Thursday, March 31, 2005

spa day aka bartering rocks!

yes, it was a glorious day of much needed pampering for Jill today. i even got up early for it (early means before 9 am to me).

i've been stressed for no apparent reason, at least not that i can figure out, and have mucho tension still in the neck/shoulders/jaw/head from getting a new bite guard for my tmj dysfunction (i clench my jaw at night while sleeping and it can cause major migraines if i don't use the bite guard). my body is still getting used to the new guard (we're still adjusting it, too), and i got a new pillow, plus usual wear and tear from doing massage for a living adds up to jill has to get a massage every two weeks (oh the horror, i know) in order to be able to massage everybody else.

so i started the day off with a lovely facial from 9-10, cleansing out all the pores and such. then it was off to soak in one of the jacuzzi tubs with lots of bubbles and salts for a half hour. (yes, i know you are jealous already!) then i had to go across the street to the dentist to have the bite guard adjusted, but no, the spa day was not over. this was all in the planning. last and most certainly NOT least, was an hour massage working out all the kinks in my shoulders and loosening the tight muscles in my neck/head/and face. and you'd think the pampering was over, right? nope, headed home next for a very lovely nap.

and the sidedish of the day was retail therapy, after the nap and doing some stuff at church. i went to the fabric store and FINALLY (cue music now) found some sheer fabric to use as a window scarf in my room. yay for "drapes" to dress up dull boring, yet free, miniblinds! then i meandered through the used book store and Borders and picked up a couple of new treats to feed my mind.

as i'm putting up my new drapescarf thingy, i notice the flyer that's been on my desk for a couple of weeks for an upcoming songwriter workshop. think i'm supposed to go to it. call and check, yep, they still have spaces available. cool. registration is going in the mail tomorrow =)

call to grandma, hot soup for dinner, watched a little tv (love Without A Trace) and now the noggin's gettin ready for some nourishment as the head gets ready to hit the pillow. grooviness. maybe even put on some good tunes, Nickel Creek or Waterdeep feels about right today.

how do i get two relaxing days in one week, you ask? yeah, i don't know either, other than God is good, all the time. and all the time, God is good. plus, my personal philosophy, you've gotta take care of your body; it's the only one you get!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

sounds of silence

a true day of rest. ahhhhhhhhh. and silence, not too many creatures stirring, at least not a roomie in the house. not that i don't like her, you know, you just gotta have one of those days from time to time. where you can walk around the house naked and just chill.

movies. popcorn. good tunes. candy. spades online (and even won).

man, did i ever need that. to just chill. and breathe (especially after my head cleared up after snottin over everything most of the day). breathin much better now. ahhhhhhhh.

thank you God for Jesus. thank you Jesus for your sacrifice, as we remember it especially today. thank you God for such a groovy day (and an excuse to eat chocolate *grin*). amen.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

thoughts in the moment

The divine manifestation is ubiquitous,
Only our eyes are not open to it. . . .
Awe is what moves us forward. . . .

Live from your own center. . . .
The divine lives within you.
The separateness apparent in the world is secondary.
Beyond the world of opposites is an unseen,
but experienced, unity and identity in us all.

Today the planet is the only proper "in group."
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows,
but we can choose to live in joy.

You must return with the bliss and integrate it.
The return is seeing the radiance is everywhere.
The world is a match for us.
We are a match for the world.
The spirit is the bouquet of nature. . . .
Sanctify the place you are in.
Follow your bliss. . . .
~ Joseph Campbell ~

i feel like the kid from Finding Forrester today, borrowing words until you have your own. i sit here with a pencil stuck behind my ear as if it being there will somehow indicate i have just paused between writing and it will keep my train of thought in tact.

the truth of the matter is there are so many thoughts trying to be processed at the same time that i think my brain is constipated. definitely not much moving going on. maybe i've gone back to being so analytical (definitely function well there) because i've had a huge taste, like a serious buffet - not a wine tasting, of understanding and perspective and that is the only thing that satifies me now.

it's more than a hunger, i feel driven to seek it out, like an addiction, doing whatever it takes to get more. i want all the emotional and spiritual freeze-points of my life to make sense. i crave the understanding, and the freedom that comes with it, and desperately want to know what lies ahead. like a little child tugging on Daddy's shirt saying over and over again, "are we there yet? huh, Daddy? huh? huh? huh? are we there yet? are we there yet?"

what great things, Father? what's the plan, Daddy? are you just giving me time to process and really (really) get the understanding and perspective you've already give me? or do you just want me to really (really) get that the most important thing is being still and knowing You? maybe that by being still, i can really get to know You, because You already know me. i'm the one in the dark, but the light at the end of the tunnel sure is getting brighter everyday. Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 19, 2005

celeb giddy

can you name this local celeb hottie???

