Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Three New Buddies

Gabe, Tyrone, and Bodie. What can I say - it's been a slow day ...

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Little Down Time To Tune Up

I'm back at home with no travel plans for the immediate future. I don't even have a Disney trip planned until late June (but always subject to change!). I have no half-marathons on the calendar, so maybe it's a time for a little rest.

It's always good to take a break and regroup, which is what I hope to be doing for the next few months. I've got my vision board and a sense of where I want to go. With nothing immediate on the horizon, it's time to start my quest. I guess that's probably the antithesis of "downtime," but it's the right time for me.

Three months, no Disney, one vision board, and hopeful plans. Sounds like an adventure to me!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just a Couple of Potato Heads

I am sitting in the Orlando airport, waiting to board my flight, which was supposed to leave at 7:45 pm. It is now 9:25 pm, and we are now scheduled to leave at 12:05 am.

Luckily, the 150 or so high schoolers that were waiting at our gate have left - their flight to Philadelphia was several hours late also. It's a much quieter wait now.

The guy sitting in the seats behind me has just let his gripes be known to us all, as if Southwest is causing our delay on purpose. Hey dude - it happens. Maybe the real potato head isn't in the picture after all!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Boy, A Ball, and A Mouse

This little boy got to throw out the first pitch, accompanied by a certain character. Baseball, little boys, and Mickey Mouse - American traditions worth celebrating!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fun Friday

The golf tournament was great. We got a bunch of free stuff (including this picture) and got to watch great players play golf. We walked around Celebration, shopped here and there, and even got a Disney taste. It's been a full day and I'm ready for some sleep. See you tomorrow!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Here Again

I am in Orlando for the weekend - again. Technically, this isn't a Disney trip. Technically, we are staying in Celebration. Steve got a good deal on a room at the Celebration Hotel, so here we are.

Tomorrow we have tickets/passes to the Bay Hill Golf Tournament where I hope to see Tiger Woods in action. Saturday we are going to watch the Braves and Yankees in a spring training game at Wide World of Sports at you-know-where. Sunday has no current plans, except for a flight home Sunday night.

I hope the kinks have already occurred for this trip. When I got to the airport, I realized I had left my quart bag of toiletries on the counter in my bathroom, which would require a trip to a Orlando Walgreen's before we checked in to the hotel. The flight was "choppy" as the flight attendant described it - which means prayer time for me. Then at our necessary Walgreen's trip, the clerk charged me twice for my contact solution, which I caught before we left, which required a call to the manager (who was apparently on break as it took him awhile to get to the register). But, I got the bare necessity toiletries (which should be interesting makeup/face care) and made it to our hotel.

It will be a quick weekend, full of possibilities. And while none of them may include the Mouse, I'm still in the vicinity, should he come a'callin.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's A Sunshiny Day

When Maribeth and I did our vision boards, we decided on some rewards. One of them was to put stickers on our boards for every good day we had in progressing toward our goals. I chose sunshine stickers, and I earned one today by going to Curves after a too-long absence and by eating semi-intelligently. I hope today was just the beginning of a board full of sunshine.

Maybe it's a little silly, getting stickers for doing the right thing. But if it gives me the boost to keep going for today, then maybe it's not so silly after all!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

There's Usually A Reason

Today as I was going home, I was in traffic waiting to get in the left-turn lane. At this particular intersection, the straight lane proceeds before the left-turn signal is activated. Sometimes when I'm at an intersection that performs in this manner, I get frustrated, wondering why I have to wait for all the going-straight traffic to go before I get my turn. Today I understood why.

At this intersection, there was a long line of people going straight. I couldn't even get into the turn lane until the straight line thinned out. It dawned on me that had the left-turn people been permitted to go first, I would be out of luck and end up having to wait for the next signal. But by waiting for the straight people to go, I got the opportunity to get in the lane I needed, and then was able to make a left turn when the arrow lit up. I guess somebody smarter than me figured this out, obviously to my advantage.

So the next time I'm waiting and wondering "why," I hope I can remember the left-hand turn story. I hope I'll remember that there may be a reason for whatever it is that is irritating me, and it's not just to bug me. I hope I'll remember that there's a reason for almost everything, if I just have the patience to figure it out.

Monday, March 23, 2009


After our stellar performance in The Princess Half Marathon, Maribeth and I decided that we wanted to make some changes in our lives. Mainly we want to get in better shape to run faster and better. We talked about how we would do it and pondered various rewards, should we actually achieve our goals.

