Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Early To Bed. Early To Rise...yawn.

I think that's how the phrase goes. I wouldn't know really. But I will say that the last two nights I've been waking up at times that I think God could even be asleep (He needs to rest, right?). Ryan and I have a lot going on right now, and something in me is turning on way too early. Wow! I'm turning into my mother. I always wondered what that was like for her. Due to a nightmare, I was planning our summer Alaskan vacation at 3 am yesterday, and this morning I was up at 4:30 singing Hanson and remodeling a bathroom (in my head). Probably, the only other time I've been like this was when our friends called us to let us know they were in labor. The ironing and the dishes were put away before 7 am that day. Anyway, I decided to channel my energy and efforts into a well over do blog that I've been scripting (also in my head) for a month now.

Before this morning, the title of the blog was going to be - (wo)MAN, I Love My Job! Due to confidentiality, we're going to give my client a "fake" date and a "fake" gender. Yesterday evening a client came in that I hadn't seen in over a year; we're going to call this client, a "her," and leave it be. She's a great person, and I had actually thought about her often. She heard I was in Nashville working now, and she decided to come and see me. We went into the room for the "interview" part of the session, and she said she just wanted to relax, had a lot going on, and felt the need to come in. Ok. I thought. I can handle that. Before I stepped out of the room, she added...I've got a lot of emotional stuff I'm dealing with. Can you help me get rid of the "bad" stuff and push it out or something? I thought, "Whoah there. Kind of caught ME off guard." Reduce muscular tension - check. Increase circulation of blood and lymph- check. But I'm not "directly" asked to help get rid off emotionally binding and burdening stuff too often. People will say that they want to relax and get away, and people will leave in an altered state brought about by releasing and balancing the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects, but I'm not usually verbally called on before hand for such a task...you know to personally push out the emotionally "bad" stuff. Honestly, when she said that, it lit a fire under me. It didn't frighten me. It hit me like a ton of bricks (how many times do I need to be hit to remember) what the power of touch is capable of, and I get to be apart of that, assist that, watch that take place on a regular basis. Just so you know - she left relaxed, happy, and balanced. It's amazing what touch can do.

You'll all probably get a ton of information in the future about the class I took last month. But for now, in a nutshell, I went to Atlanta for 4 days last month and took a course that certifies you in Infant Touch and Massage. The teacher, Maria, helped pioneer the movement over the last couple of decades. She parted ways with some of the women because she felt the need for individualized touch sessions instead of the usual routine taught to parents for "well babies." She works for the University of New Mexico Hospital now. She makes home visits and works in the NICU at the hospital. They work a lot with drug exposed babies and premies. It was an incredible experience. We were in class for 4 days from 9-5 and learned the entire time. We had families come in, and it was one of my most amazing experiences. With this approach we teach parents how to touch and massage their infants in specific ways designed just for them. Some benefits for parents massaging their infants...where do I start? On the infant side - bonding, attachment, communication, body and sensory awareness, sleep deeper and longer (yeah!), stimulate GI and circulatory systems, neurological development, regulate state transitions, helps digestion and colic, regulates all physiological systems, relaxation, and that's not all of them. And then on the parent side, builds competence and confidence, ease stress, helps relax their child, relaxation and unwinding, communication, bonding - do I need to go on?! I totally enjoyed watching the families come in and #1 bond with their babies and #2 at the same time enhance their children's overall health. Blew me away! Maybe later I'll share specific stories. I'll ask the parents. So, right now...I'm in the certification process. I have to do some reading, teach at least 15 sessions, take an exam, do a little research, observe another instructor, and then I'll be good to go. If you're interested in knowing more, I would love to talk about it. And if you're a new mom or dad and you're not in my reach, I'll contact the instructors and find one for you in your area. Once Ryan gets up, I'll get him to help me attach a picture of the people I took the class with in Atlanta. They were awesome!

Hey, the sun is rising! Maybe I'll watch my Hanson dvd now.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

We Have A Blog???

So, we had this brillant idea this summer to start a family blog...well, that's great but we never told anyone we had it. So, I guess until now...it was a private diary or something like that.
Here's an update on the Jenkins Family.
I (Kari) started a new job a few weeks ago. I left Studio Gaven and the room renting situation and moved my massage practice into Nashville. I'm at a neighborhood massage studio called Practical Massage Therapy. I feel like it's one of my wisest moves. The people there are great, and they obviously understand massage. So, I'm starting to build my business in Nashville. I'm also offering house calls to a few of my Franklin based clients. The new website is www.practicalmassage.com. Check it out when you get a chance. I think it's incredible.
I (Ryan) have been the same 'ol - same 'ol. Work is well, although this month I am in the process of replacing computers for all 67 of my employees. This is a job that takes alot of time and patience. Aside from work, I have been playing in a band since December of last year (2005). We are Losing Home. That is our bands name, not a description of mine and Kari's luck. We have only played a few shows, but we practice every week in the hopes that the shows will come more often once our newly recorded demo is finished. Check us out at Losing-Home.com. I made the web site, so no cracks! Oh, and speaking of losing homes, Kari and I have begun another adventure together!
It's Kari again. Since we both work downtown now, we knew we would need to make the move back closer to Nash-vegas. It just makes sense. Yesterday we put our house on the market, along with 11 others in our neighborhood, but we'll see what happens. For those of you who haven't been to our humble abode, you can check it out by following these simple instructions. Go to www.realtracs.com, click on Search for a Property, and at the bottom of the page put 812331 as the MLS #, and we should be there. We had to make it a model home look for the sale, so a lot of the personality and pictures are gone.
Well, I hope everyone is well. And I think after actually sending a blog out, we'll be more consistent. We will see. Take care!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Our Canoe Trip

I'm so excited this is my first blog! Thanks Hollie and Audrea for showing it to me.

On July 3rd, Ryan and I went on 9 mile canoe trip down the Duck River. It's a little place called River Rat's that we found one day on a backroad near our house. The guy just walked us to this gravel road and said, "The ramp is down there, and there are some boats for you to use. Call us when you get to the outpost and want us to come pick you up." He tossed us some paddles and some lifevests, and that was it. So, we walked down there. And the adventure began.

First, the canoe was heavier than we thought. So the lovely Ryan had to push it down the gravel road to the river. It was too heavy for me. We loaded our backpack and cooler and with direct orders from the hubby, I hopped on in. Ready for the peaceful day!! He put one foot in the canoe and we leaned. Me being the serving wife tried to correct it by leaning the other way. Over We Went. It took a couple of times of flipping the canoe before we figured it out. Us and everything that belonged to us (books, food, etc) - DRENCHED...and we haven't even left the ramp. We figured it out eventually, and off down the river like Huck Finn we went. At that point, I was glad the guy just dropped us off. He would of had a good laugh at our expense. We did enough of that for everyone.

The ride was peaceful. Ryan was teaching me to steer after a while. There were cliffs all around us, and we saw so many turtles and fish. All of a sudden, I hear rapids. Yes, a waterfall. I knew it. The worse part about it was that I had to anticipate it for hours. Because you know you start hearing it way before you actually get to it. Well, we made it. I paddled so hard, and then held on for dear life. It turned out the rapid was actually more like a Class .4 for those rafters out there. Yes...not Class 4, but a Class .4. We hit a few of those that day, and each time I took it so seriously. We just laughed.

The whole day was pretty amazing. We didn't see a single person on the river. The water was so still. We hardly saw any civilization...except for a couple of trailers, rebel flags, some nice cabins, and a lot of homemade rope swings. We pulled over and ate some lunch. And successfully, we reentered the water without a flip. We did see a deer running up the cliffs. Oh, there was this one time where a mule deer starting barking. Ryan said he thought it was a mating call. I told the deer that I wasn't interested and paddled harder. We also saw some cows and bulls that made it down to the river. Don't worry I paddled harder then too.

When we made it to the pull out spot, there was this ropeswing hanging from the bridge. We couldn't resist. We had a time or two on the ropeswing before some young kids made it down the river. Then, we pulled out the "maturity card" and let them enjoy it. That day was an amazingly fun adventure for us. With all of our mad canoeing skills, does anyone want to join us some time?!

Remember..."Life is not a problem to be solved; it is an adventure to be lived."

The Gap

A few months ago, Kari and I took a trip to the mountains of North Carolina. Mom and Ken live in Asheville and have been bragging about the roads around where they live and how great they are for riding motorcycles. So we decided to take them up on their offer and loaded up the FZ1 in the back of the truck to tag along on a weekend of riding.

Kari, Chaco, and I all stuffed in the front of our truck and drove the 5 hours to the Smokies and the best roads within 1000 miles. We left on a Friday and spent that evening cooking out on the
back deck and relaxing, talking about bikes and what had been going on in our life.

On Saturday, we woke up early and put our Yamaha FZ1 and their Honda Magna in a trailer and took the hour long trip to an area of the North Carolina Mountains called Deals Gap. There is a road in this area of the country that has 318 curves in 11 miles with no joining roads. It is called the tail of the dragon. We parked the truck and began our day of riding around 10:00 or so.

