FB shut me down…

I still don’t understand why, but “suspicious activity” had been detected, so they said.  Okay.  They wanted me to send them a picture of myself, so they could determine if, indeed, the me that was sending them the picture was the Real me.  The Actual Person me was immediately offended, then concerned, so I took the problem to google and discovered that this is not an uncommon situation and it was safe to send them the picture.  But what’s up with sending them a picture?  Don’t they already have all my pictures?  Couldn’t I just pick one of me even if I weren’t me?   How does that verify that I’m really me?  I look at recent pictures and hardly recognize myself, so where does Mr. Bigshot Facebook get off thinking he knows me so well.  Shouldn’t they ask me piercing questions:  What is the name of your first elementary school?  What was your grandmother’s maiden name?   What is the most surprising thing you can tell us about yourself?   How could I surprise them?  They — who the hell is They? — track everything I do on the internet.  How, or why, would they suspect that I am not me?  Who else could I be?  I am decidedly me.  And that old woman in the picture is not the proof you are looking for.

I checked my driver’s license.  There is a picture of me, taken 12 years ago, wearing my nurse scrubs and dark red lipstick, long hair, few wrinkles.  That’s not me, though it was me.  I turned to my brand-spankin-new Medicare card.  No picture, but the name:  Christina J Casey.  I was so bummed when I got my card and saw that I was now going to be, until I fly away from this terrestrial globe, Christina J.   (I was named after my mother (Ruby Christina), a default measure after Dad wanted to name me Ruby.  I don’t know why they never called me Christy, or Tina, or just Christina, but they didn’t.  I was The Bug to my Dad and Jo to everyone else.)  Perhaps that’s suspicious?

This all happened 4 days after I had started my hiatus from blogging, determined to retreat and reset.  I got to thinking it must be a sign that I needed to verify for myself that I am still me.

I began a a spell of study with teachers from the Sounds True Meditation and Mindfulness Reatreat:  Alice Walker, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, and Thich Nhat Hanh.  I listened to some of Oprah’s Sunday interviews with Maya Angelou.  I reviewed my Ayurveda lessons and did some Dosha and Chakra Work.   When the snow and ice came, I watched the birds at the feeders and soaked up the warm cozy.  I started 2 book challenges, one fiction, the other non and read 2 from each list so far.  I dragged out my book of 40’s standards and played Misty and Cry Me a River.

I got back on the treadmill–but only once!!!  Now That proves that I’m really me.

I did eventually send the folks at fb a picture of me, and a week after that, I was bombarded with a barrage of “come back and see what you’ve missed” emails and notifications.  I really hadn’t missed a thing.

I am returning to blogging, though, refreshed! ready!  But I still wonder who I am…

Peace

 

 

Going dark…

I’ve been doing this blog thing for…oh, my gosh, it’s been nearly 14 years!!!  Over a thousand posts, hundreds of thousands of words, a plethora of pictures, and about 300+ readers followed along the way.

The original Sonnystone Acres morphed into The News, then expanded to include 3 other blogs:  Growing Every Season, Rave On,  MadWoman, and Trailer Trippin’.  (Growing is a seasonal gardening blog and the trippers only post when we are traveling —unless it’s to Disney, which goes on The News.)

Anyone who has tried to maintain a blog can tell you it’s not easy. Each post takes a couple of hours to write, even if it’s a photoblog.   It’s intimidating to hit the publish button…you are putting your Self out there…and I’ve written plenty of stuff that I decided to not share. If you want folks to come back, it has to be published consistently and it has to be at least decent, and interesting, or have pictures of darling children!..  Over the years, I’ve often sacrificed quality just to get something posted, but overall, I’m proud of what I’ve written.  It’s been rare that anyone has actually criticized me, though I can always count on my family to point out my weaknesses.  It’s almost as rare that anyone has actually “liked” my posts on wordpress!!

My faithful readers have shared my joy–births of 4 grand-daughters, 5 Camp Sonnystones, 6 Disney trips– and my pain–Eric’s 1.5 years of fighting cancer, deaths of friends, that damn hip thing.  I sincerely appreciate you.

Lately, though, I’ve felt more obligated than inspired…

So I feel like I have to tell you that I’m taking a 6-week-sabbatical from The News.  The MadWoman will likely be in touch, and I’ve got a few other writing projects going, but mostly I want to just shut up for a while.

