Archive for 2015


You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby….

syringeAnyone remember back in 2013 when I was told that I had to self-inject myself in the stomach twice a day??? If not, go here to remind yourself.

Now, I’m on to a new adventure with this little phobia of mine. As one of my many health adventures, I have to deal with the ever-present possibility of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a fancy way of saying that when I’m allergic to something, I usually wind up in the ER looking like some neanderthal wanna-be. My face swells up; I can’t talk (Some would call that a good development.); and I’m itchy from head to toe. I seem to do this at really random times with no appreciable pattern.

For example, I left my university office one day (air-conditioned, mind you!), got in my air-conditioned car in the middle of an asphalt parking lot, drove home, got out of my car in my own garage, walked into my air-conditioned home and then went into full anaphylaxis. How did that happen? What triggered that? Apparently, the culprit was the vacant lot across the street that hadn’t been mowed in several months. It was rife with ragweed in full bloom. Silly me–I neglected to put the garage door down before exiting my air-conditioned car for 30 seconds. And my allergic reaction to that was basically similar to a tsunami mixed with a tornado.

Thus, I began getting allergy injections twice a week back in 2004. I would like to tell you that I no longer need such injections, but that would be making the assumption that my body acts like every other homo sapien’s on the planet and by now, you surely know that that is just not true.

Now that I’m traveling more often, this twice-a-week allergy shot thing just doesn’t jive well with my current schedule. Plus, nurses are not usually fond of giving allergy injections and are busy people doing REAL nursing, so they only give allergy injections during certain hours on certain days. In my lovely state they’ve also added the requirement that a doctor has to be on-site. Why? Good question–would you please ask that the next time you visit with your local politicians???

So, I had my favorite doctor recommend a place where I could learn to give myself allergy injections. Yes, Phobic MaryAnn actually asked how to give herself allergy shots. Now, you may think that this is no big deal after the stomach shot deal, but you would be wrong. With those shots, the syringes were spring-loaded so that once they were fully injected, the spring-loading mechanism would retract the needle out of my body for me.

With allergy shots, you don’t get this little advantage. To boot, the stomach syringes also came pre-filled with the correct amount of serum. With allergy shots, I would have to fill the syringe myself and not get air in the needle, etc., etc., etc. This may not be a big deal to you drug addicts, but it’s a rather large deal for Ms. Phobia over here.

So, for the past three weeks I have been trying to learn how to give myself thigh shots. All the little steps required to do this right and remembering them in order is enough to make me run screaming into the doctor’s office hallways, except that it might scare the little children assembled there.

No one forewarned me that it might be necessary to wear short shorts after shot attempt # 1. That right thigh hurt like a mother for at least 3 days. I think I may have emptied a rather large-sized bottle of Aleve on that one. (There goes my liver.)

Attempt number 2 seemed to be much better, but I glanced down at my left thigh at the end of the day and it was pretty misshapen. Apparently, I had been scratching it through my clothing without realizing it all day. The good news? It made my thigh muscle look much more impressive. (I don’t think this is listed as a benefit from allergy injections anywhere. Perhaps they should add it???)

Today I pushed the injector (for lack of a better term) too soon and gave my skin a good portion of the shot. Awesome. My thigh skin was not impressed.

But, in some sheer delusionary moment, the nurse handed me a pile of syringes, the shot log sheet, some alcohol prep pads and my serum and out the door I went. I’m told that I push the syringe rather fast (I personally don’t think one can be too fast doing this nonsense–I just want it to be over with!). We might want to report her to the medical board for such obvious malpractice.

So, if you hear a scream coming from Texas next Monday, it’s just me giving myself my first allergy shot solo.

The next challenge? Trying to get syringes through TSA at DFW. May God have mercy on my soul.


The New Chapter…

giving hands

Have you missed me? I’ve missed YOU! Don’t get TOO excited. My current schedule is ridiculously crowded right now, so posting will be sporadic at best, but I find myself missing the writing more and more the longer I’m away from it, so a-posting I will go!

