IT'S NOT EASY BEING A SOUTHERN BELLE-EVEN AFTER YEARS OF PRACTICE!













Thursday, January 31, 2008

FATHER KNOWS BEST AND REMEMBERS BEST....

well.......As I remember it there was actually a party, of sorts, well to be more specific, a small gathering of a few freshmen and freshmen to be. We were all excited about our baby girl welcoming these new folks into RHS to be accepted by the new friends she would meet. In our nativity we thought the "party" was a great idea.

It formed quiet enough, welling up like a small dark cloud in May, building from nothing and then in a flash swelling to cover all space available and unleashing rain and storm like the perverbial "cats and dogs" downpour.

Camille went out to meet a few of her friends and Lora and I retreated into the back cavaran of obsecurity (our back bedroom) where we had been exiled while the "sub twenty something" set began to form outside.

All I know is that the evening was going so well as I enjoyed a few choice Friday night TVshows, until the Paul Revere Riders came running in with that familiar "the British are coming, the British are coming, translated to mean, "the upper classmen are coming, the upper classmen are coming".

As any "together" dad would do I calmly walked outside to discover hundreds, maybe thousands of sets of hormones and suds all over the drive, the yard, the woods and blocking traffic all over our neighborhood.

So calmly I requested Camille to "GET THIS PACK OF HEATHENS OUT OF THIS YARD RIGHT THIS SECOND OR ELSE", ah yes the OR ELSE, will get it done. As I think back, that was a tough place to leave Camille, but what the heck, it was her party. So I retreated back into the house and back to back bedroom - cavaran.

Within minutes, a couple of Camille's friends came running back to our room with stories of not just hundreds of teenagers, but now the introductiion of that vile liquid, BEER, in kegs, and in ice chests and soon to be in several hundred young men and woman.

So, I said to my self, SELF, this is a "job for superdad". So out I went, this middle aged, slightly balding, overweight, out of shape, bearing the maxium age limit to have a daughter that is a freshman, kinda of dad, against OVERWHELMING ODDS.

My first remarks, set the events in motion. I said to the first group of 50, "hey, hows it going, what's going on, having a good time", and to this day cannot understnd why that did not immediately disburse the crowd. It then occurred that I would have to hitch up my britches and have a go at this with a little more Cllint Eastwood or Sylvester Stalone style, like "hey punk, you like living, well you need to get your butt in gear and clear these woods. Actually that worked real well until I ran into my first, 225 lbs. lineman, who asked "Who are you old man". To which I said, I work for this family and I am just out picking up these collectible beer bottles, He let me go and then I travled on down the drive, franticly looking for someone more my size. After several failed attempts, I finally got a little ticked off and I thought I would move things up one more notch. Like a scene from Weird Science, when the motorcycle gang intruded at the party, the heroes, made a stand, and as I pronounced my intentions to take on a couple of the guys on, a certain seriousness came over me and I picked up the largest "ironwood pole" and waded in parting the crowd like Moses at the Red Sea.

One of my first victims was one of the coolest young men at school, riding atop his new, white mustang convertible, with an ice chest in the back seat. He said, so politely, like he was running for Student Body President, hello Mr. Bobby, and how are you this fine evening, to which I said "very well Robbie, and how are you", to which he said Oh, just peachy.

I inquired further to his retort with, "what's in the ice chest Robbie, to which he replied, oh, just some cokes for my friends". I opened the ice chest and said, "Robbie, someone has mixed about two dozen beer cans, right in the middle of your two cokes". At that he said, "good seeing you Mr. Bobby, tell Camille I can by. See you later".

Don't you find the memory of teenagers remarkable. They can remember the most obsecure lyrics and lines from movies and millions of other mindless facts, but a real party, worthy of "its own movie"conviently remembered.

After that the police began to show up and the crowd got very thin and innocent looking, reformed and the second police sighting actually broke the party up completely.

I think Camille has lived and relived the outstanding and legendary effects of this one night, in the little town of Vienna (pronounced VI anna) , and the little freshman who launched a speaking/polictial career that continues to growth.

So Camille you now have the real story. Compliments of your Dad who still loves you more than life itself.

HOLD YOUR HORSES!

I read Camille's blog to her Dad last night and it was like pushing the same button she pushed all those years ago. He went off on a tirade of retelling the story of that night. He was the one that went out to run those kids off after I looked out the window and almost passed out. He was the one who dutifully walked out that door after I said, "YOU need to go out there and see what is going on and run these "Uninvited Kids" off!." He had the conversations with all of the "Outside Kids" and so tonight after our church meeting (We will be praying for Camille's past sins), I will type and he will dictate "The Dad's Side of the Story." You will just have to wait since our meeting starts at about the same time as he comes home. It will be worth the wait! I got a great laugh out of him retelling the tale!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

DON'T CALL ME "THE STREAK"

I have been reading my monthly issue of "Runner's World". I came across an article by Adam Cohen titled "Running Free". It seems Mr. Cohen felt compelled to enter a "clothing optional" race in Oklahoma on the "Trail of Tears". Oh it would be a trail of tears as those viewing would be laughing until they cried! OK and HOW did this happen in Oklahoma???? I thought they were as conservative as we are down here in the Deep South. I obviously must have been wrong! The article tells you about his feelings about entering and running the race with 50 other "Exhibitionist". There were 17 caps and 0 as zero other clothes. One male runner did have on a garment for support-if you get my drift, but that is it! For 3.1 miles they are all out there running along the trail-as we say here- "NEACKKED"! Ok, my friend Mona, loves to run after the cute young guys who have their shirts off and is often quoted as saying she really enjoyed the scenery during the race. I enjoy having someone in front of me and prefer tailing someone-BUT THIS GIVES NEW MEANING TO TAILING! I cannot imagine what would possess anyone to run (THINK ABOUT IT-body parts bouncing) without clothes with others watching. To add insult to injury, when the 50 passed the usual 5K water station, the volunteers are all clothed! If I hadn't died from embarrassment by then, well I would for sure drop dead then. If you see me entering a "Clothing Optional 5K" or even running without a shirt in only my sports bra-I have Alzheimer's-just put me away! You may not have to put me away, I would probably get arrested for "indecent exposure" and "Causing Great Public Harm", since the sight would not be pretty by any means!


As we started our run this AM, pre dawn, I noticed 2 planets clearly visible in the south-eastern sky-QUITE THE SIGHT! I believe it was Venus and Jupiter, per the Internet. If you are a late sleeper and never experienced the beauty of the night sky, especially the pre-dawn heavens, you have missed a TREAT! This is what makes these mornings bearable. When I have Babs in front of me, looking at her watch every mile-to see if we are running at an increased pace, it can become drudgery-not fun! Yesterday it was in the 60's at run time, today it was 26 when I got out of my car. BRRRRRRRR!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

BLOW ME AWAY!

I am sitting here with a pot on my head waiting for one of our BIG trees to fall on the house. No not really, although if I were the scary type, I might be. The wind is howling and when you look in the back yard the trees are rolling around and bending back & forth. I love my trees, except when we have a "Big Wind" or storm. SOMEBODY HAS GOT TO PICK UP ALL OF THOSE LIMBS! Since Mr. C works long hours, my middle name is Somebody. When "Those Baptists" cut all of the trees on the hill, we lost a good buffer from these Southern winds. More trees coming down will probably be the result.