yes, indeed, it is MJ , formerly of our own Vanderbilt Commodores, but more recently of MTV's The Real World: Philadelphia. you love him, you hate him, you think he's hot, you think he's not so hot. just for fun, here's a candid pic of him with his hair longer i ran across while searching for one that does him justice. incidentally, i didn't find one, a picture that does MJ justice, that is.

and how would i know if a picture does him justice, you ask? a fair question. well, as you know, i'm a massage therapist and i work at a local day spa. it's a run of the mill Saturday (c-r-a-z-y busy) went to check my dockett for the day, was booked solid(nice). my first appt is new to the spa, so i chill and wait for the paperwork before going out to get him.

suddenly, two of the other (female) staff members come in the break room sQUEALing (i kid you not!) "MJ from The Real World and his girlfriend are out in the lobby!" i'm just thinkin, "cool," cause i'm not a huge fan of reality tv, but i did watch TRW: Philadelphia one time just to check out "the guy from Nashville" everyone kept telling me about.

so i go to get my 2pm appt, and it's this tall, curly-headed blonde guy who's looking vaguely familiar to me. i go through my professional yadda yadda with him and leave the room for him to get on the table. i ask one of the (sQUEALer) girls if that's MJ, and they confirm that indeed it is. he actually wrote his first initial, middle name, last name on the intake form, which is why i didn't catch it sooner (and i only watched that one episode of TRW, so i didn't really recognize him).

so how cool is that? i got to massage a bonafide celeb! not one degree from the actual celeb (like Bryan White's wife-i've worked on her), or a football player that not everyone knows (worked on one of the Cincinnati Bengals' players before-is a jerk, don't care to mention him). granted, he's not like red carpet "A" list, but is recognizable by my friends and most of the people i hang out with. just kinda fun =)

oh yeah, to answer that "pictures not doing him justice" question... no girls, the pics do not. and neither does television. he is to-O-TALLY hotter in person than in pictures or on television. if i could give you details, i would! but alas, massage-client confidentiality bites the big one here! i will say that he was a total "nice guy," not a jerk, and tipped well. he was just tryin to be a regular guy that wanted to relax for a bit, and he bought his girlfriend (i know, sorry girls) a massage as well. i decided not to bug him for an autograph ;)

so there ya go, a little brush with greatness, nice guy-total HOTTIE *tsssssssssssss* (can i say that again? oh my word!) who I, your very own local massage guru extraordinaire (dunt-dun-duh-daaaaaah!), got to MASSAGE TODAY =) very fun. and very cool.

Friday, March 18, 2005

lazy friday

i'm sittin here listening to The Proclaimers. just seemed appropriate comin off St. Patty's day. it's a good groove for a lazy friday afternoon.

i'm feelin cranky, or maybe whiny better describes it, today. had to cancel my poker game because everyone had other plans or was still recoverin from their green beer. i feel like the whiny kid today screamin' "NOBODY WANTS TO PLAY WIF ME!!!" with my bottom lip stuck out and snifflin, or either the irreverent Cartman "fine! screw you guys, i'm goin home!." i'm not poutin, really. (well, maybe a little) i guess it's one of those days good for just chillin or a good mind wipe movie.
speaking of which, i'm watching this afternoon. this is a great little quirky movie that totally appeals to me. Lily Tomlin as an existentialist detective, hired to investigate the coincidences in our leading man's life, Dustin Hoffman with a blanket theory (but i don't wanna talk about the blanket right now!), enough said. i may end up buying this DVD.

still groovin to The Proclaimers. i really bought this on a whim (BMG was having a sale) a while back. these guys are really good, if you're into irish folk music, which i am. being 1/2 scotch-irish, i think it's actually required of me =) or it's just born in ya, like beer in the bloodstream.

*yawn* what a lazy day. kinda nice actually. gorgeous sunshine out. maybe i should get out and enjoy it...

Thursday, March 17, 2005

If it's not Irish, it's CRAP!

Here are a few fun beer facts for all of us goin' out to enjoy some green beer today!

About 4000 years ago, it was the accepted practice in Babylonia that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calender was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month" or what we know to day as the "Honey moon."

Before invention of the thermometer, brewers used to check the temperature by dipping their thumb, to find whether appropriate for adding Yeast. Too hot, the yeast would die. This from where we get the phrase "The Rule of the Thumb."

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender used to yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. From where we get "mind your own P's and Q's".

