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Life is a Masterpiece

When I was growing up I was really into figure skating. And by “into” I mean I watched it for two weeks every four years during the winter Olympics. But for those two weeks, I was really into it. My mom and I would sit on the edge of our seats watching with clenched fists and holding our breath as the skaters attempted their daring jumps. We cheered excitedly when they landed gracefully and winced when they fell down and slid across the ice. I used to admire the skaters ... Read More »

Battling Mental Illness

On the news again, another attempted murder-suicide, but this time an elected official was involved.  Too often these days, we read or hear of the mentally ill killing, or trying to kill, innocent people.  Whenever I learn of something like this I stop and say a silent prayer of thanks.  Thanks that this time it didn’t involve my son.  You see, in 2002 he was arrested for breaking and entering when he was off his medication for the serious mental illness from which he suffers.  Less than 36 hours earlier ... Read More »

Ornaments

I walked out of the office and remembered I had not yet selected ornaments from the Advent Giving Trees.  As I walked around the trees with their tags identifying Christmas wishes for boys and girls, and moms and dads, I carefully selected two that I thought my girls might enjoy purchasing.  It was hard to select only two with so many items to choose from, but I did.  Then I walked around the trees one last time and a third ornament caught my eye. It was shaped like an angel ... Read More »

Eating the Elephant

You ever hear the old adage that begins, “How can you eat a whole elephant?” I guess unless you are that lady who ate the fly, I doubt you can swallow an elephant. It’s a huge task after all. Dauntingly big, it creates inertia, nothing moves. I give the endeavor a thought and then move on. The elephant is still there, looming. Witness my attendance to a conference on Diversity. The days spent there were very good, and there were great speakers; the breakouts by and large were good. I ... Read More »

Getting Myself Back

In high school and early college, I was sick enough to miss school only one time. I often stayed up until 2 a.m. finishing AP homework just to wake up at 6 a.m. to go to school. After school and on the weekends, I worked a part-time job, did activities, went to the gym and hung out with friends. Nothing ever stopped me from accomplishing my goals. Then my life changed before senior year of college when I developed chronic anxiety. That summer was the hardest time of my life. ... Read More »

Touched and Thankful

Our team of eleven spent four days on the Jersey Shore working on houses nearly a year to the day that Super Storm Sandy damaged them. The material accomplishments of our trip are pretty easy to describe: as a team we hung a lot of drywall in a house built around 1900 with not a single square angle; we hung wall tile in a bathroom; and we identified problems in a house that was literally starting to sag with rot. What isn’t so easy to describe are the ways in ... Read More »

Caught in My Story

You know the phrase, “If I had a dollar for every time…”? Well, I have been feeling like that about something recently. I am and have been struggling with a sugar binge and haven’t stopped talking about it. I started working at Floris UMC, and I now have firsthand working knowledge of the “Floris 15” instead of the freshman version. It seems that every day I approach the staff kitchen there is a sinful temptation—cake, muffins, chocolate, cookies—you name it, and I eat it. Of course eating sweets does lead ... Read More »

You Look Great!

Some days it’s hard to get out of bed. Other days I fall into bed at 8 p.m. and sleep until the alarm goes off. Fatigue is a constant reminder. Some days my left leg is tingly or the left side of my face is numb. Other days a rash appears below my knees and turns my feet red with spots. Sometimes I just ache with joint pain. These all are reminders that I have an autoimmune disease called Sjögren’s Syndrome (pronounced show-grins). Probably one of the most challenging things ... Read More »

The Tree in My Backyard

There is a tree in our backyard. Under the tree is a large mulched area where my kids play. This mulched area includes a swing set and a small plastic log cabin. There is also a row of large pavers running through the mulch, providing a trail for my kids. My kids play under this tree for hours each day. The branches and leaves on the tree hang low enough that when they are playing under the tree, I’m sure they feel like they are in their own little hideout, ... Read More »

Julia Child…You’ve Been Chopped

Maybe you watch food TV or food Network.  Being a major foodie all my life, I love watching cooking shows. I was probably the only kid in my neighborhood watching Julia Child on the weekends while all my friends were watching The Banana Splits, Lancelot Link, and Scooby Doo. Recently there has been a new phenomenon in cooking that actually has occurred everywhere else in our entertainment world: competition. Gone are the days of Julia’s molded salad not coming out of the mold, the lobster falling out of the pot, ... Read More »

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