Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Is this a sign I am blogging too much?.....................

I had a fabulous dream the night before last and right in the middle of it I remember thinking to myself, "I can't wait to write a post about this." When I woke up I realized that I was thinking about blogging while dreaming. Do you think this indicates I have crossed a line and gone over the edge? Nothing I can do about it now except share the dream like I dreamed of doing.

The main character of the dream was an old woman that was at the end of her life. For whatever reason her family came into her room and built her this HUGE Big Ben type clock complete with chimes on the hour and half hour. The clock was built on the wall at the foot of the bed so she could see it whenever she was awake. Once, when I went in to care for her I noticed that the time was all off, and then realized that this was because her daughter kept changing the hands so the clock would chime. Each time the clock chimed the woman would smile and this amazing look of peace would come over her face.

As I watched her face "glow," I couldn't help but think about how much she was loved. It was quite an undertaking to get the clock built in her room and the only reason the task was tackled was because the family wanted the woman to know that she was loved that much. Every time the old woman heard the chimes she was reminded of the great love her family carried for her.

Never mind that the clock was loud. As with most dreams they don't always make surface sense, and the chimes never once woke up the resident next to this woman or bothered anyone else in the facility. I love that about dreams.

When I woke up, I brought the old woman's sense of peace with me. I felt tranquil, calm, and loved as I lay in bed listening to imaginary chimes. I kept that feeling for the greater part of the day. What a gift that dream was.

I hope one day that I will do something that magnamimus for someone I love. I hope I notice that one thing, that perfect one thing, that can express my undaunting love for this person without a need for words. Definitely something to strive for isn't it?
One more puppy park post script post....................

And then I promise to lay off the subject for a while. As I said I planned to, I contacted City hall about joining the parks committee only to find there are no seats vacant at the present time. I ask to have one of the current members contact me and I will give them a few days to do so before figuring out what my next step will be.

What I am really dying to share is about Emma's behavior when we went to the ball field again last evening. A couple of the same dogs from the previous night were already inside. This time I let her sniff from the outside of the fence for a few minutes and then invited her to go inside. After a slight hesitation she ventured on it. Once I closed the gate behind her she changed her mind and wanted back out, but I just dropped her leash and headed away from the fence. After a slight pause she began to follow me until she got into the middle of the in-field where she stopped dead in her tracks and sat down. As a dog would come up to her she would flop over and "play dead." The dog would sniff her belly and then move on. Eventually she made her way to the outfield playing dead each time a dog would approach, not making a sound.

As she was doing this all of the humans were cheering her on and telling her how proud we were of her. At one point, one of the guys caught her attention and she got this very distinct look of "Finally! One of MY kind" and sprinted over to him, sitting between his feet. In about two seconds one of the dogs approached and this time Emma growled and gave him grief. It seems being by a fellow human gave her courage to stand up to the big black furry thing! I have always maintained she doesn't know that she is a dog, but last night was proof positive of the fact. She was emotionally exhausted by the time we got home and slept the rest of the night, but hopefully made some headway in tackling one of her fears. My little girl is growing up.

As I said at the beginning I hope to change topics tomorrow and give you all a break from my parenting woes. Maybe I will share my gardening woes instead. Aren't you excited at that prospect?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Puppy park, part two.......................

Last night was such a gorgeous night that I decided to take the dogs for a walk for my cool down after my fifty minute run. It ended up being fate, as when rounding the corner I noticed several people (and their pups) inside of the ball park.

I was a bit apprehensively about going inside the fence, having scardy-dog Emma and potentially Kujo Ben, who has been known to try and take a leg or two off a fellow canine in the past. I was, after all, wanting to make a good impression with this group of strangers and find out first hand what they thought about my dog-park idea. Deciding the only way to find out was to step up to the plate and see if I would hit a home run or strike out with them, (Don't ya like my little bit of baseball lingo in honor of the site?) I picked up a shaking Emma, got a firm grip on Ben's leash, and headed on in.

I shared with them what I had been told about the signs going up, and one person responded that she knew it would only be a matter of time before this happened. I ask the group what they felt the need for a dog park was, and the vote was all in favor. Two of the people in the group live within visual area of the ball field and stated that they see tons of people bringing their dogs to the ball park so that they might run around. They all agreed with me that since our tax dollar supports the ball field we should be able to use if if we can treat it respectfully, but that a place of our own would be even better.

The person that said she knew they would eventually post a no trespassing signs said that she had been thinking of trying and getting a real dog park for a couple of years and even had some plans that a friend of hers had used to build one in a different city. She also said if I were to call the Mayor he would tell me to join the parks committee. Didn't even know we had a parks committee, but in my defense she told me it was pretty new and they were looking for a few more people to be on it.

So folks, Patty is going to go civic, and as soon as city hall opens this morning I am going to call and see what I have to do to get a seat on the parks committee. The nice woman with the plans said she would drop off a copy of them at my house so I would have the information to present to the committee. I haven't been on a committee in years, and never one of so public a nature. This will be a brand new experience for me... The things I do for those dogs!

Speaking of the dogs... Ben was a perfect little gentleman the entire time we were there, and he made his momma proud! Emma, not so much. First I had to listen to the comments about how I wasn't helping her by holding her, blah, blah, dog whisperer would, blah, blah, why don't you blah, blah. At one point she was in my arms growling, twisting, and turning, and I smacked her on the nose without really thinking (you know how you do to a baby when they bite your nipple while nursing? Totally reflexive) and told her to, "knock it off." Bet they talked about that one after we left the park, but oh well. Eventually I got Emma to let me put her down and she sat quietly at my feet for about three minutes and just watched the other dogs, then she started growling and acting all tough again, even though all the other dogs had gotten bored with her by then and were no where near her. I used her behavior to my advantage (and why shouldn't I, after having to put up with all the unsolicited advice). I told them that they needed to support my idea of a dog park so they could all help me get Emma over her fears of other dogs (though I have to say here that every one of those dogs was like four feet taller than Emma is, and I was kinda afraid of one of two of them myself if the truth be told, I just hid it better than she did), and teach me how to act with her, even though what I was thinking was more along the lines of, "my dog and I are just fine the way we are thank you very much. She can be scared if she wants to be." I can say anything I need to as long as it brings the desired results! I think they refer to that as losing the battle to win the war.

So now you are up to date with my plans regarding my new project. I will keep you informed as things progress, just in case you decide to follow in my foot steps one day.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A few bad apples spoil it for the rest of us.........................

It would seem in today's society, with all of the crime shows on television, that everyone would get that when you trespass it is important to leave things JUST THE WAY YOU FOUND THEM so nobody knows you had ever been there. If you manage to keep up the pretext, you get to keep up the trespassing and life is good for all. Well someone broke this cardinal rule, didn't clean up their dog's unmentionables and now we are all getting kicked out of the dog park, slash, baseball field!

Okay! I can agree with the guy that was standing guard, "It is" (technically) "a ball field," But hey! My dogs didn't mind this fact a bit. Besides, I've ran around bases and the outfield of ball fields for many a summer and trust me, one would never confuse me with an actual baseball player. This never caused me to be baned from the field (though I am sure there were one or two people that might have thought I should have been, being such a discredit to the game dropping the ball like I was known to).

