Monday, October 29, 2007

FINDING BALANCE- Checking In On My Goals!

Bert often tells me that I have two speeds: full speed ahead and stop dead! I tend to live my life, as one dear friend told me, "shot out of a cannon!" Even at 60, I have tons of energy and get lots accomplished. However this morning, as I looked at my work and personal calendar, I found a notation that I had made at the end of August. It was a "note to myself" of sorts.

The notation said, "Is your life still balanced?" "Are you taking time for what really matters?"

I wrote this "note to myself" at the end of a glorious summer! I had time to breathe and time to spend with those I love. While life was very busy...it wasn't rushed. Once school starts and 93 students join the parade...consulting clients want more time...workshops begin...and the holidays loom...well it's easy to lose balance!

I know when I feel balanced because I feel happy and peaceful inside!

And on top of all the usual time consumers...I have added "get a healthy lifestyle, exercise and Weight Watchers" to the list!

I went to a church retreat recently with Amy. The speaker said, "I could look at your calendar and checkbook and I would know what your priorities are!" That really stuck with me. I want to be aware of where I am, how I am feeling, what my priorities are, and what I need to do to be balanced. I don't want God to feel like a PS in my life!

So today I am taking time to breathe, to blog, to hug my husband, to drink (and taste) my coffee, to touch the leaves, to remember what I love about fall, and to thank God for the gift of being alive!

Today I want to simply be grateful for it all! I want to slow down long enough to FEEL the gratitude and appreciate and work toward "balance" in my life!

God Bless! Love and hugs to all who read this! Love Linda

Friday, October 26, 2007

WEIGHT WATCHER WEIGH IN: :..."And The Beat Goes On!"


Doing Weight Watchers is a HUGE lifestyle change for me.

I joined Weight Watchers for several reasons...take off some pounds, have time with Amy every Thursday while we work on a mutual goal, and work on a healthy lifestyle. Yet while I have been to Weight Watchers in the past, I have never DONE the program with the determination and hard work that I am putting into it now!

I continue to attend every meeting. I continue to track all of the food that I am eating and add up my points. I continue to exercise at least three or four times a week (walking vigorously, running up stairs, lifting weights). I continue to drink large amounts of water every day.

And the program works if you really do it!

This week...drum roll please...I lost 3.2 pounds for a total loss of 19.8 pounds!!!

Sunny and Cher used to sing the song "And The Beat Goes On"...meaning that this adventure is ongoing! Mine is! I am getting healthy! I am not stopping! I feel like a million bucks!

I am SO grateful that God is right beside me in this journey. Every day I thank Him for the courage to do this and I want to live in a way that I honor the temple (my body) that He so generously gave me!

Stay tuned...next week you'll see less of me!

God Bless! Love and hugs to all who read this! Linda

Thursday, October 25, 2007

THURSDAY THIRTEEN: Thirteen Of My Favorite Quotes

I LOVE one liners...quotes that make you think... quotes that say it all in such a concise fashion that you just have to smile! I have quotes in my journal, quotes on my refrigerator, and I use a "quote of the week" in all of my classes!

Here are just a few (13) of my favorite quotes:

Cinderella is proof that the right pair of shoes can change everything!

Courage is fear that has said its prayers!

Happiness is not in having what you want,
it's in wanting what you have!

I have been driven many times upon my knees
by the overwhelming conviction that I had
nowhere else to go.

Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around,
Faith looks up.

Dance Yourself Silly!

A Daddy is a man who has pictures
where his wallet used to be.

Wise men still seek Him!

It wasn't me.
It's not my fault.
I would like to speak to my Nana.

What happens at Nana's house...
Stays at Nana's house!

When things get rough..
Call 1-800- Nana!

Home is where your story begins.

You are not helpless, you are not, lost...
And you don't have the right to give up on yourself!

Have a great Thursday...full of joy, fun, sharing, and delight!

God Bless! Love and hugs to all who read this! Linda

Thursday, October 18, 2007

WEIGHT WATCHER WEIGH IN - "The Big Dip!" :)


In Weight Watchers we talk about making a lifestyle change...one that includes eating healthy foods in moderate portions, healthy exercise and drinking lots of water.

