Nov 28, 2011

Designed Addiction

I have often called myself a food addict. If there was a drug house for donuts, you would find me sitting in the corner with a white, powdery substance on my lips. I have fought being overweight from around the age of eight. I have thought it all completely my fault until recently. There are scientists in labs whose soul purpose is to get you/keep you addicted to processed foods.

We all know the story of Dr. Frankenstein who created his monster in a lab. Few know this isn't a fable. No, it isn't an ugly pseudo human I am referring to, but pseudo food. Flavors created in a lab to enhance taste and replace the desire to eat "real" food. There is a multi-billion dollar industry of chemical drug dealers who will never face arrest or jail their for pushing their drugs. The food industry is the enabler for your addiction.

There is no Betty Ford clinic where I can go to rehab from my food addiction. I will have to sit in my own home fighting withdrawal from the processed mess of my addiction. Just like any junkie it won't be easy. I will have setbacks, but I must stay focused on getting clean. My twelve step program must start with the first step of cleaning out my pantry.

The following is a video of a 60 Minutes Piece titled Tweaking Tastes and Creating Cravings that explains far better than I can the science behind food addiction.

Nov 18, 2011

Wine and Love V35

Linking with Walking With Nora for the wine and love of my week
Walking With Nora

Wine List

* My computer crashed. It is at Best Buy getting fixed. Thank goodness I had online back-up. I would need a whole lot of wine if I didn't have it!
* I had to make two trips to get ink for my printer. I thought I bought the right ink the first trip only to get home and find I had purchased the wrong one..
* My desk is cluttered again. I can't seem to keep it straight. I have a notepad to write things in, but I grab any piece of paper and then promptly lose it.
* I haven't been managing my blood sugar well enough and have had some problems this week. I hate being diabetic!!

Love List

* My oldest daughter's much need divorce was final this week. I suppose that is an odd thing to put on my love list, but it was necessary. 
* I got all the pine needles raked up in my front yard. 
* Exercised almost every day this week!
* I heard an amazing song by Mark K Blige The Living Proof. I am sharing it here.

My Best Friend

Charlie and I the night of my senior prom in 1969

I met my best friend a week before my seventeenth birthday. It was a random introduction by another friend, Joanne. His name is Charlie and he is my husband of forty one years. Charlie knows me like no other person ever has or ever will. We started out two young kids not even sure of what our dreams were, but we believed in forever.

It is so true that we can finish one another's sentences or know what the other is thinking. We can't do it all the time, but there are those uncanny times when we say the exact same thing at the exact same moment. Both of us have the ability to figure out a T.V. or a movie plot from almost the rolling of the first scenes. There are so many things we both like and things we are polar opposites on. For example I lean to the left politically and he leans to the right. Our music tastes are very similar for the most part, but there are some very distinct differences. He isn't always happy with what is blasting from my ipod in the car, but he roles his eyes and bears it.

My husband has walked through some of my darkest days with me. I was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. It was a secret I kept until I was eighteen years old, and the first person I told was Charlie. The darkness so overwhelmed me I couldn't believe that my sweet young Charlie could love someone so damaged. He had no clue in the beginning as to the reasons for my sudden, unnatural fear and withdrawal from him. Finally the storm broke in me and I told him of my abuse from a family member. He loved me and saw me through the years of  pain to my healing.

I have the most incredible best friend in Charlie. It has and is an amazing life to spend my days with him. We are not perfect. The volume can go up in our disagreements especially when I flip the switch. We are two imperfect people who fit perfectly together. A few years a go I wrote him a poem for Valentine's Day. The emotion I felt then is still true today. It is titled My Love Sleeps.

My Love Sleeps

As you sleep next to me so close we could be one,
I watch silently as you dream.
Your gentle breath upon my face is like the
whispering wings of a butterfly.
I lie still and let myself feel all the love my heart holds for you.
Memories of all the years we have been together flood over me.
I remember the first time I saw you so tall-
so handsome- so young.
You reached out your hand and led me to the dance floor.
Without knowing it I was taken in the embrace of the one
who would be with me through all my tomorrows.
Recollections of strong arms cradling tiny little cherubs 
with rose bud cheeks flow through my memory,
little girls with doe eyes reaching up to be drawn
into the circle of your embrace to be held by your strength.
Whispers of the times I heard you proclaim your love
for me tease my ears while
the music of your laughter plays softly in my soul.
The harmony of our beings orchestrates a love song
that has no end.
Soon you will stir to begin your day,
but while I can I will hold my slumbering love.
I will keep you close for just a few more moments.
Dream on my love.
I am here with you.

©Susie Clevenger 

Charlie and I on a cruise 2010

Free Write Friday Prompt: Best Friends

Nov 16, 2011

I Should Be Asleep

It is one o'clock in the morning. I am sitting here trying to be creative, but all I have done is look at pictures hoping they will speak to me. No, I am not crazy. I search through photographs for inspiration to write. Tonight or should I say this morning I am not having any luck. I think my muse is tired and sought her pillow before I sat down at my computer.

