Saturday, February 28, 2009

Best 5K Ever

Today I jogged the ESPN The Weekend 5K. Yes, you heard me - I jogged the whole 3.1 miles. My time was the same as my perpetually slow wogging (that's walking/jogging) time, but this time I jogged it all, the longest distance I've ever totally jogged in my life. It was a great feeling as I crossed the finish line.

Sure, conditions were ideal and it was a race in a place that I love. But I've participated in many 5Ks here. Why was this one different?

Maybe it was because I had a small snack and drink and Extra-Strength Tylenol before the race. Maybe it was because I did my own obscure form of pre-race stretching. Maybe it was because the weather was perfect and the course was flat. Maybe I had on the perfect combination of shoes and socks and hair clips. But maybe it was just me.

I started off the race with the usual cramps and aches and doubts. I thought maybe I could just jog to Mile 1. When I got to that marker, I thought maybe I would just jog to the stop sign. But when I got there, I decided to jog a little more and was soon at Mile 2. At that point, I decided to go for the whole thing. Another half mile yielded a Disney "hill", but I joggity-jogged up it. After that, it was nothing to keep going until the Harlem Globetrotters and the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders welcomed me to the finish line.

There's no rhyme or reason for my performance in today's race. There was no personal best time or award for my age group. But I achieved a victory because I kept going.

At 51, it's good to know there are still victories to be had and possibilities to be explored. I just hope I remember how I arranged those hair clips!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sleeping With Strangers

It all started with a email. Sam wrote asking if we had any space in our room on Friday night. Lynnette's friend Ann was homeless at Disney World. After learning that it was her first trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, what else would I do? Simply slide over and hand her a pillow.

One might wonder what circumstances brings people together. How could a woman, a friend, a husband, a mother, and a Mouse all all converge from across the country for one moment in time? How could a blog post lead to lunch at Yak and Yeti? How could two people who have met perhaps once in this life end up sharing a room?

It's really pretty simple. Tonight I looked up and saw Venus and the moon share the same piece of sky. I realized the same One who designed this beautiful sight is the same one who put two and two together at Disney World. He's the same one who creates circumstances and connections that changes strangers into friends.

You just have to look up and see the possibilities.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Emotional Midol

Note: This blog post is assuming you know what Midol is, and its purpose.
If you don't, Google. Once you're in the know, read on.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm on a cycle of craziness. You know, you're sane for a while, then stuff happens for a while, then you're crazy and out of control for a while, then you get sane again. The frustrating part is when you realize you're in the crazy/out of control days, and you're pretty ticked off that you're back in the crazy place again. You wonder if there is some way to avoid this part of the cycle.

I don't think there is. I think you have to be crazy/out of control sometimes. I'm not sure why, but certainly there's a reason. Maybe it's to shake up your life. Maybe it's to rearrange your priorities. Maybe it's so you can just let loose for awhile. But no matter the reason, I don't think it's always a bad thing, if you take your Emotional Midol.

Fortunately, you get to create your own version of Emotional Midol. For me, it was equal parts of talking to Rebekah, having Bridget knead the knots out of my neck (at least some of them anyway), taking a casual stroll in the neighborhood this morning, and creating a new plan for getting back to saneness. I think it's working, because I'm all packed for two weeks at Disney. And if that hasn't sent me over the edge, I'm back on track.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weird Packing

Tomorrow I am leaving for a rather longish vacation. I have decided to use it as a chance to catch up on stuff I'm not catching up on here. To that end, I am packing my two ipods and all the Cd's I haven't loaded onto my computer. I am also taking other assorted things so that I will be able to do some things I've been trying to accomplish. I'm taking various notebooks, books, and calendars. Somewhere in the midst of all this, I am also going to pack my clothes.

Many might wonder where the vacation is in all this. For me, it's the chance to write and organize and catch up without the household responsibilities. I can reward myself with a dip in the pool or a trip to see Mickey.

