Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Balls. What a fun word! It can mean so many different things. Cheese balls, chocolate balls, beach balls and most recently in my life, furballs. I myself have been one GIANT stressball these days. And if you know me and my close friend Ellen, one of our favorite exclamations when things go bad is..."Oh, Balls!". Which, by the way, is actually an old-time phrase; the book I just recently finished, East of Eden, written in the 50's, had characters in it that would use that phrase. It's a great way to proclaim frustration, excitement, anger, or surprise, and lets face it, it's just a really funny word to say. You should try it; it feels really good to say :).

All silliness aside, I want you all to know how much your thoughts, prayers and well-wishes sent my way mean. I really believe I have some of the greatest friends and family in the entire world. The messages, texts and emails helped me get through a very stressful time and helped me do one of my favorite things- laugh. Your suggestions and support mean more than you ever know, and I now realize that when someone is having a rough time, even if they aren't reaching out for help, words of encouragement can make all the difference. You guys are truly amazing and I'm not quite sure how I have gotten so lucky in my life to know so many wonderful people, but please know I feel blessed to know each and every one of you. I get so busy and have trouble staying in touch over the phone, but that doesn't mean I don't miss you, think about you or appreciate you in my life! Things are VERY up in the air right now in my life and that is a scary, scary feeling. I am a creature of habit and although I do thrive in chaos, I do enjoy stability as well. It seems like everyone I know have lives on the the straight and narrow path; it's like they are doing the perfect math equation to get the perfect answer. My life is a MILLION different equations and I have no clue what the answer will end up being. I feel so incredibly busy and I feel as though I keep spinning my wheels, but am moving no where. I have realized though the past few weeks this wheel spinning has allowed me to meet all the people that have supported and encouraged me. Everything happens for a reason, I firmly believe that, but it has been a bit difficult to find these reasons. I am hoping that one day (hopefully soon!), I will be able to look back in retrospect on the difficult times and say "Ah hah, so THAT's what that happened!". I love when I am able to do that! After being irrational and spending Friday crying and eating cupcakes, I have been able to look at things a little more rationally and am determined to make things work. They may be unplanned circumstances, but some of you have shed some clarity on the situation and it just may be a positive thing. I sure hope so.

On another note, something that I thought would be a huge inconvenience and hindrance on my life has turned out to be very exciting .I recently rescued a kitty from the outdoors about two months ago. Her name is Layla and I have to say, she is a pretty cool cat. Except she LOVES to eat. I mean, like a bag of catfood a week. She gets it honestly, since me and Laramie love to eat too! My roommates and I noticed that she had been growing quite large from the mere 6 pounds that she was when I got her. We went back and forth, could she be pregnant? Does she have worms? Is she just eating wayyyy too much? I had been holding off on the vet because I have her on the Mecklenburg County waiting list to get everything done for free since she was a rescue. Well, we got our answer Sunday. Out of nowhere, while I was at work, out came 5 babies! UNDER MY BED nonetheless. I got a text from Ellen saying, "uh Courtney, congratulations, you're a Grandma!". I guess Layla was just hanging out downstairs looking like she had gone on Jenny Craig or something, so they realized she must have given birth. They went to my room and heard some squeaking, and sure enough, she had made her nest under my bed. I am amazed by the whole process. Not a drop of blood or mess anywhere. She cleaned it all up. What a champ. Getting able to witness animal instinct first hand is incredible. The fact that she knew she was going to have them, went upstairs, picked a safe place, popped them out, cleaned them, and now knows exactly how to care for them, is mind-boggling! She doesn't question her instincts, she just does it. I need to follow that pattern for my own life. And as stressed out as I first was when I heard the news, I have to say, kittens have been a pleasant surprise so far. At first I thought, "Just my luck; here I try to do a good deed and rescue an animal, and now I have SIX CATS living under my bed. My life is a joke." But, I have to say, knowing I was coming home to kittens after work Sunday night put a huge smile on my face. I felt like a doting grandmother, telling everyone at work the great news. They are very self-sufficient, and so dang cute! There is a possibility I will be able to find homes for all of them, which is a huge plus. If any of you want one, feel free to take one!!! The only one that for sure has a home is the calico. To sound cliche, it has been very cool to witness the miracle of life, even if it has just been with kittens. I can't imagine what it feels like to have an actual child! Wow.

Thank you again for all your positive thoughts in my direction; I need them all and I can't thank you enough! My longtime best friend Michelle gets into town this evening from NYC so that makes life all the more better. So excited! Enjoy the pictures of "my grandchildren" =) Oh, and mom, if you are reading this, surprise! You know how you told me not to rescue that cat? Well, I did. And now I have six cats....whoops. Love you!
Proud Mama!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid....Jesus

A very sweet friend sent that to me today. It's funny how people are there for you just when you least expect it, just when you need it most. I have hit a bit of a rough patch. Nothing serious, and I know I'll make it out ok, but things in my life are very uncertain right now and I'm in a pretty dark place. I don't know how many of you read this, but for those of you who do, if you pray, please add me to your list. I need a few right now. I have wonderful people in my life and couldn't ask for better friends and family, so thank you for being there for me. Life could be much worse, but I could use some stability in my life. It feels like I'm constantly changing things, but the change is lateral. There are some people who seem so full-filled and satisfied, and I want that so badly for myself. I want to be at peace with where my life is going. Any prayers or good thoughts my way would be much appreciated. Thanks :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thou Mayest

I'm happy to say I'm still working hard toward most parts of my New Year's Resolutions (aside from the piles in my room- that is a lost cause). I finished another book and it was a very thought-provoking, entertaining read.

