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  • Nanworimo 2009

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  • The Two Towers – Freeing the GOP: Fun video

    I like my political commentary funny. If you can embed it in The Lord of The Rings, so much the better. Click and enjoy!

    The Two Towers – Freeing the GOP

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    Catching up: The last 1.5 years

    I haven’t written much in the past year and a half because, well, they sucked. And one can only whine so much before you bore yourself, not to mention others. Downside: I have found that new or potential friends will run screaming if you are truthful about how bad things really are. Upside: I’ll have plenty of material for writing in the future.

    For those of you who I’ve recently befriended or refriended, here’s a short, edited, slightly (sometimes extremely) whiny list to catch you up.

    Chronic Lyme disease. Which, symptom-wise, is like saying I have ALS, MS, CFS, FMS, and occasionally Tourette’s. Short term memory is far worse than it should be (between 5% and 35% of expected). My body acts like is is near 70. I can be reasonably fine one minute, then unable to move without screaming the next. No warning. I treated the Lyme for several years, and am lots better (don’t need the power wheelchair at the moment, for example). This may be the plateau I must live with. The worst part is that it’s largely invisible. If you look at me, I probably look healthy. Sometimes that’s great. Sometimes it’s awful. I know there are people far worse off than I am. In fact, I use Stephen King’s quote about recovering from nearly being killed by a crazy man in a van: “You try to tell yourself that you’ve been lucky, most incredibly lucky and usually that works because it’s true. Sometimes it doesn’t work, that’s all. Then you cry.”

    Divorce last year. It seemed like something that happened to someone else, like a car accident. I didn’t see it coming, which goes to show the depth of denial in which I can live. Yes, even after all those years of therapy. Damn.

    Foreclosure. Lost a beautiful home/condo in downtown St. Paul to foreclosure, tied inextricably with item 2 above. For details call or email me. I gave the place to my ex in the divorce. Even so I found myself left me open to a…

    Lawsuit from the condo association. My ex paid nothing to live in the condo during the foreclosure (1.5 years), so the association is suing both of us for, I think it’s over $20K now. My ex didn’t get a job as promised. The place was unsellable due to association problems with plumbing. Blah, blah, blah. I stopped living in the condo the moment I couldn’t pay out of my SSDI. None of it matters legally. My ex lives with his parents when the foreclosure ended earlier this month. He will go through bankruptcy. I’m waiting to get served.

    My family suffered a year from hell. One sibling survived a nasty bout of cancer, and is still recovering from the treatment. Another sister is suffering from mental illness. She and I share stories of battling the SSDI system, the medical system, etc.  Safe to say that my family has been busy with their own serious problems to be a resource for me (except for Margie in January 2009, who saved my ass by helping me move out of the condo in a hurry… amazing). This has felt surprising and difficult.

    Turned 52 last week (July 21 if you missed it). Got a few cards (some $ – thanks Dad!), a lunch with my Dad, sister Margie, and niece Meaghan (thanks again, Dad!). The Facebook birthday greetings were amazingly meaningful – seriously! Kind of like having a party without having to do the work.

    Going to school for a BA in Creative Writing at Metro State University. Wanted to start an art-related MDiv, but didn’t qualify for the scholarship without the BA. Just started this past summer term. Every step is a test to see if my bod and mind can hack it. I’m on the edge right now, end of term with two classes. Also, it looks like I might have screwed up the financial aid paperwork for fall. The red tape is worse than the classes. Today the deadlines feel like they might kill me. Talk to me in four weeks when it’s over.

    Church. Joined a rather radical Lutheran church at the beginning of the divorce. The illness had left me isolated and friendless. Really. I needed support and found it at Pilgrim Lutheran Church. I’m really a UU Pagan, but I feel at home at Pilgrim — as much as I can in any church.

    Friends. Have grown closer with a handful friends, for which I am grateful.

    My apartment is close to my church, which means I can usually get to choir practice and services, even if I’m having an awful day. It’s not quite big enough to house me, a writing area and an art area, but I’ve shoehorned it in anyway. Still have unpacked boxes. Hard to get up and down stairs (no elevator, third floor walk-up). So I just live with boxes piled like furniture. It’s small, but easier to clean, right!

    Of course there’s more. These are the highlights. I’m sure I’ve missed positive things because it’s hard to see them during a dark time. Like going out with some of my best friends, including Don (who I think recently turned 80), to see Don’s grandkids in a community production of Hello Dolly last summer. Totally fun! Or that I sang for a while with a woman’s choir called Cantara for a while — got to perform once at the Summer Solstice Fire Service at Lake Harriet Spiritual community. Very cool. Or hot, actually!

    There’s always more. For that, you’ll have to call or write. I’ll answer or reply if I’m having a good day.

    Thanks for reading. Cheers!

    Keep Me in Your Heart

    With thanks to my friend Mark.

    Friend Speaks My Mind

    I may be a Unitarian Universalist Buddhist mystic whose current spiritual home is a Lutheran church, but this Friend definitely speaks my mind. So much fun!

    Thank you, Aimée, for sharing this with me.

    Mazal Tov!

    In all the darkness of our lives, a light: New nephew Michael born to my brother and sister-in-law, much wanted and loved. Welcome, beautiful boy! Photos to come, I’m sure!

    Goodbye, Uncle Ted

    Update: My dear, beloved Uncle Ted Larson died suddenly in February, a few weeks after the entry below was written. I haven’t had the heart to update this post about his loss because, although we weren’t close, I miss him. He was a good guy in my life, and you don’t get too many of those, really. His memorial service was beautiful, attended by many friends and family who remembered him well, including his impish sense of humor and stubborn personality. He is dearly missed.

    1/18.09: While you’re sending loving thoughts to my sister, would you please add my Uncle Ted? He fell badly a while back, which made him require multiple surgeries on several vertebrae.

    Ted landed back in ICU yesterday with a collapsed lung. DNR papers were signed. But you never know with my amazing Uncle – he is a fighter.

    If you have a moment, please add Ted to your prayer chains and lists and thoughts. And the rest of his family as well, who have been caring for and loving him up during this challenging time.

    Love is a verb, an action. Here’s yet another chance to put your ability to Love into practice.

    Thank you so very much.

    — Serena

    Love Request

    One of my sisters, the one who lives close and has been helping me physically and emotionally through a rough time, got awful news this morning.

    One of her dearest friends lost a daughter and grandson in a terrible car crash last night.

    If you read this, would you please take a moment from your busy day to hold everyone grieving this loss in love and light?

    Such a small thing can make an enormous difference. Thank you.

    Serena

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