Run. Dog. Cat. Cat. Me.

Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Archive for the category “Ruminations”

Lost and Found

Man, it’s been busy around here.  Bunch of crazy people keep registering for stuff.  We’ve processed over 1100 memberships, have over 1700 registered for the RRS and over 1100 ladies doing Women Run/Walk Memphis.  I worked 60 hours last week.  But we’re on the downside now and it’s only like this once a year.  Kinda like being a tax accountant on April 1st except I get to sit at home drinking coffee in baggy shorts and my oldest softest t-shirt and I can flip over to Facebook (my water cooler) to visit whenever I get bored looking at numbers and names.

Plus I have a bullshit button and a Grumpy Cat coffee cup so what more could I want?

Desk

Well, a Brain.  I could want one of those.

if I only had a brain

I just don’t remember being this disorganized when I had four kids doing fortyninety things.  Maybe I was and I’ve forgotten — this would not surprise me.  I have to count back on my fingers from 2013 to the year they were born to remember how old they are.  Oh, forty.  or 25.  It’s a constant little irritation in the back of my mind, a steady little thread ‘what did I forget now?  what did I forget now?  what did I forget now?’  I recently bought a fluorescent yellow/green purse – the color of the shirts the guys building highways wear so you can see them from Italy – and a matching wallet.  I’m pretty proud of myself for this stroke of genius as I haven’t lost my purse since then.  And the electric bill should look good too, since it lights up one entire floor of the house.

I thought of trying to find some kind of clap on/clap off key ring but it occurred to me that, as loud as I play Rock 103 in the car, it would burn out in one trip to the store.

I need to go to the store today, as a matter of fact.  Soon as I find the damn grocery list.  One good thing about getting older and set in our ways, the grocery list is pretty much the same.  Milk bananas oranges apples lunch meat bread diet coke.

That could be a clue.  Maybe I need a bit more variety in my diet?  Oh, well, I take a lot of vitamins.  Like, once every week or two.  When I remember.

So someone, I can’t remember who, shared this awesome recipe with me.  16 calories per 1/4 cup, supposedly.  You can use it as a side salad, a dip, or you can put it on hamburgers as a relish.  This is good because now I don’t have to remember what it’s for.

Crisp Cucumber Salsa Recipe  Cool Cucumber Relish

2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup Hellman’s Olive Oil mayo
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

Mix.  Grab some baked Tostitos and chow down.  Or make hamburgers and chow.  Or just stand at the sink and shovel it in, which is my preferred method of delivery.

So, for the 4th, I wanted to make the salsa/relish/salad to take to a friend’s house.  I’d bought all the ingredients and was set to go.  Got out knives, chopping board, bowl, ingredients…

…Dammit.  Where’s my cucumber?

I wandered about the kitchen looking for my cucumber.  Where the hell is my cucumber.  I NEED my cucumber.

Not in the refrigerator.  Not on the counters.  Not on the table.  Not on the island.

How.  The.  Hell.  Do you lose a cucumber you were just holding five minutes ago?

Hubs saw me.  “What are you looking for?” (he knows the look)

I can’t find my cucumber.

“where did you see it last?”

In my OWN HAND.

“well, it’s not there, now.  Did you set it down somewhere before you wanted to use it?”

apparently so, since my hands are empty, here, see?

I NEED the damn cucumber.  I WANT my cucumber.

I roam the house.  Did I leave it in the bedroom?  Nope.

Laundry?  Nope. On my desk?  OH baby Jesus in the crib your daddy made, please not on my desk, I’ll never find it.

Back to the kitchen.  “did you find your cucumber?” inquires hubs.

Nope.  I NEED MY DAMN CUCUMBER.  NOW.  How am I going to get anything accomplished without my CUCUMBER.

For the fortieth time I wander, forlorn, sad, dejected, unfulfilled without my cucumber.

Oh, wait, there it is, with the mail.  Well that’s anticlimactic.

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Honk

ANGRY BIRD4:45am.  There is a fifty pound bird in the tree outside the open window CHIRPING in letters 10 feet tall.  Surely soon his head will explode with the effort.  At least I hope so. Although we did get the house painted this past spring and fifty pounds of exploded bird would be a lot of power washing.

Still, the satisfaction of  his head exploding right in the middle of the CHIR—-Boooooooooooooooooom! … it could be worth it.

None of the other birds are answering him.  I know they can hear him because the window panes are rattling slightly with every booming CHIRP.  “Don’t you DARE answer him!” sternly whispers Mrs. Robin in Mr. Robin’s ear.   Mr. Robin sighs and goes back to reading the gardening section.  All the neighborhood girl robins are giggling.  “Wow, look at the size of his CHIRP!” they whisper, while their moms lock them all in the closet at the back of the nests and throw away the key.

The year we moved into the house there was a socially awkward goose in our cove.  It was very, very sad.  I’m not sure if he had anger management issues or perhaps the other geese had a bigger HONK; either way it appeared he had no friends.  I couldn’t really blame the other geese even though it did make me feel badly for him.  I remember the first day I saw him.  I was sitting outside with a cup of coffee, enjoying the beautiful morning.  A goose couple were floating about rhythmically yelling at each other, HOUNK then HONK then HOUNK then HONK, repeatedly.  There was really no need for them to yell, they were only about six inches from each other.  In all honestly it was very irritating.  Irritating, but not attack provoking.