John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" took me a few weeks to get into, but once I was in, I was hooked. It was written in 1952, but aside from a few language differences, you would never know. The book oozes sexuality and controversy, and shockingly, the words they used back then were very similar to the words we use today. In short, the book explores the difference between good and evil, and what makes one person inherently "bad" over another. I was fascinated by this because as a psychology major, I have always been intrigued as to why some people seem to be good eggs, and some people seem to be pure evil. I have always taken a humanistic approach, which is a viewpoint that in general, all humans are born good, and it is circumstances in life (abuse, neglect, chemical imbalance, etc) that makes a person "bad". The book explores concepts and phrases from the Bible that address evil. Two of the main characters, Aron and Cal, are what the author uses explore his theory. Their lives parallel Cain and Abel's from the Bible in many ways. Cal and Aron's mother seemed to be inherently evil (she killed her parents as a young child and then became a prostitute) while their father was one of the most kind, naive, good people to walk the earth. He married their mother having no clue about her past; she was very manipulative, used him for everything he had (he was wealthy) and left him with the boys shortly after they were born to go run a whorehouse. Ironically, their father is not even their biological father- their mother slept with their father's brother one evening and was impregnated by him (this is not revealed until later in the book) Evil seemed to follow her throughout the whole book. She is cold, heartless, and will do anything to anyone to better her own life. She murders on numerous occassions to get what she wants. The father becomes very depressed about being a single father, but is surrounded by good people that literally end up slapping him straight, and convincing him his job as a father is more important than his heartbreak and he is able to realize this and become the father he needs to be to raise his boys. The boys grow up thinking their mother is dead, and when on accident, Cal discovers who his mother really is, he struggles with the realization that the evil that was in his mother could very well be in him as well. While Aron was always doing what was right, Cal seemed to get a thrill from finding people's weaknesses and feeding upon them. It was something he didn't feel he could help. He didn't know why he did it, other than that it made him feel powerful. He worried he inherited this trait from his mother, who used people her whole life, and never really loved anyone. He battles this throughout the entire book and wonders if it is a lost cause to try and be a good person. There is a particular phrase that is examined by the best friend and farm hand (Lee) of the twin's father that is in the Hebrew version of the Bible- "timshel". In translation, it means thou mayest. Lee was a very educated man and studied several religions to better grasp the concept of God. He couldn't seem to get "timshel" out of his head, and goes on a quest to find out what the Bible means by it.

"[The Hebrew] word "Timshel"- thou mayest-that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if Thou mayest- it is also true that thou mayest not...[thou mayest] makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and in his filth...he still has the great choice. He can choose his course and fight through it and WIN."

Lee tries is best to show Cal that just because he has a tendency toward being evil, he has a choice, and can choose to be good. Basically, the entire book explores the concepts of good and evil and where free will lies amongst the spectrum. One doesn't have to be good; one doesn't have to be bad. One is whatever one chooses to be. I loved reading about this theory. I'm not sure if I necessarily agree with it, because I do believe that some people are faced with circumstances in life that really do not give them a fighting chance to be good, but I do feel like human beings are powerful and can overcome terrible, terrible things in life, and use them for good. I left out a lot ( I think the book is close to 800 pages) but that is the general concept of it, and I highly recommend this book. It provides a lot of food for thought, and anyone fascinated by human behaviors will enjoy it. It provides hope for mankind. We are neither destined to be good or destined to be bad; we are whatever we choose to be. I will leave you with a quote from the book that I absolutely loved:

"Riches seem to come to those poor in spirit; the poor in interest and joy. To put it straight- the very rich are a poor bunch of bastards."

Even without money, you can be rich- it's all how you view your life :)

Anyways, here's a little update on my life- I ran a 5k with Ellen this past weekend and it was absolutely miserable. Not only was it 25 degrees in the morning (ridiculous for Charlotte in March!), but I just felt like complete junk the whole race. Thank goodness the company was at least good. My training has been faster than I ran the race. I believe my final time was 21:10. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible, but I should have been faster. The fact that I didn't run but once during the week leading up to it probably didn't help. I just haven't been able to find a lot of time to work out lately. I did get a trophy at least and some cool race freebies; those of you who know me know I love freebies and I love winning some hardware even more. No clue why. Anyways, thanks Ellen for enduring a painful morning with me and hopefully our next race will be much more enjoyable :)

Not-so-flattering picture from the Hardcore trail run a few weeks back.

Hope everyone had a very happy Monday! Spring is here!!!