Monday, February 28, 2011


Last Thursday, after changing hotels, I decided I needed to get my hair cut. Like, immediately. The frizzles and frazzles that I call my hair were getting to me. It didn't matter that I was out of town with no idea where or to whom to go - I needed a haircut, and I needed it NOW!!

I needed to make a grocery run, so I decided to go to the nearest salon to the grocery store. I thought I had no preferences - just somebody with a pair of scissors. I was mistaken.

The first place had a sign that said "Salon." It appeared that the person in charge probably used a magic marker to make the sign. I also could not see inside the windows. Since more money was probably spent on the marker than high-quality supplies, like a sharp pair of scissors, I decided to pass.

I pulled into the grocery store parking lot and saw another hair-cutting place a few doors down. It seemed like a legit place - the door was wide open, so I went to investigate. There was a woman semi-sprawled out on a sofa, and a man and his teen-aged son sitting on a couple of chairs by the wall. Somewhere in the back it appeared that a woman was washing something - I'm still not sure if it was a person or something else. I wasn't sure if I was in a salon or a rehab center, so I decided to pass on this one, too.

I finished my grocery run and looked up hair cutters on the Internet. I was looking for anything that sounded legit - Fantastic Sams (or Joe or Harry), Great Cuts, Scissors A-Plenty - anything that gave me some degree of security. I found a few that I thought I could find and set off on my quest.

Eventually I found one - might have been a Great Cuts. I walked in to find no customers - a sign that we take as "turn around and leave" when it is applied to a restaurant - but went in anyhow. Esmeralda (or something like that) met me at the desk, and we got to work.

Esmeralda's first language is not English. But that's okay because my hearing is very selective, so I couldn't hear half of what she said that I could understand - which was about half of what came out of her mouth. Basically, I told her I needed a haircut, and she took it from there. Here's how it went (sorta, anyway):

Me: Please cut my hair. In layers. It is very curly and needs help.

Esmeralda: Yoo-ah ha-yer eez velly pretty. I vill vash and use product and eet wheel be very preety.

Me: Super.

We go to the shampoo chair and Esmeralda washes and conditions with her special curly hair stuff and tells me how wonderful the curly products are.

Esmeralda: See, Thelma over there, she uses the curly products and her ha-yer is velly pretty.

Me: (thinking to myself): Yes, but she is 17 years old. You could shave her head and she would still be velly pretty.

Esmeralda - And Jane over there, she uses the curly products, but she flat-irons her ha-yer. But when she uses the curly products, her ha-yer is velly pretty.

Me: (thinking more to myself): Then why does she flat iron it?

Anyhow, Esmeralda gets me back to the hair-cutting station where she snips here and there, puts more curly product (put eet on yore hands and squeesh them together and get the cream in between yore feengers and put eet all through your hair) on my hair, rumples it around, sprays some different curly product on (eet won't make yore ha-yer stiff like cardboard) and crumples my hair some more. Basically, I now have a curly, crumply head of hair that may not be stiff like cardboard - but it certainly ain't movin' in a tornado, either.

Anyhow, after buying all the curly products and paying Esmeralda, I leave the store with a few strands of my hair trimmed. I am somewhat satisfied and return to my vacation resort.

Where I promptly got out the flat iron and straightened my hair.
Today's blessings: Safe flight back to Nashville for Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley; lunch with Molly and Adam; dinner at Sci-Fi with Steve, Molly, Adam, and Maribeth; chatty bus driver enroute to Hollywood Studios

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Why My Time In Today's Half-Marathon Was So Slow

1. It was hot. And humid. And I don't like to move, period, in hot and humid.

2. I did a half-marathon two weeks ago, and my feet would only allow a "good" time on one of them. Of course, my term of "good" means the winner was at home napping when I finally finished. The nap taking place in another country.

3. When I asked the Fairy Godmother to pixie dust my feet, she thought I said Dixie Rust, and you know how slow southerners can be!

4. I asked for some Tinkerbell wings to fly like a fairy, but instead I got chicken wings which made me slow like a slug.

5. I stopped at every character along the course to get pictures and autographs. Wait, no I didn't.

6. I waited for the parks to open before I ran through them. Wait, no I didn't.

7. I thought the idea was to get as close as possible to the cut-off time. I didn't know you were supposed to try to get a fast time.

8. I thought we were supposed to stay in the order in which we started. I kept wondering why the people behind me wouldn't stay in their place in line.

9. I'm old. But apparently not old enough to know better.

10. I'm also hefty. Hefty is hard to tote around for 13.1 miles. But apparently I don't think I'm hefty enough to get un-hefty.

I hope these reasons clear up any doubts as to why I didn't set a PR today. If not, here's the main reason I was so slow - I just didn't run fast. Satisfied?
Today's blessings: Finishing the Princess Half-Marathon and all the runners; not having to get on the gosh-awful early bus to get to the race; seatmate on the bus back to the resort; Yak and Yeti with Molly and Adam; W/Pucks dinner with the family; picking up Molly and Adam on the side of the street; Lindley laughing about box

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Things We Do For Love ...

... or because we're family and somebody thought that getting up waaaay before my normal wake-up time and doing a 5K was a good idea.

Today's blessings: Family 5K; Le Cellier with Molly, Adam, and Maribeth; procuring fast passes

Friday, February 25, 2011

Even Briefer ...

Breakfast with Donald, Mickey, Daisy, and Goofy.
Animals and train ride.
Dino-ride downs and ups.
Long nap for one little person.
Short snooze for one big person.
Expo and race bibs and goody bags, oh my.
And that's all I'm gonna say about today.
Today's blessings: family breakfast at Tusker House; Animal Kingdom-ing it with Lindley; race expo and volunteers

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Brief Update ...

... for a long day.

*Steve, Maribeth, and I got moved from resort #1 to resort #2. Although it took awhile, we managed (with William's help) to get all the people listed for our room so everyone would have keys. And glory be, the room was ready when we were finished!

*Got all the suitcases and boxes and bags loaded from the car up the three flights of stairs to our room. Without having cardiac arrest. At least not yet.

*Got to Publix and purchased all the requested food and sundry items requested by the vacationers. Also managed to heave all those bags up the three flights, again without a coronary.

*Ate a quick lunch, took Steve his lunch, and got my hair cut and "styled." More about that maybe tomorrow.

*Went to resort #3 with Maribeth to check in the parties staying there, and spent another 30 minutes with Richard trying to clear up the confusion with who was staying where between resorts #2 and #3.

*Finished resort name/room key business in time to drive to the airport to pick up Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley, and manage to see a brief glimpse of the space shuttle Discovery taking off from Cape Canaveral.

*Returned to resort #2 with airline travellers, loaded their stuff up the three flights, and walked to a simple dinner by the water.

*Watched the NBC Thursday lineup.

*Went to Winn Dixie to get Molly and Adam's requests and proceed to the airport to pick them up, only to realize that I had left the pink Mickey bar bag full of Molly's important stuff, so after picking them up, we stopped by resort #2 to pick up the missing bag and deposit everyone where they needed to be.

*Finally arrived back at resort #2 to write this and go to bed.

Tomorrow starts with breakfast with the Mouse. Let the good times begin!!
Today's blessings: resort changes and cast members who helped; safe flights for family traveling in the air; hair stylist lady; family together (almost) for the weekend

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vacation Goalage

I decided not to bring my existing various home projects with me on this vacation. In other words, no sewing machine or scrapbooking (if you can call it that) materials or paint or hammers, etc. The idea was to chill and relax and mellow out, man. So far none of that has actually happened. We are about to end our 3-day stint in resort #1 and move to our longer-term resort #2 tomorrow, where there will be more room for chillin'. Anyhoo, since I decided not to bring projects, I did feel the need to do something productive with my prolonged time off (off from what - I know). So, with that in mind, here are my beginning goals:

Goal #1. Getting back to preventing tooth decay. Right after my dentist visit, I am super vigilant about brushing and flossing. Then I fall off the wagon. Lately I've fallen off - way off and hard. But I am using this vacation to get back with the program. So far I have conscientiously brushed, flossed, and rinsed twice a day. Yay me (or my gums).

Now a word from our sponsor: For those of you who are religious about flossing - I confess and am trying to repent. For those of you who are as flossing lackadaisical as I am - you need to get with the program. For those of who who don't know what floss is - you need to get to a dentist - NOW!!

Goal #2. Exercise/walk daily. Since I am without my daily boot camp butt-kicking, I feel the need to do something. Especially since when I return to Nashville, Week 4 of this session of boot camp will be commencing, and it is the toughest. Sitting on my rather ample rear end is not going to be conducive to my survival of Week 4, if I don't do something. So far, I have walked two days (day one was spent trapped in a SUV getting here). As far as actual exercise, I am blaming that on the size of the room and the assorted suitcases and random junk that three people can bring with them (although I don't know why I needed all the clothes I packed, since I have basically been in the same clothes for two days). Anyhoo, I will keep walking and add some additional exercise and maybe some pool time beginning tomorrow.

Goal #3. Eat sensibly. Are you kidding me? I am in the Land of Frozen Mickey Bars!! I need to rethink this one, since I apparently did not come to Weight Watcher World. Maybe if I double up on Goal #2? Let's move on ...

