Thursday, August 05, 2010

JanetOber is Here - With A New RSS Feed

My new corner of the universe is live.

JanetOber is here — in the form of a real-live website. She's been up a few days, but she needed some finishing touches, so she was being shy, but now it's time to make the official move. 

She’s here - all shining and squeaking clean. I'm excited that she's here, but to tell you the truth, she makes me kind of nervous. But I'm taking deep breaths, so I think I'll be okay. 

Thanks to the talented folks at Bittersweet Creative Group she's great and her design is sharp. (I can say that because I didn't have anything to do with it other than tell them what colors I like and what 'feel' I want and they made it happen)

I'd be honored if you visited

If you are reading this in a reader - you will need to subscribe with the new feed. 

New RSS feed

Thank you!

Friday, July 30, 2010

New website is up ....

Thanks to cool designers and programmers at Bittersweet Creative, I now have a new website. It's at JanetOber - I'd love to have you visit me there.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What is Woman - part 2

Last week I wrote What is Woman - part 1 based on the Monday Morning Memo. Here's is an interesting follow-up email from the oxford scholar that was quoted, Skip Moen.

Interesting ... isn't it?
What might be better and what might be worse in the world, if this is truth ... and if we lived by that truth? 

Monday, July 19, 2010

What is Woman?

The Wizard Academy is a cool, business school in Austin, Tx founded by Roy H. Williams. (it has nothing to do with Harry Potter, wizard simply means wise)  A few years ago, I attended a one-day seminar there and hope to go back for more classes. 
Every Monday morning, the first thing I read is the Monday Morning Memo that Roy sends outs. The memo is a mixture of business/marketing advice or unique insights about what makes people do what they do or any subject that happens to capture Roy's interest. 

Today's memo is about words and women and the translation of Genesis 2. Roy says that you will laugh, cry or get angry as you read this, so be prepared. 

Here are Roy's thoughts that stemmed from a recent conversation with an oxford scholar, Skip Moen.

"It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” - God, speaking to Himself in the second chapter of Genesis according to the English translators of the good King James in 1611

This is bad enough, but in later years “help meet for him” [help appropriate for him] became further mistranslated as “helpmate.”

Stay with me. This is about to get very interesting. 

Ezer kenegdo are the Hebrew words translated as “help meet” in 1611.
Ezer is used 20 more times in the Old Testament and in each instance it refers to God’s own effort to rescue and sustain his people. Ezer (pronounced ay'-zer) can be translated as “power” or “strength” or “rescue.”
'Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD? He is your shield and ezer and your glorious sword.' - Deut. 33:26
'I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my ezer come from? My ezer comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.' - Ps. 121:1-2
'May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you ezer.' - Ps. 20:1-2

Kenegdo means “facing.” It can also mean “opposite.”
Thus, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a power facing him.”
“I will make him a strength opposite him.”
“I will make him a rescue that looks him in the face.”

Each of these translations of ezer kenegdo is imminently more accurate than “helpmate, helper or assistant.”

Like I said; you will laugh, cry or get angry.

If you dig deeper into the history of Ezer, you’ll find that it comes from an even more ancient word, Azar, meaning “to surround.” Azar can also mean “protect, aid, succor and give material and/or nonmaterial encouragement.” Azar often refers to aid in the form of military assistance.

"Helper" and "assistant"
 are sounding more tragic with each passing paragraph, don't you think? 

(his wife) says that you and I often live up
 to the things we hear said about us. This is why she's deeply frustrated by what she hears mothers say in front of their children. 
"He's such a picky eater."
"She does exactly the opposite of what I say."
"He always throws a tantrum when he doesn't get his way."
"She doesn't like to take naps."

More to the point: did we make women "the weaker sex" the moment we gave them the name?
Roy H. Williams

This is not the first time I've heard of a different translation of 'helpmate', but this is a more thorough one. I will be pondering this for a time. You can read the whole memo here

Your thoughts? 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Saying - Statistics

"We must keep in mind the story of 
the statistician who drowned 
while trying to wade across a river 
with an average depth of four feet. 

That is to say, 
in a culture that reveres statistics, 
we can never be sure 
what sort of nonsense will lodge in people's heads.
- Neil Postman

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's coming ....

