Thursday, August 31, 2006


You may or may not remember my post (July 2, 2006) about a day in the life of one of our resident's; feel free to stop reading this and refresh your memory. The important thing to remember is that she LOVED to be pampered and well groomed. Why is this important? Keep reading and you will see......

The resident that I wrote about passed away yesterday. She had been declining, but she was not showing all the signs that her time was that close. Yesterday, the Hospice aide came to give her a bed bath, and brought with her this really cool "shampoo cap" that allowed the resident to have her hair washed in bed. After the resident was cleaned and lotioned from head to toe, I rolled her hair and put on her perfume. Even though she really wasn't talking any longer I could sense her appreciation for this care.

The nurse arrived to check her out medically, and agreed that she was in the active stages of dying, but death did not apprear imminent. I called her son and gave him a report and after the nurse went, I went in took out her rollers, fixed her hair and make-up, and gave her a splash more of her favorite Channel #5 perfume. She looked very at peace, and very comfortable, even with an oxygen tube in her nose.

After I got her settled, I gathered up the stuff to clean my youngest's knee wound that she sustained during a wipe-out at cross country practice. I had to make two trips from the closet to the sofa (a distance of about twelve feet) because I forgot to grab something, but still this took less than a minute. I sat down and removed the old dressing (maybe another thirty seconds) and somthing told me to check on the resident before beginning. I went into her room, and she did not appear to be breathing. (When I had left the room a couple of minutes prior, you could hear her breathing, as well as see her chest moving as breathing had become an effort for her.) I checked for a pulse, could find none, nor hear a heart beat with a stethescope. She had gone home.

There is no way to say for certain that she was waiting to have her hair done before passing, or that she wanted to hurry up and go meet Jesus while she looked good. AND please don't think I am making light of any of this; I find it truly amazing! I just feel, that for whatever reason, she picked the exact time of her death, and was totally in charge of her ending. Not that I disbelieve that God is fully in charge of the plan for our lives, but that within that plan he has given us free-will choice, and this is what she was exercising with her timing yesterday. What are your thoughts on this subject?

I know I have said it before, but I feel fortunate to have been a part of this sacred time in a person's life, and blessed that I have been given the ability and support to care for others in this transitional part of life. I use the words transitional because I fully believe that while death is an ending of sorts, it is really just a beginning of the next stage of our lives. I would love to hear your thoughts on that idea as well.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

HELP! I'm busy, and it's not letting up.....................................

Subtitle: off to a poor start.............................

I don't think I have shared with all of you, but my oldest and I have decided on our next race and I am very excited about it. We are going to be running another half-marathon, during Mardi Gras, in New Orleans! In case anyone wants to join us, the race is being held Sunday, February 25, 2007.

Yesterday was the first day of my official training program for the race. My goals had been established, were reasonable and measurable, and I was pumped. Some of my goals included eating breakfast by 9:00 in the morning, eating at least three meals a day, streaching, and core body work, lifting weights and of course a running schedule. To keep me on track, I also wrote down that if I had not done any stretching or core work by 10:00 in the morning, I was to stop and do some. Well............................

I will spare you the details of my morning yesterday, but I finally grabbed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at 1:30 in the afternoon. First day and I had already failed right? Wrong! I can only fail if I think I failed. I did get out and run my scheduled four miles, and I did have only one sugar treat, and didn't eat after nine at night. (Two of my other goals.)

The biggest reason I didn't fail is because I didn't entertain that thought. I have entertained that thought, thousands of times over my life span. I have gone crazy over a new program/project/diet, only to loose motivation, put the program/project/diet on the shelf, and beat myself up because I couldn't hang in there. Guess who that helped? That's right! No one!

Now that I love myself more, I am able to forgive myself for being less than perfect. I was able to look at my entire plan, my entire day, and realistically assess that I had done pretty well for the first day, considering the morning I had. What this has done is motivate me to hang in there and do better because I know I can. Do better because it will get easier with time. Do better, because I have everything within me that I need to reach my goals. Do better to motivate and help others do what ever they are working on better. None of this would be possible if I simply quit, which is ALWAYS an option.

Have I weathered the storm? Will it be smooth sailing from here on? Of course not. That is where the "riding of the wave of life" comes in. (And I promise that I will still post that blog, I just needed to post this one right now.) All I know is that each day we are given can be a day or promise, a day of hope, a day of change. All we have to do is never give up, and always look for possibilities. The more we look for possibility, the easier it will get to identify them. Today is a new day. Please join me in making the most of it, and living it to the fullest.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Some whine without the cheese..... Remember, I gave that up..................

Yesterday, I had an idea for a good post about "riding the wave of life." Unfortunately, I was too busy riding my own personal wave to take the time to write it down. Now I am finding myself with the morning half over and a bunch of stuff to still get done.

My goal is to post over the weekend, but my respite resident is coming this weekend, and my youngest is going to be gone on a cross country camping trip with her team. If you don't hear from me, this is my excuse. Hopefully the litte teaser above will interest you enough that you will keep checking back.

Until then, spend the spare time that you would devote to reading my blog on decorating your imaginary surfboard.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Once again......It's all about me............................

I have been tagged by Has To Be Me.
This might end up being a lesson in "I" messages. You might even learn a thing or two about me that you didn't know before. Here goes.....

I am thinking about: The decline that my resident has taken, and praying for a peaceful ending for her and her family.

I said: "Can you hear me now," (when using my Nextel direct connect phone) LONG BEFORE Verizon (or whatever phone company it was that) stole the line from me for their comercials.

