East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"


East Of Eden

Lent 2019: Uncommonly common.

Still posing for selfies even with two needles in my chest for plasmapheresis... while wearing a jaunty beret. (taken March 2019)

 

Last Sunday, Z and I met up with my girl Nicole and her daughter for church. We visited an Anglican/ Episcopal parish close to my home. Although we are all officially members of another Episcopal church a couple of towns away, neither of us, for various reasons, have been there since last year. (Look, maybe I'll go into why in another post, but that's not what this is about). We weren't first time visitors- her aunt is a member and I first checked the place out in 2014.

The Gospel reading came from I Corinthians 10. Check out verse 13:

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind...

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Lent 2019: Are you there God? It's me, Alisha.

Some of the contents of the inside and from the outside of the recently departed fridge.

 

I've had a few days lately that have made me wonder what is up with me and God's communication. Life is life... and sometimes it just piles up like a stack of dishes being dirtied by my family on a snow day with only me picking up the sponge and Dawn to clean. 

 

Last week, our refrigerator became "a dead appliance running" so to speak when it suddenly stopped pushing out cold air. After tossing out over a hundred bucks of groceries, K decided to give it one last chance to cool by turning the temp to 9 and banning us from so much as cracking it open the width of a Kraft single. And to my amazement, it haltingly came back to life..

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Untitled. Or "Yes, I do prefer the company of the dead."

"Sarah Mae Flemming (2nd from left) is joined by Julia E. King and attorneys Lincoln C. Jenkins & Matthew J. Perry.The photograph was taken by John W. Goodwin, a Columbia [S.C.] photographer." (Caption and photo via Columbia SC 63 Twitter)

 

For the past three months, I've fallen into a hole of sorts. Fallen... or actually, jumped.

Back in August, I tested my Mom's DNA through Ancestry (I've tested it before, but that other company turned out to be pretty shaky, and a quick Google search turns up a slew of angry customers... I'm not sure if it's still even in existence), and received the results back in September, just in time for her birthday. To our shock, I was matched with a few 1st and 2nd cousins, and far more shockingly, I...

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The opposite of her.

Me, on my 3rd birthday, and Jos, 6 months, in 1985. 

 

"A sister is both your mirror - and your opposite." - Elizabeth Fishel

 

It's the sixth year since she left, quietly, in her sleep. Joscelyne- loud, and laughing, and singing, in lip gloss and heels and body mist- closed her eyes, and then... silence.

...
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The Problem is... you think you're in control.


Getting IVIG through a peripheral IV in my right hand in 2012. (photo, my own)

 

Just think of this post as a little corollary to Tuesday's.

I realized pretty much as I hit "Publish" on that post, there had to be some readers who sat in quiet reassurance that they could not, would not, never, ever be one who'd wind up without time.

After all, you're no MLK, JFK or RFK, so no one is gunning for you, right? Nor are you an alcoholic or addicted to drugs like Amy or Basquiat, and you never take sleeping pills, so you'd never overdose like Marilyn.

...
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Even in my sleep.

 

"Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until, in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God."

-Aeschylus

 

 

...
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Come Clean: I still cringe at "macaroni with the cheese".


My face is literally that of Mase every. single. time. I've heard this song over the past two decades. (Video screen capture via YouTube)

 

Twenty years ago, Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs shot to the top of the charts and became a household name when he crossed over from the world of hip hop and onto the pop charts in the wake of Biggie Small's murder. His tribute to his slain artist and best friend, "I'll Be Missing You" was the number one song for most of the summer, only losing the top spot once Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" was released after Princess Diana's tragic death.

Puffy was, in 90s nomenclature, all that. He was coming out with shiny suits, explosions and bling. He was about the benjamins, and was even tap dancing with

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Throwback Thursday: Let it be.

Note: This post first appeared at my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on October 4, 2010. ~Alisha

 

 
 
I'm sitting in the local diner writing this on my laptop, the diner being every good Jersey girl's version of "The Max" that Zack and Slater hung out in "Saved By The Bell." But I'm by myself, sans Lisa and Screech, so I guess this would be like a deleted "Jesse studies alone” scene that wouldn't even make the DVD collection. Of course, circa 2010.
 
I've got "Eat Pray Love" with me, which is pretty sad because I've been lugging this now worn book around for a month and Liz is just in India. Considering I typically devour books the way I just devoured the tuna triple decker I ordered, quick and easy, my inability to read...
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Throwback Thursday: Plan B (The non-B.C. one).

Note: This post first appeared at my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on May 8, 2012. ~Li

Why????

As I mentioned, somewhat in passing a couple of weeks ago, I resigned from my full time job. It was hard. So very hard that three weeks later, I still feel at a loss for words. It's not because I loved my job. Because quite frankly, I had no warm feelings towards it. The people- my boss, the coworkers and the students I helped, yes, very much so. But the filing, memos and meetings- eh, not so much. It was far better than the previous job, but it was still just a job. I don't mean that in a disparaging way. If it weren't for those jobs, I wouldn't be who I am today. I'm extremely grateful for them. I mean they weren't part of the career I had...

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Throwback Thursday: I am the Daria of Christians.

Note: This post originally appeared on my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on July 31, 2012. ~Li

 

After posting this last week, I felt conflicted. Well, maybe more than just conflicted. I think it's safe to say I felt scared. My number of hits for the piece were actually better than most of my stuff lately, so people were checking it out. But... aside from April and Don, no one made any comments. On the FAR Facebook page, it didn't get a single "Like". Sure, a number of my posts don't get feedback. That's why in that little "About Me" bar to the right, I "HINT, HINT, HINT" that comments are welcome. I felt this was different, though. It wasn't so much disinterest (especially with the higher amount of views) as sheer dislike. Had I...

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Throwback Thursday: Circles, Squares & Me.

Note: This post first appeared on my old blog, Far AboveRubies, on September 21, 2012. ~Alisha

 

When I sat in that doctor's office over a year and a half ago, being told I should consider terminating my Zoe because I might have a genetic condition that I may pass on to my daughter, I knew deep in my heart, she was- and is- a gift. I knew that even if some cold, detached doctor did not, could not, would not see her value, she deserved life. And when she was born, a beautiful, squiggly girl of seven pounds and seven ounces and a long twenty inches, the precious gift I was blessed to carry for thirty-eight weeks entered the world, full of curiosity, attentiveness and hunger. Zoe Lyne Hope. Zoe means "life". Abundant life.

 The...
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Throwback Thursday: Great(ly different) Expectations.

Note: This post was first published on my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on December 31, 2012. ~Li

 Princeton University. I did not attend. I did, however, drive by a number of times on my way to the neurologist's office.

I attended and graduated from a state university, and one not in the top tier at that. That is not to say I received a second-rate education. Far from it. I learned so much, in class and even more-so, from occurrences not transcribed on to a syllabus. Reading "Lost in the Meritocracy" by Walter Kirn at The Atlantic, I was heavily reminded of my college days. Sure, he matriculated at Princeton around the time I was just arriving on this Earth, but there are some transcendental experiences with which I could relate:

With...
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Throwback Thursday: "You're HUGE" & Other Dumb Things Not to Say or Do to a Pregnant Woman

Note: This post was first published on my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on March 30, 2011. Enjoy! ~Li

 (Photo: Flickr)

God bless 'em, the jerks who have thought it all in good fun to poke at my ever expanding belly, the same ones who question every bit of food and drink I consume. Even the one who commented on my larger bust line (and this came from a guy... a guy who is NOT my husband). God bless these folks, because I don't want to. But, I will. I will bless them with some sage advice on how not to address or behave towards an expectant mom, speaking as a sage expectant mom.

  • "You're HUGE!", "You are getting so big!" "Wow, your stomach has really popped out" or any other variant of the bulging belly bump kind. I believe most people...
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PSA: So you noticed I'm disabled...


