Monday, January 31, 2011

Home Sweet Bed

We made it back from Miami. Back from our fancy suite at the JW Marriott to my own sweet bed. Back on Southwest, even though we had to wait on the tarmac in Ft. Lauderdale because the only runway was closed down for awhile (and why was that?). Back even though the snacks were honey peanuts and plane crackers. Back from the sunny warmness to the slight chill in the air. Back home safely, soundly, and so thankful for a great weekend.

The only question that remains is this: will butt camp commence with or without me tomorrow morning?
Today's blessings: Beautiful day on South Beach with chairs from Clarence; lunch at Houston's with Steve; safe, smooth flight home; sleeping in my own bed

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Never Give Up

From my vantage point of my hotel room, I could see the split for the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon. After Steve had finished and we returned to our room, I would look out periodically at the finishers. After a certain amount of time, the marathon organizers closed off the marathon route and only the half-marathoners were the ones to watch.

After about five hours, I looked out the windows and saw this scene. There were only a few stragglers coming down the course. Over to the side, there was a small group of supporters, no doubt cheering those walkers to finish. At this point in the race, the walkers had about one-quarter of a mile to the finish.

By this time, these walkers had been out on the course for five hours. They had walked twelve miles. They had gotten by on water, gatorade, and whatever snacks they had or were given to them. All they could think of was getting to the finish line.

Likewise, those supporters had been out for hours, just waiting for that moment when their walker went past. When they caught the first glimpse of their person, they began yelling and encouraging and jumping up and down. All they could think of was how exciting it was to see that person, and how proud they were of this great accomplishment.

Nearly all the participants in the half-marathon (around 16,000) had already finished and gone home. Nearly all the supporters had packed up their signs and gone home. But these people who had yet to finish and had yet to see their friends and family kept going. They didn't quit, they didn't give up, and they didn't stop believing.

It's good to believe in yourself and to have those who believe in you. It's especially good when it seems as though there's nobody left. We just have to remember to keep going and never give up - not on each other, but especially, not on ourselves.
Today's blessings: seeing Steve in the half-marathon; lunch at Pancake House; lazy afternoon

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday's Ruminations

Just random stuff from today:

*Managed to finish the 5K in a decent time - for me, anyway. Before the race, a saxophonist played the national anthem - a first for any race I've wogged.

* Passed somebody getting CPR'd just before Mile 3 - hoping he/she was okay - made me think that I should renew my CPR certification - just in case.

*Learned a new way to fix chocolate milk. After the race (and 16 blocks later), Steve and I went to Jerry's Deli for breakfast. I ordered chocolate milk, because all us athletes know that chocolate milk is the go-to drink for your muscles after they get a work out. Anyhoo, the dude said yes, they had chocolate milk. He brought it to me, and I think I've figured out the recipe: first you get the glass into which you plan to serve the chocolate milk. Next you coat the entire inside of said glass with Hershey's syrup. Third, you pour white milk into the glass. Lastly, serve the drink to the recipient, whose eyes are bugging out because she's never seen chocolate milk like that.

*Sat on the beach for a few hours - under an umbrella, sort of. My legs were out so I wouldn't freeze under the umbrella, and my upper body was in my jacket under the umbrella so my already sunburned face wouldn't get cooked again. Not exactly a postcard beach scene.

*While on the beach and under the umbrella, I got caught up on my magazine reading. In one magazine, six (yes, six) pages were devoted to choosing the right lipstick between red and pink. And to think I mainly choose based on price.

*Another stellar article told me how the last diet recommendation was pure hogwash - eating fruit and veggies was no way to lose weight. In fact, in this diet, you didn't have to exercise. All you have to do is basically get a side of beef and eat on it all day. But that's okay, because I'm sure the next article I read will tell me how that diet is bad, too. Perhaps this is why I cannot lose weight - I keep eating bad food, which is basically everything, based on which diet you read.

*Got in the shower to wash off race sweat/beach sand, only to realize I did not have my reading glasses and could not read the labels on the cleaning supplies in the shower. Basically I had hair conditioner, which I could figure out. However, the body wash and the shampoo looked basically the same. Didn't know which to wash what with. So, I used both on my hair and my body. At least they're both clean.

*Also forgot to put my old lady face cleaner in the shower, so I used body wash/shampoo to wash my face. Somehow managed to inhale suds into my nose and sinus passages, causing a heckuva burn. Strengthened my resolve to NEVER use a netty pot.

*Had a great burger at Burgers and Beer - it had (among other things), a fried egg on top. Delicious.

Now I am in my pj's, watching TV on the big ole TV in my fancy schmancy hotel room. Tomorrow I hope to sleep in, while Steve is running the half marathon. Maybe I'll even get a new magazine.
Today's blessings: finishing the 5K, and all things associated with the 5K; breakfast at Jerry's Deli; sitting on the beach and Clarence the chair dude; fruit creation from Maribeth; Burgers and Beef with Steve for dinner

Friday, January 28, 2011

Even Free Gets Old

Back in the day, Steve's job required him to travel every week. When he stayed in hotels, he stocked up on all the soap and shampoo that the hotel furnished. We had boxes of the stuff. We were a one-income family with three young children, so anything free we sucked up with vigor. While it was a good habit back then, now it's become a rather irritating habit.

It's irritating because I have this underlying idea that if it's free I must take it and use it. In the past, I have put bottles of shampoo/bars of little soap/mending kits/shower hats, and who knows what else in my suitcase, so housekeeping will replenish and I'll have more stuff. I ate the chocolates every night and stockpiled the coffee. After all, I paid for it, didn't I?

So now that the kids are theoretically grown and out of the house, I don't need all that stuff. Herein lies the struggle. It's free, so I must take it. But I don't really want it or need it. But it's free. But I don't even like the brand. But it's free. I can take it and donate it to somebody who does need it. But I hate the hassle of doing all that. But it's free.

Last night we got chocolates. I ate both of them, even though I didn't really want them. They were free and needed to be eaten so we'll get more tonight. Even though I could do without them.

So I'm taking radical action. I've decided that even if housekeeping brings in the entire cart and dumps it in the middle of the room and says, "Take it all," I'm not. I'm using what I need for this stay and leaving the rest. For now, somebody else will have to supply the homeless with soap and shampoo. I need to simplify and I'm starting small. Sometimes small and free gets to be too big and burdensome. Sometimes free comes with a price tag, and I've decided to stop payment.
Today's blessings: Breakfast in the lounge; sitting on the beach with Steve; lunch at Jerry's Deli; race expo; dinner at the crepe place

Thursday, January 27, 2011

There's Always Something To Complain About, But Why?

Steve and I are at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami, Florida. We got a really good rate, and it's right at the start/finish of the half-marathon that Steve is doing on Sunday. Because he's got eighty bagillion Marriott points, Steve got us a room on the concierge floor, meaning we get free snacks.

The hotel was under construction last year, so it's a brand new hotel. It has a infinity pool, a knockout workout room, a 2-lane bowling alley, a 3-D media room, and a basketball court, just to name a few of the amenities. And when we checked in and found out our room wasn't ready, we got upgraded to a suite, complete with two (yep, count 'em - two) 50-inch televisions and a television in the middle of the bathroom mirror.

So what if the heating system in the bedroom drowns out the 50-inch television and the concierge lounge only serves Pepsi products? Are those two things going to sum up this luxurious experience?

I didn't think so. Sorry - got to go lounge around now and eat my evening's chocolate delivery!
Today's blessings: Last day of butt camp for the week; safe, smooth flight; sweet suite upgrade at Marriott; Original Pancake House with Steve; OPH Waitress; concierge lounge dude making me coffee

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

That's What Friends Are For

So it did snow early this morning. It was enough to cover the ground and make the roads messy. I got up to check my email, just in case Josh decided to cancel butt camp. Alas, no email. However, a couple of my boot-ies were on facebook. Karen said she wasn't going because of the road situation and the fact that she had an early appointment. Michelle wondered if we were having it. I wondered, too. Then Michelle wrote that she was going, and my response was, "Ok, fine. I'll go too." And I went. I got a good workout, had a tiny bit of fun, and ended up being glad I went - even though my car was covered in snow when it was time to go home.

That's one reason I am so thankful for my friends. They encourage me to do that which I don't think I can do, or sometimes just don't want to do. Because of their help, I gain the experiences and blessings that make life so meaningful. Why else (and with whom) would I plan to do something like this?
Today's blessings: Going to butt camp because Michelle said she was; another snowy day; watching "Reds"; catching up on bills; making travel arrangements for friends; finding Karen's blog

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


It's supposed to snow tonight - again. It's been raining off and on all day, so I'm rather skeptical of this forecast, despite the weather people, the weather channel, and It's not that I don't believe they can do their job. It's just that I've lived in Nashville long enough to know that you never really know what the weather's going to do.

But I'm prepared. I have milk, eggs, and bread, which is apparently the city's snow diet. I have a recipe for snow cream from my friend, Anita. I have a sled for Lindley. I have a mountain of work/cleaning that I need to do, so I have plenty of activities to do inside if the weather is bad outside. And if butt camp is cancelled, I have adequate exercise do-hickeys that I can use to convince myself that I've worked out.

So let the snow come. I no longer teach, so the fact that the school system is out of snow days doesn't faze me. I have no job to get to, so road conditions are of little interest. My children are grown, so I don't have to be concerned with their boredom with another snow day away from school.

However, whatever snow we may get needs to skedaddle before Thursday, because I've got a plant ticket for Miami. And it certainly won't be snowing there!
Today's blessings: 3-mile walk with Maribeth in the neighborhood; picking up Lindley from day care; brief Molly visit

Monday, January 24, 2011

10 Things I Have Yet To Accomplish in 2011

1. Lose weight. Even an ounce. Of course if might help if I could accomplish #2, which is:

2. Stick to a diet. Any diet. Well, except for the "eat it all" one that I am currently on. Certainly my current consumption of a chocolate milkshake a day isn't working.

3. Jog. Or wog. Or walk. In other words, I got confused with the "Couch to 5K" workout. Maybe I'm dyslexic and thought it was "5K to Couch."

4. Organize all my photos on my computer. I have folders and folders and folders, and copies of the same picture are probably in each folder. Lord help me if I ever have to find a specific photo - I may never find it.

5. Set a specific writing time in the morning. Instead, I wait until the evening when I can barely remember ... well, whatever it is I'm supposed to be remembering. Maybe it's the milkshake coma...

6. Clean the house. It just keeps getting dirty. I don't know why, and until I figure that out, I see no point in cleaning it. Lost cause, and all.

7. Read more books. Still trying to catch up on all the magazines that I have and haven't read. Of course, maybe if I'd stop reading magazines, maybe I'd have time to clean the house. Lemme go dig up that library card.

8. Watch less TV. I only turn on the TV during the day so I can have background noise while I clean the house. But then there's days like today, when Oprah told us about her new sister. Or Ellen is doing that hidden microphone thing with Dennis Quaid. Or there's an episode of Law and Order on that I've only seen seven times. Then it's milkshake time!!!

9. Go to the Y and swim laps. Between the non-jogging, the reading, the TV watching, and milkshake time, there is just no extra time in the day.

10. Become a better person. But then again, why mess with perfection?!
Today's blessings: Monday butt camp; boiled shrimp/burgers for dinner; picking up Lindley from day care; Kathy Bates in "Harry's Law"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Monday Is On The Way

It's been a good weekend. Busy, but good. Got a lot of things accomplished, but didn't get some other things even started. Got a busy week ahead. Guess I'd better get to bed to get ready!
Today's blessings: An hour with Jena at Massage Envy; free Sonic via Charity; Kroger-ing with Molly; Steve's steaks for dinner; watching Jhonny Vegas win the golf tourney

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why I Usually Crop Myself Out Of All Pictures

1. Thumbs up? Really? Is that the best thing you can do?

2. Why are you bent over? Your expression looks like you are in pain. The picture has the Zoo sign in it - I believe you could stand up straight and still be in the picture.

3. Speaking of your expression, can you smile, keep your eyes open, and have your picture taken, all at the same time?

4. Two words (or maybe it's one): Hair brush. Or hairbrush. A hoodie does not take the place of a nicely coiffed 'do.

5. Speaking of the hoodie, the dangling strings is a nice touch. Guess it makes up for something - I just don't know what. Maybe it's to take away from the humongous DCL logo.

6. Finally, baby = cute. Hunchback old lady = not so cute.
Today's blessings: Zoo 5k with Steve, Maribeth, and Lindley

Friday, January 21, 2011

Molly's Toe

This is Molly's broken toe. Yesterday at work while trying to lift a new desk with a co-worker, said co-worker dropped the aforementioned new desk on Molly's toe. After much discussion, stops at medical clinics, two x-rays, and a doctor consult, Molly found out that her toe was indeed broken - in two places. She left the ER with a shoe boot thingy, crutches, and a prescription for significant pain meds.

This was an important event because Molly had a big boo-boo, but also because it's the first broken bone in our family. Somehow we managed to make it through baseball, soccer, softball, and many years of high school tomfoolery without anyone breaking a bone. We've had stitches and tonsillectomies and various ER visits - but no broken bones. Now we get one - and it's not even on our insurance because our baby has her own.

So I guess it's a parenting success that we made it this far without this particular medical emergency. But then again, Molly didn't have her tonsils out until she was 22.

Maybe she should get a chicken pox vaccination ...
Today's blessings: Friday butt camp; lazy Friday; Lindley in her snow sled

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Anita Rice

This is another installment of "Meet My Friends." I last introduced you to Peggy Bailey and hinted that Anita Rice would be next on the list. Today seemed appropriate, so here's Anita!

Anita is another friend that went to a different elementary school. We began going to the same schools in 7th grade, and we were also in the band together. Back in those days, being in the band was a big deal, and we were our own clique. A really cool clique, I might add. Anita and I also went to the same church and were in all those youth church activities.

As soon as I could, I graduated high school and college and moved away from Starkville, my hometown. Anita married and had a son and once ran a craft store. Of course, I've never met her husband or son and never shopped in her craft store - I've just heard about them and seen pictures of them. She's undoubtedly done a lot of other stuff, but I don't know about all that. Whenever I went to Starkville, it was to visit family on both sides with no time to catch up. Okay, so there probably was time, but I didn't take it.

Anyhow, this is supposed to be about Anita, so here's what I remember. Anita was super-smart. She probably did her homework and studied and did her assignments on time as evidenced by her good grades. She was a model student who didn't talk inappropriately in class or cut up. She also played the piano and probably practiced for an hour (at least) every day, resulting in her master proficiency on the piano. She played french horn in the band, and was good at that, too. In other words, she didn't ascribe to the "get by on the seat of your pants" studying/piano practicing philosphy that I did.

One might think that all this diligence would make Anita dull and boring. One would be wrong. We were roommates on a church choir trip and I found out that Anita was also a lot of fun. She rolled with the punches on our (probably my) wackadoodle ideas, and I saw that we were not so different - if you ignore the studying/maybe-not-study parts of our personalities.

After high school, Anita was another friend I rarely (if ever) saw. But we've connected over facebook, and I've found out that she's just as nice as she ever was. She's sent me a couple of cards (you know - the kind that you have to put something called a stamp on and some dude brings it to a little box outside your house). Her handwriting is still the same, perfect script it always was. She also emailed me a snow ice cream recipe. But of all the things that I remember and know about Anita, here's the thing that has always stuck with me. I call it the bookmark thing.

Many, many moons ago, I noticed Anita reading a book. She also had a pencil and periodically she would write down something on a bookmark she had in the book. I asked her what she was doing, and she said that she was writing down words she didn't know so she could look them up. It was the most amazing thing I had ever heard. I just figured everyone did the same thing I did - try to figure out what a word meant using its content (and often figuring wrong). I think it was at that point I decided Anita was a genius.

What's the moral of my Anita story? First of all, that smart people are smart for a reason, and can teach you the most interesting thing - if you take the time to listen. Second, that we all have commonalities if we take the time to find them and enjoy each other. Third, that nice people pretty much stay nice - and we really shouldn't lose contact, because we lose a lot more than physical contact. And finally, we really don't lose those childhood friends. Sure, we may not hear from them for decades, but because they were part of our past, they helped make us who we are today. While I still use the "context" method of deciphering a word, I always think about the Anita method and writing down that word for a later lookup.

So that's my Anita Rice story. It's the story of a childhood friend and a little piece of that friendship that has stayed with you for 40 years. It's another story of reconnection and realization that you were never really disconnected. It's a story of remembrance of old times and thanks for the gifts that come with friendship.

And today, it's a birthday card of sorts for an old and renewed friend. Happy Birthday, Anita, and thanks for being you!!
Today's blessings: Tough butt camp workout; lazy winter day

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


While on the way to pick up Lindley from day care, I decided to get a hot chocolate at Starbucks via the drive-thru. When I got there, the drive-thru line wasn't too bad. However, it got slower and slower and the wait got longer and longer. I started complaining about the wait to Maribeth, who was in the car with me. When I had finally placed my order and was next in line to get my hot chocolate, I had exhausted my complaints about the long wait, so I proceeded to question the order of the person ahead of me in line, and why it was taking so long.

Finally I was at the window to make payment and receive my drink. I had my Starbucks card out to give to the barrista. However, she said, "Never mind for today." I don't know if it was a "pay-it-forward" situation or what, but the bottom line was that I got my drink free.

It just goes to show that much ado about nothing is just that - and that it's usually not warranted. In this case, something good happened to me in spite of my negativity. Next time I'll try to be positive in trying situations. Maybe I can be the positive that happens in a negative situation.
Today's blessings: tough butt camp workout made fun because of my buds; tv repair dudes; picking up Lindley at day care and watching her chow down when we got home; homemade veggie soup; free Starbucks drink; putting wheels on Molly's expedit and seeing her house decor progress

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby Scare

First of all, I'm not talking about the "ohmigosh, I think I'm preggers" baby scare. Nor am I talking about the "she's putting her finger into the wall socket/he's teetering at the top of the stairs/she's sitting in the litter box" scares. Sure, those are valid baby scares. But I'm talking about the most dire baby scare - the baby's got a stomach bug! Those words strike fear into the hearts of that baby's family - at least at my house. Let me explain.

Many moons ago when my children were little, one of them came down with a stomach virus. I know - poor baby. He/she had the poops/throwing up, to which I nursed as best I could. Since I had three children, the virus went through each one, and I did my best to diligently tend to the afflicted one. When the last one recovered, I breathed a sigh of relief, since I felt that I had seen my last episode of vomit. I should have just held my breath and passed out because the worst was yet to come. Steve and I were next on the virus hit list.