I hate moments like this. I write a few words and then stare at the cursor blinking hoping more will come. I recently discovered a quote by Paul Valery, "A poem is never finished, only abandoned." I am not sure I would agree that is the case on every one of my poems. Many times I feel when a poem speaks it is finished. My problem tonight is I haven't heard one say it is time to begin.

In one of my attempts I was working on a prompt to write a haiku using the word urn..Should I have it stuffed with a loved one's ashes or fill it with flowers? That urn sits in my brain silent. Perhaps I should take that as a sign to pour ashes into it, but death has visited too often this year and I don't know if I have another funeral poem in me. For now I have an empty urn clanking around in my thoughts. 

I even attempted writing Monostich poetry. That should be simple. It is a poem of only one line. Not as easy as "one" line would indicate. It is supposed to have 6-12 syllables., To clarify the syllable count it is to be an even number of syllables...6,8,10,12. The ones I wrote were all odd numbered. Maybe I spoke to soon,Valery might be right about abandoning a poem.

I really should be asleep. Snoring would be more productive than I have been tonight. Thoughts of the dreaded writer's block stalking me keep popping into my head. I sit here writing about not being able to write.   
Enough! I need to stop my rambling and get to bed. So I must say a simple, "Goodnight."

Nov 14, 2011


One of my favorite things to photograph is architecture. There is such beauty in buildings. They stand there with history etched across them. It could be a brand new building or one that is aged. The history could just be a few weeks or hundreds of years. Stories fill the brick, mortar, wood, glass, and metal of each one.

I rarely plan to go to a particular building to take photographs. I enjoy just having my camera in my hand and look around to see what catches my eye. My husband Charlie doesn't quite understand why I take so many of the same thing, but it is all about the one "shot" that makes it all worth the effort. Thankfully he is patient with me. There is the occasional sigh and eye rolling, but he waits while I snap away. The following pictures were taken in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

City Hall in Vicksburg Mississippi

The Old Courthouse Museum
Vicksburg, Mississippi

Nov 12, 2011

Wine and Love V34


 Wine List

*My husband went to his orthopedic doctor and found out the problem with his rib on his right side is where it joins with the spine. He is to start physical therapy to see it that will help. Worst case scenario is having a three inch section of his rib next to the spine removed.
*Family problems with a brother-in-law. I will just leave it at that.
*I lost a childhood friend this week. She was sixty and in the early stages of Alzheimer's. 
*Getting annoying telemarketer calls about lowering my interest rate...I am on the no call list, but somehow those jerks have found a loophole.
*Seeing how big an idiot our governor, Rick Perry, can be on the republican debates

Love List

*I got an award from Bluebell books for my poem Where Imagination Begins on my poetry blog Confessions of a Laundry Goddess.
*My husband worked on the desk my dad made to raise it. My dad made it for a youth and it was just too low. It is a corner of my guest bedroom. I call it my love letter nook. I sit there to write notes to mail and to leave in random places.  I have become involved with The World Needs More Love Letters. Here is the link  . Check it out. Everyone could use some love.
*I made a donation to the Star of Hope mission for their Thanksgiving meal to feed the homeless
*I donated money to the Lion's Club to buy movie tickets for underprivileged children.
*I got back to exercising again. I am walking on my treadmill and lifting weights. 
On Thursdays check in with Walking With Nora to share the wine and love of your week. 

Six Word Saturday 11/12/11

My youngest is coming for Thanksgiving

It has been several years since Carrie has been able to come home for the holiday.
It will be so nice to have her home with us.

Thankful for Ordinary Days

This is the time of year that many sit down with family and friends to eat and share a gratitude list. I am so blessed and my list of blessings is long. One thing that most people take for granted or wouldn't think to put on a thanksgiving list is an ordinary day. Yes, I am thankful for an ordinary day. You know the kind. The alarm clock goes off to awaken you and the news is the signal it is time for bed. All the hours in between are filled with ordinary.

I am thankful for an ordinary day because all goes as expected. There have been days in the past few years that have not been ordinary. In 2004 I was standing looking at my husband, Charlie, when a doctor told him he had three to five minutes to live. All I could feel was fear and all I could hear was the clock ticking behind my head. My husband had two arteries that were more than 90 % blocked. The cardiologist informed him if he had a heart attack they couldn't save him. In that moment of holding my breath time went into fast forward. There were shots given, an ambulance called, and my husband on the way to a bigger hospital for an emergency double by-pass. My darling husband survived the odds and I have him today.

