49 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-4-17

  1. I have been up a while. I have been reading the Boundaries book and trying to catch up in the workbook that goes along with it. I don’t like having to address old “hurts, hang ups, and habits”. You have heard me joke that I have paid for enough therapy that this is as good as it gets, I bought and paid for this personality. It isn’t always true.
    Some kind soul (Michelle) popped a book in the mail to me and it arrived yesterday. I am already through Chapter 3. I soaked it up like a sponge…a very dry and deformed sponge.
    I never really have enjoyed the Self Help category of books. I always figured real life was enough when I had to deal with it, when I read a book I wanted to escape and not think about all the garbage that was real life. Which brings me to this….

    KIZZIE: I hardly ever go back and read “yesterdays” posts, but as I have already said, I have been up a while and I have been waiting on AJ to post today’s thread so I could make sure to post this for you to see.
    Yesterday you wrote about how your brother has cut you out of his life. FIRST, I want you to know that I understand. I have estranged and hurtful family myself. It hurts my heart that you have been hurt and I just want to wrap you in a coccoon and protect you so that no one else can hurt you. Eventually, you will understand that it isn’t really about YOU. It’s about THEM.
    I am assuming by the way your post read that you had different fathers. Could it be that he resented his stepfather and wants to cut anything having to do with him out of his life? Could it be that he has resented your mother remarrying and having you? If so, you must realize you are the innocent party in all of this. His hurtful attitude towards you has nothing to do with you, but with the adults in both of your lives that he is still trying to punish. There is nothing you can do to fix what is broken. Sometimes you have to walk away, lick your wounds, and heal. You may send him a note telling him you love him and he will always be your brother whether he accepts you as his sister or not. Or you may choose not to do anything. YOU are the one in control now.
    While there is a strong DNA/Biology attachment to our relatives we don’t have to stay and continue to be hurt by them. There are other people in your life who will love and value you. I know it isn’t the same here on a blog or on Facebook, but we love and value you. Perhaps there is a woman in your church you could grow closer to and have a “sisterly” friendship? We ALL know ad nauseum that my mother was the missing piece in my life, but throughout all these years there have been women who have shown up when I needed it most and mothered me. Mama Ruth, Bobbie, Marilyn, Regina, …… and even Mumsee when I went to visit her. I had just been fired from a team that I over identified with. I was lost and wounded and my week there watching and listening to her and even having talks with her started my process to healing.

    Now, I had an opposite experience on Ancestry. I had always known my mother was married before my father and her husband had died. I have always known his name and there was even a Bible that floated around my house that had my mother’s other name on it. Several years ago I became curious and Googled his name. I found where he is buried and found some link to Ancestry and to some of his relatives. I emailed one telling them I wasn’t a relative but my mother had been married to his uncle and I was just curious. Over the next few days we exchanged email and he told me of a kind woman who chose to give up her new home and spend the weekend with her sister in law and brother in law so that he and his wife could have a honeymoon. He told of a completely different woman than I had known. Through his research he had found some bad things about my mother, but told me he chose to remember the good. As a result of our exchange I have been “grafted” on to their family tree. I cannot express the honor that was to me.
    FAMILY isn’t always the people who share our DNA. Family can have different meanings. Family is the people who surround you and love you and want the best for you. You and I both have a “family” right here on this blog. We all love you, value you, and appreciate what you bring to our lives. You have an innocence and sweetness about you that comes through with your posts. I often think you balance out my cynicism and sarcasm.
    You are our sister and we are proud to claim you….at least I am the others will have to speak for themselves. 🙂 {{{{{{Karen}}}}} You are treasured.

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  2. Good Morning! We have 6 inches of new fallen snow thus far and it is going to snow all bloooming day long! They have closed everything in sight and out of sight…all schools, libraries, government offices….you would think we had six feet instead of 6 inches! It is that wet heavy spring snow that we so desperately need and we are thankful for it 🙂

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  3. Ducks! 🙂

    Workers are coming back today, their email from last night leaves me with some questions I need to ask — apparently, after researching the house plans with the city, it looks like my sewer line, when it reaches the sidewalk, is 6 feet under. That seems to be a real problem as anything 4 feet or below is considered a “trench” (when excavating) and must have reinforcements and city involvement with a full-on contractor. I think what the email was saying is there’s a way around that by going in from one side only to avoid the “trenching.” But that means pavers will run up the left side of my driveway only, not in the center, which will look odd but anything else is simply not very workable or affordable. It is what it is, as they say.

