Monday, October 29, 2007

I Like Being A Grown Up Because...

Readers warning: Rated PG 13

I was in a "mood" today. Hyperaware of things going on around me: a gal standing at another's desk for what seemed like hours, with this funky little laugh erupting every few minutes; conversations happening down the hall; scrutinizing emails being exchanged; conversations about energy lines in the earth (which I used to scoff at, but now am becoming curious); enthusiasim about proposals I'm creating, etc. In other words, it was more like a normal Monday (finally and thank goodness) but with some tobasco on it!

My point:

I was browsing through my junk mail file to see if there was anything worth keeping (lately, I've been missing some good mail that got mis-routed) and saw this: STIFFY IN A JIFFY. Not only did that send me into a fit of laughter but because if it, a couple of us ended up really looking at the stuff in there. And when you start bouncing the related subject lines between two people, the story builds and builds and builds.......I like being a grown up.

I had also donned a pair of cranky pants today. I no longer get sent to my room, instead my best friend politely said, "Why don't you go home and have a glass of wine?" I like being a grown up.

I came home and waiting on my doorstep was 1) my very soft cat, 2) a 1st edition Gertrude Atherton novel, and 3) a new silk Liz Claiborne dress. I like being a grown up.

I thought about making dinner and opted instead for a 60 second batch of nachos. I like being a grown up.

I like being a grown up!

What A Woman Should.....

This has circulated through my Inbox several times. I like it.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE old love she can imagine going back to...
and one who reminds her how far she has come...'
...enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own even if she never wants to or needs to...
..something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...
...a youth she's content to leave behind...
...a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age...
...a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE friend who always makes her laugh...
and one who lets her cry...
...a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...
....eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored..
...a feeling of control over her destiny...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW to fall in love without losing herself...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship...
...when to try harder and when to walk away...
...that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents...
...that her childhood may not have been perfect
...but its over
...what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...
... even if she doesn't like it...
...whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally...
...where to go it to her best friend's kitchen table
...or a charming inn in the woods
...when her soul needs soothing...
...what she can and can't accomplish in a day, a month, and a year...

Friday, October 26, 2007

And Then Time Stood Still

Last night I was window shopping while waiting for my friends. We were throwing a birthday party at Happy Sumo and I was early. I wandered around Riverwoods not finding anything particularly eye-catching.

There's a Border's Books near the restaurant and I figured I could amuse myself until my cell phone started announcing arrivals. What I didn't anticipate was the lump-in-the-throat-recollection of last being there and being madly in love last year.

The memory of pouring over books together, mostly cookbooks (and finding and memorizing the title of one so I could present it at Christmas), laughing, snuggling and being so relaxed and happy, was overpowering. That was one of the few weekends that we ever had (made) together. The whole weekend was light and intimate and playful. It was cold and snowy and that didn't matter. I remember thinking then how happy I was. I was surprised at how much of an imprint that day/event/place had made on me.

It's so easy, in the beginning, to build sweet memories. They always linger long past the lifespan of the relationship itself. This trip down memory lane was bittersweet.

Fortunately, I only had time to enjoy the memory but not sulk, as my friends started calling and I was drawn to the present to laugh a ton, eat great food and down some saki. All hail to the Birthday Boy!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Time Marches On

I'm getting a better handle on why I'm out of sorts. A month go today I arrived in Santiago. I realized this while eating one of those tuna lunch packs today. I did lots of tuna meals in Spain, but they were very different from the American version I'm eating now. Soon I can't say "last month when I was in Spain" and that makes me sad.

We had a grief counselor come to the office today. That helped some. We still have some hurting units in our midst. All of us first in are still struggling. Those who worked near and closely with him have a completely different set of aches to deal with. We're all better, but there's a long long way still to go.

Boy does life trudge on or WHAT?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Odd day. I feel discomboulated. Not sure what it's all about. I hope to shake it tomorrow - I don't like feeling undefinable. :)

Subject Line: 9 Words I Guess Men Should Know

I was copied on a foward of the following email. The subject line fits well with the he reluctantly understood that it was good information to have. I also felt that he was also resigned to getting caught in "the trap" anyway.