A New Website is Coming

Soon and very soon, you're going to see a new site.
Soon and very soon, you're going to see a new site.
Soon and very soon, you're going to see a new site.
Hallelujah, hallelujah! There's going to be a new site.
Draft of new site by Bittersweet Creative

No more Blogger here, there's going to be a new site.
No more crying here, there's going to be a new site.
Wordpress will be here, there's going to be a new site.
Hallelujah, hallelujah! There's going to be a new site.

Soon and very soon, you're going to see a new site.
Soon and very soon, you're going to see a new site.
Soon and very soon, you're going to see a new site.
Hallelujah, hallelujah! There's going to be a new site!

With all due respect to ...
Soon And Very Soon – Author Unknown 

Verse 1:
Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.
Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.
Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.
Hallelujah – Hallelujah – We’re going to see the King.
Verse 2:
No more cryin’ there, we are going to see the King.
No more cryin’ there, we are going to see the King.
No more cryin’ there, we are going to see the King.
Hallelujah – Hallelujah – We’re going to see the King.
Verse 3:
Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.
Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.
Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.
Hallelujah – Hallelujah – We’re going to see the King.
Hallelujah – Hallelujah!
We’re going to see the King.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sunday Saying - Walking

"There are some good things to be said about walking. 
Not many, but some. 
Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. 
Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. 

Life is already too short to waste on speed. 
I have a friend who's always in a hurry; 
he never gets anywhere. 
Walking makes the world much bigger 
and thus more interesting. 
You have time to observe the details. 
The utopian technologists foresee a future 
for us in which distance is annihilated. 

To be everywhere at once is to be 
nowhere forever, if you ask me."

- Edward Abbey, 
The Journey Home (1977)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Mental Health Concerns

My mom is traveling right now. Yesterday I stopped at her house to check something for her. As I was leaving, I was on the phone with her getting instructions to make sure I set the alarm system correctly when I left. 

After the system blinked "armed" I locked the door and walked towards my car while mom was telling me something about her travels.  

"Darn it," I mumbled. "I have to go back in."

"Why?" mom wondered. 

"I left my phone in your house." I said.

Unlock the garage door. Disarm the alarm. Unlock the inside door. Look over the counter, the desk and the couch, while mom asks the typical mom question, "Where did you last use it?"

Five minutes later, I'm laughing hysterically as I'm relocking doors and rearming the alarm, while being worried about both my mom's and my mental health. 

Maybe it's the record-breaking temps we've been having ...

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Sunday Saying - Writing

A man who writes a story is forced to put into it the best of his knowledge and the best of his feeling.
The discipline of the written word punishes both stupidity and dishonesty. A writer lives in awe of words for they can be cruel or kind, and they can change their meanings right in front of you.- John Steinbeck

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Saying - Alive or Not?

"Curiosity, especially intellectual inquisitiveness, is what separates the truly alive from those who are merely going through the motions." - Tom Robbins

So are you alive or going through the motions?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Memoirs I've Read

Last week I read this tweet by Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner "Please don't submit your memoir until you've read 20 good memoirs and 5 books on writing memoir - and learned from them."

Since I'm writing a memoir and want to submit it soon, I started a list of all the memoirs I've read. I didn't think I read 20, but I was surprised. I'm at 30+ and still counting. 
These are in random order and some of these might only loosely fit into the memoir category. 
  1. Picking Dandelions by Sarah Cunningham
  2. Girl Meets God: A Memoir by Lauren F. Winner
  3. O Me of Little Faith: True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling by Jason Boyett
  4. Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans
  5. In a Single Bound: Losing My Leg, Finding Myself, and Training for Life by Sarah Reinertsen
  6. Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir by Susan E. Isaacs
  7. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
  8. Thin Places: A Memoir by Mary E. DeMuth 
  9. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
  10. Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
  11. The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
  12. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace- One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson 
  13. Left to Tell: One Woman's Story of Surviving the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza
  14. Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  15. Same Kind of Different as Me by Hall and Moore
  16. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  17. Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris
  18. A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson
  19. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
  20. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wells
  21. A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer
  22. Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant by Daniel Tammet
  23. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama 
  24. Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks
  25. Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  26. The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz
  27. Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell 
  28. Gifted Hands by M.D., Ben Carson
  29. Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope by Van Ryn & Cerak
  30. No Such Thing as a Bad Day: A Memoir by Hamilton Jordon
  31. Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner
  32. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert 
  33. Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup
  34. On Writing by Stephen King
Today Rachelle has an excellent post with Resources for Writing Memoir.

