Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We got the house. That is a huge load off both our minds. The guy actually agreed to rent it to us before he even got our rental applications. I guess Lisa must have made a really good impression on him.

I also got a call today for an interview with the LA County Sheriffs Department for an interview for a dispatch position. They wanted to interview me next week but when I explained I would be in the middle of moving they moved it back to January 16. I realize there is no guarantee I will get the job but it feels good to even be chosen to interview. When I took the written test there were about 40 people who took it with me.

The way things are falling into place is almost scary to me. They haven't always happened when, or as quickly, as I would like them too but they have happened when they needed to. I can even see how being reassigned from dispatch has played into it - and that move almost crushed my heart and soul. Speaking of dispatch - I got the civilian employee of the year award for the police department. I felt honored because it was the other people I work with who made the choice.

I was listening to an audio book on my walk yesterday and one of the characters said "You get what you take," the person she was talking too corrected her and said she had it backwards and she told him no, she didn't. It made me stop and think about the difference between the two. Taking what you get and getting what you take. I think to make things happen in your life you have to get what you take.

Several people have told me how jealous they are about my upcoming move and how they wished they could do something like that. They could, they just don't. It isn't a comfortable thing to do. It is a riskly thing to do. I have a saying on my wall that was given to me by a friend. I have read it a lot these last few weeks. "One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."

Monday, December 29, 2008

I spent a few days in California just before Christmas. I had a heck of a time getting there because of the weather. I ended up spending the night in Rosemond and was glad to be able to get a room there. I got to Lisas about 24 hours later than I thought I would. I changed clothes and headed to Simi Valley to take a certified typing test. I was hoping to be able to talk to someone in Human Resources while I was there but she was out for the day. I emailed her and she told me they would be doing interviews in January so I will have to wait until then.

It was a good trip. Jared was able to be with us for the first time in a couple of years and it was nice to have him there. He is such a good boy. We all went out one night and got a tree from Home Depot and brought it back and decorated it. On Saturday Lisa and I went out and did shopping for the kids then spent the afternoon with her cousin looking at houses. We found one we really liked in Acton and was hoping the owners would agree to a lease with an option to buy but they didn't. We were both disappointed. I left to come back on Dec 23. The trip back was much quicker than the trip out.

I went to Hatch on the 24th for the family dinner. Lewis made mexican food for everyone - it was really good. I love being with my family, I am really going to miss them. On Christmas morning Mom, Dad and I had the traditional sourdough biscuits, ham and eggs for breakfast and then I headed back home. A storm was coming in and I had snow packed roads most of the way home.

After Christmas Lisa and I both got on Craigslist and started looking for rental houses. We found a couple for Lisa to look at. She called yesterday and said she had found the house of our dreams, it is available and within our budget. We just have to wait for the owner to do a credit/background check on us. We hope to be able to move in around January 12.

I kind of hate to get my hopes up about the house but it seems like things have fallen into place for us when we needed them too. This house is over $300 per month less than we had budgeted and is in a good central location, not so far away that we won't be able to have the kids finish the school year in their present schools. It's just almost too perfect so, while I am trying not to hope too much, I really am.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Letters From Home

I am going through stuff getting ready to pack for the move. I found 3 envelopes with stuff in them. Things I had made for Mom and Dad when I was in first grade - stuff like that. I found letters from Mom and Dad that were written in March of 1979. I remember the situation - I was
in college and our FHE leader, without our knowledge, had asked each of our parents to write their memories of us and he gave them to us. I thought I would share mine. I have often wondered how my parents saw me and this kind of answers that. First from my Mom:

Janell Barney was born om 11 Mar 1957 on her sister, Barbaras, birthday. Her parents are Dorothy Cameron and LaMar Barney. She has 2 sisters, Laraine and Barbara, and one brother, Kenneth Ray, who are older. Janett and Lewis who are younger.

She was born in the Panguitch Hospital but she lived all her life in Hatch, UT.

She weighed just over 6 lbs and had a lot of curly black hair and dark skin. She was as wrinkled as a little old lady.

Janell was a good baby even when she was sick she didn't have to be tended. Her mother was in the RS presidency when she was about 2. She never made any kind of a fuss, just give her a book and she would be good.

She had the usual childhood illnesses, chicken pox, before she started to school. He had her tonsils out when she was 6.

When she was 3 her sister, Janett, was born just 1 week after Janells birthday.

She started school at Panguitch Elementary. I think her first grade teacher was Mrs Daly (she also taught her mother in first grade) Mrs Hansen was her kindergarten teacher. She was always a good student.

As Janell grew up she was quite a tomboy. She didn't like dolls and things most girls liked, altho she got one every year for Christmas. She would rather have a flipper, pocket knife, a bow and arrow. She loved bugs. She had caterpillars in bottles all summer long, hatching into butterflys. One time she caught a baby mouse. It was so tiny and cute, she kept it in a box. She was really upset when I wouldn't let her give it to her cousin, Doris, for a birthday present.

Janell caught nite crawlers for spending money. She done this every summer until she was around 15. She was thrifty with her money, she had to want something real bad before she spent any of it. She always paid her tithing. When her regular customers came for worms they always ask where the little boy was if she wasn't around. She always wore cut offs and her hair cut real short so they thought she was a boy.

She was baptized 30 Mar 1965 by her Father in the Panguitch So Ward. She graduated from primary and was active in the mutual program, especially the sports program - softball, basketball and volleyball.

She liked to cook and took ribbons at the state fair on her biscuits and muffins.

Michelle Riggs was her best friend but most of the time she was a loner. It wasn't that she didn't have friends, she just acted like she would rather be by herself. I have wondered since if this wasn't a front she put up to hide her true feelings. She never shared her feelings with you about things that were important to her. She spent hours in her bedroom with the door shut reading a book.

Janell has always been a strong willed person. I doubt if anyone ever made her do anything if she was really against it or talked her out of anything she really had her mind set on. Most of the time her goals have been good ones, She has always done her own thing.

She couldn't stand to see anyone picked on. She always stood up for the underdog.

When she was 12 years old she started washing dishes in the cafe. She worked there for 8 years. 1st as a dishwasher , then waitress, then worked in the motel office. She made enough in the summer to take care of her needs during the school year.

She liked to go fishing and hunting with her Dad. Our first real vacation as a family was to Yellowstone Park when she was 10 or 11. When we came home we had an Indian studeny 13 years old waiting for us. He was Kelvin Yazzie, he lived with us for 12 years. He and Janell usually got along pretty good.

When she was a freshman in Panguitch High she got involved in sports. Her teacher was Margaret Nielson, later Shakespear. She was Janells idol. She was on the volleyball and basketball teams. She once got an award for being the dirtiest player in a basketball tournament (it was a bar of soap.) She worked hard to get a girls sports program started at Panguitch. The first year the girls went to a state track meet the school wouldn't give them any money to go on so Michelle Riggs mother took them up and the slept on her aunts lawn in Salt Lake.

She graduated from Panguitch High in 1975. After graduation she attended SUSC in Cedar majoring in PE.

If she as had any spiritual experiences she has kept them to herself. I hope this is what you want.

I just wanted to add that I love Janell very much. I don't always agree with the things she does but that does not affect my lover for her - please tell her this.

From Dad

Janell came into our world on March 11 1957. She was a small baby but one of the best in the world. It seemed strange to me to have a baby that never made any fuss at night.

As Janell grew up she was more interested in the things boys play with instead of the things girls did. She was always interested in bugs and would catch them all the time. She especially liked to catch caterpillars and would keep them until they turned into buterflys and then turn them loose.

Janell was a good student in school. She was good to go to church and do the things she was supposed to do. Except keep her bedroom clean.

Janell had a great interest in sports and liked to play in nearly all of them. She liked to hunt and fish. We had to get her a shotgun for Christmas one year. She hunted deer with me several years and killed a deer one year. Last year when we hunted she spotted a big buck and tried to show it to me, I couldn't see it. I tried to get her to shoot it but for some reason she wouldn't do it.

Janell has always remembered us on special days such as birthdays, Easter Fathers and Mothers day and so on. She has always been considerate of me in other ways. I remember when I worked late at night I liked to have a cup of hot cocoa before I went to bed. Janell would have some ready for me when I got home.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A chat with the Bishop

I made an appointment to talk with my bishop to tell him I was leaving. Someone beat me to the punch, he already knew I was going. I told him I just wanted to tell him myself and to thank him for being so good to me. He told me he appreciated it and that I was doing the right thing. He told me he knew I would be a good support to Lisa and she needed that. He told me he had no problem at all with me going to California and living with Lisa but to always remember to be a good person. He told me there are 4 things we have to do to get to the celestial kingdom. 1) baptism 2) temple ordinances 3) melchezdick priesthood for men 4) be a good person. He said the most important of those 4 was to be a good person. The rest of the ordinances can be performed for us by other people but we are the only one who can be a good person. I told him I didn't know what I was going to do or where we would live and he told me it would work out. I told him we would probably be in Lisas ward for a bit but asked him not to send my records because I really didn't want to have anything to do with her bishop and he agreed. We talked about the various propositions regarding gay marriage that were on the ballot. He told me he really struggled with them and how they were handled and how thankful he was that our Stake President didn't really push them.

