Sunday, August 31, 2008

13.1 More Miles

I have another half marathon under my belt (as if I could wear one!). Today it was the Rock and Roll Virginia Beach. The day started at 72 degrees, humidity was 85%, and there was no breeze. In other words, it was hot and humid. I kept trying to think of a reason not to start, just to escape and return to the hotel, but didn't. I finished, albeit with a long time (the course was open for four hours, so I thought it prudent to use every minute). But I finished and received my medal (and a bottle of water, a bottle of Cytomax, and an icy towel). Upon finishing, I tried to do a victory jump, and promptly landed on my currently bad ankle. And I wonder why it isn't 100% yet? Believing I had the possibility of blisters, I also took off my shoes and socks, intending to walk barefoot the 10 blocks back to the hotel, but the sand made the soles of my feet unhappy, so I re-shoed, eventually made it to the hotel, showered, and headed for the airport.

I did not come to the aid of any fellow half-marathoners today. There were more walkers than I have ever experienced in a race, comparable only to the 3-day. It was nice to be in a group, and for once, have thousands still behind me. At some point, I decided that time was not an issue today, and just continued in hopes of finishing.

So what's the lesson for today? Maybe to keep going even though it seems like a goofy thing to do. Maybe to look at what you're doing and question why. Maybe to develop some commmon sense and use it. Maybe to set realistic expectations and meet them. Maybe to look at your birth certificate and come to grips with your body's age. Maybe to study physics and understand the effects that your weight, age, ability, training, and your physical surroundings have on it. Maybe to once again praise the creation known as the porta-potty.

Maybe, but for me, I think I'll just stick with the lesson of "I Can." I'll tell you more about that tomorrow - now it's time for a good night's sleep in my own bed!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Surprise Remembrances

My mother-in-law passed away in 2006. Her name was Shirley, and she had an extensive collection of pewter. So, it was bittersweet when we came across this pewter shop while walking around Williamsburg. I guess it's God's way of telling us our loved ones are always with us - even when we least expect it!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Where The Sidewalk Ends ...

... is usually fairly close to my body. Yes, today while wandering the streets of Virginia Beach, I stepped on a bit of uneven pavement, my ankles were caught by surprise, and down I went. After a little twist of the currently bad ankle, a scrape of the knee, and a questionable thump-scrape on my second toe, I was up and off to the hotel for some Neosporin and a band-aid. Later I rinsed it in the ocean as part of my rehab, hopefully to prepare if for Sunday.

Why does this keep happening? My physical therapist would say it's because I have not been following the exercise therapy he prescribed. My psychic (if I had one) would say it's karma. My inner pessimist would say it's because my racing is just not to be. My family would say it's normal. Smart people would say I'm not taking care of my ankles properly.

As for me, I say it is what it is - a misstep and a splat. It happens sometimes physically, sometimes mentally, and sometimes emotionally. Sometimes I have to take a breather, sometimes I have to have some help, and sometimes I just get up and handle it all by myself. I try to learn from it and move on because there's always something ahead of me. And although I may limp a bit from time to time, I won't let a misstep and a splat keep me from where I want to go.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

News From Virginia Beach

Yes, I am in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Why? Let me see ... Oh yes - I am here to do the Rock and Roll Half Marathon on Sunday. Am I prepared? Of course not. Would you like to discuss my lack of progress with Weight Watchers instead? Hmmm. Wonder if the lack of proper training plus the lack of dedication to Weight Watchers has anything to do with my lack of progress on my 68-pound journey? Let me get back to you on that one.

In other news, today I went for my first session on Curves Smart. I have been a Curves member for over a year. I thought I was doing so well, working out on the machines. Then today, the trainer started me on this new fangled system. Basically, it's a computer thing that is hooked up to the machines and tells you how hard to work. It's got a bunch of lights that tells you to go farther and work harder. I think it's the first step to computers and machines killing off humans and taking over the world. Oh well, at least when they kill me, I will be in shape. I am hoping that perhaps this new program will jump start me to the training/weight watching continuum. We'll see.

Finally, I wanted to introduce you to Itty Bitty. This is my new baby laptop that I got for my birthday. I have tried to show you the size, relative to the hotel phone. It's small. Maybe it will entice me to Curves/train/w-watch so I can be small like it! See how my life works together?

