Thursday, February 28, 2008

Quest for beauty

Guess what I spent the afternoon doing? The afternoon following the morning that stung? The afternoon where a King Soopers van pulled up in front of my house: a woman got out and handed me a beautiful vase of fresh flowers from my buddy Lynette.

I schlepped into the back yard and picked up poop. Caleb sure makes a lot of waste during the winter months. So much, the yard was innavigable.

Take a look at both pictures. Can you tell them apart?

Alrighty, I'll give you that the pack of poo doesn't have curly hair...

My iPod plugged into my ears, I knelt down with a plastic shopping bag over my hand, and began cleaning up the mess. Ear buds popped out every three and a half minutes (any body know how to make them stay in, or do I have weird ears?).

In some sort of sick way, I realized what I was doing was a meraphor of my life. I was doing to my yard, what Jesus wants to do to me. Clean up the crap in my soul.

One bag filled before I was half way through the yard. I started on another. The bag over my hand grew thin and opened up in a few places. I thought about changing to a new one, then decided not to. Jesus wouldn't. In fact, he doesn't even use a baggie for picking up my shitaki mushrooms. He's not afraid of my stinky, smelly mess. He loves my mess. He thinks I'm beautiful and talented. To him, I'm the daughter of THE King who's been out in the yard all winter with no one to help her clean up after herself.

Then I really went whack-a-doodle on myself. I ran into the house and grabbed my Nikon D50. Very few pictures of me exist. 99.9% of the time I'm on the backside of the camera. I've always hated the way I look. I still do, to some lesser degree...

I began torking my arm, extending it away from me and shooting myself from a myriad of angles. At the time, I had no idea why - then it struck me. I was on a quest for beauty.

God doesn't create anything ugly (oooh - Kyle's in the toilet again! Gotta get him.)

Dang, the kid knows how to use door knobs. Gotta get me some of those covers that you have to squeeze...

Back on topic - If God doesn't create UGLY, and I'm one of HIS creations - made in HIS image, then I have to be beautiful, right? okay, don't answer that one

I found facing the brilliant light of the sun is my best facing. The warm rays wash away the worry lines that prematurely carve across my forehead. It obliterates the dark circles that usually lurk under my eyes.

I was listening to Women of Faith. My loopy brain can't remember the title, but it was a familiar hymn with a modernized tag inserted in the middle. The lyrics said we have to die to ourselves in order to truly live. I froze with a petrified dog-log in my right hand. Die. To. Myself.

I'm dying. God's helping me die, not to destroy me, but to bring that abundant life He promises.

Dying sucks. The crap stinks. Jesus ain't scared of no Darcie poo. But I can't wait to experience what it's like to really, and truly live. (sorry about the adverbs, my copy/line-editing friends) ;)

Rejection, Duh-pression

I'm out.

It hurts, like someone poured lighter fluid all over my heart and used a blow-torch for ignition.

But, I'm not broken.

Worship team is not the context in which God wants to use my voice. He's providing me with world-class lessons (I'm not exaggerating) for FREE. A pro who sees potential in me, I don't even see.

Writer. Speaker. Singer. God wouldn't make me good at these things if He didn't want me to use them. It's just that I'm finding out His plan is so different from mine. On a deep level, I'm okay with His wisdom. I'm still sick. Worship leaders need to be well and stable. I'm not well and stable. I'm a mess.

Oh, I said that yesterday. Bear with me as I work to embrace my messiness. Jesus loves me the way I am, I need to do likewise.

Before I called Ryan, I spent an hour at least in prayer and meditation on God's Word. My depression makes downers harder to take. I didn't break in my convo with Ryan. It actually went well. I met my goal. The door isn't closed on me, it's just the timing.

I have talent, but I'm wounded. I need to heal. Shut out the lying voice of Satan, and strive to reach the potential God planted in me. Fear has been my master for as long as I can remember. Proving I'm worth something, goes waaaaay back to childhood. The temptation to Show Them is more than I can bear right now, so I'm begging God for a lift of some kind. I need good news, encouragement, a contract? An agent to call me and say, "I've read your Litterbox and Titletrakk reviews. Dang, girl, you can write!!! Got a novel in the works?"