When little kids get a stomach virus, they expel their sickness but manage to carry on with their little lives. They watch tv or play with a few toys. When parents get the virus, they lie on the bathroom floor and beg for death. Or at least a knife so that they can excise the offending digestive tract out of their abdomen. In other words, the same stomach virus that causes discomfort in a child spirals out of control in an adult - and it's a nightmare. Just when you think you will live again, it starts over and you run for the hills - if that's where your toilet is located.

As you can see, this historical incident caused an indelible impression on my life. So last year when a similar stomach virus hit the family, we all blamed it on Lindley, and whichever day-care urchin who gave it to her. Somehow we all managed to get through it with our digestive systems intact - and still in our bodies. We survived.

So you can understand when last week Lindley got another case of the poopers. We tried to attribute it to everything from cutting teeth to innoculations to a general disappointment with her first birthday presents. We were delusional. It was a stomach virus.

At least this time we knew what we were in for. Molly and I made a run to Kroger like a Nashville blizzard was on its way and stocked up on ginger ale, Sprite, Lysol (wipes, spray, and inhaler), Pepto-Bismol, and several cases of toilet paper. We wiped down and disinfected every surface that we touched. We were as proactive as we could be. But alas, we still caught the virus, each in our own way. It wasn't as bad as last fall's plague, but it still wasn't a day at Disney World. But we survived with the hope that it's the only stomach virus that we'll get in 2011.

Hope springs eternal - at least I know the way to Kroger!
Today's blessings: picking up Lindley at day care; back to butt camp; Disney store delivery

Monday, January 17, 2011

Molly Fixes It

Recently, I wrote about my street view picture on Google maps. While I didn't think it particularly flattering, it apparently didn't bother me to post it so the world could see it. However, Molly (who alerted me to the picture in the first place) took it into her own hands to contact the Google map people and suggested in her own special way, that they do something about the picture. They did.

Now I am just a blur in front of my house. A big blur, but at least no longer a butt shot. I think it's an improvement, if only it didn't take such a big smudge to cover my big butt!
Today's blessings: quick bout with stomach bug; Steve's Bubba burgers for dinner and milkshake delivery for lunch; picking up Lindley from day care; Maribeth's delivery of Sonic drink

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Due to Overindulging, This Blog Is

Maybe tomorrow I shall gain some self-control. Eating everything in sight is never a good idea ...
Today's blessings: Steve and Maribeth's safe return from Florida; Sunday with the family; Costco-ing with Molly

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Waiting and Wishing

Maybe she's waiting and wishing for more snow. Maybe she's waiting and wishing for somebody to take her outside to play in the snow. Maybe she's waiting and wishing for Mickey to show up and taker her to Disney World. Maybe she's waiting and wishing for Granny Lu to put down the camera.

It seems like we're all waiting and wishing for something. Sometimes we wait and wish because it's easier than working hard to make something happen. Sometimes we wait and wish because it's an escape from the current situation. Sometimes we wait and wish because we just don't know what else to do.

But eventually we have to do something because all that waiting and wishing won't get us anywhere. And while waiting and wishing may give us a direction and a dream, it's really up to us make it happen.

It did snow some more, and she did go outside, and Granny Lu did put down the camera. And while Mickey didn't show up, she'll be going back to Disney World. If a one-year-old can do it, then certainly I can, too.
Today's blessings: Lazy Saturday; grocery shopping with Molly; watching Miss America

Friday, January 14, 2011

And Friday Rolls Around Again

Here it is, Friday. I've managed to make it through another first week of butt camp. I started a new food/weight loss journal - which shows promise but no results. I've managed to tidy up the house a bit - by moving a bunch of stuff to the sun room (it's too cold to be out there now, so I'll clean that room up in June). I've managed to cook a few meals, attend a nutrition seminar, create a group on facebook, and unpack from the latest Disney trip. I've played in the snow and walked three miles in butt-freezing cold. In other words, it's been a fairly productive week.

Tomorrow I can sleep in - whatever that means. Maybe some pancakes for breakfast. After a week like this, it should be a stellar weekend!
Today's blessings: spending the day with Lindley; pizza night at the Doik; Friday butt camp with my buds

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Lindley!!

Today's blessings: Lindley!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Signed Up To Do This

Wanna join me??
Today's blessings: Signing up for the CMM Half with my boot-ies; nutrition seminar; chicken sapa dinner; Lindley projects

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Starting with the Ones

After mostly sitting on my rumpus for the the past several weeks, I returned to butt camp today. It wasn't totally brutal, but I have a long way to go to return to my mediocre in-shape shape. But it was a start, and 1-11-11 seemed like a good day to get going.