I guess that's all the news for now. We'll see what kind of adventures await tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Six-Month Check Ups

While I was at my 6-month dentist appointment yesterday, I experienced several new things. Dentist Thomas and Hygienist Kimberly were new to me (that's what you get when you go to a group practice) and Hygienist Kimberly used two new procedures - a new plaque attacking drillish instrument and a new brushing efficiency detector.

The brushing detector experience went like this: Kimberly showed up with a q-tip filled with some dentistry concoction on it and proceeded to swab my teeth and gums. She said it would turn pink on some plaque and purple on other plaque (it had to do with how long the plaque had been there, but being bewildered by the whole process, I forgot which was which). She then handed me a hand mirror and told me to look. My mouth looked like I had consumed a gallon of double-strength Kool-Aid followed by several boxes of frozen popsicles. All I could think was, "I am going to see Rebekah in two hours - is this display going to wear off by then?" Kimberly went on to say that I was obviously brushing well (obvious to her, anyway) but I needed to perfect my flossing technique a bit.

All of this led me to think how cool it would be if we could go for a 6-month human test. God would put his special concoction over us, give us a mirror, and we'd go over the results together.

"Well, Luanne, you're doing quite well in the thoughtfulness department. I can see you've touched on the sharing area, but you could probably spend a little more time there. It looks like you might have neglected the friend area, but you can fix that with a little more concentration. Overall, you're doing a good job. Just keep at it, and we'll give you a checkup and cleaning again in six months."

Unfortunately, I would probably do the same thing for that check up that I do for my dentistry one. Sometimes I take it easy for a few months, then furiously brush and floss the weeks before my appointment. While it may work for my date with Kimberly, it doesn't work for being who God wants me to be.

But I will keep Kimberly and her special swab in mind. I'll think of that mirror as I look at what I'm doing in life. I'll look for the areas that need a little more attention and be proud of those areas that deserve it. I'll keep at it regularly, until that day I'll hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just A Summer Rainy Day

I love rainy days like today. My yard and plants love the rain and I hear a whisper that fall is on the way. The seasons are preparing to change, and I'm ready for it.

You have to love summer, when the days are long and the sun is warm and you can't wait to be outside. But then the sun stays out longer and longer and roasts everything, and you end up sitting inside too much. Your grass gets stressed, your water bill gets stressed, and you get stressed. You begin to study the effects of global warming until ...

... a rainy day appears, a leaf turns yellow and falls to the ground. You begin to smell a change coming on. Soon more leaves turn those glorious colors of fall and slowly begin to fall. The days get a little shorter and the air begins to get cooler. This pattern progresses until you think, "If I have to rake one more leaf," until ...

... the night you have the first frost. The winter clothes come out and the fireplace come alive. You get our your soup recipes and try to get home from work before dark. You make predictions on the first snow, and when it happens, you go out and play. You hunker down in the cold and darkness until you wonder if global warming is real, until ...

...the first daffodil appears in the snow, a glimpse of color in the white and gray. The bare trees begin to bud, and one day your tree of sticks becomes a tree of leaves. Color appears in the trees and the ground begins to thaw. You sneeze from allergies more than colds, but you can't help it - you just have to be outside even though it's still a bit chilly. You go for walks in the evening, dreaming of the day when ...

... the swimming pool finally opens. You look forward to months of sitting by the pool, soaking up the Vitamin D (carefully slathered in SPF40). You cook burgers on the grill, sit on the porch until the evening news, and watch fireflies being caught by neighborhood kids. You wear shorts and bare feet and watch your plants grow until ...

... that rainy day when that first leaf turns yellow and falls to the ground.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What A Way To Start A Monday!

Let's face it. Mondays are not the best way to start a week. It's back to work day, recovery from the weekend day, the day to catch up from last week's sloth, a day of meetings to get the week's work on track, Murphy's Law day, and just a day that sometimes that seems hard to get going. Musicians even write songs about this day.

So imagine my surprise when I open my email, find a note from Kat, go to Ladybugs (which I do on a daily basis, but was waiting until later in the day for her to post, after all, it's Monday), and what do I find? I'm her Inspirational Person of the Week!

To say I'm humbled is to put it mildly. Kat is a person who maintains two other blogs in addition to Ladybugs, mothers two wonderful daughters, wives a husband, works an intense (to me) job outside her home, quilts unbelievable creations, cares for people I read about, and undoubtedly does even more I don't even know about. And she thinks I'm inspiring? What an amazing compliment, especially considering the source.

Her post today caused me to stop and think. What if every Monday I did something similar for someone else? What if I took the most challenging day of the week and used it to make someone's day special? What if I started someone's day on a high note, as mine was today?

And so it will be. Every Monday I shall find a way to start someone's day in a positive way. Maybe it will be a note or surprise for a neglected friend or total stranger. Maybe it will be a donation to a particular cause. Maybe it will be an unexpected action on my part for someone who won't "get it" but will enjoy it. Maybe ... well, who knows - but it will be something.

Thanks Kat, for the mention. I'm honored. But most of all, thanks for this great idea.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Luanne Lewis Davidson

Today is my 51st birthday.

I've tried to think of something profound to say or some story from my life to share, but nothing special came to mind. So I guess I'll just go with what I had planned to say anyway.

I have a blessed life for which I am so grateful. There have been sad parts and bad parts to go with the happy parts and good parts, and through it all I have been blessed. I've been blessed with loving family and friends, unforgettable adventures and escapades, and constant surprises and blessings all along the way. The best part is that there is still so much possibility waiting for me just around the corner.

Life at 51 is good indeed.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


It's been a good Saturday.

Shaggy spent the night outside (or on the town) so I managed a few hours sleep before he wanted in around 6 am. I lazed around watching saved DVR stuff and Enchanted (at least the parts I really like) while enjoying my current drink of choice, a smoothie from my little smoothie maker machine.

Sam, Lynnette, and I had lunch downtown, saw the dragon boat races on the Cumberland, walked around the riverfront, and finished our excursion off with a visit to Starbucks.

Afterwards I went shopping a few places (I actually had a list), updated my race scrapbook, and vacuumed up some Shaggy hair on the sofas. I will spend the rest of the evening cleaning up a bit here and there, watching the finish of the men's Olympic marathon, and maybe taking a long soak in the tub before going to bed on clean sheets.

Aren't Saturdays great?

Friday, August 22, 2008

God Said ...

It all started with Maribeth's kindergarten teacher. She suggested that since Maribeth and Brad were best friends, maybe I would like to meet his mom. I really didn't see it going anywhere. Her name was Kay. She was a working mom/nurse who was wearing a dress the first time we met, while I was in my usual stay-at-home mom uniform of maybe-clean, hole-in-the-knee blue jeans and t-shirt of the day. They lived in a nice new house they owned while we were living in a rental house with an orange door. Just because our children were best friends and both families were new in town, was that enough to start a friendship, considering how different we seemed?

God said, "Yes."

Our families lived on the same side of town, so ferrying kids back and forth between houses wasn't a chore. The only fly in the ointment was that Brad "got" to go to daycare after school (Maribeth's words) while she had to come straight home. Some days Brad came to our house and stayed for dinner. On those days Kay usually sent a can of vegetables to help with dinner. If Maribeth went to Brad's house, I was happy if she managed to get there relatively clean with shoes on. Brad's family ate healthy meals while my own was most content when dinner came out of a bag with a toy. How in the world could two moms that seemed so different become friends?

God said, "I know how."

As our children spent more time together, Kay and I got to know each other. On paper, we were very different. We didn't do things the same way; we didn't have the same work habits; we didn't have the same hobbies. We both had three kids and one husband. We both had the same Christian beliefs. Was that enough to build a friendship?

God said, "That's only the beginning."

We found that we connected in ways that weren't readily apparent. While we were both busy, we still enjoyed every moment we had together, however brief. We laughed and talked about life. We commiserated over difficulties, consulted over questions, and blew off that which didn't matter. We often sat in Kay's swing and solved all the world's problems (but not so much our own). We connected, but was that enough to sustain a friendship when things got more complicated?

God said, "Just wait and see."

When Maribeth and Brad moved to first grade, they were in different classes and developed new friends. Kay and I stayed in touch. A year later when I started graduate school and faced a myriad of obstacles, Kay helped me find solutions to many. When we moved to Nashville two years later, we had been friends for such a short time. Was this to be another friendship that would turn into a "was?"

