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neuter

Im thinking that might be a cringe worthy word. You can almost not say it without grimacing. I had my dog neutered this week. I have this inflatable cone thing on him and he is still stoned. I took him to a discount place and it was a little like a fast food restaurant. The cattle call to bring them in was interesting. The dogs all trying to bark with dominance. The throaty barks turning to a whine as they are lead to the genitalia guillotine. They have the dogs come in one by one, and each one does the same thing. You are expected to return exactly on time. They give discharge instructions en masse. So, 30 of us standing around trying not to look guilty. We all know we have eliminated any chance of procreation in our pets. We have paid a masked person to yank off parts that each of us hold dear. Eye contact is help to a minimum. Each pet is brought out one by one. I am second to last.  I was 2 minutes late and almost had to wear the cone of shame. Each pet came out. Each owner looked apologetic at their pet. The tech showed the owner the surgical site and a tattoo indicating the procedure. In her mind, I am sure, she screamed, “look at what you paid for! See this tattoo, it is the permanent mark of your shame.”

We are given the instructions. In the distance, there is high pitched barking and puppy horror as they realize they have no balls. I commented on the high pitched barking, no one got it. That or they didn’t realize how funny that is. Dexter G. Smalls (that’s my dog’s name) trotted out, ears folded back. He peed on the floor and flashed his tattoo like it was a naked mud flap woman. He trotted to the truck, jumped in and sat in his seat.  I got in, started the car and started to drive home. As soon as we pulled out of the parking lot, he glanced back to make sure no one could see him, I assume, and whined the whole way home.

Ive spent the day pondering my life. Ive looked at the successes, like two wonderful children. Ive looked at my failures, like staying in a loveless marriage way to long. I spent time thinking about the last few years since the divorce. It has been some of the greatest ups and downs of my life. I was neutered by my ex. She made sure the kids despised me. She hid money, tried to starve me out. She pushed away my family from her and my kids. It was a brutal time for me. I had made serious mistakes. I had blown it, but no one deserves that. The friends and family we had, shied their eyes from me. They stopped talking to me. They said some of the most horrendous things. It was a game for her. She tried to sell my deceased mother’s wedding dress for one dollar. She then exposed my underside. “See this tattoo” I looked back and made sure no one could see and cried. I did it again today. I cried about the missing time. I cried about losing myself and not feeling like I was enough to get out rather than screw up the marriage. I cried because I couldn’t figure out how to defend myself. I dried thinking of friends that couldn’t stay. I cried. I also cried in celebration. I celebrated that I had kept moving forward. I cried because I stayed sober. I cried because I persevered. I cried because I never stooped to the mean and petty actions I thought about. I cried because I maintained my integrity. I cried because I never lied about my culpability.

Both Dexter and I will be ok. We just have to know that those testicles that we thought were so important don’t define us.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2019 in divorce, life, Uncategorized

 

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when

I have a new question I am going to ask. “When?” or maybe, “How often?” I used to ask “what kind?” or “what does that mean to you?” But it has served to burn me. I will admit, it is because I have assumed and expected more out of people when they pronounce themselves “Christian. ” What I think that means has no baring on what they think it means. I have tried to understand what that means to them. I have spent time studying and considering. I have prayed, meditated, thought good thoughts, delivered to the wind, offered a sacrifice (no animals were harmed in the making of this blog,) and still I have been unable to understand the inner workings of the soul or mind of another individual. when

I have been amazed at the vindictive, child like behavior of professional people I have been around. They profess to follow Christ and it seems to be an after thought in dealing with the outside world. I know I sound judgmental, but I have been blindsided more than once. My question will change. From now on, when people speak about a spiritual journey, I am going to ask, “When?” Is this a journey that you carry on for an hour every Sunday and Wednesday? Is this a journey that you carry on only at work, and then kick the dog at home? Is this a fair weather Faith journey? When things are good, there is a God and when bad, God hates you? Is this a journey that feels foreign when you are trudging it or when you aren’t? I am not seeking to condemn you, but rather to understand. images

I also understand I can never see someone else’s True Self. I know we are born with a God Spark, a light all our own. We are born beloved children of God. We are a reflection of God who dwells in all of us. We shine through with God from within. However, our False self develops. It hides. It hurts. It protects. It survives. IT is the image we show. It is the smile that cracks, the laugh that strains. It is the tears un-shed. It is the wall. Most don’t ever expose their True self, even to themselves. Most don’t ever have the opportunity to be vulnerable with another individual and deeply trust. We don’t share our light un-filtered. We use our defenses as a lamp shade to shield the glaring light.

My question has changed. When? When will you be free? When do you share your light? When are you on your spiritual journey. When?

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in faith, journey, Uncategorized

 

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color the marsh mellow

I want, I need, Im doing the work, Im baby stepping.

I want a participation trophy. I want an honorable mention, I want a pat on the back, an “atta boy”. trophy

You see, I have been tying my own shoes for nearly 45 years. I have even taught other people this magnificent talent. I have passed on the dexterity and desire to have a bow on the shoes. I would like some admiration for this. And then there is this learning to walk thing. I remember clapping and cheering when each of my daughters learned to walk. With my youngest daughter, she has some motor delay and I teared up when she walked with her braces in place. They are teenagers now and it has been years since I cheered about them walking. I cannot remember once being told that I was doing a good job strolling.

And what is the deal with underwear? When I kept my big boy underwear dry for a full day, there was much rejoicing. I am sure that I have kept them dry for many days and not a single celebration has commenced. When I learned to use the potty, my mom would give me little colored marsh mellows if I pooped on the potty. I cant even find colored marsh mellows anymore. potty

I spent a lifetime wanting to hear the applause. I needed to hear I was ok, admirable, appreciated, attractive. I longed for the external feedback. Who I was and my worth were completely based on the marsh mellows that I would be rewarded with. If I couldn’t find them or see them in my hand, I deflated.

I lived this way through a marriage, through addiction, through childhood and into adulthood. There came a moment in time that the Universe echoed my mom when I protested not getting my sugary treat at age 12, “Sometimes pooping is its own reward.” I had to learn that I wasnt passing on knowledge or skills or talents to get applause, but because it was its own reward. I had related to someone, I had shared myself. I had to learn not lying around in the muck and waste of difficulties of the past allowed me to flourish, to grow. I had to see that cheering on those I loved was much more rewarding then begging for reinforcement. I had to learn that the gift was to feel the reward and to cherish the insides. I had to live into self and let the God within me to shine out. marsh

I still miss colored marshmellows

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in life, Uncategorized

 

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the hero inside

She doesn’t wear a cape.  Well, I don’t think she wears a cape. She might wear a cape. Lets go with she might wear a cape. She has always had my affection and admiration. I was always a fan of hers. I cheered at the victories, mourned at the tragedies. However, I was always a fan, with or without a cape. cape

My response was simple, even inadequate. I said that it was the hero story we all wished we had.

She was on a date. Her first date with this gentleman caller. They went to the trampoline park. Going to a trampoline park on a first date is grounds for hero status independently. However, that is not what did it for me. There was another guy there. He was picking on the younger kids. He said lewd and inappropriate things. She approached him. She stood tall, all 5 foot 2 inches of her. She coiled her frame, all 110 pounds of it. She calmly said, “Please leave those kids alone.”

The insecure and lost boy echoed poor parenting and generations of hate. He barked sexual slurs. He railed against the coming of the light.

She spoke firmly and advised him that he had one chance to change what he was saying. He didn’t. Like a spring, like a warrior, like a protector, like a fierce woman, she broke his nose, like a hero. thank-you

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2017 in children, journey, Uncategorized

 

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Wonder Wheel

It starts like any other day. The first alarm goes off and I swipe my phone to silence it. I am not sure why I have this alarm set anymore. I started with it thinking I could get up early and go to the gym on the way to work. It sounded like a great idea when the light started at 430 am. I am in North Idaho and, in the summer, the days are very long.  It has become painfully obvious, it is not like that in the winter. However, the alarm taunts me. I must enjoy the teasing because I don’t cancel it. However, there is something very rewarding about getting to go back to sleep and feeling like you stole an hour. I struggle out of bed. I have fleece sheets and this miracle blanket from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It is fantastic, but glues me to the bed every morning. There is a cost: benefit ratio I have to accept every time I go to bed. I have chosen wisely. Once out of the vortex of comfort, I spin the mood wheel. My mood wheel is somewhat like the wheel of fortune wheel. It clicks away with various moods and attitudes on it. The mood spins and I imagine the crowd going crazy. I stand there and think about trying to accept Drew Carey as a substitute for Bob Barker and how unlikely a succession that was.  wheel

Drew then says, ” ok you have landed on 25% sour. Do you want to stay with that or spin again?  If you go over a dollar, you will feel totally overwhelmed all day long, an emotional basket case.  I feel a need to remind you of last Tuesday.” I am eager to not feel sour today, even 30% sour. I am looking for an attitude adjustment, a mood lift. I spin again. The crowd groans as they were rooting for a sour day. “Misery loves company, ” Drew murmurs. anguish

The wheel clicks ferociously and slows to a crawl. It is maddening to hear. The anticipation is thrilling and torturous. The crowd noise swells and dims as various emotions and attitudes flit by. It reaches a fever pitch as vengeful crests the top of the wheel. I gulp, 100% vengeful and 30% sour, I will be pissed and overwhelmed. I begin to worry as worry appears on the wheel. It is a worn out square, grooved from the frequency of the wheel stopping there. I let out an exasperated sigh as I thought I had finished with worry. Close behind worry was resentful. The crushing reality that my sour mood could lead to resentment and consume me into vengence and disquieted plagued my thoughts. I could feel the emotions as they clicked by. They choked me and overwhelm me. Each one I lamented and reflected. It was as if each square illuminated on my soul. It clawed at me. The wheel slowed to a stop. I couldn’t bring myself to look up. I feared the results. I shuddered to think I was doomed to boring and glum at best, and engulfed in anger at its worst. Drew said I should see this. He stammered. I looked up. Slowly. I read the square and read it again. I blinked away the tears. My breath quickened as my heart pounded.