I decided today that I "Know what I don't like, but am not sure about what I do". I am remodeling the 40 year old kitchen and went to see my kitchen designer today. As we looked at cabinets and granite tops, I can IMMEDIATELY tell a "No", but when I find several I do like, well narrowing down to one is always a problem. Trying to stay within the confines of a relatively (to today's standards) small kitchen, but come up with a good upgrade can be tough. I have to decide upon cabinet wood and color first and then we go from there. I have already picked out a sink and a floor-so two things down-MANY to go!
Kim, our pastor's wife, is in Houston this week having tests and deciding upon treatment for her cancer. They have started a blog, so if you are interested and would like to keep up, click on "Kim's Big Adventure" under my blogging buddies. Please join us in praying for Kim and her family as they travel down this difficult road. We are comforted with the fact that God has them all in the"Palm of His Mighty Hand".
Dr. Dale came home today. I just spoke with Helen and you can hear it in her voice that "There's no place like home". The family has been trained in what they need to do for Dale and it will require a routine every 2 hours, night and day. They will have a sitter 4 nights a week to help and their son and daughter in law will also take turns helping. As I personally can tell you, even with lots of medical help, it is a physically and emotionally demanding task. Please pray for that miracle that we would love to have and for sure for their ability to meet each and every day with a spirit of strength and "Holy Power".
Went to the weight room this AM. Only lasted about 45 minutes. It is unbelievable how fast you lose what you worked so hard to gain. That weight that I lost though-I am beginning to find it. A lot less activity and the same amount of food = fat rolls on my waist. UGH!

Monday, January 28, 2008

HINT OF SPRING!

After a cold 34 degree run this AM, it has warmed up to the point that you think Spring is coming. That's what happens here in Louisiana. We have these blasts of winter-not terrible winter like in Pennsylvania-but cold damp Louisiana winter. Our temperature seems to hover at the just above freezing level most days, during our cold snaps, which keeps away the winter precipitation, but allows for bone chilling cold. We have had a string of those days lately, but today-AH SPRING LIKE WEATHER. It was in the upper 50's and low 60's mid afternoon. It gives me the bug to get out in the yard and my hands in the dirt. OH-but I know what is just around the corner-more cold-damp weather My head knows it is too early to start my Spring yard work, but my heart is so anxious to get out of this house and back outside. In a act of desperation to take my mind off of being outdoors, I cleaned out the refrigerator today. I am happy to report that I found enough mold to supply us with anti-biotics for the foreseeable future. I am not sure why those left overs get left so long. I should have learned by now that after a couple at the most three times, THAT IS IT! Just chunk what is left. When we had a dog, it wasn't the problem that it is today. Lucky Girl was the lucky recipient of left overs ( I KNOW NOT GOOD FOR THE DOG-BUT SHE LOVED THEM SO)!

You do know that Camille is up there near to "THE REAL GROUNDHOG-Phil". They have a web site -http://www.groundhog.org/. You can learn all about the festival, etc which I believe is this coming weekend. I know she is anxious to find out how much more winter they will have. When I spoke with her today, she told me that the Bay of Lake Erie is frozen with about 2 1/2 inches of ice, but the entire lake is not frozen. That level of ice is not enough to walk on, so there are no fishermen out on it. They have seemingly had a relatively mild winter. Her comments on her snow blog do say they are about normal for snowfall. She said the temperature is milder today and tomorrow, but Wednesday more snow showers. Even though the temperature gets above freezing during the day, the snow doe not melt. The frozen ground with snow on top must provide a insulating quality. As she would say, ANYWHOS, we are waiting with breath held to see what Phil has to say!

We are back in our training routine as of yesterday. Went on a 5 mile walk yesterday and got up early for a 5 mile run this AM. Babs thinks we need to work on our speed. SHE JUST ABOUT KILLED ME TODAY! Hey-what's wrong with slow! I have decided no Yoga for me, I will be back in the weight room tomorrow and then if it is not raining another walk.

I seem to be having a period of "Writer's Block". THE PRESSURE- OH THE PRESSURE!
Challenge me with a subject to write about! I need help. The fresh ideas seem to be buried in the back of my brain currently, along with mounds upon mounds of important facts. I prefer trivia to be at my fingertips. Wouldn't want to clutter up all that trivia with anything important!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'M NO SNOW BUNNY!



As you know from my blog name, the one thing in my life that I might change if I had the opportunity is to be a “Real Athlete”. I aspire and I desire to be able to do great athletic feats, but alas, I do not have the talent. I have always been just a middle of the road athlete and in my old age, that will just have to do. I tend to be lazy in my training and I like to find my comfort zone and stay there. The phrase, “No Pain-No Gain”- is correct when it comes to sports.

I have enjoyed reading Camille’s blog this week about all of the snow they have had in Erie. It has definitely pushed the button in Erie and she has had MANY and long comments about the weather and all that goes along with it. I suppose it is much like that here in the South in the summer, only we are commenting about the heat and humidity while they are enjoying relative (to us) cool weather there.

All of the snow talk started me to thinking about my experiences learning to snow ski (as opposed to water skiing here in the South which I find easy). My first trip to Colorado was chaperoning a church trip during Spring Break. Camille was in the 6th grade, so I must have been about 48 and Bobby would have been 53, NOT EXACTLY SPRING CHICKENS.

After the 20+ hour bus ride to Purgatory( I fondly call it “The Bus Ride From Hell”), my tail was dragging, but then the SNOW. WOW! I had never seen snow that deep before and was I impressed! The snow would be deeper than the fence posts as you rode along the road. The mountains –OH THE MOUNTAINS! Who could not believe in God that has seen the mountains! This web footed, slow drawling Louisianaian was in awe!

The first morning everyone was required to take the group lesson. We went to the “Bunny Hill” which was as high, if not higher, than any hill we had in North Louisiana. The short lift there went incredibly slow and would even stop to get you on, if necessary. I WANTED TO SKI-Oh how I wanted to ski! I listened to the instructions by the still wet behind the ear instructor. I tried to do just what he said, but when the morning was over, I still could not ski. Now I could glide across the snow and I learned to sit on my rear to stop, but that is NOT SKIING!

That afternoon we were on our own. Most of the teens in the group, even the new skiers, were off and up the mountain as soon as they were turned loose. I still could not ski the “Bunny Hill”, so I stayed and worked on learning. One thing I can say about my athletic feats, I WILL TRY & I AM WILLING TO WORK HARD AT TIMES. I rode up that lift and tried to come down that hill all afternoon. I finally learned that those orange plastic fences, they had up to keep you from skiing out of bounds, made great stops. When unable to stop and going too fast, I would just ski into the fence-taking the whole thing down-but effectively stopping me. What a disaster! When we stopped for the day, I was pretty defeated, but I resolved to go back the next day and try again.

The next cold morning, proved to be more of the same. One time as I was flying down the hill-skiing across the grade to try and slow down, Bobby saw me. He yelled, “Great Job”. As I flew by him my response was, “I’M OUT OF CONTROLLLLLLLLLLL!” At lunch that day, totaled dejected and ready to quit, Bobby insisted that Camille & I take a private lesson that afternoon. He found the answer! With one on one instruction that afternoon, Camille was ready to head to the black trails and I, at last, was ready to go up the mountain.

The next day, the entire group is ready to go up the mountain. When I get in the lift line, I look up and my heart jumped in my throat. This lift is a 4 person high speed lift, not the 2 person slow bunny lift. OH NO! As the lift makes the turn, you and the other 3 must maneuver into place and have your ski poles in one hand and the other hand ready to grab the lift as you scoot your rear into the seat. NOT EASY TO DO! And that was the easy part! At the top of the lift, you must have your poles in your hand and ready to ski off the lift. The lift DOES NOT SLOW DOWN-and you feel like you are thrown into the air and are flying down the little sloop at the end of the lift. MY HEART RATE was probably twice as high as normal and it felt like it was going to jump out of my chest!

OK-you are at the top of the mountain and guess what-YOU CAN NOT TAKE THE LIFT BACK DOWN. There is only one way down-skiing! Somehow-someway I finally got down that mountain. I was REALLY good at wedging, which is what slows and stops you, by the time I got to the bottom. I am happy to report, I endured, I survived and I grew to love skiing. In case you have not caught on yet, I AM A CONTROL FREAK! Skiing is way out of my comfort zone and I am not always in control, especially on ice, but I grew to love the thrill.

