My Prayer Beads. Let me show you them.

In the Weep No More guide, I suggested using a small cross or a set of prayer beads for meditation during episodes of mental pain. You are probably thinking, are you flirting with Rome with that suggestion? Far from it! Prayer beads have been an aid to Christians for centuries, and even Lutherans during the Reformation period used them for meditation.

There is a group of High Church Lutherans that are using beads for meditation, and I happen to be one of them. My beads are a Catholic Easter-themed rosary that I found appropriate for my convictions. Instead of a Marian center, it has Jesus emerging from the tomb. I used to have a smaller set, but they melted in the dryer when I left them in my pants. This rosary is from Italy and I really like the decor.

So, what do I do with them? I use them at night before I sleep. I would do the Creed, the Our Father, and the Glory Be. The one difference I have is due to what the Book of Concord had to say about prayers to the saints. Instead of using the Hail Mary, I use the Jesus Prayer. During the day, I carry them in a pouch tucked in my purse. Peace of mind, you know. Saying these prayers gave me peace and reassurance that God has shown mercy to me. I do not believe in magickal incantations nor I do not believe what the Roman Catholic Church promised to its adherents when they pray the rosary.

There are prayer beads available for purchase from Lutheran Beads of Minnesota. You can visit the Chemnitz Fraternity on ways to use them.

If you decide to get a Catholic Rosary, there are some available that do not have a Marian or saint-themed center. The first communion ones usually have a chalice. If you are a gentleman or a chick with badassery to her name, Rugged Rosaries have a tough paracord version.

NEW ADDITIONS AND NOTES: Self-Care Guide

Yesterday, I spent all day writing a series of posts on Facebook about self-care during spiritual trauma. I felt that I have the happy obligation to help fellow sufferers with what I learned.

There is so many things I want to touch on, like the subject of spiritual warfare and misconceptions due to popular concepts. I will touch on the Roman Catholic approach in their exorcism process, which does involve mental health professional care.

It will always be a work in progress. I will need an editor to make this flow properly. I also will need an artist to design a themed picture.

I removed the Makeup Holy Grail page. It felt out of place to have that section next to the guide.

The Finickies: a horse racing theory

The last few months has been filled with work as my boss allowed me to work the mutual line. Now I also process bets. I felt better regarding my books. A deaconess fieldworker at my church now has the books for her own theological library. I just ordered more DRF books and in the meantime prepping for the Kentucky Derby in less than three weeks.

During certain times of the week, usually Saturday or Sunday, I would be the most successful with Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs. It was when I stumbled across this factor.

I noticed that in a given circuit, most horses would favor one racetrack over others. The dirt ground of one track is different in composition. For example, a horse would be in the money constantly at Gulfstream Park West (formerly Calder), but once he ships to Gulfstream or Tampa Bay, he would perform abysmally. And if you read Steve Haskin’s Derby Dozen for this week, read the McCraken part. He noticed that horses that did very good at Keeneland won’t do well at Churchill Downs. Check out last year’s Ashland Stakes and the Kentucky Oaks. For the lack of a better term, these horses I describe have “the finickies”.

Spotting the finickies has helped me be in the money. I remember noticing one horse at Aqueduct, her name is Roman Ceres. She was a 15-1 shot and at post was around 30-1. In her past performances, I saw that she did not did well at Belmont or Saratoga, but did very well at Aqueduct’s inner track. Add a jockey that works with her very well, and you got a massive overlay. Man, my voice was hoarse when she won by a head. I also saw that at a Tampa Bay Downs stakes, in which Muggsamatic was 5-1 in the morning line but was 30-1. I checked if he had the finickies. Oh yes he did, and oh look! A good jockey that worked well with him. Let’s say I have been the recipient of many high-fives.

Later on, I will edit and add material to fatten up this post. See if this may be of help to you. My advice is free, so it’s either priceless or worthless.

Photo Album Feature

I just added a photo album to my website and changed the design of my index page. I finally figured out how to get into my webpage and add more stuff.

You may find my photo album at http://www.carolrutz.com/photoalbum/.

The first set of pics features my recent trip to Kentucky from a little over than a week ago. As mentioned, the cure for cowbell is more cowbell. I have visited the Lexington area and the Keeneland race track with my best friend Lindsay. We met various Derby winners, had a VIP tour in one of the farms, and attended the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. I will need to add the captions.

Boxes of Books: A New Chapter

It has been a year since Preggie moved to the nursing home. And now I’m downsizing, moving into a smaller home.

I should be relieved that I will have less to worry. However, it means I must give away my theological books to a fieldworker. So I packed away my Loci Communes, the Chemnitz treatises, Walther’s Law and Gospel, and other reminders of a life interrupted. What could have been…

I have not opened these books for over 10 years. The memories of 11 years ago ensured that I won’t read them in the future. Tainted. The voice of my professor echoed as I touched them. Out of respect, I kept my Bible and the Book of Concord. Nowadays, I just listen to the Scriptures via the weekly sermons. If I wanted to read, I will download via Kindle.

Eventually, I will read the books of my adulthood. But right now, I have Beyer On Speed.

