Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Sometimes I think it would be great to be like Mr. Potato Head, and have all my emotions in a handy storage container in my butt. Then I could just pull out an appropriate expression and stick it on my face. Or maybe I could just let someone else pull out the accessory or expression they thought was best and just do it for me.
But then I'd just be as plastic as Mr. Potato Head. I'd be hiding what I really feel. I'd be letting someone else dictate my feelings. And even though it would certainly be easier, it wouldn't be real. So I guess in the end, I'll just do what comes naturally - mad, sad, glad, bad, and everything else in between.
It may not always be pretty, but it will be me and I won't have to worry about finding the right expression - it will come straight from my heart.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
At least there are no more Hershey Kisses left!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Today I spent most of the day pricing items for our upcoming Yard Sale for the Breast Cancer 3-Day. Some of the items were baby clothes from 25 years ago. In my mind, I thought if there were something small enough, Baby would get a new dress (if she ever had a name, I don't remember it). Sure enough, this little Polly Flinders number seemed to fit the bill, and I dressed my little doll in her new outfit.
Even though it was a tiny bit too big, Baby seemed to blossom in her new togs. And even though it seems impossible, I think her smile became bigger and she looked even prettier than before.
So I guess there's still hope for all of us who are over fifty. All we need is the possibility of something new, the attention of someone who still cares about us even though we're old, and the self-assurance that we are beautiful just because we're us.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Anyhow, all this non-talk of mothers-in-law has led me to my own list, hereby entitled:
Mainly Because She Can't Remember Any Of It!!
(So please write it down - because she won't remember it tomorrow either!)
2. I make lots of mistakes. Every day. In everything I do. It will probably be easier for you to find your own coping mechanism than hope for change.
3. My goal is to make everyone happy in the entire world. I would also like to lose weight. I'm not so successful in either one, so let's go have a milkshake.
4. Cooking is not my best thing. Oh wait - if you haven't figured that one out by now, you must have a really good coping mechanism. Could you please share that with me?
5. I had a mother for 29 years and a mother-in-law for 29 years. I loved and resented and enjoyed each of them. In the end, (and after a bit of therapy), I realized that for better and for worse, they both were part of me becoming who I am today. Since I am happy with the me I am today, they both were a good thing.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
It was a fun day, full of more ma'ams and fun people. But it was tiring and it's time to call it a day. Tomorrow has more fun in it, but you'll just have to wait until then to find out.
Volunteering - it's great when you find that thing that you really enjoy doing for nothing.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
At least that was my experience today. My assignment was to pass out runner bibs to people when they brought confirmation slips to me. I had to verify their identity via a photo id, give out the correct bib, explain the timing strip, and then direct them to the next station. I believe I heard more "No ma'ams" and "Yes ma'ams" than I heard in 13 years of teaching. But it reminded me of one of the joys of living in the South. Young boys are brought up to respect women and show that respect through their speech. And although I realize they were probably showing respect to the old lady giving out the bibs, it was a really nice way to spend the day.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I spent some of the time waiting around with the other volunteers, waiting to be assigned a job. During our waiting-to-be-assigned periods, we chatted amongst ourselves. We learned who had done this marathon before, how many years different volunteers had worked the marathon, and other tidbits of information. However, all of this paled in comparison to what I learned about nasal irrigation. Here's the info and video - I haven't the wherewithal to view it, but I leave it to you. The volunteer who told us about it swears it's the best. Again - I will leave that to you.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I'm not sure but you can bet that the next time I offer McD's to a homeless guy, I will be sure to get his order first!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Which brings us to today. The printer cartridge in my main printer ran completely out today. I had the refill kit left from Orlando, and decided to go the refill route again. It did not go well. Not only did I manage to get ink over just about every surface, I tinted my fingers in the process.
I don't know what went wrong this time - if the syringes were clogged or the ink was yicky or what. In the end, I ended up with a filled cartridge (or maybe overfilled) that the printer won't even recognize as full and keeps telling my the cartridge is empty. I have a waste basket full of ink-stained paper towels and other assorted trash from the incident. I have a few still-full ink refiller things that I don't know if they will/can be used for future debacles. I am able to print documents, with the darkest ink I've seen in a long time. I think this was a success?
And to think, Marilyn wasn't even here!!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Undeterred, I gave her the Master Card. Again with the swiping and declining. I gave her my Regions debit card. Swipe, decline, repeat. Apparently I had not only completely run out of money, I no longer had a credit line.
Enter big sister to the rescue. She flashed her credit card, only to be swiped and declined. She produced another card that was not only swipable, but also declinable. The 12-year-old who was also the store manager decided to test the machine, and his employee purchase of a $1.27 bag of chips was accepted. He smiled his boyish grin, shrugged his shoulders, and went back to putting brownies in paper bags.
