Sunday, August 22, 2010

Paying Attention

Life is so beautiful, so fragile and so hard to grasp a hold of. What do I know of it?

It has been a great teacher, each little day slipping into another, honestly at times it has been hard. Yet I would rather grasp at it and keep going rather than let it pass by.

More than anything I despise ignorance, ignorance is not something that is easy to eradicate though, you either learn from experience or you learn from searching out what others know about life and the world.

There are things that you know, from learning, from observation and then there are the things that you know in your heart.

I can't tell you that I have seen God, that I have read enough or know enough about life and history to say that all of the world can come up with a clear vision of what the reality of religion is.

I can tell you though that through all of the hard times, when I needed extra knowledge and assurance God has been there.

There is a tangible state of mind, state of feeling, state of being; that comes from quiet intentional worship.

So I go throughout my day's, it is hard but I'm trying, trying to eradicate the ignorance in my life.

Sometimes the storms of life drive away the debris that piles up from inattention...

it is when I am paying attention, to life, to my thoughts, to why I am feeling the way that I am that I really get somewhere; so I hope I can pay attention more often and hopefully I can learn to avoid ignorance.

(I just want to say thank you to everyone who's been such a help and a blessing to me as of late and I want to say how proud I am of my brother Evan, who through the recent e-mail that he has sent us has shown a great deal of understanding of life, of leadership and of the Gospel... Plus I want to thank Susan for helping me yesterday, her tips have helped a lot... though I think I will have to call on her again) ;)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Refracted Light

Today has been absolutely insane! But not terrible...

First off, I tried out a sample of this fancy expensive shampoo... result... this stuff actually sort of sank into my hair in a rough gooy spot. Then I tried to "lather" it and I was able to sort of spread it a bit... bad idea... I got my hair wet then tried to distribute it... then feeling my hair get more and more rough and resistant I decided to try and wash it all out...

Then I tried the conditioner, "Why?" I suppose I'm a glutton for punishment. The conditioner wasn't as bad but it wasn't good either. I ended up washing out my hair and grabbing my regular organic shampoo (expensive but not as expensive as the other stuff.... oh boy!) I did another wash and then put two types of conditioner on and then I found that a lot of strands of hair were coming out... so annoyed as all get out I washed my hair out then hopped out of the tub to dry off and get dressed.

Normally my morning bath is done in about 5-10 min.... today it took 25!! I was so ticked off... I had to dry my hair and rush downstairs for breakfast (which turned out to be cornflakes...) then I rushed to gather a few things for lunch and then rushed to get Little R ready and out the door... a few blocks later I realize that I forgot my phone so I rushed back home, picked it up then rushed to the daycare... then happily got her there with a decent amount of time to get to work (well sort of) got to work (sort of) on time (within the 10 min. they allow anyway) and my day started.

Then I got pulled into training right away... trained, supervised, answered questions... repeat until about noon when I realized that I had forgotten the pasta salad that I had signed up to bring (I was hoping to make one gluten free). So I went with a few others over to Wal-Mart and bought some salad stuff.

We got back, (hehe... my friend got a bird poop bomb on his neck) and then I had a salad for lunch. More Training and such... then I was able to do a little bit of sorting out on the project that I'm working on to fix installment billing issues...

Left work at 3:50, went to the DV Group... which was good, then went home (though I probably should have gone right then up to my mom's). I cooked up the lime cilantro chicken that I had pounded and marinated the night before (and it was super delicious...) then ran up to mom's to get A and R... A wanted to stay there and go to the movies with my little sis. (plus sleep over) but I put my foot down and said no since I've let her do just about anything that she's wanted to do all summer and I felt that she should be home for a while.

Then I tried fixing stuff for my boarder salad... burned the rice while looking up Karen Carpenter for A... then started cooking more rice while I tried to study Excel (learned 1 new concept! Go me!!) Then started fiddling with my ipod and mp3 player trying to get songs on one so that I could isolate informational stuff on the other.

