Thursday, February 22, 2018

93 Year Old Woman Dances -


Yesterday morning Scott came waltzing out of the bathroom, clothed, with shampoo in his hair and his hair spiked. He does corny things like this, and he makes me laugh. 

This morning we were working out with our personal trainer, Cody, and when we finished, he was exhausted, and I said something about age and health and sex, and we laughed. 

When I saw this video, I was reminded of the importance of movement and laughter, and a good coach. Enjoy. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

One Good Man -

Nearly 14 years - and I love this man more every day. For example -

We had a great snowstorm last night and early this morning. At 5:30am, Scott quietly got out of bed, put his boots and coat and gloves on. He opened the shed door, pulled out the snow shovel (because the snow was too heavy for the snow blower). He shoveled the sidewalks and driveways of five homes - ours, three widows, one elderly couple. It took him two hours. He came in exhausted at 7:38am.
He showered, ate breakfast, and went to his AA meeting early to make coffee (that he no longer drinks), set up the chairs, and make sure everything was in place for their meeting. He came home a little later than usual, having helped two guys who were down.
He rested, then helped me get dinner ready to take to my mother's, where my brother and my son and his family were waiting for dinner.
He played with the five grandchildren, and now, we're home, he's exhausted, but still thinking about who he can help tonight - so he sends kind texts to those he thinks may need a little extra boost.

From the moment I met Scott I was never confused about what he stood for. He's not the best verbal communicator, he's not wealthy, but his actions are his words, and his heart is gold.

I love him; he is my constant. He is my teacher.

Pic by Jennaholmphoto in Instagram

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Google Stats -

I don't get it, I just don't understand why I've had more than my typical number of daily blog readers. Google Stats has a world map that shows where the readers are for my blog - and typically they're from continental US and Alaska, and some from England, Western Europe.

However, this past two weeks I've had a huge number of readers from Russia and Latin America. I can't figure out why. My stats show that most of my hits come from Google search, and I try to play with my titles for good key words, but this is bizarre.

So, do I blow it off, dig deeper, worry, quit writing?

Intelesting, velly intelesting.

This is not from my blog! 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Words -

I love language. I love the way letters make sounds and sounds become words and words become symbols for feelings, actions, identities. Wow - the beauty of language is stunning. So when I read, or hear, combinations of words in just the right order, I am sometimes brought to tears or chills, and left with such a swelling in my soul that I am wordless.

Here are a few that are touching me right now:

For the two of us, home isn't a place, it is a person. And we are finally home. 

I don't believe in magic, The young boy said. The old man smiled. You will when you see her. 

Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, gibe themselves the benefit of the doubt, and remain silent. 

Worry is as useless as a handle on a snowball. 

Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest. 

I don't want a busy life where I constantly put off the best and most important things for later and "someday when I retire." I want to live a full life now. 

Watch carefully the magic that occurs when you give a person just enough comfort to be themselves.

And right now, as I'm in the thick of teaching professionals and students how to love themselves and accept others (regardless of the approval quotient: Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance. 

And, to hold hands with the above quote, this one: What we need to realize is that sometimes people don't need advice. Sometimes people just need to be heard. Sometimes the greatest gift we can give someone is just to keep our mouths shut and let them empty themselves into our hands. 

Lastly, a new saying, from "The Greatest Showman," that as I'm coming up on my 5 year anniversary of finishing cancer treatment, and beginning to accept the new me:
I am brave. I am bruised. This is who I'm meant to be. This is me. #GreatestShowman #ThisisMe #MovieSongs #GreatestShowmanQuotes

These words keep me -

Monday, February 12, 2018

Dinner With the Kids - Good Move -

Several months ago, on a Sunday, Jenna called and asked what we were having for dinner. It was her way of saying, "Can we come over for Sunday dinner? Because I don't want to cook." Well, I had a great meal in the works, but instead of having them to our place, I suggested that we bring dinner to their place, so they didn't have to pack the kids up, drive here, eat, pack the kids up, drive home.

And - it was a hit! And we've combined meals many times since -

So, Scott and I decided to try it with Tyler and family. "Tyler, can we come to dinner at your place on Sunday? We'll bring dinner." They made dessert. And of course, who could turn down dinner, and we had dinner at their home - played with the kids on their turf, cleaned up, came home. Lovely evening. And we've done this a few times since.

Right before Christmas I called Diana, and offered the same deal. Hit! The kids loved the meal ("This is just like Thanksgiving dinner"); Diana had Christmas treats for us. We made Christmas ornaments, kissed the kids good-bye, and came home.

Oh yeah! It's a blast - I cook dinner, we pack it up, drive to the kids, unpack, table already set, eat, wash up, play and visit with the kids, come home - TO A CLEAN HOUSE!!! And no stress.

