Monday, July 31

Have the Energy to Clean your house and your Teeth while you Save Money and Write smoothly...

Some more products I'm very excited about!

1. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser:

This product is amazing. I think my roommates’ Mom first introduced it to me when we were moving into our apartment a couple of years ago. It removes everything and so easily. You don't have to fuss with spraying something on a surface, getting a sponge wet, wiping it up, rinsing the sponge, wiping the surface some more, trying to get all the soap out of the sponge and off of the surface, etc. You just get it wet, squeeze it dry, and wipe the surface clean. It slowly disintegrates as you use it, so you don’t' even have to worry about is it dirty? Can I still use it? It’s the perfect tool for renters since it cleans up left over grime on all bathroom surfaces, in the fridge and on counter tops. Seriously- go get one today.

2. Crest Whitestrips:

These really do work. I can't vouch for any of the other tooth whitening products. But I've used these on two occasions, actually just finishing up my second time using them, and I really notice a difference. The whitening lasts too. I did them about 10 months ago, and my teeth really had retained the whiteness. I decided to do them again to encourage the Boy to do it with me. He'd never done any kind of whitening before and they've really worked on his teeth too- so it’s not just me! I don't remember if it was the whitestripe commercials that make it seem like you can go about your normal business with them in- but you can't. I usually do them in the morning on the drive to work and then at night before bed. They are a little unwieldy to put on and your teeth are really gooey after you take them off, but you get the hang of it and it’s worth it. So if you're thinking about doing some teeth whitening, try 'em out!

3. Dunkin Donuts Turbo Iced Coffee:

I know this isn't anything new or unknown for most people, so maybe it doesn’t' qualify as cool-hunting... however I really do find that this helps me get my day started. Having that shot of espresso really makes a difference for me. Lately I've been going to bed later and waking up later, so I really don't have time to wake up and move slowly in the mornings. Having this to drink at my desk really perks me up, and helps to hide the fact that I'm not quite awake yet!

4. ING Direct Savings Accounts:

You've probably seen the commercials with the orange ball and though, huh that's cool, like I did and then did nothing about it. Well, I finally opened one up a couple of years ago and it’s been great! The interest rate keeps going up, and it is so easy to transfer money in and out of it. You can also set up an automatic withdrawal which is perfect for me, because I don't have to think about saving money it’s doing it for me! I highly encourage you to check ING out, and if you want I can send you a referral so we'll both make money if you open an account!

5. Uni-Ball Vision Exact Pens:

I'm a dork, I love office supplies. I get excited about going to staples. I'm always on the search for good pens, and these are great. They are much finer than normal roller pens which is great because they don't smear as much as other roller pens and they really are comfortable to hold. I also really like the look of them, really compact and sleek with a nice snapping top that comes off and goes back on easily. If you're in need of some nice pens, pick up a pack of these, they come in fun colors too!

Friday, July 28

Only in Dreams

He was so close. He put his arm around my shoulder, giving me a side hug. We were running together and buying bottles of water, not that we'd ever done that before, but it was great. I commented, wow who would have thought after being so sick and with such a bad prognosis we'd be running together in a few months. We all shook our heads and smiled. It was so nice, it felt so real. Then I woke up. Then it felt really far away and upsetting... a new realization. A new thing I'll never get to do with him again. It still feels like it happened, like yesterday I was running with him, giving him hugs. I don't think that will ever go away.

Tuesday, July 25

Grief Roles

He never was a typical youngest child. He didn't ever fit into that role. If I think back I would say we were treated as equal. There was no putting the oldest on a pedestal and blaming the youngest for everything, not to say I didn't try to make it appear that way, there was no the oldest gets all the perks and the youngest just deals with it. We were both expected to be good kids, to achieve in school, to help around the house, to participate in family events, time, trips. Our roles were to be equals in the family life, one just did it before the other, one was just older. And we played those roles, all of it. He looks up to me, as a youngest usually does and has followed a similar path as me, which I'd call normal. But that was really the only typical piece of the youngest role he'd chosen.

And now, he's taken on a new role... a role that I can't tell if it's normally given to the youngest... He keeps pulling us back together. Not that we've separated except to try and figure out/return to our "new normal".

At the funeral we were each separated by the people that had come to support us. My mom sharing grief and condolences with work colleagues, I connecting with an old friend who'd just been through the same experience as me. He pulled us back together- and the rest of the night was spent as our threesome.

We spent the next week plus together. Mourning, spending time, starting to shape our new lives. We'd gone separate ways for about a week, Mom and I back to work, him to Europe on a trip that had been planned for years, when he pulled us back together again. We spent the next week again together, mourning, adjusting, planning on the next steps.

Life seemed to start being shaped into our "new normal". Weekends were spent together, work got back underway, we were adjusting, incorporating the loss into our lives. He came to me, a visit, but brought me home with him in tow... he needed to pull us back together again. More weekends were spent at home, more time together, adjusting, processing, being in the same place.

