Thursday, March 31, 2011

Honk for Peace?

March 30, 2011 at the Corner of Broadway and Providence

Honk for Peace?

I’m absolutely against any type of preemptive war. As a young child my most vivid dreams involved birds and war--not together! Now, remembering a dream even 15 minutes out of bed is unusual. But the bird and war dreams were lifelike, sleepwalking dreams. 

But back to the honking.

If one ever passes the corner of Broadway and Providence late Wednesday afternoon, every Wednesday for the past ten years (actually 9 1/2), you know the folks bearing anti-war, honk for peace signs. Twice in recent months the honkers have jarred me. Normally, I come south on Providence from Stephens College and they are in plain sight but driving north on Providence toward Walnut Street offers a different perspective. If not stopped at the traffic light, one enters an unexpected and startling honking zone. 

I’ve slammed on my brakes before. Really. Once, I thought someone was honking to get my attention; the other because I was flat out startled by the chorus of honks. My first thought, "Is an ambulance or fire truck headed this way?”

Is Honking for Peace a waste of time? I don't know. On one hand, there is way too much silence about the warS in the general public. The honking is not meant to influence politicians but rather to get the attention of people like you and me. Grassroot efforts can make a real difference and effect change.

For 9 1/2 years a dedicated but small group has used this tactic to no avail (need I remind you of Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya). Perhaps it may be the time for Peaceworks to evaluate the value of continued honking.

As a pacifist, the honks just don't do it for me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mama Cats Rock

Possum snuggling with her new kittens 45 minutes after birth.

The story of two kittens born, which happens entirely too often, has captured my imagination and heart. Critter and Sir J are my niece and nephew kittens born to my dearest friend's (also Ann/ie) formerly feral cat. When Possum arrived at her house, Ann fell for the sweet cat, but within a few weeks, discovered she was pregnant. Possum hit the jackpot--a loving home, a BARF (bones and raw foods) diet, and someone I consider a dog whisperer to welcome the cat to the menagerie of dogs and cats living under Ann's roof.

It may not be the Grand Canyon or Stonehenge but for me it is truly a wonder of nature. Following birth, Mama Cat chewed the umbilical cord off the kittens and quickly ate the placenta. Then, Possum licked and licked and licked until her babies were dry balls of fur. Within 45 minutes, the kittens were embraced in Possum's arms, suckling their first meal.

Side Note: Ann, Mama Cat, Sir J, and Critter are happy and healthy. All three will be spayed/neutered--no Toms or Queens will be perpeutating the epidemic of cat overpopulation. Afterall, very few cats would be as lucky as Possum. She showed up at the right door in northern Florida.

Sir James the Duke of Old Town moments after birth

Critter the Calico still in the birth process

Monday, March 28, 2011


Jim Rogers (1976-2010)

The biggest challenge for me in recovering from grief is that it takes so long. And, frankly, I get discouraged, not only because of its continuing presence but also because I think I should handle it better. Just when I think I’m making progress, boom, it sweeps over me and feels new and fresh again.
Anything can unpredictably set me off—the news of rapper Nate Dogg’s death last week; a story I can’t tell Jim but need to tell Jim; his stuff boxed in my basement; the sight of a person that for a split second looks and feels like my brother. Just when I think I’m feeling better, gaining some perspective, something comes from nowhere to set me back in the throes of raw, painful missing and unending sadness.
This weekend, as many know, was the Rogers Family Lecture series, a memorial to the lives of Dad and Jim. Despite my family and so much joy surrounding the weekend, I had several instances where my eyes became damp and if alone, the tears would have flowed.  It feels very important to be patient with myself right now, and not be weighed down by the discouragements or perceived setbacks. I’ve learned that these emotions come without warning or reason but the realization that the only way out of consuming grief is through reminds me how imperative it is to be both patient and gentle with my family, and myself.
But Jim was supposed to be there this weekend celebrating our father’s life damn it. He was part of the early planning process to bring Dr. Borg to Columbia for the weekend.
Baby brother, you were missed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rogers Family Lecture Series Tonight: Progressive Views, Historical Analysis to be Explored

Dr. Marcus Borg

It’s rainy, cold, and even a bit snowy today….what better excuse to attend a provocative lecture tonight? I’ve seen many presentations and lectures in my day (one of my favorite things about living in a vibrant college town) and when I unwittingly went to see “some guy named Marcus Borg” with a friend 15 years ago, I saw simply the BEST lecture speaker I’ve ever seen on any topic. Just the fact that I remember his message, specific phrases, and the difference it made in my ability and desire to explore the Divine is noteworthy.
I hope to see friends and community members tonight, especially, or any of the other lectures this weekend.  A Wine and Cheese reception will follow Dr. Borg’s message tonight. The schedule of events for the weekend is listed in my profile picture on FB and the image below on this blog entry.
This article was published on page A7 of the Saturday, March 19, 2011 edition of The Columbia Daily Tribune.

Scholar to lecture on Jesus

Progressive views, historical analysis will be explored.

By Jill Renae Hicks Columbia Daily Tribune
Deemed one of the more fascinating and thought-provoking theologians of our time, Marcus Borg is winging his way to Columbia on Friday to give a series of Lenten lectures at First Christian Church.
Borg is a widely known scholar and spokesman for progressive Christianity. A fellow of the widely publicized, sometimes criticized Jesus Seminar, he has published several books about who Jesus was and how Christianity has changed over the ages.
Borg attended college in chilly Moorhead, Minn., and eventually went on to obtain his doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University in England. He was installed as the first canon theologian for his Episcopal congregation in Portland, Ore., after teaching philosophy for many years at Oregon State University. One of Borg’s current roles, after retirement, is to travel and lecture throughout the United States, sharing progressive perspectives and historical analysis on Jesus and broader Christianity.
The author and lecturer has published 18 books surrounding portraits of Jesus’ character and reflections on the meanings of the Bible. He is set to publish another title in April, “Speaking Christian.” In the book, Borg explores how Christian language has been adapted to mean very particular things, saying the vocabulary many American Christians use can become insular and even meaningless at times.
Borg’s other recent book is a departure from his traditional nonfiction bestsellers such as “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time” (2001) and “The Heart of Christianity” (2003). Instead, “Putting Away Childish Things” is a novel set on a postmodern-era college campus. The characters — students and faculty alike —– wrestle to reconcile traditional views of Christianity with secular views as well as with emerging perspectives on faith. One of Borg’s purposes behind writing a novel was “people remember stories much better than they remember a straight list of teachings,” he explained in a 2010 interview with “It’s important to show people ways that we can reclaim Christianity from some of the misunderstandings of our time.”
Many in the community and around the globe have expressed that years of Borg’s nonfiction writings have affected and encouraged them. Genie Rogers is the family member and liaison connected with the current Rogers Memorial Lecture Series held by First Christian Church. Borg “had come to Columbia about 11 years ago,” Rogers remembered, and many people in the congregation appreciated his visit: “He was a very popular lecturer and speaker.” Years later, Borg’s popularity here and outside the region apparently hasn’t waned. “We’ve had him on the calendar for over a year,” Rogers said.
John Yonker, minister emeritus at First Christian, first became aware of Borg’s writings in 1994, when he read “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time.” He was affected by the book, finding it “a fresh approach to understanding the Christian faith,” Yonker said in an email. He mentioned the book in a few of his sermons and said eventually other members of the church “expressed interest and appreciation for his research into the historical Jesus.” After using his books and studying Borg’s teachings in small groups, the congregation eventually welcomed him for his first visit.
The smaller classes have been instrumental, Yonker said, because “many people have come to appreciate his scholarly approach to understanding the Bible while maintaining his commitment to live as a Christian and an active member of the church.” He noted that one woman at First Christian who grew up in a stricter church setting began attending the congregation primarily because of Borg’s works. “Many people have found his work very helpful in maintaining their own faith,” Yonker said.
Borg’s lectures will be held in the sanctuary of First Christian Church, 101 N. Tenth St. The lectures are open to the public and free of charge.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The High Cost of Being Sick

It's more than a can of Chicken Noodle Soup. Even with health insurance--the co-pay on the appointment, the medications prescribed, the lost time from work, not to mention the premium paid each month for the ability to be sick--the price of being sick takes its toll.

Being healthy is work but work with a genuine reward. It starts in my heart and a desire to treat myself with care. The co-pay has already been made on bicycles, tennis gear, and mother nature charges nothing for trails and outdoor air. Good, organic, non-processed food has a price tag similar to carry out, it is just a bit more work to prepare myself. And health allows, even begs for a time-out as meditation, relaxation, or prayer time is a necessary ingredient to good health.

Most everyone has some health challenges, whether they be physical, immunological, emotional, or some of all. But being healthy is about being a first-rate version of ourselves while leaving the comparisons to others behind.

Happy is Healthy and it is a daily adventure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

@: My Pen Name Turns 20!

@nn or more commonly @ has been a good pen name. I started using it in the early 1990s and quickly marked it mine. Despite what the @ sign has come to signify, my use of it had no ties to technology, twitter, or web addresses. @nn was all in simple literary fun. I liked to call it my e. e. cummings move.
My association with @ shows up in the array of gifts that I’ve received over the years that use the sign. A few that come to mind--a mousepad, coffee cup, stationary, a paperweight, even a necklace among others. I’m forever @.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Carved in Stone

Seeing Jim's stone for the first time brought me to my knees.
First Day of Spring
Holiday greens blanketed Jim's grave over this long, cold winter.  A friend of mine told me that he looked like an Angel in these snow pictures and that thought comforted me on many cold, snowy days.

Fresh Grief

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Brian's Cigarette Trick

Jim loved his cat Brian with a royal passion. He had this silly trick where he could call Brian over to deliver a cigarette to Jim's mouth. All Jim did was tap his pack of smokes and Brian would jump across the room to deliver his Special Person his guilty pleasure.

I had promised Jim that we would post his video of Brian's cat trick on YouTube. That never happened, one of those things that we were going to do. Even if it involved cigarettes (insert the blech that only a rabid ex-smoker can know) it was symbolic of Jim's connection to his cat and his playful, often hilarious, personality. To this day, I wish the video, with Jim's narration, was on YouTube.

Yes, it is a small, inconsequential regret, but it reminded me of what never happened and more significantly what will never be. Silly memories, ones that make me laugh, are the gasoline that keeps me going. I've just shared one with you today.

Update: I'm happy to report that Sir Brian Pawingston Catingsworth of St. Christopher (remember, Jim considered his cat regal), simply known as Brian, has made the adjustment from his bachelor pad to my brother Hartley's home that comes stocked with four kids under ten and a young dog. His antics now, animated as ever, are probably more politically correct than the cigarette trick that made Brian a legend with many.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Hero, My Father

My Dad was bold, even as a young man. At age 14, he left his rural Pennsylvania home to attend Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Mass. Here, he signs the paperwork with his father, who I never had the chance to meet.

This appeared yesterday in the Columbia Heartbeat (3-15-11) , a local publication by Mike Martin. Mr. Martin is profiling all candidates for the city council. His article on Glen Ehrhardt, an attorney that my father partnered with toward the end of his career, has an exceptionally nice mention of my father in regard to Glen’s candidacy for councilman.

Martin writes:
When attorney David Rogers passed away in 2005, he was "of counsel" to Ehrhardt's law firm, then known as Rogers, Ehrhardt and McGuire.  About Mr. Rogers -- a longtime co-host of the KFRU Sunday Morning Roundtable who described himself as a "raconteur and amateur historian" -- I said this to a friend at his funeral: 

"David was one of few people who, while part of the system, was never afraid to criticize it."

Rogers was one of my favorite Columbia voices, a well-regarded pundit who had the audacity, the courage, and the strength of character to call right or wrong, fair or foul, savvy smart or Boonedoggle boneheaded, on our community's political establishment -- of which he was a prominent part.  It's hard to imagine such a larger-than-life figure not rubbing off, at least a little bit, on a younger attorney in his orbit. 

Glen Ehrhardt clearly wants a more conspicuous role in the political decision-making process. But hereabouts, that role often comes with an unfortunate trade off -- the dismissal of voices that question the establishment, of which he too is a prominent part. 

Should Mr. Ehrhardt win, therefore, I hope the spirit of David Rogers comes with him. 

Thank you for these words Mr. Martin.
From experiencing too many deaths in the family over the last five years, I can say without question that it is a gift, actually a treasure, anytime someone mentions Dad or Jim.  It keeps their spirit alive and reminds the family that their life was indeed meaningful, a powerful force of nature.  My dad was larger-than-life and he is my hero and always will be.
Should a person ever wonder if mentioning the deceased to a family member will upset them, remind them of their loss, the answer is NO.  What is upsetting is to think anyone would forget their precious lives. Give the gift of a memory or funny story to someone who has lost a loved one, and the joys of giving will flood both the giver and the recipient. Be bold.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beware the Ides of March!

If the Ides of March could prove the end for the great Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., I choose to take the warning at age 44 as I‘m looking at this morning through unusually suspicious eyes.
But first, a brief history lesson on the Ides of March. It is a marriage of historical significance (the assassination of Julius Caesar) and re-creating the fateful day in literature (the famous line comes from William Shakespeare’s celebrated play, Julius Caesar).  Historically, Caesar was heading to the Roman Senate where he was due to appear at a session when he was warned by a seer on the way that harm would come his way. He dismissed the warning, and accordingly, Caesar was stabbed to death by a mob on the Senate floor. This act of violence set the stage for the end of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.
So, Beware the Ides of March! Though this warning was clearly meant for Caesar there are plenty of things I have a healthy fear of today.  A nuclear crisis in Japan, along with massive human suffering; the unpredictable antics of Mouammar Khadafi; the constant fear of job layoffs; and on a less serious note, playing the Cincinnati Bearcats in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Movie: The Rabbit Hole

"The Rabbit Hole" at Ragtag
My Saturday Self Portrait

Movie Plot: Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) are drowning in the heaviness of sorrow and every day living eight months after their four-year old son dies in an accident in front of their home. The story is compassionate and subtle, showing how fully grief numbs and also the small comforts that come from unexpected places and people.

Movie Impact: I cried. In reflection, I also appreciate how the film did not utilize flashback images to the accident, hospital, or funeral. The movie put Becca and Howie's present day reality as a significant and stand-alone plot with no gratuitous drama or heart strings employed.
Movie Comment: In the end, probably my favorite thing about “The Rabbit Hole” is the mockery it makes of the “moving on” and “back to normal” type platitudes so common in grieving. There is no “closure” for parents when their child dies and this movie does not pretend to find any.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Saddle Horses and the Bass Bit

Tom Bass and the Renowned Belle Beach
“I was sitting on the mares when I was no larger than a horsefly,” an adult Tom Bass said. Born to a slave mother and a white landowner (in 1854) whose Boone County plantation was known for its fine horses, the youngster impressed his father. By the age of 3, Tom’s naturalness with horses seemed uncanny to William Bass, and he frequently took his slave son for rides across the massive planation.

Tom lived in a town (Mexico, Mo.) known as “the Saddle Horse Capital of the World,” and built an international reputation as a premier Saddle Horse trainer and a dazzling equestrian showman.

In addition to breeding and showing many famous horses, Bass invented the Bass bit, a mechanism designed to protect a horse’s mouth during training. The Bass bit is considered standard equipment in contemporary stables. He is also credited as an originator of the first American Royal Horse Show in Kansas City. During his lifetime, Bass was the only African-American man to exhibit at the American Royal shows, where audiences adored this high-hatted rider of the famous Belle Beach. He also met five presidents and rode in several presidential inaugural parades.

At the time of his death, Will Rogers eulogized: ”Tom Bass, well-known Negro horseman ... died ....You have all seen society folks perhaps on beautiful three or five-gaited Saddle Horses and said: ‘My what skill and patience they must have had to train that animal.’ Well, all they did was ride him. All this Negro, Tom Bass did was to train him. For over 50 years America’s premier trainer.”

(excerpt from "Audrain County: Tom Bass," by Ann L Rogers, in Marking Missouri History, edited by James W. Goodrich and Lynn Wolf Gentzler)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rogers Family Lecture Series--Dr. Marcus Borg

The Rogers Family Lecture series is a way for our family, and the community that has so generously donated to the effort, to honor the lives of my father, David B. Rogers (1941-2005), and my brother James Lewis Rogers (1976-2010), in a meaningful way. The lecture series was established in 2005 and the first lecture was held in February 2007 with renowned Missouri historian Bob Priddy speaking, reflective of my dad’s love of Missouri history. The Marcus Borg lecture series comes from a passion of both our church and our family’s interest in exploring faith, feeling free to question and seek, and studying how the historical Jesus and science need not contradict the Bible if explored in a nonbinding, fresh-viewed way. Marcus Borg has made a difference in my life since I first discovered him in 1995, helping to make sense of theological and life questions that needed to be faced by me to have faith in any form. 


Marcus Borg is a theologian and author and among the most widely-known and influential voices in progressive Christianity. In his own words:

Marcus Borg on Christianity and other major religions:
I don't want to deny the uniqueness of Christianity. I want to speak of the uniqueness of Christianity, as well as Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism. They are all unique in the sense that they are not exactly alike. But what I'm affirming is that beneath their differences is this common path of transformation. For me, seeing that all the major enduring religions know this path of transformation gives Christianity much more credibility than if it were to claim to know something that no other religion had ever known.

Marcus Borg on death:
Well, the answer is that I'm convinced when we die we die into God, but I don't know what that means in terms of survival of a personal identity or reincarnation. I'm not inclined to believe in reincarnation, but I have no idea what happens after death.

Marcus Borg on his personal faith:
So why am I Christian? The biggest reason is that it feels like home to me in a way no other religion could. Beyond that, I greatly admire the richness of the Christian tradition.

Please join us for any or all of the lectures on the weekend of March 25-27, 2010 regardless of your religious path or lack of one. This is not an evangelical event at all, and I can promise that this man will make a person ponder many things. He’s a fascinating speaker that will leave you thinking. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

“I’m in” on Lent 2011

In past years, Lent has been a way to make amends for failed New Year’s resolutions. I’ve vowed to give up processed foods, cigarettes, or whatever goal I fell short on since the New Year.

Last night, on the Eve of Lent 2011, I decided to see what this event meant beyond black marks on people’s foreheads (years ago, I unwittingly tried to brush it off a colleague's forehead thinking it was dirt) and renewed resolutions.
Lent is clearly a Christian holiday at heart but it seems like it could be celebrated by any religion or in a secular way. In other words, I think it is all good--and worthy of consideration in one’s life regardless of religious conviction. A few basic tasks traditionally have been associated with Lent: fasting (or giving up something), prayer, almsgiving (charity), and scripture reading. So, yeah, check,  “I’m in” on Lent 2011.
When choosing an image to accompany this blog entry, the one above waved at me. I looked at it and thought “yes that would be a good idea,” “hmm, need to stop that,” and on. Even though giving up Facebook for Lent sounded the best, I decided that forgoing a nightly cocktail will allow me to save resources, financial and other, for the almsgiving. Since my brother died, prayer has significantly helped me along. Not the “Dear God, please…” type of prayer that I knew as a child but rather conversation with the awareness that it is a Divine discussion for me. For this year’s Lent, my daily readings will include uplifting poetry, Psalms, song lyrics and other things that enrich my spirit and soul.