I have been so blessed to have such understanding and compassionate priesthood leaders. Before I left to go to Ogden I went to my SP because he had just recently been released from being my Bishop and knew the whole story - he never counseled me against going. Just said he wished he had the answer but he didn't and good luck.

I got a call from Simi Valley asking if I was interested in a dispatch position there. I need to take a certified typing test while I am in CA next week and get to them. I am trying not to get excited but I am pretty excited. I sure this is just the beginning of a long process. I emailed all of my family and friends and asked them to fast and pray for me that my voice would be good enough to dispatch and that we would be able to find a place to live. I hadn't planned on getting another botox shot but felt like I should so I went and did that yesterday. My voice is already very soft and I am already trying to make it louder so Bill can hear. I am not going to do that. If he wants to hear me he is going to have to put his hearing aids in. I always go right up next to him and talk in his good ear and I don't know what else I can do. I think part of my problem has been trying to force my voice to do more than it can. I want to take the opportunity of this shot to learn to speak within my limits, to learn to breathe properly and relax when I speak and not try and do more than I can.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Disillusioned

I have become very disillusioned with organized religion. I am not angry or bitter, more like tired and sad. I think this whole Prop 8 thing turned out to be bad for all involved. It makes me sad that my church joined a coalition with those who were calling them evil just a few months before. It makes me sad that when this coalition started campaigning using half truths and fear mongering my church didn't stand up and say - this isn't right. It makes me sad that when this coalition wrote what was basically a blackmail letter to those supporting the opposition that a member of my churches name was included on the letter. It makes me sad to find out that the leader of the *grassroots movement* to pass Prop 8 in California has a son who is gay. How hurtful that must be for the son. It makes me sad to see the actions taken after the proposition was passed. I understand being upset because a right was taken away, I understand being fearful for your families future and rights. I, personally, was very disappointed in the outcome of the election. I don't understand targeting people with hatred because of their beliefs. Some backlash has to be expected when you are dealing with an issue as emotional as peoples family. I just don't like the way it was expressed.

I realized a couple of days ago that I almost cringe inwardly when I hear someone talk about Christ or the Lord. Made me stop and wonder why. I can get on my knees and pray at night and feel totally OK with talking to God, I don't feel out of place or unworthy to do that. I think maybe it is because so many people have been so mistreated in the name of God. So much hate and intolerance has been spread in the name of God. So many people have made signs and picketed telling me God disapproves of me, that I am an abomination because of who I love. I am having trouble putting words to this. Maybe it's like the kid who is always told - you just wait until your
Dad gets home. Before long he will start to dread the time when Dad comes home.

I don't dread talking to God, I wouldn't dread a face to face meeting with Him. I don't think I would feel unworthy to be in His presence. Maybe it is because I see him as a Heavenly Father and not as a vengeful God. I don't feel uncomfortable being in my own fathers presence and surely my Heavenly Father must love me at least as much as my earthly father. I need to hold onto the God I know and see and not the God the world has portrayed these last months. I need to be able to separate God from any religion. To know that no one has the corner on Him, that no one can tell me where He can, or cannot, be found. To know that He can live inside my heart if I will only make room for Him.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Karma

I am preparing mentally to move away. I prepare a bit each day in some little way. Today I brought a 12 pack of code red to work with me and that - that is the last time I will do that. I savor every sunrise and sunset. I enjoy the look of the wet slick rock after a rain. I savor the smell of the desert when it is wet. When I go grocery shopping I am not more concentrated on wondering if Bill will use it when I leave rather than keeping what I use plus a little. When I left to move to Ogden I didn't do these things, this time I am saying goodbye.

I am still trying to prepare Bill for when I leave. I have been working with him on the computer end of the embroidery business for several months now but haven't had much success. I took him with me to the library a couple of weeks ago and explained to him how it works, how to find a book by author and told him I would leave him a list of good authors. He will just have to get a library card. I took him to Wal-Mart and had him convert all of his prescriptions he can over to their $4 prescription plan so he can continue to get those without interruption when he loses the insurance he has through me.

I still don't have any leads on a job and we may end up living in the two bedroom apartment Lisa is now in for a bit. I told her between my plants and animals the humans would have to live on the patio. I am a bit concerned about finances. Over the years I have lent a lot of money out to different family members as they have needed it. I think only one has fully paid me back. Some I am sure don't even remember they owe me money. At the time I was in a position to do things like that and I always did it without hesitation believing if I gave to others when I could that when I was in a position of need it would come back to me someway, somehow, somewhere. I guess I am about to put that theory to the test.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving

I had a great Thanksgiving. We went over to Mom and Dads on Thursday and came back on Saturday. It was a bit snowy on the way over, a few cars off the road here and there but we made it ok. All the trees looked so pretty covered in snow.

We had quite a bit of family there. My younger brother (Lewis) built a new house and it had just passed inspection on Tuesday, they were moved in enough that we had dinner there. There were probably about 2o of us there for dinner including brothers, sisters nieces, nephews and their kids. I had to laugh at my nieces boy. He is about 6 years old and doesn't even know who I am. I went downstairs where the kids were playing. He looked at me and asked where I was going to sit for dinner. I told him I didn't know yet. He then told me that I couldn't sit by him because I was old and he was just little. In a bit my younger sister came down and he told her the same thing. His mom told me if I wanted to get even with him I should kiss him on the cheek. He didn't forgive me for that all weekend. They were all playing out in the snow Friday night and his hands were freezing. I went out to my truck and got a pair of gloves for him. When I brought them in he asked if they were mine, I told him no they were Uncle Bills. He told his mom that was good because he wasn't wearing them if they were mine.

Thursday night we all went back over to Lews and had left overs and played bunco. We had more for bunco than we did for dinner. We let anyone old enough to shake a dice play and then the adults help them keep score.

Friday was tree cutting day so we headed out into the snowy forest to get trees for those who wanted them. Its tradition to stop and get a candy bar to eat after the trees are down and in the truck. All of us kids and some of the grandkids went in together and got Mom and Dad a new kitchen stove for Christmas. While we were gone cutting trees my Brother In Law and my nieces husband took the old stove out and put the new one in. They were very surprised by the new stove. It's something they needed but never would have got for themselves.

For dinner on Friday Mom and I made gallons of turkey noodle soup for everyone (and yes we even made the noodles) we had over 30 people over for soup that night. I look forward to that more than I do the turkey dinner. The kids had watched I Am Legend that afternoon so they spent the night outside in the snow playing I Am Legend. I don't know what all it consisted of other than a lot of running and screaming.

As much as I hate my change in status at work I am thankful it gives me more time to spend with my family in the weeks before I move. I will miss them a lot when I am away from them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Days at work seem to take forever now. I am mostly working on helping records catch up on filing. I could be doing data entry for them but it is quite involved and no one ever seemed to have the time to train me properly so I told them I would just do the filing. I take my MP3 player loaded up with audio books and just get too it. I think the sorting before I file is more painful than the filing. I have found ways to challenge and entertain myself as I file. All the numbers on the files are color coded so I try to find the file I need without actually looking at the number. I like to make sure the files are all in the shelf nice and even and not sticking out. I know, I know, small pleasures but they are pleasures and make the job easier to do.

Last week I helped Charlene do the testing for my replacement. She came in and had me run 29's (warrant checks) on all the applicants and look in our computer system for any activity on them. Then she was telling me what I needed to do with the test booklets when they were done with the written portion, how to administer the typing test, etc. I looked at her and asked her what it said about both of us that she trusted me to to this and that I was willing to do it. She didn't quite have an answer. They had some pretty good applicants. I like to see that. They raised the starting wage by $3.80 a year or so ago and I think that really helped.

We have gone over and went fishing with Mom and Dad the last couple of weeks. Last week we went to Otter Creek Reservoir and caught some really nice fish. There was a flock of geese at the upper end of the lake and they were making quite a racket. Mom finally turned to me and said "Oh, those are geese. I have been trying to figure out what your Dad was saying to me." She makes me laugh and I love her so much. Yesterday we went fishing at Pine Lake. The fish weren't as big but the catching was faster. We fish from an earthen dam and it is kind of steep and rocky down to the lake so Mom, Dad and Bill were fishing from up on the dam and I was down by the lake. I stepped out on a rock to cast and the rock tipped. Since I had my fishing pole in one hand and didn't want to toss it in the lake or fall on it I did a slow awkward ballet and fell into the lake in a hole. The ages of my fishing companions was 77, 77 and 81, they were all at the top of the dam looking down at me saying "Do you need any help" with this rather sceptical look on their faces. LOL - Since I was in a hole I had to roll over to get out and the water was verra cold! It really was quite comical and we all laughed a lot over it. I think I bruised my ribs and my neck is kinda sore but, other than that, I am not much the worse for wear.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Past, Present and Future - Conclusion

From the moment I began my relationship with Lisa I felt peace, the peace that speaks to my heart. I know many people will discount this saying it was a false peace, or I was listening to Satan rather than the Lord. After all, I was married, we were both women, how could this possibly be right? I have no answers, just a simple statement - I felt peace.

