Thursday, June 28, 2007

A question to ponder.............................

This morning, out of the blue, the following question popped into my head:

Do you want what you want or do you tell yourself what you want is what you think you can get?

For example:

Do I say (and believe) that I would never want to be in my twenties again because I really don't, or have I convinced myself I feel this way because I know being twenty again is not an option?

Do I limit the things that come into my life because I consciously (or unconsciously) think they are out of my reach? How do I know that I don't want more than I have? What am I potentially missing out on by being content?

I feel so happy and blessed where I am right now. I don't "feel" at all like I am settling, and except for isolated moments of stress I wouldn't change a thing about the way my life is unfolding. This doesn't mean I am stagnant, or that I don't feel the need or desire to continue to grow and change. In fact, I look forward to doing so. I consciously invite new things into my life on a regular basis. Is there anything wrong with being happy in the moment while I wait for the next moment to arrive?

Having spent HUGE chunks of adulthood wishing my life away for various reasons I have to answer that last question with a resounding NO!

I have worked hard to get to a place in my heart where I can accept that things don't have to be perfect/complete/ideal to be enjoyed and appreciated. There is something of value in every single thing and the specific value of everything is often variable from person to person. The value of something IS always subject to change.

We love to make circumstances in our life bad or good when they often just are. Problems occur only when we fight the change instead of allowing it to happen in an environment of love and with a loving heart and nature. When we fight (anything) we end up missing out on (all of some of) the lesson it has for us.

So instead of freaking out with thoughts about what big picture the question might be telling me, I have invited the question to stick around for as long as it likes, make itself at home in my head, and let me know if it needs anything, kind of how I treat welcome house guests. I am too busy loving my life to spend lots of time focusing on one solitary question. If it has something of value for me it will just have to voice what that is, LOUD and CLEAR.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New birth is happening all around us...........................

The latest addition to the family, baby Robin number four!

One of our fish is a proud mommy of three! It is hard to see, but that little brownish speck above the U of the coral, over to the right, underneath the black filter box is one of the little ones.
Little Franny's rendition of "Five more minutes Grammy."
This picture just cracked me up so I included it for your viewing enjoyment.

The way things have been multiplying around here lately, all I can say is thank goodness (my) Mister is fixed, and I don't have to worry about ME adding to our current population explosion. The new births I have been celebrating are of a different nature.

The first is a new appreciation of my husband. He has been such a great support as I have been ramping up my mileage in preparation for my October marathon. Last Sunday morning I hit the road before the sun came up and was gone for a three hour and fifteen minute run. (my) Mister cheerfully got up early to provide the AM care for the resident's and did the bulk of the rest of the care on Sunday as well as pampered me as I recovered from the run.

We have been dealing with high temperatures AND high humidity levels, and I have not been able to get out to run in on the weekday morning due to having respite residents. I called (my) Mister at the office yesterday and ask if he might work a couple of hours later so that he could go in later this morning and I could get out and do my five miles in the morning rather than have to deal with another hot afternoon run. He worked it out with his boss to do so on a moments notice.

I would not be able to complete the required training to achieve my dream of finishing a marathon without his love and support. Call me naive, but when I decided to do the marathon I never really thought about the time commitment I would be undertaking. It's not just time on the road, but extra sleep, fiddling with my daily diet and the best things to eat during, and after long runs. Then there is that total lack of desire to dust or vacuum the house in my spare time. He never complains! When I cross that finish line it will be in a large part because of the sacrifice and support of a really great husband.

The other new birth in my life is that of (my) Mister's running. I told you that he said he would join my relay team and run part of the marathon with me. Well, last Sunday he went out and ran his first five miles EVER! How great is that? He is still working with combination run/walk, but he still has almost four months to get up to running the full 5.1 which is the distance that he will be accompanying me on for the marathon. I am so proud of him, and secretly (well not that secretly) hoping that this helps to lower his blood pressure and cholesterol as well as increase his overall health level. I look forward to the future, when we are retired, and can travel around the country doing different races together. The healthier he becomes the greater our chances of that dream becoming a reality.