Things seemed to really be shifting back to something normal, work was becoming easier for me, Mom had gone on her first business trip and left him home alone. It wasn't meant to be... he pulled us back together again. There is still more to be figured out. Looking back I can tell I was starting to lose the path of processing, I was pushing it below the daily needs of life, I wasn't creating a "new normal" I was trying to go back to the "old normal".

I guess we all have to take it a bit more slowly. He doesn't even really know or understand it, he's just in the role that pulls us back, even against his will. Maybe its because he's the youngest. Maybe this is a role a youngest is supposed to take when faced with incorporating grief.

A family friend sent a card at the beginning of the process commenting on the loss of her grandmother. She told a story about wanting to jump back into life, into her "new normal" and her parents resisting. They explained that in Judaism you are supposed to truly mourn for a full year, to reduce trips, work, happy events and occasions. She didn't understand it then, but as she grew she appreciated what her parents had done. She sees it in our family's adjustment process. There is a reason to limit activity, its just hard in the reality of life.

Maybe it will take a year for us to get it right, to balance the needs of life and the needs of grief, maybe there will be a shift and we'll go back to our previous youngest and oldest roles, as minor and indifferent as they were. No one can really say, there aren't clearly defined roles, there isn't a well lit path. I don't even know what my role is. But the one he's playing now is making a difference. Its keeping us in-tune to what we're going through. I'm processing more, realizing I had stopped. Maybe my role is to support him in his, maybe we've reversed our youngest and oldest roles. I should now follow him in his path, maybe now he's leading the way.

Tuesday, July 18

Water World

Why is it that living on the water is so appealing? I know its not just me, either. As Jaimie and I were lounging on deck chairs lake front this past week she mentioned a recent conversation with a roommate of hers (they have an ocean front apartment) about if they'd rather have waterfront property at the ocean or a lake. I immediately said lake. And I don't know why.

I've grown up with lakes as the visited body of water, yet oceans have been prominent too. My grandparents live near the ocean and visits there meant visits to the ocean, sailing, swimming in a salt water pool. I never complained. And yet, lakes are much more appealing. The calm you get just before sunset, the inky darkness of the water at night, the vast stretches of tree lined shores offering possibilities beyond the water, the feeling of being under, within, among the water when you first dive in.

Maybe my preference for lakes stems back to a summer vacation spent in Bethany Beach, Delaware. It was just after their hurricanes had come through and the waves were huge. I being a fearless child was thrilled to have such large waves to jump into and swim through coming out victorious, wet and salty on the other side. Unfortunately one afternoon I stood ready for the wave (to my young viewpoint it seems 15 feet tall in my memory) that was heading our way, but I misjudged and jumped too late. I was turned and flipped within the waves rip tide and spun out on my head in the end. As I stood up to catch my breath and determine how scared I was (do I go back for more laughing, or run looking for my mom) another wave knocked me over and flipped me around again. I went crying for my mom and didn't go back in that year or the next.

The ocean seems wild and unpredictible to me. Lakes too have mystery in them, and yet its a peaceful one that doesn't exhibit through yearly storms, posionus tides and large fish. Their waters are frequently calm and inviting, and I already have enough wildness in my life, I've dealt with more than one wave flipping me over and landing me on my head, I need the lake side retreat to balance me out. So- have a house you want to donate?

Tuesday, July 4

Independence Day

I spent today alone. It was kind of nice. A lot of my perspectives have changed in the last two months, and this may mark a pretty drastic one. Usually I'm all about having a day to myself to wake up when I want and do as I please. I however have never felt the same about holidays. I want plans with family or friends, a place to go and people to see. I wouldn't want to go back to work and have to say, oh I spent it alone while everyone talks of the fun things they did. Today was different though. I took the day slowly and did whatever I wanted. Sure I felt a little sad in moments, but it wasn't because I was alone, it was because right now I'm sad a lot. It felt good to just go out and do "my own thing". I took the day in one moment at a time and never once regretted being alone. I even got trapped in one of the downpours in a white shirt and I didn't care, I just came home and changed.The only negative thing that may come out of spending this day alone is that other people may feel sorry for me, but don't. Please don't. A lot of figuring out where life is going to take me now is figuring it out on my own. Today was my independence day, there may not have been fireworks but I'm still celebrating.

Sunday, July 2

Winds of Change?

Is it cliche... to point out how windy it is today, and perhaps it means there is change coming? Does every day mark a day of change? Maybe because its so windy today, it feels like something really is moving... changing. Have I even answered my question? Oh well.

Today the winds of change are truly blowing wild and free. I hope its change for the good that they are bringing, but I feel lately its only change for the worse. And, for some reason the winds make me feel optimistic again. Like they are blowing away all the bad, all the saddness, all the "things just keep getting worseness" and bringing in something new. New air, to breathe and take in, a new outlook on life and loss. Maybe it really is just every day bringing change. Everyday helps you move on, everyday there is a little bit of wind to change the air, change the mood, change the path.

Well I'll just keep sitting here rocking on the porch and let the wind fall over me, blow around me, fall onto me, and hope that the change they're bringing is good.