Monday, December 28, 2009

The End of a Chapter...

Like a lot of people, maybe most people, I've worked a number of different jobs in my life. I was a programmer/analyst for a small airplane manufacturing company based in Seattle [Boeing]. I was laid off after 9/11 and wasna unhappy to no longer be working there. I never woulda quit but I wasna happy, either. My next job was working as a Certified [yes, I am certifiable :-P ] Nursing Assistant for Providence Hospital in Everett. I started as a nursing assistant and expected it to be temporary because I thought I wanted to be an RN. I worked 32 hours a week with 8 to 10 patients. I found that I loved it! I got a lot of face-to-face contact with the patients and the greatest group of people I've ever worked with! I brought my offbeat sense of humor to my job. [Patch Adams is one of my favorite movies!] The patients enjoyed my humor and it would make their day a bit easier. One of my favorite memories of the job involved a woman who'd recently received very serious diagnosis. She was crying softly in her bed and I came in and sat down with her and we started to talk about things and after a bit, she was laughing with me and felt much better. Her nurse never said anything to me but wrote up an Angel of the Month nomination for me because she was amazed at what had happened. There was another patient with respiratory failure who'd been in and out of the hospital on our floor. I was frequently her aide. The last time she was in, she came to understand she was not going to get better and in fact was only alive because of her respirator. She and her family decided it was time for her to go on to meet her Savior. They called their pastor and the family gathered in the room for prayer and communion. Both her nurse and I were not going to interrupt them. They held off their service until they found us. They very much wanted us to be a part of it. This was a really humbling moment for me to be honored that way. You never know how much the little things you might do for somebody will touch them and their families.

I was a nursing assistant for four years. The last few months, they'd changed the staffing and we almost always had 11-12 patients. That's a lot for any floor but the people on our floor required more care than the average patient, so it was real load. In August of '08, my life had come to a point where I knew I was going to transition soon, so I told my supervisor that I am transsexual. She replied, "You're a nice man. You're just confused." Wrong answer! About a month later, they [management] put together a trumped up, bogus story and fired me. They sent a complaint to the State. It was all hearsay and they couldn't prove it was true but I couldn't prove it wasn't true. The State takes its own sweet time investigating things. Today, I received legal mail from the state. I am to turn in my credentials and I will never be a nursing assistant in Washington state again. There's a little more to it all than that but that's the bottom line.

It hurts... I was a very good aide. My patients loved me and I loved my patients. I learned how much I enjoy helping people, particularly face-to-face. I don't know what field to go into next because I know I want to continue to help other people.

The end of a chapter, but not the end of my calling.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shannon's First Christmas

It wasn’t a joy but it wasn’t a tragedy, either.


I had planned for Christmas Eve. I was going to go to dinner at First Congregational Church, and then to the Christmas Eve service they were going to have. After that I was planning to go to a Candlelight Service at Cedar Cross Methodist. I went casual most of the day; running a few chores and surfing at my Tully’s. I went home, got showered, shaved and ready for the evening. And then I got really nauseous and dinna feel well at all. I crawled into my bed and just lay there. I had a very difficult time getting to sleep. The nausea and the dreading of Christmas Day would not let me relax and get to sleep.

Sleep finally came and so did Christmas morning. The apartment felt incredibly empty. It was painful to be so alone on Christmas morning. It felt like someone had cut my heart out. I took my meds and after a bit, I started my breakfast. It wasna very different from any of our Christmas Breakfasts before except there wasna anyone to share it with. When I was done eating, about a quarter to 10AM, I decided it was late enough in the morning that I could call my family and wish them Merry Christmas! I called my wife, got no answer and left a message. I called my daughter, got her voice mail and left her a greeting. I called my son next and it was the same story. It was a little disappointing but it was early yet. Called my baby brother, no answer and left a message. Called my other brother and he was home. I had a good long chat with him. When I finished, my daughter had left a message on my voice mail. That was good.


Just after I woke up that morning I had three very nice text messages from friends of mine. I really, really appreciated them. My morning rolled on. I got a very quick, impersonal, “Merry Christmas” text from my wife. Nothing at all special. I waited and waited for her to call me. She never did. After noon sometime, I had a good cry. I deserve better than that from her! I finally got a call from my daughter and I thanked her very much for calling me back. I think she picked up on my feelings because my son called me about a half hour later. I didna catch the call but he did leave a message.


Debra invited me to her house for dinner Christmas Day. I had told her I’d be there. I also told her I’d bring a casserole. I’ve been trying recipes from Allrecipes.com. This was an opportunity to try out one that sounded really good to me. Called creamy corn casserole, I was anxious to try it out. I love corn; so much so that it comes out in my humor . I put it together and it was really easy [three-four stars.... was a little bland]. Timed it to be ready just before I left and I got myself ready. Popped it out of the oven, covered it with foil, wrapped in a large towel and then headed to Debra’s place. Debra had several people there I had not met so it was going to be an interesting night. Debra and Corina [a woman I had not met] were doing most of the cooking. Debra was being Martha Stewart for the evening. It was a good dinner and a nice evening. I really enjoyed Corina a lot and look forward to meeting her again. Sophia was there and a couple of other women I dinna know before. Sophia seemed to have a very good time. I’m glad I went. So my first Christmas ended on a good note.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What does it mean to be "Feminine"

I have been reading Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano. It is slow going for me. It is written well, I just always have a problem soaking up academic-type writings other than histories. My take on how Julia Serano describes our culture? is along these lines:

Masculine Men more important than masculine women who are more important than feminine women who are more important than feminine men who are more important than feminine trans-women.

This is gross oversimplification. I am not real comfortable with my use of the word "important." And I'm not really certain where trans-men fit in the hierarchy.

I see myself as a feminine woman. And I realize that I really haven't identified for myself what I mean by "feminine." I am wondering what it means to be feminine. It is not the same as what it means to be a woman, though there is probably overlap. I am still exploring what it means to me. Wiki is of small help. Being more or less feminine seems to be made up of and presentations generally described by culture as "feminine." How much do I want to respond to what the culture dictates?

I have appropriated for myself some of my culture's definition of feminine. For myself, I like my hair to be long and in a style women would wear, but I've met very feminine women with short hairstyles. For myself, I want a bosom and I want it to be large enough to be appropriate for a woman my size. To tell my culture that I am a woman I wear feminine eyeglasses; for myself I think they make my face look more like the woman I am. Again, to tell my culture I am a woman, I have long painted nails; for myself I think they improve the look of my hands and fingers. A fair fraction of the aspects of my presentations are both for culture and for myself and I think I would do them for myself if not encouraged by my culture. I like being pretty. Well... I like not being hard on another person's eyes. It's harder to be "pretty" as the years go by.

I'd like to think that some of the behavioral facets of femininity that my culture recognizes are part of who I am naturally. I like to think that I am gentle in spirit, patient[where the H*** is that latte' I ordered!?], and kind. I am not as soft-spoken as I'd like to be and my voice, while a bit higher than most men, is not as feminine as I'd like. A lot of that is cadence and inflection. And practice. I've had women tell me they thought I was GG [Genetic Girl as opposed to trans] so I'm doin' something right.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Getting used to "Shannon"

My name will be legally changed to Shannon Michael Tucker on January 5th, when the divorce is finalized in court. "Shannon" is a new name for me. For years I used to go by a derivative of my boy-name of "Michael." It has only been since about June? that I started to go by Shannon. To tell the truth, I still am not completely natural with my new name. Those moments of self-talk, "You're late, Shannon!" or "That was stupid, Shannon!" or "Nice job, Shannon." are not completely natural yet. Yet... It is getting a lot closer. What I have caught myself doing a lot more is to use "baby" or "sweetheart" or "hon." And almost always in an affectionate or nurturing tone of voice to a feminine self. Thinking about that tone, that attitude toward myself, I am surprised. I have always, ALWAYS, been very hard on myself. I have had very high expectations for myself. But since I started my transition, I have found myself a little kinder, a little more gentle with myself. This is VERY different and I like it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More ramblings on Forgiveness...

When I say I must forgive, it comes from my heart and I am not ashamed to say it. But if it did not come from my heart and I felt I must forgive, even if I have some reluctance, I may not be living in all the Power and Grace that God has for me, but I am living in obedience.

In my thinking and what passes for my meditations, forgiveness is an essential element of being
Meek. To be forgiving requires the strength and the humility to truly give your perceived right to hold responsible for the hurt, to truly give that away.

If it is possible to change the environment that is the source of the hurt or wrong, I will do so. I am not compelled by scripture to be a doormat. Having said that, Peter, that whiny, I'm-better-than-you-are disciple asked if forgiving his brother [Andrew?] 7 times was enough. And Jesus said,
"I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." I take that to mean there are times when Jesus would have me be a doormat. I don't know that I can do that myself. If it gets that bad I'd probably try real hard to take myself out of that situation. [and I know what Peter means... I know what a pain in the butt, little mom-always-liked-him-best, brother can be like --- I don't think he reads my blog ;)]

Transition or Die...

I am not sure whether I've posted this before but I canna find it so...

With respect to "transition or die." I have been considering transition, living my life as myself a woman, for almost 20 years. I have only recently started to live my life full time. Somedays my life feels wonderful and others aren't so good. But my new life is still finding its paths.

I have always been uncomfortable when people comment on how "brave" I am to make this change, to live an authentic life. I appreciate the comment and what they mean behind it, but I don't feel brave. I always think and sometimes say, "It's not bravery or courage when you are faced with transition or die." I have not been in danger of physical death, but emotional and spiritual death have always been choices. I am an addict. Medication to make the pain go away, to numb myself has always been a part of my life. I KNOW I am capable of self-medicating to the point that who I am at the core becomes comatose and dies. And before living full-time my greatest pain was because I was not living authentically as myself.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Good News

I might not have to pay for an orchiectomy!!! If it stays cold like this I’ll just freeze my cojones off!

Can you believe this! Damn! It’s cold! Have thermostats set to 70 and can’t actually get the heat in the room past 67. At night when I’m trying to sleep if I roll over from one spot in the bed to another; it’s like going from the toaster to the freezer! Like a pop tart in reverse! [note to self: No, I don' wanna move back to Minnesota.]

It is so dry here, the buzzards are booking flights to Death Valley. If I walk out of my apartment without a half-pound of product on my hair [like I've done the last two days] I get hit with this instant frizz bomb.

Well, Tuesday was … interesting. I had an appointment with the people who are monitoring how fast my blood clots. The nurse who was working with me took my vitals and got real concerned. My pulse was running 130 beats a minute, what they call tachycardia. He took it again and it was 140. He really wasn't that good looking. So he wheeled me over to the walk-in clinic to so they could run an EKG and have a doc check me over. This is getting' to be fun…not! A new RN ran the EKG on me took the strip and as she was leaving the room to find the doc she mumbled, "This is interesting…" Now, you ned to understand that I was not feeling any symptoms of anything 'cept this damn toothache. And the possibility of going back to the hospital kinda jumped to the front of my head. I wasna happy about this but wasna anxious either. The doc comes in and he says, "Well, the good news is you're already on coumadin." He goes on to explain that I have something called Atrial Fibrillation, what the medical community calls AFib. He explains to me how AFib can cause to strokes. When the atrium is shaking like jello (fibrillating), the blood just sits there and doesn't get pushed on to its next destination. Blood that just sits around makes clots. When the heart finally gets its act together again and pumps blood properly, out go these lovely little clots. To the brain or to the heart muscle. Apparently, the first line of defense agains the AFib generated clots is to make the blood clot much more slowly. In comes Coumadin, which I'm already on because of the clots in my legs and the clots in my lungs. I get to follow up with a cardiologist next week who will run more tests and probably hone my medications a bit. The doc on Tuesday gave me a blood pressure medicine and I'm not sure why. My blood pressure could run low because of the bp meeds I'm already on and the doc was aware of those meds when he prescribed this other med. Yesterday, with the new med, I felt a lot of weakness in my arms and legs. I don't know if that's the AFib or the new med.

One of the upshots of being on coumadin is that major elective surgery is probably out. What does _that_ mean? Well, I can probably get my augmentation done and, again, probably get my orchie done, but SRS is probably out. I will have to investigate this to be sure, but there are a lot of blood vessels in that area of the body and how I bleed and clot will probably be a concern to any reliable surgeon doing the operation.

Oh! The doc on Tuesday also gave me a prescription for amoxicillan for my jaw infection, too. This is a Good Thing.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Another grump day...

My jaw still hurts and I canna tell if it’s getting better. I haven’t slept well the last couple nights. But maybe being a grump helped me get a couple things done today.

I called Comcast and canceled my TV and internet with them. I let the internet in particular interfere with the way I want to live my life. Instead of getting up and getting things done, I sit at the ‘puter reading the ‘net for an hour or two [or 3...]. Nothing really wrong with that, I just don’t get outa the apartment. If I need to connect the the ‘net, I’ll just go to the library or to Tully’s and pick up free WIFI. The other thing that I let the ‘net interfere with is the reading and writing I think I want to do. I’m slowly moving thru Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano. It's tough reading for me; it's not the science fiction I usually read. But I harken to the Internet Siren calling me to rocks of intellectual oblivion. The 'net is easier and I am basically lazy.

I had to go to the Alderwood Mall to pay for some new glasses I've picked out. While at the mall I went to the Apple store to pick up a copy of Quicken [I want to pretend I'm gonna stay on top of my finances for a change.] The young man who helped me find the Quicken and Aperture was pretty nice. But he called me "sir." I wasna looking my best as I was in grump-mode, but I had my hair combed out fairly nice. I have my nails [which need a fill badly]. I had my purse. And I have my "bumps". After the sale, I went around to the side of the cash register where the young man's trainer was standing and said, "We're gonna have a little education here." I then pointed out the visual cues [the guy did have the fact that I seem to have a grand-daddy bullfrog in my throat today in his favor] and hey immediately were in apology-mode. I was fine. So everything was good. But I've never stood up for myself like that in public before. Three cheers for grumpness!

On a totally different note, I used a recipe from AllRecipes.com for fried [or baked or grilled] fish. "Simple Ranchy Breaded Fish Fillets" was extremely easy and I LOVED it! [which is a good thing 'cus I got a big bag of frozen Mahi Mahi fillets and another big bag of frozen sockeye salmon fillets eating up all the space in my tiny freezer] I had to grow up with the "Give it to Mikey, he hates everything" commercial. I'm not Mikey anymore but "She likes it!!!"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A day to Grump

Last night was a Hot Flash dance at Neighbors. I've been planning to go for two weeks. I dinna go to the dance. I had promised myself I would start and finish a few projects for my bathroom and the rest of the apartment that I had put off for 3 or 4 weeks. I got a late start on them and decided I was gonna finish for fear that I wouldn't get back to 'em. I am a great one for putting things off and not finishing things. That and I started on my laundry that I have put off. I still have a couple of loads to go.

I sent an email to an employment writer from the Seattle Times asking for ideas how to improve the reception I get from HR people. She has written articles about being gay and employed. She seemed a good source.

I have developed an infection around one of many crowns I have in my mouth. I've had it before and usually waiting trough it and using tylenol eventually takes care of it. I'd like the dentist to prescribe a STRONG antibiotic for more than 2 weeks, 'cus it seems that I never quite rid of it. And I don't want them diggin' in my teeth anymore. They'd hafta replace a crown; I don't have that kinda money. It gets to be painless but it comes back in the same place. I can deal with it but sometimes it gets annoying.

Today, I'm being a grump. The jaw hurts and the next door neighbor is playing rap music a little [a lot] loud. I'm not getting to my laundry.

I'll be better in a day or two.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Scent that the Rose Leaves...

[Forgive me, but I have rambled a bit writing this]

I've been seeking an understanding of forgiveness for my whole adult life it seems. Usually I am looking for a step-by-step manual of "Forgiveness for Dummies." [Reading through Wiki's entry for forgiveness there's a guy who actually wrote a book on a 20 step process: Dr. Robert Enright, Forgiveness is a Choice, American Psychological Association , 2001 ISBN 1-55798-757-2]

But for me, forgiveness is something from the heart. It can't be made into a technical manual. And for myself again, forgiveness is every bit a requirement for my walk with God as confession of my sins. [It's a good thing that God transcends time as my confession is gonna take awhile.] I have resented that most churches emphasize the need to be forgiving but do not really teach how to do it. But that is me trying to find the technician's approach again. I have always heard the phrase, "forgive and forget," but I think that very true phrase both oversimplifies and confuses the issues. God can forgive and forget in hard truth. But as a human being [in spite of what Ken Hutcherson believes] I cannot erase those memories or hide them someplace in my mind and be healthy.

The "study" I've been trying to do is more about finding my true words, my heart words, to put what I know in my heart into English so that I can articulate it better, so I can give it some form I can actually touch with my hands? and somehow give it a measure that I can use in my daily, boring life.

For me, to forgive is to unconditionally give up a claim on another for wrongs I perceive. Again for myself, to forget in this context is to unconditionally not bring up or remember the wrongs I perceive. Forgiveness is about me. Forgetting is about me. I am not responsible for my brother's response or remembering of the wrong. I am only responsible for my heart in the matter. I found this anonymous quote about forgiveness that strikes me as poetic and touches me to my soul, "Forgiveness is the scent that the rose leaves on the heel that crushes it."

To live a life of forgiveness strikes some of my friends as allowing people to run me over. Perhaps they are right. I dunno. I only know I must forgive, no other options. I must.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"My Journey is my Own"

When I read the latest blog from SisterFriendsTogether, the concept of “The Journey is My own” and “I live and breathe for an audience of One” really caught my interest. I canna speak for everyone newly out as I am, but it seems, for _me_, That ’till I decided to be out, to live my life fulltime, to live my life someplace else than online, to live authentically, I had been living my life the way everyone thought I should. I had been living and breathing for an audience of everyone but the One. There is a so much peace and joy in living authentically, but it has had a price. In choosing to walk my own journey, My wife and children have decided they canna walk with me anymore. What they really resent is that I am not walking with them as they think I should.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What I Believe

In 1995, I had come to the understanding that I needed to live as a woman. With a nod to the movie Rudy, I had done everything I knew to do to have my true nature go away. I've prayed, I've had elders anoint me with oil and lay hands on me. I prayed for death. And still my nature, who I was then and now, was with me. Going against my nature just wasn't possible. Paul would talk of his thorn in his flesh and struggled against it. I am not Paul. But I had to find my way to understanding how I could still be in God's grace. What follows is what I came to, piece by piece.

