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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Monthly Archives: June 2008

I started a post last night about my SL work with U2inSL all weekend long on my stay-cation but didn’t get it finished. I’ll try to finish that up and share it later in the day.

My post was interrupted last night by a phone call from my mom who is spending most of the summer in Flagstaff, AZ where it is much much cooler (7,000 ft elevation). By now you might have seen the news. (NBC Today Show clip here) Mid afternoon yesterday two medical helicopters collided in town near the hospital. 6 of the 7 passengers/crew/patients were killed. Our good friend is a fireman/EMT who just recently began working on the rescue helicopter. Thankfully, I was able to contact his wife – one of my best friends from Flagstaff and teaching days, and he is ok. He was on the unthankful duty though of rescue and putting out the brush fire. We are still waiting word for who the crash victims were. I’ll hold my breath. Even though it is a town of 60,000 – it is still the size where you tend to know so many. Having taught there for 10 years, and lived there for 17, I worry that the names will be familiar. Either way, no matter what the names are, it is a horrific tragedy.

Then, my morning this a.m began with another doctor appointment. Sometimes it seems like that’s one of the purposes of stay-cations, don’t you think? Get all caught up on everything you put off the rest of the year? Anyway – I saw the dermatologist. It has been about 10 months since I was there. I finished a 8 month series of Accutane ending last September. Having battled with acne my whole life, it was an incredible solution. Super intensive with scary side effects – but I have been so happy with the results – it was totally worth it. Anyway, I went not because of that, but because I had this weird mole thing that just appeared one day near my temple but up in my hairline. It grew almost overnight and Dave and the kids teased me I had an antler coming in! We all laughed and I got my butt to make an appointment right away. It never grew bigger than the size of um…the size of a small pencil eraser – in fact it was probably 1/3 of that – and hidden in my hair. But – last week… it just fell off!! LOL TMI? Grossed out? Sorry – couldn’t resist sharing that πŸ™‚ Anyway I kept my appointment.

The good news – this silly thing that was there and now gone is… “all a part of the aging process!!!” GOOD LORD! EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! “Ok… so how long do I have to wait for the next horn to grow?” was the first thought running through my mind. Then, since I was wearing a sleeveless cami/tank, I noticed she kept looking at my left shoulder. I asked her to look at a spot that she had once told me was nothing – just all part of having babies and hormones… about the size of a dime on my left shoulder… red and white and shaped kinda like an upside down pear. She freaked out. Well, freaked out in a doctor-type way. “How long have you had that? That must be a scar? Are you sure that isn’t a scar? You’ve never had any injury there?” After I reminded her she had looked at that about 2 years ago and told me it was nothing – when it was about 1/2 its size, she said “Well, it needs to come off. It could have ‘finger’ type things under the surface of your skin and we need to biopsy it ASAP.” Well… reassuring huh? I went from having an antler to being a natural aging 39 year old to having something that is hideous and needs to immediately be extracted from my body. The part that scared me was learning the procedure they will biopsy it with had the word chemo in it.

So… I await the results of my head CT to see what in the world is living in my sinuses and if I truly do have a brain knocking around up there. I will have to wait for the biopsy until July 17 and then results days after that. But in the meantime, I have to just be thankful for all I have and remember that life is short and I suppose I could be hit by a bus at a moment’s notice, right? Ok – I’m on my stay-cation not near any busses – but you get the idea.

Thanks for listening. I added a new sidebar addition called Punkymoods that I thought was a perfect compliment to my blog on a day like today. Cheers to finding good news and blessings in the rest of my day – and for you doing the same.

Yesterday – the balloon popping continued and Dave taught the kids the joys of helium inhalation. We spent considerable time talking like Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Does this mean my kids will grow up to do drugs…???? YIKES! Cancel Cancel.

We had early morning bike riding – I think I mentioned that yesterday. We also had plenty of time outs and screaming that all comes from tackling and laughing and chasing and then ultimately crying. My dad always used to tell us “You kids are laughing so hard soon you’ll be crying – settle down!” No truer words were ever said.

I had family tech support in my adventures with the U2inSL concert yesterday. We all rocked out and Rach did her patented wiggle πŸ™‚ Noah made 2 kinds of cookies and there were plenty of discussions about whether or not to eat raw cookie dough. Of course, he decided the twins were TOO YOUNG to try any or it would make them sick πŸ™‚ Needless to say – all 4 ate WAY too many cookies after they were baked and felt sick later. Gotta love the life of a kid!

It continued to be hot. (Newsflash? NOT!) I have decided that our summers are the equivalent of many other places’ harsh winters. Inside forts with sheets, computer games called “Club Penguin” and PBS Kids, and Nick… and Barbies! The Barbies swam in the swimming pool and looked extremely fashionable in their suits. And.. the tv/cable dvr box remote remains missing. Sigh…

This morning? 5:30 am = sunlight streaming in = 2 wide awake pouncing and bouncing around in bed with me. We played race car – Simon sitting up between my legs – watching himself in the mirror while he made noises like Lightening McQueen and then puppets – without the puppets – just our hands telling stories. Simon’s idea actually. We had a lengthy conversation about kindergarten and backpacks and teachers. He seems to think that he will most certainly have Noah’s 4th grade teacher for kindergarten since he will be going to “Noah’s school.” It makes me smile on one hand and feel totally mind boggled on another – these little ones are now ready to go to kindergarten. When they were born we used to tell Noah someday he would get to help them go to school for the first time – and that seems like lifetimes ago.

All in all, I think the stay-cation is shaping up nicely. It is good to take a break from the craziness of work, and hideous commute, and just focus on multitasking in one area of my life rather than 12 (not really 12 but it feels like that sometimes). Thank you for humoring me and letting me share – I wanted to capture some of this. I want to make sure I remember this when someday I am at home all alone thinking the house is way too quiet and I have to beg people to get out of bed closer to noon.

Brush Fire update: Now at 5,400 acres… This newsclip shows some of what we culd see from the upstairs bedroom window.

So with gas prices double and triple of what they once were, the latest trend in family vacations is a stay-cation. My sister-in-law was sharing that tidbit with us from her vantage point in the central coastal area of California. Apparently California economists are predicting a severe loss of revenue because the drop in tourism will be larger than ever this year due to fuel costs. Makes sense really. I’m opting for a family stay-cation as well.

Running crowd control is an interesting way to spend my stay-cation. I’m just now at the start of day 3. The first day was filled with the radiology appointments and then all the festivities for D’s birthday. Helium and balloons and streamers with 4 enthusiastic kids is an exciting thing. Mexican food take-out and birthday cake, and specialty milkshakes made my Noah (his contribution to the birthday celebrations) made for extremely full bellies. Back to back parties on SL for D completed the evening.

As with any vacation – there are the highlights and quieter moments. There are also the songs that will always remind you of the good times. Should I be concerned that the following song will forever ring through my head? This catchy tune is the latest favorite of my 5 year olds…

I must caution you. Once you have heard the tune… it may be hard to forget. And… I can’t recommend it for background music for chores, etc. It makes me feel rather frenetic personally. But… if it buys me some solitude with the twins, then I suppose I am all for it. Should I also mention I have seen High School Musical and The Little Rascals movies about 3 times each – highlights only, of course. What did we do before the invention of the TiVo.

It is important to note that each day of the stay-cation begins by 6:30 am at the LATEST. Most days it is more like 5:45 am. The sun coming up equals little ones wide awake and ready to go. Dave took them for a bike ride this morning all before 8 am. That can be seen as a good thing though because it was already 87 degrees by 7.

We’ve also had a huge brush fire. Sparked by lightening from the summer monsoons we are waiting to officially begin, the brush fire provided upstairs window entertainment for all. We could see the flames from our vantage point at times and the fire, burning in the Gila River bottom, grew from 100 acres to 1,400 acres by last night. The remote area makes it difficult for crews to get in and fight, as well as the fact that hot shots are already out to other parts of the state, and the West fighting larger brush fires. Smoke has not been a good thing for my 2 with asthma, but we’re trying to take preventative measures with them both.

The stay-cation agenda for today, you might ask? Well… there is NOTHING better after an early morning bike ride than listening to… THE HAMSTER DANCE for the 10,000th time. I’m enjoying coffee and waiting for it to kick in. And then, I’m on to work my first ever U2inSL concert. I have a security badge and everything. It is a huge operation and I am hopeful I’ll remember all necessary details while wearing the hideous newb, low prim hair.

Hiding out in the air-conditioned inside will probably be our best bet. 112 is the high today, with poor air quality because of the fires. Maybe a water fight will be in order for later in the afternoon. Nothing better than a run through the sprinklers. Should I close by mentioning my daughter actually admitted to being cold after running through the sprinklers the other day when it was 114? Only a Phoenix kid would say something like that!

I went for my first mammogram yesterday. I had been warned by my female friends and even had a cautionary call from my mom wondering if I knew what to expect. A few weeks ago I had even been on an email joke string that showed cartoon drawings of women’s breasts. Intimidating? LOL

So I went armed with my knowledge and stories and hoped for the best. It had to be better than breast cancer and all that comes with battling that horror.

A grandmotherly-type woman called my name from the waiting room area. She took me to back to change into a gown. She then asked about my family history of breast cancer and explained that NO ONE should be lulled into a false sense of security – ONLY 4% of breast cancer victims were a result of heredity. As she was emphasizing the importance of self exams with me I thought to myself how she is really on the front lines dealing with women as they learn of the horror of possible breast cancer detection.

My procedure was a digital mammogram. The entire time she worked, I could see the images on her screen. I asked her questions as she positioned me and took extra angles of pictures to make sure there were no potential spots in thicker tissues. It was not painful – but admittedly I have a high pain tolerance and digital mammography is supposed to not require the pressure as past procedures. So – thankfully – I DO NOT have breasts now like the woman in the cartoon. WHEW! LOL

I remembered Blissie had found some awareness tools on SL for breast cancer a few months ago when we were working on our Relay for Life fundraiser. I came home and set out to find them. I am always ready to also dispel myths that Second Life is only for oversexed deviants and this seemed like yet another opportunity to do just that.

The first area that came up in SL search was a Breast Cancer Awareness Center. The center housed all sorts of SL fundraiser items on sale, as well as freebie packs of ribbons and tshirts and ball caps with the patented pink ribbon logo. Upstairs in the center there was a wall filled with tribute ribbons. Each of the ribbons had floating text associated with it that was a heartfelt tribute to a friend or family member that had been affected by breast cancer – either as a survivor or sadly, someone who had lost their lives to the disease. It was solemn to just sit and read and reflect.

I was on a mission though to find the mammogram machine that Blissie had found months ago so I continued on. I figured the American Cancer Society sim of all places would have one. Unfortunately I didn’t find one but I did find a couple other things I wanted to share. First, I found an interactive self-exam. Bigd even did it with me LOL… but as I am laughing I am reminded that men can also get breast cancer – just fyi. We explored the whole sim. There are lots of meeting facilities there and a conference coming there sometime in June (unless it already happened – couldn’t tell). There are also lots of educational pieces on cancer – including video terminals that take you to the American Cancer Society website.

The most touching pieces of the sim though, are the pieces that are designed to honor the cancer survivors and the memories of those who lost the fight. Bigd and I took some time to soak up some time under the memory tree. Bigd posted a touching note honoring my grandmother who died of ovarian cancer.

Please make it a priority to be preventative with your health care. Share your time or your funds with efforts that help educate people. Offer up your prayers for those who are battling cancer. Together, we can all make a difference for those around us.

I know Blissie might be embarrassed – but I have to just post a short note to tell you to please pause from your day today sometime and read her blog post from yesterday, Tuesday, June 24. As we approach the 4th of July, and think about being an American, and think about our freedom, I hope you will really let her story sink in.

Blissie and I reversing roles at a SL club last Fall

I am finishing up my last day of work before 1 1/2 weeks off so I have neglected my blog. For some reason – knowing I am away from work makes me feel as if I must do everything on my to do list from now until the end of August or later, all before I shut off the lights in my office this afternoon. And, unlike so many of my colleagues – for me – going on vacation will just mean I’m at home. I should take the word “just” out of there. I am not “just” home. I am home. With my kids. Being a full time mom and wife. Cleaning the places in our home that have been neglected since my last “vacation” and just enjoying time.

I refereed a water fight via my cell phone this morning on my way into the office. I was literally about 5 minutes away from work, out of my usual 40+ minute commute when my oldest called to tell my youngest had the squirt bottle and had started spraying everyone. It sounded totally chaotic and as fun as it probably was – when I know all 4 are that wound up I know tears can’t be far behind. Isn’t that Murphy’s law of being a kid with siblings? Anyway – I did the patented mom angry voice and gave it my best shot “You guys need to put that water away and find something quiet to do! This is my LAST day before vacation with you all. I am ALMOST to work! Don’t make me turn the car around and come all the way home to end this situation! It won’t be good if I have to!”

The quiet voice of my oldest quickly said, “No no mom – we have it handled. Don’t turn around” I smiled to myself in my commute knowing hopefully my motherly instincts had been successful.