This isn't to say the relationship has been easy because it hasn't been. If you were to liken it to an amusement park - we have definitely been on the roller coaster rather than the merry go round. There have been times we almost called it quits and went on our separate ways. When one was ready to do that it seems like the other was determined to hang on, and it wasn't the same one in the same position all the time. We have made so many good memories, had so many good times, shed so many tears.

Where does this leave my marriage? It leaves it at an end. I feel a sadness as I type those words and have shed more tears over it than most would believe. I love Bill and I know he loves me but the time has come where we both know we deserve a different, and better, life than we are living. We will part as the best of friends, we have always been better friends than spouses. I will be here if he needs me, as I know he will for me. That's what friends do. I worry about him tremendously but trust that my family, and his kids, will take care of him. Since this decision has been made our relationship has been better than it has been since I came back 5 years ago. He seems like a totally different person, like a huge weight has been lifted from his shoulders. We are able to laugh together again and enjoy each others company. I love the changes I see in him and it gives me hope that he can find a future, and a happiness, that isn't dependent on me. That is too be a burden to carry, to feel you are responsible for anothers happiness.

I suppose there will always be times when I chastise and berate myself always wondering - what if, if only, if I had just done this differently or that differently, if only I could have. I will always assign the biggest burden for the failure of the marriage to me. I don't regret the marriage for myself, I do regret the pain I have brought to Bill over the years. At the same time I can acknowledge I also brought him a great deal of happiness, as he did me, over the years.

As for the future - I will leave here after the first of the year and move to California to begin a life with Lisa. I am sad and happy, excited and scared. I don't know how, or where, we will live I only know we will do it together. I do feel a great sense of peace when I am with her. I love her. I trust her, she is safe for me. I'm not sure what greater honor I could give her than to say those two things. Those who know me know I don't give my trust easily, I may give my love easily but not my trust. We have both had our chances to walk away, with justification, and we have both chosen to stay. Through our relationship I have come to truly understand the meaning of the word partnership, to begin to understand what it means and what it entails.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Past, Present, Future Part IV

Leaving my partner and family and coming back to Page was the hardest thing I had ever done. If I had known it was going to be the end of us a partners I honestly don't know that I could have done it. I left August 28, 2003.

When I came back I honestly thought I could do better than I have done. I never anticipated how hard it would be to show physical affection to Bill. At times I really resented him. I felt if he had just been able to let me go I would've been able to stay in Ogden and make a good life for myself. I felt I had let go and moved on - I had a new home, new jobs, new friends. I liked the area. There was always this huge struggle inside of me because I was there and was finding some happiness and he wasn't finding any happiness. He routinely asked me to come back. I fasted, I prayed, I went to the temple, all looking for answers but I never seemed to find any. I am to the point now where I can take part of the blame myself (as I always should have.) I really didn't do anything to make him let go. I didn't say I am not coming back, I didn't file for divorce. I didn't do anything to make it final.

I am fairly certain he expected things to be way different when I came back also. Had he known how they would be he may have been content to just let me stay gone. Ever since I came back I have looked for a reason why - why did I have to come back, what was the purpose, what were either of us supposed to learn.

Around the time I was coming back to Page Lisa rejoined our internet list. My partner and I had met her and her girlfriend several years ago. Due to some really sticky situations we really didn't hit it off very well. I thought she was very attractive the first time we met. I remember we were waiting for them at McDonalds, having no idea what they looked like. The minute Lisa walked through the door I turned to my partner and said "There she is" - Anyway, Lisa emailed me personally and told me she was sorry for the things my partner and I were going through and we begin to chat and email back and forth occasionally. We learned we had many interests in common and I enjoyed interacting with her.

In December I went back up to Ogden to visit and help get Christmas for the kids. I mentioned in an email to Lisa that I was going. In her response she said she felt a little jealous about the trip and I thought it was because she was attracted to my, now ex, partner. She had to email me back and tell me that wasn't why she was jealous (another 2 X 4 moment) she was jealous because she was beginning to have feelings for me. This was somewhat shocking to me as I was beginning to really like her but put thoughts of that way out of my mind. At that point in my life I couldn't see how anyone could ever be attracted to me, after all, the woman I had loved most in my life had just walked away after 5 years with hardly even a look back.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pepper Spray

Part of my new job duties will be transporting juvenile offenders between here and Flagstaff, as we have no juvenile holding facility here.

I was issued a duty belt along with 2 pair of handcuffs and keys, a radio and a holder for pepper spray. I was told if I wanted to carry pepper spray then I would have to be pepper sprayed. The reasoning behind this is so that if I ever spray someone and end up in court I can say I am aware of the effects of pepper spray. I thought about it and decided if I needed it I had best have it so I agreed to be sprayed.

If you are ever arrested, don't ever, ever, ever, do anything that will make the officer pepper spray you. It is the gift that just keeps on giving. It is actually cayenne pepper flakes sprayed out of a cannister with a propellant. When I was hit with the spray it was like I could feel each individual flake hitting my eyes. Your eyes immediately close and burn like the devil. It also makes your skin burn like it has been scalded. It is hard to even open your eyes and almost impossible to keep them open or see out of them.

I was taken to the shower by my boss and the admin assist where I immediately went to the sink, turned on the warm water and started splashing it in my eyes. I then moved to the shower where I had my head and face in the warm water for several minutes. Once I could almost see I changed shirts and went outside to let the cold wind blow in my face and eyes - that helped more than anything. Within about 45 minutes I was able to see well enough to drive home.

That night I decided to take a nice hot bubble bath - not such a good idea. I had been warned that a hot bath or shower would open the skin pores and you would burn all over again. They were right. I don't think I stayed in the tub for 10 minutes. My arms felt like they had been burned all over again. I went outside and stood in the cold wind off and on while fixing dinner.

Even now I swear I can get a whiff of the pepper in my room off and on.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Past, Present, Future Part III

Through the online group I joined I met all kinds of women. Some I found myself being attracted too just through their online writings. Some of them I met in person. It was nice to be able to ask questions, express thoughts in a forum that was safe. To be able to connect with people who understood the things I was feeling.

Through this group I met the woman I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. I really had no intentions of meeting her or even talking to her personally. She was very well known, and popular, on the list. The time came when she was in the midst of a very painful breakup from a lover. I sent her a message telling her I was thinking about her. That lead to chatting online and emailing quite frequently. For a long time I resisted her request for contact by phone. When I finally agreed to a phone call we hadn't been on the line long when she had to go because her daughter broke her arm. We arranged to meet in June of 1998. We met in the parking lot of the Pizza Hut in Richfield, UT. I had seen pictures of her she had posted on the web but she had never seen any pictures of me. I had told her I was a middle-aged woman with grey hair. I will never forget the first words she said to me - "You're cute!" I guess she was expecting a rather doggish looking woman. We spent the day together, went to a park and talked and then went to lunch. I think by the end of the day I was pretty much in love with her - if I hadn't been before.

I sometimes think I could write forever on that relationship and still not cover it all. The joy, the pain, the betrayal. Anyway - in February of 2001 I left my marriage and moved to Ogden, UT to begin a life with her. Had I been aware of the things that had transpired in the months before I moved there I probably wouldn't have gone. I am really struggling for words here. I guess the most simple way to put it is - had I known she was still having sex with other women I probably never would have made the move but - I didn't. Even though I had asked point blank.

We lived in a rental house for the first 6 months. I worked at a spa and for a couple of chiropracters as a massage therapist. I had some money in savings we used for living expenses when my income didn't quite cut it. I sold my motorcycle so we would have money for things. We both worked as home health aides - a job I dearly loved, I eventually also went to work for the IRS as a tax examiner. We bought a house. I pulled a bunch of money out of my 401K to make a down payment on it. I knew it was a stupid thing to do but it was the only place I had left to pull from - I owed more in taxes and penalties the next year than I made.

I loved the house we bought. It was on a big lot, had a huge backyard, 2 garages, a storage shed and a hot tub. We had fun working on the house. We tore paneling down, spackled, sanded, painted, put new trim around windows and doors. I learned to do a lot of things from owning that house. I learned to repair the hot tub, replace sprinkler heads, fix PVC pipe, change out a water faucet, change locks - lots of things.

We had a lot of good times, lots of good memories but also a lot of . . . hard times. I know many nights my partner cried herself to sleep or got so angry with me she would leave the room, go to the computer room and write me an email to vent her frustrations and anger.