After that I went downstairs to almost burnt second batch of rice, then I made my border salad (yummy but not quite the same as the stuff at GE). Then I cleaned up all the pots and dishes from the days cooking efforts and gave R a bath (while reading her a couple of simple books). Got Little S in the tub, then I ran out the door to walk around the block (since my plan to go to the gym was shot) came back and found that Little R had jumped in the tub and thus had to get fresh clothes and that somehow all of the songs on my ipod had been wiped off...

For the past hour I've been trying to download the songs again (because iTunes suddenly couldn't locate them) and intermitently running out the door to go around the block.

While walking I was pondering a bit, initially I ran out the door w/o contacts on or glasses... I really can't see very well... makes me wonder where my vision will head in the future. The facilitator of the group I go to is almost completely blind... makes me wonder if that's going to be my future as well.

I recalled an incident from when I was a little girl where I was sitting in the car waiting for my dad and looking at the streetlamps down the block... I marveled at the multifaceted balls of light, sort of like fireworks or blooming flowers. When my dad came to the car I pointed them out to him... there were many instances were I wasn't able to see clearly when I was a little girl and I didn't know that I had trouble seeing... that was just how the world was.

Isn't that how life is? You think that the world is one way... but often times it's not, it's another way... and from one moment to the next it's hard to say when it is that you are not seeing clearly.

Anyway, crazy day... I'm off to sleep...

SG

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Border Salad

I have an expensive confession... I'm in love with this border salad up at "Cafe Fresh" a little cafe in my fav. store "Good Earth!"

The only prob. is that it costs $10.00 an order, ouch! It's well worth it as it includes a lot of food, yet I still feel slightly guilty spending that much for lunch for just me... (well actually little R. eats the leftovers when I pick her up from day care).

So I thought about it, it is just corn tortilla chips, brown rice, black beans, corn, Jicama (a root vegetable which is slightly sweet), mozzarella, lime cilantro chicken (added to the order) and I like to eat it with a balsamic vinaigrette (which I am finding can be lovely, I need to find a good recipe and make my own). Plus they add tomato but I think I would be better off without it as I'm slightly allergic...

Actually, OUCH! It is expensive buying the ingredients to put this together... about $1.99 for the tortilla chips (or is it $2.99... haven't paid attention in a while), brown rice... $.50, black beans (from a can) $1.75, Jicama $.93, cheese $5.19 (well... for the pound anyway), cilantro $1.49, limes $1.17, Chicken (whole free-range) $17.92, Salsa Verde (can't help but throw that in...) $2.50 and Avocado (irresistible as well) $.99

Grand Total $34.43... except the cheese and the Chicken can be used in other instances (and the chips) so I'll take off about 14.00 off making the price tag to be about $20.00.

I am planning on making some curried chicken from the thigh meat and I'm marinating the breast in a mixture of lime juice, olive oil, a touch of honey, garlic and cilantro... plus I'm going to make a chicken stock as well... good soup. ;)

So, though the ingredients alone cost quite a bit I'm getting basics for about 3 meals (well... I'll need carrots, onions and celery for the soup, plus a red bell pepper for the curried chicken).

I do have some white beans that I'm contemplating, plus mung beans and lentils... hmmmm.... if at some point I can make those work in some recipes then I will have some cheap sources of protein on hand...

The issue I have with beans is that, well... yeah... plus I've only ever made 12 bean soup with them (which is delicious but I don't usually have a ham hock on hand and I've sworn off pork products for the most part anyway...)

Anyhow...

Plans, plans.... now off to study the exciting world of Excel... heck if I can make it work for me I can get a raise and that's always a good thing!! :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Listen" - A Poem From Anonymous

During my DV Support group today I was paging through the binder that they had me buy and found a poem that say's just what I have wanted to say about "Listening" without knowing how to say it...

