Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A New Earth

If you're like me, you have obligations that keep you from watching Oprah. Somehow, though, perhaps when I was home after my knee replacement surgery last year, I did watch a few shows. I happened to catch one of the episodes when she was talking to Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth. A New Earth was one of the selections for the Oprah Book Club. I don't purposely follow Oprah's book choices (although I often find after I've read a book that it was one she recommended), but this time I went out and bought A New Earth. I even checked out her online exercises that you can do while reading the book. And then I moved on.

I had the book on my bookshelf for several months. Didn't read it; didn't even think about it. Then, a few months ago, I saw the CD collection for the book at my local county library's used book store and I bought it. Put it in the map pocket of my car and didn't listen to it. A couple of weeks ago, however, after talking with a good friend of mine who was reading the book and raving about it, I thought I'd give the audio version a try during my daily commute.

It has become one of the most incredible books I've ever ingested. In fact, I have begun reading the paper book to reinforce what I hear in the audio version. I'm a firm believer that things come into your life when you need them to show up. The time finally must have been right for me to read this book. It wasn't right when I saw the program. It wasn't right when I bought the book or found the CD collection. But it sure is right now. I'm finding it thought-provoking at minimum and mind-bogglingly awesome at maximum.

It gives me things to think about and it explains some things I've often wondered about. It is the kind of book that will affect each person uniquely. My experience has been one of wonder and enlightenment, provocation and self-evaluation. I can't exactly share the personal journey that I'm having, but I can say that I recommend it to everyone who ever wondered about who we are and what our being is about. Tolle's explanation of why different cultures and different parts of the world have more pain of existence than others was the first that I ever found to make sense. And that's only one of the many premises he makes that rang true for me.

I once had a wonderful friend who was very religious. He understood his relationship to God in a much different way than I understood my relationship with God. We would often have deep discussions about the Bible and what it meant to be a "good" person. He would always seem to win those discussions because he could reference scripture chapter and verse. Me, I was usually only supported by a deep knowing that what I believe is right for me. He would be exceedingly frustrated by my inability and lack of desire to debate. I would merely say, "I understand what you're saying, but my relationship with God works for me. I know this because it FEELS right." To me, this book feels right. If you haven't read it yet, I suggest you get it and put it on your bookshelf. I bet it will call you when the time is right.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A new Meme from Mary

I just finished reading a recent RedNose blog ( from Mary and she had this great meme about names...I just had to take it on for myself. The two that came out best in my opinion are my Witness Protection and my Goth Names! (This was fun!!!)

1. REAL NAME: Linda Louise Garland Oestreich
2. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME:(mother's and father's middle names) Jessie Tennant (I love this! If I ever need a nom de plume, this will be it!)
3. NASCAR NAME:(first name of your mother's dad, father's dad) Harrison William
4. STAR WARS NAME:(the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name) Oes Li
5. DETECTIVE NAME:(favorite color, favorite animal) Golden Wolf
6. SOAP OPERA NAME:(middle name, town where you were born) Louise Brooklyn

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd fav color, fav car, add "THE" to the beginning) the Yellow Bug
8. FLY NAME:(first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name) Lich (what the heck is a fly name???)
9.STREET NAME:(fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie) Pralines n Cream Snickerdoodle

10. SKANK NAME: (1st pet's name, street you grew up on) Neige Frisbie (moved a lot, had to pick from many streets: Clark, Hancock, Rue de la Mamora, and Frisbie)
11. GANGSTA NAME:(first 3 letters of last name plus 'izzle') Ichizzle

12. YOUR GOTH NAME:(black, and the name of one of your pets) Black Karma (Ominous, yes?)
13. STRIPPER NAME: (name of your fav perfume/cologne, fav candy) Obsession Truffle (pretty classy for a stripper!)

A month's worth of stuff

I am embarrassed at how long it's been since my last posting! This past month has been filled with lots of things...most of them challenging and energy-sapping. So, even though I've considered several blog post topics, none of them actually became real. Today, I'm home sick because I'm still getting over a bad case of bronchitis. I feel well enough to shower and dress and check my long-overdue home email (funny how I always keep up with work, but my home duties suffer). And, of course, I am making time to blog.

Here are a few things that have been happening:
  • My sister, who according to the State of California, is disabled, has been having a tough time and when she has a tough time, I do, too. I am still finding how much support is appropriate to give and how much is too much. She's got a lot of problems...almost all of them mental, yet she can be a highly functioning, sane person from time to time. Right now, those times are few, short, and far between. Even when I don't make time to see her, I seem to get caught up in her drama just by talking to her on the phone. And these past weeks have been filled with her drama. Guess that's the price of being close to family.
  • Work has also been stressful. I had to layoff one of my team and it was extremely tough. Lucky for me, I didn't have to choose the candidate, I was told who it would be. I keep thinking, like so many of us at this time, I'm lucky to have a job. And I am. But along with most of the world right now, it's hard to keep the positive flow going. I have found a really cool, upbeat person on the web who sends out positive advice for our times. If you're interested, I suggest you check out her site: . I signed up for her newsletter and am pleased that I did.
  • My health has been less than perfect. I'm one of those people who take mental health days off occasionally, but who is seldom actually sick. Well, that's changed this past month. I had a low-grade cough/headcold for about 2 weeks, but pushed through it. Would go to work and leave early when my energy ran out. Took one or two full days, but treated myself with Nyquil and Dayquil and other over-the-counter meds. Then, I felt really good for about 4 days. Thought it was all gone and I was ready to get back into my routine. Nope. Got hit with a much worse rendition of the so I couldn't breathe, had some athsma-like problems, and was coughing so hard it hurt my I bit the bullet, paid the $100 copay and went to urgent care (my own doc took Friday off and that was the day I decided I needed doctoring). Anyway, they did a breathing treatment to open up my lungs, gave me antibiotics, some codeine cough syrup, and sent me home to sleep. I did. Yesterday and today, I'm finally feeling humanish. I hope that by tomorrow, I'll be ready to tackle work. I am blessed to have a great team that works well even without me. (Hmmm. That might not be so good these days!)
  • My taxes have yet to be done. I've collected most of the stuff, but now I need to fill in the paperwork and mail it to my CPA. I don't know why I'm procrastinating..I'm sure I'm getting a refund. And, I am definitely ready to pay off some bills with it. Of course, the new advice from Suze Orman ( is to only pay minimums and put the extra into a savings account in case you need it when/if you lose your job. I think I'll do some more budgeting to figure out what the best move is for me.
  • My occasional roomie and co-owner of my house is arriving tonite from Virginia. She hasn't visited since June of last year when she helped me celebrate my big 6-0 birthday. I'm looking forward to it, but I also had to be sure that the stuff I'd hidden in her closet and put on her shelf in the medicine cabinet were moved elsewhere so she could use her own space while she's here. Not a big issue at all, but one more thing to do. Believe me the payback is great. She's quite the handywoman, and my list of things to do around the house is usually much shorter after one of her visits. We do well together and are great friends. Here's a picture of her from a couple years ago.
    I really must get some pix of the two of us together! Without her, I never would have been able to afford to buy a home in San Diego when I moved back here. So, Thanks, Jeanne! I'm glad you're in my life.

  • Oh, another work-related item: HP reduced everyone's salary a little. Mark Hurd, our CEO, who made $1.45 million last year is giving up 20%. Every exempt employee on the HP payroll is only giving up 5%. I wonder how the ratio of all that works... Nonetheless, I'm still paid well, I just have to readjust a few luxuries...

OK. I think I'm caught up. This may be one of my more boring posts, but it is what it is. I'm in a rather boring state of mind. Stay tuned. It will get better.

Linda O

Linda O
Glamorous Me