What I Believe

Part of moving to a spiritual and emotional peace for me is looking at the Scripture and trying to understand what God is trying to say to me. I try not to make the Word jump through too many hoops. I was born, raised and confirmed a Missouri Synod Lutheran and I highly respect God's Word. This is what I base my faith on:

· Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior,

· I am a sinner in need of Jesus' Love and Intercession,

· the Bible is the Holy Word of God and, when properly understood, contains the answers to a lot of the questions in my life,

· The Apostle's Creed,

· The Nicene Creed,

· Luther's Small Catechism, and

· most importantly, Jesus Loves Me.

Male And Female

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (New King James Version)

In my prayers and meditations, I was drawn to this simple passage. I had an idea what this passage meant. It is often quoted at homosexual people as if to say, "God made you a man and not a woman!" or "God made you a woman and not a man!" I wasn't able to read that here. So I asked an LCMS pastor what the Hebrew underneath the English said. He told me that the Hebrew translated clearly to the English with the exception of the word "them." He explained that Hebrew does not have a word for "them", but that the Hebrew here indicated an single object that was a plural. "Them" is as close as the English gets. Still confused about how this passage was being used and what it really meant, I asked an English professor how the sentence would diagram. She told me that the subject of the sentence is "He", the verb is "made" and the object is "them." "He made them." She then told me that the phrase "male and female" was an adjective phrase modifying "them." "He made them male and female." But the key word or concept in this part of the passage is "them", a singular object of plural value. However God made "them", whatever He did, He did to both elements of "them." Syntactically, there is no difference between the sentence, "male and female He made them." and speaking of zebras, "Black and white He made them." Ok, so explain it to me like I was a 6 year-old. Literally, God made each person some part male and some part female.

In His Image?

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (New King James Version)

Does the idea of man, created some part male and some part female, fit with the "Image of God?"

Clearly, God is the image of a masculine Father. He is perfect Justice and justice is masculine. But He is also perfect Love and love is feminine. As Christ said to Jerusalem, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" Matthew 23:37.

The Image of God, being both male and female, fits with the biology that is seen in His creation. There are children born with genitals of both sexes, children born without genitals of either sex, some boys are born with out the ability to use the male hormones in their bodies to become men and the bodies of some girls overuse any androgens in their system and are very masculine. These children all have been born "male and female." These children are not abominations from the womb!

But I feel there is a better argument for understanding God's Image as fully male and fully female. If the Father were only fully male, then the Son would be only fully male. And if the Son were only fully male, then women would not have a Comforter who understands their temptations or a Savior who died for their sins.

Whosoever...

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (New King James Version)

The Word plainly states that any person who believes in what the Son has done for him is saved, saved forever. It does not state that only white, Anglo-Saxon, American, protestant straight married people are saved. It simply, very simply, states "whosoever..."

I believe in Jesus Christ, only begotten Son of God, is the Savior of my soul. He is my savior!

Closer To God

I have come to a point in my life where I have done all that I know how to do to be the "man God wants me to be." I have tried for so very long to make myself right before the Lord. Now... now I humbly confess to my Father that this is who I am. I cannot hide who I am and I cannot change it. For maybe the first time in my life I have surrendered to God and I pray that He has a use for me. I feel closer to Him than I ever have in my life. I have told Him the thing I most wanted to keep from Him and ya know what? He still loves me and will not cast me out!

For What Purpose?

John 9:1-3
1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. (New King James Version)

I do not know how being the way I am fits the Lord's plans. I only know that I am created by God in love, loved by Jesus unto death, sanctified by the Holy Spirit for the joy and the glory of the Lord. And I believe that I am the way I am, that I am who I am, so that God can show His Glory, show His Power, and show His Love.

My Walk From Here

So where do I go from here? I feel guided by two passages. I have to put my faith in God and in His word.

Phillipians 2:12
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (New King James Version)

and

Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (New King James Version)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Referendum 71

I am just nauseated that the vote is so close. Nauseated that only about 5 counties are passing it and while those counties may actually make a majority of votes for the state, it's still just 5 counties. I am nauseated by the No on 71 people with their talk of it doesn't matter we're going to keep fighting and we'll make this go away. Why can't people just let us be who we are: fully enfranchised, fully engaged citizens of this state and of this country?

When I was a young man, in the midst of the Jesus Movement, I sang “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love” and it meant something to me. I believed then and I believe now the words I sang, the words I SING now.

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they'll know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

My Jesus died for every soul that has drawn breath. My Jesus LOVED every man woman and child, gay or straight. Why is it my “Christian” brothers and sisters cannot see us all the way Jesus sees us?

I knowingly gave up the "rights" and "privileges" to be who I am, to be a woman and to be a woman who loves women, but it does not, does NOT mean I no longer expect to be equal to any other man or any other woman in this state, in this country, or in this world. I expect, no! DEMAND! that I and my brothers and sisters be seen and treated with the honor and respect that any human being deserves.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Last Night and This Morning

Yesterday evening, I tried to make sure I had my paperwork for the divorce done and I took it over to my wife. She says she’s looking for closure. She wants it done as soon as we can get it done. The marriage is over. That saddens me a great deal. I really don’t know what I’m holding onto. It’s been over for a long time. But I don’t want it to be over. I miss her laugh and her smile. The bright twinkle in her eyes.

After dropping off the paperwork, I went home with the assignment that I was to write and email to our lawyer. I couldn’t get to it. I kept putting it off. I just couldn’t make myself do it. I was in such a sad place that I couldn’t approach the email. Finally, around 11:00PM, I was able to force my way through it and get it sent off. A phrase from a Bobby Vinton song [I think] seems appropriate. “Blue on Blue, Heartache on Heartache...” I feel like someone is slowly pulling my heart out through a small hole.

I expected to better this morning and I was for a while. I got an email from my son. The first since I’ve come out. He was responding to an email I sent to him, the first from my new Shannon email address. I signed mine “Dad," I don’t think he would have been pleased for me to sign it “Shannon.” I had asked about open mic opportunities for a friend who wants to share her poetry. He told me how things are going in seminary. He’s having a great time. Then he got to the meat of his email. He gave me a few ideas of where my friend could go to share her poetry. And he made it crystal clear that he didn’t want her to go to his favorite poetry night. He said it would feel like an invasion of his privacy. This saddened me. I could see where going there would not be appropriate for me. But to paint my friend guilty because of her association with me just isn’t right. Especially because I know under other circumstances, Jake would like her a lot.

