Saturday, December 22, 2012


That's how many pounds I've gained in the last eleven days.  

A pound a day.

Oh my God!  That means I would weigh 569 pounds of I kept this up for a whole year!!

Thank God I have a little bit of sense.   And a pinch a self-control.  (I wanted to use the word smiggin    but I don't know how to spell it.)

Blogging last night helped.  And weighing this morning helped. I've made much better choices today.  For one thing, I didn't stuff  97 butterscotch candies in my mouth during this afternoon's play rehearsal like I have been recently.

I feel a little bit more in control.

And I think it's hilarious that I've gained 11 pounds in 11 days because 11 is a number that I associate with Doak.  I've always said that, being with him, was like being an 11-year-old again.

Doak would find humor in that symbolism.

Loving you even at 215,

Friday, December 21, 2012


I feel toxic.

That's the only way I know to put it. 

I feel like my body is full of poisons.  And it is!  I have been eating such crap - all the crap I can get my hands on - since Doak died.  Actually since I went to Texas to see Doak before he died. 


Thousands and thousands and millions and billions of calories. 

For the past eleven days. 

You can get pretty toxic in eleven days. 

It makes me feel....
muscle achy
continuously hungry!
uncomfortable in my clothes
uncomfortable out of my clothes
out. of. control.

I've eaten....
breakfast burritos
pumpkin pie
french fries
rice krispie treats
french vanilla lattes
ice cream

And that is just today.

It has truly been one of my infamous "welli'mnothappywithmyliferightnowsoimjustgonnadowhatevericantomakemyselfevenmoremiserable"

For the first twelve hours of the past eleven days, I jokingly (though morbidly) said I was eating for me and Doak.  Then Doak died.  Damn it.

I miss him.  But I'm sure that he would much prefer that I memorialize him in some other way than having to develop extra skin to cover my increase in fat cells.

Doak would want to be memorialized in a way that was much more fun than eating to the point of discomfort.   He would prefer something to do with laughter, I'm sure.

I found this wonderful saying on Facebook yesterday.  I put it in my phone and posted it to my Facebook page.  But I have ignored it.  Until now.  The saying is....


Can I hear this now?  Can I heed this now?

I don't know.  But I do know that I've got to quit hiding from my blog.   And from my scales.  That doesn't help.

So here I am.  In all my glory.  And my tight clothes.

But there is one good thing.  I haven't drank.  

Love y'all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rest In Peace, Doak

My cousin, Doak, has passed away.

I. am. so. sad.

I'm filled with memories.  That's the kind of guy he was.  Memorable.  People remember what they did with Doak, how they laughed with Doak, and all the ".... and then Doak said......" moments.

One of the first memories of my life is walking out of Doak's house and trying to hide stolen baby toys in my pockets.  They were Doak's baby toys - so I couldn't have been more than two or three.  I wasn't successful at hiding them and was forced to go back into Aunt Sissy's house and and say "I'm sorry".

Every other weekend during my childhood and teenage years, I went to Knox City and spent time with Doak and Timi.  In the summers, I would spend weeks at a time.  For a lonely only child, my times with Doak and Timi were when I felt most alive.  The truth is, even if my childhood hadn't been so lonely, I couldn't help but feel alive when I was with Doak and Timi.  It was a constant talking/laughing/doing time.

I remember taking naps in Uncle Jeff's cold bedroom on hot summer days.  It was dark and had a refrigerated window airconditioner unit in it.  Ahhhhh, it was wonderful.  I would lay between Doak and Timi.  Timi would find the perfect place on the satiny trim of the blanket to rub with her fingers while she sucked her thumb.  Doak would keep us awake telling jokes and making silly comments.  He was always the last one to fall asleep and the first one to wake up.

I remember singing countless songs with Doak and Timi.  My favorite was the Elvis hit "Frankie and Johnny".  Doak and I made up an act, singing......
Frankie and Johnny were lovers.  
Oh Lordy how they could love.  
They sought to be true to each other.  
As true as the stars above.
He was her man.....
And he done her wrong.

Heh.  I just googled the song and those aren't even the right lyrics.  But that's the way we sang it.

We acted it out and performed it for everyone, countless times.  I'm sure family members turned the other way and pretended to be really busy when they saw us coming.

It's Doak and Timi that I remember being with when my daddy died.
It's Doak and Timi that I spent weeks with when my mom was hospitalized for alcoholism.
It's Doak and Timi that I helped take care of our grandfather with the summer he was dying.
It's Doak and Timi who knew - firsthand - what it felt like to be in my family.

Timi, who is four years younger than me, brought out the seriousness in me.  We talked.  And talked.  We shared our fears (we were both pretty fearful), our shames, our sadnesses, our crushes, our dreams.

Doak brought out the laughter in me.  In everybody.

Various childhood and teenage memories.............
* walking on the train tracks the three miles from his house to town....
* Doak trying to get his mouth around a whole doorknob (still connected to Timi's bedroom door).... if I remember correctly, he succeeded..
* walking barefoot to the golf course on a summer Texas day when the asphalt was so hot that the tar had melted.... having to run, screaming and moaning, from shade spot to shade spot...
* driving around, driving around, driving around, driving around on the old oil field roads where we learned to drive much earlier than you're supposed to....
* Timi saying "Doooooaaakkkkk!" in her "stop it, you're scaring me, I'm going to tell on you!" voice....
* picnics at the rest stop by the river bridge with ham salad sandwiches and homemade chocolate milkshakes....
*  naps...  naps at his house, naps at grandma's.....  At least at his house, we got to lay on Uncle Jeff's bed.  At grandma's, we laid on a pallet of quilts right under the airconditioner vent in the ceiling.....  Our family was big on naps....
* tying a string on to a suitcase, then laying the suitcase out in the middle of the highway and waiting for people to stop to pick it up....... then quickly pulling it off to the side of the road while the person was getting out of the car to get it..... We thought we were so clever.
* driving around Knox City during Christmas season turning on the town Christmas decorations on each light post right after the town night watchman turned them off.....
* singing --- Samantha's sorority song (Alpha Delta Phi), the whole repertoire from Mary Poppins, "If I Had A Hammer", Beatles tunes....
* riding with Timi in the back of a pickup driven by Doak..... we were laying on a quilt in the back of the pickup "sunbathing" on our way to the lake..... all of a sudden, we realized that the quilt was getting really hot.... finally realized that it was on fire because Doak had thrown a cigarette out the window that had landed on the quilt in the bed of the truck.... screaming and screaming, we finally got him to stop where we then threw out the quilt that then started a grass fire..... we drove off ... (shooooo)
* putting on summer plays in grandma's backyard under the tree, behind the curtain made of a quilt hanging on the clothesline....
* getting louder and louder  and louder in his bedroom playing frantically as our parents got louder and louder and louder as they drank, talked politics, and played Password....
* taking a road trip together when we were probably 18 (Doak) and 20 (me).....  losing him in a vegetarian restaurant on Guadalupe Street in Austin....
* playing in my playhouse.....
* playing at Astro City......
* swimming at the Knox City golf course pool while Timi was lifeguarding....
* swimming at the pond that I've forgotten the name of (howcouldIeverforgetthenameofthatpond!)....
* talking underwater to each other at the pool.....
* doing our Doak/Timi/Jenny thing where you hold hands and one person swims between the legs of the other and you go upside down......
* finding out secrets about our family....
* finding a witch's briefcase - I know that sounds weird, but true - full of her potions.... (I still don't know if that was just a set-up to freak out ScaredyCatJenny.  Does anyone know?????).....
* listening to 8-track tapes....
* going to Sunday afternoon jam sessions in the park in Lubbock....
* Doak coming up with a new way to smoke cigarettes where he put the filter end in his mouth and had me put the other cigarette end in my mouth - then he lit it in the middle.  Do you know how quickly you burn your lips when you're smoking the non-filtered end of half a cigarette?????......
* walking around and visiting people in Knox City - dropping by Mrs. King's house, then talking to Droopy Drawers at the gas station, then going on over to Billie Jean's, seeing Dad-dad downtown, going in all the stores in Knox City (all seven or eight of them)......
* watching staticky reruns of Captain Kangaroo.....
* the two of us being so engrossed in a conversation (OK.  what I really mean is 'so stoned') that he followed me into the bathroom where I sat down and peed while we were still talking........ mid-pee, we realized that we were in the bathroom together and both freaked out......
* trying to separate two frogs when we thought one of attacking the other - because one was on top of the other - not realizing they were mating..... but finally getting them separated by running over the boy frog with the car....
* Doak accidentally putting my mom's car in reverse while we were driving down the highway to Munday at about 80 miles an hour....... my mom never knowing why her transmission went out......
* goats butting our butts, kittens getting injured, lots of dogs, watching baby pigs be born, moth attacks in his little sports car, hermit crabs named after him........  lots of animal-themed memories....
* lots of teenage altered consciousness memories.......  Doak nearly getting thrown in jail after my apartment got broken into because he made the policeman angry by repeatedly comparing him (unfavorably) to Columbo..... being in a head shop, hanging on to Doak and badgering him to buy me something until I got a good look at the person I was holding on to and realized it wasn't Doak... and seeing Doak laughing at me across the room........
* laughing, laughing, laughing, laughing...... You can't imagine the hours of hysterical laughter I've experienced with this boy/man.......
* playing chicken in cars......
* sneaking into the drive-in.......
* watching my son become entralled by Doak.... Doak casting his magical spell over Tyler like he did so many people.....
* teasing Doak relentlessly by repeatedly telling him that Grandma was dead ....... based on the fact that during one telephone conversation in our crazy 20's, Doak asked how Grandma was and I had to remind him that she had been dead for five years........ I never could let him live that one down.....

So many memories.

If my life was a patchwork quilt, Doak would be bright yellow squares scattered throughout the quilt.  The yellow squares would be the primary color of one end of the quilt - my childhood.  In the middle of the quilt, the yellow squares would be less numerous as we went for years with sporadic contact - but never more than a couple of months would go by without us emailing or calling one another.  Toward the other end of the quilt, the yellow squares would become more prominent as we strongly reconnected again in the last few years.   And made more memories........

Nearly two years ago, I was lucky enough to take a seven-day cruise with the Graham siblings - Doak, his brother J. Tom, his sisters Timilu and Samantha, and his dear sister-in-law Kathryn.  I have never had so much fun in my life.  Here's part of my blog post that I wrote after the cruise: 

Doak has always been one of my favorite forms of entertainment. He entertains me just by breathing! And Tyler has always reminded me of Doak - from the time that Ty was a little kid.

Favorite (INSANE) memories of the cruise:
I haven't really spent much time around Doak since we were in our early 20's (over 30 years ago). And he was my ROOMMATE on the cruise. It was like being 11 again. I felt joyful, free, skinny and I laughed my ass off (I wish!).

This is what I mean about it being like I was 11......

One night at one of the elegant dinners in the dining room, Doak was sitting next to "Norma" a very proper lady that we met on the cruise. I JOKINGLY told Doak that I would give him $200 if he'd give me the bread off Norma's bread plate. Like a mature 54-year-old man, he grumbled "no". So, I upped the offer to $300. Again, jokingly. The next thing I know, I am watching Norma's piece of french bread arch over my dinner plate and land on my bread plate. Doak had waited until she turned her head the other way and then had stolen her bread. He and I started laughing. And picture a 9-year-old (in reality 54-year-old) and an 11-year-old (in reality 56-year-old) at the proper dinner table with a bunch of grownups. The more we tried not to laugh, the more hysterical things got.  Timi finally told us that we needed to leave the dining room. (She has always been more mature than me.) We weren't able to go back in and finish our meals because we never could get ourselves under control. I don't know if Norma ever realized that her bread was literally stolen from underneath her nose.

I always tired out before Doak and went to bed while he was still out making friends with everyone on the ship. After being in bed a couple of hours, Doak would always come in and badger me until I got up, changed out of my jammies into some clothes, and went to the smoking deck with him. One night, I just changed into a dress that I had been using as a swimsuit cover up - nothing on underneath. As we walked out of our room, I suggested that I knock on J Tom's door and see if he wanted to go with us. Doak said, "No, he and Kathryn are sleeping. Just knock on a random door." So, of course....... I did.

And then I hysterically RAN to the elevator, laughing all the way, pee running down my leg to the floor. It was like being an 11-year-old with a 56-year-old bladder. I laugh too much, I lose control! Plus, in my head, I was an 11-year-old running, not a 56-year-old fat woman.
I still chuckle when I think about the bread or the pee.

I really want to save money to go on another Cousins Cruise. And this time, I'll be skinnier. And able to run and pee FASTER.
Doak and I were talking about another Cousins Cruise.  We had talked about it a month ago.  That's so sad.

I am also sooooooo blessed to have been given the opportunity to go to a Graham family reunion last summer - even though I'm not a Graham.  The Graham side of Doak's family are his father's relatives.  The McAuley side (me) are his momma's relatives.  But I was able to horn my way into an invitation to a Graham Cousins reunion last May.  

We laughed and laughed and, once again, Doak made me pee my pants.   Pee my pants to the point that my ankles and sandals were wet.  Pee my pants to the point that I became the major love interest of his dog, Oliver, for the rest of the afternoon.  And all the other dogs there, in fact.

No one can do that to me but Doak.

I guess I should be glad that I'm never going to have to experience the shame of adult incontinence again.

But, no....... I'd give anything to have the opportunity to laugh until I peed - one more time - with Doak.

My life patchwork quilt is bright and beautiful -- because of Doak.  For that, I am so grateful.

The hospice chaplain told us that when Doak died, we would need to "relocate" him in our lives.  He would no longer be with us physically, but he would be in our hearts, our dreams, and our memories.  I can feel him right now.  I've got him tucked under my left breast - where it would be totally WRONG to put him if he was still alive.

Also, since he died, I've thought repeatedly about the dream I had about my mom after she passed.  I dreamed that I was crying and telling one of momma's friends that she had died.  And momma, in ghostly form, was on the other side of her friend, saying "Jenny doesn't realize that I'm with her in spirit much more than I ever was in person"

May the spirit of Doak - his laughter, his generosity, his sense of humor, his magic - always be with me.

I love you, Doak.

Your cousin, Jenny

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Feeding My Feelings

My feelings have been quite hungry today.  They have demanded to be fed.  A lot.  A lot of bad stuff.

I am blogging with the knowledge that 'confession is good for the soul' and in hopes that confessing today's behavior will squelch it. 

I am sad.  And hopeless.  Someone I love is very ill.  The situation is dire and has no possible positive outcome.  Right now, he is unresponsive in an ICU unit.  It seems his future holds two possibilities:
* remaining in an unresponsive state until he passes without knowing that his family is surrounding
   him, valuing him, and loving him, or
* becoming lucid enough to be told that he has numerous physical ailments that are shutting down his
   body including an aggressive cancer that has most likely metastasized. 

I find myself selfishly hoping that he becomes lucid while I am visiting this week so I can tell him how he's always been my hero.  A bright jewel in my life.  The one person in my life who can make me feel unbridled joy. 

Then I go to a unselfish place where I just want God to take him.  I believe that he is visiting with God right now while his body lies in the hospital struggling to survive this crisis.  When I think about what would be best for him, I think his visit should just become permanent.  He should pass without knowing how ill he is. 

Heh.  In writing that paragraph, two things become clear.
1.  I'm stupidly tiptoeing around the word die.  I'm not saying it because I don't want it to be true.  I don't want him to die.  Saying pass somehow makes the act of no longer being in my world more palatable. 
2.  I'm stupidly playing God.  Thinking I know what's best for him, for us who will be left behind when he is gone. 

Take a deep breath, Jenny. 

