Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sunday Morning Freewrite

I live a very happy life. The last week has been so lovely. I guess I can go back to a great Anniversary on the 21st. We hiked Basket Slough National Wildlife Refuge, went for lunch in McMinnville (It was supposed to be a French feast, but the person who said they had an opening and recorded our reservation must have been new because we got there only to find that they are closed for lunch on Saturdays). Then we saw Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, any excuse to see Colin Firth in a movie is a good one. 

The week was good with a visit from one of our Kingdom Community grads who has been in Central Asia for two years. There was such soul-touching stuff. We love him so much. 


Monday I did a freewrite and talked about this class I teach. The same student did some over-the-top things that made me realize that this is not a class I want to continue to teach. I will no longer be disrespected by someone. I am done. So I wrote a good letter, but I have not heard back. I would like to be a long-term sub for classes there. We will see. 


After this negative experience, Nancy took me out for an early birthday lunch. It was lovely, and I am realizing I do best with face-to-face time on almost a daily basis. I love one on one time with people, and that is something that I did not get as much of when I was busy with the Renovaré Institute. I loved the Institute, but it is just not "my jam" for growth. I did write a letter to my small group, and the responses have been so lovely and gracious. I think I made a very good decision. So many of them do not have the option for deep face-to-face community, but I have it in spades here in Corvallis. I realize from the Institute how truly blessed I am in every way. 


The rest of the day was spent setting up my remote desktop for my new job. The IT guy was so great. I am grateful for all the positive people in my life. I do not want the negativity of the person in the class I am teaching. 


Tuesday was not a very productive day. I had a free day, but I did not use the time very wisely, and I am not sure why. I just had no motivation or energy. I also did not have many goals. You see, I am not used to having free days! I had one for the first time last Friday, and I was a machine, getting so many projects done that I had put off for months. Tuesday came, and I had not really thought through what I wanted to do. I did read a bit though, and that is good. I just needed to be more active, but it was hot. I did not walk before it got hot. So that was my big mistake.


Wednesday was delightful in class because the lady was NOT there. I still don't think that this is the best environment for me though. I just don't feel comfortable there. I cannot put my finger on it. The lady is obvious, but the rest is more subtle. After class, I changed, ate lunch and did Dial a Book. All my patrons but one was there and wanted to talk. So it took me much longer than usual, almost two hours! After this, I went to see Mindy. I had not gotten together with her for months. One on one talking is my thing. I must remember that! Face-to-face talking. I so look forward to doing that again. I think I read on Wednesday night.


Thursday was a very fun day. It was free. I Skyped with Elizabeth and was supposed to Skype with Fran, but her husband was being wheeled into surgery. Liver cancer. Not good. I had something else that did not pan out, but I cannot remember, but I had a back up. I listened to Les Miserables and cleaned the fridge! I also read my book club book. I also did some communication with everyone I needed to talk to.  On Thursday night, George came home, and we had a late family birthday dinner at Eat and Treats. I love my family. I love our harmony and all the laughter. 


Friday was my FUN birthday - Up early for time with God (that is a given), biked to breakfast with my BFF, Kim, biked back and tried to look at an iPhone but T-Mobile was so busy. Then George and I went together to buy my present: Apple Watch at the Simply Mac store and an iPhone at T-Mobile. I would have loved to keep my old iPhone, but it just would not hold its charge, and the guy did diagnostic and said that even a new battery was not going to help me. So I wish I had done this BEFORE France because I think it would have helped in picking up their network, but I digress. Anywho. Then we drove up to Portland for a good French dinner (the manager was a little snooty but our waiter was very nice) and a 2 1/2 hour sunset boat ride in a 1939 Christ Craft boat with George's friend, Seth, down the Willamette River from the Portland Rowing Club in Sellwood to the Steel bridge and back.  There was even a blood moon. HEAVEN! We drove back late and listen to Les Miserables. 



Saturday - we walked and talked and George did yard work. I puttered at home while the boys and George shopped. Then we were at Elise and Isaiah wedding from 3:30-10:00. :) 

Sweet week! 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Monday Morning Freewrite

I am here for another freewrite. I woke up this morning. I did not look at the clock thinking it was much later. I thought I might fall back asleep, but I did not and got up and noticed the clock said 3 am! I do love my early mornings though. The candle is burning, and I am at peace.

