Location: Friendswood, Texas, United States

Friday, October 28, 2005

coffee is good...and today I'm painting!

This is from a friend, I didn't want to loose it!

(You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again...) A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to giveup. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in abowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."
"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.
The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity- boiling water. Each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does myshell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling. It's easier to build a child than repair an adult.
This is so true - may we all be COFFEE

Saturday, October 22, 2005

So much to do all the time...

I feel like I really need to paint in a bad way. It almost mentally hurts knowing that instead, I will get home from work tomorrow to cook and clean like mad. Then Monday after work, about 25 girls from the cross country team will be here for pasta in preparation for their district meet. I will be able to give it a go after that (hopefully).

Friday, October 21, 2005

going nowhere fast

I got the news today that someone else is better suited to the research position for which I applied. I was hoping that a new career would help get me out of the overwhelming sense of "I do not picture myself doing this in 20 years, so what should I be doing really?" Maybe somebody is telling me that virology is not the way to go... I was also hoping that since it promised a much better salary, I wouldn't feel like drowning when I consider not just the bills I have now, but the ones that will grow when H starts at UVa next year.
Yes, that is joyous news that the coach has told her that she has one of his eight guarenteed spots. But, had she chosen Syracuse, her college would have been fully funded. Who put this big "sucker" sticker on my head when these children were born - and why didn't they implant one on their father?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Moving forward

Sunday after teaching rowing, I was given the opportunity to try paddling first a dragon boat then a single outrigger canoe. Since I’d been on the water since 6:30am (I started the gorgeous morning by stroking an eight) and it was now noon, I was pretty hot and tired.
I found the dragon boat to be more of a chore. Perhaps because the boat is meant to seat about 20 and we were only four. However, the single outrigger was really fun.
The paddle is bent (like other things that seem to work well never-the-less;-). And is held in what appears to be an upside down position! Keep an open mind (I tell myself that a lot) – holding it with the bend down so that it curves up seemed to help make the release from the water cleaner.
I first spun it around – then realized that this vessel goes forward - you face the bow! I didn’t realize that I am so conditioned to move backward through the water!!!! My next snafu was to take a huge stroke forward, weight balanced. In the water I went – it is a water sport after all! Getting back in didn’t take long - besides, I got a round of applause from the docks and cooled off a bit. The outrigger is on the left, so you have to lean your weight a bit to that side. It made me wonder… If you lined up a group of outrigger paddlers, would their glutes be lopsided? Mind you, I was picturing male glutes to include in the study. As a former member of LSU quadrangle male score card committee, I feel that I would be uniquely qualified. Another difference I found is that there are two steering peddles so that your feet can move just a bit to turn the boat. The outrigger takes upper body and torso strength, doesn’t use the legs to power the stroke. This was unfortunate for me especially that morning since what pitiful stomach muscles I now have were mush by that time. I was still able to get around using primarily arms and shoulders.
I’ll probably try it again!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


My 45th birthday was this past weekend. My kids were wonderful. Even though P had lots of homework, he came over for a little while. They had both pitched in to give me some really nice perfume! I thought that it was lovely that they had remembered and thought of me ahead of time.

Today, I dropped my daughter off at the airport so that she could go visit Syracuse. I think that if she chooses that university, it would be a good choice scholastically (good art department) and for her rowing (perhaps she'd be one of their best rowers, so it may be better for her self confidence than UVa). But, it would be really, really cold. I'm sure she'll be happy wherever she decides to go.

I'm reading "It's called a Breakup because it's Broken" by Behrendt and Behrendt even though it has been three years since my breakup with the Brit. I am thinking that I have not yet gotten over him as I seem to compare every man I meet with him. The book is fun and seems to have good ideas. One thing the authors make clear is that to get over the relationship, you have to have NO contact with that person for a long time - that has never happened between us. At the end of the relationship, I asked what he wanted of me and he said to "just be friends". So I've tried - really hard. He proceeded to repeatedly stop by to visit, bring me and the kids nice chocolates, etc. For over a year! At first, he'd try to give me a hug and kiss at the door - I really didn't want that from someone who didn't really want me, it was too painful. The constant visits seemed to mostly stop about the time he started a relationship with a woman who is now about 35 - he is 52. But, I still see him at the boathouse, he invites my son to go flying with him, he e-mails congratulations regarding my daughters latest wins...and of course, I am guilty of e-mailing. And also guilty of just still thinking about him. Dumb stuff that is none of my business, like "what does he think he's doing with someone that age who hasn't had kids yet - has he told her that he intends to never live with much less marry - doesn't he realize that eventually, she'll also want a permanent relationship and he'll have to go find another". And sad stuff like how lovely it felt when he'd look at me from across a room, how nice it was that he'd just pitch in and help with stuff around the house, how kind and gentle he was with the kids... I am really way past due in needing to put him behind me and find more productive things to occupy my mind. As nice as he is and as much as I enjoyed his company, I don't believe that I can "just be friends" with him.