Ok. I'm just gonna say it.

Ok. I'm just gonna say it.

I have been a user and abuser.

It’s not that I have never said this before but never in this place. I have used food almost as far back as I can remember. My earliest of years were when I learned to use food. It wasn’t until later and over time that I started abusing food. I could share for days on end about this, and I just may in fact do that. Now that I’ve actually said it in my blog, I will likely say more, a lot more. Because there really is so much more to this “use and abuse”. And I know that as I share things in my life, my sharing acts as a search light illuminating things unexamined.

But before I go on, for clarity, let me define what I personally mean when I say I’ve used and abused food.

I’ve used food to take the place of things that it has no real capacity to replace. I’ve given it that counterfeit power. I believe that I’ve thought I somehow had made that so, that food could actually replace things absent. And not just that. I have given food the counterfeit power to sooth hurts, ease fears, be a friend, remove all sorts of feelings, or stand in the gap for almost and just about anything missing. But really, I have just been choosing what is false over truth.

To be fair, there’s lots of documentation that food can chemically numb me out. That, combined with all the social components of food makes for a great source of distraction. And depending on my choices it will valiantly nourish even while it’s numbing and distracting. It can also leave me delightfully, though temporarily, satisfied in as far as it was designed to do. But the position I’ve given food to meet the list of substitutions I’ve shared, is a counterfeit power. It’s a lie.

As I briefly pause for just a second, I feel like I may have gotten too personal and private with my user/abuser declaration. But then, like a wave of sobriety, I say, “Really? Like you thought you were keeping it a secret?

I grew up around alcoholics, not my mom or dad, but in my extended family. No one had to say they used and abused alcohol with actual words, but they tattled on their truth pretty loudly. Maybe it was the glass they carried all day everyday, that looked like soda but I wasn’t allowed to take a sip. Maybe it was their slurred words. Maybe it was their breath. Maybe it was their stagger as they walked with me and held my kindergarten sized hand. Maybe it was their escalated violent eruptions. Maybe it was so many early deaths, and restricted lives. All of that probably told on the using and abusing they were doing, so that their words didn’t have to be said.

I have carried around myself in a body that has been a healthy weight and one the has been overweight. It has more time clocked for overweight than healthy weight over the course of my adult life. And by over weight I mean, for many years in my adult life you could easily identify me as obese, as obese goes. So, not unlike my family members self tattling testimonies to their addicted use of alcohol with glass in hand, I’ve clearly not been keeping any secrets. You can see that. Literally. You can see it.

I don’t have a glandular problem. For years I’ve joked about that mysteriously absent grandular problem. Darn it. Had I had one, that might be a reason I could use to place blame for the “why” of my waistline. Unless there’s a medical reason (rarely and uniquely diagnosed) that preceded my fat and weight gain, which there’s not, I can safely deduct that my excess weight is the testimony to having used and abused food. I don’t have to deduct. Believe me, it’s pretty clear. But for argument sake I wanted to draw the reasoning line between my family members with glasses they carry, and myself and the excess weight I carry. With us users and abusers, there’s rarely any hiding going on!

Now let me define abusing food.

I’m not calling it names, necessarily. I’m not kicking it, or shoving it into a wall. The only shoving of food I’ve done is into my mouth. Though that sounds harsh, at times that is exactly what I have done.

I’ve abused the beauty of food. I’ve altered its purpose to meet mine. And I’ve done so relentlessly. I’ve abused the relationship I was intended to have with nutrition. But most troubling and painful is how I have used food to abuse me. My using and abusing has run the gamut from too many french fries to too much celery. It’s happened in my heaviest overweight days behind me, and it happened as recent as last night. Regardless of any of my given body sizes, thick or thin, I have to be real with how I have used food to feel better, whatever better is, emotionally, physically and even spiritually.

So, ok. I said it. I have been a user and abuser. Note, I am intentionally choosing not to bring that declaration into the present. I’m purposefully not carrying that written/spoken truth of me into the now. My reason in sharing this today, as usual with me, is the hope that I am not alone. That in reaching back, through sharing, I will get pulled forward because someone else has also shared. But to be truly transparent, I had to tell the truth. I had to tell the truth to myself, about myself and for myself. Because truth does set us free. And my truth telling has a lot more to tell. So, right here in this blog space, I will tell the more, and share the more, in hopes there is more… more than this history of using and abusing.

So, ok. I said it.

Puppy dog tales.

I don’t know if I will be able to sleep tonight.  Tomorrow I will be adopting an Australian Queensland Heeler girl pup. I am pretty sure I am already madly in love with her and we’ve only met once. My heart has been well primed for a huge capacity to love her, because I loved one of her kind for 15 years, all of her days... And I will continue to love Honey all of mine.

In January of this year, I had to put down my precious pet of 15 years, Honey Bunny. She was pure love and sweeter than her name could ever suggest.  It was by far one of, if not thee most painful times in my life. With just typing those words my eyes have filled instantly with tears and my nose is flushed and red.

I miss Honey so very much. I still call out her name to see if she will come running. I still walk carefully when I wake to get a drink of water or head to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I hold my breath when I unlock the front door after returning home, hoping on hope that she will look around the corner as she stretches out her long nap.

i cry hard. Still.  

How wonderful. 

Yes. How wonderful. No, I’m not a glutton for pain, but I am a sucker for love. Deep love. Love expands us. Honey, and my love for her, expanded my heart and capacity to love and receive love so much, that when she left this planet she no doubt left a huge gaping hole. Of course she did. How could she not? She was amazing.  

Don’t let me fool you. I would give anything to not had to have gone through such a loss. I would give anything to reverse it, but only with having Honey forever, not in never having had her. Both are simply not my reality. I cannot have a dog, Honey or otherwise, that lives forever... and my reality would not have accepted anything BUT having that sweet dog to love for 15 years.

So here I go, again. In honor of my baby-mama, Honey Bunny, that I rescued and adopted almost 16 years ago, I will rescue and adopt again. In Honey’s footsteps and paw prints that left a trail to the expansive heart of mine she primed for love, another has made her way to me and I will be kissed by one of her kind in less that 12 hours. 

I cant wait to love another dog, while I still love another dog.  Always and still.

Choose to love... over and over and over again. Always and still. 

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I miss you, baby girl.  My sweet Honey Bunny.

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I’m coming to get you baby girl. 

Garbage stinks.

Garbage stinks.

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Last night I grabbed the draw strings to the garbage bag and cinched them tightly, tied them in a secure knot, and hoisted the bag from our trash receptical in our kitchen. It was late, and dark out, plus it had started to rain. So, for the time being, I set it in the corner out of the way.

This morning came. I made coffee. I love the smell of coffee as it fills the kitchen and wafts throughout the house. It’s quite pungent. Perfectly pungent. It easily dominates. As a matter of fact on Kelly and Ryan, as part of their FeBREWary theme this morning they spoke of all the ways coffee can mask various house hold odors. All of this to say, my yummy perfectly pungent coffee was trumped. 

Last night, when I cinched the garbage bag and lifted it out of our receptical, I set it out of the way for it’s over night stay. After making the coffee this morning, I walked around the corner in the kitchen and was hit by STENCH Clearly, though I’d cinched the bag, it hadn’t cinched the stench. I walked past the garbage bag sitting out of the way there on the floor as I headed to take a handful of items to the laundry. Literally, on my way to the washing machine, I thought, “Garbage stinks”. Not my most profound of revelations. I think I know that garbage does indeed stink. It really DOES stink. Old, non-living, useless waste, continues to decay and it lets you know it’s doing so. As it sits there. Out of the way. Stinking.

By the time I stood at the washing machine, I caught up with the rest of my revelation.. “Take the garbage out”. Again. Not so shocking. But hang with me for a second. To identify, collect, and deal with the garbage is absolutely the first important effort of getting rid of it. But until I take the garbage out, it will still effect my life. It will still be there to stink, to dominate. It will over power the things I love, like coffee. Garbage can’t be masked or covered. Garbage stinks.

Here it comes. The full revelation. 

God is so good at communication with me, and if I’m listeming, it’s life altering. God communicated with me about taking the garbage out this morning. In an instant, the message for me was as pungent as the bag sitting there, out of the way.  

I felt God affirm me for the effort I am making to collect the “garbage” in my life. I heard and felt the cheers within myself. Yes, literally, but more metaphorically, God spoke. This is more than cleaning out my closets (though that’s part of it too). When I speak of “garbage” in my conversation with God, I’m talking about the things that I am finished with. The things that are no longer serving me. Ya with me? The things I had used for a season, and are now all used up. The old ways that were worn out and broken. Tracking me? The cheap, poor quality, “gadgety” systems I set in place, perhaps thinking they might distract me from, or be a substitution for actually really living my life - yes the sometimes hard work of life - instead of the short cutting to the short lived feel goods. The wrappers I’ve used to conceal, yet somehow preserve what I really would not prefer. The waste - wasted efforts and time. The excess- the stuff to fill the gaps in my life.

I heard Gods’ affirmation for the effort I have given to gathering up my life’s garbage. It calls for great honesty and truthbtelling and bravery. I’ve identified, collected and dealt with much, and still am. I’ve bagged it, cinched it, and knotted the draw strings. I’ve even taken it from the receptical. But rather than taking it all the way out, I’ve set it down in my living space —out of the way .     

Out of the way? Out of the way of what? Out of the way of my awareness? That can’t last long, right?  Just as I walked past my cinched bag of garbage this morning and got a whiff, I was totally aware of that out of the way garbage bag. One whiff and I am aware. No matter how far out of the way I may think I’m leaving old stuff, I’m still encumbered by it, because it’s still there! And it stinks!! I must admit I walk through too many of my days still getting a strong whiff of old fears that paralyze me. The pungent odor of poor habits gags me some days. The stench of old lies I believed and perpetuated, of myself and my life, have stopped me from pursuing my dreams. 

I could go on and on with this metaphor, but I bet you hear me. That garbage needs to leave. It’s time. For whatever myriad of reasons it all may have served me at one time or the other, the ultimate step in garbage purging means I walk that cinched stenched bag all the way to the curb, out of my life. Just like last nights’ darkness and rain, I do see reasons why I may not have taken the garbage all the way out. But it’s a new day. A new morning. Let it go, Terey. Let the breeze of hope, renewal and love refresh the air. Not masking, but clearing. Like the morning after a good rain.  It’s time to take out the garbage. 

It’s never too late to Ornamentate.

It’s never too late to Ornamentate.

I like different. I like creating. Those two things seem to fuel my annual ornament making efforts. I also like things to stay fun and light when I’m recruiting others to help the ornamentIon process. Keeping things simple leaves more room for fun.

This year we had a lot of fun AND ended up with two show stopper ornaments.  

the Pom Pom....

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and the Bohemian Artichoke (my personal name for it) 

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They both are very easy to make and share some of the same ingredients.

Both start with the base of an acrylic ornament ball of your desired size and that handy dandy all purpose hot glue gun. After securing the two halves of the acrylic ornament ball, the Pom Pom balls get glued around the center perimeter as a starting point. Using this as a guide, simply continue around both halves of the ball until it’s full! Full of joy is what it is!! 

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The Bohemian Artichoke ornament calls for an extra stepnor two. You will need a one inch hole punch to make your circle. You can use whatever kind of paper you wish, but it needs to have some body to it. A perfect free example and choice would be the paper from the covers of magazines. It’s made from a heavier weight of paper and will give the circles some body as they are layered over each other. Start with one circle glued flat on the bottom of the ball, then layer around that starter circle and so on and so on. (Go to tereytv https://youtu.be/qUhPlzkMA8s for the how-to video) 

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The final and perhaps most critical item both 0ornaments share is the twine. Can’t hang the ornament without it! I used butchers twine in the white and red color bcz ... well... you know. LOOKS LIKE A CANDY CANE! Can’t beat that! Just cut the desire length of the twine and thread through the top hole ring of the acrylic ball. And there you have it. Or them. Two of the most delightful ornaments you’ll ever see.

Just pausing from the “gotta do’s”  to enjoy a “wanna do” can often refill an empty tank. Just you and a couple of hotties — a glue gun and cocoa— and you’re off to ornamentizing your home, and heart. 

 

Merry Christmas y’all. 

Bobo (terey)  

DIY FASTive and FREE: Christmas Trees repurposed from what we all have around the house!

DIY FASTive and FREE: Christmas Trees repurposed from what we all have around the house!

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Christmas is just around the corner! Yay! Yikes! There’s so much to do and so little time. And all those things that are left on the “to do” are sure to tap out the piggy bank and any extra bacon has long since been fried! How can you make your home feel a little festively special as fast as possible with maybe just from the change hidden betwix your sofa cushions? Who believes I have not one, nor two but THREE fabulaous ways?

Well, here! Just watch!

 (disclaimer: I fumbled through my own video production. I think you’ll quickly figure out “fumbled” is the operative word! )

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Go get some hot chocolate, and put the Christmas music on. Then unload your books from the book case, fetch the ladder and drag to the front yard, and get to breaking down those boxes in the garage. Before the day is done you’ll have Christmas all about you!

Merry Christmas!  

The See’s Candies Box is empty and the drunk wore off.

The See’s Candies Box is empty and the drunk wore off.

So It’s March and I’m writing about Valentine’s Day.  It was nearly 5 weeks ago. I think the delay is clear as to why I am just now getting to this.

The See’s Candies box is empty and the drunk wore off.

I bought Jonathan a box of See’s Candies for Valentine’s Day. I had heard a man say on television earlier in the week that men don’t want chocolates! Don’t give your man chocolates! Well, I did.  I gave him See’s Candies and a Coleman lantern for camping to cover my bases. But the way his eyes twinkled over the candy said it may have been his favorite of the two. Jonathan has a sweet tooth. See’s Candies are sort of new to Jonathan. He had never heard of this confectioner’s delight before he met me. But now that he has had a sample, he’s pretty much hooked.  And they do share a sample. See’s Candies hands each visitor a sample piece. What’s not to love about that?  I don’t quite have the sweet tooth Jonathan has, but I really do enjoy See’s Candies.  And I hoped as he opened that gift, Jonathan would share his candy with me.