We have many happy memories of being on the slopes since that first year. What a thrill and the beauty of the mountains was beyond my ability to describe. We even went back after Bobby had a freak accident and broke his shoulder getting off the lift (Another good story). I am so glad we were able to experience this wonder. This web footed, slow talking, Southern girl loved the snow and skiing, but about once a year is plenty. I am still a better water skier, but what else would your expect since I have these web feet not rabbit feet?

Friday, January 25, 2008

SPIRIT OF THE MARATHON




Thirteen of "The Runners" went to dinner and to see the documentary, "Spirit of the Marathon" last night. We had a great time and were inspired by the great movie. If you like running, and maybe even if you don't, you come away inspired by the stories of first time marathoners as well as professional runners alike training for and actually running the Chicago marathon. You experience the disappointment of injuries, the long hard training process and the ultimate thrill of the finish. You also get a very good view of what it is like to run in a HUGE mass of people. It is a very good synopsis of the history of the marathon. They also gave a very good history of women in marathons. One of the comments was, "That women could not run because their uterus would fall out." Well we have not experienced this particular problem in our group of women, although one of the runners has been known to say that "Her ovary is about to explode."


"Poor Larry", our token male ,has heard it all. He has had a liberal education in women as he has run beside us and heard all of our conversations. One of the women training in the documentary said that when her running group went out to dinner all they talked about was running, but while running they never talk about it. That is exactly what we have found. HOW INTERESTING! I suppose when running we are trying to keep our mind off of just what we are doing!



We have enjoyed our two week "down time" to recover from the marathon and its training. We go back to work next week and actually I am ready. I have enjoyed the down time, but my body is getting soft and I am getting lazy, so back to work we go! I am trying to decide just what I will do and what days I will do it on in this new round of training. The trick is diversity so you don't get bored or over trained. "I'll think about that tomorrow!"



Camille's sweet husband, Adam, gave her the above piano for Christmas. He is a sweet and thoughtful husband. When I saw the picture of it, I immediately traveled back to the "infamous piano lessons". Every day after I got home from work the conversation when like this"

Camille, have you practiced the piano yet?

Not yet, but I will in a minute.

30 minutes later-Camille when are you going to practice the piano.

I can't right now Mom, I have to --------------

Camille it's getting late, don't you think you should practice the piano.

Mom, I have to do my homework.

Camille, what about the piano.

I am really tired and I need to go to bed.

Camille's piano teacher, Mr. Dee, was the ultimate example of patience. We would go to piano and he would say things like-

"Your other right, Camille."

"We haven't spent much time practicing this week have we."

Camille has an inherited talent for music from my Daddy. Unfortunately this gene seems to surface every other generation. She has a great ear and the "Suzuki" method of teaching worked to develop that ear. She loves to sit and play at the piano, so fortunately all those lessons were not in vain. I am delighted she has a piano to play around on and hope Adam enjoys the concerts! I am going to live long enough to see her children take piano and not want to practice. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

NOT FOR EVERYONE!

My friend that sent me the email about stolen body parts has sent another one. I have worked hard to clean it up, so you too can get a good laugh. If you have never started a new work out program or added another element to your workout routine, don't even bother reading. You will not understand! For those of us who have added a step class, weight training, yoga, and the list goes on, we all will not only get it, but I LAUGHED out loud! Only if you have had a day when you thought EVERY square inch of my body hurts and I did it to my self, will you get the full meaning! ENJOY!

Dear Diary,

For my birthday this year, my daughter (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 48 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My daughter seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started and encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

MONDAY: > > Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She is something of a Greek goddess - with blonde hair, dancing green eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Before long I assume I'll resemble Belinda. Belinda gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring! Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week-!!

TUESDAY: > > I drank a whole pot of coffee and I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT-!! It's a whole new life for me.

WEDNESDAY: > > The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop, so I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why IN THE WORLD would anyone invent a machine to simulate activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other JUNK too.

THURSDAY: > > Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes. Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. She sent another skinny FREAK to find me. Then, as punishment, she put me on the rowing machine -- which I sank.

FRIDAY: > > I hate that WITCH Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic little tr@mp. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it. Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the DARN barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher.Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

SATURDAY: > > Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

SUNDAY: > > I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my daughter (the little TWIT) will choose a gift for me that is fun -- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

SMALL TOWN GIRL!

I was looking over the "local daily" this AM and the headlines are :
"Cyber Command to boost Tech" (local university)
"Dubach en route to new garbage truck"
"Students rewarded with prizes for reading"

YOU HAVE GOT TO LOVE IT! That, Dear Friends, is the latest and greatest news in Ruston and Lincoln Parish! No crime wave, no impending doom of the economy, society, and the nation, and no political squabbling stories. Our paper is a true reflection of the sheltered lives we live here. There are 12 pages in yesterday's paper. Here is a recap

Page 1 Headline stories as noted above and local briefs (flu shots, cancer tests, faculty concert, etc.)
Page 2 Weather & Community Meeting Notices
Page 3 Obits
Page 4 Editorials including "Urge young people to get involved" -all local
Page 5 Financial including half a page of ads from local bankers, brokers, and realtors. Stock prices and 2 stories from other national sources
Page 6-Birthday list, School menus, Article by local AgCenter on tree planting, Picture of local St. Thomas Gumbo cooks
Page 7 Sports-All local games and local athletes
Page 8 Entire page of TV schedule for today (Does that tell you what we do around here for entertainment?)
Page 9 Comics (MY PERSONAL FAVORITE PAGE)
Page 10-11-LOCAL Classifieds
Page 12 Entire page of Ads

This is actually one of our larger papers. Many days there are not that many pages. You see not much goes on around here. AND THAT'S ALRIGHT WITH ME! I have told BC to throw the paper in the air and before it hits the ground you can have it read.

I had a comment on yesterday's blog from one of our local Sheriff's deputies. Tommy was the V-Prin at the High School in charge of discipline when my kids all passed through RHS. I am sure this gave him all the training he needed to step into law enforcement when he retired. He made a comment about the roads being his and doing what he said that reminded me of a running story.

One Saturday AM-VERY EARLY- our group was running on 167 inside the city limits toward town ON THE LEFT SIDE. The road at that place is 5 lanes wide but their is no sidewalk nor any side. This requires us jumping the curb on uneven ground if the cars do not move over. A car was coming toward us in the lane that we were running in. There were no other cars on the road and keep in mind there are 4 other lanes. The car barrels down on us and does not budge one inch requiring us all to jump the curve. One of my buds throws her hand in the air and give a motion to move over. The car makes a U turn in the road and comes back and stops us. It is one of the city police and he proceeds to bless her out and say, "He Does Not Have To Move Over." He was not nice, in fact he was down right ugly. My friend, has a sweet soul, and she is in tears after he left. We spent the rest of the run discussing the officer and his rudeness. Well my friend spends the weekend thinking about the encounter. Monday morning she calls the chief of police and tells him the entire story. It turns out she and the chief are long time friends. The next time she sees the officer, who it turns out is a very good friend of her brothers, he tells her he got called on the carpet for the incident. She responds, "GOOD". They talked it over and left with some reconcilement of feelings. Now every time he sees us (especially her), he honks or puts on his siren. I don't think they have any incidents like that in New York City!

I was raised in Farmerville which is less than half the size of Ruston and moved here when I came to college, 42 years ago. I am truly a small town girl and I love living in a small town. When it takes me 15 minutes to get to the other side of town, I am out done. I know my neighbors and consider them my friends. It is not hard to find out "who someone is" and sometimes the entire family tree and history. Ruston is just big enough that I can live in some anonymity. BC knows everyone and they all know him. I like to lie low and blend in. It is not necessary for me to know everyone in town. I actually occasionally go to the grocery store and don't see anyone I know and that is OK by me.

I have friends and buddies and family that would absolutely go to bat for me. I would do the same (and have) for them. I will cook for them, clean their yards, visit them when they are sick, fellowship with them, and most important pray for them. One of the best perks of small town living is the community you are afforded by small numbers.

