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Re: My dear Joon...
Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:51 am
I remember thinking how we were locked in to this purchase for funeral planning.
Nothing could possibly go wrong. We're committed to five years at 4.9%, and everything is hunky dory
. But, no. There's a thing that has to be done each time a site is sold. The grounds men take a long pole and jab it into the ground at nine different points. If they don't hit anything, and it goes down smoothly, then there's no structures to get in the way of a burial. Well, that wasn't done, and we got a call yesterday from the manager of the memory garden.
Apparently, the jabbing was done after we'd signed the contracts, and there's a vault that's just too far down into the third of our three spaces, to accommodate a burial. And it's my space
. Ah, geeze. So, we've been bumped up to the next empty lot - which puts you guys closer to the tree, he says. We just need for you to come in and sign for the move. You don't owe any more, you own what you paid for, we just have to move you because there's no space due to that mistake.
So, as the Honey and I drive on over, they make note that that one spot cannot be used (it's now vaultis non grata
), and we're ready to be shown the new space.
We get there, and he takes us out to where all of these little purple, blue and orange flags are planted in the ground, and from the one blue one toward the east, are the all purple ones that surround our individual graves. I notice that we are now closer to a tree but, still one plot below. I thought, it doesn't make any difference - we're not going to be there, spiritually speaking - but, that tree would be nice to have...
So, we go back into his office, ready to make the flip from one set of grounds to the other. We meet the office manager, who gets on the computer, pulls up our particular part of the garden (in our case, it's Prayer
), and all of the color drains out of her face. She gets on the phone to Huston (Texas), to find out why, suddenly all of the unbought land in Prayer
has a hold on it. Each and every unbought grave is marked 'hold'. The grounds manager and the office manager are flummoxed; they decide to check on other available spaces, in Last Supper, Christus, Devotion, Cross and Apostles
. It makes no difference. They are all listed as though pending payment.
They did try - for a good hour - to get this resolved, and they could not. Even after stating they had a family sitting there (I even asked to talk to the person; I would give a performance worthy of an Oscar, an Olivier and a Tony combined, but I was turned down.) No can do; the boss lady was at lunch (Huston being an hour ahead of us), and we would have to come back.
So, I'm thinking, okay. If we have to move anyway, could we get closer, even closer, to the tree? Well, now because of the inconvenience, the staff would like to see if that's possible. The Honey didn't say anything, but I know he was thrilled. So, as it now stands, we have two possibilities, two possible trees, and if one or the other pans out, it's ours. That's the good news. Bad is that we don't know, but they won't call us to come back out there, until this glitch is fixed. And I think that's what this is. In any case, it appears that there is no road that ever runs smooth - even to the burial ground.
In other news, we finished the grocery shopping today. Our freezer is full, our pantry currently holds 25 clam chowder meals plus mushrooms (I toss them in so that there's more to chew), and there are 72 slices of American cheese in the meat drawer. Four loaves of bread, two tubs of butter, 12 half-sticks of same, a gallon of milk, 32 cartons of yogurt and two big boxes of frozen blueberry waffles, to be thus slathered therewith, once subjected to the toaster.
I am positively giddy at the prospect of locating food where I expect to find it.
Tomorrow, I'm going to a Ruhi Book Four class - The Twin Manifestations
. This year is the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah, and we're having a huge party in His honor. So, since that's a few months away, we're taking the time to study His life. The history of the Faith is a passion of mine; I've collected tales from the life of the Blessed Beauty for as long as I can remember. It's at the home of my beloved friend, Juanita, and I can't wait to see her.
Well, it's almost 10 PM here. I'm late taking my meds - again - so I'd best do that. Have good night, joon-ams. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of you, and wish you well. So, take care, or else.
Re: My dear Joon...
Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:48 pm
I'm going mullet!
No, I am. I mean it. I don't want my hair all one length; it's too thin, too baby fine and I'm not doing that any more. But I did have that sort of much maligned do, years ago, and I loved it. I could braid the back in two long pigtails, cross them over the top of my head (that dairy maid thing), bobby pin them to within an inch of their lives, and stick on my nurse's cap. Most of my coworkers never knew I had long hair. It was the night we went to see Gordon Lightfoot at Theater-in-the-Round
; we'd brought along changes and went straight from work. Very nice time was had by all, he sang every song I knew.
But, back to the haircut. It's grown up since the 70's. People like it, mainly because it's as easy as short hair, and you can turn up the back if you want dressy - though I can't imagine why I'd want to do that. There's quite edgy, and queer styles that I'm finding highly acceptable; I may even be able to sneak them past the guys in my life. So, I'll have a fuller, floofier, spikier cut in the front, and just let it grow in back. That'll make everybody happy - especially me, who has to carry it off.
I do wish these gnats would find another home - I'm swatting at them between types; there's another one! I have no idea where they came from. There's a prayer for the Southern States, written by 'Abdu'l-Baha, that tells of gnats turning into eagles, though the breath of the Holy Spirit
...help me to triumph by the hosts of Thy glorious kingdom, and shower upon me Thy confirmations, which alone can change a gnat into an eagle, a drop of water into rivers and seas, and an atom into lights and suns...
Gnats can drive eagles crazy, too. They can do that to most things. I'm hope I'm not sounding dismissive of the prayer, I don't mean to, but I do wish they would either find a way out of my home, or, with glowing acquiescence, submit to a slap. I had six opportunities, six!
to kill the one that was flying around my vanity, and I missed it. I could have sworn it was well and truly squished, right under my hand, and it wasn't. I don't even know if I'm battling the same one, or a whole horde.