God said, "No way."

Over the years, we have managed to stay in touch with a call, a card, eventually e-mail (we started before the internet), and visit. We've done lunch and dinner and the sit-and-chat. There's no regular schedule, and sometimes it's a long time in between. But it doesn't matter, because as soon as we get back in touch, it's as if we were together just yesterday. Life gets busy, and time passes before we know it, but when it's time, we manage to find each other again.

God said, "I told you."

Last week I was cleaning out a box of greeting cards that I had received in the past. Some were from my parent's funerals, some were from last year's 50th birthday campaign, and others were from various special occasions. As I was culling them out, every so often I would run across one from Kay. Some were past birthday cards and some were from when I was in graduate school. I tossed many of the other cards in the box, but I kept every one with Kay's name on it. Why? Because they represent something very special to me. They represent a friendship that is unique and miraculous.

God said, "I want you to have the best."

I've written about the gift of having a best friend. Last night I had dinner with Kay and there was a lot of talking, a lot of laughing, a lot of tears, and a lot of hugs. As I was driving home, I realized I know what real friendship is. It's 19 years of knowing someone cares about you even though you're miles apart, you don't see each other often, and you don't talk on a regular basis. It's knowing that person wants to know your joy and your pain so she can share it with you. It's having that person who doesn't have to know everything, just the parts that affect you. It's knowing that person is in your corner always, loves you simply because you're you, and will never leave because she's found her place beside you.

God said, "It's what you deserve."

There's no reason Kay and I became friends, or have stayed friends for this long except for this one thing - God wanted it to be so. He knew that I would need a special person to fill a certain part of my heart. He knew exactly who I would need, so he sent Kay. For this, I am eternally thankful.

And God said, "You're welcome."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Way God Works

** Disclaimer Notice: This is yet another exhausting blog in Luanne's continuing attempt to lose weight on Weight Watchers. One can only wonder what she will blog about, should she ever actually accomplish her goal!**

I've already reported how God is with me in my Weight Watching. Just when I thought my WW days might be numbered, He shows His support yet again.

I skipped last week's weigh-in because, yet again, I had not adhered to plan and did not want to face the scale. Today I really didn't want to go for the exact same reasons, but felt compelled to nevertheless. I did have a "skip the scale" coupon, which I decided I would use. I also had several prepaid meeting coupons, and had decided to keep going until they were used up.

I arrive at the center, get my permanent record, and proceed to the weigh-in area, announcing before I barely hit the door, "I'M USING MY SKIP THE SCALE COUPON TODAY!" I may have announced it more than once. I also had to give two coupons since I missed last week. Scale Lady took all my paperwork and offered to go ahead and let me weigh but not record the reading (like THAT was going to happen). THEN she said, "They have these coupons on sale, if you want to get some more."

Isn't that just like God? Assuring me that this is the place I need to be by providing the opportunity to get more coupons, thus insuring my continued attendance. God is faithful - even at a Weight Watchers weigh-in!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mrs. Steven T. Davidson

10:30 a.m.
August 20, 1977
Chapel of Memories
Mississippi State University
Starkville, Mississippi

This was the day that I finally got a middle name and a third initial for my monogram, became a wife, and started a new chapter in my life. I was all of nineteen years old, and I got married to the man God had designed just for me.

As I look at this couple walking out to a totally unknown future, I wonder what I would tell them 31 years later. Would I dare tell them of the difficult times ahead? Would I tell them what to avoid? What I tell them how to live their lives so they would achieve that "happily ever after?"

The answer is no, because they wouldn't listen. All they care about is each other and their life together ahead. They have no concept of marriage or family or real life. All they know is that they love each other and want to spend every moment of the rest of their lives together.

That's the way it should be, because that is the only way to start a marriage. It has to start with just the two of you, oblivious to that unknown future because you know you can tackle anything together. You have to start knowing that God meant for you to be together, because some days that may be the only thing that keeps you going. You have to start from love and conviction and hope, because those are the things that bind you together. You have to start somewhere, and so you start with the two of you.

Thirty-one years ago I married God's choice for my life. That's over 11,315 days of highs and lows, ups and downs, sickness and health, some money and no money, four houses in three states, three kids, countless cats, baseball and soccer games, new cars and junkers, and all those things that make life so interesting. I wouldn't trade any of them because they're all a part of my life and my marriage, which was started by God and continues to be blessed by Him.

Thanks Steve, for 31 - I love you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


My current movie of choice to watch every time it's on cable is Enchanted. It has everything going for it - Disney, princess, romance, cartoon, comedy, music, and happily ever after. I have been researching to find trivia bits - apparently the director and writers included a ton of references to Disney and Disney movies. Now it's even more fun to watch and find all these little bits of whimsy.

Sometimes it's good to escape to a movie like this. A movie where violence is minimized, kindness and happiness are maximized, and everyone finds true love. Where better to stage such a wonderful story but New York City. Definitely my kind of movie!

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's Monday

Today is Bad Poetry Day. I would write a poem, but today my brain isn't working even on that level. So instead, I leave you with the keys to writing your own bad poetry. Good luck!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Olympic Sport

I've watched swimming, diving, gymnastics, women's marathon, men's sprinting, softball, volleyball, tennis, and rowing - at least parts of them. After my viewing snips, I decided to ask myself - "What would I choose for my competition sport of choice?"

And the answer is - sprinting. It's over in about 10 seconds. I can't manage to do anything in 10 seconds, much less run 100 meters, so it's pretty impressive to see people who can. It's one of the reasons I like watching the Olympics - seeing that which seems so impossible for me become reality for the athletes who accomplish it. Amazing!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Elvis and Me

I was never a huge Elvis fan. When I was a little girl, my family drove to Memphis and because Elvis wasn't in town, we were allowed to drive up to his front door (this was the early 60's, people). I never watched him on Ed Sullivan or really listened to his music. My only favorite Elvis songs are "In The Ghetto," and "Kentucky Rain."

However, thirty-one years ago today, Elvis died. I was a college graduate and working as a data processor (if you don't know what that is, it's now an obsolete job) in an office at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi, only a few hours from Memphis. The office was mostly filled with women who had a high school education and were happy to be "working at the college." Once the news of the King's death hit, all work stopped. In between sobbing jags, these women were trying to figure out how to get to Graceland. All I could think was, "How does this affect my wedding?"

I was getting married four days later. Was the earth going to stop spinning because Elvis had passed? Should I rethink my music to include some "Hunka Hunka Burning Love?" Should I postpone the wedding due to the probable week of national (at least in the south) mourning?

As it turned out, I didn't have to make any changes to the wedding and got married on time. The ladies made it to Memphis and paid their respects. Elvis got buried in his backyard. Guess we all did it "our way."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lessons From A Stalk of Corn

This is my corn crop. There are many remarkable things about my corn crop, the first of which is that I could actually grow corn. Actually, I didn't even plant the corn. This particular stalk has only one ear of corn on it. However, there is something even more remarkable about my corn crop.

My corn crop is growing in my flower bed, right underneath my bedroom window. I don't know how it got started. All I do know is that earlier this week, I saw this big plant growing in my flowerbed, and when I went to yank it up, I saw the sole ear of corn.

Of course, I think God put the corn in this particular spot to teach me a few lessons like:
  • You can grow and thrive in places you don't think will accept you.
  • You may look like something undesirable, but when people see you up close, they see your value and admire your tenacity.
  • You don't have to be a part of a group similar to yourself - you can stand out all by yourself.
  • You don't have to produce something huge - you just have to do what you were created to do.
But I think the most important lesson is this: there are wondrous things everywhere, if you just take the time and look.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Best Friends

When I was little, I had an imaginary friend. I don't really remember her (she moved before I started school), but my mother told me her name was Bessie Prinn, short (in my pre-speech therapy days) for best friend. In the years since, I have had the privilege of having many friends, and I think I have figured out what makes them "best."

A best friend doesn't care how often you call, but is so happy when you do. It doesn't matter why you call, because your best friend considers every call a blessing. It doesn't matter what you say, because your best friend listens to every word you say and holds it in her heart as long as you need her to.

A best friend doesn't keep track of how often you see each other, because every time you get together it seems as if you've never been apart . Every visit has to begin and end with a hug, because her heartfelt embrace is the first thing you want to feel and the last thing you want to remember. No matter how much time you have together, it's rarely enough because you know how precious the time is. And it doesn't matter what you do - it just matters that you have the time together.

A best friend feels your joy, your frustration, your anger, and your sadness as her own, because anything that affects you affects her. Words are never necessary to convey emotion - she feels it with you. If there is nothing to be said or done, she will just sit and hold your hand until you feel better.

A best friend is a gift that you don't have to earn. It's a part of you that will never leave, will always have your back, and is your lifeblood when you think you have none left. It's a constant in life that you can always count on.

Best friends - all it took was a phone call today to remind me of how precious a gift they are.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Picture Proof

I told you that I was once a dairy princess. Tonight as I was cleaning out and organizing the old family cedar chest, I came upon evidence of my reign. What kind of princess has to pet a cow and has no tiara?! Anyhow, it just goes to show that you can run, but you can't hide from your past - even a 45-year-old newspaper article will show up somewhere!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Changing Course

Yesterday I got a routine race update for the Chicago Half Marathon, one that I have on my calendar for September. While reading it and the race's website, I noticed that they had a 13-minute per mile pace. I looked at last year's results and saw that there were several finishers with a greater pace than that, so I emailed the race officials and asked if the 13-minute pace would be enforced. Chad replied and said:

"Yes, the previous management group allowed participants to move to the sidewalks after the pace. However, we do not feel that it is safe for participants to be on the course with no support (medical, police, water, course marshals, etc). So yes, the 13 minute per mile pace will be enforced."

So, with my current lack of pacing progress and my lingering ankle issues, I had to decide my future with this half. Was I going to try really hard to meet this requirement or let it go? Was it time to push myself or continue to take it slow? I have decided that Chicago will be a "did not start." With the potential for August/September heat, it is certainly not the time to try to push a faster pace (for me, anyway). Although my ankle has improved, it is not miraculously healed. And let's face it - 51 is staring me in the face and shaking its head.

Am I disappointed? Yes, but also a little relieved. My monthly half-marathon plan for 2008 didn't quite work out, but I'm okay with it. There's always another plan out there waiting for me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympics Observing

I've been watching the Olympics in spurts. I've watched teeny bits of beach volleyball, bigger bits of diving and gymnastics, and every minute of Michael Phelps' medal events. But I think I've found another Olympics to view. Wonder if Shaggy the Cat is interested?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

School Supply Season

Tomorrow public school begins in Nashville. During the past few days, I've seen groups of children and parents shopping for school supplies. It's been three years since I resigned from teaching fifth grade, yet every August since then I am deeply moved by the sight of children choosing just the right pencil and paper.

My heart breaks a little because I wish I could be their teacher. I wish I was going to be the one waiting to meet them and spend a year of their lives with them. I wish I was going to be the one to take them from one level of education to the next. I wish I was going to be the one that was going to help them grow mentally and emotionally. I wish I was the one who was going to argue with them, mediate their spats with classmates, reprimand their behavior, wipe their tears, receive their hugs, and just love them. I wish I was going to be the one who would be forever changed for having them in my life.

But then I remember why I chose to stop teaching. I remember how my job became more clerical than educational. I remember how I couldn't do what I needed to do for my students because I had to do what was required by the central office. I remember how all I wanted to do was teach, yet on many days, teaching was the last thing I had time to do.

I guess I just couldn't manage it all. I couldn't manage all the administrative, educational, behavioral, and personal demands and still be the teacher I wanted to be. I never wanted to become that "bad" teacher everyone wished would quit or retire, and when I felt myself headed down that path, I resigned. I just couldn't continue working so hard to be the teacher I wanted to be and feeling I was missing the mark. Maybe I took the easy way out - but I just couldn't do less than my best for something I loved so much.

I've never regretted my decision, but I do miss the reason every true teacher chooses this path - the students. I miss the difficult ones, the smart ones, the quiet ones, the struggling ones, the comedic ones, and the ones you think you'll never reach - but somehow you do. I miss them all.

I won't be their teacher this year. But maybe every time I see them shopping, or playing on the playground during my wogs, or on a field trip, or just living life as a child, I can quietly wish them well. I can offer a prayer for them and their teachers and hope this school year turns out to be one of their best. And while I'm at it, I can offer a prayer myself - a prayer of thanksgiving for all those precious children that I once called my students, when I had the privilege of being their teacher.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Another Family 5K

Today it was the East Nashville Tomato 5K. I can pretty much sum it up in two words - hot and hilly. I managed to complete the course without injury or hospitalization, keeping Lynnette in sight and watching Molly flit here and there (apparently getting a compliment about her legs from a male admirer - too bad he was probably around 80!). Here's a few glimpses of our morning:

7:00 am on a Saturday morning - can't someone come up with a better way to start the day?

A couple of cool guys named Sam and Stephen.

Meet Big Butt and Little Butt. Baby Butt was taking pictures.

You decide who is going the correct way.

Although she did not come in first and win, at least Maribeth found enough Coca-cola caps with numbers to redeem for valuable prizes.

All in all, it was a good day. But any day I get to have fun with my family is a good day!

Friday, August 8, 2008

In Honor of Today ...

... since today is a such a busy holiday, I am going to:

Go buy some zucchini with a dollar, then go out with the gals to celebrate Dr. Beckett's birthday and have cheesecake which will make me so happy I will have to admit it, then go swimming before I sneak the zucchini onto my neighbor's porch.

And I thought I had nothing to do today!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Unexpected Answers, But The Right Ones

Here's the latest installment in my weight loss saga. I normally go to Weight Watchers on Thursday morning. Last Thursday I knew my results would be depressing, so I chose to not go. Considering this week's two-hamburger incident, I was planning to also skip today's weigh-in and meeting. I had even started to convince myself that I could do this without going to the meetings - after all, I had been through WW twice before (with great success) and I knew everything I needed to know (even though going it alone has never been successful for me). I didn't want to get on my home scale this morning, even if it would cement my new plan.

As I am prone to do, I mentioned it in passing to God. I said, "Okay, if I'm supposed to stay with WW, then when I get on the scale, I will weigh the same as I did two weeks ago." I fully expected to have gained at least two hamburgers worth (and M&Ms, and chocolate ice cream, and, well, you get the idea).

I got on the scale, and there it was - the exact same weight. No gain, no loss, just the exact weight I had asked to see. Even I couldn't find an argument for that (especially after 3 more attempts to test out my answer). The fact is, I need Weight Watchers. I need to keep going to the meetings and weighing in. I will keep working to stay on program and lose the weight the same way it has worked for me before. Today I went and weighed in. Somewhere between home and the center, two-tenths of a pound crept in, but that's a dose of reality. I can, and will, do this.

It's great to know God is in this with me, to encourage and guide me whenever I need it. I know He will do that, if I am willing to talk to Him about it. He has the answers - not always the ones that I may think I want, but the ones I need.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

They Also Smile Who Shovel Oopsies

This is a picture of a cast member at Walt Disney World. His job is to walk after the horses in the Pirate and Princess Parade, and "clean up" when nature rings up the horses and says "Now, please."

Does this man have the best job in the kingdom? Not so much. He gets to walk around carting a trash can filled with horse poop that he personally shoveled. He's probably hot from walking, smelling the smell of dookey, and watching the hind end of a horse for the next plop.

But look again at the man. He's waving to all the people watching the parade. He's not Aladdin, or Captain Jack, or Mickey. He's the horse pooper-scooper, doing his job and making the best of it.

We all have poop to scoop, be it ours or our responsibility. I just hope I do it with the attitude of this cast member. I hope I remember that it's not the scooped that matters, but the people I see along the way that make the task worthwhile.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Blingedy-Bling Needed

These are my race medals. I finished probably another dozen 5Ks, a couple of 5-milers, a 10K, and a 10-miler that gave no medals. I display these in my office because I like looking at them, they remind me of a fun (most of the time) trip, and each represents an accomplishment. They also represent eight years of training and lack-of-training, miles and more miles, tears and laughs, and highs and lows. They don't represent a finish position (unless nearly last counts), but they represent a finish. Even though I didn't get an official finish time on two occasions, I finished the course and received my reward.