Having been raised in a really small town, I find Ruston the perfect size. Small enough to know anyone you care to and big enough that it is not necessary if you don't care to. Everyone knew everyone in Farmerville. That is a little too small for me.

All of you "Big City" readers are thinking about all of the many things to do when you live in a big town and all of the shopping, and on and on. You can have it! I can find the same thing with a 30 minute or hour drive in either direction and I'll bet you have to drive at least that far yourself to afford yourself to many of these. Do you know all your neighbors and do you know all of the teachers, personally that teach your children? Does your banker call you when there is a suspicious check that comes through? Can you get a loan by just calling the same banker? Does your doctor return your calls and will he just call in a prescription? I could go on and on.

I am thankful for diversity and glad for you if you enjoy living in a large town. We need those large towns, so we can have a place to run our marathons, among other things. As for me and Mr. C, we are small town and proud of it.

We ran a slow 30 minute run this AM. We were a little sore from Yoga and as the run went on I found more sore places. That means it is good for you.
NO PAIN-NO GAIN

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

GOOD NEWS!

Dr. Dale came through his surgery fine. He is in ICU, I am sure to watch that Oxygen level and get him stabilized. An answer to prayer. I am looking forward to seeing that "Little Dutch Face" without his World War II oxygen mask covering it! I've missed that mischievous grin! Continue to pray, please as they work to get everything in proper order and then home again.


Friends Babs & Sandra talked me into trying yoga again this AM. We have been down this road-2 times before, but I am obviously a glutton for punishment. To begin with, yoga is held at the local university intramural center, "The Land of Firm & Tight". It is only SLIGHTLY disconcerting to walk into a room of late teens and early 20's when you are almost triple their age. Thankfully it is early and most of them are not REALLY awake, so they take no notice of the "Old Lady" entering the room. Truth be told, they are totally unaware that I am even in the universe.


We start the class with the "child pose". HEY this is ok! I think I might even like this. THEN she says when you get tired or your body needs a rest-this is the pose to enter. I AM IN TROUBLE! I thought this was stretching me out-in fact-I can feel the stretch and this is the resting part! We spend the next hour going from one pose to the next harder pose. One of the poses is called "The Plank" which is similar to a push up, but you are holding it at the up position. She expects you to glide from this position to both feet being flat on the floor in one smooth motion. That is great-except-I have to reach back with my hands and physically pull my leg and foot forward to get it to go. There is not one thing graceful about this. The first part of the class you go pretty slow through the poses. My arms and legs are trembling as we hold the poses-WAY TOO LONG for an old lady. FINALLY she announces we are going to the "FLOW" part of the class. I think great we will not be in these contorted positions for long periods of time. Then she takes off and goes from pose to pose in a fast smooth progression. I am about 2 moves behind the entire "Flow" time. Thank goodness I am on the back row.


At the end she wants us to lie on our backs with our hands palm down by our ears. Then she wants you to push yourself up into a bridge or something like that. OK-GREAT-she wants me to pick up the heaviest part of my body off the mat in one swift move and sit in a backbend. YEAH RIGHT-back to the child pose! This is all REAL serious stuff and I am on the back row stiffling giggles as I try to stretch my body into positions I have not been in since I was about 12.


I thought I had worked out all of the "marathon" soreness. WRONG! I discovered some sore and tight places that I had no idea were there! I guess this might be the good thing about yoga.


The funniest part of the entire class is when I discover there are mirrors behind us. When I am down in a downward dog and glance back there is the mirror. Every square inch of skin on the side facing the mat is sagging toward the mat in an attempt to touch the mat under me. The worst part is the skin on my face! WHOA maybe I could spend a few down days after a little nip and tuck-NO BETTER MAKE IT A MAJOR TIGHTEN UP!


I spent about 20 minutes this afternoon watching a beautiful large hawk hunting in my back yard. His territory is seriously impacted by the Baptists cutting all of the trees, so I guess he had to be that close to the house. He was literally feet away from my den. WHAT A SIGHT!


Monday, January 21, 2008

I HIT A NERVE!

I had my weekly long chat with Camille today and I seem to have hit a nerve with my post about her junior high years. There are no adequate words to describe how wonderful Camille is today, but she seems to have a little memory loss. We are all sinful man and tend to rationalize our behavior and reality dims with time. The thing that kept me going during those trying years was I knew that she was having a tough time as all beginning teens do. That sweet spirit that is ever evident today was just below the surface, bubbling trying to surface. Junior high years are really TOUGH years and girls, ESPECIALLY can be so vicious. I can remember being so angry with some of the girls that I could have pinched their little heads off. This is all part of growing up and our job was to direct, support, and love Camille, knowing "This too shall pass." She learned, she grew, she endured, and she came out the other side of the 7th and 8th grade a sweet and precious daughter. Anyone who tells you they would like to go back and relive those years must have had their heads stuck in the sand or they are permanently citizens of "La La Land". IT WAS NOT FUN!

My friend, Debbie, is a teacher at the junior high school. I cannot imagine! Truly a "Mission Field"! NO THANK YOU!

When I spoke with Camille, I asked her how much it had snowed in Erie. Ever a Conville, who are prone to exaggeration, she said at least a foot. Now maybe it has snowed a foot, but a foot of snow in a couple of days is beyond a Southerners imagination. We are planning a trip to Erie. I want to see that frozen lake with the old men out on it fishing! I am impressed when our fountains freeze, so an entire lake will truly blow me away!

Debbie has asked me to write a story about chaperoning the junior high dances. I think I have hit enough raw nerves, so I will pass on writing a story. Suffice it to say that when Camille found I had volunteered her parents to chaperon the dances at the school-SHE WAS MORTIFIED! The most vivid memory I have of that event does not involve Camille. It seems that some of the dancers were very inappropriate in the manner they danced and where they chose to put their hands while dancing. I AM CERTAIN, Poor Camille got plenty of grief the Monday after the dances. I took it as my personal mission to confront each and every offender. THANK THE GOOD LORD the dances were only a couple of hours long. I was shell shocked when they ended and needed to go home and to bed! Now I was no "Saint Lora" when growing up, but I would have never acted like that in front of ANY adult and I sure would not have defied them to their face. Oh-times have changed!

It has been a wonderful 3 day weekend, although BC has worked this afternoon. Nothing better than being with my BEST boyfriend for 3 days. Thank you, Dr. King for the holiday. I am ready and willing to celebrate any birthday with a holiday-just give me a call!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

SWEET COMMUNION!

Dr. Dale Among A Forest of Coffee Cups
Ginny & Barbara (Boersma #1 Daughter)

Dr. Dale's sister, Judy & Joanna (Boersma #2 Daughter)


Family, Bruuuther Len & Small Group



Small Group
"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Acts 2:42
Following a wonderful time of worship and teaching this morning, the fellowship celebrated communion. After the service, James, suggested the small group go to The Boersma's this afternoon and celebrate communion with them. Our faithful servant, Brother Len, came and served us all communion so that we could celebrate as a group. Unfortunately half of our members were out of town or tied up-being a holiday weekend. The ones that could came and we had a sweet time of remembrance as the scriptures have instructed us. Since the Boersma's are not able to come to "The Temple", we took "The Fellowship" to them. What a special and sweet time.
Dr. Dale will be having surgery Tuesday. He will be having a trache put in and a feeding tube. Please pray for him and his entire family as well as those that will be tending to him as he undergoes a few days of hospital care. The good thing about this is that he will no longer have to rely upon the breathing apparatus that he has been dependent upon for months. It has gotten to the point that it rubs his nose and forehead so it will be a relief to not have that problem. The feeding tube will enable the doctors to keep his nutrition intake at appropriate levels. Helen explains that this will improve the quality of his care and insure against potential respiratory risks.
With all of this going on, Dr. Dale has maintained his wonderful sense of humor. When BC & I went to visit yesterday, they were explaining these procedures to us. We then changed the subject and somehow got onto plastic surgery. Dr. Dale raises his mask and says, "Just tell everyone I am going to the hospital to have implants." We all cracked up. He also said, "This will be easier on Helen. She can just hang a bag of juice and then do whatever she pleases." What a man!
The Boersmas and their entire clan are a testament to God's grace and his provision of comfort, care, and unfailing love. They are all truly a reflection of our "Great God" and his love for each of us as they gather round their loved ones and minister with love and patience. They are a living example of how "The Fellowship" should work and how well it works when we do as instructed. Dale, Helen, & their family are truly an everyday reminder of "Every day they continued to meet together in the Temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people." Acts 2:46-7
We are thankful that God placed us together and blessed by the wisdom and ministry they have shared with us. God is truly good and we are blessed by our fellowship with his Saints-Dale & Helen.