1. Fine:
This is a word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up. Now.
2. Five Minutes:
This is a tricky one. If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes only really means five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house or leaving to go shopping.
3. Nothing:
This is the calm before the storm. This definitely means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with Nothing usually end with Fine.
4. Go Ahead:
This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
5. Loud Sigh:
This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she has deemed you an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here arguing with you about nothing. (Refer to #3 for the meaning of Nothing.)
6. That's Okay:
This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That's Okay means she wants to contemplate long and hard before determining exactly how and when you will pay for your mistake.
7. Thanks:
A woman is thanking you. Do not question, or pass out. Simply say, "You're welcome."
8. Whatever:
This a woman's way of saying GO F@!K YOURSELF! Southern women don’t say "whatever." They say "aren’t you cute" or "bless your heart." Do not be fooled: this also means GO F@!K YOURSELF!
9. Don't worry about it, I got it:
Another extremely dangerous statement. This means that she has told a man to do something several times, but he has obviously failed, and she is now doing it herself. This is not good, and will later result in the man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to #3.

*Share this with the men you know, to educate them about frustration they can avoid if they learn and remember the terminology.

*Share this with the women you know to give them a good laugh, because they know it's true.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Joy Peeking In?

I went for a walk last night. Surprising given that I haven't walked a mile since I got home. Look at the tally: September 275, October 0.

It was beautiful: The sunset in the west with the evening light and mountain's silhouette and reflection on the lake. The "last light" brightly illuminating the snow capped peaks of the eastern range while showing off the pinkness of the lower rises.

The chill in the air, the crunch of the leaves, the reminder of the joy I felt (when my feet stopped hurting) of the walking motion in Spain.

It was nice to feel whole again for a couple of miles at least. Ten breaths in ten I'd say.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Angels In My Midst

I had so many people helping me stay strong and get through last week. The tenderness shown to me was moving - and I really needed it. There was an amazing amount of support being shared throughout our building. I admire all the caring people we have within our walls.

Thanks to the very special angel (and I know you are one) who came to me EARLY this morning and answered my question (concern) and lifted my sorrow. The clock maneuver was a good one.

Someone sent this to me to help me get through last week:

When upon life's billows
You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged
Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings
Name them one by one
And it will surprise you
What the Lord has done

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done
Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done

Are you ever burdened
With a load of care
Does the cross seem heavy
You are called to bear
Count your many blessings
Every doubt will fly
And you will be singing
As the days go by

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done
Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done

When you look at others
With their lands and gold
Think that Christ has promised
You His wealth untold
Count your many blessings
Money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven
Nor your home on high

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done
Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done

So, amid the conflict
Whether great or small
Do not be discouraged
God is over all
Count your many blessings
Angels will attend
Help and comfort give you
To your journey's end

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done
Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done

- Words by Johnson Oatman, 1897

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pajama Day

If it can't be done in pajamas today - it isn't worth doing.


It's dangerous having a hidey hole 1/3 of the way around the world. Weeks like this drive my head back to my new found solitary, healing, introspective days communing with nature. It's a good thing I'm not made of money because I surely would be on a jet and "outta here".

I keep taking deep breaths. Soon, I'm sure, has history has proven itself over and over, one breath in ten won't be for emotional survival, then two, then three. They will once again be taking in the world and finding beauty.

This week has been long. The beauty/pain of my brother's memorial service, the shock, sorrow and grace of Curtis' passing, this weekend of family, friends, release, and reality. Tomorrow I face another Monday, which for this one will be difficult being "a week ago today".

I'll look forward to a period again where not every moment is so crystally defined by fate. I will make a point to appreciate the blessed gift of filtered memories.

Based on the last two months being filled with major perspective-changing events, I need to now sit myself down and define what I want my future to resemble. What IS important singularly to me and more outwarly reaching, to those closest to me? What do I absolutely WANT to do, think would be cool, don't give a crap about anymore? What am I willing to let go of that I THOUGHT was important, but really at the end of the day, isn't. Who do I need to bring in closer and who do I need to let go of? How can I leave this world in a BETTER state than when I came into it? Yes, I'm waxing philosophical - but I believe that is the lesson I was ultimately supposed to take away from this week. Change in once again in the air.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rough Week

If you read two posts down, you know I've had a rough week. The shock filter is wearing off and I'm struggling with things. The event, the loss of a co-worker, watching the grief of his close friends at work. At times it is taking me to the brink.

So I'm looking for bright spots. I posted the pumpkin carving site, I'm allowing myself to eat some chocolate and I'm trying to keep others afloat.

About the only shiny thing I can pull out of this week is this: I can wear my normal shoes again and without pain. Big whoopie.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Halloween Fun!

Here's a happy little diversion for you:


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Please, For Me!

All, Yesterday morning as I let myself into my office and heard a woman calling for help. It was the wife of one of our employees. Her husband, an early shift employee with some health issues, hadn't called her on his arrival at work. Not having his call, she attempted to call him and not reaching him, came to the office. How she got in, we may never know.