In 2006 I was coming home from Wal-mart when my ordinary day turned into a day that would change my life forever. I was sitting at a green light waiting for traffic across from me to turn when an eighteen year old girl who was texting ran a red light and hit me on the driver's side of my car. I went from listening to Jesus Take the Wheel to being unconscious in an ambulance. I had numerous injuries. I only have two memories of the accident, broken glass in front of my face and a flashback of red lights flashing and white light beckoning. In the flashback I hear myself saying, "I am going to die here and Charlie won't know." Then I spoke the words, "Goodbye Charlie." I suffered a traumatic brain injury that resulted in subtle personality changes and left me ADHD.  I am thankful to be alive and to have overcome many obstacles from the accident.

In 2008 my ordinary day took a painful turn. My oldest daughter, Dawn, called to tell us the kidney biopsy came back positive. She had kidney cancer and her left kidney would have to be removed. How do you wrap your head around the word cancer when it is your child? It was so difficult. I gathered all the strength and faith I had to believe all would go well. Today my beautiful daughter is doing well and has celebrated three years of being cancer free.

This Thanksgiving I do have a lot to be thankful for. My husband and daughters will be with me. We will sit at the dinner table to eat and give thanks. One of the things near the top of my list will be I am thankful for each
of my ordinary days.


Nov 6, 2011

Six Word Saturday 11/5/11

My Daughter Turned Three This week!
Dawn celebrated her third year of being cancer free!
She is a kidney cancer survivor!

Nov 5, 2011

Wine and Love v33


My wine list:

* My oldest daughter, Dawn, got a divorce Tuesday. Ending a marriage is tough. It was a long time coming, but when the actual day came it just seemed it happened so fast.
* I was so disorganized this week. My desk needs work. I have piles of things sitting on it. To top it off Charlie was standing there putting my mess into an organized pile. There was a method to my madness. Not really, my desk was the landing place for whatever item I had in my hand when I came into the office.
* Fighting spots on Charlie's shirts. He swears they weren't on the shirts when I put them in the washing machine. I suppose there is a grease gremlin waiting inside the machine to spot his shirts. 

My love list:

* Halloween was so much fun. We had 300 kids. Yes, I said 300. It was non stop goblins dropping by for candy. There were so many cute ones. We ran out of candy before we ran out of kids.
* Dawn got a divorce this week. I know I already "wined" about it, but there was an up side also. She is now free to put the past behind her and embark on the life she wants.
* My youngest, Carrie, had her 34th birthday this week. She lives in Oklahoma and we live in Texas so we didn't get to be with her. We sent her flowers and her friends cooked dinner, sang to her, and gave her gifts. It was a great day for her!
* I got a new chair to sit at my love letter desk. Charlie found it. It works perfectly in the small space my desk occupies. 
* I downloaded Kelly Clarkson's new CD. I love it. The album title is Stronger. It is all about getting over and moving on. 
* Well my love list is longer than my wine list....Now that is how a week should end! :)

Dear Susie

Dear Susie,

I hear you. Thirteen is tough. That supposedly magic step from child to teenager is not the fairy tale you expected. You are still the overweight girl who gets called names. Add the hormone changes you are going through and it feels like you have stepped into adolescent hell. The girls in your class have just started wearing training bras. Training for what? Sorry, I just never understood that term. Any way they are in their beginner lingerie and you have had to go to the women's department because of your "endowments." There are sneers and unkind words thrown at you which has you wearing over sized clothing in an attempt to hide your development. Stop being so upset. I am sitting in the future where women are purchasing implants to increase their bust size to what nature has already given you.

P.E, I know you hate it. Those crazy light blue, short jumpsuits are hideous. There is just no discreet way to undress and put on that thing. (I know you swore you would never wear another jumpsuit, but in 1977 you actually made and wore them) Not only are you expected to excel in every sport the teacher placed you in you have to learn first aide. It isn't just the treatment of cuts and bruises. The Cold War has put Americans in fear of a nuclear attack. The school has a fallout shelter in the basement and it has pushed academia into having its students prepared.There are so many videos to watch. How does a thirteen year old comprehend the possibility of delivering a baby? But there you sit watching actual deliveries and being taught what to do in the event you must deliver one. I can hear the video,"Watch the umbilical cord until it stops pulsing and then you can cut it".Oh my! Well, the Cold War came and went and never once were you required to deliver a baby.

The Beatles are in their meteor rise to the top of the music charts. You are such a fan. You have Beatles bubblegum trading cards, magazines, and know the lyrics to every song. A lot of your classmates haven't caught on to what you sense the Beatles are and will become. They make fun of you pulling your purse from your arms to have everything spill across the floor. Just so you know the Beatles changed the music world. Your vision was spot on. Way to go!!

Susie, take a deep breath. Thirteen will pass in a blink. There are some painful moments, but you will survive  it all. Your sense of humor will go from defense to joy. The future holds so much for you. You will be married to a wonderful man and have two beautiful daughters. Now with one big whoosh let go of all you fear. Tomorrow is going to be bright!

The woman you have become

Kellie's prompt on Magic in the Backyard is Hindsight is 20/20