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A to Z - because several friends have done one...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

and besides... it helps my goal of a blog a day when I'm not feeling particularly inspired by other topics! emoticon So Kasey, Nursie8 and others... here's my scoop!

A - Age: 57. So far.

B - Bed size: Queen

C - Chore you hate: yard care.

D - Dog's name: Diamond. OK, a 10 year old named her.

E - Essential start-your-day item: coffee & quiet time.

F - Favorite color: green makes me smile.

G - Gold or silver: Gold - shiny.

H - Height: five foot three - used to claim five four (stretching by a quarter inch), but the Dr's office called me on it last year. I'm shrinking.

I - Instruments you play: recorder, violin (if you count being a rusty person who learned in youth)

J - Job title: Application Developer Lead

K - Kid(s): OneKid, son grown and married

L - Living arrangements: me and my shadow (the aforementioned canine)

M - Mom's name: Jo

N - Nickname(s): when I was back in grade school, I was called Shadow. Since then, none. Oh, except that very few people on the planet are allowed to call me Barbie. If you're one of them, consider yourself extremely privileged. I was named before the doll, and it was what my mom called me.

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Well, if you count sleeping in a chair while your kid is the patient, that would be it. Never as a patient, except when giving birth to said kid.

P - Pet peeve: intolerance. Chill out, already!

Q - Quote from a movie: "When will we be going back? And who will that be?" Apollo 13. Guess what... we're going now, and it's a whole herd of turtles. emoticon emoticon (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

R - Right or left handed: yes. Any question with an OR in it can be answered with a boolean value. If at least one of the responses is true, the answer is "Yes". Like most lefties, I do some things right-handed... so the answer is yes. I'm both.

S - Siblings: three sisters and a brother.

T - Time you wake up: 4:20 a.m.

U- First word that comes to your mind for "U": This one's not fair. One gets influenced by seeing the answers of others. Now if I can get that last thing I saw out of my mind, and blank it out... "unique"!

V - Vegetable you dislike: asparagus, and lima beans. There are very few veggies I dislike. These are two I will tolerate, but never crave.

W - Ways you run late: by thinking I have enough time to do this "one short thing" before the meeting. Sigh.

X - X-rays you've had: If you count the mammos that come with annuals, and bone density screens, that really is about it.

Y - Yummy food you make: I hate to mention this one, because it's totally decadent, but I do this baked cheese hors d'oerve with an olive inside. Or if you want to go Summer time and healthy--a simple Greek salad is a fave.

Z - Zoo favorite: giraffes.

OK, go for it gang! Your turn.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 8/14/2010 6:21AM

    So much fun to read!

Ok..What is an Application Developer Lead? And so.. when you and your shadow go out for a walk, do you walk with you, your shadow and his shadow and your shadow too? emoticon

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.. emoticon .. emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 8/12/2010 3:12PM

    Somehow, 'W' sounds so you, lol...

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WALKINGANNIE 8/12/2010 2:55PM

    You wake up when? emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thanks for giving an insight into your life.


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PEGGYJEAN13 8/12/2010 2:43PM

    This is great for learning about people, but I'm still too lazy or don't want to think that hard. I am happy to learn more about you, "Barbie".

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KALIGIRL 8/12/2010 1:17PM

    emoticon for sharing (besides I'd say this contained some pretty inspiring stuff!)

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THIAGRAM 8/12/2010 11:43AM

  I really enjoyed reading your answers! The first one made me smile big time! You have a great way of looking forward! You have been very blessed with good health in that you have not had to be a patient in the hospital or had exrays! Thanks for sharing!

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FIT-AT-50 8/12/2010 9:43AM

    Thanks for the insights into you! I think I'm going to use your idea for today!

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MSLZZY 8/12/2010 7:20AM

    I'm with PAT! Love to read but don't take time to do it myself. Very interesting! emoticon

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PATRISNA 8/12/2010 7:07AM

    As I told Kasey I love reading these and hate answering them. BTW for question R my answer would be yes. I loved the way you answered that one!


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Ups and downs

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Funny how many "passive" / "victim" metaphors we have about our lives. I'm going to pick two to pick on this morning.

1. "I've been on an emotional roller coaster". This implies the emotions are taking me for a ride. I have little say in the ups and downs and curves and twists. But you know something about roller coasters? They are limited by their rails!

