Tuesday, March 27, 2007
So, on the way back from Atlanta this afternoon, the Balance Bar craving set in. I had planned to go to the gym when I reached Nashville and I needed some fuel (good excuse!).
So I stopped at an interesting looking gas station / restaurant and to my delight, they had my favorite kind of Balance Bar. I glanced at the expiration date - Oct. Great! Done! I payed and headed back to my car.
Once in the car, I tore the wrapper off the bar and took a big bite. Ugh!!! Hard as a rock and nasty. I looked at the wrapper again: Oct 10, 2006. Ugh again!!! Spit out! Whaaaahhhh - now what? So I returned to the store (threw the bar in the trash on the way) and went to see if there was any other inferior kind of Balance Bar that actually had a decent expiration date. Nope. Disappointed, I reached for a Power Bar and went to the cash register.
"You should remove your Balance bars from the shelf", I said. "They are really old."
The manager went off to look at the situation while the very new cashier actually rang up my Power Bar! They didn't even offer to give it to me for free. "Sorry about that", was all I got from the manager. Fine.
I headed back to the car and started munching on the Power Bar (now those are really inferior). All is well. Or so I think... Until I'm 3 miles or so into my run and my stomach starts cramping up. Great. Now I remember the reason why I don't eat Power Bars... and you don't really want to hear the rest.
So, to wrap it up, the moral of the story is this:
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
It did make me feel better (albeit temporarily), but even more importantly (once I finally received them after much hassle with UPS due to a missing Suite #) they have changed my life forever.
Did you know that airplanes are actually very noisy? I never realized this until I took my first flight with my new treasure. Oh my Gosh! (I can't say "Oh my God!" because Rebecka's teacher says we shouldn't take the Lord's name in vain - gotta love this separation of Church and State thing)
Anyway - what a difference a $350 pair of noise cancelling headphones make. I can actually hear myself think now. I am getting work done - and getting rest as well.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
It's exciting to be taking care of my body again.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Could a lemon so sweet taste so sour?
Could a rose in bloom wilt?
Could the sun ever be overpowered by night and its darkness?
Could we mourn for somebody we love so?
Will the God Almighty look down on us?
Will the God Almighty smile at us?
Will the God Almighty wander with us?
Will the God Almighty cherish us?
Rebecka GreenFeb. 15 , 2007
Friday, March 02, 2007
But we all say that when people die, right?
"Oh, that person was so great!"
"Such a wonderful human being."
This time - there was not one exaggeration in the room as people came up to the microphone to talk about Hilda. It was all real and it was all about the simple things...
Like how she was left alone with four small children during WWII while my grandfather was in the reserves and she never uttered a word of complaint. Or how she sewed all of her five children's clothes. Or how she always had an open door policy for acquaintances (and strangers at times) to stay overnight while driving through town or stop for a home-cooked meal.
My grandmother was a creature of habit. Every morning, she had a cup of hot water with honey - it's good for you. She ate the same cereal mix with "long milk". She read the Bible. She prayed. In fact, I think the rituals themselves is what really was good for her. She always had a sense of calm and was never rushed.
When she was 86 years old, she came over to the US to visit her daughter with family in Minnesota and our family in Atlanta. One of the stories that was told today is that when my aunt asked her to stay a little longer, my grandmother replied: "I can't. I have to get home and sow the potatoes." It was part of the yearly ritual of getting her garden ready.
She stayed in her house with the garden that held not only potatoes, but lettuce, onions, peas, carrots, strawberries, raspberries, apple trees, and lots of beautiful flowers almost all the way until her death at 96 1/2.
The last few days of her life, she spent in the hospital, but she did not let go of her rituals. In fact, her last act was to call the nurse for her morning honey water. When the nurse arrived with the warm drink, Hilda had moved home to be with God and dance for joy with her husband Helmer who left this earth 23 years ago.
And what are my favorite memories at farmor's?
Visiting farmor by myself as a small child and getting to ride the bus with her to the grocery store and press the stop button. She gave me a shiny 5 krona coin to spend on "something tasty".
Swinging in the hamock under the big bush.
Walking into the house to be met by the aroma of farmor's cooking and eating vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce out of my favorite dessert dishes.
Dumping out the contents of the button basket on the kitchen table and sorting the contents based on various criteria.
