Sunday, January 31, 2010

There Has To Be Something Better To Do At 5:30 am

I am not a morning person. Frankly, I feel that if one needs to be up that early, one should stay up all night. So I find it odd that people seem to like this time of the morning.

My first teaching assignment was at a school that started at 7 am, which meant that I had to get up at 5 to get dressed, get stuff ready for the family, and get to work. I acclimated to this early schedule, but I can't say that I changed to a morning person because of it.

Every morning when I get up at 5 in order to leave the house at 5:30 in order to get to Boot Camp on time, I question the intelligence of my decision. I also question whether or not I will be able to perform any type of exercise, whether I will throw up on the gym floor, or whether I will injure myself by falling down. Most days none of this stuff happens, but I am still not converted to this horrible hour of the morning.

So you can imagine my distress this morning when Steve and I had to get up at 5 in order to leave the hotel at 5:30 to walk to the start of the Miami Half-Marathon. There were many things that distressed me. First, it was early in the morning. Second, I had a half marathon to do. Third, I did a half-marathon three weeks ago. Fourth, I twisted my left ankle in my previous half-marathon. Fifth, I twisted my right ankle last Monday in Boot Camp. Sixth, it was still stinkin' early in the morning.

But I got up and headed for the start line. I kept laying a fleece out for God to answer me - "Um, God, will you please send me a sign that I'm not supposed to be doing this today?" His answer was, "I don't remember you consulting me when you signed up for this thing."

So, off I went, fortified with two Tylenol, an ankle support on each ankle, and hopes for a finish before they carted me off via the sweep bus or ambulance. Eventually I finished, even though Mile 13 took me twenty minutes to finish (the ankles had awakened from their Tylenol-induced slumber and had been screaming at me since Mile 10). I received my finisher's medal and limped back to the hotel where Steve had a bag of ice waiting.

I still think there's better things to do at 5:30 am in the morning. Just remind me of what in three weeks when I'm in Jacksonville for the Breast Cancer Half Marathon!!
Things that make today great: Finishing the half-marathon; fish sandwich at Houston's; finding Steve's chocolate stars; no boot camp tomorrow; flight an hour late, then not; friendly people walking the half marathon like me; dudes out on South Beach cheering the runners; giving Gu to the lady at the start

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My New Word

I have decided to start using a new word - nowhere. You probably think this isn't a new word - you've seen it before. But I'm going to use it differently. Instead of no-where, I'm going to use it sometimes as now-here. For instance:

Question: Where do you want to go for dinner?
Answer: Now - here. Meaning - I don't want to get gussied up and go out - so head for the kitchen and get busy!

Question: What do you want to do?
Answer: Now - here. Meaning - Whatever I am presently doing, I wish to continue. Buzz off.

Question: What's for lunch?
Answer: Now - here. Meaning: Unless it's on my lap and there's enough for two, you're on your own.

I'm a regular linguist! I think I'll go read my dictionary now ...
Things that make today great: Breakfast at the crepe place; cute Lindley snow pictures; sitting by the pool and listening to the advertising dudes; lunch at Johnny Rockets and frozen yogurt place; dropping and spilling juice all over Walgreen's

Friday, January 29, 2010

Housewives of Wherever

Okay, so I admit it. I watch the Bravo series "Housewives of Orange County/Atlanta/New York/Mars/Crazytown." I keep watching hoping to find some way in which their housewife-life resembles mine. So far, it hasn't happened. So, I would like to list the major ways my life doesn't quite compare to any of these housewives. Maybe then I can figure out where I've gone off course.

1. Children - yes, I have some just as they do. However, mine are either in school or have jobs (or currently looking for one), unlike the children in this series who are: not working because they like to play poker online, not working/in school because they are launching their own perfume/jewelry/skin care line (of which they have no expertise/knowledge/business sense - or sense in general), or cussing their mothers out before going to the beach in their bikinis.

2. Parties - yes, I have been to parties. But I have not gone to the ones like these housewives where they get in loud shouting matches with other women and/or other husbands. I thought parties were supposed to be fun - silly me!

3. Husbands - yes, I have one of those, too. But my husband has a job and it is not: launching his own tequila business or some obscure "business" that he doesn't want to mention. Nor does he just get in the car with a briefcase and drive off. Maybe that's why our house is not in short-sale.

