Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Miscellaneous Updates on Life

Knitting: The Lollipop socks are almost done. Down to the toe shaping on both of them. If nothing unexpected happens, I will be working on Mom's beaded socks by next weekend.

Christmas Parade: Briarwood Dog Training is going to be in the Kalamazoo Christmas parade. Gail, the owner, likes the idea of Sunny and Pappy peeking out of a wrapped box. I'm supposed to work on teaching them to wave their paw. Pappy will wave, but I doubt Sunny will. I'll be able to teach her to wave, but at the parade she's going to be too excited to do it.

Getting Pfired: Pfizer says they need to keep me until the end of the year. I've asked for a January 9 date to be severed. Now that I've adjusted to the thought of being unemployed, I'm anxious for it to happen.

Weightloss: Last Wednesday's weigh-in was not good. I was up 3/4 of a pound. Since my fast food weekend a week ago, I've been within my point range. This week's weigh-in should be better.

Seasons of Violet Blog: I'm planning to update my blog everyday this week. That's a big challenge because of the time it takes. Time is very tight during the workweek. Eventually this blog will have a more interesting layout with pictures of violets. I don't dislike my current layout. It's plain and functional and will do very nicely until I get around to changing it.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Seasons Change But Tattoos Are Forever

I saw a young woman with snake tattoos on her arms and shoulders. Oh honey, I don't think that was a smart thing to do. Don't I remember that it hurts to have tattoos removed?

Life changes us. Our interests change as we age. While it might be interesting to have a tattoo history of things we used to find important, it's more likely that we don't want to be so frequently reminded.

Thinking of my own life in ten year intervals, here's my imaginary tattoo history:

1955, 10 years old - New tattoo is a picture of Howdy Doody.

1965, 20 years old - New tattoo has hearts and says "Harold Forever".
  • Harold was my first husband. We married in 1965.
  • Howdy Doody was removed in 1958, as soon as I could earn enough baby sitting money to pay to for the procedure.

1975, 30 years old - New tattoo has flowers and says "Bob Forever".
  • Bob is my second husband. We married in 1975.
  • You can bet that "Harold Forever" has been removed.

1985, 40 years old - New tattoo is a picture of running shoes.
  • I imagine myself finding the meaning of life during a runner's high.
  • "Bob Forever" still works, except I'm about twenty-five pounds heavier. It's looking a little distorted.

1995, 50 years old - New tattoo is a Christian cross.
  • I'm a new Christian and it really is the meaning of life.
  • The running shoes have to go. I have arthritis and a bad back. I'm lucky I can walk.
  • "Bob Forever" still works, except I'm now about fifty pounds heavier. It's looking very distorted.

2005, 60 years old - New tattoo is going to be difficult to place amoung the wrinkles. I'm thinking it will be be something about Seasons and Violets.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Getting Kicked Out of the Nest

Background: I worked for Pharmacia for 17 years. Pharmacia was acquired by Pfizer. Thousands of us in Kalamazoo are being severed. We call it being Pfired.

Late last fall when I first learned I was going to be Pfired, my initial reaction was happiness. After all, I wasn't planning to work that many more years and the severance package was generous.

We had a psychologist brought in to conduct a class on the emotional impact of being severed. He talked about denial, anger, resentment, and depression. I listened, decided it didn't apply to me, and threw the handout in the wastebasket. Classic denial.

In a few months as the slaughter began, I noticed that it didn't take much to bring tears to my eyes. I started having uncharacteristic emotional reactions to everyday events. By that time everyday events included the elimination of everything familiar at work: the departments, the systems, the culture, and the people.

The anger, resentment, and depression cycles peaked in August. These were the weeks prior to one of my favorite workmates getting Pfired. For several weeks I was unable to concentrate and the slightest thought of what was happening brought a big lump to my throat.

I think I'm better now. I think I've reached the stage where I accept and I'm ready to move on. I don't like what is happening. I'm never going to feel good about what is happening. But I'm almost ready to thank Pfizer for throwing me into the next phase of my life.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Thoughts on Weight Watchers

The score: I've been doing Weight Watchers at work since late January. So far I've lost 25 pounds and have 11 pounds left to lose.

The Weight Watchers program works. How I feel about the Weight Watchers organization itself is another story. Maybe some other post I’ll write about it. Maybe not.

Here's a list of what I've learned:

  • In order to lose weight I need to eat much less than I was eating before. It's amazing I wasn't more overweight than I was.

  • Sometimes when I think I'm hungry, I'm really thirsty and water takes care of the craving.

