Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mom... How old are you again?

When you are a kid, birthdays are everything. You recount your age in terms of halves and quarters even. Being eight and a half is a big deal. Being five and three quarters is a big deal. It is a status thing.

As you grow up there are certain milestones you hit that you can hardly wait to reach. Thirteen - FINALLY a teenager. Sixteen - NOW I can drive! Eighteen - Shrug, now I'm legal - I can vote. I suppose some move out or get kicked out. I went off to college and thought I knew it all :) Don't you, after all, know it all when you are eighteen? Then, TWENTY-ONE - the magical legal age for bars and buying alcohol. The age you wish you were ever since you moved out at age eighteen and hussled up a fake ID to say you were.

Then come the dreaded milestones as you get older. I remember twenty-nine. I remember telling people it was my twenty-ninth birthday and they didn't believe me. Yeah, right... twenty-nine. I'm twenty-nine too. Sigh. Thirty came and went. Thirty was a little traumatic but I spent the time recounting all my accomplishments by the time I was thirty and reassured myself that it was ok.

By thirty-five I had twins and life was so moment-to-moment topsy turvy that I didn't know whether I was coming or going between my babies, my older children, my husband, my career, and our move.

So... the years continue to accumulate. Before I know it, I'm thirty-NINE! Good Lord! I'm almost FORTY! Have I lost all that baby fat I needed to lose? I hear it gets harder once you hit FORTY. Have I been wearing sunscreen? I hear those wrinkles really start after FORTY. Have I been getting enough sleep and eating well and and and and and and and.... WHEW!

Before my head explodes, I take a deep breath and enjoy taking pride in all I have and all I am at age thirty-nine. I won't bore you with my long list of blessings. I've recounted them in posts past and still feel that way, with even more to add. But, I will share with you a site I found today that makes you think about your age in terms of days. I love this. Take a minute to read his thoughts. This is the same guy that shared the frightening world clock with us.

As of TODAY, I am 14247 days old! The other ego boost follows in his Life Expectancy - Virtual Age Calculator. You get points added or points taken off depending on various lifestyle choices. I am VERY proud to share with you my results! Hoo!

A few years back I began counting my age not in years, but days.

The day is the natural cycle of our lives. The cycle of light and dark, wakefulness and sleep, has more significance than the cycle of the seasons. Indeed, in equatorial latitudes, you hardly notice the passing of the seasons. The day is what counts.

Each day is a complete unit in itself. At the end of each day I can look back and take stock. How have I been? What have I learned? What can I be grateful for?

I can hold a day's experience in mind quite easily. Trying to go back and take stock of a whole year is much harder. Numerous incidents and discoveries are inevitably forgotten.

I also find it far more meaningful to think that I have lived through nearly twenty thousand days this life, rather than 50 years. And it reframes the future. I have -- probably -- thousands of days still to come. Thousands of new days to discover, enjoy and learn from.

Living Each Day in the Present. It is easy to go through our days on semi-automatic, caught up in doing and thoughts about the past and the future, not experiencing the present moment in its fullness.

~ Peter Russell, "The Spirit of Now"

Thank you Peter Russell. I needed to just slow down a bit and think. This helped me do that. I am so thankful for each day. So much of our lives are spent racing like a hamster on a wheel trying to get somewhere and yet we are still in the same place. Thinking about the gift of a day makes all the difference.

Monday, April 28, 2008

What's YOUR sleep-o-meter say?

Sleep is NOT overrated. Get some! (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) I will now take my own advice. If you can't sleep, maybe you should read up on some tips... can you believe it? A BLOG about Sleep! http://sleepzine.com/ Hoo! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Good night :)


Mondays. Day after a birthday. (I still need to post thank you's for all the fun SL birthday happenings. My SL friends were so wonderful!! Mental note to come back and do that - so stay tuned.)

Work colleagues enjoy food as much as I do. Gotta love being with people who really "get" you. Gotta love people you work with even more if they choose to celebrate in style when it is your turn for a birthday!

I have to post and share this because my SL friends share my love of music. I must credit my favorite work colleague on her well-researched lunch suggestion. Hoooo Barb!

The menu is FANTASTIC! The atmosphere is beautifully modern and sophisticated. And the thought of meeting Carlos Santana in person there sounds even better :) The waiter told us he will be performing in the Valley later in the Fall and he hopes he'll just happen to drop by. We learned the only other resturant he has open currently is the one in Walnut Creek, CA. How FUN would that be - delicious food, great music, and a little brush with greatness?

The waiter also told us that all the music played is from a server directly from Mr. Santana himself. His own personal music selections, including a few of his own works. Also, a large wall in the corner had a large LCD showing concert clips of Santana performances. How nice is it to enjoy lunch with Rob Thomas and Santana, hmmmm? ;)

On that note -I'll leave you to enjoy the resturant's signature song...

Good Causes Abound! The Amazing Potential of SL...

I attended an event on Saturday as part of a 12 hour fundraiser called Blues for Autism. After being tired from my own week of events and Linden gathering, it was nice to just go and be a participant and a donor, rather than an organizer.