The clerk and the sandwich cooks and Marilyn and I all stared at each other, obviously at an impasse with no clear path to follow. I had my customary $7.42 in change in my billfold. I asked Marilyn if she had any cash, to which she contributed her travel monies of $24.72. The combined booty was not quite enough to cover the total of the food purchase. More staring ensued.
Finally someone, probably the Vanderbilt students waiting in line behind me, suggested we go to the nearest ATM. Marilyn scurried out the door, down the block to the money machine, and returned to the store with the needed ransom for the sandwiches, which had been prepared at that point and were ready to be devoured. With money tightly clenched in my chubby little fist, I returned to the cash register, turned it in to the check out girl, and triumphantly strode out the door, nearly tripping over the sidewalk in the process.
One would think our morning adventure would be enough adventure for one day. But now, in an effort to save time, the following is a summary of the remainder of our day:
After delivering our rescued sandwich order to the CPCers at Earth Day at Centennial Park, we drove around for at least an hour looking for some catfish place in which to dine for lunch. We rejected one because we couldn't see in the windows, another place because the only catfish came in sandwiches, and several others because they were closed. We continued to drive around for an hour, searching for just the right spot to eat, which finally ended up about a mile from the park ... which we had left two hours earlier.
After eating our catfish and shrimp po-boys, we finally arrived back home. Marilyn decided to take her new running shoes for a test walk. While she was gone, I noticed that Lynnette's (who was jogging in the neighborhood) car had a flat tire. Soon a time dilemma presented itself because we had a massage scheduled and the walker/jogger were nowhere to be seen. Finally they return and we took Lynnette home, stopping on the way for a Subway (first trying to order from a take-out window that wasn't) then racing to Massage Envy for an hour with the massage men.
After that blissful fifty minutes, we stopped at Target to get some Fix A Flat to inflate Lynnette's tire in order to make it to Firestone to get new tires before her existing albeit rotting ones blew out completely. We were going to reward ourselves with drinks at Sonic, only to find it torn up and getting retrofitted. Instead we went to Starbucks for frapps, followed by a trip to Walgreen's to see Maribeth at work.
There we were instructed to get some lip balm for $2.99 in order to earn a $2.00 refund for a future purchase which we immediately did for two cokes which meant we got two free candy bars. We also got a pack of cherry tomato seeds - I know, random. Anyhoo, reeling from the money we saved, we went back home and lay on the couch for an hour trying to decide on our dinner menu. In the interim, Sam dropped by and we decided to follow him to his house to return Lynnette's car which was completed successfully.
On our final trip back home, we finally decided on our supper menu and got chicken noodle soup at Walgreen's and three DVDs from Redbox which we didn't watch, preferring to watch "Grey Gardens" on cable.
Tomorrow Marilyn will return to Baltimore unscathed if we manage to get through breakfast and the trip to the airport. The gas tank is full, the GPS is ready, and I have my banker on call. I think we're ready for Sunday!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Sometimes we get lost before we even hit the state of Florida, like the time we circled some city in Alabama a few times before Marilyn said, "Haven't we passed that grocery store already?" We had, and passed it a few more times until we realized we were on the highway bypass that circled the city. We finally got off the bypass and continued on our way.
Another trip south involved our daughters, a couple of oversized duffel bags holding our suitcases that we tied on the car roof, a car roof with no actual luggage rack. Two duffel bags tied on with clothesline that was designed not to hold a knot. It was a lot of fun, stopping at every rest stop to re-tie. Oh, and we got to meet a lot of fellow tourists who would pull along side of our car, honking and pointing at the roof, as if we couldn't see the duffel bag as it slowly made its way off the roof and down the side window of the van.
Yet another trip treated us to the novelty of a facetious gas tank gauge, which we didn't really comprehend until we had to pull over to the side of the road because the van refused to go any further. And yes, it had already stopped twice, but we thought it was because it was an old van. We didn't even consider the fact that we had already driven twelve hours on one tank of gas - the gauge still said it had some gas in it. Keep in mind that this was before cell phones, so guess who got to trot down the Florida Turnpike, hunting for one of those call boxes. Meanwhile, Marilyn was back at the van, trying to determine her next move, should a car pull over and abduct me, because a middle-aged, overweight woman leaving a van with another woman and several kids is a prime target.
But our adventures are not relegated to land. One adventure was on a cruise ship, spending four days in a stateroom the equivalent of a shoebox, with the bathroom seemingly consisting of a tin can and a spray bottle (this was before we realized Master Card could get us on the Disney Magic and Wonder).
