Friday, August 21, 2009

Here we go!!

Two weekends left before the girls start school. One weekend left before I go back to work. I've basically already been back to work. Two days of training this last week, working in my classroom - the same old drill.

As usual, I'm excited about getting back into routine. Bailie made the tennis team, has all her classes, her locker, her student Id and is ready to roll. Kate has her schedule, figured out how to pen her locker, has all her supplies - including new uniforms - and is ready to roll. Now I just need to be ready. I'll get there - I just need to quit obsessing.

Our last doctor's appt for the summer is today for Kate. We've done all the other regular check-ups this summer and hopefully won't need to see any more doctors for a while.

Speaking of doctors - I took Bailie to an allergist this summer for this weird pollen/oral allergy thing she has. (She gets a rash in her mouth from certain fruits that are tied to a birch pollen allergy...) While there I started talking to the doc about my hives and they had some ideas.
So I made an appointment for myself and am currently hive free! I am taking A LOT of medication which doesn't thrill me, but time will tell if being hive free is worth the sort of druggy feeling I have. I'm functioning fine, I just don't like the dry nose, weird feelings of antihistamines.
However - I am hive free!!! I haven't been able to say that in over two years.

I've been doing Bikhram yoga - I went 6 times in 7 days but haven't been back the last two. I really liked it, but now life is getting in the way. Funny how that happens. :-)

I'm trying to get past the "panicky" feeling I have about working full time. I feel this desperate need to complete everything before school starts - like I won't have after school or weekends to get things done. I just need to breathe.... maybe I should stick with yoga.....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

BLS (Buy Less Stuff)

I was just reading a blog I follow - Money and Happiness. She talked about how we need to buy less stuff. We've been living by that motto - that is until I found out I had my own classroom this year. I have felt justified in spending 100's of dollars on "stuff" for my classroom. I don't want students walking into a room with blank walls and no color! I have been somewhat frugal about things. I started my search at thrift stores and found some great deals - like a fabulous chair for my reading area for only $15.00! However, some things can only be found at the Teacher Aid Store which costs an arm and a leg! I'm sure if I had been more patient I would have been able to appeal to all the friends I teach with to share the things they've been collecting over the years but no longer use. But, as most of my friends and family know, patience is not one of MY virtues. So, was I justified in that spending? I'm not sure. I will save the receipts for taxes. My students will have a warm and welcoming room on the first day of school which research shows will improve their attitude toward learning - I'm molding the leaders of tomorrow right? This is important stuff! :-)
I'm slowing down now, balancing the check book brought me back to reality. I'm going to the websites that the Money and Happiness blogger suggested - like freecycle. (Have any of you ever used that?)
For everyday family expenses, I've been a little off track too. It's summer - it's difficult to not hemorrhage money. Trying to find activities that keep the kids happy etc. I know - Laura Ingalls managed to have fun on the prairie with out money - but this aint the prairie! We play cards, take bike rides, go to the library... we find inexpensive things to do but it isn't easy. I suppose it will have to get easier if we run out of money! :-( We make the girls pay for their own "extras" - like the Harry Potter t-shirts they HAD to have to wear to the midnight movie tonight. Oh yea, the midnight movie. Am I completely insane? I don't stay up past 9:00 most nights and tonight I will be waiting in line at 9:00 for a movie that starts at midnight!!
But, once again, I digress. The Money and Happiness blogger said that changing a brain to be frugal is like working out. I have to work that muscle -"Is this a need or a want?" until it becomes fit and a natural part of who I am. I'm trying - but again, my friends and family know that I suck at working out!
Sooooo, I guess it's good I'll be working full time to help pay for that classroom! (Does anyone else see the irony?)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Phew! Summer if flying by....

I say it every year. I know it's going to happen. Yet still, every year, I find myself in shock over the fact that summer is already half over! It certainly hasn't been slow or boring this year. I think I've only slept in one day. (That was until 8:30 - that's sleeping in for me!)

Bailie has had lots of tennis - she starts practicing with the high school team today - she's nervous and excited. She's been babysitting a lot too. She has her 4-H camp counselor job starting a week from Sunday and there have been several meetings and orientations to attend.

Kate's summer has been less eventful, but no less fun. She went to Ashland with my parents for over a week and I've been taking her to RockSport to feed her new rock climbing passion. We've been slowly looking for school uniform clothes - she's starting to see how much easier these uniforms will make her mornings. I can't believe my baby is going to be in middle school!

The girls and Dan are taking a trip to visit his mom this weekend. I'm taking that opportunity to try and get the bulk of my classroom finished so I can focus on planning for the rest of the summer. I leave for Chicago on the 22nd to work for Corporate Kids Events for 5 days. Then we go to the cabin for a week's vacation. Dan has big plans for that week - mine are to sit on the deck and watch the trees grow - we'll have to find a happy medium I guess. I'm sure we'll get hiking and kayaking in. Dan has horseback riding, fishing, swimming and many other things on his list.