So what new things have been finding there way into your days? Whatever comes your way I hope that it brings with it joy and growth, as well as a good dose of fun. Celebrate whatever comes your way and it will become a positive experience.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The latest addition to our family..................................
Our hospice nurse is seeing the family of the kitty's mommy, who was unfortunately stuck by a car and killed. She rescued the four orphans and mentioned it to us. My youngest has been pestering for a kitty since Cecil's passing. I agreed but the financial burden and physical care is her responsibility (I L-O-V-E that she is an adult now). I get to play doting grandma having the joy of a little one around without the baggage that comes with it when they belong to you. You should have seen me playing with her when she was suppose to taking a nap earlier today.
My youngest settled on the name Francesca Belle (yes from Beauty and the Beast her favorite movie when she was a kid), Franny for short. Thank goodness I talked her out of Olive!
And YES! She is on my kitchen counter among the Sunday paper and the bottles of oil and vinegar that are too tall for the cupboard. I wasn't home when this was happening and after I threatened her (the youngest not Franny's) life I am hopeful it will not happen again. Still, even I have to admit she is darn cute in the picture.
On more pet news, Ben and Emma made their singing debut at this years "Ugly Dog" contest. In spite of a dose of stage fright and being more interested in the potpourri of smells on the ground they took third place, beat out by a dog that played patty cake,and one that took off his grandsons socks with his teeth! We are already working on next years trick and plan on taking home the grand prize now that they have had exposure to preforming in public. Please pass on any trick ideas that you know of for our consideration. Thanks!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Another reason why I live where I live...............................................

I mentioned yesterday that this week is our yearly town festival. Of course we have a parade (this Saturday) and of course we have a Grand Marshall for the parade, who are also Citizen of the Year. This year we have three, a husband, wife, and their son.

Forty years ago, the husband and wife started a wrecker service in our town, and the son took over the business when they retired. If you have ever needed to be pulled out of a ditch at three in the morning, or in the middle of a raging snow storm, you might agree that this is not one of the most glamorous of occupations. You would also most likely agree that you had never been happier to see anyone in your life when the lights of the tow truck cut through the darkness coming to your rescue.

I am really proud of the fact that the "powers that select" picked a Grand Marshall that stands for service to others. Not that we have that many "famous" people living among us (I think our biggest claim to fame is the (largest city in the area) television station's weatherman). These three where chosen because:

"We wanted to honor someone who has worked for this community for a long time. The ******'s have given of their time and expertise in so many ways all over (city name) for decades. They've been a part of the community for so long and have always been willing to help out with not only Jubilee but whenever someone needed help."

I am proud to be living in a place where not only are these values recognized, but honored. So many people spend a big part of their lives providing service to others that go above and beyond simply doing their job because of who they are not because of the recognition it will bring to themselves. It does my heart good to see that once in a while they get their due!

And the next time you have need of a service worker remember to let them know how much you appreciate them and the jobs they do. If you happen to be one of those service workers, thank you from the bottom of my heart and know that the world is a better place because you are in it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Today is Thursday?........................

I finally came up with a petition to gather signatures of community members supportive of the off-leash dog park, and rode up-town on my bike to take some copies to my vet's office to get signatures of people bringing their animals in.

As I was riding up-town I noticed lots of people gathering in the park and I thought to myself, "wonder what is going on tonight for Jubilee" (our local/annual festival). As I continued to ride I saw kids riding in dressed up strollers and on dressed up bikes. My next thought was, "Mmmm, wonder why they are having the kids parade on Monday, it used to be on Wednesdays." It wasn't until after I dropped off the papers and was half-way back home that I realized that it was Wednesday! Yah! I've been that busy! Fortunately I read the calendar so I keep everyone on track with all of their various appointments. I guess I just look at the day next to the last day I looked at and don't pay attention to which day that is.

Can someone tell me if Robins have more than one hatching, or are they just homebodies? I had planned to take the ugly nest down from the garage, but the mother robin has taken up residence again. When the babies were growing she took off for a while, but now she (or someone that looks exactly like her) is in the nest every time I go outside. I don't want to make her homeless or anything, but I thought birds had one batch of babies in the spring and then went on with life. I didn't know they made summer homes and hung out in them until it was again time to fly south for the winter. Educate me please.