We don't try to limit our adventures to vacations. Once there was the adventure of moving a massive entertainment center made of seemingly petrified wood (think HEAVY). Of course we had no moving equipment except us, and we had no real moving truck, just a van because that was all U-Haul had that day. Luckily we also had no tape measure, because that would have proven that said entertainment center was no way going to fit into the van. But, come to think of it, we wouldn't have believed the tape measure anyhow. We would have determined that the thing was going into the van, and eventually it did, which was fine until we got to the moving destination (a storage place) and realized it had to come OUT of the van and down the very long path to my reserved storage locker. Luckily again, there were some dudes unloading their stuff, and after I asked them in my best Southern drawl, they helped us out.
Which brings us to today, when yet again Marilyn who is from Baltimore, rented a van in Nashville, for us to drive five hours to get some furniture from a storage shed in Mississippi, to drive five hours back, to store at my house in Nashville, for her daughter who currently lives in Bolivia. We did it without getting lost once or running out of gas.
Sounds like we're ready to tackle that Disney World again!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
So I have to decide which causes to champion. I have to decide where to donate my money and my time. I have to pick the things that matter to me, and let the rest be handled by others. I have to let go and choose my battles, my causes, and my moments.
It's not easy, because I want a world where everything is goodness and light. But from what I believe, this world is not that world - that world is one yet to come.
So I'll do my best with a few chosen issues, rather than my least with many. I'll live with the hope that as I am choosing my crusades, others will be choosing theirs, and together we will tackle the myriad of issues that our world faces every day.
It is a small world after all, and we're all in this together. And if everyone would choose just a few ways to make this world better, I think together we can do it all.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I also did not get a massage, my jewelry cleaned, my eyebrows flossed (at least that's what it looked like they were doing), buy a remote-control helicopter or a miraculous chamois, even though I was asked to repeatedly by those manning each particular kiosk. Instead, when they attempted to talk to me, I mumbled something unintelligible and kept walking.
In our current economy, times are tough. Businesses are folding and people are out of work. I didn't do much for the mall's economy tonight. But at least I know where to go when I need a good eyebrow floss.
Monday, April 13, 2009
The darker clouds began to take over the sky, indicating that rain could possibly be in my future. Suddenly, this walk didn't seem like such a great idea. But as I turned onto the next road, I saw it. A smidgen of that beautiful blue sky that only spring brings. As the clouds moved, a new patch of blue would open up here and there. And while the dark clouds claimed the majority of the sky, just a hint of that blue popping out in random places assured me that better weather was out there - I just had to wait until the rain clouds passed on.
Life's a lot like today's sky. Sometimes the darkness and gloom are all we can see. It overtakes our lives and makes us question our efforts, our purpose, and even our very existence. But if we can just find that little piece of blue that lets us know there's a better spot out there, maybe we can hold on. Even though the storms can dampen or ruin or even destroy the parts of our lives that are important, maybe just remembering there's still something good out there can keep us going through that dark time.
The blue is out there - sometimes hidden, but out there. We just have to keep looking for it.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I've got to remember this when I keep trying to "do the correct thing" in life. I've got to remember to go at my pace and what's right for me. I've got to let the runners go and just enjoy where I am. Because after all, we're all headed for the finish, and will get there in our own time.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Today is Good Friday. There are many sad stories in the news, and plenty of things to discourage us. In spite of all that wants to weigh us down and depress us, maybe today we should find that one thing that is good about today. Because if we can find that one good thing, then maybe tomorrow we can find that one good thing about tomorrow. And if we can do it every day, then in spite of all the sadness and sorrow that wants to engulf us, we can find that reason to be glad we are still drawing breath. Some days it's harder than others, but there is something good about every day - just find it, no matter how small, and be thankful for it. And there's no better day to begin it than today - Good Friday.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Now the problem has to do with my travels. Yesterday the Red Cross worker asked me if I had been to Africa. I paused to think - have I been to Africa? For the record, the closest I've been to Africa is to watch "The Lion King." And yet I stopped to think about it, as I did with all the other countries she asked if I had visited in the last twelve months. As if I would forget that I had visited Africa - "Do anything last weekend?" "No. Oh wait. Oh yeah, I flew to Africa for the weekend."
It happened again today. I was out walking, and a car stopped beside me. Figuring someone needed directions, I stopped as the car window was rolling down. The lady driver asked me if I walked a lot in the neighborhood. She proceeded to tell me that she remembered me walking several years ago with a dark-haired lady who lived on Crestridge (my street) but I moved to Brentwood and must have moved back. Although I have lived in the same house since moving to Nashville, and have never even looked at houses in Brentwood, I was pretty sure she was mistaken. But I still stopped to think about it - did I ever live in Brentwood?
Anyhow, for the record, I have never been to Africa. Or lived in Brentwood. Now if I could just find that list ...
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I will be able to give blood again on June 2. I hope to get a few people to go with me - maybe we can make a party out of it.
If you can, give blood. Find a reason to donate and do it. Make sure your excuse for not giving is a valid one. If you can't donate, then encourage someone to who can.
After all, in this case, it is more blessed to give than receive!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Awhile ago, I gave her a copy of my book. Although I had been back since then, she hadn't said anything about it. Today I dropped some clothes off, but she wasn't there, so I was totally surprised to hear from her later this afternoon.
She called to say that she had started reading my book this morning. She went on to talk about certain stories she enjoyed. She had started reading the one entitled "Shirley" which is about my mother-in-law. The story describes how one person can affect other people, and Shirley said she felt like she was probably like that, because you just never know whose life you may touch. I agreed with her and told her how much she affects mine.
It's easy to compliment someone that we know when we are in a situation that warrants it. But it means so much more when someone takes the time and goes out of her way in an unexpected situation. Shirley had to find my phone number and take the time to call me up. She thought of specific things to say and complimented me in a way that I could be a part of it. And as nice as her compliments were, the best part was just the experience. It became a true connection between two people.
Today Shirley reached out and touched a life, one that she sees randomly and infrequently. She made a huge impact that made my day. I hope I can do the same for another life and send Shirley's impact even further. What a great way to say, "Thank you, Shirley!"
Sunday, April 5, 2009
10. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
9. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet
8. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
7. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
6. You're using your cell phone to dial up bumper stickers that says, "How's my driving? Call 1-800-EAT-****."
5. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
4. You're convinced there's a God and he's male.
3. You're counting down the days until menopause.
2. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
1. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
But then Steve picked up our packets and race shirts last night. I really liked the shirt because of its Hatch Show print. Since I don't keep any race shirts unless I complete the race, I knew I was going to have to do this one, last place or not.
I'm so glad I did. First of all, I wasn't last because there were many walkers behind me. I managed a 13-minute pace, which is pretty good for me. I saw a few old friends and met a few new ones. The course was beautiful, running on some of Nashville's greenways along a local golf course (much to the consternation of a few golfers). I even managed to get a picture of Steve as he passed me on his way back to the finish. It was a beautiful day for a wog, which I would have missed had I chickened out.
I needed a reason to do the race and I found one. I'm glad I did, because I ended up with so many more reasons I'm glad I did it!
Friday, April 3, 2009
1. PMS, menopause, too much liquor - whatever it was that warped my brain at the time I signed up for one.
2. Blingy medals - as if I was ever going to wear them anywhere except home from the finish line. I have yet to see one around some one's neck at church or a social function.
3. The belief that entering would help me lose weight - yeah, and so will the Belly Buster and Magic Fat-Eating pills that I see advertised on TV.
4. Envisioning me actually wear running shorts in a race - not on my tree trunk legs. That "riding up" sensation simply does not work for me.
5. Coupling a marathon with having fun in the host city - sure, if you don't figure in laying down to rest up 24 hours before the race and laying down to recover 24 hours after the race.
6. Running with a pace group - I have yet to find one I can keep up with - even the "balloon man" who is supposed to be the last runner, passed me up in the last marathon I finished.
7. Getting an "I Finished" shirt - like anybody cares except me. I don't think it would be effective wearing to a job interview.
8. Having a reason to visit a new city - yes, because that's the only reason to visit a city - never mind the monuments in Washington, D.C. or the landmarks in NYC, or the beach in Miami - let's just go for the marathon!
9. Wanting my picture running and wearing my race bib in the next year's marathon program - sorry, but the photographers are usually through taking pictures by the time I come through - in fact, they are back at the lab, processing the fast people's pictures.
10. Being known as a "marathoner" - okay, now we're talking!!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I guess it's sort of like the thunderstorm that passed through this afternoon. Everything got dark and gloomy and then the rain started. Lightening hit something close, as evidenced by the resounding "boom" and Shaggy the Cat's streak for under the bed. But the lights stayed on and no trees crashed to the ground, so all was well at my house. A few miles away, a tornado touched down, causing a little bit of damage. But these rainstorms are important, because we all know that April showers bring May flowers (which I've got to plant after April 15).
I haven't made the progress I wanted to - yet. I've had a few storms that have kept me from getting there - mostly self-created. But I've got to keep working at it, because eventually my flowers will come up and everything I've worked for will be beautiful.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
It really wasn't too hard. I had finally loaded all my Cd's onto my computer/music/ipod (and saved the music to every external drive I had), so I decided to get rid of the Cd's. Steve pitched in and we ended up with 150 Cd's altogether. The even better news is that Steve passed them along to a co-worker, who will in turn make a donation to my Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk.
It's actually getting easier to discard 100 things. It makes me realize how much I can do without. This month, the best part is that stuff I didn't want will turn into funds that can help someone else. Now that's what I call recycling!