Saturday, January 19, 2008

BACK IN THE SADDLE

We had a short and slow run this morning and it was OK. Legs seem to be recovered, but since we were only running 3 miles and at a slow pace they should be. THE NORTH WIND WAS COLD! Another week of recovery next week and then truly back at it!

If you do not read Camille's blog, you need to read her blog about "Go Team". Just click on "The Jennings Secede" in my blogging buddies and then read my response below.

The Parent’s Story-Unwanted but needed!

#1 Daughter has a major attitude problem every Monday. It seems once the “thrill” of the weekend is over and school mounts its ugly head, she turns sullen and pouty. I have my strict instructions about picking her up from school. What time to be there, not to talk to the teacher on duty, do not wave at her friends, in short-eyes straight forward and no talking. Now if she decides to offer a ride to a friend, well no questions asked and do not act like you are put out-no matter where they live-JUST DRIVE AND DO NOT TALK!

We get home from school and the telephone begins immediately ringing off the hook. Somewhere in the middle of all of the telephone conversations and laughing and squealing with her friends, she finds time to eat with her parents. I am not sure when she does any homework or if she is doing her homework. All I know is that when I dare to ask, I get a, “MOM!” When I insist that the telephone conversations end and the lights go off, I am met with the usual protests, ‘”NO ONE ELSE has these rules! I have to talk with so and so about my homework. YADA YADA YADA” Finally lights out and a quiet house. After finishing preparations for another day, I fall into bed and sleep the sleep of the dead!

Tuesday brings more of the same. Daughter is still in less that a good humor. Well truth be told, she is in a great humor with her friends, but not very happy with her parents. It seems it is such a burden to be saddled with the “OLDEST” parents among all of your friends. We have rules and we have expectations! It is such a burden to be saddled with a couple of old fashioned parents.

Wednesday brings a miraculous change in disposition. Daughter can not be sweeter and she even offers a little help with putting up her clothes after I washed, dried and folded them. She has a sweet smile for her mother and daddy. She even turns on the charm and has a real conversation with us at supper. THEN THE SHOE DROPS! It seems there is a ballgame in town on Friday night. Would we possibly consider taking her and a couple of friends to the ballgame? SMILE-SWEET TALK-SMILE! Ever the sucker, we agree. This could be a wonderful family outing. We could have such fun all being together and rooting on our local team. What fun! We are pumped up with the anticipation of Friday night and a fun outing. We agree to go and she immediately runs upstairs and back on the telephone. We hear the laughter and squealing all the way down the stairs. She is so excited and this thrills us! We are so delighted to see the fun loving and sweet girl we had know show up again.

Thursday swiftly rolls into Friday and the big game is on the horizon. Friday after school when I pick her up from school I get the following, “Mom, are YOU and DAD going to the game tonight???” When I inform her that we had planned on it, she says she has a few more friends that need a ride and she is not sure if there will be room for both of us. WELL! Who owns this car and what happened to the family outing. I am so insulted and ready to call the whole thing off! When her Dad gets home, I tell him that there is a problem. He quickly settles the matter and says, “We are all going, period.”

The house quickly fills up with a bevy of teenage girls. The giggling and chatter are deafening as they get ready for “The Big Night”. They are frantic curling, straightening, and blowing hair and putting on so much make up you think it is a clown show we are going to. Finally she prances down the stairs and her Dad & I sit in astonishment. “Were you planning on going LIKE THAT!” “What’s wrong with what I have on?” “Just go back and put more clothes on, because you are not going like that!” She stomps back up the stairs and tries again.

When she finally reappears and give us our instructions, before her friends come down. We are not to talk with them, we are not to act like we know them, and we are to let them off and then go park the car, and ABOVE ALL Look Straight Ahead and NO TALKING!

We arrive at the ballgame after 3 miles of giggling, whispering, and loud music and they pile out of the car. Once we get the car parked and we are in the ballgame, we spot “The Crowd” flitting around the stands. They never sit in one spot more than 10 minutes and it is an all night parade going back and forth from spot to spot. We find our seat and try to concentrate on the ballgame, but all of the action is going on in the stands in front of us. We watch as they spend the night trying to be in the right place at the right time while they maneuver to get in the right crowd. It is really something to behold. I am sure none of them saw one thing that happened in the ballgame. They had their own game, of a sort, going on in the stands.

The game is over and we are back in the car, but the same rules apply. They all are in the same seats in the car and the second verse of giggling and whispering is being sung. We once again don’t have a clue what is being said and do not dare ask. Usually there is an all night with all of the girls at someone’s house after the ballgames, but tonight everyone goes there separate ways. We take all of the girls to their own homes and say good night.

At last, we are alone with our precious! Having been restrained all night, I cannot wait to launch into an entire laundry list of questions about the night’s activities. I am met by monosyllable answers, sighs, and shrugs for answers. Another FUN night of being a junior high parent! The night is over and we have survived. I am certain she is upstairs on that phone again, plotting and planning her next outing, while the unexpecting parents are safely tucked into bed, exhausted from another night of “family fun.”

Friday, January 18, 2008

SOMEBODY CALL JENNA!

Hey, I saw in the news that Jenna Bush is getting married at the ranch in Crawford. Somebody needs to call her and tell her I have EXTENSIVE experience in wedding planning around Waco! I know the best vendors and I have tons of GREAT ideas! I could plan it all for her and REALLY I don't even want to be paid. I would love the fun of another "Ranch Wedding"! If you have never driven out to the ranch in Crawford, it is quite an experience! Crawford is just a "bump in the road"! We did eat at George's favorite local spot. I need to share that you do not want to stop if you are on a low fat diet. I had George's favorite burger and the trimmings. It was reminiscent of every "diner burger" I ever had. When you leave town and head out to "the ranch", it is almost a single lane road. I cannot imagine the droves of people getting to the wedding down that road. You are traveling through flat ranch country with mile upon mile of only ranches and an occasional house. You know you are getting near "the ranch" when you start seeing the signs instructing you TO NOT STOP UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! When you finally get to the bend of the road where "the ranch" you really cannot see "the ranch" itself, only the road to it. Across the street is the house that the secret service stays in. It is really quite a sight and if you are ever out that way, you should make the pilgrimage. If you find out I am too busy to blog between now and May, you will know that Jenna heard of my expertise and gave me a call!

I wrote a little story a while back and actually forgot about it until I was looking through my files. Here it is-Looking for critiques!

THE MIGHTY OAKS

The early morning shadows revealed the majestic trees of the thick forest. The cool of the morning slowly warmed, as the golden sun began to rise in the sky and the woods came to life. There were birds darting between high limbs and the low underbrush which surrounded the trunks of the trees of every conceivable size. Rabbits appeared at the edge of the forest looking for dew covered grass and greenery to nibble on. The deer were slipping silently back into the thick undergrowth following a night of grazing and foraging for a meal. The stream in the center of the forest bubbled from the ground and trickled down the path worn by time and higher water from steady day long rains. The amazing forest was a paradise of flora, fauna, and creatures that all called it home.

In the middle of this thicket of trees there were two old, but magnificent oak trees. When you glanced at the trees and remembered that they had started as a little acorn, it was beyond your imagination how they had matured into the wonderful trees that they were today. The trees had sprouted from acorns that had missed the squirrels eager search and with the luck of rain and wind become buried under the thick mulch and tatch that covered the forest’s floor. The tiny trees had sprouted from the unlikely acorn and the rich soil and cool rains had nurtured the seedling into life. With odds certainly against them, the trees had grown and survived the many perils that surrounded them. Against all odds, the trees began the growth that brought them to the place that they stood today.

The two trees had grown as saplings not even in the sight of each other. Time had raised them up and spread their branches until they were within the shadow of each other. There were many trees in the forest and for a long time these two did not seem special or any different from the many others. As time marched on and seasons passed, the trees did their assigned tasks. They produced leaves which provided oxygen for all of the earth, they grew acorns which fed the forest’s animals and grew new trees, and when the days grew cool, their fallen leaves provided mulch and cover for the forest floor.

Now in their 6th decade in the forest, the two trees seemed as one, when you glanced from a distance. Their limbs were intertwined and their roots overlapped. What had begun as solitary trees had grown over the years into what seemed like one living organism. Sheltering each other from the strong winds, they shared the nutrients from common soil and water flowed to the roots of each tree in equal streams. The forest surrounding them was their neighborhood, but the space between the two trees was their home. The trees seemed to be dependent upon one another, which was a remarkable thing for trees.

There would come a day when one of the trees would meet the fate of all trees as they age. Lightning would strike, insects would invade, or some disease would attack the very life form of the tree. The once tall and majestic tree would begin to loose its life as time marched on. There would finally come the day when the majestic oak would fall to the forest floor, leaving behind the twin giant to survive alone.

The wonder of this sad time is that the fallen tree would provide the nutrients for the soil as it slowly returned to the place it had come from. The fallen tree would have cleared the sky and allowed the sunshine to fall on the partner tree. The water they had once shared would now be solely soaked up by the remaining tree. The tree had lost its life, but the remaining tree would survive even in the ghost of the shadow of its partner of so many years.

The forest would still be beautiful and the animals and plants would still remain, even with one tree gone. Seasons would pass and time would march on, with the remaining tree standing tall in the gap created with the fall of its mate. The lone tree was a testiment of two intertwined dependent lives that though separated were still a reflection of the years of living together. The void created would be filled with sunshine, flowers, and animals of the forest which was as it should be. The small oak sprouts that surrounded the giant old oak were a legacy of the oaks and the forest life that would go on as it always would. The forest, well the forest, would remain as it always had been and other giant oaks would grow and replace the others, just as it was intended to be. The forest would indeed live on.

MY FRIEND'S REPLY

After last night's post, I received this e mail from one of my running buddies. She is a HOOT!


Warning To All Women : Most of you have read the scare-mail about the person whose kidneys were stolen while he was passed out. Well, read on. While the kidney story was an urban legend, this one is not. It's happening every day.

My thighs were stolen from me during the night a few years ago. It was just that quick. I went to sleep in my body and woke up with someone else's thighs. The new ones had the texture of cooked oatmeal. Who would have done such a cruel thing to legs that had been mine for years? Whose thighs were these and what happened to mine? I spent the entire summer looking for my thighs. Finally, hurt and angry, I resigned myself to living out my life in jeans and Sheer Energy pantyhose. Then, just when my guard was down, the thieves struck again.

My butt was next. I knew it was the same gang, because they took pains to match my new rear end to the thighs they stuck me with earlier. I couldn't believe that my new butt was attached at least three inches lower than my original. Now, my rear complemented my legs, lump for lump. Frantic, I prayed that long skirts would stay in fashion.

It was two years ago when I realized my arms had been switched. One morning I was fixing my hair and I watched horrified but fascinated as the flesh of my upper arms swung to and fro with the motion of the hairbrush. This was really getting scary. My body was being replaced one section at a time. How clever and fiendish. Age? Age had nothing to do with it. Age is supposed to creep up, unnoticed, something like maturity. NO, I was being attacked repeatedly and without warning. In despair, I gave up my T-shirts. What could they do to me next?


My poor neck suddenly disappeared faster than the Thanksgiving turkey it now resembled. That's why I decided to tell my story. I can't take on the medical profession by myself.

Women of the world, wake up and smell the coffee. That really isn't plastic that those surgeons are using You KNOW where they are getting those replacement parts, don't you ? The next time you suspect someone has had a face "lifted," look again. Was it lifted from you? I think I finally found my thighs - and I hope that Cindy Crawford paid a really good price for them! This is not a hoax. This is happening to women in every town every night. WARN YOUR FRIENDS!

P.S. I must say that last year I thought someone had stolen my breasts. I was lying in bed and they were gone! As I jumped out of bed, I was relieved to see that they had just been hiding in my armpits as I slept. Now I keep them hidden in my waistband.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

BACK AWAY IF YOU ARE SQUIMISH!

When I went to the dermotologist Tuesday, I questioned her about several "old age" concerns I have. That set me to thinking-AGAIN-about getting something done about looking old, but feeling young. I often entertain having everything nipped, tucked, and sucked back into better shape. I never seem to go there, since I always back out when I hear the amount of "down time".

This did jog my memory of a procedure that Momma had to have. Momma had a condition which causes the wet tissues of your body to dry up (although I personally diagnosed her as having taken WAY too many anti-histamines or decongestants which also dry you up). I digress-anyway her eyelids began to turn in and this caused the eyelashes to scratch her eye. After many-many trips to the eye doctor for him to pull out all of the offending lashes (OUCH!), he finally sent her to a occuo-plastic surgeon (not sure about that spelling). He said the only remedy was to take off the old eyelids and build new ones. This had to be done one at a time, so I took her the first time and Robbie the next. (WHERE WAS NOEL?) The procedure itself involved removing the eyelids and building the new ones from her own body. They took 1/2 of the palette of her mouth each time, part of the inside of her lip, and cartilage from her ear. PAIN PAIN PAIN! I think the worst part for her was the mouth. Think about it-1/2 of the roof of your mouth is a raw, open wound. IT WAS GROSS! Really remarkable though what they can do for people!

This made me wonder why I couldn't perhaps move a few things around. The skin on my rear end is smooth as a baby's bottom and has never seen sunlight-so it is creamy white. I could switch that around and put it on my face. You have heard someone say that their skin was a smooth as a baby's bottom haven't you?
OH BUT WOULD I EVER GET GRIEF FOR THAT!

The skin on my lower legs is still tight and smooth across the muscles. We could get something like a garter that you could continue to roll up and just pull the skin on the top part of my legs to match the bottom.

I literally "ran my butt" off training for this marathon. We could take the poochy stomach and just roll it around to the back and give that butt a little shape.

The skin on the soles of feet and palms of my hands is nice and smooth. We could just reverse that and put the old that is on top on the bottom and vice verse. It would be like turning your sock or glove inside out and wearing it.

I'm just getting started. I think I am on to something here. Now all I need is to find some plastic surgeon to do all of this without one day of down time. HMMMM -that could be a problem!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

IN MY BACK YARD!



Look what is blooming in my back yard! Every January, in Louisiana, we get a preview of what is coming in the spring. The narcissus bloom. You first notice the green stalks coming out of the deep bed of leaves sometime in early January, depending upon the weather. I looked in the back today and saw the blooms had opened. It is as if God is giving you a reminder of the beautiful spring that is just around the corner. We have a VERY short winter dormant period here. The violas are in my bed, but they don't really reach their "Peak Pretty" until it is about time to plant the spring flowers. I will barely get all of the leaves cleaned from the beds before everything begins to bloom. We have an early Easter this year, so the dogwoods should be perfect. Many times they have passed their peak before the day arrives. What a beautiful reminder of what we are celebrating when you look into the woods and the white blooms are so thick you would think the tree had snow on it. Indeed Spring is coming-swiftly approaching! I am ready!

For today, it is cold and wet! I have a fire burning, thanks to Mr. C and a large pot of soup simmering on the stove. If we must endure winter, then this is the way to survive. I LOVE SOUP! BC likes it ok, but I could eat it every night when it is cold. They had an entire page of recipes in the paper today, but I pretty much fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to soup. I like all kinds-with corn bread, crackers, hard rolls, all kinds of sopping material. YUMMY! I have a blogging buddy that is a gourmet cook. I enjoy reading her blog and hearing about her culinary adventures. I am ready and willing to try new foods and recipes anytime, but you just cannot beat "old time cooking". Since I do not come from a long line of wonderful cooks, I have self taught myself a lot and even taken some cooking classes. BC may regret that I don't have a marathon to focus on if I get on a cooking jag. I can cook and just have a taste, he on the other hand loves to eat and often returns for seconds. I told two of my running buddies yesterday that I lost over 10% of my body weight training for this marathon (1st time this has happened-I usually gain) and needed to put some weight back on. One of them told me they would love to be able to say I need to gain weight. They think I am lucky-but when I look at the marathon pictures-well bones running down the road are not flattering!

I am looking for inspiration for a story. Have any good ideas of a topic? I just need that little spark to be lit, but for now I cannot seem to come up with the flint stone. HMMMMMM!

I did see in the newspaper that Paris Hilton will be given the "Harvard Lampoon" Hastiest Pudding of the Lampoon Award. GIVE ME A BREAK! Why would anyone pay ANY attention to this untalented ditsy dimwit? OH YES-SHE COMES FROM MONEY! I guess money can buy lots of things after all, but it can not buy brains as she has proven!

Final thought for today-if you know Ivory and would like to see what a hero she is-do the following: Go to Houston Marathon Results, on that page you will see a spot to click to see runners coming across the finish line, put her last name in, and right side, you will see her dragging her leg across the finish line. WHAT A WOMAN! As I have said before, to finish is something, but to finish in that much pain is unreal!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

DON'T TRY TALKING THE TALK IF YOU ARE NOT WALKING THE WALK

I really get amazed during campaigning time at the politicians trying to convince us of their spirituality. Personally I think if you are truly spiritual and have a personal relationship with our Lord, then you don't have to tell anyone else how spiritual you are-it shows. If you have to stand before your fellow citizens and persuade them of your deep spiritual convictions, well-I am not swayed. I have more admiration for those that don't pretend to be something they are not. They are not spiritual and don't try to even give any indication that they are. Don't begin "attending" church to garner votes, just before announcing you are running for office as one of our local officials did. Just tell it like it is and then you will not trip up when you try to speak the foreign language of "spirituality."

I went to my dermatologist this AM for my 6 month check. The good news is I only had one spot to freeze off after about 10 in June, including 3 biopsies. The bad news, Ladies, is you cannot do anything about "chicken skin". All the men out in blogging land probably don't have a clue what I am talking about, but you women-YOU GET IT. We are about 2 years off from having a solution for that. Who knows in 2 years, I might not even care anymore!

The old legs are really in pretty good shape. Probably the best shape they have been in for the 3 marathons I have run. They are sore-don't' get me wrong, but not that bad. We actually took a slow 30 minute stroll today. The only twinge I had was when I had to run across the road-WHOAAA! Did I remember to tell you that for running the marathon you got a really ugly short sleeve tee shirt. For finishing you got a "finisher's shirt" from under armor, a medal, and an engraved mug. All that and you only had to pay a $80 entry fee. You have really got to wonder about someone who will PAY to run 26.2 miles. CRAZINESS!!!!

The bad news for all of you out there is that now I have plenty of time. Pray that you do not become one of my projects. When I get on a tangent or take someone or something on as a project-well I can go a little bit over the edge. I am looking for the next project-duck if you see me coming your way!

Monday, January 14, 2008

OH- BY THE WAY!

GEORGE & BARBARA BUSH WERE AT ABOUT MILE 18. MY BUDS ALL SAW THEM! LEAVE IT TO ME-I SAW THE SECRET SERVICE CARS AND WAS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY THE HOUSTON POLICE HAD BLACK VEHICLES LIKE THAT AT THE MARATHON. NEVER SAW THE BUSHES. I AM SUCH A DUMBIE!
I WOULD HAVE DEFINITELY STOPPED FOR AN AUTOGRAPH. BC'S ENVY WOULD HAVE BEEN WELL WORTH THE ADDED TIME!

I'M BACK!!!!!

Camille's "Ghost Runner"-Note Name on Bib
Night Before "Final Pasta Dinner"

14 Ruston Runners-HOW GREAT!



Sandra Finishing- 3rd in her age group!



Susan Finishing (2nd runner)


"The Old Lady-FINISHING! (Green Top)
Well we are home and EVERYONE finished! My time was my best time I have had, but only by a little. The first 20 miles were great, but the last six were TOUGH! A great deal of the course was concrete and I have a HATE relationship with concrete. The hard surface managed to kick off my IT Band syndrome, which I have not had a problem with for quite a few years. It can take some time to get well, but I've had it before, so know what I need to do. I have "tight" legs and a few sore spots, but over all am in pretty good shape after 26.2 miles.
I was running along at a record pace for me, until about mile 20. I saw Ivory on the side of the road between mile 18 and 19 and stopped to see what I could do. SHE WAS IN BAD SHAPE! She was literally having to drag her bad leg along. I talked with her and convinced her to run along with me and we would run slow. So for the next couple of miles we jogged and walked alternately. For some reason, once I started walking, it went downhill fast. My IT band began hurting and I was having a tough time getting it going again. We made a brief stop in a medical tent and stopped to stretch a couple of times, but after mile 22, I could not get my legs running again. I walked the next four miles, and ran the last .2. Thank goodness Sandra had suggested walking during our training. I was able to walk a sub 15 minute miles, even with lead legs. That is what saved me from having an even slower time. My overall "chip" time was 5hours 14 minutes which was a minute faster than my last marathon when I walked the last 3 miles. I am relieved I finished and ready to think about something else other than a marathon. We did discuss, on our way home today, what we would run next. No consensus, but that lets you know we will be up for training again, in the future.
Could I tell you what sights you see in a marathon??????Belly dancers, flamingo dancers, cloggers, bands, "The Blues Brothers"-including car, Boom boxes, radio station vans broadcasting, everything, but a circus. It is unbelievable. Every neighborhood you go through had people up and down the course rooting you on. Screaming and call out your name (on your bib) and encouraging you on. It is really something! And the characters you see running-including "Superman", "The Flash", a guy in a grass skirt, a guy in a kilt with his knee socks. IT IS REALLY SOMETHING!
Ivory gets the "Bravery" award. It is quite something to finish-at all-but to have a REALLY bad injury and keep on going. Well I can't tell you the guts that takes. She is really something. There is nothing I would like more than to see her get well and finish in the fashion that she is capable of. She is really disappointed, but all of her "running buds" will group around and encourage her as she recovers and we begin to go again.
We had a wonderful time. Laughing and talking and cutting up. Encouraging each other. Talking running. IT WAS A GREAT 3 DAYS! The next 2 weeks involve recovery including slow and easy walks and runs. After the recovery-back in the saddle, but not the long miles we had been doing. That actually sounds pretty good!






Friday, January 11, 2008

WHITE COAT


Our favorite son-in-law, Adam, will recieve his "white coat" this weekend in a "White Coat Ceremony". WE ARE PROUD! Adam is quite the student. I have always thought I was so disciplined, but HE SETS THE RECORD for discipline. Adam gets up REALLY early and he isn't going out for a run with his buddies, he is getting up to study. He also studies in the evening and on the weekend. Medical school is a really big challenge, but Adam is up for the challenge. We are proud and wish we could be in PA with them for this important day. The good news is that Adam's sweet Mom and Dad will be there. They are flying to Erie today and going home Sunday. Camille was really excited about seeing them and them being there for this important milestone. We will be there in spirit and he is uppermost in our thoughts on this proud day!