I'd say, "Oh yes I do. I'm rewriting it due to a change in character relationship..."

"I'd like to represent you and help you get published."

Okay, maybe I'm sliding into fantasy land like a mountain climber whose crampons have balled up with ice on an exposed extreme slope.

But can't God do something like that?

Would He be God if He couldn't?

Doesn't mean He will. He can choose for Himself what to do with the shattered pieces of what used to be Darcie.

I think that's harder than the rejection and depression.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blathering, battling, biffing

Pardon me as I have to sweep my eyelids off the keyboard so I can type. Exhaustion has not only taken up residence, but has pulled off a coup.

Another episode of drugs gone bad; sans hospital.

Having been through this, what? Two weeks ago? I knew immediately what was happening. I woke up feeling WRONG and in a downward spiral. After a phone call to my friend Mair, and a call to the nurse, I took action and felt better. Just need to quarter the pills and step down from there. My brain won't let go of the Effexor.

Oh how I wish I never met that stuff!

Drugs gone bad does bad things to the bod. Hence, my lethargy. My lack of getting anything done today (writing wise). Mair says I must accept my mess. I'm only human. I need to extend the same grace to myself that Jesus extended to me long ago and continues to extend.

Do you know how hard that is for a driven, perfectionistic, accomplishment freak?

And it's not over.

I had an out of body experience and auditioned for worship team. My goal was to face fear, and make it through the torture chamber dreaded by musicians across the globe w/o melting down. In my opinion, considering my goal, I think I did quite well.


I have to call Ryan (worship dude) tomorrow AM to find out my fate. I'm steeling myself up for another rejection.

My friends Susie and Kendall both received invitations in the mail today. I opted for a personal response. Now I'm thinking I'd rather not know. Silence = rejection= I can pretend it never happened and not be disappointed - AGAIN.

Being on the worship team is nowhere near important to me as it was last year. I held onto it too tight. I'm taking voice lessons and will continue to do so regardless. I have other groups interested in my talent. But it will still suck. I'll be sad. I can't pretend I'm not.

I wasn't going to put myself through this, but I did. I need to put it all behind - especially if I'm rejected again. I faced my fear. The audition thing is done for me. Especially in a church setting where called, capeable, committed people should be allowed to use their gifts to minister. Ryan and I hashed it out. We're cool. That's a victory as well.

Back to the grace thing. HOW???

All I know is how to beat myself up.

Mair (pronounced like 'fire') told me that God is using my depression to strip me down to the Real Darcie. I'm so poor in spirit, wounded, bruised - there's now way on this earth or in hell for that matter how I could take credit for anything. Any success in this state is a God thing.

I'm a mess.

Every second, my mind wrestles with the fact I'm a mess but don't want to be. Why put up a facade anymore when I think any soul in Colorado would have to be dead to not notice I'm a mess.

Duhhhhpresion. It sucks. Big time, but Jesus is bigger. He doesn't smash his heel down on bruised reeds.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Booger Surgery

I've known it was coming for over a month. In fact, I pushed for it to be performed as soon as possible, but I still broke down and cried as I slid between the sheets last night.

Surgery is scary no matter how old you are, or how many times you've endured it. Thank God we live in a country that has skilled surgeons available with the latest technology. But...

When you not-yet-two-year-old is the one going under, a little scary shifts to terror in the mommy heart.

Booger had his ear tubes put in this morning. He's had six very serious double ear infections since last March, three of them between Halloween and Christmas 2007. The infections are becoming more resistant to antibiotics, making them harder to treat, along with increasing the risk of hearing loss.

Morning came too early. I didn't sleep very well. I got myself ready, downed a flavorless bowl of Special K and filled the car with diaper bag, Elmo and Thomas the Tank Engine. Moments before I left is when I peeled a sleepy-eyed little boy off his mattress.

"Blanky!" He cried arching his back, stretching his arms toward the smelly fleeced leopard print taggy blanket.

"It's time to go bye-bye so the doctor can fix your ears." I said while buckling Kyle, Elmo and Blanky into the car seat.


"We'll see lots of them. Trains too."

