Showing posts from 2008

Still off line...

I guess I'm not supposed to be distracted from what I'm doing right now, which is:

1)Celebrating one year of intense recovery from food addiction and a loss over 80 pounds as of October 1;

2) Being fully present in my life and taking the "next right action" instead of pondering and daydreaming about the future all the damn time;

3) Marveling at the fact that God has kept me serene and abstinent while placing my mother in a skilled nursing facility and dealing with all the legal/emotional issues of being her conservator while my father continues to drink and wonder why Mom can't live with him anymore. I had to take action to ensure that my mother receives the care she needs, and my Dad can't care for her anymore. No one in the family can. I feel guilt, sadness and anxiety, but I still eat only my three weighed and measured meals, one day at a time! This is truly a MIRACLE!Praise God! He is God! All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding!

4) My favorite h…


(Yes, I know the title doesn't make sense. It's a Kikongo word for a type of bean that grows in the jungles of Africa that without reason or warning, makes up its own mind when it wants to flourish. When manguwansi decides that it has fed the people quite enough, it shrivels up and dies. It is quite temperamental. Manguwansi is also the nickname for a friend who doesn't think much of himself, and exhibits behaviors reminiscent of his namesake. I pray for him nightly. This is an open letter for him.

Life has brought me some unexpected gifts lately. In a space of one week, I am getting a date with my orthopedic surgeon, I have granted the opportunity to create three different programs, two program are focused on teaching basic and creative writing skills to adults, and the other a character education program for the preschoolers who live in my apartment complex. And all of this is flexible enough to be happen around my surgery.

Why did this happen? Not because I'm "lu…

Not all the WAY back, but...

...I just wanted to get up to date and let y'all know I'm still amongst the living! First things first--recovery is working today. I had to lose some more of my severely entrenched "self-will run riot" and gain a lot more fear and respect for my addiction. I am truly, 100% powerless; I'm more convinced of that every nanosecond. People have told me, "You're doing so well; the weight is just melting away!" Well, they can't see into the malevolent tsunami that is my food-addled brain, and how much praying and talking to God I have to do to keep eating my three meals a day and all the rest of the stuff that I do on a daily basis. It isn't me doing this; I swear. I have never turned away from my family's homemade macaroni and cheese in the entire fifty years I've lived on this planet. But I did just that this past week. Twice.

I'm going to skip the food "porn" description of the Shortt family's baked macaroni and …

Be back after a brief respite

Due to a disputes with AT&T over cell phone charges that were part of a service "package", I no longer have DSL service. Serious bummer. I signed up with a very cheap (under $10) dial-up service, but since I've run into technical difficulties reconnecting the phone line and in the process, knocking my monitor into a blank screen, I won't be online until someone bails me out of this mess. I'm using a computer at the community room of my parent's apartment complex right now. But I'm going to be calling every tekkie I know to get back on line. In the meantime, stay tuned, y'all. "I'll be back."

What should we do when we are faced with a Baha’i law or teaching that we do not understand?

I really liked this article, and I want to thank Philipe for posting a link to this blog on his site. Please click on the link to this blog. It ties in with what I was talking about in my previous blog, albeit a bit indirectly. There are a lot of difficult questions in life, and while I have found answers to some, others remain beyond my ability to comprehend. That's way it is--an never-ending search. I began the search as child, and while I can't say that I've found the definitive answers to life's perplexities, I believe that I have developed a relationship with the Eternal Source that will provide me with the answers I seek when I am ready for them. Only God knows when I am ready. I certainly don't.

I would also like to invite any Baha'i reading this blog to post a story detailing why they made the decision to become a Baha'i. I do have a few suggestions (hint,hint) that you could include. No pressure, of course. ;-)

1. When did you become a Baha&#…

Why I am a Baha'i

I'm a base brat; I grew up on Air Force bases all over the US and Southeast Asis. Because my family traveled so much, I was exposed to different people and cultures at a very early age, and I met a lot of people who seemed to be just as kind, patient and loving as Christians. In fact, many of them were even more kind and patient than the Christians I knew. I couldn't and wouldn't believe that God would condemn them to an everlasting fiery hell just because they were not Baptists, or Methodists, or Pentecostal or...whatever. And besides, why are there so many denominations of Christianity in the first place, with each one claiming to have the number one direct pipeline to God? Which one is "right"? I was bothered by these questions at a young ag4e, even as early as seven or eight years old. In fact, at five I was frightened by the concept of God burning people who did not accept Christ as their personal savior, and I would cry at night for the poor souls wh…

Nobel Peace Prize winners speak up for Iranian Baha’i leaders

Nobel Peace Prize winners speak up for Iranian Baha’i leaders

Posted using ShareThis

I'm posting this as a follow up to my previous blog on the persecution of Iranian Baha'i leaders. I'm grateful to Barney Leith to posting this story on his blog so the news won't get buried under a dogpile of celebrity hyperbole. Keep it going, folks, the world needs to know what's really going on while the certain Western leaders remain clueless about the realities of life in the Middle East, and why their policies seem to be failing.

I could say oh-so-much-more. But I won't. I am a Baha'i. That's all that matters.

The Persecutions of Baha'is

This illustration, depicting the death of an early Bahá'í, appeared in the Persian magazine, Ima'mat, circa 1911.
God bless Ms. Hakakian for speaking up against the continued persecution of Iranian Baha'is. As I am writing this, the fate of six prominent Baha'is arrested by the Iranian government is unknown. Those of us who live in other parts of the world continue to blog in protest of those actions. If the past is any indication of what could or may have already happened to them, I fear the worst.

At a recent meeting with fellow Baha'is, I commented that the Iranian government and fanatical religious leaders will not stop systematically persecuting Baha'is in that country until every one of them is either forced to recant their Faith, or killed. Most will be killed, as we are all instructed to never recant our Faith in Bah'u'llah as the Divine Messenger for this new day of mankind.

But one friend quietly remarked, "They won't stop until w…

Still here...sort of...

Well folks, the health issues continue to be a PITA (pain in the asinine). The two current bugaboos are chronic fatigue and kidney stones. I am doing a sleep study for the former, which involves several activities including monitoring my oxygen levels while sleeping, over a two month period. I sleep upright because of my bad hip and lower back, which helps my breathing somewhat. My kids claim I have stopped snoring since I started sleeping that way. However, I still wake up several times a night, and I have never felt totally rested, even after eight hours of sleep. Lately, I've been taking four hour naps in addition to sleeping at night. This is obviously a problem that needs to be addressed, hence the sleep study.

The second issue was passed quite painfully in the emergency room of Kaiser Hospital. I said it once, and I'll say it again--in times of physical duress, I thank God for morphine and the man or woman who developed it for occasions of ghastly pain. Please don…

Relapse after weight loss surgery

Folks need to leave Ms. Carnie alone!!!

Apparently, people have been buzzing about how Carnie Wilson re-gained a lot of weight after losing 150 pounds as the result of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Actually, this is probably old news to most people, but I rarely see celebrity gossip. It's not exactly my favorite thing to do--keep up with the comings and goings of the rich and famous. I have entirely too much to do in my own life, mainly, trying to save it. And I mean that quite literally. But I do read web articles about morbid obesity quite regularly, and this one caught my attention. I have to take you back several years to explain why.

I remember going to an Indian food restaurant for my so-called "last meal" (what a joke) with my sister, my son Marc and my daughter Chenelle. While everyone was laughing and talking during dinner, my thoughts would wander off to the future that I thought I would have. For the very first time in my life, I was going to be thin. …

I love being a Mom and a Nana!

May 15th was my daughter Clarissa's 27th birthday, and we had a dinner and a movie night at my house. My daughters told me that they wanted to start eating healthier the way I am now. In fact, they said that they wouldn't have minded eating the food that I have every day. Now they tell me! LOL! Anyway, I can't believe that the years have gone by so fast. Weren't they in elementary school just the other day? Or middle school? All three of my kids became adults overnight! And what adults they are--they are each following their own paths in life, doing what really reaches their hearts and souls. Well...according to my youngest daughter, Chenelle my son Marc has apparently become a bonafide "chick magnet" out there in Boston these more shy guy!

And being a's even better than having your own children! My grandson Xavier is just an incredible bounty of joy for me. I love him beyond what can be thought of as the usual grandmother l…

Baha'i music - Eric Dozier Choir

God is good! All the time! This is how I commemorated the Ascension of Baha'u'llah, with prayers, incense, candles and music! Praise Him! Ya Baha'ul'Abha'!

The Ascension of Baha'u'llah

The Shrine of Baha’u’llah with the Mansion of Bahji,
where Baha’u’llah died in 1892, in the background.

Tonight, I will go to bed at 7 pm. Tomorrow morning, at midnight, I will wake up, take a shower, get dressed, make some tea, light some candles and incense, and wait for 3 am, the exact time that I am to commemorate the Ascension of Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i. Others may join me, but due to living in an era when work and family obligations make observing Baha'i holy days difficult, I might be the only one here. That's all right. My home is open to whoever can be here, and if they can't, I know they are doing what I am doing. They are saying prayers for the healing of humanity, which is what the Baha'i Faith, in my opinion, is all about. This is my eternal life, the part of living that makes everything I'm doing in this physical realm, and later on in the spiritual realm, possible. I fully believe that Baha'u'llah is the Divine E…

This quiz may save your life

For more information, copy and paste:

Are you a food addict?
To answer this question, ask yourself the following questions and answer them as honestly as you can.

1 Have you ever wanted to stop eating and found you just couldn't?
2 Do you think about food or your weight constantly?
3 Do you find yourself attempting one diet or food plan after another, with no lasting success?
4 Do you binge and then "get rid of the binge" through vomiting, exercise, laxatives, or other forms of purging?
5 Do you eat differently in private than you do in front of other people?
6 Has a doctor or family member ever approached you with concern about your eating habits or weight?
7 Do you eat large quantities of food at one time (binge)?
8 Is your weight problem due to your "nibbling" all day long?
9 Do you eat to escape from your feelings?
10 Do you eat when you're not hungry?
11 Have you ever discarded food, only to retrieve and eat it later?
12 Do you eat in secre…

Declaration of the Ba'b

I'm working on a post that is a bit difficult for me to write about because I have begun to realize just how much my life has been unmanageable for years, and what it means to turn my life over to the care of God. I keep standing in the way, blocking the plentiful blessings of the Almighty, not because I want to, but I have unknowingly been living in chaos and confusion for most of my life. Cleaning it up hasn't been easy because it requires that I develop something that I'm not very good at--humility. And I have to constantly ask for guidance from God and my recovery fellows because when I don't, things literally fall apart. And I thought my only problem was morbid obesity, and all I had to do to fix my life was lose weight! Good grief...that's only the beginning, it seems. Anyway, I hope I'll be able to post about what I've been going through real soon.

One thing I did do right for myself is celebrate the Declaration of the Ba'b with a friend. My…

Happy Birthday, Ricky...

On May 18, 1964, my little brother Richard Sydney Shortt II was born. I don't remember that particular day very well, but I do recall at some point my father drove Tam and I to Sutter Memorial Hospital on 52nd and F streets, and we parked near the fourth floor maternity ward. We got out of the car and looked up as my mother held Ricky up to the hospital window, and Tam and I waved to him. I'm sure Mom was saying things like "See? There's your big sisters down there! Say hi to your sisters; they're going to help take care of you!" As usual for me then and now, I was confused about how I was supposed to be feeling. I got the impression that I was supposed to be happy, but I had learned to be reserved about events that adults seemed to think would make me happy, like birthday parties or Easter egg hunts. All too often, I felt something more akin to discomfort or shyness. But I do remember feeling relieved that I didn't have another sister to deal with. T…

Facebook posts

I wrote this yesterday after reading a news feed from National Public Radio ( I posted it on Facebook, but since it didn't go through Blogit, it didn't show up here.

Today is my Punkie's (my oldest daughter Clarissa) 27th birthday, and I'm feeling nostalgic. Not for childbirth, mind you. That hurt, tremendously, and I was very tired and sore afterwards. It's amazing that I voluntarily went through that agonizing process two more times before I'd had enough. But anyway, twenty seven years ago I pushed that very red and pissed off 6 pound bundle of dynamite from my womb, and the phenom known as Clarissa Ellen Doutherd came into this world.

Mother and daughter had many trials and lessons to learn from each other. One of them was high school. Clarissa was unwilling to go ("I'm NOT LEARNING anything, Mom!"), and I was tired of the arguments, especially since I could completely empathize with her. Her high school was a joke. After a lot of soul…

Wolverine and The X Men Trailer

I guess this is going to be a TV cartoon series or something. It doesn't matter; I'm watching it. See, told you I've never grown up! Clarissa and Chenelle roll their eyes and walk away whenever I talk about my comic books, but Marc gets it. We talk about comic books all the time, just as we did while he was growing up. Excelsior, as Stan Lee always says!

Susurrus reading and fear

su-sur-rus: a soft murmuring or rustling sound; a whisper. It's also the name of Sacramento City College's literary magazine.

I should have figured there would be trouble last Saturday when the 4:24 p.m. Regional Transit bus number 21 from Sunrise Mall to Mather Field light rail station was late. It was more than late. It never showed up. There was a group of young men sitting on abandoned, overturned shopping carts at the bus stop when I arrived. They seemed to be so casual and unconcerned that I assumed they were just hanging out. After forty minutes, I was getting anxious. Where was the bus? I searched Coloma Road once again for any sign of a dark blue and bright yellow bus, then turned to the boys.

"Are you all waiting for the bus?"

"Yes, ma'am."

If I wasn't so upset about the bus, I would have been surprised. Five young black men wearing baggy jeans, sweat jackets and tennis shoes referring to me as "ma'am"? Either I look old…

Wreckage of my eating past

First, an explanation of the pictures: At the bottom, on the left side is a picture of me at my highest weight, which is unknown. Last Wednesday, after attending my weekly AWOL meeting, I showed this and the other pictures to my fellow group members. They were stunned, to say the least. They estimated that I had to have been 400 pounds. I will never know because I didn't come anywhere near a scale, and I was avoiding any contact with physicians or any other medical professional. I knew I was morbidly obese, and I felt like I didn't need them to elaborate on the obvious. I also didn't want to hear about "cutting back" on the amount and type of food I was eating, or make "healthy lifestyle changes". It wasn't that I felt they were wrong for trying to help me. They were doing what they had been trained to do, which is help keep people alive. Looking at this picture reveals how dangerously close to the edge I had come.

Did I realize what I was d…