The importance of a daily brain dump

BrainI did not know that brain dump was the technical term; I did not know it had a name until recently. When I scribbled emotions into my notebook, or banged them into the keyboard, I thought I was merely digesting the day’s events. I have trouble putting words to emotions with my speech, so I turn to paper and pen—sometimes writing words, sometimes doodling.

Daily life has become so complicated; wars and rumors of wars abound, there are earthquakes in various places, financial markets are in a constant state of flux. It is more than a mere human can handle just to get through the day.

Then there are the personal issues we deal with: family, friends, jobs, budgets, home and car maintenance. Personally, I’m also dealing with a cancer diagnosis, as are zillions of other people.

We know that our food supply is altered with GMOs. Traditional farmers are being marginalized in favor of factory farms.

Then there’s the dealing with other people. Ugh.

Yesterday, I was overcome with anger. This is part of what I wrote:

Anger is the scariest of my emotions, probably because I was not allowed to be angry when I was a child, and if I showed any evidence of anger, I would be punished for it. I was taught to stuff it down, deny it, paste on a smile and go on my way. I never learned how to express anger in words; it’s just this mass of electrons floating around inside of me, clouds of nameless fog. This has lead to decades of depression, eating disorders, and stress.

I get mad because people watch CNN and get brainwashed.

I get mad because people watch FOX and get brainwashed.

I get mad because people watch MSNBC and  then decide to fight each other about what they learned on CNN or FOX.

I get mad because people don’t really understand what is going on in the middle east, and I have trouble spitting the words out.



notebookI stewed in my anger for a while. Anger can be used for good–if it’s channeled into changing a situation for the better. Most of us are not taught that as children, and so we become angry adults, flipping birds to drivers who cut us off in traffic, as if it were the most important thing in the world.

After I expressed my anger in chopped up pieces, stewed in it, and allowed it to come to a boil, it was done. Just like cooking a soup. Finished. I put it aside.

I moved on to other things. [I am having Downton Abbey withdrawals, so I am finding other similar shows by the BBC and watching them...I recently finished watching "The Grand" which is about a hotel in 1920's England.]

I did a Google search for “brain dump” and was glad to find there are zillions of pictures and blogs on the subject. I’m late to the party on this one it seems, but at least I finally showed up.

And so, today’s brain dump does not go into the notebook, but into my blog. The invention of the blog being the medium for which it became okay to have a daily brain dump, and to share it with the known universe.







Update on “my” breast cancer

imagesCAVYRT2SI should not use the word “my” in front of breast cancer. It’s not my possession, I don’t want to own it. It is an enemy who has invaded my body. It has no right to be there. It’s an outsider, an intruder.

A Facebook “friend” of mine sent me two books which detail natural alternatives to combat cancer. An important fact that leapt from the pages of both books is the discovery of Vitamin B17, which is found in apple seeds, and apricot seeds. So the old cliché an apple a day keeps the doctor away really has a deeper meaning: eat the entire apple.

One book also describes one doctor’s battle with Sloan-Kettering Hospital, a cancer hospital in New York City. This man evidently stumbled upon the information that cancer can be combatted with foods, seeds, and herbs.  The Hospital, in true Big Brother form, fired him. How can they make money if they can’t get cancer victims (another word I hate) to pay for all the surgery, chemo and radiation?!

Update on my personal journey: I may have told you that I was scheduled, or should I say penciled in, for surgery on July 28. This surgery was to include a mastectomy of my right breast and a reconstruction, using skin and fat from my belly to recreate a new breast. (And who doesn’t want a “free” tummy tuck?)

I then found out that the Plastic Surgeons had me on the schedule for the wrong procedure. They had me down for an implant. I would rather have nothing than an implant. I don’t need another alien in my body.

I decided maybe this is a sign that I need to get a second opinion. (Ya think?) So I am scheduled for this coming Monday with a female oncologist that is also closer to home, which will make easier for Mr. Porter. Less racing up and down the Thruway to visit me.

We also have bought a juicer, and I am doing 2 or 3 juices a day. I mix in all the goodies: dark green lettuce, blueberries, whole apple, some chia seeds and water.  My body is having a rough time if I have three a day though; my stomach hurts all the way through the intestines. It might be a good thing; it might be cleaning out a bunch of stuff that shouldn’t be there. But it’s very uncomfortable.

I can only read these books in short spurts; there is so much political and pharmaceutical profit-driven evil going on that my brain starts to spin.

But there is nothing wrong with short spurts, that is also how I write!

I may not be able to avoid the surgery this time around, but with all the prayers that are going up for me, and the nutrition information I am learning, I hope to never have to deal with cancer again!












Seeds, stones, soil, sowers, and swords

sow-seeds-stevenson-2(Say that three times fast!)

Saturday night I sat down and read the Parable of the Sower in Mark Chapter 4. Sunday morning, the Message was the Parable of the Sower! Don’t you love when that happens? Life is filled with tornadoes and hurricanes, and I wonder if I’m doing okay. Then I’ll get a “confirmation” like that. It made me feel better. And even though I’ve heard the story often, there is always something new to learn!

As you know:

The Parable of the Sower

And again He [Jesus] began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:


“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that someseed fell by the wayside (path); and the birds of the air[a] came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

And He said to them,[b] “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Jesus then explains the Parable to His disciples:

14 The sower sows the word of God. 15 And these are the ones by the wayside (path) where the word of God is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. 18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”


The story is about the different surfaces that the seed falls on. But I heard a new twist on Sunday. (Well, new to me anyway!)

If you are planting a new lawn, you are not going to put one seed very carefully, then another, then another. You are going to liberally throw them all over the place. You are going to sow more seed than you need.




(Jesus IS the Word of God.  –John 1:1)

I thought of another scripture  from Isaiah 55 and how it relates to this same story:

10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.


This is one of those “doesn’t that contradict what I just read? If God sends out His Word into the earth and it accomplishes what He pleases, why does some of it get eaten by birds?”  And then it occurred to me–that is His purpose. It’s one of those times that God’s ways are higher than our ways. God has given us free will, so that we can choose whether we want to believe Him or not. Some of the seed falls by the wayside.

I always use the example that the law of gravity is true, but there is a higher law–the law of lift, which explains why birds and airplanes fly instead of “falling down.”  This happens often when reading the Bible–there will be places where it seems to contradict itself. I find that it is either because I don’t know the “higher law” yet, or sometimes there are things missed in the translation and if  I go back to the original Hebrew it suddenly makes sense.



Now onto Swords:


For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12


 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;  Ephesians 6:17




Okay, stay with me now, I’m going to try to explain what’s in my head. :-)

He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares   —Micah 4:3  (also Isaiah 2:4)

A plowshare is the part of a plow that digs into the soil. This prophecy is talking about stopping war, and instead using the instrument for “farming.”

But what about the Sword of the Spirit that we already have? Shouldn’t we use that to dig into the soil of our hearts?

Or what of the seed falling by the wayside? Maybe that seed/word/sword  becomes the instrument to dig up the path so it can become good ground?

So I hope this has come full circle. It makes sense in my head, and I am trying to type it so I can explain it!

If you have another idea, let me know! Leave a comment.







A look back at the comedy of Abbott and Costello


Abbott-and-CostelloRemember when comedy was funny, and didn’t have to use swear words? Yes, it was a million years ago.

This is a picture of one of my favorite coffee mugs. It’s HUGE, so it’s like 2 cups of coffee in one, and it has caricatures of Abbott and Costello, which always makes me smile. Since I’m not a morning person, it’s a necessity!

Abbott and Costello were funny guys. Abbott played the “straight man” which means he set up the jokes, and was very serious. He acted mad or upset when Costello did something dumb.

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition, which is spot on as far as I’m concerned:


The straight man is a stock character in a comedy performance, especially a double actsketch comedy, or farce.

When his comedy partner behaves eccentrically, the straight man’s response ranges from aplomb to outrage, or from patience to frustration. He makes his partner look all the more ridiculous by being completely serious. He will often also be found in sitcoms.

In Vaudeville, the straight man’s name usually appeared first and he usually received 60% of the take. This helped take the sting out of not being the laugh-getter and helped ensure the straight man’s loyalty to the team.


It goes on to say:

 Often one of the members of the duo—the straight man, feed, dead wood, or stooge—is portrayed as reasonable and serious, while the other one—the funny man, banana man or comic—is portrayed as funny, less educated or less intelligent, silly, or unorthodox. If the audience identifies primarily with one character, the other will often be referred to as a comic foil. The term “feed” comes from the way a straight man is wont to set up jokes and “feed” them to his partner.

So in the case of Abbott and Costello, Abbott is the straight man, Costello is the funny man. But they were a TEAM.

Here’s one of my favorite skits:


And here’s the one that made them famous:

I need to refill my coffee cup.

I’m back. Here’s one more:

Have a good day everyone!



The Jogger Meister

joggerAt 4:45 am, the Jogger Meister clods through the neighborhood, waking up any resident foolish enough to have his window open on a cool summer night. It is said that the Jogger Meister is ex-military, so he is used to waking up early and beginning his day. We, his neighbors, like to wait at least until the sun is up before getting up for work. But that is impossible when the Jogger Meister is on the run.

As he clomps down our road, sounding much like a Clydesdale, he wakes up the residents of each house as he goes by. We live on a cul-de-sac, so we hear him go past, then we lie in wait for him to come back around the circle and back past our house before allowing ourselves to nod back off to sleep. Some, Mr. Porter among them, are unable to sleep and are “up for the day.”

 To add insult to injury**, as Bailey barks at the Jogger Meister, he calls back, “Hi, Bailey!” If Bailey stops barking, I go back to sleep. If not, I wake up and grump to Mr. Porter, who hasn’t slept in months.

The Jogger Meister heads toward home, only to return to the neighborhood within the hour with his two dogs. Again, Bailey barks as they go by, and again he yells, “Hi, Bailey.” Well, it’s almost 6 o’clock and Mr. Porter has already started his day, which sometimes includes grocery shopping, ironing, and fetching water from the Springs.

Then, (really!), the Jogger Meister rides through the neighborhood again, this time on his bicycle. Usually, everyone is awake anyway, but since this is the quietest of his routines, why doesn’t he do this at 4:45 am, and let everyone sleep at least until their own alarm goes off?!

Bailey is not amused!

Bailey is not amused!

At a recent neighborhood BBQ, one by one we confessed that we hear the Jogger Meister coming through the neighborhood, and that we have all plotted revenge in our imaginations.

Doug* confessed that he would like to point his lawn watering system toward the road, and spray the Jogger Meister with water as he runs by. His wife Lynn* is a little kinder, saying that we should all turn on his porch lights as he goes by in solidarity, so he can see that he wakes up each house as he clomps by.

Mr. Porter would like to get some of those poppers that you get on the fourth of July, so that when he runs by, his feet will set off the pops.




Tim* said he would like to put a big caution/police tape across the end of our road so that he can’t enter. Jane* chimed in that we should also cover it with a huge sheet of Saran wrap so that he runs into an invisible shield and can’t enter the road.

Yes, everyone has a dark side. Even the nicest neighbors in the world. When you mess with a person’s sleep, you have entered a zone where you do not belong.

I’m still writing a note in my head–a polite one–that I can leave in the Jogger Meister’s mailbox anonymously, asking him please, please, let us sleep until the sun comes up.

For now, we have closed all the windows and put on the air conditioning, so we don’t hear the Jogger Meister. But what happens in September when we open the window again to catch the cool evening breeze and save some electricity?

I hope we will have found a solution by then!



** sorry to use a cliche’ but it seemed fitting

* Not their real names :-)




Update on my upcoming breast cancer surgery

voice1Good morning.

I had to go back to the surgeon on Monday, as they needed to draw blood to send for Genetic Testing to see if the kind of cancer I have is hereditary. If it is, they will recommend a mastectomy on the “good” (left) breast in order to ‘prevent’ cancer on that breast. No, I am not crazy about that idea! I think no matter what the results, I will roll the dice and keep the good breast exactly where it is!


When I met with the plastic surgeons, they asked if I wanted to have the left breast ‘modified’ so that it could match the ‘new’ right breast. Again, No. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m not twenty-something, I am not that obsessed with my looks to warrant extra surgery just to be perky.

My surgeon will be going on vacation next week, and won’t be back until the middle of the month. This gives me time to make arrangements for a hospital bed, doggie day care for Bailey, and the purchases of some nightgowns with front pockets for the ‘drains.’

I had planned for this summer to be relaxing; Mr. Porter and I have run some hurdles over the last few years, and I just wanted two months to take it easy, maybe take a vacation and stare at the river. I guess that is not to be.

But some good things have come of all this! I have gotten to know my neighbors better, several have volunteered to help me, one brought me a bouquet of flowers.  I’ve slowed down a little and taken time to get in touch with friends and relatives that I need to visit more often.

Thank  you all who have left supportive comments. Although I don’t know many of you in ‘real life’ it’s nice to know you here in the cyber world!