There's no quick way to get from South West Denver to Central Denver. Kyle chattered, pointed out trains, tow-trucks, buses and airplanes as we scurried up Santa Fe toward 6th Avenue. I had to get there early enough to buy a latte. I'm no fun to be around until I get my coffee buzz. The guy behind the cart at the Franklin Center (Kaiser Permanente) looked at me and asked, "Quad shot?"

John joined us while Kyle sat in pre-op, shuffling through the stack of Thomas and Elmo stickers given to him by the nurse. "Does he like wagons?" the nurse asked.

Moments later, John and I took turns running up and down the hall of pre-op making weird motor noises, zig-zagging wild patterns and even trying to steer the Booger backwards. He shrieked with glee. Patients in those attractive, butt-baring gowns waved from their cubicles and honked.

When the surgeon came in with the OR nurses, she told Kyle he could take his blanket and train into the OR. She even allowed him to ride in the wagon instead of a gurney. His giggles bounced off the sterile walls as he was rolled away. John and I locked eyes. I took a deep breath, loaded the diaper bag and Elmo into the empty stroller and we meandered our way back to the waiting room.

Surgery was over in 20 minutes. A nurse led us to the recovery area, and there was no question about Kyle's location. We heard him long before we saw him. He was in a doped-out funk. I sat in the recliner chair and held him, kissing the swirly cow-lick on his fuzzy little head. His cries softened a bit as John made faces at him, but shot up to full volume whenever a green-scrub wearing person entered his field of view.

Then all of a sudden he wanted "waters" or juice. I came prepared. His Nalgene bottle was filled with apple juice. He downed that stuff faster than a frat-boy at a kegger. Swallowing hard, he looked at me; "Cookie?"

Booger was back to his boogey little self. Ate two cups full of cookies and was on his way home, pointing to buses, trains, policey cars and fire-trucks.

Kyle's ears were jammed full of "gook". That's what the surgeon called it. She marveled at how he was able to hear at all with so much gook. Now that it's gone, she says he'll experience a whole new world of sounds.

In six weeks, Kyle will have another hearing test. I pray he passes that one.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

An authentic onion

I just finished reading the post of a friend of mine - Red Letter Believers, about authenticity. Two days ago, or so, I read a post by my friend Paula of Grace Reign and a post by Heather on her blog.

Paula and Heather were being vulnerable and authentic. They aren't afraid to share who they are and what they think and feel.

My current inclination is to be an onion - wrapped up nice and tight in my papery shell with dozens of thick, strong layers protecting my tender inner core.

I pull back a layer every now and then, but at the sign of any hurt or misunderstanding, I yank my skin tightly around me, less willing to open up in the future.

What will people think if they knew the "real" me?

Often I'm accused of being authentic and "real". If those people only knew how skilled I am at acting. I could win a flippin' Oscar!

I'm most grieved by the fact that Christians are most suseptible to misunderstanding, judging, and flat out rejecting me if I show my pain. Only a rare few have drilled holes in my layers (Stinky!!!) My non-Christian friends are far more perceptive, and pick up on my artful deception.

Writers: the deeper I dive into their world really "get" me. Many of them have been where I am. Many of them have matured to a place in which they don't care what others think. They shed their onion skins, exposing a raw tender shoot of green growth to the world.

Stories of their true selves inspires me and leads me toward a place of healing so one day I too can sluff off those cumbersome shells and live in full freedom and growth.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pig Pizza Explores National Delivery!

Listen up! Victory Pig Pizza, in Wyoming, PA is considering a program to ship frozen pizza throughout the US.

Wanna know why?

Because of your comments on this blog.

My Dad printed out my original post on Pig Pizza and gave it to Richard Ceccoli, the owner. He was overwhelmed by the impact an ooey, gooey, rectangular piece of pizza heaven has on former NEPA residents.

Here's his reply to "Pig Pizza Perfection!":

Thank You, every one, for your comments on our pizza. Our family tries very hard to keep the quality of our pizza up to it's reputation. My mom and dad at 83 years old still work in our 110 degree kitchen to insure the quality of our pizza and BBQ sandwiches . Ever night our pizza is made fresh and what is not sold, which is very rare, is given away to or employees or thrown away.I am thinking of starting a nation wide V.P. Pizza delivery business . The pizza would be made fresh and then shipped . V.P. fans what do you think ? Rich C. Owner And Proprietor of Victory Pig Pizza Inc.