Please take some time to read through this post by clicking the link below. It describes in such articulate fashion the shape of charity and giving that is extremely live and well in SL!
"Synergy of Volunteerism in the Virtual Environment"

Thank you Magi McBride for your tireless work for a great cause. I'm thankful there are people out there in SL and RL moving Autism Awareness forward. Hoo!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


$233,030 Lindens = $879.66 US

Wow! We did it! We completely surpassed our SL dreams and raised well over the $100,000 Lindens I had predicted and the $50,000 Lindens Blissie had said she'd be happy with. Almost $900 for the American Cancer Society! Hooooo!

I so appreciate everyone who gave up their SL earnings this week, as retailers, as club owners, as disk jockies, as musicians, as dancers, as club goers. Thank you for your amazing generousity to give give give.

Counting up those Lindens after the crowd headed home...

When we started this event I was so excited about it. When I'm excited about something, I can't help it - it spills into every part of my life - RL and SL. I told my colleagues at work I was working on a fundraiser. I told my parents I was working on a fundraiser. Interest and curiosity led to conversations about SL throughout the week.

"Isn't that an online game?" "You've been playing that for a while, haven't you?" "Kim stop talking about those people and things like they are real, you'll get me thinking they are real, and they are imaginary." LOL!

It led to tours of SL at work. Just brief ones where the size of my chest was criticized and admired. I showed off my wardrobe and my beautiful home and island. I connected with some RL contacts online, inworld and shared with them pieces of my SLife providing a tour of our home in Bel Cove. The response from one was "Man, you are into this Hard Core! Did you guys make all this?"

I had one friend say "If I could, I would just write a check - let me know who to write it to." In retrospect, I should have done that. If I would have collected RL funds from them in my informal publicity campaign of excitement about the week, I probably could have brought up our week's total to $1000.

Through all this though, it has brought to light what SL is and can be. It has illuminated the type of person I am, and the types of people I choose to associate with in SL. It takes a team to make something like this happen successfully. It takes creative and organized minds (not necessarily mine - but I'm trying). It takes enthusiasm and passion. It takes ingenuity and generousity, but most of all it takes WORK. Things like this don't happen, and happen successfully without a lot of hard work. These are qualities that transcend SL and show the kind of person you are in RL. You can talk talk talk about doing good things, but it takes work, the kind that makes you roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, to make something a success.

I am so proud of all the people who helped make this week possible. I'm so so so grateful that Ms. Blissie Boucher had the enthusiasm to give me the gentle nudge to help her. From there it just snowballed. Bigd of course just said you tell me where to be Kim and I'll be there. He knows I know he'll do what it takes - and he did! We have to have quite the coordination efforts on the homefront to pull of such intensive SL activities. We had a week of pizza and he who's (where you find what you're hungry for and eat it), and frozen dinners. My boss at work was generous enough to encourage me enthusiastically to have fun and leave early the night of the concert. The traffic cooperated each night - yes, a shout out to those I-10 driving friends - Thank you!

I knew Blissie knew the real me when I received a note from her one day saying "OMG you are the co-worker who is way on top of email and fills everyone's inboxes aren't you!" I knew SL had taken on my RL personality officially when I was writing notes with bullet points and next steps.

And then, there are those who do business in and out, every day in SL. The DJs, Crighton Johin, who knew exactly how to conduct a date auction and asked me if I had interview notecards to give to those being auctioned off and request their favorite songs. He knew to make an auction schedule and set up a stage to direct attention to. He knew how to send out announcements with attachments. And what he didn't know how to do (like make floating text above a gift box), his RL wife, Jenda did. Jenda Starbrook was a patient soul. I have already blogged about her yesterday. Bigd referred to her as the "Rainmaker" last night after all was said and done. She has an amazing following, she jumped in and created unique gifts to support our event and those who donated, and her little avitar butt brought in over $40,000Lindens for a date. WOWOW!

DJ Borday Moo brought his following and sexy voice to the event. He was able to send out announcements and attract a crowd. He even got naked one night to the tune of some donation subtotal. He is one crazy Moo! Ms. Busybee Beaver donated her BeeHive to house it all all week and put up with my constant questions of "Can we rez this here?" "Do you mind sending this out?" "Do you have a...?" I am hopeful we brought in more club goers to The Bee Hive in days and weeks to come as a result, and more listeners and attendees to Borday and Crighton's events.

Yes... a REAL LIFE band in SL! Check them out! www.myspace.com/friendlyfiremusic

"Friendly Fire" performed a first ever live concert event at The Bee Hive this week. Case and MacK's following brought a whole new host of people to the club and gave the donations a huge Hump Day boost! They were the perfect middle-of-the-week ingredient to keep us all going and inspired.

Party Like A Rockstar Event... Where else would you rather be?

So... did we sit on our butts too much this week? Perhaps in SL yes (unless you include all the multitasking it takes to run a house with 4 kids while being logged in for hours on end). Did we show the world there is more to SL than that smut they write about in the NY Times? Well at least in my little world I hope we did!

Relay for Life American Cancer Society will continue to have fundraisers for the next several weeks inworld. People can still come by The BeeHive and donate to the kiosk that Blissie left out. Maybe we even gathered more Lindens overnite. The group charity leaders who visited last night asked us if we could do another one because our week was more successful. Do I dare tell them - wait a few weeks to ask us that? :)

Cancer touches each of us in different ways. I am so blessed to know survivors in my life. Those who have had cancer and battled it successfully. I have also lost loved ones to cancer. It is a horrible monster that must be stopped. If my little piece of SL can help bring some RL dollars to support the cause and the great efforts of the American Cancer Society, I am happy to do it! My dad commented to me spontaneously this week, "Well that's more money than you would bring in just going door to door in your neighborhood!" And, how true that is! I enjoyed the comfort of my family room couch and had fun and still helped in a tiny way.

I hope you will join the effort. Take time to contribute. Donate funds, donate time, or at least encourage others to do so. In a world that thrives on personalities of "Me First" it is refreshing to associate with those who put funds and time and encouragement in front of themselves for a great cause.

I'll step down from the soapbox now with a final "Thank You."

Two tired girls kick off their heels, share a chocolate cherry martini, put on their weekend hair, and say...
Thank you!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Moxie-licious! Support Relay for Life!

There is this little shop on SL that has grown in just under a month. It has grown from one floor to two. It has grown from just a few furniture sets to a whole houseful overflowing of sets. It may just be the best place on SL to buy furniture: MOXIE!

In RL, if I could, I would spend money by the wheelbarrels-full at Pottery Barn. I just love that style, I love their stuff. But, I am a realist. I have 4 kids and I have a champagne tastes on a beer budget. I'll patiently wait to have my RL Pottery Barn housefull of furniture for some day in the future when life is quieter and my pocketbook is fuller. But... I digress.

Moxie, fresh from the imagination of Jenda Starbrook, brings fun and funky textures and patterns to the most modern and comfortable of SL furniture. She is a contemporary stylist who brings my love of Pillow Talk poses and creativity to bedrooms, living rooms, and outdoor settings.

Have you stopped by to spend a few Lindens at Moxie yet? If not, let me give you ANOTHER reason. Jenda jumped on board, without question and without hesitation, to support the Spank Pack/BeeHive Relay for Life Rockers American Cancer Society Event this week. She was the first SL retailer to say MOST DEFINITELY! She was the most patient SL retailer to suffer through my never ending string of questions about how scripts work, how to make the kiosks do this and that, and oh yeah could we try this. She is a great friend and an amazing SL teacher that I wouldn't want to be without inworld or out! (And pretty darn sexy too -did I mention that? :) well, see below for yourself - you tell me!)

Support Relay for Life and purchase her Breast Cancer Awareness Bear. I wish I had one of these in RL. Jenda - can you make that script come to life for me in RL too? Support Relay for Life with the purchase of a very special edition of her Circ Chairs and Chocolate Cherry Martini Set - designed especially for our event! You KNOW you can't live without those! Who doesn't enjoy sitting with a friend on a Friday afternoon and sipping a Chocolate Cherry Martini! Ok... I'm a bit ahead of myself at 8:15 a.m. and a whole RL workday ahead of me. Hold that thought. Save me one... it will be 5 o'clock somewhere soon enough.

In the meantime, thank you Jenda and Moxie; and all the other SL retailers who have helped make this week a success! HOOOOO!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Riding a Bike

There are some things you never forget. Riding a bike is most certainly one of them. It is a life-long skill and best learned when you are young. Teaching someone how to ride a bike also seems like a life-long skill. Both riding and teaching bicycles are metaphors for life. You encounter things about yourself you never knew when you begin to ride, and then, when you try to teach someone else you encounter things you never expected.

Metaphor 1: Balance is a lot like keeping everything steady and on an even-keel in life. When you first take off, you have to learn how to keep yourself steady. It seems almost impossible. Concentrating on moving your feet to push the pedals, steering the bicycle the right direction. Come to a turn - sharp or otherwise - and look out - balance becomes an advanced skill!

Teaching someone else to balance is similar - and yet the trick is being in tune enough with them to know when to let go. When does the rider have the feel, the balance intuitively, that you know as a spotter that you can let go safely and they will ride off perfectly balanced independently?

I find myself thinking about that intuitive need to balance and how it relates to my own life. Some days as I start off slow, or up a hill, or have to come to a screetching hault, my balance may falter a bit. If I'm relying on someone else for my balance, I must be in tune with them - and vice versa. I have to be independent, but not too independent.

Metaphor 2: Self-Reliance and moving toward a goal. Riding a bike finds you providing the power to propel you forward. Other than gravity on a hill, the bike requires you to move it forward. If you push hard, it goes fast. If you slow your pedaling, you slow your travel. You learn to rely on yourself and know that even if you might have some help, from the wind, from the hill, from gravity moving you along... ultimately you are the one making things go. Isn't this true about life? No one else can power your legs to move you faster. No one else can really make you go a speed you do not want to go. And ultimately, where you end up on your bike is where you set out to go in the beginning. Goal setting and achievements in life are a lot like that as well. You have to plan where you are going. If you don't plan, you have to be ok with where you end up and be ready to plan for where you are going next.

I'm excited Noah has deciding bike riding is his thing. It will serve him so well - physically, emotionally, even spiritually. Alone time, pedaling, breathing in cool crisp morning air can be spiritual.

I always felt the downfall of my physically fit state was when I got a car. Relying on my bike to get me where I needed to go in college did limit my geographic boundaries but it also kept me in the best shape I had ever been in.

I look forward to getting reaquainted with my mountain bike. Noah was surprised I still remembered how to ride it and could keep up with him (heehee - I'm not THAT old!). And, I look forward to getting the rest of my family mobile. For now, Noah is left to ride with either D or I... but I can picture all of us in the near future. We will be quite the gang pedaling down the street. Will that mean the serenity of a ride will be lost if my entire noisy crew becomes mobile? I'll keep you posted. I may change my bike riding/life philosophies if that is the case.