“Hi Annie, I think making any commitment during Lent helps make the period one of reflection.....I would encourage you to pick something and do it in the spirit of an offering not of depriving yourself. These are all spiritual practices, and my experiences have been very positive.”--excerpt from my sister Mary’s response to Lent questions. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

CD Review: Mumford & Sons: Sigh No More

2010, Glass Note Records

How to describe Mumford & Sons 2010 release Sigh No More: Bluegrass Pop? British Folk? Indie Folk Rock? A folksy cross the Allmans and the Avett Brothers?

These boys from the UK have masterfully crafted an emotional, invigorating, and spiritually uplifting album. It is a wonderful mix of bluegrass and rock with a pop base. The album flows really well, changing pace from roaring, slamming banjo licks to slow picks. Their use of traditional instruments including banjo, violin, upright bass, and mandolin warms this bluegrass fan’s heart. Mumford & Sons hits on all my notes.

After my first listen to this album, I was immediately impressed by the energizing melodic mix and the meaningful and unpretentious lyrics that seem to fall in perfect synch with the music. Additional listens confirmed my initial response. Seldom do I like every song on an album, but each of these songs is full of melody and style.

“The Cave” is a great song, probably my personal favorite, mostly because of the lyrics. The first single released, “Little Lion Man,” possibly stands out as the best overall song on the album. The closing song, “After the Storm,” relays the helplessness of mortality. I will die alone and be left there/Well I guess I'll just go home/Oh God knows where/Because death is just so full and man so small/Well I'm scared of what's behind and what's before.”  The singer's grief is real and this song makes a perfect closing for the album.

I like a band with a catchy sound and meaningful lyrics...Mumford & Sons nails it.

Listen to "The Cave"

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Stray Kittens Strut

Cleo's First Day w/ Me

Cleo was too young for the Humane Society. Someone had to take her.
4 weeks, palm sized, needing a little help without a mama cat.
9 months later, she’s still a kitten, a smart kitten, a wild one, 
I tell family and friends that Cleo is “of the jungle.” 
She’s sleek, a bit sneaky, and very superior.

Critter and Sir J, One Month Old

Critter and Sir James Cattingsworth of Old Towne call me Auntie, 
their human mom is my Bestie.
Possum the mama cat, the pregnant stray 
She would not keep them if she could not spay (and neuter).
I’m going to help with Possum and Sir J to avoid another litter.

**Did you know that one female cat can begin breeding as young as 4 months old? If she is left unaltered her and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in only 7 years.**

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Way We Were

l to r: Jim, Me, Dad, Mom, Hartley, Mary, and John

This picture was snapped in my parent’s yard a few months before my father died in the summer of 2005.  Jim’s on the far left with his arm around me, it was the last picture of all of us together and accordingly, is precious.

We were 7 for so many years. We are still 7 in my mind though 2 of my main men have gone to the afterlife. I’ve learned to believe in an afterlife; of course I don’t know what it is but who really does?  I take comfort hearing stories of near death experiences as they have so many commonalities: light, lots and lots of warm light! A tunnel perhaps, but still more light; from many reports the faces of loved ones emerge.

Again, who knows? But the thought of a welcoming warmth and light and the chance to see my loved ones again brings hope. I can have faith. I do have faith. But all of us will have to wait to find out when our time comes.

This weekend, I will be with my family of 7-- 5 of us in flesh.  We all have experienced different journeys since Jim’s untimely death. This quote from an unknown source speaks volumes and I plan to share it when everyone is together.

“In this loss, as I draw strength from my family, I also acknowledge and honor the fact that we each grieve in our own way.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011


1954 edition with illustrations by George and Doris Hauman

If there is one childhood book that I treasure, it is this volume. It teaches both children and adults about believing in oneself and perserverance along with the value of a positive attitude.