"Pig" fans, what do you think? I say BRING IT ON!

I live in a constant state of withdrawal here in Colorado between visits to The Valley and Victory Pig.

Let's convince Richard to feed our addiction.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Uh.....I don't get it. I have no clue.

I don't know where to begin. Being at a loss for words is a phenomenon I never experience - until now.

In my opinion, my "Trust and Obey" post was like me telling God to "bring it on". He did. The very next day.

Since the middle of the previous week, these weird squishing sensations washed through my brain for an instant and were gone. It happened every once in a while. Kinda felt the world was going black for a second, like my heart skipped a beat, and my blood-starved brain wanted to conk out.

But it recovered as quickly as the wave came.

By Tuesday afternoon, the waves turned into a tsunami. One feeling of WRONG after another. by evening, I couldn't even crawl up the stairs of my house. My chest pounded a weird tempo, constantly changing rhythm and meter.

And it was caucus night. Heck, after all the trouble I went through, I was going to Kennedy High School and participate in that meeting thingy. Mitt needed me. But now....

Back to topic. I feigned feeling fine for my dear hubby. He sensed something wasn't quite right. I was confused, couldn't really orient myself well (or climb up the stairs to brush my teeth).

Parking is limited at Kennedy despite the fact it's a very huge high school with several thousand students. We had to park the equivalent of two blocks away. I neglected to bring my coat despite the fact the wind chill was minus 15. John and Kyle hurried to the building while Darcie stumbled on.

Noticing my absence, John turned around, "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," I replied through gritted teeth. (grammarians, please let me know if my quotation usage is correct in this dialog. I suck at punctuation.)

Settled in the auditorium by precinct number, I slumped low in my graffitied, gum-stained, hard-wood foldy chair. The sounds of old people complaining about the speaker system not being on high enough (it was ALL the way up), and the voices of candidate proponents melded into a swirly mesh of noise.

"You're not feeling good," John said.

"No, I'm not."

"I think we need to leave so I can take you to the ER."

"I'd rather die than go to the ER." I folded my arms and slumped further into my seat.

"Well do me a favor and at least call the Kaiser ask-a-nurse." John said balancing Kyle and his two trains on a knee.

I called. Missed the return call due to crowd noise and had to call back. Almost an hour later, and feeling more WRONG and weak I finally got through to the nurse. (I held the phone next to my ear for a loooooong time).

"You need to go to the ER." She stated, telling me which hospital to go to. The one farthest from where I live b/c it's the hospital my insurance has a deal with. Glad I wasn't going into a diabetic coma or something more serious.

Earlier in the day I feared this would happen. I balked at the thought. I argued with God. "You're kidding me, right? After all I've been through-"

"Do you trust me?"

"You don't get it! The ER costs money, they'll probably hospitalize me like they did the last time I had a Bad Prescription Drug incident. Critical care for 3 stinkin' days! I'd rather die than add more debt to my family!"

"Trust me."

So what's a girl to do when her body and brain go all bezerko? Walking to the car, I could no longer control my symptoms no matter how hard I tried. I argued with John about the whole ER thing. We called the Mom-Away-From-Home who's a nurse. In a very frank way she said, "Darcie, this can kill you. You may go into cardiac arrest. Get to the ER."

Nearly 36 hours passed before one of the many doctors with differing opinions, finally figured out the cause of my craziness. The ER doc thought it was my ADHD medication. I thought it was the sleeping stuff. I didn't take either one before going to bed. ER doc said I'd feel better by morning b/c the ADHD drug would have worn off by then.

Oh how I hoped.

Instead, I slipped into the worst psychotic experience of my life. I sobbed uncontrollably for three hours, exasperating my poor husband, keeping the entire house awake. The more he told me to quit, the harder I cried. I wanted to quit. I prayed and prayed that my brain and body would stop tormenting me so.

My body writhed, twisted and shook. I was terrified. John even more so.