I ate one last night. I'm sure I did. About 2 AM, there was an enormous clap of thunder, and when my jaw connected, there was a crunch. My teeth were clean, I know they were. I'd brushed, and swished, and power-washed them - there was absolutely nothing extra in there. Maybe it was a spider? They do say - and I don't know who they are, I wish they'd tell me - that you are always within 10 (or is it 6?) feet of a spider at any time. I don't like spiders. They make me think of disembodied hands, and you know how they scuttle and then come to a stop? 'shudder'
But if one crawled inside my mouth, and I accidently ate it...it'd be too bad that I didn't actually get to taste it.
Some people say they taste like crab, the great big ones, tarantulas. I wouldn't mind that. With a nice bowl of clarified butter for dunking. Just pop them on the grill, or batter them for deep frying. with a side of cocktail sauce and lemon. I hope it wasn't a spider, not after all the grief these gnats have given me, it deserves to be one of them. O well. I suppose I'll never know...
Meanwhile, we haven't heard from the cemetery. I don't know what the trustee is going to say, but I think we did a very good job of settling things for our final rest. And I don't see why we need to move out of our home of 26 years, I really don't. Maybe I'll feel differently by the time I'm 65, and I'll want to get out of here. I would really like to fix up the place. New counters, and cabinet doors, some spackle - a ton of spackle; the ceilings need it for the times I tried to put up hooks for lamps, not to mention all the nail holes for my action figures. We need somebody on a ladder, that alone, to take down all of the glow in the dark stuff in Mikey's room.
The hall bath - otherwise known as Shelob's Loo
- with it's ruined ceiling, broken fan, rising tiles, and decrepit wallpaper, needs a sledge hammer. I had a dream once where we were able to switch it out for a holodeck. I wept when I woke up and found it wasn't true.
Duane and my engagement anniversary was Sunday - The Martyrdom of the Bab
- and we had a nice little observance here at home before we went out to lunch. We took turns reading The Tablet of Visitation
(I broke down and cried during it again.) The verses were all written by Baha'u'llah, but it was 'Abdu'l-Baha' who asked the Poet Laureate of the Faith, Nabil, to select the ones that comprise it. You can feel the love, the longing - they're laced all through it. I love Nabil. If we were fortunate enough to have had another baby, I would have named it Nabil. Even if it was a girl, I would.
Well, it's been a long day and I'm kaput. Probably didn't rest all that well with the storms, but I'm grateful that the power stayed on. Take care of yous.
Re: My dear Joon...
Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:34 pm
We missed Feast yesterday afternoon.
We all did - including the one hosting it. Mel called around 4 PM, to tell the Honey and me that we'd missed it; it was scheduled for 2 o'clock, the Feast of Kalimat. But she was glad we hadn't come over, because she wasn't home. She suggested it's because we're old, but that's not the reason.
Feast falls on the night before or the day of the observance. If the night before, the celebration starts after sunset; if on the actual day, it begins before sunset. Our days - Baha'i, that is - begin at sundown. So, today is the 2cd day of Kalimat. Yesterday was the first, and it ended just before sundown, around 9 something. I hope I've confused you. I've lived with this for over 45 years; it's very familiar to me. And most Feasts are observed in the evening, when the most people are available to attend.
But, quite a number of folks in this particular community are seniors. Almost all of us are retired, or work part-time; there's only one that's employed full-time, and she's in her 40's. The last time we got together, we talked about having Feast at 2 PM. We had been making that time, on and off, just not regularly. More than a couple of us get up early, and are really tired by 7. It's not a problem now, with night falling after 9 o'clock, but when the sun starts going down after 5, and it's pitch dark by 6, it gets harder to drive - due mainly to the poorly-lit side streets where some of us live.
So, we all got together at 7:30; it was wonderful. And the next two scheduled Feasts will be at 2...
It's been an issue of mine, the times we have our Sabbath
. All throughout the Writings, it states how glorious this Day
is. How humanity has longed for and prayed for its coming to hasten, and the followers of The Bab are often called, 'The Dawnbreakers'
. So, how have we come to worship in the evening? I don't know. But we do. Our calendar is composed of 19 Months, of 19 Days each - which leaves 4 Days left over, or 5 in a Leap Year. Those left over Days are called Intercalary
. It's our Christmas. We have parties, exchange gifts, do service for the community at large; when Michael was small, we had an Ayyam-i-Ha Camel.
It was a felt ornament that I would put on his dresser, and if he saw it in the morning, he knew there'd be presents. We decorated a ficus, and the gifts would be under there. It's funny. Christmas is everywhere, when its time comes; you walk out of our home, and Ayyam-i-Ha disappears. We don't observe it anymore, not like we did, not since Michael's moved away. He only just stopped believing in Santa a few years ago. It was far easier to dispense with the Camel.
It's so hot here. It sounds like Padfoot's weather is like ours. It must be that the winds do this swing north, and carry them up and over a couple of parallels. Each and every day, there are thunderstorms. No tornados, the rain sounds like hail, but there are no iklings on the ground. A lot of trees can't take it. We've had bunches of branches strewn all around - trunks split in half and blocking the roads. Flash flooding is a big problem, but I haven't heard of people being so silly as to try to cross the water. Still, the grass is so lush, and flowers look as though they can't believe their good fortune. You'd be forgiven for thinking it was March instead of July.
Well, it's after three, and while the place looks nice (beds made, kitchen clean, thoughts serene), I am still in my sleepers and my new do needs a shampoo. Missy's okay with the mullet, which needs a better name. There's only so much you can do with one T, an E, two Ls, an M and a U. A mullet is a fish. Okay. It is a oily fish, popular in the Mediterranean, and it just screams, "I'm full of Omega 3 fatty acids!" How that came to be the name of a haircut? Some say the credit, or blame, belongs to
Mike D. of the Beastie Boys, from the song 'Mullet Head' on 1994's 'Ill Communication' album, which described the haircut and its wearers. - Wikipedia
So, now you know.
I asked Missy when I would need a trim. She said to stay away for as long as I can, and when I can't stand the hair touching my ears any more, to come on back. It'll take at least a year to grow six inches in the back, and I did find a picture to show her
Well, that's enough of that. Good night, you halflings of Middle Earth, you hobbits of the Shire.
Re: My dear Joon...
Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:30 pm
As slow as June was, July is speeding by.
Today we have our study circle of Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
, and there's only twenty-four pages left. I asked Duane if he would like to cover the two chapters in Mr. Taherzadeh's Revelation of Baha'u'llah, Vol. 4
with me, once we finish the actual Book. He looked like he would, but he didn't answer (I think the phone rang or something.) I think that would be just the right topping of this.
I've got to tell you this. I've got to tell somebody or I'll burst
Yesterday morning, the stadium called me, with tickets to the Bengal/Ravens game
. Our upstairs neighbor has agreed to chauffeur us there and back, and the tickets will be here come Monday, Tuesday at the latest. Here's where we'll be sitting
Those yellow lines? That's where the Baltimore bench is. So, here's to another four hours of my life that I'll never get back
; I'm adding that to the eight I've already spent at the Canton NFL and the College Football Halls of Fame. In fairness, the College one has Jim Thorpe's jersey, and Vince Lombardi's death mask, those were cool. There's also a brief history of the game's origins, with a display of chain-mailed men kicking around the homespun-covered head of an enemy - or their commander, if they lost. If you look, you can always find something to redeem anything, if you take the time. But I digress.
This morning, I showed the Honey some Ravens caps. He has the Orioles one we bought in Baltimore, and a tee for each team, plus the Super Bowl sweatshirt, but no Ravens cap. So, this morning I went online, got the official shop and now he's got a cap coming as well as the tickets. I'm getting excited in spite of myself! He's going to be so happy! I felt terrible when I had to tell him no, because I would have to drive us. Now that I don't, and I'll be getting assistance to our seats thanks to the stadium staff, I can just be happy for my Duane
. By the end of next week, I'll email him the photo of the seats, and watch what happens *giggle*.
Well, it's 10:30 and I should be getting lunch together. Have a beautiful day.
Re: My dear Joon...
Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:56 am
The memory gardens called today, and we're going to be under a big tree!
Next Tuesday we meet with the grounds manager, and redo the contract. It sounds so nice to me. I like visiting the dead, well, those that I know. If I don't know them, it's not as nice. I mean, what do you talk about? And what always cuts my visits short, is the heat of the day. But if there's a nice tree, I can stay and bring everybody up to speed. Now, I'm assuming that I'm not going first, but if I should, then friends may be more disposed to visit, and maybe a little longer than they normally might. I need people, and right now, not knowing just how cognisant one may be post-living, it sounds like a very good idea...
I want to write about yesterday, but I'm not sure how - I guess I just jump in. I've just started taking Ruhi Book 4 again, in preparation for the Bicentennial of the Birth of Baha'u'llah. And now it turns out that the one Baha'i that was present, has a lot of experience being an Auxiliary Board Member. I asked if I might talk about, in my own convoluted way, something that happened to me years ago.
Now, if you're the member of a religious community, you might have had things happen that appalled, dismayed and upset you. It could happen in the Optimists Club, the Women's Guild, with your bridge buddies or Texas Hold'em, but I think when it happens with people that share the same deep, spiritual beliefs, it knocks the stuffing clear out of you. At least it does me. So, I related a time when I complained that there was no reason to be in an Assembly meeting, because I couldn't find any way to engage in consultation. There was one person who knew better than anybody else - the person that kept consulting to a minimum - that they had the only correct plan, and they kept the rest from participating; no one was getting a word in, but I was the one who spoke up. Well, I got told off by this individual, who used the words of Shoghi Effendi to shame me, saying that I should lose my Administrative Rights. Both my words and those of the Beloved Guardian were taken out of context; I don't remember how this all ended. But, a few weeks later, I was at Convention, and a strange woman got in my face, said those same words that I heard in the meeting, and proceeded to follow me around, telling me to shut up whenever I tried to engage in consultation, and poking me in the back. That was 13 years ago, and I never got any resolution to it. Mostly I fell into a semi-catatonic state about it, and I never got justice from the Assembly or any of those higher. That was my fault. I didn't know how to approach it, and I didn't know where to get the help. Ms. W_ said, "You're being tested. You know that, don't you?" I would just like to know why.
People have left their Faiths for less. For me it was never an option. I figured that it would take time, and finally talking to the right person. So on Friday, I got the most and best support ever; that means the world to me. And as for the Bicentennial Celebration, I was told to ask someone to buffer me, so that this hurtful individual and those attached to them, will not be able to cause problems. I just tried calling a friend who has always come to my aid, and left a message. I hope I get called back soon. The big day isn't until the 22cd of October - the Honey and my wedding anniversary, because of the new Solar Calendar we're using - and The Bab and Baha'u'llah will have both Their birthdays on the same day.
Anyway, we're down to one more get together for Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
, and that'll be that. It's a shame, because it's a really excellent Book, and I'm feeling so much more at ease with it, but that's how things usually go...
I'm hungry. I'm off to the kitchen.
Re: My dear Joon...
Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:03 am
I spoke to Liz, about being a buffer for me at the Bicentennial.
Also Colette and Nan. Both Liz and Colette will be singing so they may not be able to stay by me much, but it's a comfort to know that the Honey and I will be attending, and that there are folks who will be there for me. I never ever thought that I'd have issues like this
, seriously. I mean, why would I? But, after that conversation with K.W., I find I'm not alone - unfortunately. It's comforting but also sad. In any case, I'm feeling much better and stronger about this whole thing. I also think that it benefited the other people attending the Ruhi, because they've known about the situation, but couldn't do anything to help.
It's not unlike what the Catholic Church has been through, with the sexual abuse of children. I say this because the Hierarchy behaved like individuals. They kept to a 'sin-covering eye' and some even went so far as to admonish the victimized for complaining! That meant that the laity had to step up and protect their loved ones. To this day, the Curia doesn't really understand the damage done by these priests, and that the civil authorities should be dealing with them. Defrock the creeps, and turn them over - what's so hard about that?
Well, we've had a bit similar in that our Assemblies have been acting like the Church leaders, but fortunately, we have others above the LSAs that we can go to.
Sometimes the best person for this isn't available to you. But I kept at it, and I've finally got what I feel is just. I don't know what the outcome for this person has been, and I don't want to know. I never wanted them to be humiliated, like I've been; I've been angry enough that I didn't dare approach them for what I might say - or do. K.W. asked if I'd want to know, and I found I didn't. Nobody had ever asked me that before. So, on I go, and this is an end to it.
Today after Mike's visit, I went to the Franciscans and we saw a movie about Saint Francis and Saint Clare. It's part of my affiliate program. I got this from yesterday from Jane
Good morning, Sara, Joan and Ann,
Could you meet at my house on Saturday, August 12th, at 10 am for Session 4 of the Affiliate Program, "Christ the Center - the Franciscan Image of Christ"?
Here is how I think we can cover the required sessions in the Affiliate packette:
1. Francis (done June 24, 2017)
2. Clare (done June 24, 2017)
3. "Prayer: the Soul of All We Secular Franciscans Are and Do" (I will do this as an ongoing formation topic at our Sept. 17th Gathering.
4. "Christ the Center" ( August 12th at my house at 10:00 am if you can make it)
5. "Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace" (September 9th at my house at 10 am if ok with all of you.)
6. "In Praise of All Creation" (October ongoing formation at our October Gathering if we have a gathering??? If we don't have a gathering, we can do it in November.)
7. "Mary, Mother of God" (DONE IN May)
If Council approves to drop 5 out of the 12 required sessions since Sara has been coming to our gatherings faithfully and accepts her request to be an affiliate, we could have her ceremony at our Advent party in December... That would be a nice time to celebrate!
I said I could, it's no trouble. But I'm not so sure I can really get them to understand where I'm coming from *sigh*. I like Francis, and Clare, too, but they don't inspire me like they do the folks in the Fraternity. I can see that the Fraternity is inspired by them, and it shows. It shows in how you treat each other, your charity towards those outside the community, that's what attracts me. I don't see Francis, in how they interact with the world; I see 'Abdu'l-Baha. They would not be flattered, I don't think. The attachment to miracles (Francis befriending a wolf; Francis enacting a Nativity Scene, where the Christ on the Cross comes down and takes His place in the Manger as the Baby; Francis showing up with the Stigmata), isn't what appeals to me - it never has. And, for me, it tends to reduce his life, his simplicity, his sacrifice to a mere magic show. And mediocre one at that.
If I stick to the choices he made during his life, the ones that reveal Francis's dedication to the Gospel and the teachings of Jesus, all that I can get behind. None of this other stuff matters; maybe it was important to those who knew him in life, but how do you convince people 800 years later? You take it on faith, yeah I know, I hear that. But, who would you rather be associated with? A soul that can make a verbal contract between a wild animal and a village, so that the creature doesn't eat the sheep, or one who risks leprosy by embracing and caring for those with it? Would you follow one who bleeds from his hands and feet, or one who has the courage to approach the Lord of the Islamic Empire and, by doing so, find mutual respect and understanding? All of those, and other things, are part of Saint Francis's acta. But I'll take those things, which show his compassion and courage. That's the Francis who matters.
Re: My dear Joon...
Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:49 am
Woke up and stepped in a puddle this morning...
My kitchen floor is flooded, my dishwasher is full of brown water and I can't get to my cat's food or my meds. I was able to get a Boost from the fridge, and if I really need to, I can get my prescriptions from my dresser drawer. I am so bummed. Who ever heard of emergency numbers that have you leave a message? It's not a 911 thing, but it's still an emergency because I worry about the property downstairs as much as ours. So, here I sit, writing this. Amy hasn't eaten but she's okay for the time being. Everybody I've called that did answer, will get back to me within the hour. There's a clean-up service that won't call me for at least another 40 minutes - I hope they can suck the water out of my kitchen rugs.
It looks like it's all sitting on top of the linoleum, which is one big sheet. Oh, and I fell down the stairs this morning. It's so stupid of me. I missed the last step and ended up on my back, head down; I was scared I would tumble if I moved and couldn't get a grip. The upstairs neighbor helped me get up; it feels like there's an abrasion from my left to my right shoulder blade, and I broke off two nails - one just below the quick, but it doesn't hurt - not too much anyway. I hate today.
Called the insurance company. 500 dollar deductible, they said, keep all receipts, keep all parts for the adjuster, they will pursue whomever is at fault. I just want my kitchen back. They want to know where the water's coming from. Well, me too! I just know where it is, not how it got there...
The plumber called. Will be here between 11AM and 3PM, and the complex maintenance will be here after their morning meeting
Two hours later...
In that time, Allstate has told me that they can't handle the claim because the By-Laws of the Condo Association owns the policy. That also means that I have no one to come clean up, because they're attached to the claim I no longer have. But, the maintenance guys came and told me that the fire department flushed the hydrants yesterday, and that the Association will pay for my damages
. It looks to them that this is backup from the hydrants. So, a cleaning company and the local sewer dudes will be taking over.
Meantime, Amy's food and water are here in the bedroom, such as it is. The Honey is still asleep - at least I think so, his radio's on. I called the neighbor upstairs, to let her know the latest. As it is, we need breakfast! So, I'm off to Mikey-D's for that. I guess I'm not needed here until 11 AM. Never a dull moment...
Took Duane to Micky-D's with me for breakfast. He just saw the kitchen before we left. The sewer guy came between 11 & 12 but went to the wrong door, nobody home, so he left. Will return after lunch. Came after lunch, cleared drain. Sink is running (didn't know that was full for quite a while.) Thinking everything's okay, I turn on dishwasher to clear. Water backs up onto my freshly-cleaned and dried floor. Call maintenance, he swears softly (not like I do!), and calls sewer guy back. Sewer guy is tied up with other jobs, maybe a while. However plumber will come between 11AM & 3PM; he arrives at 2:58PM. Brings in shopvac; sucks up all water from appliance, and runs on rinse - strongly suggests I do same with detergent. Doesn't have to suggest twice.
Maintenance brings in industrial dryer. Blows all my stuff everywhere, but stuff is getting dry. Rugs are on porch; sprayed with febreeze and left until 4:30 PM. Dry enough to bring inside, and I do. Ate delivery pizza for lunch. Cried because I didn't have enough money to tip delivery man. Mad at self for falling down stairs, for swearing so profusely, and for crying in front of brand-new pizza delivery man. If it had been my regular person, they would have understood, but this was a brand new man and I feel terrible *still crying* I know I'm an idiot.
It was 5 o'clock when I could say all was finished. Wanted to rest and watch Judge Judy
. Judy was being a proper hyena to the plaintiff, felt embarrassed for the lady, and turned on Animal Planet
instead. If I'm going to watch somebody be eaten alive, it should at least benefit a real cackle, and not those nitwits in the galley.
I'm exhausted. Girlfriend needs her oil changed and tires rotated, so that's where we're off to in the morning. Tomorrow has got to be better.
Re: My dear Joon...
Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:30 pm
Girlfriend had her spa day, the Honey and I have wrapped up Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
with the rest of our group, and Book 4 of Ruhi has us finishing the first topic, The Greatness of this Day.
For that last one, each of us took particular section, and I got number 7. Each part begins with a quote, so we were encouraged to do something creative, if possible. And it looked to me like I might make a song from it. This is the quote, from the Baha'i Reference Library, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha', pages 259-264"..O ye beloved of the Lord! This day is the day of union, the day of the ingathering of all mankind. ‘Verily God loveth those who, as though they were a solid wall, do battle for His Cause in serried lines!’ Note that He saith ‘in serried lines’—meaning crowded and pressed together, one locked to the next, each supporting his fellows. To do battle, as stated in the sacred verse, doth not, in this greatest of all dispensations, mean to go forth with sword and spear, with lance and piercing arrow—but rather weaponed with pure intent, with righteous motives, with counsels helpful and effective, with godly attributes, with deeds pleasing to the Almighty, with the qualities of heaven. It signifieth education for all mankind, guidance for all men, the spreading far and wide of the sweet savours of the spirit, the promulgation of God’s proofs, the setting forth of arguments conclusive and divine, the doing of charitable deeds..."
This is what I came up with, while channeling the Baha'i artist, Munirih SparrowO ye beloved of the Lord! This day is the day of union,
the day of the ingathering of all mankind.
‘Verily God loveth those who, as though they were a solid wall,
do battle for His Cause in serried lines!’
Serried lines, serried lines
Do battle for His Cause in serried lines! (repeat)
In serried lines’—meaning crowded and pressed together,
one locked to the next, each supporting his fellows.
We do battle with pure intent, and with righteous motives,
with helpful and effective coun'cils -
With godly attributes, and our deeds pleasing,
we battle with the qualities of heaven.
It signifieth education for all of mankind,
and guidance for all men spreading far and wide -
With the sweet savours of the spirit,
the promulgation of all God’s proofs,
the setting forth of arguments, conclusive and divine,
the doing of all things in utmost charity.
We battle for Baha'u'llah in serried lines.
(repeat first verse and chorus)
I can't speak for the others, but it's pretty well stuck now
. I've been humming it on and off today. I'm not a musician, and I pass for a mediocre poet, but I did see right away that it would flow better, if I eliminated the negatives the Master ('Abdu'l-Baha') named, removing those war-like things that He said no longer had a place in our times. It seems okay - the friends seemed to like it; one of them even suggested getting it to our choral group (that was very sweet
Anyway, we've been home all day yesterday, and I did go out this morning to mail the birthday cards to the Secular Franciscans with celebrations coming up. We also needed meds, so I went to the pharmacy.
I didn't think I'd hurt myself on Wednesday, but since then, I feel bruised across my shoulders, though there's no marks. My left knee has a purple spot, and that ankle is swollen. Nothing hurts unless I press on it - like my right ring finger, where the nail tore just at the quick. But, I thought, why not? Why not try all the drive-thru features and give the ankle a rest? So, I went to the pharmacy first.