As we were having one last visit (the signs are GOING up, are NOT UP, so technically we were not violating anything posted) I couldn't help but notice how torn up the field was, and every single mark was made by a cleat. A normally behaved dog would never be able to do that amount of damage to the grass no matter how many time he/she ran around the outfield, and yet WE are the ones getting kicked off. I even agreed with the sentry that maybe we should stay off of it during the season, but what could possibly be the harm in using it off season? WAS IT NOT MY TAX DOLLARS THAT PAID FOR AND BUILT THE DARN THING IN THE FIRST PLACE? Why should it sit vacant all but two months of the year when it could be bringing so much joy to others? All he could do was feed me the line about it being a ball field again. As the dogs were taking their farewell romp, I envisioned starting a protest. We could picket all the games and drown out the cheers for the team with loud barking, singing dogs. When we won, the headlines would read, "BALL FIELD GOES TO THE DOGS " wouldn't that be great?

I guess the time has come for me to get politically involved, and plead the case with the Mayor that our fair city has a need for a dog park. If he would give me the back corner of the city park to use as space, I am willing to raise the funds for the fencing and doggy disposal bags. Maybe we could even hire the guy from the ball field to watch over things and make sure no one goes in there with cats or kids? Just a thought... Before I get too far ahead of myself, I need to make an appointment with the Mayor and come up with a short survey he can put on the city newsletter so he can see how many citizens feel the need for an official dog park.

My gut tells me many of them will say, "why bother," and just keep using the ball field. I am working on building my confidence in the Mayor as well, because when I requested the city place more waste barrels on city streets to accommodate those of us that do pick up after our dogs and really hate having to cart our packages for blocks and blocks of our walks, the request fell on deaf ears. If all else fails, I am looking into how much it would cost for secret sign removal once the season is over and school is out for the summer. Do you think they charge by the screw?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Done with Drama?..................

This post has been walking around with me for some time now, and at this point in time has no ending. In that case, let's proceed with the beginning.

We have all heard the term, "Queen of Drama." Not only have I heard it, I WAS IT for many a year. Over the years, it has played out in a continuing variety of chaos, and looking back, if there wasn't one on the horizon I could very easily take a small little something and whip it into instant chaos. I think one of the reasons I did this was because of my childhood, chaos being my my "norm," and I felt unsettled if this feeling wasn't pervading my senses.

Definitely through my twenties, and at for least the greater part of my thirties, I choose to make a big deal out of so many things that were just NOT a big deal. I think in my forties I finally began to get a handle on this, and had a few successes at just letting things go without getting all worked up about them. Do you any idea how much easier this is than living in continuous chaos? Only if you used to do this and have also gotten past it can you truly understand. If not, then I bet you are scratching your head right now saying, "DUH! What took you so long to figure that out?" Lucky you to not get where I am coming from!

Now this next part might sound TOTALLY judgemental, but please know this is not my intent at all. Over the past several weeks, I have been observing people, watching the choices they make, the knots they tie themselves up in, how they run themselves ragged, and what comes to mind is, 'There but for the change go I." Their behaviors USED TO BE ME! Unable to ask for help at work, thinking it would make me look like a slacker. Feeling superior somehow because no matter how much I was juggling, I would always, willingly, throw one more plate in the air and THEN figure out how to keep all of them up there. And for the record, it was rare that they all came tumbling down, I was a master at this dysfunction. An exhausted master, but a master non the less!

Anyway, to get back to my observations... What I have noticed on a couple of occasions, is that the more these people take on out of a feeling of "I have to, I need to, who else is going to if I don't," resenting it all the way, the more the universe seems to dump on them. Interesting isn't it? I KNOW this used to be the same with me and I never noticed. I guess I was too wrapped up in the moment/drama/chaos/self-importance to take a time out and see a different way of handling things. Unfortunately, we all have to figure this one out for ourselves, but I am pretty sure it has a lot to do with self-love, and being willing to love ourselves enough to put ourselves first once in a while before we find out that doing so not only DOES NOT bring the world to a grinding halt, but actually makes it a better place for everyone to hang out in. A big catch 22 that is hard to break through I know.

So yesterday, I got into an elevator on the sixth floor to go down to the first floor lobby (and did not do the stairs as I was wearing heels and practicing self-love rather than worrying about saving energy, so shoot me!). I picked up a rider at floor five, and after he got in I made the comment, " wonder how many other riders we will pick up on our way down," (Yes! These things just come out of my mouth!). The guy's reply, "Ya! That always seems to be the way it is when you are in a hurry." (Did I present the picture of hurry lounging there on the elevator wall? I thought I was presenting a picture of "WOW!" with my heels and mock-crock leather jacket. I guess this proves one sees what they want to see.) Mouth opens again and this time out comes, "I am finally learning that there really is nothing to rush to, the important stuff will wait, and life will move along just fine without me. It is more important to just enjoy the ride." That little heart-felt speech took us all the way to the lobby, and as we exited the guy says, "WOW! How did you come to learn that, that's great." then hurried away into the men's bathroom before I had a chance to respond (I agree, rushing to the bathroom is the exception to the rule here, and now that I am thinking of it it might just explain his above comment about being in a hurry... I knew I presented "relaxed WOW!")

For me, the point of that conversation is that those words came not only from my heart, but from my head. I really am starting to get that life is and always will be life with and without me. My participation in it is MY gift, and I should make it a point to enjoy the gift of each and every moment instead of trying to micro control the here-and-now so I can relax and enjoy some distant time in the future. I heard this the other day, and it totally explains what I am trying to say... "You never wake up and say Hey it's tomorrow now do you?... You don't even say, it's ten minutes from now... It's always now, only now." This doesn't mean that we don't plan on and for future things like next months house payment, but that we keep things in perspective and enjoy the journey as it is really all we get.

In learning to do this, I have stopped worrying so much. If there is no way I can effect something in the moment, why worry about it? It has also helped me to allow the people around me the right to spend their moments exactly the way they choose to. If they want to spend their nows in worry or chaos, that really is okay with me, I can choose to join in or choose to opt out. How cool is that notion? Choosing not to participate in drama does NOT mean I don't care, that I don't love the person. It is just the opposite. Allowing someone the right to be who they are right at the moment is not only loving but honoring of them. To allow yourself not to be drawn into a place that doesn't feel right for your moment is honoring and loving yourself. The best of both worlds... Try it, and see how it fits into your now.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


As opposed to scaredy-cat that is. Currently we are having a really great thunder storm, but thunder and lightening are just one more thing in the long list of things that Emma is afraid of. At the first streak of lightening she attaches herself to me and doesn't leave my side until she is sure the storm is over. Wonder how dog whisperer would explain this one, I love storms.

The saying goes, "rain before seven, done by eleven." This is an especially good thing today as my youngest has her first meet of the season this afternoon. When she left for school this morning her last words to me where, "See you tomorrow." Apparently the bus will not return to the school until midnight, and we all know I won't be up at that time of night. Unless of course I had been asleep and woke up and can't get back to sleep. Here's to hoping I didn't jinx myself by saying I would be asleep. I don't really believe in jinxing now. Do I?

Even though it happens EVERY single year, I am always amazed at the burst of energy I get once warm weather arrives. Yesterday I was looking for things to clean. Definitely NOT my normal behavior, though once upon a time when I had nothing else to define myself with this WAS normal behavior for me. Unbelievable as it seems today there really was a time in my life when I used to sweep and mop my floors EVERY SINGLE DAY! Ya! I was crazy back then. (though if this describes you, and works for you, please don't be offended. The way I did it was truly dysfunctional) Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how badly the rug needs to be vacuumed) I have made peace with dirt and dust and co-habituate with them quite nicely these days.