The days flying by this summer are reminding me yet again about stopping and taking a breath. I start to feel so overwhelmed with all there is to do and how fast time is going . If I just stop and
breath - feel the moment - all that goes away. Yesterday I took the time to just watch B and K have a conversation. I realized how rarely I just stop and see how tall they've gotten, how mature they are now, how kind they can be to each other and the genuine love they feel, how beautiful they are inside and out. Of course then they saw me staring and started giving me a bad time so that was the end of that! :-)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Full time and all that

So I got the news last week that I will be teaching full time in the fall. YAY! I will desperately miss teaching with Katie Senn but fortunately I'll be just across the hall so we can just stretch the umbilical cord instead of cutting it completely. We may be back together next year depending on the budgets - we are only guaranteed this full time for this year. Next year we could be back to 1/2 time.

In the meantime, I have a classroom to prepare. It's been many years since I've had to fill my own classroom with decorations and supplies - so it's thrift store time! I'll be out looking for book shelves, posters, books etc. I gave all that away when I left teaching to stay home with the girls all those years ago. When I came back, I took over for another teacher who left all her supplies and then I taught with Katie who already had everything..... It's going to be fun though. Getting a classroom ready for the start of school is so exciting for me. That was one of the things I missed the most when I stopped teaching.

I have to be careful not to lose my summer in the excitement of preparing for the year. We still have 4th of July at the cabin and then our week's vacation there a couple weeks later. We're also going to North Star for a few days and I head to Chicago on July 23rd for a 4 days to work a program for Corporate Kids Events. I'm reading the Stone Diaries for book club and need to be sure to take the time to relax and read!

Our summer ends pretty early because of high school tennis for Bailie. Clearance day is August 6 and tryouts start the 17th....

I'm still busy being on the board of the Sierra School of Performing Arts. I love all the people I work with on that board. It's a great organization and I feel proud to be part of it.

I leave today to pick up Kate. She's been in Ashland, Ore with my parents having the time of her life. I'm sure it's going to be an adjustment being back to boring old home! :-) I've really missed her - can't wait to have back.

Soooo, I'm so relieved to be making full time pay this year - it will take some of the pressure off our finances. How lucky am I to be making money doing something I love so much? (Remind me I said that during CRT testing and the other stressful times during the school year. :-) )

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Family Fun

We took my dad to and Ace's game last night. We really had a great time. They did a wonderful job with that stadium and make it a wonderful family activity. There are draw backs like parking and ticket prices but really a lot of fun. It was cold so I was hivey but the fun was worth it. They went into extra innings and won with a home run at the end. Then they had fireworks! Kate had a blast. My dad was impressed with the stadium - fun was had by all. Kate even caught a ball that came into the stands!

Today we work on covering the wall paper on our bathroom walls.... how's that for family fun?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So many celebrations, so little time :-)

So we started with Bailie's 8th grade award's night - great fun - Bailie earned several awards and she looked beautiful.

Next we had Kate's 6th grade celebration - which was also very nice. We got Kate to wear a dress! She was beautiful as always as well.

Last, but certainly not least, we had Dan's 50th birthday! We had a night alone at the cabin then my parents and the girls joined us the next day. We put together Dan's present - a pontoon boat - then played games, took a walk and just had a nice time.

We came home in time on Sunday to go to Dan's favorite restaurant- The Santa Fe.

We had the traditional wearing of the new underwear on the heads! (Started when the girls were toddlers.)

They were doing their "model" pose here - not pouting about wearing the underwear.

My parents have been here for all the craziness of end of school and the celebrations. It has been great that they could not only participate in all of it, but also help me keep it together. There was so much going on and I was trying to end the year with my 4th graders which has all its own craziness. My parents have been great - making dinners, doing laundry, keeping the house picked up, running the girls around... but best of all, having them close by to be part of it all. I hope they sell their house in Ashland soon so they can move here full time.

My parents also took the girls for a visit with their Uncle Garen (my brother), Aunt Susan and their cousin Sam. They had story after story to tell about "Sam said this... then he did this... then he said this...." Don't they look related? --->

Now we are enjoying our summer break. Bailie and Nana are in Santa Cruz for a couple of days. Kate, Grandpa, Dan and I are going to an Ace's game on Friday night. After all the go, go, go, we are trying to accept some down time. This isn't always easy - the girls start to expect constant entertainment. I'm guessing we can get there though.... :-)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trying to practice what I preach

So I post all those wonderful quotes from Pema Chodron then have an event happen that makes me realize how hard it is to practice what I preach. (Or what Chodron preaches! :-)) I was asked to write an article - I wrote it. Someone else edited it - A LOT - with out telling me and it was sent to print. Now the final article was fine - it just wasn't my article. At first I was furious. Then I realized it was just my ego that was pissed. Someone didn't think my article was good enough so it was changed. That's a blow to my ego for sure. There is the principle of the thing though, when I write for other publications, there are always edits, but the editors ALWAYS let me know they've made the edits so I'm not blind sided when I read the article.