I want: It all; world peace, happiness, and prosperity for all. (And I don't mean money.)

I wish: See my "want." I could make time stand still when I am having a really perfect, wonderful moment.

I miss: Extra sharp cheddar cheese.

I hear: Dave Ramsey giving advice, with a WWII movie playing in the background.

I wonder: About all kinds of things, mostly who, what, where, and when regarding all of my tomorrows. Note I didn't say why.

I regret: All the times I insisted on being right. I am sure I missed out on a great amount of learning by insisting I was right and knew everything there was to know on a subject.

I am not sure: What I am not sure about. I pretty much am always clear on what I am thinking, feeling, doing. Oops! See "regret" above. Maybe, I am not sure when to charge ahead, and when to step back and listen. Do you think?

I am: A runner. And just to make sure everyone knows this, while I am running I am constantly saying as loud as possible (depending how out of breath I am from the run),"I am a runner."

I dance: When I am standing at the starting line, waiting for the race to begin, and I start my Ipod playing so I am set and ready to run. Once in awhile, I share one of the earplugs with my daughter and she joins me for a few seconds. Now there is someone that can dance

I am happy: When I feel that my loved ones are happy and well cared for.

I sing: Often. I am one of those people that know one line from every song ever written, but never the whole thing. Always when I am running and need to get my mind off of the pain of the moment, or how far I still have to go. I also started singing Karaoke about three years ago as a public act of bravery.

I cry: When I am angry. I also cry when watching the movies, Terms of Enderment, and Boys on the Side. Heck, I don't have to watch the movie......... I start crying at the opening credits.

I am not: A quiter.

I make with my hands: Food, clothing, knitted items, scrap books, sometimes, a BIG mess.

I write: To cheer myself and others. Because I have something to say. As a creative outlet.

I confuse: Needs with wants.

I need to be: Needed.

I should: Take the plunge and trade in the word should for desire to, one hundred percent of the time. In that case, I desire to do way too many things to list, but run a marathon in Hawaii to celebrate my fiftieth birthday (a year from October), be debt free (and scream that fact on air on the Dave Ramsey show), and live to be a hundred and six (from all the running don't you know), are high on the list, and will give you some idea of my desires.

I finish: What I start. And all those projects (including a needlework one that I started when I was pregnant with my twenty-seven year old) are included as I am not dead yet. I am planning ahead for activities for retirement. Another way to look at this is once you have all the value you can get out of something, you can be finished without the something being complete. AND, if you got the logic in that last sentence, I challenge you to take on this tag and share some "I" statements with the rest of us.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

If you don't like something change it.............................

My daughter passes her Runner's World magazines on to me when she finishes with them. One recent one was a celebration on the magazine being forty years old. Forty years ago, someone like me would definitely not be considered a runner. Heck, back then, women were not even ALLOWED to participate in road races. (The men were probably scared we would beat them!) Running was definitely a distance thing, a "macho" thing, all about the competion. From that perpective, no wonder there were few participants. Lucky for the rest of us, all that has changed over the years.

Road races are common place events, that not only drag thousands of people out of bed on the weekend, but raise thousands of dollars for great causes. Many a regular Joe and Jill participate, not to win first place, but to celebrate the feeling of movement, the sense of accomplishment that showing up at the start line give you. My hat is off to all that came before me to change the focus of the sport, that has come to give me so many great experiences.

Is there something in your world that you find facinating, but feel excluded from? Something you feel in your gut is exactly what you need? I feel a Jana song coming on.......... The words are, "Let the change begin, let the change begin, let the change begin.......... WITHIN."

Many of the things we long for really are ours for the taking, if we want them bad enough. Yes! I know there are some of you that read this that have physical problems that keep you from your hearts desires. Interestingly enough, you are the ones that never complain, and fill your days serving others. I am talking about those of us that like to whine and complain, but never really stop to ask what WE can to do to elicit change. If nothing else, the one thing that is always within our power to change is our attitude.

Over the years, I have tried to implement a "shut up, or put up" philosophy. If I wasn 't going to do something about my weight, stop bemoning the fact that I was fat. If I wasn't going to lose weight and get in shape, pain WAS going to be my daily companion. If I wasn't going to get involved in the cause for caring for the elderly, then stop complaining about their available living choices. If I didn't vote, I didn't have the right to bitch about my govermental leaders.

Ask yourself what you are putting up with, that you could do something about. Not over night, maybe not over the next year, but over time. Maybe like Runner's World, over the next forty years. When I am out running and tired, I sometimes say to myself (or out loud), "One step, one step, one step." That is all it takes................. A first step, and then another, and another, and before you know it everything has changed for the better. Take the first step today, and let me know what changes.

Monday, August 21, 2006

It's so nice to be needed...............................

And also why I have not posted over the weekend. I am sure you regular readers already guessed this. My respite resident was here, and one of my Hospice residents has taken a decline, so I have actually been having to work. But that is really not what I was refering to in the above caption.

Yesterday, midmorning, my oldest daughter called me and told me that she was feeling down because all she had been doing was working and feeling too tired at night to go for her runs. After explaining to her (yet again) that she needed to set limits at work, because what corporation wasn't going to let one of their workers do just as much as they could possibly do? (I have never heard of one, have you?) I raised a MAJOR over achiever with that one. Must be something to that first born thing after all?

Anyway, our conversation got around to what she could do to motivate her to stick with her running goals. My daughter graduated in the top five of her college graduating class. One time when I was telling her how proud I was of her she replied, "Mom, if you could go back to school with three kids and graduate with high honors, how could I not do at least as good when all I had to do was go to school?" I mentioned this to her and ask her if she could use the same sort of thing now. If I could manage to get out and run with all the folks I am caring for AND having to pay hard earned money for the privilege, she could manage to get out and run after work. Guess what she told me?

That she used to do exactly that, use me to motivate her. But now that I have been running consistently, she consideres me an athlete and it is just normal for me to figure out a way to fit in my running. I don't think I have gotten a better compliment in some time. Me? An athlete? WOW!

We moved onto discussing other options, and then after a few more minutes she told me she was feeling motivated and was going to go out and get in her run. I told her I would call her back later to see how she did. When I did, she reported that she had ran six miles felt great while running, and then came back and mowed her lawn. Am I good or what? Maybe my next career could be that of a motivational speaker. Let's get fired up!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Losing a super support..............................

Yesterday, my youngest got more paperwork from school. The lastest idea is to have the children arrive as scheduled on August thirtieth to pick up class schedules and get their picture taken. As my daughter is scheduled to work all day that day, she went over to the school to find out what she should do. She was told that they had yet to come up with an alternate plan for student's unable to get in that day.

I got on the phone to express my displeasure at their lack of planning with the principal, but of course he was on the other line. Though I can't prove it, I think the administration has figured out a way to circumvent my phone calls to a special phone. When this phone rings, the entire office has strict instuctions "that the principal, vice-principal, and a certain sellect group of teachers are "on the other line, and would I like to leave a message on their voice mail." They really don't want me leaving them a message on their voice mail, but I refrain from sharing this and state that I will call back.

About half way through last year, I discovered my own secret weapon to get around the phone system. I ask to speak to my daughter's guidance counselor. If she is not at her desk, she always gets back to me in a timely manner.

With permission I share with you that last year my youngest was going through some rough emotional times having to do with her absentee father. Before she figured out a way to talk about it, she tried what she had heard other girls did....... Cutting. Only she used her car key to dig her skin until it was raw and bleeding. Yes! I noticed, and yes she lied about having scapped the site or injured it while falling during a run. After the second time, one of her friends ratted her out to this counselor, and the counselor took her under wing and gave her a place to talk. In addition to that I forced her to go to the outside counselor that I had been suggesting she go to because she seemed to be sad and withdrawn but she kept insisting she was fine. I also told her in no uncertain terms is she continued to harm herself, I would take away her weapon of choice, her car keys. Might sound like tough love, but after she confessed what she was doing, there was only one set-back where she did it again. When she got the keys back after that time she was more respectful of their proper use.

I bring this up as background so you can understand the value that the school counselor was to both my youngest and I. She was a safe haven for my daughter, and an extra set of eyes and ears for me. When I couldn't get the principal yesterday, I ask to speak to her. After she told us what to do about getting the schedule, she shared with me that she was taking a new job at the college level and would not be working at my daughter's school this coming year. Since, in our state, one does not know from year to year if they will continue to have a job, I can't blame her for moving on. I am just fearful of the unknown, (I know so what else is new!) and about who they might hire to fill her role.

I also wanted to take the time to give her a big thank you and an even bigger (cyber) hug, for doing her job, and doing it so very well. It is not always the easy to work with teens, let alone earn their respect to the point that they will listen to what you have to say, and to the things you have to teach them. I think that she had two really important things going for her. One, she really respected the students that she worked with, and two, she really liked her job and wanted to make a difference in the world through her job. Both things served her well, and will continue to serve her in all of her future endevors. Best wishes Ms. ______, we will miss you!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wishin for a rubber stamp.....................

That I could put my signature on for all the paperwork that is coming home aready from the school. The first official day is not until September fourth.

Cross country started yesterday, and I am already out a hundred and twenty bucks. In our district they managed to get "pay to play" voted in. This means that I have to pay a fee for my daughter to participate in a sport. I would have no problem with this except for one thing, two things really. The first is that the athletic budget already far exceeds the drama or other artistic type activities. In addition, when (if actually, I really don't go to watch her run. I wouldn't mind cross country, but track forget it. The darn meets last ALL day and your kids runs maybe three minutes of that time, of course once in the beginning and then once you never know when so you have to hang around the whole time. I can handle the bad mother looks I get from other parents, as my kid is okay with the fact that I choose not to go.) they have home meets, people are charged like eight bucks to get into the events, even parents. Don't you think they could at least let parents in to watch their kid participate? No, can't do that, we have to use that money to spend a hundred thousand dollars a year on an athletic director, who earns his money by sitting around thinking up ways to get parents to pay more fees and then how to get the millage increased so we can have a second gym, just for varsity practice. Maybe, if we had a school with several thousand kids in it, but this is small town USA, and what we have is just fine.
Okay! So I still have issues with the way the public school spends my tax dollars. I am always sure to vote at every election so I get to bitch about things as much as I want.

But seriously, wouldn't it be great if you could stamp your signature as many times as you have to sign on the dotted line at the beginning of the school year. This year I discovered two new things. The first is according to the "No child left behind initiative" (at least in high school) your child's name must be given to the military recruiters UNLESS you put it in writing WITHIN THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF SCHOOL that you do not want their name released. If anyone reading this sees the wisdom in this one, please share with me. I get enough junk mail and junk phone calls without having recruiters calling the house. They have (way to many in my opinion) great comercials and I would bet money that every kid in public school watches television and sees those commercials and could figure out how to find an office to sign up in without having the public school release their name. I also know for a fact that recruiters hang out at malls and talk to kids and give them gifts and lots of promises to get them to sign up. That is enough exposure for me thank you very much.