Since I’m rather rusty at the writing thing, today you get “Random MaryAnn.” Okay…okay…okay…so that’s nothing new for me. But, it may take a while to get that WD-40 in the right squeaky parts of my ancient brain so that the creative writing juices are flowing as they should.

Remember way back when I was exploring spiritual direction as a new pursuit in my life? Well, I now have a scholarship to Heartpaths Training and will be pursuing my Spiritual Leadership certificate this year. Every time I meet with the Heartpaths staff, two things happen: I am instantly at peace and I feel like “I’m home” even though we’ve basically only met. They are all Heartpaths graduates, are so calm and “zen-ish” (Yes, I invented yet another word…Deal with it.) and they all say they weren’t that way when they started.

If these folks can get MaryAnn to “zen-ish,” then that place down south just froze over. I am required to be quiet in this program. Note to self: Look up “quiet” in the dictionary and actually learn the meaning of the word. Can you picture me being quiet? Yeah. Neither can I.

I start September 12th and I already have homework. But, instead of feeling stressed about this homework (a chronic occurrence during the pursuit of the master’s), I am actually giddy waiting for my first book to arrive from Amazon and begin that homework. (This is probably a serious symptom for something delusional in the DSM-V.)

The book? Soul Feast. I hope this doesn’t mean we’ll be feasting on souls…that sounds less than zen-ish.

Let’s all hope it means a feast for my soul. If so, then I’m all in. I love nurturing souls, particularly when it’s mine!

Doesn’t the title suggest a good cup of tea? It just brings that to mind every time I think it and that also sounds soothing and calming to me. Remind me to stock up on Constant Comment the next time I’m at the store.

This first year I will be intensely studying all different types of prayer. I hope that, as I take this journey this year, you will stay tuned to “this bat channel.” Because I hope it will inspire the ol’ MIP blog with some “Points to Ponder” and some interesting, thought-provoking stuff here.

And I may throw in a joke here and there just for fun.

Next note to self: I probably should stock up on duct tape now to work on that quiet thing. A 4 foot high pallet of the stuff may get me through the first seminar.


Point to Ponder: What bothers you about your prayer life? Does it even exist? Why or why not? Does it seem boring? Unproductive? What could be done to make it a more meaningful part of your life? Maybe start with a cup of tea??? Maybe get up before everyone else in the morning and journal your prayer instead of just thinking it? 


Word of the Week: panjandrum

Dictionary --Word of the Week

Good morning, Word Lovers! Last week’s WOW was fatidic. The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary definition for fatidic is as follows: of or relating to prophecy. Thus, one could assume that anything about Jesus was usually fatidic???

Today’s WOW is panjandrum. Here are my guesses for the definition of this unusual word:

panjandrum: (pan-ˈjan-drəm) 1. when Peter Pan and Jan play percussive instruments 2. a conundrum of Peter Pan and Jan 3. too much “fusion” of rum with other liquid substances

Do you know the real definition of panjandrum? Share it here.

Wednesday’s Post: Word of the Day Returns!

You Might Also Like: Word of the Week: fatidic; Word of the Week: eolian; Word of the Week: chatoyant; and Word of the Week: nonage


My Next Favorite Thing???

This might shock you…I want an Apple Watch.

I think.

Since I’ve blogged about loving all things Samsung and only use Apple products for music purposes, this will shock the family and most of my friends. Way back in the dark ages, I used to teach computer skills to preschoolers. We had 2 Apple computers and 2 Windows driven computers. I didn’t really have a bias one way or the other then about which operating system was better. But when the Apple computers constantly had to be rebooted and were pricier in all respects than the Windows computers, I became a huge fan of Microsoft-driven products.

Thus, I was reluctant to even buy my kids iPods when they first came out. But even I have to admit that Apple really developed and marketed that technology well and transferred that success to iPhones. I just have a fundamental problem with waiting in line for more than an hour for anything, except maybe a Harry Potter movie at an IMAX theater.