  • Drinking eight glasses of water a day is easy and doesn't result in more trips to the bathroom. It does make me feel better than I've felt in years.

  • Giving up almost all sugar plus drinking the water helped my aches and pains. They didn't go away, but they are much less noticeable.

  • It's really fun to pull out my fall clothing and have it be baggy.

  • There are some good tasting low fat products on the market. They are way outnumbered by awful tasting low fat products on the market.

  • I would rather eat a small amount of a good tasting traditional dish than a large amount of a traditional recipe altered to be low fat.

  • As long as I have grapes to munch on, I can ignore almost all other snack foods.

  • Eating as a reward is not permissible. Rewards to replace eating are hard to find. In my case knitting time and laptop time are substitutes. But in a time pressured world they are not always practical.

  • Once a week I can cheat and eat something that is more points than I'm allowed in a day. Maybe that's why I've lost less than a pound a week. On the other hand, it's made the process bearable.

  • The health rewards are significant. Both the measurable (blood pressure, cholesterol) and the unmeasurable (energy level, joint pain).

  • The WW eating plan is something I can live with for the rest of my life. That's were other diets fall short for me. They are too restrictive to maintain.

Question to Ponder: Why is it that two of my favorite low fat products, Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches and Laughing Cow Cheese, have "cow" in their name and a picture of a cow on their package?

Thursday, September 11, 2003


I don't need to see the images. They are burned in my brain. The impact of the planes, people tumbling through the air, the towers crumbling down.

This is a fallen world. It will always be full of evil until Jesus returns.

It is our job to be salt in this world and fight the futile fight until that return. That will be the day we can finally rest in His peace and His love.

Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Miscellaneous Updates on Life for September 7

Knitting: Mom wants the beaded socks I'm almost ready to start knitting. This is the first knit item my mother has ever requested, so I'm looking forward to getting started. The last pair of CIC socks aren't done yet and I won't start the beaded socks until they are.

Doggy School: Pappy did the agility course off leash one time last Thursday. Then we switched the order of the course and I put his leash back on so I could help guide him through the new configuration. I'm not sure he needed guiding. His progress is amazing.

Christmas Parade: Briarwood Dog Training is going to be in the Kalamazoo Christmas parade. We are looking for ideas on what our entry is going to be like. I checked out Goggle for dogs in Christmas parades and came to the conclusion that dog schools in general have little imagination. So far Briarwood is not the exception.

Getting Pfired: As far as I know, my date to be severed is March 5, 2004. Almost everything I do is going away by the end of October. I’m thinking they can’t possibly mean to keep me until March. If they do keep me, it's good for the retirement budget. The problem is that I'm mentally and emotionally ready to go NOW.

Weightloss: I’m down 25 pounds since late January. About 15 pounds left to go. Next week we start the fourth ten-week session of Weightwatchers at Work. It will be interesting to see if the class actually starts. Most of the veteran attendees are on the verge of getting severed, or were severed last week. I sent my check in. We’ll see what happens.

Grandma and Kimmy Do The Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival

Friday afternoon I took a few hours vacation and went to pick up Granddaughter Kimmy after school.

We ate a snack at McDonalds and came home to play with the dogs, play with the dollhouse, and play Sorry. She won.

The main event of the weekend was the Friday night firework display over Maple Lake at the Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival. They were awesome, as always.

On Saturday we visited the festival craft sale and the carnival rides.

Granddaughter Kimmy and Daughter Heather.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Picking A Name

Note added 3/14/2010: September 1, 2003 I started my first blog, Seasons of Violet, with this post.

I am in the process of moving posts I want to keep from Seasons of Violet to Stitches of Violet intending to delete Seasons of Violet when the transfer is complete.

A few weeks ago I made a list of names I might possibly use for my blog. They all included the word violet, because violet is my e-mail name and my theme.

After making the list, I sent it out to some family and friends for their thoughts. Most of them thought that “Violet Blooms” or “Blooming Violet” was the best name because either it reminded them of spring or it indicated that I was blooming. Blooming as in personally growing and becoming a more complete person.

So glad I asked. I do have days when I’m blooming. They are rare and wonderful days.

Many of my days I am just trying to survive. Sometimes I’m depressed and/or tired. Sometimes I feel crummy. Sometimes life seems heavy and hard. Those are the days I need to write the most.

I’m sure everyone will be surprised when I don’t use a name containing “bloom”. Instead, I’m going to go with “Seasons of Violet” to represent the changing times of lmy life.

My dear husband Bob, in his great wisdom, picked that name from the start. He knows me well.