An early version goes as follows:
A little railroad engine was employed about a station yard for such work as it was built for, pulling a few cars on and off the switches. One morning it was waiting for the next call when a long train of freight-cars asked a large engine in the roundhouse to take it over the hill "I can't; that is too much a pull for me," said the great engine built for hard work. Then the train asked another engine, and another, only to hear excuses and be refused. In desperation, the train asked the little switch engine to draw it up the grade and down on the other side. "I think I can," puffed the little locomotive, and put itself in front of the great heavy train. As it went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster and faster, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."

As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can." It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, "I thought I could, I thought I could."

Today, as I face struggles both at work and home, "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can" will be ringing in my ears reminding me that "I-Know-I-can!"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Walking the Talk, Biking for Bucks

Yesterday...Today it's Jumped to 3.25 9/10

With gas prices well over $3/gallon right now and Spring weather emerging, it’s time for me to make some economic decisions that will provide plenty of fringe benefits.

Here are the top places I drive within the city of Columbia, Mo. on a regular, often daily basis. In my case it is important to note that I live in central Columbia, which is a college town that has been undergoing changes over the past 5 years to make it more bike friendly. I have two incredible bikes (mountain bike and road bike) and two long legs that let me walk at a quick clip. Do I have an excuse? I think not.

Work—30 minute walk and 10 minute bike ride
Gerbes—20 minute bike ride
Mom’s—40 minute walk and 15 minute bike ride
Hartley and Kim & family-40 minute walk and 15 minute bike ride
Library—15 minute walk; 7 minute bike ride
Murry’s—drive for several reasons
Green Tennis Center--15 minute walk; 7 minute bike ride
Downtown aka The District—15 minute walk; 5 minute bike ride
Columbia Cemetery—20 minute walk; 10 minute bike ride
Schnucks—20 minute bike ride

I read a very interesting article today, titled How bicycling will save the economy (if we let it).”

Except from the article:

Imagine getting a $3,000 to $12,000 tax rebate this year. Now imagine it coming again and again. Every year it grows by around a thousand dollars.

Imagine how this would change your daily life.

Sounds like a teabagger's wet dream, but it's actually a conservative estimate of how much you'd save by ditching your car, or even just one of your cars -- and getting on a bicycle instead.

Car-centric conditions don't always make it easy to choose the bicycle. Communities designed exclusively for motor vehicles impose a major financial penalty on those who are compelled to take on the expense of driving. But if you're one of those who lives in a bike-friendlier place, you'll be doing your local business community a good turn and padding Uncle Sam's pockets as well as your own if you trade four wheels for two.

In the many North American cities where two-wheeled transportation is taking off, a new bicycle economy is emerging. It's amazing how much money can stay in your community when it isn't being pumped into the gas tank, big insurance, and the auto market.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

National Self-Injury Awareness Day

Out the Door this Morning in my Orange in Support of National Self-Injury Awareness Day

Self-injury is the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It's not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration.

While self-injury may bring a momentary sense of calm and a release of tension, it's usually followed by guilt and shame and the return of painful emotions. And with self-injury comes the possibility of inflicting serious and even fatal injuries.

Because self-injury is often done on impulse, it may be considered an impulse-control behavior problem. Self-injury may or may not accompany a variety of other conditions, such as depression, eating disorders and borderline personality disorder.  

Words of Hope and Support:

"I love and adore a beautiful young woman that has struggled with self-injury. Awareness is a beautiful thing....Continue to share and care...." Sherry Hinshaw

"I hope this changes people's minds that its not a joke, that those who hurt themselves are not attention-seekers; that its a serious problem. That help is needed."—Daryln Perez

"As someone who has struggled with this for over 30 years, I am glad that there is finally awareness that this is just not a 'phase.' "—Maggie Bacon

"I'm sneaking up on six months of taking great care of myself, and that includes no self injury!! Taking good care of myself hasn't been easy or pain-free, but it has been accompanied by amazing, rich, deep, lush growth!"- Anonymous


For more information:

Here is the link to American Self-Harm Information Clearinghouse

What parents should do if their teen is self-harming according to

Another good resource:

***Please understand that this could be affecting a young person that you would least suspect.***