It was beautiful! Wonderful roads and great views. There were so many motorcycles! Hundreds and hundreds of them. Kari and I have a communication system on our motorcycle, so we can talk while we are riding. So we just rode back and forth through the curves, talking and enjoying each other's company. When we made it to the tail of the dragon, I was a little nervous, because there are no roads where I live that are this curvy. After a the first few curves I got used to it though and settled in to a rhythm. There were lots of cruisers just taking their time on the road, but then there were many sport bikes who were using the road for a race track and passing on the right hand side of the road. Very dangerous!, but I do have to say that it was amusing. We rode for a couple of hours and then found a fast food joint to eat lunch.
After lunch we got gas and started back up the mountain. Ken was letting me lead, so I decided to pick up the pace a little bit. The curves were very long and sweeping, much different from the tight switchbacks the tail of the dragon has. I lead for a bit and decided to stop at an overlook that was up ahead, just before we got to the Cherohala Skyway.

After the stop, we jumped on the skyway. It runs along the top of the mountain range and is filled with beautiful views and overlooks. It is fast paced and many riders ride it like a race track. Not too far from our last stop we came upon a bit of a traffic jam (motorcycles only) and we quickly found out why. There were a group of men in leather racing suits gathered around a guy lying on the ground. His helmet was on the ground and he was moving around, but he deffinitley had a hard accident. His bike was no where to be found, so I am guessing it went over the edge of the road and down the hill. We made it through the slow down and began making it down the road again, only we weren't talking and enjoying the ride. The rest of the trip down to the next stop was a little somber. We stopped at an overlook not too far from the accident scene and had a snack. That helped us cool down a bit. I read an update online that no one was killed the weekend we were there. That was good.
We decided to head on down the mountain and go to a nature area for a few minutes. Then it was back on the bikes and to the souvenier store for some T-Shirts and stickers to commemorate the great day of riding. We then went and ate bar-b-que in a little town called Robbinsville. Another gas stop and back up the mountain to the Deals Gap meeting area. Hundreds of motorcycles gathered at one place, just talking about the days ride. There is a tree at this stop that is covered in motorcycle parts from bikes that have wrecked on the tail of the dragon. All of the parts have notes and signatures from the riders. Some were funny, some serious.
After that, it was time for our ride home. I decided to lead at this point and it was a very nice ride. One of my favorite parts of the trip. The air was cool and the sunlight was beginning to hide behind the trees. I sort of felt like a kid who had been at an amusement park or summer camp all day, and now I had to leave. I wanted to stay for another day, or days.
The next day we went for another short ride near where my parents live and then spent the evening resting our tired rear ends. Monday Kari and I made our way back home and joined back in with the daily hum and drum of life. Since then we have ridden the roads around our house, but it is just not the same as being at Deals Gap. So, I guess my parents had every right to brag about riding those roads (and they still do!). Hopefully soon we will make our way back there to join in the fun again.

Friday, June 30, 2006

A Cussing Out

Ever been cussed out? Better yet, have you ever been cussed out by someone you work with?

Yesterday afternoon I was cussed out by someone I work with. Well known as a (not so nice person) for lack of a better term, this person is avoided by much of the office for good reason it seems.
I am not saying I am any better than anyone else in the office, but I do see and talk to this person on a regular basis because of the nature of my job. Basically, in order to do my job correctly, I have to communicate with this person.
On a regular day, this person (notice I am not using any names to protect the innocent/guilty) is fairly calm and normal to work with. In my relating to them, this person only gets upset on a rare basis. And although they are very "needy" in the terms my job would use, they seem to fairly understanding on a regular basis.
Needless to say, this has been the first "cussing" experience I have had with this person...I have had other "cussing" experiences with others in the office, but not this person.
I will not go deeply into the situation, only to say that from my standpoint, the cussing at was not merited. This person did not have a reason to let loose verbally on me, but they did anyway. And let me insert that there was someone in this persons office that they had a mind to impress also.
So it seems like I was the cutting board for a bit of frustration with the persons own mistakes and the persons need to impress their visitor.
What do I do now? Now that I have been the victim of a cussing out, where do I go with my communication with this person? I have a thought to be a jerk back, or give only silence back.
But it seems somewhere in my mind, maybe in the portion that leads me to better things, I think I should be nice. I should go above and beyond, not to admit a mistake on my part, but to fix a problem that wasn't mine in the first place. And not for some sort of reward or accolation, but for sanities sake alone.
By reacting in a loving/nice manner, maybe I will mirror what I have been taught by Christ and forgive.

Monday, June 26, 2006

You Meet The Nicest People On A Harley

You never know who may live right beside you. For me, it has always been that guy that owns two Harley Davidson motorcycles. For me, a staunch Harley...let's just say "disliker", that was all I needed to know;
For a year and a half now Kari and I have lived in our first house, surrounded by a hundred folks in the same type houses with little yards, all less than 10 feet from each other. It's weird how all of us never talk to each other except for a head nod or a wave when passing by on the sidewalk or watering your lawn.
Even our dogs seem to communicate more.
Kari and I have houses on either side of us. In one house there is an old couple. They have moved down from New York to be here in our quaint little town. Or should I say that their children have moved them down. Their children, who are probably in their 50's moved George and Virginia down here to be close. The "kids" come over and mow the lawn and spend time at the house. But that is all we see of them. Just glimpses and waves. I spoke to George one time at length about dryer vents. He had a hard time hearing me. That has been the extent of our relationship.

