Thursday, December 28, 2006

Style of the 00's

Since I've been watching the "That Girl" dvd's and just re-loving the late 60's style, it's made me very aware of the "styles" of today. But I cannot figure out WHAT that style is!

I mean the 60's were mini skirts, go-go boots, Jackie O, and of course, That Girl!
The 70's were polyester Sat. Night Fever look, big collars and platforms.
The 80's were leggings, big sweaters, Flashdance, shoulder pads, ME in Jr. High.
The 90's were grunge and layers.

So WHAT are we of the 00's going to be remembered for?

Maybe it's hard to label something when you're still in the thick of it. I've posed this question all week to just about anyone I've spoken with. The only true thing (also sad thing) that anyone has come up with is: the low, low-riders, short tight shirts, and belly-button piercings. But that's already over, so what else?!

On that same note,the other day my friend made the comment that little older ladies have there own kind of style and that maybe they just stopped in a certain era they felt good about and that was age appropriate. And then we wondered what fashion era we would get stuck in and stay in as we grew into our "little old lady" phase...

As you can see, I've been doing serious soul searching this holiday season!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Age is Just a Number

If my mom were still around (other than just in my heart and my head) she would've turned 71 this past weekend. 71! And I can tell you, she would've been looking a good 10-15 years younger than that sounds.

That's not to say my mom ever did anything "fake" to perserve who youthful looks. She was just pretty and sweet and happy and vibrant and funny and THAT all added up to seeming younger than she was. When I was a kid, 70-ish sounded old. But with examples like my mom, I know that age is "just a number".

My mom is my role model of how to age beautifully and naturally. When I look at pictures of her from just a few years ago, growing older doesn't seem like a bad thing. I aspire to do it as gracefully as she did!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Secret of a 60 Year Marriage

My favorite neighbors, Alice and Rex, are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary next week! So the other day when we were chatting I asked her what was the secret to this long marriage of theirs... She told me something about "give and take" and about having a good sense of humor. Then one of my other neighbors walked up and I told her Alice and Rex were about to celebrate 60 years of marriage. She told me she and her husband had that beat- 62 years!! So, I asked her the same question. And the first thing she said was, "Well, get married young!" Yeah, I guess you better if you want that long of a marriage!!!

Anyway, during our little discussion they both told me marriage is "no bed of roses" and that THAT is one reason why the sense of humor is so important. But Alice was sure to add that she and Rex really, really love each other and just couldn't live without one another...

I'm not so sure there is some big "secret" to a long marriage. There are ups and downs, there is good and bad. But having a partner and a witness of your whole life?!!! There's a big comfort in the thought of that. I'm so glad I have a few examples in my life that show me that it IS possible!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Marathon Weekend

For lots of people here in Dallas it was the big marathon weekend! The White Rock Marathon. For me however, it was a THAT GIRL Marathon Weekend. TVLand had something like a 48-hour marathon of the That Girl reruns. In case you're not familiar, That Girl was the CUTEST show starring Marlo Thomas that was originally aired even before I was born. Marlo played Ann Marie who was a struggling actress in New York and she was super happy and cute and sort of like a modernized I Love Lucy. What I love best about the show is all of Marlo Thomas's outfits!!! She is my new fashion icon.

I remembered the theme song but what I learned this weekend was that the theme song was only instrumental until the 5th season?! It took 5 long years for these brilliant lyrics to come together:

Diamonds, Daisies, Snowflakes, That Girl!
Chestnuts, Rainbows, Springtime
Is That Girl, she's tinsel on a tree
She's everything a girl should be!

Sable, popcorn, white wine, That Girl!
Gingham, bluebirds, broadway
Is That Girl, she's mine alone but luckily for you
If you find a girl to love, only one girl to love
Then she'll be that girl too...

I didn't watch all 48 hours of That Girl, but I watched way more than I think I should admit here. But what a guilty pleasure!! I hadn't seen That Girl in probably more than 30 years and so it was like watching a brand new show. I'm hoping TVLand will start airing episodes regularly now. But until then, you can check it all out on the That Girl official website at

Friday, December 8, 2006

I'm Committing

A few years ago when my friend was in town, we decided to use my brand new home studio to record a song she and I had written when we were in about 6th grade. It was just a little ditty that we wrote when we were pissed at one of my other friends. We had written it as a joke all those years ago, and the decision to record it all these years later was just hilarious.

So we stayed up late into the night laying down all these different trackes...the guitar, vocals, harmony, percussion, and keyboard. We also filmed ourselves and made a mockumentary. It was one of the funnest nights I've ever had. She commented at the time, "GOD! This is so fun- How do you ever leave your house?"

Ironically, now a few years later as I'm ready to record songs for my next cd, I just cannot barely MAKE myself go in there and start working on it. I know if I just got started, it would probably feel good. But I find myself avoiding it in all sorts of ways. Like for example, writing this blog right now!

What is the dill, pickle?

This is the time when I need a boss telling me to get my ass in there and DO IT!!! Or a cheerleader saying "You can do it! YAY!!" I'm just going to have to be my own boss and cheerleader this time. So I am stating it here and now thinking perhaps this will encourage some accountability, I'm going to spend at least 1 hour a day working/playing (using the word play is suppose to make it sound more appealing so I've been told!) in my studio every day for a week. If I survive the week, maybe I'll extend it to 21 days. And if I get thru the 21 days, well then it might just become a habit. And then VOILA, the sky's the limit!!!

I'm excited just thinking of the possibilities...See, the energy is already changing!!!!
Give me a K-E-R-R-I!!!!!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Mammogram Part 2

The mammogram was so NOT want I had been told. It didn't, after all, feel like my breast (can you I use another word here? boobie? teets?) were having a garage door shut on them as I had been told it might. Whew.

The place I went, which was at Presbyterian Hospital, used a "digital" machine which is new and I was told, much better than the old one. I'm not sure if she meant "better": "less painful" or "better": "more accurate at seeing things". But hey, it was BETTER. And I was nervous and not asking many questions at that point.

My boob technician, Cindy, was SO nice- One of those women who calls you endearing names like "angel" and "sweetheart" everytime she utters a sentence. And I LIKE that. She told me as long as I didn't fight the machine I'd be fine. I hadn't planned on fighting the machine so it all worked out really well.

Within ten minutes of some awkwardness but no pain, I was done! And I got to see what it looked like. She said in all the 30 years of doing this, she got the best pictures from me!!! I don't even know what that means, but I was really PROUD!!! ;)

Monday, December 4, 2006


Tommorrow I have an appointment to get my first ever mammogram. This is just a "base line" that my doctor told me to get a couple of years ago. She told me that right around the time my mom died so of course, I blew it off initially. Then I went through a severe stage of thinking every ache or pain or itch I had was cancer and I was too scared to go. (I think this is common when you lose someone to cancer, right?)

But then I realized I should just go ahead and GO. And I like the idea of going for a "base line" a lot better than going because we've found something "suspicious". So a few weeks ago I made the appointment. I asked to speak to someone who could explain the procedure to me. She said something about mashing your breast between the blah, blah, blah (I don't think those were her exact words) and then I interjected, "I have really small breasts. Will that be a problem?" and she said, "Honey, we've had flat chested women as well as men. You won't have a problem at all."

I guess I asked to speak to her to get a feel for how kind and patient these people were. But even when I could hear how nice she was I still kept asking my questions. And I think I was hoping she'd tell me that once I revealed that I don't have huge breasts that can easily be manhandled in this mammogram machine there was really no need to come in.

Anyway, I know what they say about screening, early detection and all that. But it's one of those things you just want to ignore. But I know my mom would tell me to go. And so...tomorrow I will.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Oh! The Weather Outside...

I can remember as a kid LOVING big weather changes. I LOVED violent thunderstorms especially when we were at school and got to get under our desks during tornado warnings. I was never scared, just excited. And then of course, the "snow days" were the greatest! I remember watching the news really early in the morning to find out our school was closed for the day! Ya-HOO!
Once I became a teacher, I felt exactly the same way. In a fairly recent phone conversation with my sister (who now lives in Seattle which lacks the thunderstorms like we have here in Dallas) during some "severe weather event" we were having in Dallas she said something like, "Well, Kerri, if for some reason you ever die in a tornado or something, I'll know that you died happy" And she's probably right.

So having said all that, even tho I knew the weather was NOT so frightful as the Channel 8 News Team reported solidly during the entire day yesterday, the fire was so delightful! I took their warnings as a great excuse to stay home and do nothing. Close to it anyway. I read an entire novel. I saw a movie. And I ate Mexican food. All were very appropriate activites for the blizzard we experienced here in Dallas yesterday.

And I have to say, the night before WAS very exciting. Around 4pm the temperature was about 80. And it was dropping so fast that it was around freezing by the time I went to bed. Not only was there talk of snow and ice on the way, but we were under a tornado watch!!! All my favs! YAY! I could've died right then and been happy-

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

IKEA Madness

I've heard how BIG IKEA is. I've heard how crowded it is. And so, I've stayed away from that store and all its hype. The image I have is so unappealing...

But I needed to find a (cheap) simple table and (cheap) simple book shelves and people kept suggesting I try this out, and so finally today, I did.

First of all, the store is so big that I actually felt nervous I would get lost and not ever find my way back out. It's also so big that I have no idea if I saw all of it or just parts of it. But I knew pretty quickly, I wanted out.

It was just overwhelming to me. There may very well have been something in there that would've been just perfect for me but I would've had no idea how to find it, or what to do once I did. So I just grabbed a catalogue and headed for the EXIT signs. And then I kept following the exit signs until FINALLY I saw the door.


