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: