Everybody needs some good churchin' from time to time, whether they need the God aspect of it or not. It's good to be able to sit still for an hour and face forward and be quiet and let somebody else be in charge of the talking.
I, personally, am in need of some good churchin', and more to the point, am in need of a good church.
I am a member of a church that's good, but it's no good for me.
I sure was good for it, though, because I'm full of energy for their outreach programs, and I want to serve the least of these our brethren, and I want to be surrounded by like-minded people.
I'm a lonesome animal in a church – that church, anyway – because I'm single and straight and middle-aged and female and I don't have any children.
I am The Only One Like Me in the whole church.
They don't have a Sunday school class for me, even.
It's not like I'm going to church looking for husband, and truth be told, I wouldn't want to meet one there, because I don't want to give the false impression that I'm going to go every Sunday.
I quit going to the church I'm a member of, and it was both an easy and a hard choice.
I haven't felt included since the old pastor and his family left.
I talked to the two co-pastors about how I don't feel that there's a place there for me and they...just agreed.
I chose that particular church because for one thing, I have historic ties to it, in the form of my late Aunt Virginia, and for another, it has an excellent outreach program, and that means something to me.
But every Sunday, I sat there alone. I did not feel the sense of community I think you're supposed to feel in a church. I did not feel that those other people were my people, let alone my friends.
Every few days or so, there would be an email, a prayer request for this person or that person in some sort of need. It's a pretty well-known fact that I can fend for myself, but not once, not one, single, solitary time has anyone asked me, "How are you doing, Susan?"
So today, just like that, I cut my last tie when I unsubscribed myself from the church listserv.
My heart is heavy, but it was as simple as falling off the pew.
McDonald's offers free breakfasts to kids taking the FCATS (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) and the AIMS (Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards test), among others.
The breakfast consists of an Egg McMuffin and small milk or orange or apple juice.
And people are bitching that they'd rather see them offer the yogurt parfait or the oatmeal (at 31 grams of sugar, which actually makes it dessert, rather than breakfast).
And you know, sure, it's easy to say kids needs a healthier breakfast than fast food. They do. We all do.
But here's the thing: too many kids leave home in the morning with no breakfast.
Many of those same kids will return home to no supper, too.
If McDonald's is willing to step up and say, "Listen. We'll make breakfast for these kids, and we'll deliver it to them," then I don't care who you are, if you're not willing to do better for them, then you've got no business griping.
Yes, it would be nice to furnish those kids who wouldn't ordinarily have breakfast with organic, locally-sourced produce and grass-fed beef, served by virgins. But since that's not happening, maybe we should just all be quiet until we learn to smile and say thank you to those who actually show up.
So who are they, the heroes? Those will tell you what needs to be done, or those who just do it?
I need to know, because tax day is right around the corner, and I need to know further how this affects me, on account of I haven't done my taxes yet.
I need to just sit down and grind them out. I have an early-morning breakfast day with three of my favorite girls in the morning, and I should rush right home and take m'dawg to get her nails clipped and then just do it.
And on Monday morning, when I know what the damage is, I need to call the payroll company and have them start taking more out of my paycheck so the whole thing will stop being my annual nightmare.
I have a tax bill so big from the year-before-last that I'm going to have to take some money from a retirement fund to just pay it off. Normally I wouldn't do that, but the economy is such that the interest and penalties are more than I'm making on the fund and I'm going to be working decades longer to make it all up.
In non-governmental news, I have been reading my friend Amanda's blog (which I would link to, but I don't know if she's okay with that), and I always forget how much she is just one of my ten favorite people, for so many reasons both big and small. She looks so tiny and delicate, but I have never seen her not roll up her sleeves and just do what needs to be done. If you had to pick someone to go on a top-secret mission, she'd be the best person, because she'd just hike up her skirt and get it done.
I am truly, truly blessed to be surrounded by great friends like her.
Just like what the discharge papers at the hospital said, I have internal derangement of my knee. The Very Nice and Extremely Cute orthopaedist (don't hassle me, that's how it's spelled on the sign) gave me the medical terminology for that: your knee is jacked up.
I have a little bit of osteoarthritis.
Apparently a little goes a long way.
He gave me a cortisone shot in my knee and a prescription for Mobic, which seems to be more or less like Aleve, except easier on the digestive system.
The cortisone shot didn't hurt going in, but it hurts now. My knee is stiff and it feels full, which it is. I'm guessing it will feel better in the morning, after a good night's sleep, when it's all gone to wherever it needs to go.
As diets go, it's great and all, but you're still watching, constantly watching – watching what you eat, watching what you weigh, watching how your pants fit, watching what you put in your cart.
Only two people and my email circle (I think) know about my foray into Weight Watchers Online because I don't want the rest of the world watching my plate, watching my pants, watching my fork from the table to my mouth and back.
This comes up at the moment because one of my errands this afternoon was to The Container Store to buy lunch containers. Then I stopped by the grocery for my weekly shopping.
I just spent half an hour assembling lunch and breakfast for the week, and snacks too, because I can't leave room for error. I know exactly how many points each container, er, contains, and when I will consume it.
There were a few vegetables I couldn't get at the store I was at, and I'm in a little bit of a panic about getting them tomorrow after work, because what if it storms? I won't feel like stopping, and that will throw off dinners for the whole week, and I will err.
Losing weight takes a long time. It takes longer than gaining it does, for sure. Every time I can't get something, or I forget something, or there's a blip in the pattern, it's a potential setback for me, a pound deferred to next week, or the next week, or the next month, or maybe just...never.
Last night was my first big challenge and it was okay. I had prepared all week for it.
It just seems sometimes like I will never have another spontaneous meal in my life.
Wednesday evening, I was sitting on the couch with my dog, minding my own business, just like I always do, when I got a terrible pain just under and to the left of my right knee.
It hurt like stink.
I took a couple or three Aleve and it didn't stop, so I took my puppy and went to take a nap (like you do) to see if it would go away. It was so painful that I couldn't go to sleep.
Now. I am not a person who can't go to sleep. I once slept through the laser show at Stone Mountain. On the ground. I pride myself on the ability to sleep anywhere, any time, on short notice, and to wake up quickly. So you know it was bad.
Puppy and I got up and fixed some supper, and I put a bag of frozen corn (kernels, not ears) on it and knitted and watched television, thinking that would do it. We eventually shuffled off to bed, where I still was unable to sleep.
It wasn't any better Thursday morning – in fact, it was worse – so I got dressed and came on to work and called the doctor's office.
What I thought would happen was that the nurse would tell me to come by in the afternoon and they'd give me an anti-inflammatory.
What did happen was that she called me back right away and told me to stop whatever I was doing and go right to the ER and tell them my doctor said I might have a blood clot. I asked if I could finish what I was working on and she said, "No! Stop messing around and go now. And stop drinking whatever you're drinking! Just go."
The lady at the admissions desk asked me what I was there for and I told her I had a pain in my leg. She handed me a clipboard, and I said, "My doctor said to tell you I might have a blood clot." All of a sudden, I had been relieved of the clipboard and was in a chair, and all I had to do was hand over my drivers license and sign a piece of paper and they figured out the rest without me.
They wheeled me to a room and told me to take off most of my clothes and started sticking electrodes to me and putting in an IV for potential future use, and then I was off through halls and up and down elevators and in and out of secure doors and on an ultrasound table.
I watched red blood go away from my heart and blue blood go back to my heart and listened to it whoosh back and forth.
I asked the tech if it all looked okay and she said she wasn't allowed to tell me. I told her that if I were going to be bursting into tears, I'd rather do it in the dark with just her than under the fluorescent lights with a bunch of doctors and nurses later, so she did me a solid and told me I wasn't going to be crying.
She wheeled me back to my room, and a nurse came immediately and hooked a bunch of leads to my electrodes and told me they were going to watch me for an hour.
I would have knitted, but I had that pesky needle in my arm, and I quickly finished my magazine, so I emailed and texted for a while, and then I started getting antsy. I didn't know why I was being monitored, since I knew I didn't have a clot.
It turns out I was the only person in the ER who had that piece of information about my stunning lack of clot, since the hospital's network had gone down and the various departments' computers weren't talking to each other.
Plus I'd been there for five hours and was way past wanting lunch and wanting to leave and then I found out my call button didn't work, so I had to get out of bed to call for a nurse, but the leads aren't that long, so I had to pull the bed with me.
The nurses were too far away to hear me, so I hollered at a passing doctor, who asked me if I'd fallen out of bed, and I said no, I got out of bed and dragged it over here because my call button doesn't work. I want to know how they'd feel about taking me off these monitors and getting me some Xrays so I can go home.
Personally, I thought it was kind of snotty of her to say, "How about you just get back in the bed?" and then go tell them I'd fallen, but that's what she did, because a nurse came in, all worried that I'd lost my mind and patting me on the hand.
So I disconnected all my leads to see how long it would take them to notice I'd flatlined.
The Xray man finally came, but by then I was beside myself with boredom and thirst, and boy could he tell it.
He asked me about the electrodes sticking to the side rails, and I told him I'd pulled them off and stuck them there, since I DID NOT HAVE A BLOOD CLOT.
This seemed to be news to him, and he relayed it to the doctor, who came in pretty quicklike with prescriptions for what's really wrong with me, which turns out to be just a touch of osteoarthritis and a small tear of some description.