Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Confession to the Power of Ten

I had surgery today. It was definitely indicated, very necessary and extremely long overdue. While the results won't be in for a few weeks, maybe even months, I'm pretty sure it was a success. Time will tell.

I want to thank my friends, family and other innocent parties for standing by me until I was miserable enough to voluntarily submit to this highly specialized, and delicate, procedure.

A specialty in AA circles, this surgery is known by the purely technical name of 'pulling my head out of my ass'.

It's especially effective on people who are 'bat shit crazy', another technical term whose origins I can only guess. Maybe one of you can weigh in and enlighten me. Regardless of it's origin, it is a perfect description of my general state these last many days/weeks/months.

A special thanks goes out to the following people for making today's surgery possible:
  • my new sponsor, Becky;
  • every blessed member of my new home, the Dawsonville Commuter Group;
  • the Chestatee noon meeting for cleaning the poopy off my disembutted face;
  • Mike for leading said meeting and being so kind;
  • Jessica for reminding me not to dwell in the morbid (after I get this off my chest I'll follow her advice);
  • Randy for putting up with me for the last three months;
  • and to everyone else who has held my hand while I wandered around Georgia blind.
Answers to questions you may be having:
  • no, the surgery wasn't painful, but walking around that way was;
  • no, I didn't need anesthesia (though I figured out why many people with long-term sobriety do go out);
  • no, I don't look any different post-surgery;
  • yes, I still need a haircut;
  • no, I don't have any more money than I did yesterday;
  • yes, I still have to move;
  • no, one of my bff's still not speaking to me;
  • yes, my business partner is actually more motivated than I've been;
  • and, yes, I feel sooooo much better.

Thanks for hanging out with me, even when I'm a little 'unwell'. :0

There is Nothing Like Living Life Out Loud.


Video courtesy of youtube.com. Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20 performing the hit song Unwell.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Confession Time

It's raining again. Sometimes I wonder if, like the Light of Zartha, it rains because I'm sad or depressed. Or if it's the other way around. These states were barely in my vocabulary, much less life, until the last few years. My natural state of Be-ing is upbeat and positive. But at times like these, I feel like I've been wrestled to the ground.

Uncle already.

Last night I couldn't sleep. Probably that two-hour nap I took in the middle of the day because I just couldn't seem to keep my eyes open. Or maybe it was eating so late. Regardless, it was 3ish before my meditation tape did its job and lulled me under.

As I lay there in bed, tied to the proverbial stake like Joan of Arc, the flames of my recent decisions attacked me from all sides. Unlike Joan, the smoke and heat didn't kill me. Instead, I was left to the mercy of those horrible, biting flames.

I'm writing a novel. Did I tell you? As the author, it is my job to make sure the heroine, or main character, suffers. Right now I'm a bit stuck, because I just don't want to. I like happy.

I can't help but think my own suffering is a divine ploy, designed to force me to allow hers. If this is how it is for writers universally, I feel bad for Stephen King. He's earned every sheckel.

I watched the movie King of California last night. In it, Michael Douglas plays a mental patient who is sprung from his most recent institution. Believing he knows where Spanish gold is buried, he convinces his 16-year old daughter to help him find it. The movie itself was offbeat and touching. But the California scenery made me ache for home.

Why is it, that even though you know, you don't Truly Know, until something you love is gone? I mean in your bones. In your guts. In the fiber of your Being.

I thought I could come back. And be gloriously happy. Turns out, I got one thing right. I came back. Sadly, I didn't get my happy ending. Happy, I am not.

So, it's confession time. I'm stepping out of the costume of Ms. Optimistic. And admitting that sometimes, things just don't work out. At least not the way we want it.

So we make the best of what we end up with.
  • My landlord split with his fiancee and wants to move back in to our trailer, which means we have to move out. So no garden. Bye bye beautiful view in Boonieville. 
  • My business partner is not motivated, and almost two months and lots of (borrowed) money later, our office is nowhere near ready.
  • I am out of money and out of assets. And deeper in debt.
  • And the long-lost love? In a movie somewhere. Or a book. Not here. Not for me. Not now.
Time to sign off and go make that heroine suffer. A lot. Maybe it'll allay some of mine. Here's to trying.

