Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 - Was a very good year

I cannot say enough about how 2007 - for me has been a very good year. Just look back through the posts on my blog. I have been busy, I have been empowered, I have conquered and I have reflected and rebuilt.

I have made some new friends this year - who with their spirit and their gift of friendship have touch me deeply. I have stayed in touch and in many cases strengthen some of my existing friendship - you are all so special to me.

I ran a half marathon and I am please to report I want to do it again! I am now wearing size 6 jeans and a size 4 skirt - and I am eating foods which nourish my body instead of taxing it and making me ill. I have accepted it for the situation that I have and I have been creative about food and I also see it in a very different light. I do not live to eat, I eat to live and live life to its fullest.

I have also after almost half a lifetime - accepted me for me. I love the woman I have become - she is product of experience, of choices and of hard work. She is funny, she is vibrant, she is finally feeling very confident in herself. She is strong yet sensitive and most of all - she is happy in the moment.

I have always been somewhat horrified yet fascinated by snakes. The idea that as they grow - they shed their skin. It must be uncomfortable to have the outer layer of skin loosen and break away from your body - to then split and flake off. I now see the value in this process. What is underneath - is so much more - that the discomfort with the shedding process is sharply overshadowed by the beauty underneath.

It feels good - this new skin I am in!

Happy New Year. May 2008 be just as great!

Blog Highlights - 2007

I wanted to say I have had a very good year on the blog. H said a month or so ago - "you know I can totally tell a difference in your blogs - you have grown." Ah thanks honey! I agree. They have gotten easier - I have found my voice, my style - or styles. I have experienced alot in 2007 and much of it I have written about.

As a point of housekeeping - my readership has nearly doubled - it is still not huge - but I am watching and thank you all for checking me out. I write to fulfill some part of me and I like to write and I used to write in my journal for my eyes only and now I write here and share it with you all and it is very touching that you take the time to check me out and read what I have to say.

At the middle of this year I hit 100 entries - yeah! I was so happy. I also added labels to all my posts and my beloved pet - who is that the very bottom of the blog - she cracks me up and she is so much fun!

I think writers are quiet exhibitionists. We want people to see us - to see the realness of us - but without having to see you see us. What I am saying is being an actor or actress - your craft is very public - your art is visual and people see you - or see your projection, your creation with their eyes.

A writer is hidden, behind a keyboard - behind words - and yet they are not. I have invited you into my life - by featuring my thoughts and my opinions and stories from my life. My hope is that I can entertain you, inform you, and share with you the richness that is my life and my perspective.

All the best for the New Year! I promise more of the same - some serious thoughts and some less serious one - but rest assured there is much more to come - from Thoughts from the edge!

Friday, December 28, 2007

ah flowers in the spring....


well more like flowers in December - but they are so lovely I had to share them. Friends gave them to us - they are beautiful and smell wonderful and well I had to brighten the blog with the also!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Be glad you can

Today I was chatting with a cyber friend - who is very into world events and very much globally politically aware and well really really smart. I have often been in awe of his overall smartness - until today he lays on me that he seldom votes. He said:

I refuse to assent the principle that (for example) either John Kerry or George Bush would be a good choice to lead the world.

and further he says...

What I am not willing to do is let my name be used to justified innumerable policies I despise.
Well let me to be the first to say that I think our current system is a bit on the broken side, it has flaws, the bi-partisan fighting is enough to choke me most days - but the fact remains our democratic system works best when we all participate. Furthermore, our system with flaws and all works better than say some of the alternatives - it allows us many freedoms and yet it requires of us certain responsibilities. Voting is one of them.

I strongly believe that if more than say 50% (in a good year) of the populace voted we might actually see some real change. I also think that if the majority - or better yet all Americans' voted - a 3rd party candidate might stand a real chance.

I am of the opinion that the only day your opinion really matters - is Election Day. On no other day is everyone tuned in and listening. I can rant and rave and write letters (and nasty blog entries) until the cows come home - but to effect real change - one has to be willing to exercise the rights granted to them - by getting off their asses and voting. A little grass roots political action might not hurt - but I would take voting on Election Day.

Did the non-voters out there - who share my friend's point of view ever stop to think that we are getting mediocrity, because the majority of Americans' expect so very little. They care so very little that do not bother to vote. They do not bother to be informed and vote. Being informed and ranting about how they dislike the system does very little.

Did I love John Kerry? No not really. Did I vote him, you bet your ass! I like him a lot more than I liked GW. I still like him more than GW. I like the man who collects my garbage more than I like GW. Did I feel like once again I was voting for the lesser of 2 evils - you bet your ass I did - but bottom line - those were the choices before me and it is my right, my duty, my responsibility to vote.

This season - I am unimpressed by anyone candidate or pairing of candidates - but I will be voting in the primary and then come November I will vote again - hoping that it is for who I think can do the best job - but knowing that it is just as likely I will be voting again for who can screw it up the least.

Either way I will be counted and I will be voting - because I can and many a person has died protecting this privilege or worse yet trying to exercise this privilege in other parts of the world.

Is it not one of the reasons GW gave for invading Iraq and putting countless young men and women's lives at risk - to spread Democracy. Well I for one - while I maintain the War is a cover for many things rather undemocratic - still believe that should the factions in Iraq get it together - the right of all citizens to vote is an important. It will be a small success. We would do well to remember that one here at home.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Visions of Sucess

I used to work for a large financial services firm. It should come as no surprise that I still have ties there. We get the quarterly magazine. Sometimes I read it and sometimes I do not. This time around I did read it. As a piece of propaganda it is really very well done - as a source of entertainment - not really and as a source of truly useful information - well that remains to be seen.

This time around they are featuring clients who have with Firm X's help and guidance "Faced Down Disaster!" Normally I take this as the propaganda it is supposed to be and skim - but this article really held my attention.

The feature that highlights Joshua Hamby - who during the DOT.COM boom had the brainchild to create a medical information website - that would rival WedMD. He got the funding and lined up the talent - only to have the market turn and to be in a world of hurt. (We used to call this sideways in the biz!) Things went from bad to worse and it looked like he was going to lose his shirt and his investors' shirts as well. He turned to a former colleague and an adviser at Firm X. The advisor's advice was as follows:

"I told him to pick a date when he knew he could no longer stand the uncertainty of whether his business would fail. But until then, muster as much energy and creativity as you can to turn the business around. Then, what ever happens, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you did everything you possible to make the business succeed."

So in the end - thru some major leadership, some stock options (worthless at the time) and some fast footwork the site morphed and was ultimately sold for a tidy profit. He further lucked out when the buyer got acquired and his stock in that company shot up like a rocket.

I have heard this kind of story more than once - but it is the financial adviser's quote that stuck with me for days and made me reread the article. I think that is the key - "muster as much energy and creativity as you can...."

That is a powerful statement! Muster. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. I also think that "muster" implies really stretching, rethinking, regrouping, the entire bit. It implies - I think- going deep within yourself and pulling out that last little bit of whatever it is you have. Like gutting out the last few miles of the race. ( Which I can say is very satisfying but also very hard!)

I used to really fear failure - but over the last few years I have been reshaping what I think of as success and what I term failure. I have a different yard stick. I think the time frame is important - as with this example in the magazine - give it your all and be realistic with the time frame - then let the chips fall where they may. But at the end of the day you will know that you gave it your all.

In this case after the huge success - he went on to try a new venture - it is in his blood as they say.

I think it is valuable to to be realistic but to give yourself time to really make an honest and sincere effort. Achieving greatness will never happen overnight!

Year end Blog Contest

Ok- so we are in the home stretch of 2007! It has been a great year and I am offering you all a chance at winning something! So I am throwing a little contest! All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post or for those of you who are reading but doing so in the QT - just email me your comment and I will count it! Ideally I would like to have the comments - but hey I am a reasonable girl.

So here is the deal - I am trolling for writing topics again - I know I am creative and I can come up with them on my own - but sometimes it is fun to write about something someone else has suggested! I am open to almost all suggestions - so be creative, ask me deep dark questions, ask me questions you think I might not have an answer for, make me think - you choose! I would also be willing to create a short story - on the topic of your choice.

I will keep the contest open through December 31, 2007!

The prize will be a gift card to Barnes and Noble and the joy of having me write something especially for you!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Book Review; A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

This is the book we are reading this month for my Book Club. The title - would make one think that it is going to be all about farm machinery and the like - but it is not. It is the story of Nadia, a late 40s University lecturer - her father, her older sister and their new "step-mother."

It takes place over the span of 18months and is very realistic and takes on a number of social and geo-political issues in a way that sneaks them in through the back door - but addresses them nonetheless.

At times this book made me laugh out loud. I think that is a testament to the authors very clever story telling and the fact that the father in this book is very much the male version of my MIL. When Nadia - the narrator - is trying to get her 84 year old father on board with a plan - the interplay of culture and language and stubbornness reminds me very much of conversations and situation which arouse with my MIL as H and I dealt with her illness and growing dependence on us.

This book is a reasonable quick read but also thought provoking and very well written. It is a meaningful story and even though most of us might not have the cultural conflicts in out own families - the story has something to show us all.



Turn the page...

I know I am early for a looking back at the year post - but this is my blog, my time table and frankly on my mind. When I was younger - particularly as a college student and coming into young womanhood - I had the zeal and mind set of youth. I was charging forward, it was me against the world, watch out here I come. Did I feel that swagger - no not really. Did I see life for what it really is - a complicated stew of experiences, emotions, ideas, ideals and events. No!

Now as I have amassed some life experience, had my heart broken (sometimes little chips and one big - hugely hurtful crack down the middle), experienced the highest HIGHs and some lows, bore children and made some really big choices - I see and embrace the gray area for what it is. The Gray Area is the space we live in everyday. It is the cloudy area we make choices in - sometimes having all the facts and sometimes having some of the facts and sometimes having little but our gut to guide us. The Gray Area is the reality of life - people doing the best they have with what they have in front of them.

The best part of life - aside from the love and the joys it brings is nothing is permanent. I did not know that as a young woman. I was striving for perfection. I was so afraid of messing it up or making the wrong move. What if I failed. I know where this fear came from - now I no longer let it control me and therein lies the lesson I think.

Remember when you played ball as a kid and the coach said, "There is no do-over." Well in a sense that is true on the sports field - but in life there are many chances for a do-over. Will the experiences be exactly the same - will you have to work harder? Maybe. The beauty of life is you can turn the page. Once the page is written you cannot go back and change it - but you can choose what comprises the next chapter.

This year has been huge for me - I have finally tackled some really big things - within me. I have done the hard work, I have made some crucial decisions. In conversations with old friends and new - I sometimes get a pitying look when I explain that I have made some decisions and decided to make a fundamental changes. I do not want that. I made the choices I made in the past and do not regret them at all, now I have evaluated the reasons I made those choices and have CHOSEN to change. I am a collection of my experiences and they have lead me to this point - and for that alone I am grateful.

Is this an easy process - no! Does it hurt, yeah it does. Does it require you being completely honest with yourself - you betcha ya. It has lead for me to days staring out the window, feeling mopey, angry, cranky, thoughtful and many other emotions bundled into one. It has lead to more poetry than I ever thought I could write.It has lead to many of the blogs on this site and some not published - but saved because while I needed to write them - I did not want to share them. This introspection - has also lead to long pauses in the entries on this blog - while I process and rebuild key parts of me.

I think Maria Shiver once said - that women can and do have it all - but they cannot have it all at once. I think this is sound advice. I am learning that each chapter is ours to write in our own ways. Every time you turn the page or end a chapter - the next page is blank - it is yours to complete - on your own terms and at your own pace - if you are willing to embrace the process and proceed thoughtfully.

I have to say that 2007 has really been my year. I have made many changes - I have accomplished much - of which I am so very proud. I did not do it alone and I am sure there will be other times in my life - where I will need to devote a fair amount of time to self evaluation and personal change. But it sure feels good - turning the page.....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

13 Things I do not want for Christmas


For some reason - despite my best efforts at junk mail and catalog eradication a copy of the Brookstone - Innovations for Home and Life arrived at our house yesterday. I was flipping through it this morning while eating breakfast and this post was born!

13 Things I do not want for Christmas
1. More war - listen up GW - get out your hearing aids! No more WAR - what the HELL are we fighting for?

2. Fruitcake - yuck, yuck, yuck (while we are on the subject - no Egg Nog H - or whatever that stuff is you whip up every year - it is vile - you know, I know - Everyone knows it!)

3. Coal - I have been a very good girl this year.... now carbon that has been compressed into sparklies - Yep I will take that! (hint hint ;) )

4. Small kitchen appliances - I am not really interested in anything that makes omelets on the counter or anything that juices carrots. I am a simple girl and frankly - if it has a cord I am told it cannot go in the dishwasher - I am a big fan of the dishwasher!

5. Holiday sweaters. Hear me and commit to memory - I am not in this lifetime or the next going to wear a holiday sweater. I think it is silly! It is just me - I am not the fashion police - but I refuse to wear said sweater - thank you!

6. A bucket for the beach complete with an iPod holder, charger and speakers. (pg 45 of Brookstone catalog!) Why? I would like a little iPod... for running - but a bucket. Please? Actually that is my response to almost - well ok everything - in that crazy catalog! Why?

7. Knick knacks or trinkets - you have to dust around them - takes more time... if they are glass I have to put them up high and frankly I am out of room! I am not into clutter!

8. Spam - the canned meat (yuck - never tried it and plan to die having never had the pleasure!) or the email variety. I have had it up to my eyeballs with ads for fake rolexes, cheap prescription drugs, penny stocks and penis enhancement.

9. Maybe it is the same as SPAM - but BS I so could live without anymore BS. Any form of BS, no more BS from people who look like friends and sometimes act that way (what was that about a wolf in sheep's clothing - see I should be taking notes.) No more BS from school, just none - I want no more BS and what I would really love is a sign - big neon one - that says - "BS FREE ZONE! LEAVE YOUR BS ELSEWHERE - THANKS!"

10. Puppies or kittens (or fish, hamsters, rats, turtles....) Rarely did I agree with much my MIL thought - but on this she was right on target. Just say no to house pets. They are messy, they smell, the do other things in the house I would rather not think about. The cuteness factor is negligible. I like animals. I was a practicing vegetarian for a long time. Along with this I will say I do not want a fur coat thank you very much. Animals look good in fur - I do not - but I also do not want the live animals in my house.

11. Snow - bah humbug! I do not want any more of it - seen it - built the snowman with L. Done - lets have some 60 degree weather and sunshine in the stocking - thank you very much!

12. Hunger - I have enough to eat - but hey GW - while you are so busy doing nothing - lame duck that you are - could you do something useful and smart and compassionate and feed the hungry. That people go to bed hungry in the US - is shameful - that you have chosen to ignore it for 8 years is doubly so!

13. Pictures of Brittany (or celebrate X) doing something stupid and wasteful and tacky! While I fully support your right to privacy and yes if you choose to swim naked in your pool behind the 16 foot privacy fence - as an American or ok a human being - this is your right - but in public and this includes the grocery store, restuarant, night club, street, park, and Starbucks - please act with manners and set a good example - for better or worse you are a role model - act like - it is part of the job! (Heck I am just an aspiring author - but in public I put my best foot forwards and do my best to make my mama proud.)



Monday, December 10, 2007

From Iceland with Love


I have discovered chocolate from heaven. Well ok not heaven - but a small island which must be heaven for chocoholics like myself! NOI SIRIUS makes the best dark chocolate ever. It comes in bars - two of them wrapped in wax paper - like the ones above. They are wonderful.

Today however I found something even more wonderful. Hazelnuts covered in 70% Dark Chocolate. Little pebbles from heaven those guys. Yummy!

I have found this slice of chocolate heaven at Whole Foods. You can check out their website - but it is in Icelandic and I am not sure that is helpful to most of us.....

Writers Notebook

Well I have heard nothing back on the short story I submitted about a month ago. I am going to go with a they are not into it. I also have not heard from the literary journal I submitted my poetry and a short story - so again I am thinking they are not impressed.

So it is onward and upward. I am going to work on a novella for submission to another contest - this time with a well known publisher. I have the story outlined and I have the fist 1000 words written - and sometimes that is the hard part.

I also have an idea for a personal essay for another journal I have been reading.

So there are no shortage of ideas bouncing around over here. Someone will like something - eventually!

I should also mention that the poetry is flowing out of me - at an alarming rate. Maybe I should tell people I am a poet........

Friday, December 7, 2007

I have come to realize....

The "I've come to realize" survey. I got tagged again.....

1. I've come to realize that, my last good-bye kiss: was short and sweet and more of a hug and so the right thing to do!


2. I've come to realize that, I talk:
alot to some people and hardly at all to others. Sometimes I talk about important stuff and other times I keep it light - and ironically it is less dependent on the strength and depth of the friendship but rather my mood.

3. I've come to realize that, I like : the direction my life has taken - even though I had had a different plan in my head. Going with the flow and then making changes - is ok.



4. I've come to realize that, I have: many blessings and much to share with others.


5. I've come to realize that, I've lost: my mind - but it is ok - I will find it again - or not!


6. I've come to realize that, I hate it when: people are mean and rude.


7. I've come to realize that, Marriage is:
like a child or lover - it must be nurtured, appreciated, praised, and enjoyed. It can take on any form that you give it and is defined only by the parties involved and not society and her norms. Trying to make your marriage just like everyone else's - is the short road to disaster.



8. I've come to realize that, somewhere, someone is thinking: exactly what I thinking and that is a scary thought!


9. I've come to realize that, I'll always: be a leftist, tree hugging, writer - who cares more about honesty and peace and kindness that fitting in and being part of the "it" crowd.