Here's the deal. Right now I am in the middle of my hardest race - the weight loss race. It's been sort of like my race training at times - I have good days and I have not-so-good days. But in a race, I always keep going because I know at the end, I will get my medal. It keeps me going, even in the middle of a training wog when I want to call home, or a race when I want to search for the nearest sweep van.

I have decided that I need a medal to represent completing this Weight Race. I need something to think of that's waiting for me when I cross the finish line and I've lost my 68 pounds. I've thought about a Disney trip or a special cruise, but that idea is not doing it for me because it's an experience, not a "thing." I need a thing.

So I'm asking for your input. Got any ideas? The only criteria I have is that it be a visible thing that I can display to remind myself of the journey I completed to get it. Sure, the intrinsic value of accomplishment, the better health from weight loss, blah, blah, blah, is important, but so is my "thing."

So whattadya think? I'll do all the work - I just need the bling to keep me going.

Monday, August 4, 2008

What I Did on a Hot Monday In Nashville

10. I ate two hamburgers for dinner. Yes they were good. No, they were not on Weight Watchers.

9. I walked two miles. In the hot heat. Didn't make up for eating the two hamburgers.

8. I went to Curves. Thank goodness it's in the air conditioning. Still didn't make up for the two hamburgers.

7. I looked at snow pictures from earlier this year. Would have loaded them onto the blog, but the computer refused to do it. Not sure it it's mad at me because of the heat or the hamburgers.

6. Watched the first part of the final two episodes of Friends. The next episode however, was NOT the final episode. Why? At least I know why I ate the second hamburger.

5. Wrote a story. Should have written 5000 words on why eating two hamburgers is so wrong.

4. Got picture from NYC Half Marathon. Should be proof positive why bicycle shorts and two hamburgers in one meal do not mix. Should, but hamburgers won out.

3. Set DVR thing to tape "Jon and Kate Plus Eight." Should set up personal video camera to tape "Luanne and Two Hamburger Plus Big Bloomers."

2. Watched too many episodes of various forms of "Law and Order." Wonder if Olivia, Elliot, Goren, or Mr. Big will arrest me for the two hamburger infraction?

1. Sweated. A lot. But still not two hamburgers worth!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Minnie Mouse Exposed!

While cruising the net for useless information, I came across the following facts about Minnie Mouse:

*Minnie is short for Minerva.

*Her father is named Marcus Mouse but her mother is unnamed; they were both farmers.

*Her grandparents are Marshall Mouse and Matilda Mouse, but her best known relatives are her uncle Mortimer Mouse and her twin nieces, Millie and Melody

*Her sister is Mandie Mouse

*She is the 3rd most requested character at the Disney parks
and has homes in Disneyland, Disney World, and Tokyo Disneyland

*She is a member of Girl Scouts

*Walt Disney said in a 1933 interview that Mickey and Minnie are married in private.

This information does not cure my current Disney itch, but it helps. See you in September, Minnie!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Power of the Lifetime Movie

Once again I have gotten sucked into a Lifetime Movie. Tonight it is something about some wicked high school cheerleaders. As usual, I only started watching halfway through, so I don't know why they're wicked, but it has something to do with the principal and cheerleader mothers versus the cheerleading coach.

I don't watch Lifetime on a regular basis. I usually don't even turn to it unless I'm at Disney World because it's either that or the Top Seven Attractions channel. However, sometimes at home when I'm channel hopping, the cable stops at the currently showing Lifetime Movie. I think it's a conspiracy to suck the brain cells out of my head. I become mesmerized by the fictional/true life story, and am incapacitated and cannot turn the channel. I am only released when the movie is over - but they still get me by advertising the next "original movie" that will be showing.

The movie is over now. The mean cheerleaders and the principal got sacked and the cheerleader coach was vindicated. Everything turned out as it should be. I just wonder if tomorrow night that mother who had a baby but it disappeared but she really feels it is alive, is going to find her baby?

I have got to get a more powerful remote control!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Poetry Time!

Ode To August

August is here,
It's hot outside.
If I sunbathed nude,
I'd have a red backside.

Summer is waning,
My flowers are tired.
They truly are wishing
A gardener had been hired.

School will be starting
Without me, once again
I'll have no more students
To get under my skin.

But August is special
Because when it is done -
I'll be one year older -
I'll be fifty-one!