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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Monthly Archives: May 2008

Blissie emailed this to me. It is Friday. I am waiting on my login to a grant system. Waiting and waiting so what do I do? Um… answer these random questions and tag someone to be next πŸ™‚

50 ODD Things about you! Now that you are reading – you too have to fill it out!Learn 50 things about your friends and family, and let them learn 50 things about you!

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes
2. Have you ever smoked heroin? No.
3. Do you own a gun? No. I don’t want to have guns around while my kids are little. Or big really either.
4. What flavor do you add to your drink at sonic? Mmmmm Cherry or Vanilla.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Depends on what doctor.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? I love them if I don’t think about what they are made of.
7. Favorite Christmas movie? Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life. Ok… I like Christmas Vacation too.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee with cream.
9. Can you do pushups? cheater ones… LOL but I can do sit ups with the best of em – bring it on baby.
10. Age? 39.
11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My silver 2 linked hearts neckless I got for Valentines this year – from my 5 valentines πŸ™‚
12. Favorite hobby? Writing. Photography. Scrapbooking… I miss scrapbooking.
13. Favorite Actor? Matthew McConnehey, Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp, Matthew Broderick… what the heck – I get little crushes on all movie actors from time to time πŸ™‚
14. Do you have A.D.D.? Probably.
15. What’s one trait you hate about yourself? I can just be too nice sometimes.. too much of a Yes person.
16. Middle name? Hoo!
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? This grant is almost done… I love this tune on the radio right now from Counting Crows… and oh my gosh my colleague is back and I have to go back to grant writing.
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday/today: Hummus & Grilled Chicken (today’s lunch), A BBQ sandwich (yesterday’s lunch), and Lindens
19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Smartwater, Coffee, Diet Coke/Pepsi
20. Current worries? Bills. Migraines. Will the twins ever sleep in their own beds?
21. Current hate right now? Bills. Senseless Violence. Stupid People.
22. Favorite place to be? There is no place like home πŸ™‚
23. How did you bring in the New Year? With a big RL hoo!
24. Where would you like to go? Tahiti or Greece or Ireland
25. Name three people who will complete this ? πŸ™‚ You, you and you. (plagarized right from Blissie)
26. Do you own slippers? Yes but I never wear them.
27. What shirt are you wearing? My brown polka dot silky shirt with scoop neck.
28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Clean sheets are the main pre-requisite for me
29. Can you whistle? Sure πŸ™‚ I played the flute and piccolo – I think that must help a bit.
30. Favorite color? Blue or Pink
31. Would you be a pirate? No
32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Whatever is randomly floating through my head
33. Favorite girl’s name? Rachel πŸ™‚
34. Favorite boy’s name? Simon, Zachary and Noah
35. What is in your pocket right now? A ponytail band (waiting patiently for the Friday afternoon bun of doom) and my rose quartz and hematite little rocks…
36. Last thing that made you laugh? The underwriters at a birthday party in the office this afternoon – they are CRAZY people!
37. Best bed sheets as a child? Pink flowers
38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? 23 stitches in my back up near my shoulderblade from falling on a mountain trail while jogging.
39. Do you love where you live? Sometimes.
40. How many TVs do you have in your house? 4
41. Who is your loudest friend? My 5 year old Simon
42. How many dogs do you have? 1 big lug named Feliz
43. Does someone have a crush on you? Hopefully someone somewhere πŸ™‚ I know at least my 4 men at home love me – does that count as a crush?
44. What is your favorite book(s)? Julia Cameron’s Artists’ Way… I need to be MUCH MUCH better about practicing her recommendations. Amazing stuff.
45. Where were you born? Ames, Iowa
46. What is your favorite candy? Mmmmm Chocolate Orange
47. Favorite Sports Team? AZ Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns
48. What song(s) do you want played at your funeral? Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkle… not sure why… just came to me πŸ™‚
49. What were you doing at 12AM? Probably snoring LOL
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Thank God I slept through that bird singing at 4:15 am today!

OK – Bigd and Jenda you are NEXT!


Yesterday there was something that happened on the freeway commute that was so horrific I didn’t really take time to think too much about it. I couldn’t. It was too terrifying. Unfortunately, I made it home just in time to hear the top local news story and there it was again. This time in not vivid detail, but enough to make me feel nauseous and wish I hadn’t made the kids switch Spongebob to the news for me.

I tried to put it out of my mind and go about my crazed evening hosting for the beautiful Jendalicious at the Glamshack. It worked. I forgot about it. I didn’t feel that well when I went to bed but figured it was just from being tired at the end of a long day.

When I awoke this morning… I knew I had to blog and get it out. I knew that my mind had peculated on it all throughout the night and I must share these thoughts. Not to gross anyone out but with a specific purpose of a higher order. To remind us all that we must never take each other for granted, and above all, remember how fragile human beings are – not just emotionally, but physically as well. If you are eating breakfast right now you might want to come back and read later…

Yesterday there was a man who was walking along the freeway… a Navajo man. His last name was Yellowhair. I am particularly sensitive to those types of things having lived and taught many many Native American students, mostly Navajo, for years in Northern Arizona. My ears immediately perked up when I heard his name on the news because I knew there is a clan, a network of people, somewhere mourning him. For some reason that made it so much more personal to me.

Anyway, for some reason he had left his car and was walking along the freeway. One report said he was walking in and out of traffic. All this in the wee hours of the morning sometime after 4 am. Was he drugged or drunk and disoriented? No comment of that. Should we assume he was suicidal? Perhaps.

The horrific part is he was struck. Not just once by someone who stopped to help. He was struck by 5 cars that sustained serious damage to their vehicles who stopped or later reported they were involved. He was struck by perhaps an additional 10 to 15 vehicles, including commerical vehicles, that no longer knew it was a person… a human being. They had to shut down the freeway for a huge stretch – 80 yards – to recover the pieces of Mr. Yellowhair. They had to gather his parts and clean it all up. Now while writing this I feel like vomiting, I also feel like sobbing.

You may wonder why the heck get so emotional over someone you don’t even know, over a news story that could happen in any city, when there are tragedies that happen anywhere and everywhere all the time worldwide? Why let this one get to me? Something in the news story triggered something deep inside me: an image of a DPS officer carrying a single black man’s dress/work shoe. First it made me think – wow, those guys have an unspeakably hard job. Ewwwww and ugh. Second it made me think – that man, Mr. Yellowhair, at the end of his life, was treated no better than an animal on the road. In fact, they think that is why people didn’t stop who hit him, they figured it was just an animal and kept on going. Not that hitting animals makes it better but… heavy sigh.

Flashback to 10 years ago and I am reminded of a very personal situation in my teaching career when I had 2 students (not ones I directly taught) but good friends of students I had in class. A small piece of paper was delivered to my classroom twice in a short few weeks. The paper that contained a note I was required to read to my students. The note that shared with my students that a horrific thing had happened… each of the students had chosen to take their own lives stepping in front of oncoming freight trains just a few miles from our high school. I remember the sick feeling of the reality of what a train does to a human body. It was that same sick feeling that came back to me yesterday and still sits in the bottom of my stomach now.

While you can’t focus on the particulars too long without feeling overwhelmed (which is why I must blog this to get it out), it is important to ponder long enough to remind each of us how fragile life is. We become way too immune to the atrocities human beings commit against one another and the random accidents and natural disasters that occur every day causing unnatural death because it is blasted to us over and over again in the media every day, every hour if you really want to search cable tv. We compartmentalize it. We choose to not think about it and go about our daily to do lists as if these things didn’t happen. I suppose that is the better way to go.

I have to share with you my very very personal strategy though of coping with such things. It is a freeway survival strategy, a daily strategy I practice. I pray. I say blessings on each of my kids and my husband and kiss them and hug them right before I leave. No matter what, I never want my last words to them to be anything less than that. I don’t want something horrific to happen to me and have them remember my last words being something stupid or trivial. I also say blessings over each one of them… just that simple word… just a simple phrase… “blessings on you” as a means of protection. God honors that. I know He does.

When I see an accident, or like yesterday, when I first heard the news of that accident, I silently said a prayer for that man and his family. Somewhere he had once been someone’s baby, someone’s brother, maybe even someone’s father. Those people would be hearing those same news stories through grief stricken horror. I try to wish people well who cut me off and do stupid things driving. Really. Sounds silly I know – but I heard of it once in a brain research session – it relieves the stress. If they are driving so stupidly as to almost cause an accident, perhaps they are in a much bigger hurry. Wishing them well somehow takes the pressure off. But when I see an accident on the side of the road, I pray.