I also said no to some other list (that they supposedly watch very carefully) of companies that they give students names out to, unless they get my specific permission every time they want to release her name. If she scored points for her team and they want to put her name in the paper fine. If they want her to participate in a marketing project, forget it.

There is one bright light in all of this. Now that she has her own check book, I have made one mass deposit, and she can just write her own checks out as she needs them thoughout the year. Once April gets here, she can sign everything for herself. I am really looking forward to that. I ask her if she would go to back to school night in my place, telling people that she lost a ton of weight and had a face job, (To which they would say.............. "Man! I need the name of your doctor, because I have never seen anyone look that much younger after surgery!") but she didn't think we could pull it off. Now I am trying to decide if I just skip it, or go and have fun by asking my standard questions like, "Do you plan on grading and checking for poor grammer this year," so that I can hear one of my all time favorite cop-outs. "OH! I couldn't do that. It might hurt the child's self esteem if I criticize their work. We don't want to stiffle their creativity now do we?" No I guess not. It is much better to wait until they get to college thinking that they are good writers, only to have their first college professor rip their paper to shreads, and tell them they need to take a basic english course.

Man! I had no idea I had this much agression inside of me this morning. I guess better to take it out on the blog than kick the dog right? I am thinking of getting one of those little ticker things that I see on other people's blogs and count down the days until graduation. Do you think it will help?

Monday, August 14, 2006

It's EASIER to give than to receive...................................

I am refering to advice in the above sentence. It seems that whenever a friend comes to me with a problem or concern, it is pretty easy for me to give them my take on it, and ideas about how they might handle things; all without the benefit of an advance degree in counseling. Anyone else out there find this to be true.

Why then, do I continue to have problems in my own life? Doesn't it seem logical, that if I am so smart about other people's issues that I would have all the answers to my own? I wish!

(For once) I am not going to speak for another, but for me I think this is true because of the emotional conponate. Face it, while my concern is genuine for my friends, I really have nothing vested in the outcome. Another thing, I can give all the advice I can think of, but the bottom line is the person listening still has to make the final choice as to how to proceed.

The same is true for me. I have a few good friends that I turn to when I need advice. While I very much trust and appreciate this advice I still have to make the final decision about how to proceed. It is a big responsibility to navigate one's life. One wrong turn and all of your nighmares come true, or at least that is how it seems, because we take ouselves way to seriously most of the time.

Why is it hard for me to take my own great advice of "so what if one scews up, God forbids makes the wrong choice? Step back, grow from the experience, and try another choice?"

I need to learn to give up the movie "Groundhog Day"mentality where I keep trying to make my first choice work out, only to get the same bad results over, and over, and over. I need to work on forgiving myself for getting stuck in a rut, and move on. Leftover self-esteem issues make this a very hard thing for me to do.

Anyone out there have any good advise on how to go about doing this?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Hell has a horse farm................................

And this is where the race began and ended. The first three and a half miles was ran on deserted dirt roads (one of them named Angels pass) and it was the first race I ran where there wasn't a need for someone to stop traffic for the runners. Not many cars in Hell I guess.

It was perfect weather for running, cool with low humidity, and there were around fifteen hundred people participating. The course was hilly, and as you would crest the top of a hill you could see a solid mass of color moving forward. It was pretty cool thing to be a part of.

I felt really good running this morning and kept up my pace, even with all the hills. My goal was to do the 4.8 miles in fifty to fifty-five minutes. I came in with the clock saying fifty-two something, but I didn't cross the start line until well after the first minute so we shall see when they post chip times. My oldest and her friend were suprised to see me coming around the bend, and amazed at my kick. When we did the trail race, our "coach" read us this poem that talked about the fact that you for all the effort you put into reaching your goals, you should always strive to finish strong. That has become our group chant.

As I rounded the corner, to complete the last fifty or so yards, I was chanting "FINISH STRONG" and the lady beside me joined in. So I said to her, "Let's go" and we flew to the finish line with the crowd cheering on our efforts, to cross together; two strangers connected through a mutual goal.


Please note the socks! I can't believe I found some with flames on them! Race details to follow soon. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mastery or spark?.............................

This was the title of The Robert Gem Newsletter this week. Is one better than the other? Is one more fun? I vote for spark!

I am always more excited when I am in the process of learning something than I am once I have "mastered" it. Maybe that is built in so that we don't settle or become stagnate, once our goal is achieved?

In thinking about the above question, one picture that comes to mind involves two parents. One the mother of a two year old, and the other a mother of a tenish month old. Both babies are standing at a table............... The two year old goes toddling off towards the door and the look on his/her mother's face is clearly one of, "Why did I ever teach you to walk? Now I have to chase you all the time." The tenish month old watches the two year old heading out the door, lets go of the table, and takes his/her first un-aided steps. The look of his/her mother's face is a mixture of excitement, joy, and glee. Spark clearly wins out over mastery in this example. (Though I gotta say that after about age four, anything your child masters makes life easier for you........ Especially when they can drive and run errands for you.)

Our long term goal may be mastery, but the steps we achieve along the way are where the spark comes from. Remember:

"It's about the journey not the destination"

Never shy away from a learning opportunity. Never let your fears hold you back from trying something new. This is where the spark comes from, and best reason in the world for getting out of bed in the morning. Get excited about something, anything. You just might light a spark in someone else.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Speaking of counting blessings......................

If you are looking for a good cause to support, and/or feeling generous, please check out the post on Shankari's blog. She has taken up the cause to help find funds for an orphanage in India. Many of us spend much more money on incidentals each week than they need to fund a child's education for an entire year. I am amazed that they are able to do so much with so little, and it makes me want to send a copy of the post to my local school board and ask why they need so much of my tax money to run their schools.

But, I won't get started............. Just go check out the post. Thanks.
Feelin the need to count my blessings........................

If you are in a crummy mood, and not feeling like listening to someone brag about how good she has it, please move along now. I do not want you feeling that I am responsible for making you ill from too much sugar. Now that we have that out of the way..............

I REALLY love my family, and often can't believe that I am fortunate enough to have the family that I have.

Take my youngest for example..................... We were hanging out in the look at room (You know, the living room....... Only I call it a look at room as it is suppose to be the room that you don't romp in or mess up............... The total opposite the word living implies.) and all of a sudden my youngest says, "I might just as well give in to the inevitable." "What's that," I reply. "The fact that I can't be a teacher," she shot back. "Well, why can't you be a teacher?" I questioned. "I am learning so much around here, that it would be a shame to waste it, and I just KNOW I am going to end up going into physical therapy or something!" She burst, like a person that is certain the test results are postive in a bad way.

Mind you, the only talks she and I have ever had about "what she wants to be when she grows up" have been me telling her she didn't need to know yet when her teachers at school forced her to fill in the blank for their career development class. (By the way, she put in the blank that she had no idea what she wanted to be, and she prefered to be focusing on getting a well rounded good education so she would be prepared for whatever she ended up becomming.)

And then there was this.................... Her boyfriend (who is a year older than she and getting ready for college this fall) says to her, "If you buy new books, be prepared to spend a fortune." Her immediate reply, " Well, why in the world would anyone buy new books if there were used ones available?" Good question, don't ya think?

One more.................. I was having trouble figuring out how to spell a word, so being closer to her computer than mine I pulled up Word to use the spell check. What came up was something she had written for her my space. Of course I read it, I am a mother! It was some kind of a profile, and she had written: "I call my Mom 'Mommy,' even in front of my friends. Mom or Mother just sounds to stiff and formal." While I suggested that maybe it had a tiny bit to do with fear of growing up, I still thought it was sweet that our relationship is important enough to be mentioned in her profile. I was also pleased to see she isn't afraid to be herself around her friends.

Did I have a point for this post? You bet I did!

Those of you with younger kids listen up. It is good to teach your kids how to walk, talk, read, etc... Remember it is the things that you don't teach, but rather ARE that is really going to stick with your kids. They are watching you, and have a strong desire to be you, whoever or whatever that may be.

Most of the early years of my kids lives it was just the three, then four of us (I was married to my youngest's father for a mere five years, the last two we didn't live together.) and they watched me struggle to become independent. Watched how I threw everything I had into changing careers so I could better provide for them. Noted that all they had to do was ask and I would go to bat for them, by watching me interact with my friends in this manner. They also learned how to argue, and make a point while the other guy was still forming the first sentence. Most importanly they learned that I loved and accepted them, flaws and all, and if they felt they had done their best then that was good enough. How did they know they had done their best? They also learned how to be their worst critic from dear old mom(my).

At the end of the day, make sure your kids know they are loved. Love them enough, to be strong enough to tell them no, and make them angry at not getting their way. Set limits, and then allow them to (try) and test those very limits so they learn the steps towards independence. Don't make things too easy on them, they will thank you for it when they grow to adulthood. If you don't already, learn to love yourself so that they learn to love themselves through your example. Make fun of yourself and your flaws to help them learn to accept their own. Always remember to enjoy the moment with them, so that someday they will know to do the same with their children. (Or in the case of my oldest, their dog.)

Did I do everything right as a mother? Of course not. Somehow, in spite of this fact, all three of my children have been able to form an identity they are happy with, and take on the challenges of life knowing that if they stumble and fall they have what it takes to get back up and try it again with modifications. Our family motto................... "You are a ______(my maiden name) and ________s don't quit!" What life motto are you teaching your children through example?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Listen up folks..............................

Yesterday, I actually practiced what I have been preaching. I listened to my body, and I am very proud of myself.

For lunch yesterday, I had deli turkey. As I was chewing the first bite, I felt something stick in my back molar and I started to get grossed out about it being that sometime tiny bit of bone or whatever you discover in your piece of meat. This is why I prefer to not eat meat, but I was lazy yesterday and needed to eat something so I would have energy for my race.

After brushing my teeth I could still feel it. Normally I would dig around and try and pry out whatever, but for some reason, brain was telling me to leave it alone, and brain actually listened to herself. I was experiencing mild pain (maybe a two on a zero to ten pain scale) right in the area of the tooth, and then in the front of my forehead on the side of the tooth, following the facial nerve patterns. Isn't it interesting that it skipped my eye. The eye is intervated with different nerves.

Anyway, it was certainly not painful enough that I couldn't deal with it. I always have pain, and most of the time I ignore it. That is also why I am proud that I didn't do so this time.

Having scheduled someone to come in so I could go out and run, I called my dentist and he was able to get me in at the end of his day. Now, I gotta tell you, going to the dentist is NOT on my top five-hundred fun things to do list," but I do it on a regular basis because I have seen first hand how crappy it is to eat with dentures. Listen up people............ Even if you don't have dental insurance, figure out a way to take care of your teeth so they are still with you when you are old and one of the few pleasures you still have left is food! You WILL be glad you did!

