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USPS Stamp Out Food Drive

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Today was the US Postal Service Stamp Out Food Drive and I left some goods next to my mailbox when I went to work. I'm not sharing that to say I am a good and generous person, but to reflect on my changing relationship with food..

I've blogged before about the fact that I have food issues in addition to self-esteeem issues and some physical challenges. These are not excuses but the are part of the reason why I am morbidly obese. My food issues go back to my earliest years and carry all the way forward. Mother stayed home and my stepfather supported all 8 of us on his salary from his job at a national lab. Money was always tight and my stepdad, because he was the breadwinner, got the best food that was available. Then Mother and all of his children, my older brother (he was the only boy) and last, me. But that was only part of it. Going without food was Mother's favorite punishment for me and, since I was her scapegoat for everything that made her unhappy (in addition to normal kid stuff!), I seldom ever had 3 meals a day.

When I went to live with my dad, I finally got reliable food and gained weight. I finally was at a healthy weight, but, not knowing squat, I kept eating and eating and eating without exercise. My teenage friends joked that I was a human garbage pail because I ate everything (except beef liver!). The teasing hurt but it did not change me

After college, the only job I could find paid very little. I discovered generic label food and cheap, filling and unhealthy food. And gained. I have food insecurity - never sure I am going to have "enough". People bring food to work to share and I almost always take some "just in case".

I've been active in food drives for a number of years, more so since I learned that so many children go without food when schools are closed because they lose the access to the subsidized breakfast and lunch meals that are served there.

Last night, as I pulled stuff out for the food drive, I felt as if I had the heart of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, that it grew a little with each item I put in the bag.

Every time I think I have this relationship with food figured out, I am reminded that my issues are still with me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 5/13/2012 2:02AM

    I am very fortunate my Mom worked three jobs to make sure we were never without anything we needed. Unfortunately, because of her busy lifestyle, we ate mostly highly processed, quick to prepare foods..
Our relationship with food is formed in our early years, but it is possible to break free of it. I hate hearing how you were treated as a child. That is incomprehensible that an adult can treat a child that way :((
Have a peaceful, relaxing, rejuvenating Sunday.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 5/12/2012 10:49PM

    No body deserves to be treated the way you were. How sad for you. I have never known what it is be hunry and without food!
My mother was in Holland during the famine in WW11 and she was eating tulip bulbs at one stage. She and her cousin went walk about into the country to the farms to look for food.

Once she migrated to Australia and had an abundance of food, my father grew all our vegetables, mum was adamant that we "eat EVERY THING on our plate" as a child that was not a problem as we had to walk a lot to catch buses to school. We lived out of town. But once I reached audulthood and after I had my children I would eat their left overs as I felt guilty throwing food out!
Oh and I forgot the bit where her stepmother would feed her children first, and if anything left over mum and her siblings might get a morsel! So when I read your bit about the men getting the big portion because they went out and earnt the money it brought back my memories!

Know that I am older I can relate to my mother's obsession with food and how upset she would get if we didn't "like" something. She would tell us the story of how she ate potato peelings and other food that you would not normally eat. And how she walked 70 miles to look for food!

Food certainly does bring a lot of emotion with it. I have learnt over time to treat food purely as a source of energy for my body and nothing more! I know get quite cross with myself if I don't get my exercise in as that is what gives me a "good feeling" now. Not food!

I hope oneday you are also able to do this. emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/12/2012 11:34:44 PM

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John & Balance

Monday, May 07, 2012

This morning, I stopped at the hospice care at the VA hospital on my way to work. John was alone and he had that same glazed morphine haze that my dad had in the days before he died. I don't think John knew I was there, but I remembered that the nurses told me that the hearing is the last sense to go. At the time, it made my brother and me laugh despite our pain because Dad had been hard of hearing for years (a consequence of Army artillery drills).

So I sat down next to John's bed and touched his arm or his shoulder and talked. I told him I love, respect and honor him. That I was proud to work with and for him for nearly 15 years. I was in my 20s when I started working for him and it was as if he were a second dad - we were all young and we all grew up working for him! Through FB, I am in touch with many of my former coworkers and we have been sharing stories and pictures and memories of John.

I reminded John of the day he solved a huge problem for me. This was before the internet, to give it some context. I needed to find out when and where I needed to be in Alameda (across the bay, a place I'd never been) in order to be there for the homecoming of the USS Enterprise. Alameda was her home port then. My brother was on that ship! John called as if he were calling on behalf of some Army general and got the info I needed, complete with bus info and everything. (I had not yet learned to drive.) Without John's help, I would have missed that precious visit! John, having been a career Marine, knew what to say and whom to call to get me what I needed to know. My family met John later and they are still, as I am, grateful for that kindness.

I am so glad I went to the hospital. I feared it was going to be a gut-wrenching emotional experience! But it was not. Had I not had that gut-wrenching emotional experience with my dad, this would have been a very tough visit. As it was, it was hard, but - oh, Lord am I thankful!

I learned late yesterday that John was moved from Stanford to the VA and, within moments of that, I got a phone call. My stepmother called to say that my brother and nephew will be in the US sometime in late July, early August!

This coincides with the "thou shalt not take vacation during this period" at work due to the super user training and testing, but I hope I can at least take a Friday and Monday off...

The thought of this mini family reunion has me fired up, at least a little. I worked out a little with my 7# kettlebell tonight. It felt great! I am using the DVD that came with this new one and discovered, to my dismay, that I lack the balance to do a one arm row + leg lift + kettlebell on one side. Instead of giving up and feeling defeated, I am going to work on my balance until I can do those! I LOVE the feeling that working with KBs gives me, even if I can do so little! I am not used to feeling good about exercise, let me tell you!

Please pray for John, for his enormous family and his friends as well as his caregivers. I thanked the nurses for taking care of "my" vet!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATLADY52 5/12/2012 2:43PM

    John sounds like the best of people. One of the few who would take the time to care about others and do what they can to provide help.when asked. emoticon

Good luck working on your balance. Important not just when exercising but also in day to day life. emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 5/8/2012 10:04AM

    My heart goes out to you. Am so pleased that you went and visited your friend.

Hope you can get the time off to visit with your family.

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_LINDA 5/8/2012 2:17AM

    That is awesome you could see John and talk to him, I am sure he heard you.. That is wonderful you have others to share your experiences of John with. That is a very long time to have worked with someone -had no idea you have been at this job for so very long..
Never belittle or be ashamed of what you can or can't do with exercise. So many people can't even get past the 'try' point. You are doing all you can, what ever your body will allow and it will only get better the more you practise and are consistently doing so on a regular basis. Everyone starts at the bottom -I sure have had lots of experience with that -but the payoff of of sticking with it is worth the mighty struggle to get there!
Keep up the great work!!

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MISSY455 5/8/2012 12:24AM

    I am glad you were able to get in too see your friend. I know it must have been really hard on you, but it is was important.

I hope you can arrange a few days off to spend with your family.

emoticonfor emoticon!!!

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MAMAWALMART 5/7/2012 11:02PM

    I will keep John in my prayers. I will also keep you in my prayers as you work on your balance. Continued success on your journey. Also hope you get the days off to visit with your family.

Keep Smiling
emoticon
Karen

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Update on John and Work Thoughts

Sunday, May 06, 2012

I found out today that my dear friend John has been transferred from Stanford to the VA hospice care. His family created a facebook page for us to share thoughts, pictures and memories about him. Someone posted a picture of him being loaded onto the ambulance at Stanford for the trip to the VA. The picture was not great, but I could see in his eyes that same look my dad had at the end of his life. The look that says morphine is not enough.

I work very close to the VA so I will swallow hard and stop by to let his family and him know I care.

I worked yesterday (OT) and did not get as much done as I would have liked, but it will help my desk tomorrow. Still doing discovery so that means nothing else gets touched.

Please pray for John & his family.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 5/7/2012 10:43PM

    Prayers for John, his family and you. HUGS!

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LIBBYFITZ 5/7/2012 10:09AM

    My thoughts are with you in this time of sadness. emoticon

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_LINDA 5/7/2012 1:41AM

    So sorry about your friend John, he should have better care in the hospice -they are usually very good with controlling pain- I have known too many people fallen victim to cancer :( One poor lady in her mid 90's continues to play bridge every day at the club in spite of being in terrible pain with stomach cancer -she has already had one surgery, but it was not enough to stop it :(
Sorry you have to work so much overtime :(
One cause I like to support is cancer and will be sad to miss the Relay For Life in June as I will be away. The best you can do for someone who is terminal is honor them by supporting a fundraiser for their disease. A really good fitness goal is a charity race/wallk
. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISSY455 5/7/2012 1:18AM

    emoticon

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TURTLERAE55 5/6/2012 11:33PM

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend John. I will pray for his family and you.

Keep the Faith.

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Life

Monday, April 30, 2012

I went to San Francisco Saturday night with Yvonne to the historic Warfield to see comedian Jim Gaffigan. We parked a few blocks away and walked to the theatre. I caught the edge of a manhole cover with my shoe and fell, landing hard on my knees. I was fine, but it hurt and I was embarrassed to do that in public! After dinner, the gates finally opened. As we approached the theatre, we were waved to the shortest line of all. Looking back, I realize it was because my sore knee made me limp even more than usual. The Warfield does have an elevator, but it is not always operational. It was not for the comedy show, so they swapped out our tickets for the last row on the floor. No one kicking the back of my chair! No one tall in front of me! I had a perfect view of the stage! I have not laughed that much in a very long time.