The house on the other side was much of the same until lately. When we first moved in, a middle aged woman moved in around the same time. Again, the only communication was a quiet hello and a nod of the head. Our realitor told us she was a "Harley" person. Soon after she moved in we noticed a man of her age had moved in also. We weren't sure if he was her husband or boyfriend, but in a neighborhood like this, all you really do is speculate.
A year and a half has passed with only a slight hello and a small "great day today" comment about the weather. Once a day he would start his loud Harley Davidson and would let it idle. Glub, glub, glub. If you live anywhere in suburbia, you've probably heard one. Every few days, except for the coldest winter months, he would jump on for a quick ride down the street and back. Most Sundays he and the lady would take a ride and not come home until later in the afternoon. We had a connection with this family because of our love of bikes, but that was as far as it went.
Then one day, while I was working on my Yamaha motorcycle in my garage, the man came over and startled me with a loud comment. A question really, but phrased in a manly loud voice.
"Mind if I mow yer yard?"
My answer, being the "manly" guy I am....(heh), was; "na, don't worry about it, I was going to get to it this afternoon."
I thought he was telling me my grass was getting too tall. He then described to me how he had this riding lawn mower that he used for another house he was trying to sell and that he used it for this little plot he had with this house (which really didn't have much grass growing in it anyway, seeing as how this was a fairly new house). He told me he felt bad using this huge riding lawn mower to mow his little lawn and that it would only take a few minutes to mow our backyard.
"Well,..I guess you can go ahead, but you really don't have to.", giving him a way out, just so I don't have to feel like I owe him something. After a small conversation about motorcycles and our motorcycle history, I went back to working on my bike, and he went back to preparing his mower for the task ahead. I was quite surprised! Surprised enough to call Kari and leave a message on her cell phone about what had happened. Then a few moment past and he came back over.
"I'll go ahead and take out yer front yard while I'm at it and that way all you'll have to do is trim. It'll only take a few minutes." He said.
"If you would like, but I can do it...my lawn mower is going to stop working if it sits here too long." I explained to him.
He told me that it was no problem, that he was more than happy to help out another cyclist.
"The less time we take doin' this stuff, the more time we can git to ridin'." he told me.
I deffinitley agreed with this.
And off he went, mowing both lawns.
I thanked him verbally, but felt like I owed him something, but he kept reassuring me that it was not a big deal. He didn't mind at all. "Anything you need at all, you just holler!"

A month later, Kari and I had to go to a wedding out of town. We were gone for 5 days, and I won't lie, my grass was not short. But my time was and I knew I would have a day when I got back to mow. But, when we returned, my grass was short. I could not thank him enough the next time I saw him outside of our garages (he stands outside every few nights and smokes a cigarette, I guess to let some steam off.)
"Not a problem man, anything you need at all, you just holler!" he always said.

After that, there was more communication. More hellos and how ya doin's. More conversations about riding motorcycles and the best roads around.

Just a couple of days ago, I had a motorcycle problem. I couldn't get air in my tires at the gas station. The nozzle was not creating a seal with the tire. This was causing the pressure in the tire to go down. I visited three gas stations and could not get the tire pumped up. So I quit before I made it so bad I couldn't get home, and rode slowly back to the house. I was fairly upset, because I couldn't understand why my tires wouldn't take air.
Then I heard this noise...glub, glub, glub. He was starting up his Harley for his regular evening run.
I jumped up and ran outside to say hello and ask if he had any suggestions.
"We'll, I'm not sure, never heard of that before" he said.
He handed me a foot pump made to pump up bicycle tires. "You can maybe try this, but I doubt yewl git far with it."
I thanked him and brought it over to my garage to start pumping away and see if I could get anywhere. Sure enough, the pressure in the tire began going up.
Then after only a few cycles of pumping, he walks into the garage with a canister full of pressurized air. Try this, it may get you somewhere.
I placed the nozzle on my tire, and sure enough, the tires pumped right up to where they were supposed to be.
"Thanks!" I said, "you saved my tires! Where did you get this can at, I would like to buy myself one?"
"Well, you can git one at the farm supply store down the street. But I tell you what, you can keep that one over here and if I ever need it, I'll come askin fer it. I've never used it in the years I've had it anyway. And if you ever git yerself one, you can bring that'en back" He said.
Isn't it funny how you can see Christ in the most unusual places. That seems to be the way God has worked in mine and Kari's life.

Friday, June 23, 2006