Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Another step towards adulthood.................................

My youngest got her navel pierced last night. Since she will not turn eighteen until this April, mom needed to be with her and give permission for her to have the procedure done. See, moms can be beneficial even with older children.

So, we head out for the tattoo place and are right on time (a rarity in and of itself) when one of us realize that not only did my youngest not have her birth certificate, she also did not have her license or her debit card to pay for the piercing. Her rational for not having the license and debit card was, "I always leave my purse in my car and we didn't take my car so I forgot to get them." My response, " And just when did you realize we were not taking your car? When you were clearing the snow off the truck, starting the truck so it could warm up, or within the last fifteen minutes that you have been riding in the truck?" A little snotty I know, but this was my time she was wasting. We never did come up with an excuse about not getting the birth certificate (we needed this to prove I was her mom since we have different last names), but I am still blaming her for forgetting it.

Through the miracle of cell phones (though this was a big frustration as well as we were driving through the one part of our area in which we NEVER have continuous service, plus the phone had a low battery and kept beeping every fer seconds. Grrrrr...) we were able to contact the place and change her appointment to give us enough time to go back home and get what was needed. Poor thing, this gave mom and extra twenty minutes to lecture her on responsibility, and how I wouldn't be doing these things once she turned eighteen so she had better start paying more attention, blah, blah, blah... Gosh I can be a bitch at times, but that is a mother's job now isn't it?

Okay, so we finally arrive, proper paperwork in hand, and the reality of what my baby is about to do to herself hits me as I look at all the staff and patrons in the place full of piercings and tattoos. "Come on! It is one little navel piercing. But what if it sets off something in her and she ends up looking like these people? I'll just have to kick her butt if that happens, relax."

So then this really sweet young girl comes up to us, holds out her hand in welcome and says, "Hi, I'm Jill and I'll be piercing you tonight." I don't know why this struck me as funny( it was actually very professional), but I did. It sounded like what a wait person says when you go out to eat at a restaurant. She helped my youngest pick out which stud she wanted in her navel, and off we went to the piercing room. The room looked just like a doctors office, which I am sure was intentional to make people feel more comfortable with the idea of letting someone be invasive with one of their body parts. Jill made a big deal of telling us how everything was sterilized and I found this interesting. Not so much the details, but the fact that they have to work so hard to overcome bad practices of other places (I think nail salons have the same problem). While I must admit that I have never seriously thought about getting a tattoo or a body piercing (besides my ears which I have had done for years... the first holes done by a friend, sterilizing the needle with a match and then shoving it into the potato she held behind my ear to keep it from going into my neck I guess. Pretty gross hu?) so I have never looked into what should occur, but her spiel made me feel better just the same.

When it came time for the actual event, my youngest lay on the table and was shaking from head to foot. This is what she does when she gets nervous. The more nervous, the more shaking, and I would rate this shaking a twelve on a zero to ten scale. I held her hand, and refrained from commenting on how the needle that Jill was planning on using looked just like one of my darning needles (big and dull) as not to make her pass out or anything dramatic like that.

In a couple of minutes the whole thing was over, and within a couple more minutes I had talked her into sitting up ( okay, I more like ordered her to "just sit up, if it hurts it hurts. A little too late to worry about that now isn't it?") and checking it out in the mirror. After my youngest looked and liked, Jill looked and pronounced it "just a wee bit crooked." Upon further investigation it was determined that the piercing was indeed straight, but the tissue in my youngest's navel was pulling the bottom part of the stud just slightly off center making it look crooked IF ONE STARED DEAD AT IT WITH MY YOUNGEST HOLDING PERFECTLY STILL AND KNEW WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR it kinda looked crooked! My goodness. I told Jill not to loose any sleep over it. After all it isn't her fault that my youngest has a faulty navel now is it? She still felt bad and refunded us five dollars off the price. We would have been stupid not to take that deal now wouldn't we?

Then on the way home, we stopped at Subway (where her boyfriend works) so she could show him her studded navel. He was waiting on the local police officers (we don't have a donut shop so the cops hang out at subway instead), who were joking with him that there must be something new in his life. Big mouth that I am, when he said, "No. Not really." I piped up and said, "Well, his girlfriend just got her navel pierced, which is why she keeps yelling at me not to make her laugh." Turns out this was news to the boyfriend as well as to the policemen. My youngest said," I hadn't told him yet in case I chickened out." How can she not yet know that being my kid chickening out is NOT an option? Oh well, she is young, and still has lots of time to figure that one out.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Checking in................................

I thought I would take a few minutes and write a post, as it will be something concrete I can point to, thus my entire day will not be a waste.

So far, I have shoveled the driveway and ramp, but it is snowing again so that will need to be re-done. I have wasted w-a-y too much time packing a suitcase to try and decide if I will want to take one or two pieces of luggage on my trip. Of course I want to have to haul only one, and I can even fit everything into one (at this point anyway), but I am concerned with the weight limits of the bags on the plane and if I buy too many presents when shopping in Mexico...Oh the tortures of my life (NOT!). Anyway, I will have to unpack one and pack two and then decide, so that will all need to be done another day as well. It is a given that any of the cooking and cleaning I do today will just have to be done again tomorrow. Why can't someone invent a dog and cat that REALLY doesn't shed? Or why can't we be like camels and only have to eat every so many days? Wouldn't that be cool, to only have to cook dinner once a week? Of course that would never happen around here...we all love to eat too much, and do so because it taste good more than we really need the calories from the food.

I finished the back of the tank top I am knitting, maybe I will finish the entire thing in the next day or so. And I also finished not one, but two cups of coffee this morning. Not a big deal you might think, but usually I end up dumping the second half of the second cup as I always think I want it but then get busy and find it sitting somewhere un-finished hours later.

Am I complaining about my life? NOT AT ALL! I actually feel very fortunate and very lucky that my days are so relaxing and un-complicated. I am very blessed, know this, and am simply poking fun at myself and the fact that I have NOTHING to complain about. Trust me, this didn't used to be my life, and I guess some days I am waiting for all this goodness to disappear...the other shoe dropping kind of thing.

So, now that I have proof that on this day I did something that will still be around as evidence tomorrow and the next day, I will let you get on with your days and I am off to change the laundry from the washer to the dryer. How's that for fun and excitement?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fashion show.............................

I spent the bulk of yesterday revamping my summer clothing so I will have something to wear on my cruise next month. A nip here, a tuck there, and lots of hemming brought my clothes up to the rules of "What Not To Wear."
The black dress is the one I made (well, I still have to do the hem it is just pinned up right now)The back of the dress has a drape to it but it is hard to really see in the picture. It also looks wrinkly, but this is because I probably should have used a lighter weight fabric that would have hung better. I liked the look and feel of this fabric, so I am stuck with it now.
The purple top is one that I knitted. It is knit out of a ribbon type yarn instead of normal yarn.
I also feel I have to say that I think I look much thinner in the mirror than I do in these pictures.
Don't ya love the red shoes? Now I just have to find a red clutch to go with them. I think I am going to have to give up and make one.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Congratulations are in order..........................................

Thanks to the public school system that has effectively managed to get at least one day a month off, the young woman that works for me could not work her day job, as her daughter was having one of those days (off) and she didn't have child care for her. So what you ask?

One of the (few) perks of working for me is that she brings her daughter with her. Bonus for me, she could come during the day (and if you haven't put it all together yet, she did just that yesterday) so I could go out and do my long run without running out of daylight. Getting this out of the way means I get my entire Saturday to myself.

Officially one day ahead of schedule, I ran ten miles yesterday. A few of the roads had drifts and ice on them, but for the most were pretty clear, and layered like I was I didn't get cold, even though it took me two hours to complete the distance. As I have said before, I just don't like the feeling of being all gasping and chest heavingly out of breath. I would much rather go a little longer. Heck, when you are running close to two hours, what difference does eight or ten minutes make?

How do I pass the time out there running you ask? First off, thank goodness and praise God for my Ipod. With all the hours of music I have on there, I rarely hear the same song twice. With the music for background noise, I just kind of let my mind wander. My first thoughts are always of how good it feels to be free of responsibility for a bit and be alone to focus on me. Then I look forward to the two mile mark, knowing that when I get there my muscles will be warmed up and I will have found my rhythm and pace. Often within the first ten minutes I will be passed by an idiot that refuses to give me any part of the road (just as I refuse to get off the shoulder into the ankle deep snow this time of year. I am not running in wet shoes when it is below freezing outside), so I entertain myself with thoughts of something tragic happening to him (and it is almost always a him) for being such a jerk until someone else passes me that has impeccable roadside manners and either slows way down and gets over, or stops and waits for the on-coming traffic to clear before preceding cautiously past me. At that point I switch my thoughts to visualizing an awards ceremony for most courteous driver. Of course you know that the rude/jerk drivers are court ordered to attend these ceremonies as punishment for their actions.

As I run past houses, I imagine the people that live inside, give them occupations, relationships, activities. I feel the most sad for the doctors (in my mind), as they are never home to enjoy their nice houses and families. Yesterday, as I was passing one house, a little old lady pulled out WITHOUT LOOKING and had I not been watching would have ran me over. This little event gave me a good two miles of thoughts while I spent the lawsuit money, which cleaned up our little bit of debt, gave us a nice little nest egg and the ability to save the bulk of our income, because unlike some people that get a windfall, if I were ever to do so I would continue to work. At least, that is, until I had a net worth of five million dollars. That is the amount that I have decided (my) Mister and I could comfortably live off the interest of. Let's just say, that while we are working on it with great diligence, we are not there yet (with lots of emphasis on the word YET).

By this time in my run, I am usually to a point where I could take a short-cut and go home sooner than originally planned. This is where I have that little argument with myself about who would know (I'm certainly not going to admit to cheating now am I)? I would know, and that is the most important thing, to be true to myself. Then, what about that time that I ate that extra brownie? Who found out about that? But, yes, I did feel horrible and like I totally let myself down. And this goes on until I just yell (usually out loud) "JUST SHUT UP AND GET IT OVER WITH" as I pass the short-cut corner, turning my attention back to whatever song is currently playing. And I always feel good for having kept my word to myself.

Especially on these long runs, some of my thinking time is taken up with deciding whether or not I can finish the run without having to pee on the side of the road. Even running on country roads as I do, timing is everything when it comes to this. "There are no houses right here, and usually little traffic, if I don't go now I will have to go another ___ until I find these same conditions. Can I hold it? I think so... Maybe not..." This time of year there is also the consideration of having to get all the layers down and up (do I try and pee with my gloves on, hold them in my teeth, find a dry spot on the road to lay them on, tuck them under my arm), in a timely fashion while keeping everything dry. And there is also that little thing I mentioned earlier about not being able to get that far off the road without getting my shoes soaked. BUT WHEN YOU GOTTA GO, YOU GOTTA GO! Enough about that isn't it?

Yes! I could have simply posted that I ran ten miles yesterday in two hours and left it at that, but wasn't it much more fun getting a glimpse into my crazy whacked out mind? I thought so too.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Another trip to the Principal's office..........................

Yesterday morning was a struggle for my youngest. Her alarm didn't go off (which usually means it goes off a few hours after she leaves for school which is an extreme irritant for me), and then her car didn't start (did I tell you it is cold here?) which meant she had to walk an entire four blocks to school. Of course her gloves were frozen because they had gotten wet the day before while she was running, and instead of bringing them inside she left them in her car overnight. Lucky for her mom has a stash of gloves because "no gloves" does not constitute a good enough reason for her to drive my truck the four "l-o-n-g c-o-l-d blocks to school. (This would be a great place for one of those "when I was your age" stories, but I will spare you. It is a given that the kid is spoiled!) Let's just leave it with her mumbling about "her horrible life" as she trudged off towards school.

Fast forward to after school, and her much improved mood. She decided to run only a couple of miles (that cold snap again) and then lift weights at the school. The guys were also inside running sprints (can't do this on the ice safely), and the cheer team was practicing as well. The problem comes in whereas the cheer team was practicing in the dome (the place where all the hallways come together) and this was getting in the way of the guys. Actually, I am sure the guys were fine with things as they would simply mow down any of the girls that were in their way at the time, it was the cheer coach that was really having the problem with the situation.

First let me say that I am still unclear as to why this was any of my youngest's business (she tells me it is because "when she cheered they ALWAYS practiced in the commons and EVERYONE knows this is their place, and that they had no right to be in the dome in the first place, and the cheer coach had no business yelling at the guys, and the guys were being FAR to nice about things and someone needed to step in and set the record straight." Clear as mud right?), but insinuate herself into the middle of it she did.

Apparently, she told the cheer coach what I quoted above, and apparently the cheer coach was NOT pleased to have a teenager butting into her business. As my youngest was walking away the coach was asking the girls "for that girls name" so she could turn her in to the Principal. My youngest thought this was pretty amusing, but I am pretty sure she kept the laughter to herself as she walked away.

The four block walk home did nothing to cool her off, and when she got to the part in the story about the principal, I did laugh - out loud! I am absolutely positive that the last person the Principal wants to have to deal with is my daughter.

Don't worry, I did my parent thing and had the discussion about showing respect for adults, and minding one's own business. My arguments were pretty weak however seeing that my youngest really acted far more adult like than the adult in the story. We all know how far one gets with yelling and acting "authoritative" when dealing with young people. In my opinion this woman could have used this problem as a time to demonstrate (and thus teach) consideration, mutual respect, and compromise.

Bottom line for my child (and you knew this was coming) she got up extra early this morning so that she could visit the principal with her concerns herself. She plans to tell him that he needs to set the cheer coach straight on where they are to practice and how she is to treat other students. I am pretty sure that her "demands" will fall on deaf ears, but I applaud her follow through and the fact that she is willing to stand up for her beliefs and her fellow track members. And since she still has not gotten her money or her T-shirt back from the principal, I can't say that I am feeling anything but happy that the principal will at least have to go through the motions of listening to her concerns. Consider it his just reward for being an idiot. I do!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

To be, or not to be me...............................

I had a REALLY nice day yesterday, and was filled with gratitude for all of my blessings. I have worked really hard to get to this place in life, and here I am referring to the emotional space that I am in. I kind of feel like I have finally grown into my own skin. The problem I had last night, was being me when the other person didn't appreciate it.

I had a phone conversation with someone that is facing some really tough stuff. Having counseled this person for years, suggesting (and sometimes even rescueing) ideas to apply to problems, it was natural for me to put in my two cents. Last night, I was trying to get this person to face a couple of ideas head on, just like I would do. What I forgot was it is not my life, and this person doesn't deal with things the same way I do. In wanting to make things easier down the road I upset this person because they were not "ready" to explore said road.

I totally believe that this person is entitled to have the experience they want to have. My problem comes in when them having their experience goes against my beliefs. It is just plain hard for me to shut my mouth because I care.

As a mother, I have license to keep my baby from touching a hot stove or running into a busy street in the name of safety. Once a person reaches adulthood (including our children) each of us has license to live our lives the way we choose. This is sometimes hard to watch, but doesn't change the facts of this right.

So what do I do? First and formost, SHUT MY MOUTH. Secondly remind myself, it is NOT my life, so it is NOT my choice. Then, after I calm down, begin to send "loving" vibes to the person with suggestions that they do what I think is best. One and two good, three not so much! Okay, instead of suggestions on what to do, how about sending vibes for protection while they figure out what they want to do. That sounds better...

Now, to just be able to follow through. This is today's goal. Do you think I can do it?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A lesson in determination.....................................

Many years ago (at least five), my oldest gave me a hibiscus plant for Mother's day. By some miracle, as it is not native to my area, the plant has grown and thrived on my "little attention/neglect" style of gardening. In fact, it has done so well, that each fall when I bring it back inside after a summer of sun I have to whack off the top branch as it has grown taller than my ceilings. This year, I took the whacked off branch and stuck it in some water just to see what would happen (and because I felt a little bad about having cut it off).

As you can see from the above pictures (sorry they are sideways. I am just happy to have just gotten them on the post) the branch not only took root, but it flowered as well (even in the dirty green water that I never get around to changing). No! The photos have not been doctored (had I done that why would I have not cleaned up the water as well?). The whacked off branch thrived in spite of the odds against it. Talk about determination.

This little flowering branch can be a lesson to us all. So many times we allow ourselves to not grow and flower because we are waiting for better conditions in which to do so. "When I am out of school/debt/a bad relationship/the kids are in school/etc... then I will_________". One could allow an entire life to pass with this mind-set, and that would be very sad.

While you are hanging out in the dirty water of your current life, take note of one little thing that you can grab hold of and make better. While waiting for the big changes, focus on making ten little changes one after another. Instead of saying, "I can't do ______." Say, "I might not be able to do _____ YET, but I can do ____, and _____, and ______." Before you know it, that big change you were hanging out waiting for is your reality. It happens every day folks, and it CAN happen to you, if you are just brave enough to invite it in and believe in the reality of it.

Adopt the attitude of the branch, and dare to will change the world around you.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Does it show?...................

I finally caved in and switched to the updated version of blogger.

What finally got me to do so was
T-girls pronouncement that the new system has a good spell checker in it. I am horribly spell-check dependent...could you tell? I used to keep a word document open and when I didn't know how to spell something, I would pull it up and use the spell checker on it. My youngest taught me that little trick. It is much faster than a dictionary.

Two nights in a row I have only woke up one time during the night. That is huge for me, and may be why I am feeling on top of the world right now. Even though technically, I am still suppose to be taking a muti-vitamin, Vit-C, and iron, I haven't been and it feels great to not have to be swallowing pills several times a day. I don't know how people that have to do it all the time deal with it. People tell me that I would get used to it, but I wonder how?. No matter what I take, first they sit in my throat (or at least it feels like they are lodged there), and then they hit my stomach and I feel nauseated for twenty minutes or so. Exercise and eating right are much easier than this.

Christmas eve, I started knitting a tank top (for my new figure). It is knit in the round, which means you join the first stitch to the last stitch after you cast on all the stitches and when you are finished knitting you have the front and back of the garment and there are no seams in it. The tank has a really pretty design in the bottom, and the first row was impossible, as I had to count, re-count X many to make sure I was doing it right. It must have taken me two weeks to get around that first row (198 stitches is all). The second row was almost as hard, kind of like knitting blind as I was teaching myself something I didn't know how to do. Anyway, I stuck with it, worked my way up the pattern, was liking the way it looked, and finally completed the first pattern last Saturday during my self-imposed bed-rest day, only to realize that I had twisted the dumb thing somehow despite my checking and re-checking ad nauseum! Talk about depressing! Just when I was beginning to enjoy the knitting, I was going to have to rip it out and start over. I thought about just chucking it, but I won't allow myself to be a quitter.

I finally got up the gumption to rip it out yesterday afternoon, and re-cast on last night. To my complete and utter surprise, it is not as difficult the second time around. Mmmmmm...maybe I learned something during the process the first time (like they make those little marker things for a very good reason). Again, I checked and triple checked to be sure I didn't twist the work when I joined it together, but if I did, I figure the third time will be a charm. After all, if I am being entertained with the process, it doesn't really matter how many times I have to start over right? I am totally blaming it on that stupid request of mine all those years ago for patients. Thanks to that request I am still being tested all these years later. What was I thinking way back then?

I just had a thought about apologizing for my boring, mundane life, but sorry, I really like boring so I will not apologize. I also know there are many weird and fascinating blogs out there for those of you that crave that kind of a read. I am here for a nice contrast to those, when you need a break from chaos, so think of my boring life as a public service for those times, and come back when you need (or want) to.

P.S. Thanks T-girl, that spell checker really is nice!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Feeling better.............

Saturday, I forced myself to do nothing. Translated, this means I sat around and knitted or sewed on the dress I am making, watched some television, stayed in my PJs.

Sunday, I HAD to go for a run, red body or not. I justified it with the reasoning that since the skin is the biggest organ of the body, making myself sweat would actually be a good thing as it would speed up the release of the toxins in my body. Sounds pretty good doesn't it? The reality of the matter is I truly think I would have lost my mind if I didn't go running yesterday. As strange as that sounds (and I will be the first to say that in the past I have told people they were nuts for saying "they have to exercise")I finally get the truth of that statement. I am addicted to running, and I gotta say it beats the heck out of my sugar/chocolate addictions.

As I put on all my layers (it was in the twenties yesterday), I could actually feel my mood lifting. Out the door, down the street, and around the corner, and I actually remember thinking, "Ya! This is more like it." Fifty minutes later (see, I was a good girl and only did five miles instead of the eight I was suppose to do for my long run of the week), when I walk in the door, my head was clear and I felt like myself again.

Today, while still itchy, ninty percent of the reddness is gone, so I guess the worse has passed. And since my energy has seemed to return I had better get off this computer and get some things done. Have a special day.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mystery solved.................

I am pretty sure I have (finally) put two and four together and came up with the reason why I have been so un-producive these last few days.

Tuesday evening, I went for a nice four mile run, but once I got home I felt like crap. Turns out I was running a small fever. I blamed the fever and minor sore thoat on the fact that I had done my hour and a half last Saturday run without a hat on and must have gotten a chill. Tylenol keeps the fever down, and I didn't run the last two days as a precaution, but that is getting old fast.

Last night, after I had gone to bed, I turned over on my elbow, and noticed it felt a little painful. When I touched it it felt rough so I got up to look at it in the mirror. My entire elbow was covered in a rash. Weird. I went back to bed and laid there wondering what I could have dipped my elbow in that would create the rash.

This morning the rash coveres my entire body! FINALLY I figured my symptoms must be telling me I was having an allergic reaction to the antibiotic I am taking. In my defense, I don't usually take medication, and before this surgery, I have never had a reaction to any medication or food. When I re-read the pamphlet that comes with the medicine, there it was, "fever, rash, sore throat, fatigue." The worst part is I had read this pamphlet when I first started the medicine (that is how I found out I couldn't tan while using it), but the fever sore throat thing being linked to being ouside without a hat made sense so my mind didn't venture to look for other causes. Does this make me narrow minded? I prefer to call it focused.

So, I have stopped the drug and I am sure doing so will clear up everything else in a day or so, and if I am lucky, I might just get something done next week. It could happen...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

News flash...................

This Friday (January 19), the television show 20/20 is doing a peice on American debt. As part of the story they interviewed Dave Ramsey, so here is your opportunity to see what he is all about. While he might not be much to look at, he has some sound advice regarding debt so check him out.

Okay, that's it for news, and how pathetic is that? Absolutely, positively nothing is happening in my world. I think I might have had (secret) out of body experiences the last two afternoons, because both days I finish with lunch, and before I know it, it is four o'clock, time to start dinner, and I have accomplished absolutely nothing. This is not my normal nature, and it's not like I simply stare at the wall for four hours. It is more that I don't feel like I am spending my time doing something valuable (though I am getting pretty good at the crossword puzzles from the paper). I also have no idea what I should be doing that I would find valuable. I feel stuck.

Let's blame it on winter and the fact that I am not getting as much sun light as I need. Or how about peri-menopause...that one is good for blaming anything that doesn't fit into any other category. Whatever the reason, I hope it passes soon because I feel like a slug, and that is not a good thing.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A little bit of fluff..............

Since Julia thought yesterday's subject was "awful," I thought I would lighten things up a bit. Nobody like a downer (except in pill form)right?

Okay, fluff... Of the white, cold variety. MUCH easier to shovel the few inches off the driveway this morning than yesterdays concoction of ice/water/shush. That crap was HEAVY, and later in the day my tricepts (back of my upper arms) let me know they did not like it one bit. Sharing that with you tattles on myself that I have NOT yet ramped up my weight lifting program as I promised myself I would do. So sue me!

As I was saying, clearing the drive was a piece of cake this morning... Damn! The plow just went by which means they pushed the stuff on the road into the end of my drive. Note to self: Take shovel with you when you go out to get the mail later this morning.

Fluff... This morning my youngest says to me, "Did you notice how much calmer Andy (the cat) is now that ______ (Mister) is home?" My reply, "that is not true, he was meowing for me to pet him this morning, just like yesterday morning." Could it be that I am jealous? Of the cat, or (my) Mister?

Fluffy... I went back to see my surgeon again yesterday. I have this one tiny spot that is still open. He tells me it will take a month to heal, and I bet him that I can heal it in three weeks tops (confirmed over-achiever that I am). Then he says he would like me to take a second course of antibiotic when I finish with the current one this Sunday. I acted just like one of those babes on Doctor 90210: "I can't possibly do that!" (doc) "Why not?" Because it says not to sunbath while taking the medicine and if I have to go another two weeks without tanning I will get pale." (doc) "so?" "Having a little color makes me feel better, AND I am going on a cruise in a month and I don't want to have to worry about getting burned." (doc) "Okay! just finish the ones you have now, but take this prescription and promise me you will start it if the wound begins to look red." Come on! The guy is a cosmetic surgeon. Doesn't he get that looks are important? (I heard somewhere that you look thinner if you are tanned. I need to give my thighs every advantage I can.)

Fluffiest... My youngest just walked by me (I am in the look at/living room) brushing her teeth. I can't say anything because she got this habit from me. Most people don't brush long enough. To make sure I do, I walk around and do other things (multi tasking is in vogue don't ya know?) and since I am not by the sink to rinse and spit, I keep brushing, and thus brush for the recommended two minutes. There is no way I could stand to stand in front of the sink that long, just brushing and facing the face in the mirror. Way too much sensory overload.

Hope you found today's post more enjoyable reading than yesterday's Julia. I aim to please!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Opinions please....................

I saw an article in the newspaper about a woman who has put her grief to a very good use. In response to having lost a baby at birth, she now offers to take pictures of other babies that die at birth in order that the parents may have a visual reminder of their little loved ones.

I know there are some of you that read my posts regularly that have lost babies before full gestation, and I am wondering if you think having had this option would have helped you in your grieving process?

I lost a baby at four and a half months gestation. I can still remember the fear and uncertainty I felt as I drove to my doctor's office. The baby broke loose from my womb just as I stepped off the elevator, about two feet from the safty and security of my doctor. The next twenty minutes or so is mostly a blur. I remember crying, and I remember asking if they could tell if the baby was a boy or a girl, and if I could see him (I "knew" the child was a boy in my heart). The only answer I got was that I had indeed aborted but everything was going to be okay. I was transfered to the hospital for a D&C and how they disposed of my baby I never had the courage to ask.

I will be forever grateful for a phone call I got the following week. It was from one of the nurses at the doctor's office calling to tell me that they had been able to determine that my baby was indeed a male child. Now I could at least name the little one I would never be able to hold in my arms, and this was indeed a blessing.

This morning I ask myself the question, would I have wanted a picture of baby Drew at four and a half months gestation? Looking at those books on birth, babies don't look like much at that stage of development, and if he had been deceased for several days before coming out as the doctor speculated, would this have made a difference?
I honestly don't know. At what point would you want to have a picture of a life that was lost? Would you want any physical reminder you could get, or would the child have to be at a certain stage of development? At was stage do you think the medical community would be comfortable allowing photos of stillborns?

