Thursday, November 30, 2006

Loving my ordinary life....................................

Maybe it is Thanksgiving day leftovers, but I woke up this morning filled with gradtitude for my simple little life. Cold and rainy outside, I was comfy, safe, and warm in a house filled with love. No surprises awaited me as I meandered through my morning routine, another great comfort to me. Besides my pleasant surroundings, I have ample clean water, heat, lights, and nourishment. Who could ask for more than that? Me, of course. It is my wish that everyone in the world be able to have the kind of life that I have.

Growing up, I heard my share of "starving kids in Africa" stories, and the nightly news reports are full of horror stories. People all over the world are managing to survive without ample food or water. Every day people are enduring all kinds of abuse. And then there is me, often taking all the blessings in my life for granted, whining and caring on about how bad things are when I don't get my way.

My intent for this post was NOT to be a downer, but rather to put down in words that I DO know I am blessed beyond measure. Much of the time I take all the good things in my world for granted, expecting that they will be here for as long as I want them to be. Today I am acknowledging the fact that life can change in an instant. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow never comes, today is all we have. Rather than get all caught up in planning for someday, I am taking this day to appreciate all the good that has come my way. Today I am even willing to look at what some would call the negative and see the positive in it. Today I am here, in the moment, strong, content, and loved. Today I am blessed with magnificant grace. What about you?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The BIG day has finally arrived................................

Today, Wednesday November 29, 2006 is my youngest's first anniversary of starting to date her boyfriend! Aren't you excited for her?

Sometime in late August, she started making noises about what her plans were for the big event. I managed to put her off for a few weeks without really paying attention. Come on... The kid has ADHD, who would have thought she could stay focused on one subject for such a long time? Certainly not my experience when I ask her to do something around the house.

By mid September she had decided she was taking the whole day off from school. This kept her in school every single day until today as (in her words), "I am saving my day off for the twenty-ninth." I assured her she could miss more than one day, but in her mind it would have made taking today off less special. Boy, she is just like her mother! And just for the record, she has decided to go to the first two hours of classes, as the big event doesn't actually kick off until early afternoon so she, "doesn't want to sit around and get anxious" about the rest of the day.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I am pretty un-orthodox when it comes to most everything. I am not sure whether or not I told you that (my) Mister and I "hung out together" rather than date, and it wasn't until after we were engaged to be married that we went on our one and only "official" date. There is a point to this tangent that will tie in in a minute. I promise...

(my) Mister's birthday is in September, mine is in October. We had decided to get married and were ring shopping in late summer. Not wanting traditional wedding rings, (come on... we had each been married before, and done all the traditional stuff. We all know how well that turned out for each of us) I picked out a diamond ring that had a wide band to use for both engagement and wedding. I would have gotten a much smaller diamond, but (my) Mister didn't want people to think he was a cheapskate so he insisted the main stone be at least a carat. He assured me it was an investment, but everytime I try to sell the ring for cash he has a fit (because he knows how much I really do love the dumb thing) so while it might be an investment for one of my heirs, it isn't making me much money. Some investment! Back to the point... (my) Mister picked out a ring with a saphire in it (his birthstone), again not traditional, but he really liked it. The plan was for each of us to pick up and surprise the other with the rings at some point in the future. With his birthday right around the corner, I planned a little treasure hunt for (my) Mister. His clues directed him to a couple of stores, where he recieved a small gift and another clue directing him to the next place. One of the clues directed him to the jewelry store where his ring was waiting, along with the final clue which sent him back to his apartment (which at the time was an hour away from where I lived) where I had invited his family to a birthday dinner surprise. I was pretty proud of myself, because I had never met any of his family before (we had only been "officially hanging out" for a couple of months at this time), and yet managed to get his mother's phone number and plan everything without him finding out about any of it. (Must be my sneaky gene at work.) It turned out to be a really great surprise for him.

Now, to tie this back into today, my youngest totally stole my idea and has planned a treasure hunt for her boyfriend. We have had lots of fun picking out the stores, getting the presents, wrapping them, and then giving them back to the store clerk to hold until the hunt begins. She even improved on my idea by making an authentic looking treasure map. Fotunetely she DID NOT set off the smoke alarm when she was burning the edges of the paper to make them look old. She has also promised to warn me the next time she decides to set something on fire inside of the house so I don't think the place is burning down.

I LOVE that she still needs my assistance with these things. I love the fact that she thinks it is strange that her friends barely talk with their moms, let alone spend time doing things with them. Her boyfriend is getting used to the fact that "she HAS to tell me everything that happens in her life, it's just the way she is," (her words, not mine). I am thrilled with that fact since it keeps the young man in line regarding my daughter. Nothing wrong with someone being "afraid of you" is there?

Instead of letting young love have all the fun, use her celebration to get you excited about planning your own. Remember why you fell in love with your special someone and do something fun and special to let them know you still feel that way. (Yes, (my) Mister, I AM talking to you too!) Enjoy this special day.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A new twist on an old tradition.................................

Twenty-eight years ago I took my oldest daughter (then almost six months old) to sit on Santa's lap for the very first time. That photo of her red faced and screaming, arms outstretched, squirming on a big bearded strangers lap, trying to get away, is burned into my memory forever. Every year since then pictures with Santa have been an annual tradition.

I know some of you stopped doing this when your children reached the age of ten or so, but we didn't want to give up the fun. Like the time we were standing in line when my youngest was sixteen or seventeen and she saw some girls from her school walking around in their cheerleader uniforms. She was so embarressed for them, thinking people would be making fun of them walking around "dressed like that." I pointed out that she was, after all, standing in line to get her picture taken with Santa. Her response, "So, what is wrong with that?" reinforces my belief that the apple doesn't fall far from the mother tree.

After my oldest moved out of state, it became a little more tricky to get the annual picture, having to cram it into the weekend after Thanksgiving, but the kids always managed, and I always got my picture under the tree on Christmas morning. This year, we were sanwiching the picture in between running errands and making enchaladias for my oldest (one of her favorite meals) before she had to return home to get ready to fly out of town on a business trip. When we got to Santa's chair in the mall, all that we saw was an elf, and a sign that said Santa would return in half an hour.

Being on a time crunch, we decided to improvise so I sat in Santa's chair with the sign in front of my face and the kids gathered around me. As we were walking away, each storing the memory into brain's file system, my oldest came up with a great idea. She suggested that in future years we continue to see how we can twist the traditional Santa picture in a new way. We all agreed this would be lots more fun than doing things the old way, so that is what we are going to do in future years. Who says traditions can't be updated and changed for the better? It isn't about the tradition, but about the feelings of closeness and togetherness the traditions bring out in those participating. What are some of your favorite Holiday traditions/memories?

Monday, November 27, 2006

An attitude of graditude is a matter of choice..........................................

I feel a little like I am selling out when I use someone else's words for a post, but as they say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," so I thought I would share the better part of this article I came across. It states what I have come to not only believe, but practice over the past couple of years, and I couldn't say it better myself. Comments in red are my thoughts on the article.

For a little background, Victoria was a mom, sick with many alergies, with an over-weight, out of shape husband, and two couch potato children, one which developed very serious diabeties. In her plight to save her son from a life of insulin injections she discovered a raw food diet. Within weeks of eating only raw food her son's blood sugar levels dropped from being in the 400s (VERY life threatening) to normal. They have been on a totally raw diet for the past ten years (or more). Read more about the family on their web site if you are interested. I think it is really neat how a mother's quest to make her family healthy has not only helped many others, but also turned into a family business. Us women can do anything we put our minds to.

By: Victoria Boutenko Copyright 2006 by Victoria Boutenko. Please reference this
source when sharing this information:

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of
all others.” -Cicero

When we adopt a raw food lifestyle, we may feel deprived
of our habitual pleasures, especially when we watch
others enjoying cooked delicacies that used to be our own favorites or in my case sugar and processed stuff.

We all have different perspectives on life. Some of
us feel that life is becoming increasingly more frustrating, especially
considering all the natural cataclysms and political
challenges. At the same time, others view life as a totally
beautiful and enjoyable experience. Initially, I thought that
our opinions on the fairness of life depended on the level of
our material wealth. Later, I met some poor people who were
content with their lives and wealthy persons who were deeply
upset about their lives. While watching many people caught
in a material pursuit (including myself) I developed a strong
interest in the true origins of people’s contentment in life. I
came to the conclusion that there are two opposite perspectives
on life: the materialistic perspective and the grateful perspective. Which one are you? Since I have a roof over my head and a full belly, I like to think I am the second, but (gratefully) never having been homeless, how can I know for sure?

The materialistic approach to life guarantees discontentment
and frustration, as there is no objective limit to the
acquisition of personal possessions. There is no constant
measure that could be marked as “enough.” At the same time,
only the very basic possessions that satisfy our essential needs
such as food, clothes, and shelter, can bring us a sensible feeling
of contentment. The majority of the items beyond the basic
needs convey very little enjoyment to their possessor. That is why it is up to each of us to set limits on when enough is enough, rather than let ourselves be driven to keep up with the Jones.

Contrary to this, gratefulness inevitably leads us to
becoming aware of the unlimited wealth that life holds for
every one of us. (Had my washer not broke, I would not be celebrating my ability to wash clothes hassle free with as much gratitude as I now have.) Grateful people tend to be happier, more optimistic,
more satisfied with their lives, than their less grateful
counterparts. Michael E. McCullough, a professor from Florida,
provides experimental evidence that gratitude leads to
improvements in psychological and even physical well-being.
McCullough’s groundbreaking research demonstrates
that “people who place too much emphasis on materialistic
pursuits – people for whom obtaining wealth and material
possessions takes priority over meaningful relationships,
community involvement, and spirituality – tend to be unhappy
people. In general, they are dissatisfied with their lives, and
tend to experience high levels of negative emotion. They are
at risk for a variety of mental disorders. In contrast, grateful
people – people who readily recognize the many ways in
which their lives are enriched by the benevolent actions of
others – tend to be extraordinarily happy. They experience
high levels of positive emotion and are generally satisfied
with their lives.” Hey! That is how I feel about all of you out there reading this.

Being constantly exposed to a vast variety of advertisement
and financial challenges, we may increase our materialistic
perception of life. According to McCullough’s research,
gratefulness is such a powerful approach to life that it
may reduce people’s materialistic strivings.
I invite you to apply this valuable information about
the power of gratitude to any situation in your life. Below, I
am presenting two different approaches to watching another
person consuming a cooked delicacy.

The materialistic approach:

What is that heavenly smell? Oh no! It’s pizza! Look at how
they are enjoying it. How come I am not allowed to enjoy it?
Am I a monk? They don’t look as if they are going to die. Can
it be true that I will never again in my entire life be able to
partake of such a pleasant meal? Oh, how lucky these fellows
are! I wish I could enjoy pizza now as they do! What torture,
poor me. Oh that aroma… it brings tears to my eyes. So many
of the sweetest memories come to mind, the best times. Now,
they are over. E-eh. For health reason's we have decided to limit out consumption of pizza to once a month. My youngest is counting down the days for all of us, as the big pizza event rolls around this coming weekend.

The grateful approach:

That smell is oddly familiar. Wow, pizza. I had a lot of it in
my life! More than one could dream of. Now it is time to take
care of my health. Yeah, health is my priority now. All these
people eating pizzas will be delighted to discover a healthy
diet in their time. I am grateful that I am on a healthy diet already.
I do feel a lot better. I am so glad that I will not have to
be sick again. In only fifteen minutes I will be home. What do
I have in my fridge? Those hass avocados I bought yesterday
should be perfectly ripe today. It will only take a couple of
minutes to prepare guacamole with lemon, tomatoes, and jalapeno.
Uh, my mouth is watering! I have fresh romaine lettuce,
tomatoes and a giant organic mango that will be so yummy
and nourishing. Oh, I am looking forward to my raw dinner
that will leave me feeling light and wonderful. I greatly appreciate
what the raw food diet is doing for my body and mind.
How fortunate I am! What a blessing life is. Wow! I am not at this level yet, but on a lower scale, this is exactly how I am beginning to view healthy foods in relation to not so healthy foods. I AM grateful that I am making healthy choices and enjoying them. I am extreamly grateful for the way those choices are making me feel, and the way they are positively effecting the rest of my life.

To develop a grateful attitude, we need to practice
one simple activity— notice the positive sides of events in our
lives. The very best way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal.
Buy yourself a notebook and start writing three to five
grateful notes daily. I think that we should be grateful not
only for the positive but also the negative experiences. Often,
it is the most painful events in our lives that shape the qualities
in ourselves we value most. Mmmmm... I think I might think about giving this a try.

Practicing gratitude can make your life on a raw food diet (or any healthy lifestyle change) more enjoyable and will have a positive impact on your
health, your mood, and your life in general. What do you think?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Saturday....................

I am noting the day, because I always have trouble remembering exactly which day it is when the normal schedule gets altered, as it does with a holiday. Hope everyone's holiday (and non-holiday for all my non-Thanksgiving celebrating friends in other countries) is going well. Here are some highlights of mine, in case you are interested.

My system must have sensed something amis on Wednesday evening, because I started taping my Friday night shows. In doing so, I found a Doctor 90210 that I hadn't seen, so I taped that instead. As it turned out, this was a lucky break, because Thanksgiving morning I woke up at 3:30 AM, and had something to entertain me since I am not a big fan of infomercials.

