Archive for May 2012


The best thing about a garage sale is clearing the shelves, and I’ve done a pretty thorough job of that. The next best thing is that this is a form of suburban recycling. I’m hoping to see happy people acquiring things they really want. The work is done. Tomorrow the fun begins. I hope to post before and after photos.


I need to leave the blogosphere for a while. I didn’t have time to get to my e-mails at all today. That’s ’cause I’m really busy setting up the garage sale for Friday June 1st and Saturday, June 2d.  I’m taking advantage of the fact that some kind volunteer does the advertising for the whole condominium group The last garage sale I did was when my granddaughter graduated from St. Olaf. This time the spur is her moving on to Colonial Williamsburg — happy news. It’s kinda fun going through my stuff, discovering things I just can’t part with, things I part with easily, and those I struggle over. If you live nearby, do come — and come early. Every item of clothing is $1.00 — some worth much more than that; others worth a dollar. there’ll be other things too, priced individually. Handbags, shoes, a penguin dehumidifier, fun odds and ends, and a box of stuff in which you might find a treasure for ten cents.

There’ll also be a great new bathroom sink vanity — never used — which could be perfect for your needs if it’s the right size. Come and check it out if you think it might be.

Thank you Thelma (not my sister Thelma) for the kind award nomination. I’ll be back on in a few days.

Oh, yes. Then there’s the issue of continuing to edit Mrs Job for TM Publications.

Wish me luck, please.


THE WAGES OF SIN   16 comments

“I’ve had it with this program” I groused to my nutritionist. “I’m sick and tired of the expense, and the restraint. I’ve been meticulous in following the plan, but now I’ve had it. Once I’m free of it, I’m going to eat all the sugar I want.” Calmly he replied, “If you’re willing to pay the price.”

Yesterday was a successful day. Lots accomplished with plenty of energy, in spite of the sky opening up frequently, pouring down buckets on my car and me. But then I did it! Instead of my one small piece of chocolate after dinner, I ate the whole bar. “After all,” I rationalized, “it’s good for me – 85% cocoa.” I even wrote, “Lost control,” in the written record of my meal.

Within minutes came the punishment. Headachy lethargy, inability to concentrate, queasy stomach, staring into space, feeling icky all over. Once in bed, struggling through one crossword puzzle after another, waiting for the regular Charley Horse attacks relieved only by leaping out of bed and walking them off.  Even heard myself moaning. This morning the hangover drains my energy and motivation to shower, dress, and go to church.

A grown up adolescent, unwilling to listen to the advice of those who know better, I had to test it for myself. And I didn’t even know I was testing it – just blew it, that’s all. What a waste. But then again, not such a waste after all, by tomorrow I’ll be feeling better, and now I know the price to which he referred.

 I’m not willing to pay the price again. I’ll be good.


Guess what! I’m spending too much time on the web. Too many interesting bloggers to whom I’m eager to respond. Too many writers groups who grab my interest. Too many basically unsuccessful efforts to make “Mrs. Job” known to folks who might want to buy her once they realize the she is the wife of Job — a love story on many levels, not an instruction manual on how a married woman should make a living. So many blogs and groups that I’m not making time to write.

I’m about to settle in on two groups and painfully give up on the others. I need and want to get busy editing the “Mrs. Job” manuscript for TM Publications. Actually, I’ve begun my last couple of days with editing chapters three and four. I plan to get to chapter five today. Maybe there’s hope.

I know “Mrs. Job” is a pretty good piece of writing. Just a visit to the site on bears witness to that Mrs. Job on amazon.

I know my forgiveness books – a totally different genre – have been helpful to folks. In between I try every once in a while to remind people of their existence. Forgiveness.

So “Book Clinic” count me in, and I’ll be working on deciding on the other. It’s all a little like what I did yesterday in sorting through my clothes to decide what I want to bring to the consignment shop or put out for the garage sale. Each time I think to part with something, I get second thoughts and the likelihood is great that it will go back on the shelf.

Maybe I need help downsizing on the web. Any suggestions?

Things are going well for my family right now. I’m working on developing a new business. It’s time to focus.

Thanks for listening.


“Set your alarm clock a few minutes earlier” and you’ll tap into your creative juices, Jonah Lehrer suggests in Bottom Line Personal, May 15, 2012. “Our minds tend to be drowsy and unfocused just after waking. Drowsy, unfocused minds are prone to wandering, and wandering minds are great at making creative connections between seemingly disparate concepts.” What a neat example of turning a perceived negative into a positive. Being drowsy and unfocused is a good thing.

Personally I need no alarm clock, not like I did when I was young and could sleep until 5:00 p.m. Really. One time when I was home on vacation from college my mother came to my room at 5:00 p.m., to ask if I’d like some dinner before I went to bed. I did, and I did. Right back to sleep, catching up after intense studying for hefty exams in the five courses I was taking – because that was standard.

Anyway, back to this morning. In my drowsy state, pieces dropped into place like some wiggly jigsaw puzzle: Mother’s day, detoxing – as in nutritional program and/or psychotherapy, skin – our outer layer and largest organ, change and fear/resistance to change, internal warfare, Jung’s Collective Unconscious as I understand it, Freud’s struggle to understand the battle between the forces of life and death, even telephones and automobiles and blogging.. Evolution is the right word.

 I wish I were a poet. The best I can do is a kind of bulleted approach, wondering what the ages look like from a God’s eye view, or even to genuine historians who see the context of time. But here goes.

 I was there when my granddaughter was born. So were my deceased mother and my grandmothers, and the women before them that I didn’t know much about. It was impossible to be unaware of the continuity of life that stared into my video camera as that baby was placed on my daughter’s belly. They tell me that she, now twenty-five, looks like me. I’d like to believe it, because she is beautiful. I mean really. But they don’t mean she looks like me. She looks like they imagine I looked at twenty-five. Together we are part of the life and death of cells in the body of humanity.

 I’ve been in a nutritional program for the past several months. First came treatment of the skin, reducing the inhibiting (he calls it blocking) effect of scars. Is it fair to say that’s removing the effects of our external wounds? Hmm, there’s a parallel in psychotherapy.

 Then came detoxing – slowly, because the body becomes accustomed to the bad stuff we carry around and resists parting with it, getting sick in the process of letting go. Many years ago I spent two years in psychotherapy, so painful I described it later as pulling barbed wire out through my pores, one bit at a time. At the end, everything seemed so clear, I wondered why it took me so long to “get” it. Like every cell in my body – every cell in humankind – I was afraid to release what Adlerians would call the irrational ideas that had me in their clutches. Those two years were years of violent internal cellular battle. The years since have not been without their struggles with personal conflict and sadness, as well as mini-depressions watching the world go through the same thing, wondering what my one little cell can do to help detox. But the barbed wire effect is long gone.

Telephones and automobiles? I am in the process of writing a piece about the evolution of telephones, from French phone party lines to bluetooth convenience, producing the effect of general schizophrenia as we walk around apparently talking to ourselves. Automobiles? My parents dated in horse and buggy. ‘Nuff said?

 Blogging. There are separate bundles of humanity coming together as one. Recently I’ve been moved by the rallying of so many in care of one woman blogging about the joy and stress of caring for her brother. We are all one body, rushing to the support of a part of us in need and, in turn, receiving the gift she gives of faith, hope and health.

And so to Jung as I understand him this morning. We are literally all one body, over the generations and right now. I hope this little cell called Mona will have, in some small way, removed some fear and violence toxins from the other cells in the body of which I am only a part. That would be a happy mother’s day theme.

I expect “A View From the Edge” will cite St. Paul from whom, I believe, I’ve stolen the title for this blog.

Happy Mother’s Day! For now and for eternity. Now wouldn’t that please the God’s eye view?



Thanks to Jay Johnson, a remarkable man in his own right, for connecting me to this story of Forgiving the one who killed.

Posted May 10, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,


I Just “got” it this morning: I have become a member of a wonderful, even loving, blog community. I see and participate in the support offered to folks giving their all for a loved one. I read beautiful memorials to friends and family. I laugh at fun stories reported by cats. I see people helping each other to write and to market their results. Indeed, I’m surprised every day by a new treasure. Who says the internet interferes with real connections between people? Not me. I am enriched daily by the honesty of my fellow bloggers.

I do have a frustration, though, which I’m about to act on. I see people seeking to give or receive forgiveness, and folks who mention the kind of romance and devotion my “Mrs. Job” offers, and I’ve decided to be crass and suggest a visit to my Mona on amazon and my Mona's web site

Posted May 9, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized


I’m way off my usual subjects here. I guess it’s a matter of acting before forgiving, but I think it might help someone out there to know my experience with Park West and Norwegian Cruise Lines. The goof for the latter was a little one, but I’d really caution anyone who might deal with Park West. So, here’s the story.

Over Thanksgiving week, 2011, my son and I cruised Hawaii on the Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Pride of America.” It was a lovely cruise, helped by the fact that Hawaii chose to provide us with beautiful weather every day of our trip. An important fact to note is that each of us paid separately on separate American Express cards for everything we did, including on-board expenses.

On a day at sea, I purchased a trilogy of prints for $806. Several weeks after our return, expecting to receive the prints, I received one of them, with a note that the other two were unavailable, offering me the opportunity to choose replacements from several alternatives. None were pleasing to me, so I asked for a refund and returned the one that had been shipped. The news is that I finally had my money back two weeks ago. It turns out that the refund had to come from Norwegian Cruise LInes, but for that to happen Park West had to notify them of the situation. A couple of months into this mess, I called NCL directly. They had received no instructions from Park West so then and there they called Park West who said they would forward the information. It took another phone call for NCL to be notified. Then, here’s the rub, NCL credited my son’s account — not mine, to which it had been charged — with partial payment. To make this long story short, the second payment finally was deposited to my son’s account. He was finally in a position to write me a check, and I finally have my money back. Let’s see, that’s from November to April. Five months?

Who knows? Maybe there’s one person out there who can benefit from my experience. If not, at least I feel like I’ve fulfilled an obligation to inform.


I had many kind, thoughtful, and helpful responses to my question re contractions for Mrs. Job. The funniest, perhaps, was when I walked into a meeting on Tuesday and was greeted with “No contractions.” My response, “Who’s pregnant?” Great example, isn’t it, of the complex meaning and use of words.

The responses were not, of course, 100% supportive of any solution, but altogether they helped me to come up with an idea that the editor likes too, so we’re on the same page. Dara (young Mrs. Job) and her friend Adah will speak to each other in contractions until Dara gets married, at which point they will adopt the more formal/grown up elimination of contractions. It will serve as a subtle way to introduce the change in their relationship as they move on to being married women at a distance geographically and psychologically.

The responses were received not only here but also via some of the writer’s groups I enjoy on the web. Right now I’m feeling very well supported and cared for, and very grateful. Thanks.

Young Mrs. Job needs help   10 comments

I have a question specifically addressed to anyone who has read my “Mrs. Job.” The editor with whom I’m working at TM Publications wants me to use contractions when Dara and Adah are children to give it a feel of childlike conversation. I originally have avoided contractions throughout, following the advice of an editor who pointed out that it’s a technique for giving the writing a more ancient feel. (And Mrs. Job is definitely ancient.) The most recent review on comments specifically on the ancient feel created by my use of The TM editor is not insisting, but she does feel hers is a good idea.(Of course she does;I’d worry if she didn’t).I am willing and anxious to do anything that will improve Mrs. Job.I am, however, conflicted about this proposed change. I’ll appreciate any help you can give me.

Posted May 1, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: