Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Movie Star

What do you do when you're far away from somebody special, and besides, you can't think of anything to blog about?  Post the cutest picture ever!!
Today's blessings:  Two miles down A1A; Bubba Gumps with Steve

Monday, January 30, 2012

Being Happy Where You Are

I am currently spending a few days at a condo on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale. Outside on the balcony, I have a beautiful view of the ocean.  If I get up early enough in the morning, I can see the cruise ships coming into port, and in the later afternoon, see them leaving.  I have to admit that sometimes I'm a little wistful, wishing that I were leaving on a cruise.

But I quickly let that thought pass through my brain, because if I spend any time thinking about it, then I miss the beauty of where I am. Or, as Buddha said,

"Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life."

Today's blessings:  zero day; contributions to the 3-Day

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Gift Named Loren

Yesterday when I got up at crack-o-dawn-thirty, I wasn't in the mood to do a 5K.  I wasn't feeling all that great, and I didn't want to go and do anything.  But I just kept going through the motions of getting dressed, taping the ankle, eating something, and forcing myself to keep moving.

As I put on my trusty Garmin watch (thanks 4-evah to Kat and Sarah for the rec), I saw my walk/run timer.  This gadget is an essential to the Galloway training method - a way of running races (and certainly an improvement over my "jog until you can't anymore and the limp to the finish" method).  I've had the timer gadget for awhile, just waiting to try it out.  I brought it for this race, thinking maybe I'd try it.  Instead, this morning I purposely left it in the drawer.

About an hour later, I was at the start line of the 5K.  I had no plan, except to finish.  The race started, and I started jogging.  Once I got that out of my system, I started walking.  I noticed a lady in a blue shirt beside me and heard the beeping of her walk/run timer.  I jogged a little and passed her, and then saw/heard her again a bit later.

I noticed she wasn't wearing ear buds, so I thought I'd get nosy.  I asked her what her walk/run time was.  She told me, and I asked her if she would mind if I followed her, that I wanted to try this method, but just hadn't.  She said that would be fine, and I went along with her and her beeps.

It was great.  The 5K went quickly, in part due to the Galloway method, but mostly because I made a new friend.  I found out that she was a teacher who hoped to teach overseas.  She had done the Breast Cancer Half-Marathon last year in Jacksonville, which was when she started with walk/running.  We commiserated about teaching and races, and soon we were at the finish, where we "ran it in" together.  The only thing I regret was that I never asked her name.  It wasn't until after the race when I searched her race number that I found out her name was Loren.

I started the race out thinking it was not going to be a good one.  Instead, God gave me a gift.  He put Loren in my path so that I could experience the walk/run method from someone who was experienced and who was at a pace I could follow.  He made sure we had things in common so we could pass the time and make the miles pass quickly.  Once again He wanted me to know that He cares about every aspect of my life, and gives me wonderful gifts when I least expect them.

It was a good race, and I'm thankful to God for every step of it!

Today's blessings:  Watching the marathoners from my window; phone chat with Marilyn; brunch at Original Pancake House with Steve

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Lesson In Self-Esteem - Part Deux

After this morning's 5K and the obligatory calorie-laden breakfast, Steve and I headed to the beach (it helps that the 5K ends there).  I won't go into details about the difficulty of standing in the "public" beach bathroom stall, attempting to  wedge my sweaty, pudgy body into my "one-piece-might-cover-some-of-you" swimsuit made by Nashville Tent and Awning.  That's a tale for another time.  This is a story about other people's bathing suits - or lack thereof.

Anyhow, once I had all my squidgy parts tucked into my bathing suit, I headed out to meet Steve.  We found Clarence, who rents Steve chairs and an umbrella (for me - I don't like the sun.  Or the beach, for that matter.  Why do I go?  Hello married life!).  We get all set up and I settle down for my post-5K nap.  At some point I hear "pssst" from Steve's chair.

Because we are fifth graders, Steve says, "Look over at the chair over there."  I do, and notice Madam reclining in her chair, getting some sun.  Only she's topless.  Now, I've been to South Beach before, and this is not some new sight  However, Madam's bazooms look like two water balloons perched on her chest - flattened.  Let me say at this point, I am not trying to criticize Madam's decision to suntan her boobs (I was hoping that she did use sunscreen on her nips, as I think that would be painful later this evening).  I am simply relaying this story to say that I've discovered the person that would probably appreciate the shower in yesterday's lesson, because she apparently has the self-esteem to bare it all.

And then, as if I needed further illustration on the fact that Madam is perfectly happy with her body, she sat up. And although her back was to us, it was evident that she was not concerned with stuffing her body into some sort of straight-jacket bathing suit.  And yes, I took a picture - some things need photographic evidence!

Not to worry though, I'll still be squeezing into my swimsuit - even if I have to grease up to do it!!

Today's blessings:  5K with blue shirt lady; breakfast at Big Pink and lunch at Serendipity 3 with Steve; upgrade at Marriott

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Lesson In Self Esteem

I know it is important to feel good about oneself, physically and emotionally. For some people, that may be easier than other people.  For me, at my age and size, feeling good about my physical appearance is a work in progress.  Last night's hotel room did little to help (I won't bother to explain why we are staying in three different hotel rooms for the next three nights).

