Friday, July 30, 2010

Feel Good Friday: Travelling

It's another Feel Good Friday -- and I'm travelling again! Actually this time, I've already arrived. Dh and I drove to the Blue Ridge Mountains yesterday. We are staying in a great cabin called Chocolate Moose. And yes there are moose (mooses?) everywhere decor-wise. Thankfully the moose head above the fireplace is a cute, plush moose and not the remains of a previously live one!


Of course I forgot the cord that connects the camera to the computer, so pictures will have to wait until I get home.


Anyway here's my list for Feel Good Friday. Hope your day is great!


1. A beautiful drive through eastern TN and northern GA with my dh yesterday.


2. Fun times and lunch with 2 of my bff's on Wednesday.


3. More song lyrics -- The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.


4. Writing and drawing with markers on "slick" paper. I don't know WHY this makes me so happy, but it does!


5. A tour of the Mayfield Dairy followed by a scoop of their delicious Banana Split Ice Cream.


I wish I had pictures to post, but I'll add them later!


Today's Feel Good Friday is brought to you by 29 and Holding.


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for . . . 

1. A message on the benefits of confession and sharing with fellow servants.
2. Breakthroughs and realizations.
3. Good friends to have fun and serious times with.
4. A planned weekend away with my dh and friends.
5. My therapist.
6. Intelligence and the ability to articulate my thoughts and feelings. 
7. My son and his girlfriend who make me laugh with joy.
8. Creative hands provided by the ultimate Creator.
9. Balance.
10. Suffering/Recovery . . . life requires both.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!”
~ Psalm 100:4 (ESV)


Thankful Thursday is brought to you by Spiritually Unequal Marriage. 



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Fun Day

FOR TODAY as part of The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... it is sunny, hot and dry.

I am thinking... that we have a good weekend planned.

I am thankful for... breakthroughs.

From the learning rooms... German II, more ACT prep, & finishing up The Hobbit.

From the kitchen... a dirty refrigerator that calls for deep cleaning.

I am creating... a summer weight blanket from my fun flannel and a new summer tunic from my summer fabric stash.

I am going... to have fun today.

I am reading... A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle.

I am hoping... to complete my blanket today.

I am hearing... the washing machine cleaning my clothes for me.

Around the house... bathroom stuff is STILL EVERYWHERE!

One of my favorite things... feeling in balance with myself and the world.

Fabrics for my summer fun!




Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Heart Knowledge

July has been an intense month. I have been working through my childhood abuse for years. I've been told repeatedly (ad nauseum) the abuse was not my fault. No child is ever responsible for sexual abuse. I know this in my head. I forget it and have to remind myself, thus making me feel stupid and selfish.


For the past several weeks, I have been focusing on a rape that took place when I was 5 years old. It's been gut wrenching, and has brought on depression, sadness, lethargy, pain, and questioning my value. Today was the first day in a long while that I've seen some hope at the end of the tunnel.


I realize that he didn't rape me because I reminded him by asking what he wanted to show me. He had a plan from the beginning, and I had no power to change the outcome. She is just as bad. Doing nothing, when she knew full well what the plan was, may make her even more culpable.


One of the worst things people have said to me over the years is, "He/she must have been abused to have done that to you." I don't care what happened to the offenders. This is about me -- the child, the victim, the innocent. While I recognize in the big picture of life, offenders have their own set of traumas to deal with, that is not my concern now, and will most likely never be my focus. All of us have free will and we all have the same choices between good and evil. Circumstances are different -- socio-economic standing; family; support systems -- they are all factors. Ultimately a decision has to be made to continue the abuse; to continue to see people as objects; to continue to put others in harm's way. I chose to stop the pattern of abuse by not harming another.


So now I will continue to focus on healing, and hoping that my healing will help others address their own traumas. I can't make the abuse not have happened. All I can do is try to make something good come out of it. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fun Fabric Finds

I needed something happy to look at, so I pulled out some fun summer prints and I'm going to try a little "selfish" sewing.

What do you think?



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Friday, July 23, 2010

Feel Good Friday

** Chocolate ganache birthday cake for my son and his girlfriend -- their birthdays are 10 days apart.

** A mini crochet project completed. Just a washcloth, but quick and seriously cute!

** Caring reminders that there are more people out there who care about me than I think there are.

** Lyrics that struck a chord with me: 
Cause when we're torn apart -- Shattered and scarred -- Love has the grace to save us.

** Adorable light weight flannel on sale at Jo-Ann today.




Feel Good Friday is sponsored by The Girl Next Door Grows Up



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

Some weeks are better than others, but the trick seems to be to find that attitude of gratitude regardless of my current circumstances. This has been a rough summer in a lot of ways, but at the same time I have seen much personal growth. So for today's Thankful Thursday I want to acknowledge several things/people for which I am grateful.

First of all to my therapist. Seven and a half years ago, a friend suggested this lovely lady to me. She specializes in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder. She has been a boon to me from the first time I met her. She continues to guide me in my struggles with the abuse I suffered as a child. She is kind, compassionate, patient and encourages me to seek God in all things. What a blessing!