Listen

When I ask you to listen to
me and you start giving advice
you have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me
and you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way
you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me
and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem,
you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

Listen! All I asked was that you listen,
Not talk or do--just hear me.
Advice is cheap; 20 cents will get you both Dear Abby and
Billy Graham in the same newspaper
And I can do for myself, I'm not helpless.
Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.

When you do something for me that I can and need to do
for myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness.

But, when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel,
no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince
you and can get about the business of understanding what's
behind this irrational feeling.
And when that's clear, the answers are obvious
and I don't need advice.
Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what's
behind them.
Perhaps that's why prayer works, sometimes, for some people
because God is mute, and He doesn't give advice or
try to fix things. "They" just listen and let you
work it out for yourself.

So, please listen and just hear me. And, if you want to talk,
wait a minute for your turn, and I'll listen to you.

~Anonymous

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Peace of the Temple, The Peace of the Gospel and why nothing else compares

I am naturally a curious, questioning person who wants to know about everything. I have mounds of books around me, an attempt at osmosis a hope that somehow I will find the time to read them or else that somehow they will become imprinted upon my soul and mind. I have always been like this, always loved to be surrounded by books.

I'm the type of person who will catch fire with something and will pursue it until I have satisfied myself that I've studied enough about the subject to have a good grasp on what it is and then I try out the theory in my life to test how valid it is. There are quite a few things that I know through this method, for instance that fat (real fats like butter from grass fed cows, coconut oils, olive oil etc.) certainly will not make someone fat but that they are good for you and that your body craves them. I know that milk, raw milk, can be a good thing... but that It is mostly not for me.

Trial and error... one herb after the other... what works.

Then there is philosophy, I took an "Ethics and Values" class about 10 years ago. I became immersed in exploring philosophy, if this that and the other is true than that is true. I think that if a person doesn't have a good grasp on critical thinking that they could become quite confused... and I was, because I didn't know how to sift out one theory from the next.... all I knew is that most of it felt wrong, and perhaps intuition is better than reasoning in these matters. Or else I've not been raised to question, and questioning made me feel uncomfortable.

At about the same time I became engulfed in a consuming desire to really know whether or not the Gospel itself was true, and what about other religions, what were they about?

So I started to read everything that I could get my hands on, all the material that I could ever need really had been surrounding me for the whole of my life. That is everything about the Gospel, about other religions I took to the internet. I searched and questioned and thought over a lot of deep and weighty matters all at once and then found that my questions had run out, there were still a few that couldn't be answered through the texts that I had on hand and that bothered me, niggling little unanswered questions, right at the pit of my mind.

Yet they were not what I thought of as fundamental discrepancies in the course of  theological verity, so I decided upon a course of cautious worship as I tried out theological theories in my life. I guess that's the way I've been ever since, somewhat of a skeptical believer.

There have been times though, where I have been confronted by pure and sweet peace. When I have felt with utmost certainty that what I have heard and read and have done was the right thing to do. When the Gospel has brought great peace to my life. Even miracles I'm not afraid to call such events and moments by the label of miracle. It is at times such as these that I regret most deeply that I am not a more constant personality, that I learn through fits of enthusiasm rather than from gleaning wisdom as I go. Well, I do find that I learn a bit more here and there as I go along... but I seriously think I need to develop better habits of study.

Thus the peace of the Gospel, to some it might be a torturous burden of guilt that they can't seem to shake because they can't seem to live up to the lofty ideals that the Gospel seems to impose. That it is a burden to believe, because belief requires commitment and commitment is hard when committing means reexamining your thoughts, your beliefs, your ideals... and yes often times it involves reevaluating things which we have accepted as simple habits that cannot be changed or things which we would rather not face.