That small town living thing, I have known my dentist for years, and in fact provided child care to his son's that are now in their late twenties. That fact helps get me in the door, and after we talked about our kids, and what races we had coming up, he got to work and informed me that I had just the slightest bit of decay starting in the area of an old filling and that what was causing my problem. My question to him....... Not how much will it cost, but how much will it hurt? It is a carry-over from my childhood I guess. As he began to replace the old filling, and I was practicing my deep relaxation technique, (For me, the only place better to pratice deep relaxation than a dentist's chair is a child birth room, and I haven't been able to do that in a while) the memory of my last visit to his office appeared. He told me at that visit, that he was questioning the tooth he was now working on, but I talked him out of doing anything with it at that time, and promised him that I would come in at the first sign of trouble. Even my subconsious looks out for me, as I had totally forgotten my promise. Pretty cool hu?

This many paragraphs later, are you still trying to figure out what my point is? Call me the wanderer if you want, but blame it on brain! My reward for listening to my body, was being able to get in right away, instead of waiting until I was in real pain. We all know that if you are in bad pain you can't get an appointment for a week. Do you think that is our bodies way of saying,"Told you so..... Listen to me next time."? Though the dentist said I may still need a crown on the tooth some day, I don't today, saving me not only money, but the time of having to make two more trips to see him. (And all that drilling....... Gosh I hate that drilling. Really I hate anything that vibrates my head, UGH!)

My point is our bodies are there for us. Not just to house our parts and hold our food, but to let us know when something isn't right or needs our attention. If we can learn to check in with our bodies, our days will be much better for it. Pay attention the next time you come down with a cold. While you are laying there all miserable, with a sore, red nose and an overflowing basket of germ filled tissues, (that I will be picking up if you are any relation to me!) back track and see if you can't recall any signs that you were getting sick. If we can learn to zero in on these signs before we become truly ill we can save outselves a lot of stress and strain. Remember:

If you don't take care of your body..................... Where will you live?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Don't believe everything you hear......................

Lucky for me, the daughter of one of my residents is a firm believer in checking out the stories she hears from her mother. Why am I so lucky? Because the things she tells me totally crack me up!

I thought I would share a couple of my favorite tales and let you in on the fun.....

"Patty. Is your oldest daughter married?" No she isn't, why do you ask? "Well, Ma keeps telling me that she saw a picture of ________ and her family, and that you can't stand her husband and son." HONEST! There is no husband, and the only son is of the Boston Terrier variety. Even after he bit my finger off while I was trying to break up a fight between him and Ben, (I know..... Not one of my brightest ideas ever to put my hands into the middle of two fighting dogs) I still spoil him at Christmas time and play with him and let him jump all over me when I visit his house.

(My) Mister continues to be on sabatical from the business, so has not been upstairs as often as he used to be. This was what I hear yesterday.................

"Is _____ still fired from the business?" Well, I prefer to say he is on sabatical, or vacation, but the short answer is yes. Well, Ma told me you kicked him to the curb, and that you guys were getting a divorce." While I (continue to) kick his butt when we play Rummy, I have no immediate plans to kick him anywhere any time soon, and besides, he has too many good power tools to divorce him.

I guess I could get offended and say it was none of their business, but after all I did invite these people to live with me and so I guess they are intitled to know some of the details of my personal life.

Change of subject...... And speaking of power tools...................

When I went on my run Sunday night, I pasted some Pergo flooring out at the curb that had a "free" sign on it. When I got home I sent (my) Mister out to look at it and see if there would be enough of it to do the floor in my youngest's room. When she re-did her room last year, we didn't want to spend lots of money on the floor, so we purchased carpet padding and covered it with fleece. (Yes! that really soft fabric that everyone makes those cuddly blankets out of.) It was wonderful until time passed, and it got all stained and nasty looking. I could take the fabric up and wash it, (or dye it black so it didn't show dirt) but of course I never have. The plan was to replace it with a wood floor (Pergo is a composite material that looks like wood) and you can't get a better deal than free! Another benefit of exercise, though I bet you will never read that one on the Surgeon General's list.

So, (my) Mister is using his free time (his ability, AND his power tools) to install the floor, and it is looking great. Free flooring AND labor, (Well to the rest of the world anyway............... Some things ARE private and my business only!) who could ask for more than that? Not this lucky girl! I am counting my blessings, and finding myself richly blessed! Enjoy your day.

Monday, August 07, 2006

One of those little successes I was talking about...................

I had another emotionally stressful weekend...... In addition to the riggers of the business, (I will spare you the gorry details; believe me, you DON'T want to know)my sister had to go home last night after a too short visit. With the party and doing the business 95% alone, I didn't have much time to visit with her (damn heart attack! Normally she would have been here since early June.)

Anyway, for the first time (to save money on the caregiver filling in for me) I dropped her off out front of the airport. Normally I hang around to make sure the plane gets off....... Back to that part later.

Before heading home, I had to stop and pick up some wound care supplies, as the butt wound that had healed (on one of the residents) has decided to be cranky and open up again. On the short drive to the store, I began to unwind and relaxing started my stomach going. My little success is the fact that I while I stopped to look at some snacks on my way out, I didn't buy any. Then I managed to get back home in time (without any speeding tickets, thank you very much!) to be able to go out and run two miles. I owe this to the fact that I am doing a race this weekend. having that goal looming on the horizon really helps me to stay on track.

Back to the airport story................