The square said, “Free to choose.” And the wheel vanished. free

 

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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sing it, Love

I do not sing. I have tried to play the piano, guitar, and sax. I have watched countless singing shows and I discovered Train before they were popular. However, my musical acumen consists only of turning on and off the stereo. It is simply not my gift. I have tried to steal it from others, or slip in the circus tent pretending I belong with the musical people. It just isn’t a match. music-1

These are the reasons I am uncertain why I have become encumbered with a certain preoccupation. I have often thought life would be much easier if we all had theme songs. Perhaps even songs that played in the background to remind us it is a scary or pivotal time in our lives. IT would be great to hear, “You are my Sunshine,” softly playing in the background when you are with someone that touches your heart and soul. Or the “Jaws” theme when you are in danger of an ass chewing at work.

I have been preoccupied with hearing peoples theme song. I think people’s soul sings a tune. I have met people that seem to exude different songs. The turmoil that comes from a soul belting out grunge music is undeniable.

I’ve always wanted to have the soul of a Jack Johnson song. It would be like someone is just comfortable and grooving. They would be answering questions about life and feeling mellow about the answers. I used to try and have the soul of a hair band. I wanted to be cool and dangerous. My soul chaffed with the leather pants and rejected the mullet hair transplants. Sadly, I was never going to be that cool. It is ok, I couldn’t tear the sleeves off my shirts or cut my jeans anyway. My mom said no.

I fit into the 80’s alternative bands for awhile. I brooded and was mysterious. My soul sang of superficial things in a deep way. It was as if my soul was stoned, thinking it had unbundled deep secrets about the universe only to discover that everyone knew that cookie dough was uncooked cookies. The techno beat clattered on.

I tried to fit into the rap scene, but I have just spent too many years trying to keep my underwear hidden. To this day when my underwear shows, I can hear my childhood friends taunting, “I see London, I see France, I see Theran’s underpants…” The baseball hat with the flat brim would also be difficult. I have spent several hours wetting, shaping, even rubber banding the brim of my hat to be perfectly suited for cool and sun protection for my peripheral vision, lest a marauding gang tries to usurp my turf, dance fighting like a Michael Jackson “Beat it” video. music-2

I decided I wanted to be really cool and decided to treat my soul to blues songs. My soul would wear a fedora, even smoke cigars. Again, my soul seemed to reject this. It got a rash and a nasty smokers cough.

There was a period of time it was the whiny boy music. I lamented all the time. I saw no hope, no future, no love. I have heard the inner music of break-up songs. I have felt alone and isolated. I have felt the insurmountable challenges. I have heard the depressing beats and the dark tunes. I have heard the motivating songs of Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger.” I have surged with power and giggled about irony. I have danced and leapt to the songs that delighted my soul. I have felt the love. I have been touched by the caring and vulnerability. I have communicated and sang the same song as the person next to me. Our souls dancing, our hearts lifted.

Sing a song for me. sing-3

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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training day

“I can’t, I am in training.”

Its my new excuse for everything. Recently, I remembered that we call medical careers, practice. It isn’t very reassuring to think that really we are just practicing on you. “Boy, I hope this goes better then yesterday,” is just not something you want to hear when you are worried about a pimple on your butt, or any number of other ailments. We doctors don’t have offices, we have dugouts. After appointments, we rush to our dugout for the next pep talk for the next appointment. We don’t really take notes, we are musing over how many times this has gone wrong in the last few days.

We started using medical gowns to keep you off balance. They used to be pretty lavish and it wasn’t working to dissuade the questions and google searches, so the back was removed. We figured that even if you were right, if your  butt was showing, perhaps it would shorten the conversation. All across the nation, we upped our game to paper gowns when that stopped working. Please don’t push this. I have been told that in Germany, they don’t use gowns at all–just saying. hospital-gown

I just came from ground rounds. After we make sure that everyone there is from a medical practice, we giggle about some of the things we do to avoid conversation. We surrendered to the insurance companies and scramble to comply with some silly guideline and goal. We even hire nasty people to be in charge of provider networks to make it harder to do anything related to medicine. Instead, we have all these benchmarks, paperwork, and formularies. If we spend 30-40% of our time doing mounds of silly paperwork, then we don’t have to look you in the face in that silly paper gown.The meeting today was about a network through an insurance company. I was impressed that the administrator was able to hold a straight face saying that the benchmarks and paperwork were used to help the patient. I was amazed that she spoke of cost savings as she dangled her Lexus keys and wore a 500 dollar pant suit. adminIt hit me in the gut when she kept saying “we” when she talked about providing care as she has no medical experience at all. I estimated the cost of medical care increases in the last decade and mandatory insurance cost. I thought about the 2.2 Trillion dollars that were added to the budget and the actual DECREASED amount spent on patient care. I think this is payback for making government officials wear paper gowns.

I personally have decided to say I cant fill out anymore silly benchmark or paperwork or medication request. I am resorting to my excuse, “I can’t, I’m in training.” When they come to the office to get me to sign, I will tell the administrator to put on a paper gown and wait in the waiting room. If you happen to see them there, make sure to ask them about the latest benchmark as it might improve your health care.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2017 in life, Uncategorized

 

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