Tonight Julie and Alex came here for dinner. The best visit. And no stress.

We try to have my mom over a couple of times a week, and it's the same - we make dinner, she'll bring a dessert or rolls, and always good conversation.

Meals? We've had:

Pizza, Mexican food (taco/burrito bar), hot dogs, ribs, chicken, and vegetables (raw, roasted, stir-fried), salads, beans, corn, rice, potatoes (baked or mashed), soups. Tonight it was stir-fry, orange chicken, pot stickers, a spinach salad with avocado and oranges, and Julie brought brownies and ice cream.

Seriously though - what a better way to spend an evening - sharing a meal with loved ones, seeing grandchildren in their environment, and then coming home to ours - with no fuss whatsoever. Conversations are easier, there's no pulling kids out of places they shouldn't be, and because our house is so small, we're not crammed for space. A meals is always the best when shared - regardless of whose turf it's on!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Good Health -

Yesterday evening, as I was sitting in the hall at UVU, between classes, I had the oddest thought pass through my mind - in a blip, it came and left, and surprised me.

I was watching the students walk past me - mostly focused on their phones, a couple limping, a couple with orthopedic boots, one student walking clumsily, another with his arm in a sling. And the thought - the micro-second message that came to me was this:

"Boy, I'm grateful for my health." And then the thought was gone.

But as I recollected that moment, I second-thought myself. Crap - I've had cancer, I blew my elbow out, I've had back surgery, and I've had sinus infection and bronchitis, and a fall at Christmas time, and a horrible 2+ week bout of this year's influenza. And that's all within the past 5 years.

So why am I grateful for my health?

It's this - I've been on the other side of healthy. It's not a pretty place to be. I've heard death knock at my door; I even peaked out just to see what death looked like. And yet - I have chosen, yes, it is a choice, to be physically and emotionally healthy.

These past 5 years I've worked so hard to heal - exercise, nutrition, positive mental attitude, service, and moving forward. It's been a tough hard road, and I'm sure my journey is going to need continual work - exercising, eating right are not one-time deals, they are lifestyles. And those 2 items take a lot of work - a lot of diligence and commitment.

So, last night, as I drank my bottled water (cutting down on Diet Pepsi), eating my apple and mixed roasted nuts, resting after an early morning workout, a day at work, and having just taught 2 classes, and still having one more to teach before the night was over, I was feeling quite blessed.

I went to my last class with a heart filled with gratitude. Boy, I'm grateful for my health.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Catching Up - The Flu - And #59 for Me!

It's been quite a few days since I've posted, and mostly I'm going to blame that on the most horrible winter cold I've ever had, and in addition to me being sick, Scott also got the same thing, and we've been a terrible duo the past two weeks. I'm not going to say that the older I get the worse my colds are and the harder it is to bounce back, but . . . Thank heavens for Tamiflu, NyQuil, Flonase, Mucinex, steam, a comfy bed, and soup in the freezer.

But I'm back, and the past week has been packed with catching up - what a horrible way to recover! But student papers, classes, sick patients, and moving into a new office do not wait for anyone. Sadly, I've had so many students out with the flu - and I'll have to catch up with them too - which is so much work.

The good news is that it was my birthday on January 30! Born in 1959, and I turned 59 this year (as did everyone else born in 1959, so I'm not so special). There's a term for this - Beddian Birthday - for real! And crap - 59 years old! And yet, besides still recovering from the nasty cough, I don't feel 59, or what I think 59 may feel like. I'm at my prime - at the same weight I was pre-cancer, healthy with a touch of osteoporosis (a physical this week attests to this), active, clear-minded, in love, happy, and still deliberating over some of the big life questions I've had for years (and that's another post).

And yet - I'm also realizing that if I want what I want, I'm going to have to say no to some things that are disguised as what I want, including spending time working for the mighty dollar, so that I can take time off work to recover from a lousy cold. This is no longer making sense to me. And I turned down a nomination for a Faculty in Excellence Award from the English Department. I'm so flattered that I was nominated, but the paperwork - and I had to choose - make time for paperwork for the award, or spend the day with Jenna and Tommy and not have anxiety attacks. So I said thanks, but no thanks, and enjoyed playing with Tommy - who was so very excited to see me. Priceless.

And this weekend Scott surprised me with a night at The Homestead with Jenna and Cliff. We went swimming in the 95 degree water. We had a lovely low-pressured evening and a very nice time together.

So there, I'm caught up - just now trying to not get over-anxious about this upcoming week and the move into our new office space, two nights of teaching (never ever again will I teach 3 classes, nor an 8:30pm class), and chaplain meetings. I do feel like I zoom through the week on auto, then let down just enough to catch my breath before the work week begins again. And I think I've had enough of this.