I finally located her voice and found her, with her husband, my co-worker, in her arms. I called 911 and then my manager, who amazingly floated to my side seemingly seconds later. We tried to revive him and traded off doing CPR. My manager, also an LDS Bishop, gave our colleague a blessing (customary here).

My point to this story is not to tell you about my week - it is to pass on a request of mine. I do this because he could have been YOUR spouse, your child, your friend, MY daughter, my brother, my grandchild, my friend. I want you to know and have these things:

1) Take a CPR course.

2) If by the grace of God you haven't had to use your skill, and your certification expires, RE-CERTIFY! Don't put yourself in a position of wondering if you might not be able to do it. Know it, do it, do it right.

3) Have a GOOD and comprehensive first aid kit created - in your home and at your business. Know where it is. Replace used items promptly.

4) Put a GOOD first aid kit in your car and a heavy blanket or two. (I've had to use these in other incidents).

5) Have your emergency information available so you don't have to think about it. Have your address posted - either as a business card or note near your phone.

5) Be prepared so you don't have to think - you only have to do. IT WORKS!

I tell you this because all of these things were in place for me and it made it very natural and easy to help. I don't want you to wonder if you could have done more, if you should have done it differently. I want you to be prepared. I want you, without having to think, to be able to deal with whatever comes your way.

Because I love you.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Other Half Of Me!

I'm in Sonoma for my brother's Memorial service. I haven't had the opportunity to get to know this side of my family until now.

I know now why I am the way I am. All the genetic and environmental puzzle pieces have come together.

I am the luckiest girl on this earth.

(From my Treo)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Poking Love At Myself

Last night it hit - The Camino Blues. I'd heard of them, but I refused to read about them before I left because I didn't want to read myself into having them if they were contagious. Last night I KNEW they'd found me. I decided to hunt down people's comments about it and instead I actually found a write up about a STUDY that had been done on people who had done the Camino and then found themselves in the dumps.

Check. Check. Yup. Check. Dang. Check. Yup. Oh Crap, check. Classic case. I finally quit trying to do work work and just went through some of my Camino momentos and let myself go back for awhile. Then today I came up with something that I can actually HUG if I need an escape.

I went to BuildABear. I have done bears with or for all my grandkids. Now it was MY turn. I have a bear collection, but it is all white bears save one red one given to me last Valentines Day. This situation called for something out of the ordinary.

BAB had an Autumn Bear. I LOVE FALL! And having done my Camino during my favorite season made this the perfect bear. He's Orange, yellow and reddish and has a fall colored leaf stenciled on his nose and paw. And he came with a pin, which I also collect, that looks like him. The pin will go at the end of the Camino row on my display.

It gets better. I was searching for an accessory for him....YUP!....a pair of Speedos. I was explaining to the salesclerk that I had been staying in public housing while touring Spain and the Speedos were in abundance. "Oh - in the hostals?" She went on to explain she'd done her mission in Spain - we reminisced about places and foods. Then I told her I'd done "El Camino de Santiago" and she squeals "I always wanted to do THAT!" So with much love and understanding of the country and the pilgrimage, she and I went about making James bear. We both kissed his little heart before placing it inside of him. (Those who are BAB fans, know the drill here.)

They didn't actually Speedo's, but they did have a representative pair of knit boxers (saw lots of those too) for my whimsy. And the best part...his eyes have a look of understanding.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Don't Know What To Say

I need to blog, I don't know how to get it out. It was one of those days. My Spain filter thinned. I want it back. Reality bites. I want my bubble back!

The $64 Question

I knew that once I was back from Spain this would come up. "Are you going to start dating now?"

It was easy to shrug off the question before the trip. "I'll think about that when I get back - this is my focus now." I'm back. What's the answer?

I didn't think about it on the Camino - I thought about my peoples, but not about where they entered or, if applicable, exited my life. So now the flag has been raised and I need to look at this....or not. I guess that's an option too.

Sometimes I whine a teensy little bit that I won't ever get to celebrate a 25th wedding anniversary (I guess I might....if I worked really fast and we both lived and lived happily everafter until I was at least 75). I had a 10th wedding anniversary once, but it was forgotten by the other half. I don't want to repeat THAT either. Are you beginning to understand my thinking?