So, on what is usually one of the high points of my week, I’m feeling a little down.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dancin', Dancin', Dancin'

I went dancin’ at the 4women women’s dance in Bellingham last night. The first social event I’ve gone to as a woman-identified women-oriented person was the dance in Bellingham a month ago. I’ve been dancin’ every Saturday but one since then. I’ve loved the dancing! Last night, I gave a woman from Edmonds a ride up to the dance and it was nice to meet and get to know someone new to me. I dressed nice, in my “Goddess” wear as Gabrielle calls it. I decided to wear my 3+“ heels. I’ve not done a lot of walkin’ in my heels and NO dancing! I figured if I wasn’t comfortable, I’d just dance barefoot. I wasn’t at all sure I could really ‘dance’ in the shoes. I like to move around. I did alright. I almost turned an ankle 3 times I think but I did ok. I got nice compliments on my outfit. Was asked to dance by 4 or 5 different women and danced a lot longer than my previous dances. One of the women led me [and every other woman she danced with] by hand up to the dance floor. And one time gave me a pat on the butt when she brought me back down *major grin*! [there may actually be hope!]. Again, I had a marvelous time! I am not going to hesitate to wear my ”Goddess wear“ or my heels.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I've never done that before...

Yesterday, I went with a friend to my first poetry reading other than to hear my daughter or son. The featured poet was a lesbian whose work my friend has been reading for over twenty years and that was who she wanted me to hear. There was a rap artist, another woman author and a Seattle man who normally does poetry [in iambic pentameter and rhyme. no less!]. It was held at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle’s Central District, a place and organization that exhibits and promotes the Literary arts.

We found some seats and started looking around. Gabrielle, the woman I came with, thought she saw some people she knew but she wasn’t sure. I didn’t see anyone I knew and didn’t expect to.

The presentation started with Macklemore, a rap artist. He seemed to be pretty good... it was hard for me to tell. His style [maybe it is rap style?] was not real clear for me to hear. I’m not a big rap fan, anyway. He was followed by Keri Healey reading some of her writings. Eric McHenry read a really nice piece about moving back to his hometown of Topeka [a moment of silence for the loss of a great Seattle poet...]

At intermission, my friend went out to stretch her legs. I was just sitting there looking around and saw this tall, innocent-looking blonde kid sitting off to the side. The kid and my son were roommates at college for 5 years! I was pretty sure he saw me and I wondered what to do. I’ve always been concerned about meeting the friends of my kids as myself. I told my friend when she came back. She encouraged me to go say hello. So I did. I said hello and he asked me how I was doing and we chatted for a bit. It went well I thought. I’m not sure what he would say to my son or how my son would take it, but... things are what they are and my son will someday need to accept that this is who I am.

The second half started with Macklemore again and he had some nice stuff really, or I enjoyed it anyway. Macklemore rapped from his awareness of the disparities that exist in our culture. There were some insightful comments in the rap. The headline was Rebecca Brown. She is doing something a little different for her? She said that she was going to be reading from a historical fictional autobiography (?). It was a lyrical telling of an episode set in high school and in Texas and, later, Washington, D.C. I thought it was very good, but this episode ended sadly.

After the last reading, there was buffet and a chance to talk to folks and just take things in. It was a nice evening. I’ve been to readings my son has been involved in which were usually his friends and fellow college students. I’ve never been to this kinda of reading where people who were big in the literary scene. This was alright! I’m not any kind of expert; I just enjoy what I enjoy.

Driving home we talked about our writings [my few] and what we liked. I told her about my son’s writing. When I got home I sent her the url to my favorite poem that my son wrote. He really is a good poet.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Falling On The Floor, Laughing My Ass Off...

... scared my friends to death last night! I got a bit concerned too, to be honest. Puzzlement was my strongest feeling, tho.

Our gender support group is between 5 and 10 folks on a given Wednesday. We all have warped senses of humor none of them the same. And I love it, Once in awhile we have a night that is almost totally sober. Those are good nights too. Many times the humor strikes so that I’m laughing so hard I can’t catch my breath. Last night was one of _those_ nights! It was a small but intimate group and everybody was doin ok. A new woman was there and we were trying to let her know she wasn’t alone. My turn to check in came up and as usual I approached a lot of my life with my off the wall sense of humor. Well, something kicked over and I was laughing again, laughing so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. I recognized it and figured I’d work through it like I usually do. I bent over to my right to the chair that was there cus I was laughing so hard and... The next thing I now my friends are waking me up out of nice nap and a great dream [I was gonna get the girl for once!] and helped me sit up on the floor. What was I doin’ on the floor? Why was everyone standing over me looking so concerned? Apparently I had blacked out and toppled over backward to the floor. Dani gave me an 8 for the dive but them Texas judges are biased. I got up into my chair assured everybody I was alright and we got on with check in. Other funny things came up during the evening, everyone would turn to me and demand, “Don’t Laugh!” If I canna laugh I’ll go crazy! It’s like tyin’ a mime’s hands behind his back.

But I feel just fine. I’m gonna send a note to my Doc asking if I should come in or not. But I don’t feel like I really need to.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Drinking milk after the "Use By" date

Today, My wife and I met at the insurance agents office to change the insurance on the house and the car policies. Part of the separation and divorce actions. She came from work and I came from the apartment. She was looking really good. She always does. Though she didn’t have a smile for me. I always hope she will but it’s getting more and more rare. When she smiles she lights up the room and I know everything is gonna be alright. I told her it looked like she’d lost some weight and she has. We talked about little stuff, she had my mail in the car and did the dentist get hold of me about my appointment? There was a lull in the conversation and I turned to look at something. When I turned back... she was just turning away and I am sure she didn’t see me turn back. She’d been looking at me and he had a look on her face and a little shake to her head like she had just finished drinking a glass of milk that was past it’s “Use by:” date. That was very painful to see. I know she sees me now and probably forever as the Man she spent 29 years with. It would be nice if she could lie to me once in a while and politely say, “You look nice.”


Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Saturday

Was a very long day. I have joined a meetup group called Eastside Lesbians? They had Koffee Klatch in Issaquah and I met 12 new women. It was a nice time. I was invited to lunch with 4 of the women and had a great time. Our waitress was a hot little butch. She was flirtin' hard with one of the women. We don't know for sure she's part of the family but we were all willing to bet that way. Again, I had a really good time. I got home in the early afternoon and got ready for the Hot Flashes Retro dance at Neighbors. Took a short nap and headed off to Capital Hill... the Eastside Lesbians were getting together for dinner before the Dance. Met another 6 or 8 women.

After the dinner we went over to Neighbors [first time I'd ever been there.] and started dancing. I ran into Pat and Sue, which was something. Neighbors was packed! Lots of butch women and a fair amount of definitely femme women too. I danced with several different people, mostly with the Eastside Lesbian women. Sometimes singular and sometimes as a group. They were a fun bunch. A couple of the Eastside women would dance slow together... It was bittersweet for me to see. Particularly when they started kissing. Anyway, the music was loud and the floor was too crowded for my tastes. I like to move around and not stand in one place and that wasn't possible most of the time. I don't think I'll go back to the Hot Flash dances.

Walking back to my truck.... I got to thinking of the women dancing together and kissing and I had to think about dancing with my wife. We met at square dance lessons. Dancing with her... She has a smile that is just electric! Her laugh, a bright cackle, can light up a room! I got to remembering all the good times... I started choking up... almost couldn't breathe. In my truck driving home wasn't any better. lotsa fun crying and driving... It was a long night... I've needed to grieve the loss of wife. It was a hard night when I got bak to my apartment.... I didn’t get to bed ‘til after 2. I’ve no idea when I got to sleep. My friends all say to call ‘em when I need to talk but it’s real hard for me to call someone at 12:30, 1 o’clock in the morning.

I need to grieve still but at least I scratched the surface. I have a full plate of issues that I need to be honest with my feelings with. I shut them down for a while, mostly to survive. I need to do my personal work.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Equality March...




Yesterday was the first time I've ever turned out for any kind of protest. I'm trying to remember all the images and impressions from yesterday.

Michelle, a woman from the gender support group I've been going to, and I went to Seattle. The plan was to attend the opening speeches and then "march" down to the Federal building and then I'd catch a taxi back. I had my camera [sometimes I think I'm a photographer] Thinking I'm gonna document this for myself. Turned out I was too busy watching everybody. So many different people! All sorts of groups of people, too. At least 3 and I think 4 different socialist groups. Reminded me of college at Western in the early 70's. [maybe that's why I'm listening to Peter, Paul and Mary] Some people I could sense anger from [usually the socialists, but that's my prejudice], but mostly there was joy [if not happiness] and hope and determination. Lotsa baby dykes... a lot of really young folks. I canna imagine being 17, 18, 20, 23, and not _expecting!_ things to change, _knowing_ it _has_ to change. I'm an old broad. I have my hopes, but my certainty isn't the same, nor is my outrage. It probably takes some of the urgency away from me because I've "had my marriage." But the truth that I have to hold on tight to is I still dream to have a woman to be married with and I need to demand that for myself and for my brothers and sisters. For _me_, marriage is a commitment before my God between myself and partner. More simply, marriage is the solemn commitment, the covenant, between two people, period.

Anyways...

We finally started off from the park. The transfolks seemed to be at the end of the march, but we were there. Michelle kinda hovered around me always asking how I was doing. We both knew that my clots in my lungs made the march an interesting proposition. [P,P&M are singing Dylan's "The Times, They Are A Changin'] I did ok... my calves were not happy with me but it had nothing to do with the clots. There was a really nice convoy of Seattle Police on bikes keeping pace with us. Michelle told me before that I should be ready for the "haters" because they'd be there. But I ever saw a one; it was totally peaceful all the way to the Fed building. Lotsa people came out from their businesses to give us support along the way. It was a really positive experience for me. We got to the Fed building, sat down for a bit... actually I kinda went "plop", I was outa breath but it was outa-shape outa breath. After a bit and more speeches, Michelle and I decided to head back. I tried to see what a cab would cost. It was more than I had with me; that left us to walk it... Uphill... Oh dear! So we started out. My calves had stretched out good so that wasn't a problem. And we went sow. Michelle slowed me down several times when I got into "march" mode. I did ok. I was tired and a bit worn. I had real issues with the 20 or so steps up by the park but at the top I could rest a bit. And we were back. I was really proud and happy to go and lend my voice and support. Oh, and survive too .

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lost In Thought

I remember "Lost In Space" from when I was a kid.  I had a crush on Angela Cartwright, mostly 'cus that's who I wanted to be: very attractive girl-next-door with long dark hair.  The thing is I didn't understand then that I wanted to _be_ like her. I was _supposed_ to be a boy, so I simply had a crush on her.

I digress.  Lost In Space and, for me, lost in thought are really similar.  Sometimes, I don't know what hope I have of finding home.  Again, shooting rapids without a paddle.  The two months I have been out and essentially full-time as a woman learning who I am and just being me have been at times overwhelming!  Like being in the valley in the shadow of a mountain and suddenly the morning sun bursts over the ridge to reveal the beauty and the glory of what God has made.  Such glory is awesome! and exhilarating! and, also, at least a little frightening.  My heart has seen new and wonderful things and felt a kaleidoscope of joy and happiness I had not guessed was waiting for me!

And my heart has pondered a lot of new questions or maybe old questions reexamined.  Sometimes I find answers easily and I am happy with the new directions the answers have taken me.  I've decided I want to have breast augmentation.  This is new for me.  I am very comfortable with my forms.  I like and maybe even enjoy the warmth and the weight that is part of the forms.  But I feel something is missing when I am not wearing them.  I wear them almost 16 hours a day every day; They feel _right_! to me.  I am just a kind of light grey sad when I take them off at night?  I think augmentation is a good answer for me.

Some questions are a surprise; I thought I had answered them a long time ago.  I had no plans to revisit them.  The Plan (tm) had been to live as a woman with my breast forms and then to get an orchiectomy and be rid of those nasty! testosterone factories not to mention the silly lumps that get in the way when I'm trying to cross my legs like a Proper Lady.

In the space adventure science fiction I read the authors are fond of reminding readers, "No plan survives contact with the enemy!"  I find myself thinking that maybe I, um, want to have something that passes for and functions like a vagina.  Where the hell! did that come from?  I don't know.  I ask myself this  question: What would it mean to me to have a vagina?  I _do not_ have an answer.  And my thoughts and feelings are lost in space.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Daily Routine...

