Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday in Miami

We ate this.  As an appetizer.  And then took an afternoon nap.
'Cuz that's how we roll on vacation ...
Today was a great day because:  Serendipity and race expo with Steve; face-time with Everley; watching the cruise ships come and go

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday In Miami

Today it was a little sprinkly-wet but otherwise a good day.  We shopped but didn't purchase much of anything.  We ate here and there but didn't get stuffed from too much food.  I watched cruise ships come in and go and wished for Sunday when I would be on one.  Met a lady who went on a Disney cruise but did not like it (clearly we will not be BFFs).  I saw a lot of different people as I people watched and wondered about their lives (I think that might be called nosy).

Otherwise it's been a quiet day.  Some days it's nice to have a quiet day.
Today was a great day because:  I went shopping (but bought nothing) and ate at JRocket's with Steve; chatted with Marilyn on the phone; Molly got aboard her cruise ship; ate at new grilled cheese place with Steve; chatted with lady from Ohio at breakfast

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Headed South - Or Should I Say South-er

Today we're headed South, but not to our usual place (you know, the Happiest Place On Earth).  With temps in the teens in Nashville, one really has to head way South to get a warm up.  And we certainly did.

We're headed to Miami for the Miami Half Marathon.  Steve had done it every year since its inception, so it's a race he never misses.  Sometimes I come and do either the 5K or the Half, sometimes I come and do neither,  and sometimes I don't come at all.  This year I'm coming with the intention of doing both the 5K and the Half - we'll see.  The main reason I'm doing the half is to fulfill a plan Steve and I have considered for a few years.

The race course starts off close to the ship port.  Runners begin the race by running past the line of cruise ships ready for passengers to get off and new passengers to board.  Sometimes there will even be a passenger or two awake that early in the morning to wave as we run/walk/waddle past.  A few years ago, Steve and I thought it would be such a good idea to do the race and then get on a ship for a recovery cruise.  Of course we have never done it - at least until Disney started parking their ships here!

When we looked it up, we didn't think a Disney cruise ship would be here for this weekend.  But one day we found out that indeed one would be here - and leaving on a Sunday!  So it seemed a no-brainer (not that we have any brains anyhow) that we would be on it.  And of course, that meant I would have to do a race to "qualify" for a recovery cruise!

So here we are.  We got off the plane to 80 degree weather, quite a difference in the teens weather we left.  I'm hoping that Sunday's weather won't be too warm.   After all, I have a cruise to recover on!!
Today was a great day because:  safe, smooth flight to Miami; Molly's taxi to the airport; picking a convertible rental car; lunch at The Original Pancake House with Steve; room with a view of the port; easy dinner and then walk to Publix for supplies

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


There are a great many things for which I am grateful. My health, my family, my friends, and all the material things that make my life comfortable. My hope and prayer is that I never take any of it for granted, and am always thankful to The One who truly makes my life worth anything. With every breath, I hope I tell God how thankful I am. And for those of you who enrich my life so wonderfully, thank you too!
Today was a great day because:  we had no debilitating snow like much of our Southern neighbors; beef tips for dinner; Lindley and Everley time; getting a few things accomplished

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hey Monday - Whazzup?

Today I got stuff done.  Which is good, because the cold wind I discussed yesterday arrived today, which made getting out in it quite unpleasant.  It was a beautiful sunny day - but that wind pretty much would go straight through you.

I would wax poetic about how this month is flying by, but I believe if you would just look at the calendar, you could figure that out.

I would discuss how I am over certain things, like news about Biebers and Kardashians, but that would just my brain all riled up, and my brain doesn't like getting all riled up.

I would list all the stuff I need to do, but most of it's the same old stuff and apparently listing it and/or talking about it is no impetus for me to do any of it, so we can just move on.

So instead I think I'll just go turn up my mattress pad and crawl into bed and get warm.  After all, Scarlett - tomorrow is another day!!
Today was a great day because:  I got Molly's car emissions cleared; got a battery for the car fob; took the rolled change to the bank; got a flu shot; made a few Wal Mart runs; cleared off an inch on my desk

Sunday, January 26, 2014

It's Winter, Y'All!

Today it warmed up a bit so we Nashvegas folks could go outside without griping about how cold it is.  However, this shall be short-lived, as winter is returning with a vengeance tomorrow morning.  This has really been a consistent bit of winter weather - at least for us.  Usually it's "cold today, warm tomorrow."

However, I am finding the best thing about cold weather is this:  my electric heater mattress pad.  At night (and yes, sometimes during an afternoon siesta), I will crank that baby on high, wait for it to warm up, and then crawl inside.  Heavenly!!  At least until I have to go back outside for some errand running.

Anyhow, for all my Nawthern friends, I shall try not to envy you next summer when the heat and humidity are frizzing my hair to new heights.  I shall remember this bone-chilling wind coming from your parts of the country and be thankful that our snows barely provide ground cover and not car cover.

Y'all stay warm, ya hear!!
Today was a great day because:  Two slow miles with KB in the early morning cold; beautiful warm up so E and L could play outside; Lindley and Everley time; Molly bringing Sonic drinks

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Recipe For A Cold January Day

Finally - a recipe I can follow!!
Today was a great day because:  early morning light quick snow/sleet; Everley time at her house; lunch with Steve at Ruby's; crockpot beef stew with the fam for dinner; Lindley and Everley time; glorious afternoon nap

Friday, January 24, 2014


Today I decided to get my hair trimmed up.  As usual it was a spur of the moment decision, and as usual, I walked into the beauty shop willing to take whomever was available.  One of the stylists that I've seen there for a long time had an opening and took me right in.  I decided to go for the full treatment and get a shampoo and blow-dry/style (I usually go in right after I've washed it and leave with it still wet).  I decided today I was going to go for the whole shebang.