11. I've come to realize that, The last time I truly cried was: along time ago.


12. I've come to realize that, My cell phone: is valuable but also a pain and no matter how hard I try to keep it handy - it keeps running away from me anyway!


14. I've come to realize that, Before I go to sleep at night: I rarely pray - but I think about all the people who are important to me.

15. I've come to realize that, Right now I am thinking about: walking over to school to see L and give her the stuff we left on the table this morning.


16. I've come to realize that, Babies: are wonderful and they do grow up and each stage is better and different than the last.


17. I've come to realize that, I go shopping: only when I have to and in binges and that it not as much fun as some of my friends think it is and that I have little patience for it. (Unless I am shopping with SS or JS and then I could go forever!)


18. I've come to realize that, Today: I am happier than I was 2 days ago.

19. I've come to realize that, Tonight I will : be going out with a really wonderful man - who loves me and likes my company - whether I am chatty or not and who has put up with a fair amount of odd behavior, artistic angst, self discovery and well girliness - and loves me anyway!


20. I've come to realize that, Tomorrow I will : be shopping for condos with my mom.


21. I've come to realize that, I really want: to live the hell out of my life on my terms and be the woman I have always known myself to be.

22. I've come to realize that, The person who is most likely to repost this is: whoever it speaks too or whoever has some time.

Polly want a cracker?


Well if Polly does not I sure would! Rice cakes are nice and I have found some I really like - but some things work better with a cracker.

Blue Diamond Nut*Thins are a rice and nut meal cracker which taste out of this world. They are crispy, crunchy and have a nice nutty flavor and the texture is great. You can also eat 16 crackers for 130 calories - give or take and that is not too shabby!

I eat them with Nutella, Hummus, Soy Cream Cheese, Fig Hazelnut Spread, and various Indian chutneys. I have tried them with salsa and well that was not a pleasant combo.

I prefer the Pecan and Hazelnuts varieties but in a pinch I will eat the almond ones. L & E also both like them, but I rarely like to share - I mean they can eat all the crackers in the world and I can eat these!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

"Are you wearing your scarf?"

"Are you wearing your scarf?" is what L bellowed out the door to me as I shoveled the driveway. We so have snow today. In fact it is still falling - but I can only manage so much at a time - so many times I shovel only to shovel again. Where is H you say? Well he is on a tropical beach working on his tan and collecting fish stories. (Seriously - he took a few days for R & R with his buddies.)

I know I have mentioned that I hate snow and I do - but it was pretty this morning and not wicked cold! Plus I had L & E checking on my progress.

At the very end and I came back inside E said, "You done? I see more snow over there!" Right it was still falling and I know what I will be doing later today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ouch that hurts...

Today I saw Dr. M - who can I just say is so awesome. He is my chiropractor and natural medicine doctor - yep the one who has me on the wacky eating plan! I love him! He fixes up my hips and shoulders - which sadly have not survived motherhood completely enacted! I liken my post baby body to that of Humpty Dumpty. The kings men may have very well put him back together again - but is anything ever really as good as new. I think not. I have come back together very nicely - but there are still some minor issues.

Today was a regularly schedule visit! But had it not been - I would have begged an audience anyway. My right hip was killing me. I had run on Friday and gutted out the 5K - but I could tell all was not well. Then on Saturday the playing in the pool and the walking around the Winter Wonderland in the cold - did not help matters and then I was sitting in our big chair and my posture was not the best.

Come Monday, I could hardly do the leg work out with my trainer - ouchy! Last night I had a very loud creaky cracking popping noise and some relief but not much. Then today in Yoga I could so tell not all was well.

So by the time I hobbled into his office I was ready to start popping pills! Well in short order he found the spot - Yikes that hurt - worked it out and adjusted me and I am like a new girl! Wow! So he sent me home and told me to soak in a hot bath for the next three days and gave me some stretched to do for the next week or so and told me, "For goodness sake if it hurts to run over the next week - Don't!" Ok Ok will try to be good.

My problem is - I have an high pain tolerance - really I do! I can take alot - before I throw in the towel. I have over the the course of my life dealt with TMJ and the associated headaches (all resolved by the way), endometerious and an ruptured ovarian cyst - um yeah that hurts. I also choose to have both L & E the old fashion way and I would do it again! It was not that bad - but all of this does not prove I am superwoman - only that I can handle a fair amount of pain and manage. This is good for my liver - less need to take medication but bad - because I gut it out and could be causing some damage - especially with the hip situation.

So I am going to take it easy and be a good girl.

My Autobiography

I got tagged by a friend! So I am posting this! It is fun - if you would like to do it also, just copy it and fill this out IN YOUR OWN WORDS and re post as, my autobiography.

-Prologue-

1. Who took your default pic?
H did - he did a great job I think!

2. Exactly what are you wearing right now?
MY pjs!

3. What is your current problem?
Waiting and hoping someone either throws some freelance my way and to to remeber that success is a long lonely road!

4. What makes you most happy?
Everything - I wake up happy!

5. What's the name of the song that you're listening to?
Night on Fire - VHS or Beta

6. Do you like MTV?
No not really. I rarely watch TV!

7. Name something that annoys you about people:
Well people who do not reply to email tend to make me seethe a bit. People who are rude - that I find annoying also.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Chapter 1:

1. Nickname(s)?
Sus - but only a select few can use it!

2. Eye color?
Blue - Grey - Green

3. Hair color?
Red-Brown
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


Chapter 2:

1. Do you live with your parent(s)?
No

2. Do you get along with your parent(s)?
for the most part

3. Are your parents married/separated/divorced?
divorced

4. Do you have any Siblings?
1 bro & 1 half sister - both younger
___________________________________________________


Chapter 3:
FAVORITES

1. Ice Cream:
um - well no it makes me ill!

2. season:
Fall. I like the crisp blue sky - the chill in the air and the chance to have Indian Summer

3. book:
Love them - the way the look, the way they smell, the way they feel!

4. band:
Currently I am jamming to James, VHS or Beta & Shiny Toy Guns

6. drink(s) (non alcoholic):
tea then coffee

7. drink(s) (alcoholic):
rarely drink it - red wine when I do

9. pen color:
whatever is handy and my green and red fine point sharpies!

10. store:
the one with the big red SALE sign!
_________________________________________________


Chapter 4:
DO YOU-

1.Write on your hand?
sometimes - when I was working my hand and up my arm

2. Call people back?
Yes and usually within 24 hours

3. Believe in love?
Yes and it is lovely

4. Sleep on a certain side of the bed?
Yes!

-------------------------------------------------------------------


Chapter 5:
Have You....

1. Broken a bone?
NO

2. If so... where?
N/A

3. Had physical therapy?
No but I love my chiropractor. He can work magic. My massage therapist is a close second

4. Gotten surgery?
Yes

5. Taken painkillers?
Yes - when needed

6. Are you gay?
Sure I am a happy happy girl!

7. Been stung by a bee?
yes

8. Threw up in a doctors office?
No but I did throw up while giving birth to L - does that count?
________________________________________


Chapter 6:
Who/what was the last

2. Person to text you?
I am all alone

3. Thing you touched?
The mouse

5. Thing you said?
I am alone ans try not to talk to myself

7. Person you hugged?
L and E before bed

8. Person to call u?
the phone has been very quiet today!

11. Last book you read?
A short history of tractors in the Ukraine

12. Time you cleaned your room?
Yesterday

Monday, December 3, 2007

On no - was that snow?

Well it has happened. It is really really winter in Ohio. We had snow this afternoon. Not alot mind you - just enough the show up on the dark brown mulch and the deck! Not anything like the storm in the Northeast.

I just happen to dislike snow. It is cold, wet, makes a mess, requires me to shovel it off the drive way. It also turns driving into a exercise of avoiding certain death. No one in certain parts of Ohio knows how to drive in the snow. It is not an every day winter occurrence and I understand that - but please do not drive 50 miles per hour down the unplowed side streets and expect to be able to stop!

For our first wedding anniversary we went to Breckenridge, CO - which is a lovely place. Like an Alpine village. We went skiing. I have mixed feelings about skiing - it is cold and if you fall as much as I do - then you end up with a wet butt. What is fun I ask you about a cold wet butt? My feelings about the chair lift are a complete post of their own - in any event after three days I asked H what about skiing was preferable to spending a week on a warm sunny beach?

I just am not a fan of snow - but I need to get over it. I plan to mourn the official passing of Fall the rest of the day and then attempt to embrace winter. It is only a few months long (I hope!) and I need to just get over it and put on a smiley face. On the upside - I am going to smile when I go outside anyway - it is cold enough to freeze the frown on my face and that would be terrible!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Good Karma - Indeed!

I have discovered Good Karma Rice Divine - sort of a cross between sorbet and ice cream - only dairy, wheat and corn syrup free. And wait.... it really really tastes good! I tried the very vanilla and I have to say that it has a nice smooth taste and is not overly sweet - which is a plus - the longer I eat foods that are not processed or lacking high fructose corn syrup I have noticed that I cannot tolerate anything overly sweet!

