Wednesday, September 06, 2006

So much to share...

So little time to give details. Here's a sampling...

- another talk coming up on Halloween: I will speak to a group of social workers about how to keep their work in the proper balance with the rest of their lives. How to keep morale high. How to keep joy high. How to live well. I sometimes wonder about those things myself... But I guess I'll share a few of my own tricks as well as a few treats.

- I updated the Norton Personal Firewall yesterday and was immediately booted off the internet. In desperation, I called Bell South, our internet provider, and was connected to Carlos. He walked me through the steps of restoring Internet service... until I restarted the firewall, that is. The firewall was a little too high and a little too protective. Needless to say, that got me to thinking. More to come...

- Nosy consumer that I am, I asked Carlos where he was located: Costa Rica. Pura vida! We spent the rest of the conversation going back and forth between English and Spanish. If I have to spend 45 minutes on the phone figuring out what's wrong with my computer, it may as well be with somebody from Costa Rica!

- the kids and I are learning about the Civil War. The more we read, the more I realize that I know very little about that war. Over 10,000 battles. Over 1,000,000 people died, were mortally wounded, or permanently disabled as a result. Amazing stuff.

- I'm reading a book called Driving Over Lemons. It's the story of an English couple that bought a dilapidated farm in Southern Spain and restored it. Sheep herds. Dogs that refused to be trained. Chickens. Neighbors. Building bridges. A wonderful picture of life in rural Spain. A far cry from Under the Tuscan Sun - this is not a book about gourmet meals and strolls to the local duomo. This is the real life of farmers battling scorpions, drought, and rivers that wash away handmade bridges. Funny. Revealing. Delightfully written.

- I've gone out for a couple of morning walks this week with Kristiana. We talk, jog, observe nature, and marvel at the steady stream of school buses that traipse through our neighborhood. I'm so glad she doesn't have to ride a bus to school every day. I'd much rather walk with her than wave good-bye to her.

- Daniel and his challenge baseball team participated in a tournament this weekend. They did fairly well, considering the fact that they'd never even practiced together: they won two games and lost two games. There is a girl on his team, Abby. Long blonde ponytail hanging out of the back of her helmet, she is quite the skillful little ball player. Fielding, batting, stealing bases, she's a joy to watch. It's a lot of fun to watch the opponents, their coaches, and their families watch her. We think she may be the first woman to play in the Major League someday. She's the real deal. Go, Abby!

- Speaking of Major League baseball, Steve and Daniel are off to Boston this weekend to watch a couple of games at Fenway Park. I am beginning to believe that the two of them are planning to see every major league park in the country, true baseball lovers that they are. So far, they've been to Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium for the Mets, Coors Field for the Colorado Rockies, Camden Yards for the Baltimore Orioles, as well as four or five minor league parks. Yeah for them.

- Perhaps Kristiana and I should begin to compile a list of museums we would like to see in our lifetime together. So far, we've hit several museums in New York, Connecticut, North and South Carolina, Madrid, Rome, London, and a few I've forgotten about, I'm sure. And those are only art museums. That doesn't include natural history museums or children's science museums.

- On the downside, a friend's husband was just diagnosed with prostate cancer - this just a couple of years after him being diagnosed with a brain disorder that caused seizures. Bill and Jill, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

- The whole "immigration problem" hit close to home recently. A family from the Spanish congregation was deported back to their own country this past weekend. I understand that unchecked immigration is a serious problem for our nation, but I also understand that poverty, unemployement, disease, and lack of education is a serious problem in the nations from which these people are fleeing. So many questions, so many points of view. And so many millions of people affected by the outcome of these discussions.

- another classic Charlotte ant invasion is underway in our home.
These little critters are not easily deterred.
Any ideas on how to keep them at bay???

- Steve was attacked by a bunch of red ants at the aforementioned baseball tournament, and his ankle is still swollen. (Do we live in Wild Kingdom or what???)

It's been an eventful five days.
Life is good. Busy. Colorful. Maddening. Frustrating.
And more so every day.

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