I had no more walked in the door, and the phone rang. It was my sister, and she was pissed because her plane was going to be late and she would miss her connecting flight, etc... Yes! This is the last time I drop her off outside, and remember she has a heart condition......... But, being related to me, heart condition or no she is carrying on very vocally about her exteame displeasure with the airline she is travelig on. She gets to the line "AND I AM NEVER FLYING DELTA AGAIN!" and then turns away from the phone to add "NEVER! And I hope this entire airport hears me." Some siter I am. I had to laugh and tell her it was too bad she wasn't flying Southwest, because she was behaving just like those people do on that show "Airline." (For those of you that haven't seen the show, it takes place in an airport and it films real passengers having meltdowns because their planes are late or are having other problems. It is one of those shows that take advantage of other people's misery and/or misfortune for our amusement. Might not be nice, but I enjoy watching it.)

Also being a fan of the show, she started laughing and this calmed her down a notch or two. She called me back a while later and told me they had found a plane and were suppose to be leaving soon. Hopefully, I will hear from her early this morning to find the rest of her trip was uneventful.

Do any of you have any good airport horror stories to share? I would love to hear them...... Sort of my own written version of Airline. Please share with me.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

What's wrong with being a "One Hit Wonder?"....................

I have this "Book of Lists," and while looking at it came accross a list titled "20 U.S. One Hit Wonders." Some of the tunes include: Debbie Boone - You Light Up My Life (1977), The Lemon Pipers - Greene Tamborine, (1968), and Tony Basil - Mickie (1982). My question to you: "Is being a 'One Hit Wonder' as bad a thing as it sounds?"

These days it seems like once a person succeeds at something the message is "Get back out there and do it again...... Bigger, and better than ou just did it." We don't seem to take any time to simply enjoy our success, but negate it by rushing out to replicate, or improve upon it.

One REALLY (REALLY) stupid example........... I have a computer game that I play when I am too brain dead to do anything else, but need to stay awake. As we all know, the reason we play a computer game is to win. What do I do when I win? Push start and try and win it again. I can't tell you how many times I have ask myself why I waste my time playing the game, as when I win I just set out to win again.

As I said, the above is a really stupid/simplistic example, but isn't this what we do in a lot of areas of our lives? We start our career at the bottom, and scratch and claw our way to recognition/raise/promotion. When we get that promotion, do we even take time to celebrate our success before jumping back in to get the next raise/promotion/bit of recognition?

Lots of times we do this with things as well. We work hard, and use that money to buy a long list of wants. Funny how after we have the things on the list, our list simply grows longer with other wants. Or better yet, we get what we want BEFORE we earn the money, and then find ourselves working to pay off things that we sometimes don't even have anymore.

I believe society feeds into this with continually new and improved "whatever." Don't get me wrong....... We should be striving to improve, modern medicine is one case in point. The way the medical comunity has learned to heal people, and extend one's life, is a good thing indeed. All I am wondering is what we are loosing by having our entire focus placed in the direction of better and better?

I think that a first really good step is for each of us to take the time to define what success means to us. This might mean public recognition, finishing something you started, or winning an argument. Maybe your definition of success is getting out of bed in the morning, or making through the day until the time you can crawl back under the covers. Maybe it is something totally different. I don't think it matters much what it is, just that we recognize it when we achieve it.

Once we recognize "A" success, ( as in "one"........ As hopefully we will experience a wide varity of successes in our lives) don't dimish it simply because someone else has done something simular, bigger, or better than you have. Take time to pat yourself on the back. Really enjoy the "feeling" of success, and commit it to memory. This way you can replay that memory when you are going through a "not so successful time in your life." Recalling past successes is a great way to pick yourself up and try something you find hard a second, third, or a hundredth time. By celebrating the little successes, we are preparing for the bigger ones.

So....... One hit wonder or not.......... I am glad that Debbie had a hit with "You Light Up My Life." Cheesy song or not, it has a good message, and is exactly how I feel about all of you blog friends out there. Thank you for your love, support, and dedication to me and my blog!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Another last, officially over..........

Yesterday, I took the day off and my youngest and I went shopping. Of course we hit Goodwill first, then to the fabric store.

Since my oldest started kindergarten I have been making my kids first day of school outfit, then with the scraps of material I have made the two older ones quilts (with one square representing each year of school) for them to take to college. That would be thirty-eight outfits down, and one to sew!

I gotta tell you......... I am soooooo over the public school system that when my youngest became a Freshman, my motto was "Four More Years!" Now it is "The Last Time I Will Ever Have To _________!" I am just tired of having to fight for my kid's right to a good education. Isn't that part of what I pay taxes for? I WILL NOT START! Change the subject.

She picked out a really nice black and (bright) tourquois small ckecked tweed for me to make a skirt out of. She liked the brightness as she said she wants to be "bold" this year. (She says this every year........ It doesn't last!) We looked for a top with the same tourquois in it, but unable to find a match, settled for a great deal on a high quality black top that she can wear with anything. So the entire outfit (even counting the dollar goodwill pumps that she found last year that will be perfect for the outfit) cost under twenty dollars. Not bad, hu?

Then it was on to lamp replacing........... WHY? You ask.

Well, the night before last, some strange (to the dogs, and honestly, to me as well) people stopped by to see me. The dogs were on their leashes which are looped around the leg of the end table. Normally as soon as whoever gets in the door they settle down, but this time they began to pull in unison and moved the table forward. (They say dogs are great at judging charater.) As they did so, the lamp on the table crashed off the back end.

Valuable lamp? Well, I actually rescued it from someone's basement, but it was hand-made stain-glass and I really liked the colors even if one piece of it was broken off. (I just put that part to the back, I was the only one that could tell it was damaged.) After the fall, it was pretty well mangled, so it had lit it's last dark night. I found a nice replacement that could possibly even pass for mission style like my furniture, for a mere twenty-nine dollars. It had a few nicks on it, ( up high, under the shade) so I got an additional twenty percent off the price.

One more deal........... We found this really cute little vest in the brown tones of my youngest's wardrobe, that was marked down to five dollars and something. Problem was, it was missing a button. Easy to replace the buttons, but it would have cost me more money to buy six new buttons than the cost of the vest, so I ask for further mark down. The manager said it would be more cost effective for them to damage out the item than to further mark it down so she couldn't do that. (Doesn't make sense to me to waste a perfectly good piece of clothing, but I guess they have to make money as well.) What she did do for me though is cut off one of the buttons from a different size and give it to me, and then she damaged out that one. Adding this one piece to things she already owned will give my youngest lots of new looks. Moral of this story............ It never hurts to ask for what you want. So what if someone tells you "no." Would it be the first time? If you practice on the little things, then when you go car shopping you will be all set to save some serious money!

So...... Last school physical for sports, check. Last picture day, check, last school shopping trip, check. Last stop watch for track, check. (Actually last six, as she looses one a month, so when they are on sale at the start of school we lay in a good supply) Fights with the principal/assorted teachers, and calling her in to excuse her for being late............ I am sure I won't be checking those things off until early next June!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Must be nice to be content with the way you are!.................

For as long as I can remember, I have been a fixer of self. I could probably cover my entire house (inside and out) with the pages from all of the self-help books I have purchased to "fix" my latest fixation of what was wrong with me. Of course I could never really do this, as not only would I NEVER tear a book, but I would NEVER get rid of these books, just in case I need to review them again in the future.

I have always thought it a good thing to want to change and grow. Always thought it was a sign of growth to recognize something about me that could benefit from change. Always thought it positive when I was able to correct/change a perceived "flaw" to the benefit of myself and of those around me.

Lately, I have been wondering if it is time to change another of my beliefs, since more and more I am feeling like I am one of only a few that carry this belief.

I believe that if I am able to change a behavior, then anyone can make a change if a true desire to change said behavior is behind it.

How many times in the past two weeks have you either heard or felt the implication of the words, " That's just how I am. I can't help it. I'm just not ____________, and there is nothing I can do about it."

Those type of statements are like fingernails scratching down a blackboard to me. I try and keep my mouth shut against giving my opinion, but come on people....... Aren't you simply giving up before exhausting all potential means of changing? I think it is a cop-out on your part, maybe even laziness.

I will give you that one cannot grow taller after puberty, or re-grow missing body parts. But to say, "I'm just not sensitive to another's feelings," while possibly being a true statement (you cad!) is definitely something you can (and should) work to change. Statements like, "I can't, that's not me, it won't matter what I try, it won't work" are, in my opinion, all examples of giving up and/or settling for less than your best.

I would do much better if these people would say, "Ya! I am not _____________, and I have no plans now or in the future of changing that fact." At least I would know up front what I was getting into. How great (for me anyway) would it be upon meeting a new friend to be able to ask questions like, "How are you at being on time, keeping confidences/promises/your hands off my clothes, etc..." before deciding on whether or not to move further along with the friendship based on those answers?

Have we really come so far from caring about one another that our selfish self-centered behavior takes center stage in our relatationships? How can one make a statement of commitment and then turn around and say, "Well, Ya, but"..........

I get that I need to accept people as they are, and that it is their right to be anyway they choose to be. The problem comes when I decide to exercise my right to not continue to have that person in my life because of how I feel about their choices. Then I have to ask why I wanted them in my life in the first place? This usually leads me to seeing things that I choose to overlook at the beginning of the relationship. (It is sooo true, no matter the type of relationship, when entering into it, check out the person's already established relationships with as open an eye as you can manage. What seems cute and refreshing today, might just drive you nuts a few months from now!) So now do I give up a relationship because I am no longer enthrawled with what used to be entertaining? Do I ask them to change for me? Do I hold it all inside and fume and fester about it until I blow up? Do I simply stop developing new relationships to make sure I don't have to deal with it in the future?

Seems to me I need to go out and get another self-help book to help me weed through all of the possible choices. Can anyone recommend a good one?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Catching up.............

Slowly I am feeling like things are back to normal around here. I even have my first of the month paperwork completed and by the first day of the month. (Don't tattle, but the last few months if I had it done in the first week I was feeling good.)

A BIG thanks to everyone that gave me suggestions for a new blog title! After considering all of them, this is what I have come up with:


tending to (the) soul, leaving the weeds for another day

Let me know what you think. I am going to sit with it for a day or so before making any changes. As Julia said, "The more minds, the more ideas" so maybe there is more tweaking to be done if better ideas are generated from the above starting idea.

One4JC has come up with some art work that will be a nice compliment to the new title I think.

My sister has been here for a shorten version of her summer visit, and is staying until Sunday. I ask her to pick a blog topic for me, and she came up with "Patience.... The overrated virtue."

Come to think of it, she does have many two year old traits. I mean this in the nicest possible way of course. It wouldn't be nice to say that we fight over who gets the most pratice at learning patience when the other is around would it now? Most of the time we just talk over each other and call it a tie.

Thank you, for waiting patiently until the afternoon for today's post. My readers are the all around best!