I also must say that it is not terribly expensive either. $2.49 at the local Sun Flower Market!

I asked H to taste it also - because honestly I have not eaten real ice cream in sooooo long - that I forget what it actually tastes like. H felt it was very good and had a texture not unlike low-fat ice cream. All I can say is it tastes like a dream to me!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Something scary happened while I was not looking...

I love underwear. I used to think that Victoria was such a dear friend for sharing her secrets. I mean - no one might see it - but I feel so good having it on. Panties and a matching bra make me smile. If you have to wear it - or choose to wear it - why not enjoy it.

That said - in the last 6 years I have been pregnant three times, have nursed 2 children - gained and lost something like 40-60 pounds (twice...) and well gravity can do a fair amount of damage in 6 years.

That said in the last say 18 months - I have gone from a snug size 12 to a loose size 6/8. My trainer could tell you how much body fat I have lost - all I know is it is significant.

Most of the bras and panties I have bought of late has come from Target. It is inexpensive - and well I was not wanting to spend a lot as I continued to shrink and firm up!

So today while both kids were in school - I decided to go to Vic's and get a bra fitting. I have noticed that some of my bras are not fitting like they should and thought I would check the situation out with a trained professional. It cannot hurt.

What a waste of an hour. I was feeling very good about myself until this experience. I bought a juniors sweater at Kohls and look like a million dollars in it. I bought a size 6 skirt at Kohl's that I look fab in. At Vic's - none of the bras I tried on said "Sexy - size 6" or "Ooo la la." They said 1950s - girdle for your chest and frankly were as about as comfortable. They were full coverage and totally looked like something my mom would have made me buy as a girl. Just because it comes in black - a girdle is still a girdle. An ugly bra is still an ugly bra - black, pink, or otherwise.

Furthermore - I tried on a nice bustier and well - even in my size it was 6 sizes too small. WTF! I am a size 6 now..... and according the nice woman who was helping me select bras - a 34B/C or 36C. Hardly obese or overly buxom! So I left with one pair of thigh hi hoses (I did have a $10 coupon for goodness sakes!) and was shaking my head. What happened. Six years ago I could wear almost anything in their store. Furthermore I liked almost everything in their store. Today I liked almost nothing.

So I was H & M later and on a lark tried on a few bras - in the sizes selected by the Vics lady - yep ever single one fit - reasonably well and looked so nice on - lots of lace - girlie details and the whole bit. I looked like a million bucks. I did not buy anything - but still I felt much better.

On one hand I wasted an hour - but on the other hand I discovered that the $14 bra and $6 panties looked better on me than the $45 bra and &15 panties. H will think that is worth millions!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Let me tell you what I really think....

I pulled this question from another website I hang out on....


Polling groups like to track the approval rating of politicians. What's your approval rating for President George W. Bush?


Well I would like to quote one of my favorite children's book author's (Kevin Henkes) Lilly Mouse - Lilly is telling a story about her baby brother - but it fits for GW also!



She says.....



"Once upon a time there was a baby. His name was Julius. Julius was really germ. Julius was like dust under your bed. If he were a number, he would zero. If he were a food, he would a raisin. Zero is nothing. A raisin tastes like dirt."

This earned Lilly a a sit on the thinking chair.

I say the following.....

"Once upon a time there was a really crappy President. His name was GW. GW was really a germ. GW was like dust under your bed. If he were a number, he would be less than zero. If he were a food, he would be SOS! Less than zero is a completely useless quantity. SOS tastes just like its name implies."

This thinking in the US will not land me in jail - in China - trip to the firing squad. In this country I can take my opinion to the polls in November 2008! Man, do I really have to wait that long.

Freedom of speech and a free press rocks! One of the many reasons I like to write - BECAUSE I CAN! I think that there is a place for all sorts of written works - I think that the freedom of speech is one of our greatest freedoms in this country. Censorship is a slippery slop. Who gets to decided what is ok and what is not. Well I think in a free country - we all decide for ourselves. If you do not like something - then do not read it! Like this blog for instance! No one is making you read it (boy am I glad you do - but you do not have to!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

dollar signs and holiday designs

The holidays are upon us - in full force - especially if you are a marketing guru - no time for Tom Turkey - he got lost in the Halloween Christmas frenzy. Now I am not all that in love with Thanksgiving - per se. Roast turkey and mashed potatoes I can take or leave really. I cannot eat pumpkin pie - although I do like it.

I think Thanksgiving has it merits - it is a good idea to pause and reflect on all the blessing and to show your appreciation for those important in your life. I think living a life that is grounded in thankfulness and thoughtfulness is important. It should be an everyday thing - not a once a year food extravaganza.

I also think - that while dressing up and having a nice Indian and Pilgrim school program - is cute and fun for the little ones - it is a bit disingenuous - I think that it was more than likely a uneasy friendship - the Pilgrims and the Native Americans - more like keep you friends close and your enemies closer.

I also tend to think that Thanksgiving is becoming a lost holiday - it is during the week and it really does cut into the the Christmas insanity. Why wait for the day after Thanksgiving to shop like a maniac - why not the day before for the preview sale or wait the weekend before. Before we know it - it will be the day after Halloween sale.

I think the over commercialization of the holiday season - just takes away from the season - it makes it seem less about friends, families and the togetherness and more about marketing and money.

What does that say about our culture - that the dollar today means more than the traditions of our ancestors? While I find some of David Sedaris's work interesting and for the most part he does not strike a cord with me - but his essay about Christmas in the Netherlands has always resonated with me. The traditions of other cultures rarely make sense to an outside observer. They may seem strange, run counter to the norms you hold true, and sometimes just plan make you go hummmmmm?

What is sticking with me is that in America today - we have so very few traditions left. The melting pot is slowly turning into commercial & PC stew. It makes me gasp - Christmas or any holiday is not about the stuff - but rather the company we keep and the values we pass on to our children.

How do we do that the "season" is about marketing and shopping and not about family and friends and cozy nights by the fire or about helping those who have less than we do?

I am trying not to be Scrooge this year and I want to create a warm and festive mood at home this year - but I still cannot fathom - why the holiday season - started the day after Halloween.

What will be coming next - a jack-o-lantern with a Santa hat - please someone save us from ourselves!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Do I still get.....

Tonight L did a mean thing to E right before bedtime so I told her no bedtime story. She knew she was in trouble once she had tortured E and took the punishment in stride. But then she asked me a question that nearly broke my heart.

"Will I still get a kiss, even though I was mean to E?"

Immediately, I told her she would get a kiss no matter what. I explained I would love her no matter what and I would never not kiss her goodnight - no matter what she has done.

I think this is so important. There were times that I think I doubted that. Doubted that I was loved or that I was worthy of being loved.

I think that is the best and worst thing about being a mother. The unconditional love. I mean I love L & E like no tomorrow. There is nothing about them I do not love. I love them to pieces. They rock my world. Sure there are times that they make me crazy and that I wish they would settle down and listen and do what I want them to do - but at the end of the day I love them - my life would so be a bit empty without them.

I see the bedtime kiss and special prayer as a scared time to remind them that I love them and will always love them. I will always have a kiss, hug and cuddle for them.

I know I have announced the fact that I am a total liberal! That my thinking is decidedly left of center. That said - I honestly believe in my heart - that if we all loved more - took the time to nurture bounds of love and affection - for our families, our friends and our neighbors - that the world would be a better place. I like the concept of "paying it forward." Doing something good - just because. I know it is idealistic and it can lead to hurt feelings - but really sharing love is a huge thing. Showing that you care.

Someone said I was nice person the other day. Well I try to be. There is no incentive in my mind to be not nice. (or be mean, or cruel for that matter.) It takes so much more energy for me to be mean. I think at worst I am neutral and at best I am nice and friendly.

So I will always have that to give - I like to think that my example will have a small impact somewhere. I want L and E to learn that no matter what, they still get all of my love - all that I have to offer - so that they never need doubt that they are loved and treasured.

And H - you know what - the same applies to you also!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Control

I am a bit of a control freak - actually I am a card carrying member of CFA - Control Freaks Anonymous! I am working on turning over a new leaf! I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot control the behavior of others - only my reaction to it.

I also happen to like being out of control in certain situations. I love to swing on the playground - losing myself in the back and forth rhythm of the swing. Unlike Bill Clinton I will admit to inhaling - once or twice. There have also been times when I have drank a bit too much. In theory I like the slightly bubbly tingling feeling I get from a bit too much wine!

I also like running for this reason. I get the best runners high after a great run.

But I digress from the topic of this post. I have learned it is very freeing to give up some control - without chemicals. The sheer power of just letting go - to surrender and acknowledge that life is full of challenges - you meet them and move on.

I spent alot of time in my twenties trying to make sure - frantically that all my ducks were in row, that my life was organized to perfection.