They were closed for another half hour. Okay. I'm off to the post office to mail the cards, get in line for a soda at the Micky-D's, and am back at the pharmacy with four minutes to spare.
There a number of features that will be of help over time. I can order my groceries; the store will gather, bag and then deliver them to my car, but I'll have to get them home. It's the ice that scares me; I'm worried like nobodies business about falling outside. Frankly, it's no fun inside either, but at least, if I'm conked out there, I'll be warm. I don't think the trustee realizes how difficult things are for me. Moving into a first floor unit, even with my own laundry room, is still an ordeal.
Everybody that I've talked to who has done it this year, including my sister, says it's overwhelming. Of course, she moved her stuff plus her mother-in-laws' collections; she won't sell the stuff at a loss. I'm coming to the conclusion that whatever I don't keep of the LOTR, will be donated. If the shop only buys a select number of things, then the remains will be delivered to that Goodwill around the corner. It is clean and well-maintained; I've seen what people donate and it is nice. But, Shagrat needith worry his grimy little head - it's a whiles away from now.
We ate too much for lunch. It's my fault, I let myself get too hungry, and now I'm sleepy. I did see that there are some veggie pastas made of zucchini out there, with cauliflower rice and mashed potatoes, too. That sounds pretty good. That'll cut way down on our carbs. I can make spaghetti, and Spanish rice, and the Honey's favorite SPAM (soupy peas & mash.) It's mushroom soup poured over cooked peas and mashed potatoes, and he loves it. But if the spuds are made from cauliflower, that'd be great. I can get rid of three dishes that I don't feel good feeding us, and replace them with these. Right now, I bake a pre-made lasagna, garlic toast, pot pies and hot dogs. That's too many carbs, too much fat and so much salt that I don't need a lifejacket. Speaking of which, we went to Steak & Shake on Friday.
Oh was that good! But the next morning, I rolled out of bed and up to the sink. My face was like dough, and my rings were so tight that I feared for my fingers. But, oh was that good.
Well, I'm going to watch Katherine Hepburn play Mary of Scotland, across from Florence Eldridge as Elizabeth I. I saw the first half of the version with Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons yesterday; I'm not interested in the second half with Essex. It's nice when people remember that she was more French, that she'd grown up in the French court engaged to the Dauphin, and don't give her a Scottish accent. Talk later joons.
PS. I googled the phrase "In Serried Lines", and there was a song already written, at least as far back as 2008, in Ottawa, Canada. I can't find it on Youtube or any lyrics either, but it's out there somewhere.
I did find a song on Youtube 2013, by Peter Mateer. It's here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxFFjhbHdI8
. It doesn't use words from the quote, but I think it's inspired by it. It is an awesome folk song.
Re: My dear Joon...
Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:19 pm
There are times when I hesitate to write things down.
Sometimes I wait until I feel better about it, and then either don't mention it or find a way of putting it that is better. It all depends, of course, on the point of view of the reader, and their sensibilities. So, that being said, there is one constant in my life as a caregiver, and there is really only one, which is excrement.
Now, there are times when it is verbal, and that is often, but not always, easily handled. It depends on the type, and verbosity of that particular variety. But, the physical is never easy. The great Walter Matthau once asked this question of Dick Cavett: If you're buried up to your neck in goat feces, and a bucket of sheep feces is thrown at your head, would you duck? In other words, can you make your situation worse? In dreams, manure is paired with money. My friend, Hyacinth, who was an enthusiastic player of Bingo, once borrowed 300 dollars from me to fix her car. She was going to pay me back as she could - that was what we agreed. But that night, she dreamed she was at work in the newborn nursery (where we were both employed), and no matter how much she wiped the bottom of the one infant, she could never clear away all of the meconium. With each swipe, the baby expressed another gooey, blackish-green pile. The following evening she was at the Bingo Palace and she won 300 dollars, which she handed to me in the morning. Hence, I have never taken poop lightly.
Which brings me to this. Autism, autistic people, of the ones I know, tend to need help toileting. I've never met an autistic person who didn't, and I married one such and gave birth to another. It's not a matter of being stubborn or lazy, it's a social breakdown and hygiene is optional. My hubby needed assistance in this area. When I reached Texas, and called my folks to let them know that I got there safely, my dad asked me about the apartment. "It's a mess," I whispered, over the Mickey Mouse phone. "He has no deodorant anywhere, and I'm calling you on a Mickey Mouse phone." My father replied
You certainly have your work cut out for you. We went shopping for toiletries that afternoon.
I wasn't aware, at the time, that his co-workers despaired of him, but they were delighted by the change - which included a bathing schedule, a trip to the dry cleaners (who replaced all the broken zippers in his slacks and ironed crisp creases in them as well), and purchases of whatever worn or torn clothing I couldn't fix by hand. It was easy. I loved him, and I wanted him to do well - I still do, all these years later. He was and is a perfectly nice man, who just needed a little TLC. Now, being on the autism spectrum, we have had problems in the toilet department. Some folks don't recognize the urge, and get there too late - it happens. And also, they tend to have worse constipation for their segment of the population.
I've been through this Michael. I still deal with it when he comes to visit, but it is one of his primary goals, to become self-sufficient in that department. We hope for the best. For years, he had this one goal on his IFSP (Independant Family Service Plan), which was later moved to his ISP (Independent Service Plan.) And that was that Michael will learn to look both ways before crossing the street; the task was broken down into separate parts: stop, look both ways, cross. The best that we'd been able to achieve is: stop, look both ways, get flattened by a truck. Once he considered the stopping and looking to be a ritual performed before death, it was impossible to dissuade him from it. So, at 28, he holds somebody's hand and crosses with them.