4. House - yes, I have one. But mine has actual pictures of my family in it, not bare walls. And I actually know where the rooms are and don't wander around looking for the bathroom. And I actually use my kitchen for more than pouring Cheerios.

5. Makeup - I wear it - I just don't pay $100 a bottle. And I don't need a makeup artist to come to my house to explain how to buy cheaper makeup. I just go to the cosmetic counter at Walgreen's.

6. Boobs - I have two that God gave me, not ones that Dr. Plastico put in again and again and again just because I wanted bigger ones.

So, I guess my life will never be like these women who call themselves housewives. Lucky me!!
Things that make today great: Beach chair dude; spending the day on the beach; Cobb salad at Jerry's deli; race expo; lazing around in the hotel room

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Here and Here

It's supposed to snow in Nashville tomorrow. Local schools have already cancelled classes in anticipation of treacherous conditions (for Nashville, that means mere sightings of snowflakes). People are gearing up for the Nashville blizzard/ice storm of 2010 - if it comes. I seriously doubt there is a gallon of milk or loaf of bread in any Kroger in town.

Of course, I'm not there. I'm in Miami for the Miami Half Marathon. The jury is still out as to whether I will participate with my "mind of their own" ankles. I guess that verdict will be made on Sunday morning. While I am sure there are many opinions on whether I should wog those 13.1 miles or not, the final decision will be up to me - and my ankles.

So, I could be in Nashville waiting for snow or in Miami waiting for a half marathon. Wonder which one my ankles would prefer?
Things that make today great: finishing Maribeth's special project; getting birds fed; safe, smooth flight; Bubba Gumps for dinner; Epic Hotel; loud people with loud voices; Molly taking us to airport

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union

Right now I am watching President Obama and the State of the Union address. I wouldn't mind it so much if two things could be accomplished. First, if the President could say his speech without the interruption of clapping, and second, if the news commentators would shut up. But that's not going to happen, so I'll blog as I listen.

I realize I should pay attention and care. But I don't so much. Mainly because it's a lot of talk and I prefer that actions speak. It's advertising and marketing and salesmanship and I'm too cynical to listen with open ears. But for many people, it's an important night. They want to hear President's Obama's speech, either to rally support for him or compile evidence against him.

Which leads me to tonight's blog subject - state of the union. Wouldn't it be interesting if every year, each of us personally made our own "state of the union" address? Wouldn't it be interesting if we took account of our lives, our relationships, and our existence on this earth? Wouldn't it be interesting if we looked at all those things, recognized our strengths as well as our weaknesses, and really thought about where we are and where we want to go?

Maybe we could figure out how to meet those New Year's Resolutions by noticing what worked and what didn't. Maybe we could figure out why we can't save money and figure out how to. Maybe we could fix those things that prevent us from doing what we want to do. Maybe by looking at what we've done, we could figure out how to do what we want to do.

Certainly we will have those people that will applaud us and those that will discourage us. We will have those people around us who will criticize us and question what we're doing, why we're doing it, and how we're we're going about doing it. But they are not the vital players - we are. The important thing is that we took an accounting of our lives on this Earth, thought about where we want it to go, and are making plans on how to get there.

Because in the end, it's up to us to make our lives what we want them to be. It may not be perfect, or easy, or quick. Sometimes it may not even be under our control. But if we're diligent, if we keep looking toward the goals that we've set for ourselves, and if we encourage ourselves as we go, then we can look at our lives and say, "I've looked at the state of me, and it's good."
Things that make today great: Demos dinner with Steve; taking dinner to Lynnette and Lindley; giving blood at Red Cross; people at Red Cross; jogging a bit at boot camp; DVC lady and March ressie; making eggs and turkey bacon for Maribeth

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Something > Nothing

After yesterday's ankle debacle, I wondered what would happen at boot camp today. I had every intention of going - I just wondered if I could keep up. We started as we usually do, by walking around the gym. This wasn't a problem - after a round or two, I got into a limp-free cadence. When the group started jogging, I continued walking, not wanting to push the ankle. I didn't do the same jogging as everyone else, but I did what I could.

After warming up, we started what can best be described as "harness" exercises. This is where partners get a resistance band, one is the "holder", and one is the "do-er." The do-er runs, skips, lunges, and side shuffles down the court, then reverses roles with the holder. My partner was another boot camper with ankle problems.

We were doing pretty well until my partner needed a whiff of her asthma inhaler. While she was getting some stuff, I got to haul Josh across the gym floor. By the way, Josh is 10 feet tall and 900 pounds of pure muscle - at least it felt that way. But I did it. My partner returned and we moved on to skipping, after which my partner said her ankles were hurting too much. She decided to sit the rest out while again, I got to haul Josh across the floor. Miraculously, my heart held out and across the floor we went. Tough, but I did it.

Our final exercise was jumping rope, which I exchanged for the elliptical machine. It wasn't exactly the same, but it was exercise, and I did it.

I'm sure that some would say that I should have stayed home and iced or elevated or rested my ankle. Maybe I should have taken a few days off. Maybe I should have just waited until my ankle was back to normal.

But I didn't. I went back to boot camp, did what I could, and ended up doing more than I thought I would. I didn't do everything that the rest of the campers did, but I did do something.

So I guess the lesson is just to do something, because something is always better than nothing.
Things that make today great: Boot-camping with a sore ankle; getting packages mailed; Molly cooking lunch and bringing it over; cornbread and black-eyed peas for dinner; cleaning upstairs

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Love Kitties!

So that's why you get a video tonight. That, and I have a big ole ankle. Deal with it!

Things that make today great: all the kind comments about my ankle; ladies who helped get ice at
boot camp; afternoonie lunch and movie with the M's; new ankle supports

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Grilled Cheese with Brown Sugar

On facebook today, I posted a picture of my high-school church choir. We went on a mission trip to Cincinnati that year, and several facebook friends are in the picture. A few commented about the fashions we had on, how young we were, and who stayed together in our host homes. Carol commented that the people she stayed with made her grilled cheese sandwiches with brown sugar, and that she has served them to her own children since they were little.

Without facebook I probably would not have been in contact with Carol, or shared pictures, or connected with other high school friends, or found out about grilled cheese with brown sugar. I realized how much we lose when we lose contact with old friends. Even though we were on the same trip, I never heard that story.

Children grow up, move apart, and lead their own lives away from the friends and experiences they once knew. We think all those experiences are simply memories to relive and enjoy. We probably could never imagine that there could still be something left to learn. Today by learning about grilled cheese with brown sugar, I can only wonder what other treasures could still be waiting in those memories we share with others.
Things that make today great: Davidson-Ogle family brunch; Lindley's first visit to the Doik; new shower curtain; tasty Internet hash brown recipe

Saturday, January 23, 2010

When Healthy is Unhealthy

Every morning before I go to torture hour, I mean Adventure Boot Camp, I try to eat a little something so I won't pass out. From hunger, anyhow. So, I eat a granola bar.

Last week I ran out of granola bars and put it on the shopping list. Except that I just wrote "granola." Steve took the list on a grocery run, and came home with a box of granola cereal. Herein lies the trouble. I like granola cereal. I like it a lot. I don't buy it because I like it so much. When I have a box in the house, I eat it. Every hour if possible. I eat it for a meal and then follow it for dessert. Which wouldn't be as bad, except that I probably had it as an appetizer. The only redeeming part of this debacle is that the box rarely lasts very long.

So this is why granola is bad - for me. I consume it with reckless abandon. But it's supposed to be good for you. Just not in massive quantities - two or three times a day - or the same morning.

Maybe this is why I have issues with healthy eating!!
Things that make today great: Zoo 5k with Sam and Steve; Steve's dinner delivery; watching the SAG awards and "Role Models" with Steve and Maribeth; late night grocery run

Friday, January 22, 2010

What To Do On A Friday Night

Go looking for ladybugs. Cute ones.

Things that make today great: Halfway through current session of boot camp; krogering with Molly; dinner with Lindley's parents and grandparents; haircut by Allyson; shampoo lady

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Customer Service In Action

Here's the back story: Molly and Steve needed new blackberries. Steve was eligible for a new one because his current one was old enough. Molly needed a new one but wasn't eligible until February 21, when the current sale would be over. Maribeth was eligible because she bought hers outright (or something along those lines). On a previous reconnaissance mission, an AT&T dude told Molly that she could use Maribeth's eligibility to get a new one.

Fast forward to today. After picking me up from taking Sam's car to be repaired and running various errands, Molly and I ended up at the AT&T store, where she and Steve planned to get new phones. Molly and I got there before Steve and started chatting it up with Matt, the AT&T dude who caught us first. We explained that the family was getting two new blackberries and discussed Molly using Maribeth's eligibility. Matt said that it could be done, but would take a long time. Steve arrived and Matt went to the back storeroom to get the new phones, only to return and give us the news that there is only one phone left. He said that we could go over to the mall store, because they have some there. He also said that if we want to wait, his manager/co-worker/buddy would go over and pick it up. We said we would wait, and Molly told Steve to take the one in stock.

Matt got busy with all the business of getting Steve's new phone in service. When all the paperwork was finished, he turned to us and says, "You can get the phone at the mall." Apparently he broke up with his manager/co-worker/buddy and didn't bother to get the other phone. So, to recap, Matt did not want to do the business of the Maribeth change nor getting us a phone. So much for working on commission.

Molly and I ate lunch, then later ended up at the Green Hills AT&T store (not the mall store that Matt told us to go to). There we met Monica, who was nonplussed at the Maribeth connection, treating it as if it was no big deal. She got the phone, changed over the stuff that needed to be changed over, and then made sure that the 3G thing (whatever that is) was working, and when it wasn't, promptly took names and kicked butt until it was. All during the transaction, Monica laughed and joked and became our new best friend. We left the store glad that we had found Monica.

What's customer service? Taking care of problems and making sure your customer doesn't have problems. Making sure you have what your customer wants and getting it if you don't have it. Making sure your customers feel at home in your store, because you want them to make it their home store. Making your "total stranger" customer your "new best friend" customer, because then they have a vested interested in the store - their friend works there. Making sure the whole experience is fun and fulfilling. And most of all, making sure your customer leaves with exactly what they came in for.

And if you need any more ideas, just go ask Monica - she's a living lesson in customer service.
Things that make today great: Spending the day shopping and stuff with Molly; drive through laughing at Starbucks; lunch with Steve and Molly; using up gift cards; finding Sonic via GPS; Maggie and Grayson's new tube toy

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My History of TV

When I was growing up, we had one television. It was a black box and sat on a table. All the shows were in black and white. It was connected to an antenna on our roof and to turn the channels, you had to walk to the TV and turn the channel knob. However, even with the antenna and channel knob, most of the time we only got reception for one channel, a CBS channel. As I got older, we graduated to a color television and then a remote control. Cable didn't come out to our part of the county until after I had left home.

Fast forward about forty years. I have a humongous TV (a man's dream) complete with more remotes than any sane person needs. I have cable with hundreds of channels. One would think I would be in TV heaven. Think again.

First of all, for every channel there are too many shows I want to view. It doesn't help that many of the shows are on at the same time as another channel's shows that I want to watch. Then there's the dilemma of actually finding a show to follow, only to find out that it's been changed to another night, or cancelled, or not having any new episodes until whenever. There are shows that other people are talking about, shows that look really good in the previews, and shows that star actors that I really like - and they're all on at the same time. And don't even get me started on this DVR thing - more TV to watch that I didn't get to watch because I was watching something else while taping another something. It's almost too much for this one-channel girl to figure out.

Yes, I guess I could just turn the tube off and be done with it ... but I just found out that "My Three Sons" is on at 5 - in black and white - when Ernie joins the family! How could I not watch that!!!
Things that make today great: Getting the bathrooms clean; seeing Lindley and her grandparents and mom for a quick visit; applying the window cling to the bathroom window

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Moving Furniture

Today I decided to move the furniture around a bit in the den. Three out of three people who have seen it, do not like it. However, I do. So, what will happen next? I will probably move it back to its original position in the next day or two.

Sometimes it's not whether your efforts are a success or not - it's just that you tried to do something new and different.
Things that make today great: moving the den furniture; pizza with the Ms

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Know Grannies Are Supposed To Be Quiet, But ...

Please tell me this is not one of those newfangled baby ideas!!! Lindley - call me if you see your parents headed toward a tree with you!!

Things that make today great: washing clothes in my repaired washing machine; chatting with Kay on the phone

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Granny Lessons

Having been a grandmother since Wednesday, I am learning many lessons during my on-the-job training. I thought I would share some of them with you:

1. Learn how to work your camera. Otherwise, most of the 900 pictures you took during breakfast are going to turn out fuzzy. The really sad news is that you'll keep them anyway!

2. Don't waste your time giving advice, because everything you did when the parents of the grandchild were babies, would now be considered lethal and wrong, and probably grounds for a Department of Children's Services visit. But don't feel bad - everything your own parents did was horrible and dangerous and wrong when you were a baby, and look how fabulous you turned out!

3. It's remarkable how young grannies are these days!! Just look in the mirror!

4. Remember Dr. Spock? Well nobody else does, so don't bother dropping his name. Unless you're talking about Star Trek.

5. Cloth diapers vs disposable? Doesn't matter - the grandchild has parents who are legally responsible for changing said diaper and dealing with the aftermath.

6. Be helpful. Gives you a reason to make the parents think you need to be at their place as often as possible. They're sleep deprived anyway, so they need stuff done for them. Then they'll be happy and take naps and you can rock the baby.

7. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy - this is one great gig!!
Things that make today great: Lindley's first family brunch; sitting with Lindley and watching some football playoff; posting 1st grade play picture

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I hate waiting. It feels like I'm wasting time. It enables me to procrastinate by convincing me that "I can't" because I need to wait for something to come to pass. I'm always waiting for that magic moment to change something, or start something, or stop something. Sometimes it just seems I don't get anything done because I'm waiting to get started on getting something done.

Today I read a poem by Dr. Seuss that's part of his book "Oh The Places You Will Go."

The Waiting Place……

for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

No! That's not for you!

So maybe it's time to stop waiting. Maybe the moment I'm waiting for is this moment. Maybe change starts right now, not in a minute or tomorrow or next week. Maybe it's time to take action and do.

Things that make today great: breakfast and shopping with Steve; visiting Lindley and her parents at their home

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ahhh, Friday

Friday is good because tomorrow is Saturday. For the first time in over a week, I can sleep in until 6am, there is no boot camp, and maybe I'll get something constructive accomplished.

One can dream, anyhow!
Things that make today great: Kroger-ing and Sonic-ing with Molly; running errands; washing machine fixed; Lindley and her parents going home from the hospital; chatting with Karen about her upcoming half marathon

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I was going to wax poetic about being a grandmother, but between 5:45 am boot camp, running errands here and there, and eating stupid food for dinner, I am ready for bed. Granny needs her sleep!
Things that make today great: Sitting with Lynnette and Lindley; staying busy running errands; worker lady at Church's

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When One PIcture is Worth 1000 Words - At Least!!

Things that make today great: Lindley; messages and chats with friends and family; manager at J Alexander's; hat shopping at Target with Maribeth and Molly

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting on Track - Again

According to plan, by this time in January, I should be much further along in my positive pursuits. I should be eating healthier, jogging faster, exercising more consistently, reading a variety of material, and in general becoming the perfect person. However, the reality is that I am not quite on the ball.

I guess that's why they are called goals - because you keep aiming at them and occasionally make them. You just have to keep trying.
Things that make today great: lunch with Molly and Steve; boot camp nutrition chat; Maribeth's dinner; chatting with Marilyn

Monday, January 11, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

And after purchasing four different types of batteries, two calls to ADT, and three attempts to change the batteries, the smoke detector is once again operational.

It's good to be home!
Things that make today great: Spaghetti dinner with the family; finally finding the correct batteries for the smoke detector; safe, smooth flight home and Molly's airport pickup

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's A Small World - At WDW

Today my volunteer job was to monitor the course of the marathon to keep spectators from getting in the way of the runners and to help the runners if needed. Last night I got a message from Jenny, a friend from my hometown, via facebook that her son Rusty was going to run the marathon. She knew I was down here not because we keep in constant touch, but because I happened to post that I was down here doing the half-marathon.

Steve and Maribeth tracked Rusty on the marathon website, and Steve was able to figure out the approximate time that Rusty would be passing my assigned spot. We hadn't seen Rusty since he was a little boy - probably at our wedding 30+ years ago. But we knew his race number and Steve figured he would look for someone looking like Rusty's dad, Jerry.

Sure enough, we saw him just as he passed us. We yelled and he looked over, but I'm sure he had no clue as to who we were. He kept on going and Steve managed to snap a picture.

I'm not sure what makes it a small world - is it the fact that people can be in the same place and not know it, or that thanks to modern technology, we can know it? All I know is that today, I got a taste of my hometown when I got to cheer a local boy on to his marathon finish - even if he didn't know it was me!

Things that make today great: Fellow volunteers for the marathon including John and John; seeing Rusty on the course; all the marathoners who passed by; helping the wheelchair marathoner; Downtown Disney with Maribeth; finally seeing the Florida sun; hot chocolate from Steve during the marathon

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Highs and Lows of Running In The WDW Half Marathon

You figure out which is which!
  • Starting the race in sleet
  • The lady who said "that is not cool" when I climbed over the barrier to get into the corral
  • Wearing 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, a sweatshirt, a plastic trash bag, gloves, and a hat, and believing that you'll make a good finish time
  • Driving the car to the race start instead of taking the race bus - because you can stay in your car until the last minute
  • Fireworks at the beginning of the race
  • Seeing the lead runner on his way back - and you're only at Mile 1
  • Running through the Magic Kingdom
  • Seeing the characters along the route
  • Being in the middle of the crowd when you go through Cinderella's castle, so you probably won't get a good picture
  • Passing somebody - anybody
  • Everybody passing you
  • Cheer squads and volunteers along the race route
  • Water + Powerade + GU/Cliff Shots = a very confused stomach
  • Walking to the car after the race as it starts to sleet again
  • Starting the race with Maribeth, only to watch her speed up, but find her again at Mile 12.5 and finishing the race together
  • Gospel Choir at Mile 13 - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THEM!!!!
  • Seeing Mickey and Minnie at the finish - usually they don't hang around for people at my pace
  • The first few miles in the dark, and the cold dark at that
  • Seeing all the clothes discarded along the road by runners who have warmed up, and knowing that the clothes will be laundered and given to shelters
  • Finisher medal
  • Post-race lunch, until the confused stomach gets even more confused
  • Post-race HOT shower and warm clothes
  • Being done with this race
So there you have it. As with most of life's activities, there are good things and bad things that happen. You have to take both and decide the end result. Yes, today was cold and wet and now my legs are stiff. But I finished 13.1 miles in crazy Florida weather. All in all, a good day!
Things that make today great: All the above; Nashville server at Big River; afternoon napping

Friday, January 8, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Tonight's post is a poem from Steve. Tomorrow we are supposed to be doing Disney World's Half Marathon, which starts at 6am. If we want to ride the bus to the start, we need to be on the bus at 4am. The weather is supposed to be 29 degrees (wind chill) and possibly raining or snowing or sleeting at some or all points of the race. With that in mind, here is Steve's offering:
Oh the weather outside is nightful,
And the race will start before it's lightful,
And I am so wornoutful,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
Things that make today great: Up! 5k jogging with Steve; 5k race lanyard; breakfast at First Watch; outlet shopping with Steve and Maribeth; watching "The Count of Monte Cristo" with Maribeth

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Goofy Advice

My volunteer job at the WDW Marathon Expo was to give out bibs to the "Goofy Challenge" runners. These are people who are signed up to do the half-marathon on Saturday (that's 13.1 miles) and then the full marathon on Sunday (that's 26.2 miles). Yes - these people have willingly signed up to do this.

It was a lot of fun. There were some people who had done it before. There were some people who have done it every year since its inception and are doing it for the 5th year in a row. And there were some who are doing it for the very first time.

I did the Goofy the first year it was offered- and that was plenty for me. Today as I talked with the first-timers, there really was little advice I could give, except to say, "You can do it. Just take it easy on Saturday so you have some left on Sunday." But really, those first-timers really won't know what it's like until they get out there and do it.

Sometimes we offer advice with our best intentions - to ward off potential problems for someone else, to make things easier, to save time, or just because we want to share what we've learned. We just have to realize that our advice may not always be warranted or wanted - sort of like that advice that we don't warrant or want for ourselves!
Things that make today great: Volunteering at the Expo with Maribeth; all the Goofy runners that came to our table; grumpy Memphis dude; seeing LuAnn from last year and meeting Louanne from this year; getting race paraphernalia; dinner at Big River; Neil's wife

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

As Luck Would Have It

I am a middle child. I also have a middle child and have a niece who is a middle child. Among all of us, there have been several incidents of what I like to call "middle child dumb luck." It means that you get to experience things that don't seem to happen to anyone else. Like maybe you park your car, exit it, and then the car rolls down a hill. Or you cut up your sister's doll dress and break the doll's legs because it seemed like a good idea at the time. It just seems that unusual adventures and ideas seem to follow you around, waiting to happen. Tonight was another example, only this time it was pretty neat.

Maribeth and I were scheduled on the last flight from Nashville to Orlando (I know - Orlando AGAIN!). Every time she flies, Maribeth waits for an announcement eliciting volunteers to give up their seats and get a travel voucher. Tonight after getting Starbucks and Burger King, we sat in our seats. About 60 seconds later the Southwest dude made that announcement that Maribeth lives for. She raced up to the counter and returned with a $300 travel voucher and a flight for tomorrow morning. She then decided to wait around, just in case she nabbed a seat on our flight. Instead, after about 15 minutes, the Southwest dudette called for "Passenger Davidson" and arranged for her to be put on a flight to Orlando that had been delayed - and that was leaving in about 10 minutes. She ended up getting to Orlando 20 minutes before me!!

So maybe middle child dumb luck isn't so dumb after all!
Things that make today great: Safe, smooth flight; Maribeth's Southwest adventure; Molly bringing morning drinks and airport taxi service; steamer for heater; surprise package from Lewis's; great room location at Boardwalk Villas

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hope in Reality

After last night's episode of "Hoarders," I thought "reality" tv had reached its lowest point. That is, until tonight's episode of "Teen Mom" on MTV. What could have been an informative program for and about real teen moms is instead an insipid dose of stupidity and horrible acting. It has given me a headache.

So why am I continuing to watch it? Because I keep hoping that something will happen that will make it worth watching. But so far, nothing, and I don't think it's going to happen.

But I guess that may be the only part that is true reality - the hope that by sticking with something, it will get better. The diet will yield lost weight, the exercise will tone muscles, and daily quiet time will create harmony. The reality is that there can always be hope.

Well, everything except for this inane piece of television.
Things that make today great: delivery from Perform Better; car business with Sam and Molly; Sloppy Joe dinner with Maribeth, Mathieu, Lynnette, Sam, and Molly

Monday, January 4, 2010

Perfect Solutions - or The Lack Thereof

I am presently watching the television show "Hoarders" on the A&E channel. I find it disturbing because I cannot imagine living like these people do. Their homes are literally filled from floor to ceiling with paper and things and vermin and filth.

My solution would be to get about a million garbage bags, throw everything away, and start over with nothing (which is why they will never hire me to be a helper on the show). But that's not the way to deal with it. The hoarders have to get to the emotional heart of the hoarding problem in order to successfully deal with it.

What does this have to do with anything? Simply this - just because I think I have the answer to someone else's problem doesn't make it so. Maybe I can help - but I can't fix it with what I believe is the perfect solution. And come to think of it, just because someone else thinks they have the perfect answer to my issues, doesn't make it so, either.

So, you work on your stuff and I'll work on mine. We'll worry about somebody else's stuff another day.
Things that make today great: Chatting with Shirley at the cleaners; home-cooked dinner with Maribeth, Mathieu, and Steve; finding camera cords; new binoculars from Red Cross Racing

Sunday, January 3, 2010

This Is Who I Am?

I just saw a Southwest commercial where different employees say, "This is what I do," and show them in their various positions of pilot, bag handler, and flight attendant. In the next scene they say, "This is who I am," and you see the same person in a position of service - talking to kids at school or preparing a meal for a family at a Ronald McDonald House. I found this commercial intriguing, because it asked me a question - "Who are you?"

I think about it because after I stopped teaching, I lost a little bit of "who I am." Teaching is a way of life because the duties, responsibilities, and concerns are rarely left at your classroom door. Teaching is a pattern of behavior with thoughts and habits that affect nearly every moment and experience of your life. So once I left that arena, it wasn't just leaving a job - it was losing a part of me.

So now I find myself wondering, "Who am I?" What matters to me now, and how am I going to pursue it? Certainly there is no better time to find out. It's the beginning of a new year and a new decade. 2010 will be the beginning of a new experience of being a grandmother. My children are grown adults and heading off on their own adventures. I'm trying to downsize physically and determine what is important and needs to be kept and what can be discarded. I'm reconnecting with high school and college friends and remembering who I was once upon a time.

So I'll add this to my list of 2010-ers. I'll determine who I am and set out to live me. Because the best part of finding out who I am will be sharing it.
Things that make today great: Ruby Tuesday brunch and Trader Joe's with Sam, Lynnette, Maribeth, and Mathieu; Krogering with Steve; Grayson licking my eyebrow

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Rock Baby

As part of my job as being a good grammy, I have been searching the 'net looking for proper role models for Lindley. Here's the first:

Things that make today great: 3 miles in the freezing neighborhood; Apricot chicken for dinner made by Maribeth; first icky sushi with Molly; Maggie sleeping on my neck

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hello 2010!

Okay, so I really didn't want to do it. I had signed up for this 5k Resolution Run in downtown Nashville along with Steve and Sam. Steve had gone to visit his dad, and I was sitting at home, thinking of a myriad of reasons why I wasn't going to do the race. But then Sam texted me to see if we were going to do it. Yesterday I had announced that even though it was supposed to be cold (think 26 degrees), I would do the race if the sun was out. It was. So after a few minutes of thinking, I told Sam I would come and pick him up and we'd do it.

I certainly didn't expect a good finish time - I think you have to train to do that. But I figured even if I had to walk the whole thing (I didn't), it would be better than not doing it at all. So I did. It was pretty cold, as were the post-race black-eyed peas, but I did it.

One of the pre-race things you could do was to download your own bib and state your 2010 resolution. One lady had hers listed as "Run 500 miles." According to my calculations, that would be about 10 miles a week, or 2 miles a day/5 days a week - a pretty attainable goal. When I picked up my race shirt, I thought about that goal and decided that on the back of this particular shirt, I would list all the races and training runs I did this year. It will be interesting to see how many miles I end up with this year.

So - one thing I'll do in 2010 is log my miles.

Another decision is to curtail the use of my credit card. Instead, I'll use my debit card. Hopefully this will end my credit card shock every month, save me money (when I watch it trickle out of my checking account), and keep my "doo-dad and stuff" accumulation to a minimum of only "what do I need now?"

What else in 2010?

Well, I'm going to be a grandmother. How the heck is this going to play out? The only grandmothers I know a lot about were my own and those of my children. And they were really OLD. This grandmother thing should really be a ride - and I can't wait.

It would really be great if 2010 was THE year that I (a) finally got the food/eating thing under control, (b) became truly committed to exercise, fitness, and training, and (c) as a result, lost a bunch of weight and KEPT IT OFF. Hey, 2010 seems as good a year as any

Maybe not go to Disney as much in 2010. According to my 2009 calendar, I spent a total of 75 days in and about Walt Disney World. And a few more days in Disneyland in California. So maybe cut it in half? Whatever. I'm leaving on Wednesday to go again, so we'll just have to ponder this one.

Get rid of more stuff. In 2009 I unloaded 1200 things. But there's still a lot more that needs to be cleaned out.

I guess this is enough to start. Maybe by this time next year, I'll be slim and trim and actually jogging mile after mile. Maybe I'll be living in a clutter-free zone. Maybe I'll be taking Lindley to Disney World (which technically will not count on MY Disney day count). Maybe next year there will be a whole host of things to report.

2010 looks like a pretty good year!
Things that make today great: Resolution Run with Sam and Snowflake lady; taking hot chocolate with Steve and Maribeth and Mathieu as they waited for the REI sale; lunch with Sam, Lynnette, Mathieu, and Maribeth at Cheesecake Factory