I don't often say these words...but I'm proud of myself for all of the hard work I have done in the past six weeks! My clothes are looser, I am drinking enough water for a small third world country, I am writing down and tracking all the food I am eating, and I am getting regular exercise!

Who would have guessed that this would be part of my journey as I turned sixty! I feel so grateful!

Drum roll please...I lost 4 lbs this last week for a total of 16.6 lbs!

So..the journey continues, one day at a time and one pound at a time! Stay tuned and you'll see less of me next week!

God Bless! Love and hugs to all who read this! Linda

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

An Amazing Accomplishment- World Championship Ironman!


As I run up and down a few stairs...as I walk a few blocks and break a sweat...I am more impressed than ever by the dedication, tenacity, HARD work, and self-discipline Rog puts into training for an Ironman competion!

Let's see...swim 1.4 miles...ride a bike 112 miles...and then run a marathon! Are you kidding me?
This is an unbelievable human feat! I stand in awe and amazement!

This past weekend, Rog, once again, did the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii. That's right...WORLD championships! And he has been there more than once.

I wasn't there in person, but I was literally glued to my computer much of Saturday, getting data from Amy, watching Ironmanlive.com and calling Jessi with information. When the Ironmanlive.com website went "down" I couldn't believe it! I even called the number on the website saying, "Excuse me...do you know this isn't working and people ALL OVER THE WORLD are trying to find out about athletes they love!"

Not only was Rog doing this race, but he had an awesome cheer squad of family and friends supporting him! His two biggest supporters are Jessi and Emma...and they go to the ends of the earth to be there during those races.

Often times during the day, while I was at the computer, I thought of Rog, Ben, and Jeff, (Ben and Jeff are two other TriFusion athletes in this race), Tim (with his maps and cameras), Kevin and Kathi being supportive, Kris, Anna, and Grandma Phyllis, Madison, and especially Eileen and Rog Sr. I was SO delighted that they could see their son in person at this amazing event!

So...here's to you Rog! As I walked my 15 blocks this morning I thought of you!

God Bless! Love Linda

Friday, October 12, 2007

LIVE EVERY DAY AS IF IT WAS YOUR LAST- A Reminder




The "theme" of my blog is "Live Every Day As If It Was Your Last!"

Those words have great meaning for me...and yet it is easy to get off course and forget (in the day-to-day events) how truly precious life is!

I got a reminder when a colleague at the Community Colleges sent me this website address. It is part of the Lecture Series where professors give their "final lecture". In essence, this is what they feel is most important to them, what they really want to say to their students about what matters!

What is unique about the "Final lecture" in this clip, is that this very young and articulate teacher IS dying... from pancreatic cancer. His thoughts were inspiring and thought provoking...about giving people chances and the purpose of "walls".

It's food for thought...so I wanted to pass it along!

http://video.aol.com/video-detail/dying-professors-last-lecture/450759514


Have a blessed weekend! God Bless! Love, Linda

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Weight Watcher Weigh In- Turning Fat To Muscle !!!


I had a great week on Weight Watchers. While it's never easy, I stayed within my acceptable point range each day and drank water like crazy.

I also added something new to the equation...LOTS of exercise.
I exercised every day, ran up and down stairs (at home and SCC), lifted weights, did my Richard Simmons aeorobics tape before my classes, and walked every day.

Now for some folks, this might not seem like a BIG deal. However I haven't had this much exercise in YEARS!

I look better and feel better than I have in a long, long time and the exercise helped me to be extra calm during several moments of stress! An extra bonus!

When I went to weigh in today (expecting to lose weight) I gained 1.4 pounds. I was in shock...but my Weight Watcher leader was not. When she heard about my exercise routine the past week she smiled and said,

"This often happens when you first start to REALLY exercise. You are turning fat to muscle!!
Wait until next week...you'll see a dip!"