    But as I said, the email wasn’t as clear to me as it could have been so I’ll ask about all that when they get here today. Thinking of the neighbors, they don’t want to start work today until 9 a.m. as it will be a very dust- and noise-generating job.

    They also are going to do the concrete cutting themselves rather than out-source it (which they’d though about yesterday) as the companies charge $350 every 2 hours (!!!) and then tack on their travel time as part of that. I gather this all will take way over 2 hours. He said they can beat that price (at least by some) by renting a concrete cutter themselves and paying some day laborers to help out.

    So that’s the plan. I have no idea how long the rest of this operation will take, it obviously depends on what they find as they unearth the rest of that sewer line. Six feet under is pretty deep, it looks like the line they’ve already excavated was only a few feet below the surface.

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  4. I’m going to second Kim’s comments to Kizzie, but would also like to suggest that we make ourselves open to doing what Kim’s “cousin” did–provide a positive memory of someone whose family may not have known them that way.

    In my case, a friend from our early Navy years ended up a paranoid schizophrenic after the birth of her children. Her husband eventually divorced her for the sake of the two girls and went on to remake a successful life.

    When I caught up with him and heard the story years later–putting my head down on the dining room table to sob as he talked–I volunteered to write his daughters a letter telling about their birth mother and what she was like as a young woman.

    I sent it to him and his second wife (a lovely, kind woman), and said, “when they start asking questions or become fearful they may end up like their birth mother, give them this letter so they can see what she was like when I knew her.”

    I never heard back from them, I assume they did that, but it helped me put together who she had been with what she became. It made me far more sympathetic to mental illness–all of which were good.

    I can only hope/pray a glimpse of their mother as a confident, refined, resourceful teacher who laughed will help those girls–who would be in their early thirties now.

    Share the good information, let the bad float away.

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  5. Well, I’ve turned into the cranky neighbor.

    We’ve had a GIGANTIC RV parked right across the street from us for more than a month now (72 hours is the limit). No one lives in it, it apparently is simply being “stored” on our block.

    I’ve actually reported it (twice) to LA City’s abandoned vehicle department but they’re apparently busy. So this morning I put a handwritten note on the windshield simply asking them to “Please move this elsewhere. Thank you.”

    It’s an eyesore, impedes traffic views on our street and takes up a huge swath of curbside parking the residents often need.

    We’ll see. If it remains, I’ll print out a copy of all the RV storage facilities nearby where people can pay to have their RVs properly stored off the street when not in use for long periods of time.
    (It works, the owner, a youngish woman, once moved it for all of 6 hours several weeks ago before bringing it right back again.)

    Grumble, grumble.

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  6. Michelle, I once knew someone (not well–she was the receptionist at the main desk of my workplace) who I thought was uniquely ugly. But one day someone else referred to this lady as a great exotic beauty, and I went to the woman and told her what the other woman had said to a group of people. Her mouth dropped open and she said, “Really? I’ve always thought I was really ugly!”

    Long ago I found out the power of “third-party compliments.” It’s one thing to say to your face, “You’re so beautiful.” It might well be flattery, or you might at least feel like you have to say it. But when you say something nice about someone when they aren’t around, you’re thinking about them positively, and you mean what you say since there is no “benefit” to you in saying it. Long ago I learned the unique thrill in going back to that person and saying, “Hey, George said you’re the best teacher he ever had, that the clarity with which you presented the material helped him understand it and helped him learn to present his own thoughts in an orderly way.”

    But to be able to pass on a compliment on something I actually didn’t agree with myself, knowing that it could make that woman’s whole day, was uniquely sweet. Maybe the next time she looked in the mirror, “great exotic beauty” was what went through her mind.

