Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Next time I'm yawning....

I'm going to take some time out of my SUPER busy teleconferencing schedule on this rather gray Tuesday morning to share something that I found to be quite interesting, (thanks to my good friend Kate for sharing this information)--- YAWNING IS BENEFICIAL!!!!!! I mean, come on people... am I the only one that likes to yawn? Apparently not... look how much fun we're all having....

Apollo Ohno yawning

Random Cartoon Guy yawning

Cute little puppy dog that probably has NASTY smelling puppy breath yawning
Cute little baby fox that probably wants to bite me yawning

Katherine Heigl yawning

Big, scary, King of the Jungle that DEFINITELY wants to bite me yawning

"Google image yawning" dude yawning

Monkey see, Monkey do, Monkey looks (well... you know the rest) yawning

The MOON yawning (I mean, c'MONNNNN)

Cuuuute little baby yawning

Former Pope (RIP) yawningFormer VP Dick Cheney yawning at what looks to be a VERYYYY important meeting yawning

President Barack Obama yawning

You can click here if you'd like to read the full news article for yourself... Otherwise, I'm going to pare it down for you Casi style.

  • Our brains are like computers and operate most efficiently when cool
  • we yawn in response to increased brain\body temp
  • yawning provides a means for increased alertness (it recharges your battery, so to speak)
  • it helps us relax
  • it helps to manage stress
  • it lifts our mood... and BEST of all....

So, while there may be some social stigmas associated with yawning, (especially in the middle of important meetings, conversation with friends who are less than interesting, various programs, classes, or other boring social gatherings)... the benefits explained in this article say to me that I can now YAWN without GUILT!! Though it may happen at any given time, it isn't a sign of boredom... it's a sign that your body is working as it's supposed to be... so bring on the yawns and make no apologies!!! THUMBS UP!!

That is all. :)

Just kidding, no it's not... Out of curiosity, how many times did you yawn while reading this blog???

FYI..... I'm yawning right now....

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm an Onion.. but that's not all...

Soooooo... I'm learning alot, which I love. Everyday, it seems like I'm being shown something new. And, I'd really have it no other way. I hate the thought of going through life, just getting by on what I learned "years ago". Where's the growth in that? Maybe some people don't want to grow, but I'm not one of those people.

Sometimes, growth is not fun. Sometimes it's like when you were a kid and you had to have a badly skinned knee cleaned... sheer PAIN, but necessary pain, nonetheless. My kiddo had a knee injury last year where he skinned his knee and had all kinds of dirt and gravel in it. I don't do so well with things of that nature, so luckily he was at school when it happened and it was all cleaned up for the most part by the time he got home. :) His little knee was tender for quite a while... JUST about the time he had almost forgotten about it even happening, he fell playing basketball and the EXACT same place got skinned again. Again it hurt, again it had to be cleaned, and again with time, it got better. The scar is there, but it no longer hurts to touch it.

My point? I'm an onion. And, not only am I an onion, but I'm an onion in a locked box. I've always used that as a way to describe myself. I'm very layered and kinda like they say on The Blind Side (which is a WONDERFUL movie, btw), you have to peel me back in layers... I watched that movie last night and it really hit home with me. Sometimes I think it's good to guard your heart (the Bible even tells us to do so)... but, then I think that I'm not quite balanced in that area. I'm tough tough tough to peel and for some people, you never even get to the onion because you can't open the box. I thought for a couple of years that I was changing from an onion to... well... I'm not sure what.. but something other than an onion :) But, I've realized over a series of events that I'm still just as Vidalia as ever... in a locked box. I got into a conversation with someone the other day and they sort of put me in check about my boxy onion nature... It wasn't easy to hear but it reminded me that I haven't arrived... I think I forget that sometimes. I think I have sort of figured it all out... I haven't... you haven't... and none of us ever will have it totally together. What I'm trying to do now is figure out a nice balance between being guarded in a good way and being totally unavailable emotionally to people who really want to be in my life. So, if you are one of those people... be patient with me... know that I understand I am difficult to put up with, and that hopefully I can at least eventually get rid of the stinking box!!!
p.s. onions may stink at times... but they can be REALLLLLY sweet and add lots of flavor to food.... or life ;)