To my dd. She too has had a difficult summer, but through her struggles our entire family is learning about better communication, honesty and leaning on God. What a blessing!

My ds. He has had a terrific summer with his first real job and his lovely girlfriend. I am so grateful for the fun and love he brings to my daily life. What a blessing!

To my dh who even after 25 years of marriage (this August) is still learning about me and willing to roll with the punches. It's just an added plus that he STILL makes me laugh and STILL has marvelous blue eyes and an adorable derriere. What a blessing!

Finally to the blogging universe. My need to talk, share and connect is a hard one for me to address at times. I have a strong tendency toward a hermit lifestyle. Reading and writing blogs has opened up my life in so many ways. So thanks to all the bloggers I regularly read and to those who read my blogs. What a blessing!


Thankful Thursday is brought to you by Spiritually Unequal Marriage. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Study, Part 1b

(warning: adult content)

He grabs my upper arms and tosses me on the floor. I'm 5 years old and small for my age. He is a college senior -- engaged, pre-med, heading to medical school where he will ultimately become a neurologist and psychiatrist. I don't know what is happening. I inhale and prepare to scream. He clamps his left hand over my mouth. There is fumbling around my panties. I feel his belt buckle and the teeth of his zipper. Suddenly there is something hot and hard being pressed against me where my panties should be. IT HURTS! He pushes again and again. He is making sounds, maybe saying something. I can't understand him. I can't see his face. She has turned her back to me (us). It seems to go on forever. I try to get away, but it hurts worse if I move, so I stop. Eventually something changes. He stops moving and all of his weight is on me. I am sweating. I am scared. I am alone. He pushes up on his hands and looks at me. He smiles at me, but it is not a happy smile. Then he licks the right side of my face. He  pushes himself off of me and walks away. He is whistling. He seems happy. She turns around and looks at me. She is crying. I don't know why. He didn't hurt her!

I hear water running in the bathroom and more whistling. He comes out and tosses a towel to her. "Clean her up," he says and walks away. He doesn't look back. She wipes me off and wipes up the rug. She tells me to go wash my face. I go to the bathroom and rub cold water on my face. When I come out, she is gone too. I am alone.


I told know one. I had no words to describe what had happened. How is it that no one noticed?






Friday, July 16, 2010

Meet My Friend, Yolie


Today's Feel Good Friday is a picture of one of my "best friends".




This is Yolie. Yolie is a bunny who used to live at The Discovery Store, but on the day we met, she decided to come home and live with me. My life as been so much better since Yolie came to stay. 


Yolie has been on many trips with my dh and me -- San Diego (even to the zoo!), New York (to the top of the Empire State bldg.), Gatlinburg (hiking), Georgia, Destin (although she's not a beach bunny), and to Austria! She loves to travel.


Yolie is named after Jane Yolen. Ms Yolen is a fine children's writer who has done much "research" on the world of fairies. Yolie has an affinity for fairies, hence the name choice.


So that's my Feel Good Friday. Do you have a special friend you share your life with?


Feel Good Friday is sponsored by The Girl Next Door Grows Up







Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thankful Thursday

For today I borrowed (with permission) from a friend's blog. Dot is a retired minister who spends her days writing, doing needlework, and generally making people smile. Visit her blog, dot's spot, to see more of her work.

. . . thought of the invisible work that stitches up the world day and night,
the slow, unglamorous work of healing, . . .

"Invisible Work," by Alison Luterman
from The Largest Possible Life (2001)


Sitting on the sofa, deep in conversation,
and stroking the sleeping dog lying alongside.

Listening to Loreena's voice soaring
as I sink deeper and deeper into sleep.

Watching Ken Burns tell his mammoth stories,
as I work geometric shapes with the needle on the canvas.

Hugs from my grandchildren,
delicious buffet laid out by my son-in-law.

The love of family,
connection with friends.

So many quiet joys
that I too often neglect.

How can I forget the good stuff
that fills my life?

Those small flashes of happiness,
too often ignored,
too many complaints,
not enough thanksgivings.

Life is good.
Remember that.




Thankful Thursday is brought to you by Spiritually Unequal Marriage. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More from the The Study

(Warning: adult content)


I was misled. I was manipulated under false pretenses. Promises were made and broken. I was devalued, dishonored, humiliated, physically and emotionally abused. 


Good words, but they don't come close to describing the intensity of the trauma. I was a happy five year old. Snacking off the leftovers from the buffet. He offered to show me something in the study. She followed. He asked what my favorite item was on the desk. I told him Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. I showed him how they rode around on their horses and "tilted" at windmills. There should be a windmill on the desk, and it should be leaning. A five year old's interpretation of Cervantes. 