Suddenly from the end of my cove arose a fury of goose, taking a running start on the surface of the lake and gaining altitude he went speeding just above the water directly for the geese doing about 60 and BAM he slammed into the back of the goose’s neck, feathers flying HOUNK HONK HOUNK HONK HOUNK HONK.  The offending goose scrambled across the water, finally managing flight with Socially Awkward Goose in hot pursuit.

“Hounk?  Hounk?” questioned the abandoned half of the goose couple, paddling forlornly.

A couple days later they were back, hounking and honking.  I learned to know whenever they were around by their distinctive and, frankly, incredibly boring conversation.   Hi, I’m home!  Hi, how was your day? Hi, I’m home!  Hi, how was your day? Hi, I’m home!…and then he’s off again, S.A. Goose flying angrily across the lake and nailing the offending goose again…again… “Hounk?  Hounk?” she would query as the two flew off, S.A. in hot pursuit of Offending Goose.

I began to wonder if O.G. was perhaps HONKING insults?  “HONK! (I’ve got a mate and you don’t)”  “HONK! (nanner nanner nanner)”

Finally the 4th of July rolls around.  S.A.G. was, as usual, all by himself, floating in circles at the far end of the cove.  I noticed geese were beginning to gather in the lawn next to the boat launch across the lake.  They were all walking around with their little adolescent geese mingling, honking and muttering.  It looked like a picnic only without hot dogs.  Which would be a very sucky picnic, if you ask me.  You have to have hot dogs.  They need to have those almost black, but not quite black, burned-y stripes on them, and the buns have to be balloon bread buns, where you slather on a whole bunch of cheap yellow mustard and put the hot dog in the bun and squish the bun around the hot dog until the air is all out of the bun and it’s kinda stuck to the hot dog.  Nom Nom Nom, Repeat.  Also if you can get your hands on some Chili Cheese Fritos, that’s about all you need.  Maybe a diet Dr. Pepper, but that’s it.

Anyway, what do geese know?  They apparently thought it was a great picnic and they were all walking around eating bugs out of the grass and murmuring-honking at each other “honk wow Henry, the chicks are getting big!”  “yep, yep,” said Henry, “pretty soon we’ll be kicking them out of the nest.”  “It goes so fast, doesn’t, Henry, old boy?”

Meanwhile S.A.G. had moved a few houses down, hiding on the other side of a docked boat.  He’d kinda honk a little, then he’d swim to the front of the boat and peer down the lake at the goose picnic.  Then he’d swim back toward shore and float.  Then, back to the front of the boat, peering.  Back – forth.  Back – forth, honking softly to himself.

I wanted to shout at him.  “SOCIALLY AWKWARD GOOSE!  IT’S OK!  JUST GO SAY ‘HI’ AND ‘I’M SORRY I BASHED YOU IN THE NECK'”!!!

But, I couldn’t.  He didn’t understand English and the shouting appeared to frighten him.  Plus the neighbors were all out having their own picnics, staring at me, shouting at a goose.

So, on this Memorial Day, when you remember all those who gave their all for our freedom, this story actually has nothing to do with that.

(With thanks to my father, uncles and everyone else that allow this country the freedom where someone can write a stupid story about a goose and eat hot dogs.)

There’s a WHAT? In the WHERE?

The pork chops turned out pretty well.  Maybe a little dry but after four hours of yard work I was too hungry to know for sure.  One reason I think the pork chops were OK is the next day for lunch I finished the leftovers straight out of the casserole dish without taking a pause. The dog looked worried and hid under the table.  I don’t know what he’s being so picky about, does he hear himself when he eats?

Flush with success, Wednesday I made Trader’s Joe’s knock-off turkey chili-lime burgers and potato salad, which meant Thursday I could stand in front of the refrigerator and eat potato salad out of the plastic storage container.  Yum.  Crunchy celery, smooth creamy dressing, the tang of onion, salty peppery mushy potato goodness.  *happy place* *sigh*  *death by potato*

I think soon the Food Network will be calling me to host a show.  It’s been a long time since my last brush with fame and no fortune as the Poster Child and National Spokesperson for the National Butt Falling-off Ass.  Now that I’m healed they’ve tossed me out on the street like a used newspaper from the bottom of the litter box.  I’m not bitter, I’m far to large-hearted for that, and I fully deny remarking that all their asses had obviously fallen off and landed on their shoulders.  I’m not one to hold a grudge, and I’m not watching stupid AMC only because they happen to have nothing good on.  At all, ever.

What should the focus of my cooking show be?  Hmmm.  “Spices:  From Salt to Pepper?”  “Conundrum: Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken?”  “Pass on the Pasta OR:  How I learned to cook a Spaghetti Squash?”

The best thing about it all, though, is I’ve overcome my irrational fear of returning to Kroger.  I’ve learned that Olivia Newton John was soon to open a show in Las Vegas but has postponed it due to the sad fact that her sister has brain cancer, and she intends to spend her time helping her sister.  In view of this very awesome and selfless act by a very classy lady, I’ve decided I can no longer remain small-minded about the guy playing B17 even though I do still have the damn song stuck in my head, doing yard work, pulling weeds, muttering lyrics.

