Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No Funfetti Cake Tonight

Since I am still blog-bogged, I asked Maribeth for a topic. She said I should write about how I still haven't made her a funfetti cake. She is correct - I haven't. So, to keep myself from being named "Bad Mother Of The Year," I would like to offer the following reasons why there is no funfetti cake.

1. There were still Cheetos to eat. 'Nuf said.

2. I still hadn't watched last week's episode of "House." I needed to know if he got out of rehab before I committed to baking a cake.

3. I decided to start training for the 3-Day walk. Which I should have started training for 3 months ago. Walking 5 miles took up my cake-baking time.

4. Making this cake is very complicated. You have to get eggs and oil and mix it together. Very technical for a Wednesday.

5. I don't even eat this cake. I would rather make Cheetos. Is there a recipe for that?

6. There is a funfetti facebook page. Maybe Maribeth can find a baker there.

7. I am old and Maribeth is young. Shouldn't she be making me a cake?

8. I only bake cakes from scratch. Yeah, that's it.

9. I could be booted from boot camp if I bake a cake. Really. And I cannot be a boot camp dropout. At least not because of cake.

10. If I had actually made the cake, what would I have blogged about tonight?
Things that made today special: CPK delivery from Maribeth and Molly; 5 miles training; confirmation of golf tournament volunteer job; Sam and Lynnette's new house paint; Molly's cranberry lemonade delivery

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pure Evil

Today I bought Cheetos to accompany tonight's dinner of Steve's Bubba Burgers. Today I was also supposed to try eating a lot more healthy foods. Cheetos is not one of them. Basically, after I ate the portion(s) that I did, below is a picture of what I felt like, checkerboard hair and all. Or maybe this is the evil one in my brain convincing me to eat the Cheetos. Oh well, maybe I learned my lesson. Hope does spring eternal ...

Things that make today special: Return to boot camp, even with plank relays; giving blood at Red Cross, key chain, and people there; Steve's burger dinner; Southwest roulette for January trip; Maggie the Cat's tree climbing episode

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Last September Monday

After a quick in and out weekend in Orlando, Monday morning came way too early. Somehow, boot camp got lost in the shuffle - in other words, I bailed this morning. Fall weather made it to Nashville today, so I decided to just chill.

Now, that's the way to spend a Monday!
Things that make today special: Painter-sitting with Sam, Lynnette, and Missy; Molly's cranberry limeade delivery; more Race for the Taste ressies

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Beginning, The End, and The Stuff in the Middle

I'm back at home in Nashville after a quick trip to Orlando to run 3 miles in the rain. This afternoon as I went through security in Orlando, the security scanner dude motioned for the security supervisor dude to take a look at my suitcase's contents. Supervisor pulled my bag and asked me about the "meat thermometer" that was in my bag. Immediately I tried to figure out why there was a meat thermometer in my bag - did I purchase one without my knowledge? As it turns out, what security thought was a meat thermometer was actually my fake compass medal from the Expedition Everest Challenge. Things are not always what they seem in the beginning.

Upon arrival in Nashville, our plane pulled over to the plane parking lot (I guess) to wait for our gate to clear. Apparently the plane occupying our slot had plane or luggage or passenger issues, and we couldn't deplane until that plane left the building. So we sat for 30 minutes, waiting to finish our trip. Sometimes endings are not what we expected but we really don't have a say in the matter.

In between my departure and arrival, there was a smooth, uneventful flight, but I still wasn't too thrilled. There was a lot of scenery to see, a beautiful sunset to appreciate, and plenty of clouds in which to find figures. But all that sort of got passed up due to my flying anxiety. Sometimes the stuff in the middle is good stuff, but we miss it because all we want is for the middle stuff to be over.

So what's the point of this? I guess it's just to remind myself that everything has a beginning, a middle, and an ending, all worth considering.
Things that make today special: Safe, smooth flight; sleeping in my own bed; Downtown Disney-ing

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Agony and the Ecstasy - Part Deux (or Part Duh)

... of Disney's Expedition Everest Challenge Race.

First of all, if the forecast calls for 85% chance of rain, believe it. Take a raincoat, or in tonight's case, a boat. Sure, the sprinkles are nice during the 5K when you're all sweaty because it's hot as blazes, but a few minutes later when you notice animals walking in twos, you're in trouble.

Second, there comes a point in time when even I know my limits. Attempting to hoist my overweight, overage body over some rain-soaked, slippery apparatus during the obstacle course of this race seemed like a really bad idea. So, instead of flirting with bodily harm, I walked around them. Nobody cared, because by that point, the rain was really starting to pour, and the officials were having difficulty seeing anyway.

Third, trying to figure out the scavenger hunt is extremely difficult when (a) your teammate for this race (and for life) has wisely chosen to bail, except that only he can read the minuscule print on the scavenger hunt pamphlet, and you can't read it because you didn't bring your readers (and your boots, raincoat, and umbrella), and (b) the blasted paper pamphlet is tearing to shreds in your hands because paper plus typhoon equals pulp. Also, just because somebody who already finished texted you the answers (before the typhoon hit), they aren't very useful if the clues are different. Again, middle-age wisdom rears its genius head because when you get back to Animal Kingdom, you decide that to heck (or use your own expletive) with the blasted scavenger hunt - you are going to get your medal no matter what.

Fourth, planning a post-race meeting spot with the other members of your carpool is essential - but choose it BEFORE the race begins. Along with paper, cell phones do not co-exist well with downpours from the sky. Plus, be sure that the members of your entourage are well acquainted with the layout of the park - otherwise Flame Tree Barbecue becomes Plain Tree Barbecue, which might as well be Corky's BBQ because SOME people have never heard of it anyway.

Fifth, hire a consultant to advise you about the race. Had we done this, we would have realized that if our two-person team had registered as two individuals, we could have started in the first wave with Molly, who entered as a single. This race had 13 waves - each started 5 minutes apart, which means we started 35 minutes AFTER Molly started. Which would have saved us 35 minutes of rain. And saved me 35 minutes of waiting in front of Flame Tree Barbecue, hoping that somebody's cell phone had enough left in it to make the connection.

Sixth, make sure that everyone is flexible - like if you're already finished and have your medal, you're willing to slap on the bailer's bib over yours, put your medal in your bra, and finish again so that everyone will get a medal. Teamwork counts in many different ways.

So, in conclusion, we had a lot of fun. At least that's the way I remember it!!
Things that make today special: Cast member helping Steve with his Disney birthday celebration card; Larry at the Eagle Pines golf pro shop; Under Armour and Tumi surprises from Steve; Golden Arches at 10:30 pm; napping

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Agony and The Ecstasy

... of shopping, that is.

One has to do with walking through Forever 21 (which I'm not) with Molly, looking at dresses that I probably couldn't squeeze my left leg into. Then there's the decision on sunglasses that cover half one's face - a style Molly and Nicole Ritchie embrace. When the shopping decisions are finally made, there's the waiting in line to purchase said items, except there's only one salesperson running a single register, in spite of the 10 customers waiting in line and the scads of additional salespeople behind the desk, apparently making plans for their coffee breaks.

Another has to do with grocery shopping after shopping for hours at two malls instead of taking a nap. Stuff is finding its way into your basket that you have never eaten before. A stop at the bakery includes trying to communicate with the non-English speaking bakery lady that you want "Steve" piped onto a birthday cake. And when you get the cake, trying to slyly peek into the box to see if she did understand your English, without endangering the relationship between America and the bakery lady's native country.

Then there's the Disney Outlet store, when you find all the stuff you bought during your last visit to the World is now on sale for half the price. So you buy some stuff that you wouldn't have bought for full price, but suddenly you have to have it because it's on sale. Only you probably won't want it upon your return home, so now you have to decide who's going to get this prized item.

Finally, the last one has to do with having a coupon for 20% off at Carter's if you buy $50 worth of baby clothes. The problem is that everything in the store is 40% or 50% or 70% off, depending on what you buy and which rack the adorable baby girl outfit is hanging on. So it takes a human calculator to figure out what the price of the item, add it to the estimated price of the other items, then meekly saunter up to the cashier, hoping for success. Molly and I managed to complete this task - twice.

Now, you just have to figure out which is which!
Things that make today special: Safe, smooth, quick flight; shopping with Molly; dinner with Steve; Bonnet Creek Resort guard lady; car rental dude

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What Happens When Cats Overdose ...

... on cat-ball playthings. ... and catnip toys.
Things that make today special: Steve's dinner delivery; Maribeth and Molly's Sonic drink delivery; talking with Jennifer; new coat hooks and other purchases from Target

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Today as I was clearing out some of the residual clutter from the attic, I called Molly to see if she wanted her "memory box." This is basically a large tub that contains papers and other odds and ends from her childhood. Sam had gone through his a few years ago, and I wondered if Molly was interested in taking possession of hers.

Luckily for me, she was. She went though some of it, entertaining me with her early journals - where I weighed anywhere from 55 to 290 pounds (neither of which was accurate - really). She got rid of some things and kept others. I fell asleep on the couch, and she took the rest to her house.

There were many things in her box that reminded us of when she was little. Memories that she didn't remember, but Maribeth and I did. Memories that I don't remember, but Molly is adamant about being accurate. Memories of a little girl now grown up into a woman.

It's now time that she take her memory box with her as she makes her own grown-up life. But that's the good thing about growing up and leaving home - while you take your memories with you, they always manage to stay back home, too.
Things that make today special: Pei Wei lunch delivery by Molly; catching up on lack of sleep; all-day pjs from Maribeth; clearing out a bit of clutter

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This weekend as I was still reeling from my latest massage, I decided to reevaluate my massage goals. I've had a couple of massages in the past where the masseuse's goal was to correct my muscles (or work out some stress on the masseuse's part). During a massage on a cruise ship, I believe that the German masseuse was still working out issues from World War II, as evidenced by his intense pressure and the resulting pain on my part. Yes, I know at any point I could politely say, "GET YOUR $$#^% ELBOW OUT OF THAT MUSCLE," but I figured that in the words of my father, "it had to get worse before it would get better."

Then came my "aha" moment. Was I going to "Massage Therapy" where I was trying to work out some issue with my shoulder that could only be rectified by grief and agony? Was I going to "Massage Masochist" where pain equaled ecstasy? Was I going to "Massage Stress-Out" where I left more tense than when I came? No - I was going to "Massage Envy" where I was supposed to leave serene and calm.

So, I decided to start over. Next month I am going back to the masseuse ladies whose idea of firm pressure is soothing and relaxing. Sure, they may not get all the knots out as expediently as those with a vice-grip pressure, but I know I will feel better when I'm finished.

Stuff doesn't always have to hurt to feel better. Sometimes just feeling better is enough.
Things that make today special: Women's Room ladies; slarty with M&M and matching pjs; boiled peanuts; final furniture moving

Monday, September 21, 2009


Today I started another session of boot camp (note to self: during your next week off, DO SOMETHING EXERCISE RELATED - that is, if you want to be able to move again after your next first session!). I also took Maggie the Cat to the vets to get spayed and picked her up afterward. I went to Molly's to wait for the foundation dudes, who never showed up. I took Brother-in-law Phil out to see Steve at his office, then took Phil to the airport. I sped through Target looking for the coat hook rack that was on sale, but didn't find it. I managed a drive-through Starbucks (which kept me going). I shopped in Home Depot for decorating ideas, purchasing a lamp and rug (okay, so maybe Home Depot isn't a designer's showplace, but it works for me). I put together the new lamp/table and carted the unacceptable ones to another room. I turned the queen bed sideways and congratulated myself on the idea that it would fit on the king Mickey headboard (yes, it does look a little odd, but remember - I get my decorating tips from Home Depot). I checked in online for the 3-day walk and passed the safety quiz. I registered as a volunteer at the golf tournament at Disney in November (I think it means I'm in as a volunteer - for the Golf Channel - which means you won't get to see it due to technical difficulties). I went to the post office and UPS to mail some stuff. I probably did some other stuff, but just reading all this makes me tired.

Besides, tomorrow boot camp is in session again at 5:45 am. And there's still that last bit of residual furniture to move ...
Things that make today special: Everything mentioned above!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lessons From Blogville

Be careful of which buttons you push - you may publish nothing at all. But that nothing will be published.

Okay, so that's the only lesson I have, but I thought it worth mentioning, in case you read the post that got posted with nothing. Which you may consider is the usual topic of my blog posts. Anyhow, in this case, I am attempting to remedy my mistake by typing words.

Which brings me to a question - is it still typing when you are doing said activity on a computer? Or is it keyboarding now? Just wondering.

Anyhow, I am marginally recovered from yesterday's moving extravaganza. Still recovering from Quintus' extravaganza on my neck and shoulders. The good news is that tomorrow I will start another session of boot camp. Wait - maybe that's not such good news. Maribeth and Molly and bailed on me, so I'll be going it alone. I'm hoping one of my "fitness-challenged" cohorts from last session will be rejoining. I think there were two of them.

Well, I guess this is enough for today's post. The question I shall leave with you is: Is something better than nothing?
Gifts that make today special: Family pancake brunch with special guest Phil; putting furniture from into living room from various other rooms; post-pancake napping on the couch; catching up on bills and such

Saturday, September 19, 2009

And Then There Was Saturday ...

.... which started early because Friday ended late. Let me explain.

Part of the Davidson Furniture Flu is rearranging the furniture you have because you're getting rid of some of it and possibly gaining more furniture. Friday night was my rearranging night. We moved the sectional and re-sectionalized it in a new configuration. The pool table got moved to the sun room, and the "picnic table" got moved to the den. The golf clubs travelled to the other side of the room and pictures got rehung (side story - I was rehanging the clock and clocked my finger with the hammer - only because I was balancing on a tiny stool while angling my post-torture-massage body at an 120 degree angle. Anyhow, I finally managed to get the nail in, and picked up the clock to place it on the nail. I noticed there was some sort of sticky stuff on the clock and my hands were wet - it was the blood dripping from my injured thumb). Anyhow, I was up until 2 am trying to get some semblance of order in the den.

Fast forward to 5am, when I knew I needed to start my "just 10 more minutes" so I could get to Sam's by 8 so we could get the truck and start the first shift. First shift had to be over at 11:13, so I could pick up Brother-in-law Philip from the airport, who is in town for the Vandy-MSU game today and the Titans game tomorrow. Anyhoo, first shift got underway, which involved moving Sam and Lynnette's bed from upstairs to the downstairs bedroom; taking apart the bed in the soon-to-be nursery and put it on the truck to go to my house; loading the upstairs entertainment center; loading the 18-ton entertainment center in the garage onto the truck, loading the desk and various chairs, and loading a bunch of other stuff on the truck to be taken elsewhere.

We were doing great and ended the shift by going to Sam's office and unloading some stuff and loading up some more stuff. We then went to my house, unloaded the Sam bed and proceeded to load the king bed from my guest (Disney) room. This was probably the highlight of the day, when I thought I could carry my part of the king mattress on my head - I ended up bent over, rump to the world, unable to move, laughing like an idiot (and looking like one, too), while Sam is wondering what's going on, since he is successful in his head-mattress configuration. Finally, we get everything loaded (sort of) and we go back to Sam's house where we miraculously unload the king bed and take it upstairs to their bedroom.

I go get Philip and take a break. Molly and Steve return from their brief trip to Mississippi to show GDizzle Molly's new car. Molly calls her friend-boys and we start Shift Two. This involves returning to Sam's to retrieve truck full of stuff and take it to my house, where we unload the stuff from Sam's that's going to my house. Then we load the couches from my house that are going to Molly's, along with the 3 nightstands that are going to Sam's and assorted other stuff that is going to Sam's office. We go to Molly's to unload the couches and TV cabinet thing. We go to Sam's office to put the 100-ton entertainment center that Sam and I left on the sidewalk that has also been rained on, into the back room, load up the single sleeper sofa, return to Molly's to unload the sleeper sofa, upon which I leave Molly and the Friend-Boys, and I return with truck and nightstands to Sam's where he returns truck and we call it a day.

Except that I had to put the formerly-known-as-SamandLynnette's-bed together so that Philip would have a place to sleep.

I think I'm over the flu now!
Gifts that make today special: Davidson moving adventures; Movers Mack, Nathan, and Adam; Phil's visit; Getting rid of furniture and welcoming new(ish)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tonight's Post Was Brought To You By ...

... Maribeth. Since I have caught the Davidson Furniture Flu (over in 24 hours, if treated with moving van and furniture moved from Davidson household to Davidson household), she thought you might enjoy this article.

I think she believes this will get her out of moving stuff tomorrow!
Gifts that make today special: Quintus at Massage Envy (painful good); Maribeth's shopping treasures; Target-ing with Lynnette; CFactory with Sam, Maribeth, and Lynnette; pool table movers; rearranging furniture

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Me. Tonight.

'Nuf said.
Gifts that make today special: Getting a few things cleaned up; Sweet Sleep Soiree with the family; The Office new episode

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why I Watch Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC

1. My mothering looks functional compared to some of the doozies on this show.

2. Potential names for future granddaughter - tonight brought us Sparkal Queenz

3. Realization that there are some things that my children (daughters AND son) didn't do - THANK GOODNESS

4. Realization that as foolishly as I sometimes spend money, there are lots more foolish things to spend it on - like thousands of dollars for one pageant dress for a two year old.

5. Future career - pageant director - I couldn't be any more inept than some of the nutcases on this show

6. Observe new species of humanity - like the Pageant Dad

7. Educational aspect of learning new words - like flipper and glitz

8. Learn new makeup tips - as applied to four year old faces

9. Ascertain the secret of successful pageant performance - flavored sugar in giant pixie stix

10. Economics lesson - how to invest thousands and receive a plastic crown, yet write it off to "raising my child's self esteem" - HAVE YOU HEARD OF THERAPY, PEOPLE?

Yes, I learn lots from this show - isn't that why it's on The Learning Channel?
Gifts that make today special: Disney trip planning; talking with Jennifer; Witt and fire engines; cleaning the sun room

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

They Also Get A Medal Who Finish Almost Last

Today I got my NYC Half Marathon official photo in the mail. First of all, I got a free 4x6 because I ordered a 4x6. This would be a great deal if I knew someone who wanted the other 4x6. I could send it to the lady who is walking beside me, but I don't know her name or address. So I guess that sometimes free is not so great after all.

Second, the picture is mostly of Times Square, with a tiny little me somewhere near the bottom. This is good, because it highlights Times Square, and lowlights me and my bulgy belly under my sweat-water-gatorade-soaked shirt. So I guess bigger is not always better - at least in terms of your part in a picture.

The question remains - why did I order one? It simple - I wanted proof that I actually was there (and not last); I thought it was a cool picture of the whole event; I wanted to remember my unknown buddy who helped me get through the middle, hot, agonizing part of the race; and I keep a race scrapbook.

Besides, what else would I blog about today?
Gifts that make today special: Panera delivered by Maribeth and Molly; race pics; phone chat with Marilyn

Monday, September 14, 2009

Life and Death

This evening, Steve and I watched Disney's "Planet Earth" on DVD. The photography was beautiful, and there was much to like. However, there were also the predator scenes where we had to watch the "circle of life" as one animal hunted down another in order to sustain life. I get it - I just don't like to watch it. There was no blood and guts involved, but it didn't make the whole thing any more palatable for me. I understand it's the way nature is - it still makes me sad.

I read on the news that Patrick Swayze died today. He entertained us with his talents, and inspired us with his fight against the cancer that would eventually take his life. In recent months, it was obvious that he wasn't doing well, and I guess the world knew this day would come. But it's still sad that he's left this world.

My junior high band director died today. Mrs. Mac was a woman who was like none other in my little Southern hometown. She knew what she wanted and pursued her own path, encouraging me to do the same. She's been very ill for several months, and today her body finally just gave up the fight. Even though I haven't seen her for many, many years, today I feel a profound loss for a woman who inspired me so much. And while I know she's at peace and rest, I still wish she were here to enjoy her family a little longer.

I don't like death. Many times it's so unexplainable and seemingly unnecessary. Sometimes it's a welcome relief for a painful illness, but still bittersweet. Sometimes it's a part of this life and just happens. But it still is painful to me to witness, no matter how I come across it. I guess I have to realize that death is only a small part of this life, and it's the life lived that matters in the end. It's the life that enriches and encourages our own, it's the life that we recognize will create a void in our own, and it's the life that we realize we valued - almost too late.

Maybe that's part of the lesson that death teaches us - to see all the life around us and practice a little more love and appreciation on those lives. I believe that God has another life out there for us - but He wants us to see the gift of life that we have here.

Tonight I'm thankful for all the lives that surround me - especially yours, if you're reading this. I'm thankful for your love and support and friendship. I'm thankful for you and your life. And I'm thankful that I didn't wait for death to remind me of how blessed and thankful I am.
Gifts that make today special: Edythe's McArthur's impact on my life; watching Disney's Earth (well, most of it)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's Not My Cat, For Sure!!

I'm sorry, but after a couple of nights dealing with insomnia, this is the best I could do. How can anybody not like kitties?!!

Things that make today special: Family pancake brunch, watching Tiger define golf

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September's 100 Things

It's taken awhile, but with a little help, today was the day for this month's 100 Things. My goal was to rid my attic of 100 things - if I could first unload the ENTIRE attic to get to the 100 things. Being summer, it's not the best time to scrounge around in an attic with no insulation. The roof dudes left quite a bit of roof giblets when installing the ridge vent, so in other words, it was a mess. Heat plus mess equals I Don't Want To Do It.

But, inspiration came in the guise of Molly's friend Michaela, who was up for a challenge, especially since yesterday I roped her into cutting down a tree in Molly's front yard. Michaela came over, I shoved her into the attic like the a witch throwing Gretel into the oven, and she commenced to pulling containers and boxes out of the great abyss.

What a disaster. Junk in the attic is nothing - until you pull it out and start going through it. It's mostly a bunch of stuff being saved - for no really good reason. Here are a few of the "treasures" that I uncovered:

There are toys that my children played with - so why am I keeping them? Yes, I will be having a granddaughter in a few months. But I hope I can afford a few new things for her to play with. Besides, all the stuff my children played with when they were little are probably now outlawed by the Toy Police as being dangerous.

There's the cake topper that was on my wedding cake. I think I hoped that varmints would chew it up because of the cake giblets that were left. Cake topper is intact - but now it's brown. I don't think anyone will be interested in using that!!

A few baby clothes - again, I think I can afford a few new togs. New ones without the stains on them. Maybe I'll just force them on Lynnette and let her get rid of them!!

Halloween and Easter decorations. I don't decorate for either, so out they go.

Six billion frames with no pictures in them. Out they go. My new plan is to get the picture FIRST, then go buy the frame. This "I'll hold on to the frame, maybe I'll need it for a picture" isn't working so well.

Containers of every size and shape. What can I say - I like to be organized - even for stuff that I don't physically possess. I believe that if I possess fewer things, then I don't need the containers to organize them. I'm smart like that.

American Girl dolls and accessories. Maybe it's time to return custody to their mothers.

So, in the next few days I will put the remaining treasures back into the attic. I'll still keep my wedding dress (that I keep an a shoebox) and the Christmas decorations (the one holiday I do decorate). After all, something's got to go in the attic!!

Gifts that make today special: Attic clean out; dinner delivery by Steve; napping

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's Friday!!

So have a nice weekend!

Gifts that make today special: Last day of boot camp - for a week, anyway; CPK with the Ms; Whole Foods cooking class with Maribeth; Sawing down the tree with Molly and Michaela

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Walking the Walk But Needing a Walker

This morning during boot camp, I managed to twist my ankle and then step on it. In a word - ouch. But I managed to heave myself through the remainder of the hour, including leap frog planks (don't ask). Upon returning home, I iced my rapidly expanding ankle, Tylenol-ed it, and napped it. However, it still gave cankles a run for their money.

This afternoon, I had a dental appointment to have a cavity filled, thanks to my lackadaisical flossing. It was my first experience with a "dental dam." For those of you with perfect teeth who may never experience this phenomena, a dental dam is a series of devices that go in your mouth to "keep everything dry and narrow the field." Basically, a clamp is stuck on one side of your mouth, a bite thingy is placed on the other, and some kind of material (like balloon material) is somehow wound around your teeth, tongue, and whatever else is in the vicinity. When they construct all this, your mouth has already been numbed by the numbing ointment, q-tip, and shot, so I have no idea exactly what the balloon is attached to.

Anyhow, I sat with this paraphernalia in my mouth for quite awhile, because the dentist was chatting it up with another patient, Luckily, the new dental office has a TV in every exam room, so I could watch Tiger Woods play - in between my trying to swallow with tinker toys in my mouth. Finally, the dentist came in and did her thing and I left with one newly-filled hole in my mouth.

All of this leads me to the point of today's post. As I was leaving the dental office, my left hip decided to spasm. So, here I am, walking to my car, limping on the foot with the ace bandage, drooling from a dead lip and mouth that was probably agape from having a speculum stuck in it for hours, and finishing my strut by slinging my twitching hip to complete the old lady shuffle.

Thank goodness I was parked next to the handicapped spaces - maybe it didn't looked so ridiculous!

Gifts that make today special: Dental office personnel; family burgers

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Seeing the Music

Sam shared this video he found on the internet. I think it's fascinating, mainly because somebody looked at this scene, and saw music. It helps me realize how much music and beauty that God puts into our world, if only we would stop and experience it. But even better, if we would experience it and share it.

This picture of birds on wires by photographer Paulo Pinto looks like music notation. So Jarbas Agnelli naturally wanted to find out what that music sounded like.

Reading a newspaper, I saw a picture of birds on the electric wires. I cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes (no Photoshop edit). I knew it wasn’t the most original idea in the universe. I was just curious to hear what melody the birds were creating.

Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.


Gifts that make today special: Catching up on bills, Sonic drink delivered by Molly and Mikaela

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In A Word

... tired.

See ya later!
Gifts that make today special: People at dentist office; talking with Jennifer; surviving boot camp after a half marathon

Monday, September 7, 2009


I've been on California time for a few days. I never got used to it, mainly because I was getting up early, which translated to the usual time I would get up in Tennessee. I also went to bed early, mainly because I was so sleepy, not to mention wogging a race or two. Steve said last night I was asleep by 7:30 pm. Whatever.

Today we left LAX at 9 am and got back at 1 pm, better known as 3 pm. All I knew was that it was lunchtime. I think dinner will be skipped.

The good news is now I'm back in Nashville, ready to get back on good old Central Time. Now if only I didn't have to get up for boot camp at 5 am tomorrow ...

Gifts that make today special: Safe, smooth, long flight home; sleeping in my own bed; Demos with the family

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lesson from the Half

The bad thing about Disney half-marathons is that they start at 6am so you have to get up really early. The good thing about Disney half-marathons is that they start at 6am so by the time you're done, you have the whole day ahead of you to recover (if you need it).

The bad thing about Disney half-marathons is that there are a lot of people in front of you. The good thing about Disney half-marathons is that there are a lot of people in front of you to catch up with and pass, to keep you on a good pace.

The bad thing about Disney half-marathons is that there are a lot of people behind you to catch up with you and pass you. The good thing is that there are a lot of people behind you so that you probably won't be the last one in.

So I guess the lesson is that there are usually good and bad things to every situation, if you really think about it hard enough. It sometimes just takes awhile to find the good part.

Things that make today special: Finishing the half-marathon, lunching with the entire Graves family, ride to hotel by Hertz dude, race bling, walking to In N Out with Steve, Sam, and Lynnette

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday in California

I have 5K-ed, Disneyland-ed, napped, carbo-loaded, California Adventure-ed, and maybe some other stuff. Now it's time to sleep before I get up tomorrow to wog 13.1 miles. Stay tuned ....
Things that made today great: Finishing the 5K, touring Disneyland and California Adventure with Sam, Lynnette, and Maribeth, dinner at Downtown Disney with the family

Friday, September 4, 2009

Stuff on a Plane

Yesterday I arrived in California without incident. However, it took four hours to get here. On a plane. Which is not my preferred mode of travel.

To pass this overly long period of time, I tried to keep myself busy and not look at my watch except at certain intervals. In order to maintain spaced-out intervals between watch checks, I devised activities. To illustrate this procedure, I decided to list the things I did on my flight yesterday. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Completed easy crossword puzzle in Spirit magazine
2. Completed three out of four of the Sudokus in the Spirit Magazine
3. Composed yesterday's blog entry
4. Cat napped - wished I could sleep for hours
5. Ate peanuts - one by one
6. Ate animal crackers - one by one
7. Observed Asian lady across the aisle - why was she reading the emergency procedures card?
8. Looked out the window
9. Took pictures out the window
10. Saw plane fly next to us going in opposite direction. Have no distance/depth perception, so I have no idea how close it was. It was close enough to see it was Fed Ex. Way too close for me!
11. Wondered where we were
12. Wondered how Molly and I will get to hotel in rental car without incident
13. Wondered if flight attendants know something I don't, like we have a flat tire
14. Decided to stop wondering
15. Played Free Cell on Middle C
16. Played solitaire on Middle C
17. Listened to engine on plane - didn't hear anything I thought needed to call attention to
18. Drank flat Diet Coke - could have been dishwater for all I cared - it was a way to pass the time
19. Inspected wing of plane - everything appeared to be screwed in
20. Wished people hovering in aisle would sit down
21. Tried to identify shapes in clouds - saw a sitting camel, a mommy chased by a child, and a turtle swimming in water
22. Chewed ice in water delivered by Flight Attendant Bob
23. Observed plane as it turned to the right
24. Tried to guess the time - guessed it was 9:15 California time - actual time was 10:18 - only 40 minutes to landing!!
25. Repeated all 24 steps above in remaining 40 minutes.

Now, if I can only figure out what to do on the return flight on Monday!
Gifts that make today special: Shopping and expo-ing with Maribeth; volunteers at expo; rest of family arriving in California

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Today's Flying Lesson

First let me reiterate that I do not enjoy flying. I appreciate the fact that flying gets me places much faster than it would if I decided to drive. However, I can walk - I cannot flap my arms and fly. And I know all the statistics about how it's more likely that I'll have a car wreck than be killed in a plane. Doesn't matter. Flying in an airplane still makes me nervous. Particularly in weather that could in any way make the flight bumpy. Which according to any pilot, means just about any weather. Which leads me to today.

I am headed to Los Angeles for the weekend. Disneyland, to be exact (I know - you're shocked). It's a long flight (which for me is anything over 15 minutes). I was not exactly looking forward to it, but knew it had to be done. Yes, I could have not gone to Los Angeles this weekend, but I needed to be at Disneyland for the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday - we'll discuss that at another time. Anyhow, the long flight didn't excite me, even though Molly would be on my flight, although more than likely not sitting anywhere near me - another topic for discussion in the future.

Now, before I take the the skies, like DAYS before, I am a meteorologist's worst nightmare. Luckily I do not have any of them on speed dial. But I do get on the Internet and study the weather - where I plan to take off and land. Earlier in the week, today looked like a good day to flirt with danger and fly. Imagine my discontent when this morning, as I rousted myself for boot camp, heard the thunder, and saw the rain. Steve, who was flying to Newark and back, assured me that the "front" would be moving through in an hour. He lied. An hour later, as Maribeth and I were running from boot camp hell to the car, it was raining cats and dogs.

I returned to the house, showered, jumped in the car with Maribeth, picked up Molly, and headed for the airport. Traffic was heavy because of the heavy rain. Maribeth hates driving in the rain. As for me, I'd rather drive in it than fly in it. Molly and I got checked in and headed for our gate. Of course, I am watching the weather, mainly waiting for Mr. Sun to show up. He is apparently sleeping in today. At the gate next to ours, the Southwest person announces, for all of us to hear, that their pilot who is going to Houston has decided to delay boarding so that the "weather to the south" can clear up. Our pilot apparently is a thrill seeker, because he doesn't seem to wish to delay loading. I'm considering flying to Houston with Pilot Safety First.

I take a swig of my Diet Coke, wishing it were something stronger, like Regular Dr. Pepper, and board the plane. As I am boarding the aircraft, a passenger behind me asks the Pilot Thrill Seeker if "we will get to see the fires." I am disturbed because (a) it's a stupid question - does she want to fly low enough so the wheels will melt? Does she not have a tv to see "the fires", and (b) Pilot Risk-Taker needs to be checking his gadgets in the cockpit, not listening to some knucklehead. Anyhow, Molly finds her seat next to some stranger, and I amble back to find my window seat. It is still raining and cloudy. Pilot Daredevil comes on the intercom and gives us his spill, adding that we will probably experience some bumps on the takeoff due to the showers in the area. Wonderful.

However, the longer I glare out the window, the skies do seem to be clearing a bit. I personally think it would be fine to wait until there are clear skies everywhere - after all, the race isn't until Sunday. But Pilot Evil Knievel takes off anyway.

Now, here's where the lesson comes in. As we are taking off, I look out my window. All I see are white fluffy clouds and beautiful blue sky. I am one happy passenger. I look to the left and out the opposite windows, and all I see are gray skies and icky clouds. I don't like it one bit. But I hear God say, "Just look on the light side." And I do. I'm tempted to look to the left, but I don't. I just keep looking to the light side and soon we're in the air with only minor bumps.

Last night in my women's group, one of the ladies told us some advice she had heard from an uncle. He said, "Worry is just looking to the future and seeing what you don't want to happen. Why not look to the future and see what you want to happen?" I think that's an excellent idea. We all have that choice - to look to the left or the right, the light or the dark. And ultimately, we know which side will give us the peace that we want.

So I'll look to the light side as much as I can, even though I know what may be on the other side. After all, that look may only take a moment, but it's my moment, and I want it to be a good one.
Gifts that make today special: Safe, smooth flight; killer boot camp; wheelbarrow race with Maribeth; Mimi's with Molly and Marissa; Candy Cane Inn and treats; rental car and driving to hotel

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Bottle of Tylenol? Really?

Tomorrow I am going out of town. Yes, again. So tonight I decided to make a last minute run to the grocery to put a few needed supplies in the house (I don't know why - I'm leaving tomorrow). Anyhow, my selections included cupcakes, Cheetos, chocolate milk, blister band-aids, and Tylenol, among other things.

Once I had finished with my shopping, I headed for the checkout - the self-service one. I was pretty proud of myself for having brought my CPC shopping bag, so I was feeling pretty good. I stopped at first at the "under 15 items" check-out machines, but thought I would give those up for the regular self-checkouts. I was feeling very charitable to those who only had a few items, whereas I guesstimated that I probably had 15-ish.

Anyhoo, I checked out, bagged my stuff, and headed for the door. Imagine my surprise when the security buzzers went out as I paraded past them. The Kroger SWAT team and the shopping cart lady rushed over to my cart (the local news team was probably en route as well). I was asked if I had purchased a DVD or cell phone (yep - when I need a new DVD or cell phone, I always think of Kroger first). I replied that I hadn't.

I was then questioned about any medicines that I had purchased. I dug through my bag and produced the bottle of Tylenol, and sure enough, that was the culprit. I was informed that all the medicines have an extra UPC code sticker on them. Tyeshia, the head self-checkout cashier, also informed me that when I scanned it in, a message should have appeared on the screen telling me to remove the tag (yeah, like I read the messages on the screen). Shopping Cart Lady removed the tag, and I managed to make it to my car without be tasered.

I guess I just didn't realize the value of Tylenol, although I did purchase the rapid-releasers. Wonder what would have happened if I had bought a bottle of Maalox!!


Gifts that made today special: Women's Room Group meeting; getting stuff done; Shirley at the cleaners

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Cat Lady

Let me start at the beginning. I grew up on a farm and always had cats. They were my friends and taught me the facts of life (this was in the 60's in the South and Southern ladies did not talk about s-e-x). The first cat that my parents allowed in the house was Tinkerbell, who ended up giving me toxoplasmosis, which also caused his demise.

During our first year of marriage, Steve and I adopted Chapel Bells from our church's yard sale(hence the name). He was our first baby, whom we transported from Florida to Mississippi several times (much to his discontent). He lived through our babies.

During the next years, we had several cats. There was Whitey and Burt and Smokey and Simon, just to name a few.

Our most recent long-lived cat was Shaggy, famous for waking me up in the middle of the night. Shaggy came to our house with his sister Stewart, who ran out of her nine lives early on. They came into our lives when Maribeth was in 7th grade, so you can do the math as to his age. A few weeks ago, Shaggy went outside, never to return. I like to think that he decided to go live with Opie.

Just before Shaggy moved on, Grayson showed up and stayed. I'm still not sure to whom he really belongs, but I must assume he goes somewhere during the day. Maybe he has a day job. But he returns here at night to eat and rest up for the next day.

About a month ago, Molly adopted a cat that was found in the Sonic parking lot where she was working. It was a little kitten she named Margaret Thatcher, aka "Maggie." Unfortunately Maggie brought a colony of fleas with her, so in order to rid her house of fleas, Molly assigned custody of Maggie to us. Grayson and Maggie have become fast friends, so now we're up to two cats.

Today when I get home, I notice a cat sleeping on my front porch. It is a cat that I've seen off and on in the neighborhood. I go outside, get the cat to come up so I can pet it. Luckily it had a tag, so I know for sure it has a home. Maggie decided to check things out through the door - but it did not go so well. I guess that's good for all of us!
Anyhow, I'm not sure how my house got on the most popular house list for cats. Maybe that's where Grayson goes during the day. I am wondering if this makes my house a "cat house."

All of this isn't that important - unless a taxi shows up at your house and your cat runs out and gets in. At least you'll know where it's headed!


Gifts that make today special: Lunch at JAlex with Molly, Sam, and Lynnette; Granddaughter news, Carol's email