To see where I lived, worked and played, catch upcoming episodes of the movie on TMC Extra, or rent the movie. They end up digging for the treasure under the Costco in Simi Valley. I used to shop there...

Friday, March 26, 2010

An Award? Really?

As a fairly new blogger (less than a year), I am constantly learning new things about the world of blogging. Like there's a word for that world - blogosphere. Since I'm a bit of a nerd and like to make sure I know what I'm talking about before I put it out there to the universe, I google a lot.

For example, I just googled 'blogosphere' to give you the correct definition. Every time I google, I learn something new. If you don't already know this about me, I live to learn. Meaning...learning turns me on, lights me up, makes me happy in a warm, fuzzy kind of way. Told you I was a nerd.

I liked about.com's answer so I'll share (this author used WiseGeek.com's definition, then elaborated on it):

"...If you've ever visited a blog in your Web search travels, you've entered the blogosphere...

...The blogosphere is a term used to describe the millions of interconnected blogs on the Internet. The term was first used in late 1999 as a joke, and continued to be used sporadically as a humorous term for the next few years. The blogosphere is a way of describing the social creature that grows from a critical mass of blogs. - WiseGeek "

While I knew this in a general sort of way, I did not know that there are search engines, like Technorati, that searches millions of blogs, in real time, to find exactly what it is you're looking for. Wow. Gotta go check that out.

I discovered a few months ago, that there are people out there in the blogosphere whose blogs I really enjoy reading. These are all people I've never met, and possibly never will meet. At least in person. Most are informative and many are funny, witty and/or wise.

Of course, we all have our own reading preferences. And our own people. Meaning, I don't enjoy or relate to everyone. Obviously. Some are too silly, or obtuse, or travel in a parallel universe that a) I don't know anything about and don't care to at this point in time, or b) is way over my head, or c) is full of caca, or d) you fill in the blank.

Recently, I noticed that a couple of the blogs I read had 'blog awards'. About a week ago, I started noticing more of these. Maybe because I'm now clicking over more often to check out different blogs, and am finding other interesting people, and the more interesting people I find, the more likely they are to have awards.

Be that as it may, a week ago I thought, "hmm, wonder what you have to do to get one of those?" That thought was followed by, "hmm, wouldn't it be nice to have one. Or even many."

Well, blogosphere, ask and ye shall receive. Yesterday I clicked over to read my friend Postman's new post at the Sententious Vaunter, and I'll be darned if he hadn't awarded me one. A From Me to You Award. Huh. Thanks Postman! This is high praise indeed from a guy who has quite a way with words.

Apparently, acceptance of the FMTY award must be accompanied by two things. 1) the revelation of seven truths about myself, and 2) passing it on to seven more bloggers. As this is my first award, I hope I'm getting this right.

So...first things first.

1) I laid in bed last night thinking of 7 things to tell you that I haven't already revealed. I do so go on about myself in my blog, you know. And now 24 hours later...I'm having a tough time remembering even one. Okay, brain, give.

2) My toe nails, which are usually always painted, are now au naturel. Soon, it'll be warm enough for sandals again, and the paint you'll most likely find me in is polka dot. Yep. When I look at my toes I smile. Can't help it. My favorite is gingham, white polka dots on firetruck red. A close second I call Victoria's Secret, black dots on hot pink.

3) I've read Tolkein's The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy at least five times over the years. When I saw the first movie, it pissed me off. I'll spare you the reasons. But I love the books so I gave it another shot (and let the movie be a movie and not the book). I loved it. I've now seen the movies at least as many times, probably more. Though I don't usually watch violent films, I love number three the best.

4) I am a cat person. Over the years, I've had oodles of cats...and they've all been black. Till Bugsy. Who is white with a few black spots and looks like a rabbit. Maybe the witchiness is wearing off.

5) I love the ocean, am drawn to it, need to be close. Preferably at all times. But, I won't go in the ocean alone. Even when I'm with someone, it's scary. Seeing Jaws made it worse. But I've always had this irrational fear.

6) Sports and I are not compatible. At least not as a participant. I love to watch.

7) Losing my mother was the hardest thing I've ever endured. It's been three and a half years. And I'm just now half back to normal.