I took the cones off my roses yesterday and pulled weeds for a half hour or so, and this made me feel fabulous and full of energy. Hopefully I will be able to get back outside once the rain ends because the weeds come out really easy when the soil is wet. Maybe this will be the year that I manage to stay on top of the weeds and keep my yard looking great all summer long. Most years I grow tired of the up-keep around the end of July (right when the produce is starting to come in) and everything gets overrun. I simply make a game out of hunting for the veggies among the weeds as it is more entertaining than weeding at that point in time.

Here is some food for thought... Since I think of weeding as being very therapeutic, does this mean I am burnt out on therapy by July, or that I am cured? Ya! Like that is ever going to happen!

My youngest came up with her choices of pampering on our spa day. She picked a deep cleansing facial, a salt glow treatment, a herbal bath followed by an hour and a half deep relaxing massage, and rounded things off with a pedicure. The place also lets you select food from an area restaurant and they go and pick it up for you. How cool is that? And bonus, since we are having so many things done they gave us ten percent off of each treatment. In the scheme of spa pricing, I think their prices are very reasonable, but Dave Ramsey would probably tell me I should be putting the money on our debt instead of being pampered. Actually I told myself the very same thing, and then promptly ignored myself. I can be very good at that when I want to be.

Enough of this Hodge-podge post. Get out there, enjoy your day, laugh, shout, let yourself be heard, or enter into quiet contemplation. Whatever works for you, whatever you need for today!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Apparently the honeymoon is over.............................

Now that the weather is getting nicer my attention has been turning more and more to my backyard. Last fall, after the addition was completed, the leftover siding was left on part of the deck. I ask (my) Mister to take care of it before the snow arrived, and I know that he heard me because he told me he would do so (that is his response was, "okay" when I made the request for him to get the siding off the deck before snow fall).

For whatever reason this didn't happen, and twice since the snow melted I again ask him to take care of it and he again said he would.

Yesterday I had a few free minutes and decided that I would clean up some more of the left-over leaves. In order to do so the siding needed to get moved so I moved it. All you guys out there cover your eyes because I am about to tell you where I moved it to... The hood of (my) Mister's Corvette.

And before you all have a heart attack, I only moved a little bit of it there, the big box I just left on the sidewalk going into the garage, so there wasn't any tremendous amount of weight on it or anything on the hood that would damage the car. I was also VERY careful not to drop it or anything, but just to make a point (which I will get to in a minute).

So, right on schedule (my) Mister came home from work yesterday, came in the house and accused me of putting the siding on the car "just to piss me (as in him) off." Not at all I assured him. I moved it there because I knew it would get his attention, plain and simple. And as crabby as he got over the whole thing, it did seem to get his attention. Uncharacteristic of him, he even threatened to move the siding downstairs to my bed ( he must have learned this one from me...Remember when I moved the cases of veggies onto his side of the bed?) wondering out loud, "How I (as in me) would like that?" When I (uncharacteristic of me) didn't get mad, but simply told him it was fine with me for him to put it anywhere he wanted to, that I could move it again if I needed to, he wasn't quite sure how to react. (MUST remember this approach for future use!)

I told the story a little out of order. It was AFTER he said the part of moving the siding to the bed that he accused me of doing it to piss him off. After I told him the move was designed to get his attention, the conversation got more predictably us. I said, he told me that he would move it, and he said he would move it, and I said, since he wasn't yet dead I guess he had me on the fact that he could still possibly be planning on moving it, then went on with the example of how if he says the words "I'll take care of it" at work it is implied that it will be taken care of in a timely manner even if a specific date is not given, and when I hear the words, "I'll take care of it," the time line in my head is within two weeks max NOT four months or more, and then he shares all the reasons why he didn't take care of it, and I share how him not attending to the things that he says he will do makes me feel that he doesn't respect me, blah, blah, I've been waiting for him to finish the kitchen for four years now, blah, blah, all that right fighting junk again.

I honestly thought I had been making some progress in pulling back from right fighting, if only a tiny bit. I just don't know what else I should say when I ask him to do something and he responds in the affirmative. I have tried asking him for a completion date, and this only makes him feel more pressure. I have requested that he just tell me he is too busy to do it over the next two weeks if that is the case and I will come up with a plan B. He can't seem to do this either. Something to do with that little problem he has of not being able to say no to me I think. My newest idea of quietly giving him a reminder that I knew he would notice didn't seem to make him any happier than anything I have tried in the past.

I know the bigger problem here is that I expect him to be like I am. If I tell someone I am going to do something, it goes on this little to-do list in my head and sets off a sensor every few seconds to remind me of it until I get it done and off the list. Gosh I'm a nag to myself, and it would work really well for me if (my) Mister's nag button worked as efficiently as mine does. I also do things for people in a timely fashion because I believe that it shows how important they are to me. This is the belief that makes me feel he doesn't think I am important when he puts off doing the things he says he will do for me.

Let's face it...I would NEVER marry me, I know how many things are wrong with me! Why then do I want my chosen spouse to be more like me? Crazy isn't it? Why can't I embrace the fact that when it comes to doing things for me his time line seems to be uniquely his own, and really doesn't have anything to do with his feelings for me? Selfish I suppose, wanting things when I want them. Imagine that! Anyone out there able to relate to these feelings?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blowing smoke..........................

Thought I would share with you my current rant...Lucky you!

Love, love, love my XM radio, but really HATE some of their commercials. The latest one of my despise is for identity theft protection, and starts out with a guy giving out his SS#. It then goes on to try and scare the listener into buying their product. Claiming they will guarantee up to a million dollars worth of protection for anything the thieves might get away with.

This commercial SO grates on my nerves that the other day I called Zander insurance and talked with one of the people that handle their identity theft protection policies. I found out that any one of us can call the credit bureau and get a fraud alert put on our accounts for a period of ninety days even if we have not fallen victim to identity theft. If we can do this, why in the world would we pay someone to do this for us, and how can they make a claim to put an alert on our account for as long as we are paying them? Did they cut some special deal with the credit card people, like debt consolidation people did? If you sign on the line with a debt consolidation group the credit card company will give you a very reduced interest rate, if you ask as a consumer, no such luck. One more reason to not use credit cards, but that is another rant.

And yes, according to the guy at Zanders, if you do happen to become a victim of identity theft you DO NOT owe any of the debt. You and I could call up Joe Smoe and tell him that we also guarantee that we will reimburse him any cost that he is out due to identity theft and we would not be lying and also never pay out a dime. Is Joe really stupid enough to fall for this?

What you are purchasing (with a Zander policy anyway, I will admit here to NOT calling the other company) is someone to deal with the hassle if you do become a victim. It can take hours if not years to clean up the mess if your information is used fraudulently, and only you can decide if having protection is worth the money. To help you decide it cost around eighty bucks a year to get an individual policy from Zander, and around one hundred-forty for a family, which includes two adults and any number of children up to age twenty-five (I think. I know it was twenty-something, and know that my two older kids are too old to be included in the family plan).

Having identity theft protection is no guarantee that you will not become a victim of it. There is no way to assure this, no matter what the commercial says. Actually, it isn't what it says, but the way we allow ourselves to hear it. It is a normal human response to believe anything to help us feel better. Which just reminded me.... Years ago, ( I was in my late twenties) one of the creeps I was dating told me he had a potentially life threatening illness. After I totally wigged out for about twenty minutes wondering how in the world I would live without "his greatness," he dropped the bomb that his POTENTIALLY life threatening illness was a form of VD and I would need to get myself tested. OH! YA! I could be a rich girl had I sold tickets to the fight we had after he told me that. IT WAS THAT GOOD! But I have to tell you that I actually did feel better knowing he really wasn't going to die! Even though I WANTED TO KILL HIM for doing that to me! Yes! go ahead and laugh! I know you want to, it is funny. Too funny! P.S. NO! For the record, I did NOT have VD!