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's all about BALANCE

word: bal-ance

pronunciation: \'ba-len(t)s\

I'm big on balance... reallllly big... I looked up the actual definition and below are a few of my favorites:
  • equipoise between contrasting, opposing, or interacting elements (you'll understand why this is so fitting shortly)
  • an aesthetically pleasing integration of elements
  • a physical equilibrium
  • mental and emotional steadiness

So, after work, I went home and in a mad dash, changed clothes and headed to Zumba. This is by far, the sweatiest workout I've found to date, not to mention TONS of fun and a great stress relief!! I STRONGLY encourage you to find a class near you and try it out. On average, a 150 pound person can burn between 500 - 600 calories in one hour of Zumba, which beats out swimming or speed walking, PLUS you get to DANCE and have a great time!!!

When I left, I literally looked like a wet dog and probably smelled even worse that that... But, I had made plans to have dinner at Red Lobster and didn't have time to go home to get ready. You better believe I took my booty shaking self right down I-85 with the quickness... Many thanks to philosophy inner grace body spray for making the experience a little more bareable for those dining with me :) Working out makes you wanna eat... And, that I did. I could go to that place and be perfectly content with their salad and cheese biscuits (queue heavenly angel chorus and bright lights)....

Why I ordered a shrimp combo, I have no clue, because I was so full by the time it got there, I barely touched it.

So, look people, what I'm saying is... YES I pigged out at tha Lobsta, but YESSS I ALSO shook my tailfeathers at Zumba---- doesn't some diet book somewhere say that it sort of equals out? Yep, I'm sure of it.

Conclusion? A perfectly balanced evening, with sweat, cheese biscuits, and old friends.

Mission Accomplished

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Seriously?!?!? I've never seen so much yellow.... or, maybe I've just never noticed it so much as I do right now... I walk outside, and it's EVERYWHERE... every vehicle has been sprayed by the yellow dust fairy, who is pretty tired right about now...

but, it doesn't stop there... i started to take notice of all things yellow.. even in my current surroundings... so, in my boredom (not really that i have time to be bored, but...) i am going to share how yellow has thrown up JUST in my office. enjoy :)

my yellow highlighters

the yellow top on my soda bottle

my yellow post its

my yellow expo marker

my tissue box... which is... yeah, you guessed it... YELLOW

the yellow swirlies on my desk calendar...

the yellow writing on the matchbox that i just used to light my Kitchen Spice Slatkin & Co. candle (which is, might i add.... DIVINE)

the yellow tape on my phone cord... random

the yellow mute button on my desk phone...

the yellow thank you note card on my corkboard

the yellow ink in my rainbow number (you intercall trainers are feeling me on this one)

my yellow notepad

my yellow bare minerals box

the yellow circle sticker on the back of my training computers

the yellow nose on my hello kitty money\paperclip holder (guess who gave me this???)

the yellow envelope that pops up on my blackberry when i get a text message

the yellow wrapper for my Zone Perfect Chocolate Mint Protein Bar, which, to me tastes JUST Like the chocolate mint girl scout cookies (yummy pockettttt!!)

that list is inclusive to the things i can see look around and see right now in my training room... what i DON'T have in my life right this second is the following: (i would take any of them at almost any time)

lemon icecream from marble slab

sunshine (though i'm way happy the rain has washed away some of that pollen)

lemon lotion that crystal lets me borrow ( i HATE lotion, but this stuff smells amazing)

a real lemon

lemon pudding that my grandmother used to make or even...

a lemon dessert from KFC

a lemon sour

John Mayer's "Bold as Love" (my YELLOW in this case is not so mellow)
Coldplay's YELLOW (which i'm gonna close this bad boy down with today)...

Look at the stars

Look how they shine for you

And everything you do

Yeah they were all yellow

I came along

I wrote a song for you

And all the things you do

And it was called Yellow

So then I took my turn

Oh what a thing to have done

And it was allllll yellow....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Paw Paw Pa-Dupa-Scupa

Today is the day of laughs and pranks... It's also the anniversary of my grandfather's death. (Cue Debbie Downer sound effect). On April 1, 1994, Joel Raiford Easterwood slipped from a coma into the afterlife, in the early afternoon.

Things I remember about his death: It was nice outside, Freebird was playing on the radio when I stepped out of the shower, and I was absolutely relieved when I walked into the room where Hospice had him set up, because I knew that he was finally free from pain.

Things I remember about his life:

He was a PRANKSTER! He had me and my gullible self thinking for YEARS that one of his legs was longer than the other. He made up some long story about how and why and then one day I realized, that joker's legs were both the exact same size.... LONG AND SKINNY!

He was a drinker... so, I can remember him "thinking" he was hiding that fact from me as he put his beer inside the coffee table door. I remember always hearing the can pop when he opened it and he would look around to see if anyone was watching... (I usually was) as he would sip one after another. He drank to the point of belligerency lots of times and I didn't like that he didn't know when to stop, but nobody is perfect.

He loved to make people laugh... He had crazy sayings that he used for most of his adult life... "You've got freckles on your butt, but you're pretty just the same". (don't ask, because i don't have an answer!!)

"Blow yo nose on that chairn rag.. Nothing I despise tworse than nastiness"

Then there is the story about him taking my mom to buy her Dodge Charger... If you have a weak stomach or are offended easily... seriously stop reading... Somehow a discussion ensued with the salesman about... wait for it... wait for it.... STDs. My grandfather proceeds with saying, "Well, it isn't like it used to be. We used to just be able to stand on a sheet, jump up and down, the crabs would jump off, and we'd be okay!!" Alright, I'm embarrassed to WRITE that... can you imagine the look on the salesman's face?? He was obviously kidding, saying that just for a reaction, (which most of the time he got)... but, OH MY GOSH... I'm glad he settled down a little before I came along.... ;)

My grandfather was 75 years old when he died. He was a rough man... very rough to my grandmother and their children. I've heard stories about him that make me cringe, but I was thankful enough to not see that side. I've heard on a number of occasions that when my mom told him she was pregnant, his infamous response was, "You're not bringing that baby into this house!" Fast forward 40 weeks and a 6 lb. 7 oz. baby later, I've been told he melted the first time we ever met. :) He and my grandmother ended up adopting me when I was 7, so it's a good thing he sorta liked me, I suppose. I was spoiled rotten from day one... I can admit that. And, I can't even say it was just with love... it was with stuff. My grandfather did everything big... He had to have the latest gadgets and he made sure that I had the latest toys.

To me, he was mostly Paw Paw, though somewhere in time, in a unique vocabulary that has been cultivated by several of the Easterwood family members, Paw Paw Pa-Dupa-Scupa also became one of his name tags and he would answer just as if I was calling him by his birth name. To him, I was "monkey feet"... because I liked to climb... on furniture, in trees, on countertops... Years went by and I didn't hear that name. But, the night before he died, he was more himself than he had been in a long time- smiles erupted, nicknames were thrown around, goodbyes were said, and peace fell down on the family, which is more than a lot of people are able to experience. I'm grateful to God for that. The last words he spoke to me were, "You know I love you, Monkey Feet"...

And on and on and on the stories go... He made others laugh... He didn't take life too seriously... He was a very flawed man, but he was generous, goofy, and he provided me with a stable environment in which to grow. Thank you, Paw Paw!!

We all thought it was super fitting that he passed away on April Fool's... I actually had to make sure it was real when they told me, because knowing him, he would've wanted to get one last good one in!! How awesome that we had one last good night with him, where we were all laughing... And, how awesome that in all his craziness, he left me with a legacy of laughs that I've never forgotten. So, today, I remember him vividly, I celebrate his life, and from the bottom of my heart, I say, "Happy April Fool's Day, Paw Paw Pa-Dupa-Scupa... Monkey Feet loves you so!!!" JRE- November 20, 1919 ~ April 1, 2004...