While I am still organized and I still plan things - I am open to a bit of chaos.

This weekend H and I went to party and there was alot of drinking going on. We were not part of that scene and as I have thought about it today - it is sad - people our age using alcohol as way to give up some control - to unwind.

I think in the long run - the best way to relax and to unwind is to trust in yourself - accept your limitations and celebrate your accomplishments and know that tomorrow is another day and you have the chance to start all over again - the chance to live yet another day to the fullest!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

He is not a baby any longer....

It hit me last night at dinner. E is no longer a baby - actually he is no longer a toddler. At a week or so shy of 2.5 years - he is a little boy - or as he likes to say "I little dude!"

E is our last - we will not be having any more. I do not see babies and wish for more - I see hours of sleepless nights and endless hours of nursing. Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed both of them as babies - I enjoyed the bonding that nursing brings - but I do not long to do it again.

If asked to describe me, I doubt my friends would pick sentimental as one of the adjectives. I did not cry on L's first day of school, first haircuts or otherwise. I am genuinely happy to see them grow and develop. Each stage is new and exciting.

I will however say that there are moments - like today at lunch when E said "you eat yourself and I eat myself - L." It was too funny really.

Real conversation and total awareness of self - equal the demise of babyhood!

I am not sorry so much that we are there - but a part of me thought for a minute - wow that part of my life is really over.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I may be a budding fitness nut - but I am not nutts

This is a funny story. Today my Yoga instructor, Y, told me a funny story - about me. She works at the gym as a trainer, Yoga instructor and a Spinning teacher. She rocks! So yesterday I was at the gym - I ran about a mile and half before I lifted with my trainer. I started out a fast pace and my hair started to come down - so while I was running I was also pulling it back up and out of my face.

Y says to me today - you know I saw you yesterday while I was training and just out of the corner of my eye and from that vantage point - it looked like you were doing jumping jacks on the treadmill. She said she did a double take and then realized I was pulling up my hair. Which made her feel better - she said she could not fathom why I would try jumping-jacks on a treadmill. She knew I had run the 1/2 marathon - but then that is a reasonable fitness challenge - jumping jacks on a treadmill - close to insane!

Right - I do not even try jumping jacks on solid ground - let alone ground that is moving. I may be becoming a fitness nut - but I am not insane!

Scrooge part 2

Ok - this is the last time I will comment on this rather troubling phenomena - but today at the grocery store - yep you guest it - a huge and I mean HUGE display of Christmas junk. Not elegant, not event pretty - just junk.

It is only Election day and already we are awash in Christmas junk! Could someone please stop the madness.....

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ok call me Scrooge!

H will tell people that I am closely related to Scrooge. (Which is not exactly true - but let's just say that I will not be dressing up in a Santa suit anytime soon.)

I mean I like Christmas. I like to see the lights - especially at the zoo. I like it when people decorate tastefully - not 100,000 lights and crap - but with style and elegance. I mail my Christmas cards and I enjoy baking cookies.

The advent wreath and calendar are fun and I will say once I get over my holiday-blah -I- don't wanna-attitude I actually like decorating the Christmas tree. I love the way the live tree smells in the house. I love that every year you can have a different tree.

So perhaps I am not the one to be pointing this out - but I gotta say - IT IS NOT CHRISTMAS TIME YET FOLKS! Target already has Christmas decorations out - they were out before Halloween. A florist shop I passed today was all decked out for Christmas and the worst - what absolutely pushed me over the edge and made me write this post - a local radio station was playing Christmas music all weekend long. Hello! It is not even close to being Christmas yet. Please - let's just celebrate the holidays in order and for a reasonable amount of time.

Who wants to be hearing "Sleigh bells ring, blah, blah, blah" - while trying to squeeze the last little bit of Indian Summer/Fall out of the early days of November. Not me....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The other parent....

I thought about making this post about Dads - but then as I was thinking about it this afternoon, while watching Mr. M - our neighbor try to teach his 3 year son, his 7 year old daughter, L & E - the basics of back yard football, I decided that it is not a Dad or Mom issue - but rather it is about the other parent. In our neighborhood it is mainly Dad, in other places it might be the working mom married to the stay at home dad or in other family dynamics it might very well be my "other Mommie" or "my other Daddy." What I am driving at is the parent that does not spend most of their time nurturing the child, not the primary caregiver.

I have noticed this very profoundly in our family. H is way more motivated to let them do things for themselves. Not that I am not focused on independence, but he is in different way. L is washing her own hair and using the shower attachment to rinse it herself. I can assure you I did not teach her this. No way. Like I need a bathroom overflowing with water - at 7 pm after a long day of nurturing. E is now washing his own hair and waiting for someone to rinse it for him. Did I teach him this - no way - I wash him up as fast as possible, moving on to the next task.

But H, who is gone alot - will come home and on his days here, roll up his sleeves and dive right into the parenting. He is not afraid to take a chance. He maintains it is because he is lazy and wants them to be able to handle it all on their own in the near future. What do they say, "teach a man to fish......"

I have been viewing the tasks from the point of view of how much more work can this cause me - after an already long day, whereas H is viewing these tasks as how can I make life easier in the coming days.

It is also like this I think at the park. H will let - no encourage them to take risks, to grow - whereas I am more careful, I want everyone safe and in one piece. L would still be on the little slides - if H had not stepped in and taught how to climb the ladders and go for it.

Today Mr. M was charged with the task of explaining to his 3 year old, why incidental pushing and tackling while playing football is ok - but not ok otherwise. It was a talk he was having to have at each play. No matter how tedious it is a lesson worth learning.

Watching this and thinking about H and I's discussion about self help in the tub, made me think about the importance of the "Other parent." The one who is not always the day to day care giver but plays a vital role in the child's development.

As an aside - this observation is not to say that single mom's and dad's cannot raise kids. Not in the least - I am for all intense and purposes 4 or so days a week - a single mother. I can only imagine what it is like to never have the calvary come to the rescue. It must be an uphill battle all the way.

This entry is however about my observation of the dynamic I have witness and thought to comment on. It does take a village to raise a child - I think and I am further discovering that it everyone in the village has a role to play.

Life's little adventures...

Today I am sleepy - both little angels decided they really needed my company - IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT! But it is all good, right my biggest concern today was laundry, the dishwasher repair guy and making jack-o-lanterns - in the grand scheme of life - nothing earth shattering.

As I walked to get L from Kindergarten - though the night of next to no sleep was catching up with me. I was feeling tired. I thought, oh - I can make it a few more hours - surely nothing else will come up.

Well, as it happens as we walked home, the neighbor's little white dog falls in step with us. I had a vague notion where the little guy belongs - and it is not on our street. So I stop him, check his tags - thank goodness he had some - and then told L & E were were going on a little adventure. I fashioned a leash for him out of spare stuff in the garage and we head off, L walking, me with little dog and stroller - E riding in style.

After we dropped off the little guy, L says - "well, that felt good Mommie - we did a good deed and got him safe and sound back with his Mommie. Let's go home and have a snack."

Let's indeed.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

21 Big lessons from Little Kids REVISED: 21 things I have learned since I have become a mom

H brings me magazines all the time. Newspapers too! He collects them on his trips. It is great fun to get these every time he comes home. This trip he brought me a copy of Men's Health Sept. 2007. (BTW this is a great publication and the recipes they have every month are Yummy and Easy!)

I especially like the article "21 big lessons from little kids."

So I decided to come up with 21 Lessons I have learned since becoming the mother of 2 little kids:

1. The hours between 7 am and 7 pm - roughly the time they are awake can be as pleasant as you make them. You can dread every hour, fear every tantrum or you can embrace the day, make the most of it and that includes yogurt on the ceiling and the screaming fit in Target. Actually I have found the more relaxed I am the more relaxed they are.

2. Honesty so is the best policy. Little ones will tell you when you look funny. They will also tell you that you are the most beautiful woman in the world - and coming from them I know it is true - they are not just giving me a line.

3. Honesty is the best policy when dealing with them. If they ask how long you are going to be - tell them the truth. If they want to know why they have to eat veggies - tell them the truth. If they want to know why they have to go to bed, tell them the truth. Kids are so down with the truth to the extent they can understand. Like a dog can smell fear, kids can smell a lie.

4. It is perfectly acceptable to just do it! Stop thinking it over, stop hemming and hawing and just do it, the worst that can happen is you fall on your ass - best case - you have alot of fun.

5. If you are the one with the crayons - then the sky can be green and the grass blue - so there!

6. It is ok for someone to spit partially chewed food into my hand. It is not so bad really. Soap and water or a baby wipe will make my hand good as new. Honestly!

7. Bodily functions can be the ultimate comic relief.

8. Reading the same book over and over - really can be fun - especially once you have the story memorized - takes the pressure off - you could read it in your sleep or after being up all night.... The same applies to questions. Ask the same question enough and you might get the answer you are looking for.........

