Sunday, January 15, 2017

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." ~ Psalms 84:11


Saturday, January 14, 2017

One Day at a Time

I was feeling anxious today. Decided to just focus on this:

Shot from our beach earlier this week. Breathe in, breathe out.

Much better.

So you know: I surfed three times this week. One of those times it was snowing.

Friday, January 13, 2017

One More Week!

My boy returns in ONE WEEK! I can't believe it. It is surprising how quickly two years has gone but at the same time so much has happened it seems like longer.

We last saw him in person when we dropped him off at the MTC. He was young and a little unsure of himself. I'm sure he was scared to death but at the same time excited to get out on his own.

I'm hoping he comes back a confident, strong man, ready to take on the world. From the letters we've received I know he has changed. He has a stronger testimony of the Gospel and a stronger belief in himself. Can't wait to give this man a big hug!

But before I do I have a lot to get done this week. He will get home and that same weekend a big bunch of friends and family will descend upon little Westport to come to hear his homecoming report. I am using this as motivation to get a few things done around the house. 

Here is this week's list:

  • Get a dresser for the boys bedroom
  • Get a mattress for Heath
  • Build platform for Heath's bed
  • Make a lemon meringue pie for Heath
  • Make donairs for Heath's first meal home on Saturday per Heath's request (figure out what donairs are)
  • Make a "Welcome Home Elder Dooley" sign
  • Prepare food for Sunday luncheon after church. On the menu: Kalua Pork, Chicken Katsu, Rice, Hawaiian Mac Salad, Fresh Fruit, Hawaiian Dream Cake
  • Build a Bookcase so we can finally unpack all our boxes and clear up some space for guests to mill around in
  • Tidy up the garage so the kids can play ping pong at the luncheon
  • All the regular housework: dishes, laundry, sweep, vacuum, tidy, bathrooms, bedrooms
  • Some extra housework: windows, dusting, wipe all handles and knobs, clean off front door from puppy paws,
In addition I have the following responsibilities this week
  • Pitch new stories for my freelance writing job with
  • Write a story about cooking razor clams for
  • Make home visits to 2 new families and 3 sick women in our branch (did I tell you I'm the Relief Society President?)
  • Prep for presidency meeting on Wednesday night: agenda, phone calls, visiting teaching numbers
  • Start my last semester of classes with University of Arkansas

I also have a long list of other things I really should do but they won't be getting done this week

  • Sell textbooks, sheet music, jewelry and other stuff on ebay
  • organize sewing and craft stuff in new office cupboards
  • build desks for office
  • properly file paperwork that has been stuffed into a box for the last year
  • get new auto insurance
  • file taxes
  • cancel my Hawaii business licence (I've done this twice now but keep getting notices. I must have done something wrong).
  • Straighten out the emergency sub certificate situation
  • hang pictures
  • paint some walls
  • make headboards for the girls beds
  • make a headboard for my bed
  • Get some artwork
And there are so many other things I could write down but for sanity's sake I'll stop right there.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Since moving I have had a terrible time getting into a groove. I could blame it on my concussion. I could blame it on the cold weather. I could blame it on the fact that there are fewer daylight hours than I was used to in Hawaii. I could blame it on a myriad of other large and small things that are different about me, my family, and the world, but really I got to put blame where blame is due: Me. I am to blame. 

I have not created and held myself to a structure because, hey, when you don't have to why?! I'll tell you why: because you flounder. There is a reason we have bones: structure. There is a reason walls have studs and floors have joists: structure. There is a reason for rocks and earth: structure. Its time for me to create some structure in my life again so I can stand tall, be a support to those around me, and do some (more) good in the world.

To start building my structure I am going to reach way, way back into my old Fly Lady days. Do you remember Fly Lady? Great system for creating structure in baby steps. When my kids were little and my house was chaos I found Fly Lady for the first time. It had a lasting influence and every once in a while I like to go back for a refresher.

