Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Life and stuff

Having the weight of my sister's court appearances out of the way, hubby and I got to actually ENJOY each other for a change. This past weekend was busy busy busy!

On Saturday, we attended a training session for teaching Religious Education, AKA Sunday School, at our church this fall. We have the 1st and 2nd graders, which should be fun. :) Our church has a "Safe Congregation Policy" which means that there are always, without exception, to be two adults together when there's a child present, so hubby and I will teach together. We also have two other folks with whom we'll rotate teaching duties, and he and I will also rotate who is the Lead and who is the Assistant. Hopefully, this will keep everyone from reaching burnout.

Saturday night was just a quiet evening at home, which, again, was a very welcome respite.

Sunday, though, was a day-long funfest! First there was the leisurely breakfast of actual breakfast foods -- toast, bacon, eggs -- yum! Then church -- the annual Water Communion service. This involves everyone bringing with them water they've collected on their travels this year. We brought a bottle we filled up in Illinois when we were with Sis. We all pour our water into a large bowl and say aloud the name of from where this water was brought. Then, after singing, blessing the waters, and basically feeling very much at one with the other folks in the sanctuary, we go outside to the Columbarium (place for scattering ashes) and pour the water around and inside the boundaries of this area, again saying a blessing. It's surprising how refreshing and healing this exercise is. It's something I look forward to each year. Here's the info from the Unitarian Universalist Association explaining the Water Service:

The Water Ceremony, also sometimes called Water Communion, was first used at a UU worship service in the 1980s. Many UU congregations now hold a Water Service once a year, often at the beginning of the new church year (September). The service usually goes like this:

* people bring small amounts of water from places special to them (a lake they swim in, their own well, a place they vacation, their bathtub, you name it).
* during the appointed time in the service, people one by one pour their water together into a large bowl.
* as each water is added, the person who brought it tells why this water is special to them.
* the combined water is symbolic of our shared faith coming from many different sources. It is often then blessed by the congregation, and later boiled and used as the congregation's "holy water" in child dedication ceremonies and other such events.

There are examples of the text of water ceremonies at www.uuintergenerational.org

After service, we joined friends at a new gay-owned cafe for lunch and had a marvelous time. From there we hit Borders to buy some gifts for hubby's late wife's parents, whom we will visit this weekend. They're both in the same room at the nursing home now, so we want to be sure to visit when we can.

From there, we drove around town to some areas we weren't familiar with and really enjoyed seeing where the roads took us.

The big event, though, was Sunday night. We were very privileged to attend the Bruce Cockburn concert at 3rd & Lindsley, one of the great Nashville venues for live music. It was awesome in the extreme! His lyrics speak to our conscience, which is sometimes disturbing because they are so true and right. I'm going to copy/paste an example below for those of you who are not familiar. If you haven't heard him, I highly recommend you check him out.

It was so good to feel normal and do normal things! Sunday was the first full day that I felt "good" and like myself. I had a great time, all day, with no periods of stress or distress, for that matter. I have to follow up with my doc this week, which will be good, because there are some things we need to set up for the future, like more PT. But now that the big events (Marriage Equality Summit, Sis's court dates) are out of the way, I think things will improve all the way around, I hope, including physically.

I will be updating my blogroll soon -- I am waaaaaaaaay behind on that. If you haven't seen this in my previous posts, be sure to check out Suburban Turmoil, written by a fellow Nashvillian (?). Those of you who are moms will definitely discover a kindred spirit; those who are women will discover a kindred spirit; those who love to laugh will discover a kindred spirit; those who.... You get the picture. I am so glad I discovered Lindsay through our local alternative paper, The Nashville Scene.

Peace, out, yo -- y'all take care!


Tell the universe what you've done
Out in the desert with your smoking gun
Looks like you've been having too much fun
Tell the universe what you've done

Tell the universe what you took
While the heavens trembled and the mountains shook
All those lives not worth a second look
Tell the universe what you took

You've been projecting your shit at the world
Self-hatred tarted up as payback time
You can self destruct-that's your right
But keep it to yourself if you don't mind

Tell the universe where you've been
With your bloodstained shoes and your dunce's grin
Got to identify next of kin
Tell the universe where you've been

Editors Note: This song, Tell the Universe, was first played in front of humans on 30 November 2003, at Hamilton Palace in Hamilton, Ontario. It was played again on 5 December 2003 at the Empire Theatre in Belleville, Ontario. Tell the Universe, is played on the charango.