When I was in school, I always enjoyed and learned from the comments or criticism that my teachers gave me. I looked forward to turning in papers having them read and learning from their comments. Now there are times that I was not happy, initially, with their comments, but I always took them to heart and grew from those comments.


I have a counter on my blog that tells me how many "unique" hits I have everyday. I do not know who is looking, but I do know how many are looking. Yesterday I had 47 "unique" hits, which thrilled me. The down side is that of those 47 hits, I only had one comment. I have set my blog up so that you can comment even anonymously. You can say what you will and I will never know your identity. The only way my writing will ever get any better is if you are willing to help me and give me constructive criticism. I often go back and reread a blog and catch areas that can be improved. PLEASE FEEL FREE to make comments and do not worry about anyone knowing you are commenting. There is no way to trace the comment to you. I would love to know how to improve and what you like to read or don't like to read. We grow and improve from doing, but unless we know what we are doing wrong, it is difficult to improve. SO MUCH FOR MY SOAP BOX! Even if you never comment, thank you for reading!


We are leaving tomorrow at 6. I have everything packed and all is left to do is run the race. BC asked me tonight what I was feeling and I told him apprehensive. He asked did I always feel apprehensive. I told him yes, except for the first marathon, when you did not know to be apprehensive. At that time ignorance was bliss, but now I live with the knowledge of where I am going. It is daunting! Right, Wrong, or Indifferent-Sunday afternoon it will all be over, but the crying! I would appreciate a little prayer Sunday morning. Pray for my physical abilities and endurance and that I run "For His Good Pleasure". I am proud that He gave me the ability to last through the training and feel blessed that I am still able to run-even in my old age. It has been fun training, but I look forward to thinking of other-more important things next week.






COUNTDOWN

l (ONE- UNO) Day 21 Hours + Change Until M DAY

My stomach hurts Momma! Can I stay home from school today?????

Thursday, January 10, 2008

ARE YOU A PIG OR A JEWELER?




Friend Helen and I were solving the world's problems when I went to visit yesterday and she told me, "You are casting your pearls before swine." I am sure you are all familiar with this scripture, but I have spent a lot of time today thinking it over.


Now personally I don't hate pigs, I even love a good pork chop or pork tenderloin. Well if I am totally honest, I only like pigs cooked and on the plate in front of me. I love animals and have been around quite a few varieties since my early childhood, but I am not interested in raising pigs. If you have never been to a hog farm, you have missed an experience. There are individuals around us that would tell you how clean a pig is. These individuals have never had to clean out the hog pen or looked at what the pigs eat. While a young girl, I had a friend that raised pigs for their 4H project. I would often go and visit "The Farm" where her Mammaw lived and the pigs were kept. THE ODOR WAS STAGGERING! Those animals loved to wallow in the mud and the nastier the mud the better. They would have it hanging from every square inch of their body and only their eyes escaped the coating. Even then there would be mud on their lashes around those eyes. The pigs were lazy animals lying around in the mud doing nothing until it came time to eat. The only action you ever saw was the stampede to the feed trough and the fights over the slop. NASTY ANIMALS-STINKY BIG TIME!


Now the jeweler on the other hand deals in fine gems and stones, including the beautiful pearl. Flawlessly white, without a blemish. God's creation from a grain of sand. TOTALLY AMAZING! Real Pearls are not found on every corner and the pure flawless pearls are a prized possession. You take these pearls and string them on a silk or gold thread with a golden clasp. You then wear these pearls close to your heart, always within your reach. It is such a joy to rub those pearls and feel their caress against your skin. Truly a possession of rich and lasting beauty.


Why then would you not cast your pearls before swine. The pig lives in the mud which is dark and dirty. He is always surrounded with this dirt and grime and stink. This is the pig's world and he likes it. If you threw your beautiful prized pearls into the pen with the pigs, it would be for naught. He would sniff around it, maybe for a second, but once he discovered it was not food nor mud, he would ignore it. The pearls would become trampled under the pigs' feet and covered with mud. The pearls would disappear and become part of the mud and stink of the pig's pen. You have thrown your valuable possession into the muck and mire of the pig's world and it has been cast aside and lost.

I plan to keep my pearls close to my heart and carefully guard them. I will share the pearls and show the pearls, but only to those that understand the value of the pearls. It is my desire to gain more pearls and I plan to continue the search for those pearls. What a gift from God-the beautiful and precious pearls of His creation. I will honor and treasure the gift of the pearls and be thankful for the blessing of their possession. My pearl beyond price is surely my dearest possession. I am blessed!

FINAL COUNTDOWN

COUNTDOWN TO SUNDAY-2 Days 22 hours + change

HUMMMMMM
Dum Dee Dum Dum

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A LITTLE STORY

Yesterday being the king's birthday sent me to thinking (BC does hate to hear that I have been thinking). I've written a very short story about a king that I am posting today. Though we do not have kings in our democracy, we have those that perceive themselves as kings. When you read this, see if you can think of anyone that you would think might fit this scenario. We all have kings of one sort or another in our lives. Hopefully most of those kings are good and righteous rulers, but then there are the others-------



KING HUMPTY DUMPTY

On the highest hill, in the tallest building, on the top floor of the Kingdom of Innocence lived the King, the most powerful man in the realm. The King had been appointed to his position by the people of Innocence, but only after a bloody war with many victims. The war for the kingdom had been a long and protracted affair with those that opposed the ultimate king proclaimed as life long enemies of the new king. The King did not allow any discussion of forgiveness or grace, but spent the years of his reign seeking revenge in a constant and ongoing manner. The people of Innocence had thought the King was sincere when he declared his love and interest for all his subjects and never dreamed he was anything but what he declared.

Once the King began ruling his kingdom, he felt righteous in all of his rulings and justified in every attack upon any citizen. The King did not abide with anyone questioning of his words or his actions and took any opposition as a personal affront. It was not a good thing to publicly disagree with the king as punishment and reprisal were swift and exact. The vast majority of the citizens were unaware of the king’s dogmatic approach to his rule, and knowledge of his cruel actions had not spread. The king was careful to walk the line of prudence when it came to the citizens and avoided at all costs the knowledge of his harshness to be spread. The king desired to reign for life and knew he must play the role of a good and just ruler, or the citizens might choose another.

As the years passed and the king grew more self assured, he began to grow careless with his authority and looked with disdain upon those that questioned it. The long reign with little question led the king to believe that his opinion and his alone was the correct opinion. Without regard for subject or staff, the king ruled with an iron fist and no compassion. If you dared to disagree with the king or if the king felt that you had slighted his authority or reputation, his retaliation was swift and exact. No matter what the intent, the king felt every disagreement was pointed toward him and he would not tolerate it. Those that dared to question the king were called to the high hill and up to the top floor to feel the king’s wrath. With little interest in any defense and certainly no tolerance for another opinion, the king would lash out at the offender. The king’s words were harsh and attacking and his eyes shot daggers at those who dared to oppose his great wisdom. The king would loose control and rant and rave at the citizens and with a vengeful spirit attack those very citizens that had given him his rule. With no regard for decorum or manners and certainly no concern for any rebuttal, the king set loose his angry tirade lambasting those that dared to question him and his rule.

The king would continue to rule but the word of his tyranny and vengefulness would spread. The many years had mellowed the king and fattened his ego’s perception of his wisdom. The citizens were watching and the citizens would choose the next king. There were those that would be better rulers in the kingdom and the day would come that one would rise up and oppose the king. The day would come when the king would be overthrown and a new and righteous king would take his place. The ex-king would then find himself exiled to the Outerland of Has-Been and the power he so coveted would have been depleted to a whisper. The Outerland of Has Been will prove to be a very lonely and bitter place to spend the remaining days of eternity. This was the very place the ex-king had headed all those long years ago, when he lost the ability to listen with graciousness and tolerance. The citizens of Innocence watch and wait knowing the day will come when once again they will be free from The King and what he had become. The days of righteous rule were coming and just as Humpty Dumpty found all those years ago, “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men will not be able to put Humpty Dumpty together again.”