Sunday, November 26, 2006


Last night my dad took our family to see the Rockettes do their Christmas show. It was SO good and if you need something to get you into the the holiday spirit, that should do it. I think it only runs though December 3rd, so you better hurry and get tix if you're interested! Have fun-

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Meal Before the Feast

Tommorow is Thanksgiving...And while it's really all about giving thanks, it is also about the big feast that you share with some of those you're thankful for. Usually that meal includes turkey. And rarely does it involve Mexican food.

Which is why I find it so vital to eat Mexican food the day before. I tend to demand Mexican food before a vacation (because most places I travel don't have Mexican food), and before Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those are the days it's very hard to come by enchilades or tacos. If I know I can't have it, well, that's when I want it the most.

So I was so happy when my friend suggested we eat at Blue Mesa for lunch today. I got my cheese enchiladas and even got to bring a little home in a to-go box. So if I need it, I've still got a little stash I'll have with me tomorrow. And I will be thankful for yet another thing in this world... Mexican Food!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Missing Birthdays

URGH! So last weekend my friend came into town to visit her family and go to her college reunion. I spent one of her days here with her and at the end of our visit, she happened to be on the phone with her brother and made a reference to her birthday. Until she said that, it never occured to me that THIS was the reason, or at least another part of the reason for her visit. She's been my friend SINCE 4TH GRADE, and I forgot her birthday.

Then today I flip on my computer and read an email sent to me yesterday from my sister's husband reminding me that "today" (yesterday) is her birthday. I've been calling her all week and she's been calling me...We keep having to leave voicemails because our schedules just haven't jived...But never once did it occur to me that yesterday was her birthday.

What my friend had said when I was wigging out over forgetting her birthday is probably just what my sister will say when I apologize about forgetting HER birthday: That it's no big deal. But IT IS!!! I don't think it's important to put the correct amount of candles in the cake at this point, but oh my gosh, the birthday man or woman should get a card, or balloons, or a cupcake, or at the very least, a phone call on their birthday from the people that love them.

And these are two of my most loved people. Happy Belated Birthday!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Easy Like a Sunday Morning

Ahhhhh....Sunday mornings are just the best!

I don't regularly attend church (or honestly, even irregularly) but I do have my own version of church and how I feel spirtiually connected on Sundays.

I think the world, or at least the one I live in, moves slower on Sundays. There's no hurry to get up. There's no schedule to follow. There's no appointments. I actually didn't get out of bed until 10:30 today. That's really late for me. I read for a while, drifted back to sleep, woke up and just rambled stupid stuff to my husband, trying to rouse him from his own lazy morning.

I actually enjoy the Sunday paper. I think the typical "bad news" is more balanced out because there are more comics and they're in color! And they throw in coupons, and even a magazine called Parade!!! Yay! I love a parade! And of course, we've got a travel section.

And breakfast is more than just 1/2 a banana on most Sundays. There's time for scrambled egges and Sweet Potato Pancakes, or if we're feeling out-of-control crazy, there's even sometimes donut holes!

Most Sundays, like most days, I still do my run. Or I walk my dogs on a l-o-n-g walk. But I don't feel compelled to get a real "work out" in on a Sunday-

So many of my Sundays I spend a few hours with my friend Elaine in the afternoon. We tell each other how great we are, we share our profound thoughts with each other, and we laugh and laugh and laugh.

I love Sundays. There's no hurry, there's no worry... All days should be so easy like a Sunday morning!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thinking of and Tinkering with PINK

I have spent the week picking out the pink for my ROOM! (The spare bedroom I am finally converting into my "office", altho I hate that word, "office" and all that it implies: Work?! Urgh. SO, it's more like Kerri's Playroom...)

I started off conservatively with a light pink called Carnation Pink. But urgh!!! Light colors just DON'T do it for me, even if it's pink. So then I liberally slapped on a very HOT pink called Tiger Pink. GRRRRRR. Personally, I liked it, altho didn't love it. but a friend of mine saw it and said, "I'm a little concerned once it's on all four walls it's just going to be overwhelming...Ok, no-- I'm a LOT concerned." My husband said it looked like Pepto Bismal. I told him to shut his pie hole, then he got out the Pepto and compared it to my wall...and Oh My! he was right. So then I shut my pie hole. I went BACK up to the paint store.

So then I went with an in-between pink with the pleasant sounding name of "Pink Bauble"- Not as appealing as TIGER Pink, but the color is probably better. This time, instead of painting just a large square, I painted the whole wall. When THE MAN got home, he didn't say anything negative about it. He might have even said something somewhat complimentary. But at this point, the paint fumes had already gotten to me, so I'm not sure.

Anyway, last night I bought a can of Primer and 2 gallons of Pink Bauble. So I'm more commited to this color than I had been to the other two. 8 times more comitted as a matter of fact! This morning and most of the day I primed the wall. I decided enough was enough. I had a headache and burning eyeballs to match and decided it best to take a break until tomorrow. I am so eager to get the pink up there and see how 4 walls will look...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Not Crying Causes Headaches

This weekend I went to a very sad funeral. Sadder than most I've attended because it was a funeral of a very young mother that had not only a husband that loved her, but two very young children. I didn't know her well but I found it so hard to control my emotion as I sat in the church looking at pictures of how great her life looked when she was alive. What a huge loss. Unimaginable.

But I felt like such a fraud having these uncontrollable tears running down my face. This was really not MY grief. Like I said, I really barely knew this person. Her husband was a close Jr. High School and High School friend of my husband. I had only met her a few times. But I just felt so sorry and sad for her family. And so sad for the thought of her knowing her time was cut so short with the people she loved. What that must have been like for her...

If you've ever been to a movie that was unbearably sad and you were trying so hard NOT to cry: That's how I felt. My chest felt heavy and my head hurt. I just kept thinking, "I'll cry about this later, when I get home, and I'm by myself. NOT NOW" If her family and close friends were able to keep it together, I certainly should be able to! But if at that moment I could've really cut loose with the cry I needed at that moment, it would've been primal. It instead was contained to just the tears running silently down my face.

So because of trying to contain that emotion, I felt head-achey and a little sick all day. And no, I didn't go home and have the good cry I had planned on. In fact, we went to a birthday party for my 90-year-old granny-in-law and crying then wouldn't have been okay either. Yeah- no, not at all.

I am thankful for human compassion. That church was full of people feeling just as I did. When we see someone else suffering, it really does become our grief too. I know all of us that were there have that family in our thoughts. I think we probably all have headaches today...

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Here's a Little Proof...

Okay, I made the post about how SOME people forget there manners, and aren't so interested in helping others. But then I clarified that there's still plenty of kindness out there and "I see it all the time". And I do. For example:

I JUST got back from Home Depot. I was there to look at their magazines for ideas on decorating my "Dream Room". I had no intention of buying a $10 magazine for one picture, so I brought my little journal to jot some ideas down.

First, an employee came over and offered me his marker to write with because I couldn't find one. He told me he had plenty and I could just keep it. THEN another employee brought me a comfortable chair to sit in and said, "This will be a lot better than the floor!"

So there you have it. It happens all the time. Kindness. It's all around... I've just got to be aware of it and focus and those people that spread the good around rather than the others that forget to...

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Chivalry Is (NOT Really) Dead

Because of my spine issues, I need someone to carry my amp and guitar up the ladder to my perch when I'm playing at Potbelly. I almost always have to ask for help (which I hate) and I often get the sense that it is begrungingly done. I ask nicely and I always say thank you. I DON'T take the help I get for granted, but still I can tell some of the "boys" (and I do mean boys, not men) seem very annoyed by my request for help.

Being that this is a public blog, I won't name names here...but URGH! It just seems sort of ridiculous that I am now sure that some are not only not cool with helping me, but have complained about it!!! OH MY GOSH. Meanies. And who I thought was most helpful was the one complaining the MOST?!!! Makes me so sad.

But I cannot say "Chivalry is Dead" because there are still plenty of men out there who open doors for me and other ladies and do all sorts of sweet and helpful things. And I for one, LOVE THAT.

I know that it's in my best interest not to post a blog in anger, so I'm flipping this one to gratitude for the people, men and women, who do kind acts for others on a regular basis. I see it all the time...

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Go Find a Sandwich Pal!

I've mentioned my Artist Way group here on my blog before. I've gained a lot not so much from the book as from the people in my Circle that I meet with weekly! Being creative is contagious. We're all creative and it's important for us to make time for that creativity each day. So this group has helped me work it into my life without feeling indulgent when I do.

One of my friends (from this group) and I are now what the author of the book refers to as "sandwich pals". I don't know why we're referred to as "sandwich pals" exactly. We don't eat sandwiches together. BUT putting the name aside, it's a good, simple suggestion.

Find a friend that you can call when you're taking on some creative task that for some reason you've been avoiding. It might be beginning the first chapter of you memoir, or getting out your brushes and paints for your next painting, or sitting down at your piano and playing around for 20 minutes...It may be small, but it feels daunting and you've been avoiding it. You just call up your friend and you say, "Hey, I'm about to go work on my essay for 30 minutes and I'm going to call you when I'm done." You don't need to waste a lot of time explaining your task or why your dreading it or anything. Just state your intention and GET GOING!

You're not necessarily inviting any feedback from your "pal" , it's basically just someone that's on your side, holding you accountable for doing something that deep down inside, you WANT to do for yourself. Having that small bit of motivation can make a big difference.

My friend has written 3 short stories this week just because of this new "Sandwich Pal" thing we have going on. Lot's of times, that "just 15 minutes" turns into an hour! Or two! Sometimes, when you just take the smallest step you find you want to take more and more and the next thing you know you've really accomplished a lot. But you will accomplish very little (and by very little I mean nothing) if you don't take that first little micro-step.

I've helped my "sandwich pal" just by answering the phone, saying "Okay, good...go!" and then looking forward to hearing from him when he calls me, or emails me later to tell me the task is done and then I just say something like "Rah-Rah!" My job is easy, but yet I feel I'm serving an important purpose.

Try it! It's delicious!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Oh! The Possibilities!

We have a "guest bedroom" which I eventually decided was ridiculous. We have an overnight guest maybe once a year so about 364 days out of the year, it is unoccupied and yet our office is an overflowing MESS. For a while I kept begging to convert that room into a studio, rather than have my studio share our existing office space. For reasons I won't get into, this idea just wasn't flying with the other member of this little family!

Then I just started thinking to have two offices- Yes. Sounding better. Why I don't know, but that idea wasn't met with quite as much aversion.

And then rather than calling mine an OFFICE, I decided, "let's just call it a hobby room." That sounds SO appealing. My vision is books EVERYWHERE, a cozy spot to write, a spot for guitar lessons, a place to create whatever it is I'm into creating at the moment. Nothing serious, just creative and fun.

So yesterday, my dad picked up my guest bedroom furniture to use at his house. Everybody wins! My furniture is stored safely, and he's putting it to good use!

And now, the canvas is empty, so to speak. There is not ONE stitch of furniture or anything in the room. So WHERE do I begin? I've wanted to do this for so long it seems and now I really have no idea what to do with it?

I went up to Home Depot to get paint color ideas. I looked up some decorating magazinzes while I was there. I looked at books with home office space. OH NO. Not my deal. Sort of like when I got a laptop and to get the typical computer bag was just an insane option for me. A Hello Kitty backpack made WAY more sense. Who says you don't look professional and grown up with a pink Hello Kitty bag strapped to your back? Huh?!

So sticking true to "What do I really want my hobby room to look like?"...I found some ideas in the books for decorating kids rooms. One that had pink walls with red hot flowers and bright colors everywhere. Colors and images that truely INSPIRE. My husband will absolutely kill me when he hears of my plans. But if I'm going to all this trouble, why not make it JUST RIGHT? I'm not rushing into anything. But this is my initial vision...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fit What You Are Ready For

It's funny. Sometimes I actually BUY books. (Usually, I'm a proud and frequent user of the Dallas Public Library.) When they seem like they might possibly change my life I'm more than willing to throw down the cash. But what happens most of the time is because I have more than 3 weeks to read these, they sit around staring at me while I finish up on my current library books, and then eventually they make their way to my bookshelf, unread. But then eventually, when the time is right, they get read.

Sometimes it's months later, sometimes YEARS.

Last year when the paperback edition of the 10th anniversary edition of "Wherever You Go There You Are" came out I bought it. I was toying around with the idea of meditation even then I guess. But apparently, I wasn't quite ready for it because the book ended up on the bookshelf.

But lately, thoughts of that book keep coming to mind. Oddly. I think I keep dreaming about it even! Coincidentally I just finished my final meditation class of an 8-week series today. Last night I started flipping through the book. I got it out barely remembering that it was about meditation and mindfulness. This time when I read a few chapters I was completely sucked in. Now I have a reference point. Now mindfulness and meditation practice isn't so very foreign to me and I have a greater interest because I know at least a LITTLE something about them.

The introduction said:
"Each of us has to chart our own course, and it has to fit what we are ready for...
You certainly have to be ready for meditation. You have to come to it at the right time in your life, at a point where you are ready to listen carefully to your own voice, to your own heart, to your own breathing-just to be present for them and with them, without having to go anywhere or make anything better or different. This is hard work."

You bet it is! Maybe I wasn't ready for this book when I bought it, but I'm pretty sure I am NOW. It seems interesting to me that I must have planted the seed of interest somewhere last year regarding meditation and I just barely remember it. I'm pretty sure it was right before or right after Mom died. I knew I wanted to be reflective, find some new tools to help me thru life, etc. I'm sure my mind was in a place where, had I already HAD a meditation practice it would've been helpful, but diving into it knowing nothing about it would've been grueling. But I knew enough to buy the book. I guess I knew eventually this book would be good for me. Now is the time. Now it seems to fit.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Screech Him to a Hault!

I am happy to say I was never a fan of "Saved by the Bell". I don't think I ever knew it existed until it was just a thing of the past. But now the cast of charactors seems to show up from time to time on VH1 or MTV shows like "Where Are They Now".

But a month or so ago on "The View", I saw the guy who was supposedly the "dork" of Saved by the Bell (named Screech), who is now a grown up and he has a very adult film star name like Derek Diamond. I was completely grossed out by his attempts at ripping off the public and attempting to get free money.

His sad story went something like this: Even though he was on a hit show for years, he somehow has no real money to show for it. Boo hoo. Now poor Screech, A.K.A Derek Diamond is in jeopardy of losing his house!!! Something about the loaner of his mortgage called in the loan and this guy Derek is now having to come up with the cash or he will be homeless. So he wasn't just asking for money, he was selling these ugly shirts that say something like "I helped Screech save his house." I hope no one contributed. I don't remember the details but it all just seemed very wrong and he seemed to be taking sick advantage of his child star fame. The hosts of THE VIEW didn't seem to buy into his stupid story either.

And now this guy is back in the news. "Someone" leaked a video of him and two girls...I was right about the Derek Diamond-adult film star thing. At first, he was going to sue!!! But then decided rather than spend his hard earned dollar fighting it, he'd instead share in the profits of the video sold. He also made some statement about "this would be a lot worse if I were a small man." Oh, okay Tommy Lee. Whatev. EWWWWWW.


Friday, October 27, 2006

I'm Good Now

Today was the last day of my Physical Therapy for my neck. I didn't know this walking in. I never knew exactly how the whole prescription thing works, but evidently I had 3 times a week for 4 weeks. And today, my days were UP.

I know the timing was just right. I'm feeling WAY better. Most definitely, and very happily, on the winding road to "recovery". Now I have all the stuff to take care of my neck at home. I've got my own heating pad, I now have my own mechanical traction device (oh boy!), I know what stretches to do, and I have certain little excersizes specifically to safely build the strength around my neck. Some days are better than others- And that is speaking for many levels of life.

I really wonder if I had another MRI done now if it would look as scary as it did a month ago. Have things shifted? They must have. I also wonder and will never know I guess, would my body have healed itself anyway? I know that the body is always trying to heal. I'm glad I found the right people to help me help my body get there as soon as possible.

So now my neck is more or less back to it's "normal"... But I suspect it's going to get better and better because NOW I'm being proactive. Pain is a signal to do something. Thanks for the warning, Body. I'm good now...

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Magic of R & R

Speaking of sleep cycles, rest and relaxation (please refer to the current burning question!) I must tell you my secret for fighting a cold.

First of all: I AM KNOCKING ON THE WOOD TABLE BESIDE ME as I write this. I hope that after posting this, I don't come down with the worst cold of my life, or the flu, or whatever...

Secondly: I've been lucky, if there's such a thing as luck and I don't necessarily think there is, to have not been sick in I can't even remember how long. Years.

So yesterday when my throat felt a little funky, and I myself felt a bit funked out as well, I thought, "Oh well. I was bound to catch a cold sooner or later." I also happened to be at a Wellness Fair and I had a tongue consultation done (Yes, I just said "Tongue Consultation" in the same way someone else might say MRI) and I was told I had some phlegm issues. Ah ha! Yes, we were all in agreement. I was probably coming down with a cold. BTW, she also told me the side of my tongue was "flabby" and that this meant I had some liver and pancreas issues. I have been looking at my tongue in the mirror constantly and asking my husband, "Does this lipstick make my tongue look fat?"

Anyway, I woke up this morning and my throat felt more than "funky". It felt scratchy and sore. Always my beginning symptom of a bad cold.

So I made the BOLD decision to cancel all of my very important appointments, meetings and just clear this busy schedule of mine for today.

I ate sweet potato pancakes for breakfast. I watched some tv in the morning. I wrote in my journal. I read my chapter for my Artist Way class and did all of the tasks. I sat in front of the fire. (I'm pretending it's really, really cold outside.) I took a mid-day bath. I put on my fleece pants and sweatshirt. And I played around with my guitar and started figuring out some Christmas carols. (It maybe too early for normal people, but as a musician, I sort of need a jump start on getting the holiday songs worked out, so forgive me!)

Maybe I'm speaking too soon, but this day of complete "Doing What I Want and Nothing Else!!" seems to be paying off. My throat isn't's BETTER! I feel pretty good. Now that it's almost 2:45, it's just about nap time. I know the power of naps. I'm not talking a power nap here. I think I'll get up just in time to take a little walk in my neighborhood before the sun goes down. Then I better call it a day!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

There's Still Time to Make it.... the Texas State Fair if you haven't already been. It runs thru this Sunday. I finally went yesterday.
Let me tell you my highlights, and of course, I won't be able resist the lowlights as well.

1. Birds of the World- THE BEST show out there. These people have raised tons of money to protect some really cool birds and they've brought many to this show. Hawks that soar so close you better watch your head!! And a parrot that can sing "Yankee Doodle Dandy", and "How Much is That Doggie in the Window" in it's entirety. The birds were beautiful and the show was breathtaking! I've seen it before and I will see it every year I go to the fair!

2. Barn Tour- This is NOT your average petting zoo! I got to see a gray kangaroo mommy with a baby in her pouch! I don't think I've ever seen that in real life before! They also had a giraffe, some ostriches, emus, llamas, pigs, sheep, calves,....Lots of beautiful, cute and so-ugly-they're-cool animals.