She said she wanted me
I had to let her know
It was never meant to be
And she had to let it go
She was pissed and hurting
But what was I supposed to do
I did not love her, but it's
Different when it comes to you

Lamentations everywhere
All the colours turned to blue
Desperation laid her bare
She told me everything I could do
She told herself a story
That flat out wasn't true
She made me feel sorry
But it's different when it comes to you

I don't want to go home tonight
I want to turn loose my lust
I want you to squeeze me tight
Do the things that we discussed
I bring you my broken self
With zero hidden from your view
I don't usually do that but it's
Different when it comes to you
I didn't know I could do that, but it's
Different when it comes to you

Sister sister

Well, folks, I am happy to report that my sister retained primary physical custody of her children, and was awarded enough child support to definitely make a difference in their quality of life when Sis becomes employed. They've settled into a little 3 bedroom duplex in a small-townish suburb of St. Louis, and there's a Metrolink (St. Louis' light rail system) just around the corner from them. I believe this area will offer them greater opportunities than they would have had where our Mother lives.

On the other hand, the started harassing her from basically a couple of days after the order was made (of course). Sister has so far faithfully notified the police of the harassment, and has been telling him that he "needs to learn the terms of the order forwards and backwards, because we're going exactly by the terms of the order." (Yay sis!!!) I still fear for their safety, but so far he doesn't know where they live. Her attorney instructed that her address not be released to him due to previous harassment from him. They meet at a neutral location to exchange the children, and sis is allowed to have a 3rd party make the transfer, which is a good thing. This keeps ex from being able to intimidate her in person. This week when the transfer is supposed to be made, there will be a police officer accompanying her or whoever due to the harassing phone calls. Also, a police officer can make sure, per the order, that he has his own child restraint seats for each of the 3 kids.

He was supposed to have had the kids this past weekend, but on Friday, he called our Mom to say he only wanted to get the girls on Friday night, and wanted to get the little boy on Saturday. They stood their ground and said no, either you get them all, or you get none. He opted for none. Then he called Saturday to ask if he could take the oldest daughter to a movie, and again was told no, we're going strictly by the order, which pissed him off (naturally).

I do believe there is reason to fear him, but there's nothing I can personally do about that. I feel satisfied in my heart that I've done all I can or should do so far. I believe the attorney has informed them (sis and Mom) clearly of all that they need to do to follow the terms of the order and to use various legal remedies to resolve problems that may arise with the ex.

Sis is attending AA and has found at least one church that she likes in the area, but said she's going to be visiting others. Though she seems to be attracted to the more fundamentalist-type congregations, I am only concerned that she find a community to be a part of with her children. I hope she will take her attorney's advice to return to school and complete her degree in speech pathology, or whatever she chooses. Her biggest hopes for a better future are sobriety and education.

Thank you all for your support, thoughts and prayers during what was a very difficult time, and what may blow up again. I really appreciate having such kind and thoughtful friends, in real life and in the blogosphere. :)


PS -- We didn't even get called to testify because the attorneys worked things out in advance! Oy!!

Monday, August 21, 2006


Well, as usual my body betrays me. I had to get worked in to see the doc today because I've had GI troubles for about 5 days now, and I can't take the chance on being ill while traveling. The diagnosis was Gastroenteritis, but I believe there will be a colonoscopy scheduled in the not too distant future. :( Actually, I'm not worried about the procedure, based on what I've seen with hubby and what he's said about Versed. It might be cool to be loopy for a day.

I did tell the Nurse Practitioner who saw me today that I've been under a lot of stress lately and felt that these symptoms were related in great part to that. I did have a temp of 99.6, so I guess there could be some kind of other thing going on too, but I still think the GI upset is pretty much all stress-related. Bleah.


My ex-brother-in-law is officially stalking my sister, apparently. Somehow he discovered the hotel she was staying in while arranging to move in a house that falls within the 25-mile radius of the union hall as stated in their divorce decree. I knew this would happen -- when we went up there for the initial court appearance I insisted we stay a good distance away from the courthouse, etc., because he's the type that drives around, drives around on the hunt, as it were.

I was visiting my sister a few up there a few years ago and we went out to dinner. After about 30 minutes there he comes strolling in, straight to our table. He said he's been in the bar and saw us come in, and just wanted to say hi. But when we entered the restaurant, there were just a couple of people at the bar, and he wasn't one of them.

My sister said she can virtually guarantee he's living in a tent out a campground (!!! Can you believe that???) and has no permanent address. She believes he's waiting for her to move in somewhere, which she did today, and then he'll settle somewhere nearby, so he "can be involved". Sis said she is going to do everything in her power to beg the court not to let him have her address, and to investigate whether or not he has one of his own. Good grief at the tawdriness of this whole issue, you know?

Hubby and I leave around noon tomorrow to go up there, so I can be available to testify about abuses I've witnessed. This is not the kind of trip either of us wants to take, but at least I have hubby to stand beside me. He's such a good man -- the antithesis of the ex b-i-l.

Rest in peace, Nikki

This post is in memorial to my friend Karen's cat, Nikki. She was one hell of a kitty.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's Thursday, and I can't think of a title

There's so much going on these days that titles just escape me. There is no one theme for my life lately, other than not being in control of it. I'm betting there are plenty of folks out there who can relate to such a state of being.

Pardon the graphic nature of this next statement, but last night I woke up from a deep sleep with an upset stomach, and found myself in the bathroom throwing up into the garbage can while being perched on 'the throne', having similar expulsion issues on the other end. I have no idea why this happened, other than the ubiquitous descriptor "nerves". Not feeling sick today, but I do notice feeling a bit anxious, maybe a little hypersensitive to stimuli. I know this is because my cup runneth over at the moment, and should resolve once the situation with my sister's custody battle is resolved.

This week I need to send out some follow-up/thank you notes to the folks who attended our Marriage Equality Summit a couple of weekends ago. On the plus side of that, I've already seen a notice that one of the groups in attendance is holding a 'house party' for the VoteNoon1TN.com folks, which tells me the event worked well. I doubt I can attend myself, but I'm so happy to know that our efforts actually pay off. :) Perhaps Tennessee will turn the tide against discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters.

Also, I hope to have a resolution to a problem that my prescription drug company is giving me about my medications. They are really trying my patience, and therefore adding additional stress, by not being clear about what is necessary to get two prescriptions filled. The bottom line is, they insist that, in order to cover the filling, the drugs must be written for generic rather than name brand (Neurontin, Effexor XR). They've said that the dosages given are not in compliance with their standards or whatever they call it. However, there doesn't seem to be a problem if they're generic...so what the real problem is is that they don't want to cover name brand items. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!! The doctor's office is being so very helpful and kind about this -- I hate wasting all of their time on this because it's not a direct benefit to them. They don't get paid for this -- the pharmacy does -- so they don't have to be as nice as they're being. Bless their hearts, seriously.

Next week I may testify against the man who terrified me in October. While I'm not necessarily afraid at this point, I do feel anxious. I believe him to be a very dangerous person, as he's demonstrated in the past. I wonder if having to deal with the consequences of his own behavior will send him off the deep end and prompt him to hurt my sister or the kids. Every day you read where some guy, even under a restraining order, hurts or even kills his family. I'm not so naive as to think that can't happen to my family, and I don't think I'm overreacting. These things do happen, and they happen to good people.

So, therein lies some of the turmoil I find myself experiencing. I'm trying to maintain my center by deep breathing, staying in the present moment, and relying on those who demonstrate that they care for me. Pouring out my feelings, as best I can, here is a help, but by and large, only the passage of time will do the trick.

Let me hereby wish for all of you that your lives are peaceful and joyful, or that at least your hearts are peaceful and joyful. Oh, and that the heat continues to be knocked down a little bit! :) It's been positively gorgeous here in Nashville lately.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Catching up

Well, it's been interesting the last week or so. It's hard to know where to begin. One positive thing I can say is that we finally got some rain! Hallelujah!!! My plants are looking better, less stressed, and though it's still hot, it's not as hot as it was a week or so ago.