    Oh, and this isn’t the same as what you are talking about (what you are talking about is really a unique and special gift to those girls), but I have a brother who is almost seven years older than I, but the closest in age of my older brothers, so I have a really unique perspective on his life in one section of it, his teenage years. When his oldest child and only daughter was 16 (or 18, I forget which), I sent her a long letter for her birthday in which I told all the stories I could think of from her dad’s youth. Some of them were “pesky big brother” stories, but many of them were “creative, fun big brother” stories, or stories of things he did that weren’t specifically with the family. There wasn’t anything like “And one day I caught him with pornography!” or anything like that. But I suspect she kept that letter. (I ended up seeing the family just a week or two after her birthday, and the mail had taken a long time to go form Chicago to L.A., and that letter arrived hours before my visit and she told me she was really enjoying it.)

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  7. Donna– haven’t you come up with enough story ideas from this project yet?

    Hey, can’t you write off some of the work if it provides story material?

    Why don’t you ask your tax guy?

    You’d be surprised at what I’ve been able to write off– merely by writing blog posts.

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  8. DJ, last night I dreamed about having to dig some sort of hole(s) in my backyard, for a new fence or something, and I was fretting because it now seemed likely it was going into some sewer lines or electric lines or something (neither of which we have in our backyard). I just realized you’re probably the reason for that dream.

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  9. Maybe I can repurpose (temporarily) the pets blog (which sadly has been dormant for some time now, but I believe it still lives on our website).

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  10. I received my tax information last night and was somewhat surprised by the anemic refund I’ll be receiving this year, under $400 altogether.

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  11. Mumsee asked yesterday what effect marijuana had on fetal development. Here is the summary:

    The main psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has a half-life of approximately 8 days in fat deposits and can be detected in blood for up to 30 days before becoming entirely eliminated from the blood [2]. These characteristics act as a direct risk factor to the developing embryo, as the maternal tissues act as reservoirs for THC and other cannabinoids.

    Certain drugs cross the placenta to reach the embryo in the same manner as oxygen and other nutrients [3]. Drugs consumed during pregnancy can act directly on the embryo, or they can alter placental function, which is critical for normal growth and development. Ingestion of drugs can interfere with these functions, resulting in compromised fetal development and growth [3]. THC readily crosses the placenta, which, in conjunction with slow fetal clearance, results in prolonged fetal exposure to THC, even after consumption is discontinued [2].

    The use of marijuana in early pregnancy is associated with many of the same risks as tobacco, including miscarriage, congenital malformations, and learning disabilities [4]. Adverse effects of marijuana use during pregnancy have been exacerbated over the years, as THC levels in marijuana have increased nearly 25-fold since 1970 [5].{Link to scientific review: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5041313/}

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  12. Mumsee, I only had time for skimming the study, but basically, the THC blocks certain pathways at the cell level, causing things like folic acid to be in short supply to the fetus. As anyone who has taken pregnancy supplements knows, folic acid is important for the development of the brain and spinal cord of the baby, and low levels are associated with spina bifida. The study also noted that cannabinoids (there are several, THC is just the most prominent) are used in chemotherapy treatment to stop the growth of cancer cells – their cell growth restrictive properties are great for treating cancer, but, as we know from the fact that chemo cannot be used on pregnant women, not good for growing babies.

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  13. By the way, when are we going to hear about how unfair it was at the fifty second point, when NC was clearly out of bounds and the call was for a jump rather than turned over to Gonzaga? Or are we satisfied that sometimes there are good calls and sometimes there are bad calls and that is how the game is played?

    Gonzaga did very well and the score indicates they were obviously competitive and now they all need to go back to school and work on their education some more.

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  14. It is amazing how things can go awry with these little ones over such a thing and yet, how protected they are from so many things.

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  15. Mumsee, I often think of that when it comes to alcohol and how it can cause FAS. I think of periods in history where the level of drinking was much higher, such as 1700s England, and wonder if some of the societal state of the time – crime was rampant – was due in some part to the widespread congenital damage that was being done, since FAS can cause impairment in moral reasoning.

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  16. Kim (& NancyJill from last night)- Thank you so much for your loving, encouraging words. You touched my heart & brought tears to my eyes. I love you all!

    (To answer NancyJill’s question: Brother is not a believer, & may even be an atheist, I’m not sure.)

    Brother’s birth father was not involved in his life at all, & may not have ever met him even when he was a baby. (SIL was able to track him down several years ago, & they’ve had some email contact, but that didn’t last. Brother is not interested.)