Weird packing, weird vacation, weird person. I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Heart Southwest

I don't like to fly, but when I do, I love Southwest Airlines. For one thing, all their planes are the same, so I know what to expect. I don't have to worry if it's a itty bitty plane or one with propellers.

I can choose my seat, especially if I check in at the first minute I am allowed. If I'm flying with Steve, he gets checked in early automatically, so he can save me a seat.

Southwest has a bunch of flights to Orlando, where I tend to go quite a bit. The more I go, the closer I get to a free ticket. Which means another flight somewhere.

I can check two bags for free. On some flights, I get the whole can of my chosen drink. They have four Sudoku puzzles in their in-flight magazine.

The flight attendants are usually good-natured and funny, and don't look down on me for whatever flying attire and luggage I might bring on board. Sometimes they sing to us.

Once Southwest offered me incentives to get on a later flight, and gave the incentives to me even though I ended up on my original flight.

But my favorite thing about Southwest is Southwest Roulette. This is a game I play whenever I get a terrific Ding! fare or they have special fares. I look at my flight cost, then change or rebook my reservation, saving money. The trick is to get it done before the fare ends or all the cheap fares are taken. The money I save is on file until I use it for another flight, which will probably be to Orlando. Tonight I saved $62. While that might not seem a huge amount to some, it could be a one-way ticket for me, and anything that gets me to the Happiest Place on Earth makes me happy!

I still hate to fly. But at least with Southwest, I feel like I'm traveling with a old friend.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why The Fifties Sometimes Suck

It's not what you may think. I don't mind the wrinklies, the saggies, and the droopies. Granted, they may not put me on Peoples 100 Sexiest Chicks Alive, but that's okay. What I don't like is the hard work that still exists at my age.

In particular, it's the notion of changing bad habits into good ones. My main one at the moment is weight loss. In my youth, it was easy - if I needed to lose a pound, all I had to do was think about it, and it was gone (of course, I didn't carry around that much poundage to be lost). But now, 30+ years later, it's a struggle.

I had success with Weight Watchers twice. But the third time did not prove to be the charm and didn't work. Currently I have all the tools I need - I am just realizing that it's not going to be easy. I have to retrain my mind. I have to admit that what I used to eat doesn't need to be eaten any more. I have to think about what I'm going to consume and really consider if it's the best thing.

I thought that at my age, I would be set. My life would have all the kinks worked out and I would just be set to lolly-gag around and enjoy. Maybe if I had done a few things differently, it would be - or maybe not. The fact is, I still have work to do.

But in the end, I'm glad there is work to do. I'm glad I'm still a work in progress. I know that if I can retrain my brain, the changes will be permanent. I know that I am in a place to make changes that are the best for me and will work. I just have to work, and work hard.

The benefits will be wonderful. I will have that lolly-gagging time. I will feel better and do things differently and be happy and proud.

It's just going to be a journey. But sometimes it's the journey that make the destination so sweet.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

We've Still Got It

When we were newly married, Steve and I did all the manual labor around the house (repairs, painting, etc.) because we were (1) poor, (2) young, and (3) ignorant. Over the years, some of that has changed - mainly we're older. These days we find that our extra pennies can hire somebody to do the household maintenance. This has probably saved our marriage, since as we have aged, our patience for such work has waned.

However, in the past few weeks, our over-the-range microwave has started acting out. It makes unusual sounds and doesn't make the usual sounds. Today I looked in the newspaper and decided that a new one would cost about the same as having a repairman come out, diagnose a problem, order the part (or tell me it's unfixable), and then have to get a new one anyway and get it installed. I decided to skip the preliminaries and went straight to Home Depot, purchased the one I wanted, and brought it home. The Home Depot guy said that it would be easy to install, or I could come back and hire somebody to do it.

I came home, after making an appointment with Sam to come help with the installation later this evening. However, upon arriving home, Steve said that he would be willing to give it a stab. At first I thought I might go search Revelation to see if this was a sign for the end times, but decided to take my life in my hands and give this adventure a whirl.