Just now as I am writing this – they called again. My oldest said, “Mom, I sent you a text message did you get it?” and then “I’m sorry Mom – we didn’t mean to get out of hand. We’ll be good, I promise.” It made me smile from head to toe, and warmed my heart.

Parenting is such hard work. You never know if you are really doing it right or not. You never know if you have said and done the right thing. Some of it is intuition, some of it is those crazy parenting books or the way you were parented, and a heck of a lot of it is faith. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. This morning was a gift – a little gift to just remind me I’m doing ok, as a mom, as a parent. I think that will enjoy my time with my kids even more now πŸ™‚ Water fights and all! Hoo! Oh… and the Apple Pie part from the title? I’m not partial to apple pie anyway – let’s go for chocolate merange or berry or something like that πŸ™‚


What Your Pink Outfit Means


Unsurprisingly, you are very sweet and cute.
But you’re also a bit of a tease – and not that innocent.
Shy but sexy, you’re an alluring mix of contradictions.

Designer match: BCBG
Signature accessory: Tortoise shell sunglasses

So I think this is pretty accurate (grin). I’m wearing a pink scoop neck silky patterned top today with black cropped pants. I couldn’t bear to wear a suit today – it is supposed to be the hottest day of the year yet – 114 or something unbearable. Looking forward to some time to catch up with you all in the blogosphere this weekend! Hoo!

Should I admit I have Tortoise shell sunglasses in RL that are large – the size you see celebrities wearing as they come and go from rehab or hide from the paparazzi? I got them last summer in Seattle from Black and White. I love them. I even have a pair like that I wear in SL… called Hollywood Glasses.

And… most of my favorite outfits in SL are pink. My latest big giant dress is pink. I wear it to host at the Savoy Jazz Club quite a bit. (maybe I’m in a rut?) Anyway, the shop is aDiva. As soon as I pull the picture out of my SL account I’ll post it. Hugs to Parker – she actually bought it for me knowing how much I love pink! Hoo!

My baby girl’s favorite color is pink too. Is it an inherited thing? What does this mean? Does it mean that despite the fact she has 3 brothers she is still a girlie-girl?

Ok… back to work πŸ™‚

I got an email this a.m. that went something like this…

Did Crightonitis catch? You..you haven’t posted since Sunday. Do you have a fever? Are you sick? Omg! /me calls a doctor!

The pressure worked πŸ™‚ I was forced to reply with a “Help – I can barely keep my head above RL water this week with to do’s and work craziness!” but I worked really hard all morning – actually until now – to get things caught up at the office so I could have a few minutes to indulge in blogging. Bet you didn’t know blogging could be seen as an indulgence, eh? Well, lunch at my desk πŸ˜› and no chocolate in sight – a little bit of time to myself and my blog is a luxury.

So Happy Hump Day everyone! I added a new link to my blogsidebar I hope some of you will explore. I have decided if I ever come into unlimited supplies of cash I will begin a foundation similar to this one – The Foundation for a Better Life. They simply exist to inspire and promote good things. How cool is that? In my own imagination, I like to think that they are out there just handing out dollars to people who really need it too.

A homeless man was on the sidewalk outside the conference where I was at the past several days working, in a wheelchair, in the scant shade of a very slim tree, at 112 degrees in the Phoenix afternoon asphalt jungle. He asked if we could spare anything because he hadn’t eaten. All we could give him was the chocolate candy from our booth that day – but we gave it to him. I wish I could have also given him a bottle of water – but I have to hope that came along next.

What have you done recently to help someone in need out? There is a spirit of abundance and sharing in SL – but I often wonder if that translates into RL very easily. I have noticed that we immediately begin to dig through our inventory to see what we can share with newcomers who are sporting newb hair or prim-free clothing. We pass out pixelated goodies endlessly. Most are also equally generous with Lindens – filling tip jars. But do we take the time to do the same in RL? Even if you don’t have a wallet full of cash, see what you might be able to dig up next time you pass someone less fortunate than you and obviously in need.

Giving is part of that ever-present big karmic wheel. The more you give, the more it really does come back to you.

I’m off to finish off my Wednesday afternoon hump day work activities. I hear that it is still hot out so it was good I stayed at my desk for lunch. What’s the point of erupting into flames getting in and out of a hot car at 114 outside and who knows what inside! Doesn’t seem worth the effort for a quick salad or subway run. Cheers to your Wednesday and making the world – SL and/or RL a little better for those around you. Share with me in a reply to this post how you gave a little this week πŸ™‚