Here was the issue with last night's room - the shower.  If I were to stand on the teeny-tiny balcony outside our room, I could see clear through to the toilet.  And by that I mean I could see through the SHOWER, through the TOILET CLOSET DOOR, to the actual toilet.  In other words, the shower has CLEAR GLASS WALLS.

Yes, I have been married 6 billion years.  Yes, I have been sans clothes before.  But somewhere in the last billion years, I have decided that my being nekkid needs to remain where it started - in the dark.  But just in case you want to plan your next bathroom overhaul, here are some pictures to get you going:

                    The view from the balcony                      The view from the toilet

Oh, and if you need to visit the facilities in the middle of the night, bring a flashlight, because the light that enlightens the toilet also lights up the shower, WHICH HAS GLASS WALLS.  In other words, you will be waking the sleeping person in the bed, which if being blinded by the sight in the see-thru shower wasn't enough, flipping the lights on in the middle of the night should do the trick!
Today's blessings:  new hotel ready upon check-in; great beach view; nice volunteer at expo; lunch at Shake Shack with Steve

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Back In The Air Again

In order to get to our hotel today, we chose to fly in an airplane.  Mainly because it was too far to drive.  Our limit is Orlando, and this was a bit past that.  I haven't flown in many months, mostly by choice, and because our recent trips have been more cost-efficient to drive rather than fly (at least according to my own calculations).

I don't like flying.  It's probably because I am not in control.  Or because it's not the way I would choose to die.  Or because I don't like thinking about what I might be thinking about as my plane plummets to wherever it might plummet to.  I get extremely pre-flying nervous.  And since I don't really drink that much or do the appropriate drugs, I don't have a lot of resources with which to deal with the nervousness.

It doesn't help if there is any iffy weather anywhere in our flight path.  In Nashville, there were forecast showers and possible thunder.  As in storms.  Believe me, if I'm about to get on a plane, I suddenly become a meteorologist.  This, of course, does not assuage my nervousness.

Anyhow, we made it safely to Ft. Lauderdale, with only a small amount of rain-related turbulence.  The flight was fairly smooth and safe, and our flight attendant was very nice and amiable.  Now I just have to contend with the flight home next week.

Wonder if Amtrack can lay down some track to Nashville before then?
Today's blessings:  smoothish, safe flight; hotel ready upon arrival; LuLu's Bait Shack with Steve; lazy afternoon in front of the television; Steve bringing dinner back to his lazy-butt wife

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's That Time Again ...

I'm headed to Florida, but not Disney World - that would be in four weeks. I'm going to do a 5K, but not a half-marathon - that would be in two weeks (and two weeks after that). My plan is to pack just enough clothes so that I will probably have to wash clothes every other day - that is, if I even bother to change clothes every day.

Now all I have to do is get started packing. When does my flight leave?

Today's blessings:  Pinkberry and park time with Lindley; Maribeth's safe flight to see Mathieu; postcards coming in for breast cancer walk; Udderly Pink ladies getting great prizes for our silent auction; cruise dates change

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

May I Have The Envelope, Please?

I have some very talented friends.  Some paint, some quilt, some cook, some sew, some leap tall towers with a seemingly small jump, some sing and dance, some do a smattering of all of these, and some are just quite clever.  Today I'll just show you one example.

I've already told you about Princess Half-Marathon weekend and the Karens.  That weekend also happens to be the night of the Oscars, so naturally it would behoove us to have our own version of an Oscar party - especially since we already have tutus (never mind the fact that we will have wogged 13.1 miles in them earlier in the day).  The Karens are sharing a room and volunteered to have our Oscar party in their room (and supply the necessary party eats and drinks).

Today, which just happened to be the day the Oscar nominees were announced, I received my official Oscar party invite from Tall Karen (not to be confused with British Karen):

It arrived in its own box addressed to Steve/Luanne "Bogie and Bacall" Davidson, and inside was my very own Oscar. I received the Best Director Award for "Wogging - On Your Ankles vs Feet."  Since my award is not part of the televised awards, I thought I would go ahead and share my acceptance speech with you:
Thank you for this much deserved award.  My ankles, though they are still pissed as h@## at me, also thank you.  I would like to thank the manufacturers of all the ankle wraps, ankle tapes, extra-extra-extra-strength/long-lasting/rapid release/dissolving gel cap Tylenol, and big-girls socks that go over all the ankle wraps/tapes/swolled-up ankles.  I would like to thank all those little people who stopped to help me all those times that I twisted my ankles (one or the other or both) and went down to the ground, to see if I needed help, especially that poor lady at Coronado Springs who looked more scared than I did.  I hope that one day after they invent and install my Jaime Sommers Bionic Woman (google it) ankles, that I will be able to start the Luanne Davidson Institute for the Ankle Impaired.  Lastly I would like to thank Nannie, my grandmother, for telling me a long time ago that I had weak ankles like her.  If only I had inherited her boobs instead, I might have had a different career.
Today's blessings:  4 miles with KB; Oscar invite/award in the mail; updating 3-day and race scrappys; 2 breast cancer dedication post cards; MB bringing me lunch

Monday, January 23, 2012

Divine Intervention

I am so thankful that God looks after me and guides me when I am too ignorant to know any better - or at least oblivious to the obvious.  Case in point:

This coming weekend we are headed to Miami where Steve will run the Miami Half Marathon.  I've done this half before, but had decided a long time ago not to do it this weekend.  However, today I had reason to look through my race scrapbooks and was looking at the photos of the years I had done this race.  I started thinking "Well, maybe I should go ahead and do it anyway."  I was thinking this even though I knew with my bum ankle that staying off this weekend would be better for the two important half-marathons that I have planned in February.  But nevertheless, I kept pondering whether I should do the Miami Half.

A short time later I got on the computer to read my email.  One of today's emails was from the Miami Half people announcing that the half WAS SOLD OUT!!  In other words, even though God was telling me no, no, no, He knew I was not listening so well.  So He just slammed that door shut!

Thank you God, for knowing me so well and taking care of me!  My prayer is that I listen and act accordingly next time!

Today's blessings:  Target stalking, moving couches, and reassembling coffee tables with Maribeth; Princess Weekend planning; Udderly Pink girls working hard on fundraisers; emailing with Madeline

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Best Team Ever!!

We finally all made it to a meeting at the same time, with matching shirts (well, almost) and actually had a camera (even though one was had no battery left and the other was running on battery fumes).  We made plans for our big fundraisers - Bingo for Boobs in March and the Boobalicious Yard Sale in April.  We still have lots of room for more team members - just go here.  We'd love to see you in San Fran in September!!
Today's blessings:  Six miles and Big Bad Hash Browns with KB; donuts with Steve, Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley; Udderly Pink meeting with the girls

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I Got A Pedicure Today

This was not it.

Today's blessings:  breakfast at Shoney's with Steve; Lindley time; Molly's Elmo cupcakes; pedis with Molly

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Preview of Things To Come

My friends the Karens and Molly and I are going to do the Princess Half Marathon at Disney World at the end of February.  The others have never done the Princess before, so they are pretty excited.  Tall Karen has never done a Disney race, so she's super excited.  In fact, we all so excited that we've decided to wear tutus for the race.  Yes, you read correctly, I am going to wear a tutu in a race.  Seriously.

Today I went to Jo-Ann Fabric to get tulle for the making of our tutus.  While the lady was cutting my fabric, she asked what I was going to make.  I told her I was going to make tutus.  She replied and said that little girls like tutus.  I countered back that these were going to be for adult ladies.  After her eyes went back into her head and she manually closed her mouth that had gaped open, she said, "Well, ladies like tutus, too."  At that point I felt an explanation was in order and told her the whole Disney World/Princess Half Marathon story.

As I was gathering up my newly cut tulle, I couldn't help but put all the pieces together.  Tutus.  Me.  Disney.  Running.  And suddenly a vision of me in the future came into focus:

Oh well ... At least I gave you fair warning!!
Today's blessings:  DVD movie watching with Molly; progress at Maribeth's house; Steve's safe return home; nice fabric lady

Thursday, January 19, 2012

3 Days In September In San Francisco

Some of you may be getting a letter from me next week asking you to be a part of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day that I'm doing in San Francisco in September.  Some of you may not get it - because I don't have your address or you've already donated (thanks Kat and Sarah!).  In any case, I thought I would just go ahead and post some of the forthcoming letter (for some of you) here - just in case you want to donate or join me via the web.  And if you do, and get the letter anyhow, feel free to pass it along to someone else!!

Anyhow, here goes, with a lot more information than the actual letter:

Dear Friends,
I really didn’t think I’d ever walk another Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the cure.  But breast cancer hasn’t been cured.  Without a cure, one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes in the U.S.  That statistic is too high, so the fight goes on.  This year I’ll walk 60 more miles to help create a future without breast cancer, because everybody deserves a lifetime.  

My first 3-Day was in Atlanta with my friend Emily.  I walked and she crewed as a nurse.  I was usually passed out in the tent when she came in for the night, and I think she had already left to pop blisters and pass out band aids by the time I woke up for the next day.  That year it rained one night and got below freezing the next night.  But it was an incredible experience, to see the survivors walking, the many signs of encouragement along the way, and the remembrances of those who had lost their fight against this disease.  I felt that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I would never forget.

And I never did, especially the year I turned 50.  I decided that I wanted to do something significant for my 50th birthday.  Sure enough, there was a 3-Day that was being held on my birthday weekend that year in the Twin Cities.  My daughter-in-law Lynnette said she would do it with me, so we trained all that summer for 60 miles and 3 days in Minnesota.  We walked through beautiful parks and sat on Jody's couch - a couch that Jody was going to give to a niece, but died from breast cancer before she could.  Jody's family carried that couch in a van and would set it out at different places during the day along the route so walkers could sit for a rest.  We celebrated stories of survivors and mourned those who had been lost.  Again, I was given the blessing of being a part of such a moving weekend. 

I thought I was probably done with the 3-Day until my sister Marilyn mentioned that she would like to do one.  Even though she is a nurse, she wanted to be a walker rather than a part of the crew.  Even though she lives in Baltimore, we decided to do it together, and train (we needn't talk about how that went) on the same days.  We signed up for the last walk of the year in San Diego and met up at the San Diego airport to begin our weekend.  Marilyn learned about sleeping in a tiny tent, showering in a semi, and finding the port-potty in the dark.  But we also saw the incredible support and love that this weekend can bring (this is the best way to show you).

This year I will be walking in my fourth 3-Day. Five friends (including my daughter Molly) will be walking with me and our team, Udderly Pink.  It’s a first for everyone else, and I’m honored that they want to experience this unforgettable event with me.  We’ll be travelling to San Francisco in September where we’ll walk 20 miles a day for three days, we’ll sleep in tents for two nights, and we’ll shower in trucks and use porta-potties for bathrooms.  We’ll also hear so many precious stories from survivors and about others who have been lost to this disease.   It will be an unforgettable chance to remember those we've lost and celebrate those who have won their personal fights with this disease. Every moment will be a memory that will never be forgotten. We’d love to have you join us too! Register as a walker on our team or as a volunteer – it’s a weekend like no other!

It would be great if you would support this effort in the fight to end breast cancer. Any donation will be appreciated and is tax deductible. This 60-mile walk over the course of three days raises funds for breast cancer research and community programs. All you need do to donate is click here. You can also join our team online – we’d love to have you as a member of Udderly Pink!

I do have one last request. I would be honored to walk in honor or memory of someone special in your life who has been affected by breast cancer. If you would simply leave a name or names in the comments, I will proudly display that name during the 3-Day and also during the breast cancer half-marathon I will be doing as part of the 26.2 with Donna on February 12 in Jacksonville.

Thank you so much for your support as together we raise funds in the battle to end breast cancer. You’ll be with me every step in San Francisco!

Today's blessings: 4.4 miles with KB; Factory lunch with Maribeth; Molly visit; Maribeth's house progress

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

That's What Friends Are For

Earlier this week, my friend Karen and I decided that we would walk this morning.  As the week went on. it appeared that weather might be an issue - as in it was supposed to be really cold this morning.  Once before when it was cold, we walked in the mall.  Last night Karen and I decided that we would decide on our walk location this morning via text.  The following is what actually transpired text-ually early this morning:

5:19am   Karen:  Location?
5:21am   Me:  My first choice would be bed.  It's 30 outside so it that mall weather?

5:24am   Karen:  Want to wait until we can walk outside?
5:24am   Me:  Tomorrow will be warmer.  Or we can freeze for 2 miles

5:25am   Karen:  Tomorrow. hehe
5:26am   Me:  Ok.  No excuses tomorrow!

5:28am   Karen:  My new ratio.  Oops.  my new tattoo
5:29am   Me:  Ha!   6 miles on Saturday!

5:33am   Karen:  Sunday ok?  out of town besides just heard rain on Saturday
5:34am   Me:  Yeppers

5:36am   Karen:  I'm open for walk before...just like this am!  Ha
5:36am   Me:  I know.  We should be going ...

5:38am   Karen:  Ok. do u want to go this am?
5:39am   Me:  We have to.  2 miles.   In the cold.

5:40am   Karen:  Ok. Lipscomb
5:41am   Me:  Ok

5:42am   Karen:  15 mins
5:43am   Me:  Got it!

So we met in the parking lot, it actually wasn't that cold, and we actually walked four miles instead of two.  By not turning over and going back to sleep and instead keeping the conversation going, we talked ourselves into doing what we needed to do.  

Friends - it's what Jiminy Cricket meant when he said, "A fine conscience I turned out to be!"

Today's blessings:  Getting up and walking with KB; sending out 3-Day letters; Maribeth's visit

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's Been A Good Day

No ER today.  With her arsenal of drugs onboard, Molly is much better.

Maribeth caught a sub gig today, so she was happy.

Steve caught a flight to Miami for some business, so he's happy to be headed for some sun.

I got started on my fundraising letter campaign, so hopefully that will result in some contributions for the 3-Day.

So it looks like everyone's had a happy day!

Today's blessings:  Molly's recovery; quick visit by Sam; Burger Up with Steve, Molly, and Maribeth; Home Depot with Molly and Maribeth

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Zero Day That Wasn't

Today was supposed to be a zero day.  You know, one of those days where you sleep late, get up and eat something, then go take a nap.  I had a long list of movies to watch and even a few tasks complete.  So much for best laid plans.

I woke up early when Steve got up at 4am to make coffee and take Mathieu and Cheline and babies to the airport.  When Steve got back, he asked if I had read Molly's email where she said her throat was still painful - a 9/10 on the pain scale.  She had gone to a walk-in clinic on Saturday where the doc had presumed strep and prescribed her some meds.  Which apparently weren't working.  She had emailed us to see if we thought she should return to the walk-in clinic or go to the ER.  After some email discussion, it was decided a trip to the ER would be the better choice, and Steve said he would go with her.

Fast forward an hour.  I texted Steve to get an update.  By that time, Molly had been checked in, had her blood pressure checked, started IV antibiotics, and was scheduled for a CAT scan to see if her now-diagnosed abscess was going to be lanced/cut/drained.  He suggested that I might want to come to the ER.  Which, of course, I did.

Several hours later, after the CAT scan, a dose of morphine, another IV antibiotic round, and discussion at to whether the lancing would take place or Molly might be admitted to the hospital for the night to continue IV antibiotics, she was finally discharged with three prescriptions and a follow-up appointment with an ENT on Thursday.  Oh, and she got the news that the tonsils that were removed a few years ago have apparently grown back a little.  The good news is that with the morphine boost, she was finally able to eat solid food again and get it past her raw, swollen, infected throat.

Once Molly was fed and safely back at her house, I went back to mine and spent the rest of the afternoon doing this:

Tuesday is always a better zero day, anyway!!
Today's blessings:  waiting in the ER with Steve and Molly; Molly feeling better; watching "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" with Maribeth, Molly, and Steve; Steve making brownies

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Best Way To Eat Cake

Fingers first!!
Today's blessings: Lindley's birthday party with the Ogles; telephone chat with Marilyn; watching the Golden Globes

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Back Home Again

We made it back home today around 1:00.  We unpacked the car, Steve sorted 10 days worth of mail, and I tried to figure out whose luggage we brought back and where it should go.  The cats are happy we're back and Steve went out and got fresh milk and bread.  Poor Molly has strep throat, but everyone else seems to be okay.  Hard to believe that only a week ago I had wogged one half-marathon and was getting ready to wog another one in the morning.

Vacations - worth resting up for!!

Today's blessings:  breakfast at Truett's with Steve; beautiful day for a road trip; taking mac/cheese to sickly Molly; spaghetti dinner with Steve, Maribeth, Mathieu, Cheline and the boys

Friday, January 13, 2012

Road Trippin' - Now and Then

Right now I'm in hotel room in Macon, Georgia.  We left Orlando just after lunch, deciding to break the trip into two days rather than drive all day.  As we drove along the highway, I couldn't help but think of the trips my family took from Mississippi to Florida when I was little.  How things have changed!!

These days I have my computer, a DVD player in the car, and somebody's iPhone to find the nearest Starbucks, Redbox, or just some random trivia game to play along in the car.  We look at exit signs for something to eat that we like.  We have cruise control to keep our speed steady - whatever that speed may be.    We keep the temperature regulated and can tell you the temperature exactly - both inside and out.  If we get lost or need to figure out where to go, we just cue up various GPS devices and off we go.

Back in the day, the trip was carefully planned.  My father had to milk the cows first, but we were ready to go as soon as he was finished - usually at dark-thirty in the morning.  First we had to get dressed - in our "vacation clothes."  We usually got two new outfits for the trip (now I just throw in whatever still fits - usually my "grass-cuttin'" clothes).  Once dressed we were given our "meds."  This consisted of a Dramamine tablet (little yellow tab) that my mother tried to break up in a spoon with water.  To put it mildly, it was horrible.  I think it would have been better if she had just rammed it in the back of my throat and then held my jaws shut until I swallowed it - like when I pill my cat.  The bitter taste of Dramamine giblets still sticks with me to this day.  I'm still not sure if she gave us the pills for motion sickness or so that we would go to sleep quickly in the car.  The only good thing after the pill-age is the scrambled egg sandwich that was our breakfast.  Hmmm - scrambled egg sandwiches after a dose of anti-nausea?

Anyhow, once our Chevy Impala was loaded, we (two parents, three kids, and an extra aunt or grandma) were off.  The temperature and speed were whatever our father wished it to be.  We had no radio in the car, not that there were any stations that anybody could have agreed on.  The windows were probably open, probably because the ac might slow down the horsepower, and my dad needed a place to air out his cigarettes.  Seat belts - those were just those things you moved over when you got in the car.

Entertainment was really exciting.  Before the trip, each of us kids were treated to two magazines each - my older sister got her teenage magazines, and my brother and I each got two comic books.  Two comic books to last a 12-hour drive.  We had pretty much read through them by the time we left the driveway.  Anyhow, by that time we were getting sleepy, so by the time we woke up in time for our packed lunch of fried chicken (at a roadside picnic area), we were ready to read the comics again.  And again and again.  By the way, we didn't get new comics for the trip back.

Navigation consisted of a massive map that had to be unfolded and refolded when you crossed into another state.  Maps provided some entertainment for the kids, as we watched the "interaction" between the adults ("Turn back there!"  "Where are we?"  "No, where on the map are we?")

Anyhow, eventually we arrived in Florida to visit with my aunt, uncle, and cousins and play at the beach.  After a few days, it was time for Dramamine and the trip back home.  Too bad we never brought the cows any souvenirs!

Today's blessings:  Maribeth and crew's safe trip back home; safe travel to Macon; Steve bringing dinner and ice cream to hotel

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Somebody's Going To Be Two Tomorrow!

Top three things I've learned in the last two years:
1.  All things Elmo
2.  My negotiation skills in toddler food choices are abysmal
3.  Being a LaLa is the best job ever!!
Today's blessings:  lunch and IKEA with Maribeth; wait staff at Olivia's

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Kind of Horse

Yes, I grew up on a farm.  Yes, we had horses - my grandmother even won a Shetland pony for me when I was a little girl.  But my experiences with horses mostly involved the horse trying to bite me or get me off his/her back.  In other words, horses and I don't mix.

But maybe I've found a horsey that works.  Maybe this one won't buck me off or use his big horse teeth to crunch my knuckles.

The only drawback is the horsepower - I don't think Lupower is going to get us very far!
Today's blessings:  MK with Maribeth, Mathieu, Cheline and the boys and babysitting sweet sleeping babies; new Ugg slippers from Steve; dinner picked up by Steve

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Two Half-Marathons and Two Disney Days Later ...

'nuf said?
Today's blessings: early-morning play with Lindley; Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley's safe trip home; lunch with Maribeth, Mathieu, Cheline and the boys; Steve bringing burgers for dinner

Monday, January 9, 2012

Old TV Friends

After reading a friend's post on facebook, I've spent much of the afternoon watching clips of "Designing Women" on youtube.  I enjoyed watching them as much as I did when they were first shown on CBS.  I enjoyed them so much that I ordered the first five seasons on DVD.

I'm not sure what I loved most about the show.  Maybe it was the fancy clothes (for that time period) that the ladies wore and how they were always so dressed up.  Maybe it's because they dared to talk about things in public that were still only whispered.  Maybe it was their friendship and all they shared.  Maybe it was the strength and confidence they showed.  Maybe it was just because I found it funny and touching and so enjoyable.

It was one of those shows with which I could identify and that spoke for me and to me.  I understood it and wished that I could be one of the group.  Maybe it's dated and ridiculous for anyone not of my generation, but for me, it's timeless and a reminder of what was.   

Today's blessings:  MK-ing with Sam, Lynnette, Lindley, and Steve; Boardwalk and Epcot-ing with Steve; cast member at Outpost; Steve picking up dinner; Molly's safe return home

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Things To Do On A Sunday At Disney World

Sure, you could ride the rides, see the shows, or eat the food, but what fun would that be?  You really need to plan your Disney World vacation months in advance.  Here's how it went at my house many months ago:

Me:  Oooh, look.  It's the 15th anniversary of the Disney World Half Marathon, and they're going to have a special medal.  We should do it this year!
Steve:  Okay.

... a few days later ...

Me:   Oooh, look.  They're going to have a marathon relay this year at the Disney World Marathon.  On that day, you can have a two-person team and each of you runs a half-marathon while the marathoners are running the full marathon.  And since it's an inaugural race, we should do it this year!
Steve:   Okay.

Now we are not as stupid as we may seem.  Sure, we knew these races would be 24-hours apart.  We knew this because (a) we've done these races before, and (b) we were so crazy that a few years ago we did the Inaugural Goofy Challenge, where you run the half-marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday.  However, we also live sometimes in the Land of De Nial, so we thought this new plan was a good idea.

It would have been an excellent idea, had I (a) not eaten everything in sight on the three Disney cruises I took this year and missed the cruise so much that I decided to keep the resulting weight on my body, and (b) I had put a little more thought and effort into the theory of actually training for this endeavor.

Regardless, after yesterday's race, I just ignored logic and set my sights on today's race.  Again, the race started at 5:30am.  The difference is that in the team event, the first runner starts and the second runner (or in my case, waddler) takes over after the first 13.1 miles.  Steve and I were a team, and Molly and Lynnette were a team.  So Molly and I dropped the other two off at the start and drove to the Magic Kingdom to await their arrival in a few hours (and sleep in the car).  Naturally, we had no idea where we were supposed to park, but after being stopped by one Disney policeman, we found a place to park.  Which was not really near the switching place, but after a walk, a bus ride (from one side of the TTC to the other), and another longer walk under the bridge and across two more lots, we finally managed to get to the right place.  We did get to sleep in the car for a few hours.  We managed to keep from freezing by turning on the car heater every 20 minutes and sharing a tiny blanket.

Anyhow, a few hours later, Steve blazed into the relay exchange with a great time, which meant I could use all those extra minutes for my part, which were going to come in handy.  I would give you a blow-by-blow, but basically this is how it went:  My legs were pretty much outraged that I was going to put them through this again, so they voiced their complaints with pings and pangs.  My wonky left ankle spoke up and decided to put out a distress call with a piercing arrow pain every few miles.  My body decided that a 13.1 mile walk (yes, I said it - walk) in the sun with no clouds in the sky was just what it didn't want and told me that I had better pour a cup of water over my head every water stop.  The balls of my feet would have gladly disintegrated if they had the slightest hope of stopping this outrage, but since they couldn't, they just kept plodding along.  And while I had hoped to at least match my abysmal time from yesterday, by the last four miles I didn't care - I was just going to finish.

And eventually I did finish, and got my Chip and Dale medal.  I got on the bus back to the resort and gave my aching body parts a rest.

The question is, do you think I learned anything about scheduling races from this weekend?  Me neither!!

Today's blessings:  dropping off Steve and Lynnette, then going to MK with Molly; fellow woggers in today's race; volunteers and seeing Aisling; finishing the race; seeing the blind runners and the girl in the wheelchair in the race; playing with Lindley at the park; Steve picking up lunch AND dinner

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Shoes Won

Today I decided to stroll around The Magic Kingdom and then Epcot's Future World.  I decided to do this via the Disney World Half Marathon, certainly not the most relaxing way to do it.  Since the longest "training run" I've done lately was seven miles, there was a lot of doubt on my part whether I would finish the 13.1 miles.  My left wonky ankle (that I twisted and turned last fall) was giving me some problems which added to my consternation.  However, I knew that nothing ventured, nothing gained, so with a little help from Steve's super-meds, I got up this morning at 3:45 in order to get to the starting line at 5:00am for the 5:45ish start (they have a wave start which meant I actually wouldn't start until around 6:15).

Anyhow, since I didn't see any of you in the crowd, I decided to share my high and lows of my "race."

First the lows:
   1.  Getting up at 3:45am.  Actually Steve got up then, and I followed suit since the alternative was to sleep through the whole thing.  I am not a morning person, unless it is to get up for a bathroom break.  So getting up to do anything else is crappy.
   2. Every moment between 3:45am and the actual start of the race.  Why?  Because during that time I am usually trying to figure what is going to kill me - the heart attack from too much flab and too little training, the brain explosion from getting it up too early, or the crash and fall when my wonky ankle decided to twist and lands me splattered on the pavement.
   3.  Miles 10-12 which are the only "hills" of this course.   Not only do they come at the end of the course, but they are killers.  At least to the overweight, aged, and under-trained.
   4.  Waiting for the resort bus after the race.  In the sun.  Where I had to stand upright in line for like 92 hours.  While my feet were screaming how much they hated me.
Now for the highs:
   1.  Finishing!  Without dying or falling down (I won't mention the almost-fall on the lumpy bridge while leaving the MK).  Nothing better than finishing!
   2.  Running through the castle.  Duh!
   3.  The volunteers giving out water and cheering us on.
   4.  The band just outside the car entrance to the MK.
   5.   People I chatted with during the race (if you run really fast, you don't have time to chitter-chat.  Another reason I am content with the back of the pack woggers).
   6.   Molly getting my lunch post-race.  It was either that or I would have to eat the couch cushions that I face-planted on upon my return to our room.
   7.   Fireworks (this is Disney) that went off at the start, and then again for each wave start.

Anyhow, that's all I remember.  Maybe that's what they call "a runner's high!"

Today's blessings:  Sam taking us to the start in the car; all the race details above; blanket at the start of the race; Elaine coming by for a visit

Friday, January 6, 2012

Me. Tomorrow Morning.

Tune in tomorrow to see who proclaimed victory - me or the shoes!

Today's blessings: Maribeth, Mathieu, Cheline, Gabriel, and Dominic's safe arrival; Baby BoBo's ultrasound pics; playing with Lindley; successful last minute shirt shopping; girls dinner from OG; tix cast members

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Top Ten Things That I Currently Do Not Like...Because Hate Seems Like Such A Strong Word

1.  Toenails that are in desparate need of (a) polish being taken off, or (b) polish being refurbished.
2.  That one toe that is still hairy after you spent 3 hours and used 17 razors shaving your legs.
3.  Reruns on TV on a night that you are sure you saw advertised as having new episodes.
4.  Friends who post cryptic facebook statuses that you don't understand.  Even after you google them.
5.  News outlet that touts "This Diet" as being the #1 diet, then hear another news outlet report that old fat women are going to have a really hard time losing weight no matter what diet they use.
6.  Women with black and blond hair.  On the same head.  It's too confusing.
7.  Hotels that only provide a shampoo bottle.  My frizzle-top needs a conditioner, people!!
8.  Realizing that many of the words in my vocabulary now have new meanings in this day and age, most meanings which now refer to unmentionable things.
9.  Bad perfume and people who use too much of it.
10. Putting off blogging until late at night and coming up with some lame list idea.

I'm not getting codgerly and old, am I?
Today's blessings: walking around resort with Steve; getting race bib/shirt straightened out; cast member help at check-in at next resort; room ready; Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley's arrival; Molly's arrival; Steve getting delicious pizza for dinner

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Eensie Weensie Steps

So 2012 has begun.  Again, my hopes are high that this year will be different.  This year will be the year that I lose weight, become physically fit, develop a deeper faith and relationship with my Maker, and become just a generally better all-around person.

However, as is my nature, I want it all done immediately, or by tomorrow at the latest.  As is the nature of this world, that just ain't a-gonna happen.  But still, I tend to keep thinking two steps ahead, which often frustrates me and thwarts my efforts, thus sending me into a pity party.  Today, maybe I began that slow process of changing my ways, hoping to make progress toward achieving those hopes and dreams that I want.

I am in Orlando on a sort-of vacation.  Last night I slept like I hadn't in awhile.  In other words there were no cats jumping around on the bed or trying to get into drawers or scratching at the window/mirror/picture glass.  There was no to-do list churning about in my head fighting with my plans of sleeping.  It was quiet and dark and I went to sleep.  When Steve got up before 5 this morning for a business quick trip to Jacksonville and I woke up enough to tell him the light wouldn't bother me, I apparently was telling the truth, since that's the last thing I remember before waking up around 8.

So here's where the changes might have begun.  I had the whole day to figure out what to do, and in my brain there were lots of possibilities - eat breakfast, walk, take a shower, shave my legs. eat lunch, go to a park, go to Downtown Disney - just to name a few.  Just thinking about all of that could have scrambled my pea brain and caused me to get back in bed and turn on the TV.

Instead, I thought of just the next thing to do - get dressed and eat breakfast.  I ordered a breakfast pizza, and although it might not have been the healthiest of breakfasts, I did choose not to eat it all (progress in terms of not ordering the Big Ole Breakfast with lots of jellies and syrups and such and sucking it all down).

Next, instead of trying to design my whole day, I just chose what to do next - which would be a walk around this resort (we're relocating on Thursday).  I decided to walk three miles, and thanks to my handy dandy Garmin (thanks to Kat and Sarah's advice), I found that by walking around the resort three times including various little ins and outs, I actually got in four miles - slow, but four!  So far, two things done with no thinking about what to do next, except I did remember to offer thanks and prayers for a few people during those laps.

Once finished, I had to decide what to do next.  I knew Housekeeping was close to my room, so I decided to chill (literally, since it is a bit cool outside) on a lounger by the pool.  Normally this would be my antsy-pantsy time because of everything that I would need to be doing, but I just told myself to sit in the sun for 15 minutes, and I did.  Again, not thinking too much about what I need to do and how and when I'm going to do it.  After 15 minutes, I walked into my clean room and thought about the next thing.

So I took a shower, shaved my legs, and washed my hair.  I caught up on email/facebook/Internet and did some crunches/push ups/plank (after two months of no butt camp, I can see the road back is going to be vicious).  Once that was done, I decided to blog, since I seem to be a little more on the ball during the day than later at night (shocker for you, I know!).

Now I will decide what to do next.  I'm think a bite of lunch.  Nothing past that for now.  Just lunch.

So far, today has just been a bunch of little steps, one at a time, without worrying about the steps further down the road.  I know I have a lot of stuff to do, but I'm practicing not thinking about those now.  Now it's just thinking about the next thing I have to do.  Because eventually, taking one step at a time, no matter how small, will get me where I want to go.
Today's blessings:  Breakfast pizza; four miles around Pop Century; seeing families with suitcases checking out; lovely soak in the tub; beautiful cool day in Orlando

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We Made It

Left Nashville at 5:30am CST.  
Stopped a couple of times for food and gas (for us and the car, respectively).  
Rolled in to the resort a little after 5pm EST.  
Managed to unload the car, eat dinner, and make a Target run. 

Let the vacation begin!! 

Today's blessings:  safe road trip to Orlando; lunch at Truitts

Monday, January 2, 2012

First Check To See if I've Changed in 2012

Issue:  Packing for Vacation

2011: Put off packing until last minute on day before departure

2012:  Put off packing until next-to-last minute on day before departure

That's improvement, isn't it???

Today's blessings:  Spending the day with Lindley; visits from Maribeth and Molly; Rambo coming home before search party went out

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year

Today begins the year 2012.  The first day of a new year is always a good day to start over, to do better, to change one's life.  It's a day to set goals, make resolutions, and form a vision of your life for the next 12 months.

But what happens if tomorrow (or even this afternoon) you flubbed up on one of those goals.  What if you blew apart that resolution, or decided your goal was too lofty, or concluded that your vision for your life was ridiculous and too hard to achieve?

As for me, I've been there and done that.  That ton of weight I was going to lose quickly got delayed by the chocolate oatmeal cookies I made.  That exercise routine I was going to implement quickly evaporated because my mind was so much more powerful than my desire.  So all I am left is the one question - am I going to be able to do anything that I had hoped to do in 2012?

I have to believe the answer is yes.  I have to believe that if I keep trying and believing, that the changes I desire will happen.  I have to take every hope just one second at a time, because that's the only second that I can deal with.  And if one second sends me down the wrong path there are 59 other seconds in a minute to turn it around.  And there are 59 other minutes in an hour, and there are 24 of those in a day, and this year I have 366 of those.

Maybe 2012 will be my year.  All I can do is try.
Today's blessings:  Lindley time at her house and at our house; passion lemonade and dinner delivered by Steve and Maribeth