I only have two things that were hard this month. One is that the jury is still out whether I am the right fit for this Pilates class I am teaching. I have a wide range of ages, and I taught the exercises slowly in order for them to learn correct form, but that was too slow for some in the class who are younger. When I teach 20 somethings at OSU, I start slow too, but they know that we will progress. By the end, I am very fast-paced with fun and upbeat music. I cannot do upbeat music because people there are hard of hearing and do not like the music too loud.  (One lady being very vocal and critical which does not make for a fun teaching experience.) When you have an open class, there are always new people. I have decided to teach a bit more quickly this week. I am just not sure this is a club that advocates proper Pilates technique. Courthouse Fitness is all about technique, and they only teach classical Pilates. As far as I can tell, I am the only person who teaches classical at this club, and it is obvious the people there are not used to it. I don't want to change a culture. I might just ask if I can sub there and not teach the regular class because I am not sure the people there are ready for such a change. It is not bringing me much joy, and I dread teaching it. I am usually OK at the end, but it is not something I look forward to like my OSU classes.

The other thing was something that got resolved, but it regards someone who pretty much ignored me on their most recent visit. I expressed some disappointment, and there was flat denial. "Of course, you are a good friend!" I took that for what it was worth, but actions speak louder than words. I readjusted to the new enlightened observations about our friendship and let it go, but it did not help that that person talked to others about my expression of disappointment when I thought it was a private conversation. 

Here is the deal: I am blessed with many good friends. So I know that I do not need to be greedy about having more. I am content with the good friendships I have, and I released that person of any expectations in the future. The truth is that I had very little time for that person while they were here, and that time was filled with the friends who initiated with me prior to coming and made me a priority on their visit to Oregon. I went deep with a few, and my cup overflows as a result. So I am good. It was just rocky for about 20 hours with a pretty sleepless night after hearing that person had talk to others. I had to let that go, and I did. I am moving on in light of the new information. You know better. You do better.

When you think about it, only two things difficult in the last month makes for a pretty good month! It is just that the Pilates thing is something I am going to have to come to some kind of resolution with as I don't HAVE to teach anything. I don't need the money. I would love the extra time. Thinking about being a sub in that class might be a better option. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Saturday Morning Freewrite

Every morning, I recall the previous day in the Prayer of Examen developed by Ignatius of Loyola. So, I thought I would write about my day here instead.

Yesterday, I woke up at 4:40. I thought it would be a good day to fast. I was to do it for the July Praxis Exercise for Renovaré Institute, but I only did 3/4ths of a day, but yesterday I had a FULL FREE FRIDAY. Actually, I am doing a FULL FRIDAY TO FRENCH FEAST FAST because:

1) I love alliterations (everyone knows that about me)
2) I find that I enjoy food SO much more if I have fasted prior to it. The flavors usually pop! So, today is my anniversary, and we are going to Bistro Maison, a French restaurant in McMinnville! 

Y
esterday turned out to be a FUN day with God. I didn't necessarily sit and journal and pray the whole day (but I did for much of the morning, but that is what I do every morning). I walked and prayed and also tidied up the house (master closet mess, kitchen, clothing drawers). 

I need to have HOME days at least once a week. I had a few HOME days in early July, but they were taken up with my Women's Fitness Specialist Exam (59/60 by the way) and my Academic and Praxis papers for the Renovaré Institute and were not TOTALLY free days because there was always SOMETHING I hadto do. Yesterday was nothing! Absolutely nothing, and that was so good for my soul. I really am an introvert, and a very responsible, Type II Helper. So, I NEED recharging days totally alone where no one is calling on me for help or counting on me to get something done. (I did CHOSE to call Claire about next year's TOAG and Elizabeth afterward to follow up on the convo, but it was my choice.) 

I pressed the button on Wednesday night for my last Renovaré Institute obligation, and I did a happy dance. The assignments hung over me. It was not necessarily that I didn't like writing papers, but it came to a point where I realized I did not need to be doing papers for what I am already doing and practicing in my life. I see they are a nice accountability tool, but it was not what I wanted or needed to be doing with my limited time. It was always there in the background of what I "should" be doing and too much like having school rather than a something beneficial for my spiritual development. Ack!

So, I pressed the button and let go of the Renovaré Institute. Did I like it? YES! I loved the people who lead it. I loved many of the people who were in my cohort, but it is an online community with face-to-face contact 26 days out of 2 years of the Institute. I want to do life with others on a daily basis rather than online.  It was also mostly review (other than it leading me to the Spiritual Exercises). 

Anywho, after wonderful time with God, I listened to Just Call Me Lopez (see my review) as I puttered around the house and did things I have been putting off for months! FREEDOM to be home and enjoy home. I am so grateful for home! I MOVED all day (another thing that I did not like about the RI - lots of sitting and typing on discussion boards, writing papers, and reading so many books - sit, sit, sit.)

It has been a CLOSURE month on so many things:

1) TEETH TWISTS AND TURNS - 15 year journey through jaw surgery, bone grafts, teeth extractions, implants, and final prosthetic dentistry leading to beautiful smiles for both of our kids.

2) WOMEN's FITNESS SPECIALIST course for NASM

3) ADVANCED PILATES course for Power Pilates

4) TAC TEACHING finally started (process started in December)

5) RENOVARE INSTITUTE YEAR ONE DONE - I did not have to write the final papers for this course since I am stepping out, but I wanted to finish well. So this included Academic and Praxis papers with bibliographies totaling 20 pages, a three page Curriculum for Christlikeness, and a three page Project Prospectus (which I actually carried out in #6). 

I am so proud because I told my spiritual director I probably had another 40 hours of work on my papers, and she encouraged me to curtail that. So, I only spent 20 finishing them up. It helped that I had written the praxis paper as I did the praxis exercises during the Residency and after each monthly assignment. I also entered the references into my word processor as I read them through the last six months. That made referencing and compiling the bibliography quite quick. 

6) TOAG INTERNSHIP #6 concluded with a three day beach retreat. We talked about the Cycle of Grace and did the Prayer of Examen in triads of guys and girls. We also had exit interviews for all six, hiked to Cascade Head, and played games and Frisbee on the beach. 

7) UO NAVIGATOR REUNION - we have been planning since January, and it was so fun to see 61 people show up and be encouraged and blessed. I am still getting notes of thanks a week later. It went from Thursday when I picked Debbie up at the airport to Sunday when I dropped her off. Then Patty and Scott came down from Portland with us until Tuesday. We went out for dinner Sunday night, kayaking down the Willamette on Monday (seeing tons of bald eagles and their chicks learning to fly, ospreys diving for fish, and blue and green herons! They left on Tuesday afternoon. It was six days of Navigator Friend Fun! 

8) Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, Portland application completed and sent. (This is the new direction I am turning. I will get training in companioning others starting next July, but I wanted to do this with George and a couple of friends this year. I will also get spiritual direction training that also includes going through these with a group of eight, but the start of that is undetermined.) 

All of that was all in the first 19 days of July!

So yesterday was all the little things that I have neglected while doing this. I want to go back to being at home more and having people in my home. I miss sitting with women and listening to their stories. If I am going to sit, I would rather talk to them face to face rather than through a discussion board online! 

I am sure there is more that I could say, but I am going to get ready for my big DATE anniversary day!

26. Just Call Me Lopez: Getting to the Heart of Ignatius Loyola

It is a rare thing to have the luxury of a totally free day to read a book, but yesterday was that kind of day after many weeks of having no free home days (if I was at home, I was writing a paper or preparing for something). I put this on Kindle text-to-speech and listened to it all day as I cleaned out my closet by switching my summer clothes in and my winter clothes out, (Yes, a month into summer and I finally got around to doing that - that is how busy I have been.) straightening out my clothing drawers, cleaning up the kitchen, doing a load of laundry, and putting away all my piles! Heaven to get my house in order after many weeks of disarray.

At first I thought it was somewhat contrived, but I got into the flow of it, and I enjoyed hearing his story told to a 21st century woman on her own journey. The author put a human face to Ignatius of Loyola. 

I love the Spiritual Exercises, and it was fun to get to know the man behind them.

25. The Anatomy of the Soul by Curt Thompson, M.D.


This really was a FASCINATING read and probably like nothing you have ever read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is about the science behind soul care. He has little exercises to try at the end. I have the audiobook, but it would be nice to have the print version to refer to these exercises. 


Thursday, July 19, 2018

24. The Nazi Officer's Wife



I got the documentary and watched that before I read this book, and I was pleasantly surprised at how closely the documentary followed the book. So this ended up being a very quick read, and I polished it off in an afternoon and evening. It is fascinating! It is well-written and gives such a great first-hand account of a Jew in Vienna at the time of the Nazi occupation and what one does to survive.  

Thursday Freewrite Fifteen

Well here I go with a fifteen minute freewrite. I started one on Friday, and I am not sure what happened. I know my mother-in-law woke up, and we started chatting.

To say that July has been a whirlwind would be an understatement. Really, it has been a whirlwind since I finished classes at OSU because I had my day of prayer, grade posting, Micah's 30th, John and Katherine's wedding, went to France, and then returned to a friend visiting from Saudi Arabia, a memorial service, appointments for Paul's final tooth and veneer, the College World Series, starting a new Pilates class (and the jury is still out as to whether it is the best fit and brings me joy) and subbing for another. I also did a rough draft of my papers and met with Fran.