3. African Acrobats- These guys started off annoying me because they were doing a lot of pretend fighting among each other, but after they warmed up, the did inventive flips and jumps over, under and on top of each other.

4. Top Flight K9s- AWESOME!!! Frisbee catching like I've never seen! Lots of different dogs all with unique tricks and personalities.

5. Pig Races- No, they aren't very fast. This was sad really. Very redneck-y.

6. Chef Sergie the Italian Juggler- Hands down the MOST ANNOYING GUY AT THE FAIR!!!! Rather than speaking about his mostly lame juggling tricks he constantly blew a whistle. By the time his 10 minutes wre up I wanted to shove his whistle up his ...!!! Drove me NUTS!!

7. Marilyn Monroe- Listed as a "show". However, a Marilyn look-alike just posed for pictures. I was expecting her to sing or something... So I was sorely disappointed. Just go check out the butter sculpture of her instead! Also, in the Women's Building you can see a lot of Marilyn memorabilia including gowns from lots of movie premieres that she appeared in.

8. People watching at the Fair is always of interest to me. Loads of people, altho nothing compared to the weekends I'm sure.

There's lots to see and do. And if you're into Turkey legs, fried coke, cotton candy, etc. there's tons of horrible stuff to eat.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Paying Attention

The other day after my meditation class, I asked the teacher about Ayunveda because he had referenced it a few times. It has to do with the way he eats, sleeps, and the whole rhythm of living a life balanced with nature. Since he's a runner, a yogi, and a meditator- he's my new mentor, altho he doesn't know it. So I just want to learn about the things he practices. He seems so healthy and balanced.

Anyway, I looked at some books about Ayunveda and was overwhelmed by how complicated it was. To the point of thinking, "oh well, whatever, that's just HIS thing, but it's way too complicated for ME."

But later that same day I noticed a short article about the subject popped up in my Yoga Journal. Then yesterday I got a little literature in the mail about wellness and one of the topics was a brief overview of Ayunveda!!! I had never even heard this word until a few weeks ago, but now that it's piqued my curiousity, it seems to be popping up everywhere.

It's like when you start shopping for a certain type of car and then you see them EVERYWHERE.There aren't more of them on the road than there were the day before, but now you're paying attention and so you're seeing them in such abundance.

Anyway, it just seems like the universe sometimes is really trying to help you out when you feel like giving up on something.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Mutts, Mystics, and Moonpies

What a FUN day at the park!
I performed at a fundraiser for dogs, set up by a lady who rescues Weimaraner's, at White Rock Lake today.
It was so much fun. I got to sing for about an hour while I watched all sorts of beautiful, big, small, cute and even some costumed dogs walk by.
Some dogs had there paws (palms) read. I had my Runes read. (telling that I have a BIG year ahead of me, BTW) We got to watch dogs compete in a Frisbee catching competition. There were all sorts of vendors there. And it was a beautiful day! Some of my friends showed up...New friends and old friends.
They had t-shirts printed up and all the sponsers were listed on the back. And they put MY NAME on there! And it looked so cute because they took it off my website, so it was pink with honeybees!
The person who organized it was just as nice I knew she would be based on our voice mails and emails back and forth prior to the event. She made me feel so valued and appreciated!
I hope they raised lots of money! I know all people and their best friends had a fun day.

Livin' Lavena Loca Part 2

Last weekend I decided to spend my Sunday baking cookies and then delivering them to my favorite neighbors. And of course, the cookies I chose to bake were the Livin' Lavena Loca cookies. I followed her directions. As the cookies baked, the smell of the almond extract filled my kitchen and thank GOD!, my whole house.

But when the buzzer went off about 10 minutes later, my little crescent shaped cookies had melted into one large flat piece of melted butter that covered the entire cookie sheet. Still, I tasted them. And they tasted DAMN good. However, something had clearly gone very wrong during the baking process and these were unsharable. So I ate a few inches, until my stomach hurt from all the butter involved.

I threw the rest away and decided I was way too exhausted to start over from scratch...NO PUN INTENDED. Baking day had come to an end.

On Thursday, I went into Potbelly and my friend, Missy, the Boss Lady of the place held up her version of the cookies she had baked after reading my blog. Her's were no where NEAR as flat as mine had been, but they weren't as rounded as Lavena's either. We discussed what might have gone wrong. Her's were still delicious, just didn't look quite as pretty as Lavena's. But I was so flattered that a) she's a reader of the blog and b) she baked the cookies and shared some of them with ME!

Well, I am officially on a mission. I WILL get to the bottom of this mystery. But for now, you might want to hold off on using the recipe I posted a week or so ago on this blog. I must have made some mistake. I apologize if you've already had any sort of cooking disaster like I did. I guess that's just a part of baking. Or maybe Lavena is holding out because she wants to remain famous for being the best cooking maker in town. Give me a little time...I'll get to the bottom of it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wednesday Lunch Bunch

I love Wednesdays. Every Wednesday my dad, my brother, our friend, Capt. Cool and his lovely wife Sandra, meet for lunch. Occasionally we have guest visitors but we are the core group.

Maybe it's because I use to be a teacher and having a grown up, leisurely lunch was out of the question, but there seems few things as luxurious as an extended lunch with friends right in the middle of the week! It's right up there with bathing in the middle of the day!

My mom, of course, use to be part of this lunch bunch. Back in the days of her going, Sandra was working and couldn't meet us. After mom died, it was just me and the boys for a while. And I missed her. One day Sandra showed up because she had taken some sort of a leave of absense at her job. Clearly there's no replacement for having mom there with us, but having another female there oddly makes it so much more fun for me.

I have never been one to feel like I need female companionship. I've never had many "girlfriends". But I think that's because Mom filled that role for me. Now I find I am hanging out with ladies more and really enjoying the types of conversations women seem to automatically fall into. So I am so grateful Sandra isn't working. I hope she never goes back to work. At least, not on Wednesdays!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rainy Days and Tuedays

I love it that it's 10am and it's still dark enough to feel like it's 6am. I love the sound of the rain falling on my roof. I love that I have all of my lamps on. I love it that my doggies are nice and dry inside, laying here by my feet. I love mornings like this. And I love it even more that I don't have to be anywhere until a little later today! That's a lot of love, huh?

Friday, October 6, 2006

Ode to My Mailman

I haven't lived in my neighborhood all that long, relatively speaking. Lots of my neighbors have lived here for about 50 years. And up until a few weeks ago, we had our original mailman, Jim.

Let me first say, he's not dead, because the fact that my title here is Ode to... might lead you to that assumption. Oh no. He's still very much alive.

Jim was the best mailman. He got my mail in my mailbox every single day between about 11:30-noon. If I forgot to stamp a letter I had put out for pick up, he'd knock on my door and remind me. If I ever went out of town, I didn't have to bother going to the Post Office to get my mail stopped. I just asked Jim to hold it for me. I haven't ever lived anywhere where I actually knew my mailman by name. My current neighborhood is the kind that requires the mailman to go on foot because our mailboxes are on our front porches. I remember being so excited about the thought of that when we first moved in. Mail- door service? It sounded so very luxurious, and well... it is! So I guess that's one reason I know my mailman by name.

But it's also because he makes a point of saying hi to me, and pretty much everyone else in the neighborhood whenever we run into him. Jim has walked his ass off for years and years! He is really tan and lean because of it. I've never seen him without a cigarette. Anyway, if it weren't for his leathery skin, he'd still look pretty young. That's what walking every day, and being a happy and friendly fella does for you, even if you do smoke, I guess!

I've thought before that he probably knows quite a bit about me just based on the mail I receive. I remember one day he told me that my neighbor and I both used Netflix (I don't anymore, in case you're wondering...) and that we should trade movies before sending them back. Sometimes I'd see him down the street and say hi and he'd tell me he just dropped off some package. So he actually paid attention to stuff, and he had a great memory.

The other day, one of our 80 year old neighbors told us that Jim's last day in our neighborhood had come and gone. I had no idea this was happening. I was so sad I didn't get to say so long! Apparently our's was not Jim's only neighborhood he delivered the mail to, but it was the most time consuming. Now he's cut back on his hours and our neighborhood is off his list. Whaaaa. Whaaa. Whaaa.

I still have that great luxury of mail service right at my front door, but I don't have Jim. My mail comes at random times everyday, being delivered by random mailpeople each day. I don't know their names, and they don't seem to know mine. Things just don't feel the same around here...

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Unlocking the Door Magically

Okay, this isn't truely magic, but it seems to me like it is.

My friend Juan taught me this:

If you are out of range to lock/unlock your car door, if you have the type of key that is a part of the locking/unlocking mechanism (like VW and AUDI has) you can stick the key in your mouth and at the same time, hit the unlock button. And it works. Apparently it has something to do with the cavity of your mouth. (Not the cavities in your mouth, as was my first understanding of this explaination as I embarassingly responded, "Oh, well then it's a good thing I've got so many cavities!") So in other words, you could stick it in your ear, your mouth, ...ANY body cavity and this trick would work. EWWWWWW.

Have fun.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Angel Cards

When I visited THE CROSSING in Austin I bought some Angel Cards in the cool little bookstore there. Angel Cards are just these simple little cards, teeny cards actually, with a little angel representing a word on about 80 different cards. Words like "Curiosity", "Balance", "Creativity", etc.I think the idea is you draw a card on days when you need a little angel by your side...and what day do you NOT?

I had trouble with these cards at first because I'd draw a card with a word that didn't connect to me. After trying this for about 3 days I sort of abandoned the idea of them.

But a few days ago, I decided to draw not just draw ONE Angel Card, but to draw 3. Because remember, I make the rules around here!!! That felt a lot better to me. Somehow, the cards seem to have a theme when put in 3s, so far. And so far, they've had meaning to the particular day I drew them for.

Today I drew the following three Angels:
Here is how they applied and how they helped me in my day:

First of all,I found out rather than our usual meeting with my Artist Way group tonight, we were intead going to see some film at a church. Initally I was so disappointed to hear of this decision. (I was kept out of the loop because I've had email problems this week.) But then I thought of my Angels- Presence and Commitment. Aren't I commited to this group? And don't I need to show up to be a part of it? So I bought my ticket and I'll be going. I'm sure there's a reason for me being there.

Then, I called Apple's customer service to get help with my email problems. I was on the phone about 2 hours. The first "helper" had me do something that dug my hole even deeper...No part of my email would work once he got his hands on it, AND I had lost all of my old emails. I was truely really mad at this guy. I wanted to hang up. I wanted to give up. And before doing that, I wanted to yell at him. But I remembered the other angel I drew today...Grace. So I told him I was upset that this had happened, and even more upsetting was that I really just needed him to simply say he was sorry. (Rather than put the blame on me for not telling him I didn't want to lose my emails forever.) I asked him to just be compassionate. He (sort of) was. He said, "Well, I do apologize." So there was Grace! On both of our parts. We were able to move on from there. Or rather, he ending up realizing I needed help from someone who knew a little more than he did. And now, just 2 hours later, because of my commitment to getting this settled, my email is back in action. I am so happy. The smart tech guy walked me through it, but I DID IT. I didn't give up, And I was nice even when I felt frustrated.

I have my 3 angels to thank....

***VERY SAD FOOTNOTE...after initally posting this, I realize I can receive email, but cannot reply or send out anything. Now I'm REALLY being tested! YIKES.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Moving Forward

Today is October 1st and I am replacing my old running shoes with my brand spankin' new ones. I rotate out 2 pairs at a time so they last a little longer. Coincidentally on just about the same DAY I have now filled up my 3rd journal of "Morning Pages" and am cracking open the 4th.

I love breaking in the new fresh stuff. But at the same time, I struggle to let go of the old. My journals can be neatly stacked at the top of my closet and take up practically no space at all. Not sure why it's a given that I MUST hold on to them, but I must. I have no desire to read back over the pages, and I doubt I ever will. My morning pages are boring...even to me. Brain drain. Why would I want to rehash that anyway? Yet, I won't throw those journals out.

And then there's the shoes. I should've replaced them at least a month ago. Their "time" was up. But October just felt like the right time to make the change, so I held off until now. I even had some brand new shoes just waiting for my feet to run in them for over a month.

So what will I do with those old shoes? Well, I'll get rid of them of course. The last pair I abandoned in a bed and breakfast in Sonama, California. I had one final run with them through the vinyards and then I felt it appropriate to leave them in a beautiful spot that had special meaning, sort of like you might spread someone's ashes.

But I'm not in Sonama this time, or anywhere else half that cool. So what will I do with them in Dallas?

Not sure yet, but I'll think of something. What I know is that both the journals and the shoes have kept me moving foward both figuratively and literally. I've pounded out miles and pages ranting and raving, sometimes being a bitch, sometimes being a bore, and even being brilliant sometimes. Maybe not (MAYBE not) solving the world's problems, but certainly solving some of my own, even though most of the time it's done subconsciously. I'm dedicated to my runs and I'm dedicated to the pages. They are invaluable tools for me.

So with clean pages and newly cushioned souls (soles!) I will keep moving foward!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

In Charge!

I have been going to so many appoinments due to this neck/spine pain over the past couple of weeks that it's has sort of become my full-time job. Yesterday I went to 3 different appointments and when you figure in driving and waiting time, I spent about 2 hours per appointment or more...YIKES, that just about IS about a full-time job. Except I'm paying OUT money, and not getting any coming in.

But I am happy to say, I think I've found the right person to really help me. I think I've found the BEST physical therapist! He wasn't an alarmist- There are things "we" (us now, ME later) can do. He told me that he doesn't treat pictures (MRIs, X-RAYS, etc.) but instead comes up with a treatment plan based on how I'm doing/feeling.

One doctor looked at my pictures and acted as if he had never seen anything like this crazy spine of mine and made me feel like I was in danger just walking around. That's never cool!!! I went to enough people to know what sounds right to me, and what just doesn't.

The reason I think I've found MY GUY is because he doesn't have just ONE approach- He has lots. Stretching, lifting, heating, traction,... Stuff he's showing me but that I can do on my own.

And that's just how I like things. I like handling stuff on my own. That's why diabetes is such a great disease for me- It's something I am totally in control of and as long as I stay on top of it, I keep things nice and tight. It's when I get lazy that I run into problems. But I don't usually have a problem with laziness. I don't need someone besides me to be accountable to. That's also why I love running, reading, writing, songwriting, cooking....

I never liked working in groups when I was in school. Labs were a big turn off for the very reason of having a lab partner. I've never wanted to have work out partners to meet up with at the gym. I've never wanted or needed a running buddy.

So, now I've found yet another little project that although I'll get help with initially, I think I'll be able to work things out more or less on my own and I love the thought of that. I'll be back in charge!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My Neighborhood

Besides my neighborhood Garden Club, which my last 2 posts have been about, here are a couple more reasons I've encountered the past day or two reminding me why I LOVE this neighborhood so much:

1. I was making some homemade biscuits. (sweet potato biscuits if you must know!) I had bought all the ingrediants I needed at the store but realized I did NOT have a rolling pin. But I didn't even think twice. This was NO problem. I've been in this cooking delimma before where I needed just one little item and didn't feel like running to the store. I called my 80-something year old couple across the street and asked if they had an extra rolling pin laying around and could I use it. Of course they did! After I baked my muffins I returned the pin and gave them a few muffins and they ate them right there in front of me just to show me how much they liked them.

2. My 80-something-else year old next door neighbor called me last night to tell me she set a trap to catch the "wild animal" that's been digging holes in her yard. She updated me this morning with a call that she had caught an oppossum and it was right outside my kitchen window and did I see it. YES I did. Eww gross. Oppossums are just ugly no matter their age! This one is a baby. So we think we've got a destructive little family around here, and we're fighting the good fight together.

I love my neighborhood. It's a slowed-down step back in time. Neighbors are so neighborly around here. If I can't yet live in the mountains somewhere and I'm instead in Dallas, this is really the best place for me to be...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Livin' Lavena Loca

So the Garden Club saga continues...

One of the very cutest ladies of the whole group is named Lavena. She stands at about 4' 9 and weighs in at around 80lbs and has the sweetest voice you've ever heard. I can remember the first day I ever saw her. I just thought she was so cute and I wanted to be her friend.

I had heard about her cookie making skills. She's famous around the 'hood for her delicious cookies. One week, she brought some to one of our meetings. I FELL IN LOVE. I asked her for the recipe. Within the next few days, not only did she give me the recipe, but she made me a batch of the cookies.

A month or so later, I was ready to make her cookies myself. But I couldn't find the recipe anywhere. I had misplaced it somehow. I could either do without, or call her and tell her the truth and ask for a replacement. I felt so embaressed that I had lost it. I made her a batch of my favorite cookies (2nd to hers) and gave her the recipe and explained about my needing a replacement from her. She wasn't feeling well that day and when I called her on the phone to see if I could drop the cookies off to her, she said she wasn't up and could I just leave them on the porch. So I did. I knew my cookies were going to make Lavena feel better.

Oddly, I didn't hear back from her. At first I was a little worried. I heard news about her through the grapevine. She wasn't doing well. But then, she got a little better. So I stopped worrying, and I forgot about the cookie incident.

Forward about 6 months...

Last week, after our Garden Club meeting, I got a message from Lavena saying how glad she was to see me at the meeting earlier that day. She said she had meant to bring me her cookie recipe for so long but just never got around to it and that she was "embaressed and just so sorry." (Oh, and she should be!) She asked if she could stop over and drop some cookies and the recipe off. I didn't get her message until pretty late that evening so I called her back the next morning.

She came over later that day and brought me THE COOKIES!!! And now I have the recipe too! I put it in a very special place and I will NOT loose it this time. But even better than the cookies, I got to visit with Lavena at my house for about 15 minutes. I learned that she has a LOT of back pain. And guess what brings on that back pain? Cookie making! OH NO. Lavena says she just can't give it up. It's one of her favorite things to do. Making her delicious cookies and then giving them to her friends. I told Lavena that I would LOVE to help her make the cookies. I could do whatever part of the process hurt her back. I hope she'll take me up on my offer. Think of all the recipes I'd learn! And think of all the other things I might just learn from her too!

So at the end of the weekend, between Fermin and I, we polished off all of those little cookies. Livin' Lavena Loca!!!
Here's the recipe she gave me...ENJOY!

ALMOND MACADAMIA COOKIES (A.K.A. Livin Lavena Loca Cookies)
1/2 c. butter
dash salt
1 c. flour
6 T. powdered sugar (plus at least one cup for dipping)
1 t. almond extract
2/3 finely chopped mac nuts
Cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt gradually. Continue beating after each addition. Add almond extract and nuts. Beat until blended. Take 1 t. of dough and shape cookies into crescent shape. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake in moderately hot over (350*) until delicately brown. When cool, or still slightly warm, dip cookies in powdered sugar to coat entire cookie.