The point here is to watch out for yourself by being smart. Shred potentially harmful info instead of just throwing it away. Watch what you log into on a public computer (this one was just on the TV this morning. Something about people checking their retirement accounts on public hotel computers and then having the entire account wiped out). Think before you give out any personal information instead of being lulled into believing the sales pitch. Having said this, if you still feel the need for more protection by all means get it. Just make sure you are getting what you pay for BEFORE signing on the dotted line, and make sure what you are getting is worth what you are paying for it. This goes for anything and anybody.

So I feel better having shared that, and will try and move on now that I have. In fact, the next time I hear the commercial I plan to do the adult mature thing... Put my hands over my ears and loudly say "La, la la, la," until it is over. Take that stupid commercial!

Monday, March 19, 2007

So much to do, so little time.................

Yesterday I spent all my morning computer time comparing different music systems to replace my Ipod. I am thinking of getting a portable XM instead of just an MP3 player of some sort. (my) Mister loves this part of shopping, and can easily take months and months planning, comparing, deciding. I am more of an "I want what I want, show it to me and put it on sale so I can get this phase over with" kind of gal. Call me selfish, but I think it is much more fun to use the perfect item than to hunt for the perfect item.

In the afternoon I spent all of my extra time (this would be NON -running, -talking on the phone, -hot tubing, -laying around watching old movies and one newer released DVD time) looking for a place my youngest and I can go for her up and coming spring break. We were excited about going down to my oldest daughters for a couple of days, but her schedule is not going to jive with ours so we are on our own to find something new to do. We checked out some day spas and some spas that have lodges with them, but the notion of spending a thousand bucks on a two day vacation was vetoed by my youngest. If only I had her incite and wisdom when I was her age, I would be so much more financially secure today. Believe it or not, some of the best pricing is right in our own backyard (NOT really OUR backyard... I could see that special... Come roll around in mud, dead leaves, and poop included for free... but less than a half hour from home). This way we can opt to stay in a hotel, or use that money for an extra treatment. Since it is also her birthday treat, the youngest gets to decide. I just get to go along because I am spoiled.

So it is snowing this morning. Suppose to be sixty degrees by the middle to end of the week. Now there is one aspect of change that I seem to be able to embrace without the slightest bit of trouble. It ranks right up there with weight loss and new shoes. I thought about putting new clothes in the previous sentence, but that change is a bit harder for me. I really grow attached to my clothes, and the way they soften and mold to your particular body shape after a few wearings. New clothes have an adjustment period, no matter how much I like them in the store or how they look on me that puts them a smidgen below the other three things.

Okay! I am going to go for now. From my current position I keep eyeing the three or four leaves and couple of clumps of mud that wandered into the house last Thursday or Friday. It was another one of THOSE experiments. You know, the kind we all do from time to time. Purposely leave it there just to see if anyone else notices it and cleans it up even through you know it ain't ever going to happen. In this particular case, a family member came in on Saturday to pick up a resident, and had a mini freak-out thinking that she had brought it in with her. My two test subjects (the youngest and (my) Mister) were both in the room at the time I reassured her it had been there, and was waiting for someone to take care of it. I even brought it up to my youngest yesterday sharing how interesting I thought it was that the presence of mud beside her didn't phase her at all, OR induce her to clean it up. She simply moved a couple of feet away from it and kept working on what she was doing. So with one more experiment giving me said expected results I am off to clean it up, start the laundry, and do all the other Monday morning chores the need doing. What was that I was saying about being spoiled? Mmmm...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My reward for embracing change........................

I have been reading this book about loving kindness, and was reading this morning about the notion that nothing stays the same and we can choose to embrace change or fight against it, but it will happen either way. I was also reading about how things come into our life and then go out again, and as with change it is up to us to choose to fight or embrace this notion, knowing that our response is not going to effect the flow of things. Then I got ready for a run.

My Ipod is MIA it seems. The last time I had it was when I went on a run. The following day my youngest and I took the dogs for a walk and she borrowed my fanny pack (with the Ipod in it) to hold the poop bags. Still a work in progress, I started my run by backtracking the route we had gone with the dogs on the chance that I would find the Ipod. No luck in that, and with no music to listen to while running, I spent the first part of my run embracing the fact that my Ipod was no longer in my life. I wished it well, and hoped that it would find the perfect home. I would much rather someone pick it up and be enjoying it rather than have it be cold and alone in some ditch. Then I imagined for a while that poem that goes, "If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you it is yours. If it doesn't, it never was." Farewell dear Ipod, thanks for all the good times. Can't wait to see what replaces you in the future.

Then those thoughts got boring so I changed my thoughts to thinking about change. Because I had wanted to look for the Ipod, I was taking a different route than originally planned. This got me to thinking that I could, at any moment, alter the route that I was currently on. I could change it up and then change it up again if I wanted to. I played with this notion for a mile or so and then decided that I would do just that. I turned and went another way. I felt so liberated, so powerful for some strange reason. About twenty minutes later I was about a half mile from home and about thirty yards ahead of me another runner came out of a subdivision and headed off in front of me. He was not traveling that fast so I decided to use him to make myself go faster and try to catch him. As I approached and then came up even with him, I was on the sidewalk and he was on the left-hand side of the road (the side one is suppose to be on when running on the road btw), and he started to cross over as I was thanking him for being there to race against. He told me that he was crossing so he could join me and I could make HIM run a little faster. NO ONE has ever told me that I made them go faster before. I was on top of the world. No matter that he was a 64 y/o, the guy has been running thirty years to my two. I can be proud if I want to be. We ended up pacing each other until we came to my street and I got a nice little speed work-out that I would have lost out on had I continued down the original route I was first running.

How great if we could always embrace the idea of change with an open heart and like it was going to be the most exciting adventure ever. Heck, maybe you already do. Maybe, just maybe, I might one day learn this art. Won't that be a change?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Non shoe-lovers move along......................
To everyone else...Lookie what I got! Trust me, the pictures do not do them justice. I liked the bottom pair so much I wore them right out of the store just like a little kid.
The shoe sales have just been amazing lately. Last night I had to go to the grocery store for the usual milk and bananas, and I saw that they have the Easter candy out. (my) Mister loves those little marshmallow peeps as much as I love shoes. When I came home I told him, "Two packages of peeps for you and two pair of pumps for me." He totally agreed with me that it was a fair deal.
Since January (have I really done this in three short months? Man I'm good!) I have been banking my shoe points as DSW. (Shoe points translate into certificates for dollars off shoes.) I checked the other day and I have banked over eighteen thousand points! In my defense a few of the points came from my oldest and her roommate when they gave me the points that they got for their purchases.
Can't just leave those points laying around collecting dust now can we? I guess the only thing to do then is go shoe shopping! Right? I love my life!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Let me tell you how I'm feeling...............

As most of you know, I had married and divorced twice before (my) Mister. I think I have also told you how my second ex has lived with us (bag and baggage) in the past, and continues to use our address/phone number to official use. In fact, just yesterday, I received two recorded messages for him and when the (extremely irritating) woman from sprint called wanting me to give him a message, I offered to give her his cell phone number, informing her I was no longer his secretary. SHe hung up on ME! This could have been for a number of reasons... Maybe the script she was reading from did not contain the steps required for writing down a number? Maybe her break time rolled around mid-conversation and she didn't want to miss any of it? Maybe she just doesn't really care about doing her job as a collector, and actually reaching the person she sought just might lead her towards having to do it for a change? Wait a minute...Since she was calling about his cell phone, she must have the number right? What a dummy I am!

WAIT A MINUTE! Why am I telling you all this? NOT THE INTENDED POST. Stop right now Patty.

LET'S START OVER.................

I have not spoken to my first husband in several years. As my two oldest children became adults there was no reason to, and let's face it most of us getting divorced do not remain the best of friends. I don't think that either he or I wished each other ill, there just was not any reason for us to keep in touch directly. Anyway, yesterday I got a blast from the past. My first husband called me. AND WE TALKED!

The reason he called doesn't need to be disclosed, neither does why he called me of all the people in his life. What is really important is that WE TALKED. As in two persons sharing ideas, giving and taking, listening, encouraging, VOICING UNDERSTANDING. You know, just like two regular people, NOT bitter exes! Imagine that!

You know how you hear about something, but until you go through it yourself you really don't think it could ever happen to you? Me too. As I said before, it isn't like we spent time being enemies, but talking like we did yesterday was never a part of our marriage (or if it was the openness was infrequent) and definitely not a part of our divorce. I am a big enough girl to admit that had I been able to do so we most likely would not be divorced today. But on the other hand, I also would not have had the rest of my life as I know it, and I would not be the person that I have grown into and enjoy being today. I have no regrets over my choices, and any sadness I feel about our divorce is for that hopelessly messed up nineteen year old that truly believed she was marrying her knight and shining armour who turned out to be slightly tarnished (aren't we all?), and she had no support or role models (let alone a clue) to help her handle the reality of marriage.

Do I think the two of us will start planning back yard barbecues or meeting for dinner? Probably not. I think of this more as a sweet little P.S. to our relationship, but mostly I look at this as huge growth on both of our parts. It would seem we both have learned something of what is really important in a relationship, mutual support and respect. Not only have we learned this we were actually able to treat each other this way. Amazing! I guess the old saying that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," has some truth to it after all.

So, if you have an ex that is driving you bonkers, or you are thinking of changing your title of spouse to ex and the conversations the two of you have are not of the highest quality take away hope from my experience. The time can come that the two of you will be not only civil to one another, but helpful. Look at your style of conversations and maybe ask yourself what you could improve that might just make the other person improve as well. Be the hero, set the good example. Did I do this all those years ago? Not much, if at all, but here is an opportunity to learn from someones mistake if you choose to utilize it. I believe that once you are married to someone, and especially if you share children, there will always be a connection between the two of you. The type of connection and the interactions the two of you have is the unwritten part, the part that becomes the "for better or worse" of your marriage vows, that CAN be re-written if your current conversations are not working for the betterment of both of you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Weather report..............

Yesterday Mother Nature gave us a taste of spring weather, and I spent a couple of hours raking leaves. Yes! I am well aware that it is the wrong season for one to be raking leaves, but this is the punishment for the crime of procrastination last October and November.

Anyway, I had such a great time out in the sunshine, I was almost glad that the yard never got cleaned up last fall. Most of the stuff I do in a day just needs to be re-done in a couple of hours or at least by the next day. It was refreshing to see the progress I was making in uncovering the flower beds, exposing the dirt to the sunshine and fresh air. Not only was it still looking good later in the evening, it still looks good this morning, and will continue to look good for a couple of weeks until the weeds start to sprout. I feel a great sense of accomplishment, and it feels good!

Yesterday was also a great day for a run. So good in fact that I found myself having to share the road with lots of other runners. I don't really mind this, in fact it is good for me and makes me run faster so "I don't look bad" in front of them, but I still found myself wanting to call them a wimp and ask them where they were when there was snow and ice on the ground? And I like to think I am not competitive. Who am I kidding?

My youngest and I have also been taking the dogs to the "dog park." Actually it is the enclosed baseball field, but they love to run without being on a leash. We are not the only ones that use the ball field for this purpose. Once, we even met other dogs there. Emma just happens to be afraid of other dogs, why I am not sure. Anyway, as soon as the dog approached her, she did her cowering thing, so I started to take her out. The dog's owner came over and started telling me what a bad mother I was for not socializing her better so that she would not be afraid of other dogs and how this was going to scare her for life if she didn't get over it. I get that "dogs are people too" but scared for life? If I thought I was going to get bitten at best and eaten at worst I would cower too, wouldn't you? She has her brother to play with, and like I told my kids, "If you aren't scared by this, you will be scared by something else, so deal with it and move on." I had many things I wanted to say to this woman, but instead just stood and protected Emma with my body as best I could and thankfully in a few minutes the other dog left the park. Anyway, Until we get busted and told it is forbidden, it is a great place for them to burn off their winter fat. As long as they are the only dogs in there that is.

Today, is grey and rainy, but yesterday's taste of nice weather reassures me that spring is just around the corner, and snow WILL be a thing of the past (or at least will be in another month or so), and before you know it everyone will be complaining about how hot they are. Can't wait!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Interrupting your day to bring you this message...............................

Still in love with my new toy stumbleupon. I came across a site with quotes on it and thought I would share the one below:

"There is no failure. Only feedback.” (author unknown)

What a powerful message that can be if one will embrace it, take it to heart, practice it. Occasionally we get things right the first time, but most of the time there is a huge learning curve needed until we feel success. How many times during this learning curve do we take time out to beat ourselves up? More than likely a lot more time is spent on that than is spent on encouraging ourselves for hanging in there and trying again.

Is it easier to throw in the towel and quit than to try, try again? I think this depends a lot on a person's personality. I know once I have said I was going to do something I have a hard time letting go, even once it is apparent it is no longer the thing to be doing. I am sure a big part of this stems from my fear of the "F" word! No! No! Anything but failure!

In embracing the above quote I would rid myself of this fear and open myself up to adventure. To truly believe that "There is no failure. Only feedback.” opens up a floodgate of possibilities that will eventually lead to success,

A two-year-old gets this quote, and if you have (or had) one you have seen this in action. If something catches their attention they go after it. As obstacles get in their way, they regroup and alter their plan of attack, often until either the object of their quest is physically removed or else they are. Do they let this get them down, grab their blanky and go sulk in their crib for the remainder of the day, nurturing a feeling of failure? Not on your life! Before one knows it, they are off after something else with as much determination and stamina as ever. We could learn much from said two-year-old, and yet society often dictates that we squelch this behavior most of the time; a great clothing sale and corporate ladder climbing being a couple of possible exceptions.

The next time you start a new project, or pick up an old one, look at it with two-year-old eyes, examine the feedback, believe there is no failure. The life (and/or outlook) you change just might be your own.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wrapped up in my own little world, look what I almost missed......................

I was making my way through the kitchen last evening when I heard the news reporter say a familiar name, the name of the father of my oldest's high school friend. Wanting to make sure it was really _____, I peeked at the TV, and sure enough it was him standing in front of his house. His house, that is a mere one block over from our house.

Seems that on Friday, they had found his next door neighbors dead in their bed, and at current time are calling this a murder-suicide. As I was typing this, a memory of having heard sirens the other day popped into my head. I had done then what I always do when I hear a siren, say a short prayer and go back to whatever I was doing before, thinking nothing more of it.

Of course this has been the talk of the town since the bodies were discovered, since NOTHING like that happens around here. I even get why people have to talk about it, both the sensationalism factor, and the fact that people process info by talking about it (job security for the counseling world). Still, when I hear the statement, " It is all everyone is talking about," IT DRIVES ME BONKERS! It makes me feel compassion for the victim of the gossip (no matter what the offense), and makes me shudder to imagine myself in the spotlight. I think lots of people will take any opportunity to have fifteen minutes of fame/attention and use whatever they can find to get it.

Am I talking about the guy I first mentioned? Of course not. He lived next door and it makes perfect sense that the news crews would want to interview him since there really isn't a lot publicly known about the couple. Allow me to go off course and give you a personal example of why this kind of talk bothers me...

Once upon a time, there was a person in my life that I took under my wing, yada, yada, blah, blah, she did some really hateful/ potentially professionally damaging things to me, etc...Hadn't spoken to her in at least five years, then one day the phone rings and it is her acting like we chat all the time and this phone call was just another of those daily chats. As I am still wondering how she tracked me down, she cheerfully asks me if I had heard the news yet. Without waiting for me to respond, she goes to tell me that a mutual acquaintance (from that time period) who left my life at the same time this person did (because of what the first person did) had gotten divorced a couple of years prior and that her ex had just committed suicide. Paying no attention what so ever to my stunned silence, she went on to fill me in on the couple's marital problems, her speculation as to why the guy did it, how the guy did it, and a bunch more personal stuff that the gal had shared with her. As soon as she paused for a breath, I told her thanks for letting me know and got off the phone.

Forget the blast from an unpleasant past. Am I the only one that doesn't want to know every personal detail of another's marriage? My heart could break for this poor woman and her children WITHOUT knowing all the sorrid details. I learned long ago that none of us are perfect, and all of us have things that are potentially embarrassing, definitely personal, that we would rather not have pass through the gossip mill.

Don't get me wrong, I am not goodie-two-shoes when it comes to gossip, and have been known to pass a juicy tidbit along now and again. Shame on me. I am talking to me along with everyone else when I say it is important to listen to what we are allowing to come out of our mouths, and maybe even examine not only why the words are coming out, but the value of the words being spoken. Hopefully, at least most of the time, those word will be spoken out of a genuine concern and love for the topic, and not to feed some sad sickness within.

I know I have way too many things within myself that need working on to waste time passing judgement and/or speculating on the life and actions of another. How about you?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Vain, self-involved, self-centered. All about ME.....................................

I am so enamoured with my new boobs it is hysterical. First, one has to remember that I am not a stand-in-front-of-a-mirror kind of gal. I am the kind of gal that can go a week or more without washing her hair and/or combing it and be okay. But I gotta tell you, since my surgery I find myself not only standing in front of the mirror on a regular basis, semi-worshiping my boobs, but making them jiggle slightly, JUST BECAUSE I CAN!

It isn't about their size, or about how I look in clothes, it's all about the fact that they are right where boobs are suppose to be and after all these years of them NOT being where they're suppose to be I am simply, totally, amazed and mesmerized by that fact. Ready to ROFL (thank T-girl for my shorthand)? I caught a couple minutes of the Bo Derek biography last night and honest to God when they played the clip of her running on the beach in the movie 10, I totally thought to myself, "What is so hot about hers? Mine are at least as good if not better." Yes I did! It is so bad that had I known I was going to be this pleased I think I would have put the cost of them onto a credit card back in the day. Of course had I done that not only would I still be paying them off, but gravity most likely would have played its dirty trick on me and they would be back where they started by now. By waiting till now, not only do I appreciate them more, but I will be senile and in the nursing home by the time they fall again so who cares?

And what is up with this?

While I was in the bridal store the other night, totally spying on some woman trying on gowns I had this overwhelming urge (NO! not to get remarried, three times is DEFINITELY enough of that) to work there. I could soooo picture myself helping some happy bride-to-be find the perfect dress (no matter the price tag since I work on commission) fluffing, flouncing, oohing and aahing over her, being an integral part of making the most important day in her life perfect. (No matter that I think all the days of the marriage are way more important than one's wedding day). I was positively caught up in the whole idea of being a perfect bridal consultant.

And the same thing happen in the shoe store when my youngest was picking out her shoes to go with her prom dress. One of the sales people told me it was her first day on the job and this sent me right into daydreaming about working there. Again how I would be able to help someone find the perfect shoe (how easy would that be as all shoes are perfect in my eye), how wonderful it would be to be surrounded by gobs and gobs of new shoes, the excitement of unpacking a new shipments and feeling like it was Christmas morning even if I couldn't keep them all, the practical side of me planning how to keep from spending every penny I earned on shoes since my employee discount was enormous in my fantasy. Yes! I am aware that I need a twelve step program.

I am not unhappy with my current job, not even bored, and this is not normal behavior for me. Just makes me wonder if there isn't something new brewing on the horizon for me? Time will tell I guess.

Speaking of new...I have also been thinking a lot about the writing of the book that I know is inside of me. I ask myself why I have not done so as of yet. I know that I am completely intimidated and put off by the idea of writing an entire book, which is one of the reasons I love blogging so much. It is short sweet and to the point simple. Another reason I never get started is because I can never totally decide on a specific enough topic. For this reason I beseech you, what topic of book would you like to read by me?

And now that I have fulfilled my indulgence of me, I want to share one more little story with you. Yesterday my sister called me and told me that she finally got the letter I wrote her dated February 15. My first reaction was to say, "Well it is a good thing you didn't die during surgery then because you were suppose to get it so I was sure you knew the things I wrote as you were going into surgery." Seems it had gotten thrown into a pile of mail and my sister isn't as anal about things as I am so she was just getting around to going through it yesterday. The big point to the story is she went on to tell me how much the letter meant to her and that she couldn't remember the last time someone had told her that they were proud of her. Never mind the sadness of that fact, take this as your cue to write a letter to someone you love and let them know what they mean to you. Not an e-mail, not a card, but an honest to goodness pen and paper letter sent through the old fashion postal system, and then trust that while it might not reach them when you think it will, it will reach them right when it is suppose to.

March is National Nutrition Month. Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Prom Dress Post Script......................................

Not only did my youngest find a really great dress for her senior prom, I found a really great (and really pricey, so must shop sale only) store full of really fabulous clothes, but that is another post.

One of the greatest things about the store was how wonderful the salesperson was. She hung all the rejected dresses back up so I didn't have to do it. Talk about feeling pampered!

Of the two dresses my daughter had found on the net, one of them was at this store, but the other one wasn't. My youngest ended up finding a third dress she really liked, but just to be sure wanted to go to another store that had also been listed as having the dress not at the first store (are you following me?). Let me tell you about this experience...

When we first got in the door we were required to remove our shoes. My first thought was about public health code violations, but this was suppose to be a fun trip so I kept my mouth shut and dropped my shoes at the door.

The first lady we encountered told us, "I don't deal with prom dresses," in a tone that suggested they were some wicked step sibling of the wedding dress, and directed us into the bowels (or basement) of the store.

There were three or four girls already trying on dresses, but the salesperson told us we were free to look around and try and find the dress on our own. My youngest finally found it, and as I was saying to her, "But it is purple not pink" the salesperson shot a dagger my way and promptly replied in a haughty tone, "It's lavender mother, not purple." My youngest looked at me and rolled her eyes to keep me under control (you know, so I saw the humor in it rather than reaching out and scratching the woman's eyes out of her perfectly coiffed head).

My youngest decided to try on the dress, LAVENDER that it might be, but the size she needed was in a fitting room being tried on by another girl. When the young lady came out to preen in front of the mirror, we checked out the dress. As we were doing so, the girl's mother caught wind of our interest, whipped her head around and spat out in our general direction, "What school do you go to?" Scared for my life, I told her the name of my daughter's school, and thank God she immediately calmed down and said, "Oh! That's okay then." Apparently my life was to be spared after all. The woman went on to explain the store's policy of keeping a register and selling only one of each style of dress per school. Appearing to be as sane as you and I this women goes on to say," You wouldn't want another girl showing up in your daughter's dress now would you?" Afraid now, very afraid, I still could not lie and has to tell her that I really didn't think it would bother me all that much while at the same time my youngest piped up, "You mean like last year when there were two of us with the same dress on?" I kid you not, this woman literally shoved her daughter across the room to get her away from us (devil spawns), as she sputtered, "Well I'm sorry I even talked to you two!" What is up with that?

After a couple more minutes of standing there (feeling quite soiled for some strange reason) my youngest said, "Well I don't really want a PURPLE dress anyway" so we snuck past the viper woman, and made our way up the stairs to reclaim our shoes. As I was walking past the row of shoes to the end where my pumps rested, I said, "Hey! There are a pair of shoes just like my brown ones." And then my youngest slipped them on her feet and it wasn't quite the amazing fact that it had been the second before. We went back to the first store, took the nice salesperson one of the doughnuts we had picked up, and my youngest paid for her choice of dress.

I know I am a strange bean, but sometimes I just don't get how people can get all wrapped up in things that seem pretty insignificant to me. Is there someone out there reading this that really truly had their life destroyed because another girl showed up in the same prom dress as they did? If this is the case I would really like to understand your point of view. My girl would have been fine with having an identical dress as her very good friend, but opted out for the sake of being a good friend. Apparently my youngest's friend is not the only one that feels this way. Where was I when this rule was being handed out?

I hope I was busy teaching my girls about being a good person/friend. Teaching them that what is truly important is what is on the inside, not what you put on the outside. Busy making them feel loved exactly the way they are. Apparently I wasn't busy teaching them anything about color shading, but then no one is perfect. Right?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A HUGE fashion tragedy..............

For the past several days my youngest has been waging a strong campaign regarding the need for a new prom dress even though there are several perfectly good (never been worn) dresses hanging in the downstairs closet. "This is my SENIOR prom. I have been doing as Dave says, living as no one else so that tomorrow I can live like no one else, saving every dime I earn for college and I think that tomorrow is close enough today." She even played the, "You just went on vacation even though Dave says you should not have." (Does no one get that IT IS A BUSINESS EXPENSE besides me?) Last night she had the night off work so after dinner we went "looking" for the perfect dress.

She tried on a vast assortment of dresses ALL of which I got the pleasure of hanging back up, in between taking pictures of all angle of each and every dress for later comparison. Somehow I must have slacked on teaching the girl the correct way to put on a dress. She prefers the step in and wiggle up the hip method, and each time I would insist that she perform the over the head method she would end up in a crouched position on the floor, the dress all in a bunch over her head, hollering "Help me! Then of course this would make us laugh and laughing in no way was beneficial in releasing her from her taffeta/lace/sequined prisons. In the end she narrowed it down to two dresses and off we headed with the pictures, the plan being for her to sleep on it and make the final decision in the morning.

On the way home I dropped her off at Subway where her boyfriend was working so she could get his opinion, and she called one of her friends to have her come to subway and put in her two cents worth. About an hour and a half later, she comes home in tears and says, "How could the best night ever turn into the worse night ever in such a short time?" Poor thing...

As it turns out, the friend that came to see the pictures of the dresses had tried on one of them and was in love it. This dress just happen to be the one that my youngest was most leaning towards getting. Her friend told her," You can't get that one because I want it." Don't any of you dare say," what is the big deal about that?" before remembering back to your high school years. Being the great kid that she is, my youngest said, "It is not worth all the drama to go ahead and get the dress, but I so wanted that one." We talked a little more about some options, and then got on the net and started looking for different dresses. About a half hour later my youngest said, "I knew you would make me feel better. You're miracle mom." (And of course I have to share that tidbit with all of you.) Another half hour and we had found a couple of dresses that she liked even better than the original dress in a store close to our home. (my) Mister is going to come home from work early today so we can go check them out and she can try them on, and we will go from there.

This experience is just one more example of what a great kid I have raised, the kind of example that makes me wonder (as I always do) what it is that I did right/what I did right to deserve such a great kid? Maybe in the scheme of things this isn't a big deal, but last night to her it was EVERYTHING. In my opinion she would have been a little justified to have a hissy fit, say mean things about her friend, or decide to buy the dress anyway. Instead she did the noble thing, the right thing, the loving thing, and in the process she made me feel like a great mom for letting me help her to feel better. What a kid. What a blessing.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Patty's latest, greatest, tiny adventure.............................................

If you have ever been on a cruise you will totally understand what I mean when I say I did not eat much over the past week. One gets so used to simply making their way to the food line whenever hunger strikes that once back home to reality it seems like too much effort to actually have to fix the food before you can eat it. Picture this:

Me meandering out to the kitchen... When I get there and note that the counter is totally void of anything (except a bowl of bananas which was breakfast) a slightly shocked look comes across my face, I muter something about how I would kill for just the salad bar to magically appear, and then go back to what I was doing before thinking I was hungry. This behavior it known as post cruise re-adjustment and also happens when I go into my bedroom and the bed is still not made and there are not chocolates on my pillow at night.

Anyway...After totally vegging out in my house since returning home, I had to make a trip to the grocery store. You know, the highlight of my life! Normally I go down the isles pretty zombie-like getting the "usual." I spent lots of time price comparing and label reading so that I could practice the "grab and go" style of shopping and yet do no harm to any one's health and/or our budget.

For whatever reason last night (and I am totally blaming it on the large food selection on the cruise, as well as the fact that I needed something from the far end of the store that I got first so I wouldn't forget it, which ended up with me starting my food shopping at the opposite end from where I usually start) I noticed that there were tons of new items adorning the shelves. I counted fourteen new kinds of salsa alone. There are sections with totally organic flours and spices, and "cage free Omega 3" eggs that "are an excellent source of Vitamin E, with no drugs, antibiotics or animal by-products." I "shelled" out THREE BUCKS for them cause I just have to try those eggs and see if they really are an "egg innovation" as the carton exclaims.

I bought some Claussens refrigerator pickles because I caught a segment on them on the Food Network the other night and they were showing how loud the crunch was when you bit into one and I just had to see for myself. (It IS pretty darn loud, and they are really garlicky. Yummy!)

I also found some 100% whole wheat gnocchi (little potato dumplings) made with sweet potatoes (on sale) doggie breath fresheners, 100% whole wheat garden tortellini, and red pears for a dollar a pound. I also found some blue moon ice cream (which always reminds me of when my kids were little and it was their favorite and they would end up with cold blue mouths that would then make them stick their tongues out at one another and fight over whose tongue was the bluest).

I also started getting stuff to make sushi. Remember the stumble upon site? Well I stumbled upon a site all about making sushi (vegetable not raw fish kind) so I have decided I am going to try it once I study up on it a little more.

I rounded the salad dressing isle and my eye caught this absolutely beautifully shaped bottle of dressing. It was "Asian Sesame Ginger" and was the perfect shade of creamy tan with two tiny white flowers adorning the top of the label. I gently picked up the bottle and just held it for a few seconds and then forced myself to do what needed to be done. I slowly turned it over and just as I expected, sugar was the first ingredient so I put the bottle down and tried to turn my attention to all the other new kinds. That darn bottle kept calling to me and I picked it up like three more times until finally I said out loud, "Sugar is the first ingredient. Put down the bottle and walk away from the salad dressings." Just as I finished saying this the lady passing me gave me a sad smile and replied, "I know just what you mean." That really helped to break the spell I had seemed to have fallen under and I was able to move on.

And the people I interacted with. There was the sweet old woman I met at the brownie mix when I couldn't help but point out which ones had the least amount of sugar, the least fat, and the most protein, along with the fact that they were on sale as compared to the box she was reading. She loving thanked me for my advice (as opposed to telling me to mind my own business) and said she should take me shopping with her all the time. A few isles later it occurred to me that I should have given her a business card. Oh well.

Then there was the guy at the deli counter that I insisted try my reduced fat salami that "tastes just like the real thing but doesn't leave that greasy film on your tongue like the regular kind does." I thought about going back and telling him it was really tasty on the one gram of sugar light rye bread but I didn't want him to think I was a total psycho, since I had also told the lady behind the counter to let the powers that be know how happy I was that they were again carrying 100% whole wheat pita bread (it makes the best pizza!).

As I came down one isle I caught a whiff of a stock person and before I could stop myself commented on how good he smelled. And then totally backed up to get another whiff and ask him what it was (Polo by the way. Talk about yummy smells...better than the bakery). Or the guy in the cereal isle that gave me a strange look most likely because I was grinning ear to ear which caused me to burst out laughing and say to him, "Ya! I'm having such a great time shopping. It is kinda freaking me out how much fun I am having too." Not sure if he had gotten what he came for or just couldn't get away from the "fruit loopy lady" fast enough, but he was gone in a split second.

So, I got up to the check out lane and did my usual line of, "Try and keep it under three hundred dollars will you?" to the check out person. So we round two hundred ninety-four with several items left, and he stops ringing and starts taking off my coupons which brings the total back down to two eighty-one. When he gets back up to two ninety-six and I mutter something about if only I hadn't had to have that damn four dollar jar of pickles, he looks at me and I realize he took me serious and thought I only had three hundred dollars to spend. He was being so diplomatic about the whole thing I felt really bad as I explained it was just a goal I like to set for myself that I rarely reached, showed him my hundred dollar bills, to assure him I had plenty of money to pay for my stuff, and told him to keep ringing up the remainder of the pile. Poor guy!

So today I am planning a nice relaxing day to recover from my fun night out. The hardest part of my day will be deciding which yummy delight to fix for dinner.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

" Professional" Pics from my last race......................................

At most of the big races there will be a company taking pictures. A few days after the race they send you these little copies and offer them for sale. I have yet to see one of the pictures that I thought was worth the huge price they charge for them. Instead I am "borrowing" them for your viewing enjoyment.

I thought I would share them with you for a couple of reasons. First so you could see how nice all the other runners were to stay out of my pictures, letting me be the center of attention. Never mind the reality of the fact that these pictures were taken at around or after mile ten. Most of the others had already crossed the finish line and were drinking beer and/or munching on a banana. DESPITE that fact, let it be known that of the seven hundred plus runners there were one hundred and thirty-something runners that finished after me. As you can see by the pictures, I still don't have the notion of a race being about racing, I am too busy having fun.

In the first picture I saw the guy with the camera as I was coming up on him so I raised my arms and posed for the pic, just for kicks. This is also the posture I like use to work the crowds. Often people will have signs with names on them to cheer on certain people. As I amble pass them I have been known to shout out, "Hey! My name is Bob" (or whatever name is on the sign). " Where are my cheers?" They always graciously cheer me on. At one point in this particular race I rounded a corner that was filled with well wishers. As I am yelling and carrying on with them, I had to add, " The fact that I am able to have the energy to scream and shout like this tells you all that I am not running that fast. Cheer for me anyway!" A girl has to know her weakness now doesn't she?

If you squint really hard you can see that I am carrying my prayer cards with me. While I found myself easily distracted (nothing new here), I know that the prayers were lifted because I had spent some quiet, reflective time writing out the requests (and some that were not specifically requested, so I got you all in) before the race so when I came to a new mile and a new card, I sent my mind back to that quiet time and the race prayers became a reflection of that time. I hope you all felt the connection and the joy I expressed, and continue to express, for each and every one of you as you are always in my thoughts and prayers. Even those of you I don't know by name, as that is the power of prayer. Praise be to _____(insert your particular higher power here)!
Disguised blessings...................................

Almost never would any of us consider having a heart attack as being a blessing, but consider this:

Last May, my sister had a mild heart attack. Except for cleaning up her diet, beginning an exercise program, and having to take a bunch of new medication, her life was not effected by this seemingly singular event.

Fast forward to Earlier this year...The medication she was taking to keep her blood healthfully thin was also causing her to have constant "womanly" bleeding. She finally got fed up enough with this unpleasant constant in her life to insist that her doctor do something about it (her suggestion was to get her off the ____ medication). Of course, being the good doctor that he is, he instead ordered a bunch of tests. It was at this point that it was discovered that the blood was coming from the bladder and not the uterus. (And to all you (guys) out there that might wonder while she didn't notice exactly where the blood was coming from I am only going to say check out an anatomy book.)

This was the point in time that the tumor in her bladder was discovered. When the tumor was removed, it was determined that it had invaded the wall of the bladder and the greatest chance of erasing the cancer from her body was to remove the bladder before any of the microscopic cells invaded other parts of the body. Not an easy choice, but a choice that embraced life. Maybe not an easy, comfortable life, but who had promised that life would always be easy?

So the bladder came out, and the _____ urine collection bags keep coming off. Apparently there is a big learning curve involved in the use of these things, but in the scheme of things this is a mild irritant as compared to what might have been.

You see, the official word came down yesterday. No matter what rigorous testing the sample slices of nearby tissues were exposed to NOT ONE SPEC OF CANCER WAS DISCOVERED! The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The The perfect punch line to a great joke. The light at the end of the tunnel. The silver lining in the heart attack cloud. Praise God, and thank all of you for your heartfelt prayers.

And the next time you find yourself crying over spilt milk, or wondering why the bad things always happen to you, ask yourself if it might not be a blessing in disguise that you can use as a learning/growth experience that just might make your life better in the end, or extend the end of your life for the better.

Friday, March 02, 2007

GREAT excuse for a vacation......................

Since returning home from my vacation (my) Mister and I have been acting like newlyweds. So much so that the pets are starting to protest that they are not getting enough lap time from the two of us. The first morning I was back I found a sticky note on the coffee pot that said, "Glad you are home." Being a big believer in recycling, I saved the note and put it on the door when (my) Mister came home from work that afternoon. He got a big kick out of that, and it set the stage for a silly-in-love evening. Who says old people can't do dumb dopey things? So to those of you that think separate vacations seem like a strange notion, give it a try before passing judgement. It just might bring some new passion to an old relationship.

I have a new addiction to share with all of you, that I found in this months on-line Kripula (yoga) newsletter. Since I am often behind the times most of you probably already know about it, but I wanted to be sure so I am passing it on. Please note I am lifting the text completely from the newsletter and have put it in quotes so you know it is not mine.


If you haven’t stumbled upon this website yet, check it out. Using an easy-to-download toolbar, you click on a button and are taken to a random high-quality website based on your interests--we’ve even stumbled onto the Kripalu website. You’ll definitely discover websites you may never see otherwise. Stumbling can be fun, fascinating, and, occasionally, addictive. "

The next time you are looking for something to entertain you, or help you put off doing things that you know you should be doing check it out, and make sure you share with the rest of us if you stumble upon something really ultra cool.