I think from the time I left to make a life with her I knew, somewhere in the back of my mind, that I would have to go back to my other life. Maybe that is the reason I had to go back. At the time I thought I was doing it because it was what the Lord wanted me to do. Now, I really don't know anymore. I do know I thought if I made this sacrifice that somehow, someway, it would turn out to be the best for my partner and me and that we would be able to come back together and build a life better than either of us had known before.

It took her about three weeks to find a new girlfriend.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Past, Present and Future Part II

OK - my 2 X 4 moment. As I said in Part I, I had been wondering about my sexuality for a few years but always pushed it aside after each *huh?* incident. I was working in an office with a woman I had known for quite awhile, I met her through work but had just recently transferred into the same office as her. Each morning she and I would meet with the director of training for our *morning briefing* . One morning we were laughing and joking about something and I looked at this woman and thought "Holy Shit - I am in love with her" I mean out of the blue. An attraction to her had never even come close to crossing my mind before this incident. It truly was like being hit over the head with a 2 X 4, run over by a freight train, whatever you want to call it. I was totally dumbfounded. We were nothing alike. I am jeans and sweatshirts, she is a clothes horse. I didn't drink or smoke, she did way to much of both. I had a strong belief in God, she was an athiest.

With this insight came the realization that this wasn't something I could sweep under the rug, ignore, push to the back of my mind anymore. This was something I had to find a way to deal with. I am almost embarrassed to even put my reaction to it in words. The next few years were probably the darkest of my life. When I think of it now it seems like such a dramatic and uncalled for reaction but - it was what it was. I did continue to function at work, but barely. I remember times when I would close the door and sit under my desk in the dark. Time passed so slowly, I dreaded days off because being at home was worse than being at work. I became obsessed with my weight, trying to cut all fat out of my diet. I was religious about exercise. ( i guess all of that wasn't bad - I weighed 40 lbs less than I do now :/)

She knew something was wrong with me and covered for me many times. One day I decided it was time to tell her what was going on with me. I went to her house, I paced, I shook, I started to say it a dozen times before I finally just blurted out "I'm gay." She looked at me and said "Is that all?"

I thought "What do you mean is that all?" I could not reconcile this part of myself with my view of myself. I was LDS - a mormon. Mormons weren't gay, and for sure good people weren't gay. Only weak people were gay. This was something that could be overcome with self control - it was all about control. After this she became my greatest source of support, which was good in some ways and bad in others.

I did an internet search and found an email support group for LDS who were struggling with *Same Sex Attraction*. (Funny how I found that term so much easier to deal with in the beginning and now . . . now I don't like it at all.) I joined the group and met some of the most wonderful women I have ever known. Even though I am no longer a member of the group some of my best friends today are women I met there. I had never heard anyone talk about God as being *cool* before. I was amazed there was someone who really still enjoyed spending time with her husband. One of the members used to be a RS President. It definitely made me feel like I wasn't such a freak, such an oddity.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Finding my balance

On Friday I got the word that I have been relieved of all dispatch duties. I will be allowed to continue to work there but not as a dispatcher. The fire chief has filed a formal complaint about my voice and made it a liability issue. He has tried this numerous times in the past but my previous police chief always protected me - we have a new chief now, and that is all I will say about that. I had a meeting with my supervisor and the HR director for the city. They have both listened to recordings of my dispatches and both understand my dispatches plainly.

I went in to turn in my letter of resignation, my badge and uniforms today. I won't be leaving until January but if I turn in my letter now my supervisor can get started on the hiring process. While I was there she asked me what I was thinking and I told her nothing. When I got home I decided she deserved a better answer than that so I tried to put into words what is going on inside my head and why this has thrown me for such a loop. This was my email to her:


You asked me this morning what I am thinking - I will try and pull it together for you in this email. Right now, it is much easier for me to write than it is to talk. Right now, I don't really care if I ever talk again.

I am trying to regain my balance and hold on to who I am - separate from anything, or anyone, else. As I think about what that means, I go back to when I was 18, going to college. I went there to play volleyball - no one told me a freshman doesn't start, no one told me a freshman would likely spend most of their time on the bench. I didn't know those things so I went and played volleyball - I was the starting server for every game we played except for the one where I was in the hospital because I got hurt the game before. I was confident in myself and my abilities because no one told me I couldn't do it.

Years and life took its toll on me and I often wondered where that confident 18 year old had gone. I wasn't sure I could load a roll of toilet paper and do it right. I went to work at Callville Bay for a man named Dean Crane - he believed in me. What a difference that made in my life for so many years. Once again I became the person who could do anything, there was nothing I couldn't learn, nothing, given enough time, that I couldn't conquer.

One day I started to realize how really different I was from other women - I wasn't just a tom boy, someone who liked sports and guy things but I was *really* different. That put me in a place I refuse to return to no matter what other option I have to take. Inta is largely responsible for getting me through that and that is one of the many reasons I love her so much. Anyway - that was kind of a side note. I did get through it - I found the courage to quit a job I had grown stagnant in and become a massage therapist. Kim was largely responsible for that, she believed in me, she loved me, she supported me. After school I found the courage to leave a marriage that was really no longer a marriage and start a life with the person I thought I would be with until the day I died. I knew she loved me and always would, she would be my my side no matter what. You know how that turned out. When I came back here I was as close to returning to that place I swore I would never visit again as I ever hope to be.

When I got the word that I had been hired as a dispatcher I knew in my heart this was right for me. There were days I got discouraged, days I thought I would never learn all there was to learn but this was something *I* was doing - and I was good at it! I was really good at what I was doing and I absolutely loved it. I still remember the day Sgt. Bartell called me to his office after one of the first shifts I worked with him and told me thank you for all I did and what a pleasure it was to work with me. This job has been my refuge through more than you will ever know and *I* did it. My heart had found a home again that was dependent only on me.

Now, I have lost that and I need to be able to get my balance again, to remember who I am. I have always tried to live within my integrity, even when other people haven't understood, and questioned, that integrity. I don't want to do a job I can't give my absolute best to. When I come back to work I will come back as a person who is able give my all to whatever it is I am doing. If I can't do that, I don't want to come back.

J

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Past, Present, Future Part I

I have been contemplating the three things above, my past, present and future, for awhile now and decided to put some words to these things. It will probably take several posts to do it.

It seems like so much of my life has been shaped by the fact that I am gay - even before I knew that's what I was it shaped my life. When other girls were developing crushes on the good looking male teachers in school I was developing a crush on the opposing coach of a church league girls softball team. When the other girls in highs school were getting excited about the freshie hop or sophomore surf, I was wanting to be around my PE teachers all the time. At the time, I didn't realize what any of this meant. I don't know that I was really confused I just remember this longing to be in the presence of these women, to be near them, I missed them and thought about them all the time when I was at home.

Things didn't change much when I went away to college. Now it was my teammates on the volleyball and basketball teams I longed to be around, as well as my coaches. I never realized until much later that several of my teammates were also lesbians - including the one who spoke to share a bed with me on out first out of town trip :/.

I have to kind of smile and shake my head at the naivety of myself all those years ago. When I went to college I had never, to my knowledge, met a lesbian and didn't realize that most of the older girls I were attracted to were just that.

I don't ever recall a desire to get married and have a family. I am trying to think back now if that is really true or if I just can't imagine myself with kids now but - I think it is really true. There have been times when I have regretted not having children but I am not sure I would've that great a parent to begin with. Since I married a man 26 years my senior it was kind of a moot point to begin with anyway. That is a story I won't go into much detail about right now other than to say that, even though I was 21 when I made the decision to marry, I was still much to young - and way to stubborn, to listen to anyone who tried to counsel me.

I had been married for about . . . ten years when I started to wonder if I might be more attracted to women than I probably should be. LOL, I remember having a sexual dream about a female telephone rep that came to my work place one day and wondering "WTH did that come from!" Next, I became very attracted to, and almost obsessed with, a women who worked in the corporate offices. I attended several training sessions with her when we were implementing a new payroll system. In my mind several meaningful glances were passed between us. Whether that was a reality or just my reality I'll never know. I do know that by this time I had decided I didn't want to marry again after Bill died. My thought was to find a woman I could live with, someone I could enjoy spending time with, someone with similar interests as mine. It never really registered with me as to what this might mean. Lisa told me one day I was a 2 X 4 Lesbian, that even when something is right in my face, someone obviously interested in me or flirting with me I have to be hit with 2 X 4 before I notice it. Next post - my 2 X 4 moment!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Marriage

I have not posted in quite some time....but, today I am feeling quite, not sure of what word to use, accept maybe upset. It's about this new commercial about prop 8. (Prop 8 would ban same sex marriage in California--even though it is legal right now). What this website and commercial have done is just wrong--taking words out of context, adding in their own assumptions, and embellishing facts. My hope was that the public wouldn't buy into these half truths. After some searching on the net and I was able to find a video that helped to counter the commercial. You can watch it on YouTube here.