She stands with her back against the wall, next to the French doors. As I complete my explanation of Don Quixote, it occurs to me that he was going to show me something. I turn to him and remind of his promise. "You said you were going to show me something." (If I hadn't reminded him, it wouldn't have happened.) He grabs me by the upper arms and puts me on the floor. I don't know what is happening. I take in a breath to scream, but he slaps his left hand over my mouth. She turns her back on me and looks out the French doors. 


He pulls at my panties with his right hand. I feel the cold metal of the his belt buckle and the metal teeth of his zipper. There is pain. I am terrified. 


I don't want to think about this any more. I can't breathe. I know it happened over 40 years ago, but the fear is tangible and fully present. I must escape from the memory at least for a while, before I can finish. 







Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook -- July 13

FOR TODAY as part of The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... it is rainy and MUCH cooler.

I am thinking... about dinner company tomorrow night.

I am thankful for... a roof that doesn't leak.

From the learning rooms... German II and more ACT prep.

From the kitchen... an empty refrigerator that calls for a trip to the grocery.

I am creating... much in my head, but nothing in reality.

I am going... to talk today.

I am reading... The Killing Floor by Lee Child.

I am hoping... for this strange fever to go away!

I am hearing... doggie toenails on the wooden floor.

Around the house... bathroom stuff EVERYWHERE! We are demo-ing before a re-do.

One of my favorite things... feeling productive.

Here's a picture my dd sent me from her recent visit to Lincoln's home. She knows I like tea sets. 


Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday, July 5th Daybook

FOR TODAY as part of The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... my hosta are done blooming and looking a little parched.

I am thinking... about perceptions.

I am thankful for... (I'm having trouble with this one today)

From the kitchen... zucchini is calling -- Chocolate Zucchini Bread I think.

I am creating... the borders for my 1st Quilt Ever this week.

I am going... to swim, run errands and clean house.

I am reading... The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs.

I am hoping... to shake off this downturn I've been struggling with.

I am hearing... the sound of my husband scrubbing the bonus room floor = gratitude + guilt.

Here's a picture of the quilt I'm hoping to work on this week!


Friday, July 2, 2010

The Study, Part 1

(Warning: adult content)

When I was a little girl, my father's study was sacrosanct. The room was paneled in knotty pine. There were floor to ceiling bookcases, a fireplace and a huge desk that my grandfather had built. The supports for the desk top were bookcases, so that the desk top seemed to be floating on top of books. It was a wonderful desk to hide under. Natural light was provided by two corner windows butting up against each other in the midst of the floor to ceiling bookcases, and by a pair of French doors that looked out onto the patio. My mother had made fitted curtains for the doors from an early American print. The print was primarily red, gold and orange, so the room tended to have a muted golden glow to it.

My sister and I were allowed limited play time in the study. We were not allowed to touch the things on the desk or move the books around. There were things on the desk and bookcases that I strongly associate with my father -- an ebony carved letter opener, wooden carvings of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, a bronze engraved bowl and matching candlesticks, and a marble pen holder with a fountain pen and a ballpoint pen. My father always used a fountain pen, so the ballpoint pen was rarely touched. Oddly, he also kept reminders of his father on or in the desk. My grandfather was a carpenter, so my dad had his extension ruler, flat pencil, and plumb line. When my sister and I played church (which we did often because my father was a preacher), we always used the study for the sanctuary.

When I was five, my parents had a party. My father was a college professor as well as a minister. He tended to bond with his students in a big way, especially the guys. He connected with them in a way he never connected with his own children. It was an early evening in late summer. I don't remember how many people were there. This was the mid to late 60's, so the guys were in khakis and oxford cloth button down shirts, and the girls were mostly in little dresses -- miniskirts, but not too mini, because they attended a private Christian college. People were coming and going in and out of the house. Mostly people were on the patio. Dinner was over and things were relaxed and conversational. Somehow I wound up in the house and somehow he did too. I've never figured it all out, but this much I do remember.

He is one of Dad's favorites. Pre-med; witty; clever with words; from a good family. He is engaged and will soon be heading off to med school. One of my dad's big success stories. His girlfriend and he take me into my dad's study. She stands with her back to me and keeps looking out of the French door curtains. He gets me on the floor. He is on top of me. There is fumbling around my panties. I feel the metal of his belt buckle and zipper. He has his left hand over my mouth. I don't understand what he is doing, but it hurts. This is bad -- secretive -- furtive. I don't know how or why this is happening. His hair is sandy brown and wavy. When he finishes, he licks the right side of my face and gets up. There is a half bath off the study, and he goes into it whistling. I hear water running. I hear him laughing. Then they leave.

I suppose I got up off the floor and went back to the party, but I have no memory of it. I suppose she was there as a look out, but I can't prove it. Several years ago I tried to contact her to see if she could help me understand things. She refused to communicate with me. There is a great deal of supposing that goes along with these memories.

I know these events still cause me emotional and physical pain today. I know that I would make it all be a lie if I could. I know that I can't. So instead, I tell myself that it wasn't my fault. That it all happened long ago. But I still wonder, why did it happen and why do I keep remembering.