Life is fragile. Human beings are not invincible. We spend much of our time in this world consumed with media that would have us believe otherwise. While we can be and do almost anything, at the end of the day, we are a collection of soft tissues that can only bear so much. Please be gentle with those you come in contact with… with their spirits, with their minds, and with their physical beings. Life is short. Remind people that you love them. Give them a hug, take the time to smile, and please be aware of who is around you. Offer up a few prayers of your own for those who may be in such a dark space that they can’t find the right words to ask for help. Be with Mr. Yellowhair’s family in just a fleeting moment of prayer, and all the others out there like him who didn’t have someone offering blessings on him when he set out on his journey yesterday.

So today I went back to work. I have had a really weird few weeks between traveling for work and being gone almost a week and then back to an action packed week with an event and family craziness… THEN an EXTRA long Memorial Day weekend. My schedule is out of whack. I might have forgotten how to have complete thoughts and actually finish a group of tasks in an organized fashion from a desk. I most definitely have forgotten the hideous commute – that really wasn’t so hideous today (should I actually see the gas prices as a blessing in disguise for my commute time???).

I missed my blogging time today though. I missed my time to explore all the blogs I had begun to keep up with and comments I leave. I missed my SL exploration time. Did you notice a SEVERE drop in the SL economy? You KNOW the market was severely hurt by me not having high quality shopping time πŸ™‚ Hopefully Parker and Blissie were willing to help me out on that front. I think Jenda is too busy building her business to devote quality time to shopping so I won’t ask her to have carried that torch for me today.

Today was also the first REAL day BigD had full charge of all 4 yahoos. Yes, this is something that happens every summer. He does it well. I hear they played in the sprinklers and played games online. We are having another barbeque dinner tonite. I tell ya there is something to this whole Mr. Mom thing I could so get used to! The thought of only getting myself out the door in the morning with clothes that match, and hair that looks ok is beyond easy. It is as if Staples gave me the easy button to push and life is good again.

But I’m tired tonite. I won’t lie. I went in to work early thinking that meant I would leave early and really I left late. I have to discipline myself better to get out the door early on the back end of the day if I am going to start early. I don’t really have to have a 9 or 10 hour work day, right? I CAN turn the achieve, achieve off and be ok, right?

I had been home so many days in a row the kids thought I had left on a business trip when I talked to them on the phone this morning. Have I scared my babies for life? Poor things! All in all, I guess it is good to go back at the end of the week. Anyone can suck it up to do 2 days and then have a weekend right? (read again repeat, read again repeat is the mantra I will practice).

Happy soon-to-be Friday everyone! I’ll have better blogger thoughts tomorrow… promise! I’ll leave you with this little goodie – couldn’t pass it up πŸ™‚

There’s a 50% Chance That You Need Therapy

If you think you need therapy, you probably do. But there’s a good chance you don’t.

Like everyone else, you have your fair share of problems. And unlike most people, you’re fairly good at solving them yourself.

4:15… hello. 4:15 AM. I barely opened one eye. I saw the light coming in through the glass block wall of our bathroom… not sunrise… just that first light that is grayish. And… I laid there listening to that bird. Some bird that has decided he MUST perform outside our window every day. Either that, or he is singing with a microphone a few doors down. I tried to not click my brain on and close my eyes and go back to sleep. I was somewhat successful but that bird. Over and over again in my head. Nuts you say? She is NUTS!

By 5:55 am I found myself back into a snuggly sleep when I awoke to a distinct doorbell. Ok… that made me certifiable. I’m officially now NUTS. Who the heck would be ringing our doorbell at 5:55 am.

Either way… it sent me on a mission to tiptoe down the stairs and begin my quest for the bird haunting my early mornings. Dave came down about 20 minutes later and said he awoke to bird sounds he had never heard before… LOL !!! My sound wasn’t up THAT loud on my laptop. I take comfort in the fact we must BOTH be nuts. Misery loves company.

I found a site where some man has chronicled all sorts of bird sounds in Northern Arizona where we used to live. Go figure. Why would he do this? It isn’t exactly a garden spot where he was – but heck, it sure beats 110 degrees (yes Blissie – I bet there are still spiders there though – icky ones – if there are that many birds there). You KNOW you can’t resist seeing this guy’s site, North American Bird Sounds . It actually would be cool to use if you were teaching kids and in the middle of a bird unit. (Sorry teacher in me).