Such as it is...

Beyond the mornings, I haven’t had much of routine yet. I need to get into some routine so I can better manage my diabetes and my coumadin. My mornings are pretty much set. The 4 ‘S’s when the alarm goes off [or earlier]. Shot [my byetta for my diabetes] then Shit then Shower and Shave. Hopefully, that all gets done in time for my breakfast. This last week, I have been going back to bed for about an hour nap. It seems I am gassing out quickly. I get up from the nap and go to the clinic for my INR check. After that I usually go over to my wife’s place and try to help pack things up for the house to go on sale. Usually around 2, I knock off because I’m out of steam again. I come back to my apartment and crash.

I have no idea how my stamina is going to affect any job I might be able to find. Some of it will depend on how much lifting I have to do. I have to find a job with benefits, soon. All my benefits go away when the divorce is final.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Finished Product...

David says to Solomon, “This is the plan the Lord gave me. Be courageous and get to work. Don’t be frightened by the size of the task, for the Lord my God is with you; He will not forsake you. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly.” [1 Chronicles 28:19-22]

Paul, to the Philippians, assures me that, “God, who began a good work within me, will keep on helping me grow in his grace until his task within me is finally finished.” [Philippians 1:6]

When I was young and starting over, I knew I wouldn’t stay down forever. I knew my life would improve, that things would get better. I have not had that confidence this time around. I have been discouraged, a lot by the blood clots, but life in general. I love my wife and miss her greatly. I have no one to lean on but Jesus, and, to be honest, I haven’t done that very often in my life. But he assures me that he is here and has a plan and he will complete his plan. I have to have courage. And I have to get to work on my life. Most of all, I have to trust that he is working according his blueprints, not mine.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Helluva way to start a new life...

Last Tuesday I saw Dr. Finn and complained about how swollen my leg was. We scheduled an ultrasound appointment for Wednesday. I went to the ultrasound and sure enough there were clots in my leg [deep vein thrombosis or DVT]. From thigh to toe. They were gonna have a Clinic Security person roll me over to the Anti-Coagulation [AG] clinic across the street. Then the duty doc decided because of my shortness of breath they should send me to the ER to be completely checked out. There might be a clot in my lung and that would explain the SOB. I was bundled into an ambulance and off we go!

At the ER, I called my wife and let her know I was there and why. I also told her I wasn’t dressed as a boy. She wasn’t happy to hear that. She came down and was obviously concerned. They ran some tests and put me through a CT scan. I had clots in the lung [pulmonary embolism or PE], too. Three of them. So I was admitted to the hospital, hooked up to a heart monitor and then started blood thinning therapy on me. A couple of days later, they sent me home and I am to start coumadin therapy for probably the next 6 months. I am also going to stop my estrogen therapy. I get to go through menopause and I haven’t even finished puberty ;) .

Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I had DVT’s in the other leg and clots restricting the blood flow to the head [now wouldn’t that explain a lot ;)]. I get light headed and a little dizzy once in a while, especially when I stand up quickly.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Divorce papers

The lawyer sent both of us divorce papers in the email yesterday. I have to fill out a couple of forms and get the “Petition” sent off by fax today. I’ll meet with my wife about 9 at the house. I’ll pack up a few things and come home. I will want to get on with my day. I do not want this divorce. But there is not other path my wife is willing to consider.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Movin' on and movin' out

My wife asked me to leave a couple weeks ago. I house-sat for a friend [crashed is more like it] for a week and then found my own apartment. I’ve been moving in little bit by little bit. I go to the house and I try to pack things up and it seems the energy is sucked right out of me and I only get a little bit done. It will get better. Probably next week, I’ll get my major pieces of furniture moved over and I can start relaxing in my apartment. I can’t quite call it “My new home.”

We went to a lawyer today to see about a mediated divorce. We have most everything split up so that we both feel it’s fair. The lawyer seemed to be competent and had empathy for us. We’ll go with her. We have a boat load of paperwork to fill out. We plan to get a little done tomorrow morning and sent back to her and the rest we hope to tackle this weekend. I told my wife that, for me, it is like having a bad tooth and knowing I have to pull it out wth no novocaine myself. It hurts something awful and I don’t wanna do it but it needs to be done.

I feel so tempted to get a bottle of wine and getting drunk!

I went to see Dr. Finn today. It was supposed to be a diabetes followup, but I’ve been having issues with being short of breath and chronic swelling and low-level pain in my right leg. I figured the sweeling was from my diabetes being out of control. She told me my arteries seemed to be doin’ fine;she could feel a strong pulse in my foot. She thinks there might be a clot in a vein. I’m getting an ultra sound done today at 3:30p. If it is a clot, then it is most likely due to the estrogen and I will have to quit taking estrogen altogether. I can live with that.

Monday, August 31, 2009

My Babies!

I’ve been packing up my life alongside my wife who is packing up hers. It has been hard for me. I get down, depressed and run out of energy. I am not making much progress. My wife seems to be doing ok, but she is driven to work and she wants the house down to bare essentials in the next week. Working today through a box my wife put together for me. There were some pictures of the kids when they were younger. One was of my son in a crawling pose double exposed with his sister’s face almost in profile. When I saw it I doubled up in emotional pain and cried, “My Babies! My Babies…! What have I done to my Babies?!”

Monday, August 10, 2009

I hope you Dance...

"When you get a chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance" Lee Ann Womack

Last week, on Wednesday, my wife and I had a confrontation about my gender.
What was it I wanted to do? How did I intend to live? It was a confrontation we have had time and again over the last fifteen years. Always, in the past, ALWAYS, when faced with the choice to sit it out or dance, I have chosen to sit it out. The fear of losing her, the fear of her anger, the fear of her hurt, the fears of losing my children and having them disrespect me, all of this went into those many decisions to sit it out. She was very angry with me over the deceit and the money I've spent developing a wardrobe. She used arguments to make me feel bad about my actions and my "desires". She brought up the kids and their friends. She brought up family. She's used it all before and it worked for her. But not this time.

Wednesday, I chose to dance.