Okay, I just found a pair of glasses (well, actually my youngest found them) that had been MIA for twenty minutes. I went to clean them, got called to help someone else, and totally spaced that I was on my way to clean them and couldn't remember where I sat them down. Do ya thing I'm losing it? Na, just not used to caring for five people all at the same time. All's well that ends well, and my resident is now happily reading her newspaper, and I am on my way to throw in a load of laundry, if I can find my way to the washer that is.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Warren Zevon (and on)

Seems like I missed a lot not knowing about Warren before today.

In my line of work I often wonder how I would react if I received news of this nature. His response is how I would like to think I would react, and he seems to be a perfect example of how one person can make a positive difference in many lives.

Monday, June 18, 2007

How was your father's day?..............................

After asking (my) Mister get up early and do the AM OP routine so I could do my long run of the week in the early hours of dawn (and ya all know the guy can't say no to any request I make of him), I tried to make his day special. I did the same for our dog Ben who is not actually a father because we were responsible pet owners. Since it isn't his fault there are no little pups around to wish him a special day I took it upon myself to shower him with little treats and extra pats on the head. I even tucked him in with (my) Mister to take an afternoon nap. The two of them were pretty cute laying there together, but don't tell them I said that. We don't need those two getting bigger egos than they already have.

I made steak and cake for father's day dinner (because that was what was picked, not because it rhymes but did you notice?) that was reported to be "wonderful" ( I didn't try any of either).

Ya! I know he is not my father (and told him so several times yesterday), but (my) Mister is a pretty great guy, and definitely one of a kind. I try and let him know on a regular basis how important he is to me and how much I appreciate having him in my world. Still, it never hurts to suck up a little more on the Hallmark holidays (though come to think of it I didn't purchase one of those overpriced cards for him). Especially when you are as spoiled as I am. Besides it is good for the soul to nurture others. See...It IS all about me!

Friday, June 15, 2007


I am happy to say I have the scrubs finished for mt youngest. I have not sewn anything in some time, and I forgot how much I enjoy sewing. It has also given me the urge to knit again. Maybe I will pick up the sock that I haven't touched since January and give it a whirl. Of course I will have to learn the pattern all over again so probably not a good idea to pick it up until I have some real time to focus on it. Anyway, the scrubs turned out really well. My favorite top has "veggie tales" printed on it. There is a skinny little asparagus that is wearing red pearls! And the little eggplants...Sooo adorable!

There was also had another dog park meeting Wednesday past. I put a small ad in the local paper and put the same ad (letting people know about the meeting time) and three new people turned up in support of it (Let's see... At $32.00 for the ad, divided by 3...that's just over 10 bucks a person...Mmmmm). One of the three that showed up is going to be priceless to the cause as she is very involved in the city as a business owner and also with all the business organizations. Her dreams and ideas are much loftier than mine. Right smack in the middle of town where the library used to be (and the building is falling down) adjoining the current city hall (they are soon relocating) is where she thinks the park should be built, and she thinks the city should (and will) maintain the park (Quote; "If they can pay city workers to water the flowers around town that are on private property, then they can pay the workers to clean up the poop"). I am all for this idea, and it is a lesson in the need to dream big. After all, it is much easier to take less of what is offered than it is to ask for more once you have settled for less.

Our next task is to circulate a petition and get signatures of people that are in favor and supportive of a dog park, and then present to City Council at their next meeting. As it happens there is going to be lots of dog activity in the city over the next weeks with the annual city festival hosts a dog contest (I think I am going to enter Ben and Emma in the talent show and let them sing their rendition of How much is that doggy in the window) and the next "First Friday" is entitled "The Dog Days of Summer." They are to have lots of dog professionals (including a pet psychic...I can't wait!) so there should be lots of people with dogs that I can ask to sign the petition. This thing just might work out! Wouldn't that be something?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Poor, poor, pitiful me...............................

If not in the mood to listen to me whine I suggest you move onto your next regular read...

First off let me say I am LOVING my training in spite of the fact that lately it is kicking my a$$! I am putting in enough hours of training for the October marathon to equal at least a part time job. Not all of this is running, but I have been reading up on nutrition to run a marathon as well as other related topics. I have also been requiring more sleep to keep up with the demands on my body. I am scheduled to log 38 miles this week, and that is a lot for me.

These are all good things, but it isn't leaving me time to spend blogging and reading blogs that I used to have. I know... Sucks to be me! I just miss having this outlet for my thoughts and feelings and I really, really miss hearing about what is happening to the authors of my favorite reads. I think about yous all the time and can't wait for a spare minute to find out what you are all up to.

It probably won't be in the next day or two as I have to make scrubs for my youngest for her CENA classes that she is taking so she can work for me and get a real job working for hospice to help pay for college. I found the most adorable fabrics. They are really going to cheer up the people when she does her clinicals in the nursing home.

I had a wonderful weekend away. Part of the reason was because I had O.R.A. watching the OPs and I trust her so much that I didn't think or worry about them at all. I really felt like I was on vacation. Most of the time when I go away I am checking in so much that it is almost like working.

The trail race was even better than last year because we were returnees and knew the ropes a little better. This year turned out to be my turn to get lost in the woods, but I wasn't lost alone as another runner took the same wrong turn and he took me under his wing until we "found the way!" Due to my extra hour of running without getting anywhere it again took us thirteen hours to finish the race. We enjoyed every single second of it. Or at least I did. My oldest (who got lost on the very same leg last year) was a little freaked out during that one hour. She MUST get her type A personality from her father (ya! right!)

We ended up with two new teammates this year and they both fit in just like we had always known them. We also saw the guy that ran with us last year and it was just like a little family reunion. If you want to cultivate some really great friendships take up running.

Having (my) Mister with us at the campground was really fabulous both because we don't get to spend near enough R&R with one another but also he was a huge help with all the camping details when the rest of us were exhausted from the run.

Hope all is well with everyone, and I hope to be back soon. Love ya all!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

EMPTY NESTERS................................
Yup our little birdies have flown the nest and are on their own now, leaving a ratty looking nest in their wake.
(my) Mister has also flown the coop to head up and set up our command post (otherwise known as a camp site) for the upcoming 78 mile, six person trail relay this Saturday. The rest of the gang will be arriving at various points tomorrow. I will be getting two days off from OP care and am extremely excited to have another go at the tough trails. We are hoping to beat our time of thirteen hours something from last year. If none of us get lost it will be a piece of cake since at least an hour and half (or more...only three people owned up to having gotten lost at some point during the race) was spent lost last year .
We had a teammate that had to drop out of the race on Monday, but after a frantic couple of days (which is one of the reasons I have not been in blog land) she has been replaced with a new runner and we are back on track with last minutes Leg (who is running what) changes. I am scheduled to run a 7.3 mile gut buster and a 4.2 easy. I did the gut buster last year and insisted on doing it again this year. This time I know where to turn to get up the first cliff which will automatically take twenty minutes off my finish time. The race director told us there should be no rain so my fear of mudsliding down into the abyss has subsided. There is quite a distance of the trail where you run on a path just wide enough for one foot at a time, huge trees one after another on your right, and the cliff dropping off right to your left. I can't wait to run this again! The 4.2 will be a new route for me, but they say it is easy so how hard can it be (note: the other two that got lost did so on an "easy" leg)? I am sure you will hear all the details next week.
Until then, be safe, and stay well. I shall return with tales of the trail...Count on it!
P.S. I might even have graduation pictures to post one of these days, when I am able to hook up with the friend's mom again. How's that for dangling a carrot to keep ya all checking back?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Angels at their finest..........................................

So, at last, I AM A FREE WOMAN! Free from having to deal with the public school system that is. Unless, you consider that my check still has not been cashed. I am seriously thinking of stopping payment on the dumb thing and then letting them deal with it, but I probably won't.

Sunday was the big graduation event. It rained! I mean serious, huge downpours...ALL DAY!

My youngest has been soooo over school for some time now, and was not at all thrilled about the graduation ceremonies. She was much more into the pirate birthday party she was throwing for her boyfriend, complete with pirate pinata, frog pirate (that I made the WORLD'S COOLEST sword for out of cardboard, tin foil, and electrical tape), pirate plates and napkins, and pin the eye patch on the pirate. Apparently her boyfriend likes pirates.

About two o'clock in the afternoon (the ceremony didn't start until six) it occured to me I had not actually laid eyes on her cap and gown. After fifteen minutes of searching I found it, still in the box, under a pile of crap in the backseat of her car (also known as her third closet). Of course it would not have bothered her at all to pull it out of the box and wear it wrinkled, so I guess that means there are still a few instances where I care what people think about me.

The gown was white, and I thought it tacky to wear color under the white so along with pressing the gown, I had to find the white dress that she had decided to wear (for the first time in two years) the day before to a graduation party, and of course had gotten red punch all down the front of when the wind blew over her empty cup).

I had given instructions for the dress to be put down by the washer so I could pre-treat it properly and get the stain out BEFORE it was washed. When I went to do so it had mysteriously disappeared. Another extended search produced no dress, until it finally occured to me to check the (currently running) dryer. There it was! Helpful Mister had done the morning load of laundry and since it wasn't full had added the stuff beside the washer.

I will say again, he was being helpful. When I had ask him if he knew where the dress was, he claimed ignorance. When I ask him, (as I was pulling it out of the dryer right in front of him) why he had washed the dress when he knew it had to be pre-treated, he continued to claim NO responsibility, saying he thought it was one of the OP's shirts, and didn't know it was a dress. NOTE: The remainder of that conversation ( beginning with "Maybe one of the dogs did it?) is better left for another post, another time!

I don't dry 100% cotton in the dryer, but thanks to my angels, not only was the dress the same size as when it went in, all of the stain had come out without pre-treating. IT'S A MIRACLE!

Fast forward to twenty minutes before we are to leave and my youngest hasn't returned from her party as of yet. I will confess to feelings of why am I caring about this, let alone taking time out of my life to attend when it is obvious that the true participant could care less about it all?

I used to do all kinds of things that I didn't care to do, because of "how it would look" if I didn't do them. I have weeded most of these things out of my life and it felt weird to be in that place again.

We made it out the door only ten minutes late, and with my youngest all together except for wet hair, but since it was still pouring rain the wet hair didn't seem to be too out of place. As we were driving to the graduation location (why they could not have simply had it at the school, one block from my house is anyone's guess. Another thing I didn't get to be in charge of...) I turned on the camera and turned around and took a picture of the soon-to-be graduate. When I attempted to take the next picture, "Change the battery pack" flashed on the screen and the screen went dark.


Pretty much sums up the story of my life!

Not easily daunted by tragedy, I fired up the video camera. My youngest leans over the front seat and says, 'Mom, that little symbol means that battery is almost gone so you might want to save it for later since it is all we have."

Maybe, had I not been so focused on preparing her clothes it would have occurred to me to check the cameras before leaving the house?! NOTHIN I can do about it now.

As we entered the auditorium we found my youngest's best friend and her family as planned, WITHOUT ANY EFFORT (how often does this happen to you? In my life...NEVER!). I told the mom about my camera issues and she assured me they had plenty of camera's, so this helped me to relax a bit more.

We ended up getting seats in the row immediately following the graduates, and my youngest's seat was two to the left of ours. Perfect photo op, don't ya think?

BUT HOW WOULD I KNOW, being cameraless and all?

Because, about thirty seconds before the start of the ceremony, the friend's mom passed a camera down the row of twenty people between us for me to use. Now, if that isn't my angels taking care of me I don't know what is.

So, I have lived to see all three of my children graduate from high school. Being an orphan I take this as a pretty great accomplishment. I am a proud, proud, mother!

A funny P.S. to the story is after the ceremony, we were in the lobby taking a few family photos with the new grad. After we had gotten one with each of the assorted crew, I got a "Change the battery" message on the borrowed camera, and it went dark as the other's had. Either my angels were saying, "Count your blessing and don't be greedy," or I had just lived my very own version of Cinderella and the time had come to turn back into a cameraless, regular mom instead of a rescued princess! You decide...