I've felt all of that, yet I've come to a point where I know, I simply know that all I can do is live so that I am facing the truth and embracing it rather than turning from it. What is truth? That which we have thoroughly examined, which we have placed on the alter of disbelief or temporary acceptance and have found that if we violate or disregard that bit of truth than we will face consequences for which we will suffer... it is a natural thing. Therefore the Gospel is simply a guide which points out the natural and logical consequences for our actions, if it were false than we would be able to justify our actions against the untruth of it and find that nothing happened. So far I have found nothing which has been an unjustified law or untruth in the Gospel itself.

Then why the fits and starts, why is it so hard to simply live and believe and shout to the world that I know that these are truths?

It is for the same reason that I sometimes hesitate to tell people that such and such food that they are eating is not good for them, well they eat it right? and it hasn't killed them, right? True, simply and yet if it truly is something antithetical to health then the consequences will eventually show themselves, and I will have nothing to say except that I knew it wasn't good... but that I couldn't tell them that because they wouldn't listen, and what do I know anyway? Except that I've tried it, and it hurt me... and that everyone must find out the truth for themselves because I sure can't tell them what it is.

That brings me to the peace of the temple. There is concentrated peace there, the kind that settles into your soul up in the mountains or while sitting near a river, or a beautiful lake or the ocean. Going to the temple and emerging is like breathing a breath of fresh air. Personally I need to partake of that a bit more... I haven't been for far too long.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ahhhh Time

Well, now I'm at an interesting place in life... a construction zone of sorts. I feel a bit ridiculous because with the firmest of intentions I signed up for a gym membership... and haven't been really.

I'm an all or nothing type of person sometimes... at least with the food that I eat I've been an all type of person, I've not been like that in the past because I was deluding myself a bit that it was OK to eat "everything in moderation," ironic that I heard the same words from someone at work whom I know to be very naive. Perhaps it is that I feel safe controlling the foods that I eat, it is a personal thing, if I go too far, too extreme in loving/hating a food I can pull back and be more moderate... no ones feelings are hurt. I feel safe in this....

With exercise... I suppose it's the same, yet it's also something that takes a time commitment from me. Plus I've not felt well... part of that was Anemia, part of it was not being able to get enough sleep... I've been working on both of those issues...

Still, time, time is so fleeting right now. I feel like I don't have enough, am not doing enough, am not caring enough... enough seems to be too much right now.

At least things have been working themselves into somewhat of a routine, I think I've got an off sense of time... I think that I can do more than I can.

In fact that's part of what has kept me from blogging... I sometimes feel hesitant to write, receive responses and then not be able to respond to them. I feel like a selfish jerk...

If you've visited me at my spot lately... Thank you so very much for stopping by! I'll try to respond a bit here and there...

SG

Friday, August 6, 2010

Putting up my defenses...

I am at such an awkward situation in my life, it's so very confusing. I think I have failed myself, let down those who want to love me and basically have retreated into a place of standoffishness.

At some point (in the recent past) I felt like my sense of independent thought was slipping away. It is a terrible feeling, one that I hate.

I wish that I could fix the worlds hurts but I end up causing a lot of hurt, I'm sorry about that world, I think I need to leave you alone for a while... I'm already limping, can't prop anyone up when I'm limping.

It's been hard for me to write anything here, I've felt the honesty eating at my sense of quiet reticence; after all if everyone knows my thoughts then I feel I am not allowed to change them. In a way it was better when no one knew who this little "Strawberry Girl" was... I feel so exposed at this spot and at my other.

The words have been flowing lately but they've been stopped by a desire to hide them away from others, so I haven't been writing them down, no matter how beautiful the thoughts have been.

I wish I could be a support, a friend... hard to do that though when I don't really feel up to being more than that, no matter how much I need the love and affection that I'm craving.

I'm selfish, I know I am

I want to be loved without any expectations of a relationship of a future. I don't know why I'm feeling this way or what I can do to fix it.

Am I scarred? Tired of trying? Yeah... I don't really want to try at the moment.

I'm sorry

I need to be guided by my own light, and by the still small voice.

I've been shutting it all off for too long...