I know that I have to leave the house. Whether I get a job or not, I am going to have to live somewhere else pretty soon. She's asked me a couple of times if I have changed my mind. And I have heard the hurt in her voice when I told her, "No, hon, I'm sorry but I haven't."

I have a lot of sadness. I love my wife. I love my kids. But this charade I have played in the past is killing me. I want to be real and available and share who I really am with the people I love. Somehow, I just haven't been able to do that as a man. People tell me I am more real when I am being myself and it's just plain easier. It is easier to be open, to have a sense of humor, to enjoy my life, to be in the moment. I've stopped thinking about when God might call me home. Before, it could not be soon enough. I don't even think about it now.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Saturday's Hike...

I went hiking up to the Big Four Ice Caves off the Mountain Loop Highway on Saturday. It is an easy hike.  Little children do it all the time. [Sow how come was it the guys who all had their big dogs pulling them up the trails???]  I wasn't sure how I was gonna do.
 
Let me step back a bit.
 
I had thought about doing this hike for a while now.  This Saturday I had a very good opportunity to do it as myself.  My wife was out of town for her reunion and I was going to have all sorts of time to myself.  I wanted to this hike as myself.  It was a little scary because I haven't done anything outdoors as Shannon yet and a girl alone in the woods is a lot more risky than if I'd gone hiking as a man.  This was to be Shannon's first hike.
 
But I hemmed and hawed and spent too much time on the 'puter that morning.  It got towards noon and I figgered that if I was gonna go, I'd better get at it and preparing to go as myself was going to make it that much later and I was concerned that I might just use that as an excuse not to go.  I decided to go as "him".  Now Michael has not been out in the woods by himself much either.  Just a few hikes and one camping trip. And Michael isn't any more brave than I am, but he does have less to fear.  [I am seperating myself here for a little clarity. I do not really see myself as twoo people, Michael and Shannon]
 
I stopped and picked up some ice and some drinks and a couple pieces of chicken for snacks. spent an hour plus cruising up to Big Four.  The parking lot was really busy.  I hit the trail and hiked up to the ice caves.  I had my camera and tripod with me but I didn't stop to take any pictures.  I was too focused on making the hike.  I was [am] concerned about a pain, a knot in my right leg below my calf.  It is almost like I stretched it too much but it doesn't go away.  I was concerned then, and still am, that it might be PAD [Peripheral Artery Disease] What I could find out from the Internet was that until I could see my Dr. I should just go ahead, take some aspirin and keep walking. but I was a little uncertain.  I did fine.  It got humid toward the top, especially when the forest thinned out and all that was left was the mountain ground cover.  I was a bit surprised that there were only 3 small opening s for the caves.  I didn't realize that it was too early in the season for the caves to be of any size.  But there was a very cool, moist breeze coming out of them and I squatted down in front of one to cool off.  I got someone to take a picture of me up there and then started back. 
 
I was a little disappointed in myself that I didn't get this done as myself. and I thought on that as I was walking back the trail.  It occurred to me that I should think of this as "Michael's Last Hike." As I was heading back down the trail, I started singing to myself the chorus to REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight this Feeling" :
And I cant fight this feeling anymore
Ive forgotten what I started fighting for
Its time to bring this ship into the shore
And throw away the oars, forever
 
In the context of my transition, sing about myself to myself, the whole song applies very well.  So, instead of Shannon's First Hike, definitely became Michael's Last Hike.
 
I saw the doc today and it is not PAD just a doozy of a strain

Saturday, July 18, 2009

the Big 4 Ice Caves...

It seems cooler this morning tho my bedroom never got below 70 last night. It's supposed to be cooler today, but after yesterday's 88, I'm not sure if it's gonna be comfortable. I think I've decided to got the the Big 4 and the Ice Caves. I will get more exercise and be able to get some nice pics. I can stop at the Lake 22 trailhead, too.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday night heat...

It's after nine in the evening. My fan has been going on high all day and it is still 78+ i my room. It's gonna be awhile before I get to sleep. I suppose I could take some benadryl but I'd rather not.

I'm going up in the mountains tomorrow. I'm not sure whether I'll go fishing or go up to the Big 4 Ice Caves or do the Mountain Loop. I'll make up my mind in the morning, prolly on the way.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Check-In...

Morning bg is 168. Want to get it to 140 or under. Weight is 236. so I am down a little bit.

I've got chicken Soup Brigade today and group tonight I will be filling out job apps to day in the morning. I need to set some time aside for my bible study. I want to continue to do my walking./ I am planning to clean my bike up some and start riding it again. Lotsa "plans" .

It's foggy and cool this morning. I like it. The fan is in the widow on low. I can see drops of water in the screen and feel the cool moisture on my face pulled in by the fan. The weather is supposed to burn off and be sunny today.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Fence...

It's cold [for July] and wet this morning. It will probably be good weather to work on the fence. Rich might be able to finish it today... tomorrow for sure.

I've been using my Life Recovery Bible to do a study [of sorts] of the Serenity Prayer.

[I didn't get back to that did I?]

Rich showed up abut a quarter to eight. He and chris worked solid to about 4PM. I helped some. Enough so I was very tired the rest of the evening. But, it's done. It's done.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Getting in Shape...

Pam is "out" doing whatever. I'm almost finished with my "Healthy Choice " Chicken Tortilla Soup. It's a keeper. I have to lose a lot of weight; 30 to 40 lbs. Portions sizes, appropriate e foods, and "fork down/spoon down" are going to be keys for me. That and choosing better snack foods. But portion size and slowing down or dragging out my meals are probably the biggest diet goals. I have to walk a lot more, too. Riding my bike once in a while wont hurt me an, either. I want to make use of Allrecipies.com to come up with different meals that would help me.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Serenity again...

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I cannot change other people. I must accept this. I can change the situation to protect myself from the things others say or do to hurt me. This will take courage. I don't have to be the victim of someone else's issues. I cannot "fix" their issues, but I can live my life with dignity.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Serenity Prayer

I need the serenity to accept the consequences of my actions. I need to own what I do, good or bad. It takes courage to step up and accept, own, the consequences of my-actions. Sometimes I do-this. Sometimes, I try to mitigate the impact. Mitigation usually is of little value.

Who am I, Jesus, that you call me by name? [Kim Hill]

Who am I on the inside where only God sees?

Who am I? Who is the person God created me to be? How does my life bring honor and glory and praise to you, Daddy?