She proposes a morning routine. Her's is great but it is really focused on cleaning and I need something a little different. I'm battling some mild depression and so my morning routine will consist of a few things that have helped me in the past and have also been scientifically proven to help improve mood disorders.
  1. Get out of bed
  2. Drink water
  3. Take vitamins
  4. Put on workout clothes/shoes
  5. Wake up the girls
  6. 30 minutes of exercise
  7. 20 minutes of scriptures, inspirational reading, prayer and meditation in front of my new Verilux Happy light.
By the time I have completed this list the girls will be ready for school and I can usher them happily out the door. We'll see how this works tomorrow and then continue adding more structure. Baby steps.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wo is Me?

As you know I was feeling pretty wo is me last night.

Funny how a chat with a friend, a call from mom, and a night of sleep can change all that. (Oh, and some surfing in the snow. That helps too.)

It was the phone conversation with mom that made the biggest difference. The conversation was not about me at all. I didn't even let on that I'd been blubbering. She had some bad news that really put my troubles into perspective. My uncle is dying. It has been a long time coming. He hasn't been well for a very long time. He's been in a care facility for four or five years. He's suffering and its his time. Part of the phone conversation my mind wandered to this past summer when Gramma Jewel died. She was in her 90's. At least 20 years older with a much better quality of life. It was a powerful comparison. I want that: quality of life into my 90's.

Today I got my blood tests, made my appointment with a physical therapist, and did a lot of research on the vitamins and such that the doctor is recommending. I also spent some time thinking about what I really want, why I really want it and how I'm gonna get it. What happens next is up to me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


I don't cry. I pride myself in this fact. I hate it when people cry and I see it as weakness. It irritates me. Crying is for babies and for injuries. Like broken legs or gunshot wounds. Maybe when your grandma dies or your brother. Maybe.

Today at the doctor I cried like a blubbering idiot. I cried all the way home. I took a long shower and continued to cry. I cried until I couldn't cry anymore. It was ridiculous.

I don't have cancer. No terminal diseases. No prescriptions to purchase or expensive tests to run. No I haven't hit menopause and I'm not pregnant.

I went to the doctor today for the first time in 6 months. The first time since moving. The first time since I got whacked in the face by my surfboard; when I got knocked out and suffered a concussion. I hadn't cried then though it hurt like a mother. But I cried today.

I told her the details, emotionless: I was shortboarding. I was working on some tricks, turning back on the wave. The waves were small. My daughter was surfing not too far from me. I remember my board turning to the right. I wake up underwater and don't know where I am. My eyes are closed but I'm seeing stars. My ears are ringing. I don't know which way is up. I find the air and hear Afton, "Are you OK Mom?" I'm not OK. My head hurts. My jaw hurts. I'm shaking. I know I'm not safe in the water. I find my board and paddle to shore where I wait for my daughter and friend.

I give her my excuses for never going to the doctor before: time and insurance issues.

I tell her my reasoning for coming in now, finally: continued headaches, continued slowed/lost cognitive function, nausea and dizziness when I exercise, weight gain, depression.

I started tearing up as I told her about how I get sick when my heart rate rises, like when I run my head starts hurting and I get a little dizzy and the nausea will last for hours. I lost it when she said something about "traumatic brain injury" and "learning to adjust".

Traumatic brain injury was a phrase I'd read many times in my late night concussion recovery googles. I thought I might have it. I fit the symptoms. But I'm a hypochondriac. I wasn't that bad off was I? Nah. I'm probably just imagining most of it anyways, right?  Hearing it from her was definitive, like a slap on the back, or cold water to the face. It was real.

Learning to adjust. Ugh. followed by words like magnify, and compensate, and manage, and ageing. Ageing? What?!

We talked for a long time. She talked fast. I remember some of what she said. She wrote me a prescription for a book, referred me to physical therapy, gave me a bunch of vitamins for my brain. We talked too long and the lab next door closed before I could get my blood draw and urine sample in. Must check my levels. Not sure what levels that would be but she'll let me know next week if she thinks I should add anything to my brain regimen.

"The good news," she said, was that I don't need to bother spending money on an MRI. At this point they can't do anything about any damage that was done. Their not gonna do surgery on me when I'm doing as well as I am.

Well that's good.

I'll Write Again on Two Conditions

Two conditions

  1. You don't mention this or anything I say
  2. I'm beginning from now. No, or very little, backfill


I've been wanting to blog again for a long time. Aching to really. But I keep hearing this nagging voice with a wagging finger in the back of my head that says "you've been away too long", "do you really want to say that?", "what will people think of you if . . .?", "once it's out there you can never take it back!".

I thought I could just write on paper and that would do the trick. I could clear my head by trapping these ideas in a spiral college ruled. It didn't work the same. I got it out but it turned out to be a jumbled mess of ink. The thoughts incoherent in my head remained frustrated and confused. Paper didn't force me to really think about what I was thinking and how I was saying it. The possibility of a reader did. I needed an audience.

An audience is scary. An audience thinks about what you say and thinks it is really you. They trust that it is. But, what if I want to change my mind later? What if I realize that what I said wasn't really what I meant? What if I was just full of crap and too stupid to realize it? And then the audience wants to talk to me about it?!

Ugh, the voice again. Do me a favor and don't talk to me about my blog, at least for now. Let me regain some confidence or whatever it is that's holding me back.


I have been extremely inconsistent in my writing over the last five years. It seemed just as my life was getting super exciting and my readership was higher than ever, I dropped off the face of the earth. I did. Literally. I landed on an island in the middle of the Pacific. You wanted to hear all about that supposed dream life and I disappointed you. I withheld from you the opportunity to live vicariously through me. Yeah sure, I occasionally threw out a few teasers: pictures of surfing, the beach, adventurous tales--but it wasn't the same. And it will never be the same again.

I can't go back. Sure it might be fun if I tried sifting through old pictures and dredging up old memories but it wouldn't last and it wouldn't be real. Or at least it wouldn't be the same. And I would probably lose interest again. You would too. Because the real purpose of the blog isn't to showcase the perfect life and the awesome adventures and to brag about myself. No, the real purpose, as stated above, is to sort some things out. To get some things out of my head and onto a digital post it note so I can look at it, move it around, think about it, and see if I can finally figure out this thing, this stuff, this life.

OK, fine, I might sometimes rehash. I reserve that right. 

For now, however, I will begin with today and see where it takes me.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

If I'm Wearing My Glasses Leave Me Alone

It's a bright, cold, rainy day. Yes, bright, surprisingly. The high white clouds are trying to trick me into thinking it's nice outside. Indeed I keep turning to look out the window to see if the sun is peeking through. It's not. Just thin clouds dripping their contents as they slowly slink over the coast inland. I'm not amused.

Had a hard time getting out of bed. I think I'm coming down with a cold. I wish I was coming down with a cold: a good excuse to stay in bed all day. I'll be staying in the house anyways. I have plenty to do that I don't want to do: homework, housework, showering, brushing my hair. 

I'm debating if I'm going into another depression or if I'm just tired or if I'm just lazy or if my head still isn't totally healed from that concussion in July. Maybe a combination. The bottom line is I don't want to do anything.

My list of to do's today started like this: 1-Get out of bed, 2-Drink Water, 3-Eat something healthy, 4-Put on contacts, 5-Brush  hair, 6-Take Vitamins, 7-Plan dinner, 8-blog, ... I skipped from 3 and went straight to 8. I couldn't handle the others. I might go back but I also have homework to do so I might just take a nap.

I haven't been surfing in 3 weeks because the surf has been too big. I've tried running a few times but it still hurts my head (post-concussion). Walking is cold. Yesterday I bought a rowing machine from a surplus sale. I'll see what excuses I can come up with for not using that. In a similar vein I have gained 10+ pounds since the move. Hence I am wearing sweats a lot.

Other problems I should face but won't: refinance the rental, set up income sensitive repayment for student loans, wake up my son who needs to find a job, get better insurance agent, track down life insurance policy, adopt a puppy.
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