My youngest and I headed off to run the Turkeyman Trot around 7:30 AM, Thanksgiving morning. This year, ORA ran the race with me. This was her first ever attempt at running a 5K, and she did a GREAT job, and I am VERY proud of her. We did a run/walk combo, and while we may have not broken any speed records (though we did "run a few red lights," RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE COPS, as the race is run on the road), we had a fabulous time and even managed to save a kick for the end and pass someone just before entering the shoot! We finished the run in a very respectable time for a first run of 48 minutes, and now she has her time to beat for her next race. Good job ORA, and thanks for running with me.

For the past twenty years, it has been my tradition/preferance to send everyone in the family off to someone else's turkey dinner and spend the day alone. Especially since starting my business, I rarely get time completely to myself, and I love the opportunity to do exactly what I want without considering anyone else. My Thanksgivning feast this year consisted of Nachos with FULL FAT cheese, and a small chunk of WHITE French bread dipped in flavored oil. I can hear my arteries complaining just thinking about it. The nachos were great, the bread not so much so.

Speaking of good tasting foods, I helped my youngest make lemon bars to take to her boyfriend's house for Thanksgiving dinner, and decided to taste them. They tasted terrible. She said they tasted fine, so it can only be that mouth is FINALLY figuring out that healthy foods REALLY do taste better than empty calories. It has been well over two months since I have eaten white/processed/sugar laden foods, and I am still not missing them. How cool is that?

Black Friday...A day I look forward to all year long...Only this year, I had all of my presents purchased, wrapped, and waiting for the tree to go up by last weekend, so there wasn't any real need to participate this year. As I am sure you guessed, that didn't stop me from doing so.

My youngest had decided to get one of the ten laptops on sale at Best Buy. In order to assure the success of this, she was planning to spend the night outside the store with all the other crazies. I know it sounds crazy to allow your teenager to do this, but I trust her and the people she was planning to be with. They got to the store around nine o'clock in the evening (which was the time that last years "first in line" had arrived), to find about forty people in line ahead of her. WOW! Talk about determined! Last year, (my) Mister arrived around two in the morning and there were only about fifteen people ahead of him. After asking the first ten people what they wanted, my youngest determined she would NOT be getting a laptop at this sale price so she came on home. My question is why would the twenty to thirty people behind the lucky first ten to fifteen people bother to stay out in the cold all night when there was no chance of getting what they came for? Did they NOT read the fine print about limited quanties? Did they think one of the first ten would weaken as the night wore on and they would move up in place? (I have to say that if I were 11 or 12 this probably that notion would probably got me to stay...But 20?) Were they really homeless people happy for some nighttime company for a change? I just didn't get it, but my hat is off to them for perservering and hanging in there.

Anyway, back to my adventure...I woke my youngest up around 3:30 AM, (my) Mister left for the two stores he was tackling, and we were on our way by 4:00 AM. We were going to go to Kohl's to get a sweater for my oldest (who's job it was to sleep in with the OPs, being as over eighteen warm body in the house to keep me in compliance with the state.), and I could get my two dollars back through the price matching rules as I had bought two of the sweaters last week and they were a dollar cheaper for the black Friday door buster deals. On the drive there we decided to change our strategy and go to a different store first. When we arrived, there was no line at that store, (Could this be because someone, who shall remain nameless, didn't read the fine print and that store didn't open until seven in the morning?), so we decided to hang out in the line at the computer store next to it, just for fun.

In all my years of post Thanksgiving day shopping I have never witnessed anything negitive. I always end up chating and joking with the people around me to pass the time, and this year was no different. I won't bore you with further details of our morning, except to say that while I tried three different times between 6:30 and 10:30 AM to get the sweater from Kohl's, I didn't do it. Each time the line was wrapped three quaters of the way around the store and I just couldn't manage to get brain to justify the waste of time for one item that was not a MUST HAVE, but a simple desire. Since it has been on sale twice this holiday season, she convinced me that the odds of it going on sale again were be pretty high.

We were home before 11:00 AM, and my youngest went off to take a nap. I made lunch for the OPs, and enjoyed my oldest giving us her Christmas present. Remember I told you that I am not big on "normal" presents? This year we ask that she take all her old junk out of the atic and either get rid of it, or take it to her house. She did this, and it was tons of fun watching her go though it and enjoy all the old memories it brought back to both of us. When she was finished, the two of us took advantage of the warm sunny day and went for a quick four mile run. In the evening, we watched a movie that we watched last holiday season, and I fell asleep for the second time before seeing the ending. I guess there is always next year...

So this morning I am getting myself ready for the fact that the Christmas decorations are going up for the next thrity days. I like my house just the way it is, but I am as good a sport as the next person, and let everyone else have the holiday decorations. At least until the presents are opened, then I WANT MY HOUSE BACK! Last year I think the tree was down and packed up before noon. It is getting harder to deal with in my old age. Enjoy the rest of your holiday (or not) weekend, and I will chat with you again soon.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving credit where credit is due.........................

Made it through the THREE hour cross country banquet (though my thoughts were, "I would rather have SIX root canals, back to back, instead of sitting through that again."), and the induction for this years National Honors Society, so I can cross both of those off my list of "last time I have tos." In addition to being able to cross them off, in the four hours of attendance time I was able to get the biggest share of a sock knitted, so it wasn't a complete waste of my time. Boy! That sounds pretty terrible doesn't it, saying that going to a school function for my kid is a waste of my time. Well, at least I am an honest terrible mother.

At the National Honors thing, I sat in front of a parent that made funny comments (the kind I was making to myself, but was alone so I didn't have anyone to say them out loud to)the entire time, so I was VERY entertained. I wanted to introduce myself at the end of the thing, and tell him how much I appreciated his comments, but I didn't want him to think I was eavesdropping so I didn't.

By the time the senior class was crossing the stage, I had dropped a stich and couldn't recover it in the near dark auditorium, so I watched all the kids cross the stage and rated them for style and grace. You might think I am prejudice, but my youngest had the most poise and grace of all of them. One after the other, the kids schlep across, many of the girls either scuffing in flip flops or teetering on a too high heel. And then comes my kid, head held high, eye contact and a firm handshake of just the right duration. She didn't trip or anything, making her mother very, very proud! There was one other girl that MIGHT have beat her out, but she was already up on stage (being one of the officers of the class) so having to weave around the other students and adults on stage was a tiny bit distracting, giving my youngest a clear victory over her.

The other cool thing that happen was after listening to the principal's key note address, my youngest came home all fired up to use his part of the speech that said "stand up for what you believe in, and don't be afraid to be who you are." as ammunition (her word, not mine) to go in and talk to him about the trouble she continues to have with one of her teachers. Granted, when she did just this, the prinicpal told her, and I am quoting here, "It is not the teacher's job to teach, just to make sure you learn," as his reasoning why it is perfectly acceptable for another student to be the only one that teaches the class anything. My questions regarding this comment: Why call them teachers then, why not facilitators, and what happens next year when there isn't a (insert kid's name here) to do his teaching for him? She is not done with that battle, and I will keep you informed if anything interesting develops.

Anyway, I felt duty bound to share the good points of those two evenings, since I like to complain about the not so good points in life so much of the time. Who said I couldn't play fair?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gave up cheese, but apparently not the whine.................

Someone that was once a pretty central figure in my world died Sunday. Just dropped dead from a massive heart attack while out of town on business. And he was only in his mid-forties!

I haven't actually talked with him in several years, keeping up on the going ons of his life through a mutual aquaintance. No more chances for that now is there? Poor me.

Poor me...What about poor him? He won't see his youngest child graduate from high school this spring. He won't get to meet his first grandchild, due to arrive in a few months. He won't get to do a ton of things that he put off while struggling to get his kids raised and out on their own. At the moment I am pretty pissed at these thoughts. Life is just not fair sometimes.

Even as I have these thoughts and emotions, I understand that they are just that, thoughts and emotions. I really do believe that there is life after death and he is going to be trading in the above things for things that are AT LEAST as cool. The regrets I have are really for those of us that are still here, left to deal with our notions of what he will be missing out on.

Being an orphan, my biggest goal in life was to get my kids to adulthood. My youngest will be eighteen this coming April, but for the most part she is already a pretty grown-up teen. I really don't worry that she would be able to make her way in the world if I were to die. I have pretty strongly placed my mark on her, as well as my other two, and am extreamly proud and honored at the way they have all turned out. This doesn't mean I don't get sad when I think about all the moments of their lives that I will miss when I am gone. I can get crazy sad when I think about it. I just MAKE myself be thankful for the gift of getting to see them grow up this far, knowing that I had a lot to do with the way they turned out.

So, putting the whine aside, let this be my thanksgiving post. I am so thankful and grateful for so many things. I am thankful for all the great times I had with the above mentioned friend. I am grateful for the memories of those times that I will always cherish. I am thankful for the knowledge that even though we didn't keep in touch, we continued to stay connected through others and through our continued feelings of fondness (in case you care, a platonic friendship only. While we briefly discuss romance, we opted out, not wanting it to ruin our friendship) for one another. We got one another through some dark times, and my life is better for having known him. It makes me feel better to think the same was true for him.

Monday, November 20, 2006

BIG change?.........................

I saw this short article in the December issue (page 24) of Smart Money, and wanted to share it with you. Writen by: Russell Pearlman, the article is below:

What was the fastest way to earn 33 percent in 2006? Investing in hedge funds? Certainly not the stock market - even after the fall rebound, the market hasn't come close. And loan sharking is still illegal. Turns out the best investment of 2006 was heading to your local bank and buying rolls of U.S. nickles.
Thanks to high commodity prices, the metals in a nickle are now worth 6.6 cents. An enterprising coin collector could, in theory, melt down 1.25 grams of nickel in the 5-cent coin and sell them on the spot-metels market for 6.6 cents. (Yes, it's legal, though not encouraged.) Melt enough coins, and the profits amount to a lot more than pocket change.
There are some costs attached to that investing strategy, though. For one, hiring a blast furnace to seperate the metals isn't cheap. Coinstar handled 3.8 billion coins in 2005 through its coin-counting machines often found at supermarkets, but it hasn't tried to capitalize on the phenomenon. The cost of melting down, 123,000 tons of coins outweighs the gains from the higher metal prices, says Coinstar company spokesperson George White. Coinstar distributes its coin horde to firms such as Brinks, which recyle the coins back into circulation. Brinks declines to comment.
This year the U.S. mint says it will spend $108 million to produce 1.7 billion nickles with a combined face value of just $85 million. The mint has changed U.S. coinage based on metal prices before, taking the silver out of coins in the 1960s after the price of silver skyrocketed. But, so far, there are no plans to make a nickle out of something cheaper - like plastic.

My first thought, after reading this, was it must have been a slow news month for this to make the editing process. Are we better people for having obtained this knowledge? Leave it to the government to spend $108 million for goods worth only $85 million.

My second thought, was to remember when stores and coin machines had a problem with taking Canadian money, as "it wasn't worth as much as U.S money." Big deal, banks gave it out for equal value, why rig the machines to recognize and reject it? What do you think would happen if you took this article to those same stores and told them you wanted 6.6 cents worth for your nickle? Yup, I think they would tell you they didn't really care what you wanted, that you were only getting what they gave you, 5 cents worth.

My big thought was, this really proves that value is something that varies, depending on people buying into the idea. How much would Coinstar have to profit in order for them to decide it was worth melting down all those nickles, leaving the rest of us scambling to find change for a dime? Why do diamonds cost more than other jems? Because our culture places a higher value on them, no doubt an idea that was started long ago by someone that was either famous in their time or a great marketer. New, young, hip, are in, while old, old, and old fashioned are out. Why does our society veiw one as more valuable than the other? (And for the record, I vote for old, old, and old fashioned all the time. It saves me a ton of nickels, literally!)

Trends and fads will come and go, nickles will go up and down in value, but make sure you have firm sound values that you can pass on to future generations regarding what is really important to you. In the end, this is all that matters.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Good things come to those who wait...

Remember the jacket I was telling you about that I wouldn't buy because of the whole "use your credit card get an additional 15% off?" Well, the store had a really good sale the other day, and the jacket was still there, marked down an additional 50% off the already 50% off price. In addition to this, my oldest sent me two gift cards she received from the store for ten dollars each. Add together all of my savings and I ended up paying eleven dollars for a jacket that was originally sold for two hundred and fifty dollars. Pretty cool hu?

It actually looks better on me than the hanger, following all the rules of "What Not To Wear," and makes my waist look pretty narrow. What's not to love?

Friday, November 17, 2006

The power of angels, believe it or not....................

Don't think I am being disrespectful as you read the story I am about to share with you. I believe that each of us have angels looking over us, ready to do anything for us that we ask them to do. I also believe that nothing is too big OR (in this case) too insignificant for them to do out of love for us. All they require is that we ask them for help. Okay, here is my story...

As I said yesterday, my washer quit working last Thursday. One of my residents has night time incontinence. Friday morning her bed was soaked. I went to the laundry mat, threw the stuff in the washer, and went and ran for the twenty minutes it needed to wash. Everything was fine.

Again, not to be disrespectful, but so you get the significance of the point I am trying to make, said resident has been creating a load of wash every night for months. Get this...While I was without a washer, she never did more than dampen the pad underneath her on Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night, or Wednesday night. Thursday night (after the washer was fixed) Every single iten on the bed, clear down to the mattress pad was soiled and needed to be washed Friday morning. I know this sounds nuts/crazy/insane/ but it is exactly what happen.