Then July came, and I did the Women's Fitness Specialist course in two days instead of a month. Then I did a two day Advanced Pilates intensive. Good thing the kids were sick for the 4th because that would have meant more! Then the day after the intensive, we did a three day retreat at the coast with our TOAG, came back for volunteering at the library and counseling with a dear distress woman. Then it was four days of  Debbie visiting and the UO Nav reunion and three days with Scott and Patty here in Corvallis afterward. Then, I FINISHED my papers yesterday, and at 7:40 today Paul finished our long 15 year teeth journey.

WHEW! I was going to go up with George to Portland, but I am going to concentrate on straightening up my home after NO days to really concentrate on making it a home. 

I have to talk with a girl about TOAG and a woman about internationals. Then I need to set up my remote account for my new job and send in our check for the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life Portland. I am excited about doing this with George and Andrew and Karina!

I also read two books for my book club because I had to get them back to a person and to the library. I had a great weekend, but there are a lot of things that I have to talk to Fran about, and I need to process that, which I think I will do! 

Well, now my time is up. I am over the moon to be done with the Women's Fitness Specialist, Advanced Pilates Course, and Renovare Institute. I will not return for the second year because I don't really need it for what God has called me to do. 

Bye for now. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

23. The Ghost Map

This was a fascinating look at a cholera epidemic in London in the 1800's. When my husband saw the book, he said he knew all about it because he is a statistician, and this is a famous study and graphic for explaining it! 

It was great, but the epilogue was so rambling and anti-climatic to such a great book! It was just the authors musings and ramblings about a variety of topics that threaten mankind. It was like it was a different book! 

Monday, July 02, 2018

Monday Morning Freewrite

Freewrite for fifteen GO!

The weekend was grand. I went on a date with George. So we are on about 20 weeks straight of dates. This has been so good for us to just sit down across from each other and talk. We were good before, but it has been a really good thing to do with him working up in Hillsboro and me working down here for so many years.

I subbed for a regular Pilates class Sunday afternoon, and it was really good. The women were obviously a little bit younger and fitter, so I asked them if they would mind doing Pilates on the ball, and it was so great to do. I was even a little sore this morning since I have not taught a ball class in about a month!

I also ran yesterday. Granted it was 60 seconds running followed by 90 seconds of walking, so I only ran about 9 or 10 minutes out of a 40 minute walk, but I know the latest research says that if you run for even 10 minutes twice a week, you will see heart benefits. I will have to look that up, but it was something like that. It felt good because my core is strong. I am going to give myself one more week of Gentle Pilates teaching and doing this little bit of running every week and then I am adding Group Power into the mix of everything. Then I just need to tamper my eating which I did do yesterday. 

In fact, there was no after dinner snacking because I fell asleep at about 7:30 with definite la la land at 8:30. What? I think I am really behind in my sleeping from France and am still catching up. I feel much better this week than I did last week though.

I need to finish my book Living Wisely with the Church Fathers in order to lead a book club discussion at 11 am at Betty's tomorrow! Ack! I only have 1 1/2 chapters to go. It has been OK to read, but it is a bit too academic for me. I think this is the one thing I would say about Renovare in general: they can be quite academic. I love the minds of these people, but I need a bit more relational and less academic. So, I am glad I am exiting. I am really glad. It has been a good ride. I still am writing my papers which will keep me busy through the end of July, but it had become more of a weight than a wing for me. I wish I could have found more soulmates there. I think I am always looking for soulmates, but I realize that I have them right here where I live, and I didn't need to go to Washington to find them. I do love Beth though. She has been great, and I am sure there were probably more soulmates in the group, but we are not given the space to explore that as our schedule is very academically packed with lectures. This was the most surprising thing for me. I really did not think it would be like that. I thought we would have more time to go off by ourselves and reflect, but it is very little time by yourself to reflect. Oh well. I should have investigated it more.  

I did wake up thinking, "I have to write those papers!" I want the weight off of me. July is pretty busy: Fourth of July, Advanced Pilates Training, Women's Fitness Specialist Exam studying, finishing up Renovare Book Club,  TOAG Retreat, Nav Reunion, Gentle Pilates Class at TAC and subbing every other Sunday, Paul's final procedures on his teeth (and two prep appointments), LeAnne and Jean, our anniversary, my birthday, and Elise and Isaiah's wedding. WOW it is a lot! 

But AUGUST is almost totally FREE! SO I am very happy to be done with Renovare for good and able to move on to other things. I have asked George to do the SEEL Retreat with me for next year. I am excited about that. I am still waiting for confirmation. 

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...