Secondly I’m no longer afraid of finding a bath in the Kroger un-bathroom, AKA the Ladies’ Room.  It appears there are far worse things you can find in a bathroom:

+++++++++++++++++++

SALINA, KS by the Associated Press April 23, 2013 — A central Kansas woman likely won’t remember her first circus for the clowns or performances — it’ll be the tiger in the bathroom.

The big cat had escaped briefly after its turn in the ring Saturday at the Isis Shrine Circus in Salina. Staff members blocked off the concourses at the Bicentennial Center as the tiger wandered into the bathroom, where one of the doors was blockaded.

About that time, Salina resident Jenna Krehbiel decided she needed to use the restroom. When she walked in the door that hadn’t been blocked off, she found a tiger standing about 2 feet away, The Salina Journal reported.

“You don’t expect to go in a bathroom door, have it shut behind you and see a tiger walking toward you,” Krehbiel said. (right??)

Chris Bird, manager at the Bicentennial Center, said the bathroom was only 25 feet long.

“Once she saw the tiger, I’m sure she knew to go the other way,” Bird said. “Overall, it was a scary, surreal moment. I am glad no one was hurt or injured.”

The tiger was captured within minutes and returned to its enclosure.

Krehbiel, a social worker, said she didn’t scream or run because she is trained to stay calm.  “Looking back, it was a scary ordeal,” she said. “At the time, I was thinking I just needed to get out.”  (how many times does a social worker run into tigers in the bathroom??  Note to self:  do not pursue social work.)

Krehbiel said her 3-year-old daughter had a different reaction.  “My daughter wanted to know if it had washed its hands,” Krehbiel said. “That was her only concern. I think that shows the thoughts of children and that they wouldn’t have known there was danger.”

I haven’t been right here. Where were you?

I was abducted by Aliens!
I was sucked into a Black Hole!
I was transported to an alternate universe!
I fell deeply asleep for forty years!

Ok, maybe I just got busy and then went out-of-town.  Sorry, I know both of you have completely stopped breathing while waiting for a wonderful, life changing post.  You don’t look so good, not breathing and all that.  Maybe you should get a life?

Anyway, taking up where we left off two weeks ago on the last tantalizing and mesmerizing post about how hard my poor life is, AT&T was firm in its resolve that I was not getting anything fixed for five days.  Whether they have too much stuff that breaks or not enough people to fix the broken stuff, either way they were intractable.

I made up a song about the issue:
It’s my blog and I’ll rant if I want to rant if I want to rant if I want to.
You would rant too if it happened to you

Well, unless you were the Hubs who has the patience of Job, only not as many cows and wives.  “Ok, I’m accepting, I’m accepting,” he said when I told him.  Well, sure he was accepting.  His work still had internet, right?  What was to accept on his end?  Working and getting things done?  That’s tough.

I said something cranky.  Imagine that.

To continue with the comparison of Job:  this is why Hubs, with the patience of Job, if he were Job, would have lots of cows but would balk at more than one wife.  One is one too many most of the time, I suspect.  Also, you pronounce it JOBE.  Even though it’s spelled JOB like “I have a job”, it’s pronounced JOBE, like I said.  Like, “I have a JOBE.”  Of course, if you tell people you have a JOBE they will think you have a dog or a friend or something named Job pronounced JOBE and will think you are a ne’er-do-well who doesn’t work.  I think you should just shut up at that point, but that’s just my opinion.  Go ahead and try it.  Don’t come crying to me.

I felt irritated and cranky until it occurred to me that what we are dealing with, here, is a First World Problem.  Put on the Big Girl pants.  Which I did and then I went to BeckyB’s house and borrowed a cup of wireless for a couple of hours to be sure any work hot spots were stomped out.  AT&T showed up the following Tuesday (which was  about a year ago at this point, thankfully I have a good memory) – at my house – a live person – who immediately detected the location of the issue, found that in the box at the end of the street where my service arises out of the deep dark hole of underground life were two wires, a black one and an orange one.  When these two wires are dangling, loose and unconnected, voilà!  No Service!  When they are connected, voilà!  Service!  And then he stayed until I got everything hooked back up and working.  Nice guy.  I have his name and number.  Let me know if your internet quits.  Black connects to black, orange to orange.  Crazy sh*t, I know, it takes an expert.

So then, since I had nothing else to do that week before I had internet resurrected, my crazy friend and I worked out with Killer.  Then I went to my anonymous crazy friend’s house, where  BeckyB set Matilda up on the Cycleops and we did Suffer-O-Rama Spinnervals for 45 minutes (seriously?  Suffer-O-Rama?  How can this possibly be good??) and then quick like little bunnies we hopped off, put on our running shoes and did 1.7 around her neighborhood.  My first Brick.  With mixed emotions I have signed up for the Memphis in May Sprint Tri.  When I told hubs he started to smile and then he froze as though Big Foot just showed up on our front lawn.  Don’t move Don’t move Don’t move, you might scare it.  Carefully moving nothing but his lips he said, “oh, good.”  Pat Big Foot softly on the head.  Nice Big Foot, there you go.

I thought about that a lot – the triathlon, not Big Foot – the next day as I swam back and forth back and forth like a hamster running on its little wheel going nowhere.  I thought about how I have a few more weeks to learn to swim 400 yards without holding on the side of the pool every 25th yard.  I thought about being in a lake and looking down as I swim, seeing nothing. I considered closing my eyes while I swam in the pool, to practice not seeing, but I didn’t really feel like bumping into the side of the pool in front of everyone.  I wondered if maybe you see stuff but it’s kind of slimy and squishy, and some of it came out of a fish?  Or do you see fish?  I bet you don’t see fish.  They’re probably too smart to swim where crazy people are.  I hope so, anyway.

Finally I had internet and to spare.  The next morning I sat on the patio, Jamaica Me Crazy in my steaming mug, foggy and zero visibility.  I could see the trees, random black outlines twisting and curving against the grey fog, a cacophony of birds cheeping chirping tweeting and squawking and an awkward squirrel ran down the side of a tree, little shards of bark breaking loose and falling in front of him.

I was reminded of one of my favorites from Morning Prayer, the Canticle of Daniel:

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

Thankfully, although I forget to do this most of the time, the birds, squirrels and budding plants remembered.  I need to watch them more often.

Isn’t this better than internet?

foggy morning

Altho there could be some Zombies out there…

The Bobment. Happy Bobday!!

Yesterday was Daylight Stupid Time, in which some unnamed They people dork around with my hour twice a year, first taking it away in the spring and then acting like they are such great Good Guys by returning it, apparently unharmed, in the fall.   Every year the They people repeat this, touting the goodness of theft, arbitrarily removing and replacing my hour.

THEY ARE LYING:  there always remains 24 hours in the day!!!!

If anonymous They people can do such a thing, I, too, can create a movement:

The Bobment.

Everyone hates poor Monday.  Vilified, decried, despised.

I hearby declare Monday’s name is changed to Bob.

Now you can awaken after a pleasant weekend and, instead of dreading Monday, you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee with Bob.

Happy Bob Day!

The How of the Why

My mother has always told me that my first word was “Why?”  I’m not positive it was the absolutely first word, it seems mama or dahdah might have been more likely, but it was at least said often enough, early enough and clearly enough that it has stuck in her head ever since.

Yesterday the B’ster was here.  He was watching Cat in the Hat and I was blowing my hair dry.

“Moggie.  What are you doing?”

“Drying my hair.”

“Why?”

“It’s wet, so I need to dry it.”

“Why?”

“Because I took a shower.”

“Why?”

“Because I take a shower every morning.”

“Why?” …

How about those Cardinals, huh, B’ster?

I’m revisiting my favorite spiritual writer.  I’ve purchased a clean copy of his book since the other is completely underlined, outlined and written upon and I’ll just be distracted by the commercials in the margins and not pay attention to his show.

I made it four pages in before I hit the first wall (which I believe should happen on any spiritual journey.  No wall:  No growth.)

“What we want more than anything else on earth is to know and love some other person with our whole hearts and to be known and loved completely in return.”

This writer’s opinion is that this is our greatest motivation – which is a very good motivation – and the short of his take on this is that we search for this perfection of love until we find it in relationship with our God, which then flows outward into the world and our relationships.

I’ve been considering this.  As I move through the day, what is my greatest motivation?  (I do not define it as the author does, although I do agree with his definition of a/this motivation, especially within the realm of spirituality.  That’s his motivation, which is why he’s a priest.  If I were a person as loving as he, I would not be a sarcastic blogger with a Dammit Doll who asks WHY all the time.)

And why is that (whatever) my motivation?

If I know the why of the motivation, I believe I will know how to work toward the goal.  I will be able to understand if the motivation is the correct one – and how to use that motivation to best meet my intentions.  If I find my motivation is actually built on a underpining of desire for approval, for instance, my actions are going to be much different than if my motivation is a desire to own a yacht or corner the K-cup market.

Some other time we can discuss the formation of our goals, short-term, long-term, etc.; suffice it for now that I mean the goals I want to see accomplished when I get to the end of my life and look back; not financial, social, etc.  Although I do question why I never thought to invent the Keurig and K-cups because then I could have all the flavors available to me at no charge all the time.  I’d be bouncing off the walls in a caffeine-high stupor, of course, but I’d have my choice of flavors to do so without surreptitiously borrowing Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupons from the neighbors’ mailboxes to buy more.

Not that I steal from mailboxes.  I think  that would be a Federal Offense.  Sometimes the coupons just kind of fall out of mailboxes, is all I’m saying.

I watched the B’ster go through his day yesterday.  He is a very sweet-natured guy, always has been.  He is unconditionally loved by stable parents.  At 2-1/2 years of age his motivation in the day is to live, and he responds to life with love and joy (except maybe naps).  He lives in each moment.  He feels no need to accomplish, to gain approval or love, because it’s there 24/7, freeing him to be a little dude playing with Thomas the Train.

However, as we grow (assuming we do; I know some 2-1/2 year olds living in 30- 40- 50+-year old bodies) we are obviously affected by the things that happen to us – losses, fears, failures, accomplishments.

My parents were Depression kids growing up on farms in South Dakota.  There wasn’t anything available for extras, although they had food, clothing, shelter and many happy childhood memories.  A lot of people my parent’s ages who grew up in the Depression frequently seem to have lots of stuff.  Three packages of flour.  Four rolls of tin foil.  It was on sale with a coupon so stock up while you can, you might not get it later.  Friends my age comment on it.  Their mother has 13 packages of powdered sugar in the pantry and she hasn’t baked cakes in years.  But, it was on sale…with a coupon…

That mindset is ingrained.

What motivates each of us to achieve, strive, push our way to the top?  What is the fear or desire in the back of our head that needs to be reassessed?   Parental approval?  Fear of ridicule?  If someone loses a sibling or parent early in life, will they always have a little part of their heart that holds back in case they are deserted again?  If your father wanted you to be the star quarterback and you didn’t make the cut do you always have a nagging fear of failure, the boss expects you to close the big account and you dread work because some nagging voice you are not conscious of tells you – you won’t make this cut, either?

What about abused children?  Is it ever possible for them not to have the constant voice of more or less volume speaking to them that they are a failure, that they cannot measure up to the one that is supposed to care for them, that the pain or sorrow or loss is inevitable and unending?

And how do you motivate yourself through the day when there’s a fear driving your brain?  Those can be deeply hidden in your subconscious and very difficult to understand.  In 5th grade I was highly motivated to get sick every day in Math because Debbie Smith was in that class, and she hated me.  Like, hated.  I never understood why (there’s that word again!) since she was the most popular girl in the class and I was the social class just above bottom-feeder, but there it was, and she teased and tormented me every day.  I wasn’t aware I was motivated to get sick, I just plain felt sick – literally – and went to the nurse 3 or 4 days out of 5 until she finally called my mom to say she thought I had some kind of problem, and it wasn’t brain cancer causing my headaches or stomach cancer causing my upset tummy.  I didn’t know about psychosomatic issues but I knew I was motivated to get out of that classroom and I was grateful for the (self-made) opportunity.

How many times do we go through life unconsciously creating issues to solve an issue we want to avoid?  How many people do you know that move through life from issue to issue until you finally wonder if they’re somehow causing it themselves?  How many times have I made myself much more upset than needed by continuing to return to a why (why did they said that?  why didn’t they do that?).

So I’ve been sitting quietly for a while, trying to let everything else filter out so I could hear my word, the word defining what I’m really trying to achieve with and through and despite my daily life.  I was pleasantly surprised that Brain cooperated on this endeavor as it’s frequently stubborn and childish, and will attempt to dodge issues by trying to distract me.  It really was my idea for the mug of Carmel Vanilla Creme, though.

At the end of the day, I want peace.  I want a peaceful heart.  I want to feel I did the best I could and used my time well.  I want to feel that I looked at life with joy through pain, with peace in distress and with focus in confusion.

Having defined what I’m motivated toward now I can look at my life and figure out the how.  I can ask in each circumstance, will this help me toward my goad?  How can I turn this toward my goal?  If my goal is peace, but instead I engage in frustrating behavior (rehashing past hurts, rehearsing self-righteous tirades, putting off chores or activities which leaves me behind later) I can now look at what I’ve done and determine what behaviors and actions I should change to bring me where I want to be.

What’s the word that defines your motivation?  How are you working toward that goal?  What’s getting in your way?

It’s not that hard to create a Monster

All I wanted was a simple little box of safety pins.

Chunk was in heaven.  She jumped into empty boxes and peered at me through the flaps.  She batted ACCO clips off the bed and onto the floor.  She chewed rubber bands and tried to eat some Scotch tape (not good, the cat eating tape).  Murphy came to the doorway, took one look, got the “Oh, Crap, she’s on a mission” look and disappeared until after dinner.  Every male in my household has perfected both the look and the disappearance.  The words hubs dreads more than any are, “Hey…I was thinking about that (door) (deck) (light bulb)…”

Years ago I decided we needed a medicine cabinet in our bathroom.  I found one at Lowe’s for $29.  Simple enough.  You cut a hole as deep as the cabinet, shove the cabinet in the hole, and tighten the brackets.  No plumbing, no electricity, easy.  Except there was a big wire in the wall that apparently had a major role to play in providing power to one half of the house.  Did you know that electricians charge you like, triple time on Saturdays?  What the heck?  No one accidentally severs a little wire in the wall on weekends?  When do you think most people are doing those stupid fix up jobs?  9am on Tuesday??  I don’t think so.  So, the cabinet ended up costing closer to $229.  Then I didn’t like it after it was in.  Every time I opened it something fell out.  Stupid cabinet.

No one around here ever seems happy when I get an idea.  How did I know that the bookshelf was actually an inch larger than the ceiling on the stairway?  Who walks around measuring ceilings?  “Dude, what are you doing this weekend?  Wanna hang by the pool?”  “No, man, I can’t, I wanna measure all my ceilings.”

Why else does Lowe’s carry all that wall patching stuff?  I’m the only one buying it?  I don’t think so.

Those damn boxes of safety pins are smaller than you would think.  And it appears they tend to move around in the dark.  Where I thought the pins were, they weren’t.  Repeatedly.

Several hours later, voilà!  Pretty, huh?  A place for everything, everything in its place, to quote Ben Franklin and Winnie T. Pooh.

Ahhh, oops….talk to you later.

I feel kinda like Sally Field

You like me!  You really like me!

On June 7th and again on June 13th two different bloggers nominated me for the “Inspiring Blog Award”.  Apparently having your butt fall off does have its advantages, even though they are seldom very obvious.  Thank you both, I’m very pleased to know my falling off a$$ has inspired you.  Or perhaps it was my very favorable review of the psycho spinning instructor.  It’s always good to have an inspiring psychosis, I always say.  Right after I was nominated I fell into a Black Hole and didn’t get to write for two weeks.  I waited to post on this because I wanted to be sure to give proper attention to these two bloggers who, seriously, really made me feel special with their very nice words and nomination.

As with anything, there are Rules.

1) Nominate fellow bloggers for this award and state why
2) Give seven personal revelations about myself that would not ordinarily appear on my blog
3) publicly thank my nominator(s)

The blogs I follow most often (and I’d like to follow more but my time is limited now) are, in no particular order other than the order they are currently open in my browser:

http://runninginmommyland.com/ A mom of twins who completed her first marathon this past Spring, I am inspired by a mom who manages to fit in parenting twins and training for a marathon, something I could not accomplish until my guys were 16 years old.  She openly and lovingly shares her struggles and her joys; I love reading her posts and remembering the times of my children’s youth.

http://kittybloger.wordpress.com/author/quetal2/  I guess in the strictest sense someone posting cute and funny pics of cats and kittens isn’t incredibly inspiring like training for marathons – but she makes my day!  I don’t know where she finds these pics and vids but they are always good for a smile in the morning.

http://inspiringandhealthyrunninginlondon.wordpress.com  Here’s inspiring:  She runs for Team in Training.  AWE.SOME.  And lives in London.  Which means she types with an English accent.  I try to read her blog with an English accent but mine is deplorable.  My southern accent isn’t much better.

http://annewoodman.wordpress.com/  Whom I believe I’ve nominated before, if so sorry for the duplication, but I love her blogs, love her style and love interacting with her.  I think if we lived next door to each other we’d be talking over the fence every day.

The nominators, and two ladies whom I follow regularly, are (in order of date nominating me)

http://rebuildingholly.wordpress.com/ Another writer I’ve been following almost since I started blogging, altho I’m not sure how she found me, I think if we met over drinks we’d immediately be friends and within 15 minutes laughing at inside jokes.

http://middleagedwomanontherun.com/  This lady I do know personally and she’s quite a go-getter.  Joining the Women Run/Walk Memphis program last year, she took off like a shot, almost immediately started planning a race to benefit the Ronald McDonald House for St. Jude and is now planning to do her first marathon for St. Jude in December.  WHOA.  Sometimes after I read her I need nap.  She’s on FIRE.

Seven things that do not ordinarily appear in my blog (who are we kidding?  Everything ends up in my blog.  I’ll just fake some stuff.)

1.  My real name.  Hermione Bloodstone Smythe-Hawke

2.  I lie.  But I’ve always liked the sound of Hermione Bloodstone Smythe-Hawke which I would pronounce with a long “I” in Smythe.

3.  If I were Hermione Bloodstone Smythe-Hawk I would have long, curling, wild red hair which would always be coming loose from its pinnings.

4.  If I were HBSH I would run wild through the moors, climbing trees and catching fish with my bare hands, charming the local smithy’s son who was really a prince who was placed with the smithy for his safety during an uprising.

5.  If I were HBSH my mother would ruefully reprimand me every time I came home with scratched knees and a torn dress.

6.  If I were HBSH I would live in England and have an English accent and I would not know I had an accent.  I would foolishly think I spoke normally and everyone else had the accent.

7.  Whenever I sit at my desk I end up kicking off my shoes.  Sometimes I have 3-4 pair of shoes under my desk before I carry them back upstairs.  Today I got up to go to the kitchen and wondered why my shoes felt funny.  This is why:

There outta be a law. And I’m the one to make it.

The problem is, my bedside table creaks.  That’s why I’m not working out today.

I don’t mean it creaks of its own volition, but it creaks when it’s walked upon.  I know at least one of the two of you smart a$$e$ is going to tell me to quit walking on it and it won’t be a problem.  It’s not me walking on the table, it’s Chunker, you dipsh*ts.  I mean that in the nicest and most affirming way possible.

Tuesday morning, for instance.  Hubs was out of town which meant that I would not be awakened at 3 or 4am by the sudden disappearance of two-thirds of the bed covers.  I’m no math savant but I know that 2/3 is more than 1/2.  That means someone, who shall remain nameless but is the only person allowed in my bed, which, by process of elimination eliminates all of you except the hubs – not that I’m naming names here – is responsible for the disappearance of the aforementioned two-thirds of the bed covers.  I’m not the one that steals my own sheets, leaving me with less than half (my fair share) of the sheets and thus awakening my own self.

“At my age” (which the Dr. keeps saying every time I visit.  I’m thinking, “At your age, you say that one more time you’re going to need a proctologist to remove my shoe, buddy”) there are only two more possibilities with bed covers (other than less than half/more than half).  I will be too cold or I will be too hot.  At some point I will go from being cold to being too hot, at which time the covers will be thrown off and become fair game for the other resident to steal them, which once again means that I’ll wake up trying to find the missing covers.

APB:  someone stole my sheet.  As a side note:  someone also sometimes steals Mushy Pillow.  I ever need to get a divorce, all I need is to find a judge with hot flashes who has a Mushy Pillow and it’s all over.

Tuesday morning, however, no sheet stealing Mushy Pillow thief was around.  I went to bed Monday night reveling in the fact that the sheets would remain intact and also that the alarm usually set for 4:30am would remain silent.  But, no.  A little after 3am I realized Chunk was asleep.  On my leg.  Which was vaguely cramping.  NO nonononono…don’t spasm….CRAP.  And:  wide awake cat.

Her routine is to amble slowly up my side of the bed, making sure to step on my foot, my hand or my head on her journey to my fascinating and riveting bedside table.  You’d think it was made of bacon.  It’s wood.  It has the same silk flower arrangement, the same telephone, the same pic of B’ster and the same trinket box that it’s had since we moved.  The only time anything changes is if she knocks something off.  But you never know.  The table could suddenly go rogue, so she’d better climb on it, walk all over it, tripping over the items that are in the same place they’ve always been, making sure everything is secure, while the damn thing creaks like stairs in an old farmhouse.

She could be OCD.  Because then she leaps with a thud to the floor, inspects the underside of the dresser, returns to the foot of the bed, plays a quick game of Attack The Toes, ambles up my side of the bed…repeat…Poor Murph snorts and sighs and trudges downstairs to sleep under the dining room table.

Why anyone could ever think I’m not a positive thinking person when every single blessed day I think, this is the day she will not climb all over my creaking bedside table, I don’t know.  I’m trying to train the cat to wake and leave the room instead of the current routine.  But, wait, HAHAHAHAHAHA I just said ‘train’ and ‘cat’ in the same sentence HAHAHAHAHA.

Ok, I’m back, I realized I’d better go take a pill.

And there you have it:  Cat wakes.  Table creaks.  I get up and take her downstairs.  Return to one-third of one-half of the covers which I then repeatedly pull on and kick off while thinking well sh*t I may as well get up and do something productive.

Doing something productive at 3:30 or 4:30 in the morning means:  go immediately to The Shrine, O Thou blessed maker of dark steaming goodness, Thou protector of all living creatures in my home, I polish your shiny sides and wash your insulated pot, Cuisinart Grind ‘n Brew, thank you for keeping the world safe for one more day.  Clutching the steaming mug of caffeinated ambrosia I go downstairs and surf FB uselessly because anyone else up at this time of the morning is not going to have anything better to say than I do.   Status update: (state time of a.m.) (state you cannot sleep) (state you’re drinking coffee)  *like* *comment:  Me too* commiserate.

Later in the day, sometimes – not often – I don’t tell anyone and I pretend I’m working but really I take a nap.  In the middle of the day.  Like, I don’t know, I think I’m the queen or something.  I always feel guilty about it.  I think of all my friends who have a real life and a real job and can’t take a nap and the guilt is almost overwhelming.  When I think about that and the guilt is the worst it will take me maybe an extra minute before I can fall asleep.  See how I suffer for you?  What with keeping up with the B’ster a couple of days this week I wasn’t able to do that.  I’ve learned that trying to take a nap with a wide awake two-year old can lead to disaster.  Not that I ever did that.  I’m just guessing.  Perhaps if you did take a nap and a two-year old was awake, like maybe they woke up early and got out of the crib, they might be able to write all over the walls with permanent marker.  But probably not.

So, I didn’t work out this morning.  It’s the table’s fault for creaking and making me wake up early all week.  It’s the cat’s fault for not getting trained.  It’s B’ster’s fault for being a two-year old.  I’m just the innocent victim here.  They should make a law or something.  Congress needs to pass the Quit Squeaking Tables legislation, or someone needs to form the National Movement for the Right to Nap, or the Campaign Against Creaking Cats, I don’t know.  It might be the Demican’s fault, but it could be the Republicrats.  I think, personally, it’s the Pluracats, where those damn cats are getting the money I don’t know, but I don’t really care whose fault it really is as long as I don’t have to take responsibility.

Unfortunately that is not going to work because I have a very important announcement for both of you.  We were waiting until the whole big Golden Jubilee thing was over to break the news.  You’re both going to be surprised because while no one ever thought poor overlooked Charles and Camilla were in the running, the big surprise is that Will and Kate are out on their tails too.

Announcing!  The new Queen of England!  TRUMPETS!! FANFARE!!!  (I’ve helpfully hyperlinked a trumpet fanfare for you to listen to in the background.  And one of the first things I’m going to do is make them take those stupid music notebooks off the trumpets.  Ruins the whole thing.  It’s just a bunch of notes, they can’t memorize?)

Photo Courtesy of Sir John of the Bookas

Pretty freekin’ awesome, huh?  Second thing I do after those trumpets is dye my hair, for the Love of Gawd, I’m the Queen of England, I can’t afford some hair dye at the local chemist??

Monday Musings

I’m up and sitting here with nothing to do but mess around on the computer.   Actually, I’m lying.  I have plenty to do.  I could fold the clothes in the dryer.  AHAHAHAHAHA not.  Or vacuum.  At 5:30am hubs would love that, he can’t stand the sound of the vacuum at any time, I bet he’d really hate it as an alarm clock.  Load the dishwasher, but I’m kind of on strike with the dishwasher.  Actually I should probably load and run it about 5 times a day so it will break down faster and I can get a new one.  I hate this dishwasher – first world problem.  Finish the mess I started at 4pm yesterday – on a Sunday, WTH? – when I decided to clean both closets in my office.  I’ll post a pic, it’s not pretty.  I’m afraid I could lose a whole person in the mess.   But, no, here I sit, with my handmade mug from our trip to Telluride about, OMG, I think 16 years ago, full of hot steaming coffee, proof that God loves us and wants my family safe, to paraphrase Ben.

Chunker is a new girl.  We got home late Saturday and she was so sweet, not upset at all about our being gone.  She jumped on the counter and had to sniff my nose.  She’s so cute, she puts her little nose to mine so softly.  I  think it helped that #4 (the traitor) stayed here so she wasn’t alone 24/7.  She’s not good at that, I’ve been with her since she weighed 6.5 ounces and she kinda depends on the company.  Guess whenever I go out of town from now on Traitor, I mean, #4 child, will just have to take vacation days and come back to Memphis.  Murph T. Dog had to get a bath yesterday, either Traitor and his friends took him out on the boat or he rolled in something fine, either way he stank.  It’s so pathetic, he ran away from hubs, around the yard to the kitchen door, looking at me, face sad, ears drooping, tail tucked.  “Mom!  Save me!” but no, I turned him in to the Bath Police.  Afterward he’s so happy he literally bounces.  “I’m ALIVE!  I’m ALIVE!  Praise Jayzuss, I lived!”  Near Death Experience:  Flea Shampoo.

Every time I mention to one of my running buds that I’m on a goal to shave off a few pounds they do the whole big eyeball thing, Why do YOU want to lose weight??  Because I’m well over 40, in fact I was probably 40 when I got that coffee cup, and I’ve packed on a few pounds.  “They” say you put on 8-10 per decade if you don’t watch it.  I’m watching it, all right, and it’s getting easier to see.  At this rate, at 70, I’m going to be 30 pounds overweight and I’m not going to do it, this post explains why.  Anyway, I ordered one of those body fat scales from Amazon.  Looking into them and reading reviews online, you have to admit they are not perfect.  But using the scale every day at the same time will be a tool I can use.  It’s almost against my religion to use a scale, so this is a big step for me.  I’m anti-scale, I’m sorry, I’ve tried to be open minded but I hate the nasty lying little buggers.

Since I also love to eat food of nearly any kind other that Brussel Sprouts – and don’t either of you Faithful Followers Of My World Famous Blog try telling me you have a recipe that is so awesome I will turn into a Brussel Sprouts Lover, because it cannot happen, many have tried and many have failed, Brussel Sprouts and scales, I’m close minded – I mean, I LOVE to eat, just ask my trainer Cheryl, AKA Killer, who stares at me in wonder as I discuss at every session what I ate yesterday, what I’m going to eat tomorrow and maybe the next day, stopping only to be distracted by whatever speciality they are making on the morning news show on the TV on the wall.

The solution is trying to eat cleaner, and spending more calories.  I’m trying to limit impact from running right now, so I’ve turned to the bike, or spin class.  I’m a bike wimp. I use sissy pedals on a nice bike.  I can’t even find my bike shorts, but really those things are useless anyway, that little bit of padding is worthless as far as saving your butt from hurting.  They’re pretty good at making you walk funny and look like you have a full diaper, tho, if you’re into that.  So this morning I’m meeting some buds, we’re planning to do 10 slow and then ride.  We have a Greenline now and it’s all nearly connected.  Circling and then going out and back we can get in 27 miles.  Of course, we love to stop at a little place on the way and eat; I love this place, they have a Cuban sandwich on pannini that I dream about.  In fact I think I just started salivating.  I knew this all along, but didn’t implement it; biking is a fantastic compliment to running.  If I used the clips it would be even better, but after I fell off the bike – actually, I didn’t fall OFF the bike, I fell with the bike still attached to me – and found myself lying on the pavement looking at the truck tire that, had I fallen about three seconds earlier the passing truck would have driven over my head but was now safely a couple feet past me, I just can’t do it.  Too scared.  Chicken chicken chicken.  Lately I actually thought about riding in the front yard with clips and practicing falling on the grass.  Then it occurred to me what an idiot I would look like, an old lady riding her bike in circles in the front yard, falling over.  In daylight.  Sober.

So I’m off to load the bike, poor thing, humbled by its sissy pedals, silently and jealously watching all the other bikes with real, clip-in pedals, into Babs (my car has a name, it’s Babs) and head to the Farms.  HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY TO YOU ALL!

And to all who have served our country in any way, to their family and loved ones:  Thank you very much for all you’ve done so I can sit here and complain about my dishwasher in safety.  I mean that very sincerely.  You make our world safe.  Thank you.

Should I really have started this?  And – I put the Telluride mug on top of the box so you can see it 🙂  HAPPY TRAILS –

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