Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thanks 2009!

  • For graduations and new jobs.
  • For marathons and half-marathons and 5ks and 10ks and 13ks.
  • For a 3-day and sleeping in tents.
  • For family gatherings and trips.
  • For Disney visits and more Disney visits.
  • For new friends and reconnecting with old friends.
  • For publishing books.
  • For saying goodbye to much-loved pets and hello to new ones.
  • For new cars and new furniture and trading both.
  • For new places for family brunch.
  • For new movies and television shows.
  • For gestating a granddaughter.
  • For an unforgettable presidential inauguration

But most of all, thanks for the family with whom I have enjoyed and shared many of the experiences above. The lows during the year have been made bearable because of the support of my family and the highs and joys have been doubled because them. And on this last day of 2009, I am thankful to have them around me. On to 2010!!__________________________________________________________________

Things that make today great: Finally taking down the Christmas tree

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My New Year's Resolution

... is to quit showing so many cat videos on this blog. However, since it is not New Year's yet, here's another!!



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Things that make today great: Spending time with the family for Sam's birthday lunch, movie marathon, and Chipotle dinner

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Busy Tuesday

But I had enough time to find this:


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Things that make today great: Finishing big project; hearing that Maribeth and Mathieu have survived camping; going to maintenance boot camp session; beautiful wintery cold day; watching "Calendar Girls" on DVD

Monday, December 28, 2009

Slowerdown to Gitterdun

Today I had a few sewing projects to complete. Basically, it was sewing a bunch of seams (and that's pretty much the extent of my sewing expertise). I ran into a problem because the bobbin thread kept breaking. I would sew a few inches, then notice that there was no stitching. After several starts and stops, I was getting a bit frustrated.

But then I decided to slow down my pace on the sewing machine and it worked - the thread stopped breaking and I got all my projects completed. All I had to do was not get in a rush and try to do it as fast as possible.

I guess that's my lesson for today - to slow down those things that need it. Being fast isn't always the ideal situation. Sometimes by slowing down and taking your time, you get things accomplished. And in the end, that was all you really wanted to do anyhow.
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Things that make today great: Sewing curtains for Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley; slawdogs for lunch with Sam; Sam and Lynnette's new countertops; family news of returning home after vacations

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Yes, Family - It's Another Cat Video

Hey - I've been on a family vacay for over a week - deal with it or write your own blog!! Besides, this might be useful for next Christmas!!


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Things that make today great: safe flight home; sleeping in my own bed; catching up on Christmas cards from last week; surprise package from Kat; Demos dinner with Sam and Lynnette; Molly's pickup from the airport

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cold Temps, Warm Hearts


Today was cold - at least by our Florida vacation expectations. We froze this morning during our segway tour. We froze tonight during our fireworks cruise. But since we were with family, the cold seemed bearable.

Because in the end, it's family that keeps our hearts warm and going. Today's memories of being together on a cold Florida day will stay with us forever - in all kinds of future weather.
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Things that make today great: Segway tour with family; visiting with Elaine and Ike; Holiday Wishes fireworks cruise

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! That's all. But isn't that enough? I thought so!
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Things that make today great: Morning movie with Marilyn, Anne, and Molly; Lewis family Christmas and dirty Santa

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Night Before Christmas


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Things that make today great: Park shopping with Molly; Lewis family Christmas celebration

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where's The Caramel Corn?

Steve has a bone to pick - or should I say a kernel to pop. On a recent trip (like maybe October) to WDW when we were staying at Boardwalk, we walked past a kiosk that advertised caramel corn. Steve likes caramel corn and his mouth started watering at the thought of some freshly made caramel corn. When it was his turn at the window, the cast member behind the counter told Steve that the machine was broken and they no longer sold caramel corn.

This did not sit well with Steve, who saw all his caramel corn hopes dashed with just a few words. He inquired as to why the sign still indicated that they sold caramel corn, when indeed they did not. Of course the cast member, being a lowly worker bee, had no response, and Steve went away mumbling things that probably shouldn't be heard by innocent ears.

Fast forward to tonight. Again, we pass the same kiosk. Again, the sign outside advertised caramel corn. Again, Steve waits in line and asks for this golden treat when it is his turn. And again, the cast member behind the counter says that the machine is broken and there is no caramel corn to be sold and consumed.

Naturally, this perplexes Steve. After all, this is Disney. Shouldn't the machine be fixed by now? The last time we stayed in the Boardwalk Villas, workers were hauling out all the furniture and appliances in the units for refurbishment and installation of new furniture and appliances. Certainly ONE lowly caramel-corn-making machine could be replaced, at least repaired.

But no. Steve inquired as to when the machine might be fixed. Cast Dude said he didn't know - probably never. Steve asked if the sign could be modified as to reflect the current caramel corn situation. Cast Dude said Disney would not let them change anything, even as to write a hand-written sign to post when their credit card machine is broken. Cast Dude was very amiable and smiled as he tried to console Steve in his current caramel corn crisis.

Steve left, vowing to write important Disney officials and hoping there is a President of Caramel Corn. Steve is on a mission, and will be back in January to see if this situation has been rectified. I certainly hope so - because somebody's kernels are going to be pretty hot if it hasn't!!
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Things that make today great: new watch from Steve; dinner at Big River Grille with John, Anne, David, Michael, Molly, and Steve; crowded bus to Downtown Disney and dancing couple; finding caramel popcorn and cotton candy

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Balloons

Our room at Saratoga Springs looks out at Downtown Disney. We have a great view of the tethered balloon ride. I can watch as it starts out on the dock, then slowly is released to the length of its tether, then reeled back in.

The other morning as I was returning to the resort after taking Steve to the golf course, I saw the balloon at its highest height. Then in the distance, I saw two hot-air balloons, very small and high in the atmosphere. I immediately gave the tethered balloon human feelings and wondered what it thought when it saw the untethered balloons high in the sky.

Did it wish it could be released to soar high in the sky, or did it feel secure knowing it would never be lost or out of control? Did it want to join the other balloons, or was it happy in its solitude? Did it want to be in charge of is own destiny, or was it content to be controlled by someone else? And finally, did it wonder if giving tethered balloon rides was all that its life was meant and going to be?

I realized that maybe I had a lot in common with the tethered balloon. Sometimes I want to be the same as those who perform so much better than I - like the fast runners in boot camp or in races, or writers who have books published, or just about anybody who can do things that I don't seem to be able to do. Sometimes I want to be a part of a group, but sometimes I enjoy being alone. And most of the time, I like being in charge of my own life, but sometimes it's nice for someone else to make a decision or two.

But finally in the end, I accepted that like the balloon, I'm placed where I am for a reason. For the balloon, its there to provide rides for people who may never get in a hot-air balloon. It's there to give people a ride to experience a different perspective. It's there to do what it was created and supposed to do in this world.

And so am I. No matter who does something better than I do, or how many groups I may be or not be a part of, or whether I or someone else dictate my actions, in the end I am where I am for a reason. I have a distinct purpose in this world, and it's up to me to do that which I was created to do. And in the end, nobody can do that better than me!
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Things that make today great: Playing cards with Molly; dinner at Steak & Shake with Molly and Steve; catching up with Maribeth and Mathieu; sitting in the hot tub by the pool

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Christmas Song

I saw this on another blog, and loved it, so I thought I'd pass it along!!


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Things that make today great: Beautiful (although a little cold) weather; surfer dude at the window at Starbucks

Sunday, December 20, 2009

When Disney Magic Wanes

This morning, Molly and I decided to join Maribeth and Mathieu for a visit to Hollywood Studios. Our plan was to do Toy Story Mania and go from there. Here's how it went:

1. We waited in the cold for the bus - which didn't take too long. Once at Hollywood Studios, I decided to get in the Will Call line to get my annual pass renewal. The line seemed a little long, and everyone at the windows had either major Disney World issues or were making lifelong relationships with the cast members, so I decided to see if my current annual pass would work - it did. Things looked promising.

2. Our plan was for the other three to get in line for TSMania and I would get fast passes so we could do the ride twice. However, the lines for the fast passes were were longer than the one for the actual ride, so we decided to skip the fast pass and just go for one ride. We did and everything seemed like it was moving along.

3. We considered eating somewhere in the park, but everything was booked up. This really wasn't a problem, since the M's had a reservation. Molly and I debated a bit about what to do next and decided to go to Downtown Disney for a movie and lunch. Here's where the magic ended.

4. Upon leaving Hollywood Studios, I decided to get my annual pass. When it was my turn, I handed the cast member my confirmation paper, my current annual pass, and my id. He said I needed my DVC card, which was back at the room. We then got in a discussion as to where I was staying, and it wasn't until the third time that he understood where it was. At this point, I decided to try this mission another day when I had all of the above, plus my passport, my library card, and my first grade report card.

5. Now let me say that it's cold down here. Certainly not the snow cold that is in NYC, but colder than we were planning. The brisk wind doesn't help much, either. So, we decided to wait on a bench in the sun for the resort bus to go back to Saratoga Springs in order to get to the movie theater. We noticed that two people were waiting at the actual bus stop. After about thirty minutes, we notice two Disney cast members are talking to the two waiters, and after a brief discourse, all four leave the bus stop. Molly and I keep watching and waiting for our bus, only to see hospitality bus after hospitality bus zoom right on past. After an hour, we give up and decide to walk to Boardwalk to catch a bus to DD. It's still cold, and we get to walk against the wind all the way to Boardwalk.

6. Upon arrival at the bus stop at Boardwalk, we begin waiting anew for the desired bus. We watch as buses for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom come and go. And come and go again. And again. Finally after about thirty more minutes, two buses arrive for Downtown Disney. We get in line and notice that a scooter person is driving to the second bus. We decided to get on the first bus and as we are finding our seats, we see the scooter lady preparing to board our bus. This involved many maneuvers. Finally, thirty minutes later, we head for DD.

7. We ate at Wolfgang Puck Express where our our waiter was Chicken Little. Really. That was the name on his name tag and with which he introduced himself. During our meal, he sang a bit and danced a bit. Maybe that was the magic returning.

8. Finally, we decided the day was done for us and walked back to our room. There we decided to take naps - until Molly discovered $5 fleece zip-ups at Old Navy. Lucky for me, she decided to take this adventure with Maribeth and Mathieu.

So, the moral of this story is that sometimes things get a bit constipated, even at Disney World. You can moan and groan about your current situation, or make some corrective measures. Eventually, everything gets worked out in the end. And maybe you'll get a $5 fleece as a bonus!
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Things that make today great: Titans win; adventures with Molly; grapefruit cake from Brown Derby

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday No-Blog Day

No words could possibly explain this. Well except for these: IT'S LATE AND THIS IS THE BEST I COULD DO FOR TODAY'S BLOG!


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Things that make today great: $3 sweatshirts at Old Navy; grocery shopping with Molly; Wolfgang Puck Express dinner with Steve, Maribeth, and Mathieu; watching dvds with Molly and Steve

Friday, December 18, 2009

Just The Facts, Ma'am

We made it to Disney. We made contact with Maribeth and Mathieu. We checked into Saratoga Springs. Steve made it to Ghiradelli for a milkshake before it closed. Molly and I did not make it to Chic Fil A before it closed. We did make it to Taco Bell, which may prove to be a mistake in a few hours.

In other words, we made it. Now it's time for bed!
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Things that make today great: Last day of this session of boot camp; salad bar lunch; safe, smooth-ish flight; great room at Saratoga Springs; the thought of sleeping in tomorrow

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In Case You Forgot ...

... Linus reminds us what Christmas is all about.


_____________________________________________________________________________ Things that make today great: Shopping, dropping off supplies at the humane society, and lunching with Molly; Maribeth's safe arrival in Orlando, watching "Grand Torino" with Steve; pedis with Molly by Vivian

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas - Davidson Style

Every year we have our family Christmas early because Sam and Lynnette spend Christmas in Texas. Early this year, we decided to spend Christmas in Orlando, since Sam and Lynnette would be in Texas. Then Sam and Lynnette decided to have a baby, due January 13, but we have reservations, so we are still going to Florida (except Sam and Lynnette, because Southwest is not in their birth plan). So, tonight was our family Christmas. And, as it has been in years past, it was not exactly a Norman Rockwell portrait. Here are the Top Ten Highlights of this year's Davidson Family Christmas.

1. The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. I had only decorated half the tree with half the ornaments this year. Then Maggie has managed to dislodge about half of those, so I think there's probably only about five left. At least it won't take me long to take it down.

2. No stockings. They never made it out of the storage box and onto the mantel. So nobody got anything in their stockings. Except for the mints and the two chocolate Santas and the brownie cutters that nobody wanted.

3. Lackadaisical gift drawing. This year we had five categories - entertainment, food, clothing, frame it, and regift. Some people didn't even bring their gift (for various reasons) or the gift was really indescribable. At least the gift receipts were included.

4. "Fly by the seat of your pants" recipes. Molly agreed to cook dinner this year. If you weren't bringing a dish of your own, you could trade with Molly and take one of her gift names. Sam and I took her up on it. Sam wanted Mammaw's dressing and I wanted Aunt Dorris's rolls. Mammaw is in heaven and Aunt Dorris has Alzheimer's and the recipes were basically "a pinch of this and a T or t of that" and listed weird ingredients (like sweet milk). But Molly did quite well and everything turned out yummy. And nobody has called with food poisoning. Yet.

5. Steve's office decor. Actually, this was not his own decorating - it was the result of the crazy person who came into his office sometime between last night and early this morning, brought a pitcher of coffee, and proceeded to pour it all over his desk, papers, computer, and anything else. There are no suspects and no other offices were "coffee=potted." Merry Christmas, you nutcase.

6. Missing the plane. Maribeth was to pick up Mathieu at the airport. But his flight left early and he hadn't checked in (long story not worth telling). He missed the plane. Maribeth has a hotel reservation in Atlanta. Mathieu has new flight tomorrow to Orlando. Maribeth has to drive to Atlanta tonight and to Orlando tomorrow. Not quite "over the river and through the woods."

7. Honeybaked turkey and ham. I decided to get a turkey breast from HBHam, since the one I got yesterday wouldn't be defrosted until New Year's Day. Molly said I should get a ham, too. Nobody wanted ham.

8. Molly getting locked out of her house. I was at the mall, exchanging cars with Steve so Maribeth could take his car to Florida and get an early start (she didn't). It was freezing cold and Molly needed to go to the grocery store to buy cornbread which I was supposed to have cooked this morning (I didn't). It was 4 pm and dinner was set for 6. Hey, at least I had turkey. And unwanted ham.

9. Butt calls. Sam gets a call at work. From Steve. Actually from Steve's butt that dials numbers sometimes on Steve's blackberry. Sam is yelling into the phone, but Steve does not hear him. But Sam hears Steve talking. Maybe Steve's butt poured the coffee in his office.

10. Pies - or no pies. Last week, Molly sent out an email to check on every one's favorite pie (she was in the pie-making mood). Nobody agreed on anything. So there were no pies. But there were three mini-cakes from the grocery store that Molly eventually went to after finally warming up. Nobody ate them.

So there you go - another Davidson family Christmas for the books. On to next year!!
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Things that make today great - Davidson family Christmas (and that's enough!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Time Is Here

In case you, like me, have been busy, here's a little song to keep you in the spirit:


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Things that make today great: Starting projects and finishing projects

Monday, December 14, 2009

yay. it's monday...

Before boot camp this morning, I wasn't sure I could make it. Sure, that's the way I feel most mornings before boot camp, but today was a tiny bit different. I just didn't feel "with it." But I went anyway, hoping that something would kick into gear. It didn't.

I huffed and puffed my way through most of the exercises. However, when it came to the partner drills, due to the odd number of ladies present, I was left without a partner. Or, my partner became our drill instructor, Mr. Josh. Basically, that meant that when we did the part where one partner gets the band and wraps it around the other partner and the one harnessed gets to sprint or lunge or side-shuffle or whatever gosh-awful exercise, my partner was Mr. Physically Fit Josh. It was not pretty. First of all, when partnered with another lady, we tend to be a little easy. Second, Josh is a heavier than any of the ladies, with the heavier part being pure muscle. Third, I should have just tried pulling a Mack truck. Needless to say, at some point I thought I was going to pass out or throw up - either of which would have been preferable because maybe then I could have excused myself to return to my bed at home.

But after a few dozen water breaks, and slow walks around the gym, and sitting on the floor, and trying to explain through the pants of breaths and the heaving of my chest, I managed to semi-complete some of the exercises. The best part was my return home, where I had a piece of cheese toast and a nap.

Later on, because the rain and cold weather has temporarily gone (until tomorrow anyhow) I decided it would be a good day to clean up the flower beds. I purchased Molly's assistance with the cleanup and guilted Maribeth into bringing us lunch and drinks from Sonic. After my yard was done, we caravanned to Molly's house where we clean out the planter. Finally finished with my landscaping, I showered and made/changed January hotel /flight reservations for the Disney half marathon. I finished my day with Sloppy Joes - a seldom had but really delicious dinner treat.

So it looks like I've made a good start on the week. In fact, I think I deserve a day off tomorrow. Wonder if I can just call in boot camp?
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Things that made today great: Making it through boot camp (barely); yard cleanup; Molly's help; Maribeth's lunch/drink delivery; reservation changes; hot shower; sloppy joe dinner

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Public Service Announcement

At my age, I feel it imperative to impart vital knowledge based on my experiences. In light of this, I would like to tell you to stay away from the product shown on the left. In fact, run away from them - do not stop and consider - run away.

But let me start at the beginning. First of all, I am a Cheetos fan. Well, except for the fiery hot ones. I like my Cheetos. Awhile ago, I became aware that they had come up with "giant" Cheetos. Although I found the concept intriguing, my interest was not peeked enough to actually sample one.

Then, in the demented spirit of Little Debbie and her evil Christmas tree cakes, the villains at Cheetos headquarters decided to package some ginormous white cheddar Cheetos and market them as "jingle bells" - a winter treat. Guess what - they got me. I promptly grabbed a bag and headed for the checkout line.

Once home, I opened the bag, hoping for a holiday Cheetos delight. Instead, I found a crinkly chunk the size of a large marshmallow or a ping pong ball. In fact, I probably needed a knife and fork to eat it. I tried eating it in bites, but all that got me was white cheese gunk on my front teeth. If you try eating the things in bites, you will also end up with slimy cheese gunk on your fingers. And to matters even worse, these humongous chunks pretty much taste like Styrofoam. All in all, the entire holiday gargantuan Cheetos experience was a huge disappointment. I have now done my part to warn you.

To summarize, save your money and don't buy these "holiday" Cheetos - eat the packing peanuts that were in your holiday packages instead.
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Things that make today great: Brunch with the family; Christmas presents almost finished and wrapped; projects started; watching "Up" with Steve; waiting forever at Church's for Steve's chicken

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shopping - Part Deux

After venturing out again this evening for more holiday shopping, I realized another reason I don't like holiday shopping - holiday shopping drivers. Here are my top five reasons why I think holiday shopping traffic is more dangerous that Nashville traffic when snow has been detected in Memphis, predicted to hit Nashville sometime in the next year, and the stampede to Kroger for milk and bread has begun:

Holiday shopping driving in Nashville sucks because:

1. There is a death dual when a shopper is seen headed to her car, she gets in her car, and backs out of her parking space. The death dual begins when the two drivers who have been stalking the driver attempt to be the one to gain control of the aforementioned parking space.

2. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has a clue as to what is going on in a parking garage. Today I saw a fender bender involving a car that was obviously oblivious to the person who was backing out. Of course, the backing out car was not paying attention to anyone behind him, because he thought he would be Mr. Popular because he was opening up a prime parking location.

3. The Christmas spirit does not apply to automobiles. This is evident in the number of cars who line up bumper to bumper trying to circle the parking lot to find a parking spot (and ignoring anyone who may be backing up right beside them). I understand the concept - I just find it annoying that they are blocking me from crossing their line to head the other direction. I mean, I pose no threat to their parking place agenda - I just want to go to Kroger. Really - and there's no snow anywhere in the forecast!

4. Horn honking does not equate to jingle bells. Really. And I don't think you were saying "Merry Christmas" either. And no, that is not the correct gesture for the season.

5. The traffic light does not change rules just for Christmas. Red still means stop, not "block the intersection." Yellow still means caution, not "you still have time - lots of it - so pull on out to the middle of the intersection." Green means simply go, not "go whenever and however and wherever you want." The Christmas lights are on your tree, not in the middle of traffic!

Shopping at 7-11 is looking better every day!
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Things that make today great: Snowflake 5K with Steve and Sam; Sam wogging the 5k with me; fellow wogger at 5k; breakfast with Sam, Lynnette, and Maribeth; enjoying "The Frog Prince" with Sam and Lynnette; purchasing two more Christmas presents

Friday, December 11, 2009

Shopping

Two words - hate it. Today I decided to go Christmas shopping and it didn't change my opinion of shopping in general. Even though the crowds weren't too bad (at least at the two places I went - I saw the parking lot was full at the mall so I completely drove past), I still do not care for shopping.

So, in conclusion, if you are on my Christmas list this year, be prepared. The good news is that I think 7-11 does have a pretty good return policy!
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Things that make today great: Boot camp Friday and winning the blog tag relay; getting some Christmas shopping done; Steve bringing Logan's for dinner; beautiful chilly day

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chicken Sapa as a Metaphor for Life

Sometimes less is more. Or better. Because you should have used constraint. Because more is too much. And then you regret the excess.

Okay, so maybe chicken sapa is a lousy metaphor for life. But when you've over-indulged over what should have been delightful, all that is on your mind is what you shouldn't have done.

And then your blog becomes a confessional.
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Things that make today great: Shopping with Molly; new drainage system complete at Cadillac; chicken sapa with Steve, Maribeth, Sam, and Lynnette; Toys for Tots drop off at LP Field

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Conundrums

Today the sun finally came out of hiding - I guess it wasn't a fan of all the recent rain, either. Although the weather was a little chilly, I thought it would be a great day to trim all the outside bushes and dead plants, etc., so the trimmings could be picked up by the chipper trucks.

So imagine my sadness when before I had even begun, I saw the chipper trucks on our street. That means that they won't be back until January, and anything that I clip off won't be chipped for a month. Needless to say, I opted out of doing anything in the yard so I wouldn't have a pile of rubbish on the side of the street for the next four weeks.

So, was it good or bad luck that today was chipper day? Bad luck because my yard didn't get tidied, or good luck because I didn't have to tidy it?

As for me, I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out which came first - the chicken or the egg!
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Things that make today great: Lunch with the Ms; Molly's crawl space workers; Ruby's dinner with Steve and Maribeth; Marilyn's new wiper blades; two miles in the 'hood

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bring in the Cavalry

Today while I was cleaning my bedroom, I watched one of my favorite movies, "The Legend of the Lone Ranger." It was made in 1981 and the only awards it won were Razzies. Okay, I admit that it's not one of the technically or artistically created movies ever, but I love it anyway.

I love it because there's the good guy fighting the bad guy and winning. I love it because several times during the movie, the "Lone Ranger" theme is played as the Lone Ranger and Tonto race to save somebody. I love it because Tonto remains a friend through the years to the Lone Ranger. I love it because Silver is such a smart horsie.

But my favorite part is near the end, when the Lone Ranger, Tonto, and President Grant are planning to blow up the fortress of Bad Guy Cavendish. They plant dynamite all around the compound, and we watch as the buildings blow up one by one. Just when we think it may not work out, we watch as the seemingly impenetrable fortress wall blows up. We believe that maybe the trio will barely escape, when we hear a bugle and see Silver and Scout racing in, followed by Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill, General Custer, and the United States Calvary!

Why do I love this part so much? I like to think that when things are at their worst, there will be heroes and a cavalry to come in to rescue and help me. I want to believe that at some point, there's an army whose main goal is to race at top speed to find me in my distress. I hope that sometimes I will be the one leading the team in to rescue someone else. I want to believe that I can be a part of defeating the bad guys that would threaten to harm those I care about.

So maybe it's just a cheesy movie, but I love it. I love it because it inspires me. It helps me realize that we're all in this together - sometimes we need the cavalry, and sometimes we need to be the cavalry.

And maybe all we need to do is to listen and we'll hear our own theme song to get us going!
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Things that make today great: Getting back to boot camp and finally being on the winning plank relay team; lunch with the Ms; watching "The Biggest Loser" with Maribeth, Steve, and Marilyn; getting rid of three bags of clothes and stuff and taking it to Goodwill

Monday, December 7, 2009

Making New Friends Via Maytag

My washing machine is getting very moody lately. It's not that old and is a Maytag (the brand Steve's family swears by) so it should be a very happy washing machine. However, lately it has been having issues with draining the final water and spinning the clothes dry.

Last week when I opened the machine and found it full of water (it is a front-loader and I could tell it was full of water by the gallons that gushed out on the floor), I decided it was time to call a professional. After all, it is a Maytag, and we all know their repairmen are the loneliest men in town. So, today was the day to call.

Luckily, it is still under the extended warranty that I bought when I bought the machine. I called the repair phone number listed on the paperwork. After I punched in various numbers in response to various commands, I was finally connected to Indira, who apparently was speaking to me from her native country, somewhere in Asia.

We had quite the conversation. I only wish I knew who her scriptwriter is, because after every comment I made, she had the perfect response. For instance:

Indira: "What is the problem?"
Me: "The machine won't drain."
Indira: "Ooooo. I know that can be very depressing, so let me see if I can help you."
Me: "That would be great."
Indira: "Is the drainage hose clear?"
Me: "Yes."
Indira: "Oh, that is great. Well then, let's see if we can get your washing machine fixed because I know that can be frustrating."

It went on like this until finally Indira asked if I had reset the machine by unplugging it and plugging it back in. I hadn't, and suggested that I wouldn't know if this worked until I had washed another load. Indira seemed to think this was the way to go and said she would note my plan of action on my record, in case the unplug/replug technique didn't work.

I unplugged and replugged and washed a load of clothes. I'm still not certain that it worked - although there was no deluge of water, there was still a bit of residual puddles. I'll probably end up calling the repair hot line again in a week or so.

I wonder if Indira will be waiting for my call!
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Things that make today great: Getting the finances in order; pizza lunch with the Ms; seeing Molly's new tv

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fashion with a View

Last Saturday, Marilyn and I were having a snack in The Land at Epcot. While we were chatting, I happened to look to my right at the young lady who was cleaning up after her group. She was bent over a bit, and as I glanced over, I couldn't help but notice her low-riding pants. And I seriously couldn't help but see her coin slot, aka butt crack, aka the top of her hiney, aka whatever you call it, sticking out the top of her jeans.

Being an old fogey, I was understandably taken aback. I mean, this was not a scene I wished to view while enjoying my key lime-ish tart. I tried to ignore the situation, but also finding it funny, I decided to let Marilyn in on the side show. This involved a series of eye movements, a head slant, and a mouth stretch to my right. By this time, Miss Bootylicious had moved to help a child in her party, which involved moving closer to Marilyn, and unfortunately, involved bending over even more. In other words, by now all Marilyn had to do to see the sights was to turn - it was there right in her face. I think we were pretty much done with our snacking at that point.

Anyhow, I am somewhat intrigued by this new style. Miss Booty had no underwear on, as far as we could tell - as we could tell plenty. Doesn't one feel the draft in this area, and feel an urge to cover up? I wouldn't know, since my area in that region is amply covered up by granny panties, panty hose, Spanx, a girdle, and any number of other layers of fabric.

I guess I'm just not in with the latest trend of bending and showing. And for everyone out there who might be able to view that particular landscape - you're welcome!
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Things that make today great: Factory brunch with Sam, Lynnette, and Molly; Maribeth and Steve's return from GDizzle's, Molly's chili

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm Home

'nuf said.
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Things that make today great: OUC 5K finish; post-race Starbucks; Epcot-ing with Marilyn; safe, smooth, not-full flight; sleeping in my own bed

Friday, December 4, 2009

WDW Christmas Events - 2; Luanne - 0

A few weeks ago during the golf tournament, I had tickets for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. I was there long enough for it to get rained out. Today, Marilyn and I had tickets for the taping of the Disney World Christmas Parade. We were there long enough for - you guessed it - it got rained out. We sort of figured it out when all the techs packed up their microphones and cameras and left. At least Marilyn got her picture with some guy with a walkie talkie - the closest we got to being in the parade! And to think we got special hats and everything!

While one might think that Mickey doesn't want me to enjoy his Christmas celebrations, one would be wrong. Each rain out left me with a one-day, one-park pass. Today we also got pictures of the Jonas Brothers (if only I knew a song they recorded). Looks like Mickey and his team know how to spread the Christmas cheer - even when it's dreary and damp!
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Things that make today great: Great parking at MK; people eavesdropping while waiting for parade news; shopping; artichoke crab dip and burgers at Big River

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Helpful Advice For People Flying Southwest For The First Time

1. Fly Delta. You will get an assigned seat and not hold up the rest of us looking for seat C58. That is your boarding number.

2. Don't complain about getting a seat that reclines, then sit in a seat that has a sign on it that says, "This seat does not recline," and then complain loudly that you are upset that your seat does not recline.

3. Don't sit in an exit row, listen as the flight attendant explains your role in case of emergency, and then when he asks if you are willing, say you don't know and then carry on a conversation with your husband about, "I don't know if I want to do this. What did he say?", because your husband is going to get pretty ticked off at you and just say, "Say yes." Your behavior does not inspire confidence that you are going to help me get off a burning plane.

4. Sir - do not turn on the fan as we are taking off. I wondered why until I caught a whiff of your pre-flight meal. Turning on your fan may dissipate your stench from your seat, but all it did was send it back to my area. Gee thanks. Too bad etiquette wasn't covered in the emergency directions that your wife didn't listen to.

5. Yes, there is a screaming child a few rows back. But sir, you do not have the look of death, so turning around and staring is not going to stop the child. And yes, it is a screaming baby, in case you were confused.

6. The flight attendants are here to help you and keep you safe. So if they suggest that you stick your overloaded bag underneath the seat in front of you, please do it without an argument. You're going to lose. And when your wife tries to break out the window instead of lifting and shoving out the exit door, we certainly don't want her to trip!!
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Things that make today great: Boot camp and airport drop off with Maribeth; safe, smooth ride; super great room at the Swan; watching fireworks from our window; new Christmas caps (pictures tomorrow)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shooting Pig

Today Maribeth and I got our swine flu shots. Here in Nashville, shots finally became available for those in my age group. So, after barely getting through boot camp, breakfast, and a brief nap, off we headed to the Public Health Department.

The biggest issue was parking. Once we found a spot, we headed in, signed our forms, got our shots, and were on our way. It probably took about 10 minutes, including parking.

I'm sure there are many who will not get their H1N1 shots. They will debate and decide against it. For me, it was a no-brainer. It was quick, easy, and free. If it keeps me from getting the swine flu and/or spreading it, I'm in.

It's been a busy week since my return from Thanksgiving in Orlando. Lucky for me, I'm headed back that way tomorrow!
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Things that make today great: getting shot with Maribeth; 3-Day booklet delivery; surprise gift from the Dedeaux

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December's 100 Things

December 1.

I managed to put up the Christmas tree, even with Maggie's interference.

I also managed to take care of December's 100 things - Christmas things. With this final collection, I have divested myself of 1200 things this year.

Was the 100 things a success? Yes, because I got in the habit of getting rid of that which is unnecessary and thinking a little harder about what I wish to accumulate. So I guess it's appropriate that the 100 things ends in December, a month of giving. Maybe in 2010 I'll think more about giving more than getting, because I've seen how much I don't need.

Like a kitten in a tree.
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Things that make today great: Giving blood at the Red Cross and the workers there; putting up the Christmas tree with Maggie's hijinks; Maribeth's honey chicken for supper

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ten Tens

Today I managed to squeak out November's 100 Things, which is good since tomorrow will be December. This month I decided (at Molly's suggestion) to go back and get rid of 10 more things that were part of each of the past 10 months of 100 things. That means that today I lessened my load by disposing/displacing the following: 10 books (January), 10 DVDs (February), 10 kitchen doodads (March), 10 CD's (April), 10 Disney treasures (May), 10 articles of clothing (June), 10 photographs (July), 10 bathroom things (August), 10 attic things (September), and 10 utility doo-dads (October).

The funny thing is that I thought I had gotten rid of so much of each "thing," yet there was still more stuff to discard. I'm not sure if the getting rid got easier, or if the stuff became even less important, or if somehow the stuff that was left mated and made more stuff. But it proves that there's always stuff that I don't need.

One of the blessings in all this is that I'm a little better about not bringing more stuff into my home. I'm also getting better about taking unnecessary stuff out. And in the end, it's all just stuff.
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Things that make today great: New boot camp session with Maribeth joining me again; waiting at the oil change place, and the emissions testing place, and the car tag renewal place; free internet at the car place and freecell on the laptop at the emissions place and Tetris on my cell phone at the car tag renewal place; new lamp for the sectional; getting vacation laundry done; extended stay for Christmas vacation

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Too Cute For A Sunday

Thanks to Maribeth, tonight's blog is a gimme. Thank goodness, 'cause I need a day off after the past ten days!


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Things that make today great: Pancake family brunch; beginning to get caught up after being gone; exciting Tennessee Titans game!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ahhh, Home Again

After a flight through Denver to San Diego, three days walking all over San Diego, a redeye flight to Orlando, a week with the family in Orlando, and a day-long drive back to Nashville, I'm happy to report that I'm back home, ready for a good night's sleep in my own bed.

... at least until Thursday, when I may be out again. Stay tuned!!
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Things that make today great: Drive home with Steve, Maribeth, and Molly; watching redbox movies on the way; pictures from class reunion get-together; icky McDonald's; packing the car

Friday, November 27, 2009

What I Did During Family Thanksgiving

1. Ate a bunch of crap - Coke Zeros, assorted candy I rarely eat, breakfast crap from fast food places, more crap, and Diet Cokes. It was not pretty and I am going to pay for this.

2. Watched junky tv. Okay, so I tend to do this sometimes. But I watched the same reruns that I can watch at home. WASTE OF TV TIME!!!

3. Watched movies. Here are my reviews: Pelham 123: Thumbs up. GI Joe: Thumbs down. Four Christmases - Thumbs down - except for the various funny parts - about 5 minutes total. Angels and Demons - Thumbs midway - was on the computer for some of it, didn't read the book, not a fan of Dan Brown, but seemed sort of interesting. Now, if only SOMEONE had brought Love Actually and/or Elf to watch on the way home!!

4. Caught up on sleep. Possibly. Still not sure of where I am on sleep deprivation meter after going to California and flying to Florida. Also got up early for Black Friday today. Of course, sixty gallons of non-calorie coca-cola products has not helped.

5. Shopped. If you count driving the shopping car for the real shoppers. I hate shopping but will drive people if they will shop for me. So, I now have new 700-count sheets, new sweaters, and fleece pj bottoms.

6. Watched fireworks. From the balcony of our hotel. Big tree was in the way, but I got the general idea, and didn't have to battle the crowds to see them!

7. Worked out. One day. In a minimal workout room. I would like to believe that it will help me with the next session of boot camp, but I think not.

8. Washed clothes. I only had one set of clean clothes and a whole bag of dirties from the 3-Day, so it's not like this was an option. It was a choice between clean and dirty, and clean won.

So, I guess it was a typical Davidson family holiday after all!!
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Things that make today great: Chauferring the shopping people; peppermint mocha frap; black Friday shopping by proxy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankfulness

On this day, I am reminded of my many blessings in life. One in particular was last weekend's Breast Cancer 3-Day. Another blessing, Molly, helped me with some graphics, and then another blessing, Sam, put the pictures together in this great video. Finally, more of my blessings, Steve, Maribeth, and Lynnette, sat through several viewings of the finished product.

All in all, a great day to be thankful!


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Things that make today great: Thanksgiving brunch at Mimi's with the family and the highs and lows; watching movies all afternoon; finished 3-day video; a great day with family

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Time vs Age

Last Thursday I went from Tennessee Central Time Zone to California Pacific Time Zone, gaining (or losing?) two hours. I got up the next morning at 4 am, which was really 6 am to my body. For the next three days, I got up at 5 am and was sound asleep by 7 pm every night. I capped off the weekend by taking a redeye flight to Orlando, Florida, aka Eastern Time Zone. Even though the flight was only four and a half hours, I landed seven hours later, with very little sleep. Mix in some daylight savings time where it's dark by 5 pm, and I'm a mess. I've spent the last few days trying to convince my body that it's okay to sleep, with varying degrees of success.

The good news is that on Saturday, I shall be returning to Tennessee and good ole' Central Time. Now, can anybody tell me if all the time changes made me younger or older?
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Things that make today great: Maribeth, Sam, and Lynnette flying in for Thanksgiving; brief stay at Hilton suite; Goodings/Winn Dixie experience with Molly

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Pair of Sneakers

Last weekend I spent three days walking in San Diego. It was an amazing experience. The walk itself was beautiful – along the coast to see surfers and crashing waves, down streets lined with shops and cafes, up (and up and up) hills that literally took my breath away, through beautiful parks where I could shed my shoes and run my feet through the grass, and in neighborhoods where the residents set up stands and offered encouragement along the way.

Rather than try to describe this indescribably awesome experience, I thought I would just list some of the highlights:

*children offering bowls of candy, saying, “Go walkers!” in their sweet little voices

*signs, signs, and more signs with words that made us laugh, become teary-eyed, and keep taking that next step

*groups of girl scouts, teenagers, families, schools, sports teams, and just about any group that could call itself a group, out on the course, just to show support by cheering, passing out stickers, and offering snacks and drinks

*the boys lacrosse team who walked in honor of one of their teammate’s mom

*the signs, shirts and ribbons worn by the walkers to honor those affected by breast cancer

* the survivors who walked in the event and those who cheered us along the route

* the San Diego, San Jose, and other law enforcement officers who kept us safe along the route

* the countless volunteers who carried our bags to our already-set-up tents, or prepared and served our food, or cleaned up, or offered a kind word, or bandaged our blistered feet and wounded bodies, or massaged our weary muscles, or passed out towels, or restocked the porta-potties, or did whatever it took to make the weekend unforgettable

*the walkers who looked after each other, who helped another get up that hill, who offered assistance and advice when needed, who shared their bandages and ibuprofen, who passed along their cardboard squares to sit on the damp ground, or who told their personal stories as you walked along with them

*the dude who took Marilyn’s hand and walked with her awhile along the beach

* the bars and cafes who offered specials (like $1 margaritas) and treats in front of their establishments

* the Girl Scouts who gave out Thin Mints on Sunday morning

* the snores from the tent behind us, and the walker who yelled out “STOP SNORING” at some point in the night

* the Girl Scout troop who bussed our plates at the end of dinner

* the hot showers in the shower trucks

* the unbelievable, absolute kindness and good spirits of everyone involved in the 3-Day (well, except for the one old geezer who yelled, “Quit taking up the whole sidewalk!” – he’s lucky he kept going, because there were several walkers in our group who were about to get him!)

* the walker who gave out pins to random walkers

* the butterfly lady with butterflies representing her donors and honorees, the sisters we had breakfast with, the knee-cyst lady, the sister team during opening ceremonies, the two friends who helped Marilyn get a good position in the closing ceremony, the brother/sister team in the tent next door, and countless other walkers we met along the way

* the fact that over 3800 walkers raised over 9 million dollars this weekend alone

* the poignant and meaningful opening ceremony when we honored those we lost to breast cancer and the inspiring closing ceremony when we honored the survivors

In other words, it was three days and sixty miles, but so much more. It was a lifetime of memories packed into those three and sixty. It was the chance to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. It was the physical representation of how people can get together and do something momentous on many levels. It was the opportunity to do something significant that will literally save someone’s life.

And all I had to do was put on my sneakers and walk.

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Things that make today great: watching Pelham 123 and GI Joe with Molly; doing a little of this and that

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Day After

After showering in a shower stall larger than an airplane bathroom, being able to use the facilities that includes a flush valve, and walking absolutely nowhere, I spent the rest of today napping intermittently. In other words, the blog recap of the weekend will have to wait one more day. It's time for a real night's sleep.

Maybe tomorrow the residual from the Energizer Bunny's hug will help!______________________________________________________________
Naps; Wal-Marting and Chic-fil-A-ing with Molly; peppermint mocha fraps; organizing the duffel mess from the 3-Day; chatting with the Red Cross lady

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Glimpse of the 3-Day

Well, we did it. We made it through 60 miles in 3 days in San Diego. It was an awesome experience ... that I'll tell you about later. For now, I'm going to tread softly on my blistered feet, try to stay awake until I board the red eye for Orlando, and hope that my muscles cooperate when it's time for me to deplane in Orlando. I have lots of pictures and stories to tell. Stay tuned!
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Things that make today great: Finishing the 3-day; closing ceremonies; Adam and Allison picking us up and taking me to LAX; the entire 3-day experience

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mountaintops

Today as I made my way from Nashville to Denver to San Diego, I passed over mountains and the Grand Canyon. It was pretty awesome.

Tomorrow I will begin walking another kind of mountain as I go 60 miles in 3 days during the San Diego Breast Cancer 3-Day. And as awesome as those mountains today were, they won't even begin to compare with the awesomeness of the next three days. I'll be walking, showering in a semi, toilet-ing in a porta-potty, and sleeping in a tent. It will be great!!

See you in three days!
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Things that make today great: Perfect flight from Nashville to Denver; Denver snow; safe flight from Denver to San Diego; lunch with Marilyn; Marilyn's mall adventure; fellow 3-day-er on the shuttle

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Feet and Couches

Today our new couch was finally delivered. The old sectional had seen its better days and this new one was to take its place. A few weeks ago, Sam, Lynnette, and I spent a few hours in the Lazy-Boy store trying to choose just the right configuration of pieces. Of course, the Davidson way of doing such a thing is to get on the phone with Maribeth (who was at home), trying to determine how much space we had and could fill with a variety of pieces. I guess I should mention that she was using the "foot" method of measurement - in other words, she measured by taking steps with her feet.

When the dudes arrived with the couch, I had Molly and Maribeth here to help me decide exactly how things should be arranged. Basically, there were six pieces, three of which were interchangeable. After two or three times, assisted by the mover dudes, we finally got everything put together. In a word, the thing is ginormous. We have seating enough for the whole street. It ended up being a little larger than I expected, but I expect it to work out for the family.I just guess the next time I ask Maribeth to measure something, I will specify metrics instead of feet!____________________________________________________________________
Things that make today great: New UA pants from Steve for the 3-Day; new couch sectional; family pizza new couch party; Dollar Store-ing with Molly; packing for the 3-Day

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday Is Done

I made it to, and through, today's session of boot camp. I unpacked and started to repack. The heating got fixed and it wasn't the thermostat (which I had a new one waiting) but the doohickey in the unit (which the heater man had to go get). I mailed a package, put some money in the bank, went to the grocery store, and got some cash back after my purchase. I washed, dried, and folded clothes so I will have some to pack. I got my hair shampooed, cut, and blown dry. I returned the lamps back to Sam's office that I got from Sam's office yesterday. I returned Molly's side table so I could set up my new side table. I unloaded the dishwasher so I could reload it. I put new litter in the litter box so Maggie the Cat could express her displeasure by pooping on the floor. I met with my women's group and then came home to eat Steve's Bubba Burger in other to have some energy to move a couch and loveseat to Molly's house.

Now I'm going to bed. Boot Camp begins again in 7 hours!
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Things that make today great: mailing packages; ladies at Women's Room; new UA pants and Neil Diamond Christmas CD from Steve; Steve's Bubba Burgers; new end table and salesdude from Merridian; cruise dress from Maribeth; Allyson cutting my hair and telling me her pregnancy news

Monday, November 16, 2009

Coming Home

This one is for anyone who's ever had a dog. Or welcomed a serviceman home. Pure joy!


________________________________________________________________________________ Things that make today great: Safe, smooth flight home; peppermint mocha frappachinos; lunch with Maribeth at the Factory; getting stuff with Molly; sleeping in my own bed

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Few Golf Lessons I Learned From Stephen Ames

1. Have fun. Stephen Ames was clearly enjoying himself today on the course. Every hole wasn't a birdie, but he didn't let that bother him. He laughed, he talked with the other golfers, and he chatted with his fans.

2. Take your family along for the ride. Sometime after the 9th hole or so, I noticed a young boy (maybe 10) had joined the crowd of marshalls, scorekeepers, etc., who were walking with our threesome of golfers. As it turns out, it was Stephen Ames's son. Stephen made sure his son had food and drink, and talked and joked with him while walking to his next shot. His son was obviously having a ball. The best conversation was between an honorary observer and Young Ames on the 18th tee and went as follows:
Young Ames: So if my dad makes a birdie, will he win?
Honorary Observer: Well, he'll be in a tie for the lead. If he wins, that will sure be a great ride back home.
Young Ames: Yeah, and carrying that big trophy!!

His smile was almost as wide as Mickey Mouse's.

3. Remember Rome wasn't built in a day. And PGA golf tournaments aren't won on one hole. As the turtle said, "Slow and steady wins the race." So you can accomplish what you want - it just takes one step at a time. Stephen Ames was several strokes back at the beginning of the day. But slowly, birdie after birdie, he became one of the leaders. He bogied one hole, but kept at it, a birdie here and a birdie there. After two play-off holes, he did it - he won.

Okay, so maybe they technically weren't golf lessons. But they were great lessons to learn on a great day on a great golf course.
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Things that make today great: Helping Steve learn the Disney bus ropes; being assigned to the eventual winner of the golf tourney; Michele Wie winning her first golf tourney; honorary observer dudes; today's helpful sign guy; sweet note from Steve; Kentucky couple on the bus; fellow volunteers

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Helping

When I am at Disney World, I really have to control my impulse to "help" people. When I overhear conversations on the bus about where a family is trying to go, I really want to give them some advice. Sometimes it's hard to squelch.

Today I didn't have to. After my shift at the golf tournament, I was waiting at the MK bus stop for my resort bus. A lady and her daughter asked me if I worked there (maybe I looked like a bus driver?). I replied that I didn't, but maybe I could answer her question. She asked, and I sent her on her way to customer service.

My bus came and waited for me while I answered the next family who asked me about where to get on the boat for Fort Wilderness.

I boarded my bus and three adults boarded after me. They were asking the bus driver about how to get to Downtown Disney. He gave them several options and off we all went. During the bus ride, they asked me and I gave them more options. During a lull in my advice-giving lecture, one of the ladies asked me, "Does Disney have an extra person on all the buses to help people?" I couldn't help but smile as I told her my true circumstances for being on the bus.

So I guess there are always people who need help. Some who ask and some who don't. I'm not sure how to tell the difference, or how to be helpful and not a buttinsky.

But I think it helps if you wear some sort of "uniform" and credential - even if it's for a golf tournament!
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Things that make today great: Chatting with the other golf tourney volunteers; seeing Steve on the golf course; chatting with golf tourney attendees; beautiful weather; surprises from Steve

Friday, November 13, 2009

Spotter-ing David Duval

Today my assignment as a spotter was to follow David Duval. A few years ago, he was the number one golfer in the world. Today, not so much. After each hole, I had to radio Karl and give him David's score. After bogeying the first four holes, David's score was +8, not a score anybody wants broadcast. Although he later regained three shots, he still missed the cut. Unfortunately, after every hole, I still had to report his dismal score.

It dawned on me that sometimes I'm my own worst spotter. When things aren't going well, I feel the need to report to myself on all the bad stuff. It's like I need to remind myself of my failures and missteps. And frankly, it sucks when I have to hear it again, since I've already been through it once.

But the good news, in my own personal case, the One I report to is God. He already knows everything that I do, but I think He still wants to hear from me. The only difference is, I believe that He wants to hear the good stuff, and there's plenty of that in my life to report.

So maybe from now on, when I'm tempted to beat myself up over something crappy, I'll stop. Maybe instead I'll tell myself of the good things that I've done or experienced. Like in golf, it may not make an crappy situation any better, but it certainly will make it more enjoyable.
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Things that make today great: Watching the Magic Kingdom opening; new sunglasses and the cast member who sold them to me and then cleaned them; Karl feeling better and making jokes; sign man; grandfather and grandson on the bus back to Saratoga; later afternoon swim; beautiful day

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Spotter-ing

Today was my first day as a volunteer "spotter" for the Golf Channel. To do this, I got to wear a headset with a button that enabled me to talk to Carl, who is in charge of video or something and needs to know breaking details on the course. Basically, I was to follow a group of golfers around and report. I also had a clipboard and information sheets that listed the players in my group and a score sheet to record their scores. I was only to report in when my group left a hole - my transmission was to be "Group 28 leaving 9." I was also to report any exciting details, but there weren't any in my group.

It was a lot of fun. I met a bunch of new people who were volunteers like me. The weather was overcast, windy, a little damp, and fairly cool. There were only a handful of spectators following my group. The scorecard bearer was old and needed a bathroom break every few holes. But putting them all together, it all made for a great day.

My main concern was making sure I (a) knew which golfer was which, since they both were unknowns to me, (b) paid attention to the shots my golfers were making, just in case something report-worthy happened, like somebody got hit with a golf ball, and (c) didn't make an idiot out of myself by falling down or getting in the way or not paying attention to Carl if he asked me a question. By the time Carl said I could leave my group and return to Golf Central, I had achieved all of the above.

Sounds sort of like mothering to me ....
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Things that make today great: New volunteer friends and their stories; passing Rocco on the course; score lady and bearer with my group; golf channel lunch; family trying to get to Downtown Disney; cast member at morning bus stop; Kodak picture on the course

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nothin'

No pictures, no videos, no links, no words. In short, no blog.

But tomorrow I begin my golf tournament volunteer adventure, so certainly there will be something to say. Hopefully that will not involve a story about how the Golf Channel went offline due to some volunteer tripping over some important cable.

Until then ...
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Things that make today great: swimming in heated pool; shopping for this and that; sleeping in

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hello Tuesday

It all started as usual, with a 5:45 boot camp call. After lamely executing several rounds of walking jumping jacks and other such things, I returned home to finish some odds and ends and head off to the airport for my 11:25 flight to Orlando.

I decided to eat a bite before the flight. I chose a tuna sandwich from Panera - half of which ended in my lap.

The flight was only about half full, which was good, because that meant the screaming toddler could sit in the very back with his parents. He gave us a 10-minute break from his tirade during the 2-hour flight. The dudes behind me were thinking the mom needed some duct tape, while the dudes two rows in front were think Tylenol 3. Meanwhile, I found that the pilots and I have differing ideas of a smooth flight.

Upon landing, it was time for my rental car adventure. Since I had checked in online, all I had to do was find the full size car selection. However, National and Alamo share space, and it can be confusing to an anal person like me. I asked the Alamo dude walking past if those full size were my full size, and he said yes, and then told me that the black car, a Ford Something, was the best car out there. I would have believed him except that Fords are not my favorite car.

There was a red Mustang parked next to the best black car. I know - a Mustang is a Ford, but that's different. I inspected both cars. The best black did have leather seats, Sirrus radio, and fancy button locks. But the other car was a red Mustang!! So I heaved my bags in the red car and backed it out - only to hear the brakes groan. So I chose safety and chose the best black.

My next stop was to check in at the resort. I needed to get my resort parking pass so I could get into Epcot without paying for parking (since I thought I had forgotten my annual pass) in order to get on the bus to go to the golf volunteer place and get my credentials. I checked in and found out that my room was on the 4th floor, which was fine since there is an elevator in that building. I got my Mickey Christmas party ticket for tonight. I gathered all my check-in stuff and put it in the car and headed to Epcot, parking pass in window. I followed signs to volunteer parking lot and talked to Officer Betty of Disney Security while waiting for the volunteer bus.

Officer Betty told me that when I got to Shades of Green, to go down the hill to "Will Call." You should always listen to security officers. When I got to Shades of Green, bus coordinator told me to go inside, where I found volunteer signs that directed me to the back side of the kitchen to an empty volunteer table. I went back to the bus dude, who went with me to various places, where someone finally said to go to Room 104. Had no clue as how to get there. Saw an old guy with a golf volunteer shirt, who walked with me down long hall and tunnel and he said to go to Room 148. Went there, but found out it was the wrong room. The people there said I was supposed to go to Will Call.

Finally found my way to Will Call and picked up my credentials, and then had to go to pro shop to pick up my shirts, but when Lois Golf Clerk checked my bag, she discovered there was no jacket there, so she had to go get it. This was after Deloris Golf Clerk couldn't find my bag of clothes because she was looking for Laura Robertson's bag.

Anyhooo, once I had my requisite golf volunteer paraphernalia, I went back to the bus stop. Actually I ran to the bus stop because I saw the big yellow bus pulling up to the bus stop. To legally get there, I was supposed to go through Shades of Green Resort, but in order to make the bus, I had to sprint across the parking lot and where the buses pull up. It was Disney illegal, and I'm lucky I was not Disney arrested.

So I got back to Epcot, back in the car, and headed back to the resort to find my 4th floor room. I found it, and found that I have the last room in the resort. You know, when they list certain buildings and give you a starting and ending room number? Well, my room is the last one listed - for the entire resort. It's sorta weird, like you're at the ends of the earth.

By this point I was very hungry, since it had been quite a while since I had eaten my tuna half-sandwich. It was also time for Mickey's Christmas party, so I headed to the Magic Kingdom. Upon arrival, I went to Casey Jones and ordered a hot dog, corn dog nuggets, and french fries. Bad choice. What do you do when you make a bad choice? Follow it up with a hot fudge sundae. At this point, I considered becoming bulimic, but instead went to the Monster's Inc Comedy thing.

When it was over and I came out of the attraction, I discovered it was raining. Not hard, but a steady rain. People were in their Disney ponchos. The shows and parade were cancelled, and it wasn't looking good for the fireworks. I decided it would be better to go back to my room and lie down than walk around in the rain. On the way out, I saw a lot of people at City Hall. I decided to see what was going on.

It turns out, you could turn in your ticket for tonight's party for another party night, or use the ticket for a one-day park pass anytime for the next year. I opted for the park pass. Wet, stuffed, and tired, I returned to my room in time to see the last hour of "The Biggest Loser."

All in all, quite the lineup for a Tuesday. We'll see what lays in wait for Wednesday - at least I won't have to eat anything!
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Things that make today great: Little girls singing on the bus from Magic Kingdom; Disney cast members; man/lady getting pins at Magic Kingdom; safe, smooth flight; boot camp buddies; news that new couch is in

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cuteness




Because everyone needs a little cute on Mondays!
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Things that make today great: Shout out from boot camp; Whole Foods chicken salad sandwich via Molly; Steve's 3-Day surprise; making my 3-day goal; MB's return from the West

Sunday, November 8, 2009

An Expert?

I went to Home Depot today with the purpose of getting a new thermostat. Ours is broken - again - the second "energy efficient" model that has decided to die. I went to the store, hoping for a Home Depot thermostat expert, willing to not only show me the absolute best in thermostats, but also able to tell me why that certain thermostat was the best and would make my life complete.

But apparently that dude was on vacation. Instead, I got Buford, who knows as much about thermostats as I do - in other words, he can read. I proceeded to explain my dilemma of broken thermostats. He seemed sympathetic, and gazed with me at the scads of possibilities on the shelves. I explained what I wanted, to which he replied there were none like I described. He picked up one from the display and handed it to me. It was the cheapest, which I figured he thought was appropriate, based on my attire (I still had on my jog togs from my training walk). Anyhow, after more mindless conversation, I left with my thermostat. Now all I have to do is wait for the a/c dude to come for the fall tune-up and install it. Hopefully, the weather will hold out until next week's appointment.

I guess the point of this rambling is to say that I don't know if Mr. Home Depot was really helpful or not. He did choose a product that was inexpensive, whereas I would have thought the more expensive, the better. He did seem to believe that the product he chose was better than the one I was eyeballing. He did hang around until I left with my choice, although then he probably bolted to the back of the store. I just don't feel that confident that he knew what he was talking about. Would I have chosen an inferior product if he waxed poetic about a different one?

The question is - what makes an expert? A person who boldly talks like he knows about something, or a person who quietly stands his ground and persistently and consistently remains steadfast about what he believes?

I don't know for sure, but in this case, I guess I'll know when the temperature drops!
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Things that make today great: 13 mile training walk; Whole Foods lunch via Molly; picking up Steve and Barry from the airport

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gimme A "T"!

Quickly followed by a "I-R-E-D!" Whaddaya have? Me, at this moment. The cats just had a fight on top of me, and all I did was move my hand in front of my face. Guess yesterday's prep and today's yard sale has done me in.

So it's off to sleep until tomorrow, where new adventures await.
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Things that make today great: yard sale; meeting fellow San Diego 3-day walker; fish burrito; Lynnette's baby shower and friends; Molly's baby shower cake

Friday, November 6, 2009

Facebook - My New Conscience

Okay, so I'm a relative neophyte when it comes to facebook. When new changes on the site appear, I really become flummoxed, much to the humor (or irritation) of my daughters (on whom I call for explanations and instructions). I am still trying to figure out the news feed/home/profile - which one gives me the latest updates? And who sees what when they click on my name? And which pictures of me can the world at large see?

Anyhow, lately I feel like facebook is becoming my moral compass. For one thing, I get constant updates on who my friends are becoming friends with. Is this so I can screen my friend's new friends, in case there's a bad influence? Should I be doing background checks?

Another thing is the matter of how many friends my friends have, which the sidebar tells me. The other day, I was told that one friend "has only 9 friends." Should I call in a counsellor? Is there a friend quota that is a marker for depression? Facebook seems concerned - should I be?

Facebook also reminds me which friends I have not contacted in awhile. If facebook is so concerned, why aren't they contacting that friend? Facebook also suggests that I should "poke" certain friends. Why? Is that even socially acceptable? What really does a poke do, except imply that I am too lazy to write them a note and ask how they are?

As if concern about the friends I already have isn't enough, facebook also keeps suggesting new friends for me to make. Apparently not communicating with the ones I have is not too huge a concern, because facebook seems to believe that I can handle more. To add to the guilt trip, it tells me how many mutual friends my potential friend and I have in common. Does that make me a friend by association? Should I be that person's friend, even if they may not know me? Is this the future of detente - we can be friends with that country because they're friends with another country who is friends with us?

Finally, I am reminded of birthdays, and supposedly can click on their homepage (or profile or newsfeed or something) and give them a gift. If I have credits. Which I don't. Or know how or where to get them.

So, in conclusion, thanks to facebook, I have hopes for making this world better through friend-ing. Poke that, Facebook!!
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Things that make today great: Heaving my body to the top of the Allen Tower - twice; painter sitting at Sam's and Lynnette's; Starbucks peppermint mocha; taking Steve and Barry to the airport

Thursday, November 5, 2009

TMI

There are many things that (a) shouldn't be taped, (b) shouldn't be rapped about, and (c) shouldn't be shared. This would be one of them. So, of course, I thought I'd share it with you!


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Things that make today great: Hemming curtains and waiting for the painter at Sam and Lynnette's; Michael's and Which Wich with Molly; good boot camp day

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Power of Positive Words

During the course of Nashville Adventure Boot Camp, der Fuhrer (aka young Josh) sends all us gals a daily email. In his missive, he starts off by telling us what we did that morning. This is valuable to me, because during the session my brain works overtime to (a) breathe correctly, (b) execute the exercise correctly, and (c) count how many of the torture moves I am semi-completing. To remember actually what I did would be impossible, since after the morning session my muscles (or at least what is in the space that should be occupied by muscles) refuse to speak to me at all.

Anyhow, Herr Josh also sends along a daily recipe, a few health and exercise tips, and other random butt-camp-related messages. He always ends his manifesto with a shout out to a few of us inmates. Every person in the group will get a shout-out during the four weeks. He finds something encouraging to say about whomever's day it is to be shouted out to. Even on my day, he finds something good to say (and not, "Kudos to Luanne for not having a heart attack today!"). It's always great to read the verbal applause - you can't help but feel inspired, even when it's not your day.

The saying goes, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Why not just say nice things on a regular basis? People can be encouraged just hearing supportive words, even if they're meant for somebody else. Sometimes, just by hearing words that encourage another, we are encouraged to keep going. We all want to believe that someone believes in us, and all it takes is a positive word heard out loud.

As for me, I'm still the slowest jogger in the class. I still can't hold a front plank for 45 seconds. I still am waiting for my abdominal muscles to resurrect from the dead. But I keep trying. This week, The Boss noticed and mentioned it. While it may not directly help my walking lunges (or lunge-ettes in my case), it helps me believe I will eventually get there.

Sometimes that's all it takes - a positive thought expressed out loud - that keeps us headed in the right direction. It helps us realize we're not alone and that somebody's paying attention to our efforts. It gives us the emotional and mental power to keep going, when our physical strength may be waning.

All it takes is a good word or two, and somebody to say them. We've just got to remember that sometimes, that somebody is us.
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Things that make today great: Taking Maribeth to the airport and her surprise rental car experience; attic cleaning and Pier One-ing with Molly; kitty cuddling with Maggie and Grayson