Enjoy your Friday! Save some fuel and pedal somewhere.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Good Tired

So I have this friend. This girl in NYC who has become the best friend in SL. She has a huge heart too. A few months ago she asked if we'd help her with a charity event. At the time, life got away from me and the best I could do was just attend and enjoy and contribute financially. It benefitted the American Heart Association. She got contributions from various designers to donate proceeds from sales and raffled off fantastic furniture sets and things. I was impressed. I knew she was on to something. SL was on to something. Why not party for charity! We are there dancing and tipping anyway!

So then this Relay for Life thing came along. Blissie suggested we host a week of events to raise money. How could I say no? I have had my grandmother and my mom both touched by cancer. I have lost colleagues to ovarian cancer. So I figured... what do I have to lose? I enjoy SL. I spend Linden after Linden on things for me, and tips for my friends, and fun for myself really. It was high time I spend some Lindens on a cause that is so worthy and so real in our lives... so real in my life.

Busybee Beaver was gracious enough to agree to let us have this week of events at The BeeHive! DJ's Borday Moo and Crighton Johin donated their talents, spinning tunes and taking requests. Friendly Fire, the notorious SL band of Case Munro and MacKenzie Rasmuson, donated their rocking talents for a live concert - the first ever at The BeeHive! Not to be outdone, designers such as Jenda Starbrook from Moxie, Cataplexia Numbers from Alternate Metaverse, Amylyn Arcadia from Realasm, Meliora Lilliehook from Prim Sophisticate, and Bill Mondegreen from Savoy. MacKenzie Rasmuson also donated from Gestures by Mack. Have I forgotten anyone? If so, please accept my apologize and know I will amend. It is late and my brain is tired.

Doing good feels good. Thank you so much everyone for contributing your Lindens to this great cause. Join us tomorrow nite for more fun - wear your Relay for Life Gear. Friday nite is the auction and a grand finale you won't want to miss! Cheers to a successful Hump Day! Hoo!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another Reason to Find Good in Tuesday

Unofficial Earth Day flag, by John McConnell:
the Blue Marble on a blue background.

Hey! It is Earth Day! Take some time to click through on the image above and explore resources available to you. Find out what you can do to make a difference. You don't have to be an Al Gore fan to find good things to do for our world. Heck, just changing out your lightbulbs to those curly-cue ones (technical name of course) can mean huge savings in your wallet, and does good things for reducing energy usage.

My hybrid Honda Civic has been fun to drive, can fit everyone in our family but 1 (is that always a bad thing? heehee), costs under $35 to fill the gas tank (knock on wood), and gives me rights to drive in the HOV/Carpool lane on the freeways. That makes me want to HOOOO! just thinking about it :)

Find a kid and put that kid in charge of recycling if you don't want to take the time. I tell you, environmental efforts are things kids really get into, even little kids. Who doesn't love stomping soda cans or running paper through a shredder?

Make a vow to try this next month to do one or two things differently to make the world a better place. Yes, insert Diana Ross music here. If you haven't checked out Google's Earth Day map yet - make sure you do. Come on... you KNOW you are dying to take a peek.

Dig in Deep... its only Tuesday

I'm tired today. Sick and tired LOL. Bill Cosby has a quote from one of his routines years ago that I just loved:

And tired always followed sick. Worst beating I ever got in my life, my mother said, "Well I am just sick," and I said "And tired." I don't remember anything
after that.

Those two words DO go together. Having an almost 5 year old cough in your face is bound to make you sick -even though his cause is asthma. Anyway... I got up out of bed... I got ready for work and hounded my 4 adorable children appropriately to get ready as well. And D... well who knows what time he got up... he had already done laundry and herded kids toward the getting ready process as well. Some days you just have to get up and do it I guess -force your way through the motions to start to move it, move it.

Once I get people out the door, and myself in my car, and start the groove with some music at unspeakable decibles, life becomes good. Things look up and I start to get my day in focus. Today it was Matchbox 20's "These Hard Times"

Some days I prefer the shot of Alannis Morrissette. I refer to her CD as my HOV lane minstery because her lyrics and music take me to places I rarely go in my mind without some deep spiritual reflection. But today - "These Hard Times" was just what I needed.

I had a quote that I needed to remember and think about too this morning. In fact, I added it to my profile inworld and wanted to share with you what it means. This came to me as a gift for presenting at an educator conference and the presentation didn't go all that well. The workshop it self was fine - and the strategies were fantastic - but we were in selling mode not freebie mode - and in the end - it really bothered our educator participants. I think this little book and the big messages it contains made lemonade out of lemons, really.

So - for those of you facing lemons with me today - or feeling sick - or feeling sick and tired - take some time to watch this. Think about where you are at and feel encouraged that all it takes is 1 little extra degree. Really - just the decision to get up out of bed, or not. The decision to turn on the music and let yourself feel better, or not. The decision to love what you were put here to do, or not. I'm still tired, I'm still fighting a cold. But... I'm here. I'm searching for that extra degree deep deep down. Join me?

Flip through the book online.
Watch the movie online.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Blogging Metaphorically Speaking

Ok - I lied. I said I was on a mission to blog my creative meanderings until noon. It is 1:35 pm now and where am I? Still multitasking and catching glimpses of online tidbits I must collect.

We watched Juno today. Twice actually. You guys probably know I rarely see movies that don't involve cartoon characters. Heck, tv for that matter. Today has been a veritable media FEST! Hoo!

Why twice you ask? Because multitasking with my 4 friends causes me to miss parts, and D still hasn't seen the first half. But - the lines are amazing. Fantastic writing. Great acting. Hip soundtrack. Rach can wiggle to it - what else makes it qualify to be 5 stars! :) So is there any doubt - I decided I must know more!

I stumbled upon the Director's Blog. At first I thought it might just be media hype. I would still enjoy perusing it - but as I read, I realized, this was not just media hype. This was the real guy - Jason Reitman - right here in black and white type with a few splashes of color thrown in. Ok - I promise you it is not a crush. I do get little crushes on those I become enamored with in the world of media - Rob Thomas anyone? heehee But - this is genuine admiration.

How can you not want to read more when you stumble upon a blog quote like this:
Diablo was in my hotel room yesterday, thumbing through my blog, when she found out that I initially write my blog into Word then copy and paste it into the website. She frowned and explained that real blogging is done directly into the website... "Go Bareback!" she exclaimed as she gave me a look like as though she just caught me polishing a silver tea set. So here I am... going bareback... writing directly into the body of the blog without protection.
~ Justin Reitman

OK... I'll do my best to put my blogging self away now... for today at least. Go watch Juno. Rent it, buy it, call me and borrow it. Hoo! Somebody let me know when they have captured gesture lines for SL from it (hint Jenda? MacKenzie? Anyone?).

Ok you music junkies... Check this out!

Yes... I am on a personal mission to singlehandedly revise my blog before noon today :) Something about waking up in the middle of the night that sparks my creativity and makes me want to write and write and write. I tried to turn my brain off by doing dishes and running interference with the kids. I figured I was out of the blog-obsession-mode safely.

I cuddled up on the couch and settled in to watch my favorite Sunday morning show, CBS Sunday Morning. Yes, I know, it makes me sound so old, doesn't it? Sigh. I battle my kids for the remote and spend most of my time saying "Mommy doesn't watch much - this is Mommy and Daddy's Sunday morning show. You can watch cartoons later. Go watch something good for your brain. See what is on PBS." (shameless advertisement)

Today was SOOOO worth tuning in. Talk about a remix. Talk about touring to support your retirement. Check this out!

Cheers to Sundays and couches and the opportunity to just kick back and enjoy! This one is even kid friendly - how's that for unique in terms of news! Sadly though, Blogger won't let me appropriately tag them with their real name - Young@Heart. Enjoy!

Meanderings and Early Morning Thoughts of a Longer Story

see what you think... not being able to sleep makes for interesting creative writing opportunities...

She laid in bed listening to the sounds of his breathing. It was labored and his tight wheeze had awoken her from a dead sleep. Dead sleep. She hadn’t slept well, restful, dreaming bliss in months, maybe years. Her youngest was still just a baby, not yet five. He was the one who comforted her at night snuggling in so sweetly and whispering “Mommy, I love you.” Dragons and monsters kept him from his own bed, and she welcomed the opportunity to snuggle her youngest one. But tonight, in his fitful sleep, he was not a source of comfort. The clock on the DVR blinked 3:27 am and then 4:23 am. Hour by hour the night didn’t seem to get any shorter and the little one’s breathing didn’t get any easier.

They had moved here thinking things would be better. A promise of a job promotion and the idea that living close to her parents would make a difference brought them from their small mountaintop home to the stark desert city. The trade off to high pollution and long commutes seemed to offer the promise of better things to come. The mountain community paid salaries in beauty and clean air and wide open space, but not enough to make a mortgage or pay for daycare and diapers. The winding dirt roads and breezy summer days filled with wildflowers and cool mountain rains didn’t make the bill payers happy.

She remembered the day she found out she was having twins like it was just yesterday. She had worried she wasn’t pregnant, or that she would miscarry. Years before, the miscarriage had been something that ripped her heart in two and she vowed to never make her family hurt again with news like that. “Momma, the baby died, didn’t she?” the words of her oldest, who was still a baby himself at the time, echoed in her ears and haunted her with his maturity. Jon was a source of comfort to her. His innocence was somehow inhabited by an old soul and he was forever sharing glimpses into his suitcase full of insight.

Her thoughts traveled back to the news of the twins. She took the pregnancy tests at home. She so wanted a little girl. She loved her boys to death but the thought of her having a little girl to hold and love and share life experience with kept her wanting motherhood despite knowing better. Finances were tight and work hours were long. The house was just right for she and Rory and the two boys. Why tempt fate? Fate had taught her that pregnancies could be a cruel joke. The baby, the sweet promise of a baby, was just a dream that had been dashed from her the spring she was told it just never grew, it never grew into a baby. She would need a DNC.

Rory was so good to be by her side. She wondered at times if his heart ached more than hers. He had watched as the ultrasound showed the lack of heartbeat. He had held her hand while the doctor said, “Don’t worry, your body will rid itself of the pregnancy on its own” and while she made the call to a different doctor to beg for a DNC. Life goes on, sometimes as sad as it is. A DNC would move things along and allow them to get on with the business of living.

She walked slowly into the hospital waiting room, holding Rory’s hand, feeling her shoes full of lead and her heart the same. She checked in and told the kid at the desk her name and doctor name. He looked her up in the schedule and said in a much too loud voice, “We always have you see a counselor before a DNC, Ma’am. You’ll need to take a seat and wait.” The words boomed across the waiting area with tall glass ceilings and many many pairs of ears. She was horrified. She wasn’t there for an abortion. She was there to say goodbye to her dreams of having a little girl. Her stone sober face looked at the floor and she longed to melt into the floor below her, just disappear. The tears were long gone from her eyes. The only tears left were in her heart and it sobbed uncontrollably.

She remembered being wheeled into the operating room and counting back from 100 and then waking up holding Rory’s hand. He stroked her face and kissed her forehead. He asked her how she was feeling and told the nurse in recovery she was awake. Her whole body was sore and numb. Her head was fuzzy. She just wanted to go home. She wanted to take a shower and climb into bed and sleep until there were no more tomorrows. The comfort of her pillow and the comforter tucked up tightly around her chin made her wish for sleep.

Her parents waited with worried eyes in the living room with the young boys as they shuffled in with their belongings from the hospital. She barely had enough energy to sit on the couch and make pleasantries before bursting into tears. Once again, Jon offered wise words. “Momma, the baby is in heaven now. It will be ok, Momma.” Younger Noah just clung to her, too young to know how to comfort with anything other than loving snuggles.

Her mother helped her up, and began preparations to get her tucked in to bed comfortably with the reassurance of only medical personnel can provide. Having been a nurse for years, she could compartmentalize things and rationally move to the next step. Her father stayed seated on the couch with the boys, his eyes filled with tears as well. He felt her pain. He allowed himself the luxury of emotion that she and Rory couldn’t feel, or were drained of. He stood to give her a hug tightly as only fathers can. He patted her back and said “We love you babe, you’ll be ok.” She prayed for that to be true. “God never closes a door without opening a window, you’ll see.” She cloaked herself in his reassurances and shuffled off down the hall to find safety in sleep, dreamless sleep.

Should I keep going or just call this a fitful night's sleep and return to blogging the random after more rest?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sweet Dreams - SL Style

One of my mantras since I began logging into SL and finding myself there later than I would ever stay up normally, was to say "Goodnight - it is my SL bedtime." People who knew me from the spank pack (aka Blissie Boucher - not to mention any names) would start to ask me if it was past my SL bedtime as the clock crept past 9 or 9:30 pm SLT (yes, pre-SL days used to find me snoozing in bed with me missing half of the shows I would start to watch - pretty much anything after 8:30 was hit or miss - sad huh?).

So - as the clock ticked later and later - I said my usual round of goodnights and headed back to my little sleepbag seaside. Nothing better than the sound of surf to lull you to sleep. In my goodnight checklist, I decided to share some pleasantries with my next door mountaintop neighbor. The red arrows below show our locations. It is important for those who don't know SL to realize you must use a "shout" setting to be heard at that distance - and that "shout" allows others around you to also "hear" the conversation.

Please note it all began with a simple comment - I can see you walking around up there Bigd. From that, here is what happened:

[21:55] bigd Flanagan shouts: Good Night Big Brother!!!
[21:56] bigd Flanagan shouts: poor aeryn that misguided chick with a dick
[21:56] You shout: OMG
[21:56] You shout: You sicko!
[21:56] You shout: I love you Bigd :) you sexy SL hunk!
[21:56] You shout: Sleep well in that Sexy Sexy Moxie Bed of yours! Hoooo!
[21:57] bigd Flanagan shouts: Tis late and I've banned you from my property
[21:57] You: It's such a shame you can't see what finger I'm holding up!
[21:58] bigd Flanagan shouts: I'll never touch you again HA Ha
[21:58] Kimala Kohime sobs and sobs
bigd Flanagan: I'm donating my poseballs to help island!!!
[21:59] You: Is it wrong that I was TOTALLY aroused by that?
[22:00] bigd Flanagan shouts: Put it in your blog! I'm an open book baby!! Front and back
[22:00] You shout: God I want you! Hoooo!
[22:01] bigd Flanagan shouts: Searching for protective devices now you psycho!!
[22:02] You shout: I'm losing my voice Bigd - I must say goodnight
[22:03] bigd Flanagan shouts: I'm in love with this aeryn chick, sure shje has no hoo, but she has great hygiene and she likes baseball This is goodbye!!
[22:03] bigd Flanagan shouts: I no longer wish to correspond with you!!
[22:04] You: It's such a shame you can't see what finger I'm holding up!
[22:04] Kimala Kohime sighs and heads out to bed
[22:04] Kimala Kohime sweet dreams Bigd - i'll correspond with you again someday I just know it
[22:05] bigd Flanagan shouts: Never I say never It's all over now!!!
[22:05] Kimala Kohime inserts evil laugh here
[22:06] bigd Flanagan shouts: Damn her hide
[22:09] bigd Flanagan shouts: Goodnight you dangerous woman

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Ok. I was chastised for not being brave enough yesterday. Late at work. Only one left in the office. Out in the hall... Outside my office door... was a bug. Not just a bug - but a bug-like-spider-like-scorpion thing.

This, frankly, haunts me at night.

I saw one about a year ago or more in our building and was horrified then. The post traumatic stress has not yet left me. At the time though, I was rescued by a brave colleague of mine, of the male variety, who promptly rescued me from my terror and smushed it.

But I digress (although it does give you a good historical perspective on my fear based reaction)...

I killed it. I smushed it with my shoe. My high heeled brown closed toe shoes. It stuck to the bottom. I had a hard time getting it off. I had my face scrunched up the entire time and was internally screaming with all my might.

Please keep in mind - I am fairly brave when it comes to spiders and bugs and mice - but my strategy is to vacuum them up. Then, no part of my body, or thing touching my body has to in anyway be a part of the smushing process. Unfortunately a vacuum was NOT an option.

So - I personally refuse to post a picture - but I will refer you to the picture online - a cross between a spider and a scorpion. Please feel free to be terrified along with me. I would welcome reassurance that I am not alone in my terror. I would also welcome your praise of my personal battle with this bug/spider/whatever.

They say with all the rain we had in Arizona this past winter (note "all the rain" really isn't THAT much) that we can expect a higher than normal scorpion and mosquito season. I look forward with great fear in my heart to that and all it brings.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Some Days Are Harder Than Others...

I found this in my email today - or it found me really. Sorting through old email can be a good thing. I love it when the order of the universe hands you exactly what you need sometimes to make it through - for me it is God, for others it is a higher power, call it what you want, I don't want to scare anyone away.

Anyway - I was bombarded by various tales of stressful things as I began my work day - some more societal in nature, and some more work related. Either way - it immediately wore me down. I had to make a conscious decision to clear my mind and focus on all the good things and blessings in my life, and the lives of my family and friends.

So... here is what the email said -

The Beauty of Confusion

Mathematicians sometimes speak of a proof as beautiful or elegant. Many solutions to everyday problems feel the same way when they first reveal themselves. But prior to most new solutions comes a period of confusion.

For me, confusion, "not knowing," is uncomfortable. I wish I could avoid it.

Then I remember the 4 room apartment - a model of change by Claus Janssen:

1. Contentment. No one changes in contentment, why should they?

2. Denial. I can't change in Denial. I am not aware that I need to change!

3. Confusion. Ahh, here is where people change.

4. Renewal. What a great feeling. Energy returns. Good news.

So, I need to remind myself in times of confusion that it is okay to "not know." Confusion makes me stop and think, reconsider my options. Not a bad thing usually.

So, why do I judge myself so negatively when I get confused? Why do I feel I have to "know" all the answers already? Is it because confusion causes anxiety and anxiety is uncomfortable? Well, yeah. So why is that good?

Because it forces me into action: Confused and anxious I have to seek relief. I am forced to stop flying solo, to reach out and ask for help, to talk to others, to check reality with a colleague, to exercise until I can breathe easy again.

Perhaps I am wired backwards but I usually have to get into action when I am anxious as opposed to waiting until I can figure it all out. I used to joke that I am like Robert Redford's character, the Sundance Kid - "I'm better when I move."

By making me anxious and forcing me into motion, confusion pushes me toward clarity - and that is a beautiful thing.

~ Mark Bryan, The Artists' Way At Work

I feel right now I'm facing a number 3 moving into a number 4. But, the beauty of this model, in my humble opinion, is its simplicity and its nature that is so circular. I find hope that it is a process not simply a means to an end.

Onward into Wednesday with those deep thoughts of clarity safely tucked in my pocket.

Monday, April 14, 2008


So - after seeing all this laundry and figuring that those items were scrubbed by hand I felt:
  1. Glad that I had a washing machine
  2. Thankful that I only had 4 kids and my laundry didn't have to hang out the window in front of God and everyone
  3. Relieved I could finally head to the office and find serenity at work

Ok - did I just say "find serenity at work?" As a matter of fact I did! I tell you - a week off with 4 flu-sick kids is not the spa vacation package I had hoped for - although my hands are extra extra sparkly clean from scrubbing.

It is a relief to be back in the land of grownups and realize that I can still form complete sentences when people ask me questions and no one is needing me to hand them a bucket to puke in or wipe their poopy bottom. (I know, I know, TMI).

How's your Monday? Any Hoooing at the water cooler today? And most importantly - are you loving your job or what?

Your Job Satisfaction Level: 94%

Your job is nearly perfect - you've totally lucked out!

You like what you do, who you work for, and the people you work with.

And it seems like the job you have will eventually get you the job you want.

So enjoy what you've got. You've landed the ideal job!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Earning My Stripes

aka... diary of the banal details of our RL week
(with a hint of sarcasm)

So this week... I jinxed us. Our lazy Sunday was simply a calm before the storm. I knew it would be a horribly busy RL week. Kids had statewide standardized testing -oh the joys; D has his usual round of parenting battles with students he case manages, and I had 2 grants due before I went out of town for work. Even under the best set of circumstances, it was going to be a challenge.

Sunday afternoon our youngest began complaining of stomach pains. It went downhill quickly from there. By Monday in the wee hours we had our youngest two throwing up and our middle one complaining of similar stomach cramps.

Busy week? Busy in new ways. Gotta love how life hands it to you sometimes.

three toilents - no waiting - sums it up simply

So... from what started as hour by hour survival has gotten me to Thursday afternoon. I'm mentally preparing to hike the mountain of clean laundry that D has so diligently kept up with. My hands are raw from antibacterial soap washings (yeah I know - that's a whole 'nother debate). And, the clutter lays as best it can with us in survival mode.

SL offered a welcome diversion for adult conversation, shopping, dancing, rezzing caves, and even sailing this week. "My tummy hurts" wails can still be tended to with back rubs and tummy rubs. AFK means I am most likely accompanying someone to the bathroom or attempting to get gatorade or chicken noodle soup into someone's tummy.

As for the RL work? Well some of it is still there :) Most of it got done in the nick of time before deadlines with the collaboration and amazing teamwork I share with my colleagues. Gotta love Instant Message and email. Where in the world would we be without it? Phone was kept to a minimum because of wailing. I tell you - nothing like I have ever experienced as a parent dealing with viruses and kids - with this wailing aspect. And yes, 5 hours before take-off the business trip was cancelled.

So I think both D and I have earned new stripes for our roles as parents this week. Not sure whether they are colored chartreuse or puke yellow ;) Either way - they were hard earned. D figured puking in front of the class could provide a healthy new form of classroom management. You know, high school kids are a tough crowd - it is best to keep them guessing, and revolted, if necessary. :)

Ok... off to conquer the mountain. Clean laundry awaits. Yes kids, you do have underwear it just hasn't been put away. Yes, D you can wear matching socks tomorrow, not tube socks to work LOL. Yes, oldest, your sheets are back on your bed and no that wasn't water on your comforter... puke has an unmistakable smell that permeates the nose. (sorry TMI I know - but didn't you need a little more imagery with this post?)

As a reward for sticking with me through this painfully banal post... here's a little more to waste your time and make you smile. Let me know what kind of parent you are.. or might be :) And... OK, I admit it, I am relieved my results ended up being what they were. My state of mind at this point in the day, at this point in the week, might say otherwise.

You Will Be a Cool Parent

You seem to naturally know a lot about parenting, and you know what kids need.

You can tell when it's time to let kids off the hook, and when it's time to lay down the law.

While your parenting is modern and hip, it's not over the top.

You know that there's nothing cool about a parent who acts like a teenager... or a drill sergeant!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Lazy Sunday... After Being Back in the Saddle Again

Nothing better on a Sunday than laying in a hammock at the ocean's edge and deeply breathing in the salty sea air. My body is tired but I'm not sleepy. It feels good to just be. Six days of work make me so grateful for the serenity that is just being.

Yesterday was a statewide kickoff of a new program we are doing for PBS resources in Arizona classrooms. After months of waiting and reinventing ourselves, it felt so good to be back. Being with teachers who were excited about bags of PBS giveaways like stickers and mousepads and teletubbies headbands. Sharing preview reels of upcoming programs like Carrier. Delving into all the resources for educators, families and kids on all the PBS sites. It was invigorating. It was exciting to have educators who are willing to give of their time on a Saturday, without pay or mileage/travel reimbursement, and open their schools and classrooms to the resources we have to offer them.

PBS is so much more than just Lawrence Welk and This Old House and Antique Roadshow. PBS Kids is more than just Big Bird, Elmo, and Teletubbies. Have you taken the time to explore the resources that build literacy skills for children who are even too young to read words on a page? Have you seen the resources they have about the developing brain or the teenage brain? Have you participated with interactives in science that allow you to divide a cell? Have you helped Word Girl solve the mysteries of the dastardly Butcher (butcher-er of the English language)? Make sure you click on the link to Heros, Villians, and Mere Mortals :). Logins are free. Experience is priceless, as MasterCard and Visa would say.

I have been pleasantly surprised to encounter PBS friends inworld in Second Life. It seems to be universally human to now be able to identify a PBS character you remember from your childhood. Big Bird and other Sesame Street characters have traveled worldwide. It makes sense that eventually they would sneak their way into Second Life as well. Better yet, when it ends up really being my friends Carly and Josh inside Elmo and Cookie, we are all able to have a quick dance together. Who would have thought Cookie Monster was so light on his feet?

I must admit though - this wasn't the first time I encounterd PBS characters inworld. In my early SL newb days, I had a dance with an Italian friend, Kemi. Kemi was always bold in his avitar looks. Is it a shame to admit there is something captivating about having a quick ballroom dance with Baby Bop. I was a bit shy about asking him for a dance - but he was quite willing and surprisingly also light on his feet!

Bottom line - and ultimate purpose of this post? Hmmmm. Enjoy a lazy Sunday on SL. Relax knowing yesterday was a success in RL on so many levels. And recall how fun PBS can be - for everyone - in RL and SL. Now... back to the beach!

Friday, April 4, 2008

In Honor of a Great Man

For those of you who teach - take time to check out Coretta Scott King's amazing foundation for education - Teaching Tolerance. Even if you don't teach, there might be new things to think about there.

For those of you who love music - take time to enjoy a song written for the man that was reluctant to take the limelight but stepped in and stepped up when he knew it was the right thing to do.

Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King for being an amazing revolutionary in thought, word and deed. We don't do enough to honor you! Rest in Peace... may there be an end to all the Bloody Sundays... someday.

**Addendum: The History Channel is having a very cool 2 hour event this Sunday, April 6, I just saw advertised this morning on television. King looks like EVEN though it will compete with my Sunday night favorites (Desperate Housewives anyone?) is totally worth watching!