May use vanilla, omitting almond extract. And chopped pecans, rather than macadamia nuts.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I Went To a Garden Party....

Isn't that how the song goes? Anyway, I have to write a little about my neighborhood Garden Club.

I live in the coolest neighborhood with lots of older ladies. Our neighborhood Garden Club will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! Lots of the ladies show up to these monthly meetings. Sometimes as many as 30+! Most of these ladies are 75+ years old. They have stories and know things that most of us just don't.

A few years ago, I was invited to perform at one of their meetings. I had no idea what to expect. But I just showed up ready to play my songs. I had the most captive audience in those sweet ladies. It was one of my most fun performances I've ever done! And beyond that, I found a group of the most welcoming people I had every been around that weren't family.

So, I went back for the next meeting to just BE one of the ladies! And I went back the next month and the next. These meetings became the highlight of my months. It's just such a great experience to listen to them, and to see how sweet they are to each other. If someone comes in late, EVERYONE seems to be up scrambling around to find the new person a comfortable spot. They always bring cookies and snacks. They make little announcements if someone is sick or has broken a hip, and they pass around little get well cards for us all to sign. I knew I could learn a lot from these ladies!

Somewhere along the way, I started working Thursdays, which is the day of the Garden Club meetings and I stopped attending for a few months. And then, they had their summer "break". So, at this point, I hadn't seen many of these ladies in 1/2 a year.

But this past week, I was out for a walk, feeling so sorry for myself about my neck pain. Wishing for my Mom. Wishing I could find the right person or thing that might help me. And RIGHT as I was thinking all of this, my Garden Club friend, JOY, drives up beside me and said, "Young lady, are you ever going to come back to Garden Club? We've missed you. We have our first meeting of the season today!" I told her I missed everyone too but that I was working and couldn't stay for the whole time. "Well, if you ever want to come, know that we would just love to see you, even if you have to leave early."

After she pulled away I realized maybe I got my wish right there... I needed some sweet older women in my life right about now. Of course I was going to that meeting!

So I went. And I cannot tell you how much it filled me. Just being in there presence. Being with such kind, loving people that are NOT in a hurry!!! Lots of them seem to know the secret of life. I hope there wisdom will rub off on me!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pain is NOT Pretty

It is so funny how when you feel bad physically, everything seems to look ugly...

I've had spine "issues" for years. Usually, I know what to avoid so that I don't have major flare ups. But occasionally, something goes wrong, or rather, I do something wrong and then I'm in the vicious cycle of pain. Then I forget that I ever felt okay. For the past 2 weeks my neck has been keeping me from sleeping and I've just been getting progressively more pathetic.

Over the weekend I even had an allergic reaction- Although it's unclear as to what. I think I am allergic to the pain and suffering I've had and my body was just in melt down mode. I woke up Saturday and my eyes were swollen shut and my whole face was puffy and leathery feeling. NOT PRETTY. I looked like I had Elephant Man Syndrome. This lasted throughout the weekend. Little by little, my face is getting back to normal.

But unfortunately, I cannot yet say the same for my neck. So I have been getting up-to-date x-rays, MRIs, exams, etc. only to be reminded of the fact that I have some herniated discs and some weird curves in my spine. When the doctor was looking at the information and saying "woahh...." I felt scared by his alarm. But this is NOT a new diagnosis. I've had lots of times when I haven't had a lot of pain. I'm just in a pain cycle right now.

But it's like when you've had the flu for a few days and you just feel like CRAP and you can't remember when you EVER felt good. You feel like you've been miserable for months when actually, it's not been nearly that long. Then when you finally do feel good, the whole world is literally brighter. Every problem gets smaller. Your personality changes back into a happy, pleasant person. The pretty is back.

I'm writing this to remind myself that this is a temporary condition. I will find the right people to help me. And I will get over my pain. And things are going to be pretty again.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Girls

These are my sweet girls- Zoe on the top and Scout on the bottom with her tongue hanging out.
They are my children!!! I didn't realize there was no longer a picture of them on my website- Someone pointed that out to me and I felt like the crappiest, neglectful Mommy! I suck.

No, I don't. I love my girls like there's no tomorrow. They're the reason I always come back from vacations. They're my best walking companions and my biggest cheerleaders. They never have a bad day and take it out on me. Instead, every single day they smile and wag at me.

I am so glad the weather has cooled down a little so that now we can get in our daily walks. Someone yelled out at me the other day while Scout and I were walking, "He (whatever with people assuming she's a HE!) looks like he'd rather be in Colorado." My only reply was, "So do I." But honestly, the hot weather doesn't seem to bother Zoe and Scout to much. They were born and raised in Texas so I guess it's all they know. Lots of disgustingly hot days I have to make them come out of the sun and stay inside with me. They LOVE laying in the driveway in full sun.

You would never know it by seeing them in action, but they are ten years old. TEN YEARS OLD?! My how time flies! Anyway, they appear to be much younger- I attribute that to the fact that they're littermates and have always had an active playmate in each other.

They've never been apart for longer than an overnight stay at the vets when one of them was sick or had surgery. In fact, when I take one of them on a walk and leave the other waiting at home, I can hear the pathetic howling cries from about a block away. It's embaressing. I usually just keep them inside so they don't freak out the neighbors. But these two are not dogs that like to be left on their own.

They are the perfect company for each other and really, for me. No talking back. No fit throwing. Nothing but love, love, love!

Friday, September 8, 2006


Oh MY!!!! Whoa. Very serious drama. I did not know what I was getting myself into! One of the actresses in it was in the remake of "He Knows You're Alone"- how serious could this movie be?

Well, the answer is VERY SERIOUS. The main topic is incest. There you go. Such an ugly topic. And I thought the way it depicted it was so interesting, and from what I've heard on Oprah, probably pretty accurate. The relationship between the Dad and the daughter not violently abusive where he's sneaking into her room at night and forcibly raping her. They have what could appear to be a typical teenager/parent relationship. The dad drives the teenager crazy, she finds him to be too involved in her life, but she's still wanting his attention and approval. But the way she gets attention and approval from her father is so sad and so sick.

Her mother is a prescription drug ADDICT- She seems to be a fully functioning person on the outside but she passes out every night and is pretty out of it all of the time.

The family takes in the daughter of a friend who has just died. The girl has no parents and so this is now her family. When the story begins and the father runs into an aquantance at the drugstore she comments on how nice it is of he and his family to take this girl in. They appear to be a loving, normal family. But clearly they are SO not.

The "new girl" in the family is deaf and mute. Or is she? She starts to be the witness of what is going on between the dad and the daughter.

The Mozart Effect...and Others

One of the books I am currently reading is "The Mozart Effect". It's all about the healing powers of music based specifically on studies done with Mozart's music. Yes, all music seems to have transformative effects, as you've probably experienced. In this study, it was found again and again, regardless of listeners musical tastes, the music of Mozart had profound calming effects, and made them "smarter".

So the guy who wrote the book, Don Campbell, wrote about these findings in this other guy's study and then makes additional claims...I'm not sure this is based on his own research, but I'm sure it HAS been researched somewhere.

Here's a samplying of other types of music mentioned and the effects it brings about.

GREGORIAN CHANT is good for reducing stress.

SLOW BAROQUE MUSIC (Bach Handel, Vivaldi) creates feelings of safety, stability and order.

CLASSICAL MUSIC (Haydn, Mozart) improves concentration, memory and spacial perception.

IMPRESSIONISTIC MUSIC (Debussy, Faure) can unlock your creativity by unlocking the subconscious.

ROCK MUSIC (but he includes MICHEAL JACKSON as one example???!) can energize you, but that can also cause stress if your not emotionally up to being energized.

NEW AGE MUSIC induces a state of relaxed alertness.

I do know from experience that music has the power to change a mood and energy levels. Now that I'm reading this book though, I'll be taking a more consious look (listen) at this.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Getting Intimate

My new "Artist Way" group is well underway. The group has grown, and now, instead of being the comfortable size of less than 10, it's a slightly more intimidating size of at least 20! All of the people seem really nice and are really baring their souls, so to speak, right from the beginning.

But NOT me. Unless I'm singing words I've already written, I find it very hard to express my authentic self in front of a group this large. So I have contributed very little to our discussions on these Wednesday night meetings so far. And although I AM listening, I have to admit, I'm finding myself feeling disconnected and actually, a little bored because of it.

I think the book we read last time, "The Artist's Way", is so similar to our current book, "Walking in this World" that I feel like I've already listened to these same discussions and discoveries just a few months ago. I have been feeling a bit disenchanted with the process. And that's my own fault. I think I started to have my mind made up that a group this size could never really be intimate. And if it's not intimate, then I'M NOT SHARING.

One of my friends and I met for dinner before heading off to our meeting. I told her although I admired that the other people in the group where so willing to share personal stuff about themselves, I was not. She said something like, "Try to share something tonight" Whatever. I really had no plans initially to follow her advice.

We always "open up our circle" (start our meeting) by sharing our high and low of the week. I've shared in previous weeks, but it's been stuff that's really not significant to me or about me. But as I was listening to people really present their TRUE selves to the group, I thought I might test the water and take my friend's advice after all.

What I want to say is some times NOT what I do say because I feel emotional about it and I don't want to embaress myself, or make someone else feel uncomfortable. But I think when people are being authentic, that comes across to others, and then everyone relates. That shouldn't be uncomfortable. Or at least not in a bad way. And isn't that what we're really here for anyway?

So I shared my high. And it was a little hard. It was about a dream I had about my Mom. It's the first dream I've had of her since her death where she was happy and healthy and back to her old self. It's the way I want to think of her and the type of dreams I've been waiting to dream of her. I had trouble speaking because it's hard to talk when such a wave a true emotion is washing over you. But I knew by telling my high of the week, I was sharing something important about myself.