Is any of this a big deal? Not really. It's just a lesson for me in what makes me angry and what's really worth getting angry about. After being mad and thinking of hundreds of inappropriate ways of showing my anger :-0, I'm now just letting it go. (at this moment anyway)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Overcoming self-deception

One more from Pema Chodron:
"The essence of bravery is being without self-deception. However it is not so easy to take a straight look at what we do. Seeing ourselves clearly is initially uncomfortable and embarrassing. As we train in clarity and steadfastness, we see things we'd prefer to deny- judgementalness, pettiness, arrogance. These are not sins but temporary and workable habits of mind. The more we get to know them, the more they lose their power. This is how we come to trust that our basic nature is utterly simple, free of struggle between good and bad. "

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We can help this troubled world

Quote from Pema Chodron for today:
"We all have the inborn wisdom to create a wholesome, uplifted existence for ourselves and others. We can think beyond our own little cocoon and try to help this troubled world. Not only will our friends and family benefit, but even our 'enemies' will reap the blessings of peace. If these teachings make sense to us, can we commit to them? In these times, do we really have a choice? Do we have the options of living in unconscious self-absorption? When the stakes are high, do we have the luxury of dragging our feet?"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just stop it already

I am guilty of this, so I'm not judging, but people need to lighten up! I know for my profession, a lot of this is the time of year. Everyone is stressed, the to-do lists are long, the students are ready for summer - it's just a crazy time. Everywhere I go lately, someone is angry about something - usually over here say. This makes me crazy! Arguments over how the 6th graders should graduate, over how they should dress for their swim party yada yada yada. Life is so short. Will these things matter a few years from now? (Even a few days from now?) Is it important for children to earn rewards or should they understand the intrinsic value of doing their best? Do we worry that 6th graders are showing too much skin and creating lust in prepubescent boys? Really?

I know I've done this - it's easier to get all riled up about these little things rather than deal with other issues. (or the lack of issues for those who love drama) We learn as parents to pick our battles - I think we need to learn that as human beings. What is worth getting really angry about - worth making phone calls, writing letters or complaining to anyone who will listen? I would think some things certainly are and the value of those things would vary from person to person - but sheesh! I guess I'm defeating my message getting so angry over other's anger. It's just so darned easy to get caught up - to ride the wave before you realize you're on the boat. My goal is to catch my self and get off the boat before it's too late....

Friday, May 15, 2009

If you feel it, Say it

The last few days were one when other people made me feel good. Now I know, we're supposed to feel good from the inside out - it doesn't matter what other people say. But let's face it - we're human and it matters. My recent weight loss has led to many compliments - which I most definitely enjoy - but we all know how short lived weight loss can be. :-) I've been skinny, I've been fat - I suspect I'll be both over and over through the years like I have been my whole life.

The moments that have made me feel good the last few days though, are the ones when people took the time to care, or to tell me the affect I've had on their life or their child's life. Everyone who knows me, knows I love to be the center of attention - I admit it. (Sometimes I wonder if that's why I manifested these hideous hives into my life - maybe they would go away if I stopped talking about them to anyone who will listen....) But, something goes much deeper when a person who doesn't know you well, or who doesn't need to take the time to share a thought - takes the time to say a kind word.

I try to do that with others - but the last few days have been a lesson to me. It doesn't matter if I know a person, or even if I'm a big fan of them, I'm going to take the time to share a positive thought or let them know the ways they have touched my life positively.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Great Mother's Day

What a wonderful day! My daughters made me this adorable video. They rapped, talked, filmed the animals and pretended to have them talk, put in pictures - it was incredibly sweet. Then we all went to the garden shops and got all our planting for our garden and a few other areas in the back yard. We spent all day planting - I can't wait to see what we get out of our expanded garden this year!

It has been incredibly warm the last couple days - YAY! No serious hives, just a few in the mornings and evenings. We went to our first Aces game yesterday. SO MUCH FUN! Very family oriented and just a great way to spend the afternoon.

Feeling like I got my Vitamin D this weekend with all the sun - finally!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Keep Going

My grandmother had a sign on her kitchen table (now it sits in my aunt's kitchen window) that if I remember correctly it said "Keep going" or "Keep moving" something like that. It was a reminder that no matter what is happening to just keep keeping on. I thought of that yesterday. I've been waiting for blood test results for over a week. The test was for a variety of things - the least of which was rheumatoid arthritis. (Which my grandmother was crippled with)
The worst of the possibilities was some sort of cancer with a very long name. Certainly I wanted the test to be negative, but I also wanted a reason for all my ailments. I finally got the call yesterday that the test was negative. I was relieved - then frustrated. I know spiritually speaking that I don't need to know what is causing this - I just need it to go away. I need to release it and be well. BUT, can I get better if it isn't discovered what's causing it?

I was feeling pretty sorry for myself - again - when I read Kristin's blog. I've written about her before, she's been battling cancer for over a year. Besides trying to regain her health and having to worry about every small ailment and what it might mean, she has girls in the hall at school making fun of her walk. (Her step has been affected by treatment) Once again, the universe has found a way to put things in perspective for me.

B has her first track meet of this year today - looking forward to it. K's team won yet another soccer game last weekend. This weekend they have two - looking forward to those as well.

Getting my hair cut today - thinking about a big change. I need to shake things up......

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend away

What a fabulous weekend! It was warm enough for me to hike (mostly warm enough, only few hives) and we talked, laughed, talked then laughed some more. We did a little shopping, had some great food - solved all the world's problems.... :-)

There are people in the world who enjoy more time alone than with people - I am not one of those people. While I do cherish having time to be alone and just be - the time I have with friends and family is more rewarding and fulfilling than I can describe. After a weekend with these amazing, brilliant and insightful women, I feel intellectually and spiritually stimulated.