Other veterans in our group echoed her sentiments. So...
I am uplifted because I am exercising like there is no tomorrow, and I am turning that nasty fat into muscle!! Since I DID the program, this result is very different then if I had fudged my way along. I actually thought (although only momentarily) I could get to like exercise like I am learning to like water ( I am drinking 6-8 large containers of H20 with Crystal Light each day)!

Stay tuned next week to see the "DIP"!

Thanks to Amy, Jacob, and Jenna for being at today's meeting (after their field trip), thanks to Jessi for the awesome cards (I LOVED the musical one), and thanks to all of my students for your support! You ROCK!

God Bless! Love and hugs to all who read this! Love, Linda

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

SMALL BLESSINGS...Enjoying Them All!

Life is full of BIG and small moments! The big moments seem monumental in that they create lasting memories...when we get married, when we have a baby, when we go on the trip of a life time! Sometimes we yearn for the BIG moments as they have have such a splash effect. Yet those moments are often few and far between.

We miss out on much of life if we are waiting and yearning for them. We may even miss the small moments, the small blessings! Those blessings surround us every day! They are right in front of us. There is no drum roll about them, no trumpets blow, but if we open our eyes we can see them! If we open our heart we can feel them! These small blessings, when added together, remind us of God's goodness and God's grace!

Here are a few of my small blessings from yesterday:

1) Early in the morning I made my daily trip to Safeway. I found just the right plant to celebrate the birthday of a friend who runs our copy center at SCC! There it was. It almost said, "Linda, get me! Diane will love this!" And she did!

2) Also in my visit to Safeway I was headed down the frozen food aisle. I was looking for Lean Cuisine frozen lunches. Suddenly I looked to the right and saw the coffee cakes and desserts! I COULD NOT believe my eyes! I let out a yelp (and one employee came running to see if I was OK). Now I know you may not get the magnitude of this...but one reader of this blog will. There...in the Sara Lee section...was the Butter -Struesel Coffee Cake...our old family, Christmas morning, traditional coffee cake that my Mom used to make every Christmas morning! I had adopted this tradition as well. This yummy, never-to-be-forgotten morsel of heaven got discontinued last year...much to my great sadness...in seeing a 45 year tradition end. BUT IT HAS NOT ENDED...IT IS BACK!!! I had even written Sara Lee and told them the story of our coffee cake. I have no idea if that mattered, but I am buying every one of them and storing them!!
What a blessing...it made my day!

3) Ryan went up to our place at Diamond Lake and mowed the lawn for us! In the process he discovered that the hot tub had been fixed by the Pool World folks and that the "bridge/doc" built by a neighbor did NOT obstruct our water use! Praise God! Thanks for all of your help Ryan! You are a life saver! Love You!

4) I had some time with Amy and Jenna yesterday! :) Amy made me a Weight Watcher friendly lunch after school, and I got to see Jenna's AWESOME smile! It heals my heart to be around both Amy and Jenna! Thanks for lunch and your love, you two!

5) I came home to look at the mail and found that I had TWO cards from Jessi, sent before she left for Hawaii! One I opened and one I am to save until my weight watcher weigh in tomorrow :) Jessi was so busy before her trip, so it means so much that she took the time to support me! Thanks sweetie! I love you!

6) My Granddaughter Kayla was on my blog yesterday! Her comments, and love for the Lord, always inspire me! Thanks Sis! You rock! Love you so much!

7) My new zippy, brown jacket, that I wore to school, was a little too loose! :) I was reminded all day that my hard work at getting healthy is paying off!

6) Yesterday morning I found an old photograph of my Dad with me when I was 5 months old!
It brought back a flood of happy memories and blessed my heart!

These are just a FEW of the small blessings that graced my life yesterday! When I open my mind and heart...these blessings flood in. They overtake tiredness, they crush discouragement,
they diminsh sadness, and they remind me that LIFE IS GREAT!

Thank you God for every small (and large) blessing! God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good! May YOU be surrounded by large and small blessings today...and see them all!

God Bless you! Love and Hugs to all who read this! Linda

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Everything Is A Gift...Even If It Doesn't Look Gift Wrapped!