No one laughed. No one rushed me. And after I got through that, I felt like I could contribute my thoughts whenever I felt like chiming in during the rest of our meeting. If I want to connect with these people, which I DO, I've got to be authentic. I can't just be a voyeur.

So maybe this group of 20+ is shrinking. Maybe it CAN be intimate.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Sting Ray City

I, like about a gazillion others (and that's a pretty large number!) was so sad to hear that Steve Irwin A.K.A. "The Crocodile Hunter" was killed the other day. There has been an enormous amount of press about how he was gouged by a sting ray. I didn't even really know sting rays were so dangerous.

This is my picture that proves just that. When I was on vacation in Grand Caymen I did the day in Sting Ray City. You get to feed and swim with hundreds of sting rays in all sizes. They did freak me out a bit. But more along the lines of over-eager dogs. They surrounded us while we fed them. The water would become dark with shadows as they swarmed over to us.

The guides of the outing told us that if you kiss a sting ray it's good luck for something like 7 years. At the time I wanted nothing more than a miracle for my mom and so I was standing in line waiting to kiss the Sting Rays. It never occured to me that they were dangerous. Mom would've freaked out and not approved if she had known about the potential!

But of all the wild animals out there, a Sting Ray is what killed Steve Irwin? Whoa... It wouldn't have been so surprising if he had died from a crocodile bite because we were all sort of waiting for that to happen. Obviously, my Sting Ray experience was WAY different than Steve's- "My" Sting Rays had been around loads of people all of their lives. They didn't feel threatened in any way. They were just there for snacks and kisses. And photo ops.

The String Ray kiss wasn't so satisfying- He felt a little slimey, and my wish I made for Mom didn't come true. Had I known then what I know now about Sting Rays I really doubt I would've done the deed.

I've been to Sting Ray City. I've been up close and personal with a Sting Ray! I won't go back for more...

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

The Crossing

This Labor Day weekend, we went to The Crossing in Austin. I have been somehow receiving their catalogue for a couple of years and have always wanted to sign up for one of their cool sounding workshops. They have really interesting stuff for people like me, and maybe people like you. Stuff on relationships, creativity, yoga, etc.... Topics I just LOVE. Besides the workshops they offer, they have hiking trails, a beautiful pool, and lots of yoga-ish classes. And it's all GREEN. And I don't just mean the trees and the grass.

This particular weekend, there wasn't a workshop going on. My husband and I were aimlessly on our way to Austin. Or so I thought. But without me t even hinting to him about my curiousity about The Crossing he brilliantly surprised me and took me there! He told me we were going to "some place called The Crossing."

"THE CROSSING???? I KNOW THE CROSSING!!!" Of course, I really didn't know it but I had been receiving those catalogues.

Well, now I DO know the Crossing. I took a Pilates class and a Tai Chi class while I was there. We ate great food- mostly really heathy and organic. We hiked. We got 80-minute massages. EIGHTY MINUTES. I got a splinter in my foot at the pool that nearly killed me. I bought ANGEL CARDS (I'm sure you'll hear more on that later!) and a book at their funky little bookstore. It was quite and serene. It was shocking if we saw more then 10 other people over the course of a day. No TV and I only used my computer for my infamous TRAVELOGUE.

It was the perfect Labor Day weekend...Absolutely NO LABOR.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Flip-Flip Walk

I've mentioned in my blog before that I am in an "Artist Way" group, based on the Julia Cameron book, The Artist Way. Now we're working thru her book, Walking in This World. There are a few things she asks that you do daily and weekly. One is a 20 minute walk at least once a week.

I run daily, and I walk my girls (and by "girls" I obviously mean Zoe and Scout, my Siberian Huskies!) several times a week. But I NEVER walk alone.

So the other day, it was just a beautiful afternoon. The temperatures are finally coming down! It was a crispy, cool 87 degrees so I decided to go on my Flip Flop Walk. I opted to wear my flip-flops to remind myself this was a leisurely walk and had nothing to do really with physical excersize.

I went out my front door, and as I passed my side fence gate, Zoe and Scout both looked so sad that they hadn't been invited. I felt horrible. This must be what Moms feel like the first time they leave their kid with a sitter?!

But as I got down my street, those guilty feeling subsided and were replaced with thoughts of "Hm. I've never walked in my neighborhood alone in the 6 1/2 years I've lived here." I tried to really look the trees, at the squirrels, at the sky...the stuff it seems that you should notice on an ARTIST WALK.

When I saw another person walking, I felt so oddly self-conscious. They must have been dying with curiousity all about why I was by myself, why I was in flip flops while walking, why I was walking at such a slow pace, why I didn't have any friends or pets, etc. I'm sure that is ALL they could think of!

I noticed that 2 of the 5 people I saw during my walk were talking on cell phones. Cell phones! That is SO not connecting with nature. And others had on headphones!!! Unbelievable.

Yes, for my 20 minute walk I was paranoid about how I looked to others for the first half, and then slamming my judgments on this disconnected world we live in. I hope I lighten up.... I know I will. It was just funny to have such a different perspective simply by wearing flip-flops and walking alone.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Throw Your Own Party

Tonight I went to my friend Wendy's birthday party. She made up these really cute invitations and she gave me mine when I saw her the other day. It had this hilarious picture of here as a baby with this huge head of hair and it said "Being 38 is Great". It then went on telling us the time and the place of her party. Well, the party was great fun and here are the lessons I learned regarding adult birthday parties:

First of all...YES! Embrace your age, whatever it is, and know that it's GREAT!
I've wasted a lot of time, way too much time, worrying about my age as I get older. I get the impression my friend mainly just feels blessed with all the days she is given.

Secondly- CELEBRATE...not just birthdays but tons of moments along the way, which I feel pretty sure Wendy might just be the queen of. Once you're an adult, so many people just stop making a big deal out of their birthday. This seems wrong. That was one of the favorite holidays when I were a kid and it still should be! I'm just as worthy of that celebration now I was then!

And thirdly, THROW YOUR OWN PARTY!!! I called Wendy when we were on our way to her party. She was saying how excited she was about her party and all her friends coming to help her celebrate. I think it is so cool that she thought up her party agenda, made up her fabulous guest list, and then combined her different groups of friends to make such a fun party. We started off at Al's Pizza and then went to Whirlyball. (See above photo of Whirlyball in action!) I asked if she had planned all of this and she said yes, adding, "You can either wait for your friends to throw a party for you, or you can just throw it yourself!"

It was Wendy's 38th birthday party and she threw a great party for herself and her friends!!! I gotta get her back by throwing my own party when my birthday rolls around!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Rocky Raccoon

Last night I went to eat at Roma's- mainly just to check it out to see how it's changed since it went from being "El Arroyo" to "Roma's".

Well, what's changed is that it's no longer a Mexican food restaurant, but is instead an Italian restaurant.

What hasn't changed is the raccoons that hang out and eat with you on the patio.

Apparently, I've changed. I used to think the raccoons were cute (they are- from a distance!) and I didn't mind them hanging out right beside me and I think I even tossed them some tortilla chips to munch on from time to time. However, last night, altho at first I was amused by them, I became sort of grossed out and even a little scared.

I saw a few of them eating some bread. Then I saw a couple of them fighting over the bread. Then I saw several more of them climbing on the deserted tables. Then as others came right over to my table begging for food like scary, and perhaps even rabid dogs, I got a little freaked out. Unfortunately, these raccoons are so use to being around people, nothing I did seemed to scare them away. Loud clapping, stomping my feet, and angrily yelling out NO did nothing to deter them.

Once my table was the only one with people sitting at it, the raccoons seemed to be taking over to the point of I didn't even feel welcome anymore. I saw them climbing on all of the tables, grabbing food off the abandoned plates, sticking their heads in used water glasses, and tearing into packets of Sweet and Low. I wondered, "How did/does this place pass health inspection?"

My feelings about the raccoons reminded me of how my feelings have also changed when it comes to my neighborhood squirrels. When I first moved in and saw about 5 squirrels playing in my yard I said, "Look how cute! All the yards in my neighborhood have tons of squirrels running around!" Now that is is NOT cute to me. Now I know that those squirrels pelt my dogs and me with the pecans they are ruining, they dig up most of my plants and flowers, they bury pecans in my yard and in the process make ugly little holes all over my yard. However, the difference between the squirrels and the raccoons is that the squirrels allow me to cook out and eat outside without completely taking over the party! They keep a more comfortable distance and I don't feel like they might attack me if I don't share my burger with them.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sweet Potato Fries

In the past year, this is my best food discovery. I had my first sweet potato fry at the West Village Burger. They are the reason I kept going back there because the burgers aren't that great, and the people who work their are almost always rude to me but the sweet potato fries trump all of that and keep me coming back.

Then last night I met my friend at Cafe Express and much to my delight (and I do NOT use the term "delight" loosely EVER), they had sweet potato fries.

The BEST place, though, to get the sweet potato fries is Cafe Lago, BY FAR. Perfect crispy-ness, lots of them, PLUS they are always accompanied by other great food! (And I am NOT just saying that because I play there on Friday nights!)

Sweet pototoes have loads of nutritional value. Yes, I know, fries are well...fried. But I still think they've got to be healthier than just the run of the mill standard french fry. And actually, who cares about that part of it anyway???

"Oh Lord I feel fine today...Walking on cloud nine today
It's strictly on account of my SWEET POTATO FRIES!"

Monday, August 21, 2006

What's It All About, Alfie?