Soiling the bed is not a VOLUNTARY thing that she does or does not do, it is not in her control. For this reason, the only other thing that makes any sense to me is that my angels took care of the problem to help me out from having to run to the laundry mat every day. Isn't that the coolest thing you ever heard?

Please don't be upset if you have a different opinion of an Angels jobs. Try and entertain the fact that there are enough angels around to do all the pious religious stuff that needs to be done. Each of us have at least three angels just to do things for us, like find lost kesy, good parking spaces, extra time to do the things we need to get done. Again, all you have to do is ask for their help, and then be willing to recognize it when it happens. Give it a try, what do you have to lose except a lot of stress in your life.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Making waves with the washing machine..............

You know how you take things for granted until they are gone? Well, a week ago my washing machine stopped working, and all of you out there responsible for keeping the clothes clean share my pain I am sure. Let me also share some interesting facts we learned on the jouney to repairing said washer...

History first...We purchased the Maytag Neptune brand washer brand new just over three years ago. Not only was it expensive, it was suppose to be top of the line, best machine, and yes, I was slightly mifted that it broke down after such a short time.

(my) Mister called a repair place for me and found out that it would be eighty dollars($80.00) just to have someone come out and diagnose the problem (when able, they were already scheduling into Monday, four days away), and then the cost would rack up from there for parts and labor. Slightly more mifted, and boy did I go into the wrong business.

(my) Mister called me back a short time later, and told me he had found a repair manual that he could purchase from Sears to diagnose and possibly fix the problem himself for only thirty dollars ($30.00), a full fifty dollars less than having the guy come out, and it could be here in less than twenty-four hours. Another reason I am blessed to be married to him. I never even knew such a thing existed, but even if I had it would have done me no go. I guess it does pay for him to have all that electronics junk in his work room, but it is still a mess down there.

Anyway, we decided to go that route, and that is when the real story begins. The repair manual arrives, and (my) Mister starts taking things apart and checking out the machine. For the next twelve hours or so all of our conversations consisted of, "Find out what's wrong with it yet?" "Not yet." "Sigh" "Sigh" In his defense I will say that he did attempt to share what he was learning, but how a washing machine works is definitely low on my list of things I want to understand. My concern is much more about the fact that it DOES work, rather than HOW it works.

Phase two of machine repair was HOURS (and I can hear him saying, "It wasn't that long," even as I type) on the computer trying to figure out I am not sure what, again my fault...I just want to wash clothes okay? As it turns out, we were not the only people who's washer quit when it was still quite new. In fact, there had been two class action law suits brought over the exact washing machine, for exactly the problem we were having. Interesting stuff, but it still wasn't enabling me to wash clothes without hauling them to the corner laundry.

To not bore you with more details, I will say that in the end we had to purchase both control panels, which is (from my limited understanding) about the same as buying all new guts, kind of like replacing a car engine to have a brand new car with an old body. The cost of these two boards was four hundred dollars ($400.00) plus shipping, and yes I know we saved a small fortune with (my) Mister doing the repair himself. We debated over simply taking the four hundred dollars and buying a cheap washer and running it to death since buying high end had served us so well, but the one we have is a stacked model so we would have had to still have the dead one around. Hang in there, the story is almost finished.

You know me, I can't leave anything alone, and I finally HAD to contact Maytag and tell them of my displeasure with their product. In doing so I found that had we had problems earlier, and contacted the company, they would have told us of the defect and we could have gotten in on the class action suit which would have paid for our parts. Since we did not initiate contact with them, they were not obligated to contact us so we might participate in the suit. The nice young lady on the phone then went on to explain that while she takes many, many calls a day for the same exact thing she would love to help me, but was unable to. And just for kicks, I ask her what kind of washing machine she owns, and surprise! it WASN'T a Maytag. Isn't that interesting? I thanked her for her time, and ask to speak to someone who could help me.

I next spoke to a very nice young man that told me he would also love to help me, but unfortunately the in the terms of the settlement the judge forbade Maytag from paying for anymore parts for this particular brand of washing machine. Nasty old judge, how dare he keep these nice people from helping folks like myself, when that is exactly what they wanted to do. Ya! Right!

I told this young man that I understood that legally Maytag was in the right to not compensate me monatarily, but just because they were legally right, did that make them morally right? I went on to say that I was fine with the fact that I had been screwed over regarding repair costs to a product that they had legally admitted was defective, but would still like them to take a moral stance and adress the problem with their customers. I went into my "I might be only one customer, but I have a big mouth, and have been known to stop strangers on the street and warn them not to purchase crap" speech, but I will spare you that whole thing. I finished by telling him that I for one would be thrilled to receive a letter from the company taking responsibility for the problem, and offering me condolances for having to have gone through the trouble we were experiencing, and that doing this would only cost them the price of a piece of stationary and a stamp, but would go a long way in my book towards keeping my future business. When I finished with that last line, there was truly shock in his voice when he replied, No one has ever suggested that before."

That is because we live in a society that has become depersonalized. These companies are not dealing with people like small, family owned businesses did back in the day. They are dealing with marketing companies, and lobbiest groups. They don't need to look a real live person in the eye and tell them, "I am really sorry that you have another six months to pay on the washer, if you want to use it you will have to come up with the money to fix it. As much as we would love to help you our hands are tied." (Yes! That was my plug for another reason not to use credit.)

Sorry to have gotten off on a tangent...Of course this young man could not help me, but happily put me through to someone whom he thought might be able to. After repeating my story for a third time, this lady's take on the matter was, "Sorry, but at the current time we don't have a program in place to write such letters." I told her that I wasn't concerned with the establishment of such a program, but was talking to her now, person to person, and asking for her to help me feel better about her company. She then told me she would contact the correspondance department (they need a whole department? Everyone just can't do their own corresponding I guess.) and see if they couldn't get said letter out to me.

So, here I sit, waiting to see if such a letter actually arrives, happily washing clothes again, thanks to (my) Mister's repair skills and knowledge of electronics. Better him than me!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Did I tell you I was pregnant?..................

Before any of you panic, especially (my) Mister, relax folks, I am not really with child. I had another interesting dream last night. So interesting I decided it would be good blog material...

In my dream I had a baby boy. Not knowing I had been pregnant this was an interesting suprise, one that took some getting used to. I remember thinking, I have to write a post "Did I tell you I was pregnant?", and follow it up with, "Well guess what? He is already here!" Also, for whatever reason in this dream, I was working outside the home, even though I was still taking care of the OPs. I had come home from work and was doing this and that when I realized I had not fed my newborn son. I remember thinking, Well, I hope someone thought to feed him while I was gone. (Please note: I was a much more attentive mom with my first three children.)