Sunday, I was completely wiped out and did next to nothing. While online, I saw a Facebook post from a former coworker and good friend that said the former senior vp at the company where we all worked is at Stanford Hospital and not expected to live. I learned today he has lung cancer, a blood clot in his leg that they don't dare treat and cancer in his spine. I cannot imagine. Another former coworker visited John today and shared that he is very weak, did not know Lenny for at least 5 minutes. John will probably be moved to hospice soon. Yesterday, they thought he would die within hours, today they say weeks. I met John in 1986 when I moved here. I grew up at that company. John is a former career Marine with all the strength, honesty and leadership that that title implies. I could never pass a physical, so I have never served but that only increases my appreciation for those who have and who do.

When my brother was in the Navy, he was on the USS Enterprise while her home port was Alameda, California. He was sailing here after his trip to the middle east and I could not find information about where to be to see him. John called someone in the Navy and got the info I needed (this was well before the internet!). My family met John and still appreciates his human touch for me at the time. I did not even drive back then, so it was a big deal!


Yes, John was a smoker and I can guess that it is that habit that contributed to this very sad end of life for a great man. Cancer is horrible!

I nearly recommended that my supervising attorney let our student go today. She has ignored my requests that she call me if / when she is going to be late to work. With students, we are flexible. They often need an extra day off to study for a midterm or write a paper, but we do ask they let us know. The top attorney in the company wanted my student to do a project this morning. Since she was not here and I had not heard from her, I did the project. I was already doing document production in response to a subpoena with a close court deadline. (We are not a party to the litigation - the parties in court just want to know what we knew and when we knew it.) So I told Kevin about her absence and her episodes of noncontact. He talked to her and I hope it does not happen again.

Even though the challenging summer schedule has not started, it feels as if it has. I don't know how much more I can do! It's as if I am bailing water from a leaky skiff - surely I am going down, no matter how quickly I bail!

I talked to my stepmother yesterday and we are thinking about me visiting her this fall. If it happens, we will take a couple of train trips! We are train buffs. So I decided I want to lose 25 pound by October. That means I need to get back to eating right, drinking water consistently and exercising.

My new profile picture is of my great grand aunt in costume as "The Bohemian Girl". I was thrilled to find it! She died 8 years before I was born.

I saw a blog from one of my Sparkfriends, Nonie_C, and she has not blogged for a while. Her dad died last month. Her blog was super inspirational! She is in my prayers along with John and his family. Please join me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RFJSJ50 5/2/2012 9:41AM

    I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. It's always sad to find out that someone who was important to you is in such sad circumstances.
It's good to hear that the fall didn't stop you from having a wonderful evening of friendship and laughter. We all need more times like that in our lives!
Your job sounds so overwhelming, but you'll get through it.
You are in my thoughts often.
Sheila

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CARRAND 5/1/2012 8:37PM

    I'm sorry about your friend. A good friend of mine at work died of a brain tumor in the first week of January after being diagnosed last September. It was so sudden, it was really a shock.

I fell like that one time at the mall. The store I was in was all concerned because I tripped on their display. All I wanted to do was slink away in embarrassment. I'm glad things worked out for you at the comedy show.

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LIBBYFITZ 5/1/2012 12:17PM

    emoticonSo sad about your friend. So glad that smoking is no longer "cool"!

Hope you recover from the fall. So easy to do with uneven surfaces!

Glad you had a good laugh! BEST MEDICINE EVER! emoticon

The train trip holiday sounds great. emoticon

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I HATE COMPUTER ISSUES!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'll keep it short in case I lose my internet connection again.
I picked up my laptop today. The hard drive was not fried, but the power cord/adapter was. How they knew that, I don't know because that was in my computer bag while my laptop went to KY for service.

Everything seems fine. But the usual Verizon Wireless + Windows 7 disagreement means I'm still handcuffed and frustrated.

I hope to get back on track in every way tomorrow.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATLADY52 4/28/2012 6:11PM

    Hope it all works out for you. It is not fun to be without internet or even computer in this day and age. emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 4/28/2012 11:50AM

    emoticonI have issues with the computers at work! emoticon

Soooo time consuming! emoticon

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CARRAND 4/26/2012 9:01PM

    I don't get along well with computers myself. My husband can make any of them work, thank goodness, because I am hopeless.

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_LINDA 4/26/2012 2:34AM

    All thay way to find that out :(( Maybe I am not so impressed with the service.. Doesn't sound like this provider is any good for you -can you switch?? I find my cable to be reliable and with good service -at least they get on a problem right away..
Hope tomorrow is a less frustrating day for you!!

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MISSY455 4/25/2012 11:14PM

    emoticon hope you get everything up and running without any more frustration.

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GLITTER60 4/25/2012 10:38PM

    hope you get everything connected soon. yes computers are frustrating. i am on facebook but dont know how to post on it. used to send free greeting e cards, but dont do that anymore. emoticon good luck

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