Too much

This semester is just too much. It's only three courses as opposed to four, but this semester I swore I was going to really try my hardest to do all the reading and put in all the effort since I'm taking out loans. Last semester, I mostly skimmed my assignments and one or two of the classes I barely read at all. Sure, I did okay, but I want to do really well. This semester, I've been doing all the reading so far and it's kicking my butt. Added to that is the fact that work's been short-handed so the past couple of weeks I've been scheduled for 40 hour weeks instead of the 30 max I'm supposed to get. And no, I don't get overtime. The next couple of weeks SHOULD slow things down a little. I'm only scheduled to work 32 hours and hopefully after this coming week, I should be into a bit more of a study routine (I hope).

So I apologize for the lack of blogging - we're still not unpacked in this new house (better, but still tripping over boxes) and I've been ignoring pretty much EVERYTHING other than school and work. And helping out where I can for an upcoming wedding. Mud people and blog people and even most real people, I'm not intentionally ignoring you, I swear. I just want to see if I can manage to bring up my GPA this semester and still manage to make enough money to eat.


10 Ways to be Kinder to Myself

1. Always stay positive. Things could be worse, so get out of your slump and smile.
2. There are some things you cannot help. It's great to try to save the world, but don't beat yourself up when you fail. Just take a deep breath and hold your course.
3. Make time for yourself. You can't expect the world to pamper you, so make sure you set aside a little time for yourself. It's great when you can get a massage or pedicure for yourself, but if you can't, just take time out for a hot bubble bath.
4. Just like #3, set aside a little money each month for yourself. It can be as simple as skipping a lunch or sacrificing something else, but make sure that every month a little money goes into a pamper yourself fund. You're worth it.
5. Eat chocolate. No matter what your scale says. No matter what your body fat content is. No matter how badly you feel you don't deserve it, you do. It's chocolate. It will make you feel better.
6. Exercise. Just a little bit every day. Even if it's not enough to get your endorphins going, you'll STILL feel the results and feel better about yourself in general. 15 minutes a day is enough to keep most of us flexible and toned.
7. Stop taking criticism so seriously. Use it for what it is and then PUT IT ASIDE. Don't dwell on the negative, always focus on the compliments and what you are doing right.
8. Do something spontaneous every now and then. It's good for you and keeps you from getting bored with your routines.
9. Dance. Even if there's no music playing and people look at you as if you're insane, dance. Trust me, it will catch on and make people smile, including you.
10. Count your blessings. Forgive mistakes in yourself and others; cherish your friends and family; take comfort in the little touches of home and don't take your happiness for granted.


A wonderful dream

I had a dream last evening where I was enormously fat. I dreamed I wasn't pleasantly plump as I actually am, but really truly obese; the sort of obese where you can only wear skirts and mumus and sweatpants because no normal pants are made in your size. I was FAT. I was also really upset and depressed about it. I was passing through a store, looking for some pants or a skirt or a shirt, but all they had were size 0 and 1 and 2. It made me feel even worse. I watched the other women walking through the shop and I felt horrible. So I made my way out into the grey cloudy day to walk home. Across the brick laid streets I made my way slowly, watching overhead to see if the rains would resume, but they didn't.

And I came around the side of a church. At first I thought it was mine, but it wasn't, it was some other church that had been blasted by the storm we just had. It had to have been hurricane force winds for the entire front wall of the church had fallen down, but there were all these different people, from all different walks of life, all different ages, all different races, helping to lay mortar and sandstone bricks to rebuild the wall. And although I had other things I could do, I didn't go on my way. I stopped and helped. It was hard work, but strength building work. I helped to haul the refuse and used a strange sort of baling type machine that molded the refuse into big degradable pot-liners for the plants we were going to set on the outer wall.

And as the sun set on our rebuilt wall, this old mexican man began to sing and we all began to sing. It was beautiful. We sang in harmony, we sang at the top of our lungs for the sheer joy of singing and a ten year old and I danced. And my size no longer mattered, for the church was beautiful, the sky was beautiful, this melting pot of all sorts of poeple were beautiful, and I, in all my obesity, I was beautiful too.

Needless to say, I woke with the song echoing in my ears and a smile on my lips, ready to face the day.


Dog Days

When the heat swelters and sweat streams across your skin even when you're inactive in the shade, we talk about the dog days of summer. Most of us imagine a dog, lying in the shade, unable to do anything more than pant because of the temperature. It makes me think of a winter night's sky like the one seen above. In the winter, you can clearly see Sirius in the southern sky as one of the brightest stars. The three stars of Orion's belt point directly towards this close and bright neighbor of our sun.

Sirius received its name from the Greek calendar. The hottest part of summer was Seirios which means "scorching" and ancient astronomers believed that Sirius was responsible for this additional heat. You see, during the end of July and most of August, Sirius more or less matches the sun and rises and sets alongside it. It was thought that the heat of this exceptionally bright star added to the heat of our own sun is what caused the heat of summer. A falsehood, of course, but hence the name for the star.

So why dog days? Because Sirius is one of the landmark stars in canis major or "the big dog" constellation. The days when the big dog rises and sets with our sun are truly the dog days although it's also the time period you're least likely to actually see our strong neighbor.

Sirius likewise played an important part in Ancient Egypt because the dog days of summer match up with the seasonal flooding of the Nile and star guided the entire agricultural cycle for the culture. In fact, it was so important that the Egyptians gave Sirius its own goddess: Sopdet also known as Sothis.

Even more fascinating is that Sirius is the 7th closest star to our solar system and is a binary. What this means is the system contains two stars, the bright luminary we see and a white dwarf who revolve around each other over a period of 50 years. The white dwarf may actually be a recent occurence for records a few thousand years ago reference a reddish cast to the star which may have been the period during which the secondary was still a red giant. Somehow, with the reddish cast, that would make the term "dog days" even more appropriate to my mind.

So drink a lot of water and stay out of the heat. And this winter, make sure you look for Sirius in the sky.



Ear infections are a pain. Even more of a pain in a child. Sorry for the lack of posts, I've been busy - between work and hauling dirt in the yard and everything else, my computer time has been more limited than usual. I promise I'll be back soon, so bear with me, my loyal readers. I'll post more of interest in the near future.


The simplest pleasure

The sound of a child's laugh - it seems like after we start to speak, we lose that completely irreverantly joyful sound to our laughter. The sound of a toddler's laugh in her crib first thing in the morning is the most beautiful noise you can wake up to. I thank the heavens every day I am able to wake up to that sound. There is so much I've done wrong in my life, but this is not one of them.


On friends and friendship

Friend-ship. I imagine a boat, swaying from side to side. On it, two people; typical landlubbers, stumble about trying to get their sea legs. A fleet of these boats with two individuals trying to catch their balance so they can sail to gentler waters. Sometimes a person falls overboard. It is up to their match to throw the life preserver out to them. Sometimes they don't. The ship sinks, for one person alone cannot manage to keep that boat from the rocky shores. Like all sailing, it is not easy work, the ropes are heavy, the wind and waves unrelenting. But if that equilibrium can be found, like sailing, it can be exhilarating, freeing. The sea can take you anywhere; to beautiful beaches, through shoals of exotic fishes, and to luxurious lagoons. But it can lead to further storms, more drastic than that starting point. And the only crew you have to rely on is your friend. Most ships never make it out of the harbor - all the more reason if you're out there to work a little harder to salvage the ship, maybe dock it for a time for some repair, but don't abandon it to the storm willingly.

Even as I say this, I think back to all the ships I've sacrificed to storms or allowed to drift away. Still, I have some newer ones now, seasoned and strong. I won't let these go without a fight.

Selfish Oracle

  • These are my thoughts: my private views on the world. Truth is multi-faceted and my truth may not be yours. It is still truth. This is my means of expression; my pressure-cooker valve of sanity. "Speech is external thought, and thought internal speech." [Antoine Rivarol] This is both. My thoughts may be harmful for you may disagree with my truth, but as Eleanor Holmes Norton said, "The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with."
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