I think that often it is more "permissible" in society to grieve for a full term loss than for an earlier one. From the point that I knew I was pregnant, the experience was real for me, but not so much for those around me. Due to a variety of circumstances there were only about five other people that even knew I was pregnant. In some ways this made it more difficult to mourn, (I didn't see any sense in sharing the news after the fact), but in some ways it was better because I didn't have to explain things to every single person I knew. I think I might know the answer from those of you that have lost babies, but for those of you that have not had this experience, do you think it would be harder to loose a full term baby more than a baby not fully developed?

I find it interesting that a single item can take me back to a time and place that I thought I had moved on from. I moved through it, but I think that reminders such as the newspaper article will always trigger the memories and the grief. Softer maybe, but still there, and I think that is perfectly okay, and the way that it should be. What do you think?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Baby it's cold INSIDE...............

Either my youngest didn't latch the french doors when she let the dogs out for the last time last evening, or else (our dog Emma has learned how to open them. Either way, one of the doors was wide open when I came upstairs this morning and it was nice and refreshingly FREEZING in my house. Okay, the thermostat said sixty-eight not thirty-two, but when the house is normally in the mid-seventies it felt pretty cold.

My point? As I was deciding whether I should just yell at my youngest to be more careful to make sure the door it shut, or yell at her and tell her she has to pay next months gas bill, I decided that instead I would be grateful for the fact that my youngest was being a good mother and caring for her pets so I didn't have to do it, and grateful for the fact that the few extra dollars we will spend on natural gas will not destitute us (though the idea of paying even one penny more to the gas company makes me cringe because of how high our bill is now. On the budget plan, we pay one hundred and one dollar per month, year round. For that much money you'd think they could throw in a free unit of two. To round things out, we pay two hundred and thirty-two dollars per month, year round for electricity. At least three hundred and thiry-three dollars is a nice easy number to remember for the budgeting of utilities isn't it now?)

Back on track...deciding to be practice gratitude...

Gratitude is a choice. One I wasn't choosing an hour after I went to sleep last night only to be woke up by a thumping noise. It was one of my residents trying to rescue a pin she had dropped on the floor. No, she wasn't using her walker, and I should have been grateful that I had heard a thump instead of a THUD which would indicate the she had fallen because she wasn't using her walker. Nope! I could only focus on getting her safely back in bed so I could return to mine.

I also wasn't grateful for the fact that I got two whole hours of uninterupted sleep before again being woke by a noise. This time it was resident number two. She was having a night-terror and needed to be woke up and then settled down again so she could go back to sleep. As miracles would have it, I too was able to drift back off to sleep rather quickly (for me) upon returning to my bed, as I did each of the four times (it is normal for me to wake up every hour on the hour) I woke up between two and five. I consider this a good nights sleep (compairing it to the normal once I wake up it can be hours before I can drift back off) and yet I wanted more.

I have so much to be grateful for, and yet my normal reaction is to complain about the things that I don't get/have. This seems to be an on-going stuggle doesn't it? It isn't that I am never grateful for the good in my life, just that the more I acheive, the more I want. And I am talking about personal growth, as well as material things. Will enough ever be enough?

Which then leads me to think about dreams and goals. If enough finally becomes enough, then what happens to the goals and dreams that give me reason to get out of bed and do the things I do durning a day? If can't be okay with just drifting along not working to improve things, does this mean I can't be truly grateful?

For me, the goal/dream is to be grateful in the moment, for the moment, not letting sight of the fact that life is about the journey not the destination. No matter what I do, I am sure that I will never get exactly any one moment back, and I will never be in exactly the same state that I am at any given momemt. That, being a given, is what spurs me on to my goals and dreams. If change is inevitable, then I want that change to be the best it can be. The role of gratitude is to help me to appreciate, and stay true to my life's path, whatever twists and turns it might take. Think of gratitude like one of those new-fangled navigation systems. It is the gratitude for the momements that leads us down the path that is right for us, and brings us contentment along the way.

So what path are you currently traveling on? Are you pleased with your progress, or are you lost and looking for directions? Practice gratitude for the moment and see if it doesn't just lead you to right where you need to be.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

You don't know what you have until it is gone..................

(my) Mister didn't come home last night, and NO it wasn't because I kicked him out. He has a three day weekend from work so he went camping. Since the last time we planned a MAJOR joint vacation only to have the person who was lined up to take care of the business bail on us two weeks before we were to leave we have been taking seperate vacations knowing we can rely on one another. Since I had to count my recovery from surgery as a vacation, it is his turn to get away and relax.

So, last night after dinner, the OPs were contentedly watching Wheel of Fortune, and I decided to sprawl out on the love seat to read for a while. Within thirty seconds both dogs had insinuated themselves into my space, one on my feet and the other under my legs. Before they had finished situating themselves, Andy (the cat) jumped up and started head butting me as if to say, "the're not the only ones that get to snuggle with you. I want my fair share too." Now I know what a single mother of triplets must feel like.

Apparently (my) Mister spends more time with the pets than I notice, since rarely do all three pester me for attention at the same time. I don't know how or when he does so because of this annoying little habit of his; he NEVER sits down. He'll come into a room and just stand when there is a perfectly good sofa right behind him. It just occured to me that maybe he does this to avoid the scene I discribed in the above paragraph? Mmmmmmmm Maybe it isn't to irritate me after all?

In the meantime, today is my long run day, and the plan is to do six and a half miles. The winter storm they are predicting isn't suppose to arrive until later today, so I can get the run in on clear roads without slipping and sliding, and this is a good thing. Enjoy your day!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Them there's fightin' words................

Sounds pretty juicy doesn't it? Ready for all the (silly) gory details?

One of my single friends has decided that it is time for her to put herself back out into the dating world. As she was sharing her plans with me, I did what I aways do, rush in to help, ie...thought of all the single guys I know. This is a total of two, one of which is newly seperated, so he can't really count can he?

The (lucky, ha ha) one single guy happens to be my brother-in-law, (my) Mister's brother. His wife passed away several years ago, and honestly I had never thought to "fix him up" prior to this time. In case this was one of those intuition things I ask (my) Mister to ask his brother if he was interested in dating yet. Simple right? No so much...

(my) Mister's response was to say, "I'll talk to _______ (his sister)." Thus ensued a conversation as to why he had to go through his sister rather than simply call his brother up and talk to him directly. IN MY OPINION, since his mother has passed away, (my) Mister has passed that roll onto his sister. I am sure she doesn't mind, and I love her for being willing to do the things she does for the family. My problem is she DOES have her own life and family and she should be free to focus on them. Regardless, at the end of this conversation I ask (my) Mister to not talk to his sister about the dating thing, but rather talk to his brother, and he told me that he would do so.

So now you get to see the details of how we fight...

Yesterday (when we were talking on the phone) (my) Mister (out of the blue) started asking me details about the person I "wanted to fix up" with his brother. Since it had been several days since the subject had been discussed, and I knew he had NOT called his brother, I was curious. Yup! You guessed it. He had ask his sister about the whole idea of his brother dating. Not being one to mince words, I shared with him that his behavior had pissed me off, and I needed to get off the phone (which I did).

That was morning, late afternoon I get an e-mail from (my) Mister saying something to the effect of "I am writing to you so that you know I am not punishing you for being pissed at me." Good damage control, but was it enough?

A few hours later, in the same room for the first time sine the first morning conversation, I bring up the subject (if I waited for him to bring it up it would happen maybe a month or so from now, if ever). I ask him "why he had talked to his sister about his brother when I had specifically ask him not to?"

...And just in case you are slow, please be aware that I am upset NOT because he talked to his sister, but because he talked to his sister when I ask him not to...

His response, "I thought it would be better to talk to her."

...And we are off, each of us fighting our own fight to be right, no longer interested in what the other is REALLY saying. And in case you care to know what I was feeling, if he thought it better to talk to his sister, that is fine and he is entitled to think and feel anything he chooses. What isn't okay is for him to just go ahead and disregard my feelings and talk with his sister BEFORE coming to me and telling me that he is not able to honor my request...

So I repeat my question of why would he do something that I specifically ask him not to do and this time he says, "Well I didn't know I was FORBIDDEN to talk to her about it."

...Definitely in attack mode now...

I can't believe he said either of those things to me. The next twenty minutes or so we switched into our mode of me ranting and raving and him saying NOTHING. Then I stopped talking/shouting/carrying on, and go on with my night. Right on schedule he shows up and ask me if he can get anything for me, as if everything is fine between us and it is just a normal, everyday evening.

Which sets me off and I say something REAL classy like, "drop dead/get out of my house/why don't you ask your sister if you could do anything for me." We spend the rest of the night ignoring one another. Talk about your healthy communication. NOT!

Of course/per usual after fight-night (not to be confused with date-night), I find a note from (my) Mister this morning. "He is sorry for being inconsiderate, and wouldn't hurt me deliberately." Neither of which I said anything about which strengths my point that WE don't listen to one another when we fight, BUT...

We are finally to the point of today's post and boy do I bet you are glad...

(my) Mister finishes his note with the following: "I wish I could write like you do, letting all your feelings come out."

Knowing that (my) Mister reads my posts, this one was written for him, an example of how "YES I CAN put my feelings down on paper." I think that (my) Mister cops out when he "says he can't do the same." He hates to write, and does as little of it as possible. How in the world can anyone expect to be good at something that they avoid like the plauge? This is like me saying I am no good at figuring out the computer. I don't even try, or have any interest in getting good. Chances are great that with that attitude ten years from now my computer expertise will still be eons behind most peoples.

I am wondering how, after eight years of being together, (my) Mister could NOT know that his reference to not being able to express his feelings would trigger further irritation? (Or maybe he did know and wrote with purposeful intent? Mmmmmm!)

I have told him countless times how I can't understand why someone says things like, "I'm just not romantic/I don't do _______/I am just not good at _______." It's like fingernails screeching down a chalkboard to me. IT MAKES ME CRAZY! The first step towards resolution of a problem is to recognize there is a problem. It does no good to recognize something if one does not move onto step two which would be to try and change whatever negative behavior you are acknowledging. If you have no plans to try and change it, then acknowledge that and own your choice/right to do so, ie. my computer skills example above.

Anyway, since (my) Mister acknowledged my ability to do so, here are my current feelings, out there for the whole world to examine. Written well? You be the judge. Written to the best of my ability? You bet ya! Will I continue to improve as I continue to write frequently? That is the hope, one of the most important reasons I write in the first place. What do you think?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Freudian slip?............

Today begins the semi-anual sale at our local sports store. I usually buy a new pair of running shoes, but since I bought two pair during the summer sale (so I could alternate between them) I don't need to get any for me, but I instructed (my) Mister to stop on his way home from work to get a pair for himself. He has been doing very well with his cardio work-outs and good shoes are a must have to prevent injury.

Anyway, I was talking to him on the phone a little while ago and he said, "and I am going to stop at PACEMAKERS on my way home." Did you get that, PACEmakers (you know the thing they put in your body if your heart isn't working right)? The actual name of the store is PLAYMAKERS. Hopefully this slip of the tounge wasn't a premonition of things to come as he continues to work out. More likely than not it was a subconscious expression of his feelings about how he feels about cardio work. We don't have to like it, we just have to do it.

Speaking of doing, I had better get going and get the beds made, dishes done, decide what to make for dinner, etc... Just because I am not buying new shoes doesn't mean I can't go and see if they have any good deals on other stuff, and I must get my work done before I can go play at Playmakers.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Why I (generally) avoid eating cold cereal..............

As part of our holiday "baking" we made Chex mix. You know, the stuff that you have to buy three different kinds of Chex cereal for, and then use only a couple of cups of each? Talk about clever marketing! Anyway, having all those open boxes of cereal drives me nuts so I have been eating some of it as a quick and convenient breakfast, as I am still on a preventative antibiotic (that I have to take four (4!) times a day with food which totally sucks).

In my opinion, there is not much that taste worse than soggy cereal. I have attempted to eat cold cereal without any milk on it to avoid the soggyness, but something happens to my saliva glands after the first couple of bits and the rest of the bowl tastes like a relative of sawdust. Yuck!

My technique instead has been to put the cereal in a bowl, hold the bowl on an angle, and put a small amount of milk in the bottom of the bowl. Then, depending on how fast I can scoop, chew, and swallow, I actually enjoy the first two or three bites. I try and work a few pieces into the milk and then immediately scoop them out to eat them. One second two long swimming in the milk and the cereal becomes a lost cause. I could devote more time to this endevor and do like I do when I eat crackers in soup. I simply drop in a piece of cracker one at a time to prevent them from getting over soggy. The problem with doing this with cold cereal, is that if I am going to invest this much time into eating it, I might as well take the time up front to make oatmeal with I really enjoy rather than try so hard to make the cold cereal tolorable.

And of course, eating as fast as humanly possible (has anyone heard of cold cereal eating contests? I might be able to give someone a run for their money if I entered one)means that when I finish my stomach always feels as if I have a lead balloon sitting inside of it. Now there is something to look forward to...NOT!

And I MUST toss out what little milk is left in the bowl when the cereal is gone. I am not a fan of milk in the first place, but knowing this particular milk harbored soggy cereal so short of a time ago, I cannot face the notion of tilting up the bowl and drinking the milk from the side as so many people seem to relish doing. Note: One might want to file this tidbit of information and then if ever in a situation of torturing me would have the perfect method of making me talk. ("Either tell me now or I am going to make you drink left-over cereal milk!")

Of course I blame this completely on the cereal makers. If a box of cereal didn't cost so darn much I would simply throw away the leftover instead of forcing myself to eat it. Maybe I should figure out a way to send it to those starving children in other countries tha I used to hear about when I was a child and didn't want to finish my dinner. Nope! I wouldn't do that to those poor kids, so I guess I am stuck eating it. Woe is me...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

T M I?........................

Consider yourself warned that this post contains personal, somewhat adult (though probably not anything the average twelve year old hasn't already been exposed to) content. Permission granted to leave at any time and return tomorrow. Okay, now that I have your attention...

For the first time in over twenty years Patty has matching bra and panties. A pink set AND a blue one! I know this is common place for many women, but it is not something that I have indulged in over the years. Being nice, I would discribe my previous undergarments as functional, though ugly would be a much more apt discription. For several years now, my belly has hung down over whatever undies I wore, and when I would lay down in a bra my saggy breast would disappear leaving the cups half empty. NOTHING sexy about that, so what was the point of trying?

I know it is a totally a mental thing, but I never got around to gathering up the energy to fight it. Now I love dressing my new body. More importantly I am having a blast exploring the thoughts and feelings that my new body has generated within me. Take yesterday for example...

Now that all that saggy hanging skin is gone from my mid-section, it is like the back side of me has gotten a new lease on life. I had on my new jeans and I looked in the mirror and all I could think was, "That is NOT the tush of an almost fifty year old!" No, I did not have any work done on my tush, but it was hard to look past the problem areas to see what was hiding behind (pun intended).

Switching gears...

The other night, when I was showing off my new matching bra and panties to him, (my) Mister and I made an interesting discovery. One of my nipples is less sensitive than the other post surgery. NO! TMI would be if I had told you how it was we made the discovery in the first place.

The possibility of this was spelled out in the paperwork we had to sign when giving consent for the operation as a possible risk. If it stays this way forever will I be sorry that I went ahead with the surgery? Not at all. The benefits of the surgery still far out-weigh a little de-sensitivity. I am not that concerned about this, because when my sweet grand-dog bit the tip of my finger off I regained sensation in it over a period of two years. Besides, looking for returned sensation will give (my) Mister and I something to entertain ourselves with in the future (Okay, maybey THAT was TMI).

The point of this post (I think) is two fold; living life to the fullest comes with risks, and life's sweet rewards are worth the risk. If you want something, go after it no matter what others may say or think. Don't kid yourself into believing that something in your life is as good as it gets so that you end up settling for God-ugly under garments. Figure out a way to embrace matching bra and panties. Who knows you might just un-cover a fabulous tush!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Designer eggs?...............

As in ovaries that is; picking the traits you want your un-born child to have, and then ordering them from a doner bank.

I heard this story on the news this morning. Of course there are all kinds of ethical issues surrounding this topic as well as the notion of playing God. That is not what I want to chat about, well maybe but not directly. The article just got me to thinking what I might have choosen to leave off the trait list HAD I "ordered" my children.

Two of my three children have documented learning disabilities. While their lives might have been easier here and there, and I would not have had to conquer those guilt feelings that I somehow/some way "gave" them their disabilities, I really don't think I have ever wished them away. Let me say that their disabilities are minor in comparision to many, and it is not my intent to make judgements here. The point I want to make is that the gift of their disabilities made both of my children stronger. Learning to cope with the struggles, the tauntings, the frustrations caused growth that they have both used in all areas of their lives. They learned to laugh through the frustration, and pick up and start again over and over until those traits, and not the disability, became the norm. Was it always easy? Anything worth having is rarely easy. Have I longed to take away their pain while watching them struggle? Of course, but what parent enjoys seeing their child in pain? Part of life is making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and moving on to learn other life lessons, and make other mistakes.

My child that has no documented disablilities is a major type A personality. This nature has caused her just as many stuggles. Had I been able to, should I have choosen to remove this trait from her gene pool? Would her life have been better/easier/more enjoyable if she were able to stop and smell the roses more often? Or would she have missed out on opportunities that, finally conquered, have given her moments of satifaction and joy?

Would my children have become more successful (had/have a better life) had I choosen red hair, green eyes, or any other combinations of hair/eye color? What about skin tone? I am sure if I looked long and hard enough I could find studies to support any mix of the above mentioned physical traits. Do Ken and Barbie looks really guarantee greater success? (The bigger question might be should they?)

I think not! I am a believer that our thoughts create our realities. If any of us focus on the nose we hate, the freckles on the end of it, or the fact that we flunked our road test the first time out (Hey! I've made peace with that one) those things will most likely have a negative effect on our lives. Do you believe me, who has just had cosmetic surgery to improve her looks dare to type that sentence?

I feel okay about doing so because I never let the things I had repaired keep me from doing anything. I never let them keep me from lining up at the start line (or cross the finish line), or imagined that my big belly and saggy boobs would keep me from obtaining any dream I wanted to go after. My surgery became a goal for me along the way towards getting healthy. What has changed for me since the surgery is now I don't have to fight against as negative a body image the next time I line up beside all those skinny minnies at the start of a race. Now I will only be compairing my fat thighs against their lean muscular ones. See, surgery is NOT the way to deal with a negative body image. It has to be delt with from the inside out. Get with the program brain!

Anyway, while I am sure my children, as well as everyone else in my world, have things they would like to change about themselves, I want to say here for the record, I wouldn't change a thing about any of you. And yes, you have my permission to use this post against me the next time you feel like I am trying to do so.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Talk about spoiled......... 

Emma has us all trained to jump at first bark. If we don't, she will gradually increase the volume in her bark until we stop what we are doing and take care of her needs. Case in point last night:

She sleeps with my youngest, but for some reason was barking to get out of her room. The first bark woke me up, but I thought maybe she was having a doggie dream. As the barks patiently continued, I figured she must need to go out so I finally got up and took her upstairs (at which time (my) Mister finally surfaced into consiousness and offered to take her out. I WAS AWAKE NOW! It was raining, and the little pampered princess hates to get wet, but after several barked orders (from me not her) she finally left the deck. I am never sure if she actually goes, or simply goes around the corner and waits a few minutes so I think she has gone, but I choose to believe she does.

Back downstairs I put her back in my youngest's room hoping to salvage some sleep time. Two minutes later I hear a bark from her, let her out of the room, and she looks up at me asking permission to get in bed with me. "Are you nuts dog? You are my least favorite pet right this minute so don't even begin to think you are getting in bed with me." She went off to sulk somewhere and of course I was wide awake at this point (not to mention jealous of (my) Mister who can sleep anytime, anywhere, in a matter of a few seconds). I read for a couple of hours to try and get sleepy enough to doze back off. Finally, I turned out the light and was relaxing off when I hear, "bark." Emma was ready to go back to bed now and needed the door opened.

I managed to get another hour and half of sleep, once she settled down. Our little princess will sleep until ten or so as she does every day, then come up, eat a leisurely breakfast and lounge on her favorite pillow for the remainder of the morning. Life of Reily ha! I'll take the life of Emma any day. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 05, 2007

Running in shorts and a long sleeved T-shirt................

Which might not seem like that big a deal until one is reminded that I live in a snow state and NOT a warm winter state. One minute I feel like a kid that is getting away with something, and the next minute I get scared knowing that somewhere down the line Mother Nature will be making up for lost winter.

Not being able to do much about either, I am just going to make the most of the moment and enjoy running. I have been holding my miles to three at a time, but tomorrow I am planning to bump it up to five. I need to be up to ten miles by the end of the month if I am going to be on track for the half-marathon the end of February. Feeling great and counting my warm weather blessings. Hope you are enjoying your Friday as much as I am.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Are you in the mood for some wisdom?...................

If so, check out the Jan 3 post of Random.

Go ahead, you can come back and finish reading this when you are done.

Okay, wasn't that worth reading?

Yesterday I was listening to Dave Ramsey, and one of the stories went something like this: "My mom has a brain tumor that has caused her to become bedridden, unable to walk or talk. She gets insurance checks, and using the ATM I am able to cash those checks, and pay most of the bills using her debit card. Since she has become ill, I have saved about $800.00, and I'm wondering where I can put this to get the most growth out of it."

So Dave goes on to ask the caller why he doesn't just open an account, and it comes out that the caller is a sixteen year old kid. His father has already passed away, and his mother is only thirty-six years old. Being a minor, he can't open accounts without parental signature, and he is deathly afraid that if he tells anyone what is going on that they will take him away from his mother and put him into foster care.

And I thought I had problems!

Two reasons I listen to Dave: The advise he gave the sixteen year old was to say, "If it were his kids in that situation he would want them to contact a church member for help so they didn't have to go through something this hard alone." He gave wise council while not making the kid feel like he should have been doing something diffent than he had been doing.

Of course, after the story was on, tons of people e-mailed Dave wanting to help this particular child. Dave's advice, "There are all kinds of people right in your own little corner of the world that you can reach out and help. Use this story to prompt you to help someone out that is hurting near you."

For every tragedy that makes it onto the news there are hundreds, thousands that go un-noticed. If each of us were on the lookout for these on our block, in our towns, many more people could be identified and possibly helped. Just to know someone is out there caring about and praying for these situations would be a great asset. Even though it's origin is political, the following is a great statement to live by: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." I like to substitute fellow man for country, but the point is still the same. Help someone else. It will make you feel GREAT!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Why set goals?..................

I was talking to my sister on the phone the other day, and we were being VERY negative. Do you ever do that, just to blow off steam? Sometimes, when I am feeling crabby, I will see how verbally negative I can be. I don't know why this makes me feel better, but somehow it does.

As I was saying, we were being negative and I remember saying, "Why bother to reach a goal, because when you do all that is left is to set another one and you are right back to where you started. If you never reach a goal, then you never have to think up a new one." If I remember correctly this was said in the context of playing some dumb computer game, but what if that was how I really felt about life? What would be the point?

While I might not be a totally goal oriented person, I do know that if I coast through life for too long a period I begin to feel unsatified, begin to long for something to strive for. Having a goal helps me to stay focused and makes me feel like there is purpose to my days/life. It doesn't really matter the size of the goal, just that I have something that I am working towards.

Where I fall down is really what I was saying with the above negative statement. When I reach a goal, I don't take time to savor the victory. Somehow I jump right to "if I could reach this goal, then it must not be that big of a deal so I had better get moving onto the next goal," missing out on the enjoyment of my success. Granted, there is the possibility of spending so much time savoring a victory that one doesn't ever move on to discover new adventures. Like everything else in life, the secret is in finding the balance instead of being black or white as is my tendency.

So this might be a good new goal for me as the year progresses. Learn to savor; the moment, the goal,the victory, the pleasure. Take time to stop and not only smell but enjoy the beauty of the roses and all the other wonders that our world has to offer. I might just discover something I have been missing. Wouldn't that be cool?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year, I DID IT!..................

What a great start to the year, I just got back from running two full miles without needing to stop. Isn't that great? Okay, I ran them at tweleve minute pace, but considering I had pretty major surgery less than three weeks ago I am pretty darn proud of me.

Which of course leads me to jump on the soap box for a minute. Get healthy people! Don't diet, or desire to be a certain weight. Give your heart and lungs a good work-out on a daily basis, and fuel your body with whole natural foods. The life you save could be your own.

Two short years ago, the person sitting at this computer would never even have considered going for an early morning run, let alone choose oatmeal over a donut for a yummy breakfast treat. She was too unhappy and fed up with herself to believe a change was possible. Thank God there was a tiny little bit of belief left inside of her, and somehow that belief was manifested into a commitment to get on the treadmill for fifteen minutes five times a week. I have said it before, but will say it again...If she can do it, anyone reading this can do it. One just has to decide to take responsibility to their actions and behavior. Then any change is possible. If one doen't take that first important step, then...

I know someone, that had the same two surgeries that I had. Not to judge (okay, maybe to judge a little), but in my opinion no surgeon in their right mind should have touched this person with their scalpel. She weighed in the neighborhood of three hundred pounds, and this surgeon told her that if she had the tummy tuck and breast reduction that she would feel great and "want to exercise and loose weight." That was a year and a half ago. Not only did it take her months to recover after her procedures, she has not exercised or lost any significant weight in that same year and a half time period. Her glucose (sugar) and cholesterol levels are very high. She actually told her doctor that the reason she can't lose weight is because people keep asking her to bake cakes for them and she "has to lick her fingers while doing so." She went on to say that as soon as she is finished with all the baking she will begin to lose weight and her sugar and cholesterol numbers will go back to normal. Get real, one CHOOSES to lick their fingers, they don't HAVE to!

She was also not happy with the results of her breast reduction, so she in going back under the knife for breast enlargements (implants) a few days from now. I saw her a few days after my surgery, and she was thrilled to be having surgery again. At that time (even though I probably should have kept my mouth shut) I told her that in the two weeks remaining before her surgery, what she should be doing was eating right and getting a good cardio work-out every day so her recovery would be easier than last time. All she could tell me was all the reasons why she couldn't exercise. This is not a person that desires to change. Which is totally her choice by the way. It does concerns me that there are doctors out there that support these choices. What are they thinking?

Why did I share that story with you? For one, to wake up anyone out there that is stuck in an excuse rut. I spent many years fighting this rut, and know I could have benefited from a good swift kick in the pants many a time. I also know that until I decided to change nothing anyone said could have made a difference. I also share this story, because I use it to keep me accountable to the health decisions I have made. I am still having to make daily choices regarding exercise and healthy eating. Two days ago, I had just taken a pain pill and wanted to lay down and take a nap. The girl (she would hate that I call her a girl as she is in her late twenties) that works for me showed up right at the peak of my sleepiness and I easily could have gone in and layed down (Boy did I want to, and recovering from surgery was one of the best excuses I will ever get), but I went out and took a three mile walk instead. Because I wanted to? NOPE! Because I want the results of being healthy MORE than I wanted that nap. Like a recovering addict, I don't think there will ever come a time when I don't struggle with staying healthy, some days will just be easier than others. That doesn't mean I give up/give in/settle. When it is hard, when I do choose to nap instead of run/walk, I have to choose to pick myself up and get back on track instead of making excuses. It also means that I celebrate days like today when running feels GREAT, so I can pull out that feeling when I need a little motivation to get out the door.