Now she's presented me with a dilemma - do I study about writing memoir today or do I actually write memoir ...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Fave Five

The Five Fave things of my week. 

1. Finishing a half-marathon is definitely a favorite memory of this week - though I hated it at times while running it. (temps of 90+ caused the hate)

2. And the massage ten minutes after I finished the race was great! I was on that massage table next :) 

My training/running buddies - thanks gals!
Deb, me, Bev
(sorry Bev don't have any other pic of the three of us)

3. Receiving this book in the mail by Rachel Held Evans. 
Rachel is a friend I've met online. I look forward to the day her and I can have coffee together and talk theology. I enjoy, learn and am challenged by her blog posts - check them out for yourself and then go order her book. 

4. All the fresh fruit and vegetables of summer - strawberries, blueberries, etc.  Corn-on-the-cob is one of favorite! And it's high in iron, which I tend to be low in, so that means I need to eat 3 or 4 ears each time we have it. 
First of the season! From my favorite store Cozy Corneronly about 1/4 mile from my house!

5. Though my head is buried in my writing most days, I continue to love the connection with many friends online. Thank God I was born in 'such a time as this' with the internets! One great connection is Katdish - she's funny, creative, passionate, encouraging, etc. She has a great blogroll on her site with links to many of the other good blogs I enjoy. Expand your horizon by checking it out. 

Pause for a minute and reflect on the good things in your world. What are your five fave things of the week? 

Susanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts Friday's Fave - read her post and links for others here. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

1/2 Sauer - 1/2 Kraut Recap

I ran the 1/2 Sauer - 1/2 Kraut Half-Marathon on Sunday. I wrote a little about it here. Here's a more detailed recap. 

First ... Justine if you read this (I hope, I hope!)  how are you? It was great meeting you at the race - good job on your first half-marathon! So sorry to hear you were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital after you finished because you almost fainted. Would love to hear from you! 

I ran the first five miles in my Vibram Five FingersA number of runners asked me about running in them, so here's my take. I've been running in Vibrams since January. I was inspired to try after reading Born to Run. I started slowly, only doing 1/2 mile at first. I gradually built up my mileage in them - backing off whenever my calf ached from them. Yes, calf, not calves ...  I have no pain in my left calf when I run. I think some of that is because some of the nerves in my left calf have been cut, so areas of it are numb - so it might hurt, but I don't feel it. Also, I might subconsciously favor my left leg, though I've been trying not to. On the other hand (or foot) .... I have some pain in my right calf when I run. It looks 'okay' but it was also severely bruised inside. It has areas/lumps of scar tissue at a number of places. And I have a rod in my right femur because it was severely fractured, so I wonder how much that affects it.
Cool extra bonus I've had since wearing Vibrams ... I still had a few 'sleeping' nerves on my left foot - they weren't cut when I was injured, just damaged. The top of my foot and two of my toes were still numb (6 yrs post-accident) Since running in the Vibrams, those nerves are waking up. I have tingling sensations on the areas that were previously numb. I think it's due to the fact that each of my muscles in my foot and toes has to work, they aren't protected by a shoe. Though it has been and will be painful at times, I'm thrilled that more nerves are waking up ... the more, the stronger my foot will be. 

Since I had only trained up to five miles in the Vibrams, I didn't trust wearing them longer at the race. My husband was meeting me at mile five with my sneakers. My feet and legs felt good in the Vibrams until about mile four. Going uphill I felt something pull in the front of my right foot. This area had been giving me some problems on my long runs, but nothing major. 

At mile five, I switched to my Nike Free sneakers, which I've been running in for a few months and love them. But in the past few weeks, my right foot has been giving me some trouble. So, I put new insoles in them and made sure to have new socks - but within the first mile of putting them on, the pain I had felt in mile four increased. Darn! I tried to ignore it.

