Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sonnet XIX: When I Consider How my Light is Spent

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent

To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent

That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state

Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."

John Milton

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

His and Hers

My husband and I don't actually have a lot in common, but the things we do are pretty big. For instance, my mother-in-law also has stage IV cancer. She was given a year to live a few years back. So he's has been dealing with this for a while. And I haven't understood him at all. I tried to restrain myself from nagging. (Don't you want to go spend time with your mom? Maybe you should send flowers? Do you want to send a card?) Because my husband's response has been that since she's not feeling well, she'd like a little peace and quiet, and he's going to give it to her.

My mom's been in the hospital all week, and I've gone as often as I could to be with her, to just sit there and watch her breathe, to get her a cup of peppermint tea, to do nothing at all. I've been keeping my mom's friends posted on her progress. And he doesn't get it. He thinks I'm being borderline cruel. Discussing her stuff. Staring at her while she's less than composed.

I'm sure there are times my MIL wishes he would step up the sympathy and attention and mine wishes I'd back off a bit. For the most part though, my mother-in-law appreciates his brand of support and my mom appreciates mine.

Makes me wonder: nature or nurture? I'd totally say it's a family culture thing, but my kids have been thoroughly trained in over-the-top sympathy responses and still I've got two who are give-em-their-space types. Maybe it's a gender thing. Maybe it doesn't matter. Too tired to tease out the tangles in this one.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It Sucks

Posting lots and lots over at my mom's caring bridge blog. Little details about her recovery from surgery. Everyone always wants more. They think they do anyway. They don't. I know I don't want to be as sure as I am that I'm going to lose her. Suspense sucks, but certainty is its own brand of hell.

I ran into a post somewhere from a guy who regarded his stage 4 cancer as a chronic disease and had vastly beat the odds. I've grasped onto that story. And I chant it to myself as I'm going to sleep and the surgeon's voice is replaying in my head, telling what he had found and where. A chronic disease. A chronic disease. Sometimes I even forget for a bit. Then I wonder why I feel so sad. Then I remember. And it sucks.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


It's been a year. Almost to the day. My mother and I share a tumultuous history, but this was the tumultuous-est, an argument that was all the more vicious because everything that was said was true.

During the nastiness my mother posted a vague something on facebook that hurt and angered me. I clicked the "remove from friends" button then gloried in my newfound freedom. I could say whatever I thought without having to worry that my mom was going to be offended or nag me endlessly about something I had posted.

Healing has been slow. We've moved on. Kinda. I wouldn't re-friend her though. Even though she had asked nicely several times. Because I was right. I was right in what said. It needed to be said. And I would say it again. And she was wrong. Wrong in her original behavior and wrong in her response. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Besides I liked my freedom of speech. No mom on facebook.

Last Monday, she had a CT that showed a large mass in her colon. Thursday, a colonoscopy showed it to be cancer. Tuesday, I sat with her as the surgeon told her that there was very likely a second tumor in a different place. They wouldn't know until they got in there, but he was fairly sure. Stage IV. The fatal stage.

And you know what? I friended my mother on facebook last Friday. Because I was wrong. Wrong in my original behavior and wrong in my response. And I'm lucky. Because I got a little notice.

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day of School

I'm homeschooling the whole clan this year. (Not the original plan, but we're working with it.) I've got a senior, a sophomore, an eighth-grader, a sixth-grader, a third-grader, and a preschooler. If I ponder it too deeply, I begin to get jittery.

Really though, the only difference between the day before school starts and the first day of school is that starting today I will begin to sing the Song of Math. Everything else works itself out with a lot of reading and co-op classes, but Math is painful and relentless. The first day of Math involves a lot of whining. The second goes better. If we get cocky and skip the third, the fourth will be as miserable as the first. In fact, every single time we skip a day of Math there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth when we start the next lesson. The principle holds true even on weekends. If they get Saturday and Sunday off, they seem to truly believe that they are done. For life.

Math Boy is the exception to this. He collects Calculus books. He likes the stuff. This more than almost anything testifies to me that we lived before this life. Jacob, he studied Math before he got here. And spelling. Because brilliant though I am, Math and spelling are not my strong points. And even if they were, I still couldn't have imparted that brilliance through any normal teaching methods. He's just wired for it. He picks it up by breathing. Not so for the rest of the monkeys. We labor for our Math accomplishments.

Anyhow, gotta run. No time to edit. It's time to start the joy of Math. Happy day to you all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Weight, Weight, Don't Tell Me!

OK, so I'm forty pounds down. That's a lot, but 260 looks a lot like 300, so I don't have any new pictures.

For a short while I went the medically supervised weight loss route. (That'd be Ph*nt*rm!n* aka legal speed.) I felt like crap. After I took my pill in the morning, it was like I had been struck with narcolepsy. I wasn't hungry, but neither was I awake. The weight loss was swift, but not worth it.