Well, after a few hours, several tools, drill holes, measuring, reading directions (a first), lifting, and positioning, our new microwave was in. While it may not be a professional job, it's good enough for us. We proved we could still work together and get something done.

I guess that means the magic is still there!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Running Cold

Today we did yet another 5K. It was cold and windy and sunny - perfect for two loops around the outskirts of the Opryland Hotel. This was the cheapest race I've ever entered - $6.50 for entry and t-shirt, and part of the proceeds went to the Nashville Humane Society. What could be better? Well, there was :

*chatting with my fellow woggers along the way - big man, blue skirt girl, and army woman

*spending the morning with my family

*finishing and not finishing last

*learning stuff from my performance - like eat something and stretch better when it's cold

*race shirt worth keeping

*new interesting race course

*good family race pictures

*observing the last person finishing the race, and really admiring her tenacity and courage to keep going

As much as I would like to do really well in the races I enter, I find so much to enjoy along the way. I have no doubt that one day I'll do a blistering 12-minute mile (for those of you who don't know - that's a turtle pace, yet faster than my current snail pace). But until then, I'll just appreciate all the other stuff I receive from the race - because that's really the best prize of all.

Friday, February 20, 2009

March's 100 Things - The Early Edition

On March 1, I will be at The Happiest Place on Earth and not able to take care of my 100 Things Project. I decided to do it today so it will be done before I leave next Thursday. I had already determined that the 100 things for March would come from my kitchen. As little as I actually use the kitchen, one might wonder how I could dispose of 100 things. But it wasn't so hard.

I had a few small appliances that I once purchased under the delusion of using. I might have used them a few times, then let them sit with no prospects. They should be used.

I had thirty steak knives for two people. We don't even eat steak that much.

I had two sets of cutlery - one with Mickey cut into the handles and one with an assorted mix of patterns - the assorted ones are gone. Maybe some child needs a spoon to dig in the dirt.

I had dishes and cups and bowls that may have been used one or twice or never and would probably never be used again. I'm sure they seemed like a good idea at the time.

I had cookbooks that could be holding hidden money - I certainly have never (and never will) open them up to see.

I had duplicates of doo-dads and thingamajigs. I hardly use the originals, much less the spares. I have a manual juicer - I don't even drink orange juice.

All of these things are now in a box, awaiting my gigantic May Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk Garage Sale. I'm hoping they will bring in money for the cause. I'm hoping that maybe all my excess will become someone else's usable stuff. For me, it's another 100 things out my door. Well, at least to my sunroom until May!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good Television

On this day in 1968, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood debuted. If you grew up with this program, you probably liked it, didn't like it, made fun of it, then finally appreciated it for what it represented - assuring children that they were wonderful, just the way they were.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Mini-Makeover

Today Kat talked about planning a mini-makeover for herself, which led me to think about what I would like to makeover. In no particular order, here are my Top Ten:

1. Lose weight - which would result in looking better and feeling better

2. Have that perfect closet - where you have the right combination of clothing so that you mix and match everything and end up with thousands of combinations with only a few items.

3. Control my eating habits - eat slower and get over the idea that I have to eat everything on my plate (that I enjoy, anyway)

4. Wog on a regular basis, hoping to actually start jogging on a regular basis

5. Swim and Curve on a regular basis, hoping to augment my wogging/jogging/weight loss

6. Sleep at least 6 solid hours a night (which would involve a truce with Shaggy the Cat)

7. Come to terms with my hair - in color, length, style. The only way this will happen is if I shave it all off.

8. Watch less television - especially reruns.

9. Cook more healthy meals. Actually, just cooking more would be a great start.

10. Pray more for others

I don't know Kat's plan, but I guess making my list is the start of my plan. I've printed it out - now on to the next step.

Anybody got an idea what that next step is?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I have some bad habits. Why is it that bad habits are so much easier to keep than good habits? I consider a bad habit something that does not benefit my physical, emotional, or mental well-being to the extent that it is worth spending my time on it.

For instance: I have started playing Free Cell on the computer. I started by playing it while waiting for the laptop to connect to the wireless connection. But lately I have been playing it just for the sake of playing it. I try to convince myself that it is honing my mental faculties, but it is not - it is just taking my time.

I read a snark blog based on "John and Kate Plus Eight." I started reading it because it was witty and echoed my sentiments about the show, but lately it's just been getting ugly. I don't read it because it makes me smarter - it just makes me feel icky.

I eat too much junky food. This would include everything from chocolate to cracker sandwiches to anything that has unhealthy crap in it. I tell myself that tomorrow I will do better, but lately that particular tomorrow has not arrived.

I continue to tell myself that I will get up and wog early in the mornings. But that early point in the mornings keeps getting later and later until dusk sets in and it's too dark to wog. I hate the treadmill, so I keep entering half-marathons not even half-trained.

So my bad habits seem to proliferate while my good ones have yet to surface. It's very frustrating, especially when I know that at one time, all these bad habits were kept in check by good habits. So what is one (and that would be me) to do?

I start over. I get some advice and try again. I hope for the best, try a little harder every day, practice and practice some more, and keep at it. But most of all, believe that I can do this.

I deleted the link to the snark blog and all those computer games. I guess that means I've started!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Tried - Or Maybe It Should Be: I Tired

It's Monday. No words. No thoughts. Just Monday.

It's Monday. Sore muscles. Creaky joints. Monday after the Half Sunday.

It's Monday. Getting caught up. Eating junky food. Hazy, lazy Monday.

Tomorrow's Tuesday. Tuesday after Messy Monday.

I think Tuesday will be better.

I like hope.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


They said they would be there. They were there last year. As I came up on Mile 4, I began to
search the crowd. And as I rounded the corner, there they were - my cheerleaders.

Two sisters-in-law and my 92-year-old father-in-law, complete with clanging bells and cameras. And they were there just for me.

I can't begin to tell you what it's like to have someone cheering just for you. In this case, it was my family. But all along the route today, there were complete strangers cheering for me by name (okay, so maybe my name on my bib helped). But they were there, urging me on and encouraging my efforts. And I kept going and finished.

We all need cheerleaders in this life, to keep us going in good times and bad. We need people who believe in us and in what we're doing, and who want to be there - just for us. We need someone to be there to encourage us to keep at it, whether it be a complete stranger or our dearest friend. And sometimes, if we're really blessed, we get to be that cheerleader for someone else. Because in the end, we don't really give encouragement away - we just multiply in ourselves when we share it with someone else.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

17 Times 7000

Tomorrow I plan to wog 13.1 miles in The National Marathon To Fight Breast Cancer. I will do it wearing the names of seventeen people who have been diagnosed with this disease. Some are still living and fighting, and some have lost their battle. But tomorrow I will wog for them all.

I've thought about the other 6,999 people in this event. What if they are walking for seventeen people, too? That would mean we are representing 119,000 breast cancer warriors. But that's not even how many people were expected to get diagnosed in 2008. So I will keep wogging.

I will keep wogging because I want this disease to be cured. I will keep wogging because I want children to grow up with their mothers, their grandmothers, their aunts, their sisters, and their friends. I will keep wogging because I want breast cancer to become a thing of the past, a disease for which there is a cure, and a cause to be put to rest. I will keep wogging because I care, and I can.

I'll be wogging again in Komen for the Cure races and in the San Diego Breast Cancer 3-Day. In every race, I'll be wearing these names, and I'd love to have more. Send me the names of those you love who are affected by this disease, and I'll add them to my shirt. With each step, I'll be thinking about each person represented by those names. And with each step, I'll be thinking about the day when there will no longer be a need for any names to be worn.

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Family

I'm on the road again, this time to Jacksonville for the Breast Cancer Half Marathon. Steve and I got here this morning (it's a golf weekend for him), and his dad and sister came yesterday to visit with another sister who lives here. It's sort of a mini-family reunion (considering the fact that he's got two other brothers and two other sisters who aren't here).