The price for an Apple Watch also stops me. The cheap version will be $ 349. And I know me. I will want at least the middle of the road model, starting at $ 1,000. If I choose to let my first-world self to have full rein, I could get the full meal deal for a mere $ 17,000. Trust me….this 3/4 Scot will NOT be buying that model.

As someone who religiously tracks her treadmill progress, I have fallen in love with fitness devices that are “intelligent” and fit on my wrist like a watch. However, the devices I’ve encountered so far don’t seem to be able to do everything I wish they would do. One has a wrist band that I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing into my own bathroom. One makes me push buttons to signal when I’m going to sleep, which I usually forget to do. Another does not have great support and the battery is difficult to change out. Le sigh!

The Apple Watch “threatens” to not only handle all of the above, but also allows me to text, email and phone people by speakerphone with its Siri technology. And I can use my favorite apps on it. Why would this be helpful? Because I’m usually fishing around in my voluminous purse for my phones (I carry one for me and one for Compassion Counseling Center) or digging them out of my too-tight jeans (You will hear me whoop and holler if baggy jeans ever become popular again.) only to answer them when the call goes to voicemail. Having something on my wrist that I can easily locate would be a welcome relief.

The geek writers say its GPS functionality doesn’t work well and the battery barely lasts a day before needing recharging, but I’ll lay odds that Apple will improve this over time. Yes, there are Android versions already available, but have you seen much advertising about them? Neither have I. And I don’t really spend time investigating stuff I never see advertised.

The Apple watch also can send your heartbeat to another person. While this might be a cute thing to do, I’d really prefer that it send it to my cardiologist when I’m having my next heart attack. But give Apple time. I’m sure they’ll not only figure this out, but probably figure out how to send them my blood pressure and EKG in another 10 years.

While I write this, Apple is informing those willing to already purchase the Apple Watch that they won’t be released or shipped until June. (I feel a line forming.) Thus, it will probably be quite some time before we common folks can truly evaluate it.

I just have an inkling that this technology is going to evolve into something I just can’t live without. If so, move over, Dick Tracy. Here I come.

Monday’s Post: Did you know the definition of the WOW? 

You Might Also Like: My Favorite Things: Samsung Anything; and My Favorite Things: Oakdale United Methodist Church


A New Direction…

upward direction

Many, many moons ago one of my favorite nieces (Yes, you read that correctly and it is intentional.) recommended that I become a Spiritual Director. What is Spiritual Direction?

Here’s what Reverend Jeffrey S. Gaines says about it: “Spiritual direction can mean different things to different people. Some people understand it to be the art of listening carried out in the context of a trusting relationship. It is when one person is trained to be a competent guide who then “companions” another person, listening to that person’s life story with an ear for the movement of the Holy, of the Divine.”

I dismissed this notion at the beginning because the only training program for it, at the time, was 5 hours away from my home in a city I hate to navigate, thanks to its incessant, fast-paced and rude traffic snarls. I, instead, pursued a master’s in counseling.

As I did, it became evident that I’m not really cut out to be a counselor. Why?


Word of the Week: fatidic

Dictionary --Word of the Week

Howdy, Word Lovers! Last week’s WOW was eolian. Merriam-Webster Online reports that eolian is: borne, deposited, produced, or eroded by the wind. Could it be that Texan bravado is eolian???? It sure is windy enough here for one to consider it as a theory.

Today’s WOW is fatidic. Here are my definition guesses for fatidic:

fatidic (fā-ˈti-dik, fə-) 1. being allergic to fat (If this is the definition, please let me become fatidic immediately.) 2. the acidity of fat 3. being psychic

What’s your guess for fatidic? Submit it here.

Wednesday’s Post: Watch Thoughts

You Might Also Like: Word of the Week: eolian; Word of the Week: chatoyant; Word of the Week: nonage; and Word of the Week: chinoiserie


To Fleece or Not to Fleece…

A Different Kind of Fleece

A Different Kind of Fleece

My dad was a minister. Since he was multi-talented, Dad often had other professions: college professor, consortium director, nonprofit executive director, and Navy chaplain. When employed elsewhere, Dad often filled in as a guest preacher for ministers taking vacations, for churches in between ministers, or to promote Christian charitable organizations.

Since he seldom preached in the same church twice in one month, Dad recycled one particular sermon repeatedly. And since my brothers and I often accompanied him on this “preaching circuit,” we heard this particular sermon so often that we practically had it memorized. Thus, the following name was a dirty word to us, growing up as the PKs, or Preacher’s Kids.


Gideon was a rough and tumble “judge” in ancient Israel. Since God didn’t like the idea of the Hebrews having a king, but understood the need for an day-to-day leader, He created the position of judge to help lead those wayward Israelites. These judges didn’t sit in courtrooms; they were often leading the Hebrews into battle and spoke for God in foreign lands.


Jesus Is a Nomad…

damping sign

During one of my Early to Rise mornings this thought entered my brain: Jesus is a nomad. Such thoughts are not usual for me early in the morning. The usual thought at 5 am is, “Where is my coffee?” Thus, I paid attention to this thought.

I let that thought roll around in my head for a long time. Okay. It was 10 minutes, tops. But, that was long enough for me to realize why God put that thought into my head, as opposed to the usual coffee addiction thought.

If Jesus is a nomad, then following Him is going to be a royal pain. Why?

Because being a nomad means that the direction of where I’m going will change frequently. There won’t be much predictability about it and therefore, it will also be a pain for my family and friends.


Word of the Week: eolian

Dictionary --Word of the Week

If you think you missed the WOW post last week, you didn’t. Last week just wasn’t my week! But here is the Merriam-Webster Online definition for chatoyant from 2 weeks ago: having a changeable luster or color with an undulating narrow band of white light. Perhaps one should call their dermatologist if he or she has chatoyant skin??? Or to Ghostbusters???

Today’s Word of the Week (WOW) is eolian. My definition guesses for eolian are as follows:

eolian (ē-ˈō-lē-ən, –ˈōl-yən) 1. linoleum that has lost its lint 2. linoleum that has lost its chatoyant qualities 3. one who insists on using margarine

What’s your guess for eolian? Submit it here to see if you are right!

Wednesday’s Post: Jesus is a Nomad…

You Might Also Like: Word of the Week: chatoyant; Word of the Week: nonage; Word of the Week: chinoiserie; and Word of the Week: plastron


Early to Rise Experience Day 5…

light bulb

Time: 6 am

How I Feel: A little sleepy and a little dazed

As much as I may not want to admit it, I do think I have some pretty profound thoughts at o’ dark thirty. (I don’t want to admit it because it probably means I’m getting up early for the rest of life. *LARGE SIGH*) At least these thoughts seem profound to me.

If they are profound, I’m sure these thoughts are not mine.

People say, “You’re a gifted writer.” I disagree.

When something I write turns out well, it’s usually because a “light bulb” suddenly went off over my head. It feels like the light bulb came from someone other than me.

The light bulb is just too complete an idea to be something I conjure up. I tend to think these light bulbs are from the Holy Spirit. In these moments I am merely a human pen.

I imagine this is what is meant when we say the the Bible is written by “men inspired by God.’ Have no fear–I have no illusions that these light bulbs should be something people ponder, study and frame on their walls. I’m just saying it’s different from what I write normally.

It’s less of an effort and more of a dictation and a transcription. And I’m content to be that scribe who merely shares it with others.

As for waking up early, I do seem to get more done when I wake up early, but I still feel overwhelmed by all I have to do each day. I hope that dissipates over time and as I adjust my life to accommodate the Compassion Counseling Center demands.

Either because I want to or because I feel better, I am starting to work on a few of my own things. I’m just not sure it’s the right things! Guess I need to wait for a few more light bulbs. 😉