It's easy to talk the talk of faith when things go well. When things are going the way they "should", and all is "well" (by my standards), a positive attitude is easier to find...at least for me. Yet when things get tough, when unexpected pressures hit, when good people are sick, or someone is mean or selfish...when things get really difficult and you can't believe what is going on...well that is the time when knowing God is there makes a difference! In those moments I am called upon to "Let Go! And Let God!"

I love the line in the movie Rudy when Rudy is talking to a priest and says, "What else should I do?" Father Cavenaugh says back to Rudy, "Son, there are two things I know for sure. There is a God. And I am not Him!"

I don't always get how God works...in fact I often do not get how God works. I can look at a situation and wonder..."Well...what will He do with THIS one??"

What I know for sure is that there is a God, He loves me, and He is here in the midst of it ALL!
As Maya Angelou loves to say, "God is where you are!"

Last night I got a phone call. Long story short...someone who now owns Ortners Island at Diamond Lake has built (on the sly) a HUGE bridge/dock.with no thought to how this impacts all of the people at the Lake. He has threatened to do this before. He was stopped by the county. When everyone left the lake, he built it anyway. I am beyond shocked at his selfishness.

There were dozens of phone calls...with Diamond Lake residents, a message to the prosecutor, and messages to the Planning Department. We will not be bullied into accepting this situation.
Personally, I felt very stressed. I kept saying "How could he do this? How could he be so mean!" I wondered how I would get sleep and let this go...at least for now.
I said a prayer before going to bed and asked God to be in charge of this.

This morning when I woke up to have my prayer time surprisingly I was very much at peace. I turned in my book Come Away My Beloved to a passage on Be Not Afraid. It said...

Oh my child, rest in Me.
Yes quietly settle in my care, as a bird settles in a nest.
For I am watching over you, and in Love will I care for you.

There is no danger with which I am unable to cope.
There is no enemy too formidable for me to handle.
I am able to carry out all My purposes and to keep you at the same time.

Be not afraid!
Do not allow terror to strike at your heart.
My power is at your disposal.
My presence stands around about you
and nothing can harm you so long as you are in MY care...
and that is forever!

What a wonderful message. And as if that wasn't enough...when I opened the book an old photograph fell out. I had forgotten it was there. I suppose I had used it as a bookmark. It is a wonderful photo of my Dad holding me at age 5 months and looking at me with love and adoration! Wow!




So today I am reminded that God loves me. My Heavenly Father is here with me. He will not leave when things get complicated or tough.

And I am reminded that my earthly father loved me too! It just doesn't get much better than that!

So...whatever curves life sends your way...and there will be curves...may YOU also know God's peace and deep love. It doesn't change the circumstances, but it allows you to have peace and serenity in the midst of it all! It's all a gift even when some of it doesn't look gift wrapped!

God Bless! Love and hugs to all who read this! Linda


A New Note as of Tuesday night at 5 pm- The county planning commission is involved, has talked to this man, and the dock does not now hurt our access to the water! What a relief!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Balancing My Life- Getting On My Own Calendar!


We had a wonderful weekend! Somehow life seems more "in balance" on Friday afternoon, Saturday, and Sunday. There is time to take a walk, go to a movie with Bert, see Kayla play soccer or Zac play football, play soccer with Jacob, read a book by a fire, have coffee or lunch with Amy or Jessi, get a play date in with Emma, get exercise in as part of the routine, go to church, take a nap...the list of wonderful things to do is endless.

This weekend (Saturday morning) Bert and I went to the Custer Antique Show! It was really a trip down memory lane. Not only was it fun "couple's time", but it was a nostalgic look at our childhoods. We saw old records we used to listen to (Fred Warring's Christmas album), dolls I used to play with, and hats my Mom and Nana used to wear. We held hands, sipped coffee, and laughed endlessly! We came home, had lunch, took a nap, and then went to see Kayla play soccer. Bert also had some soccer time with Jacob. I cooked salmon that evening, I decorated for Halloween :), and we had a great time talking and sharing! This kind of time is a pure luxury for me!