Meanwhile, Maribeth's headed to Montana, Molly's in Kentucky, and Sam and Lynnette head to Birmingham tomorrow for a half-marathon on Sunday.

The thing I love about my family (well, one of them, anyway) is that no matter where we travel, we are together. We're together in our hearts, and bring back stories to share. On Sunday, nobody will be in town for family brunch, but we'll be thinking about each other. Next week, we'll be back in Nashville, getting together for eating and arguments and stories and laughter and fun.

My family - I love them!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Due to a lack of sleep on my part last night, my brain is taking a nap. Instead of a delightful, witty blog, I have decided to educate you. At least you may be a little smarter at the end of this entry!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another Animal Video

But this one is the best!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Have A Pint on Me

I did it. I gave blood today. I had said I would do it before February 14, and I did. It wasn't so bad, and I didn't pass out afterwards, so it was a good thing.

I didn't think it might happen. Last night Insomnia paid me a visit until 2 am. Once he left, my stomach decided at 3 am that it needed to expel whatever undesirable element I had placed in it. I finally got to bed and sleep until 5 am, when Shaggy the Cat decided to claw the outside screen, wanting to be let in the window. He wasn't.

When I got up, Steve found that his two-month-old new windshield had a huge crack in it, which meant I would return to the place of purchase to discuss getting a new one. In the interim, I got an email from Molly saying she was having significant boyfriend issues. Somehow in the midst of all of this, I forgot about my macrobiotic brown rice, and remembered it just in time to notice its inedible rock-like texture. With a night/morning like this, I seriously considered cancelling the blood appointment.

But I thought a little harder and decided that I really didn't feel bad, I really wanted to do this, and there was really no reason I shouldn't. So I did. As I sat there, squeezing the rubber squeezy thing and watching the blood flow from my vein, it was kind of neat. I imagined where my pint of blood would go. Would it be a child, or a car accident victim, or a middle-age lady getting her gall bladder removed?

In the end, it really didn't matter. I did something for the first time, something that could have a real effect on someone else. Something that didn't cost me anything, that my body would replenish, and that could save some one's life. How often can I do that while sitting on a stretcher watching tv? For me, hopefully every few months!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Winter Flowers

Today was a good day. It was a day to realize how many nice people I have in my life. I got a note in the mail from Steve's Aunt Janet, who said some really nice things about me - to me! I got emails from Angelle and Kat, saying more nice things. The ADT dude on the phone was nice. I mailed books to Laura and Irene who were nice enough to order some.

In the winter, sometimes the weather can get dreary and we long for spring and its lovely spring flowers. But sometimes, by noticing the nice people around you, you find they become those magnificent flowers you yearn for. You find yourself surrounded by beauty on the wintery-est of days.

Spring is never far away, as long as you have friends.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Best Blog Ever

Maribeth said that my blogs have been lame lately and I needed to write the best blog ever. Since a picture is supposedly worth 1000 words, I hope this fits the bill.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

New Socks

I have sock issues. Somehow, when my shoes are off and my socks are on, the heel of the sock gets worked around to the top of my foot. The sock gets all twisted around.

I don't know why this happens. It happens with my cheap socks and my pricey socks. It doesn't happen with my wogging socks, but those look rather odd with my not-wogging outfits.

This dilemma concerned Maribeth enough that she brought me a pair of toe socks, which I have just installed on my feet.

They do feel a bit weird, separating my toes who are used to being together. When I look down at my feet, I think I am looking at my hands. But so far, the heel is staying in its place.

Is this what they mean when they talk about teaching old dogs new tricks?

Friday, February 6, 2009

New Words

In an attempt to create a blog post, I decided to learn a new word. I opened up my handy 2000 Edition of Webster's and turned to a random page. I ended up on the "mi" page, but already knew most of the words. Then I saw the word "mis-" which is a prefix, which when attached to any ordinary word makes the ordinary word become wrong or unfavorable. You know, like behave becomes misbehave and calculate becomes miscalculate.