Goal #4. Organize all my pictures on my computer. Geeze, if I only knew how ...

Goal #5. Redo my Ipod. Yep, right after that picture organization.

Maybe I should go eat a Mickey bar...
Today's blessings: early morning walk; MK-ing it with Maribeth and trading vinyls; housekeeper lady; dinner at WP with Steve

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Good Day

Today there were a lot of good things that happened. Most of them were insignificant, but they just made the day go by with a lot of smiles. We didn't win any lottery money, but had fun scratching off possibilities. We didn't get a room cleaning, but we made a housekeeper a little less stressed. We didn't get to the Magic Kingdom, but we got to the Animal Kingdom and had a good lunch. So in other words, we didn't do some things, but we got some good things instead.

I think most days are like that. The only difference is that instead of focusing on what went right, we tend to focus on what didn't. The question is, if everyday we could focus on the good, would the bad days be as bad?
Today's blessings: Two-mile walk with Maribeth around Port Orleans; fixing internet issues; AK lunch and shopping with Maribeth; outlet-ing and DD-ing and Earl/Sandwich-ing with Steve and Maribeth; vinyls; cruise planning; helping out the housekeeper lady; free balloons from housekeeper dude; West Side with Steve

Monday, February 21, 2011

Vacation - The Beginning

We made it to Orlando. It only took about 900 hours in the car, but we made it. Now if we could only get the internet working correctly so that we could have wireless, everything would be great. Enough for now - we'll try again tomorrow.
Today's blessings: leaving on our trip earlier than planned; lunch at Truitts with Steve and Maribeth; safe drive down; room ready and great location; dinner at W/Pucks with Steve and Maribeth; a little Disney trading and shopping

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Going on one. Tomorrow. Driving down with Steve and Maribeth. Sam, Lynnette, Lindley, Molly, and Adam are coming via Southwest on Thursday. The only one missing will be Mathieu, who's deployed in Cuba.

There's a lot to do. I may be catching up with some old friends. There's a half-marathon and a couple of 5Ks scheduled. There are spring training baseball games to watch. There's also some eating yummy food and riding rides and seeing shows. The weather is going to be in the 80s, so there will probably be some sun/pool time, too.

I have several projects going that I considered taking along with me. I thought I could use the time to get some stuff done. But I decided against it. I want to sit and sleep and slow down for awhile. We'll see if it works.
Today's blessings: Family brunch at Sperry's; 50 minutes with Gina at Massage Envy; Costco-ing with Molly and Maribeth; new camera

Saturday, February 19, 2011


This morning, five of my boot camp buddies (and one buddy-doggy) and I went on a 4-mile walk. We are planning to wog the Country Music Half Marathon, and decided that training would be a good idea. The weather was a little cooler than expected, and there were a lot of walker/jogger/runners on our route, but it was a great four miles. In fact, it didn't seem like four miles.

Maybe it was because we were chatting the entire way. Maybe it's because we were too busy enjoying each other's company to notice the miles. Maybe four miles divided by six people figures out to be not so much.

It was a great morning and a great walk. But the best part was being with great friends. I have a feeling the Country Music Half Marathon is going to be the best ever!
Today's blessings: walking with boot-ies and all the other runners on the road; spending the day with Lindley; Maribeth's potential house find; Dippin Dots via Molly/Steve/Maribeth; Steve's Bubba Burgers on the grill for dinner

Friday, February 18, 2011

Time to Travel

It's been a busy week, trying to catch up from being out of town. I still haven't caught up yet. In other news, I have two days until we leave again to go out of town. Again. It's about time for another 5K/half marathon. I won't say where we are going - but maybe this will lend a clue:

Today's blessings: Friday butt camp; donating blood and blood lady; 2 miles in hood with Maribeth; checking mileage with Maribeth and Molly; JAlex and Sweet Ceces with Maribeth and Molly; Carrabbas for dinner via Steve

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Something to Consider

"For every excuse a new strategy"

I found these words while looking for a blog post idea. The words sort of hit me between the eyes. I am usually super-proficient at coming up with excuses for not doing something or rationalizing some action that I shouldn't have done, but did. It's almost as the excuse makes everything okay and I can proceed to the next wrong thing.

Now I have new words to consider. Instead of trying to excuse why I did or did not do something, I will strategize. Eating Thin Mints? I will hide/walk away/give to a responsible party. Not wanting to get off the couch? I will run a errand, either out of the house or to the other end of the house.

In other words, there's a way around the stuff that seems to plague my good intentions, and it's not to excuse them away. All that does is seemingly soothe my emotions. By developing a strategy, not only will I get a start on doing the right thing, but I will really accomplish something.

I just love a good plan!
Today's blessings: Outside boot camp; 2 miles with Maribeth; picking up Lindley at day care and seeing remodel changes at her house; looking for stuff in Molly's attic; Baja Burrito with Molly and Steve; a few Thin Mint GS cookies; getting some paperwork complete

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Absolutely None

Maybe tomorrow ...
Today's blessings: Hump Day butt camp; beautiful day; 2-miler with Maribeth; picking up Lindley at day care; Demos dinner with Steve; free milkshakes at Chick-fil-A

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Not Unpacked Yet

So you get an adorable Lindley picture instead of some thought-provoking, mind-numbing blog post. What you cannot see is that after I dropped Lindley off at her house, I stopped by Sonic for a less-than-nutritious dinner and managed to drop ketchup all over my pristine white t-shirt. One can therefore deduce that Lindley got her table manners naturally!

Maybe I should have borrowed Lindley's bib ...
Today's blessings: Tuesday butt camp; walk in the neighborhood with Maribeth; picking up Lindley at day care; vinylmation surprises via Maribeth and Molly

Monday, February 14, 2011

Getting Back To Monday

It always takes awhile to decompress after a vacation. There are suitcases to unpack, mail to be read, clothes to wash, milk to buy, and endless tasks to catch up on.

Too bad I didn't get any of those things done today ...

Today's blessings: New butt camp session and seeing all my boot-ies; walking in the 'hood with Maribeth; CPK lunch via Maribeth; picking up Lindley from day care

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Running Buddies

To­day I wogged the half marathon of The National Marathon To Finish Breast Cancer where 100% of the proceeds from this race go toward breast cancer research and care. It’s a great event for several reasons - the time limit is great (7 hours for the marathon AND half-marathon), the expo is very ladies-oriented, the fans along the route are super supportive, part of the course is run on the beach, and the general atmosphere of the race is very positive – nobody is jockeying for position or grumbling because the walkers are in their way. In fact, everyone is encouraging and looking after each other. People are wearing tags (available free at the expo) on which they write names of people they are running for. There are breast cancer survivors running, and many along the course cheering us on. It’s just a great event.

On Friday, I posted on facebook that if anyone wanted to volunteer a name, I would be honored to walk in that person’s honor or memory. I got several replies and listed the names on my tag. Some had won their battles with breast cancer, some were in the middle of their battle, and some had lost their battle. The names came from friends all over the country. Most of the names I didn’t know and had never met. But they all shared one thing – somebody loved them enough to share their names with me.

When I got ready to pin my race bib and honor tag onto my shirt in preparation for today’s race, I noticed something. I had 13 names – the exact number of miles that I would be wogging (walking/jogging) today. Was it an accident? I don’t think so. I think it was God’s way of helping me finish this race, since He and I both knew I had not trained for this event.

One of the things you can do in this race is to have a relay team where each team member does a part of the marathon. I now had 13 team members, and I decided that each one would wog a mile with me. Here’s how it went with my imaginary-but-real running partners:

Mile 1 – Michelle was first on the list, so she was going to start the race with me. She is my friend Monica’s sister. Monica is a great person and a lot of fun, so I imagined that Michelle would tell me some funny stories about Monica (which I would have to make up). But instead, Michelle kept her sisterly bond and stayed quiet. The first mile starts with an uphill trek up a big bridge. Michelle and I trudged up that bridge. We looked at the water and the helicopters and talked about how pretty it all was. Soon we had crested the bridge and were headed down. Before we knew it, the first mile marker appeared. We jogged to it, and Michelle dropped off.

Mile 2 – Shirley joined me next. She’s Mari’s mom, and again I was hoping for some good (made-up) stories. But no again, so we talked about Starkville and Mari and Karen and their families and the days of the Band of the Blue and the Gray. We talked about runners passing us and all those timer beeps going off for the runners using Jeff Galloway Training system. We got a drink of water and started jogging toward the next mile marker.

Mile 3 – Leslie Lee picked up the next mile. Since we never met, we just talked about being Mari’s cousin and what that was like. We looked at all the pink in the crowd and the supporters. We didn’t talk much, except when I suggested we jog (and when to walk). It didn’t seem to take long until we had arrived at the next mile.

Mile 4 – Beulah joined me next. Beulah was the only one that I imagined what she was wearing. She had on black running shorts and a pink singlet (she said to get over it, Emily). We walked a bit, and she seemed a little concerned about our pacing, and that we might be last. I assured her that once we got to the off ramp on Butler Boulevard, we would jog down it, and when we passed under the bridge, she would see all those still behind us – and I mean ALL of them. We did both, and she was quite relieved. We also got to see the lead half-marathon runner pass us on his way BACK to the finish – in other words, we had almost done 4 miles with 9 to go, and he had done 9 with 4 to go. Beulah was amazed. We made it to the next mile marker before we knew it.

Mile 5 – Marian was waiting and waited as I stopped to give my sister-in-law Kitty a hug. Kitty (and her four layers of clothes) and Ray had waited in the cold for me to come by. Marian and I turned and started through the beach neighborhood. A couple of times people would yell out, “Go Luanne!” Marian asked me if I knew these people. When I told her my name was on my race bib, she wasn’t so impressed. She was impressed with the people in their yards with their dogs, cheering us on. When we saw the next mile marker, we jogged toward it.

Mile 6 – Edith was going to get a good mile, because part of it would be on the beach. On the way there, we set goals – jog to that palm tree, then walk. Before we knew it, we were headed out to the beach. The waves were lapping, the sun was shining, and it was beautiful. We would pick someone ahead to catch up with, and do it. We looked at the banners on the beach with all the hopes, wishes, and messages of everyone participating in the race. Ahead, we saw the next mile markers, and sprinted (sort of) to it.

Mile 7 – Emily got an important mile, because not only was it still on the beach, but when her mile was done, I would be over half-way finished. The point was to get to that next mile marker. Emily was all bubbly and cheery and smiley as we talked about renewed old friendships and how a breast cancer walk had helped us reconnect. We got to the point where the half-marathoners left the beach and the full marathoners kept going. Emily was disappointed that the others got to continue on the beach, but when I pointed out that they had 19 more miles to go instead of 6, she seemed okay with it. We headed off the beach and soon were jogging toward the next mile marker.

Mile 8 – Eva got a good mile because at the end of her mile, I would only have a handful of miles left. At first I couldn’t remember Eva’s connection (until later when I remembered she is Sarah’s sister). We were back on the beach neighborhood streets, with lots of cheering sections. We saw the drummer on the roof of the hotel and we saw the full marathon leaders breeze past. I told her we needed to jog a bit so I could loosen up a bit, and she went along. We turned the curve just in time to see the next mile marker, and jogged toward it.

Mile 9 –Kathryn joined me next, although a bit unsure of what she was doing. Since she is a bit older, we decided to walk a bit more (nothing to do with my jelly legs or anything). We looked around at the other runners/joggers/walkers. Sometimes we’d pick a person to try to catch, only to discard her and choose another when our first choice started running. We were a little slower, but we kept at it, and soon there we were – at the next mile marker.

Mile 10 – Being a nurse, Susan thought perhaps we should stop and she should check my vitals. I assured her that if we stopped, there would probably be no restarting. Besides, we had to get up the ramp that Beulah and I had so easily jogged down. So Susan and I wogged as the elite marathoners raced past us, and we got up that ramp. Once we were back on the bridge, I pointed out that there were still bunches of people behind us. We looked ahead, and there it was – the next mile marker.

Mile 11 – My Aunt Laura was waiting. I didn’t have to imagine her outfit. She was wearing the same sweats that she wore in the 5K we did for Maribeth’s pre-wedding race. I knew she probably needed to walk more, too, so we did. We set our sights on the man in black who was ahead of us. We’d catch him, then he’d jog off, then we’d catch him again. Playing chase helped, because soon we were at the next mile marker, probably the hardest of the course.

Mile 12 – Faynetta got a tough mile. Not only was it close to the end of the race, but it was uphill on that high bridge that started the race. When we started, we could see the mile marker way off in the distance. I assured Faynetta that we would get there, even if it took us an hour (it didn't). We were well ahead of that 7-hour time limit, and we were going to make it. First we set our eyes on that highway sign, then the yellow truck, and then the start of the bridge. By then we could actually see the mile marker, mileage and all. Since we were going uphill, I told Faynetta that there would be no jogging – we were just going to get there - and we did!

Mile 13 – Nancy got the bad news/good news mile. The bad news was that we were still going uphill. The good news was that once we got to the top, we could jog downhill, around the corner, and the finish would be waiting for us. So we made it up and up and up, until we could see it heading downward. We broke into a slow jog to make up time, and soon were turning the corner. The finish line was in our sights, and we aimed straight for it.

Mile 13.1 – At the last tenth-mile, all my ladies were waiting. We all joined together and jogged that last little bit. As we crossed the finish line, we raised our hands high, because we had finished the race together. But most importantly, we knew that in some way we were also helping to finish breast cancer, too. Thank you ladies, for helping me keep going and finish, and for your courage and fight. You are my inspiration!

Today's blessings: The half marathon and all it entailed

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Report from the 5K

This is me, finishing the 5K. I wasn't second, but I wasn't last. I finished.
Today's blessings: Breast Cancer Weekend 5K with Steve and seeing Donna and Joan Benoit Samuelson; Carrot Cake Pancakes at Original Pancake House with Steve; beautiful day; dinner at JAlexander's with Steve; friendly clerk at the gas station

Friday, February 11, 2011

Number 2

This weekend I am in Jacksonville for The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer weekend. I am planning to do the 5K tomorrow and the half-marathon on Sunday. And no, I haven't been training as I should. However, my lack of training is not what this blog is about.

Today when Steve and I went to the race expo (Steve is doing the 5K also), we went to the 5K table to pick up our numbers. Steve gave the volunteer our names, the volunteer looked up our numbers, and it turned out that my number is 2. **A 2, as in the number coming just after 1.** A 2 is a number that I've never personally known anybody to get, unless he/she has been training in Colorado for the upcoming Olympic trials. People with a 2 on their bib usually weigh about as much as my left leg.

The volunteer suggested that I must have signed up just as soon as I could, which is true. He obviously did not think that I got a 2 because of my lightening speed. I think we all agreed that the numbers were assigned according to when you signed up.

But for a moment, I knew what it was like to be an elite runner. I had a twinge of a feeling that I was the #2 runner, only slightly slower than #1. And frankly, it felt pretty darn cool.
Today's blessings: race expo and giveaways; new Fut Glove shoes; dinner at Kitty's with Kitty, Ray, and Steve; lunch at Barbara Jean's; sunny day

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Aww - Sweet Picture

Just in time for Valentine's Day!!
(and it gives me a blogging break!)
Today's blessings: A terrific night's sleep (and quiet!); breakfast at The Original Pancake House with Steve; snagging a few things while shopping with Steve; sewing time; Carrabba's with Steve and Kitty; nice lunch gesture from bistro lady at hotel; Steve setting up the wireless thingy

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Plan C

Okay, so when we left off yesterday, Steve and Luanne were in Atlanta, waiting for the snow-apocalypse. Of course, things were bound to change ...

Let's rehash: Steve and Luanne were scheduled to fly to Jacksonville on Friday, but Steve had to attend to some bizness on Wednesday in Atlanta. The snow was predicted, so Luanne decided to go with Steve, spend Tuesday and Wednesday night in Atlanta, then they would drive to Jacksonville on Thursday. So, they get to Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon and check into the hotel. This is where things started to change.

First of all, a scant few weeks ago, Steve and Luanne stayed at the J. W. Marriott Marquis in Miami Florida. In Atlanta, they checked into a Marriott hotel that was waaayyy down the Marriott food chain. Sure, there was a flat screen tv, but only one. There was no tv in the bathroom mirror, which was a good thing, since the mirror was barely big enough to see one's face. But since they were going to be there only a short time, they figured it would be okay.

Steve and Luanne had a sandwich at Jason's Deli and returned to the hotel. Steve went to eat Krispey Kreme with George, a family friend, and ended up pepped up on KK sugar, which would prove to be detrimental later in the night. Anyhow, soon it was time for bed, and Steve and Luanne retired for the night.

Their room was on the 7th floor with an excellent city view of downtown Atlanta and Buckhead. However, once the lights were out, Steve and Luanne also realized what else they had - a full-blown audio of Interstate 285 (or 275 or something). It was so loud that one might think they were sleeping in a cardboard box on the interstate median. But Steve and Luanne thought they could sleep through it. Steve and Luanne thought wrong.

Just after midnight, Steve could stand it no longer. As if the sugar high from the Krispey Kreme were not enough to cause hyper-anxiety, the whizzing and rumbling of the traffic on the interstate was combining with the sugar to cause hallucinations. Or something like that. He tried to make it work. He had changed beds with Luanne (two beds were cheaper than getting a king room). He had stuffed Kleenex in his ears. Luanne had even stuffed the extra pillows in the window. Steve had done everything he could think of, so he called down to the desk to ask to change rooms.

Night Manager Clarence was sympathetic, and suggested that Steve close the drapes, which were already closed in order to keep the pillows in the window. Unfortunately, that was Clarence's only suggestion, because the inn was full, as were all the Marriott sister hotels in the vicinity. Clarence and Steve said their goodbyes, and Steve hung up the phone, mumbling among other things, that a hotel change would be in order for Wednesday night. Eventually Steve got to sleep. Much more eventually later, Luanne also got to sleep for a few hours before it was time to get up.

By this morning, not only was Nashville on red alert for the onslaught of snow, but Atlanta was also getting all worked up. Steve and Luanne decided that Steve would get his Atlanta bizness done, and they would be off to Jacksonville - two days ahead of schedule. Steve would need to call to get their room early, and cancel flights and car rentals, but it was all worth it. They avoided the snow and managed to get some new luggage in the process (a trip through Vidalia, Georgia, that shall have to wait for another day).
Today's blessings: Target and IKEA trip; road trip and block game; lunch at Truitts; Tumi store shopping; pictures from Nashville and news that everyone made it home safely; finally arriving in Jacksonville to QUIET room!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Nothing Like A Change In Plans

So here was the plan: Steve was going to drive to Atlanta today for some work-related stuff. He was going to drive back on Thursday, and we were going to fly to Jacksonville on Friday for the 26.2 with Donna Breast Cancer Marathon and Half-Marathon weekend. Simple plan, right?

Steve started hinting that he sure would appreciate some company on the Atlanta trip. Everybody had things to do. Although it was my "off week" from butt camp, I still had breakfast planned with my boot-ies on Thursday.

Then Nashville weather chimed in. Apparently another "weather advisory" was headed our way. Wednesday and Thursday was going to dump 8 inches; no - 2 inches; no - 5 inches of rain; no - sleet and ice; no - well you get the idea. In other words, nobody really knows what is going to come our way - or not come at all.

It really doesn't matter, unless you're trying to get in/out of Nashville, especially from Atlanta. The problem would be for Steve to return if the blizzard came. Sure, I could fly by myself to Jacksonville, but since I travel for $5 if I fly with him, that would mean I would have to change my ticket and meet him at the airport in Jacksonville, where he would have driven from Atlanta.

So, with all this drama (weather and other), I decided at 8:30 this morning to just go to Atlanta with Steve and we would drive to Jacksonville on Thursday. Which meant cancelling flights and booking another hotel room for Thursday night. Oh, and did I mention we were planning to leave Nashville at 11:30? So I had a few hours to pack, get the house in some sort of order, pack up the sewing that I planned to do on Wednesday (what else was I going to do in Atlanta?), and basically get ready to be out of town for six days instead of three.

But I got it done and here I am in Atlanta. Now they're saying Atlanta may get snow on Wednesday night. Maybe a new plan is in the works!
Today's blessings: Getting stuff ready for road trip; travel block game; beautiful weather for road trip; view of downtown Atlanta from hotel room; egg salad sandwich for dinner; cruise booked with Molly (and Maribeth and Mathieu)

Monday, February 7, 2011

More Snow

Today I decided to get out and walk, since I have a half-marathon scheduled for Sunday. The plan was to walk eight miles - very s-l-o-w-l-y. It was strictly a "psychological" walk, just to get my head around doing a half marathon after having not trained properly.

Unfortunately, after only five miles, it started to rain a bit. It was cold, and I made the decision to call for a ride home. Psychologically, getting pneumonia didn't seem like a motivator for the race on Sunday.

It rained for awhile, then turned to snow, and continued to snow for a few hours. We got enough snow to cover the ground and cause great excitement among the local meteorologists - enough for them to cancel Oprah and instead devote the entire hour to the "snow event."

I've seen the pictures from the massive snow that covered Chicago. I've looked in my yard at the snow that warranted preempting Oprah. On the surface, they are not comparable. But maybe that's the point of this story - comparable is relative. Maybe something that looks the same, but isn't, really is - in a way. Snow is snow and can cause problems which are different in different locales. Some places get feet of snow and others get inches - and each causes its own problems wherever it falls.

It really is a small world after all. We all have the same problems - and nobody gets a prize for having the biggest problem.
Today's blessings: Five miles and pickup by Steve; pretty snowfall; getting a few tasks accomplished

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Recap

1. Super Bowl Commercials - mostly mediocre.

2. New movies coming soon to a theater near you will mostly be about aliens and robots and other stuff that is science fiction - at least that's what it seems according to the movie commercials.

3. Half-time show - good. Appeared that everyone sang in real time - no lip synching out of synch.

4. National anthem - just sing it as written, please, Christina.

5. Famous people watching the game from the famous people box - George and Laura, A Rod and Cameron, Condoleezza, John Travolta, just to name a few

6. No cheerleaders in "are you kidding me" outfits. For either team. Now that's worth cheering about!

7. Lots of usual football stuff - passes, penalties, kicks, tackles, touchdowns, blah, blah, blah.

8. Color theme of the game - yellow. Both teams wore yellow pants. Rather monochromatic.

9. Several players had long (and I mean long) hair pouring out of their helmets. All I could think of was how smelly and tangled it must be by the end of the game.

10. Oh, and my team won - GO PACKERS!!!
Today's blessings: Lunch with the family at Mere Bulles; an hour with Jena at Massage Envy; Ruby Tuesday takeout with Maribeth and Steve; watching the Super Bowl

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Are. You. Kidding. Me?

According to my calculations, that's one a day.
Sort of puts me in my place when I lack the motivation
to get out and walk around the neighborhood!
Today's blessings: Hanging with the family; lunch via Maribeth and Molly and dinner via Steve; making plans to get together with Emily and Jeanne; cleaning house a teeny weeny bit

Friday, February 4, 2011

Whaddaya Mean - It's February?

By all accounts (mostly mine), I should be tossing all my current clothing to make room for the new, smaller-sized clothing that I would be so desperately needing - IF I HAD LOST THE WEIGHT I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE LOST SINCE JANUARY 1!!!! Needless to say (which I will say anyway), The Great January Weight Loss didn't happen.

There are many reasons for this lack of accomplishment. I did finish two 5K races (okay, so "race" may be a bit of a stretch). I also attended butt camp quasi-religiously and did my best (recognizing that "best" is a relative term). I even got out in the neighborhood to "train" for my upcoming "races." So let's just go with the theory that the exercise portion of my efforts was adequate.

We are therefore left with the obvious conclusion that there are nefarious culprits that are undermining my success. To that end, I would like to name those offenders, in hopes of executing a citizen's arrest, thus placing them in jail. These are the Top Three Do-Badders:

1. Little Debbie - I think she is the kingpin of this whole non-weight-loss conspiracy. She is a major supplier of her yummy treats, yet poses as some precious, innocent little girl. I mean, look at that smile - pure evil!! She must be stopped from pushing her creme-filled tasty delights.

2. The Keebler Elves and their sugar-house where they make things like Grasshopper Mint Cookies. I think they are the dwarfs to Little Debbie's Snow White. They are followers, part of her posse, and are equally intent on thwarting my good intentions of reducing my tush.

3. Peanut M&M Dude. He also keeps coming up with new pals, like Pretzel M&M, to add to Almond M&M, Plain M&M, Dark M&M - they're trying to take over the world - at least mine, anyway. They must be stopped - and apparently my plan of eating them in order to get rid of them isn't working.

Of course, there are many other co-conspirators in this group. There's Weight Watchers (what do you mean, I'M supposed to watch MY weight - I thought there'd be a person who did that for me); there are the voices in my head who tell me start over tomorrow which seems to never come because tomorrow becomes today and then the voices tell me tomorrow hasn't arrived; there's the diet people who tell me to eat a certain food but then the next diet person says that certain food is terrible and I need to eat this other food which is terrible according to the next diet person; there's - well I hope you got the idea.

I guess I shall have to get firm with these villains and run them out of town. I shall have to use some of my barely-toned muscles from butt camp and kick their sugary sweet butts out the door. I shall have to let them know there's a new sheriff in town, and its me. Think they'll be skeered if I shake my shake weight at them?
Today's blessings: Last day of butt camp (for a week) with shirt and picture; cleaning up house a teensy bit; Molly bringing lunch; Maribeth helping with furniture delivery to Sam; visit with Rambo and Molly; telephone chat with Marilyn

Thursday, February 3, 2011

In Lieu of a Blog Post ...

... you get a visual of the only thing I can think of at the moment.

Much better than a lame blog post, don't you think?
Today's blessings: Basketball at butt camp; moving Sam's, Lynnette's, and Lindley's stuff back to their house; going with Karen B to Karen P's jewelry party; Logan's takeout for lunch with Maribeth

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

It's Groundhog Day. Other that watching the Bill Murray movie, I haven't paid much attention. I don't know if the groundhog saw his/her shadow or not. And I'm not totally sure that if he/she saw its shadow, if it means more winter or an early spring. Since the local forecasters usually high-five each other if they get a forecast correct, I see little value in asking a rodent about the upcoming seasonal weather. In fact, I don't even know what a groundhog is. If you need such information, go here.

I do think the groundhog has the right idea. I mean, there are days that when I get up and look in the mirror and see my reflection, it scares me enough to make me want to go back and burrow in my bed for the next six weeks. In fact, I think I'll go get started now ...
Today's blessings: Hump day butt camp; beautiful cold day; crock pot chili with the family and Plates; picking up Lindley at day care; running errands with Steve and Kroger Starbucks

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Number Two

What's the second most important thing that my life cannot do without? It's my family - all of them from sister to brother to husband to children (and grand) to in-laws of every kind. Without them, my life is a solo act. With them, we are an ensemble - sometimes we make beautiful music together, and sometimes it's a cacophony of differing tastes, opinions, voices, and lives. But we're family and somehow it all works together.
Today's blessings: back to butt camp; closing on Molly's house; picking up Lindley from day care with Steve and Molly; 5 miles in the neighborhood