    Dad was not Brother’s step-father, but adopted him & became his father (shortly before Brother turned eight, also the time I came along). When they were dating, SIL asked if he’d ever met his “real father”. He replied, “You’ve met my real father.” I have never considered him my half-brother, but he is my brother.

    Since I had special needs as a baby, Brother probably did resent me, & I guess he’s never gotten over that. Sad. I think I have previously mentioned that we learned, from his then-girlfriend, that he purposely missed his flight for my high school graduation, because he knew it was important to me for him to be there, & he wanted to hurt me.

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  17. Kim – Hold on to that sweet story about your mom, as she was before the alcohol poisoned her personality.

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  18. Question for the ladies.
    Can you use canola oil or vegetable oil for shortening? i.e. Cook stuff in the frying pan.?
    What is the difference?

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  19. I second Michelle’s statement about olive oil EXCEPT What are you frying? If it’s something like round steak or fried chicken you will want to use Canola or vegetable oil. (Guess I would call that deep frying) When frying meats or battered vegetables you will want enough oil in the pan to cover whatever it is you are frying.

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  20. Thanks for the help. I have some of both. I don’t know how I got it, I suspect DIL.
    But I didn’t know if I can fry some eggs, or something else with it. It’s all I have.

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  21. Then use it but very sparingly. Just a tablespoon or so to cover the bottom of the pan and keep the eggs from sticking. I usually use non stick spray for that.

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  22. I only use olive oil – it is one of the few cooking oils for which there is solid evidence that it is good for you. Other oil fads come and go – olive oil has been around for thousands of years. It is an acquired taste for many people however, due to its distinctive taste. My mother blends olive oil with butter – it makes the butter spreadable without having to keep it on the counter. At first, eldest sibling-in-law didn’t like the taste, now he wouldn’t eat anything else, and the same with his children, who tend to be more selective in their tastes like him.

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  23. I use olive oil, butter, and bacon grease. And coconut oil. Husband uses Canola and Vegetable interchangeably.

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  24. I don’t use either one anymore. We’ve only been using olive oil and regular butter for years. My husband always fries eggs with butter.

    I have a mental block about anything with cocoanut, even though I know the oil is supposed to be good for you. Something about shredded cocoanut from my youth is all I can figure.

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  25. It does not at all taste like coconut to me.

    Thanks to Michelle, I have been getting out and getting yard work prep done. Today was the first time out with a mower and I went with the reel mower in the park. It went beautifully and fifteen year old was so envious, she took the other reel mower up and mowed along the driveway. She said the grass made her feel good. I said, it does that.

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  26. Mumsee, because canola and vegetable oil is all that I know that I have.
    I don’t know how it got into the kitchen. I didn’t buy it. So DIL must have bought it sometime.
    I could have asked her, but she is in Charlotte.
    And it didn’t occur to me, until this last instance, that there is no such thing as local-long distance phone calls anymore.

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  27. Chas, different oils have different temps they can tolerate. I don’t remember which is which though I think peanut oil goes in the high temps. Olive oil is a lower heat one and canola or vegetable oil are in the middle.

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  28. Let’s talk concrete.

    And how guys (my neighbor in this case) are always second guessing how other guys are doing projects — what equipment they’re using, etc.

    There are now 2 parallel cuts running down my driveway — a bit off center but when I brought that up with regard to the aesthetics, Real Estate Pal howled (in a good-natured, teasing way) about how I’m always worried about everything except the problem at hand. Besides, he says it’ll look more artistic to have the pavers off center.

    Anyway, everyone, including me, is finished for the day. Since I had an interview to do near home at 2 p.m., I was able to write from home afterwards.

    Carol called to say she she’s requested another roommate change (again) & is gathering up information in order to move (again because she feels strongly it’s God’s will for her to do that as she’s unhappy where she is) and that she might also take a Greyhound bus trip to Texas.

    I’m just trying to get to Wednesday.

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  29. The weather prediction for tomorrow in Atlanta, Birmingham, and Columbia sounds rough. I canceled the scheduled WMU meeting at church. I worked a good bit of today preparing for the program. I just don’t want the older ladies out driving under the threat of a tornado.

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