Which leads me to today, and the other man in my life.
We go out for Chinese every Monday. It's a small storefront, with a separate dining area; both restrooms are for one individual at a time. I would prefer going another day, when there's a special that I like, but this hill is fine. Anyway, we finish eating, he's off to the men's room, and I bus our table. I'm out in the car for 10 minutes, and I'm just about to go back in, when he gets in the car.
"Are you okay?"
"Did you flush?"
"Honey, that's rude. I'll be right back."
Since his gallbladder surgery, he's refused to take stool softeners. So, back in I go, (we've known this family for 30 years), I tell the one lady I talk to the most, and offer to plunge. She was going to send in her husband, but I said, no. You're busy, you're cooking - you shouldn't have to deal with this in the middle of a lunch rush; I'm the wife, I'll handle it.
I get the plunger, and it took the muscles to unblock this. But, unblock it I did, and who do I find in the carryout lobby? The Honey. He wanted to know what I was doing, and came back inside, leaving the car running. I about took his head off. He didn't see the problem. Please! Steal my car! Here's the keys! His feelings were hurt, because I was upset with him doing that. That, to me, is a divorceable offense - besides being against the law. Around here, they will ticket you for leaving a car running - I don't know what they do with the thieves. But word to anybody who steals Girlfriend, and I mean anybody, their butt is mine - baked at 350, 45 minutes per pound, studded with cloves and basted with my own secret sauce. I finally calmed down, stopped on the way home for drain cleaner, and cuddled up on the couch with my now-forgiven hubby to watch Father Brown.
You know, I'm glad now that I chose to write about this. It's a very important lesson in life, I've found. Truth is, when you really love someone, you tend to forgive all kinds of...
Re: My dear Joon...
Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:51 pm
There was a little trouble deciding whether to put this in "Mental Health..." or here.
This morning, I got up at 4:30 AM - after calling my upstairs neighbor last night - so that I could do my wash. I asked if she were going to use the the room, and if not, I didn't need a message. There was no message, and I got in three loads by 8:14. After that, I slept fitfully until noon, with five phone calls ringing in my ears, my landline.
I've since turned off the ringer; in 2012, Mitt Romney's Campaign called me incessantly, inviting me to his victory rallies. That's when I began turning off the ringer for weeks, months, at a time. As a life-long Dem, I don't know how they got my number, but this is my phone, folks. I know that comes as a shock to you, but I pay for it, and it's for the solemn use of family, friends and me. Mainly, I needed it in case my dad or Phil had an episode. It would be nice to have it for Michael, but I recognize the numbers belonging to his house and agency, and will call them back. What's infuriating at times is that there is no name attached to the call. Just cell phone, which is a bit redundant considering how few of us are tethered to the wall.
Anyway, with that all in mind, I called my cable service, was greeted by the charming Mario and asked to have the voicemail switched off. It is now done, and I anticipate with glee, those who have been calling me, hiding behind hospital numbers while trying to sell me a resort package, waiting in vain for the machine to kick in. Of course, I will have to call people I know and inform them, but that's not a problem. I have turned down the volume of the ring, with Mel's help. I called her and had her call me back, adjusting the volume until I was happy with it. What would be really good would be if I could change the tone - have it play music instead, like a cell phone. Well, one can't have everything.
I have long resented not being able to keep these creeps out of my home. I don't see this as being any different as having my lock picked, or window broke in order to gain entrance. I don't want to talk to you; I've had the Do-Not-Call-List for years, and it has done squat. This should be interesting.
Take back the phone, joons!
Re: My dear Joon...
Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:23 am
Yesterday would have been my mom's birthday...
She would have been 84. Duane's parents were ten years older than my folks; both of them, so when Mom was 58, my mother-in-law would turn 68 that following year. Same with our Dads; mine born '29, his in 1919. All of my siblings are still here, in spite of my youngest brother's best efforts. I remember people talking about this or that relation wrapping their car around a tree or telephone pole, but Rick actually did that.
My brother-in-law Don had built for him the prettiest little car. They were called Twisters, and Chevy made them. He'd had too much to drink, and lost control. I've never forgotten how the thing looked in the back of the gas station. The passenger side was so torqued that the distance between the front and back bumper were just a few feet apart. Rick walked away from the accident; he just opened his driver side door and got out. The most bizarre thing I'd ever seen. I don't remember my mom's reaction, or maybe it was so volatile, I've just blocked it out. But that was the last time any of us ever drank and drove.
We never saw eye to eye on anything until I got married. Before that we had nothing in common - outside the familial. I never felt that I could do anything right before then. I wanted so much for her to love me - like my sister, since we had so much in common. We were disappointments to her; we weren't boys. Dad, on the other hand, liked baby girls; he liked singing to us, and buying us our own heart-shaped boxes on Valentine's Day. He like referring to us, along with Mom, as 'his women'. But, Bev had been born with the umbilical cord around her neck. It was such that they had to clamp and cut the cord before they could deliver her shoulders. That made my mother change her mind a bit, at least about Bev. Because my birth had been so traumatic, she asked to be asleep for my sister's. It wasn't until Mom woke up that she learned the sex. She'd blurted out her dismay, and was then told about the cord. Nothing like guilt to straighten you out.
Mom had terrible teeth. She was Grandma Papesh's last baby, and since her diet was so poor, back there in Smock, PA, there wasn't much calcium left for the bones and teeth of a fifth child. By the time Rick was born, she was ready for a false upper plate. There was one day, when she had wrapped the denture in a tissue, and lost them. All day, she wandered around the house, looking for them, scared that she had thrown them away. I have this little video playing in my head, where she's vacuuming, the tears just streaming down her face. She did find them - I don't remember where - and her rings (she'd lost them, once, too.) As a result, this thing about putting your most treasured and needful stuff in kleenex, never became a habit with Bev or me.
