My favorite month

I caved and bought a ceramic jack-o-lantern, and I think it’s darn cute.  With a little votive candle, it still has a certain charm.

The kitty-kitty is a bit of a nightmare.  She scratches me awake some mornings, drawing blood.  She has bit me first thing the last two mornings.  I really don’t think it’s cute at all and I’m not sure I’m going to keep her.  I would be the second person to return her to the shelter for aggression.  She would be stuck in a little cage for the remainder of her natural life, which could be a long time since she’s only 4 and it’s a no-kill shelter.   But honestly I am not such an animal lover that I want to have one around who hates me.  

I have an appointment with my therapist on Monday.  I have had to admit to myself this is depression.  I hope it will pass quickly.  And especially not get any worse.  

I have begun the ministry to take communion to the homebound.  It is an Amazing Experience.  Such a leap out of my comfort zone, but I think that’s probably good.  

And I have a new Adoration hour!  5 to 6 a.m. On Fridays.  Yay!  I start tomorrow and I can’t wait.

These things I feel are of my new life that awaits when I retire.  It’s going to be so good.  But it has to wait until April next year.  I had some financial setbacks, and it’s just going to take me another 3 months.  That’s ok.  I have finally grown accustomed to the job – but I’ll certainly be happy to leave just the same.

Thank you for your wonderful support on my last post.  You guys are so kind to leave me such nice comments. ❤️

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Yesterday I took a little walk in the middle of the day to try to change my perspective.  I looked for anything of beauty.  I found this bug.  I don’t know what kind of bug it is.

I’m struggling.  There, I said it.  

With all my heart I want to be grateful and appreciative of all that is good in my life, but I am not feelin’ it.  Gratitude lists are good.  Calling friends in need is good.  Praying a lot is good.  But I’m simply going through the motions of what I know are the “right” things to do.  

I’m having a hard time focusing at work, and I’m having a hard time sleeping.  I don’t want to work out and slowly walking a mile or two feels like the most I can do.  I cannot eat the way I normally do and not work out without gaining weight, so I got that going on too.  

Sorry to sound like this, but it is where I happen to be at the moment.  

Could I ask for your prayers, please?

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Archangel Raphael

This is the icon of Archangel Raphael that I spent last week painting.  I got very critical of my skills and did some of those horribly self-defeating comparisons in the class.  The student body was mostly composed of professional artists.  I am not accustomed to looking around and seeing that my work is substantially more primitive than others.  They all turned out well, and in the end I was pleased with mine.  

If I had spent any time at all practicing brush strokes prior to the class, it would have been so much easier.  I did struggle in this class, it was not the peaceful, spiritual experience I was hoping for.  It did however give me an appreciation for the soft landing that is my current job.  

Not that I am any less anxious to retire.  

But if I stop to think about this job, I realize what a miracle it has been for me.  

If only I could stay in gratitude all the time.  

I can make an effort to do that, and I will.

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Three months

Three months today since my sister died.  I still can’t believe she’s gone sometimes.  It just seems like too much. One of my friends asked me how I was doing with this last night. I told her.  And i cried.  Even though I didn’t see my sister all the time, we talked on the phone a lot.  She was such a presence in my life and I feel like there is a gaping hole where she was.  

I’m looking forward to the icon class.  I may be doing the Archangel Raphael.  There is an icon with Archangel Raphael and Tobia, I would love to do that one.  Tobit is one of my very favorite books of the Bible.  It is part of the Apocrypha, which is not in all Bibles, but in all Catholic Bibles.  The book of Tobit is so beautiful and I love the role that Raphael plays.  

Took a trip to Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park over the holiday weekend.  Both of my daughters came with me and it was very miraculous.  We even all slept in the same cabin!  For two nights!  Then three full days together.  

Eight years ago sober daughter’s twin sister finally gave up on her.  She wouldn’t have anything to do with her for many years.  It was hard for her to get over all the pain that was caused by my daughter in her addiction – and early recovery.  

Flash forward September 2016 – if no one knew the history, they could never guess that there was anything but sweetness between all of us.  

God is so very good.