Getting the call from my dad that I had a new baby sister (we had been shipped off to farmor's so my very pregnant 45-year-old mother could get some rest).
Picking the white "weed" flowers that grew all over the yard and making pretty garlands.
Playing games with farmor - especially Scrabble and Yatzee. Trying to beat farmor at Scrabble was virtually impossible. She was also the queen of cross-word puzzles.
Hilda lived such a simple life, yet meant so much to so many people. As I sat in church today and listened to all the wonderful things her family and friends had to say about her, I thought: "I want to be more like her." It's a lofty goal, but it never hurts to try, right?
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I get to the Atlanta airport in plenty of time to make my 4:30 PM flight to Stockholm via Houston and Amsterdam (don't ask). I change out of my black suit and into my cozy striped PJs and meander over to the Continental area to check in. I try the kiosk first. "You need special help" it says. Well, I already know that... So I walk over to the counter to get help.
"There's no reservation under Anna Green."
Great - not again (I just had a very similar experience the night before at a particular Courtyard Marriott. It didn't end well).
"Where are you going?"
"Stockholm. But first to Houston and then to Amsterdam."
"OK. It looks like you are flying Delta to Houston."
Great. Delta is in the other terminal. So I walk over to the other side and get in line for the kiosks there. Again with the "You need special help". Hmmm, maybe I can't use the kiosk for international travel...? So where the heck is the international line? All the way in the corner apparently... And the line is HUGE! At this point, it's starting to get really close. (At least it feels like it. My phone, which I use as my watch, has been dead for at least an hour.) But what can I do? So I wait patiently.
Then the airport people decide that the line is indeed too big (go figure) and they herd the people in the back of the line (including yours truly) over to the First Class / Business Class counter. (I'm sure the First Class and Business Class travelers were thrilled about that.)
So I finally get up to the counter and Angel #1 (I just don't know it yet) looks at me, asks about luggage, and utters the words that I really, really, really didn't want to hear: "You are too late." NOOOOOOOOOOO! The tears start welling up and I try to explain between sobs that I was confused about the airline, so I stood in the wrong line and then I couldn't find the international line and now I'm going to miss my grandmother's funeral in Sweden. The sobbing and the funeral part (which was true) really helped. She said that there is a 5:30 PM Delta flight straight from ATL to Amsterdam and if I can get Continental to re-issue the ticket, I can come straight back to her and she will check me in.
I walk (sobbing) to the other side of the airport (again) and grab a Continental person. One look at me and she's all: "How can I help you dear?". I manage to blurt out my story and before I know it Angel #2 has booked me on the Delta flight and I am on my way back to Angel #1. I stand and wait for what feels like an eternity (I have no idea because my phone is still dead) while she finishes up her current customer and then jump ahead of some very annoyed graying business men to get checked in before it's too late again.
Angel #1 looks at the computer and says: "But they didn't re-issue, they just reserved your seat on that flight." It sounded bad (and expensive), so I told her that Angel #2 was going to re-issue while I walked over to Delta (which was also true). Angel #1 tries to call Angel #2. No answer...
So... Angel #1 actually leaves her post (and many angry gray-haired men in gray suits) and walks all the way over to Delta with me to get it all straightened out. Angel #1 and #2 talk and before I know it I have a boarding pass in my hand, approved tickets, and a luggage tag. I get the short-cut directions to the security checkpoint and off I go.
Wow - it really happened! I'm thinking that I'm probably running late at this point, so I try to hurry through security (except there is really no humanly way to do that) and then I hear: "Ms. Green! I knew I would find you here!" It's Angel #2. She has more tickets for me. Then she performs another miracle: She takes all my stuff and puts it at the front of the line. Kick ass! I touch her shoulder and say: "You are an angel!" She thanks me and disappears into the crowd.
Of course, once she's gone, I end up being one of the "chosen" to have to get special screening, so the devil or whoever is fighting the angels is still in the game. In the end though, it's up to me to get on that plane before it takes off without me.
As I run the final stretch toward gate E17, I hear the man in the speakers: "Final boarding call for Delta flight 3824 to Amsterdam". Yes - I am going to make it. I plop down in my seat, take a deep breath, joyfully notice that there is no one sitting next to me, and send a quick "Thank YOU!" to God Almightly for sending his Angels to give me some special help.