Synchronicity and the Bluegrass State

The past few weeks, I have experienced some kind of apophenia, when you see patterns in random things. If you ever watched the cult classic Repo Man, there was a scene in which Miller and Otto were talking about some unified theory. There Miller explained the Jungian concept of synchronicity in layman’s terms:

A lot of people don’t realize what’s really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidents and things. They don’t realize that there’s this, like, lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. Give you an example, show you what I mean: suppose you’re thinkin’ about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly someone’ll say, like, “plate,” or “shrimp,” or “plate of shrimp” out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin’ for one, either. It’s all part of a cosmic unconsciousness.

While I do not follow the spiritual working of Carl Jung, one can learn that people would see connexions in random events. When a woman becomes pregnant, she sees pregnant women everywhere. She is processing her own status as a pregnant woman and is aware of her future as a mother. She then prepares for her new identity.

During the last few weeks, I have seen various instances in which the word “Kentucky” appears out of the blue outside work and home. It has to be a random occurrence; visiting a liquor store and seeing a Jim Beam display does not count. And passing by KFC does not count either. The OTB, reading Blood Horse, my decor, anything of that sort, does not count. The key word is random. Here is an example: I was at the Van Wert County Fair in Ohio, and there were carnival games. One of them involved a mechanical race in one moves the horse via a skee-ball ramp and ball. My coworker’s partner said to me that he challenges me to this game. So I took up the challenge and looked at the horses. There was a sign that read “Kentucky Derby”. Yea, seems legit. But it brought me a chill and felt my hair stand up.

Let’s see: Two Persons of Walmart crossed my path, one wearing a Wildcats hoodie. A contestant for The Voice mentioned he was from Louisville, KY. A news article from the Verge talking about a Samsung Note 7 exploding in That Certain State. The church bulletin had an announcement for a youth trip to the Creation Museum, over There. And today on Facebook, there is a picture of beauty pageant contestants in swimsuits, with sashes. One of them read “Kentucky”.

My coworker suggested that it means we must visit Keeneland next April for the Bluegrass Stakes, plus visit the Coolmore stud farm. That is a great idea– the cure for cowbell is more cowbell. After we visit Gulfstream Park for the Pegasus World Cup. But this pattern pops out.

So today, I took the time why I am seeing a pattern. Why “Kentucky”? There, I must use psychology.

I drew word maps and did free association. From that word I got horses. Stakes. The time I attended the Spiral Stakes at Turfway. My outfit. Fascinator. Elegance. The Derby. American Pharoah. Spend A Buck. My childhood. Churchill Downs. The day I visited Churchill Downs. Now I’m getting somewhere. 9 May. No psychological pain on that day this year. Standing in front of Barbaro’s grave, realising that I have survived the wilderness years. I could have… but I resisted, Deo Gratias.

Liberation. Farewell to my old broken identity as a theology reject. Hello full-time career with benefits.

Weep No More.

There is the crux of this apophenia. It is my mind’s way of telling me that my life has changed and is now unfolding. All this time while seeing these words, I was transitioning to my new identity. Then, I tried to be normal. Now, I am openly Autistic without fear. Then, I hated God. Now, I come to the Sacrament. Then, I loathed my existence. Now, I accept myself.

Those random instances out of static are a mental signpost. I am going somewhere. I hope God goes with me. I will do my best at my job. And I have more things to do, places to visit, horses to be fed mints. Hopefully, I won’t be seeing much random patterns popping up in the future, but my coworker tells me she wants more– bring it on! Dude, you do not want to tempt the universe into giving me overload. I am typing carefully to avoid using the “K word”. I prefer exposure to the Bluegrass State controlled, thank you very much.

Degenerate Arts: Songbird Canvas Shoes

Introducing a new category: Degenerate Arts! If you want horse racing themed crafts, this is the place to get inspired! Show how much you are dedicated to the craft by making stuff to wear or show off!

My cheapo pair of canvas shoes I got at Macy’s were coming apart. So I figure: I’ll get some canvas shoes… maybe Converse like that Lucha Libre video or Vans.

Then I remember that there was an art store that sold blank canvas shoes and markers. Maybe I can customise a pair for myself. Maybe I can do a themed shoe so I can wear at work. Pharoah? The Preakness? Too much drawing. Maybe a Tapit-themed design featuring his blacktype progeny. But, my drawing is primitive– the Picts were better artists than I am.

That is when I thought of a quick and not-so-dirty solution: Iron-on transfer paper.

I thought of a simple design. One horse. Songbird. Her pic on one shoe, silks on the other. So I downloaded a few images and I printed them up on opaque dark fabric transfer paper. I thought I was quite successful.

View post on imgur.com

The most important part is to preserve the design and correct/hide the melted transfer at one section. I am going to get Mod Podge and seal the design.

Coming up next: Travers Day shirt design, featuring one of my picks!

New Poster: Now with Correct Spelling.

View post on imgur.com

I thought, prior Kentucky Derbies had good prints, so I searched on various sites. And I found great posters. This one did not incorporate the year into the graphic itself. So I got the 2002 edition, and got a nice frame for it.

It’s of a crowd gathered around the jockey and his horse, with Churchill Downs in the background. One lady is holding a mint julep.

Best of all, no misspellings that make me twitch. I double checked that before ordering. Next year, I hope to get a giclee print and put it in the living room.

I also got a Preakness print as well, on special:

View post on imgur.com

It was in honor of the 125th stakes. The artist who did that is talented. That poster was quite big, but I managed to fit it on the other side of the bedroom. I looked for recent prints, but it looked like I would have to wait less than 9 years for an 150th stakes edition.

So now my room is properly decorated and tied together. That is the end of the poster typo saga. Less twitching, more sleep.

The Poster Typo Saga, Part 3: The Quest Begins

You’d think Walmart has poster tubes to send posters via mail. Not there. Office De[s]pot was closed and I had to look at Wally World for the tube. Not there, so I had to purchase the tube at the post office. Yesterday, I removed the poster, rolled it, and sent it back with a return form.

Now, my wall is bare. I have enough other types of wall decor in my room, like a crucifix, my diplomas, and wedding pictures. I have framed pictures on the dresser: in college with my spiritual director, a set of Winston Churchill stamps, and my ham radio license. But this room is missing a horse racing picture right on my wall.

What should I place instead? An old Derby poster seemed possible, but I have not watched the past events in over a decade. I wanted a giclee print, but the cost is prohibitive. Work is easy, but bills eat up my wages, as it is the way of living, no? I will have to earn it the hard way: exactas and trifectas.

So, my quest begins. First, it’s bills and food. What’s left over, I save. Then, I will choose a picture. With correct spelling. Stay tuned.

The Poster Typo Saga, part 2

Wrote an email to the designers this afternoon, that the C looked like a G. They assured me that the Art Deco font is correct, after all they sold many posters without problems.

Okay, fair enough. But how one explain the C in the Kentucky Oaks poster? The fonts does look similar… except for that C.

I’ve talked to my coworkers and on Facebook. They said that it sure looked like a G. So it’s hanging back on my wall, for now. But I am staring at it and will stare at the letter until I fall asleep.

Be glad they did not use an F for the T in “Kentucky Derby.”

Sometime back after the estate sale, I redecorated the house to make it more my living space. Kept a few things and ordered a few prints for the family room and bedroom. Found this on sale. After all, you never forget the Derby in which you played an active role. I was not a mere spectator watching the telly, but I was a hostess guiding people to a crowded restaurant, bussing tables and getting the word on who would win. This print would look great in my bedroom. I had the Kentucky Oaks print framed near my wine bar along with a Secretariat poster, an American Pharoah print, and a Nyquist print.

This afternoon, I thought to dust and spiffy up when I saw something a bit off.

The C had a bit of a horizontal line, making it look like a G. Compare that with the C in the Kentucky Oaks poster.

I was miffed and then thought to pass it to my work, who may not mind having it in their break room. I showed the poster to one of the waitresses and a VIP patron. He was from Kentucky. I asked: “Guys, what’s wrong with the picture?”

The VIP responded: “The horse does not have any balls.”

“Of course not, it’s supposed to be classy, not vulgar. Read the words.”

“The 142nd Kentucky Derby. So?”

“Look at the C.”

*blinks* We all laughed. I went to the manager and he thought it was awesome to see a typo on official Derby prints. He wanted me to keep it, but I told him that I would twitch and get annoyed every time I walk past that on the wall. “Maybe you could call Churchill Downs and let them know about the G. Maybe get a corrected version.”

So I’m sending it back. And now, my bedroom wall is bare. Too bad, it really tied the room together.

My City Was Gone: Return to the Valley

I’m in the Valley to see my younger brother get wed. I am happy to say that the girl he married is lovable and decent. The ceremony was beautiful.

But this whole time I am here, I felt alien. Who wouldn’t? The areas that I grew up changed for the worst. Graffiti on ageing stucco. Strip club advertisements. Heretical storefront churches. Crap traffic. Crappier neighbours who would blare out Mexican oompa music at 2 am in the morning, let their unlicensed packs of dogs roam around the streets filled with dog turds. My brother’s dinky house has a huge gate that he locks every time. Back home, I locked the doors, no gates surrounding each house like a mini penitentiary. As if that was not enough, my mum broke her upper arm and the local hospital screwed up in stabilising her arm and she had to wait for a referral and someone to cast her. In Fort Wayne, the Parkview guys would immediately work on her and she could see a specialist the next 2 or 3 days. When Mum and Father move into Indiana, there will be lawns without sprinklers or yellowing grass. There will be more churches that look like churches. My parents can sleep in silence. Brick and wood siding, no cinder block gated fences. And best of all, fast service. No stupid bureaucracy holding up medical treatment, no two hour waits at the BMV to get a permit or plate renewal.

In-N-Out was why the forces of nature did not make California disappear into the ocean. It was super delicious. The magical flavor of grilled onion, sauce, and melted cheese inspires many top chefs, and is cheaper than most places. It tasted like home; however, it does not erase the strangeness of a different land. Like Chrissie Hynde have sung, our cities are gone. And I must return to the Fort Wayne area where I lived for 15 years. I look forward to returning home.

High Church Horseplayer