Her favorite movies were Wuthering Heights and Elephant Walk. I watch them whenever they're on. Mom looked a lot like Judy Garland. Her high school graduation picture was stunning; you'd be surprised by the resemblance. But Judy wasn't in those films. She did mostly musicals, and Mom didn't sing, beyond some parodies of popular tunes around the house. But Merle Oberon and Elizabeth Taylor had very dark hair, like my mother, and Miss Oberon's eyes were brown, like hers, too. I've never liked Elephant Walk; the first time I saw it, and realized that the chief elephant was female and not male, like Peter Finch said, it kept me from appreciating the rest of it. Call it a weakness, but the big boys don't travel with the herds and biologists, back then, knew that. Oh, there was one song I remember hearing. "Far Away Places".
Those far away places with strange sounding names
Far away over the sea
Those far away places with the strange sounding names are
Calling, calling me
Going to China or maybe Siam
I want to see for myself
Those far away places I've been reading about,
In a book that I took from a shelf.
I start getting restless whenever I hear
the whistle of a train
I pray for the day I can get underway
And look for those castles in Spain.
They call me a dreamer
Well maybe I am
But I know that I'm burning to see
Those far away places with the strange sounding names
Calling, calling me.
It was her high school's graduation song. Mom never got anywhere more exotic than Las Vegas, unless it was San Francisco, but then we did get to Canada for a summer. She liked Jacqueline Susann and Harold Robbins, and was always reading one or the other. She'd be sacked out on the couch, holding the book against her chest. If any of us tried to talk to her, she'd start reading out loud until we left her alone.
Speaking of Smock, everything I know about it and her dad, I heard from her. My father and she were already living in Florida, when she told me the story about creeping down the stairs to find the miners, guarding her coffined father. There was guilt there, too. Grandma Papesh was pregnant when she married, and she punished herself for the rest of her life, and the family, right down to grandbabies. She would tell me that every time I was bad, I was pressing down on the crown of thorns, making Jesus cry. Just imagine growing up with that. But I digress.
Mom was afraid of my parakeets, and wore 'L'Air du Temps perfume. Every few years, she'd smoke a cigarette, and her favorite cocktail was a Highball, made with Seagram's, Canada Dry and a maraschino cherry (though I do remember she'd order Whiskey Sours, whenever we were out.) She used Toni Permanents, and got blonde streaks at Lucille's. At least once a week in the summer, she'd say, "Who wants a fiesta sundae?" Well, none of us, but she did, and that meant a nice long ride in the family car with the windows down, ending at Dairy Queen. Mom told jokes really well. She had great timing, she knew how to build anticipation - right up to the punchline. Then she'd say, "Now how did that go?" That was one way. The other was to start laughing shortly before she got to the end, and by the time she was able to get it out, it was clear that she was the only one who appreciated the thing.
She fought her weight all her life. She took pills, got shots, and ate Ayds Candies by the box. She joined TOPS and Weight Watchers, but could never make it to the unrealistic goals they set. She'd developed early, and a boy in her class, poked her in the right breast with a sharpened pencil - he said to see if it would pop, like a balloon. It left a leaden mark that never faded, and when Michael was born, she showed it to me. There was a large, squishy, moveable lump under it, and I said she'd better get it seen. It was cancer, a fast-growing hairy cell carcinoma that wasn't usually found in that location. They did surgery; they removed the breast, and dissected the lymph nodes. She could never use that arm again without pain. There was a course of radiation, so she never lost her hair. On the last day of her life, she had chemo, just the once, ate a good lunch, and then slipped into a coma.
Comas aren't like you see them on tv or in movies. There's movement, some groans, moans; a lack of consciousness, but the comatose can hear. They can't speak. Sometimes there's a lightness, and you'll know when they're awake. But if the condition were portrayed as it is, it would distract both actors and audience. So it's made deathlike, with perfect hair and makeup, and doesn't ruin the scene.
She died on October 23, 1991, that autumn after she'd turned 58. I was right beside her when she stopped fighting to breathe.
That was the first time I'd ever seen my father cry, and it scared all of us. He was suicidal for months after, and when he remarried, I was relieved - though my siblings were royally pissed. He never stopped loving Mom, and whenever my stepmother was out, he would call. He kept saying she'd left him, like she'd packed her bags and flew off to Argentina. After 13 years, he divorced Denise, and when he died a few years ago, we were all happy, for him and Mom. Yesterday, Duane and I were watching the final episode of the John Adam's series, based on the book by David McCullough. As Abigail lay dying, Mr. Adams climbed into bed with her, and I told Duane, that I wanted that, too. He said he would do that for me, and so will I for him.
I feel sorry for people who divorce - and I'm sorry if this offends. I know, that sometimes, it's necessary, but I also know that sometimes it's not. I remember the difficulty Duane and I had, on and off, early days. We were older, set in our ways, but we stuck it out. I watched my folks fight and argue, but in the end, they could scarcely live without each other. They were babies, in that old 16mm color film, both in their very late teens, as joyful as off-bridle foals, on their wedding day...
Happy Birthday, Mommy. And, you too, Daddy - your's is on Saturday, the 29th. Grandma Kuntz didn't like the dates 7-29-29, so she had the midwife change the day to the 30th. That still cracks me up.
I love you, Mommy. I miss you. I hope you're proud of me.