My friend and I planned to do the 13.1 miles in 8 minute running and 2 minute walking intervals. This was going great until around mile seven, I got chills, felt nausea and almost felt like I could faint. Guess temps in the high 80's with humidity of 200% was getting to me. I had no choice but to slow up and walk more. I wrote about this here and some of you gave great suggestions as to what might have been going on. Thanks!

Along with the heat and feeling lousy, the pain in my right foot increased throughout the rest of the race - so needless to say I was asking myself why I'm doing this in the first place - I could be home on the couch reading or tweeting! 

I had a headache and felt lousy for hours after the race ... and had no desire to ever run a race again. Usually the day or two after a race, I hurt more than right after it. I was almost disappointed that my legs didn't hurt more than they did on Monday and Tuesday, which meant that I could have pushed it harder as far as my legs were concerned. But feeling lousy sapped all my energy, so it was too hard to run faster or longer. 

Today ... I'm feel fine, even my right foot seems to be okay and I might be running a 5K tonight :) 

Life goes on ... one step at a time ... 

Monday, June 14, 2010

My New Best Friend

I 'met' Zach last night and he's my new best friend! I know just watching a video of someone on YouTube doesn't really make them your best friend, but I'm ignoring that fact and pretending ... Zach and I are best buds.

Zach is funny, honest and determined. And I love all those traits in a person. Zach has plans to live a full life and he won't let an obstacle like Cerebral Palsy stop him. I'm drawn to his story because he's funny, honest and determined (I know I said that before - I wanted to make sure you got it!)

I'm also drawn to his story because I had a sister Rosene who lived with CP and was also determined to overcome the obstacles in her life.

And I'm drawn to his story because I've overcome a few obstacles in life.

Zach's oprah deal from Zach Anner on Vimeo.

Vote for him! Go! Now! Yes, Right now! 
(I'll tell your mom if you don't!) 
Click and vote for him here!!

Update Monday afternoon: 
Here's a video Zach posted after he finds out that his video went viral this weekend. He loves you and the internet and wants to be in a Facebook relationship with everyone!

I don't know why Blogger can't keep this YouTube video within the boundaries I've set up. Which is another reason I'm breaking up with Blogger and getting in a relationship with a Wordpress Blog soon. I can't wait, I know Wordpress and I won't have any boundaries issues. 

Watch this video on YouTube instead.

And remember Vote for Zach here! 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Welcome Old and New Friends

Welcome - you might be here because you were at this full/half marathon and met me or saw this ... 

In a nutshell, my leg story is that I received severe injuries in an horrific accident in May, 2004. It nearly took my life and my leg. I am now writing a memoir about the past 6 years. I update this blog frequently, become my friend on  Facebook or follow me on Twitter or sign up for a RSS feed to see my updates. I will be getting a new website and blog soon (yes!) that will have a page with my story on it - for now
Click here for a post about the accident/injuries. 
This post has some accident pictures.
Click here for a post about my emotional recovery. 
I began running again in '08 and my local TV station did an interview/story about me - see it here. 

Congrats to you if you ran today. It was way too darn hot to run - what were we thinking!? Hope you are now recovering in a cool place now. Thank God for air-conditioning. 

This is me now, after finishing 13.1 miles (first half-marathon since being injured) actually 13.4 according to the running app on my Droid. I felt good until about mile 7. Then I started feeling lousy. With temps in the 90's, of course I was hot, but then I became chilled - yes, the chilled part is not good. Slightly nausous with chills and feeling like I could faint if I wasn't careful. I have never run in weather this hot! 

I was aiming to run 8 minutes/walk 2 minutes and finish between 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I had to modify that plan and walk more, but thankfully I was still able to finish in about 3 hours and 5 minutes. 

After drinking some gatorade and taking it easier, I felt better as I finished the race, but still not great. At Now, 5 hours after finishing, I feel okay, but have a dull headache. I will have to look over my food/rest/water/etc and try to figure out if it was something I did or didn't do. 

I am not sure if I drank too much and diluted the salt/electrolytes in my body and/or if I didn't drink enough - what do you think?

