Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Diet – Session One

Keywords: meat protein, pork

Don’t eat pork.

Why?

I don’t know, just don’t.

Well why??

Do I ever have a tale to tell you…

You see, I am on a diet.

No I’m not really. I am way too undisciplined, too unregimented, to actually be on a diet.

I am not on a diet.

Ah, that’s a lot better. Confession is good for the soul.

I eat differently now than the way I ate prior to Mother’s Day of this year (2014). There, that’s better.

Why? Why do you eat differently and what makes that little fact significant enough to write about?

Well here’s the thing. My eating habits prior to that fateful day were leading me down a path of destruction, of certain death.

Disclaimer

Do not in any way confuse my words with the notion of “medical advice”. Don’t even imagine doctors know about this. This narrative is entirely personal. There are only three medical professionals involved in my tale, a doctor, a physician’s assistant, and a nurse and the nurse doesn’t really count because she was my wife, still is as of this writing although the experience I am about to describe put the finishing touches on any hope I might have had of salvaging my marriage. So don’t take my word for anything if you have to think of it as “medical advice”. This is personal experience with food, period.

I can begin my tale at birth but I’ll take a shortcut. Let’s just say I have long been a practicing glutton. My eating habits can easily be described as overconsumption. It has been that way for me from the beginning. It’s easy to fail to see the significance of this fact, though, because I have spent nearly my entire life in the United States, a nation of overconsumption.

I’ve had health issues my whole life. Good health, bad health, it all fits in the same basket for me. It’s not like one dominates over the other. They coexist. I have my good times and my bad. In good times I am strong and closer to healthy and not just capable of but practicing physical exertion beyond what most folks would consider normal or even healthy. I put the blame for that on my parents and my upbringing but it is engrained in my head, bones, muscle, and sinew to tend to the land by hard labor. I am the son of two farm-raised thrashers.

In bad times I struggle to overcome even simple health challenges like the common cold or the flue. It takes me weeks to overcome a cold. I am die-hard do-it-yourself anti doctor anti hospital anti pharmaceutical. When I am ill my philosophy tends to be hey, you are sick because your body doesn’t know something it should know. Using the medical approach is akin to skipping school or cheating on a test. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. So when illness comes, I cope with as open a mind as possible under the circumstances. More often than not the circumstances include reduced brain power, probably even brain damage but hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

In other words, I tend to be strong and healthy but when I get sick I get sick.

I also struggle with my weight. My healthy weight is somewhere around 175 pounds, give or take. Anything under 170 is starvation in my thinking. Anything from 180 to 185 is a few pounds over. Above 185 is overweight. I have been overweight for as far back as my brain will allow me to remember although I think I may not have been overweight on my wedding day 36 years ago. I have, however, been significantly overweight for the past decade. My summer weight has usually been in the 195 to 205 pound range, some summers less, some more. My winter weight for decades capped out around 210 pounds but more recently climbed to 220 pounds and for the past several years climbed to 235 or even more. I work hard in summer. I tend to stay sheltered from Maine winters. Shelter is where the food tends to be and I eat far too often in winter.

Confession is good for the soul.

I will pause here. More to come. But I do want to make one point clear. I take full responsibility for my health and for my behavior. If I eat poorly I have nobody but myself to blame. It is everybody’s fault, but it is my own fault when that food passes my lips and enters my domain.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Autonomy

Autonomy is the freedom to make your own decisions, the right to self-govern.
Autonomy is lost when the governed submits to being dominated by others.

Back in May of this year I declared to my wife that I wished to be autonomous, to end her dominance over me. How it came to be that I had submitted to her dominance is a long story but I did. One could easily argue that I submitted on the day of our marriage nearly 36 years ago. To become married to the person who is my wife is to submit to her dominance. She's just that kind of person. Or at least, looking at it now from the perspective of 36 years of marriage, that's how it appears to me.

It's odd that I should be saying this. She was even then a "Christian" schooled in the Bible even to the point where she felt it necessary to vow to "obey" during our wedding ceremony. Obey me, I would presume she meant?

I never asked for obedience. She volunteered the word. Personally I am inclined to think that the only really significant vow she remembers either one of us making during that ceremony was when I vowed to be faithful to her. So she didn't keep her vow and neither did I.

When I did start cheating on her I discovered there really wasn't much to gain by not being faithful. Long before that, though, she discovered, I'm afraid to admit, that there wasn't much to gain by being obedient. Whatever the situation, my gold wedding band has been at the bottom of Moosehead Lake for a good 15 years now.

We are still legally married. We have been separated since late May of this year (2014) but it's not a legal separation. She left me. I like to think she didn't just leave me, she abandoned me. She left a note that I promptly tore up but she broke communications with me. Not that we communicated well up until then, we didn't. She's the secretive type, the "aloof" control drama type for any Celestine Prophecy fans reading this.

Not only did she leave me, she left her house cluttered with her stuff, she left her dog, and she left her three cats, all to be taken care of by me with hardly a penny of support from her. Not too cool considering I depended on her workaholic income to meet our modest household expenses. I was the house keeper. I was the mechanic who kept her cars running while she tried to beat them into the ground. She doesn't just commute, she works out of her car and drives a good 30,000 miles a year mostly on rough rural Maine roads, treacherous roads in winter and even more treacherous on winter nights when she occasionally gets called out. It has been my job to keep her cars safe on as small a shoestring budget as possible. She likes her money.

She likes her money so much in fact that she never paid me for the work I did. On occasion I would get an allowance of $20.00 a week to cover my own personal needs but that was only on occasion, nothing I could count on. Yes she wrote the check at Goodwill when I needed clothes. Yes it was her income that paid the utility bills. But it was my back that chainsawed and split and piled the wood to keep our heating expenses to a minimum. It was my hands that did house repairs. Should a husband be rewarded for his work when it is the woman who brings home the bacon? OK, should a woman be rewarded for her work when it is the husband that brings home the bacon? Does society have a double standard?

I used the word "abandoned" earlier because I believe she owes me for all the ways I worked to save her hard-earned income. She apparently doesn't agree. I feed the dog and the cat. Two of the cats have already vanished. I feed the surviving 13 pound cat and the 120 pound lab. And I maintain the homestead now.

"So what?", you might ask. Well let's just say it's a bit of a pinch to maintain normal life on minimum Social Security. It hurts.

But I am convinced she wants it to hurt. She wants it to hurt so much, so bad, that I relent, I give in, I bow to her dominance and abandon my desire for autonomy.

This now, I fear, is the new direction of this blog. The past is behind me. War has been declared. The battlefield is right here at home. There will be casualties. There already are casualties. Survival is at stake and I may not survive. I am convinced she wants me in the grave, or the oven, whichever costs the least for the survivors. She does like her money.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Phone Calls

I am contemplating making a resolution to NOT VOTE FOR anybody of the political party represented by the next automated phone call I receive. The calls have been nothing short of harassment this year for some reason with something like 95% of them being from Republicans. I checked the website for the Maine Republican Party and there isn't a phone number anywhere on the site that I could find. I want to complain!
Who do I call to get this harassment to cease!
It all started when I listened to a teleconference for Governor LePage  a week or two back.

Bad mistake!