By morning I felt worse. Called my psychiatrist who manages my depression meds. His nurse called back in the late afternoon asking what happened. I recounted the whole nasty ordeal through slurred speech and tsunami squishes in my brain. "Sounds like Effexor withdrawal. I'll check with the doctor, but I'm 90% sure that's what it is."

That's what it was. She asked me about how well I followed the directions the doc gave me to wean me off the stuff when he changed my medication. I told her I followed the plan with precision and perfection. She asked the exact date I stopped taking Effexor. I told her. She was silent.

In her no-nonsense way, she told me that adding up all the numbers of the days, I should be in the MIDDLE of the weaning process, not done with it. The process takes 21 days. I took 8.

Doesn't follow directions well.

It was on almost every report card through elementary school, then on projects through Jr. and Sr. high school.

Directions to me, are usually a mere suggestion of only one way to approach a task. I read them, then start doing The Thing, and never look at them again. After reading the 18 steps required to wean myself off of Effexor, How hard can this be? I'll post the directions on the refrigerator next to my home pharmacy and refer to them as needed.

Within a few days, I forgot when I started the process and forgot what step of the 18 I was on. So I guessed. Wrongly. Very wrongly. The nurse and I figured I skipped the entire middle section of The Directions. She didn't quite understand how I could mess up that badly when the directions were spelled out in plain English on my refrigerator. The physical effects of embarasment combined with the withdrawal effects of the drug were painful. "I guess I need to plot out the daily doses on a calender."

"That would be a very wise decision."

Who knew?

I'm feeling better now. Still not sure what to make of it, if anything. More money wasted on a stupid medical thing. More weight on John b/c I'm sick. More weight on Kyle whose only speed is run.

Somewhere in there, I started embracing my ordeal. I read Kristy Dyke's blog. I cried and cried (before nurse call) uncontrollably.

Kristy Dykes is my flesh and blood hero. Any person who can face terminal cancer with the hope, faith, and gratefulness deserves a super-sized reward in heaven.

I wanted to die during those 36 hours of hell. I wanted to live after reading Kristy's blog.

What is God doing?

I have no clue.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Caucus my carcas!!!@##$#@!!!

I'm so angry I could... I could... go outside and break all the windows of the apartment building across the street with frozen dog turds...

Who knew trying to find a caucus location could be more difficult than composing a magnificent concerto in 3 minutes?

All the local news channels boast their links to 2008 election "stuff". All those links lead to government links.


I jumped from link to link within the Denver County Clerks website for 45 minutes. Do you think my neighborhood was on one of the district maps? One link said I was district 2. District 2 ends about five miles east of where I live.

Another link (if you don't find your address here....) said I was 01. No luck.

I've left messages with the local Republican Party headquarters (yes, I'm a member of the GOP - don't ask me what that means anymore). I scanned other political websites, including those of candidates who'd really like Colorado votes. Think I found my caucus location?

Will Osama BinLaden turn himself into the CIA?

After throwing a few items off my desk, scaring a cat or two by my bellowing, a Republican site came up (via Google) with a caucus search.

"Please enter your 10 digit precinct number."

What? Are you kidding me?

Unholy poop on a stick the size of Texas! Where am I supposed to find that sort of information? 10 digits? Do you people want me to vote or what?

I wonder if it's this hard for Democrats. I may have to see!

Search, search, search, Google, Google, Google. Back to @#$#T%@#!!!! Denver County Clerk (intentionally inefficient and UNuser friendly government website).

I found it. Honestly, I found it by accident. Kennedy High School. 7 PM. Open forum. This should be interesting.

Seriously, should it be this hard to find out where to participate in the Great American Democratic Process? 99.99999% of the folks out there won't be as tenacious as me. I stuck with it b/c I have a blog. Blogs are fun.

If anyone from The Government, local, or federal, or any candidate helper person reads this, get a clue!!! If you want votes, make it easy to find out WHERE to vote?

I'm done. Go Mit.

Just did the same thing, pretending to be a Dem. Their website is more user-friendly than the Reps, but once I clicked the link, I was sent to the same mess. I guess "they" don't want anyone to vote.