I am disturbed that some people would use their religion to push their beliefs onto others and would also tell the public lies just to pass a proposition that will take someone else's choice away. I can only hope there are people out there that will remember tolerance, love and allowing others to have choices--like being able to marry the person they love and cherish.

This video puts everything into perspective... here

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Parable of the Talents

A friend of mine recently shared a letter she had written to a friend in prison. In it she talked about the parable of the talents with kind of a twist added to it. She had done a lot of research on different words, their roots and meanings and came up with the idea that possibly the talent referred to was not monetary but could possibly refer to challenges we were sent to this life to deal with. (That is a way simplified, condensed version of the letter.) She had asked me for my thoughts on the letter. This was my reply.

At the very basic you are putting a new spin the the parable of the talents. Saying that we are all sent here with . . . abilities, disabilities, challenges, strengths and weaknesses. Our challenge in life is to make a life in spite of all of this. To meet the challenges head on, learn from them what we were sent here to learn. Possibly the subjects with the 5 talents and 2 talents did this, they learned, they grew, maybe even learned from their weaknesses thereby turning them into strengths. The subject with the one talent basically chose to bury his head in the sand. (my own thought coming up here) Maybe the one talent (challenge, trial ,struggle, etc) was so overwhelming to him he just didn't see a way to ever deal with it honorably. He couldn't deal with it within the confines and restrictions of his beliefs and culture, all he had been taught to be true. He obviously displeased his master. Would he have been better off to . . . explore other avenues? Would he have been judged just as harshly had he chosen to go outside his comfort zone, outside the box he was raised in, to magnify his talent. To learn to not only live with it but to thrive, be happy, to find ways to make life better for himself and those around him.

I stopped at this point. This wasn't the direction I had intended to take this. I thought about this for two days before I responded and pretty much had it all mapped out in my mind what I would say and the points I wanted to make. When I got to this point I couldn't remember what I had originally intended to say or the points I wanted to make. I still can't, and it was all so clear to me before I started to write. I am still a bit baffled.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Blog

It's a lazy Sunday morning, I have 1:00 church and I was thinking I should just lay down and take a nap before bubble bath time. I have been working lots of hours and I spent all day yesterday in the kitchen canning so it is nice to have a day where I don't feel like I have to do anything. Instead, I decided to start a new blog I have been thinking about for awhile. I love photography so I decided to start a blog with just pictures. I have no formal training but every now and then I do get a good picture. The thing I love about digital cameras is that I can take as many pictures as I want and just delete the ones that don't turn out. My angel fish is probably shell shocked from all the flash pictures I have taken of her the last couple of days. Mostly I like to photograph nature, and my cat. My photo blog can be accessed here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Back to Botox

I finally went in for another botox shot for my voice. I swore I wasn't going to do that anymore but the struggle to talk and be understood just got to be too much. I didn't feel like I got very good results from my last shot and was probably a bit angry over all that has gone on the last couple of years. This shot seems to be working like it should. I am about 3 days into it and I have the low, soft 1-900 voice and I gotta say - it is so nice to be able to talk so effortlessly. I watch, and listen to, people talk all the time and am amazed at how easy it is for them and wonder if they really appreciate being able to do that. I wouldn't care if my voice stayed like this forever. I would never be able to scream at anyone ever again but I am sure there are worse things. I never was much of a screamer anyway. So often I think of things I would like to say, comments I would like to make, stories and experiences I would like to share but it is usually just too much effort so most of those things I just keep in my head. Most of the time I would love it if I could do all my communication by instant message. I have to be a bit more patient when my voice is this way. I normally have to work so hard to get the words out - after a shot I have to remember to just be content to speak softly and easily because the more effort I put into making the words come out the less sound I make. Here's to hoping this one lasts until at least December.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Love Affair

I have to admit to having a very intense love affair - a love affair with hummus! If you have never tried this garbanzo bean based dip you are really missing out. When I was in CA Lis, Jamie and I went to a street fair and bought some at a vendor stand. When I came back here I could never find any that came even close to what we had there, or any that was even very edible, so I started doing some research. I looked at numerous recipes on the internet and did a combination of several of them along with a couple of my own ingredients and now I can't stop eating it. I also couldn't find any chips I liked with it so I made my own of those too.

OK, on to less significant things. I took a nice motorcycle ride yesterday. I made a loop from home, up around the area of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and back again. I stopped in Kanab for an ice cream bar before making the last leg of the journey. I don't eat much ice cream but this tasted really good. It was a butterfinger ice cream bar. The area up there is beautiful - I love riding among the trees, the air smells so good. I took a camera and saw a couple of places I would have liked to stop and take a picture but I was trying to outrun a storm with some very loud thunder so I didn't dare stop. A motorcycle in a rain storm isn't fun for me.

I just got a new cell phone and I think I love it. It is the Verizon Blitz - you can see it here. (I hope I did that right - I've never done one of those before!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Agency

The book I am listening too, and things I have read lately, have lead me to think a lot about free agency and how important it is to us as human beings. I believe when choices are taken from us we feel angry and trapped, possibly even depressed and hopeless. There have been times in my life where I felt like I had no choice but to do what I was doing. Those were the darkest and most hopeless times of my life. It not only affected me, it also affected those I lived and worked with. I understand we have to have laws and, by nature, some of those laws must limit our choices. When our choice harms someone else, or limits their choices the concessions have to be made. Some choices have legal consequences, some have moral consequences but all choices have consequences. Just because I believe something is right, or wrong, does that give me the right to force that same belief on someone else, thereby taking their choice away?

I am trying so hard to make sense of this gay marriage debate that is ongoing. I am trying to understand the anger, the bitterness, the fear it is generating. The rifts it is causing in communities, churches and families. I still can't grasp it. I understand some people believe it is morally wrong. I have no problem with that. I, personally, don't believe it is morally wrong but I understand there are those who do. What I don't understand is what it is turning people into. Are people hateful and fearful by nature and this is just a convenient outlet for it? Man, I hope that is not true.

I will be glad when the election is over. Maybe churches will return to a safe place, a place where all can go to be uplifted and feel loved. Maybe people will stop campaigning against someone else's right to happiness and a legally protected family. Maybe people will stop thinking that giving a right to someone else somehow takes rights away from them. My fear though is that this has created a divide that will be hard to cross. And it all seems so unnecessary to me . . .

Shift Change

For over 2 months my shift at work hasn't jived with my church schedule so I haven't gone. We just had a shift change so this Sunday will be my first time to meetings in awhile. I am feeling oddly uneasy about going. Probably mostly because of the things I have read on the internet about things that have been read over the pulpit, and discussed in lessons, regarding proposition 8 in California. Things such as this fine LDS man wrote "Homosexuality is an abberation. They are queer and it is shameful they exist to pollute the decent people they come in contact with. Move them all to Panguitch or Kanab or give them bus tickets to San Francisco. Clean the streets and schools of these types and make it safe for normal kids to grow without exposure to human pollution. They and their parents should be ashamed of what they are. Get right or get out." I am not sure I can hold my tongue if I have to listen to stuff such as this. It also hurts my heart to think that my parents and brothers and sisters may have to listen to things like this when they are in church. I already know of once where my Mom and sister spoke up in RS to dispute the theory that all homosexuals are evil people. Doesn't seem like it should be this way.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

To the Mountains

I was able to spend a couple of night camping and fishing in the boulder mountains with Mom and Dad. It was so nice to get away somewhere cool for a bit. There was even frost when we got up in the mornings. We caught lots of fish, even caught a few grayling. We also ate lots of good dutch oven cooking. Food always tastes better on a campout for some reason. I rescued the guy on the left from the water. I had chased these little beasties all day long trying to get one to land, or hold still, long enough for me to take a pic. Once I rescued him he was content to let me snap away to my hearts content. I left him on a piece of wood, did a little reikki over him and hope he made it into the air again. I posted more pictures of the trip over on my facebook page.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

routine/structure

Routine....my mind needs it and my life requires it to function well. I think I never thought I would say that (out loud). It is a little bit hard for me to bounce back after the summer time. I slept when I wanted and didn't have to wake up early....but now, here I am back in school and back on a routine...and I always do so much better this way. I am so grateful Jay encourages me to keep a routine...she knows me so well.

Part of this routine is taking vitamins and meds. I was just put on more medication along with what I already take. I am thinking the combination is helping me to feel any better, but I'm not quite sure yet. I really wanted the doc to help me with the anxiety and not sleeping well. I am hoping my increase of exercise will help with the anxiety and sleep problem. Night time, or going to sleep is always hard for me. I get a tremendous amount of anxiety. I have to force myself to lie down...and then I lie there and make myself lay still...I feel like a little kid because I just wanna get up and keep playing. I sleep better during the day...go figure : /

Another part of my routine is exercise. Man, I hate doing it everyday, but I know it is so good for me. I had to talk myself into it, so I moved the Nordic track into my room in front of the tv, and.....I think it's working....but, sshhhh!!