Now, if I can just remember to take some Tylenol before class tomorrow, I might make it through Day 2.
Today's blessings: Back to butt camp and seeing boot-ies; 3 miles in the 'hood; cleaning up bedroom; starting weight-loss journal; Molly visit

Monday, January 10, 2011

What Grannies Do On Snow Days

Go out in the snow and get cold, or give her a spoon and some applesauce.

Cleanup on aisle three, please!
Today's blessings: beautiful snow; playing with Lindley all day; chili in the crock pot; Charlie's Angels movie

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snow Cometh in the Morning - Maybe

It's supposed to snow in Nashville tonight. States south of us have already started their snowfall tallies. The local weather people are working themselves into a tizzy, predicting how much snow, when it will start, how long it will last, and how traffic will fare. Right now everything is speculation, because in Nashville, you just never know what the weather is going to do.

In the morning, I will wake up to either snow or no snow. It may cover the ground completely, or just barely dust the high spots. It may snow all day, or be done by the time I wake up. It's really just a crap shot as to what is going to happen, because no matter how frenzied the weather people get in their predictions, only God really knows what snow will come our way.

I could stay up and wait for it or I can just let it happen. It's one of those things I have absolutely no control over, so I think I'll just wait for the morning. No matter what I will see, I will probably be surprised. But since I know the Snowmaker, I know it will be just right.
Today's blessings: Krispy Kreme for breakfast with Sam, Lynnette, Lindley, and Molly; an hour with Jena at Massage Envy; cleaning up a few rooms; Panera dinner via Molly and Adam

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Making Friends?

Lindley and her parents are currently staying with us for a few weeks while their house is being remodeled. Lindley's cat, Missy, has been staying at their house, because somebody has to be there to guard it when nobody is there. However, next week the drywall dudes will be there putting in walls and sanding them, which is going to be a mess. So today Missy joined her family at Springdoik (the name for our house).

I expected a literal, fang and claw bearing cat fight. However, other than a few growls here and hisses there, it's been pretty quiet. Maggie has been following Missy around and Missy is trying to figure out why Maggie had food out all the time (due to a weight issue, Missy only gets fed twice a day). Tonight, Maggie wanted to jump on the couch with Missy, who was going to have none of it.

It will be interesting to see how this little drama plays out. Will Maggie and Missy be friends? Will Missy figure out a way to get to Maggie's unending food supply? Will there be a sharing of litter boxes, or will poop protest be enacted? Is there a knock-down, drag-out, cat fight in my future?

Guess I'll find out - just hopefully not in the middle of night in my bed!
Today's blessings: Breakfast pancakes; Whichwich lunch via Sam and Lynnette; morning snow dusting and Lindley pictures; Molly's chicken and dumplings for dinner; watching "Believe" dvd

Friday, January 7, 2011


One room cleaned up (sort of). Getting a cold, currently in the sneezing/stuffy nose phase. Finalized plans for February Disney family trip. Made Sloppy Joes and french fries for dinner. Made a grocery run. Balanced checkbook and paid bills. Found enough excuses not to jog and/or workout. Convinced Molly to bring lunch over. Emptied dishwasher.

I think that's enough for a Friday, don't you?
Today's blessings: Getting all the above accomplished

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Home Again Again

After tossing and turning for a few hours, I finally got to sleep this morning in Orlando around 2 AM. Then I got up around 5:30 AM for my return drive to Nashville. I drove all day, stopping to feed the car with gas, feed myself with Starbucks and Chick-fil-A, and feed my sleepy brain cells with fresh air. I eventually arrived back at home this afternoon in time to unload the mountain of who-knows-what from the car, eat dinner, and return the car to the airport. I've gone through the laundry basket full of mail and sorted it. I finished the day by cleaning out Maggie The Cat's litter box, which had not been touched my human hands (and completely ignored by human brains) for two weeks.

Whatta day. But tonight I will sleep in my own bed, hopefully until later tomorrow morning. Welcome home!
Today's blessings: Safe drive home; last peppermint mocha fraps; Panera with Molly, Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Packing Up

It's time to return home. The car is rented and packed to the gills with two weeks and seven people's extra stuff. It's been fun but it's time to go home and get other stuff done.

I've done many things - gone to parks, watched fireworks, changed hotels, taken tours, shopped, and eaten a lot, just to name a few. However, there are many things that I had planned to do but didn't do. For instance, I didn't:

*Read any of the books and magazines I was going to read in my "down time." Whatever down time I had was spent sleeping. Or eating. Or planning to do one or the other.

*Work out/exercise. That would include jogging or lifting weights or skipping. My jaws got a workout from eating and talking, but I don't think those are included in any workout program, at least not in boot camp, which is going to kick my even more ample butt on Monday, when I return. After having not worked out for too many weeks.

*Go to the movies to see "Tangled" or "Little Fockers" or any movie at the theaters. Usually we go to at least one during Christmas, but not this year. I did watch two movies on DVD and listened to one on the drive down, but "Tangled" is still MIA.

*Find a cute Christmas tree skirt for my Christmas tree. Last year's skirt was the same tacky, awful one that I'd had for a few years, so last year after Christmas I ditched it. This year the Christmas tree had no skirt and looked quite nekkid when there were no presents under it. I had planned to purchase one at the after-Christmas sales or during my Disney shopping. But I didn't find one that I liked. Guess I have a few months before I will need one. On that note, my Christmas tree is still up at home. With no skirt.

There are probably more things that I had planned to do but didn't. Since I will be leaving in a few hours, I guess it really doesn't matter - I can just add these to the list I will need to do when I get home!
Today's blessings: Sea World with Maribeth and surprise addition of Steve; Avis lady; Lindley hair and toe video; kitties at the timeshare

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Davidson Travel

As you can see, Lindley (and her parents) left this morning to return home. Actually, my home since theirs has been gutted by the remodeler for remodeling. Anyhoo, their trip was the most recent travel for this Christmas vacation.

Let me give you an overview. Originally, Steve, Molly, and I were going to go to Disney World to meet up with my brother and his family. We had two rooms (one December 24-31 and one December 26-January 2) and John had one (December 26-December 31). We flippity-flopped rooms so that we were basically all over the World, but everybody had a place to stay.

Maribeth decided to return to Nashville and go with us to Disney while Mathieu is in Cuba, so instead of spending our life savings on airfare, we decided to drive to Orlando. So, Steve, Maribeth, Molly and I drove down on Christmas Eve. We all stayed in one room until the 26th when Maribeth and Molly moved over to the one John had but changed over to Molly. John, Anne, David, and Michael came down on the 26th and stayed in the one that we had but changed over to them.

Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley flew to Texas for Christmas with the Ogles. Once Mississippi State was headed to the Gator Bowl, Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley decided to join us in Orlando with a side trip for Sam and Steve to Jacksonville for the big game. So, S/L/L flew back to Nashville on the 28th and down to Orlando on the 31st. Meanwhile, Molly flew back to Nashville on the 30th.

By the time S/L/L got into town, we were out of two of the rooms and needed more space. So we packed up and moved to a 4-bedroom place where the towel bar fell off the wall, we couldn't check in until 6pm (crunching the timeline for Lindley's 7:30 bedtime, which got even crunchier when the requested crib was not in any of the four bedrooms), and one of the kitchen stools was broken. The saving grace of this place was that we could see all the Disney fireworks from our balcony.

Anyhoo, S/L/L flew back this morning. Steve, Maribeth, and I were originally going to drive back today. However, Maribeth could get a good deal at Shades of Green because she is now a military wife. Steve, on the other hand, needs to stay at Marriott for a few nights so he can get some more points so he can achieve his platinum (or gold or diamond or superstar) status and get free nights, or free ice, or something like it. So, he and Maribeth have decided to stay another week. This had been made possible by the fact that Steve's company recently was bought and he has some free time.

So, we three were going to all drive home on Thursday and Steve and Maribeth were going to fly back on Sunday. That seemed sort of crazy (the going home part - the other part seems perfectly sane after already having been down here a week), so I suggested they just remain here for a few days before the Marriott/Shades of Green trip. That seemed acceptable to them, except for my part.

Since there are a few bills that need paying at home, I needed to return and pay them. If Steve was going to fly home, he would need his golf club travel bag. We also have a car load of luggage and stuff from the family members who have come and left. So, I got a pretty good deal on a rental car that I will pick up tomorrow night and drive home Thursday, after I pack it to the gills with all the stuff that is currently packed in Steve's car.

Eventually we will all end up back home. I'm not sure exactly when, or how, or where. But I guess that's the good thing about our family - we're always at home when we're together.
Today's blessings: taking Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley to the airport; First Watch with Steve; shopping with Maribeth; Red Lobster for dinner via Steve

Monday, January 3, 2011

Peggy Bailey

I'm not sure if this post is about old friends, or modern technology, or the fact that it is indeed a small world after all (especially at Disney). Perhaps it's a little bit about all three, and how they all came together in Germany. Sort of ...

But let's start at the beginning. I grew up in the small town of Starkville, Mississippi. Back in the day, it was even smaller, so small that I can remember when McDonald's came to town. When I started first grade, kindergarten was optional. The schools were segregated and all the white kids attended one of two elementary schools for grades one through six and then joined together in the 7th grade.

By the time I reached 7th grade, schools were integrated, so we had new friends from different schools.One of these friends was a girl named Peggy Bailey. We were in band and a few classes together. I don't remember much about those days, mostly because it was 35+ years ago and Peggy and I didn't get into any major drama together. I remember being in Mrs. Hodges's Algebra class together and band trips. I remember how nice and sweet Peggy was and her blond hair and how Judy started calling her Peggy Irene and then Irene (and since I was never fond of my name, I thought it was really neat to change your name).

Anyhow, I graduated high school a year early, flew through college, got married, left Starkville, and started a different life. I probably saw Peggy/Peggy Irene/Irene maybe once at a class reunion, but that was about it. I was terrible about keeping up with my high school friends, which I will explain in a bit.

Anyhoo, fast foward to 2009. I was walking in a 3-Day event and wrote a book to raise money. Somehow Irene had found out (I believe through Anita, another friend I will tell you about later this year) and wanted to contribute to the cause. She said she was going by Irene now and living in Louisiana with her husband. She told me about her husband, her son and daughter and their families, and her grandson, Owen. We became facebook friends, and kept track of each other that way.

Fast forward a little more to this Christmas week. I saw a picture of her on facebook, and I thought, "I know where that is in the Magic Kingdom!" I wondered if she was currently in Disney World, which is where I happened to be. I started to inquire, but since I had just done that with another friend who actually had been there a few weeks prior, I decided to just let it go.

I posted my own picture of my trip at Disney, and Irene posted a note asking if we were there and maybe we could meet up. And here's where the trepidation set in. The reason I never connected with my old friends was that I had changed since high school. I was way bigger, and way older, and way grayer than I was in those days. In addition to physically being different, I was emotionally different, and probably intellectually different (although maybe not in a good way). Would Irene take one look at me and think, "OMG - WHAT HAPPENED TO HER?!" (Okay, so maybe she's seen my illustrious photographs on facebook - maybe she would have some warning, but seeing it up close and personal could be harrowing).

I really debated about meeting up. But in the end, I decided what the heck - God didn't put it all together for nothing. So I messaged or facebooked, or whatevered (yeah, a phone call would have been helpful, but refer to the intellectually different comment) and we tentatively agreed to meet at the caramel popcorn place in Germany.

And so we did. On a way-too-chilly morning in December, we met each other and our spouses and Irene's family. Irene didn't pass out from the shock and need medical attention, and it seemed as all those years dissolved into merely moments. I realized that in those years, we passed a generation - we missed talking about our own kids and now talk about our grandchildren. But I also realized that some things never change - Irene is still nice and sweet - and blond!

So what's this post about? Is it about old friends, or new technology, or a small world? Maybe, but I really think it's about this - God saying, "You need a special blessing today, and I think I'll call it 'Irene.'"
Today's blessings: Eggs and spinach for breakfast via Sam; MK-ing it with Lindley, Lynnette, Sam, and Maribeth

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January 2

I think Lindley has the right idea for 2011.
Today's blessings: Strolling around the resort with Lindley; lazy Sunday

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Number One

Happy New Year! 2011 is here, and as usual I am full of good intentions. Eat wisely, exercise on a regular basis, jog on a schedule, be productive, blah, blah, blah. I'm hoping 2011 will be the year that I will finally achieve those goals that I keep putting in front of me.

But there is one thing that I will definitely do. Sam wrote a book this year about "50 Things Your Life Doesn't Need." It's caused me to think about all the stuff that I don't need in my life, and plan to get rid of at 50 of those things.

But it also caused me to think about something else - about those things that I do need in my life. Those things that I cannot do without. Those things that make me who I am. Those things that are most important. I hope to write about one thing on the first day of each month of this year. For you mathematicians, that makes twelve. Maybe by focusing on twelve, I can focus on making the important things the things, and focus less on those unimportant things. Anyhow, today's the day it all starts. So here goes ...

The most important thing in my life is my faith. It's the thing that gives me purpose, give me hope, gives me a foundation, and gives me life. Without it, there's no meaning. With it, everything has meaning.

My faith is fairly simple - I believe in God, the Supreme Being Who created all that is, all that has been, and all that will be. I don't know everything about God, but I do know this - He is Love. I believe that He sent a part of Himself in his Son Jesus Christ to teach us about love and ultimate sacrifice. I believe that God created us to be in fellowship with Him and with each other. I believe that He wants us to be an extension of Him and His Love to be shared with all that we encounter, whether it be human, animal, agriculture, or anything else that crosses our path. I believe that we are here to make this world a better place, and that once we are done here, there's a better place waiting for us.

So if my faith's the most important thing, what will I do this year? I hope to love and show love more, I hope to pray and listen more to my Maker, and I hope to do that which He put me on this Earth to do.

Because in the end, if I can get the most important thing in my life where it needs to be, then all the other important things will fall into place - and that will make 2011 will be an unbelievable year!
Today's blessings: Sea World with Lynnette and Lindley; Old Key West with Lindley, Lynnette, and Maribeth; Wolfgang Puck dinner with Lynnette and Maribeth