I'm so lucky and grateful! Sometimes it takes this time away to remember how grateful I am for my family too. (And for the friends who were able to keep the girls for the weekend so I could do this and Dan could travel to a funeral.) My life is so full - my support system strong - as it says on my cabin wall, "Life is GOOD!"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter and all that

Home again. Had a great trip to Ashland, Ore. Enjoyed family and all the cute shops they have there. While away we learned our dog is an escape artist who kept our neighbors busy. Fortunately we have good neighbors who want to rescue him. I wanted to tell them to just call the pound! :-)

Saw these questions in a magazine - thought others may like them. They are questions to ask your mother (With Mother's Day approaching) -

1) What is the one thing you would have done differently as a mom?
2) Why did you choose to be with dad?
3) In what ways do you think I’m like you? And not like you?
4) Which one us kids did you like the best?
5) Is there anything you have always wanted to tell me but never have?
6) Do you think it’s easier or harder to be a mother now than when you were raising us?
7) Is there anything you regret not having asked YOUR parents?
8) What is the best thing I can do for you right now?
9) Is there anything you wish had been different between us – or that you would still like to change?
10) When did you realize that you were no longer a child?

I sent them to my mom - thought the answers would be interesting....

Off to the doctor - AGAIN - feeling discouraged about the hives. Trying to keep things in perspective....

Monday, April 6, 2009


Just got back from Boston. I worked a program for my brother's company - Corporate Kids Events. We did a "Children's Camp" for the NTSAD conference. If you get a chance, check out their website - These families are dealing or have dealt with the loss of their children from Tay Sachs disease or one of the many allied diseases. Our camp was for the "healthy siblings" who showed me what true compassion is. They were all amazing kids who are dealing with issues children their age shouldn't know about. I came home with a renewed gratitude for my life - and a new respect for what parents of ill children deal with minute by minute.

Home and facing the reality of every day life. My to-do list is longer than my arm, checking it off one by one....

My older daughter turns 14 tomorrow. How did that happen so fast? Crazy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Check this out

Okay - watched the funniest or saddest depending on your mood - but entertaining none-the-less. It's economy stuff with John Stewart. I found it on a blog I follow - so I'll give you the blog address: The John Stewart/Daily Show video is there. Kind of long - but worth the watch....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Back to normal

We had a good weekend. Lots of "to dos" checked off the list, a dinner out with my husband, a fun afternoon with the giItalicrls.... I was a little cranky to start and Dan asked me why. I said I felt controlled lately - controlled by the girls' schedule, controlled by work, controlled by all the things needing to done around the house, controlled by my diet.....
He looked at me and said, "maybe you should be enjoying each moment more." I almost wet my pants laughing. He was right but how funny to have him point it out to me. It was just the reminder I needed - yet again.

I threw out all my larger pants today. Kind of fun - but scary too - that means I have to keep eating healthy..... It was a bad hive weekend, so I'm hoping the ceremonially tossing of the pants will keep me focused. :-)

It snowed, then it was sunny, it snowed again, then was sunny again - kind of a metaphor for life don't you think? (Is metaphor the right word? - You know what I mean!)

Friday, March 20, 2009


So the doctor now thinks that I'm under too much stress (who isn't?) and that the stress is stressing my kidneys which is stressing my liver which is causing an increase in my hives and skin sensitivity. He doesn't think I have a virus or any allergies - and he thinks my yeast levels are looking low. (He does all this with this machine and me holding something in my hand while he touches all the different pressure points.) I kind of had a feeling it was stress - it IS typical for hives to get worse when a person prone to them is under stress. BUT, it is also getting harder and harder to have faith that things are going to change.

I don't want to give up because I don't want to live with this for any longer than I already have. I also know that even though the hives aren't 100% better I feel so much better every where else. Like I've said before, I have more energy, my skin is better, overall just better. Sooo, for now I'll just keep plugging along and see what happens. I'm taking the new herbs for kidney and liver, sticking with my Threelac for yeast and staying on the healthy eating path.... I'm trying to be all organic now too, which I didn't start out with. It's hard because it isn't cheap, but I figure keeping any extra toxins out of my body can't hurt....Plus, my family if on board with most of it - so they are benefiting too.

Then I need to think about the stress part - I need to get back to meditating and finding some balance. It's tough worrying about money, taking care of your family, doing a good job at work, doing a good job with the things I volunteer for and then remembering to take time for me. Not that I'm not like 98% of women out there - how does everyone else find the balance? Is it just refusing to get stressed and doing it?

My friend Gretchen said to me yesterday, "I put it in perspective like this, if we all end up in a cramped apartment or trailer with out all the 'things' -we have our health and we have each other so what's the point in worrying." She's right and it's perspective of which I needed to be reminded. I forget that this stress is about "things." We have enough money to eat and clothe ourselves. We have enough to keep a roof over our heads. That's all we NEED. The wants will come again, I just hope when they do that I remember now and how much we really can live with out and still be perfectly happy.

On a less whiny note - today is pj day in my class -YAY! I'm wearing pj's and slippers, bringing a good book to read and sitting with my class and reading all morning! How can I complain? :-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dr. Tomorrow

I see the doctor tomorrow - we'll see what he says. Hives have been better the last couple days but I feel like crud - headache, runny nose, bad tummy.....