I began nursing the baby, and while doing so I decided I should save some of the breast milk for the next day so he didn't have to drink formula. When I WAS nursing (all those years ago) I had a very strong let-down reflex, so instead of having to pump I would have the baby start eating on one side and could put a cup under the other side and collect a good four ounces. Well, being out of practice I guess, I started him feeding BEFORE I had a cup in place. I began to spray breast milk all over the room. And I mean all over, from floor to ceiling. I was yelling for (my) Mister (does this make him the father?) to bring me a cup. Finally deciding to get one myself I got up to go to the kitchen and noticed wheel chair tracks in the breast milk on the floor. (my) Mister must have been busy toileting a resident which is why he didn't hear my request for a cup. That is about all I remember from the dream, other than the notion that the baby was a really patient guy, never crying of demanding anything from me and yet happy to take whatever I had to offer to him, not like a real baby at all. I told you it was a dream!

NO! I do not think that this forcasts a new child in my future. According to dream symbolism dreaming of birth represents something new coming into one's life. The way the baby presented itself (just sort of being there) makes me think that this new thing in my life is going to either come as a surprise, or else is going to be something that I layed a foundation for some time ago and it is just now coming to fruition. I have a couple of ideas what this might be, but I want to sit with it a while before sharing more.

Regardless, it is exciting to think of a new adventure coming into my life. It is also comforting to think that when it does, while it might bring some chaos with it I will handle it okay (I didn't yell that loud or long for someone to bring me the cup!). I also feel good about the fact that if I don't recognize the new gift right away it will be patient with me and give me the time I need to adjust and nurture it.

I am wondering if you are all wondering 1. Have I completely gone over the edge, 2. Why did I come to the interpertation that I arrived at, and 3. Could I really spray breast milk on the ceiling. I will respond, 1. NO, 2. That is what my intuition says to me, and 3. Yes! Back in the day my best shot was a distance of six feet, and yes we measured it! There was never a question as to whether my babies were getting milk. They used to nurse by taking in a huge breath of air and then gulping until they ran out, then breaking away to breath while the flowing milk dribbled down their chin, but this is off topic so enough of that.

Do any of you track your dreams? I think dreams are a really great way to problem solve, if you just pay attention to what they have to tell you. Before/while drifting off to sleep at night think about what you want to learn from your dreams. In the morning, or if you are really dedicated if you wake up from one in the middle of the night, record the dream by either writing it down (prefered method, but I am always to lazy to do this) or going over it in your mind so that you can remember it later. It may take several days for you to get your answer. Often I will almost forget about the dream and then be doing something totally not related to it when the answer just "pops" into my head.

Lot of people (including (my) Mister and my youngest) don't think they dream, but everyone does. It just takes some people more effort to recall them. Guided meditation helps one to learn how to recall their dreams. So does perserverance and pratice. I would love it if you shared your dreams with me, and also let me know if you have any other ideas about the meaning of the above dream of mine. Thanks!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Didn't know I was in Vogue................

Over the past couple of months, I have been having this uncontrollable urge to simplify my surroundings, and purge my house of "extras." What I didn't know (but learned in one of my yoga magazines) is this seems to be all the rage. Seems people are finally getting tired of our societies tendancy towards over consumption. Tired of having to work so hard to aquire stuff that they don't have any free time to enjoy the stuff they aquire.

I have a tendancy of having to be over the top when I do something for others. At potlucks, it is never good enough to bring just one dish, I have to bring a minimum of at least three. When people come over for dinner, I make a huge variety of dishes so that everyone might have exactly what they want. The only problem with this, is when we are finished eating the table looks as if nothing has been touched.

Is there really anything wrong with this? Only from the aspect that it is a complusion. One that doesn't seem to be all that satifying anymore. As I am learning to appreciate the simple things in life, my over the top tendancies are losing their importance. Or maybe I am getting lazy in my old age? And then there is the whole sugar issue to contend with...

Every year, for as long as I can remember, I have been super baker around the holiday season. It is nothing for me to whip out thirty different kinds of cookies and candies, and I HAVE to make at least a tripple batch of each kind. I use all of these goodies to make up boxes and give them to friends and neighbors for gifts. No matter how many I manage to give away, there are always tons of leftovers that I end up throwing out when the spring thaw hits. Oh! Did I tell you that since I make so much there is no other place to store it than in containers on the screened porch? Since we have turned the screened porch into living space, this year it would have to be in the garage which would mean we would probably have to park the car outside to have enough room for everything I would want to make.

Since I have been feeling and doing so well since giving up sugar, I feel that doing this marathon baking would be akin to deliberately harming people since there is nothing good about sugar/white flour except the taste. (I know, everyone reading this is saying, "the taste is the important part, bring on the sweets.") I have talked to my family and told them that they need to come up with a list of their top five favorites, as that was all I am making this year. The same for Christmas dinner. One desert instead of the normal five. Now I am wondering if I can actually stop at making just one? Well, okay, maybe two would be okay. It is Christmas after all. See what I mean?

Life is about growth and new learning, so this holiday season this will be my goal. I will focus on simplicity, and the concept that less can be more. Wish me luck, and if you notice me slipping up, call me on it okay? Thanks!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Check this out..................

While I am not eating one hundred percent raw, mostly because I am too lazy, I still try and eat at least seventy-five percent raw, and continue to get an area raw newsletter. In the lastest one there was an offer to download a free copy of Eat Fresh from the web. I thought I would share the link and you could check it out and see what you think. I haven't done more than glance at it, so I have no idea what is in it, but I am looking forward to reading it in the near future. Enjoy. Here is the link:

Claim Your Free ‘Get Fresh!’ Magazine
The latest edition of the beautiful raw magazine ‘Get Fresh!’ For the first time ever, this magazine has been made available as a free download on the net. So, for your FREE copy of this impressive, inspiring magazine, click here to download.

Short post this morning, I need to get my rainy morning run out of the way as I have another funeral to attend late morning. I have to say here that I had nothing to do with this one, because a certain few people are starting to question the high volume of funerals I have been attending. LOL! This one is for a dear friend's father. The funeral is going to be at the Orthodox monastary and I haven't been to an Orthodox funeral service before, but I hear they are very beautiful and meaningful, as is the monastary, so I am looking forward to it from that perspective.

Have a great Saturday.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I had a dream.................

A few nights back, and the symbolism didn’t hit me until yesterday. Here’s the dream:

First, it is important to note that in this dream I was both observer and participant. I was watching myself eat a bowl of ice cream. The me that was eating the ice cream was doing so with gusto, relishing every lick of the spoon. The me that was watching was puzzled by the way the other me was enjoying the ice cream. Not in a judgmental way, just not understanding the appeal.