9. Sleep - well sleep is optional.

10. A 5 course gourmet well planned and executed meal has nothing on Mac & Cheese, yogurt, bananas and gummi bears - sorry Martha!

11. A kiss and a cuddle really can cure a world of hurts.

12. Waiting is silly, if everything ran on time everyone would be much happier. There is an reasonable amount of time one can wait and then you just bag it or throw a tantrum....

13. Outfits should make you happy - matching or seasonal appropriateness - well that is so last year.

14. Living the hell out of life is the point.

15. Eating with your fingers really does make the food taste better.

16. Listening is optional. Singing loudly so one does not have to listen - required skill.

17. At the end of the day, they do go to sleep, some nights quietly and other nights it is a struggle - but sleep they do.

18. The most peaceful sound in the world is the sound that one hears once they have gone to sleep - Silence.

19. One of the scariest sounds in the world is that same silence heard during the day followed by a shrill - "Moooooommmmmmmieeeeeeeeeeeee." Oh shit - what now?

20. Nothing compares to a big smile - on L or E's face.

21. While my life is drastically different and I am so not where I thought I would be - I would not trade any of it for all the money in world.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I think I know what the problem is....

I try not to harp or pick on people. Most people know, if they ask me for my opinion I am inclined to offer my honest opinion - I try to be kind but from me you get the truth. I have always been of the opinion that if you have bothered to ask - then you must really want to know.

So that said - I think I know what part of this countriy's weight problem is all about. People sit on their butts too much - mainly in their cars! Seriously, I love our neighborhood. It is a lovely neighborhood. Our yard rocks, we have mature trees! At night, it is so quiet in the neighborhood you can hear a pin drop. Would I like the energy of a more urban setting - some days yes and some days no. Do I feel safe and peaceful here. Yes.

What I am not such a fan of is the fact that it is suburban and as such, walking places is a bit harder. I can walk to the library - more correctly I ride my bike. I can ride my bike to the post office. H and I have ridden our bikes out to breakfast and lunch. I think I could ride my bike to the grocery, it would be a bit of a challenge, but it is possible.

One of the things I love most about Europe, NYC, Chicago, San Fransisco and other large urban centers, is that you can walk so many great places. You can take public transit to so many great places. You can ride your bike so many great places. It is expected that you walk, ride or take public transit so many great places and all points in between.

In the suburbs it is expected that you will squeeze your ever expanding butt into your over sized SUV and drive so many places. I am not down with this. One, I overall hate to drive. Secondly, it is not good for the environment. Currently it is expensive to drive everywhere. Furthermore, it is healthy to walk.

Case in point, I walk everyday to get L from school. It is about an 1/8 of a mile each way. I am one of the only moms in the neighborhood who is doing this. Everyone else is driving. For the most part, I think this lazy. Sure, I guess if your schedule is so tight and your kids are in so many activities, that you have no other recourse - but I have thoughts on that also.

Walking is good for you. It is a time to unwind, to take a breather, to enjoy the day. Sure this week, it was cool and rainy - but last time I checked that is why we have rain boots, umbrellas and rain coats.

So when the other mothers comment on how I have lost weight and always seem so serene, blah, blah, blah - I just smile and say, well I guess it is all those hours in the gym. Which in part have helped - but honestly, if they drove a little less and walked a little more - it just might have an impact on a number of areas in their lives. It would also teach their children the value of life long exercise and and an appreciation for what Urbanites and Europeans have known for along time - walking does the mind and body good.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A new year

I rarely make New Year's resolutions. I also do not give up anything during Lent - as a general rule - I mean I do not smoke, I drink only off and on, I cannot eat most sweet treats, dairy products, wheat and corn. Dark chocolate - well it is in no one's best interest that I stop eating that. I gave up watching TV for Lent 2 years ago and well I never went back - I now hardly watch tv.

So while I do not make resolutions as a general rule - I am a goal driven person. I like the sense of accomplishment a job well done brings. So I have to say that 2007 has been a year - in which I have striven to bust out of my shell and go for it - full force! I decided in February to get serious about dealing with my food issues, to lose the last bit of baby weight and then some, I resolved at that point in time to take up running. I honestly thought I would shoot for a 5 K - well while that was the logical way to go - I instead just went for the 1/2 marathon - when I go for it, I go for it. The same with writing. I thought this little public diary in cyberspace would cure the writers' urge - but no - I have now not only kept up this blog, but also ventured into freelancing, written 2 short stories (one of which was rejected and one of which I just sent off for consideration.) I am going to buckle down and get started on the novel - which I have been working on and off and on!

So on balance in the last 6 months - I have taken on some big goals and accomplished them and I feel all the better for it. It is hard - I mean I hurt in a huge way today - but I did it. I trained (maybe not enough) but I did train for the run and ran I did! The story rejection stung a bit - but just made me all the more determined to improve my craft - to get better - to keep writing. I labored over this last story. I really am pleased with it. It is a good story. So I will just wait and see - but by no means will a rejection cause me to stop trying. I know I can do it. I ran and finished the half marathon and I will get published. I just will. I want it and I will work until it happens.

I have no idea what 2008 will hold - but right now 2007 is shaping up to be a very good year for me.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Well that was fun...

That is what I turned to JS and said at 10.78 miles after we had run a brisk jog. I was smiling when I said it. In fact the entire 1/2 marathon experience was FUN! Now let me just say that the longest I have ever managed to run is 7.5 miles. I should have been able to run 10 miles - but I never got there - so we did walk a good bit of the course - say from 7.5 miles thru about mile 11.5 or so - but it was a fast walk. So I will recap random thoughts about the day - since I am feeling a bit random and putting it into usable prose is not going to happen.

1. I took chap stick. Yep - I had it in my sock. It was me and chap stick. I had not given a thought to food for during the race, car keys or otherwise. JS had her camel pack and a running watch with GPS and the whole deal. She had said if I wanted to run ahead I could. I asked her if she was nutts. She had all the good stuff - I was sticking to her like glue.

2. We ran the 1st mile in under 10 minutes. In fact we were moving at a fast clip for the 1st three. So I now know that my race style is more 5k than say 1/2 marathon. I like to bust it out and be done - thank you very much. I also know that I could run a 10 K and do ok also. I will not be attempting the full marathon anytime soon.

3. L asked me tonight if I won the race. Well not exactly. I mean I finished. I actually did it in under 3 hours - which for someone this time last year would tell people she would only run if chased. I mean a few years ago- if you told me I would run and finish a 13.1 mile- race - I would have told you that you lost your mind.

4. I noticed that girls tend to run in twos. JS and I ran together and we were not alone. In fact there where two girls dressed as rabbits - complete with pick knees socks. There were also many couples - I guess it is a great way to spend time together. However - I am not sure H is going to be running with me anytime soon. Besides he runs too fast - I am realistic about just how much I can take.

5. I had taken one of my favorite ABC cookies with me for after the race. I was so looking forward to it smeared in peanut butter. In fact at mile 10 I was really thinking about that cookie. So when the race ended and I could actually eat my cookie - well I did not want it anymore. Further proof that God is not a woman - a woman would have fixed the comic gliche that would do such a thing to a person who had just run/walked 13.1 miles. I still do not want that cookie - darn it! (For those wondering - yeah - I kinda wanted to puke...)

6. Not that I want anyone to think that I am superwoman - birthing babies the old fashion way and all - but because God is not a woman - it happened that my period started on Friday evening, Nice! But still managed it ok.

So the big question is who will be joining us for next years race? I mean we plan to do it in 2.5 hours. If you get off your butt now - you just might make it!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cross your fingers cuz holding your breath might get you killed

All joking aside - I did it today - I sent my short story off for consideration. It was a long work for me 9000 words - my first try was only 1500. I have been laboring over this story on and off since March. I think it is a good one. I really like how it came together. It is an erotic romance. The potential publisher will pay me nothing - but it might get my name out there and it is a chance to try out the process. I am learning on the fly.

I think if anything my witting is improving. I am getting better at telling a story. I am developing my own style. I am learning what works for me and what does not.

So please cross your fingers. Serious do not hold your breath - all that will happen is that you will turn blue!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Allow me to introduce Cinderella


L and I made this for her pumpkin contest at school. We painted her with pink tempra paint and made her a crown of flowers and a button face. L gave her pink glitter glue hair.

L named her also. Watch out Disney there is a new Cinderella in town.

It was great fun.... I love Halloween.

Daylight and Dark

H and I have hit a parenting milestone. We are done with diapers - during the day. E is in underwear and doing fine. It was painless. With L the entire potty training process closely resembled HELL. I mean I was ready to ship her back and demand a refund. It has been the greatest parenting challenge to date. I was dreading even thinking about it with E. But H - my knight in shinning armor - was home for a week and decided we should try - I mean if he had not taken the lead - I was fully prepared to let E go to college in diapers.

Well - all in all it truly is up to the child. E took to it. Is doing great. I mean this is who those freaky people who right the how to books are patterning their examples after.

This leads me to another thought. We have two totally different little people. As individual as they come. My mother says the same thing about my brother and I. She says she has daylight and dark.

I have to say that E and L have many similar traits and they are also - in the areas they are different - a great compliment to each other. For all of L's intensity E is laid back. For all of her enthusiasm, E is understated and quiet. L will dive in head first and E stands back to consider the possibilities.

E is the child that would convince you to have more. That however is not going to happen - we are content to enjoy them each for the individuals they are and enjoy their differences and similarities.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hats of to the folks at LGA

Ok - so I went to NYC last weekend and had a wonderful time. The weather was excellent and I had a super run in the park. Shopping, food and shows - excellent.

This time I told H - my trusted travel consultant that I refused to go through JFK - I do not care that it is free - I refused to go to that place.

So this time I flew through LGA and I have to say for as clueless as they are at JFK - the folks at LGA have it together.

I go there early on Monday morning - remember I have to fly when no normal sane person would - and I got checked in and noticed that the line to get through security was longer than the terminal, it was going out the door and onto the sidewalk. Now - I at first blush assumed that LGA would operate like JFK and I was in for a huge catastrophic ordeal and I had visions of being stranded, because for me it was the early flight or not at all.

Well, to my surprise, the staff at LGA made sure the line stayed orderly, somehow managed to scare up some TSA employees to operate the second check point and then culled the line - taking people based upon their departure time. At JFK I am certain we would have all stood there in the midst of a riot and more than likely missed our flights.

All I can say is - clearly this is a prime example of how good management works. Situations are dealt with. Solutions are found. Details are taken care of.

So - LGA hats off to you.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thankfully it was not a spelling test

You Scored an A

You got 10/10 questions correct.

It's pretty obvious that you don't make basic grammatical errors.
If anything, you're annoyed when people make simple mistakes on their blogs.
As far as people with bad grammar go, you know they're only human.
And it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturb you sometimes.


Angelle had this over on her blog so I decided to check it out also. It is not as tricky as I thought it might be. I hate proofreading. It is hard work. I struggle with it. But there are somethings that do make me crazy and this little quiz speaks to that.

Now about spelling - I am horrible. I am dreading when L needs to work on spelling words. I can blame it sometimes on the fact that my hands and brain cannot always get it together - but honestly, spelling has never been my strong suit.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Free Fall

Do you remember doing "trust falls" when you were younger, in a team building exercise? I was never very good at them. I mean in a pinch I think I would trust someone to catch me - but do I really need to test this in practice. Same thing with bungee jumping and sky diving - if ever I absolutely have to jump out of a plane or off a bridge - I think I could rise to the occasion and do what it takes - but "practice it for fun" - can I pass?

Now I have friends who have gone bungee jumping and sky diving - they have described the rush of the free fall and the sheer excitement of being weightless - if only for a few moments. It sounds wonderful. (I am still not going to do it.)

The other day in the park, H & I were watching L & E play and I was sitting on the ledge of the jungle gym structure and H wanted me to lean back and do a "trust fall." I could not do it. Now I know with all of my heart that H would catch me. He has done so in so many ways in the past. I trust him with my life - but I still could let myself fall off the ledge.

Today as I drove to the airport for my flight to NYC, I was thinking about how much I do love and trust H. We actually have a bit of an inside joke - "Who is always right?" (Hint - it is not me!) So today as I drove to the airport, following his time table to the letter, I was struck by how right he is. He had my travels mapped out by 5 minute increments. Now he should know - but my point is I trust him. I know he is giving me good advice. It has always been this way.

So while I might not be willing (or perhaps it is I am willing - just not able) to lean back off the the jungle gym and fall. I am willing and able to do listen to his sound advice, to trust him with all of my love and really - that means all the world to me.

Monday, October 1, 2007

5 reasons I think I might be too old to read Cosmo

I usually do not read and run - it is hazardous to my health. However today I did the elliptical as some cross training today and to give the knees a break. (Yes I know the race is coming up JS, but after 2 babies and being 34 - a girl has to be careful.) So while I was looking through the magazines I pulled out the October edition of Cosmopolitan. Now let me be the first to say that I love Cosmo. I have read it since I was in my mid teen years - but today I felt like perhaps I was getting too old to be reading Cosmo:

1. In several articles, there was mention of living at home still. Or living with parents or going to visit your honey and they live at home. Wow, I have not really lived at home since I was say 19 years old.

2. During the career pieces, everyone is very worried about their first "real" job. Or there is discussion about getting that first promotion. MMMM, wow that seems like a long time ago.

3. One women was lamenting the fact that her boyfriend always leaves to go home in the predawn. She was really wondering what that meant. (News flash - that means he is not all that into you or he has an early meeting or he needs to invest in a good overnight bag.) My only predawn lament is a) H is not home to take a turn tackling whatever problem L or E is having b) or when H is home, what are the chances we can sneak in some cuddle time - before they need something.

4. That almost all the men and women featured in the true confession segments are younger than me by at least 5 year. Shit when did that happen?

5. That the hottie bachelor or steamy superstar featured is also younger then me by 5 years. MMMM.

Now all of that aside the 2 reasons I will more than likely still read Cosmo from time to time:

1. They can do a fashion spread to die for in my book. Love it. Maybe would never wear it - but love it!

2. Articles like the one this month on the combo full body orgasm - because let's be honest - when I am too old for that - I hope I am dead!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Feed me when I am hungry

I spend alot of time talking on this blog about what I cannot eat. My relationship with food has changed dramatically. I really could care less about it. I eat because my body needs fuel.

As a mother, I spend alot of time feeding L & E. When they were babies I feed them from my body, I nursed them both. I knew that what I ate would impact them directly. Now I spend alot of time making sure they are eating healthful foods. No junk food. H and I have told Lillian she cannot eat too much candy and specifically cotton candy because it will rot her teeth. She asked today if birds could eat cotton candy - since they do not have teeth.

Last night, at church, L and I attended our annual Iftar. An Iftar is the traditional breaking of the fast during Ramadan. What you say? Well at our church we invite out Muslim neighbors to our church for a supper prepared by us for them. We eat together, we pray together and learn from one another. My friend J is an antropoligist who studies pre-Biblical tribes in the Middle East. She has a number of Muslim friends and has spent much time in the Middle East.

I have learned alot attending these events. But last night I was both empowered and saddened. I took the children, both Muslim and Christian, into our large meeting room and we played while the adults were praying. Small children do not want to sit still and wait while adults do adult stuff. So as we played, I notice again, that for children - language does not matter, names do not matter, color of skin does not matter. Play is the same. If you will not share - that matters. If you form a cliche - that matters. If you do not play in an inclusive way - that matters. If you hit or bite that matters.

Why as adults do we forget this. Why do we not see the things that are the same. As people we all hunger, we all love, we all feel pain, we all love our children. As communities of faith, we strive to love and serve God - no matter the name we choose to identify God with.

So last night our little church honored and served everyone who for the month of Ramadan, has chosen to fast during the daylight hours by hosting a meal.

I hope that everyone who was there last night - will further chose to honor God and each other by remember the lesson the children taught us - love one another as you want others to love you - play fair and enjoy each others many and great gifts. It is not about the geography that separated or the cultures that are different.

When we are hungry, we eat. When we are sad, we cry. When we are happy, we smile. When we feel joy, we laugh.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

See - the irony is killing me


After today's observations and my thoughts of late on time, self awareness, the path less traveled - the gods decided I needed more irony in my life or they sought to drive the message deeper into my brain.

So tonight L and I read this book.

Great story and yes - to the powers that be - I am listening - I am chaninging my world view, I am stopping to smell the roses and I am taking life at a slower pace and I am happy about all of that. Message received!

The Quest for the Holy Grail

For me, knowing what I do not want is often much easier for me to define than telling you exactly what I do want. I have a number of theories as to why this is the case. None of which really matter. It is simply a matter of fact, that I do often make decisions by a ruling things out, sort of a process of elimination verses actually just going with what I want.

Recently I have decided to work to change this process. I am going to seek that which I truly want, instead of choosing from the list of things, which remain after I have ruled other things out. I have been thinking and kicking this around for about a year - with mixed results actually.

Today L & E & I went to her friend KI's birthday party. He is very into knights and it was a knight & princess themed party. KI's parents are attempting to channel his 5 year testosterone surge into constructive history lessons - therefore he is all about being a knight. So KI's mom made a string maze in their yard, one string attached to a colored cup and wound around the yard. She called it the Quest for the holy Grail. It was wonderful - but a bit too much for the 5 year olds. That said KI's parents, their neighbor and I helped the 6 kids (plus E) try to untangle and unwind the string in order to locate the cups. I thought it was great fun. I like this kind of puzzle.

KI's dad after a professional disappointment is embarking on a new career path. We had been discussing that and that is when it hit me. This struggle with the string in order to locate the cups is really a quest based on real life. Real life is tangled and messy. Sometimes the right path takes you exactly where you want to be and sometimes, for various reasons - you get off track and tangled in someone else's string or you get the seemingly right path tangled and end up veering off course.

At the end of the day however it simply does not matter. It is the journey. Sometimes the detour is the journey you need to take. Learning to accept the journey and enjoy the moment you are in - be it tangle or on the right path is the secret I think.

Some of the best times of my life, the moments I really remember, the ones that mean the most have come out of tangles, missteps, chances taken. They have been the moment's that I planned the least.

So where the knights of old really seeking a gold cup or was their quest for something else entirely?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Time

I will be the first to admit, my days are very very full. I get up fairly early and many nights I stay up pretty late. I know we are supposed to be in a fast paced society full of instant everything - from instant communication via IM and email to instant breakfast drinks. We are addicted to instant and fast. Our society is going to instant itself right into an overload.

I mean I need time to breath. I want it. The creative being that I am needs down time. Now a few years ago I was addicted to my Day Planner. I wrote everything down and I planned my life in blocks of 15 minutes. It was insane. Now, I still plan - but I take time for me. I take time for L & E and most of all H and I are careful to take time for us.
I cannot believe the schedules some of my friends keep. It is insane. Their kids days are so full - overflowing really. The parents are so busy they hardly have time to breath, let alone enjoy the day. I was once compelled to fill in every minute of every day. I mean fill them. Now I go out of my way to make sure the day is empty.

This weekend I opted out of a meeting, I had been looking forward to, in order to spend time with L, E & H. We went to the park and enjoyed the splendor of the day. We were so engrossed that it was noon before we knew it.

While it is true that there are only 24 hours in the day - the challenge is to make sure you are spending them wisely. I would submit in our obsession to get the most out of those hours by being faster and more efficient - that we are in fact cheating our selves and are in effect getting alot less than we really want and deserve.

Everything in our society is rushed. We rush through dinner, we rush through our days. We rush through our work outs. Rushing is not healthy. I would submit we all need to take a deep breath and shed some of the items on our schedules. What is possibly more important that taking time to enjoy our friends, families and the splendor of each day?

Friday, September 14, 2007

How sweet it is the number 6

For the men who read my blog (well aside from H) this may not interest you in the least; but truly it is a great thing.

You know six is a great number - it is half of say 12. It is a half dozen - it is really a good number of people to meet for dinner or drinks, enough to be fun but too many, as to make it hard to chit chat. Six is about the right time to eat dinner. Change one letter in six and get something interesting.

So why you all say am I extolling the virtues of the number six? Well because I now own 1 dress and 3 pairs of pants that are size 6. I have not seen that number in years!

So the happy dance music you all heard around 2 pm today - yep that was me too.

Not not eating pizza has never be so pleasant!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Caressed by Ice Book Review


Caressed by Ice

by Nalini Singh

ISBN 978-0425218426

Recap:

This book is the third in her series about Psy-Changelings. It is the story of Breena, a changeling wolf and Judd, a Psy, who in order to save his family defected and left the Psy-Net and now lives with the wolf pack.

This tibit is from Nalini's website:

As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins—cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…

Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted—and had her mind violated—by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…


What Worked for Me

The entire story. Nalini has a way with emotion. She writes it very well. Every scene is just dripping with it, even if she does not name it, you can feel the aura of it. Truly powerful. I think this novel was well construstucrted. There is alot of plot to this one, the story moves fast and it is complex. Not that the other two books in the series were not, but this one really pushes the over arcing story and I will guess is setting us up for more to come. That said I think it makes the book really solid and does not in anyway take away from the love story between Breena and Judd. Their story is also very powerful, on the surface it is an opposites attract story - as will the all the heroes and heroines so far, but in this case it is very true. Judd is the iciest of icy and Brenna is really very sensually but also frightened given what has happened to her. But she has an inner strength that is stronger and tougher and a true testament to the woman she is. I also think, for me though, Nalini's has captured in them both that beautiful part of human nature, she has shown that where there is a will there is truly a way. The path may not always be clear and there will always be something to overcome, but if you want it badly enough and are willing to work for it, it can be yours.

What did not work for me

Nothing, the book is wonderful. I read it slowly and savored every little bit of it and then I read it again.

As a note to those reading this blog, while the previous 2 books in this series more than likely could be read out of order, this one would lose something very important. That is not to say that this one cannot stand alone. The story is powerful on its own, but I am telling you to get the full deal, you need to read Slave to Sensation and then Visions of Heat and then go for this one.

Overall

Go to the bookstore now..... It is well worth it.

Learning

L started Kindergarten this year. She loves it, but then she loved preschool, so I was not worried. L is bit like her mother, in that she likes to know what is on the agenda. While I am much more spontaneous now than say 5 years ago, the bottom line is having a "To-Do" list is helpful and keeping track of activities on a calendar is ever so necessary. L likes to know stuff. So usually over breakfast we review the plan for the day.

Sometimes, like yesterday, she will repeat it back to me. So yesterday she had this to say, "So we are going to go work out - well Mommie you can work out E & I will play, then the grocery, then home for lunch, then the bus stop, and THEN I GET TO GO LEARN, and then we get to walk and play outside, then dinner."

I decided to point out that she can learn all the time. So I go thru the "we are always learning...." speech and she looks at me and says, "Well sure, but at Kindergarten the only reason I am there is to learn. That is the ENTIRE point. School is for learning - the other learning stuff Mom is incidental."

Yeah, so ok when I picked my jaw up off the floor, I agreed and suggested she go play. I mean she is right - the point of school is to learn. (When I ask you did my 5 year learn words like incidental?) While I suppose the other learning can be incidental I am of a mind that it should not be. I think we need to constantly open to learning something new, learning the lessons life throws at us, challenging ourselves.

I think the minute we close that section of our head then a door very well may be closed forever. I think that we have to very vigilant in our efforts to constantly be open to learning something new. Now as a matter of practicality, in our media over stimulating world, I think we have to be careful to limit the sources as a matter of self preservation. It is important to choose your sources wisely. But my thoughts on that topic are another matter entirely.

My point today, of all days really, is that we need to be focused on learning from our mistakes, by being open to change, to embrace that life has real and powerful lessons if only we would take the time to listen.

Todays is September 11. A day that I know will hold real significance for me until the day the I die. Six years ago today, I saw on television, live, that evil does exist. That hate, fanaticism, insanity can combine with disastrous results. Many innocent people died. It was mass murder. It proved to me that hate has a real power.

But today, six years later, I wonder if somehow the lessons we should have learned from those terrible moments have somehow been lost? Have we closed out minds to the real lessons we should have learned that day. I look at the world today and I see more hate, more violence and less love and compassion. I see more that is driving us apart, where I had hoped to see more that pulls us together.

Sadly I am fearful that we have taken an event which should have taught us some really stark lessons and somehow missed the point. In this above many other lessons, I am hoping we will not need a review or a repeat to learn the lesson being present. I pray for that not to be the case. I hope that as with some tough lessons, this one will merely require a bit more quiet reflection to actually sink in.

So while L is right, the point of school is to learn, I would humble submit that life, the day to day, has alot to teach us as well - if only we are open to learning it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Breath

So cradle your head in you hands
And breathe, just breathe,
Woah breathe, just breathe

-Anna Nalick

You know today was one of those days. Very busy and lots of running around. I hate running around. I hate driving in circles. Really, I absolutely hate it. I am a home body or a walk body. I think if I lived somewhere with public transit I might actually go and do more. Let someone else drive.

So today we dance lessons, then a quick stop at the library, hurried home to change, eat, hustle to the bus stop, hustle home for E's nap, I cleaned up like mad for the babysitter, then walked to school, double timed it home, quick snack, jumped in the car, drove to my brother's office in full on rush hour traffic, met up with brother, drove like mad to the airport, dropped off car for H to drive home tonight, fought some horrible traffic to get home, ran in ate a quick dinner, went over routine with sitter, and then I ran out the door to walk back to the school for the Open House. Along the way, I was trying to get my head in the right space for the meeting and to detox my mind a bit from the day.

It had been the day. But as I walked up the bike path to the tunnel, I saw a family of deer, in the green space next to the tunnel. It was just shifting from day to dusk and it was lovely. I stopped and stood there and watched. Then it occurred me, if my time table of the days events had been different, I would have missed seeing this. That would have been a great lose I think.

Someone said to me that I have a serenity around me a calmness and I guess I do. I did not use to. I used to be a big ball of tension. Trust me I was wrapped pretty tight, but about 18 months ago I decided that I cannot control the world, but what I can control is my reaction to it.

Lately I have been telling L, do not sweat the small stuff and frankly, it is all small stuff.

I now take time to Breath. I build time for me into the day. While it is true that with kids you have less and less time that is your own, you can carve it out. I do it every day. I take time for me. For me to be of true value to those around me, I must take time to Breath.

That said, I was 5 minutes late to the meeting, but then, I got to see something lovely and peaceful and that my friends is worth it weight in gold.