Today I shared the waiting room at my endocrinologist's office with in older couple who looked to be in their 70's. I was killing time while I waited reading a book. But I was so distracted (in the best way) by this couple.

When they first came in, the woman asked her husband (of course, I'm just assuming this was her husband but I feel sure I'm right...) if he could help her put a band-aid on her elbow. "Well, yes ma'am!" he answered so sweetly. It was really just this simple exchange between the two of them, that for reasons I really don't understand, completely moved me to tears.

Maybe they reminded me of an older version of my own parents when I would go with Mom and Dad to Mom's doctor's appointments during her experience with cancer. I think I realized my parents never got to grow quite that old together...

Or maybe it was emotional to me simply because of the sweetness of growing old with someone that you love, and hoping that I get to experience that. I tend to look at aging as something to dread, but I am filled with hope when I see how good it can look, like it did in this couple today.

I realize my strong emotion of this very small event seems out of proportion. But even now as I write about it I feel very emotional again... I wonder what that is really all about?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Public Napping

Today I treated myself to a yoga class called "Restorative Yoga". I went into it knowing it was going to be gentle and relaxing but I had NO idea to what extent!!!

When we first walked into the class, we were told to grab 4 blankets, this huge pillow, a lavender-smelling bean bag for covering our eyes, 2 blocks, a belt, and a 10 pound sand pillow.

We basically used all of this equipment to make us extremely confortable during our 1 1/2 session of public napping. The instructor would tell us how to position ourselves and have us lay in each position for about 10 minutes.

I can remember when I use to take Yoga classes and I felt so antsy during the relaxation portion of the class. Apparently I've changed a lot since then. I really didn't feel antsy at all. I felt sort of like I do when I get a message. Almost asleep...but not quite. In fact, a few times I think I heard a little snore come out of me.

By the end of the class, I didn't even want to have to get in my car to drive home. I didn't want to ruin this vegged out feeling! It's funny how rare it is to just lay there and relax and do NOTHING. And to think that it's so good for us and necessary! So I will happily pay my $15 for this cozy public napping from time to time. What luxury!

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Today I went to Northpark Mall so I could see the movie "Little Miss Sunshine". (Read my review in my "Reviews" section if ya wanna!!) The parking lot was PACKED. Once I got inside and saw the crowds of people and heard the music, I remembered that there was a "Model Search" going on up there today!

There was a catwalk type of thing set up and they were having a fashion show. I walked as fast as I could without it being called running to get there. There were so many people I couldn't really get close enough to see it anyway. But right as I got up there, it was OVER. Whaaa. Whaaa. What a disappointment.

I am so curious about the whole fascination with modeling. I don't consider myself shy, but I know that posing and having so many eyes on me would never be a good time for me. I have no problems getting my picture taken with people, BUT I realized a few months ago that having my picture taken alone is just akward. I had to have my picture taken for something (entering a modeling contest, which I lost, which is why I have such an aversion to the whole idea of this...just kidding!), and even though my friends were taking my picture I just felt so stupid. Afterwards I was thinking that might just be one of the worst jobs in the world for me.

So I would've just liked to have watched these young, aspiring models. I wonder if that's fun for them? Apparently, lots of people like to watch because there were tons of spectators. But what else are you going to do when it's on the 2nd solid week of over 100 degree temperatures?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Testing 1 2 3

This is a picture of Snowflake. I am just trying to figure out how to post pictures from iphoto so this is my test.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Non-Domesticated Family

My brother found some tiny kitties living down inside one of his outdoor flower pots. Unfortunately, the Mom Cat ran away as soon as he began watering his plant and the kitties were left behind.

So my brother, Brad, became the foster parent for these two kitties. He named them Salt and Pepper at first because we used to have bunnies when we were kids, one black/ one white...Just like these kitties. But soon, Salt became Snowflake, because it just fit her.

He called a vet to find out how to take care of these little babies. They figured since they had just barely opened their eyes, they were about a week old. They looked like little hamsters they were so teeny. Smaller then my hand! He brought them over to my house yesterday evening and together we fed them special milk out of a dropper.

These little kitties were just so helpless...We were falling in love with Snowflake and Pepper. We couldn't tell, but we decided Snowflake was a girl, and Pepper was a boy.

The vet had told my brother that the Mom Cat might not come back and if so, he'd need to feed them for a while until they got older and better able to fend for themselves.

Last night he put them back in the flower pot to see if the Mom Cat would return...and guess what? SHE DID!!! Not only that, today my brother saw not only the Mom Cat with the two babies, but the Tom Cat too! A happy little family of four! They hissed at him as he came near them. Little did they know, he had been Snowflake and Peppers foster parent for a day.

When he told me about seeing all 4 of them, my first thought was, "Oh good! I'm glad they have a dad around too!" Kids and kitties seem happier when both parents are around!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Keep That to Yourself!

Today I had to go to 3 different stores looking for a bubble-pack envelope. As I had to keep going from store to store I kept trying to console myself saying, "There is a reason for this. There's a reason I'm having to go to 3 stores to find such a basic item."

Well, I think I found my reason. Sometimes, to hear someone else ranting and being a total bitch is a good reminder to check in and make sure I'm acting like a decent person.

I heard a little kid making little high-pitched screaming/crying noises. And actually, I didn't even hear the kid until I heard this woman say to the Mom, "HOW DO YOU STAND TO LISTEN TO THAT NOISE AT HOME?" Either the Mom ignored her, or she just wasn't as equally loud as this woman and so I didn't hear her reply. But then I heard the lady ask again, "NO REALLY, HOW CAN YOU STAND TO PUT UP WITH THAT?"

The Mom said, "It doesn't bother me at all."


"Well, then you don't know what you're missing..."

Her ranting went on a little longer than that. I can't remember all the details but I do know that although the kid was screaming, the mean woman was the offensive one!

This lady sounded like someone who not only didn't like kids and puppies, but perhaps hated the world in general. I know she hurt that Mom's feelings and made her mad. The child was old enough to understand what the lady was saying, so if she was paying attention, her feelings may have been hurt as well.

From the looks of things, the lady seemed a little crazy. But even if you're crazy, is it okay to offer your mean unsolicited opinions? What was her intention I wonder?

After listening to that woman, I breathed a little sigh of relief... I may have been feeling a little cranky, but I was so glad I was no where NEAR what that lady must have been feeling to say such unkind things to a stranger. I was reminded lots of times, most of the time, okay NO,- ALL of the time, crankiness shouldn't be taken out on others!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

New School Year

I used to be a teacher. I taught 1st and 2nd grade. Since I'm not a teacher now, I don't keep up with when it's out, and when it begins each year. But a friend mentioned today that one of our mutual friends who is a teacher goes "back to school" this week. WHEW. I can remember what the beginning of the school year felt like. I can remember from a student's perspective and a teacher's perspective, and for me anyway, they were very similiar.

I was always excited for a new school year. I had big aspirations of staying organized and on top of stuff. That never got past about the first 6 weeks though. But that's the cool thing about school- You've got lots of new beginnings- Lot's of time to make "resolutions".

I loved getting fresh new supplies. I loved getting back into the swing of things. I loved seeing who was going to be in my class each year. I loved going on the shopping spree Mom would take me on before school started each year.

And more than any of that, I love it, right now, that I am not as frantically busy as teachers are at the beginning of a school year. I'm am still in the middle of my summer! :)

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

This is Gross, But I Think You Should Know

I had the tv on this morning, and in the 5 minutes that I watched Tyra Banks I learned a fascinating as well as disgusting little factoid I'd like to share here today!

The show was on the topic of germs. I don't have a big problem with germs. I know tiny, microscopic bugs are crawling around EVERYWHERE and I'm okay with that because I know that's just the way of the world. Germs don't bug me. (I love saying that.)

OK, BUT...

I learned today that when you flush the toilet when poop is in it, tiny little pieces of poop go flying out everywhere and they spray all over everything in the bathroom. The doctor on the show said that it's much like fireworks!!! Yay!! Fun!!! So, if you leave your toothbrush out on your bathroom counter...STOP IT. Put it in the drawer. And close the lid on the toilet before you flush it!

Germs don't bug me, but poop on my toothbrush does.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Things That Make You Go HMMMM

I just started reading the most fascinating book. It's called "20/20 Thinking", and it's all about the brain and how to take care of it. It's one of those books that as I'm reading it, I keep making annoying noises like "Hmmm!" and "Whoa..." There was one little part I read last night called "39 Fascinating Facts About Your Brain". Here are a few the highlights. You just might make annoying noises as you read this as well, so be prepared.

*The brain weighs about 3 lbs., is about the size of a grapefruit, and is pinkish-gray.
*Brains have gotten bigger. Your brain weighs about 8 ounces more than your great grandmother's brain did.
*Even while you're asleep, 50 million nerve messages are being sent back and forth between the brain and various parts of the body, every second.
*The brain is the consistency of soft margarine. (ewww!)
*Your brain smells like blue cheese. (ewww..really, ewww!)
*Information only stays in your short-term memory for just a few minutes.
*By the time you're 8 years old, your long-term memory has stored more information than a million encyclopedias.
*At age 5, a child's brain is already 9/10 of its adult weight.
*By the age of 75, the weight of your brain will be reduced by 1/10 and the flow of blood through your brain reduced by nearly 1/5.

I'll stop there. That's quite enough for one sitting. Anyway, the brain is clearly an amazing thing. This book tells you supplements you need to intensify your concentration, ways to overcome forgetfullness (lay it on me!!!), mood-enhancing foods, and "much, much, more". I had eggs and blueberries for breakfast so I should be very, very smart today...