Saturday was the memorial service for my friend's son. RunawayImagination has a great deal of information about it posted already, so I'll just link you to that post if you'd like to read about it.

Of course the biggest event of the last week was our last minute trip with my youngest sister, kids, and mom to deal with her first court date in the custody dispute between her and her ex. The bottom line appears to be that she must move back to the state in which her divorce was granted, due to the agreement she signed stating she would not move my niece (she only had one child then) more than 25 miles away from a certain point. However, she will be asking for a change in that agreement. She's having, though, to respond to her ex's charges of taking the kids out of state and of being an unfit mother. She is alleging (truthfully) that he is actually the unfit one, so this will be figured out in the court system.

Monday I received a notice from sister's attorney that I am being called to testify in this case. I wish I didn't have to do that, but if it will help, I'm willing. Hubby is taking off work *again* to go with me, though I assured him I'd be OK. He doesn't trust sister's ex (neither do I) and wants us to all be safe, so he'll accompany us to court. Maybe ONE DAY we'll actually get to take his vacation for things WE want to do, instead of using the time for other people's benefit!

After court was over last week, the attorney wanted to see my sister to go over things about the strategy they intend to use to fight this. I knew someone needed to take notes, so I asked hubby to go with her. Fortunately, hubby is an excellent note-taker, and deals with attorneys day in and day out in his position as a consultant with the state. He and sis went to the attorney's office and waited two hours to see her, but then spent at least 2 hours with her, which was massively helpful. Tonight there is to be a call from the atty to my sister, and sister plans to 3-way call hubby so he can make notes again.

It's funny -- in January my mother told me she was "mad at" us for "telling them what to do", yet had they done what we said then, we wouldn't be dealing with this now. She has actually said that they are very appreciative of all that we've done and will be very happy to have our help again, if we're willing to give it. I guess they were living in their own little made-up reality that apparently did not include paying attention to the laws of the land. The ex-brother-in-law also doesn't seem to pay attention to the law, especially when it comes to restraining orders, so I have to admit I'm a little nervous about coming into contact with him so directly again. He certainly saw me accompany my sister to court, but when he hears me testify against him, that could stir things up.

This guy continues to phone my sister, and leave messages on my parents' answering machine. Yes, that's right -- knowing that we're going to court even he persists in trying to control my sister. The message he last left on my parents' machine? A song, played in its entirety: "I've Got A New Girlfriend". Juvenile? Yes, of course. Stupid? Absolutely. That's what makes him dangerous.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

For your laughing pleasure....


It's an overcast, humid day here in Nashville, and we are going to be attending the memorial service for my friend Melissa Sigler's son this afternoon. I definitely needed some humor ahead of time. Check out that link for a laugh.

More posting/catching up later. Been out of town till Thursday night and then dealing with family until midday Friday. Lots to report.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The tag, from GirlMD :)

Ha! I've been officially tagged, thanks to the lovely and talented GirlMD, whose blog I've been enjoying for a while! Thanks, Doc!

Ladies and gentlemen, my lists....

The book that changed my life: "What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality", by Daniel A. Helminiak is one. There could be a million and a half answers to this question, really.

A book I've read more than once: Belying my southern heritage, "Gone With The Wind". Belying my intractable nerdiness, "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, plus "The Hobbit".

A book I'd want with me on a desert island: "SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea", by John 'Lofty' Wiseman (Yes, I looked it up!)

A book that made me laugh: "Naive. Super." by Norwegian author Erland Loe. I only wish I could read enough Norwegian to have enjoyed it in the original language.

A book that made me cry: I can't think of one recently, but I'm sure that's happened once or twice or a million times.

A book I wish had been written: "How To Figure Out What You Want To Be When You Grow Up, Wrkinprogress!"

A book I wish had never been written: Warning: the following answer is definitely controversial. Read at your own risk!!! Possibly the Bible, based on all of the terrible things that have been or are being done in its name.

A book I am currently reading: "Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life. How to Finally, Really Grow Up", by James Hollis Ph.D.

A book that I am meaning to read: The Iliad and The Odessey

Five bloggers I'd like to tag:


Plus Annie!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Poetry type -- need input!