This is such a HUGE contrast with our "during the week schedule." Bert works late
on Tuesday through Thursday evening. My days are crowded with teaching and consulting! We love our life, but at times I long for more balance!

I am resolving to put myself on my own calendar and to make time to take better care of me! It's easy to feel like that is selfish. Yet I'm learning, as I work on being more healthy, that it takes time to exercise, take walks, lift weights (yes, I am even trying this:))..and to just BE...not DO! I'm going to carve out "vacation time" even in the midst of my "real life"!

For thirty plus years I have gone like the speed of light. I have held down two full time jobs and been incredibly busy! I have loved every minute of it all, and I have no regrets! Yet the "winds of change" are in the air! Some of my priorities are shifting!

I thank God every day for being alive and for all of the blessings in my life! I love the Lord, my husband, my family, and all of the other miraculous people in my life! I am blessed beyond measure...and I want to slow down just a bit so I can enjoy it all!

God Bless! Love and hugs to all who read this!

Love Linda

Friday, October 05, 2007

WEIGHT WATCHER WEIGH IN: The Results And Kudos To My Weight Watcher Hero!


Yesterday, at Weight Watchers, we were talking about diets vs. lifestyle changes. Weight Watchers, and really doing the program, is a HUGE lifestyle change for me. A few of the changes include:

1) Doing much more exercise, sit ups, fast walks, and doing them every day!

2) Watching portion control. I am probably eating 1/2 of what I ate before.

3) Making good food choices. While I am not perfect at this, I am so much better! I look at menus very carefully, and I shop differently!

4) Drinking enough water for a small third world country!

5) Taking on a "Fitness Challenge" at SCC and doing a recent walk and not stopping.

6) Going to all of my Weight Watcher Meetings!

7) Keeping track of my points for the day!

8) Reading and re-reading all of my Weight Watcher material!

9) Walking early at school and doing my Richard Simmons work out video before my classes start!

Drum Roll Please...I lost 2.4 pounds this week for a total of 14 pounds.

I especially want to give a "shout out" to my Weight Watcher Hero, my wonderful daughter Amy. She has been my helper, supporter, and encourager (daily) on this journey! She doesn't just talk the talk...she walks the walk! She and Jenna are at every Weight Watcher meeting I attend...and Jenna charms our whole group:) Aim, I am SO proud of you! You are amazing and such a GREAT role model for me! I love you so much!

I also want to thank Jessi for her phone calls, support, blog posts, and giving me nutritional "tips". Thanks sweetie for your help and support! It means the world to me! I love you so much!

And now another week begins! It will be filled with daily opportunities to choose wisely!
As I watch tight pants become loose, as I climb the stairs at work with more ease, as I track my weight loss on a chart in my class, and as I say my daily prayers and thank the Lord for being with me during this journey...there is something I know for sure...next week you will see LESS of me!

God Bless! Love and Hugs to all who read this!

Love Linda

Thursday, October 04, 2007

INNATE GIFTEDNESS- Honoring Your Brain


Confucious said, "Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life."

I am SO blessed to have a job I love every day. Being a teacher fits me like a glove! I have wanted to be a teacher ever since I had Miss Faye as my first grade teacher. She was magical. I loved her, I loved learning, and I wanted to do what she did for the rest of my life!

When I graduated from Roosevelt High School (several thousand students) there were 875 in my graduating class. Of the top ten academic scholars, eight of us had had Miss Faye as a first grade teacher. Miss Faye was meant to teach, called to teach...and so am I.

When I became a teacher I found a career that challenged me, rewarded me, and stretched me in every way possible. I also found a career that tapped into my "innate giftedness" since teaching gives me lots of energy. Oh there are parts of the job that take extra energy...grading mountains of papers, being on lots of committees, keeping detailed records. Yet the core of what I do every day, interact with students, is life-giving to me!!

This quarter I am teaching Interpersonal Communication, Conflict Management, and Intercultural Communication. I have what we call a full load, especially with three preps every day. I never teach a class the same way twice, so I am always planning and changing the curriculum. I have 92 new students this quarter! What a blessing!

In my Intercultural Communication class we are reading Mind Waves by Arlene Taylor. Some of you know her from the brain workshops she has done in Spokane. Arlene talks about innate giftedness. She says,

"Each person's brain holds the history and mystery of one's preference- your innate giftedness.
When you discover yours, the knowledge can result in your choosing to give up some of what exhausts you in exchange for lots of what energizes you."

My class is learning about hydrating their brains (drink LOTS of water throughout the day) and eating the foods that are best for their brains. Did you know that apples are a great brain food?

I LOVE learning new things and learning about my brain and innate giftedness is exciting and life-changing to learn about. My students are jazzed and excited. Yesterday, after talking about how men's brains are like wardrobes with drawers (they bring out issues, take a look, and are done with it) vs. the female brain (like a trunk that keeps every old issue and brings them out at will)..a male student said, "I just had a giant AH HAH! I've always wondered why my wife could bring up a conflict we had several years ago and remember all the details and emotions of that fight. And then she can add it to the list of what she is still mad at me about!"

I love learning and I love it when a light bulb goes off in my students. They are just like small children at Christmas...appreciating a new and special gift!

So today I am grateful for the brain that God gave me. I am grateful for the unique innate giftedness He bestowed upon me. I am grateful for having a job that I love that energizes me, even after 40 years of doing it!

I'm like a child at Christmas each day in each class!

God Bless you! And hugs and loves to all who read this!
Love Linda

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Stand Up For What Is Right...Even If You Are Standing Alone!


Last week was wonderful, full of so many blessings. And on the flip side of the coin I had a situation that happened at school that really tested my resolve and integrity.

In a nutshell...here is what happened:

We have construction going on for a new center at SCC. The construction was supposed to be finished this summer. They didn't get it done, so they are doing construction during the school day! This center is located below my classroom, and there is a direct air vent between the two rooms. Sound carries up that vent.

Last week the construction workers were jackhammering during class hours. Fifteen minutes went by, it didn't stop, and my students could not hear me and I could not hear them. I went down and talked to the workers. I asked if they had been given a class schedule (they had not). I asked that if it was possible to do the jackhammering before or after our classes and that this would be very helpful.

No big deal...just straight, respectful communication.

However all heck broke loose..that involved the college President, vice-president, several deans and my department chair. The issue- I talked to the construction workers myself and did not go through the chain of command.

Long story short...I told all of them that it was my job to protect the learning environment for my students. That class hour was theirs, they paid for it, and they are our customers. I also said that since we were paying the construction workers we had a right to ask them to avoid really loud work when classes were in session. I held my ground!

When asked...would I do the same thing again? I said yes I would. It takes hours and days (even weeks) to go through the chain of command. I told them that I had taught at SCC for 31 years and there were moments they had to simply trust my judgement. I can and will stick up for my students!

My dean reminded me of the famous photo in Life magazine where it showed Chinese students in Tiennamen Square rioting for democracy. The government brought in a huge tank. One student refused to budge. The picture shows this huge tank pointed at the student...who refuses to move! Dennis suggested with a smile that I was that one student!

I am very cooperative! I take a collaborative approach with almost everything! But this called for me to stand my ground!

Sometime back, an adjunt teacher gave me a banner. I had stood up publically for adjuncts at the school suggesting that they get equal pay for equal work. Before she left SCC for a better paying job, she left the banner in my office. It says "Stand Up For What Is Right..Even If You Are Standing Alone! Her note to me, attached to the banner, said..."Thanks for your courage to do right by us adjuncts! We voted to give my banner to you"! I was so honored!

So today, if the jackhammering starts, I'll be downstairs again trying to negotiate a better time for them to do this. My students deserve this and so do I. What I know for sure is that my Mom and dad would be proud of me!

God Bless! Love and Hugs to all who read this! Linda

"Just Plain Hard"...

                  Stand up straight and                   realize who you are,                   that you tower over your               ...