Wanting to become famous by using this ingenious mini-word, I have decided to create a few new words for future entry into the dictionary:

1. Miseat - eating the entire box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, plus the second box you got for $1 with the coupon

2. Misexercise - when you sit on the couch watching the "Law and Order" marathon instead of going to Curves

3. Misdress - when you wear that cleavage-showing bulging-belly midriff at Disney World, thus disrupting my view of the parade

4. Misclean - when you hide/sweep under the rug/put in a sack the stuff I've repeatedly asked you to put away/clean/get rid of.

5. Miswatch - when you watch stupid stuff like "My Big Redneck Wedding" on television

6. Misweigh - when you get on the scales and you know you shouldn't

7. Misblog - when what you wrote earned you a night in jail

8. Misshop - when you shop in the hootchie mama section and you aren't one

9. Mistext - when I inadvertently hit "send" before I'm done with the message

10. Misbrain - when you think something is worth blogging, but it really isn't

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Emails and Such

Today I got a variety of emails from a variety of sources. All of them were upbeat and made me smile. A few were from friends I haven't been in touch with for awhile, and I was so pleased to hear from them. Others were updates or inquiries about common interests. Of course there was the usual spam, but sometimes even that might provoke a response.

Back in the Dark Ages, when I was young, my world was limited to my local friends. We might stay in touch by phone, but if someone moved, letters rarely went back and forth. We would lose touch and wonder how things were.

But now I have the chance to stay close with those who do live far away, and whom I might not actually see for years on end. I can keep tabs on local friends who work different hours, and whose busy lives don't always have time for a chatty phone call. I can ask questions at my leisure and get answers at someone else's leisure. And, I can bug my kids without seeing their eyes roll to the back of the heads.

Emails aren't a substitute for that personal visit or a handwritten note, but it's a great way to keep the bonds between people. Today it made my life a little happier - and I hope I did the same for someone else.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

And That's All I Have To Say About That

"When you have nothing to say (or blog), say (or blog) nothing.

-Charles Caleb Colton-

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Reflipping the Breaker

Today I had to call the HVAC company because the upstairs unit decided not to operate as it should - like heat. A different guy from yesterday came, inspected the system, asked me a bunch of questions, and then noticed that the breaker was flipped. He flipped it back on and the system cranked up again. Now I know something new to check on if it happens again.

This situation has happened to me before. A repairman comes to my house, fixes or tunes up something, and I have to call the next day because the fixed/tuned up thing is no longer working.

I guess that's sort of like my life. Just when I think everything is working on all cylinders, the very next day everything is kaput (no thanks to those candy bars, the Lifetime Movie Network marathon, and an increasingly messy house).

But luckily, the Master Carpenter comes along, trips the breaker, and gets everything right again. It's nice to know Who to call when life doesn't quite perform like it should.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I love this video. Sam first sent it to me awhile ago, and I thought of it today. It just makes me happy to see the joy and fun. Maybe we're all not so different after all.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

One Hundred Things - Part Two

I've already mentioned my goal for this year, which is to get rid of 100 things each month. It's my twist on David Bruno's 100 Thing Challenge. In January, it was to unload 100 books.

Today I unloaded 100 dvds. I realize many people couldn't imagine having 100 dvds, much less getting rid of that many. But we have that many, and more. It was just something we started when dvds came out (remember we have three children) and ended up with literally shelves of the discs.

It wasn't hard to cull 100. We had several duplicates, and others that had never been taken out of the wrappers. There were many that I don't even remember being brought into the house. In the end, 100 dvds sat in boxes. Sam and Molly claimed some, and after Maribeth inspects the leftovers, the ones remaining will be boxed for the May Breast Cancer garage sale.

It amazes me again to see how much I can do without. I just wish I could get rid of my excess pounds as easily as I do these other things!