Saturday, January 31, 2009

Energy

Kye: "Mom how do they keep the power going on, everywhere?"
Mom: "Huh?"
Kye: "I think someone sneaks in at night and changes the batteries!"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fond Farewell!


Here is photo of one of my good bye gatherings at work. A great bunch of people and they will be missed in my world. They "made" me wear a party hat that I consequently dubbed "the dunce cap" and showered me with blessings and good wishes. Before we ate, Lou (my boss) asked folks to lay a hand on me while she prayed for the best job ever to come my way. Yeah, I am pretty lucky despite my bad luck :-).

I still have one week to go at my current position. After that, I will be a free bird. I have many thoughts as this approaches: yay, a break!; Oh sh*t, what now?; the dryer lint tray will finally get cleaned!; how do people live without $$?; do I have what it takes to get the very best job ever?; don't settle for less...; the economy sucks right now; have faith. Things like that rolling around.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Brilliance in our Midst

So, here is yet another dentist story. The dentist just put Novocaine in my mouth to get ready for the root canal I needed and he stopped by to see how I was doing. I conversationally said, that I felt a little loopy. He said that was odd and asked several questions. One of the questions was, "have you eaten today?". I said I had not. He went to get me some apple juice and it did the trick. You see, I dutifully brushed my teeth in the morning, went to work and debated whether to eat; knowing food would get lodged in the nooks and crannies.

When he came back, I explained that I did not want to have food in my teeth for my visit with him. He said he understood but acknowledged that it was better to have food in your teeth than to pass out on his chair. He began poking in my mouth and about 2 minutes later he said, "You know..........., you could just brush before you come."

Smiling to myself, I muttered, "You're brilliant!"
Without missing a beat he said, "Must be all those years at university."

Maybe it was the Novocaine, but at the time, it was hilarious. Funny how some things just dawn on ya.

If you would like to spend some quality time with my dentist he can be reached at:

Vahid G. Hagee, D.D.S.
1669 Lockbourne Road
Columbus, Ohio 43207
614-444-9840

He has a gentle spirit and is willing to answer all questions. And, boy can I ask questions! He suggested that the dental industry may be in my future. Who knows?!

Some lessons from the dentist:

1. Not going to the dentist means you probably will need a deep cleaning. Deep cleaning costs about $450 (give or take).

2. All the cavities I have in my mouth could have been avoided through flossing (daily).

3. Bone loss happens when you have gum disease and the bone erodes over time. Bone loss is not reversible and the basic premise is that you eventually can lose enough bone that your teeth won't have a place to be rooted. So they fall out.

Having grown up in poverty, I really did not have much exposure to the dentist and it was not a part of our families' routine. My mom had dentures ever since I could remember and we were concerned about other things like having enough food or dealing with issues -- dental health was on the way back burner.
I did not think of it much in college. I have relatively straight teeth and I did not have any sensitively so I just rolled with it. Years later when I announced I was getting married, my aerobics instructor (a.k.a. dental hygienist), gave me a good clean as a wedding present. I was surprised to find out that I did not have any cavities.

At age 31, pregnant, I had my first cavity. Since then, it has been hit or miss. I have been getting to know my dentist quite well these past two weeks as I try to use up all my benefits before the lay off takes place. He is a nice guy, but I wish we could have met under different circumstances.
Thing is, flossing, brushing and visiting the dentist are not hard things. I am not sure how I missed the relevance of the good dental health lectures in school. I am certain they shared these things. Now as I reach into my pocketbook, I grimace and cry (just a bit) as I realize all of this could have been avoided!

Don't you want to love your teeth? Group hug!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Scuba

After reading, The Sea Wishing Day

Kye: "Mom, I want to go scuba diving when I am older."

Me: "I would love to do that with you."

Kye: "But Mom, I am going to do that when I am a parent."

Me: "Ok, but I still would like to go with you then..."

Kye: "I should probably learn how to swim. Scuba Divers need to know how to swim."

Me: "That is a good idea."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Expression at it's Finest

Take a look at this video. What I love about it is that this guy has moves and seems to be really comfortable in his own skin. Very fun! Below I have a link to the original music video.

Wouldn't it be great if we could all just play around and not care what others think? I find, that even though people think I am not shy, I feel quite modest and reserved at times especially when it comes to expression. It is my goal to let more of me out in the future-- why the heck not?

Oh and I love the beat and tempo of this song, it makes you want to jump up and shake it! By the way, there are many videos of people on Youtube dancing to this song-- men, women, big, small and even babies.



Beyonce, Single Ladies

Choose

(a poem given to me by a friend/sister/co-worker)
.
Tensions declared by higher forces
Controlling destinies and destinations,
Live in na├»ve worlds, isolated from choice —
Not able to understand another’s thoughts,
Or permit them to choose their own path.
.
.
Prepare your mind, and follow your heart —
Disallow wavering caused by another’s hand.
Believe in your truths, decide with your spirit —
Sense your direction and your soul will follow —
For at the end your liberation is waiting for you.
.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Let's Get Physical

I got this photo from my sister Louie through email. It is a funny one. I like it for many reasons: 1. It reinforces that timing is everything, 2. I can look at the street where we grew up-- houses, yards, a familiar scene that brings up memories and 3. I can reflect on and appreciate true style-- whether it be clothing or body expression-- ya just can't beat it.

It also reminds me that I am a very physical being. I experience my world through touch and connect to people, places and things tactily. As I become more and more cerebral, I am reminded not to lose "touch" with my physical side. Increasing physicalness can take many forms: walking the stairs at work, playing in the snow, participating in tag games, doing crunches, massaging others, hugging friends, welcoming handshakes, pick up your step from place to place, stretching, etc.

It is interesting to me that I need to remind myself about what I consider my true nature. I suppose we all lose ourselves at times. Sometimes a picture or a circumstance can awaken us as we view ourselves from the outside in. Thanks Lou!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thrifty Giving

My daughter Alea came up to me after RSVPing for a birthday celebration next week. The party is for her very best friend and she wanted to make plans about the gifting process. Anyone who knows Alea knows that she is a planner, takes most things into consideration and while she is at it, will help you to organize your life as well. This could be an annoying feature to her personality but somehow, she nails it in such a way that makes you want to follow her lead; it is, no matter how you look at it, the sensible thing to do. This time was no exception, however, she did pose me with a question that made me pause with furrowed brow.

She wanted to shop for said friend at the thrift store. Now a few facts would be helpful here as you ponder with me:

1. Alea loves to thrift shop. Most times she gets her own cart, peruses the isles with reckless abandon and finds herself some sweet (as she says) pieces. Joy emanates from her. And, getting a bargain makes it even sweeter. She totally gets that she can purchase way more, for way less. She is quite the shopper. She never fails to spot a "so me" item on the rack and insists that I give these things a try and truth be told she is never far off. Sometimes the sizes don't work or she picks something that doesn't suit my color scheme, but all in all, she is an asset in the shopping department.

2. OK, back to the birthday situation. Alea attends school and has many friends from New Albany (a suburb of Columbus). It is fair to say that my kids witness true wealth when they go to visit their friends from school. On the whole, they have not come home whining about what other kid's have and what we are lacking (Lord knows I am grateful for that). I also realize that wealth is a relative concept here. It is not my desire to stereotype here. I am only recognizing that there is most definitely a difference in economic class.

3. Alea would like nothing better than to share her joy of thrift shopping with her friend. She argued sensibly that her friend likes the very jeans she was donning and THEY were from the thrift store. I can follow her logic her after all, I purchase most of my clothes from the thrift store.

4. When Alea told her friend where she purchased these fine jeans she did not know what a thrift store was-- the concept was totally out of the realm of her experience.

So, I explained to Alea, under most circumstances, you don't give someone a birthday gift that is considered used, unless it is a special item from your own collection that you want to share, like a family heirloom......

In general, for a birthday celebration, you make a purchase from a traditional store or make something that is a gift from your heart.

I must admit, I have conflicting values here and a limited ability to explain this dilemma within. I would not have thought it would be hard for me to express the why behind here-- but in truth, I believe any gift given from the heart is of value-- no matter where it is purchased.

One year my sister DeeDee asked for clothing for her birthday since she was giving up her deaf interpreting gig (you mostly wear black or other plain dark colors). I asked her if she minded me shopping at the thrift store for her because I could do some real damage that way. She said she did not mind. It was so fun! I felt free to buy a few items that may be considered absolute finds or may be considered clunkers. I did not feel like I bought the farm. I know for a fact that I picked out some jeans that she wore until they became thread bare-- jeans that she probably would not have picked out for herself.

I suppose I am worried that a gift from the thrift store may appear cheap or may be unappreciated in the circles of New Albany or worse, us becoming labelled as the poor family, when really, the whole idea came from the joy of the hunt.

I did offer Alea the option to invite her friend on a shopping spree at the thrift store to share in the experience. Of course, I am about to work my last day, heading into the land of layoff, so calling it a spree may be a bit misleading. The girls may have to make selections, keep within a budget and make hard decisions about what to purchase and what to leave behind. But, even that is a wonderful lesson in life (may even make those items purchased feel more special).

Anyway, I am curious to how others may see this opportunity.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Brownie Dilemma


Oh for the love of God, will someone please tell me how to get brownies out of the pan!!! I have come to realize that I am a good mom overall, but in the department of baking I fall short. I have attempted to bake some brownies and the past two times we end up scraping them from their glass baking dish. It is like they are holding on for dear life, not wanting to leave their 4 walled environment. There must be some secret that eludes me.


So, if you have wisdom of this nature, please help me to right my wrong. Inquiring minds want/need to know!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Contentment


So I have been composing this post in my mind for some time now and decided to do some research and found my thoughts written on the page before me. Hmm....I guess others are thinking about this stuff too. The concept is about contentment; being content.

There is a beautiful tension between desire for more (goals, wishes desires) and experiencing true contentment (happiness, bliss). How do we wrestle with the fact that our situations may be less than desirable yet hold something to be appreciated?

I went to a movie on Friday called Marley and Me. It was a movie about a dog and relationships surrounding the dog. The dog was badly behaved and quite the challenge. However, I was most interested in the relationship between the couple in the movie and intrigued by the internal struggle of the main character. He was a reporter, turned columnist, turned reporter again. In each step of the journey he really wondered whether he was doing what he was called to do and was oft times bordering on discontentment while simultaneously experiencing each step in his life. You know-- wondering if he missed the call to chase after the exciting stories in order to raise his family, wondering if he was selling himself short, stuck in a vision of self that seemed to evade him, while a new (dare I say, even better) self emerged.

It made me wonder how many of us are teetering on the cliff of "what could have been" or traveling in the cave of "maybe I should instead" rather than taking stock of the beauty around us. My experience and observation points to the wasted energy that comes from regret or the worry of what could be-- ultimately imposing judgement on oneself of the most unkind sort.

Does this mean that we shouldn't strive for something better? Should we settle for something that brings our spirit down? No. I think we are meant to purposefully appreciate what we have while discerning next steps toward our potential. And, sometimes our true potential may be among wonderful opportunities right around us that we are not or have not acknowledged. Somewhere we are taught discontentment and angst. Happiness, I believe is not in our circumstances but within ourselves and our ability to see the good in our everyday.

I do not profess to understand these things fully. I know that along the journey I have figured out some things and one is that happiness is not something that happens to you. It is something you claim.

Well, my words are not as eloquent as the ones found here. I like this article because it gives tips on how to get to contentment. Good news is that it is within our power. And given my current state of joblessness and singleness, they are good words to read and absorb.
As for the photo up top, I just thought I looked rather content. However I should confess-- I don't play the guitar.....
Yet.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Year in Pictures

Tiff, a friend in the blogging world has invited us to play along by participating in the 365 Project where you post a picture a day. I would like to attempt this and share some of the inner workings of my family/experiences with the outer world. It will encourage me to bring the camera along and continue to tell the stories that pop up in our daily lives.

I have placed, "A Year in Pictures" to the right. I better keep my camera charged up and ready to go........

Shackadillic


"I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside." --forward of The Shack written by William P. Young.


And so, this is the way the book begins. The story is told by a man, who knew a man, who had an extraordinary experience with God. Pages speed by as you vicariously join Mack on his journey, dealing with The Great Sadness, moving through to the other side.


The quote above speaks of grace. Grace meaning being loved,...... even though..... We all need forgiveness and understanding. We all need to be loved. What if we really knew deep down, even though we are majorly flawed, that we are truly loved? That is a beautiful thing.


I have had the experience of this kind of love-- you know the love where you are accepted the way you are, despite any idiocy you may be showing at the time. The love where you don't have to worry about the person leaving you or judging you or demanding you satisfy conditions in order to receive their affection. Someone loving you just because you are you.


Well, this book talks about that, in story form: weaving a delightful, hopeful tale. Dig in.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Shameless Advertisement

Well, blogger world, I am full of thoughts and things to share. But, for now, I will just share a little bit. I found out this past Tuesday that I have officially been laid off at work. With the economy as it is, my employer has decided that it needs to make some changes. So, this is a shameless advertisement that your very own Erin is available for the next great opportunity. If you are aware of such an opportunity, please send it forth and I will act accordingly. Thank you ever so much and blessings upon you all. :-)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Gift

I was deeply touched by a gift given to me today. As many of you know, I have a sign on my forehead that says, "give me stuff" and I am fortunate to be offered and accept such gifts. Today was no exception.



I had the pleasure of having lunch with an old friend (not old to look at, but old in the sense that we have not seen each other in 18 years). The conversation was reminiscent and engaging. The food was palatable and time passed too quickly.



As lunch came to a close, we wished each other well and he asked me to wait a minute while he retrieved a gift for me, or for my son Quinn, from the car. Needless to say that piqued my interest, "What could he be giving that would interest either Quinn or I?". He came back with a bag with a bulky item in it. As I peered in he asked, "You know what that is .....?". I said, "An Irish sweater! Is this one my mom made?" He said, "Yes."



Emotions flooded me as I remembered my mom's hands working the knitting needles. Remembering the love she put into such things. I hugged the sweater and hugged him next. He gave some lame reason for giving it up like he has gained weight or something like that, I appreciate the thoughtfulness behind the intention. What my friend did not realize is how much this gift would mean to me at this particular time.



As for my mom, you just never know when she will show up.