Here's what *I* think my poetry type should be:

I am, of course, none other than blank verse.
I don't know where I'm going, yes, quite right;
And when I get there (if I ever do)
I might not recognise it. So? Your point?
Why should I have a destination set?
I'm relatively happy as I am,
And wouldn't want to be forever aimed
Towards some future path or special goal.
It's not to do with laziness, as such.
It's just that one the whole I'd rather not
Be bothered - so I drift contentedly;
An underrated way of life, I find.
What Poetry Form Are You?

Here's what my actual type was:

I'm terza rima, and I talk and smile.
Where others lock their rhymes and thoughts away
I let mine out, and chatter all the while.

I'm rarely on my own - a wasted day
Is any day that's spent without a friend,
With nothing much to do or hear or say.

I like to be with people, and depend
On company for being entertained;
Which seems a good solution, in the end.

Gimme some help, here, people -- which do *YOU* think I am? (Thanks to NeuroticIlliniFan for putting this on her page for me to steal, as usual!!)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pet Peeve #1 (today)

Waiting 6 weeks for an appointment with a specialist, then showing up on time, and waiting 2 hours before even being called to go back. Even worse -- fasting for this appointment, which was at 10 am.

Upon making another appointment (4 weeks away), the person behind the counter apologized. I told her she didn't need to, it wasn't her fault. She fairly heaved a sigh of relief and said "Most people don't realize that." I assured her I remembered when I sat behind that desk, too.

Then I was told that, because I will be having a new patient exam, I should plan to spend 2 hours with the doctor. Well, that might have been helpful to know a while back. Part of the reason I couldn't wait was because I had an appointment with another doc to get an injection into my shoulder.

And to make it all a little worse, hubby had taken off work today to go with me, so we kind of wasted half a day of leave time.

However, the injection wasn't even felt, even thought it was into my shoulder joint, so props to the physiatrist with the excellent aim. :)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wednesday whimsy

Wasn't that a great post title? I wish I could live up to the 'whimsy' part, but at least it sounded cool for a sec.

Saw the Physiatrist Monday. To cut to the chase, he wanted to know what bothered me most at the moment, because we couldn't get into everything on this first visit. At the time, and most of the time, it was my right shoulder. At PT they thought it might be referred pain from my bone spur or bulging discs, but this doc said it was a totally separate issue. He said there seems to be something going on with my rotator cuff, which has nothing to do with my neck. So that was interesting. He sent me for a shoulder x-ray, and I'm taking those films to him tomorrow, when I'll probably get a cortisone shot. He gave me a prescription for Daypro, but it appears to have wreacked havoc on my digestive system. No more Daypro for me! Didn't help any in the first place.

Tomorrow I also get to see an Endocrinologist to see where I am in terms of having PCOS. I'm not diabetic, but it is thought that I am insulin resistant, and I've been taking a diabetes drug for that for a couple of months now. However, I don't notice any difference taking the max dose of this, so I'm going to be evaluated for another one. I really don't know what to expect from this kind of doc. I'm going to just have water in the morning, along with my normal meds, in case that will save me another visit to have blood drawn.

Still don't know for sure if travel is in my plans for next week. In case I haven't mentioned it, hubby is going with us, too. Big relief for me.

Got a call last night from the president of the local blues society asking if I could help them with some stuff. I gladly agreed, thinking this could help hubby alot, just by my knowing more people in the music biz. This also may help us go out more -- if we go to blues shows or concerts and write a review/take pix, they'll either get us or reimburse us for tickets or cover charges. That might make a big difference in some of the shows we'd attend, you know?

Help me make it through Sunday afternoon. The marriage summit is Saturday, and our guest speaker is going to deliver the messages on Sunday, and I am his official 'person' until all of this is over. I'm proud of what I've accomplished, though it doesn't seem like that much now. This will definitely look good on my resume, provided a blue employer is reading it. lol

Oh, hubby is taking the day off to go with me to all of these crazy appointments tomorrow. I'm so glad he said yes when I asked. :) I never ask him to do things like that, but I realized that if I get a shoulder injection, it might be better to let someone else drive home. Actually, that might not matter at all -- I've never had anything like this done before.

So, peace out, y'all. Wish me luck. :)