I am still working on the eating better part....but, I will get there. I am working real hard to keep caffeine out of my diet. I've just got to move towards healthier snacks and adding more veggies and fruit into the mix....but, gotta do it one step at a time. I need all of these things to be apart of my life, not just something I try for awhile and stop doing.

Structure....hmmmm.....I know my baby girl thrives on it and I know I gotta have it, BUT, I swear it goes against my natural self...nails on a chalk board(side note here....I was always the naughty kid that did that nail thing, just to make the kids in school freak out). Anyways, its so much better when I am on a regular schedule when school is in and I have to go everyday and the kids go everyday. It helps me to be able to focus all this energy into something constructive and worthwhile. I do love school and work hard to do well. I am so grateful to have a partner who loves me enough to allow me to focus on my school work. She is so patient with me and listens to all me talk about how school is going and the things I struggle with.

This post is dedicated to my one and only. . . my angel

Friday, August 22, 2008

Then and Now

I was reading entries in a previous blog and came upon this one written in March

the darkness beckons
how i long to accept it's invitation
to let myself be wrapped in its arms of comfort
just for today, i want to let it be in charge, in control
just for today, i don't want to be the strong one
just for today, i want someone to take care of me
but i know the danger of giving in to just for today
it doesn't stop at just for today
it begins to feel comfortable
it begins to be easier to give in than to fight
before you are aware just for today has become weeks
hot tears stream silently down my cheeks
where do i turn for strength
where do i find the courage, the desire to continue the fight
there is only one place, there has ever only been one place
and that is me - it all begins and ends with me
and so - i will look inside of me
i will find what i need to find
i will continue to fight for me
just for today . . .

I remember the day I wrote it, how bleak and hopeless life seemed at that time. Life is better now. Not a bowl of cherries every day, that is for sure, but it is still better than it was that day. On days like today I gather strength, I hoard energy and good feelings, I try to keep a small reservoir of them hidden inside of me so when harder days appear I will have something to draw on. I take pictures of things that amuse or interest me so on the harder days I have something to remind me that, surely, better days will follow.

Today I feel positive about life and the future. I have no doubt there will be hard days to come, maybe even more days like the one I wrote about. Today I am better than just OK - I am good.

Monday, August 18, 2008

CA Trip

I just got back from a trip to California, I spent a few days with Lis. I enjoyed myself and my time with her immensely.

We bought Jamie a bike while I was there. She has been riding a scooter and it was stolen, she had another one but it was pretty wrecked. We gave her the choice of a new scooter or a bicycle and she chose the bicycle. We went to Wal-mart and let her pick out the one she wanted. I think she was a bit intimidated by it at first. She kept worrying that she was gonna fall or crash - "I a gonna crash . . ." She had never ridden a bike without training wheels and stopped riding when she got so big the training wheels collapsed. Her balance isn't that great so there was good reason for her concern. She wanted to show the bike to her dad and brothers so Lis agreed to help her ride it over to their house. Lis said she had to run to keep up with her. When they got home she practiced for quite awhile riding it around the back of the apartment complex. I was so proud of her for doing so well. She really took off on it.

We spent a day at the beach - that is always one of our favorite things to do. It was beautiful there, almost hot. We napped, read for a bit. I took a walk down the beach while Lisa napped, found a few shells and a couple of cool rocks. The beach is so peaceful to me. Later we walked into town and went to the health food store and the candy store. We didn't buy anything at the health food store, just the candy store - what a surprise! We then walked back to the beach and cooked some sea bass on the grill. It was a very good day.

We always exchange massages when we get together. I am a massage therapist and do massages out of my home. Lisa has never had any formal training but she does well and always manages to put me asleep on the table. It is good for both of us to get that kind of touch.

Just before I got there the county called and rescheduled Lisa's psychiatrist appointment. I was glad I was able to go with her. It was only the second time she had seen this Dr. The first time she wasn't too impressed with him cause he never looked at her and never asked her any questions. I am thinking she wish he had stuck to that. He asked lots of questions this time. Some she answered and some I answered. I think it helped him to get different perspectives on some things. I'm gonna leave this as it is and hope that she will post more about this visit if she feels inclined.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Random Thoughts

Lisa and I were having a discussion a couple of days ago about personal revelation and what part it should play in ones life. She asked if it was wrong to deny personal revelation. This is an interesting question and one that, as usual, leaves me with more questions than it does answers. In my church there are those who believe that once the prophet has spoken the thinking is done, then it is just a matter of obedience. I am not sure I can agree with that. Once you decide to start denying personal revelation where do you stop, where do you draw the line. If your personal revelation goes along with the church leaders counsel then you accept it but if it doesn't then you ignore it? If that is the case, what is the purpose of praying about anything in the first place? I do know obedience has it's place but why are we given personal revelation if we are not to use it to guide our lives? I suppose the opposite is true too, why have church leaders give counsel and instruction if we are not to follow it? Maybe it is like the conundrum of Adam and Eve in the Garden. Adam was determined to do all the things the Lord commanded him. The only catch was that to be able to multiply and replenish the earth he had to leave the garden of eden, he had to partake of the forbidden fruit. I believe the best a person can do is find a place of peace to live their life and do what they can to stay there. If you are constantly checking in with the Lord about where you are, and how you are doing, if you are really listening with an open heart and mind and you feel peace with your decisions and where you are I don't know what else you can do. I don't know what else you can be expected to do.

This life is hard, no doubt about it. I know people who seem to think we were sent to the earth to suffer, that we aren't guaranteed happiness in this life, that it is something that is to be endured. I don't believe that. It's true, we aren't ever guaranteed happiness, we have to make our own. I believe if you are unhappy you need to make some changes in your life. I don't think happiness is necessarily the same as easy and easy is not necessarily the same as simple. Some changes may be simple changes but it doesn't mean they will be easy to make. Some things in life are going to be hard but that doesn't mean they have to bring unhappiness. If we can't find happiness in this life I don't believe we will be magically blessed with it in the next life. Life is so much harder when you see yourself as the victim, when you see all around you through a glass of negativity.

I will be going to Northern Utah for my cousins funeral on Monday. He was only in his mid 40's when he died. At one time he had a very good paying job as an accountant for the government. Then he started to drink and just couldn't seem to stop. Years ago I probably would have been very judgemental towards him and his situation. Now - now I just feel sad that he didn't have a better life. I am sad that, when he seemed to be getting his life together. his life ended. I am sad for whatever situations in his life drove him to alcohol in the first place. I know he was a good man, the person he harmed most was himself. I hope he can have a season of peace now.

I think I probably could have summed all of this up by posting the lyrics to one of my favorite songs by LeeAnn Womack

I HOPE YOU DANCE

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Reconsider
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a real and constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who)
I hope you dance
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
(Where those years have gone)

I hope you still feel small When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes,
I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
Dance I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a real and constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who)
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
I hope you dance
(Where those years have gone)
(Tell me who)
I hope you dance
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
(Where those years have gone)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

An Instrument?

I was wondering yesterday if the Lord has ever worked through me - used me as an instrument to help others. I sometimes think maybe that has happened and then I think I am rather egotistical for even wondering it let alone seriously considering it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Books

I love to read. I have for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite childhood memories is of mom reading to me before I lay down for my nap. I remember not wanting to start kindergarten because I knew there would be no more stories before nap time.

One of the reasons I love to read is because I can put myself in the story - I can imagine myself there. I have gone so many places through the books I have read, places real and places imagined. I have played quidditch and stolen through the halls of Hogwarts with Harry Potter. I have been on a quest to recover a ring with Frodo and ridden with Belgarion to save a kingdom. I have traveled back in time to the 18th century and the Scottish Uprising and met people I long to know in real life.

I like historical fiction, crime novels, comedy, mysteries, some romance if it has a worthwhile story to go with it. I like books that make me think about the people in the book after I am finished, I want to know more about them.

I love Vampire books. I read all the Ann Rice vampire books and have read all of the Stephanie Meyer vampire books and am just starting a series call the Nobel Dead. I picked the first book up at the library a couple of days ago and am having a hard time putting it down. I am hoping to get off work before the library closes tonight so I can see if they have the second book. If not I have already scoped it out on amazon.com

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Going Home

When I sat down to do that last entry this is what I intended to write on. Not sure how I got off on the topic of same sex marriage.

My days off fell just right so I could go home for the July 24 celebration. I love going home. I feel such peace there and am always able to relax, recharge and remember I am loved. I grew up in a small town in southern Utah. When I say small, I am talking 100 people. I always tell people I had an ideal childhood. Lots of outdoor activities, camping, cookouts, deer hunts, fishing. We also learned to work since we lived on a farm of sorts. Learned how to garden and take care of animals. One thing my mom would never allow us girls to do is learn to milk a cow. She said if we did then we would be left to milk the cows while the guys went fishing - that was good enough reason for me. Man - I have so many childhood memories I could write here but maybe I will save those for another post.