About an hour later, I left with a lighter head from getting my hair cut and a clean and "styled" (as much as Mollie could style my hair) hairdo.  I felt refreshed, at least from my neck up.

The point of all this?  Just to say that sometimes it's worth it to go the extra few yards and treat yourself.  Maybe it's a shampoo and style, or maybe it's a massage, or maybe it's a mani-pedi (on the schedule for tomorrow).  Sometimes it's refreshing to know that you've put yourself first, even for just a moment.  Because if you don't put yourself first sometimes, how will anybody else?
Today was a great day because:  Lindley and Everley time; picking up Everley at school and Sam at the airport; registering for DL Half; getting a haircut with Mollie

Thursday, January 23, 2014


So apparently on Thursdays one is supposed to find old pictures and post them on whatever media you do.  Of course I have never done it, as my forte is turning on my computer and trying to glean information from it.  Since I don't tweet or hashtag or instagram, I shall do it here.  Which is convenient, since it blends in nicely with what I intended to do once I returned to the homeland.
My goal was to put pictures with the people with whom I am "doing" a race.  I would like to put the picture with the actual post about the race, but since I have lost tons of pictures to hard drive crashes, some pictures were taken before the age of computers, and whatever pictures I have on a computer are not tagged and thus not easily locatable, I've had to wait until I had some time to find the pictures.  So, here are my fellow runners - and if it is you and you don't like the picture - sorry.  You should send me new pictures more often ...
This is my friend Jeanne, who stood for days waiting for me to show up at the Princess Half Marathon.  This is the actual sign that she made and that I was so bumfuzzled when I saw her that I didn't get a picture with her and the sign.  Next time she will probably bring a sack lunch to eat while she waits.  Jeanne was my Disney World 5K invisible running buddy.
This is Maribeth and me doing a 15K.  And no, I did not do the entire race on her back.  Although by the time we do the next one together, I may have to ride the whole way on her back.  This picture had to be scanned in from my race scrappys - the sign says, "Yes, I'm tall enough to ride."  I have such stellar scrapbooks.  Don't these races look fun?  Don't you want to join me?  Maribeth was my Disney World 10K invisible running buddy.

This is Marilyn and me the morning of the Half and Full Disney Marathon (they used to do both on the same day).  We look like we are happy about what we are about to do.  We have done many races and Breast Cancer 3-Days since then.  We'll be doing the Princess Half Marathon in a few weeks - in sparkly skirts.  And we will still look like we are happy about what we are about to do.  Because it's like childbirth - once we're done with it, we forget whatever pain we might have experienced.  Marilyn was my Disney World half-marathon invisible running buddy.

This is Sam and me at the finish of my very first marathon in Ohio.  We also look very happy.  I think we were both glad it was finally over.  It was so great to have someone there at the finish for me - especially since there were very few spectators left by that time!  Sam has gone on to do his own marathons and halfs and 5ks and anything in between and has always supported me in whatever race I seem to enter.   Sam was my Disney World marathon invisible running buddy.


This is Denise.   This is the only picture I could get of her because her blog is mainly about her beautiful quilts or her delicious cooking projects or her beautifully decorated home.  She's probably the only person I know with fewer pictures on her blog of herself then I have of myself on my blog.  This was also the only picture I had when we were going to meet at Disney World last year - so when I was looking for her I looked for someone with an arm in her face.  I eventually figured it out.  Anyhow, I would like to think that she is thinking about how to train for a 5K, but she is really thinking about her next quilt and how she is going to prepare her next feast while she is decorating for the next holiday season.  Denise was my Tinker Bell 5K invisible running buddy.
So apparently Lindley and I HAVE done a race together.  So I think that next time when we really do one together, she should be pushing me.  And yes, that is Nashville snow on the grass (we probably cancelled school).  But she is nicely bundled up, which I expect she will do for me.  And provide me with appropriate toys as I did for her.  Lindley was my Tinker Bell 10K invisible running buddy.

This is Lynnette and me at the end of a Disney half marathon - my guess is in 2009.  She had already done several other races by this time.  She had also already finished this race by this point, but managed to wait around for me to finish.  Perhaps because she needed a ride back to the hotel.  Since then she's done many races from 5Ks to a marathon and many distances in between the two, along with a 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk.  So now she just has to consider which Disney race will be next ...  Lynnette was my Tinker Bell Half Marathon invisible running buddy.
So there you have it - all those for whom I have designated a race thus far.  And now I have officially thrown it back on Thursday.  I also managed to set up the Roku in my bedroom.  I is now a certified genius - well, certifiable, anyway ...
Today was a great day because:  I got a lot of paperwork cleaned up; my new washing machine was delivered; picked up Everley at school and had some Everley time; had a minute of Lindley time when I took some stuff to her house; went to Wal Mart for the usual two things and walked out with a cart full

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Getting Stuff Done

Usually when you return home from vacation, you (at least I do) have lots of stuff to do.  Unpacking, washing, cleaning, catching up, and so on.  It's just a matter of figuring out what to do in what order.  In my case, it's what pile of stuff to tackle first. 

The easiest thing is the laundry, since my washer has decided to quit and I am awaiting delivery of a new one (tomorrow).  So I just keep piling the pile higher.

The next thing would be the bills and mail and such.  But that would require deciding what's important and what's not and what to file and what to shred and what to recycle.  Clearly a job for a day on which I have a clear head.  Doesn't look like today's that day.

So on we move to the next thing - cleaning some part of the house.  There's really just too big of a choice there, so I think I will just empty the trash.  Only because it's piled so high it's about to fall over on the floor.  And I sifted the litter box, so it really should be taken out.  Wow.  Something accomplished.

So after that Herculean task, I have decided to do something that is probably the most important - catch up on all the sleep I lost in the past week or so.  Now, THAT is a job worth doing!!
Today was a great day because:  got a few things accomplished; Steve's safe travel back home; Lindley and Everley time

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Safe and Sound - But Maybe Not Of Sound Mind ...

Most of today was spent with the AT&T security dude and his two co-workers who were putting in the security system at our house.  This system is to replace the Comcast system which replaced the ADT system which we got when our neighbor next door had someone break into her house which was after the neighbor on the other side of us had someone (the ex-husband of the neighbor's girlfriend) break in with an ax because apparently he had an ax to grind about the neighbor and his girlfriend/ex-wife. 

Anyhow, the rest of the day was spent with me trying to remember what everyone told me yesterday that I needed to get done.  And loading and unloading and reloading the dishwasher.  And trying to figure out which washing machine I should consider since my washing machine has up and quit on me.  And of course yesterday's Nashville lovely weather has turned cold again so my sinus passages are not happy.  Is today Monday?

Anyhow, back to trying to remember what else I'm supposed to do today ...
Today was a great day because: I got several things accomplished, just can't remember what else I needed to accomplish; AT&T dudes; Everley time

Monday, January 20, 2014

And ... I'm Home!!

This morning Molly and I woke up at 4am for hopefully the last time - at least for awhile.  Super Shuttle was scheduled to pick us up at the hotel at 5am for our trip to LAX and our Southwest ride home to Nashville.  Another mother/daughter duo also climbed in the van, and they were headed to Nashville too.  We rode to some neighborhood somewhere and picked up another passenger before we finally made our way to the airport.  There's certainly a lot of traffic in LA at that early time in the morning!!

Anyhow, after quite a few bumpity-bumps at the beginning of our flight, the atmosphere finally settled down and the rest of the ride was smooth.  A big dude sat next to me (I had the aisle seat) and he promptly went to sleep, so I spent most of the flight trying not to bother him with my left side while getting out my computer, watching TV on my computer, drinking my drink, etc.  I probably needn't have gone to the trouble, as I don't think he stirred the entire long flight home.

We arrived in Nashville in time to pick up Molly's dog Rambo at the boarders (where he has to go now that he can climb her chain-link fence and get out) and go to my house around 2pm, where Maribeth brought us some lunch.  Which I ate and then went to the grocery store to get supplies for the family dinner tonight.  Which happened around 5:30 - burgers and more stuff that went with it.  We all had a good time visiting with Lynnette's parents who were in town and with Adam whose birthday was today.

Eventually everybody went home and I attempted to unpack a few things before climbing into bed so Steve could explain the AT&T cable system that replaced Comcast while I was gone.  Which also put me to sleep for a few hours before I woke up again.  Eventually I will get my sleep pattern back on track.  Which will probably be just before I travel back South for another race.

Oh well, the dark circles under my eyes may just be my personal fashion statement ...
Today was a great day because:  safe travel back home; picking up Rambo; family dinner with Steve's burgers; Lindley and Everley time; visiting with the Ogles

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Are We Done Yet??

Today was the race we've all been waiting for - Disneyland's Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  Once I had this one under my belt, I would be eligible for the special pink Coast to Coast Medal.  Well, as long as I complete the Princess Half Marathon in February.  So, it was up at 4am for a 5am start.

The weather was perfect, even a little chilly at the start.  Yesterday there was much wailing because apparently a large number of runners were stopped and bused to the finish because they were too slow (a huge controversy according to those who were swept). So Molly and I got in an earlier corral and soon were off to the races.  Literally.

The amazing thing about these Disneyland races for Tinkerbell (5K, 10K, and half-marathon) was that even though all three routed through The Magic Kingdom and California Adventure, each race routed you through a different way.  So even though it would seem you saw the the same thing three days in a row (if you did all three races like some dumb people), you saw those things from a different persepctive.

Anyhow, the first six miles were woven in and out of the parks and then we went out to the streets of Anaheim.  The coolest part of the whole race (well, except for receiving your finisher's medal) was running out of The Magic Kingdom and through Downtown Disney and then - a contingent of about 200 red hat ladies were positioned along the course, cheering us on, complete in their red hats and purple and red clothes.  It was super terrific!!

The last seven miles were fairly uneventful, except for the dude who decided to sprint to the finish at Mile 13, unfortunately behind me and on top of the heels of my feet - not cool.  But I managed to stay upright and finish and receive my Tinkerbell wings.  Molly (of course) had already finished and I met her at Earl's for a bite to each.  Followed by a shower and a nap.  And happiness that the past 11 days, seven races, and 71 miles are done.

And who is this race for?  It's for Lynnette.  Several years ago, the family was here and some of us were doing the Disneyland Half Marathon.  I asked Sam if Lynnette would ever do a race and he assured me that no, she never would because she didn't like to run and it bothered her knees.  Well, fast forward a few years later, and several 5Ks, 15ks, half-marathons, and a full marathon later, and Lynnette is a runner.  She even trains for them as she is now, training to do the Country Music Half Marathon to raise money for our local Gilda's Club.  So Tinkerbell may live in Neverland, but not Lynnette.  What might have been something she would never do, she does.  And in case any of you think, "Oh, I'd never do a race, even a 5K," just remember - never say never.  Just ask Lynnette.  Just don't tell her she'll never do something!
Today was a great day because:  beautiful day for a race; the red hat ladies on the course; CMs and other cheering people along the course; finishing and receiving my medal; ice cream and pretzel lunch at DD; room service dinner

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Another Double, Please!

Today Molly and I doubled yesterday's mileage (again) for the Tinkerbell 10K.  While today's race start and course was not as exciting as yesterday's, it was still a fun race.  We started out on the street, wound around Disneyland and California Adventure, got back on the streets, and finished close to Downtown Disney.  Molly finished waaaay ahead of me, which was good because she had time to take a shower and go get breakfast and bring it back to the room!

Today's race is for Lindley, who turned four this week.  If it weren't for her, I might still harbor my disenchantment with Tinkerbell.  But when your precious granddaughter is a Tink fan, you begin to look at Tink a different way.  And my hope is that one day, maybe Lindley will do a race with me.  Maybe one day when she gets old enough and I'm not too old.  Maybe it will be this race along with her first trip to Disneyland.  Maybe we'll only start the race and she'll take off and wait for me at the finish.  But one day we'll do a race together.  I just hope the race people will let me use my walker!!
Today was a great day because:  Fun 10K at Disneyland; race volunteers and runners in their costumes; Molly fetching breakfast; lunch with Molly at Rainforest; chatting with housekeeping lady

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Pixie Dust of a 5K!

Today Molly and I did the Never Land 5K at Disneyland.  It quickly became my favorite RunDisney 5K.  Why?  Let me share the ways ...

First, it starts in the Magic Kingdom, pretty much in front of Sleeping Beauty's (rather shrunk) castle.  It was just a short walk from our hotel, which meant we could sleep a bit before heading out. It was really neat to be on Main Street in the dark early hours (the race started at 5:45am) with about 3500 of your closest (and new) friends. 

Second, "The Star Spangled Banner" was performed on the trumpet by a cast member.  While hearing it sung live is always cool, hearing it this way is very special.

Third, before the race starts, lights and fireworks light up the castle and Tinkerbell comes out - AND FLIES AROUND THE CASTLE!!!  Not just a quick flight from here to there, but she flits about from here to there and back to here - super duper cool!!

Fourth, the race starts, and off we go - basically just through the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure parks.  No boring parts on the local roads - it's all in the parks.  We got to see the backstage areas (at least when the sun came up) and lots of fun in the parks themselves.

Fifth, the race ends in California Adventure  - in the park!  We got our post-race bottles of water and our box and snacks and headed out when ...

Finally, we pass by Starbucks on the way out (Disneyland has a SB in each park)!  What could be better than to finish and then finish with a frappuccino!!  I even tried a new frap - White Chocolate and it was yummy!!

So this quickly became my favorite Disney 5K.  And who is it for?  It's for my cyber-turned-real friend Denise, who has never done a 5K or been to Disneyland.  By doing this race, she can accomplish both.  And she seems convinced that if she ever does a 5K, I can participate in one of her activities of choice, which is master quilting, (or should I say is master artistic quilting, which is far from what I do with a sewing machine).  So we shall see who does what first - I with a quilting needle and some FQs (whatever that is) or Denise laces up some running shoes for a PR.  Of course knowing her, she'll probably quilt her own shoes!!
Today was a great day because:  5K with Molly at Disneyland; Starbucks post-race; breakfast at El's with Molly and then shopping at DD; Steve's safe travel to Columbus

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What Time Is It?

So maybe going from Eastern to Central to Pacific time zones in 24 hours was not the most stellar idea, but it had to be done.  The great part was falling asleep as soon as I had checked in, had a bite to eat, and fallen into bed (and I have no idea what time it was here or what time my body thought it was).  The bad part was waking up at 3:30 this morning, which was 5:30 back home, which was not an unusual time for waking up at home.  However, it's not such a great time to wake up while on a semi-vacay.

The good news is that I had plenty of time to catch up on sleep during the day, in between getting some lunch and picking up my and Molly's race stuff.  Now I just have to stay awake until Molly shows up tonight - whatever time that may be!!
Today was a great day because:  beautiful day; getting bibs and other stuff at the race expo; tuna melt for lunch; race expo volunteers

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why I Walk

This morning I learned of the passing of the wife of a high school friend.  I haven't seen Rich in probably 30+ years and never met Debbie, his wife.  But from their facebook pictures and posts from their friends and family, they were a very blessed and loving couple who blessed and loved all those around them.  Debbie's earthly life was taken away yesterday after two battles with breast cancer.  If there's any solace from this news, it's only that in her new Heavenly home, she will never have to experience such pain again.

While it deeply saddens me about Debbie, it also makes me so mad.  I'm mad because another husband has to live his life without his soul mate.  I'm mad because a daughter has to live her life without her mom to bounce ideas off and laugh with.  I'm mad because two sons have to live their lives without having that mom at home who loves them most of all.  And I'm mad because there's a mom who, while having been so blessed in this life, has to miss out on so much more.

That's why I continue to walk.  It's easy to walk when I know so many survivors.  It's not as easy to walk when I know those who are continuing to fight breast cancer.  But it is heartbreaking to walk for those names who are lost to this disease.  All of a sudden, breast cancer hits home and I know how much is lost.  A life is lost, and the magnitude of that loss is profound for her family and friends.

Rich and his children will find some peace in knowing that Debbie is in a better place and free from pain.  But breast cancer has robbed them of the future their whole family deserved.

So I will walk again this year.  For Debbie and all those who deserve a full lifetime. 
Today was a great day because:  safe travels

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Jump Down, Turn Around, Pack Another Suitcase ...

Today I returned home.  Tomorrow I shall leave again.  Why?  I shall explain that in a minute.  First I have to unpack two suitcases (the one I packed to go on the trip and the extra one Molly brought in which to pack all the extra stuff we accumulated).  Most of the clothes are clean - I just packed too much for this trip and I have to figure out what not to pack for the next.  I also need to get some other stuff done and have some Lindley and Everley time.  There's probably other stuff that I need to do, but if I don't know what it is, then do I really need to do it?

Anyhow, tomorrow Molly and I are headed out to do some more races.  Why?  The main reason is that we be cray-cray.  The other reason is our obsession with Disney race blingity-bling.  In other words, if we do the Tinkerbell Half Marathon (this coming weekend) AND the Princess Half Marathon in February (that's right, in 36 days), then not only do we qualify for the Coast to Coast medal, but we get the PINK COAST TO COAST MEDAL!!  So we are headed out.  Far out.  To California out.

I never said I was smart ...
Today was a great day because:  safe, smooth flight home; Disney dude who checked me and my bags in at OKW for the flight home; Maribeth's airport pickup; pizza dinner with the family; getting stuff unpacked

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hey Luanne, Now That You've Done 48.6 Miles in 4 Days, What Are You Going To Do?

I'm going to Disney World!!   Wait - I'm AT Disney World ...

So this morning after waking up at 3:00am (a habit after four days), I surfed the internet then went back to bed as Steve went off to play golf.  Then I started packing up (we're going back home tomorrow) which was the usual hassle -  with the addition of six race shirts and medals and the obligatory Disney stuff, I always end up with more than I brought.  Especially when you factor in all the stuff that Molly couldn't take back with her.

Anyhow, after a nap (or two), I decided to go for a soak in the hot tub by the pool.  Where I heard some stimulating conversation between a middle-aged woman and a boy/man whom I'm hoping was her son.  First they were discussing how China had relaxed the "one child" policy and now they would be "reproducing like rabbits."  From there the conversation went to India and Africa and how they should institute a one-child policy there because they have no jobs there and too many people.  They then started talking about getting jobs and social security and so on.  I decided I had had enough and got out to go dry off. 

After my brain stopped pounding, I returned to the room and cleaned up and took the boat to Downtown Disney - to get a few more things.  Steve finished golf and returned to the room, where I eventually returned.  Now it's time to finished packing up and say good-bye to Disney - at least for a while!
Today was a great day because:  I didn't have to get up at 3am to go out for a race; got several tasks completed; interesting hot tub session; nice cast member dude at World of Disney

Sunday, January 12, 2014

There's A Thin Line Between Dopey and Just Plain Dumb

And today I think I crossed over the line.  Let me explain ...

Last year Run Disney came out with a great moneymaking race idea. They already had "The Goofy Challenge" in place, where you do the half-marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday.  But somebody thought, "Let's make it even better!!  Let's create "The Dopey Challenge" where you do a 5K on Thursday (3.1 miles), a 10K on Friday (6.2 miles), a half-marathon on Saturday (13.1 miles), and a full marathon on Sunday (26.2 miles).  And when Molly and I found out about it, we got a second mortgage on the house and entered it.  Because you would get six medals - one for each race and one for doing the Goofy Challenge and one for doing the Dopey Challenge.  And besides, we were REALLY going to train for it.

Well, of course we didn't train for the marathon (like we've really trained for anything) and lo and behold Disney's Marathon Weekend was suddenly upon us.  We did the first three races and then headed out this morning at 3:30am for the full marathon start at 5:30am. 

We knew we needed to get in an earlier corral for an earlier start in order to avoid getting caught by the balloon ladies (two mean ladies who are the last to cross the start line and walk the required pace and then when/if they pass you, you are in danger of being swept off the course in a big bus and taken to the finish).  We did not want to get swept - we wanted all the medals.  We tried to figure out a way to corral hop, but Disney volunteers were manning the entrances to all the corrals.  At least until the corrals started heading towards the start line.  We saw our chance and hopped over (well as well as an overweight 56-year-old woman can hop over) the mesh fence to our Corral N and beelined across the median to Corral J and slipped into the crowd.  This little bit of cheating served us well, as the mean balloon ladies did not pass us until Mile 25.8, leaving no chance of us getting swept.  We finished and received all our medals!!  We needn't discuss the physical ramifications of lack of training, or our finish times - we just need to revel in the bling-ness of the medals.

This race is for Sam.  Back in the day when I did my first marathon (yes, I decided to start with marathons - I have never been too good with the smarts), he drove with me to Ohio (I wanted to do my first one which was The Air Force Marathon because it was far away from Nashville and had a looong finish time allowance) and took pictures during the race and had dinner with family when I had an early bedtime.  He was my supporter for that first marathon, and later we did a Disney Marathon (the one I talked about yesterday) and the Country Music Marathon in Nashville together.  Yes, he finished days before I did, but technically we did the same race.  Anyhow, since this is my 13th marathon (AND MY LAST!!!), this one is for Sam.  And if he ever decided to do another one himself, I will be there - cheering on the sidelines!!
Today was a great day because:  we jumped corrals and finished the marathon; Steve doing all kinds of errands to make us comfortable after the race; doing the last five miles with Molly

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Double Double

Today's race was a walk from Epcot to The Magic Kingdom and back.  Did you know that it's 13.1 miles from Epcot to the MK and back?  And did you know that 13.1 miles is the same distance as a half-marathon?  Well, it all became pretty convenient, since today was the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. 

Because of the recent security concerns over sporting events, we are no longer able to walk from Old Key West to the start (which saved us valuable hours of sleep time).  Instead, this morning we had to get up around 3am to board the race bus by 4am to get to our corral for a 5:30am race start.  Jealous yet?

Anyhow, once we got to the race start, Steve went to his much-faster-runner corral, Molly met up with Katie and they went to the corral just ahead of mine, and I wandered into my corral.  Much later I finally crossed the start line and much, much, much later I crossed the finish line.  Although the weather was warmer than I would have liked, the sun stayed behind the clouds and kept me from passing out from heatstroke.  I managed to stay ahead of the balloon ladies (two chicks doing the race with balloons attached who signify that you are going too slow and should be run off the course - or something like that).  I got my medal and my free water/gatorade/snack pack and headed for the bus.  Where I found Molly (yes, actually found her, or she found me) and we boarded the bus for the resort.  Where we ate and showered and took a nap.

Anyhow, today's race is for my sister Marilyn.  Many years ago we came down for this race.  Sam and I did the full marathon and Steve and Marilyn did the half.  It was her first half, and although we've done many races and walks since then, this one just always reminds me of that trip.  Especially the part where we got lost (a common thing when we're together) and wandered around the parking lot of the All Stars Music resort until some nice employee driving a golf cart offered to help us find our room.  Marilyn will be in attendance for our annual Princess Half Marathon weekend next month where we should be able to find our room - more than likely ...
Today was a great day because:  I finished the half-marathon; I met several interesting people in the corrals and on the course; Molly was waiting for me at the bus line; leftovers for breakfast; napping; Steve bringing us afternoon snacks

Friday, January 10, 2014

Double The Fun

So today's fun was a 10K around Epcot and Boardwalk.  Steve was in an earlier corral, so he was long gone before we even started.  Katie and Molly started with me, but took off around 3.5 miles, and I didn't see them again (although I did see Katie's mom cheering us on at the Yacht Club).  Eventually I finished, but missed Molly and Katie waiting for me at the finish.  We did end up at the same place - the hotel - where we recovered.  And eventually did a bit of shopping and eating.  And napping.

Anyhow, today's race is for Maribeth.  A long time ago, she, my sister Marilyn, and I came down to Disney to do a now-defunct 10K race called "The Race For The Taste."  That race morning, none of us really wanted to do it, but nobody really wanted to admit it and say, "Let's not do this."  And so we all did it, admitting later that we really didn't want to.  The worst part?  THERE WAS NO MEDAL!   So this race is for her.  One day when Everley is older and Maribeth has her second degree and works normal hours, she may have time to train for this race.  The best part - THERE WILL BE A MEDAL, BY GEORGE!!
Today was a great day because:  we finished the 10K; shopping and running errands with Molly; dinner at Puck's with Steve and Molly; chatting with Katie and Nancy; picking up the "piggy packet"

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Family Fun Run 5K

Today was my first race for 2014.  I have decided that each race I do this year, I will have an absent running partner - someone that I hope one day will run/walk/wog a race like this with me.  So who is today's running partner?  My friend Jeanne.

Today was Jeanne's race because Pluto was the character for this race, and made me think of Jeanne and Ken's doggie Bea, who is so much fun.  I could just imagine Bea running around having fun in the race (that is, if doggies were invited).  But mainly this is Jeanne's race because she is such a good friend that last year she came over to Disney World to the Princess Half Marathon (unbeknownst to me) and waited (and waited and waited and waited) for me to eventually drag myself past where she and Ken were holding a sign - just for me.  It was such a happy moment and signifies one of the best thing about races - having someone to cheer you on along the course.  So this is race is hers, to remind me of the good parts of races and of life.

And one day, maybe she will join me on a Disney 5K - and maybe Pluto will let Bea come!!
Today was a great day because:  Katie, Molly, and I did the 5K together; Steve bringing breakfast to the room; shopping a bit with Molly; afternoon napping; picking up Steve at the golf course; dinner at the Lobster with Molly and Steve

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Headed South For The Winter - At Least This Current Cold Spell

So this morning Steve and I headed for the airport to catch a Southwest flight to Orlando.  With all the recent flight cancellations and delays, we got there early (like a little after 5am for a 6:40am flight) in case there was a big crowd - there wasn't.  So we had some free time to sit around and listen to the people across the concourse applaud when the Southwest lady announced that their flight would indeed soon be leaving for Chicago.

We boarded our flight and flew safely and smoothly to Orlando, got in the rental car, and headed to the race expo.  Yes, we're in town for some Disney races.  Molly will be joining us later tonight.  Tomorrow is the 5K and we'll be meeting up with Katie, whom we met a year ago on a cruise.

Anyhow, we got to the expo with our priorities straight.  First, Steve was going to stand in line to get the new Disney running shoes for those who had requested them.  They have new models this year, and several female members of the family were really wanting a pair.  The system was you stood in line to get an appointment to go to the shoe kiosk to get your shoes for purchase.  Almost three hours later, Steve finally got to make his appointment - only to find out it would probably be four more hours before he would get a chance to buy the shoes.  Meanwhile while he was in line, I was trotting from building to building picking up race bibs and shirts and race souvenir stuff. 

We decided to leave the expo in order to get lunch and check into the hotel.  The shoe people said they would text when it was our turn to get shoes.  After eating, we decided to return to the expo and wait, just in case our number got called.

Meanwhile, Molly texted us to say that Katie had gotten to the expo at 12:30 (long after they had disbanded the shoe sign-up line) and had just walked in and purchased her shoes.  This lit a fire under Steve, and we went to the shoe place, walked in the back door, and five minutes later walked out with the shoes.

Oh, and the text telling us it was our turn?  It came four hours later.
Today was a great day because:  Safe, smooth flight to Orlando; no long waits at airport; nice rental car; picking up all our stuff at the expo; Molly arriving in Orlando, albeit a bit late

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It's Still Cold - But Not For Long ...

So the weather has warmed up from the single digits to the doubles.  But it's still cold.  Sam and Lynnette's heat quit working, so they came over with Lindley to spend the night.  But since we live in Nashville, the cold should be history by the weekend.  Not that I will notice since I will be a bit further South.  Like in Florida. Someplace that's known for mice.  How else should I start the new year?
Today was a great day because:  we had overnight guests; I managed to straighten up most of the house

Monday, January 6, 2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Okay you Northern people - I sort of get it now.  I mean, I thought I knew what cold was, but after today, you can have it back.  Because today in Nashville, it was C-O-L-D!!

Now maybe "the teens" isn't that cold for some of you.  For Nashvillians, it was "cancel school and buy milk and eggs" cold.  We're used to cold being in the 20s, and complaining about it (which is reverse from the summer when we complain about how hot it is).  If it's cold enough to put on a coat, then it's cold enough.  Today if you didn't have on your gloves, you made a big mistake.  Which of course, I did.

While it was cold today, it was also sunny and I had several errands to complete.  So out I went sans gloves.  Once I got in my little car and realized my gloveless mistake, I considered going back inside the house to retrieve them, but upon the realization that I would have to get out of the car and back into the cold, I opted out.  Besides, I was pretty sure that I had emergency gloves in the car.  Which I couldn't find.  So I went on my errands without gloves which probably accounts for the dry flaky digits that I now have.  By the way, the emergency gloves?  Right in plain sight in the cubby above the glove compartment.

Anyhow, I accomplished my errands without freezing and made it back home.  In time to pack (several days early, mind you) for a trip to warmer weather.  But we'll chat about that later ...
Today was a great day because:  I got three cars to the emissions place and they all passed; the nice although freezing people manning the emissions station; having a roast cook all day in the crock pot and Steve making gravy to go with it; getting Maribeth's cruise changed; taking a nice hot bath tonight to warm my bones; completing a bunch of other errands

Sunday, January 5, 2014

First 2014 Project

Sometimes Lindley gets sad because she visits and has people visit her at her house and then when she/they leave, she misses them.  Most of the time this happens around bedtime (I am getting my information from her parents).  A few times this has happened, Sam and Lynnette got some coasters that have family pictures on them, and Lindley put them in bed with her.

So of course I came up with a brilliant idea.  That idea was to make a blanket (since I know Kat and Denise, aka quilters extraordinaire, I've had to change my vocab, since the quilts they do bear no resemblance to what I do).  The plan would be to iron onto squares of material pictures of Lindley's various family members and attach these pictures to other square-ish pieces of fabrics,  and then combine all of this via a rather cantankerous sewing machine, thus forming one cohesive piece of material, aka a blanket.  My thinking was that this would be more comfy than hard glass coasters.

Of course this brilliant idea stayed in the recesses of my brain until Friday, when Lynnette mentioned again that Lindley was very sad and could I send Lynnette some pictures so she could send them to a place and get them put on a pillow case (an idea she and Lindley had come up with).  Naturally, my LaLa gene went into overdrive and I started work on the quilt  blanket.

Eventually I finished it up around 4am this morning along with a book entitled "Lindley Love" which explains the whole purpose for the blanket - hopefully on a four-year-old's terms.  By the way, there was no quilting involved.  There was mainly uneven cutting, ironing, stitching and broken stitching and slipped stitching.  In other words, it sort of looks like a four-year-old might have done it.

Nevertheless, it is complete and wrapped for a birthday pre-celebration later today.  Hopefully it will serve the purpose for which it was created and no more sadness will be had.  At least over the missing of people. 

Update:  It was a hit!!

Update:  It was a hit!!
Today was a great day because:  breakfast at JChristopher with KB; taking Maribeth, Mathieu, and Everley to the airport; Lindley time; new season of Downton Abbey

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Zip, Zip, Zip!!

So we're already four days into January, and already time seems to be zipping by.  Maybe it's because January is a pretty full month for me.  Maybe it's because I'm getting older - apparently the aging process is going into double time.  Maybe it's because there always seems to be a lot and something more to do.  But for whatever reason, time is a-marching on.

So that means I've got to take this 2014 into hand and under control.  I've got to get busy and stay in the moment.  I've got to kick arse and take names and makes waves.

So the first order of business?  I think I'll go take a nap ...
Today was a great day because:  I lounged around in the bed for awhile this morning; started (and finished) a new sewing project; had Lindley and Everley time; visited with Michael and his friends

Friday, January 3, 2014

Just Call Me Wal-Marta

I admit it - I'm a Wal-Mart girl.  Especially since one moved in a mile away.  There are some members of my immediate family that do not go to Wal-Mart - for one reason or another.  But I go - and sometimes I think it's just for the entertainment.

So to educate you who may not know the virtues of Wal-Mart (and yet are very aware of the failings of Wal-Mart), here are my Top Five Reasons I Wal-Mart (and yes, Wal-Mart can be used as a verb).

1.  No tie required.  In other words, it's really come as you are.  I'm sure you've seen (or should see) "People of Wal-Mart."  And no, to my knowledge I have not been showcased on that website.  Yet.  I like to go to Wal-Mart because usually it means I just need to find shoes and my wallet.  Which means I can go in the "grass-cuttin'" clothes, my three-day pajama bottoms, or just about whatever I happen to have on at the time.  Because there's probably somebody there who is dressed more ridiculously that I. 

2.  It's no big deal if you forget your shopping list.  Because you will probably leave with a buggy full of stuff that you had no idea you needed.  So if you come in for laundry soap, you will probably find at least three things on that aisle that you've never known existed and now fully realize that your life cannot continue unless you have those items.

3.  You might get welcomed like a prodigal Wal-Marter.  That is, if your Wal-Mart has a greeter who knows what he/she is doing.  There's nothing like being greeted as though the store has been waiting for your attendance all day.  Because the greeter is so excited to see you and will help you get a cart and ask if you need any assistance.   

4.  You never know you/what you might encounter.  For instance, last night I was in the cosmetic aisle when these two dudes asked me a question.  Dude 1 says, "Ma'am, what would you use to cover up stuff on your face?"  I directed him and his buddy to the concealer area and then walked over there to further my browsing as they were trying to decide on a concealer color.  Dude 1 continued as he said, "Look at his face and he's got to go to work tomorrow."  Dude 2's face clearly had gotten the nasty end of a door - or somebody's fist. 

5.  If you get there early enough, you will get a pep talk for the day.  That is, if you are in the general aisle/vicinity for the morning store staff pep talk.  There are encouraging words and positive talk and it ends with a cheer.  Seriously.  Makes you want to go out and sell something.  Or at least use a price gun.

So there you have it.  My name is Luanne and I shop at Wal-Mart.  Usually in my grubby clothes because I need something at that very minute that I had to run out and get instead of taking a shower and putting on clean clothes.  And while I was there I found 37 other things that I didn't even know I needed so I bought them.  Because that's the way you Wal-Mart!
Today was a great day because:  Lindley spent the night and the day; Everley and Lindley time; Michael and his friend David visiting; picking up Lynnette at the airport; Molly stopping by with treats and a drink

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Little Surprises

As a general rule, I hate surprises.  I don't like things that I have no control over.  I don't like not knowing what's going on.  But sometimes, a little surprise is a good thing - at least for me.

Today in the mail, I received a note and a small charm.  Basically, the charm was for completing three races in the Women's Half Marathon Series events (okay, so the races I did were 5Ks - apparently they counted).  This little bonus was unexpected and was for something I did, and had apparently earned.  It was small, it was quiet, and it was in recognition of my accomplishment - just my kind of surprise.

But it has also made me think about doing the same for others.  Maybe I could think of the things that people do and that I notice, and send a little congratulatory "happy" to them.  Because in the end, I think we all appreciate it when someone notices our actions and thoughts.  And maybe we don't want a big celebration - we just want to know somebody cares enough to mention it.

Maybe in 2014 I can be one of those people.  My little charm has certainly started 2014 off on a sweet note for me.  Maybe this year I can pass that sweetness along.
Today was a great day because:  I found the place to pick up Maribeth's bargains; Mathieu and I tag-teamed fixing/assembling Maribeth's bed foundation and desk; I picked up Lindley at school; Everley and Lindley time; Sam and Lynnette's safe travel to DC

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 - I Like The Sound of That!!

I'll admit - I never liked the sound of 2013.  I'm not a "13" fan of anything, and it's not that I'm overly superstitious.  But 13 sometimes just gives me the heebie-jeebies. 

By all accounts, 2013 was a great year.  There were a great many high points.  Our family had many great adventures and experiences.  Udderly Pink trekked 60 more miles, and in rain that we swore we'd never do.  I finished several races (and never started several others).  I met friends in person that I'd only known on this internet thing.  I kept in touch with old friends from the old days and still wonder what it would be like if we still lived in the same town.  Truly 2013 was a blessed year.

But there were also low points - friends and acquaintances receiving dire health prognoses and some succumbing to that illness.  Friends and acquaintances taking sides on one issue or another and vehemently advocating their beliefs to the detriment of others.  People just being crazy and hurting others for no reason.  There was badness and meanness and sorrow in 2013.

But for better or worse, 2013 has ended and 2014 has begun.  2014 just sounds fresh and ready to be great.  I don't know where it will take me, but with all new beginnings, I hope this is the one that signifies great and new and joyous adventures ahead.

And for you, I wish the same, with an overabundance of love from every corner of this great big world.  Happy 2014!!
Today was a great day because:  we celebrated Sam's birthday a little late with shrimp and black eyes peas and chocolate cake and a giant cookie; Everley and Lindley time