All is as it should be.

He knows how loved he is.
You've told him many times how you wish you could give him a mountain, or the moon - a present befitting someone who is able to make you forget all your problems and laugh until you gleefully pee your pants.

I believe in God.
I believe in a loving God.
I believe that he is, right now, in God's arms.
Whether he dies without regaining consciousness or becomes lucid and has to face his mortality head on - he will remain in God's arms.  Either way. 

And everything will be as it should be. 

I don't need to try to fix it.
I don't need to eat it.
I don't have to feed it.

Pray for all of us.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Today I have been thinking about words that have different meanings depending on what language you are speaking.

  •  Red means net in Spanish.   
  • Tea means torch in Spanish.   
  • Place means square in French.  
  • Chat means cat in French.   
  • Was means what in German.   
  • War means was in German.  
  • Robot means worker in Czech.   
  • Hold means moon in Hungarian.  
  • Sex means six in Latin.

(You can look up absolutely anything on Google.)

The word handful has one meaning in the Thin Eater language of Thinnish and another meaning in the Overeater language. 

I'm trying to learn how to speak Thinnish.  It's a hard language for me.  There are some words that I'm really having problems remembering the definitions of ---- words like full, control, moderation, no, enough, and satisfied.

There are other words that I repeatedly forget have different definitions in Thinnish than they do in my native language of Overeater. 

Take the word handful.

In Thinnish, it means this.......

In Overeater, handful means......

I didn't eat any Jolly Ranchers today.

But, after lunch, I was obviously speaking in Overeater even though I'm trying to practice speaking Thinnish all day, every day.

I was speaking Overeater while I was sitting at a table in the teachers' lounge with a large container of trail mix.

After school, I decided to keep practicing Thinnish by logging everything I ate on to the Weight Watchers website.  After adding up the points, I was dismayed to find out that I had eaten fifteen points of trail mix. 

More than a meal.

Much more than a meal.

I was about to post a Facebook status about the high point value of "just a handful" of trail mix when, all of a sudden, I realized that the trail mix was not the problem.

The handful was the problem. 

I estimate that my handful of trail mix consisted of ........
  • 6 points of raisins (half a cup)
  • 3 points of banana chips (3/4/ of an ounce)
  • 4 points of dried pineapple (1/4 of a cup)
  • 2 points of almonds (9 nuts)
That's a handful in my mother language.  But I want to live in Thinland now.  I want to speak Thinnish.   I need to remember that my definition of something is not necessarily what the word means in this new, unfamiliar language.

When I come across the words handful, serving, helping, or snack - I need to remember that if I want to live and thrive in Thinland, I have to learn to speak the language.


**Note:  Jolly Ranchers were used as a prop for photos because I knew that if more trail mix touched my skin, the calories would quickly seep into my pores whether my hand went to my mouth or not. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sober Living

I was talking to my friend and co-worker, Karen, on Monday.   She used the term "sober living" to describe the lifestyle that I aspire to - but always kind of fall short of.

It's a new term for a subject that I've blogged a lot about - that tendency in me to be out of control in some area  - eating, drinking, spending, running (around, not exercising), laughing hysterically, guilting myself, sleeping.......  - at any given time.

Karen shared about how she strives to "live sober" - not out of control in any area.

I like that term.

And guess what?  I've had a sober living week.

  • I haven't drank.
  • I've been to two AA meetings.
  • I haven't overeaten.  
  • Last night, I ate wonderfullywetwitholiveoil garlic bread that was WAY off my diet, but it didn't start a landslide of overeating.   
  • I haven't hidden in my bed.
  • I haven't overspent - even today when I went Christmas shopping.

Hmmmmm, maybe I did go overboard in the area of parental worrying early in the week - but, by Thursday night, I was given the gift of peace about my children.

And it truly was a gift.

The week started out with me making a decision to take alcohol out of my life.
The week ended up with me feeling.....



in control of myself

not too happy, not too sad - but....

just right.

I know life doesn't stay this way.  But I will embrace how it feels at this moment.

Love you,