for pest control. Have lots of beneficials in the garden - pollinator bees that live in the ground and don't make honey are the main pollinators, but there are other critters in abundance, too. NOTE: Diatomaceous Earth does NOT kill your earthworms! It's non-toxic to yourself and your animals (don't create a dust to breathe in - that's not good) and if you purchase food grade DE, you can feed it to your animals in their food to rid them of any parasites they may have. Since I am a Feral Cat Community Manager, I always get the food grade and feed it to the ferals at least 2 times a year. Since they kill rats and birds (big tapeworm carriers here) a lot, they are more prone to parasite activity.
Found a BIG tarantula in the cantaloupes today. She startled me and I scared her a little, but she didn't run too fast - she is still in there and that's a good thing - . A bumble bee kept buzzing my head this morning too - does my shampoo smell that good? Don't think so. Think it was a territory thing. He got RIGHT up in my face and I stood my ground (which was HUGE cuz most of my life I've been terrified of these) and told bumble bee that it was OK to visit my garden, but that it was MY garden and he wasn't going to run me out of there, that I had things to do. He could keep doing his thing and I would do mine.
Dirt pile looks a lot smaller and it is - but there have been critters going over and around it daily and children playing on it frequently not to mention the rain and wind action. I have hauled 66 loads of dirt in my big wheel barrow - Bill has offered to help, but I really wanted to do it. With all the cactus around here, had to get a solid wheelbarrow tire and put that on. Put one on the old rusty wheelbarrow, too. The old one is the same size as the new one - rated for 300 or 500lbs, but its so old that I'm afraid to put a lot of dirt in it. Keep the new one tipped up so it won't get full of rain.
Think I'm still recovering some from the monster tooth affair, but overall, feeling much better. There have been a couple of days when I had to push myself out the door to tend the garden, but pretty much every day it's a pleasure to go do. Knowing that I'm going to provide for my family and myself produce that hasn't been drenched in poison a minimum of 10 times in it's short life is part of what drives me. The fact that I'm feeding these plants so well and the health benefits of these fruits and vegetables will be real instead of pretty bags of water is another motivator.
Haven't picked up any iron for over a month. I miss it. I know I will do it in time - will have to break in easy & all that. Had to give my body time to heal up - exercise is a stressor, disease is a stressor, sickness and infection (bad tooth) is a stressor. Too many stressors going on at once and guess what? Things get worse - no progress is made. So deadlines and goals must be adjusted or eliminated. Yes, I said eliminated. Not the goals, but the DEADLINES we set for said goals. Sometimes, those deadlines are very stressful and end up being a very negative force in one's life.
The minute I said to myself "It's OK, I am eating HEALTHY and not excessively - doing things right, the weight will go when it goes and until then, I am OK with me." the weight started melting off again. The only exercise I'm getting right now is the gardening. Believe me, it's not just standing around with a hose in my hand! However, I haven't really done anything grueling for quite a while, either.
And yeah, it thrills me to say it - 30 lbs GONE FOREVER!!! WOOHOO!
Monday, July 06, 2009
The way you think about things can affect the way things go. If you think something is "impossible", then it will be. If you go every day to your job thinking "I hate this job", then things will be miserable.
If you have someone at your job who is flat out terrorizing you and you go in there fearful of the terror every day, you give up your power; if you go in there realizing that the person who is terrorizing you is deep down broken and hurt and is taking it out on you - it doesn't magically make the pain go away, HOWEVER, you do have your power, you are not just laying there like a doormat waiting for the next foot. When you retain your power, you are able to see things completely differently - not as a subjective victim, but rather, as an equal human being with rights and feelings.
The way you think about things directly affects the way life goes for you. So, doesn't it make sense to think about things in the most positive way you can muster? If you're only able to muster one positive thought per day, do it. As you build this habit, try for more. Consistency is key. If you find yourself on your way to bed and discover you haven't said or thought one positive thing all day, don't go to bed til you find ONE thing to say something positive about or think something positive about. Go to the mirror and say something nice to yourself AND MEAN IT.
Suddenly one day, you'll find yourself looking at glasses half full instead of glasses half empty. And it will really be the way you think, not just a mental exercise you're doing.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
how you walk and where you go, for there are those following you who will set their feet where yours are set..
-- Robert E. Lee
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
During May, I noticed my energy ebbing. Would work out really hard and then be almost sick for days from the weakness afterward. As time went on, this got worse till I was not just pushing me anymore, it was more like I was pushing a freight train with it's brakes on.
More and more sleep did less and less for me. Thought my thyroid meds were wacky again and playing with the dosage did NOTHING. The vitamin combo I take mid day for a little extra energy did NOTHING. What's up?
Some days it took every bit of mettle I had too keep from spiraling into a full-blown panic about this - really. The dark exhaustion from when I was undiagnosed seemed to be encircling me again and it was scary.
For the entire Month of May, I worked and crashed, worked a little less, the crashed, worked a little less than before and crashed. Rested up from the crash and tried again only to crash again.
Finally tho, on June 1, the cause reared its ugly head. I got up and my face was swollen. My dentist got me in that day. His words were "you have done EVERYTHING you could possibly do for that, it's time to go". He gave me a referral and antibiotics. OK.
Next day was the appointment with the guy who would pull it. Numbed me up really good and it took him 5 minutes - the monster tooth was out. He did a bone graft for an implant later and sent me on my way. In two months, there will (hopefully) be a new fake tooth there.
Spent the last several days on the couch, lucidity coming and going, drinking lots of juice and water, eating yogurt, a couple of baby zuccs from the garden, soggy cereal and oatmeal. OH yeah, lets not forget those raw eggs I craved. I tracked my calories in my head and my journal. Did OK - didn't go over. Didn't eat any junk.
Made PLANS for the way to start working out again and plans for what to plant next in the garden. Set up some ideas to test and contingency plans for whichever way those tests go.
We all should on ourselves. It's a thing we do. Sometimes, it just needs to be said, tho, and as long as we don't dwell on the shoulds too long, actually LEARN something about ourselves or a situation while dwelling momentarily in the shoulds, it's OK. Its when you go to the shoulds and let them freeze you from ever taking a step out of them again is when you're in trouble.
Ripped myself up one side and down the other for not just having this stupid tooth PULLED in MARCH when this issue came up then. I was SO AFRAID of having the extraction, I was willing to do ALMOST ANYTHING to avoid it. Then it took 5 minutes. FIVE MINUTES! In March, it felt like I had to move heaven and earth to save this tooth, was SICK after the surgery for weeks, felt pain for a month. Do you see where I'm going here?
Along the way, there were LOADS of signs that this tooth was past saving and I was pushing uphill to do so. The tears in the endodontist's eyes when he said "OK, I will do my best to try and save it" were my last sign - he KNEW it probably wouldn't work, but he cut a hole in my jaw to try. Because I asked him to save this tooth.
I saw the signs. I let my fear run the show and we pressed on, ignoring the signs. Gonna save this tooth. This painful tooth that is ruining your health and slowing your ass down, Julee. Save the tooth.
The dentist who did the extraction was great - very nice, gentle man. YEs, I hurt afterward, but it wasn't HUGE, MONSTROUS, this-is-probably-my-last-moment-on-Earth pain. He gave me pain meds to take every 3 hours. Which I only did the first day. The 2nd day I took it 2 times and the 3rd and 4th days took it at night to sleep. The pain subsided really quickly compared to the procedure in March. TODAY it's been just over a week and it doesn't hurt. At all.
I asked for my tooth after he pulled it. He gave me the weirdest look when I asked. That's OK. Not the first time, not the last.
Saving this ugly monstrous tooth that is clenching a chunk of my jaw bone in it. To remind me that holding on to something, no matter how scary letting go is, is a negative behavior and you pay and pay again for negative behaviors.
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