When I woke up, I pondered what the dream was about. You see, I really feel like I have kicked my sugar addiction. I haven’t had any sugar except from fruit in over two months now, or any white flour or processed/packaged foods. About the only time the thought of chocolate or other sweets enter my head is when I see a commercial for them, and when I do they hold no appeal for me.

I thought maybe the dream was expressing a repressed urge to eat ice cream, but decided not. The reason I decided this was not the case, is because I have not forbidden myself to eat these things, I just don’t care to eat them anymore. The change I have witnessed in my body has shown me first hand how much damage these foods do to me. I like the weight loss and fitness level that sugarless/non-processed foods has provided me. Would you eat poison on purpose?

Here is a fact… This is the first time in Halloween history that I did not eat one single piece of candy. That is pretty impressive in and of itself considering how much I would normally consume. What is REALLY impressive is that fact that I didn’t want to eat even one tiny piece. Gone are the cravings. Gone is the need to fight the urge to not have one more, then one more, then one more. It isn’t about willpower, it isn’t about denial, it isn’t about any of the hundreds of things all those hundred of diet plans I have tried in the past preached as gospel. It has simply become a non-issue.

That non-issue brings us back to the symbolism of my dream. Once the first couple of weeks pasted all the demons I have fought for as long as I can remember simply disappeared. Now I find it hard to recall why/how sugar had such a hold on me. If you have read my blog for any time I am sure you remember the posts about my love of chocolate, purchasing and comparing brands, totally consumed with having and then denying myself the pleasure of chocolate. What motivated that me no longer
motivates the me writing this post. Sugar has lost its stong-hold on me! Strange. Strange indeed.

Least you think I am a freak of nature (okay, I am, but focus on the subject at hand people), I want you to know that getting the sugar/ processed foods out of their diets has also been beneficial to (my) Mister and my youngest. My youngest continues to eat some sugar out of the house (and did sample the candy that she was handing out Halloween night). Every time she chooses to do this, she reports feeling sick afterwards. Another reason I equate sugar with poison now. (my) Mister’s blood pressure has dropped to a normal read, and he may even be able to lower the amount of blood pressure medicine he is currently on. Pretty impressive considering he has taken medicine to control his high blood pressure since he was nineteen years old. How monumental is that?

I would love it if everyone that has ever struggled with food could have what I have discovered, because it is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. If you are interested in kicking the sugar habit, let me know and I will go into greater specifics of the changes I have made. Who knows, maybe I will feel the need to go into greater detail in a later post even if know one asks me to. This blog afterall is for me, and I just might feel the need to get the process down on paper at some time in the future.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

TRYING to cross it off the list, but it just won't die!................

I'm talking about Cross Country season, and my count down to being finished with the public school system. Even though state meets were last weekend, there continue to be reasons to stretch out the season.

As a sport, I think Cross Country is great, it is just the specifics of this particular program that I have a problem with. Okay, I will be truthfull, it is the coach that I have a problem with.

Back when my youngest was a freshman, I decided I would try to be the good mother and get involved with the team by hosting one of the pre-meet dinners. The other moms decided they didn't want me to be involved and shut me out of the whole thing. When I expressed my displeasure of the way this was handled to this coach, she told me she had nothing to do with the dinners and couldn't help me. Mmmmmm...Team function...She is the coach...Why doesn't she have a say in how the dinners are ran?

Fast forward to the following summer... My youngest shares with me that during a run one of the girls "didn't feel like running" so she followed the other runners with her car. While doing so, this young lady was trying to kill birds, drive through puddles at accelerated speeds, etc... as the other girls ran down the road in front of her. It is my opinion that at sixteen this driver was not experienced enough to be on the road with girls on foot. When I shared my opinion with this coach she told me she didn't have anything to do with summer runs and that I should be happy that there were so many girls that wanted to participate. I understand that as a coach there are rules against her coaching kids in the summer, but should she not be concerned about the student's safety? Should there not be some code of conduct to govern these summer runs?

Can't forget this one... The kids start out the season with an over night camping trip and meet. At the meeting for this event, a huge deal was made about having all the correct forms filled out. At the time my youngest was taking a medication. wanting to follow the standard school rules about having the medication in the original container, dispensed by an adult, etc... I tried to talk to her about this. She told me, "It's okay. Just have _____ keep it in her bag." When I insisted that while it might be okay with her it was NOT okay with me and I expected her to follow the standard school policy one might have thought I was asking her to cut off her right leg. After taking my concerns higher up, I thought the matter would be handled appropriately, but in the end she gave the medication to my youngest and told her to take it as directed. I guess rules were invented for everybody except her?

While this coach might be a nice enough person, I feel her actions in the past make her unqualified to look out for my child's best interest. How is it that people like this get into a position of influence with our children? Why is it that when concerns are voiced if there is not a high percentage of parents up in arms the handful gets ignored? Why are more parents not concerned about this coach?

I will file those questions with all of the other un-answered questions about the way public schools in my city are ran, being thankful that I am almost done with it. Right after I attend the final banquet on Novemever sixteenth, sitting in the back of the room booing and hissing the coach (in my head of course), while savoring my victory of being able to check one more thing off my list of "last time I have to."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What would you have done?...........

With all of my spare time, I have a new addiction...The Television show WHAT NOT TO WEAR. When this show first came on I hated it. Maybe I wasn't ready to face the truth about my wardrobe. Now that none of my old clothes fit me (YES! I have finally lost that much weight) I am faced with the notion of having to purchase clothes. YUCK!

Anyway, I have been watching the old re-runs at noon while I feed one of my resident's her lunch, picking up some style tips along the way. Last Sunday, while out running errands, I stopped to check out the clearance at Macy's, just to see how I was doing with learning the rules. I found the perfect jacket (a MUST HAVE according to W.N.T.W.), marked down to one hundred and twenty-five dollars from two hundred and fifty. Way expensive still, but maybe worth the price for all the wear I would get out of it. After trying it on, I was hanging it back up when I noticed that the clearance sign stated, "additional fifteen percent off if you use your Macy's card." Them there's fighting words to me. The poor clerk at customer service that had to listen to my speel about how my cash is at LEAST as good as their plastic, and why shouldn't I be rewarded to spend my hard earned cash with an extra fifteen percent off? Why was I being penalized because I am responsible and don't buy things that I can't pay for immediately, and could they please give me a coupon for an additional fifteen percent off clearance? I know they have them, because I have gotten them in the past when requesting one. Not this day (the moral of the story is STILL, "it never hurts to ask, all they can say is no, and sometimes they will say yes"). So I calmly shared with them that they would not be getting any of my cash today and left the store.

This might be the end of the story, but talking with my oldest later that day, she offered to let me use her Macy's card to get the added discount. I have to confess that I was really tempted to do so. Even figured out what the price would be with the discount, and looked at the monthly budget. In the end, I decided that doing this would be going against the stand that I have taken against not using credit. I would be playing the game their way, even if I puchased the item and went immediately to customer service and payed off the card. I have choosen not to play with credit cards anymore, and this has to include everything. If I start pimping out my values to save fifteen percent, think about what I might do for fifty percent?

What do you think about my crazy notion? What would you have done in this situation?

Like the fifty dollar sale sandels, the jacket will either be there the next time I shop (with a bigger discount)or it won't. Either way I feel good about my non-purchase because I remain true to myself, my budget, and my moral ethics. The fact that I don't feel so good about the way my current clothes look on me will have to wait for another day, right along with the other weeds of life.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I can't believe I haven't posted.................

I know it hasn't been that long, but it seems like it. I continue to have time management problems, and it seems the days just slip past me with not much to show for them, besides the joy of no stress and pressure. Don't discount the greatness of that! I am loving it!

I think I mentioned I am looking for a heart rate monitor to help me increase my speed. I know I need to do that if I want to increase my current fitness level (which is pretty darn good right now by the way). I have a real problem making myself run faster for any great length of time, and getting a running partner to push me isn't really an option at this time in my life. This is were the HR monitor comes in.

Having all the info about HR monitors at my disposal thanks to the web, I have been trying my hand at reasearching the different models. Overwhelming to say the least. After laboring for many hours I had decided on one particular model, but wanted my oldest to check it out and give me her opinion. In the meantime, glancing through my Woman's Health I came across an ad for another HR monitor. Just in case it was a sign, I thought I would check it out. Long story short, after an additional hour of research I thought it sounded pretty cool, until I came across the price, FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. For that price the dumb thing should be preforming the exercise for me don't ya think? Even IF I thought the built in trainer feature was worth the extra three hundres dollars, after I read a review from a guy that said he had yet to figure out how to use the feature, I determined this was NOT the device for me. I think you will agree once I clue you in on the fact that I have yet to figure out how to set the split alert on my Grammon, and I have had that for over two years. I am just not a techie, so for me less is more.

The above paragraph is a perfect example of what I started to write about at the begining of this post. Sorry if you feel that I have wasted your time talking about my trivial indulgances. Hopefully you are either a fast reader, or had an interest in what you just read so you don't feel the post a total waste of time. In case you did have an interest the model I have pretty much decided on is the Polar F11. If anyone has an opinion on this model, or a better one for me to check out, please share. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

This looks like fun....................

So I swiped it from One 4JC

Neat little meme, but the answers can only be two words!

1. Explain what ended your last relationship?
Self preservation

2. When was the last time you shaved?
Monday past

3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?
Showering Resident

4. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
Reviewing HRmonitors

5. Are you any good at math?
Practical application

6. Your prom night?
First Love

7. Do you have any famous ancestors?
Okay, sure

8. Have you had to take a loan out for school?
Years ago

9. Do you know the words to the song on your myspace profile?
What MySpace?

10. Last thing received in the mail?
Political Ads

11. How many different beverages have you had today?
coffee, water

12. Do you ever leave messages on people's answering machines?
Just did

13. Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?
still intact

14. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
Of course!

15. What's the most painful dental procedure you've had?
childhood procedures

16. What is out your back door?
Trex decking

17. Any plans for Friday night?
Candle party

18. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
No preference

19. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
Snowman tin

20. Have you ever been to a planetarium?
Loved it!

21. Do you re-use towels after you shower?
After laundering

22. Some things you are excited about?
Life's journey

23. What is your favorite flavor of JELLO?
Sugar free

24. Describe your keychain(s)
Boring, functional

25. Where do you keep your change?
Vacation fund

26. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
Last Thursday

27. What kind of winter coat do you own?
Don't wear

28. What was the weather like on your graduation day?
Who remembers?

29. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
What door?

Help yourself if you would like to take up the meme.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Does anybody REALLY know what time it is?...................

(Song line from the group Chicago. Did you get it?)

Living in a state that Spings ahead and Falls back, everybody's body clock has been in turmoil this week. The news reporters like to play heavily on the fact that we get an extra hour of sleep, but I would like to know just who it is that really gets that extra hour? My internal clock woke me up at the regular time on Sunday morning. I guess my I forgot to teach my inner child how to tell time.

When I came back from my Sunday run, the first thing I noted was that OPs were still eating lunch. Just as I was about to scold (my) Mister for not feeding them "on time" I glanced at the clock and saw that it was just ten minutes after twelve. It just felt like it was an hour later, because it really was, or was it? To really be able to tell that, one would have to go back to when the first clock was invented and trace every second forward to this very one to find out the "real" time. Way more than I care to do. It is much easier to simply go along with the current system, slowly acclimating my body to the time change over the next two weeks.

The bigger question I think we should be asking ourselves is why someone decided we had to try and harness time in the first place. So many stresses have come out of the concept of time. Think about the lucky cavewoman. No stress or pressure. She got up and focussed on surviving during daylight hours (and probably much later once fire was invented and she could work by firelight... You know how moms are!) and layed down to re-charge her body batteries when the sun disappeared.

Then somebody decided that the sun, moon, and seasons was not efficient enough, so they started organizing the days into chunks of time. Now we eat, sleep, work, and play according to the hands on the clock instead of what our bodies instintcually know is good for us. This (insane) clock watching is directly responsible for a multitude of stresses. Who hasn't had to deal with crabbiness when trying to get your family out the door "on time?" Who hasn't gone through a "pink" traffic light or two for the sake of getting to work or a scheduled appointment? And then, for those of us that have developed into over-achievers, there is an un-written rule that if we are not five minutes early we are late. Figure that one out?

As I stated earlier, it is easier to go along with the concept of time and clock watching. There is one area though that I would encourage you to break every time constraint rule that you can. That is in the area of loving. Practice loving every single second of every single day. Love as you are rushing around bowing to the almighty keeper of the time. Love when the guy in front of you decided to stop on yellow and there is no way you are going to get punched in to work on time. Love when you are ready to rush out the door in the nick of time and one of the group has to go to the bathroom even though they were just in there (I say this in my defense, because it is usually me, and I TOTALLY blame it on the fact that my mother must have insisted that I do this as a child. I also HAVE to do this right before going to bed for the night. Maybe some training CAN be too ingrained?). Love when you are on time (you know, five minutes early) for the meeting, and have to sit around while the rest of the group trickles in (This one can be made easier to accomplish if you remember to keep a knitting project or a book with you at all times). Treat yourself with loving kindness when you ruin that time-consuming, expensive ingredience, double batch of cookies, by forgetting to set the timer and burning half of them (again, I speak from experience).

Simply put, love all the time. It will greatly aid you in combating the stress of the clock, as well as set a wonderful tone for all the activities one must attend to in a day. And on that loving note, it is time to start my day!