Thursday, July 31, 2008

Working It For Thirty Days

According to my calculations, I have officially done without computer solitaire/spider solitaire for thirty days. Today as I was waiting for the family computer to get going, I decided to play a game. It simply didn't have the allure that it once did. I did not get the satisfaction of playing that I did thirty days ago.

Which leads me to think - what can I accomplish in the thirty days of August? I am not doing well on Weight Watchers. I follow program for a few days, then take a few days off (meaning: eat whatever you want, girlfriend!). Needless to say, while I have lost nine pounds, it has been a struggle to lose and maintain even that amount.

So, starting tomorrow, I am going to try again. I am going to try to stick with the program religiously for the next thirty days. I am going to work it and myself into a new habit, just as I did by giving up video solitaire.

If I can be as successful in "doing" something as well as I did in "not doing" something, then in thirty days I should be on my way. It's certainly worth a try.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Moving Day - Again

Today Sam, Molly, and I moved Maribeth's stuff from upstairs to her new place in Murfreesboro. As usual, the only plans we made were to book a cargo van from Enterprise, because they don't charge for mileage. We knew we had to transport a bed, dressers, tables, bookcases, and couches, but never gave a second thought as to how much van we needed for the move.

The van proved sufficient, and we got most of Maribeth's stuff moved. We were doing so well that we decided to move two corner cabinets from Sam's to Molly's, even though she's not sure what to do with them. The point was, we had a van, Sam was ready to get rid of the cabinets, and Molly was willing to take them.

It's fun to see the same furniture move from home to home within our family. Or, as Sam and I discovered, it just takes a while for the right furniture to end up with the right person, who is rarely the person who procured the furniture in the first place. The good news is I think everyone is settled for now - at least until that IKEA trip!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sharing the Joy

Sometimes, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. There are certain moments of joy that can best be expressed through our physical actions. We jump, dance, somersault, and shout so that everyone can hear. The joy we feel simply electrifies our bodies and manifests itself through public performance.

But there are also those times when joy is shared quietly with your hand in another, the tight clasp of a hug, or a long talk with a friend. Our joy is whispered and shared closely with someone we trust implicitly. Our joy is then magnified simply because we shared it with someone who cares.

I have been blessed in recent days to have felt joy in both ways. But the best part in each instance was the ability to share it. Maybe that's what makes joy complete - letting someone else in on that feeling that makes life so precious.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Discovering Treasures

Currently I am sitting in La Guardia, waiting for my plane. For a variety of reasons, I am here early with a bit of time to spare. I have a book to read but don't want to, things I need to write but don't have the inspiration, and lists I could make but would rather not. There are lots of people stories around me that are much more interesting to observe.

It was a good weekend in New York City. I ate at some places I wanted to, finished the half-marathon even with my formerly sprained/freshly twisted ankle, and got to visit with family. The weather was nice, especially for July, and we managed to navigate the subways and the streets fairly effectively.

I continue to hope to visit New York City without agenda - no race or specific purpose so I can just explore specific parts of the city in detail. There's a lot to discover, especially when I come so infrequently. Usually the only parts I get to experience in any detail are the parts that are associated with a race or the reason I came to the city.

I think that's a lot like people we experience in our lives - we get to know only the parts we have to for a specific agenda. Once that encounter is over, we go our own ways without getting to know parts of that person that aren't so transparent. I know we live in a busy time and have busy lives. But I wonder what would happen if instead of interacting on the fly-by, we took the time and explored one another a little more intently.

Every person has great wealth inside them. We all have treasures to uncover - we're just waiting for someone to search them out.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Where You're Supposed To Be

Well, my ankles managed to make it through the New York City Half Marathon today (helped by 2 8-hour Tylenol). It was not a pretty race for me. It was humid and warm (I know, shocking weather for NYC), and my overall body was not in shape for this race (another shocker) since I have done insufficient training since my ankle debacle. I did finish, albeit with a sad time, and received my cool medal. But, that is not the story for today. Once again in a half-marathon, I have managed to use my back-of-the-pack position to help another runner.

Today, it happened near the end. At Mile 7 or something, the volunteers passed out sponges. As usual, I kept mine so I could re-sponge at every water station and subsequently squeeze the water on my salty skin. Fast forward to Mile 12 Water Station. I had been trying to catch up with Tall Grey Shirt Man. He was still in my sights, and I stopped at this water station, drinking one cup of water and shoving a sponge in each of two other cups. When I pulled away and looked ahead, I saw Tall Grey Shirt Man laying flat on the road. I quickly caught up with the group of NYC's Finest around him, and somebody yelling for the medics. TGS Man was coherent, and the policemen were getting him to sit up, at which point I placed my sponge-cups in front of him to help him hydrate. I left the scene and proceeded to grit my way to the finish.

All this goes to say that maybe sometimes you're not where you want to be, but you're where you're supposed to be - if you use where you are to help someone else.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Not Again!

Last year when I was up here for the NYC Half Marathon, I twisted my ankle the day before. So, to keep the tradition alive, this afternoon while I was walking the streets with Steve, John (my brother), and Michael (my nephew), my ankles decided to turn to mush and I ended up splatted on the sidewalk. Luckily I had three males to help me to my feet, John found a small table in the trash on the side of the street, and after I sat on it for a few minutes, I was ambulatory again.

We finished up our walk, John and Michael headed to the movies, and Steve and I returned to our hotel where I propped my foot up. So, the dilemma remains - what about tomorrow?

The questions are: do I go ahead with the race tomorrow if my ankles feel okay, or do I scratch this race? Do I go out on a favorite race, or save the ankles for future races? Am I on my way out of races, or is this a temporary set back? Paper or plastic - oops, sorry - that is a question for another situation.

At this moment, I do not know the answer. All I can say is - stay tuned tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Heart New York

Steve and I are in New York City this weekend for the NYC Half Marathon. We're staying on the West Side because the race ends here and I can crawl back to my room after it's over. We're across the street from Battery Park and a few blocks from the subway station, so we're in a good location for this trip.

I've probably only been to NYC a handful of times, but I've enjoyed them all. On different trips, I've marathoned through all the burroughs, enjoyed several Broadway shows, shopped a bit, and eaten at some great places. Steve and I are getting fairly proficient using the subway - quite a switch from the first time Marilyn and I stood in front of the subway map looking like the Beverly Hillbillies, scratching our heads and saying, "Whar we goin'?" We can now find the places we want to visit and locate new places to call our favorites. The best part is that we know there is so much more to discover.

I like New York City for its energy, its experiences, and its people. Now I'm beginning to appreciate it for the memories we create on our family adventures. It's nice to find another place to call a favorite, and New York is one of mine.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

If I Cleaned House Today ...

... I must be going out of town tomorrow. Which I am - to New York City with the hopes of completing the New York City Half Marathon on Sunday.

Why I wait to clean the house the day before I leave, I may never know. I don't even start off the morning by cleaning the house - I wait until mid-afternoon. Of course, I don't bother using the time to pack or even consider packing. Nope - I decide to dust the DVD shelves.

By the way, tomorrow is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day. I'd invite you to come celebrate at my house; after all, the kitchen and dining room are clean. But I'll be out of town.

At least I won't have to clean for awhile once I get back - I don't have another trip planned until the end of August!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Does It Ever Get Any Easier?

No it doesn't.

It gets better, it gets worse, it gets more fun, it get more boring, it gets more tedious, it gets more exciting, it gets more rewarding, it gets more thankless, it gets more everything, and it gets more nothing.

But it doesn't get easier. If it did, we wouldn't take as much time doing it. We wouldn't care as much or work as hard. Eventually it might even go away. What is it? Anything that matters.

So the next time I wonder if its going to get any easier, I'll think about the it I'm considering and find something to be thankful about it.

Maybe that's the easy part of it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just Another Tuesday In My World

Here's what I did today:

*Misread the sign at Kroger - I thought it said "Polio shots" and I thought, "Why are they doing that at Kroger? Why are they giving polio shots now?" But it actually said "Patio sets." That's what I get for speed reading!

*Visited my dermatologist for this patch of skin on my abdomen and got a prescription for a cream in case it's due to something my skin is reacting to externally, or some form of lyme disease. Whatever.

*Took too many cat naps to make up for the insomnia I went through last night/this morning. By the way, television after midnight stinks, unless you are interested in making insipid purchases.

*Found out that Purity makes both Purity and Mayfield Farms ice creams. At least that's what the Purity dude at Kroger told me. I will be conducting a taste test later on.

I think there was more, but I must have slept through it. At least I didn't go into Kroger asking for my polio shot!

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now - Hello Past!

Both eyes are working in tandem, thanks to my new soft contact lens. I had tried soft lens several years ago, but went back to gas permeables because I preferred the clearer vision. After my exam today, the optometrist and I discussed the different lenses, and I decided to try the soft lens again. Eureka! The improvements since my last foray into soft lens have resulted in very positive results for me. Plus, I am contact-enabled for my upcoming trip to New York City this weekend.

There was an interesting twist to today's eye exam (as there usually is with my experiences). Among the various machine exams they performed, one was some sort of picture of my eyeball, or the back of it, or something. When the optometrist was reviewing it with me, she asked me if I had been told about toxoplasmosis. I replied that I did 35 years ago when my cat was diagnosed with it.

Well, apparently on my eye scan picture there were some spots that were toxoplasmosis related. Apparently when my cat Tinkerbell had it, I got it, and now I have toxo-eye-spots. There is a more professional name and explanation, but the doc said mine were on the side of my eyeball and my vision wasn't in jeopardy, so I'll bypass the medical lecture.

So, today the past came back to me. Contacts returned new and improved, and Tinkerbell returned with further proof of how he affected my life. I guess that's what makes life interesting - you just never know how the past becomes your present.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


With the loss of my right contact lens, my vision has been compromised. When wearing the surviving lens, I see distance through my left eye and can read through my right. However, it doesn't work together all that well. I have decided that's how Mom-vision works.

With one mom-eye, we are able to see far in the future and plan for it. We can see what might happen if this or that takes place, and thus attempt to prepare our darling babies (much to their consternation). We can tell which boyfriends/girlfriends will work out, which clothing will cause future embarrassment, and when the car in front is going to brake (when riding with a teenage driver). We can see way ahead and want to make sure it works out happily for everyone.

With the other eye, we can find the missing homework, the lost sock, and anything our children need (we just can't find our own keys or cell phone). We can see when a child is lying, the first trace of forbidden makeup, and the child-applied adjustment on a report card. Nothing much gets by us.

It just gets a little fuzzy when you're trying to see both at once. Sometimes we're looking so far ahead we miss what's going on right in front of us. Sometimes we get so busy dealing with the here and now, tomorrow arrives before we're ready.

But I guess that's just how moms see - the past because it's so precious to us, the present because it goes by so quickly, and the future because it will be here before we know it. Superman can keep his x-ray vision - I'll take mom-vision any day!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Top Ten Things My Family Can't Agree On

10. Sunday Brunch. This one likes the chosen spot, that one hates it, another has never been there. They hate/love the food/location/ambiance. One hates it because the other loves it. And yet we still attempt it every Sunday.

9. Any Family Story. They don't even have to have been born when the alleged incident took place - there will still be no agreement.

8. Who Had It The Easiest/Hardest. Somebody had to sleep in the car while the other one got a Ferrari at 15 (or so they believe). One had carte blanche to Toys R Us, while the others only had rocks and sticks to play with. Life was tough - for me anyway.

7. Whose Idea Was It. If it was a good idea - they all will try to claim it. If it was a bad idea - Mom made them do it!

6. Whose Cat Was Whitey? The cat has been dead for decades, but it doesn't matter. They once argued for an hour and no one even had a picture of the poor cat, may it rest in peace.

5. What Should We Get Mom For Her Birthday? I assume this must be one big argument-fest, because some years it prevents them from actual action on this subject!

4. Will The Couch Fit Through The Door/Up The Stairs/In The Van? Actually, as long as we have a hammer, screwdrivers, and a saw, we're good.

3. Tonight's Dress Code Is: A typical dinner outfit list worn by my group: wood-patter skirt or 10 times too big MTSU pants, Daisy Duke shorts and 4 t-shirts, dress clothes, and swim trunks. And yes, they all wore them to the same restaurant.

2. Who's turn is it to feed Shaggy the Cat? Well, there would be an argument, but as soon as I put the words "feed" and "Shaggy", everyone evaporated.

1. Who's Mom's Favorite? They think they know, but only Mom does - and she's not telling!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Down the Drain

Whenever I am rinsing my contact lens, I always close the drain. Except today, when for some reason I didn't and the lens slipped out of my hand and down the drain. By the time I reacted, it was gone and I was not going to do the plumbing thing in hopes of finding it.

It was disappointing and a pain, since I wear gas permeable lens and will have to make arrangements to get a replacement. It's also no fun for me to wear one and not both, because it makes my vision weird. But it was gone, so I have been doing the best I can.

I could have pitched a fit and groused about my lost contact all day. I could have fussed when I called my ophthalmologist and got some random answering machine response instead of a real person. I could have messed with the plumbing and gotten all worked up about trying to locate a tiny contact.

But it was just a contact lens. It slipped from my fingers and was lost. It's a manageable inconvenience and will be rectified in the next week or so. It's a momentary blip in a life that's filled with more important things.

Sometimes things slip and go down the drain. Maybe it's a friendship, or a dream, or an opportunity, or something we thought we really needed in life. When it's gone, we have choices to make. We can try to find it, replace it, or just let it go and live with its absence. But whatever action we take, we have to realize the other things in our life that matter. Sometimes by focusing on what we have instead of what we've lost, we keep our lives in perspective.

I lost a contact, not my sight. I put on my glasses and went to the movies. It was a good day after all.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Which Cause is My Cause?

I have contributed to many organizations over the years. Some of my online favorites are Angel Tree, Gilda's Club, and Caring Bridge. I have walked and raised money for breast cancer in both The Breast Cancer Half Marathon and The Breast Cancer 3-Day. I have dropped money in red buckets at Christmas, bought breast cancer stamps, and donated items to my local animal shelter. I'm willing to help whenever and wherever I find an opportunity.

I've recently been presented with a new opportunity to spread the word and raise funds for a particular cause - I just need to choose one. Should I decide cats or cancer, families or feeding the hungry, homes or heifers? Just thinking about the staggering needs in our world is overwhelming.

I decided to think a little closer to home. I have a friend and aunt who have been through breast cancer. I read blogs detailing the daily struggles of families with premature babies and children with cancer. My family has used hospice services. Which group should I choose to be my group?

Then I remembered that when I taught, I chose an inner city school and the lowest-achieving children because I wanted to teach those considered hard to reach. When I chose an animal at a shelter or garage sale, I chose the one off by itself or most ill-behaved. In short, I usually choose the thing that tends to get overlooked. When I thought of that, I knew my choice.

My cause is Nashville Cares. Check out their website which says it best, "The doors of CARES are open to anyone affected by HIV and AIDS in need of comfort." This is an organization that seeks to help anyone affected by HIV and AIDS, which includes the families and friends of those with the disease. I chose this organization because they want to help a group of people that our society sometimes want to ignore, pretend doesn't exist, and even condemn. For a long time, even our government tried to pretend this disease wasn't important. Today I have decided the people working at Nashville Cares, and the people they seek to help, are important. They are important because they are people just like us, and they need our help and our compassion.

So here's the opportunity we (that's you and me) have. Cool People Care has started a new deal at their online store. If you use the code "LUANNEROCKS" you get 5% off and 5% goes to Nashville Cares. It's a great way to get some cool stuff, get it at a discount, and be cool in helping a cool organization. Who doesn't want to be cool in the middle of the summer? So be cool and help Nashville Cares while doing it. The code may be LUANNEROCKS, but if you do something instead of nothing, you're the one who really rocks.

This is my cause - won't you join me?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Relationship. It's the thing for which we were created, the thing that nourishes us and sustains us, and the thing we sometimes search for our entire lives. Yet at times it seems the most elusive thing in the world. What is it about relationships that sometimes confounds us, exasperates us, and deflates us?

Kat had a great post about relationships recently. Since I am in a women's group discussing the same topic, I've had time to think about relationship and what it means to me personally. I'm beginning to understand why relationships are the best, the most rewarding, and the most frustrating things in my life.

For me, it’s the notion that I have no relationship that is like another. Each one is different and has its own values and norms. But in each relationship, there is a transfer of energy from one to the another. It’s that energy that keeps a relationship going whether the relationship is healthy or unhealthy, until that energy is gone and the relationship ends.

In some relationships, I have been the sole giver, and received energy from giving. I am nourished by helping, providing for, and uplifting someone else. But it’s like being on a diet of sugar. I can keep going, but without something healthy to take in, I burn out. I have to be willing to ask that my needs be met and change the relationship to keep it alive and healthy for me, or let it go.

In a few relationships, I have been the sole receiver because I was unable to survive in some way and the energy I received kept me going. But that’s like being fed on a 24-hour buffet diet – I can only ingest so much before I have to back away from the table. Maybe the relationship was meant to be short-lived and I walk away with positive feelings. But if I want the relationship to continue, the giver has to be willing to receive from me.

In most of my relationships, there is a constant give and take, which makes it more complicated. Sometimes I want to give, but the receiver isn’t taking. Sometimes I want to take, but the selfish one refuses to give or is confused about the meaning of give. Sometimes I just want to be left alone, but want the relationship to continue without me for a while. Sometimes I don’t know what is going on, because everything is just full of crap.

So what do I do? I must be honest first with myself, then with those around me. I consider what I want in a particular relationship, and spread the word. I choose my words carefully and hope for the best outcome. Every relationship has different needs, and in some the only way my needs will be met is if I vocalize them.

Everyone has a different concept of relationship and many think they know what a good relationship looks like. But for me, what makes a good relationship is inside me. Only I know if the energy is equitable and works. And when it does, relationship is the greatest thing in my world.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Remembering When

Tonight we had a belated birthday dinner for Maribeth at the Omni Hut, a restaurant in Smyrna, Tennessee. When we first moved to Tennessee, we lived in Smyrna for several years before moving to Nashville, but this was the first time we had dined at this establishment. We had a good time remembering old times and wondering how our lives would be different had we stayed in Smyrna. We laughed as stories were told and futures were imagined.

It's nice to visit where you've been because it gives you some perspective on where you are. For me, I was reminded of fun times my children experienced. It was good to hear their thoughts and perspectives on their childhoods. Sometimes motherhood got so busy that I forgot a lot of the daily goings-on, but by listening to each one, I was brought back to when they were little and playing in the back yard.

I guess that's the joy of family - by loving and enjoying each other in the present, we create those precious memories of the past that we'll reminisce about the in the future. What a great way to live a life!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dang It - Another TV Show to Follow!

Sometimes when I have a project to complete, I like to have the television on. Usually it's a rerun of Law and Order. Unfortunately, today it was preempted for The Closer. Although I had seen commercials for this show, I had never bothered to watch it. Today, due to a dearth of interesting shows to watch, I decided to watch this - now I'm hooked.

Oh well - at least I'm not playing solitaire!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Today is my niece Rachel's 23rd birthday. Here she is on the right, pictured with her older sister, Lucy.

Lucy and Rachel are my sister's daughters, and grew up in Chile because their parents were missionaries. Lucy moved back for college, and Rachel moved back with her parents when she was in high school. Although they lived countries away and I only saw them every few years, they never felt like strangers to me.

The best part of having nieces is to see the relationship they have with each other, which is the same relationship my sister and I have, and that my daughters share. It's that "I love you/you make me furious because you are my sister" relationship that bonds you together. It's the knowledge that you will always be there for each other, for better or worse. It's having a best friend, someone to watch your back, someone to take up for you, and a ready companion. It's the best and most difficult relationship you can have - if you're lucky enough to have a sister.

Rachel and Lucy have separately traveled all over the world - to Thailand, Japan, China, and soon to Bolivia, just to name a few spots they've landed. But no matter where their lives take them, they know they will always have each other, because that's what sisters do. As their aunt, I'm proud of the way they live their lives, but most of all I'm proud of who they are.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Moo-Day

As usual, I forgot to check for today's holidays, and missed that today was Cow Appreciation Day. I should have observed and celebrated the day, because cows have played a significant role in my life. For instance:

*I grew up on a dairy farm. My father milked cows twice a day. Our milk came straight from the barn and the milk was pasteurized in our counter top pasteurizer, but it still had clumps of cream on the top (misery when you tried to mix it with Hershey's chocolate milk mix). I didn't mess with the milking part (we did have automatic milkers), but I did have a brief stint putting out the feed for the cows. I managed to avoid the poop-scooping detail; however, forty years later, I can still smell the aroma of spoiled milk mixed with the odor of manure. Did I mention I don't particularly like milk?

*We also grew our own beef cows, which meant we usually had a freezer full of cuts of beef. When I was living in Florida with my young family, we would take coolers back full of meat. Thank goodness for hamburger helper!

*I was crowned Dairy Princess when I was five. That was the extent of my pageant career, especially when I had to pet a calf for a photo op. I think I decided if petting a cow was the extent of my royal obligations, I would pass on the adventure.

*We had Jersey cows, but another farm family had Guernsey cows. The girls in that family showed cows in country fairs. I also managed to slip by that golden opportunity, but my brother had a show cow named Signal Susannah Star. What can I say - she was an important family member.

Cows provided a livelihood for my parents until it no longer was financially feasible. The barn slowly fell apart, until only the walls were left standing. The only thing left are the memories of what was, and there are plenty of those. Memories of the people who helped my father milk, memories of the entire family down at the barn when there wasn't much help around, memories of sacks of feed in the feed room, memories of watching the milk being stirred in the giant cooler, and memories of the huge milk truck coming by to get the milk and take it to the plant. Memories of a life that was, and a childhood that was special. Memories all because of cows.

So, Happy Cow Appreciation Day. And to all those cows - thanks for the memories.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Back Home Again

Today I've travelled by boat, plane, bus, and car. I toured Ft. McHenry, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner. I quacked like a duck to strangers on the street and sampled new drinks at Starbucks (blended lemonades). In short, it's been a busy day.

I had a great time in Baltimore. I got to spend time with my family, eat at some good places, and tour the city. The weather was great, and I got a couple of good night's sleep (no Shaggy the cat pawing my face at 3:00 am). My ankle had a few days to recover from last week's adventure down the steps.

But still the best part of any great trip is coming back home. No matter how great the vacation, it's always comforting to get back in your own bed.

Even if you have a cat alarm clock.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lunch Lessons

I am a fan of the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. When I was planning my trip to Baltimore, there were two places profiled on the show that I wanted to visit. Yesterday, Marilyn and I decided to lunch at the first, Chap's Pit Beef. She thought she had passed it before, and her directions proved to be true. Soon we were looking at our future lunch venue:

In case you can't see it, this place is located in the parking lot of a local gentleman's club (and a gold one, at that). Needless to say, this is not a place that I would stop. The outside is not exactly appealing, not to mention the next door neighbor.

I managed to coax Marilyn out of the car and inside, where the decor isn't much better. But by that time, the promising aroma of deliciousness had gotten to us, we placed our order, and waited for the payoff. Marilyn took this opportunity to visit the facilities, which were actually in the kitchen. Finally our order arrived, and we realized why this place made the show. Simply put, our lunch was absolutely, positively scrumdillyicious.

This experience taught me a couple of lessons. First of all, that you can't judge a book (or a dive) by its cover (or neighbor). Sometimes you just have to act on faith and anticipate wonderful results, which may end up even better that expected. Sometimes the best things are where you would least expect them. And finally, you may never get the good stuff if you don't venture out and take a chance.

All those lessons AND a great BBQ sandwich - what a great way to spend a lunch.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Having only recently seen the movie Hairspray, I am still humming many of the songs, like "Good Morning Baltimore". Since I am actually in Baltimore, I keep wanting to sing it on the streets when I go out. Luckily for everyone, I have managed to resist this temptation.

I am in Baltimore to visit my sister and brother. She lives here with her family, and he is visiting here with his family on a mission trip with his church from Jackson, Mississippi. It's the first time in a few years that we've all been in the same place at the same time.

Since our parents are no longer living, it's just the three of us to keep our family history and memories alive. We are finding out that while we grew up under the same roof, we seem to have sometimes grown up with different parents. But that's the great thing about family - you learn about each other and your parents by sharing those family stories. It's your family who remembers all those stories you want to forget, but also hold all those stories that you want to remember.

It's great to have a little time together, to remember and laugh and appreciate where we come from. We've been there from the beginning, and will be there at the end, telling stories all along the way. There's no history like your own family history, and the best storytellers are those who were with you every step of the way.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Maribeth Marsh Davidson

Many years ago when my mother was not exactly happy with me, she turned to me and said, "I hope you have a child just like you." By the grace of God, I did. God gave me a daughter who has parts of me but is also infused with exciting new parts of her own that I could only hope to be and remarkable other parts that I could never imagine to be. I call this gift Maribeth, and today is her birthday.

Maribeth was born full of determination, talent, laughter, and love. No tree or rooftop was high enough not to climb - she would just find a ladder. No bicycle was too difficult to ride - she would just keep trying until she mastered it. Nothing was insurmountable if Maribeth wanted to do it. She taught herself to play the piano, to read, and to play soccer as the only girl on her team. She has taken flying lessons and hiked part of the Appalachian Trail. She can draw and she can write. Her room was once filled with a KNex ferris wheel and roller coaster. She has completed a half marathon and other races from 5ks to 15ks. Maribeth can do anything she wants to and has the fearless determination to accomplish it all.

She is great fun to be with, and definitely has that Disney gene. She has the ability to make us laugh and embark on new adventures. Maribeth has a tremendous heart and a great capacity to love and help those around her. She lived next to and helped out her grandfather who became seriously ill very quickly. Her other grandfather looks forward to the travels she takes him. She has suffered through broken hearts and disappointments, but still keeps her heart open to share with those who might need it.

Twenty-four years ago, my daughter was born and my life was forever changed. I realized how much good I had in me, because I could see it reflected in my daughter. I can only hope that one day she has a daughter just like her - what a great gift that would be!

Happy Birthday Maribeth - thanks for being you!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Where Men and Speedos Begin

If there is such a thing as an acceptable speedo, this would be it. This would be the only time, and only for this preserved moment in time, because tomorrow he will turn into a pudgy, pasty old man who believes he is still cute and will probably be wearing the same speedo.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Books (And Life) In Review

Today I decided to revisit some of my favorite books that have special meaning in my life. They are part of my personal library, and always will be. The books I'm talking about are:

I love these books because they are fun to read. Re-reading them reminds me of all the times I read them to my children, and they began to read them back. I love the fanciful illustrations and their details and colors. I love the simplicity of the language and story. I love these books because of the personal joy and memories they represent. But I love them most because they are the same books I read when I was a little girl.

My family lived on a farm out in the country. My grandmother lived in the house next door and would take me a mile down the road to the Cross's house. This family had all the Dr. Seuss beginner books and would let me borrow them. These books opened a world full of imagination and words, which has always been at the core of my being. The memory of going to this house and picking out the books has special meaning because of my delight in reading and the time spent with my Nannie. But most of all, it was a time that an adult showed me she loved me by enabling me to do something I loved.

The best things in life are those things that remind us we are loved. For me, it's four books that helped me and my children learn to read. Four little books and whole lot of love and memories. Or as Dr. Seuss said,

"Today is gone. Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.
Every day, from here to there,
funny things are everywhere."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bikini Bylaws

According to my intense research (otherwise known as random browsing) today is the anniversary of the introduction of the bikini. As a person who for about 8 minutes in the 1960s had the body to wear one, this day is a waste of time. So, for those out there who are contemplating the wearing of said article of clothing, here are my guidelines:

I Would Really Not Rather See You In A Bikini If:

1. It disappears into your rolls (and I don't mean the dinner kind).

2. Your six-year-old can wear the one you just bought in your size at the ladies department.

3. It has a double use as dental floss.

4. You're ten months pregnant - yes, I'm old and don't want to see all that.

5. You would have more coverage with two band aids and an address label.

6. You were recently enhanced several cups and want to impress by wearing your former training bra-size top.

7. You're the right size, but you are just too old, leathery, and wrinkly to pull it off.

8. You painted one on. Yes, I've watched the Girls Next Door.

9. Speedos and delusional old men - don't want to see it unless I'm watching you in the Olympics.

10. You keep shrieking "It just keeps falling off!" Right, and the wind just keeps flinging my towel over your body.

Thank you for listening. In the bikini world, we all have to do our part, otherwise EVERYBODY might think the bikini is for them - and that would include me. Yeah, I thought that would get your attention!

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Fourth, a Five-K, and Family

Although it was cloudy and there were sprinkles of rain, today's 5K went off without a hitch - and technically without me, although I was there to support, cheer, and photograph. It was the first time ever for me to watch my family finish a race without my being in it. But I still enjoyed it. I loved watching the end of the street, waiting for my family to turn the corner. I loved attempting to take pictures (I wish I had a viewfinder). I loved watching the other runners come in. I loved hearing their stories about their experiences on the course. I loved the post-race family brunch. But most of all, I loved being a part of it. Or maybe it's just that I love being a part of them.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Woo Hoo - On The Way!

As of this morning at Weight Watchers, I have lost a total of 9 pounds - my first blog goal. It's just a drop in the bucket of my total goal, but it feels good.

It's taken me several weeks to get here, and it hasn't been easy. Over the past year, I have developed some really poor eating habits. Ones like, "It's 3 in the afternoon. Let's go for a snack at the 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffet!" and "That sandwich was sure yummy - let's have another!" and "I have no idea what my hand is putting in my mouth, but I sure hope it makes me happy/satisfied/less bored/motivated." It's been hard to stop repeating those behaviors. I've really had to work at doing the program. But it's finally starting to kick in and become more of a routine and a part of my life.

Nine pounds is just a drop in the bucket. But it is a drop, and it is in the bucket!!

Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Do The Right Thing

My ankle is much better today - at least it feels better. It looks worse, more like a mottled artists's palette with varying shades of purple and brown. It's still pretty swollen, especially after I move about a lot (it's hard to stay put when it doesn't hurt).

I have a 5K scheduled for Friday. It's a Fourth of July run in downtown Nashville. I've done a few 5Ks downtown, and I love it. Everybody in the family has planned to do it. We've only all done one race before, and this was to be our second. I really, really, really want to do this race.

But I know it would be ill-advised. Even walking the 5K would probably be foolish. The bottom line is, do I want to heal so I can work on the NYC Half at the end of the month, or take a chance at further injury? Do I want to hope that it will be okay, or roll the dice?

I've decided to scratch this one. Even if all the swelling went down, and I found myself with a healthy pink foot, the injury would still be down there somewhere. It needs a little more time and careful rehab. I'm not happy about it, but in this case I have to play it smart. I guess sometimes you just have to sit one out.

Besides, maybe it will rain on Friday!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

There's A Reason I Didn't Go Into Medicine!

This is what you should NOT do when your foot is sprained. Because I used to twist my ankles on a regular basis, I have elastic ankle support thingys. I thought I would wear one today to support my sick ankle - bad choice. As you can see, it was a little too tight, and pushed all the blood to one part of my foot - can you tell where the support cut off?

On my trip to Wal-Mart, I invested in the old-fashioned ace bandage. I have been using that, except I probably went the other way and it's too loose - is it supposed to flap when you limp?

Anyhow, my ankle is feeling some better, as long as I don't ask too much of it. I think having to sit around is God's way of letting me exercise my willpower over not playing solitaire. I am persevering, although I did consider finding some new ones (I didn't)!

I have to go now - I'm going to soak my foot in salt - was that Epsom, bath, sea, or table?