Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

Last night after we went to vote, we visited a local favorite for delicious Mexican food. I wish I could tell you what it is called, but I have no idea. I just know it as “the little taco place on the corner.” Lindsey loves is because there is always music playing and at the same time Telemundo is blaring on the TV, there are parrots hanging from the ceiling and she gets chips and salsa. We love it because it is delicious food at really inexpensive prices. The only drawback is that no one speaks English, which really isn’t a problem unless you want to try something new on the menu and you can’t read Spanish. Anyway, I have taken the long road to get to my point, but seriously if you are in town and want to stay away from crowds, call me and I will take you for some tacos.

Lindsey loves the jukebox in this place. She loves to push the button and make the cd’s move around. Yesterday was one of those, “I am going to test Mommy all day and see exactly how much I can get away with” days. She begged for money to put in the jukebox and I kept refusing. Then she gets really quiet. I find her under the table looking in her purse she just happened to bring with her. She opens up the Barbie wallet and pulls out a dollar. “That’s okay Mommy, I have my own money.” I wish you could have seen it, the hand on the hip, the way her mouth was all squished together. Surely I am not the only mom to get the squishy mouth?? I almost laughed out loud. So she proceeds to put the money in, make her selections and provide us with a delightful show of dancing and trying to sing along with the Spanish words.

Her fascination with the Dukes of Hazzard continues. She walks around singing, “Just a good old boys, never meanin no harm.” She loves to say Roscoe P. Coltrain (sp) and tell me he is bad news. It was parent’s day at dance this week. If I can figure out how to get the video off my phone I will post it. Oh, who am I kidding, I still have three years of video trapped on my real video camera that I don’t know how to post yet. We also made treat bags for her classmates at school. Oh my goodness, you should have seen their faces. It was like gold was being brought in. The jabbering started instantly. I saw stickers, I saw M&M’s, can we have them now? Poor Ms. Marian, she had a long day.

This week has been challenging. Our schedule has been wacky and she has not gotten enough sleep. She is a dramatically different child on not enough sleep, just as I am a dramatically different Mom on not enough sleep. This by no means is an excuse to behave badly, just an explanation of why it is happening and it makes me feel terribly guilty that I let her stay up and carve pumpkins or that we got home late from running errands and there was no nap. Although the time change seems crazy, I can’t wait because it means John is back to getting off at 6 pm. So instantly we are an hour ahead of schedule! Dinner at 6:30, bath at 7, Dad and Lindsey can play and we are ready to head to bed at 8. We all need this, not just Lindsey. I need a few minutes of down time to myself. I so miss reading for myself. I am ashamed to say how long it took me to finish “Big Russ and Me.” I want to start my next book and not have it take me three months to finish it. Another goal is to start exercising in the morning again. Late night running kills me as I am wired for sound afterwards. Working out in the morning worked for many years, there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to get up 30 minutes earlier and incorporate that back into my routine. This is where having a workout partner would be really helpful. Hey, if anyone is up at 6 and wants to give me a call each morning to kick start the program let me know!

Guess that is it. I need to save my energy so I can complete the Cat in Hat costume this evening. ;) Another busy weekend ahead. Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Busy, Busy

Goodness, it has been a busy couple of weeks and yes, the other morning it was so chilly I actually had to put a light jacket on!! Of course, I am back to shorts this week, but we are making progress! It is kind of hard to even remember what happened over the past few weeks, but here goes. (I really have to start keeping my journal again!)

We have been pretty busy at work, so busy that I have been out in the shop working. I know, desperate times call for desperate measures. My skills are expanding, but my outside shop skills are still pretty much limited to cleaning, edgebanding, moving materials around and I am the master of painting fabulous door ventilation holes. I will try to take a picture of these things and if any crafty person has suggestions to make this process easier, I would soooooooo appreciate it. I have tried my finger, regular paint brushes, pouring the paint through and currently use small spongy craft brushes. For the love, there has to be a better way!! Anyway, we just completed a store in Grapevine and are ready to move on to the next project.

The past few weekends have been packed. Since returning from my adventure run, on top of our regularly scheduled programming, there has been something every weekend. We celebrated Betty and Ray’s engagement and Ray’s birthday, my brother-in-law Robert’s birthday, went to Ray’s family reunion, celebrated my birthday and hosted the family reunion for my mom’s side of the family this past Saturday. Whew, I am partied out. I am ready for a Saturday where I can just relax!!

Honestly, I guess it is good that it has been busy. I have to admit October is a hard month. I handle most holidays pretty well, but since my Mom passed, there is something about my birthday that always makes me melancholy. (and no, it’s not my advancing age) We were the birthday planners, cake bakers, party shoppers. We both had so much fun doing these things for each other and other family members and now it is just me. I don’t mean to say no one makes my birthday special, because I have an amazing family and friends who do a terrific job of making me feel loved and special. I wish I could explain it, maybe I just sound weird. Maybe it is that she is the one who put me here on this earth and I miss her celebrating with me. I don’t know, but I am hopeful one day this dull ache in my heart will ease.

Speaking of advancing age, I hit 39 this year. Wow, I don’t know how that happened!! Surprisingly, it hasn’t affected me. Some people are so concerned with a number, I am more concerned with how I feel. I think I feel better now than I did at 29, which was an incredibly hard year. I am healthier, I sleep better (most nights), I have a better hair lady, eyebrow lady, eat better and exercise more. So, maybe 39 is the new 29. I know, check with me again next year, when it is actually 40 and we will see how I feel!

And of course, no post is complete with a few Lindsey stories.

Lindsey and I are eating our afternoon snack of yogurt. I was trying a new flavor, Strawberry Shortcake, complete with the little picture of stacked strawberry shortcake. She looks at me and asks, “Is that hamburger flavor?” I guess it does kind of look like a hamburger.

“Mommy, can we go play in the foot puddles?”

As Lindsey is “driving” the forklift with me she honks the horn several times and says, “Hurry up people, we are going to the circus!”

Hope you all have a fantastic week!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Got Dirty, Had Fun, Did Good!

I did all three of these things a few weekends ago, with a strong emphasis on HAD FUN!!!

Several months ago Marti called me and somehow convinced me that we needed to Run the Jailbreak together. I seem to recall something about what a bonding experience this would be and that we would be helping third world countries obtain clean drinking water. It didn’t take too much arm twisting because the bottom line is I would get to see my bestie. And so the training began. I started out so strong, diligently following the Couch to 5K training program. Listening to Suze’s squeaky little voice motivate me as I desperately tried to prepare this old body for the race. Unfortunately, as the temperatures increased, my training decreased. I was running at 9 pm and the temps were still in the 90’s. So somewhere along the way, I would say about week 4 or 5, I got stuck. I still managed to get in runs here or there, but I would have to admit I was ill prepared the Run the Jailbreak.

We are off, for 3.8 miles of adventure! I guess the beauty of adventure racing is that at least there are obstacles that offer a break in the actual running part. (Thank goodness) The first obstacle was a series of hills with a mudpit at the end. Thankfully we watched the wave before us take off and we saw that there was a serious mudpit beyond the last hill. With a little planning we managed to miss that one, however there were about 13 obstacles after that. So we run a little and on to obstacle two, what appeared to be a long ditch full of water and what seriously smelled of poo. Oh well, what is one to do but dive right in, then on to a long stretch of running and then onto another pit full of mud. It was then we approached the lake with the water cannons from which we emerged pretty much soaked from head to toe. It was after this adventure that Marti’s right side met the hard, cold ground. I have to say she is a real trooper because it was a hard hit and I don’t know that I would have wanted to go on. We did however and managed to make it through the Mustang Maze, climb a mountain of hay bales, run through more mud pits and water holes and even climb up the side of the river bank covered in tires. I am sure the last obstacle is Marti’s favorite. She was so graceful as she dove into what we both learned the hard way was a mud pit with a bunch of gravel on the bottom. And then, we were done, crossing the finish line together.

I can honestly say it was one of the most fun things I have done in a long time. Although it was a bit tiring and physically challenging I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I mean when was the last time you threw yourself into a mudpit? Seriously, I spend a good part of my day trying to keep my three year old clean and here I am covered from head to toe in mud!

I learned several things from preparing for and running this race.

1) Set a goal for yourself, even if it is something that you think you can’t do. I never imagined I would ever participate in a race like this or anything that involved running. And although my time wasn’t record setting, I finished and I figure I can only get better.

2) Have a partner to motivate you when you are training and to run the race with. The race would not have been nearly as exciting if I hadn’t had Marti there. I have to admit when we weren’t saying, “Are you serious, we are going to run through that?” or dropping a few choice words, we were laughing.

3) If something like this isn’t on your bucket list, it should be. I think it will be an annual event for the Prison Pirates Running Club, at least I hope it will.

4) If you do a race like this and you have to drive three plus hours home, go ahead and spend the money to get a hotel so you can shower afterwards. Although I changed clothes, I did get a few odd looks when I made my pit stops.

5) I am still working my way up to be a real runner, but if you have a chance, hang out with real runners. We had a few in our group, one of whom won our wave! (Shout out to Joey!) It really is motivating and makes you want to do better.

6) Real runners probably don’t carb load at the Fort Worth Stockyards with Miller Lite, but man I sure had a good time!

7) Have fun! Find something that you enjoy. Although I would probably enjoy relaxing on the beach with a beer in my hand, I really have started to enjoy running. It is peaceful. When I am running, it is just me. I am doing something for myself and I don’t feel bad about it.

Well, I guess that is about it. Oh, wait, the Do Good part. The money raised from this event benefited Sower of Seeds International Ministries and helped drill water wells so people can have clean water to drink. Sad to think that there are people who still don’t have clean water to drink. Happily about 10,000 people helped them not only reach, but exceed their goals. There is another race in May 2011 near Austin. Visit if you are interested in signing up. We just might see you there!