After consumeing a vibrant brew called Aul or Ale, the Vikings would go fearlessly to the battlefield, without their armour, or even their shirts. The "Berserk" means "bear shirt" in norse, and eventually to the meaning of wild battles.

Way down in 1740, the Admiral Veron of the British fleet decided to water down the navy's rum, which naturally, the sailors weren't pleased with. They nicknamed the Admiral Old Grog, after the still stiff grogram coats he used to wear. The term grog soon began to mean the watered down drink itself. When you are drunk on this grog, you are "groggy", a word still in use.

Long ago in england, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim of their beer mugs or ceremic/glass cups. The whistle was used to order services. Thus we get the phrase, "wet your whistle".

(in my best irish accent) And a fine Saint Patty's Day to ya, luv!
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Wednesday, March 16, 2005


okay, so you know how annoying it is when your bottom eyelid spasms for no apparent reason? mine has been doing it on and off every day for a week! for no apparent reason! talk about annoying! AAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!

now that i've got that out of my system (thanks for listening), i just wanted to give a shout out to those of you who actually read my blog. somebody =) told me last night that they are a huge fan of my blog (wow, really? somebody actually does read it? cause there haven't been any comments lately...) and that really made my day. thanks for readin & SAAAAAH-LUTE!!!!

so this morning the hymn "Trust and Obey" was ringin in my head. you know, "trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." it was probably on my mind because a different someone told me last night that the reason God was blessing me was because i am being obedient. now i'm really not bragging, but it just struck me as odd first, that i am actually possibly being obedient (imagine that) and secondly, that it could be that simple. happiness. by trusting and obeying. hmmm.

we really are like whiny kids most days. asking God "why?" or "why not?" or "why now?" or "but i really want this" and "why can't i have that?". just like whiny kids pestering their parents, who really do know what's best for them and are trying to teach the kids and protect them at the same time. sometimes there really is no other answer besides "because i said so" because we wouldn't understand it our parents tried to explain it to us. our minds couldn't comprehend the explanation yet. the parents can see what is best, from experience and big picture knowledge, while the kids only see what is happening now and how it is affecting their now.

how much is God like that with us? only wanting us to trust that he knows best from experience and big picture k nowledge. to realize that there is such freedom and happiness if we'd only obey, and trust that, indeed, Father Knows Best.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

just what you always wanted to know

Your Inner Gangsta by crash_and_burn
What is yo name?
Yo gangsta name beMilk Choclate Nuggets
You ride around in aNeon Pink H2 Hummer
Yo gangThe Yakuza
Yo shoes beBaby-blue Timberlands
Yo dubs be dis big, fool1,357
How much money you got?$4.63990882910152e+26
How gangsta are ya, playa?: 71%
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Monday, March 14, 2005

the princess and the pea

so last week was a little crazy. i began the week not knowing what was going to be fixed first, my jaw or my car. it did start well (the week that is). i was coming off that groovy weekend massage workshop. still riding the wave from the whole thing. and knew i was meeting with a lady from the church, which held the possibility of financial relief and help with costs of dentist (due to no dental insurance) and car repair.

indeed the church did help me financially (rock on BBC for being there like a church is supposed to be - and rock on God for equipping them to do so) and i was breathing a little easier. still a little uneasy because i know how quickly dentist and car can become super expensive, and i just didn't know if i'd have enough to cover both, though both jaw and car needed fixing.

so i get to the dentist thursday, turns out he believes my TMJ dysfunction (jaw joint stuff) caused the swelling in my jaw and the wisdom tooth was probably aggravating it. he fits me for a new bite guard, since i broke the last one by clenching my teeth in my sleep (yeah, bit the back of it off for the second time over a month ago - you 'd think i was stressed or something, imagine that) said the tooth was just a "baby" wisdom tooth, not even a 1/3 of the size of a regular tooth, and he could "pop it out in about 2 minutes" if i wanted him to and recovery should be just the rest of the day. oh yeah, i was all for it! and true to his word, 2 minutes, literally. even groovier, he agreed to barter with me for the dental care (trade massages for dental work) so that meant i could get my car fixed! oh yeah! and get this, my car needed more work done than i thought (could have been serious if the fantastic guys at Tires Plus hadn't caught it) and the total came to exactly what the church had given me! God was sooooo ahead of me. had it covered. and i worried. yeesh, such wasted energy. thanks, Daddy. You are amazing!

i gotta tell you about the "baby" wisdom tooth - the thing is sooooo tiny! you can't even imagine a thing that small could cause so much discomfort! you see it and you just wanna say, "awwww, how cute!" never knowing it's true capacity for meanness ;) yeah, thursday afternoon i was snoozing in between ice packs and Aleve, but was even able to eat regular food that night! yummy Mexican with Heather at La Hacienda, even (yeah, i know that's not on my Advocare plan, i think i'm allowed an extra cheat day for wisdom tooth pulling...). and have just felt things loosening since then, in my jaw, head, neck, shoulders, etc. it's like the muscles just want to let go.

now as a massage therapist, i know everything in the body is connected, but there's nothing like personal experience to make it real for you! man, i'm tellin ya, i TOTALLY have a new grasp of The Princess and the Pea story we all read as kids. that one tiny thing, just making her toss and turn, something she couldn't quite put her finger on, making her uncomfortable, keeping her from sleeping. it's like not only has God been doing that with me spiritually - picking out the little things that keep me from resting in Him, bringing order to different areas of my life, making His words alive for me, connecting my heart with my head - now He's even doing it physically, taking care of my body, too! how awesome is that?! how often i've said recently that "it's the only body you get, gotta take care of it" and now God's totally providing opportunities for me to do that. was even able to give those muscles that have been 'screamin' wanting to let go a little help today. had an open hour (no client) and another therapist that owed me a massage, so i totally collected =) God is so good.

so as i'm half in la la land and half drooling, he's asking me what's been going on (he's a believer) because he noticed a change in me several weeks ago.
me: "really? a visible change?"
him: "yeah, i walked in one day and saw you and was like 'she's been reading the Word again or talking to God or something.'"
me: "cool."
very cool. the physical lifting off unburdening God opening me up like the dragon in Dragonheart opening his chest and light spilling out that i've been feeling is showing on my face. visible to others. i remember seeing that in people before and thinking, "man, i want that! how do you get it?" wow. *contented sigh* oh so very cool.

God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers,
And thrusts the thing we have prayed for in our face,
A Gauntlet with a gift in it.

~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

poor odie. have you ever had one of these days??? =) lol

happy monday to ya! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

look up

i never knew i could be so exhausted from being quiet and doing a bunch of nothing.

that's what i found myself saying after last weekend. i went to my first continuing education workshop (yes, i do believe that means i've officially grown up) all day saturday and sunday. and no, that did not mean i got to sleep in. i had to get up at -crack:30 to be on time because it was out in the middle of nowhere. Harmony Landing, on the other side of Bellevue (in Pegram), tucked away from the rest of the world, complete with the sounds of trains rumbling by, leaves crunching under your feet while you hike to the creek, squeaky rocking chairs on the front porch with the token dogs hanging around for any suckers who really believe they are deprived enough to merit a crumb. and yes, it was quiet enough to savor each of those.

now this isn't your ordinary *yawn* continuing ed workshop, remember, i'm a massage therapist. so indeed this was a touchy, feely, huggy, lots of breathing hippy kind of a weekend ranch workshop thing. i got a postcard in the mail a few weeks back about the workshop. i wouldn't have given it a second look because it was for Breema, which i didn't think i would be interested in, but the caption at the top of the card stopped me long enough to read it before chunking it into the trash:

"To be who you are, you don't need much, but you have to let go of a lot."

'wow, that is so where i am right now', i was thinking. so i read on. much to my surprise, it is nearby and very reasonably priced. so i read up a bit more about this Breema stuff and simmer on it a bit before making the decision to go.

the day before the workshop, i'm tying up loose ends and running errands so i can be free from distractions for the little retreat, as i'm seeing it could be for me. two days in the woods with people who don't care what i look like (we were actually told to dress super comfortably in pants and shirts that move easily, with socks, no shoes, because we'd be doing all the work on padded mats on the floor, and to bring pillows to sit on - i'm thinkin, could it get any more fun?). packed my lunch, snacks and plenty of water. oh yeah, was soooo ready, and excited, so i stayed up late painting a lamp shade (which still hasn't turned out the way i want it). now i would've been okay sleep wise, but God decided to wake me up an hour before i had to be up to have quiet time. yes indeed, i rolled over, got up to go to the bathroom, got back in the bed, and i distinctly felt God nudging me to "get up and have quiet time with me" and i argued by rolling over and snuggling down more, and then another nudge to "get up and have quiet time with me, NOW." yeah, got it. got up.

as tired as i thought i would be in the workshop, didn't happen. not tired a bit. so score for big G for getting me all prayed up and focused for the day and sustaining me through it. i was just soaking it all in throughout the day. even had another (yes, that's 2, 2 quiet times in one day!) quiet time/praise&worship time on a small rock bluff overlooking the river during my lunch time. some concepts they were teaching at the workshop, i was digging. some, i just chunked or had my own take on them. (you kind of have to do that with some things in the massage world, some of it can be really waaay "out there" and you have to exercise some discernment - which may by why God got me up so early, i realized later) just to give you a taste, here's The Nine Principles of Harmony of Breema:

-Body Comfortable
When we look at the body, not as something separate, but as an aspect of a unified whole, there is no place for discomfort.

-No Extra
To express our true nature, nothing extra is needed.

-Firmness and Gentleness
Real firmness is always gentle. Real gentleness is always firm. When we are present, we naturally manifest firmness and gentleness.

-Full Participation
The most natural way of moving and living is with full participation. Full participation is possible when body, mind, and feelings are united.

-Mutual Support
The more our Being participates, the more we are able to support life and recognize that Existence supports us. Giving and receiving support take place simultaneously.

-No Judgment
The atmosphere of nonjudgment gives us a taste of acceptance of ourselves as we are in the moment. When we come to the present, we are free from judgment.

-Single Moment/Single Activity
Each moment is new, fresh, totally alive. Each moment, when it’s an expression of our true nature, is complete by itself.

-No Hurry/No Pause
In the natural rhythm of life energy, there is no hurry and no pause.

-No Force
When we let go of assumptions of separation, we let go of force.

some of these make sense by themselves, but some, i am sure glad i have God as a reference point. they talk a lot about "being present," being "in the moment," Existence, life energy, unified whole, concepts which can be a little vague if you don't have a reference point. God is Existence, life energy is my Spirit, unified whole to me is the divine spark of God in all of us that not only draws us to Him but draws us to each other as His children, brothers and sisters.

the simplicity of the movements we did really surprised me. it was a lot of weight-counterweight/stretching-compression, not really using force. not intending to push or pull anything, just using body weight, gently leaning on each other, supporting and letting go at the same time, not forcing anything to happen, being here-not there-here, not judging. very cool stuff. it makes sense, flows, and the body just releases tension as you are supporting/letting go at the same time. hmmmmm....

here's what i took away from the weekend: 1) if we're not comfortable where we are, maybe God's trying to move us to somewhere/something new; 2) we're the ones who create baggage, not God. the Beatles said it best "all you need is Love" God is Love, No Extra, nuff said; 3) firmness and gentleness can't exist without each other, like our bodies - bones and flesh - one is needed to support the other at all times, and yet they are free to change roles if one is broken. i think this goes along with mutual support/letting go, think of when clasp hands with a kid and swing them around in a circle - you both are holding on and letting go at the same time in different ways with different parts of your body, if either one of you stops holding on or lets go before the other, you both will fall - we all need each other, sometimes we're the giver, sometimes we're the receiver- when we let go, God catches us, God teaches us and lets us go (if you will) to support His work on earth; 4) full participation, whole-hearted, mind, soul, strength, yeah, don't do anything half-(you bet your sweet a$$)-way; 5) no judgment, not judging myself - i've been forgiven past present and future, not judging others - that's God's job, i'm not letting em off the hook, i'm putting em on God's hook; 6) be focused, single moment/activity, be my best where i am whatever i happen to be doing in that moment, (i can't give a great massage if all i'm thinking about is my dentist appt and bills and car in the shop yadda yadda yadda) don't worry about later, distractions are how Satan keeps us from being our best in Christ; 7) no hurry/no pause, God always seems to be telling me to pray and wait, yet He never stops accomplishing things, He never hurries to do anything while never ceasing to be doing something; 8) you can't force the body to do what it's not ready to do, same with people, can't force someone to do what they are not ready to do, God always gives us a choice, and how many years does He spend patiently preparing us to do what He is calling us to do? amazing, He prepares us, yet still allows us to choose. He believes in us.

one other concept they talked about in illustrating how we weren't to push or pull or use force, is "the body has weight." and using that, there is a lean, hold, release. the body has weight. how much extra "weight" am i carrying around because i keep picking up the stuff God has offered to carry for me? if someone else is leaning on me and feeling too "heavy" for me, maybe i should hold onto Jesus and release them to Him, let Him hold onto them while we both lean.

okay, so to "lighten" things up a bit, take a look around the blog, we've brightened up the place a bit, plugged a few things, dusted off the corners and made it a bit more homey. =) ya'll come back now, ya hea-!

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Which dead Russian composer are you?

this fun quiz is hilarious. ran across it while looking for something else...

If I were a Dead Russian Composer, I would be Sergei Prokofyev.

I was born in the late 19th century and was a child prodigy, composing at a very young age. I kept this talent up, earning myself quite a name and fully exploiting the bragging rights. I was disliked by Stalin, however, and I died the same day he did. My most famous work is "Peter and the Wolf."

Who would you be? Dead Russian Composer Personality Test