Everyone keeps telling me how skinny I look though - isn't it gross that that supersedes anything else for me?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hives UGH!

Well, the hives are back and I'm, well, PISSED! They were never totally gone and I don't think they're as bad as they have been - but they are definitely worse than they have been in several weeks. I'm hoping our predicted warming trend will keep them from getting too horrendous.

I've been "cheating" a little bit - bites of sweet things here and there, not sure if that is it, or if the yeast is just fighting back with a vengeance. So, I'm back to hard core no cheating. It makes me cranky and I dream about eating boxes of girl scout cookies - literally, in my dreams I am eating girl scout cookies everywhere - I'm hiding in closets, eating them in my car, like a total bulimic binge. Maybe getting it out in my sleep will keep me faithful in my waking hours.

Heading to my friend Suzy's book signing in just a few minutes - so excited to see her basking(sp?) in the glow of her success. She's worked so hard! Then I get to impress my class next week when she comes for an author visit at our school - they think I'm pretty special knowing these authors. (so do I!)

Tonight it is our school's Spring Social - which I have to admit - I'm dreading. I don't do these things well and since I'm off of alcohol still, it could be even more difficult. I need to find a better attitude before I go! I'll work on that.....

Still longing for some "girl time" with my friends - seems like it's been too long and when we do get together it is too brief. I'll get some alone time in two weeks when I head to Boston, but it's not the same as laughing hysterically over nothing and bonding over things only female friends can bond over.....

Find time to be in the moment today - breath in, out, find your inner smile....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

facebook or no facebook - that is the question

Okay- I did it. I started a facebook page. I'm not sure how I feel about it - especially since I received over 30 emails the first night. I've reconnected with people I haven't talked with in years! Found out about babies, new towns and living arrangements. I connected with relatives that I talk with but now wonder if we'll stay even more connected....

I discovered that you can instant chat with them right there on the page. It's convenient to do that and easier to sign off than it would be to hang up a phone when it's time to go - but showing my age, I have to say I don't understand why we don't just pick up the phone and talk....

The pictures are fun too - seeing people and their families - sharing my own photos. I have to ask myself though- do I really need to be spending even more time on the computer?

On other notes - glad to hear that my friend Kari does not have cancer, nor does my friend Amanda. I was worried about both, so glad to hear they are well.

I call the realtor today to decide on our asking price for the cabin - makes me sick to my stomach - but it has to be done.

My hives are back stronger than usual - soooo frustrating. I'm not giving up though and do believe they will go away. (I don't know when or how, but they WILL go away....)

I'm going to Boston in a few weeks to work a program for my brother's company - Corporate Kids Events. Looking forward to it - a little nervous about flying alone, I haven't been on a plane in a couple of years..... but I will bring a couple of good books and enjoy the time. Maybe I'll bring a notebook and actually do some writing. I haven't dedicated any time to that in a long, long while....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Eckhart Tolle's 10 steps to happiness

I was just reading this and thinking that with what everyone is going through right now, it might be a good time to read this and feel some happiness from the inside out.....

"Don't seek happiness. If you seek it, you won't find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it."

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is. There is the situation or the fact, and here are my thoughts about it. Instead of making up stories, stay with the facts. For example, "I am ruined" is a story. It limits you and prevents you from taking effective action. "I have 50 cents left in my bank account" is a fact. Facing facts is always empowering."

"See if you can catch the voice in your head, perhaps in the very moment it complains about something, and recognize it for what it is: the voice of the ego, no more than a thought. Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. In fact, you are the awareness that is aware of the voice. In the background, there is the awareness. In the foreground, there is the voice, the thinker. In this way you are becoming free of the ego, free of the unobserved mind."

"Wherever you look, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence for the reality of time—a rotting apple, your face in the bathroom mirror compared with your face in a photo taken 30 years ago—yet you never find any direct evidence, you never experience time itself. You only ever experience the present moment."

"Why do anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering."

"People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness. They don't realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly. They look upon the present moment as either marred by something that has happened and shouldn't have or as deficient because of something that has not happened but should have. And so they miss the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself, a perfection that lies beyond what is happening or not happening. Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is untouched by time."

"The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again."

"Equating the physical body with "I," the body that is destined to grow old, wither, and die, always leads to suffering. To refrain from identifying with the body doesn't mean that you no longer care for it. If it is strong, beautiful, or vigorous, you can appreciate those attributes—while they last. You can also improve the body's condition through nutrition and exercise. If you don't equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way. In fact, as the body begins to weaken, the light of consciousness can shine more easily."

"You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge."

"If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace."

Exerpted from Oneness with All Life by Eckhart Tolle. Copywright © 2008 by Eckhart Tolle

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grateful and Positive (or working at it anyway)

Well - life is constantly changing in this house. Currently, our cabin - our wonderful get away - is on the market. Reality is setting in and we need to be practical. I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity for a bigger and better cabin down the road - one we can retire to. It breaks my heart for Dan - that cabin was a dream come true for him - but it will happen again.

So we're staying put in this house - working on fixing the things we don't like and making it home. (about time - we've only lived here 8 years!)