Now for the fun part. Bestowing this coveted award on seven other bloggers. Here goes:

It's bedtime and I have an early day tomorrow. I'm seeing my first paying patient in my new, old office. Go check out these amazing writers. They'll make you smile, and laugh and cry. And you just might learn something, to boot.

I laughed so hard reading Star Child's last post that Bugsy went flying from the room. My soul sista, every head, is new to the blogosphere, and has a great photo of a potty mouth. Literally. Go back a few posts and read the Sententious Vaunter's short story about Bonnie or any of his other amazing posts. The Finger is in the middle of a great breakdown of the new health care reform. FAR Manor is alternately down home and down-and-out scary (with his post-apocalyptical novel). Murrmurrs delivers a great ham on wry. Oh, and Jerry! Read Gently Said for a moving eulogy for Fess Parker aka Davy Crockett.

Badeep, badeep, dats all folks!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random Download

Night before last, the cows in the pasture by my bedroom window were lowing. Loudly. And often. Enough that I thought maybe something was wrong; a wild animal was threatening, a cow was calving, one was lost and they were trying to find it.

I thought about getting up with a flashlight and going to the rescue. Then I fell asleep.

They were still at it in the morning. Not just random moos, but moo moo moo moo moo, over and over and over. Looking out over the pasture, I saw nothing amiss. Eventually, they stopped. (Randy said simply, "it's springtime". Ahh. I'm slow, but get the drift.)

This morning, I sat with my tea on the back steps to listen to the birds. They're moving back, moving in, building nests. I saw them mostly in silhouette, in the cloudy-morning light. Some of the tiniest birds make the biggest noises.

There's a family of blue jays. A pair of titmice building a nest in the photina. Canadian Geese flew over, headed west, so I'm guessing they're taking up residence for the summer. I did not see my precious mockingbird. But the red-headed woodpecker was about.

Yesterday was a warm, sunny day, so I drove Betty with her top down to Dahlonega to pick up the banner for the office. I grabbed lunch at Chic-Fil-A, and bypassed my sign guy for a drive on a side road to eat.

North Georgia is greening and flowering, becoming more beautiful by the day. I got so caught up in the lovely sights, I almost forgot to turn around for my sign.

The daffodils are in full gloriosity, the yellowbells are in mid-bloom. I saw a quince, cherry trees, plums and saucer magnolias, all in early stages of blossom. The pear trees are just beginning to tip.

I passed a tiny airport with an enormous flag billowing in the lazy wind.

And an old, abandoned house surrounded by woods and daffodils.

On the way to Dawsonville to hang the banner, I stopped by The Sage Brush, a little shop I'd found the day before. I needed a hat to shield my eyes (remember, I'm running around top-down) and found one for $2.50 on consignment! A cutie that I would never have paid full price for, but at $2.50, I'm lovin' it.

To top off the day, I went to the 6 o'clock meeting, where I was asked to be discussion leader. Ha. Me. The new kid in town. I am grateful for this meeting and its people, and have decided to make it my home group. I even got a sponsor. (I haven't had either in years).

I am loved. Already. And I've only been around a short time.

To wrap it up, today is my AA anniversary. Nineteen years ago, I stopped drinking and drugging. Coming from a family with alcoholics on both sides of the family tree, that's saying a lot. Alcoholism killed my father at 49, my brother at 33, and my mother at 74. I am grateful I made it into recovery.

There is a noon meeting in Dahlonega. I think I'll go meet some new friends today. I will pick up a blue chip to celebrate sobriety. And to mark a new day in the life that I am choosing to live.

Photographs from top to bottom: Red-headed woodpecker caught in rare still moment (moves constantly!), field of daffodils in full bloom, flag billowing in the lazy wind, daffodils surrounding an old, abandoned house

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cochran Falls, Stage One

I climbed a mountain. Me. Who is afraid of heights.

Not intentionally, of course. The intent was to see Cochran Falls. Which we did. It was our second attempt, the first being a couple of months ago when we took the wrong fork on Blackhawk Road and ended up on the wrong trail. This time, we mapped it out on Google Earth.