Sunday Saying - Perseverance

"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." - Walter Elliot

That's what I'm doing today on this trail today. 
13 short mile races to equal a half-marathon (13.1 miles)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Name and New Skort for 13 on the 13th

I have a second name for this site now. 
And I have a new skort for tomorrow's half marathon
with the name stitched on. 

So if people see my leg at a race and wonder what the heck happened, they know where to go to find out more information. 

Ready to do 13 on the 13th!
Sunday morning 8AM - the gun will sound. 
One step at a time ... I will (I think/hope) reach the finish line!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Step by Step ... 13 on the 13th!

I spent most of 2005 and 2006 in a hurricane. Yes, it was one of the longest hurricanes in history - ask any meteorologist. 

I dubbed it Hurricane Reality, because I had to deal with an unwanted reality following a horrific accident. I had too much pain and too many limitations. Depression followed. One dark night I wrote my obituary. 

I needed help - lots of help. After gentle mentoring, intense counseling, many prayers and some repair surgeries to help decrease my pain, I began having hope again. 

Reality was not what I wanted it to be, but I looked for beauty in every day - a flower, a hug, a good book, dark chocolate - step by step I found life worth living again.

I began going for walks. I slowly increased them - step by step ... 

Another repair surgery in 2008 gave my foot more range of motion and took away some more pain. I was a runner pre-accident and I began jogging again - step by step ... 

This morning I did 4.5 miles as the last training run for a half-marathon (13.1 miles) I'm doing this Sunday. I will run 8 minutes/walk 2 minutes and repeat till I fall across the finish line. 13 on the 13th!  

Physically I think I am ready for the race. I've followed a good training schedule. The longest run of 12 miles happened 2 weeks ago - it was hard work, but I did it and felt okay afterwards. 

I've been eating well - though there are still a few stubborn pounds clinging to me that I thought I'd have run off by now! 

Mentally I think I am ready ... just hoping my mind doesn't play any stupid tricks on me in the middle of the race - like trying to tell me it hurts too much or my funky leg justifies me quitting or I can't do this or something wimpy like that. 

This week I alternate between thinking I'm ready and being anxious about how it will go. 

Today though ... mostly I sit (I like my recliner after a run) in awe and amazement at the way a body can recover from traumatic injuries and the way a mind, a spirit and emotions can overcome a hurricane. 

My emotions have recovered, but I don't know about my mind because my sons like to tell me that I had brain damage, they just haven't told me yet ;) 

My body is not perfect, but it works amazing well, one step at a time ...

Hurricanes can't be overcome in a day - but step by step, they can be conquered. Me doing 13 on the 13th is evidence of that. 

Any hurricanes in your life that you need to overcome - taking it one step at a time? 

PS. If this post is formatted odd - blame Blogger, I can't seem to fix it. Can't wait for my new website with Wordpress blog!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Grieving the Loss of Eleven Smiles

The oil spill (timeline) in the Gulf of Mexico is a big problem. It's not good. It's devastating in so many ways. 

There's a lot of conversations happening about why the explosion happened and whose fault it is that the cleanup is not going faster and better. 

There's plenty of criticism, jokes and cartoons flying everywhere. Yes, some/most/all of it might be deserved. This photo is now making the rounds. 

In the middle of all this, there are people grieving. Eleven lives were lost on April 20th - eleven smiles that the world won't see again. 

Jason Anderson
Aaron Dale Burkeen
Donald Clark
Stephen Curtis
Roy Wyatt Kemp
Karl Kleppinger
Gordon Jones 
Blair Manuel 
Dewey Revette
Shane Roshto
Adam Weise

My thoughts are with the families and friends grieving the loss of Jason, Aaron, Donald, Stephen, Roy, Karl, Gordon, Blair, Dewey, Shane and Adam.  And I wonder if all the jokes, pictures, etc. adds to their pain.

A tribute to the eleven missing men

From YouTube - Oilfield workers catch a bad wrap but most don't understand it is a way of life for us and once in a while some of our brothers pay the ultimate sacrifice. The song is by Trace Adkins, it's called Missing You. Trace used to work for Transocean so it is fitting that his song speaks well about what we go through.

Here is a site where you can leave condolences for the worker's families.

PS. Why is the YouTube video cut off in my post? Can't wait for my new Wordpress blog coming soon!