Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Slacker Saturday

Once upon a warm Saturday early morning in Nashville, five butt camp buds met up for a little 13.1 mile get-together. Two ran in front, one ran with her mom in the middle, and the remaining two brought up the rear. Why did they attempt such a feat? I can only surmise the following:

1. Somebody thought it was a good idea last winter, when it was freezing in Nashville and we were stuck inside a lot.

2. One had never done a half-marathon before and didn't know any better, and the other four didn't want to shatter her innocent little bubble.

3. The truly athletic ones in the group thought it would be "fun" and the other ones in the group didn't have enough sense to know better.

4. Apparently there was nothing better on which to spend our money on the day we entered.

5. We were going to "train". We were wrong.

6. It seemed like a saner idea than the other race we're entering. We're probably wrong on that one, too.

7. We got all verklempt when Karen painted a picture and said she'd have it put on matching shirts. I think we're a cult now.

8. Gu, Gatorade, and Tylenol are our favorite Saturday morning breakfast foods.

9. Somebody said a half-marathon was just a boot camp 7-minute run. If you did it 25 times or so. We were too excited about getting matching shirts that we missed the second part.

10. We'll do just about anything to get together!
Today's blessings: CMM Half with Karen P, Karen B, Gloria, Kelsey, and Jodi; oranges, bananas, and peanut butter crackers on Belmont Blvd; Mile 10 sign; Karen B being my wogging partner; seeing Selma, Rodney, and Natalie at the porta-potties before the race; seeing Steve along the course; afternoon with the family; Maribeth and Molly bringing lunch; Steve's pork chops and pasta dinner

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday at the Expo

Today, after getting up way too early to watch William and Catherine get married (after staying up way too late to watch William and Catherine prepare to get married), I worked a shift at the Country Music Marathon Expo. It was probably not the time for sleep deprivation, especially since I am wogging the Country Music Half Marathon tomorrow.

I worked the registration table where I gave out race bibs to the runners. I usually work in the big numbers (30,000 and up) because these runners are usually the most fun to meet. Runners with these numbers usually have one goal in mind: finish without requiring a visit to the ER. Of course, there are exceptions - those who entered the wrong finish time on their entry form and actually should be in a faster corral. For those runners, I give them their bibs and quickly direct them to the corral change station.

For the rest of the runners I meet, I get to commiserate and encourage. For many, this is their first half-marathon. They're a bit nervous and unsure. One lady today was excited, even though she said she hasn't trained a single bit (my kind of gal). I assured her that if she walked at a good pace, kept putting one foot in front of the other, and just kept going, that she would finish before she got swept.

There is a group of fast runners out in the running community that do not like us "back of the packers." They feel like we turtles hurt the sport and make a mockery out of their achievements. I have yet to trample on an elite runner's finish time, or prevent someone from winning, or cause someone not to achieve his or her personal best. In fact, the only people I do inconvenience are the volunteers that man the water stations and finish line. But I have yet to hear a single complaint from a volunteer. Sure, we may be slow, but our finish is as monumental to us as the winner's is to him/her.

Today was a day to spend with my wogging peeps and remember why I continue to do half marathons. I met friends and families who are planning to do the race together, I met people who continue to do this race year after year even though they don't get any faster, and I met people who are in they same physical shape as I am and still push those limits to finish the 13.1 miles. I met people who are running for a cause and people who are running to prove something to themselves. I met people of all shapes, colors, ages, and abilities. But every person I met is an athlete because he or she has the courage to take that first step to do something significant.

Tomorrow we'll gather at the back of the pack and wait our turn to cross the start line. Several hours later, we'll cross the finish line and receive our finisher's medal. And in our own personal race, the only one that matters to us, we will have won.
Today's blessings: Watching the royal wedding - hats, William, Kate, and all the rest; volunteer dude who worked with me; getting bibs under special circumstances; meeting fellow woggers; sweet note from Emily

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yep, I'm Getting Up Early For It

At least I haven't brought a Bradford Exchange plate. Yet...
Today's blessings: Spending the day with Lindley; moving stuff to Maribeth's; Maribeth's new washer/dryer delivery

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In Case I Didn't Get It ...

Back in my teaching days, the ideal teacher taught her lesson, then retaught it for those students who didn't get it the first time. In my classroom, I had to reteach several times for my students who needed the extra time to finally "get it." Sometimes I found those students a bit irritating. Payback sucks.

Today I thought I would be excused from butt camp due to the stormy weather that was going on in Nashville. No such luck - God decided to part the heavenly waters so that I could get to camp safely. He was reteaching me yesterday's lesson - that two weeks off, sitting around and doing nothing more aerobic than feeding my face, makes Luanne wimpy and weak.

I get it. I also hate it, not just because it's hard to get back to where I need to be, but because I know what's its like to be where I need to be. It's like going to summer school to make up the work you missed by skipping/sleeping during/not listening during class - it's not fun, but it gets you back on track.

One day I'll be back on the honor roll - hopefully never to fall behind again!
Today's blessings: God's break in the weather so I can make it to butt camp; picking up Lindley at day care; Lindley feeding M&Ms to Maribeth; electric dude at Maribeth's and young electric dude who drilled the dryer vent; Las Palmas with the Ms

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lesson Learned?

Yesterday I skipped butt camp because I was still getting over a weekend bout with a cold/sniffles/sneezes/allergies. I didn't figure my dripping sinuses would be very appealing for my fellow boot-ies.

Today I made it back, although I was going to have to leave class early to take Steve to the airport. But even in that 45 minutes, I learned the same lesson I learn every first day of a new session - DO SOMETHING MORE DURING THE OFF WEEK THAN SIT ON YOUR ALREADY AMPLE-ENOUGH FANNY!!!

In other words, everything seemed hard today. The cruise pounds certainly didn't help. But the worst is that part of me that should be learning that lesson is the part that constantly said, "Take today off - you'll run/workout/swim/exercise tomorrow." Unfortunately tomorrow always became today, and I made the same promise for tomorrow.

Every first day I learn the same lesson. But apparently the part that hears that lesson is a slow learner. It's the same part of me that eats unwisely. And it's that same part that can't believe that I'm not in better (or smaller) shape. Go figure.

Maybe this time will be different. There's a part of me that is always hopeful. Maybe if that part will listen to the lesson, the slow learner part will follow suit. I just have to get all the parts together.
Today's blessings: clean den and taking MB's stuff to her house; electrician dude; lunch at MB's; CPK dinner with Maribeth and Molly

Monday, April 25, 2011

To Do or Not To Do?

For the past few days, I have been researching different excursions that Molly and I could undertake during our cruise in Alaska. Totally off the radar are anything having to do with float planes, high suspension bridges, railroads that travel on hairpin turns, and zip lines. I am a big chicken. We have booked a whale watching tour. However, there are a few others that I have my Chicken Little eye on.

The ones I am considering involve riding in a modified dog sled and cuddling puppies, hiking in a rainforest, paddling down a river in a canoe, riding a bike hither and yon, and various other activities involving totem poles, panning for gold, and lumberjack shows.

So the question is, how adventurous do I want to be? I've ridden a bike. Once or twice. Will I be able to ride one down a mountain - without great bodily injury? Will I make it down the hill before the ship leaves? Do you think they will have one of those adult trikes with the basket in back?

I hiked in a rainforest in St. Maarten (or St. John - I forgot which side of the island we were on). I spent most of the time looking at my feet so I wouldn't slip on the slippery rocks/crevices/big exposed roots on the path. Is there any reason to think rainforest trails might be better traveled in Alaska?

I like puppies. But will their adult counterparts be able to lug me for a little ride? Can one get dogsled-sick? Should I take a Dramamine first?

Dare I get in a canoe? In Alaska water? I rode in a canoe once at Disney World. It was in the early seventies and you had to row your own canoe. Needless to say, it closed - I certainly never had another desire to row in the Florida sun. Anyhoo, do I really want to row my own canoe in Alaska?

I would like to find a big ole chunk of gold, but with my luck, I think my chances are pretty slim. And I wonder if the lumberjack show could possibly be as interesting as the Mexican dancer show Marilyn and I watched where one of the dudes was slung around on a string.

I guess the bottom line is how adventurous do I want to be? Or maybe, how adventurous is Molly?
Today's blessings: Lindley afternoon time; dinner ala Molly and Maribeth

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Easter - a season of hope, of love, and the certainty of eternal life.
And sometimes, if you're lucky,
a granddaughter and a basket of eggs.
Today's blessings: the Love of God through Jesus Christ; spending the morning with family

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today's Mathematical Equation

(This would be me)


(This would represent me moving Maribeth's stuff)


(This would be me passed out in bed!)

Today's blessings: Plumber dude; Maribeth's new house pipes; afternoon time with Lindley and Lynnette; potato soup from Panera; Steve furnishing dinner with Molly and Maribeth on her patio; Krogering with Molly

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Demise of Davidson Moving

Today Maribeth was able to take possession of her new (to her) house. It also meant that it was time to move all her stuff out of my house to her house. I will also say that it is the last move of the Davidson Moving Company.

First of all, we rented a U-Haul van. Why a van and not a truck? Because it is easier to load a van (lower to the ground) and the van is 59 cents a mile instead of the 99 cents a mile that the truck costs. I am cheap, not to mention old and weak. So, armed with the van, we returned to my house and began loading. Several loads later, Maribeth had a substantial number of pieces of furniture. Then came the good part.

See, Maribeth has been furnishing her new home from the House of Craigslist. Sure, it fits right in with Earth Day, you know recycling other people's crap and all. However, it has also taken us (that's right - US) into several sketchy areas of town, almost always at night. I am usually the driver, and Maribeth is the navigator.

Well, after one of our furniture loads, Maribeth asks if we can keep the van for longer than the 6pm deadline. I can sense that this is not going to have a good outcome, and I ask why. As it turns out, she needs to go pick up a sofa, armoire, and TV from one of her Craigslist connections. I agree to accompany her - oh, but since the TV will need it's own personal chauffeur, apparently I am going to take the van, and she will drive her car. Oh, and it's in Kingston Springs, 30 minutes away.

So, I call UHaul and tell them I will be returning the van at 9pm instead of 6. I'm thinking we'll just pop the furniture in the van, the TV in Maribeth's Jeep, and be done. I thought wrong.

First of all, I had never been to Kingston Springs. It is quite a lovely place, but it sure is up in them thar hills. I drove twisty and turny and up and up to get to the house in question. By the way, I will never ask why Nashville Metro schools are out for a snow day when it is clear in my neighborhood. I was spooked about the hillly twistys in the dry spring - I cannot imagine it in the wintery ice.

Anyhoo, we eventually get to the seller's home. He has a lovely home on a hill. He also has a gravel driveway that will lead me off a cliff, if my brakes don't work. I park and hope for the best and get out to meet Dude (who came out from the house to help me park in the gravel driveway).

Maribeth arrives and we go in to look at the furniture. Apparently Dude is getting divorced and selling off his/her/their furniture. The couch is a leather COUCH, not love seat. It is heavy because it was made with heavy wood. But it is not as heavy as the armoire, which was made with really heavy wood. Oh, and it has about ninety-eleven drawers in it. But then we see the TV, which is a 60-inch TV. Apparently Maribeth knew all this, but in my moving haze, I did not realize the dimensions. Anyhoo, Dude has custody of his kids, Jr Dude and Cutie Pie, for the weekend. He also has a bunch of other furniture that they show us, but Maribeth decides to stick with the heavy sofa, heavier armoire, and humongous TV. And I have a UHaul cargo van.

Dude (who is, by the way, wearing cargo jorts - which I can talk about because I was equally fashionably dressed in my shorts that I usually sleep in, a t-shirt that had remnants of my McD's lunch that I spilled on it, and red/green Santa socks), decided that we delicate flowers will be unable to load the two-tons of furniture onto the van/Jeep, so he calls his friend down the road (or up the hill) to come help.

To make a long story short, through a series of maneuvers, including but not limited to: spinning tires in the gravel, measuring, taking out the ninety-eleven drawers, heaving and lifting, pushing and shoving, and a lot of sweating, the armoire was put in the van, the couch flipped on top of the armoire, and the TV wedged in there somewhere. We eventually made it back to Maribeth's home and unloaded the stuff - all by our little selves.

Now that each child has a home of their own, I am retiring from the moving business. So if you have a new house that you're moving to, congratulations and good luck. Just don't call me until you're all moved in!
Today's blessings: moving furniture with Maribeth and Molly; nice dudes in Kingston Springs

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What I Booked Today and Why

1. There were staterooms available at a cheaper price (although I think I may be on the housekeeping staff).

2. I'll be in San Francisco the weekend before, and it's not far from San Fran to Vancouver (well, it's closer than Nashville to Vancouver).

3. It's on Molly's birthday and usually when I cruise on her birthday, it's not with her, so she's going, too (so maybe this will help her get over that trauma - really, I'm doing it for Molly).

4. On this cruise, I will achieve platinum status, and that will make me platinum for the June cruise with Marilyn (and I'm doing it for Marilyn, really).

5. Lynnette will have shortened hours that week, so I won't be needed for Lindley pickup at day care (and I'm doing it for Lynnette, really).

6. I've never been to Alaska, and I want to further my knowledge of these great United States (I'm doing it for the educational value, really).

7. Everybody gets tired of talking about how pretty and smart and talented and athletic I am, so now they can talk about my cruise-ability (it's for my fans, really).

8. I haven't been on the Wonder for awhile, and the staff was feeling neglected (it's for the staff of the Wonder, really).

9. The Disney Fantasy won't be ready to sail until next year (and yes, I already have a reservation for a cruise on that one).

10. I just plumb ain't got no better sense!
Today's blessings: Pinkberry with Lindley

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hockey Fanaticnot

I am watching hockey on television. There are any number of things I would probably prefer to watch. But instead I am watching hockey, because Nashville is playing in the playoffs (I know this because it is etched into or under the ice). I didn't start watching until the third period and I don't really know any of the names of the important players. I'm just trying to concentrate and remember which color jersey belongs to the Nashville Predators.

I know very little about the game of hockey. I understand that the goal is to get the puck into the net. That would be the extent of my knowledge. I don't know why there are three periods. It seems a bit uneven.

I also know that it is a bit violent. Players fall down a lot. There's a lot of pushing and shoving and whacking up side the head with their hockey sticks. Much of it is allowed - but I don't know what constitutes normal play and what results in being sent to the penalty box.

There are also a lot of terms, like power play, that I don't get. Possibly because I haven't paid attention when someone explains it to me. Tonight I heard the announcer mention "off sides," which I understood in soccer, but I'm not sure if it's the same thing in hockey.

I'm sure there are "plays" in hockey. But to me, it looks like, "Hit it over here and I'll hit it over there, and maybe somebody will be close enough to hit it in the net." It all seems to go pretty fast, which seems difficult to do anything else.

So why am I watching hockey? Other than the home team thing, I guess it's because even I don't really understand it all, it is quite interesting to watch. And don't try to explain it to me, because I don't really give a puck. I just hope Nashville wins, because the hockey fans here really love the Preds and deserve for the team to go all the way.

To the Stanley Cup. Wherever that is ...
Today's blessings: Breakfast at Fido's with my butt camp buds; closing on Maribeth's house; McDonald's order mixup; afternoon with Lindley; chasing down Rambo; chatting with Bill Cox (not that one, Marilyn) about projects at Molly's; possible cruise planning with Molly; picking up bed with Maribeth

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Progress - Sort of ...

Today I actually got the dirty clothes out of suitcase #1 and managed to run them through the laundry. The clean clothes in suitcase #2 are still there, and will need a few bottles of Downy Wrinkle Releaser before they can be returned to the closet/drawers. As for the other assorted paraphernalia associated with my cruise packing, those things may stay in the floor until I have need of them (like the Rolaids Steve needed this morning).

It's not like I've spent the past few days cleaning my house, or planting a garden, or hooking a rug. It's not like I've just been too busy to unpack the clothes and give 'em a wash. In fact, last night I just lay on the couch well after everyone else went to bed. I just needed a little quiet time.

It's been one of those days where I wish that I had accomplished more. I wish I'd cleaned more, or eaten less, or wogged a little, but I didn't. I guess I could get depressed and go eat out the refrigerator, but I saw a quote on Spark People that put everything in perspective:
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson-
Some days it's not what you didn't do that matters - it's what you did do. And as long as I did do something, it's been a good day.
Today's blessings: Laundry finished; Lindley time; Matt the landscaper doing sprinkler work; picking up the Brio table with Maribeth

Monday, April 18, 2011

Post-Vacation, Day Two

Tomorrow I will unpack - really...
Today's blessings: Chatting with Betty; Mathieu's good report from eye doctor; afternoon time with Lindley; successful assembly of new filing cabinet; clean Sequoia

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Vacation Vacation

If the success of a vacation can be measured by the tiredness the day after you return from vacation, then I must have had a humdinger of a time!!

Today's blessings: Sonic runs; swingsets in Dickson; Lindley time; buying bricks at Home Depot to contain Rambo; facebooking with my boot-ies

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Last Week Vs. This Week

Last week I was on a cruise ship, eating anything and everything that was available (and that was plenty and plenty more). In fact, before we left the dock, I watched the workers use forklifts to deliver and load stacks and stacks of ingredients that would be used to make all those delicious caloric treats I stuffed into my already overstuffed cheeks (of both kinds). When we arrived back at our home port, the same forklift was used to get me off the ship and back into my car for the ride home.

So the only question that remains is this - will one week be enough to undo all that I did last week? Let's hope so, because there is only so much elastic in the world that can be used in stretchy clothing!
Today's blessings: safe road trip home with Steve, Maribeth, Mathieu, and Molly; seeing Rambo in the neighbor's yard as we were driving up to Molly's house; seeing Sylvester one last time at breakfast

Friday, April 15, 2011

Where I Spent Today ...

Yeah - back to reality tomorrow!!
Today's Blessings: A beautiful day at Castaway Cay with Steve, Maribeth, Mathieu, and Molly

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Same Song, Another Day

I think I have perfected my cruise pattern - eat, sleep, eat some more, watch a movie, eat some more. I would tell you what my cruise plan was before i boarded the ship, but I'm afraid you would laugh so hard you might bust a button. Let's just say it involved a lot of exercise and a lot of moderation in eating. I think I got the two mixed up.

Tomorrow is our last day, and will be spent on Castaway Cay. Where there will be a cookout. I would tell you more, but the midnight buffet will be opening soon, and Molly wants to go. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!
Today's blessings: Watching "Gnomeo and Juliet" in 3D; playing trivia with Steve, Molly, Maribeth, and Mathiieu; hearing Alicia's stories at dinner

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Question Is - What Weighs More?

Me, or the Disney Magic ship? After my intake of edibles today, the race is one to see which one of us is going to be over the weight limit.

Wonder if Mickey will let me borrow a pair of his sweat pants to wear home ....
Today's blessings: Beautiful day in St. Thomas; watching Make It or Break It with Molly; Alicia and Jackson at dinner; Jessie vinyl score

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

And Down The Mountain I Went

Today Maribeth and I ventured from the ship to do an "excursion." I hadn't been on one since Marilyn and I decided to tour a port in Mexico and ended up eating lunch in somebody's redecorated hen house.

Anyhow, Maribeth picked for us to go on a "hike in the rainforest." I envisioned a pleasant stroll through a picturesque landscape. I envisioned wrong.

The first part was swell. We boarded a new bus and traveled through the 3-inch wide streets to get to our destination - something having to do with a sugar cane plantation that was private property that was being turned into a rain forest. Once there, we were given instructions. First we had to pick our "stick" which would be our walking stick. Next we had to board our "bus" which consisted of benches and rope sides. We then had a vertical climb - about a gillion miles - to our starting point, the top of some mountain.

Our pleasant stroll consisted of going down the mountain via a "path." Said path consisted of rocks, roots, and all sorts of flora and fauna, one of which would sting you worse than a jellyfish, unless somebody peed on you. Good to know. If I hadn't been looking so hard at my feet so I wouldn't trip/slip/fall on the rocks/roots/flora/fauna, I would have been looking for the prickly plant, or at least drinking enough water so I would have plenty of remedy should I get bit by the prickly plant.

Anyhow, our little band of hikers finally managed to get down the mountain - me with my ankle braces, the lawyer girl with the leg brace, the granny with the knee braces, and the rest of the crew. Once at the bottom of the mountain, we were given fruit juice and led to the "facilities." You had a choice between "Sitters" or "Standers," based on your urination habits. I chose to wait until I returned to my stateroom.

Tomorrow we have no excursion planned. Thank goodness - I didn't want to have to preserve my tinkle for another day.
Today's blessings: Hiking with Maribeth; Palo with Steve, Molly, Maribeth, Mathieu, and Sylvester

Monday, April 11, 2011

Even Yummy Can Be Too Much!

Today was about food, and too much of it. So now I am on my bed, hoping all that I have eaten today will hurry up and digest. In other words, my impending food coma is preventing me from my usual brilliant blog post.

See you tomorrow!


Today's blessings: Palo brunch with Molly and renewing friendship with Sylvester; massage and reflexology with Allison; Bingo and trivia with Molly and Steve; Animator's Palate dinner with Steve, Molly, Maribeth, and Mathieu

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday On The Magic

After yesterday’s spectacular haul of “free stuff,” today will be totally anticlimactic. So as to not prolong your disappointment, here’s a brief recap of our day:

After breakfast at Topsiders, I decided to go to the DVC Member meeting (if you don’t know what a DVC Member is, ask a cast member the next time you go to Disney World. If you are buying into DVC, please mention my name so I get some more free stuff). At the meeting, I got free mimosas (just as quickly as I could swig one down, Fernando or Ingrid would quickly whisk the empty glass away and replace it with a full one). Molly smelled the offer of free drinks and joined me. We also received free DVC Member hats, a keychain, a tote bag, and a backpack, and a chat about how wonderful DVC is, to which all the mimosa-filled attendees agreed.

Molly and I wandered back to our room to deposit our goods, and decided that we needed some food to soak up the mimosas, so we had some pizza, which ended up being the appetizer to our lunch, which was an Asian buffet. We should have stopped at the pizza. Maribeth joined us for lunch, but left quickly after lunch, so Molly and I decided to play TV theme song trivia. And we won!! Never mind that there were only 4 teams (a total of 7 people) playing. Chance, our emcee, said the prizes he had were lame (which we found out later), so he took our names and stateroom number, and said he would deliver our prizes to our room. We ended up getting two Disney Cruise Line hats ($20 value each). We scored!

Next Molly and I decided to visit the Rainforest Room, which is basically a room with heated chairs, various forms of saunas (which were explained during the tour of the spa, but we weren’t really paying attention, so we don’t know which sauna was what), and various shower aromatherapy showers. First we went into Sauna One, where Molly walked in, declared that she couldn’t breathe in it, and left. So we went into Sauna Three, which was much more breathable, so we don’t know if it was working. We tried Sauna Two, which Molly could stand for 30 seconds, which was 25 more than Sauna One. We tried several of the showers, but we also weren’t paying attention when we were given directions on their use, so that also proved quite interesting. In other words, it was an episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies Go To The Sauna.” The best part was when Molly was trying to determine if the lady next to her on the heated chair was sleeping, or perhaps dead. Luckily, the lady woke up before Molly went for help.

Anyhow, we cleaned up and went to Disney trivia, where Steve and Maribeth’s team beat out all the other teams to win. The other teams consisted of one – me and Molly. Steve and Maribeth were awarded the prizes Chance had determined were lame – and they were. A keychain. Certainly not as worthy as a Disney cruise hat. Or even a chewed piece of gum or panty liner.

We finished the day with free drinks at the Captain’s Reception. We tried one last Disney music trivia game and lost, mainly because there was a much larger crowd participating, and the fact that we didn’t know any of the music or movies or bonus questions.

Tomorrow we are at sea again, so who knows what is in store for us. We haven’t played Bingo yet, so maybe we’ll get a really good prize then!


Today's blessings: Winning at trivia with Molly; Rainforest room; dinner chat with Alicia

Saturday, April 9, 2011

On The Ship - Day One

Tonight a brief update, since our dinner hour is at 8:15 and the first night I stuff myself into a food coma, which gives me about 15 minutes until my eyelids give up and I pass out from the lemon meringue pie. Anyhoo, today is simply another Davidson Vacation Day.

We managed to get to the ship without mishap, unless you include the Sunpass in the car, which was binging three times in succession, which meant either our balance was low (it wasn’t, as evidenced by the online balance), it needed a new battery (which we replaced), or some other unknown reason (which is the most likely for our family). I won’t even try to explain why my family should need a Florida Sunpass for the toll rolls since said pass wouldn’t work in Tennessee, even if there were tolls roads. Let’s just say it’s something we have and leave it at that. Anyhow, after the second three-beep toll, Steve decided to relocate the Sunpass, and we only got one beep, the singular beep of choice, upon our next pass of the toll booth.

Soon we were at the port and somehow managed to park the car, unload our bags, check in, and eventually board the ship without incident. Once we were all onboard and had made shore excursions, dining reservations, and spa treatments, we basically were left to wander about on our own.

At some point, Molly, Maribeth, and I were sitting at a table and decided to partake in the “Drink of the Day.” It really didn’t matter what was in the drink (an opinion we would quickly change) – we knew three things – it had alcohol in it, it has some cutesy name, and it sure looked pretty. So when Brigitta went past, we signaled for her to bring one over. Yes, we may imbibe, but we are also cheap. We were going to share, which we did. I was downing the last sip and just happened to look underneath the glass at the bottom. This is where I saw a small green lump underneath the ice. Upon further inspection, we determined that the small green lump was a chewed piece of gum. We inspected some more and found the gum to be pretty much frozen solid, although that did little to assuage our feelings about drinking a drink a drink with somebody’s chewed gum in the bottom. We could not find Brigitta, so we summoned Consuela, Brigitta’s sister in service, and told her our story. She fished the offending gum out from the ice and asked us if we wanted to speak to someone about it. Because we are fairly simpletons, we asked for an extra drink, and she gave us two. I think we came out ahead …

Anyhoo again, one would think that would be the end of our Davidson Family Travel stories. But then one would be wrong. Tonight during our food fest at dinner, during the rousing rendition of “Ole, Ole – Hot, Hot, Hot” (like I know the title) led by our servers, Molly (who refused to get up and dance around the dining room) got pulled by our server around the room. In her chair. One would think that would teach Molly a lesson about participation. It probably didn’t, but Molly was going to get one last shot.

Tonight as she was getting into her Murphy bed, she pulled back the sheets to find an unused (we assume) panty liner – a thong one (because if you have to find a panty liner in your bed, wouldn’t you want it to be a thong liner? Yeah, me either).

And to think – it’s only Day One!!

Today’s blessings: Disney cruising with Steve, Maribeth, Mathieu, and Molly and the incidents

Friday, April 8, 2011

Let the Davidson Disney Vacation Begin!!

I am at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. Let me explain why.

Last October, Maribeth married Mathieu. In November, Mathieu was deployed with his National Guard unit to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for a year. In January or so, Maribeth decided that when Mathieu was on leave, that perhaps a cruise would be a relaxing way to spend his time back in the States. So, she waited until the Disney Magic was offering discounted rates for the military.

In the interim, Maribeth finds out that she can go to Cuba to visit Mathieu. The next thing is that the military rates came out, so Maribeth books a cruise for her and Mathieu. While telling me about it, she said that she could get up to three rooms at that rate, so what's a mother to do? I told her to book me and Molly a room, also. A little later, Steve says he will go, too, so he got added to the mix.

So, Maribeth goes to Cuba a few weeks before the cruise date. She gets back on Saturday, April 2, and the cruise is to leave Saturday, April 9. Actually, she gets back on Sunday, April 3, because her flight from Cuba to Jacksonville to Baltimore was late, so she missed her flight to Nashville and had to spend the night in Baltimore. Mathieu is scheduled to get back on Tuesday, April 5, which he does.

Did I mention that on Thursday, Mathieu was scheduled for a lasik consult, with possible surgery on Friday (the day before the cruise)?

Anyhoo, meanwhile, we have a reservation at the Marriott close to the port for a two-bedroom suite. We planned to stay there because of the free parking for the cruise and we could all stay together. I think free breakfast was included and a ride to the port.

Well, Mathieu's consult went favorable, so surgery was scheduled for Friday. We were going to drive down, since the cruise was pretty much last-minute, and flights were pretty expensive for the five of us, plus a ride to the port. So the plan was to leave Nashville at the crack of dawn on Friday and drive to the Marriott.

Only, Mathieu's surgery will probably require a few hours of recuperation, so that would put us leaving around noonish. Which would put us in Atlanta rush hour traffic. And get us to the Marriott at who knows when.

So, Thursday night we decide that Molly, Steve, and I will proceed with Plan #1 and leave at the crack. Mathieu will get his eyes done, and then he and Maribeth will fly down on the 5 pm-ish flight. All is set - until Maribeth says that their flight is already going to be 90 minutes late and Mathieu isn't feeling so great, so they may fly down on Saturday morning. But we will be at the port on Saturday morning, and M&M will need a ride from Orlando.

To make a long story short, calls and texts go back and forth on the roade from South Georgia to North Florida as plans gets changed back and forth. And Maribeth and Mathieu decide and redecide about when to fly down. Meanwhile, we decide to spend the night in Orlando and pick them up, whenever they choose to fly. Molly is in the back seat with the iPad, making new reservations and cancelling the other, which is why I am at the Dolphin. And Maribeth and Mathieu have landed in Orlando, where Steve is waiting to pick them up and bring them here, instead of trying to Priceline them a hotel near the airport, which I think was Plan #263-A.

Welcome to Davidson Family Travel!!
Today's blessings: Davidson travel plans #1-425; Truett's with Molly and Steve; state capitals game

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What to Pack

Tomorrow we are leaving for a week-long cruise. Most people would spend a little time purchasing cute outfits for their vacation. Me - not so much. I just try to find my own clothes that (a) match, and (b) I can fit in to with busting a seam. To find both is quite a feat. Earlier this week I ordered some shirts - which may or may not come in tomorrow. In other words, I'm not going to get the award for best dressed cruiser.

But that's okay. My goal on this cruise is simple - do as little as possible. I think I have the perfect outfit for that. It is okay to wear pajamas 24/7, don't you think?
Today's blessings: Thursday butt camp; picking up the house a bit; Steve's Bubba Burgers with the family

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

By the Numbers

Yesterday I learned about Gladys, the 92-year-old woman who is the oldest woman who has finished a marathon. It caused me to wonder if at 92, I would be willing to even try a marathon. I won't know until I get there, but I do hope I'll at least give it a shot.

I'm not a runner, by any stretch of the imagination. I wog (walking/jogging), and even do that at a slow pace. I have dreams of stepping up to jogging, but I'm going to have to get a little more dedicated before that dream comes to fruition.

Today I had a chance to look at what I have done in my wogging career. I've scrapbooked all the races I've completed. However, I've gotten slack, and in fact have been about a year behind. Today I took the time to get caught up. While these scrapbook pages may be nothing to brag about in terms of presentation, they are a visual recording of past experiences.

I also caught up my my race list that lists races, dates, distances, places, and paces. Here's what that list told me:

My first race was in June of 2000. It was a 10-mile race out in the country. I was using it as a training run for a marathon that I was going to do that fall. My niece did it with me, and we were pretty much last. One little boy who was passing out water told us, "You're going to have to run if you want to win." It didn't help. By the time we got to the finish line (this was after the firetruck signalling the last runners had given up and passed us), the race organizers were taking the finish line up, and we had to ask someone where the finish line was. But we finished, and that was the start of my wogging career.

Since then, I've done the following: 56 5Ks, 33 half-marathons, 12 full-marathons, 3 13Ks, 4 10Ks, 5 5-milers, 3 15Ks, and single races of 2.3 miles, 12K, and 2.5 miles. There have been some really slow races, and some that have only been moderately slow. There have been some that I didn't get an official time because they took up the timing mats, but I finished and got my medal. There have been races in the boiling hot sun and in a cold sleeting rain. There have been hilly races and flat races and a combination of both. Some days I did two races in the same day. And one weekend, I did a half-marathon on Saturday and a full marathon the next day. As I went through my five race scrapbooks, I remembered the races, where they were, and who might have done them with me.

By the numbers, I should be a wogging fool. I hope so, because there are still a lot of miles to cover until I'm 92!

Today's blessings: Wednesday butt camp; catching up on my race scrappys; finding my overdue car tag registration; no line at car inspection station and nice tech; short line at tag office; sub lunch delivery via Steve

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Never Say Never

92 years old.

10 hours.

Gladys, aka The Gladyator, did it.

Now there's no reason for me to stop - at least not until Gladys does!

Today's blessings: Tuesday butt camp; Mathieu's arrival back in Tennessee; afternoon Lindley time; power napping; picking up a bit upstairs

Monday, April 4, 2011

Just When I Thought I Was Safe Because The Nearest Ikea Was Way Off In Atlanta ...

... some evil person figures out a recipe and puts it online so I can find it and email it to Molly in hopes that she will bake some. Another reason I need to stay off the internet!!

Today's blessings: Monday morning butt camp with my buds; spending the day with Lindles; no downed limbs in my yard from the fierce storms

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Hills Are Alive ...

… with my burning thighs.

Those would be the bluegrass hills of Lexington, Kentucky, where I completed the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon. The rolling hills of Lexington are quite lovely – if you’re riding past them in your car. Trekking up and down them, and up and down them, and up and down them for 13.1 miles – they aren’t quite as lovely. Not that I was looking at them. I was mostly cajoling my brain to convince my thighs that we could make it up the next hill. Here's an idea of the ups and downs of it all:

Elevation Profile
1043 ft.
960 ft.
876 ft.
793 ft.

It was a lovely morning for a wog – a little cool, but I wore my race long-sleeved tech shirt for the race. Unfortunately for any spectators (and my official race pictures), the shirt was a snug fit, and no match for my more-than-ample midsection. In other words, it inched its way up my belly to where it looked like I was running preggers. Whatever – at some point I have got to come to terms with my body shape so that I will do something about it. Today may just have been that point!

Anyway, the race was a good one. Beautiful weather, great volunteers and support, and a horseshoe for a medal at the finish. I saw Skinny Emmie along the way and the nine-year-old boy who finished in 1 hour and 47 minutes (Just for the record, I did not finish anywhere close to that time, unless you are counting my half-half marathon time. I did manage to beat the 8-year-old girl who finished in 3 hours and 27 minutes). I did not get picked up along the way, nor was I the last person in. My left hip tried to go wonky on me at Mile 8, but I kept going and it gave up and quit its wonkifying. The worst was when at Mile 11, my left ankle tried to twist sideways. Luckily for me, it only did a half-twist, and I managed to finish on two feet. I got to see horses and foals and riders and lots of fences. It was a great morning, and Steve was there waiting for me at the finish, where in spite of all the ups and downs, I posted the best time I've had in quite awhile (which is still SLOW, you nosybodies!).

It's been a great weekend, and I am just a bit sore and tired, but in a good way - whatever that means!


Today's blessings: Half marathon and finish time; Big Mac post-race; beautiful day for a race and a road trip; family time when we got back home; Krogering with Molly; Maribeth back home after two weeks in Cuba