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Wednesday in Late August

I have some fabulous news!  I am going to be able to take an icon workshop week after next!  I’m taking the week off work and will have six days of wonderful meditative icon writing.  Not sure which icon we are doing yet.  I have not done an Archangel Gabriel, so I may need to do that.  My first was St. Michael the Archangel, and in the traditional order of icon writing, Gabriel is supposed to be second.  I jumped straight to the Theotokos, God-bearer, Mary, Mother of God.  Then a Theotokos and Child (in photo above).

I need some time off desperately.  I hope this icon workshop will restore some balance to my soul.

I’m afraid I have become so hyper-focused on earning money and paying off debt that I am a bit self-willed at the moment.  Where is God in this?  This is all about ME providing for ME. But I do believe that if I can provide myself a modestly comfortable retirement, it will free me up to do selfless things.  

I hope.  And I pray.

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Monday Morning

I had a meeting with the church people this morning.  Very nice people.  They are all considerably older than I am.  I am the only one who is not retired and started feeling a bit panicky about the s-l-o-w pace.  I thought I would be one hour late to work, but it ended up being two hours.  

This is going to be a challenge for me.  I am a bit afraid of the elderly and infirm and I will be going into their homes! Alone!  I guess this is how God wants me to grow 👵🏻.  One of my readers (almost the ONLY one) goes into homes and cares for the dying.  I’ve never told her how much I admire her for that.  It’s So Not Me.  

I’m so done with this working life.  My heart is not in it.  Every day I want to be retired and be able to go for a hike or a bike ride.  Or sit in my chair and knit.  

Kitty puked up a hair ball in the exact spot where I knit.  My first thought was “passive aggressive,” then I reasoned cats are not passive aggressive.  I’m still not 100% convinced though 😺

Kitty has a new name.  My family did not like the shelter name “Mel.”  We brain stormed, which was fun.  Someone said Ginger.  I nixed that because my last name is similar, so we all said at the same time “GiGi!”  That’s her name.  It’s cute and it was more organic than the shelter name.  She wasn’t at the shelter long enough to really know that name, and the first time we called her GiGi, she came.  

Sorry for this stream of consciousness , I think it’s all I’m capable of at this moment.

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Wednesday Morning 

This is the back of the sweater I’m working on.  I have poked another hole in my left index finger from all the fine, detailed work (I did this last December too).  It has taken nearly a month just to knit what’s in the photo above.  I want to have this done by October… Not so sure that’s going to happen.

I got an email from my church yesterday asking if I would consider taking Holy Communion to the homebound.  The email said:

“I thought of you because I remembered how faithful you were to your hour of adoration. Anyone who has that appreciation of the Eucharist is a very appropriate person for this ministry.”

That made me cry.  I had to give up my Holy Hour due to this job.  I miss it terribly!  I wrote back and said yes to the request, with the caveat that I work a full-time job with a 60-mile-a-day-commute-through-the-worst-traffic-on-earth.  That makes my days 11hours long.  But to be able to do this small Corporal Work of Mercy would be life-changing and I know it!  

I used to feel that I fulfilled my quota of “service to God and my fellows” in AA, but no more.  The longer I am sober, I find the less people talk to me.  I am not their peer in age or length of sobriety.  I am “other.”  I am loved, don’t get me wrong, but loved from a distance of years.  

My sponsor has had the same experiences, so that helps me to not feel so alone.  But still… So sad.  

Another friend who used to be my boss has been calling this week.  She wants and needs to retire, but is frightened of the unknown.  I have been talking to her about taking the leap in faith.  How when I retired last year I thought it was the end of the world, but it was only the beginning of a new life.  How God had prepared a soft landing for me.  

And then I looked at myself… I want to be done with this job. By the end of last week I  had convinced myself that I needed to work until June of 2017 – just to make sure I was ok.  

What am I doing again?  Trusting in my finite self rather than infinite God!  

I’m looking again at January or April of next year as end dates.  

And I got my Medicare card in the mail the other night!  Never thought I’d be so happy to see that!!!!   Retirement is really in my future.  And it looks like I’ve already got a gig at my church 😀

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