Daily Gratitude: Internet

My daily morning ritual includes a check of all email accounts, facebook, twitter and a couple of different newspapers, all online. If I don’t have time or ability to sit down at my computer, I can do it all via my BlackBerry instead.

I tend to take so much for granted about today’s technology and the Internet. Being always connected, having the Internet always available for information, maps, phone numbers, schedules, etc is really an amazing capability.

I’m grateful for it, and all the technologies that support it. I wonder what the next 20 years will bring?

Posted on Monday, December 27th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: gratitude, technology | 1 Comment »

The More You Know: Sinuses

My sinuses have been achy and throbbing for the last week. I hate not feeling 100% and was thinking from an anatomical perspective, sinuses don’t make sense. So, because it’s how I roll, I googled “What purpose do the sinuses serve?” Answer:
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A variety of theories have been proposed:

  • The sinuses act as ‘air-conditioners;’ they filter and humidify the air.

  • The sinuses lighten the weight of the skull.
  • The sinuses are ‘crumple zones.’ In severe facial trauma, the facial skeleton is crushed; this absorbs energy that would otherwise be transmitted to the cranial cavity and brain. In a similar fashion, automobiles are designed so that the energy from a collision is absorbed by the car body, but the energy transmitted to the passenger cabin is minimized.
  • The sinuses are resonance chambers (echo chambers tuned to a specific frequency), which change the characteristics of spoken voice.

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I still don’t think they make a lot of sense and would prefer not to have such a frequent point of failure in my life. Not that eliminating them is an option. ;)

Source: American Rhinologic Society (No, they don’t study rhinoceri.)

Posted on Monday, December 27th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: health | 3 Comments »

Daily Gratitude: the Offspring

Four Geeks

For the next few days, I have all of my biological and ‘adopted’ kids under one roof, and this makes me very, very happy.

I wasn’t nearly so comfortable being a parent to toddlers or young children as I am now with teens. If I could have started with this age bracket, I’d have had more than two biological offspring, and instead, I’ve had to ‘adopt’. The youngest accuses me of adopting half of Poulsbo; he exaggerates. Many of his friends, though, do call me mom.

On the left is Ben, my oldest son. He’s tall, smart, handsome, funny, and intensely creative. He lights up a stage in theatre productions and has perfect pitch when he sings in the choir. He dabbles in voice acting and production, another use of his excellent voice. He’s headed off to culinary training in January.

Next to him is Mandy, my stepdaughter. She’s not actually related to me at all, she’s my ex’s wife’s daughter, but she’s a daughter of the heart and I love having her here. She’s brilliant, outgoing, funny, determined, and has a tremendous work ethic. She’s going to Western Oregon University and majoring in biology; she wants to be a cop.

Ashley, Zach’s girlfriend and my ‘adopted’ daughter, is intensely creative and talented, bright, funny, caring and brings out the best in Zach. She’s going to Shoreline Community College for an art transfer degree – and she’s also a musician and an actor.

Zach, my youngest, is tall, smart, handsome, hilarious, mechanically gifted, technically geeky, creative, and treats Ashley like a princess. He’s also going to Shoreline Community College (they live together, with Ben) for a transfer degree in English Education.

Note about Ashley & Zach — with the addition of an accordion and a mandolin this Christmas, they have an entire bandful of musical instruments in their apartment. The aforementioned accordion & mandolin, plus two acoustic guitars, an electric bass, a keyboard, a violin and a clarinet. (I suppose they need brass & drums — give them time.) Any child they have will have no choice but to be musical.

They make the holidays wonderful, adding a level of energy and cheer that is unlike any other. I’m very thankful for them!

Posted on Sunday, December 26th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: family, gratitude | Comments Off

Daily Gratitude: Christmas

Sadie & Tree

I’m thankful for family, friends, pets & many blessings this Christmas.

This is Sadie, mom’s dog-child and my four-legged black sister, in front of our traveling Christmas tree.

Yes, the tree is an idiosyncratic choice: Mom and Dad bought an aluminum tree when I was a baby for Christmases away from home, at cabins and at the beach. We lost track of it sometimes in my young adulthood, but mom replaced it with one from an antique store for nostalgia’s sake.

I wish you all a fabulous holiday season as well, filled with as many blessings and as much love as possible.

Posted on Saturday, December 25th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: gratitude, holidays | Comments Off

Daily Gratitude: Beach House

Today we braved the traffic, which was surprisingly decent, and headed for a rental house on the Washington coast for Christmas. We’re renting a big ol’ house in a little planned community called Seabrook, north of Ocean Shores. It’s lovely here off-season, when it’s not pouring rain, which it is now.

We did this last year, too, in my efforts to find new traditions for Christmas after losing Bryan, and loved the area and the house. It’s big and comfortable, with 3 bedrooms, a media room, a great room with big table and fireplace, and a private hot tub in the backyard. The whole community is right across the highway from a bluff overlooking the beach, where the “Deathly Stairs of Death”, as Zach named them, take us right down to the surf.

My whole family will gather here, over the course of a few days, and it’s great to just be away, with no agenda but relaxing and enjoying the holiday and each other’s company.

I’m grateful for new traditions, and the means and opportunity to rent and enjoy a beach house offseason with my family. Merry Christmas to everyone, and a joyful new year.

Posted on Friday, December 24th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: gratitude | 1 Comment »