We went over on Tuesday, July 22. That night we went fishing with my parents, my younger brother and 2 of his kids. We caught a few fish, gave them all to a boy scout troop from SLC that wasn't having much luck catching anything. We also taught them to fish, showed them what kind of tackle they needed, explained how to use it, etc. We stopped on the way home and had a hamburger. It was just a really nice evening, very relaxing.

The next day we went out to cut a load of wood and got stuck in the mud - I mean we really got stuck in the mud. A couple of guys come by with their big 4 X 4 and were gonna pull us out. Dad tried to tell them he didn't think they should try but they were convinced it would be a snap. They got stuck too. We did manage to get them pushed out before they got stuck too badly. It too us 90 minutes using come alongs to get out. We did get a good load of wood though.

The next day was July 24 and started off at 6:00 AM with some kind of big cannon type booms. At 7:00 was a pancake breakfast put on by the fire department followed by a parade at 10:00, races and all kinds of games and a dunking machine for the kids and horseshoe tournaments for the adults. I played in both the singles and doubles horse shoes, it was lots of fun. I missed having Lisa there as my partner this year, we actually did pretty well last year - especially since we entered mostly because she told me how good she was . . . then I found out she had only played once or twice in her life - LOL. We beat the braggart team of guys and that was better than the championship. Anyway, back to this year. at 6:00 was the pitt BBQ dinner. Pitt BBQ'd beef and pork, dutch oven potatoes, rolls, salad, cobbler and homemade rootbeer - all for $5.00. After dinner a bunch of the older folks sat around with guitars, banjo, accordian, etc and played songs for a sing along. Later that night there were fireworks. It was a really enjoyable day - probably the kind of celebration you can only have in smalltown USA. I had to be back to work at 2:00 on friday afternoon so we just got up and went home.

There are no words to express how much I love my mom and dad and how grateful I am to them for making home a place we all want to return to. Even the grandkids like to come back and bring their kids to stay for a few days. I know they had different hopes for me and my life than how it has turned out and the choices I have made but - there is no doubt in my mind that I am loved and I don't know what better gift they could give me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Same Sex Marriage

As you might expect, I was pleased with the decision of the California supreme court to allow same sex marriage in that state. It opens up some good possibilities for us in the future.

I don't know if it is still as big a deal in the CA papers as it is in the UT papers or not. I read the SL Tribune and, occasionally, the Deseret News online. At least once or twice a week there is an opinion in one, or both, papers on the topic. I always read the article and most of the comments, at least as many of them as I can stomach. I don't know which are worse, the supposed Christians or those who hate the supposed Christians. Some of the things the Christians write are so obnoxiously moronic in their reasoning and so hateful it makes me almost be ashamed to call myself a Christian. Interestingly enough, it seems the gay people are most sensible and down to earth about it all. In almost every article that comes out someone asks for just one legitimate reason to deny same sex marriage without bringing religion into it. I don't think anyone has done that. There is always the argument that homosexuals can't reproduce, and the countering argument that they can cause many of them have kids and if that is going to be a criteria for denying marriage then older people and those who don't want, or can't have, kids should also be banned from marrying. Then there is the asinine argument that if you legalize same sex marriage then people will want to marry their dog or a mother, or father, will want to marry their daughter. Some are very sensible and consistent in their responses. The same ones always quote the same scriptures. They quote Leviticus, seeming to dismiss the fact that Leviticus also bans the eating of shellfish, the wearing of blended clothing, encourages the stoning to death of a child who disobeys . . . it's all just craziness. Today someone quoted the scripture about God giving us weakness, etc, etc, etc and a commenter said maybe the test wasn't necessarily for the homosexuals but for the heterosexuals to learn tolerance and love. I thought that was an interesting observation.

It makes me very sad that my church, along with others, are encouraging their members to vote for a constitutional amendment in CA to ban same sex marriage. They say the ban is pro family but I don't really understand how it can be when it is voting to deny rights to so many families. A ban on same sex marriage won't decrease the number of same sex families - it will just make it harder for them to get the rights and protection they need, and deserve. To me, that is anti-family. It puts a lot of families of gay people in a very tough situation.

One blog I read on the subject, the writer was invited to a gay wedding and asked his readers what they thought, should he go or not. Almost everyone of the staunchest *Christians* told him there was no way he should go. If he went he would be sending the message that he approved of what they were doing. He needed to stay away so they would know that he, and God, disapproved of their actions. Again, it makes me shake my head and makes be very sad at the things people will do in the name of God.

Monday, July 21, 2008

this illness

I have been wanting to post for some time now, but didn't want to be a downer to our blog. But, perhaps it's time now.

I have been having a hard time lately. Not sure there is much to write. I just want to to feel better again, totally better. I was given ativan to help with my anxiety and it is causing problems with my mood and sleep, ect. I am trying to come off of it, but its been very hard. I have anxiety all the time now. I have started excercising regularly to offset the constant anxiety, but that only works for a couple of hours. I know things will get easier again, but all this craziness has stirred up my life and my relationships and has brought on some darkness...oh, the darkness. Dont like to talk about, feel it, acknowledge it. Just want it gone, so I can feel me again.

Sometimes I think my life is so hard and I think i just cannot take another step. But, sometimes I am so grateful for the many things it gives me.

I know the peace and stability will come back, just have to get through this hard stuff for now and try and learn something from it.

I will be grateful for the light again.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Days Off

Nothing like a relaxing day on the lake to recharge your batteries and rejuvenate your soul. The purpose for going on the lake was just to relax and swim. The fishing usually isn't too good this time of year but decided to give it a shot anyway.
It was one of the best fishing days in recent memory. That pic above is me with a pretty nice sized walleye. Crappie, small mouth bass and 1 striped bass were also among the days catch. The day was beautiful and the water was refreshing.
These days off are just what I needed. On Wednesday I really didn't do much of anything, mostly just rested. Thursday was the lake trip and I even ordered pizza when I got home so I didn't have to cook. Today I mowed the lawn, fixed a leaky faucet at the kitchen sink, took a nap, read a book, loaded audio books on my mp3 players and fixed the most delicious dinner. I am so pleased that I finally figured out how to cook london broil. I fixed some when Lis was here a couple of months ago and was almost embarrassed it was so bad. What I fixed tonite was excellent. I grilled some onions and anaheim peppers to go with it and fixed some fresh squash. AND - I really don't know why I am writing all of this - no one reads this blog but me and Lis and we both know all this stuff! LOL, oh well . . .
I am off to a softball game tonite. Hope I can stop more balls with my mitt this game than I do my legs, the mitt doesn't seem to bruise near as easily :/

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Today . . .

. . . was a much better day for me. First day for a bit that I haven't felt this huge sense of heaviness inside. Maybe I was just over tired. I have promised Lis to try and get my whole 3 days off this week. I think I should be OK unless I get called out to do a prisoner transport. Gonna go out on the lake tomorrow and see if there is a fish that wants to be caught and do a bit of swimming.

I made my first attempt at making creme brulee today. I chose a recipe that was a low fat version so I am not quite sure what to expect. I decided if I don't like it I won't make it again and will try a different recipe next time. When we had it in Alaska and it was so delicious when I saw the recipe was basically heavy cream, sugar and egg yolks I knew why. I am not expecting my low fat version to match what we had there but I am hoping it will be something I can make again.

I made halibut for dinner tonite, the first of the halibut I have done since coming back from the trip. My gosh it was good. It didn't quite match up to the salmon I did last week but it was danged close. I have been able to share some of the fish with some friends and am always so happy when they like it so much. I can't wait to take some to Lis next month, she would eat fish every day if she could.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Depression

Man, it seems to have me in its grips and it is just not letting go. I am always tired, a little on edge, my whole body and soul just seem heavy, my voice is struggling.

I went on prozac about 4 1/2 years ago and did ok on it. I then went on a natural substance for depression and was mostly ok on it. It was so expensive though, I couldn't justify paying $90 a month for it when I can get a 3 month prescription of prozac for $20. I went back on the prozac about 4-5 months ago. At first it worked really well, I really did feel good, even woke up feeling good, which is rare for me. I don't know what has happened these last couple of weeks, it's like I am back where I was 6 years ago. Back then I remember waking up in the morning with a feeling of dread to the point where I would cry some mornings. I was usually ok after I got my exercise done, it seemed to lift the darkness. I do know how vital exercise is to my mental health. I often wish it wasn't so but it is just a fact of life for me. Some mornings when I work days, and the clock says 5:00 AM, my body so wants just another hour of sleep but I know, in the long run the exercise will benefit me, and everyone around me, more than the sleep will.

I think depression runs in my family on my dads side. My younger sister has a really hard time with it, much, much worse than I do. She has attempted suicide at least once that I know of, my grandfather on my fathers side commited suicide when I was 15. At the time it was so hard for me to understand why he would do that. Unfortunately, I understand it more now than I did then. At least one of my brothers has also been on an anti-depressant and maybe both of them.

