Sunday, August 31, 2008

(A Few of) My Favorite Things

Note: This posting is not in the spirit of Oprah because well I have my own opinions about her that I will save for another day. It's more in the spirit of Julie Andrews playing the role of an Austrian governess and at this point, songs from The Sound of Music should begin running through your head. You're welcome.

So in no particular order:
1. Rain on a tin roof...oh how I miss my little cabin in the woods some days
2. "Homemade" peanut butter from Whole Foods Market
3. Cold sheets at night...the thought of them each night is all the motivation I need to make my bed each morning
4. Ice cream...particularly Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
5. My puppy's ears
6. The in the one starring Steve Carell; not the one I go to 5 days a week
7. Music
8. The Summer Olympics...2012 is so far away
9. Good conversation
10. Naps...I'm a better person because I take them
11. Chocolate milk
12. Shoes
13. Grace...should probably be at the top of my list, but since there's no particular order here, it's ok that it's not
14. Good books
15. Laughing

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Fellow Americans

In the spirit of the Democratic National Convention this week and the Republican National Convention next week I am going to talk politics for just a moment. Ok, that's a big fat fib. I generally do not "talk politics" because I don't know enough about the subject matter to make intelligent conversation. And I'm all about intelligent conversation. Yes, I realize that it is my responsibility as a citizen of this great nation to be informed and educated about the leaders, or potential leaders, of it and do my part to ensure that these individuals are in office. In my next 30 years I promise to do a better job of this. (I've been learning from the pros.) But since I cannot contribute anything of great depth at this time I have pulled some pictures from the archives to share with you in the spirit of the political season. The first is from a conference in Little Rock last year:The primary give away that we were not posing with the real Bill Clinton is that both of his hands are visible. While in Little Rock we had the opportunity to visit the Clinton Library and of course we made a trip the gift shop downtown as well. While there I bought the best souvenir in the place...A magnet, of Nixon and Elvis, that looks just like this:November 4, 2008. Be There or Be Square. And despite what Huey Lewis says, it is not hip to be square.

I'm Sorry. I Can't Hear You.

Hmm... I wonder if I could still get away with this? Maybe I'll try it just for fun the next time an unruly parent walks into my workspace.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Return to Oz

Ok, who here remembers the movie, Return to Oz? Perhaps a better question is, who here had nightmares for weeks on end after watching Return to Oz on the Wonderful World of Disney one night during childhood? The flying monkeys in the original movie were scary enough but nothing compares to that terrible hallway of heads in the follow-up. I remember nothing about the movie except for the heads. A huge long hallway that Dorothy (even though Judy Garland will forever be the only Dorothy as far as I'm concerned) walked down that was lined with heads on either side. Creepy. So the other day we're downtown (as in Athens... not Atlanta, NYC or anywhere else exciting or semi-glamorous) walking along minding our own sweet business and I see this window display:
It's kind of hard to get the full effect given the terrible glare in the picture that resulted from the sun but nonetheless my mind immediately went back to Dorothy and the hallway of heads. So now I really need therapy and I'm sharing it with you all so we can be in the same group!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Perhaps I should start by saying that this posting is not a tribute to Ann and Nancy Wilson. "Magic Man" is on my iPod and they are some rockin' ladies, but who am I to compete with VH1's "I Love the 70's"?

Heart. It is essential to life. And I'm not simply referring to the organ that beats as it pumps blood throughout the rest of the body. I'm also talking about determination and drive as well as experiencing emotion...heart. It's really quite a powerful thing if you think about it. Or maybe I'm the only one who thinks about these kinds of things. Maybe I'm just weird. Maybe I'll wonder about that another day and get back to my point...

I'm going to address the whole experiencing emotion component of heart because well I'm a girl and that's what we gals love to do, right? ...Sit around and talk about our feelings. Or I just like to think of it as sharing my heart. How is it that a heart filled with love and happiness and hope can also be broken with pain and hurt and despair? Sometimes simultaneously. What's a person to do when the storm clouds roll in and our parade is not just rained on, it's rained out? I've actually tried two different tactics.

During the first storm (involving a boy of all things) I completely ceased communication with God. What was the point of maintaining this relationship with Him, if I had prayed about something so fervently and remained in His will only to have that door slammed shut when things were rolling along great? As a result of allowing dust to collect on the cover of my Bible and gaining an extra couple hours of sleep on Sunday mornings, this little heart of mine began to harden and shrivel up like a raisin. And raisins are only cool if they are California Raisins. In the grand scheme of things it didn't take me very long to realize what was happening. Well, really when I was able to watch The Notebook without shedding a tear, I knew that something had to give. I wanted to experience emotion again in its rawest form not just for myself but for others as well. I believe that's what we are supposed to do: celebrate with the happy and mourn with the weary. So the prodigal daughter returned to her Father who just wrapped me up in love. Talk about filling the heart with emotion. Whew.

When the second storm came (almost losing my dad), I tried a different tactic. I clung to God and His promises. DISCLAIMER: I'm not sharing this to make me sound like I'm some great Christian who learned from her mistake the first time and was all prepared the next time. Not at all. There were days when dad was sick that I didn't have the energy to pray or even know what to pray, but during those first moments when I was all alone by myself in my apartment on a rainy Sunday night without the composure to drive safely, I had no choice but to cling to Him. Mom, my usual source of comfort, was performing CPR so needless to say she was a little tied up. When I finally stopped turning in circles in the middle of my floor, I knew I was going to be fine. I had no idea if my daddy was going to live and I had never in my life experienced such a scary uncertainty, but I was certain that God was with me and had no plans of leaving. And that simple fact alone is what got me through those next 5 weeks. That time my heart almost exploded with emotion.

Storms are inevitable. Jesus tells us that in John 16:33 when He said "...In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Heart...quite powerful indeed. And the healthier the heart (physically, spiritually, and emotionally), the healthier the body and more importantly...the soul.

Friday, August 22, 2008

School Daze

In my last post I neglected to mention that in the midst of caring for needy college students and contracting a disease via a stranger's Coke Zero, I also began my fall classes at UGA. And to be honest, I can think of at least 358 things that I would rather be doing. Like flossing my teeth with fishing line. Or watching paint dry. Or monitoring how long it takes an ice cube to melt at room temperature. Why the lack of motivation, you ask? Well, honestly I don't really know. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the new fall tv season is just around the corner. Or that I have better things to do like train for a half-marathon. Or walk my dog. Or read for pleasure instead of because I have to. Ugh. I loathe assigned reading. I also loathe the feeling of constant guilt that accompanies assigned reading. For instance at this very moment as I'm typing, I am thinking about the 6 chapters I have to read before Wednesday and the article that I have to re-read and actually comprehend by Monday. (Note: reading while running on the treadmill and listening to JT bring sexy back is not the best idea I've ever had.)

Why am I even in school, you wonder? I ask myself this question at least once a week. But then I remember the answer: Because my mama told me to. What???? I know, I know. The mother who raised me to think for myself and be independent and all of that jazz. Suddenly my non-meddling mother was all in my business by telling me to go back to school. I was appalled. What nerve. It was almost 2 years ago when she took the liberty of telling me what to do with my life and it was not like I said "ok!" immediately and started studying for the GRE that day. However my mother in all of her wisdom could see what I could not (or would not) see for myself at that time in my life. I needed a change. I needed to stop living my life based around an idea of what I hoped/thought/prayed was going to happen and start living my life in a more productive manner. (Do they inject mothers with wisdom when they go into the hospital to deliver their babies or what? I pray for a double dose if that's the case. I'll need it.) So here I am beginning my second year of grad school. I really do enjoy it. The truth is, I would be a moron for not taking advantage of this opportunity considering I pay for nothing but my books. (We'll ignore the fact that my cost of living nearly doubled when I moved from Dahlonega to Athens.) And let's be honest, having an advanced degree can't hurt in the event that I don't land that spot on SNL as the Weekend Update anchor gal. So until Lorne calls or an even better offer comes along, you can find me in Athens. That is, if you can find Athens, the most out-of-the-way town in Georgia. I'll be the one wrestling my book away from my dog (yes, that just happened...the cover has the teeth marks to prove it). Off to read...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Circle. Circle. Dot. Dot. I really need a cootie shot.

This is the first week of classes. In my job, the beginning of a new school year brings along with it students and let's be honest, students have multiple issues that must be attended to. Immediately (according to them). Kids today. So this time of year I spend much of my day going back and forth between my workspace saying "no, I will not remove that registration hold" and the front desk helping out with the important matters of issuing financial aid checks and parking permits. Earlier this afternoon I needed a pick-me-up so I got a Coke Zero from the vending machine. (Sign of the Apocalypse: I'm drinking caffeine) I had taken it to the front desk and then I carried it back to my desk on one of my multiple trips. Well a few minutes later I'm back up at the front desk and I see my Coke Zero bottle sitting right in the middle of the counter so I just say to no one in particular even though there were no less than 2249 students standing there, "geez, I've got to get this out of the way" as I pick it up and proceed to drink it. Then I go back to my desk with bottle in hand. So I'm back at my desk taking care of important matters like work email, checking in on Cash via Cash Cam and social networking when I'm thirsty yet again and reach for my drink to quench that thirst. And this is what I see:

My Coke Zero and another Coke Zero. Houston, we have a problem. Here is my first question: Why in the world did some college student allow me to pick up his or her drink while he or she had obviously just sat it down on the counter to sign for a check and watch me take a swig like I had just run for the Gold in women's 100 meter final over in Beijing?

Next question: What in heaven's name have I possibly contracted??? College students are... germy. I don't drink after anyone. Ever. And who all has that person drank after??? Dear Gussie - suddenly my mouth had become a science experiment.

Of course upon this discovery of the mystery drink my throat immediately started burning and I self-diagnosed myself with SARS just because that was the first highly communicable disease that came to mind. I'm sure that person whose drink I yanked was registering their car, the Delorian, and had just returned from China in the year 2003. Whatever. Psychosomatic symptoms at their best here ladies and gentlemen.

But like most things in life, there is a lesson to be learned from this experience: Don't drink while on the job.

Home Friends

This weekend I headed back home to Hickory Flat for Erin's wedding shower (she's the one in the green). All 7 of us have been friends since kindergarten or maybe even a little before for a few of us. It's crazy to think that Jamie now has a little girl (pictured) the same age as we all were when we met. There is comfort indeed in having these "home friends". Sure, we could not be more different now and only a few keep in touch with each other on a regular basis, but regardless, our childhood memories consist of "us" and the things that we did. When we do see each other it is always fun to think back upon some of the silly times we shared and all of the fun we had, but naturally anytime there was more than 2 of us together, tears were a sure thing. We all had our fair share of playing both the victim and instigator roles. Why are little girls so mean? I guess it is just a part of the growing up process. However I am thankful for these ladies and their families because these are the people who knew me when. When my hair was all frizzed out and it was the biggest thing about me. When I was afraid of thunderstorms (ok, so I still don't like them but I don't automatically flip out into panic mode). When I was an only child. When I would leave a slumber party right before everyone else went to bed because I was the homebody. When I was never on time to anything...ever. No, we'll never all live in the same community and have kids on the same sports teams or Brownie troop like we were, but I do hope that one day my future kiddos will have their own "home friends" that they will one day come to think of as family like I do mine.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dog Tired

An adequate amount of time has passed since I last blogged about the d-o-g, and hopefully I have proven that I do have a life otherwise. Who am I fooling? I don't. I took him to the vet this week and he weighs a whopping 32 pounds. He gains a little over 2 pounds each week and interestingly enough, I think I do too. You can see from the pictures that his new favorite treat is Benadryl...he just laps that stuff right up. (Note to PETA and ASPCA: Not really. He's just worn out after a long day at Pawtropolis.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Things That Make You Go Hmm...Part Deux

I think that this is a result of a bored man in Alabama watching too much cable television on a Saturday afternoon:
It's like Pretty Woman meets Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The Lady Chablis would be so very proud. Hmm.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Out of Body Experience

Before I go into the out of body experience that just occurred in my life, I first need to set the stage. I just had lunch with a friend from college. Her name is Kristi and I literally don't think that I have seen her since my senior year of college which was 7 years ago (holy geez). We had great time, and it was so nice to be able to catch up. Ok, so she's also part of my Phi Mu family. Ugh...I cringe to speak of Phi Mu families at the age of 29, but it's completely necessary for this story so just roll with it. She also happens to be the current chapter advisor for the pink and white team at UGA so after lunch she said that she had to run by the house and pick up some mail and asked if I wanted to go. Like any good Phi Mu, I take every opportunity to pay homage to Mary, Mary, and Martha so naturally I said, "sure". Thus the out of body experience began...

Now I've always known that Greek Life at North Georgia is a very different world than what it is at major colleges and universities. But this afternoon when I walked into that house, I seriously felt like I was in an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 (come on...admit it, you know which one I'm talking about) and I was Andrea Zuckerman wearing the Star of David necklace around my neck. Rush (er...Recruitment) begins on Wednesday so all the girls were there and there were signs with pictures of Rushees (er...Potential New Members) plastered all over the walls. As I was meeting some of the girls, I remembered the pimple on my chin and regretted not powdering my nose and applying a fresh coat of lipstick. Suddenly I was conscious of my pasty white (aka, skin-cancer free) legs and wished that I had worn pants instead of a skirt. As I scanned the parking lot I thought about how most of these nice young ladies had cars much nicer than one I will probably ever drive (unless that whole red Volvo SUV thing works out). What was my problem? For the love of all things shallow and materialistic...I'm 10 years older than these girls!!! I'm at a completely different stage in life. I should be past all that comparison nonsense, shouldn't I? I wonder if women ever completely outgrow it though. Unfortunately I don't think we do. The comparisons just transition as we transition into different stages in our lives, or the things that we are comparing are dependent upon the situation. We are all still silly, silly girls at the end of the day. Each of us have something that others envy, yet it's really easy to forget about our greatness when we're too busy focusing on what "she has that I don't have". But things could be worse...we could burp and scratch and smack each other on the backsides.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grow Old Gracefully? I Think Not!

Fact: I'm not old. Even though I can remember vividly when Mama was the same age that I am now. And we all know that Moms are well...old. (It was a near tragedy in my little world when she turned 30...) But now I realize, she was a young mother. Yes, that's it. However this mind and body ain't what it used to be. Over the past few days the following things have happened to make this statement ever more my reality:
  1. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings of this week I was greeted by a lone silver-gray (not auburn-red-brown) strand of hair in the top of my head when I looked into the mirror. Do they seriously turn gray overnight? And will this ever start happening to multiple strands of hair at the same time? I need to have Miss Clairol #523 on hand in the event that I wake up one day and I'm completely gray. Although I swore I would never under any circumstance color my hair, I'm pretty sure that as a female it's my prerogative to change my mind on that matter. Those never say never statements are getting me in trouble yet again.
  2. I started taking a Glucosamine-Chondroitin dietary supplement each evening. I'm probably in the best shape right now than I've been in since high school when playing sports was a priority in my life. Evidently all that walking back and forth to the Chow Hall in college sure did a number on my joints though because they ache after each and every workout. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that my joints are 11 years older than they were when I graduated from high school.
  3. In a conversation with my friend, Allison, I made a reference to the fashion choices of high school girls, particularly shorts. However my statement came out exactly like this: "Well, you know how the young girls today are wearing them - so short that their panties are hanging out." one single solitary statement I became my grandmother. Not my mom. Nope, I completely skipped that whole turning into my mother stage. I transformed myself into a granny in a matter of seconds. Don't get my wrong, I love my MuMu (yes, we call her MuMu) and she's sassy and cool for a grandmother. In a bake-a-casserole-and-take-it-to-the-funeral-home-when-someone-in-the-church-passes-away sort of way that I'm not quite ready for yet.
  4. I have vacuumed twice in less than a week because my vacuum is new, and I'm really excited about having a new vacuum. What???

Hmm...since the Fountain of Youth is not easily accessible maybe I'll go buy a new graphic tee and download a Miley Cyrus song to counteract the aging that is happening.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

World Wide Web = Time Waster

I love efficiency. If there is a process or a system or a checklist involved in something that I do, I'm a happy girl. And if I can figure out a way to improve that process, I'm an even happier girl. Completely geeky, but happy. But what can you expect from someone with a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt in her closet? Ok, you don't really get belts when you reach a new certification level, but it would be so cool if you did. However there is something that deters me every day in my quest for a more efficient work environment: The World Wide Web. Thanks Al Gore. Thanks a lot. Sure a little self-control would cure this problem, but hello...the information super highway is at my fingertips. There are people to Google and Mapquests to go on! Confession: I Mapquest a new place each day. It's a thousand wonders I do not don a pocket protector and calculator watch each morning before leaving home. Anyhoodle, I have been sucked into the vortex that is the blogosphere as of late, and I allow it to consume copious amounts of my time. I don't just look at my friends' blogs; I read the blogs that they have linked to their page...And then the blogs that are linked to those pages. Seriously...could I be any nosier?!? But it's just absolutely intriguing. Well, for the most part. I think that I've been blogging consistently enough now to become a bit of a blog snob. If the writers don't make me laugh or do not produce anything clever or thought-provoking or post no fun pictures to look at, then I have no time for them in the time that I am so good at wasting. At first I thought to myself " it weird that I read these blogs and do not know these people from Adam and Eve?" But then on second thought that's kind of a purpose of blogs isn't it? Well, for some people it is I suppose. There are those who have no qualms about sharing all of their dirt. I'm not so interested in those blogs. Nor am I interested in the ones who just are in a continual rant about something or constantly throwing themselves pity parties. Get a dog. Or a therapist. Or both. I do take great comfort in the fact that I'm not the only one who does this. "This" being wasting time reading the blogs of complete strangers. Yesterday I stumbled across this blog: Confessions of a Pioneer Woman and now all I want to do is read about this woman's life. Well, actually now all I want to do is find a cowboy and begin my life as the queen of a working cattle ranch. I knew there was a reason I held onto to all of those Wrangler jeans and my ropers and lacers from my high school days. Yes, I wore Wranglers and boots in high school. I also wore jeans from the GAP and American Eagle shirts with my Timberlands. No one is immune from the standard high school identity crisis. It's just that mine did not involve an all black wardrobe or trenchcoats. I digress. So all this to say, sometimes we all need a break from the everyday-ness of our lives. An escape of sorts. Of course in reading blogs, we are just escaping our lives to read about the everyday-ness of the lives of others, but what I like about it is that when I come back to the reality of my world, I realize that it's a pretty good place to be. I like it here. I'm glad it's mine. I wouldn't trade it for all the cattle on a cowboy's ranch. Well... Kidding. Sort of. And just when you think your life couldn't get anymore routine and dull, there is someone out there saying "man, look at how great they have it." Oh yeah, in order to contribute to the cause of wasting time, over the next few days I will be posting a new section on the left side of my blog of links to blogs that I love to peek at every now and again. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Consistently Inconsistent

Last week I read a devotion titled the same as this blog posting and I thought to myself "well, if there is ever a phrase to describe me, here it is." If Steve & Barry's sold graphic tee's with these two words on it, I would own one in every color. Ok, don't get me wrong because there are some things about me that have always been the same and will never change. For instance, whenever I'm tired or a little anxious about something, I twirl my hair with my right hand until all of the little curls on the right side morph into one big giant curl. It looks oh so lovely too. This started when mom rocked me to sleep as a baby and I would reach up and twirl her hair so if I've been doing it for nearly 30 years, odds are I'll continue. I'm also very consistent with many of my daily habits too: milk chocolate carnation instant breakfast each morning on the way to work, a banana at 10:00 for a mid-morning snack, workout in the early evening and then write down in a journal my time and distance for cardio. If ever there is a Sunday afternoon when I don't take a nap then something has gone awry with the Earth's rotation and we should pull the Y2K survival kits down from the attic. while I'm consistently inconsistent, I'm also beyond boring. I should work on that.

Naturally it's the big things in which I am most inconsistent. Well, not even things...more like one thing. Probably the biggest of all things: My relationship with God. Seriously, it really shouldn't be that hard, and of course I'm the one responsible for making it seem that way. It's not like this is some new revelation in my life either. I've known it for longer than I am comfortable confessing. I can say that regardless of the circumstances in my life, God has always been faithful to me. Even during the times when I couldn't for the life of me see how He was working, sure enough He was. Unfortunately I cannot say that I have always been faithful to Him in return. I'm great at asking for things...terrible at giving thanks for those things once they are given. Hence the inconsistency. The other night as I was getting ready for bed I looked over at my nightstand and saw my Bible and thought "I'm so tired right now that it really wouldn't do me any good to read anything tonight." And then I had the most interesting thought: How in the world would I react if that's how God responded to me some days? He's a heckuva lot busier than I am. Time for me to check myself before I wreck myself.

So on Sunday at church this little lesson I'm learning went a bit deeper. Once again, the church bulletin should have had written "this one's for you, Heather" across the top. The passage of scripture that the whole message was based around is Jeremiah 29:11-14. Now anyone who grew up in church or drove past a church with one of those old school signs on a regular basis can probably quote Jeremiah 29:11. It's a pretty warm-fuzzy verse, but then when you really start to think about it and read the verses that follow, it is obviously not a one-way street where God is just going to set all of these plans that He has for us into motion while we just sit around like knots on a log. I especially like verse 13: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." All of my heart? Yep. The whole thing. To me that means not waiting until I'm about to fall asleep standing up to have my quiet time (which fortunately has gotten a bit better now that I'm an early riser, but it's still a work in progress). It also means not getting distracted or discouraged. It's easy to seek Him with all of my heart for a couple of days. But then if I don't start seeing some progress, some of that fervor dissipates. (wow...2 big words back to back...I wonder if I used them correctly) Hence the inconsistency. Rome wasn't built in a day, Heather.

I know that God has plans for me. I love that He does even if it scares the wits out of me to know that His plans may not align with mine. It is my choice that God's will is done in my life so these plans can unfold. Yet, sometimes it's the very choices that I make on a daily basis that causes a disruption in the plans being carried out. Hence the inconsistency.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Caroline's Dedication

On Sunday I had the opportunity to attend Caroline's Baby Dedication. Since it had better be at least 15 years until my brothers give me nieces and nephews and it's not a requirement that the future Mr. Heather Page have them in order for me to marry him, I'm currently playing the role of the crazy aunt to all of my friends' children. I just love Caroline and her whole family for that matter. She is such a fortunate baby girl to have such a wonderful family who loves her, cares for her, prays for her and spoils her (but not too much!). I look forward to watching this little lady grow up and being a part of her life.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Et tu, Bailey?

SPAM...not the kind you find in your inbox

On my way to Caroline's baby dedication this morning (more to come about that), I stopped at a gas station to get some gum. After toiling over my decision of which flavor of Orbit gum to try this time, I finally made my way to the counter where my eyes spied a whole entire display of this:

Ewwww....SPAM? Being sold in single serve packets?? Ok, don't get me wrong, I did experience fried SPAM as a child. However I gave it up for good around the same time I eliminated bologna, hot dogs and Steakumms from my diet. I was 5. Now it might not be so shocking to see single servings of SPAM in a gas station in oh... Hawaii (where one can get SPAM at McDonald's) or Ludowici, GA (no offense to the great citizens of Ludowici) where I'm sure you can also get pickled pigs feet and pickled eggs out of those big glass jars, but I was in Dunwoody right across from Perimeter Mall. Who in Dunwoody eats SPAM? Seriously. Naturally my curiosity was peaked so I came home to do some internet research in order to find an image of today's topic for the blog post. But I never anticipated that I would also find this: A website devoted to SPAM Singles. What will they think of next?