Last night Maribeth came up with the idea of "vision boards." We decided we wanted to create boards that would remind us of our goals and inspire us to keep at them. We even got Molly to agree to our project, although work would cause her to postpone her creation. After a trip or two to Michael's for supplies, we spent a lot of time creating our boards. We even took pictures of our finished boards to place in various locations (car, refrigerator, etc.) to be constant reminders.

My favorite thing on my board is this quote by Ursula LeGuin: "It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end." Today, the finished boards were great; but it was the actualization of our goals and physically expressing them that was the best part. And in the end, it won't be the achievement of goals that changes us - it will be all we do to reach them.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Pal Daisy

Maribeth tells me the thing to do at anywhere Disney is to play "Soulja Boy" and watch the characters dance to it. Since I don't know this song nor the accompanying dance, I don't think I'll do it, but it certainly is entertaining!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Today's Picture

This is one of Maribeth's pictures from the Princess Half Marathon. At first glance, it appears that she has two pigtails blowing in the wind. However, after closer inspection, you will see that it's actually the leaves from a tree in the background. The funny thing is, that had we tried to pose this shot, it would have never happened.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy First Day Of Spring Day

Today is the first day of spring. It has something to do with the equinox, information that I find interesting but not worth retaining. I prefer to think of it as Mother Nature shifting into a new gear.

I am a seasonal person. I appreciate all four seasons that I get to experience here in Tennessee. I like summer because it's sunny and playful and busy. I like fall because life slows down a bit and I can calm down and enjoy the beautiful scenery. I like winter because life seemingly comes to a standstill and I can hibernate in the cold and dark. I like spring because it's like a light turning on, signifying a rebirth of purpose and energy with signs of fresh color and new life that spur me to action.

Today was a beautiful start to the season. Today I enjoyed yellow daffodils and nurseries full of seedlings and plants. The sun was high in the beautiful blue sky. The air was cool and warm at the same time. Neighbors and children were out in their yards enjoying the weather. The feeling of possibility is in the air.

It's almost like New Year's Day. Today makes me want to make new resolutions, new plans, and new goals. It's a day to look ahead and imagine what I can do. Maybe that's why Mother Nature shifts into new gear - so when our resolve gets low, we are encouraged by fresh new surroundings. We literally breathe fresh air, recognize that change is afoot, and are energized by hours of sunlight. And even though we know there may still be some wintry days ahead, we know their days are numbered. New life awaits, and it's ours to live to the fullest.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dressing for Success

The bed didn't get made today. I didn't get out of my lounging pajamas all day. But I did manage to sit for a few hours while I put stuff together to update my race scrapbook and 2009 Disney album. I also managed to eat semi-healthy, if you don't count the potato chip snack this afternoon.

It would appear that I didn't accomplish much today, when in fact I did. I chose a task that needed to be done and did it. Sometimes a task involves dressing up, sometimes it involves looking presentable, and sometimes dressing is simply not part of the equation. Today it was not part of the equation.

Tomorrow I will look presentable because I have errands to run. I will "look the part" more than I do right now. I will get stuff done and will look industrious.

Maybe I just need to buy better pajamas ...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Not Shaggy The Cat ...

...but I thought it was cute. Besides, my brain was fresh out of thoughts!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ode to Wearing o' the Green

Today is the day you're supposed to wear green.
But does it really matter if you don't plan to be seen?

What if that color makes you look pale and quite sick
What if that color isn't one that you'd pick?

Do you really deserve a pinch if green isn't your vote?
Wouldn't a hug be a much better, healthier way to emote?

"It's not easy to be green," lamented Kermit the Frog,
And it's considered unlucky, if you read the National Geog.

So I think I'll wear whatever and stay safe inside.
Maybe I'll eat green instead, like tomatoes that are fried!

Monday, March 16, 2009

They Worked!

In January, I installed (and two professional a/c guys inspected) two programmable thermostats in our house. Downstairs is heated with gas and upstairs is all electric. This week we received our first utility bills since the installation. And the news is (drum roll, please) .... THEY WORK!! Our gas bill was down 30% and our electric bill down 33%. The weather has been pretty much the same, so I believe it is pretty accurate.

It's great when something you do actually works out the way it's supposed to. But it's even greater when you save money doing it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Letting Go

Last week at Disney World, Maribeth and I rode "The Seas With Nemo and Friends" at Epcot. I had to ask a few questions about the ride, because every time I've watched the movie "Finding Nemo," I was with a class of fifth-graders and would barely pay attention because it was the ideal time to catch up on paperwork. Therefore, I have never fully grasped the movie's premise, which my daughters tell me is about a parent letting go of a child.

I am trying to get this whole concept of letting go. This year I am trying to let go of 100 material things a month. While on vacation last week, I loaded all my CDs onto my computer's music library, and I am trying to decide whether to let go of all the CDs now. I am trying to let go of old prejudices, attitudes, and harmful thought patterns. I would especially like to let go of bad habits and extra pounds.

But it's all hard work. It's especially hard when it comes to my children. I would prefer for them to live in a perfect world where everything will go wonderfully well for them and they will never be hurt. I want them to succeed in everything they want to do. I want them to be surrounded by people who love them for who they are. I want them to be protected and safe.

But I know I have to let them go. I know they have to learn by their experiences because it is through those experiences that they will come into their own lives. It is by those experiences they learn who they are and what they are capable of. It is by those experiences that they will grow. I just want all those experiences to be good experiences.

My children are young adults and well beyond needing my guidance and protection. I know I have to let them go. So I have to bite my lip and wish them well. This would be near impossible, except for one thing. I know as I let them go, they don't go alone. The One who entrusted them with me in the first place, goes with them wherever they go. He watches their steps and feels their joy and pain even greater than I do, because He created them.

So maybe in the end, it's not about letting them go. It's about trusting God enough to let them go with Him.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


After spending two weeks away and then the next few days in a flu fog, I am ready for some normalcy. I just keep getting farther and farther behind, mainly because I don't feel like doing anything.

Now if I could just figure out what normal looks like, I'll be set!

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's 102.9 in Nashville!

I have the flu. Apparently what I thought was the beginnings of a cold was the beginnings of the flu. I have lots of prescriptions to take and should feel better in a day or so.

Note to self: get flu shot next year!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Souvenir I Didn't Want

Apparently I came back with the germ of a cold. This afternoon it decided to lodge in my lung, causing a pitiful cough. With each hour, it has amassed more friends, causing a bigger cough. My eyes are watery and my cheeks are warm.

I would have rather brought back something more fun, like more mouse ears. Mine which, are now scratchy and burning.

So much for vacation!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Home Again

Maribeth and I returned to Nashville tonight around 8:30pm. The air is much cooler and there are no Mickey t-shirts to be seen. Tomorrow my room will not be cleaned by housekeeping and I will have no trinkets to buy. I will have to prepare my own meals and plan my day around catching up instead of watching parades and fireworks. The weather forecast is for cold and wet instead of sunny and warm. I will have to unpack and wash clothes and feed Shaggy the Cat. I will need to pay bills instead of get autographs, drive my car to the grocery store instead of catch a bus for Animal Kingdom, and make a to-do list instead of studying the schedule of park hours. I will be tired and busy and tired some more. But isn't it good to be home!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday In The World

How do you make a tissue dance? Put a little boogie in it.

Today started with riding in the front of the monorail to Epcot and ended with our stellar joke being told in the Laugh Factory. It's been a full day and I'm tired. Tomorrow is our last day here and our quest is to get into Toy Story Mania without having to wait for hours.

I'll be in Disney detox next week. The real world awaits - until then I plan to enjoy the warm weather and all that is Disney.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Just Another Family At Disney World

This morning on the fifth safari of this trip, we saw this elephant family. There was a mommy, a baby, and a couple of teenagers. It looked like a typical family group on spring break at Disney.

Wonder if they were headed for Expedition Everest!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Two Princesses, A Sponge, and A Watch

Some princesses need magic mirrors. Some need glass slippers and a fairy godmother. Some need a handsome prince to rescue them. In today's Princess Half Marathon, 5956 princesses (and 194 princes) needed their own personal determination to complete the 13.1 miles for their own storybook ending.

Two particular princesses, having spent their time doing other things rather than proper training, needed a few other things. Instead of a magic wand, they needed a spiffy (yet easy to manipulate) watch that would calculate their split times. Instead of a carriage, they needed an orange sponge to cool down their overheating bodies in the Florida heat. With all the elements in place, they continued on their quest, and in the end, completed the adventure they started.

Princesses - these days, we write our own happily ever afters!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's Not A Star In The East ...

... but it's something you may never see again. The Davidsons all running the same 5K together. At the same time. In matching race shirts. I'm not sure what I promised everybody, but it will be well worth it. We had fun, with Maribeth pacing the crew (and running off at the finish so that she and Steve could finish first) and lots of fun pictures. And I thought last week's 5K was the best!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Color - Part II

Today my fellow co-worker at my 5K registration table surprised me. She said she gave a lady the wrong bib number because the lady was black and had bright things in her hair, thus confusing her. She said she just didn't see black people where she was from because there weren't many there. Again, I am floored by what I hear come out of people's mouths. Even though I don't think the lady was being mean, I just really didn't know what to say.

Maybe the little boy I heard the other day was more on target than I realized.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Scenes From Animal Kingdom

Actually I'm too tired to think of something to say, so I just thought I'd share today's photos with you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Excitement at the Pop Century

Last night the fire alarms went off in the building across from ours. I stood out on the landing, watching the building being evacuated and the firemen going up the staircase. In the end, rumor was that someone was smoking in the non-smoking rooms, flicked the butt, and ended up with either a fire in the trash can or the mattress. After about an hour, all the hubbub was over, and we all went back to bed.

I guess that's what you call one smokin' yo-yo.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Slowing Down in a Hurry-Up World

My favorite park at Disney World is Animal Kingdom. My favorite animals among those who reside there are the gorillas and Asian tigers. Yesterday I got to visit both of them, who reminded me of a lesson I find difficult to learn - to slow down and just chill.

I thought about this today as I walked to Walgreens. I needed a printer cartridge, and figured Walgreens was my closest best option. This involved a bus ride to Downtown Disney, and then a stroll to the store. I passed several cabs along the way, and seriously considered opening my wallet. But then I thought - what else do I have to do? So I took a walk in the beautiful spring weather and enjoyed the passage of time.

We work so hard to save a little time so we can do more. Even Disney has a fast pass system so you can ride more rides without waiting in long lines. But sometimes doing more is not always better. Sometimes we need to just stop and take the long route, or wait in the long line, or just not try to do so much. Sometimes we need to just stop - period. Because by taking it slow and relishing the passing of time, we get to really live. We notice what's around us, talk to those who are with us on this journey, and give thanks to the One who provides it all.

Monday, March 2, 2009


While on the bus yesterday, I overheard a family conversation. There was a mom and dad with their two primary school aged boys, and the boys' aunt and uncle. At some point in the conversation, the aunt asked the boys if they would like a little sister. The older boy said "No," but the little one said, "Yes. The same color as me."

The two boys were dark-skinned, and their parents were Caucasian. The older boy had olive skin while the younger had dark brown. The family obviously enjoyed and loved each other. But I couldn't help but think about the little boy's comment.

I wondered why he would make such a statement. I wondered what was going on in his little life that made this an important criteria for a little sister. I wonder what kinds of comments he may have heard, and what thoughts he might have that need to be expressed. I wondered if having the President of the United States who has the same coloring as the little boy would make a difference in his thoughts. I wondered why color mattered to such a little boy.

I certainly have no answers. I grew up in a racially segregated time and place. I can see how racial issues have improved with time. But I can also see how they still exist. I can only hope that when this little boy grows up, a person's skin color will matter even less than it does now.

I hope this little boy gets the little sister he wants. I hope their world will be full of color, and love, and acceptance. But most of all, I hope the world will realize that all colors are made by God who loves them without reserve.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lessons Learned From Disney World

I love Disney World for many reasons. One of them is because I seem to learn many life lessons. Here's what I learned yesterday:

The situation was as follows: I was third in line for my decadent rocky road hot fudge sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top. The woman at the register was getting ice cream for her two young daughters. She had several questions and requests of Jessica, the cast member with the ice cream scoop. She placed her order, requested an extra bowl, then made another order. When she was finally finished and wanted to pay, Jessica told her that the register was down and the woman would have to go to another register. This fact did not set well with the woman, who left and went to her daughters saying, "Well, I have never seen ..." I was unable to hear the end of her sentence because she mumbled something unintelligible, which was disappointing because it might have been something I had never seen either. She continued grousing to her daughters at the table. Meanwhile, Jessica continued to smile and help the next customer, then was as sweet and pleasant as she could be when it was my turn.

So what did I learn? I learned that someone is always watching what you do and listening to what you say, so do and say your best. I learned that if you're going to publicly announce that you've never seen something, be sure that it's worth not having seen it. I learned that the big things in our lives are usually only big because we make them big, so choose your big things carefully. But most of all I learned that being nice can come naturally to some, so always be one of those people.