I haven't dated much in the last decade. I few dates here and there, a few relationships tried. Mainly I worked and mom-ed. I did work my way up to being at a super company and a fabulous job, I travel for work and pleasure, my family is grown and I own real estate and a fun car. All things I'd never done before either due to age, financial status or "the partnership". Is that related to being single? Depending on how you spin it, yes.

And...I had to deal with the "fix thyself or you'll do it again reality" then (a decade ago) whereas everyone I seem to meet is just crossing that threshold now. I am not the "answer" to multi-decade broken marriage. I'm flattered that so many think I am, but I'm not.

One thing that I do revel in is that with pretty much everyone that I have been involved with in passing or longer term, I've come away with something more in me than when I started. This is a beautiful thing and I'm grateful for it. My world and soul have been enriched because of the encounter(s).

That said. I don't have an answer to the question. I know I've spent an ton of money the last six months at the bookstore and all the storylines are running on foreign soil. I can still hide behind the Camino and the excuse that very few people could understand or support my return. And, I'm very tempted to bury myself under the warm fleece of emotional preservation, to say "maybe after the Holidays" which personally I could drag out until April 27 of 2008. And then, there's the Mexico.......

How 'bout them Broncos?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Been There, Done That

The Camino boards were buzzing this week about Eunate stories. Having "just" been there myself, I shared my experience and mentioned a 10x Camino-er that had been stayed there the same night. Tonight I received an email from another Pilgrim, who on her 4th Camino (getting the pattern here of re-visits?) filmed the man I was mentioning.

I went to her site and well, she happens to be a noted writer and filmographer (and frequent walker) of the Camino. Like wow! She wrote to me!!! I had just heard of her work just before I left and hadn't had the opportunity to read or watch her video. I can't wait to now.

As I started viewing one of the clips on the site, before the buffering even let it all lose, I was in tears. The first scenes were sunrises and then it focused on some movement, the crunching of the stones from the boots.

This is all still very fresh in my mind, as I hope I can keep it for a long time. Today was the first day I didn't have swelling in my feet and ankles since I've returned so I know time is going to attempt to erase secret world.

But hopefully with people like Sue and the boards we all contribute to, will allow us to bask for a very long least until we can get there again.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I Want Everything

This song came out when I was 16 or 17 years old. I loved it then and I love it now.

I want to learn what life is for
I don't want much, I just want more
Ask what I want and I will sing
I want everything (everything)
I'd cure the cold and the traffic jam
If there were floods, I'd give a dam
I'd never sleep, I'd only sing
Let me do everything (everything)
I'd like to plan a city, play the cello
Play at Monte Carlo, play Othello
Move into the White House, paint it yellow
Speak Portuguese and Dutch
And if it's not too much
I'd like to have the perfect twin
One who'd go out as I came in
I've got to grab the big brass ring
So I'll have everything (everything)
I'm like a child who's set free
At the fun fair
Every ride invites me
And its unfair
Saying that I only get my one share
Doesn't seem just
I could live as I must
If they'd give me the time to turn a tide
Give me the truth if once I lied
Give me the man who's gonna bring
More of everything
Then I'll have everything

Barbara Streisand, A Star Is Born


What a serene, wonderful weekend.

Pat and I went to a church dinner on Friday, I puttered around the house and yard doing some chores, I met with some friends, I baked, I shopped, I read, I blogged. I made arrangemments to go to California next weekend. And......

I was able to put real shoes on today! I don't know if I can go a full nine or ten hours, but four is a great start.

I love the crisp air that Fall brings. The smells, the changing light, the colors. I was so fortunate to spend a month outside in it.

Sad Contrast

Last month I hiked alone for 275 miles in a foreign country. I could have done 500 (with a little more time) - still alone. In the dark of night and height of day.

Yesterday I went grocery shopping. At the entry way to the store was an armed security guard (we aren't talking just during a Loomis visit either). I'm not in New York City or Chicago or LA. I'm in Happy Valley, Utah.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Last Saturday's Snow Day

Last Saturday, having just come home from the airport a few hours earlier and not being able to sleep, I opted to stay up until Saturday night. At one point I noticed the house was bathed in a beautiful salmon tinted light. Looking for the source I was lucky enough to witness this sunrise.
Later that day and this Saturday too, we experienced early winter snow...the limited, wet, yucky kind. The kind you know is going to, eventually lead to winter. For now it's just gearing up.

Isn't this a lovely sight?

My Refrigerator Door

I looked at the magnets today and found that they truly reflect me. What do you think?

Santiago Update

I'm glad it is the weekend. I'll be able to work on my Camino site some more.