We parked and followed a jeep road that was full of huge standing puddles, some resembling small lakes. The road looked impassable, even for a four-wheeler. As we neared the falls, we met some riders on horseback (whose tracks we'd followed) on their way back down.

At the end of the jeep road, we picked our way over a trail that followed the creek. Mountain goats might think twice about this trail. Once, I had to find a handhold in the rock above and throw my leg around an outcrop to get by. While this may be common for the less faint of heart, for me, it's quite remarkable.

Here, the tiny way markers led to the other side of the creek, so we crossed and kept going. Wrong. We should have crossed, then crossed back. Or just stayed on the right side of the creek. On the left there was no path.

We scaled that mountain. Literally. Not far up, it became an almost vertical climb. I am not exaggerating. We kept thinking if we got just a little bit higher we could see the top of the falls, the place where Cochran leaps over the lip of the mountain and cascades straight down. We never did.

What we did see, were a lot of wild rhododendrons that will bloom in a couple of months. We used these for anchors and to pull ourselves up. At times there was nothing to grab, but I discovered I could inch uphill on my knees. Randy even resorted to that a time or two.

Three hours in to our hike/climb, my legs were shaking and we still hadn't reached the top. There would appear to be a summit, then a ways further up, we'd realize it was not.

It was definitely beautiful from up there, above the trees and the world below. A little hard to appreciate or enjoy when resting on the side of a near-vertical incline. But, beautiful nonetheless. We found a rocky verge and stopped to rest, eat some trail mix, some fruit, drink some water. I got a couple of pictures, but by then, the overriding thought was not beauty or pictures, but how in the hell to get back down.

We did. I have to admit that I seriously thought of calling 911 from up there. Just to have someone spot us on GPS and tell us an easier way back. I will also admit that for a moment, I got scared. My fearless leader, however, forged on. Since he seemed to know what to do, I forced my shaking legs to follow.

We mostly slid down. On our butts. Which gives a whole new meaning to the term 'back slide'.

As I descended, a childhood memory of sliding down the banks of the red clay hills in the woods behind our house, crept in. Back then, we'd done it for fun. Or so I'd thought. Maybe Mama had taken us up there, then realized the only way back down without getting hurt was on our backsides. Because, quite honestly, I don't remember doing it on a regular basis. And, if it was just for fun, wouldn't we have?

We were careful to avoid the saw briers. These are wicked strong briers that reach out and grab and can hurt like the dickens. There were so many in our downward path, I dubbed Frosty 'Saw Brier Mountain'. I think I may still have one stuck in me arse.

Part way down, the trees I used to stop my downhill slide (otherwise, we'd have been like Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone) were marked by some wild animal. Not one or two trees. But, lots of them. So, now I'm having visions of being stalked by a mountain lion. Or a mad mama bear with cubs. Randy assured me the marks were too low for either. Whatever it was, we were right smack dab in the middle of some animal's territory. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

I'm sure if I hadn't been so frantic to get down, I might've appreciated the beauty of the moss-covered boulders with water dripping out from under them. And maybe I was afraid to look too close for fear of finding a cave or den underneath. Remember that old adage, what you don't know won't hurt you?

Eventually, we made it back to Cochran Creek, just below the falls. We crossed over and picked up the goat trail, but I was too tired to kiss the ground. Afterwards, we trudged the remaining mile and a half back to the truck, which we reached exactly six hours after we'd left it.

Home again, I took a hot shower and collapsed, muscles screaming from head to toe.

It's now two days later. Randy found a discussion forum on GeorgiaHikes.com that talks about a guy who died up there, having fallen on slippery rocks in the falls. Ha. Glad I didn't read that before we went up.

But, yes. We'll go back. Why? Because we still haven't gotten to see that glorious, free-falling cascade.

And because we're stubborn and refuse to say uncle.

Photographs from top to bottom: mud 'lake' on jeep road on way in to Cochran Falls; Lower Cochran Falls; Lower falls through rhododendrons; view from rocky verge; slide below lower falls; below slide

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Sky is Crying Sunshine

Today I saw a butterfly fluttering against the window. It was struggling a bit, no doubt having just woken up from a long winter nap.

Later, I heard a buzzing, and found a wasp stirring against the door I'd propped open to let in the warm, fresh air. He, too, was having a bit of a rough time, trying out his new wings.

Yesterday, while driving home, I noticed a weeping willow bowing down with its first coat of green. And the daffodils have been blooming for a week.

Spring is definitely upon us, and the equinox is just around the corner.

I unpacked my summer clothes a while ago, from the boxes that bore them from Southern California to my new home in North Georgia. We've been here for three months. I shook them out and hung them, though the wrinkles may never fall out. They'll most likely be scheduled for a quick trip around the clothes dryer before they're worn.

Unpacking those clothes made me homesick. Oh, I know that Georgia is home. But so much of my heart lies on that far west coast that it brings tears to my eyes. And a longing to my heart.

Bugsy meows at the door to come in. And I wonder. Does he miss home, too?

I bet he does. He misses the knucklehead. And his balcony. He misses the land where he was born.

I hold my gentle comrade close. And we miss that home together.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Highly Sensitive People

Yesterday, while researching one of the characters for my new book, I discovered something. I've always known that I am different. What I didn't know, is that I am not alone. Seems that about 20% of the world's population have what I have. Or is what I am.

We are highly sensitive people. Or HSP, for short.

HA! They even have an acronym for me. Who knew.

Research has shown that I (we) process sensory data much more deeply and thoroughly due to a biological difference in our nervous systems. It's biological!

As a child I couldn't be still. I was always fidgeting. Not much has changed in that category in the last 52 years.

I am one of those people who are so sensitive that scratchy clothing bothers me. Sock seams irritate me. Crooked seams drive me bonkers. I have a pair of thermal pants that I can't wear. After an hour, the seams start twisting around till I can't take it any more. I won't wear uncomfortable shoes. This includes most sneakers and hiking boots. They just don't fit my feet right. Either the foot pad is misplaced or a seam rubs, the instep's too tight. Always something. If there's a hair inside my shirt, I will peel it off to find it.

I can't wear wool. Two seconds against my bare skin and I'm squirming like a loon. After five seconds, I rip it off. Same with any kind of scratchy fabric; nylon, acrylic, even scratchy cotton. My bed sheets must be soft and high thread count.

I have always related to Hans Christian Andersen's Princess and the Pea. In case your grandmother never read you those stories, she was the one who slept on top of umpteen mattresses with one tiny pea under the bottom-most...and could still feel the pea. Yep, that's me. I fidget even in bed. The covers have to be just so. And do not lay on top of my covers and pin me down. I will fight you.

There are other 'manifestations' of this 'condition'. (I like to think of it as more a state of being.)

My senses are heightened in every way, not just touch; but also smell, hearing, taste, and sight. Strong smells irritate me, including most perfumes and colognes. If you sit next to me wearing Opium perfume or men's Polo, I will get up and run. Some irritate me, some I can't handle at all. Exhaust fumes gag me. Chicken houses...omg.

I love music. But if it's too loud, it hurts. Literally. That goes for televisions, movie theaters and loudspeakers. If I go to a concert, I take cotton to stuff in my ears. Loud voices, especially arguments, make me cringe, even cower. My friend Ivy recently described sitting in the bleachers at a NASCAR race, and just reading her description made me squirm. That fingernail on the blackboard screech? Through the roof. Now I know that these things ramp my nervous system to the point of explosion.

You would think with sensitive eyes, I could see better than normal. Not. But my eyes are very sensitive to light. I have to wear sunglasses, in fact, I don't understand people who don't. Coo coo, coo coo. Bright overhead lights are even too much. I recently had to don a baseball cap to be able to watch TV with the overhead light blaring. Seriously.

Think I'm a freak yet? Or pretending, to get my way? Some do.

There is another side to being a Highly Sensitive Person. My 'skin' is very thin, emotionally. Things that don't bother 80% of the people, bother me. Sometimes intensely. I feel deeply. And, I am very in tune with other's moods. When people I'm close to are having a bad day, I tend to have a bad day, too. I can't watch scary movies. Or violent ones. And these days, even heavy drama is too much.

I pick up on very subtle nuances. For instance, most people, especially men, aren't in touch with their feelings. I tend to know when something is wrong. Or different. Or whatever. Usually before they even know it themselves. Don't step out on me. I have radar.

Most of us HSP's are loners. Why? We find solace in quiet. In nature. Outdoors. Or alone in our rooms, playing quietly. As you know, there's not much silence when others are around. Plus, I'm compelled to make small talk.

There is an up side to being a Highly Sensitive Person. We're extremely intelligent. We tend to be creative geniuses. And we're very intuitive.

Of course, for a person whose heart's desire is to be loved truly, madly and deeply...and without condition...intelligence, creativity, intuition and genius are cold seconds. Even if they don't mind you fidgeting in bed.

For more information on Highly Sensitive People, or to find out if you may be one, or know one, or have one as a child, check out the first three links below. If you find (or know) you are an HSP, the last three links are for you.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy set  in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, it would roll out in 2022 or later as Awen Unleashed.


Excerpt taken from HighlySensitivePeople.com:
Pearl S. Buck, (1892-1973), recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938, once said about highly sensitive people:
"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:
A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.

To him...

a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create —— so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating."
—Pearl S. Buck

Photographs of famous HSPs in order from top:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's Not Officially Spring Till the Mockingbird Sings

Yesterday, the first of our daffodils bloomed, coaxed out of their bud casings by several warm, sunny days in a row. Sitting on the steps for quiet time, I realized I haven't seen or heard any mockingbirds since moving in. Mockers are my all-time favorite bird and are normally seen here year round. So, I googled to find out how to attract them to our yard.

Mockingbirds typically eat insects and love fruit. Including raisins. So I bought and hung a suet holder with a sticky cake of raisin suet.

Today it rained, a good soaking rain, making me wonder, 1) will the rain melt my suet, 2) how long will it take for the birds to discover it, and 3) once they find it, how long till the mockingbirds are notified.

So far, questions one and two are answered. The rain did not melt that greasy, sticky mass of gooey suet. And, the birds found it this afternoon, about 24 hours after it first appeared in the front yard. So far I've seen one black-capped chickadee and a court of (several) gray kingbirds. Or eastern kingbirds, I'm not exactly sure which. Oh, and there was one kingly male cardinal.

I am delighted with the visitors. And sent them forth to call all mockingbirds to come.

For breakfast. For lunch. For dinner. To move in to the neighborhood, hopefully, for good.

Mockingbird bird picture courtesy of BirdsForever.com.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Le Lait de Chevre Sur Mon Visage

During our Valentine's Day trip to Dahlonega, one of the places we stopped was High Cotton. Located on the north side of the square, this delightful little shop displayed, among other things, a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook in the window.  My copy had been left behind in California, a gift to a special friend who had fed me on many occasions.

Knowing I missed my cookbook, Randy suggested we go in. Then bought it for me for Valentine's Day.

A Better Homes and Gardens cookbook has been in my house forever, I learned to bake from Mama's as a child. The recipe for my all-time favorite cookie, the snickerdoodle, is still in there, same ingredients, including cream of tartar. Without that, it's just a cinnamon-coated sugar cookie. Still good, but definitely not a snickerdoodle.

The cookbook itself has changed substantially. Nostalgic and sad, I stifle the urge to comb used book stores to find an older version. I get a similar feeling when I visit Villa Rica, the town I grew up in. There is now a bigger, newer, updated version of my home town. Some probably think it's better. Me? Not so much.

Still, my new cookbook, a thoughtful gift from my guy, is a welcome (return) addition in my kitchen.

But I digress.

That day, in High Cotton, I also bought a purse-size lotion for my hands. It's made in Canada by Canus. From goat's milk. Julia Norton, the shop owner with a youthful, dewy complexion, said she uses this lotion on her face. Surprise. It would never occur to me to do that. Instead, I spend $30+ on a tiny bottle of moisturizer because the marketing gurus told me I should. And pay even more for night goo. And then there's the eye cream.

Yet, this beautiful woman (who is older than me) uses nothing on her face, except this goat's milk lotion. Not even make-up. Her radiant skin is devoid of wrinkles. And she glows.

Now, I have been having a skin-care crisis for years, trying first one brand then another, alternating between store-brands and the expensive stuff, trying to find what works. Yet, my skin health visibly declines. I am aging in front of my eyes. I only want what every woman wants. What Carol has.

So, I thought, "What the hay. I'll give it a try."

Beginning that day, three weeks ago, I've used it on my face and hands. So far I see no miracles. The lines haven't miraculously disappeared. But my cheeks feel plumper, less dehydrated. I'm not flaking. Or peeling. Not breaking out. No red splotches. My hands feel better, less rough and dry, more smooth.

Reaching the end of my experiment (i.e. the last tiny squirt in the go-size bottle) I returned to High Cotton. Instead of Carol, there was another beautiful woman who also uses le goat's milk potion on her face. And loves it. I bought a 16-ounce bottle of the fragrance-free for only $11.75. I'm also trying the bar soap, which sells for $4.00.

I'll let you know. But my face and hands feel younger already. And I'm beginning to think that my skin-care crisis, at long last, is over.

By the way, I looked up the ingredients on the cosmetics database (previously Skin Deep). Of all the stuff I've used over the years, this one is the least toxic. Wow. So not only will I look younger, I will no longer be ingesting all that toxic stuff that the U.S. seems to not give a hoot about. Yeehaa!

Thank you, Canus, for looking after my health and my youthful skin. Thank you, Carol and High Cotton, for caring enough to not only use this fine product, but to sell it to me. And, thank you, Randy, for my Valentine's gift.

Picture from the Canus website.

Friday, March 5, 2010

In the Quiet of Morning

I realized this morning that I am a little off-kilter. Well, maybe a lot. The realization has been sitting there, staring me in the face. Guess I've been too 'busy' to let it in.

I finally tore myself away from the computer this morning and sat on the steps in the sun. It's still chilly here in North Georgia, 31 degrees when I went out. I put on my Koolaburras, grabbed a throw to wrap around my legs and donned my uberheavy Brian Head sweatshirt. I took my breakfast with me, a handful of raw walnuts, a plum and the last inch of green tea in my cup.

This is what has been missing in my life. Sitting. Being quiet. First thing. To start my day. This is what feeds me.

Lately, I seem to get out of bed, make my tea, then sit down at the computer. I first check Intellicast for the weather. Then off to Facebook, reading messages and comments,perusing friend updates. Since my friends are on both coasts, and cover three time zones, this takes awhile. I read a few articles, watch a video or two, pick up news, giggles and inspiration along the way. I comment, when so moved.

Eventually, I make my way to email, which is pretty sparse these days. I haven't seen patients in almost three months, so nothing from them. And, oh, how I miss those emails from my sweetheart. Guess those things fall by the wayside when you live together.

A week ago I added Twitter. And now, post-Twitter, there have been days I've been sucked in to the computer from early morning until mid-afternoon.

No wonder I'm off kilter! My morning ritual has gone bye-bye. There has been no sitting in silence savoring my tea, no listening to my muse. No journaling. No introspection. No inner thought food.

Yes, I've been learning Twitter, which is intimidating and mysterious. I'm now aware that it is a great tool for getting my writing seen; by magazines, news services, agents, other writers, and publishers, just to name a few. I get to follow William Shatner, who signs his tweets 'Bill'. I've made many contacts, including Deep South Magazine and Hello North Georgia, and a few of my blogposts were tweeted by WNEG.

Yesterday, after facebook and twitter and emails, I spent the afternoon painting my new office, slathering great gobs of dark, olive green paint over yuckey comet green walls. Alone for four hours, in that quiet old building, I had plenty of time to think. But there was too much noise in my head, all those twitters, and messages and that weird dream that needed analyzing. Turns out that dream just pointed me back to this same thing:

After 19 years of quiet morning time, I need it as much as I need food. It feeds my spirit. This is the time when I replenish. Am inspired. Commune with nature. Talk to God. This is where I find my center and anchor in. This is the place from whence miracles spring. My morning quiet time.

In the noisy clamoring of cyberspace, I'd forgotten. I used to tell folks that I get up by 7, but I don't do people until 10. I've been breaking my own rule. Just because they're in the computer and not standing in front of me, they're still people.

Oh. Yeah.

BTW, I miss you...
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