At this point, I am just forgoing sugared foods. Since I am a compulsive overeater, with sugar and flour items topping the binge list, that action alone has been resulting in slow weight loss.

The "plan" is to add good things to my diet and eliminate things that trigger my binging or are just bad for me:
  1. 'Bye sugar.
  2. Buy fruits and veggies.
  3. 'Bye white bread.
  4. Buy whole grains.
  5. 'Bye Diet Coke.
  6. Buy water.
Number five may just keep moving down the list. To quote Miss Scarlett, "I won't think of it now. I can't stand it now. I'll think of it later." Today's job is no sugar and plenty of fruits and veggies. Later is a good time to ponder the rest of the list.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Long Time No Blog

Yeah, I know. I've gone inactive in the blogging community. Become a sporadic stalker. I've stayed on top of a few blogs, mostly those of people who I've connected with in real life one way or another, but overall I've poofed into a poignant memory.

In the meantime, my lousy block-buster post draws the afflicted by the thousands: 83,521 overall as of 10:15 AM. Sometimes I feel like I should just change my header to some sort of lice and nit theme. Strangely, Cutest Blog on the Block doesn't have that template. Weird.

Anyhow, I'm alive. Big things have been happening. Little things have been happening. I have every intention of writing more. (see resolutions) Look for upcoming posts about my contemplation of running a marathon. And losing another 120 pounds. And being nicer. And cleaning up my language. It's going to be amazing (and vaguely nauseous).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Time Management Induced Panic Attacks

You all have seen this one, right?

Start with an empty glass.

Now fill it with rocks.


Is it full?
(Uh yes. Just said to fill it with rocks.)
Can you fit any more in?
Oh yeah.

Next comes the gravel,
pour a bunch in and shake it down.

How about now?
Completely full yet?
No way.
Fill that baby with sand.
Shake her down.

Now we've got something like this:

Is it full now?
(Can we stop yet?)
Time for:

Fill 'er up!
Now the potential of the glass has been reached.

This demonstration is supposed to show that
you should put first things first.
(A la Stephen Covey)
Because if you try putting the sand in first
you cannot fit in the rocks
which represent the important things in life.
If you try something silly
like putting the sand in first,
you'd get something more like this:

And that's a little

The thing any rational person should be asking themselves is:


I feel the same way about appointment calendars with 15-minute increments.
Professional Hardcover Weekly Planner, 15-Minute Appointments, 8-1/2 x 11, Black
No offense to my organized friends. Love you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Uh...Happy Birthday, Mom.

So let's say your kids actually put all 60 candles on your cake plus a six candle and a zero candle and candles that spell out Happy Birthday. Then let's say lighting all those babies is taking a bit too long, so you go check on something in the other room while they finish up. Then let's say even though your kids are yelling frantically to GET BACK IN HERE, you still take your time. Then let's just say the cake was an ice cream cake. You could end up with a pillar of fire for your cake. Just saying.

(Yes, it was still edible. And no, I didn't eat any. 20 lbs down--130 to go.)
(BTW, it was my mom's bd, not mine.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pollyanna on Migraines

pic4.jpg (36597 bytes)
c Disney

Let's play the glad game!

Migraines are a natural appetite suppressant, and if I'm lucky enough to get to the puking stage, I don't have to count the calories of the last four or five things I ate!

Having a migraine gives me Super Powers, Super Senses, if you prefer. Everything smells so much more intense. My vision gets all fun; I really get to see things in a whole new light. And my hearing. . .oh the sensitivity! I can hear things that normally would be completely ignored. Lucky me.

With a migraine, all those pesky little have-tos just go away. I get to clear my calender of everything. How often does that happen? If I was functional, I'd have to do the dishes or laundry. I'd need to drive the kids around. Stand up. Talk to people. Open my eyes. Instead I get to lounge around all day.

Talk about things to be thankful for!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Behold My Before

I despise the traditional "before" photos of dieters, those grim faced, badly-dressed fatties standing in despair.

I refuse. I will not slouch and sulk as I announce my determination to tackle this issue. On December the seventh, I stood on the scale and stared at the little screen as it posted the news:

300.0 lbs Even
(If that's not a sign, I don't know what is. )

This is what I look like.
I have one hundred and sixty pounds to lose,
health and vitality to regain.
And I'm going to do it
for me and for my family.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Today's date is 01022010 the same forwards and backwards!

My twitter username is a palindrome too.


Get it? I'm a Jami. Or an imaj of jami if you prefer. Feel free to follow me. Or not.

Doesn't it seem odd to you that the word palindrome isn't a palindrome? Palindromemordinlap seems a bit much though.