I found out from a co-worker there is a software/service company (of course there is!) that will allow you to copy your blog, pictures and all, add entries if you wish (emails from my Camino friends?), and then the company will print and bind it into a book. I think the costs sound reasonable. This encourages me to complete the blog work - others can use/enjoy the content (I'm seeing the traffic grow and diversify (global) until the technology changes. I was going to start a "print and notebook" campaign - but this will be soooooo much easier and the final product be "professional".

I'm still basking and considering when my next opportunity to return will present itself.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Oh What A New "Do" Will Do!

I try to generously tip my hairdresser. This round, I need to go back and give her some more. I needed to get my "hiking" off my head. She handed me a pile of magazines, I found what I liked, and she set about doing it.

Oh my! What a GREAT day I'm having as a result. We're talking double-takes and wolf whistles. (Those just aren't heard in Utah and are even less likely in our office.) People are stopping me in the hall and coming by my office to compliment me.


Still There

I'm having a cool week. I am happy to be back at work. My perspective on the world has been modified and I'm glad to report after a week it is still clinging. Hopefully I can report the same in a month!

I dream about the Camino every night - so the beauty and experience is lingering. I never used to remember my dreams. This is nice - it's like I've never left.

I'm able now to start working on my feet and making them presentable again. They're healed enough to start a little bit of primping and I am actually wearing some real (albiet open) shoes today.

A visit to the hairdresser got the long (braidable) and sunbleached blondness out of my hair. I feel like a lady again.

Last night I treated myself to a Cola Cao. Spain's hot chocolate. What a treat!

I'm reading two books right now about people's travels. My wonderlust is seeded for next year.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Giving Thanks - Update

I just wrote emails to the airline that facilitated in scheduling my trip and the airline who relentlessly worked to track down my lost hiking stick.

I thanked them for their efforts in making my trip (flights) and bringing my trip home (my walking stick).

Have you thanked your support system today? Give it a try - let someone know that their caring affected you in a positive way.

Watch the world change.


1) Continental, who worked so hard on my walking stick, wrote back to me today thanking me for taking the time to recognize their efforts. They said they try, but it isn't often that someone makes the effort to note it.

2) I tried to help out another manager today with getting various pieces of information for his team. He sent thank you's in response to each email. He caught me in the hall and thanked me again! And then one of his team members stopped by to thank me because the manager had told the group where the information had come from.

3) I went to the outdoors store that sold me my pack and later did adjustments to thank the man for his help. My pack was a perfect match and fit. He wasn't there, but the other salesrep had me write a note for him. She also suggested that I write to the owner, including pictures, but they highlighted special trips on their website. My little adventure will be highlighted locally!

Going Back

I've got the jet-lag/time zone change cobwebs out of my head (still not out of the house though).

The walking stick made it home (and now my trip seems more REAL and less SURREAL). I'm starting to receive emails from my Camino Friends telling me where they are (ALMOST to the finish line!!!).

What always reminds me that I'm back into reality is the fact that I'm back to American food. I long for the tastes of the countries I've visited. This morning I recreated the tortilla y patata or Tortilla Espagna - shape and all. (OK move on past the fact that 1) I cooked and 2) I cooked in the morning 3) I cooked in the morning on a workday).

So far so good on holding on the euro food scene since I've returned. I really had the time to learn the names, the ingredients and TASTE the food on this trip. There was no pressure of time and I learned to sit and eat and think and enjoy.

Yet another gift of the Camino.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Did You Hear That?

Oh how I love the silence now. The camino has given my home a new dimension. Walking by myself has given me a new perspective on time, me and what is important. I hope it sticks.

Back To Reality

I have one last day to revel in the beauty of Spain and one more day to ease back into reality.

Two things have presented themselves as .... "welcome back Teri". The bathroom drains did not fix themselves while I was gone. I called this morning to have someone come and take a look at them, I've put it off since my Paris trip last year. Good thing I called - I thought I would give the bathtub a little scrub since the slow drains have left most of Spain in the bottom of my tub since I've returned and what I found when I opened the shower curtin was that this morning's shower water (3 hours ago) was still hanging around. Time to deal with that.

The second thing is I dusted before I left and while I was gone the little dust and cobweb fairies had a hey day. I have huge windows in the front of the house that beg the warmth of the fall sun to come through and beat out the chill. Today those windows merely served as SPOTLIGHTS of the doings of the fairies.

So I'll do my little house treadmill to keep the kinks out of my aching limbs and get ready to swing into reality tomorrow. I don't mind....working makes all these wonderful adventures possible. My job, which is a dream, makes working fine by me.