 

... and I am. Now get over it. 

 

It's summer, and the more I go out, the more I run into people who get spontaneous, explosive, diarrhea of the mouth because of said disability. Or rather, the walker I use because of said disability.

Here's the thing: over a year after having a HSCT, not only am I not any better, I'm actually more dependent on a walker than I was before it. While I definitely made use of the walker for trips to malls, museums and parks pre-HSCT, I didn't usually bring it to church, doctor's appointments, cafes or book stores. Now, it's constant.

...
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Throwback Thursday: Zoe 101: Lessons From My Daughter

Note from Li: This post was first published on my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on March 6, 2012. I'm republishing it today, with an update: Matt is now an awesome dad to two adorable boys. I knew he'd be a great dad. ;-) ~Li

 Last week at The Church of No People, Matt topped off his month long series on Parenting by explaining why he didn't want to have kids. At least anytime soon. I laughed out loud reading it, and not in that fake "LOL! But I only wrote that because I don't know what else to write except maybe a smiley face, but I don't want to" type way, either. Especially that part about Go-Gurt. I don't know why, but before having Zoe, seriously thinking about having kids always conjured up images of gross poopy diapers, crazy...

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Lent- Day 35: The Last Temptation of Alisha.

 

Beloved, my husband brought home the cake pictured above. Along with a large tray of brownies.

There was a bakesale at his job, he said, and well, he brought me... a cake. And a large tray of brownies. 

As I mentioned earlier in this Lenten season, I gave up sweets until Easter. So I haven't so much as popped a peanut M&M since February.

And here we are, at the start of Holy Week, looking ahead to celebrating... and my husband, the man I vowed to love and honor before God, came strolling into our home with some kind of green frosted chocolate cake. And a large tray of brownies. Oh, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

...
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Lent- Day 34: Why blog?

(Image: John P. Weiss)

 

Yesterday's post, complete with cutie-pie pic of Z, got over 70 hits. Thursday's barely hit 20. My most popular post in this Lenten series got something like 150. So basically, I'm not even half a blip on these here interwebz.

Sometimes, I'll get discouraged. Afterall, I started blogging in April 2009 at Far Above Rubies, and it's sad knowing thousands of posts have pretty much collected the online equivalent of dust without having been read by more than 7 or 8 people.

At least, it would be sad if I primarily wrote for others. Thing is, I don't. You lovely Readers matter of course, and sometimes, I do write for you (I'm especially talking about Kiki, Thomas, Maria, and Xiamora... ya'll are loyal). But I owe...

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Lent- Day 26: Congratulations.

In Thomas Edison's workshop. (Picture, my own.)

 

Today, I took Zoe to the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange (N.J.- um, if you aren't aware by now, I live in Dirty Jerz). While I found the place fascinating, full of actual history (a kinetoscope!), Zoe was much less interested. In fact, she doesn't want to go back. While she liked dressing up in old tyme clothes and playing with Tinker Toy blocks, she was sorely disappointed to be the only child there. A museum with ancient artifacts is one thing, but with ancient people, too? Nope, fail.

 

One of the park rangers there, Gage (true story, that's his actual first name... Ranger Gage is a superhero-in the making, just wait for it), spoke to us about Edison's...

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Lent- Second Sunday: Blessings.


(Image Source: Genius)

 

"If I ever took a loss, I learned a lesson"
"Blessings", Lecrae

 

I lost three followers from this blog's Facebook page over the past week and a half- you know, since I started these daily Lenten posts. Ha.

...
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Until you return to the ground.

 

By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”

-Genesis 3:19

 Ash Wednesday- actually the whole concept of Lent- jolts me. I grew up Holiness/Pentecostal, belonged to another such church during college, and then spent another five years as a member of a nondenominational Evangelical fellowship. So yeah, I always find myself shocked by the starkness of this day.

The verses read, including the one above, are blunt. We're going to die. All of us. And we, as in humanity, really stink. We are the worse. We oppress others, are selfish, and a quick skim...

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