I know I’ll be back in time to celebrate the February birthdays, so we’ll get together then!

Peace

The Perfunctory New Year, New You Post

The aroma of hoppin’ john — my stock new-year-day lucky food–is filling the air, warming us on this frigid (10degrees), but sunshiny First Day of 2018.

I’m a little skittish about making Resolutions…  I’ve done it before, but I’m just not a Resolute person.  I have only a passing understanding of Determination or what on earth a Firm Decision would be.  Same way with Goals…  The very word implies Effort and there is a whiff of competition that has never appealed to me.

I reject Bucket List, because I do not have a terminal diagnosis, and I sincerely hope to have done Everything before I get the diagnosis…

But just like the traditional lucky food, and kissing at midnight, I usually make a list on New Year Day.  The List was aimed at Self-Improvement, being healthy, changing my habits… The usual stop smoking, stop drinking, lose weight, join a group, take a class…I Would Become a Better Person!!!  January was always full of hope…  By February, I would be making excuses, and March always saw me in the line of shame to d/c my gym membership.

Why did I spend so much time criticizing myself, always falling short of my expectations.  I set myself up to fail, then beat myself up, feeling undisciplined, even lazy!?  Some of those habits changed, but never because I wrote it down on New Year Day.  Time flew in and changed me.  It works much better that way.

At the ripe old age of 64, I see the Year Ahead much differently.  I look at the Year as an Adventure, Each Day as a New Experience, Every moment present and aware.  So I’ll call it my Adventure List?  My Experience List?  My Learning List?  My Here’s What I Want to Do in 2018 List?

Whatever you want to call it, here it is…
(in no particular order and not necessarily complete)

1. Enjoy Each Moment, no judging

2.  Write

3.  Travel

4.  Spend Time with Family

5.  Learn New Music

6.  Read

7.  Garden

8.  Walk/Hike

9.  Spruce up the House

Asking a lot of myself, aren’t I?  I hope you feel free from self-criticism, too.   You don’t always need to Change yourself, trying to please or fit in.  You Will Be Changed, believe me;  that’s what Life is.  Don’t be so determined to be something.  Open yourself to Just Be.  Enjoy the Journey.
Peace

Bye-Bye, 2017

Before I tear off the rear-view mirror and cruise happily into 2018, let me linger just a moment…

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Peace

Have a Safe New Year’s Eve!

Christmas 2017

 

Dear God,
In this sacred season,
May Your Spirit move through me
And shine upon the world.
May Your Love be expressed
With every thought I think
And every action that I take.
May Christ be born anew
in me.
We give to you this passing year,
And pray for blessing upon the year ahead.
Heal us of our wounds, dear God,
And forgive us our mistakes.
May mercy and compassion
Light up the sky
And heal our broken world.
Amen

(2017 Holiday and End of Year Prayer from Marianne Williamson)

Peace

 

Keeping up with Christmas

My Pain Rant continues, though it’s gone from 100 to about 15 in the last 10 days.  I’m babying it along and have a follow-up with the doctor on Monday.

In the meantime, I’m working on not getting in a hurry…  At Christmastime, when there are so many demands, it’s a real work of Zen.  Be Here Now.   Everything will be done on time.  It makes me realize that all that hurrying isn’t necessary.  I’ve been crippled up for a couple of weeks now, and yet it’s all done or getting done with plenty of time to spare. The NYC gifts are being delivered daily.  The cards have been mailed, the cookies are baked.  The Eville presents are wrapped and ready for delivery…

I’m coming to grips with the undeniable fact that I have some control issues (shh…don’t tell the kids I admitted it).  It came to the forefront as I was letting Casey “help” me with baking, you know, just putting the cookie dough on the baking sheets and into the oven, then taking them out and cooling them…it turned out more like  “not like that”  “don’t put that there”  “only let them sit one minute”  ….   suddenly, I walked smack into my kitchen island, banging my sore hip on the (thankfully rounded) corner.   I limped on back to my comfortable chair and Let It Go.  It all turned out fine, as you probably could guess.

By the way, I made a new recipe for oatmeal cookies this year.  I added banana, cutting back 1/4 cup of butter on the Quaker’s Best Oatmeal Cookies.  It is delicious.

Tonight we’re going to Olivia’s Winter Christmas Concert, where she will perform with the 4th and 5th grade choir.  I think I’ll have to stand, but that will be fine!