Park on the high ground

Good Sunday morning!

Part of adding simplicity to life is just by practicing gratitude.  And this weekend I’ve had a lot to be thankful for.  First of all, I am really, really thankful that my car did not flood!  When I walked out of the Beckerman Center at the University of New Haven, after attending a national karate competition, this is what I saw:

Ai-yai-yai!  Thank goodness my car was not down there.  When I first arrived it was rather late, so I only found one open parking space, and it was up on a hill.  I feel so bad for these people though.  And this was after the rain had stopped for a bit, so who knows how high the water actually got.

Here’s a view from another angle:

It would have been particularly bad for me, because I was driving not the old subaru with about 150,000 miles on it, but a brand new Honda Fit, barely out of its break-in period with 700 miles on it.  So I learned a valuable lesson: if you have a new car (or any car), and it’s threatening to downpour, park on the high ground!  You’ll be thankful.


Swing Dancing Nurses!

The London Olympics opening ceremony had nurses!  And they were swing dancing!!  :-0

A)  I love swing dancing, and

B) I’m a Registered Nurse

So getting to see this at the same time as millions across the globe was amazing.

Here’s a clip of the segment, which also celebrates British children’s literature:

While I could use this as an opening to talk about nursing, or about swing dancing, or about health care in general, in keeping with my blog’s theme of simplicity I’ll simply say that I loved seeing both of these together on the international stage.  I was glowing in the light of the Olympics.  A++ to all involved, from the choreographer to the nurses & doctors.  Give them a hand, they’re British!

Healing & Self-Defense

Something interesting happened today, my last day as Camp Nurse at the Bridgeport location.  Near the end of the day, I had three kids come visit me in quick succession with somewhat similar, though unrelated injuries.  One girl came in after slipping and hitting her legs on the bleachers, and I gave her an ice pack.  She also told me that one of the boys had tried to hold her hostage, but she kicked him and escaped.  She pointed him out, a boy in a purple shirt, through the window over-looking the gym.  Shortly afterwards, the boy in the purple shirt showed up, first I thought just to pester my patient, even saying “I’m going to get revenge!” which I tried to discourage “No getting revenge in the nurse’s office!”  and that the nurse’s office was a place for the injured.  But then he said his leg hurt from being kicked, plopped down on the cot and asked for a bag of ice.  At that exact moment I get a call on my walkie-talkie – another kid with an injury, hit in the head with a door and was on his way up.  I get a third bag of ice with paper towels ready.

These are all fairly typical camp injuries, whether I’m working at Bridgeport or Southport I’ll go through several ice packs every day.  Still, it was a bit unusual having three kids together in the nurse’s office, and though sitting they still had all the energy they had in the gym.

Thus, it wasn’t long before the one boy tried to hold the girl hostage again, and I’m thinking, great, how can I stop this now before we have more injuries?  I didn’t need a mini judo match in the nurse’s office.  But I saw that he grabbed her wrists, and that sparked an idea.

I said “Do you know there’s a way to escape from someone grabbing your wrists?”  I tried to explain in words – when someone grabs your wrists, you move your hands in an outward circle and escape.  The other boy had been paying attention, and he now moved to try it out.  I warned that I hadn’t done it in a while and wasn’t sure it would work.  They didn’t get it from my poor description, so I then thought I’d have to demonstrate.  I asked the girl to grab my wrists, and then I actually remembered the movement – circle the wrists first inward, then up, out & down.  The other boy showed understanding and was eager to try it again – he got it right away, and for the next minute all three of them were occupied by practicing the move.

They still had loads of energy and chattered away, but they were no longer trying to take revenge/take each other hostage as before.  The distraction had worked.  Success!

And it surprised me, too.  I learned that move when I was about their age from an Aikido class, and was about that age when I stopped taking Aikido and thought I was done with martial arts.  Until, that is, two weeks ago, when I signed up for a year’s worth of karate, and have been thinking about karate & the martial arts ever since.  So while I was surprised this Aikido move came back to me, maybe it’s not so surprising given my recent interest in the martial arts.  And you’re likely to find karate a semi-regular topic here, as I figure out where this new pursuit fits into my life as a nurse and a dancer.


How could healing & self-defense be related?

The human body is remarkably engineered for self-defense – to protect from foreign invaders and fight off disease.  When something goes wrong with our body’s defenses, we get sick.

Healing and self-defense work together to keep the body whole.

I got to share a little of both today

Live More Simply

As I mentioned in my last post, one of my current goals is to live more simply, and I think that’s as good a theme for this blog as any other, which could tie together all my various interests under one umbrella!  (Or under one parachute, see below)

Those interests could include dancing, nature, books, food, people, the arts, science, languages…  all things that make this a beautiful and complex world!

Since the world is complex though, and beautiful because of it, what does it really mean to live more simply?


For me, living more simply means living with fewer possessions & less environmental impact & less stress — & more appreciation for the beauty of nature, good food & good health, family, friends & community, & spirituality.

It’s definitely an ideal, not the way I live all the time, but it’s something to strive for, and having a blog will hopefully be a way to share my thoughts & connect with others on a similar journey.

And if I make this goal to live more simply about small changes, it is definitely within reach.

Wishing you a simple good night, with complex & beautiful dreams,


Hello world!

Hello!  Welcome to the blog “Alphabeteur” by danceblueskies.

I’ve decided to start blogging, and this time I’m going to stick with it past one post.  The reason is that I’ve recently given up Facebook (I deleted my account June 11th, 2012).  I haven’t felt the need to return to it, but it has left me without something: an online voice & presence.

I use the internet all the time to research and learn about new topics; wikipedia & the innumerable websites, blogs & forums I find through Google.  But I’d like to be more than just a consumer, and produce something of my own.

Why “Alphabeteur” ?  Searching for a blog name, I wanted something at first that would embody one of my current goals in life, which is to live more simply.  But I couldn’t think of anything, and realized it’d be easier to find a domain name if it was unique – and I arrived at Alphabeteur by remembering a little known story from my childhood.

When I was about 4, I recorded myself singing the Alphabet song over one of my mom’s tape cassettes, Paul Simon’s “Rhythm of the Saints.”  She discovered it about 2 years later and coined the term “alphabetage”  I thought of using the name alphabetage, but then thought of alphabeteur, which follows like saboteur follows from sabotage, and I had a name!

Like that 4-year-old recording a favorite song in a confident voice, I now have a voice to share with the world & a platform with which to share it.  Thank you for stopping by on the beginning of this journey!  I’m going to keep singing – I hope that you’ll join me.

A, B, C, D, Eee-yeFff Geee….     :o)

This song is worth listening to… if it doesn’t load here, clicking on the title will open it in youtube.