2. "I'm a yo-yo dieter". Gain weight, lose weight. Like I'm being jerked around and someone or something outside of me is jerking the string?

So, am I a rider on the roller coaster... or do I design the rails?

And, am I the yo-yo being jerked around... or am I holding the string?

Here's to deciding who we are in our metaphors! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 8/13/2010 8:33PM

    You make a good point -- and are so right on about the victim status implied in those phrases. Thanks for showing them to us through this new lens.

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KASEYCOFF 8/11/2010 3:18PM

    Excellent analyses of a couple of standard phrases - and some very valid points, as well. I love your thought-provoking blogs, hon! :-D

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WALKINGANNIE 8/11/2010 1:28PM

    This is a brilliant blog Barb. Thank you for this wonderful analysis. You hit the nail right on the head.

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KALIGIRL 8/11/2010 1:27PM

    Love it - taking command of the words helps us take command of our lives!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/11/2010 12:10PM

    Wow, Barb -- that was PROFOUND!

I think you'e on to something. We are in control of our own lives/reactions. We may think we're not -- but at those moments, I believe we just choose to lose control.

Great blog. Have a great day!

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LUCICAMP 8/11/2010 11:33AM

    Hmmm...very profound! It's funny how we say things all the time without thinking about their deeper meanings.

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PATRISNA 8/11/2010 10:56AM

    Today is an example of why I love your blogs! Barb you always give me something to think about.

Here is one I see a lot. I fell off the wagon.


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SROUS1340 8/11/2010 10:30AM

    Great blog Barb, language has a lot of power over our thoughts!

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APRILLSCOTT 8/11/2010 10:16AM

It is something to think about! Good blog! emoticon

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MSLZZY 8/11/2010 7:45AM

    Funny how some phrases stick with you for no apparent reason. Great blog, very thoughtful! emoticon emoticon

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Dates that live in memory

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When I was kid, I got tired of grandma and great aunts and great grandmas and all noting special dates all the time. Most of the time they were talking about people I'd never met and their special days.

Now, of course, I've turned into grandma! I have dates in my head that won't go away. I note in passing that Sunday was my daughter in law's birthday, and she was born in the year I married my one and only. It was a bummer of a day with the news so recent that her husband (my son) would NOT be coming home next week like we had come to expect.

Yesterday was a huge date: 8/9/10 (in US representation). Yes, it's one of those dates that grandma used to harp on. My mom's father was born on 8/9/1910! In Missouri, for those of you who live there now. He later migrated to Iowa to take on work, and his eldest daughter crossed the river to marry a Nebraskan, which is how I came to live here!

In thinking of grandpa, I can't help commemorating what he did with the latter years of his life. He retired early, at 55. My dad thought he was nuts at the time. Even now, I'm older than he was when he retired, and I'm still working away.

But what did he do with this retirement? He did a whole lot of Boy Scout volunteering. Was this man active? You bet! Hunting (with bow, muzzle loading musket, and regular guns as well). He cleaned and grandma cooked whatever he bagged. Fishing (with hand tied flies)... a memory I hold fondly as he would take us kids along to Lake Mannawa. He took troops of Boy Scouts on a canoe expedition into Canada, at least once. On his 65th birthday, he hiked 65 miles down in the desert (Philmont Scout Ranch)!

There IS a family heritage for fitness! emoticon Here's to you, Grandpa, for giving a great example of an active and useful life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RACKETMOM 8/11/2010 11:41AM

    Yep, we remember those dates as we age but one thing my mom & grandma used to do was listen to the obituaries on the radio everyday to see who they knew that had died! Used to drive me crazy as a kid! But guess what? I have found myself looking in the newspaper at the obits more than I like to admit LOL


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PATRISNA 8/11/2010 11:15AM

    Thanks for sharing the Grandpa story. My parents were from south eastern Missouri. My dad, mother and brother hunted, and fished. As kids we all went fishing and camping. There were times we were really tired of waiting for Dad to quit for the evening. We also wanted to have hamburgers instead of fish. I marvel now that I love eating fish and I always complained about eating it as a kid.

We were lucky to have a dad who taught us to appreciate the great outdoors. He always called the mountains God's Country. Your Grandpa story reminded me of how much my dad taught me.


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WALKINGANNIE 8/10/2010 4:20PM

    .... and now here you are following in his footsteps giving a great example of an active and useful life!

I hope that you soon have the good news that you are waiting for.

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KANSASROSE67 8/10/2010 4:05PM

    Your grandpa sounds awesome! My grandma rode the Scrambler at the county fair with me when she was in her 70s...and she loved it!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/10/2010 12:13PM

    Ah, yes. Dates in our minds can sometimes be just as annoying as those voices in our heads. Just kidding. I think as we age we all tend to do this, though. Isn't family heritage great?

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ANDI571 8/10/2010 10:26AM

    Isn't it funny how the things that bug us as kids, ends up being the good memories.

My arms looks so much like my mom's (not in a good way), but I see her every time I do my hair. My daughter now fusses about her arms looking like mine. I told her, but I will always be around that way.

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KASEYCOFF 8/10/2010 9:54AM

    Now, that's funny (as in coincidence, not ha-ha). I just sent an email off to my daughter (aged 27) saying 'August is full of birthdays.' Then it dawned on me - more than half the birthdays are of people either gone or that she's never known. Yes, some of those dates - and memories - loom large, don't they? :-)

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KALIGIRL 8/10/2010 9:15AM

    What a great tribute to a great man. It's apparent you have his genes!
So sorry to hear your son is not coming home next week. I'd hoped he was among the group that landed last weekend.
Thoughts and prayers with you.

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SLENDERELLA61 8/10/2010 8:35AM

    Love the grandpa story! Celebrating and commemorating our days is a good way to truly live. Thanks for sharing. -Marsha

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PEGGYJEAN13 8/10/2010 7:52AM

    You have got a lot to keep up with. You don't have to do a 65 mile hike to be healthy though. Be proud of your heritage but make sure you ae doing what you want to do with your life. At least you know you have robust genes and that you can do whatever it is you sets your sights on!

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Is beginning really beginning?

Monday, August 09, 2010

I was just reading a blog but it could have been any number of blogs that talk about fresh starts or beginning again... when this thought popped into my brain: "Are we really beginning again... or are we continuing?" . o O (Uh-oh, she's going philosophical on us again!)

The path of self-care began when we were children, infants, even. When we first reached to feed ourselves, or started to crawl, we began didn't we?

It is a journey of enlightenment, of learning, and of discipline. Our personalities play into how we perceive it, big-time. To me, it's all about choices: learning to make ones that will take us where we want to go. Everything from learning how to walk to school or which way leads to the park as kids to more adult choices: what to buy at the grocery store, what career path to follow.

While learning what to do to get us where we want to go... we need first to understand where it is we want to go. What is our heart's desire? Only each of us can know what that heart's desire is: perhaps even figuring out what we want / are meant to do in life is part of the journey.

I may not even be able to express my heart's desire in words. When I was a kid, and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had a one-word answer in my head: "Happy". What I most desire is inner peace... freedom from fear. To feel contentment. I know what it feels like, I've felt it... but it is elusive. It can slip away when the picture around us changes! If you're a sensitive soul, it can slip away from simply seeing someone else struggling! If you're a controlling personality, it can mean you start trying to fix life for everyone else!

Responding to others, then, is also part of the journey. Because we are not alone. Self-sufficiency also requires community sufficiency. This journey never ends. Even when "beginning", we are really "continuing". Continuing to learn, to grow, and to work to achieve our heart's desire.

For today, I will put aside the things beyond my control, and do what I can. I will nurture my body and my mind and my soul. I will be kind to others but I won't try to live their lives for them. I will accept the grace of contentment without complacency.

May all who read feel a peace within... that elusive contentment... and be kind to yourself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 8/9/2010 3:18PM

    This is a lovely thought-prompt full of humanity. Self-care and serenity....

Yes, here's to contentment without complacency...

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DEBRITA01 8/9/2010 12:58PM

    I like that...content but not complacent...For me, I've found happiness and contentment starts with gratitude, and I've much to be grateful for...

Wishing you continued contentment...great blog!

Comment edited on: 8/9/2010 12:58:44 PM

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ANDI571 8/9/2010 12:19PM

    I agree completely. I think it is a continuation. I wonder if we would think of it in that way, would we get so discouraged. When we say we are beginning again, that puts a thought into our mind that we failed. But if we just continue on, the stress is taken off some.

It's funny you saying you wanted to be happy. That is what I have always said about my daughter. I want her to be happy. I spent so much time trying to make that happen for her, and after some struggles, I finally came to the conclusion, I can't make her happy, she is the only one who can do that. So I now work on making myself happy.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/9/2010 12:09PM

    Well said, Barb!

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GOHUSKERS2 8/9/2010 9:47AM

    Contentment....word of the day...great message!

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PATRISNA 8/9/2010 8:16AM

    emoticon Great blog!

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MSLZZY 8/9/2010 7:52AM

    Contentment, even though elusive, can be obtained! Excellent! emoticon emoticon

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Being vigilant... what does that mean?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

One of my major themes in this journey is learning to treat myself gently when I'm not "perfect" about the plan. But another major theme that I subscribe to is, indeed, what Marenamoo says "Be ever vigilant."

I was whimsically thinking of what to blog today and this title popped into my head: "Being vigilant doesn't mean you can't be gentle!" Just to be sure, I looked it up!

Vigilant, according to Webster, means "staying watchful and alert to danger or trouble." That's it. Being aware of what's going on around us, and in us. This is not an impediment to being kind to ourselves.

I like to think of parenting my inner toddler at times like this. When I slip and slide I imagine a little girl with red curls stomping her patent leather-clad foot and putting her hands on her hips and saying "No!" Yep, Toddler Barbie wants what she wants!

I don't know about you, but when I discipline a toddler, I have trouble keeping the twinkle out of my eye because they are so darned CUTE, and you can't help being crazy about them! Besides, it becomes a "teachable moment". I can talk about WHY a behavior is wrong, and how it benefits to behave differently. I can give Toddler Barbie another way to look at the world. There is nobody more adorably serious and remorseful than a toddler learning to make sense of the concept of "being good".

So, that's what today is about. Vigilance with kindness. I actually feel pretty good this morning. I slept well.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDI571 8/8/2010 7:49PM

    As with the other comments, you are right on. Treat ourselves as we would a toddler, with kindness.

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KALIGIRL 8/8/2010 6:49PM

    Vigilance with kindness - a great motto for a healthy journey!

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LJCANNON 8/8/2010 4:45PM

    HMMM, "Vigilance with Kindness"
It never occurred to me to treat the Spoiled 2~Year Old in my head with Kindness. And I never thought of her as 'Adorable' either. That is certainly something to think about the next time she is stomping her patent leather clad foot on my Brain.
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SROUS1340 8/8/2010 10:38AM

    Great blog Barb, great analogy with the toddler inner child!

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REJ7777 8/8/2010 10:27AM

    emoticon Couldn't help but smiling through that blog!

"Vigilance with kindness." I love it! emoticon

emoticon emoticon Toddler Barbie emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/8/2010 10:28:25 AM

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APRILLSCOTT 8/8/2010 10:18AM

What a great blog! Thanks for the reminder! I need to be practicing both Vigilance and Kindness! My toddler Barbie is a force to be reckoned with! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 8/8/2010 9:47AM

    A good blog and analogy. I feel I am in the Toddler Stage of my journey, still trying to make sense out of this world of healthier living. Sometimes I think I am in my Terrible Two', I am learning to be less defiant.

While caring for my toddler grandson, that's exactly what it is:Vigilance and Kindness. You have to watch his every move (and he moves a lot) and treat him with kindness, patience, and love as he navigates his way along.

I think I need to try that more often with myself...thanks for the reminder!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/8/2010 9:35AM

    You paint such a good visual in your blog. I love it. Yes, we must be ever vigilant while being gentle. Something I need to learn is to be more loving and gentle towards myself. I give "The Restrictor" way too much leeway, I think. Now is the time for "The Compassionate Observer" to take charge for a while. But most of all, I need to find that balance that will allow me to go forward and make progress.

Thanks again for the great blog, Barb. Have a great day!

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GOHUSKERS2 8/8/2010 9:12AM

    That's a great combo....vigilance and kindness. I think that's great!

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PEGGYJEAN13 8/8/2010 8:55AM

    This applies to so many aspects in our lives including our relationships! I like it!

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MSLZZY 8/8/2010 8:45AM

    Vigilance with kindness! I like that! Something I should learn and practice! emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 8/8/2010 7:58AM

    I love this!

Toddler Barbie is indeed very loveable - and you might just be onto a great concept to counteract her plastic, commercialised namesake with the false figure and manufactured lifestyle!

Vigilance is about keeping us safe and comfortable. Glad you feel good today and thankful to learn from your experience.


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