So Dave thinks I’m joining the Audubon Society. Please note I am not. Yes, I am officially obsessive compulsive easily demonstrated by this post.

In general, only the male songbird sings and is he communicating one of two messages – ‘go away!’ or ‘come here!’.

~ Bird Squawk!

Come to think of it – those are the SAME two messages human males give out – in RL and SL… HOOOO! Why is it that the female gets so shortchanged – no matter what the living form? How come we don’t get a chance to sing and say ‘go away’ or ‘come here’?? All I know is I get dirty looks when I try that πŸ™‚ Must be universal for living things… girls are expected to be quiet, pretty, and patient… waiting for that male song.

Ok. Enough. This entry is going to become cliche if I don’t end it here. I’d hate for people to think it was “for the birds” or any other cliche that could be thrown in. I’ll wait until tomorrow morning and pray that bird sings when I am ACTUALLY supposed to get up and go back to work.

Let me leave you with a little Paul McCartney if you were brave enough to muddle through these mutterings with me… Thank you Paul πŸ™‚ I would MUCH rather wake up to you singing that at 4:15!

A YouTube experiment πŸ™‚ Because there are way too many Beatles tunes to enjoy first thing in the morning… a KimalaKohime YouTube Beatles playlist. Hoo! (plus it kinda takes my mind off the haunting bird songs of earlier hours.

And… I can’t end without the amazing Wikipedia. Leave it to Wikipedia to show us how to appropriately use soundclips from the Beatles. Hoo!

Hmmm don't you think the littlest brother is the PERFECT subject for this experiment?
Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel

hmmmm mobile blogger test #1 – no go 😦

For those who know me, I bet they would believe this is me. I’ll have you know I took it only once. True blue… that is me:

I was feeling a little tapped out in terms of blog posts for today. But, I feel like my blog has gained momentum and I wanted to offer something. My goal is to post at least once every day. Life sometimes gets in the way but selfishly, I love the relationships I have developed in the blogosphere. I want to honor them by offering at least a little post.

Yesterday was a perfect example of how much I value and honor my friends – and how it is reciprocated. The Rez Day party was so fun! The music was fantastic (thank you Crighton Johin), the food was delicious (thank you Blissie Boucher), and the crowd was lively and just fun! Bigd had invested in Truth or Dare – and when people got a little quiet, the questions were there to liven it up… well that and the gestures and the avitar washing machine for cheap entertainment.

People were incredibly generous. People have been and continue to be incredibly generous on SL… generous with their time, with their lindens, with their ability to offer help and assistance with creating, with shaping, with shopping. Hoo! I am forever in awe of how individuals from all over the world, total strangers can find each other and develop friendships that extend beyond SL. I don’t mean we are all meeting up for coffee or anything. But, honestly, can you tell me you go through your whole RL day and NOT have a fleeting thought wondering how someone is doing? I constantly wonder what Blissie is doing, just sayin πŸ™‚ LOL! Or… does Jenda REALLY say those things in RL while out in public? You know the gesture I’m thinking of… or does Crighton REALLY swear that much anywhere and everywhere (my guess is yes, damn potty mouth)… Or… is Feemebleu wearing her metalic skin today to repel harmful sun rays? Or Parker… is she wearing some gigantic dress at her job in RL? THESE are the deep thoughts that fill my brain πŸ™‚ Bradley and Borday? Well mostly I hope you are fully clothed in your RL as you go about your day. Does Borday offer to remove parts of clothing for each work order he fills (Hoo! Now that might boost his business πŸ™‚ ). Amylyn… does she really sit in a room full of giant penises to conduct her day to day work in RL? Ok… I admit… I’m losing it.

Thank you for being there all of you. Thank you for each of the things you bring to our lives. I have to tell you a little secret. You have given Dave and I more to talk about in RL than we have had to talk about in YEARS that doesn’t focus on child rearing and bills and never ending work drama. Hoo! Cheers to another year (yes D is too afraid to commit to saying that – but what the heck, right?). Cheers to more Rez Days and dance parties and unseen or not yet shopped for attachments and fantastic clothes. Cheers to the limitless adventures that SL offers all of us. I look forward to them with each of you!