I was talking to a friend today who said she's having a difficult time staying positive - I understand what she's saying, but still think it's so important to try to find the positives. The more negative we wallow in, the more negative we bring in. There are people worrying about their next meal - I'm just worried about a second home. We are incredibly lucky and just working to be smart so we can stay above water.

Went to the doctor today - things are still looking good with the hives. They are still around, which is very frustrating, but I'm feeling so good otherwise. I've lost 19 pounds - that of course feels wonderful - but I have energy and control over things - it feels good.

The girls are great - B won her first volleyball game of this season today and won the 8th grade science fair. K just finished her CRT's and is sure she "aced" them. :-) She was in a strings performance last night with her cello and "conditioning" with her team for the upcoming soccer season.

Keeping my fingers crossed that everyone around me - all the people we know and love - remain above water. The news is so depressing - maybe we should all just stop watching it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's a NO GO.

So we went to Loyalton today and LOVED the house. It's really a great spot and the owners are wonderful people. But then we went to the schools. We just didn't get a good feeling there. The middle school is three portables on the elementary school playground. The high school is one hallway with lockers falling off the walls. Even after that we still spent time talking about making it work, but in the end, the pros just don't outweigh the cons. This has been a great experience though and got us talking about important things.
We will begin a search for a house here in Nevada - one that feels like the home we are looking for... some land, space for a big garden and maybe some animals, not a big house - just a home.
Thanks for all the support and words of wisdom!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Talked to the schools

I called the schools in Loyalton today - NICE people! The secretary at the middle school has a daughter exactly Kate's age..... made appointments to see the schools tomorrow. All of a sudden I'm nervous and nauseous... could be good - could be bad.......

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This and That

Tax meeting tomorrow - ick!
Go to see the house in Loyalton on Friday - Yay!
No school work tomorrow or Friday - Yay!
Trying to find a way to have a free mom/wife sabbatical - I need a break from it all! (pity party!)
Miss my friends! boo hoo
Miss alcohol and sugar! (pity party times 2)
Glad to have a job, a house, a husband and two healthy daughters! Yay!

Monday, February 16, 2009


The final show of Broadway Bits 2009 was yesterday! Bailie was a fabulous stage manager and Kate was a wonderful Marci. The whole show was really great. It was all consuming - but when you watch the final production it all seems worth it. (Even though there are times I doubted that when I was pulling my hair out!)

There is a really feeling of belonging with this group of people - not only for the kids but for me as well.

It was an experience worth having - not all are - so I'm cherishing it and I know the girls are too.

Food experiment update

Just an update on the food experiment and my hives. My hives have decreased dramatically - making me a believer. I've lost a total of 12 pounds - most of this in the first two weeks. I'm holding steady now - but expect that to keep going down but at a healthier rate. I must confess that on Friday after being faithful for a whole month - I ate LOTS of Valentine's candy. Then Saturday I ate ice cream and yesterday I ate pizza!!!! However - I am bag on track with a vengeance today. I suffered miserably for my sins. Again - proof that sugar and dairy are not my friends.

Before my leap off the wagon though - I have to say - I have never felt better. My skin is looking healthy again, my hives have decreased to the point that I rarely notice them, my head is clearer, I have energy and my life is not centered around food. (well, not as much anyway) The doctor gave me permission to have the occasional cup of coffee with unsweetened soy milk and the occasional glass of very dry red wine. This was so exciting at first - but I'm not really taking advantage of that as much as I thought I would. Oh, and I had my first buckwheat pancakes a couple weekends ago and I have to say they were pretty good! :-)

No new news on moving - we will be looking at the house this Friday..... still feeling skeptical about dealing with the issues in California - but not sure they are any worse than Nevada's issues!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tell me what you think!

Okay - the decisions about my previous post are plaguing me. HELP! Is this the right time to do this? Will my children have more benefits or more suffering? With this economy should we just stay put? Thoughts people, give me your thoughts!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

If the stars align....

We might be moving. Capitalize 'MIGHT'. Dan and I went to our cabin last weekend - just a quick night away for our anniversary. The girls are in a production and all the insanity of it comes to a head starting today so we decided on an early get away. We took a drive on our way home and found what could be our dream house - what my mom would call a "toes up" up house because they will take us out of there toes up. :-) It has the porch I've always wanted and views from every angle. Open space as far as the eye can see. We haven't actually seen the inside yet - that's scheduled for next week - but the pictures are divine. A kitchen that is open, airy and gorgeous- granite counter tops, custom cherry cabinets, a Thermador 5 burner cook top, double ovens, built-in refrigerator, a Dacor warming drawer.....

The home has a geothermal exchange heating and cooling system oh and it sits on 1.1 acre......

The draw backs- it is 47 miles from Reno. It is in California which - no offense to my dear California friends - is fricking falling apart. The town it is in has around 800 people. (That's not a typo - only two zeros.) The high school as around 150 students - the middle school in the 80's I think. This could be a plus or a negative depending on who you ask. Dan would have to commute. My parents are trying to move to Reno - only to have us move away.... (but we would be close - and the house is over 3,000 sq. feet and one story so they could even move in with us if need be.)

Other positives - the girls would have the options of all the California colleges with out the need to pay out of state tuition. We could have the enormous garden we've dreamed about - the girls could have a horse. Maybe they would join 4-H? When Dan goes hunting, my book-club girl friends can come spend the weekend! It's close enough that I can drive the girls back for any events they don't want to miss......

This is a huge decision and the stars would have to align - we'd have to sell our house, the owners of our dream home would have to take a lower offer, the schools will have to look like we want our girls there....

Dan and I figure we do it now - or we wait 5 or 6 years when the girls are gone and move there to retire on our own......

Decisions, decisions......

Thursday, February 5, 2009

15 years

One week from today, Dan and I will celebrate 15 years of marriage.
15 years!
Filled with more love than I could have ever imagined,
more laughter than should be humanly possible,
uninhibited passion,
some tears,
more laughter,
more love,
Genuine Bliss.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Less cranky

A friend told me yesterday that I've been angry a lot lately. I took that to heart. I have been cranky. I'm guessing it's the food thing. I totally use food for comfort, and I don't have that right now. Plus, my daughters are involved in a production that we've been rehearsing for since September - every weekend. (With the exception of a few holiday weekends) The show is in a couple of weeks so now the rehearsals are more intense and tiring. I open and close the rehearsal space so take on more of the stress than necessary. Those two things combined with no money and the economy falling apart have made it harder for me to find that positive space I usually want to hang out in.

I'm making a concentrated effort though, starting today. Hives or no hives, yummy food or no yummy food, money or no money - I have lots for which to be grateful. Including good friends who tell me I've been angry a lot. :-)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Responsibility Accountablity Volunteering Commitment

Okay - I know I tend to be a little anal about organization, being on time, commitment. I also know I can't expect others to be as anal. So why then do I get so disappointed when people don't? Is it because I then feel put upon? Does it really matter in the infinite scheme of things?
I'm sure I have let people down before - knowingly or unknowingly.

I need to remember, I can't control other people's behavior - just how I react to it.......

Still, why do so many people think that a commitment - paid, volunteer or otherwise - can be met partially rather than completely? Obviously there are some good reasons not to fulfill a commitment - unforeseen circumstances etc. But just because they don't want to?

Ugh! Let it go Troy, just let it go.....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

So true!

Read this on a little desk calendar that a good friend gave me. It's sooooo true and very fitting in my week as an educator:

"What the vast majority of American children need is to stop being pampered, stop being indulged, stop being chauffeured and stop being catered to." Ann Landers

Equally fitting, "I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it." Dame Edith Sitwell

And lastly - with my current eating rules, "Food is like sex: when you abstain, even the worst stuff beings to look good. " Beth McColluster

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hive Issue-Solution?

So, I've had this hive issue for just about two years. It started in March of 07 - while we were in Disneyland. (A trip to the emergency room in a cab - scary place - IV of benadryl - epi shot - ick!) It took several months of hives every day to discover that I was reacting to any drop in body temperature. If it gets really cold - I get covered, swollen and itch like I'm swarming in lice.

I've been to many doctors about it - most who made an effort to figure things out then said, Yep, this happens to people sometimes, maybe it will go away eventually." (I'm paraphrasing of course) So, I have spend a lot of time just figuring out how to live with it - even though it has been life changing. Our family vacation to the coast was cancelled last year because the year before I was covered in hives the entire trip. Walking is my favorite thing to do - and I can't do that for several months of the year - stuff like that. Even exercising is difficult because when I sweat, it cools my skin and I break out in hives.

Now, this all being said, I remind myself constantly that so many people have so much worse to deal with. I feel guilty when I feel sorry for myself because I'm not dieing or incapacitated, I'm not really in pain, or intensely suffering. I do put things in perspective. But man, is it frustrating!

So I decided to try a doctor who mixes western and eastern medicine to see what he would have to say. Well holy cow - this guy is DETERMINED to get me well. We've tried many things - tested several theories but the most recent one has me feeling very hopeful. He discovered that my body is very overrun with yeast. I've heard about this before - my friend Kelle from college had a candida issue and I even talked to her about this not that long ago. What I didn't realize was the range of symptoms that a person can have from this. They start out mild and then as yeast builds up over time, they can get very extreme - like to the point of extreme sensitivity to everything - including cold! Rashes, hives etc.

From what I have read, the symptoms start out small, maybe a vaginal yeast infection like many women get. Heartburn, digestive problems, headaches, bloating, excess gas... then fairly constant vaginal and anal itching to extreme sensitivity. I guess if it goes further it can be pretty debilitating. I'm sharing all this because it is very hard to diagnose but fairly common in women. They have all these issues that they think are separate things but the reality is they are all tied together.

So what is done to fix this? Looking on line there are many theories. What my doctor and I are doing is a combination of diet, a pill that kills yeast in the gut, and liver detox. The diet is the killer - but I'm getting used to it. Basically I can eat lean meat and veggies. My only beverage is water. Ironically, no sugar isn't my biggest challenge - it's not CHEESE! I LOVE cheese! I also can't have coffee,dried herb teas or alcohol. I've made it 9 days so far and other than the occasional caffeine withdrawal headache - I've done pretty well. The wonderful side effect is weight loss.

It has also made me look at my relationship with food. I use food to distract, comfort, celebrate - now I am learning to find other ways to do that. (Not easily, but I'm working on it.)

I don't know if this will be the answer - but it certainly can't hurt! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Check out this song and video

You can also watch the singers perform this song on

What path to take?

HOPE - YES WE CAN- TOGETHER WE CAN - Right?.... (This is old, but worth watching to get in the spirit)
Tomorrow is the big day - Obama is being sworn in. I have such feelings of hope about his presidency - not necessarily for the economy (though I know he will make great strides there) but for our country, for peace, for our relationships with the rest of the world.... Hope is a good thing. Feeling positive is a good thing.

But I'm struggling with the economy issue. I really get that we've been spoiled. I feel very grateful for what Dan and I have in our lives - and while there are material things on that list, none can compare to how grateful I am for our daughters, our extended family (yes, even my mother-in-law) every one's health and the strength of our marriage. I run worst-case scenarios through my head all the time - we lose everything, what would we do? While this creates a tiny bit of panic, somewhere in my consciousness I know we will survive no matter what.

So what path do we take - do we all panic? Quit spending on anything but the absolute essentials - save every other dime we can and huddle up to see what happens? Do we have faith that all will be fine and keep on keepin' on? I'm sure the answer is somewhere in between - but it's a difficult tight rope to walk....

We're learning to tighten our belts, to shop more wisely, to curb discretionary spending, to really weigh if an expense is "worth it." I've said this before - this is all very equalizing - there are very few who are not being or are going to be affected. I want it to bring us together. Not just my family and friends, not just our community, but our nation.

Okay - good thing I'm working tomorrow - too much time to think the last few days. On a less global note - two teenage girls in one house may be the death of me! :-) They are such good kids but man can they test my patience and maturity.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Small World

Got an email this morning from a college friend. (The one who got me blogging and one of my only readers - Hi Tricia!) She was having coffee with someone, they were discussing HER blog and my name came up because I comment on hers occasionally. One of the women there remembered my name from my working for her parents in college. Shuberts is my all time favorite ice cream and candy store. I worked there all through college. It turns out that this gal is running the business now because her mother passed away in 2007.

When I read Tricia's email, my memories were foggy. "What were their names? Didn't one brother buy the other one out? Who was that girl I worked with?...." I started to panic a little about aging and the memories that not only fade but just disappear. To my great relief, as I sat back and thought for a bit, the memories came back into focus.

Then the small world part of all of this started to sink in. What are the chances? I guess they are smaller now that my friend lives back in the town where we went to college, but still.... of all the people there now - they happen to be having coffee, my name happened to come up because I comment on a blog and wha la! - a connection is made. Talk about seven degrees of separation! It's wild.

Okay, off to the doctor to keep pondering the hive situation. Here's a question for my spiritually enlightened friends - if I'm supposed to not worry about how this came about but rather just let it go and trust that my body knows how to heal itself... am I being counter productive working with this Eastern Medicine doctor? Hmmmmmm........

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Turning off my Brain

So much buzzing around in my head.

One thought leads to another, then another and so on, and so on.... (Isn't that a shampoo commercial?)

I just want my mind to float rather than race. Sort of like rafting on the Truckee River through Tahoe City rather than a class 4 rapid in one of those big Oregon rivers.

Is there a way to live that way and not appear to have been given a lobotomy?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


It's 2009! I'm 8 days into it and still feel a little dazed. I hate to be a cliche, but you can't but feel renewed when a new year begins. I've blogged before about being grateful but it's so easy to forget to be grateful every day. It's easier to find things to be upset about, things that tick you off and frustrate you. That's a comfortable place to be - the challenge is to get up and out of that comfortable place.

I just finished reading a blog about this courageous and amazing teenager named Kristin. I've known this family for many years. Her younger brother has gone all through elementary school with my younger daughter and I was his 4th grade teacher. Our families didn't socialize, but we always say hello in the halls and have a friendly relationship. A year ago, Kristin was diagnosed with cancer. Her mom has been blogging for a while, keeping everyone posted about her progress. She is currently in maintenance and struggling to keep her health and strength up. In this morning's post, Kristin's mom talked about a cough that Kristin has and how she hopes it doesn't turn into anything worse. This was a HUGE wake up moment for me. You see, when I sat down at my computer I was tired, frustrated and angry. Both my girls were up most of the night with a nasty cough. My husband slept through it all and I was the one up giving medicine, rubbing backs, propping up pillows..... Then I read Kristin's blog and I thanked God that I know my daughters' coughs will pass. I thanked God that I can rub their backs knowing their lungs will clear in a few days and they will be healthy again. Then I said a prayer for Kristin's mom.

So my friends reading this are thinking - "What's with all the God and prayer stuff?" I don't talk much about my relationship with God. Actually, most of the time I don't even call him/her God. I talk about spirituality and a "greater good" or even a "higher power," but rarely "God." I think that is because I have always equated "God" with organized religion. It's taken me 42 years (almost 43) to come to a point where I can talk about prayer and taking comfort in knowing I'm not alone - and feel good about that. Actually, I take great comfort in that - Not in a way that erases my responsibility to myself and my life, but in a way that a deep breath relaxes me.

I don't really have any new year's resolutions this year. I kind of feel like I come up with those weekly. :-) However - I do know it is going to be an amazing year - for all of us.

Oh - and another ray of light this morning - my parents have been married for 43 years today - something else for which to feel grateful.

HAPPY 2009!
If you want to read more about Kristin - her blog is: