Thursday, July 26, 2007

Let's see your desk

Here's my desk at the beginning of my work day. Nice and clear - everything in its place. Just brought in my coffee cup...I'm ready to dig in.
Notice how everything looks so tidy and neat. I always end the day with a clean desk.
Well - it didn't take long. For me - progress in the day is indicated by how my desk looks. I hate to use the words messy or cluttered.... but I guess it kind of fits the situation.
I try to keep things organized - and truly -things are in appropriate piles.

So.... here's my tag to you guys. Show me your desk first thing in the morning - and then show me your desk after you've got a good start in the day. I'm not sure how long it will take. Sometimes it doesn't take long. Sometimes you have to wait until mid-afternoon.

Let's see your desk. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rachael Ray and Dunkin' Donuts

I'm just not sure what the big deal is. I mean.... its Rachael Ray and everything! She endorses Dunkin' Donuts coffee.....so I thought I'd try it. I mean.... its Rachael Ray and EVERYTHING. It has to be good. But its not. I make better coffee - and my coffee is just average. It wasn't horrid...but it wasn't what I'd think Rachael Ray's standards are. I'm just not sure what the big deal is.

Church League Softball and Sunflower Seeds

Last night the men's softball team from our church played in the championship game. It was a beautiful night so Jay and I went to see them play. On the way out the door, I asked Jay if he would stop so that I could get some sunflower seeds. He said sure - although I could see the look on his face. He really wasn't sure what the necessity was. I told him that every softball game deserved sunflower seeds.

Sitting there in the bleachers was so much fun. All of the usual things that are said at a softball game came back to me! "OK - Now you're ready!" "Good eye - good eye!" "Make him pitch to you!" "Everybody hits now!" "Lets play defense". You know - the usual. I opened the bag of sunflower seeds and with it came lots of fun memories. One of the best memories I had was of Carma Leonard, Sharon Evans and myself sitting together at the Chelsie's softball games. We had the big watermellon umbrella, teathered to my chair with those tie-downs. We had a cooler between us with ice and beverages and food. And... there was my Big Honkin' Mug. We each had one - it had ice tea in it that lasted all day long. We must have sat through hundreds of softball games and between that and church league and Rachael's games - well who knows how many there were.

The fact remains - its good to sit outside on a wonderful summer evening watching a softball game.... eating sunflower seeds.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Saturday mornings

I just love a certain kind of Saturday mornings. I like the kind I had this Saturday. I got to sleep in. Jay had an early breakfast meeting at church so I just stayed in bed. I woke up around 8:30 and just messed around the kitchen for awhile in my jammas. I made coffee and those cinnamon rolls out of a tube. I turned on tv, drank my coffee and had a couple of those warm out of the oven rolls. Still had my jammas on. I checked e-mail....stood out on the deck.....eventually made the bed... still had my jammas on. Do you see a trend here? By the time Jay finally got home, I was just taking my shower. I was not in any hurry at all. I like those kinds of Saturday mornings - no rush. No worries.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Cruiser goes Cruising

It was one of those "cute" things. We were driving on the freeway in California and there was a car exactly like Jay's. He drives a PT Cruiser that is the color of periwinkle. You don't see a lot of those around. So we pretended that it was his car and that it got "caught" sneaking to California. It got to be a funny joke because honestly, we saw that same car (or one just like it) about five different times. We laughed hard because we could just imagine his car going "Dang - I'm gonna be toast if he sees me!"

As we were flying home, we imagined that the little car was hurrying as fast as he could go, not even stopping for potty breaks, to get home before we did. I had a thought of him scared to death that we'd be home before he was.

As the taxi pulled into our parking lot, I honestly wondered whether I'd see the car there or not and if he was, would his engine still be warm? But there he sat - cool engine and with the same odometer reading as when we left. I guess I didn't give the little car enough credit.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Riding with the top down in California


We just returned from Jay's high school reunion in San Diego. He surprised me with renting a convertible so that we could go down the ocean coastline and really enjoy the beautiful scenery!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Being invisible

Today I got to attend a lunch brainstorming session for my work. I was the only female - no big deal - but I was also the youngest and the ..... least wise? Three of the men were pastors, one was my boss and the other was this big cheese guy for marketing and sales. He was a talker - and honestly, he really knew what he was talking about. There was lots of strategy etc and it was really, really interesting. About halfway through, I had something I wanted to share. It took about three tries before I was able to get a word in and when I did, they all just kind of brushed it off. I'm not sure they really heard me. I suggested that a pastor really would find it very informative to sit in on a session just like this one. He could hear what they had to say about Christian Stewardship Ministries and how it is working in their churches. I told them briefly about the Ministrial Alliance in Clay Center and that something like that would be a perfect setting.
No comment from anybody.
About 20 minutes later, the big cheese said.... "How about if we have a target group - like a group of pastors and tell them just what we've been talking about here?"
You're kidding..... right?
I looked at the guy across the table from me hoping that he'd speak up and say "That's what Sheryl said about 20 minutes ago!!"
Nope.
Nobody said anything like that.
In fact, they loved his idea.
Do you know why?
It wasn't the FIRST TIME THEY'D HEARD IT !!!!
I'm good now....the afternoon is over. And I'm over it. But dang....what part of my communication skills are missing? Maybe its a guy thing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Necessity of Insurance

Everybody needs some form of insurance or another.

You have to have automobile insurance. Not only do you need it to get a loan for a vehicle but its a law that you need at least liability insurance for the other driver.

You probably need life insurance. Not everybody has it and some people say that not everybody needs its. Its necessity is up for grabs I guess.

Some people have insurance for cancer. Some people have insurance for nursing homes. Some people insure their dogs. There is insurance for boats and motorcycles and RV's.

We have to have homeowners or renters insurance. Once again, its a law to have insurance in case somebody gets hurt on your property etc. but its also a very good idea.

Then there's health insurance. I could write pages, but I'll hold myself back. I've been dealing with my health insurance for months now trying to get them to make a decision regarding paying for my gastric bypass surgery. I had actually received a supposed decision from them two weeks ago saying that they were going to pay for it. Then all of a sudden, the first part of this week, they said there was an error in that statement and that it wasn't covered. I understand. They have an exclusion that says that gastric bypass surgery would not be paid under any circumstances, even if the reason is not just for weight loss - say like acid reflux or something. It's just that they had given us some hope and had been reviewing it for a couple of months now. We had jumped through hoops, gotten extra tests that we had paid for and had numerous doctors send in reports and requests. Then - after all this time - they come to the same conclusion. No.

Fine.

I could have had this surgery two months ago and been through the hardest part by now. We have had to cancel a vacation and I could have been home to visit my kids a lot earlier than I'm getting too all because I thought this was going to be in the works much sooner than it is.

Now I'm in agreement that you need health insurance. That's a given. You cannot pay for health care without it. Josh's wreck is a perfect example. His bill came to around a half a million dollars. Wow. Good thing for health insurance. Another example is that I just had surgery yesterday morning for my throat (the acid reflux thing again) and my breathing was bad when I got out of anesthesia so they kept me overnight. Good thing I have insurance or else it would have been very expensive.

So - here you are. You can't live with them sometimes because they are so picky and face it - they are very expensive. But... there is that necessity.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Annointing

Its happened again. My surgery has been postponed now. Not cancelled - just not re-scheduled yet. There is one little word that is bothering the insurance company and until I can figure out how to either "get around" what they are asking or get something to them that they want, I'm on hold. We decided not to reschedule until we heard the official word from them that it was a go. So....off of the liquid diet again and play the waiting game. I'm sure my body must be pretty confused as to what I want.

From the very beginning, I've given this surgery to God. Its all under His control and I know that His timing is perfect. He is in charge and it is because of Him that the insurance company has even said that they'd pay for it. So, I'm not really impatient. I admit that I'm disappointed in the postponement again - but I know that there must be a reason why this is happening in the time frame that it is. I trust God to take care of every little detail.

This brings me to the most fabulous thing that happened to me this weekend. My friend Rebecca and I had brunch together Saturday morning. We had breakfast at 10:00 at IHOP. I could have breakfast. I had about a pot of coffee because we talked until 1:00 that afternoon. We had so many things to talk about! One of the things I wanted to talk over with her was something that I'd recently read. I got a book written by an RN who had gastric bypass surgery. She stated that 85% of overweight people had suffered some kind of abuse or neglect as a child. That's quite an astounding percentage. It made me do some thinking. I wasn't ever abused - but my mom and dad emotionally neglected me. I can't really say that they "loved" me the way I love my children. My dad worked all the time, came home, ate supper, read the paper and went to bed. I really don't remember hugs. I do remember being spanked all the way home from the playground one time. I do remember spankings. I don't remember hugs. Through some Christian counseling, I have been able to understand that my mother and father did the best that they could - considering that probably their childhoods were much like what I was experiencing. But - I had never truly let go of those feelings of being lonely - the feelings that I had to feed myself to make up for the love I wasn't getting. I really had put some thought into this the past few days and when I shared it with Rebecca, I told her that I wasn't quite sure I knew how to let it go. I knew that I couldn't do it myself - and that God had to be a part of it. She suggested annointing. I knew that our church did annointing with oil for healing - but I wasn't sure what it was all about. I went home and read in the bible all I could. One passage stood out for me. James 5:14 "Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord."

I had to look up annoint and what it meant to me and what it could mean in regard to letting go the reason I ate when I was lonely. Here's what I found. It is an aid to faith - an outward sign of the healing to be brought about by God in response to prayer offered in faith.

That night I prayed. I prayed that God would help me to let go of those feelings and that Satan would not have a hold over me in eating when I was lonely. I prayed that God would give me the appropriate time and place for the annointing of oil.

That next morning in Sunday School, our teacher brought out her oil to annoint someone in our class for healing. But the time didn't seem right. I knew that I would just know. I knew that God would tell me.

After the sermon, in which God revealed to me quite clearly that God never wanted any of us to feel lonely, I knew that the time was right. I talked to my friend Pastor Chell and asked her to annoint me with oil. I gathered some of my sisters in Christ: Rebecca, Debbie and Pastor Karen. They all gathered around me and Chell annointed me with oil and prayed for me. They all prayed. We all cried tears of joy - I was so overwhelmed and so blessed! God was near us and God surrounded us with such a presence. My sisters and I just beamed!

I can't explain it - but I know that it no longer has a hold on me. I'm not saying I won't ever overeat, but I am saying it won't be from feeding myself from loneliness and it my childhood feelings no longer have a hold on me. I've given it to God. He has taken it from me - and all of this - the journey with my sisters - was one more step I had to take before my surgery. God indeed has a plan.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The "Wonder" of Insurance Companies

There is a certain mystique, if you will, about insurance companies. You absolutely cannot go through life without them. You just can't. You have to have auto insurance, by law. And honestly - as testified by my son Josh, we were so blessed to have our insurance company. They really came through for us, both the auto and the health.

You have to have life insurance I guess. This topic is always debatable - but its just not a bad idea.

Then, of course you have to have health insurance. I mean you just have to. If something catastrophic were to happen, where in the world would you be. You'd be paying on the bills the rest of your life. Josh's bills came to about a half a million dollars. Wow... just imagine if we hadn't have had insurance.

Which brings me to my current situation. My gastric bypass surgery vs my insurance company. I had gotten the "official" OK from them about two weeks ago and I was just thrilled! I had the word out to everybody and the surgery was scheduled. Well, it turns out that it was incorrectly stated. There had to be another review and they ended up saying no to us. And No is No. They absolutely will not pay for any of it at all. We had so many people involved in this decision - anybody from us, the doctor's office, people from Jay's company in the HR department and several people in two different insurance company it seems. But to no avail. They just aren't going to cover it. So here we are - right in the middle of the plans for a surgery and now we're going to have to come up with the money for it. After all this time of waiting. I wish they would have made this decision about two months ago when this all started. I could have had the surgery done already and been two months healed.

The best part of all of this is that at the beginning I placed this into God's hands. His hands are perfect and his decisions are perfect and his vision into my future is perfect. He loves me so and I know that he wants the very best for me. So.... despite being a little annoyed at the insurance company, I trust that this decision and even the delay was for a good reason.

The one thing I know is this: I am very anxious for August 31st to get here.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Temptations

Right now, my surgery is scheduled for July 17 so I'm several days into the liquid diet - again. I've done this three times now, only to have the surgery have to be re-scheduled. I don't know yet if its a go this time - but in any event, I'm on the routine until I hear differently.

It takes awhile for the body to figure out what you're doing. I'm losing weight on this - no doubt about that. I'm as sleepy as can be because there isn't much fuel. The thing that is the hardest is a day like today. Jay is gone and its in my mind that I should stop by two places after work. I want to stop by Kentucky Fried Chicken and get a "Bowl" and then stop by PJ Skidoos and get a piece of their to-die-for chocolate cake.
Lets do the math here - are either one of those items on my diet? No. Are they liquid? No... but they could be......I mean NO they aren't. The temptation is great 'cause I could "get by with it" since Jay isn't home to see me. Yeah... and that would make it all ok.
I won't do it. It would ruin a lot of things and I want the surgery to go well. But its just annoying to have these little temptations pop into my head and then there's nowhere for them to go. Its almost like I have to give in to get rid of them.
Anyway... there will always be temptations. Can't give in to every one of them - so why give in to one?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Celebrating the 4th in Washington, DC

Wow... does this city know how to celebrate the 4th of July or what! We opted to stay at home. Downtown, on the mall, they were expecting 500,000 people to watch the fireworks by the Washington Memorial. I really, really didn't want to try to get around that many people. Security was really going to be beefed up due to the goings-on in Scotland etc. - and driving down there is really a ridiculous thought.

All of the suburbs around us had fireworks celebrations as well. Its almost 11 o'clock at night and I can still hear the loud booms in the sky.

Mother Nature also had her show this afternoon around 5 o'clock. There was lots of rain and lightning and hail. The people downtown at the mall had to be evacuated for a couple of hours because of the storm and the possibility of tornados around - and was I ever glad that I wasn't down there!

We were content to watch it all on TV tonite - its not quite the same, but I felt it was safer and less stressful. As I said... this city really knows how to celebrate!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Smothers Brothers


Saturday night we went to see the Smothers Brothers at Wolf Trap. Probably most of you who are reading this don't even remember the Smothers Brothers - you may not even know who they are. They are a singing/comedy act and they had a TV program in the 60's. They had a lot of trouble with censorship at that time because their routine was so politically controversial. You have to remember that the Vietnam war was going on that this time and there were hippies and there was "flower power" and riots etc etc. so they ( the powers that be at CBS) did not want any controversy. They eventually fired the Smothers Brothers. We truly couldn't wait to see them again and we were not disappointed at all. They had aged - my goodness, they must be in their late 60's or early 70's but honestly, their humor and singing ability had not changed at all. We just laughed hard. We had excellent tickets - 5th row from the front right in the middle. Tom Smothers did a routine on the TV program called the Yo Yo Man and he did it last night for us. He dressed in a plaid shirt with suspenders and did lots of YO YO tricks. He always had to get in the State of Yo first which was just cute.
Opening for them was The Kingston Trio - another group from the 60's. They were just so good also - and the music just "took us back". We were afraid that they weren't going to be as good as they were... but that was not the case at all. Two guitars and a banjo... with songs like "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", "They Call The Wind Miriah" and "Hang Down Your Head Head Tom Dooley" - how could they go wrong?
Wolf Trap is a beautiful amphitheater and we had a beautiful evening out under the stars... being nostalgic.

Pictures of Lighthouses