I hate this, a person shouldn't have to take a pill just to be able to want to get out of bed in the morning. I don't like to consider it an illness but I guess maybe that is what it is. To me it feels like more of a defect, something I should be able to overcome by sheer willpower. I sometimes think I still haven't recovered from the Alaska trip. That trip really was physically exhausting. I have also probably been working too much, by the time I get a day off again I will have worked 12 of the last 13 days, all but one 10 hour shifts, 3 different shifts. I think the hardest part is changing shifts, I went from swings to graves to days in a matter of 4 days, I can't seem to catch up with myself.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Boy Kitty



In my last post I made reference to the Boy Kitty. This is him, my Murphy. I always say he is just a little person trapped in a kitty body. He came to me at a very low point in my life and, almost literally, saved my life. I took him from a 2 cat household because he was beating up on the other cat and his humans needed to find him a new home. The first week or so I almost gave him back. He hid all day and wandered the house yowling at night. I am so glad I didn't give up on him, he is my best friend in the whole town. He has stayed beside me through more tear drops and sad lonely nights than I care to recall. He has such a personality and lives by the mantra "I don't get mad, I get even" and he rarely stops until he does. I think he has a secret life as a spy kitty for the CIA. He is often rushing around on some unseen secret mission only he recognizes. With these amazing credentials it is no wonder he is also over yard security for my home. He does perimeter checks several times a day. Just yesterday he was sneaking up on an enemy crow on the other side of the fence and was justifiably pleased when the crow flew away. It is his duty to check each new package or item that comes into the house, sometimes even being so dedicated as to crawl into a box to do it.
He is a helper kitty extraordinaire, as you can see by this pic of him *helping* me put a quilt together. He is always there for every project I do inspecting and giving advice. I'm not sure how I ever completed a task before I became his human.
What more could a girl ask for?











Monday, July 7, 2008

Some days . . .

. . . it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. I am working swing shift now so by the time I get home, get my reikki and meditation done and am settled for sleep it is usually midnight or after. This morning the boy kitty was insistent that I get out of bed. He dragged the pliers off the tool box onto the floor, got up and pawed everything on my dresser. I finally let him win and I got up around 7:00 feeling a bit grumpy. I thought I had time for a leisurely morning and then a nap before going into work at 2:00. My boss called at 9:00 and wanted to know if I could come in early because someone had called in sick, I agreed to come in at noon. Then started the race to get things done. I realized I didn't have time to make anything for dinner so I would take a salad with me, I opened the fridge and all I had was lettuce and celery. I made a quick run to the store on my motorcycle. At the store I was attacked by the artichokes so I have little holes in my fingers. I love green olives on my salad and had picked up a bottle. Just before getting home that particular bag fell off my motorcycle and the bottle of olives broke. I brought a container of watermelon to work with me to snack on - the lid came off and I had watermelon juice all over everything - what do I do to call this to myself?

I am really hoping that some of the local people that don't seem to have a life will find one, just for today. The ones who call to tell me that someone parked an ATV across the street and got off it and walked somewhere, or that some girl parked a white car on the street and then walked off. The guy that calls 911 because someone cut the seat on his motor scooter - 2 days ago. One of my favorites, the guy that called 911 because he had a tooth ache, turned out he had tried to drill his own tooth with his black & decker . . . In training we are taught to always answer the 911 line - "911 where is your emergency" always get the location first so you can get people headed that way. This isn't an unusual beginning to a 911 call:

Me: 911 where is your emergency
Caller: At my house
Me: Where is your house
Caller: In Sometown, USA
Me: Where in Sometown, USA
Caller: On the corner . . .

Please people, work with me . . .

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Thinking Gay

I was reading a blog awhile back from a christian lesbian and this was
the topic. I am going to quote a bit of what she said "Gay thoughts
aren't always specific thoughts with feelings attached more than
they're just an awareness of being gay. Unsolicited mail arrives at a
lesbian household addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Lesbian. A lesbian goes
to buy an Easter card for her wife of 6 years but only after scanning
each card to be sure there's no mention of being the luckiest man
alive. The lesbian couple out on their anniversary hesitate
momentarily to consider the elderly couple at the table next to them
before reaching across the table to hold hands. While out grocery
shopping one lesbian says to the other "Honey, would you grab another
carton of milk?" and a shopper near them glances up from her grocery
list with the familiar Are they? look on her face. Nondescript little
encounters in the middle of life that tap you on the shoulder to
say "Hey, you're gay." When I first came out I felt guilty for
thinking gay so much. I wondered if they were right when they accused
gay people of being obsessed with being gay. After all, I had seldom
thought about my sexuality all those years when I assumed I was
straight and now it was nothing but gay gay gay and I worried that my
life had gone out of balance."

She goes on to say that heterosexuals probably wouldn't really
understand this because they seldom think about their sexual
orientation. This really hit home with me so much that I left a
comment on her blog, something I seldom do. Here is what I said.

"I read this last night and can't stop thinking about it. I do this
too, I never really thought about it as thinking gay but I guess that
is really what it is. I think it makes me tired. Some mornings I wake
up and think, I just don't want to do this anymore, this isn't
something I should have to spend so much time and energy thinking
about. It should be something that just is, something that is just
me, something I shouldn't have to be aware of all the time, even on a
subliminal basis. I have more thoughts here but not sure quite how to
form them into words. It's almost like it is a handicap that needs constant attention in
order to be kept safe. It's not a handicap, it's me, it is a part of who I am, a small part but a
part none the less. If it is such a small part why does it take up so
much time, thought, and energy?"

Monday, June 30, 2008

Expectations

I have been thinking a lot about this topic recently. I seem to be a bit fearful of the expectations others might have of me. I think the biggest fear is that their expectations will be something I will not be able to meet.

Someone I was once very much in love with told me I should never have expectations in a relationship, it was OK to have hopes but never expectations. That was several years ago and I have never forgot it, and still don't know how to really think about it. I am not sure how to have a relationship without expectations. Then I go back and forth between expectations and needs. How closely are they related? Is there a difference? I guess to me a need would be something the relationship must have to survive, such as honesty, trust, loyalty, fidelity, communication. I think all of those things could also be considered expectations. I suppose there is a huge difference between expectations and unrealistic expectations. I believe the things I listed above are realistic expectations, as well as needs, while something such as . . . knowing where the other person is at all times would be an unrealistic expectation.

So, back to my opening paragraph. What is it about expectations that scares me so? I am honest, trustworthy, loyal, etc - at least I believe I am. Maybe its that my definition of a realistic expectation may be wildly different from someone elses definition. Or that I won't know what their expectations are, will not be able to meet them and therefore fail.

I am aware of my faults, at least some of them. I'm sure there are others who could point out many more - LOL. I don't consider myself an especially good communicator, I am not very verbal. I am sure part of that has to do with my voice disorder, sometimes it just isn't worth the effort to speak. However, I think I was that way even before the disorder. I don't feel like I have that many needs, not sure that would be considered a fault but I think it could be. Maybe it is just that I am not good at verbalizing them so I figure out a way to take care of them myself - do I, unfairly, expect others to be the same way? I don't let people in easily, and I sometimes hesitate to learn too much about others. The former is definitely a trust issue, I believe the latter is not that I don't care but a fear of caring too much. When I care for a person I will do all in my power to meet their needs and expectations. I hurt when they hurt, I think about them, I worry about them.

OK, I feel like I am starting to ramble here and have probably gotten away from the original intent of this post. I will continue to try to figure out why I fear expectations so much.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

People Watching

I love to watch people. I recently took a trip to Alaska. On the flight from PHX to Seattle there was a group of 8 women in front of us. I gathered they had been to PHX for some kind of work seminar. There was such a sense of friendship between them. It was like they really *knew* each other, strengths as well as weaknesses and they really liked each other. I wasn't jealous but I had a longing to be a part of a group like that. A part of a group of people who really know me, all about me, and still love me, still like me, still want to be a part of my life, a group of people who trust me enough to let me know all those things about them. It seems like I often expend a lot of energy keeping people from getting to know me because past experience tells me that it is just too painful when they reject you and leave.

When we were at the fishing lodge there was a group of 5 guys on a trip there, all a part of law firm. The energy between them was totally different than that between the women on the plane. I watched them and tried to imagine what their wives were like, what kind of family they had. I heard one guy mention a place he would never return to because he didn't feel like his child was welcome there, that told me a lot about him. There was another interchange between 2 of the guys and it was like one had a secret and was almost baiting the other guy who wanted to know what the secret was. It was so different with the women where one could just point to a page in a magazine and they would all bust up laughing because they all knew the secret, it didn't even have to be mentioned.

One last thought from the trip - When we left Seattle for Sitka it was totally overcast, not long after take off we were flying in sunshine, when we got to Sitka it was totally overcast again. It made me kind of think of life and realize that there is always sun somewhere, sometimes you just have to keep climbing to get above the clouds to find it.