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













Friday, February 29, 2008

LET IT SNOW!

Snow Covered Road
Snow Mound In Front of Neighborhood House (From Steep Roof)


The Jennings Abode

Barnes & Noble-Death Cicles in Front-Note Snow Falling
We are enjoying BC's birthday sitting in the den in front of the fire watching the snow fall. It started snowing just before noon and has been constant since then. The snow falling does not stop the Eriites from their normal routines. We have ventured out a couple of time to lunch and then to take care of some business and the streets are filled. We find those people that we have conversations with very nice, but as Camille says "We are a traveling comedy tour." She & her Dad ever full of quips and me-the eternal straight guy. I think we may take some off guard since we are so used to having conversation where ever we go and some don't quite know how to take our rolling commentary.
Took Mr. Powers for a walk this morning after cleaning house for Camille while she was working. (No distractions when they get home-since house is clean). I had told Adam that my ears never got cold, but OBVIOUSLY-I didn't realize how cold the wind in Erie is. I ended up pulling up my hood before I got home. Just like running, you end up getting hot once you start to really work, but it is way too cold to take off any clothes. Started the day at 11 degrees, but we are actually up to about 34 degrees.
While making the final stretch home, which is down hill, Mr. Powers (who is a very strong dog) was pulling me down the hill when I stepped on ice and down I went. TWO times in one week-kissing the ground! My rear end will now match my foot-Very Colorful.
We are going out to dinner "Mi scuizi" to finish the day's celebration. A restored mansion in one of the local neighborhoods. Looking forward to a delicious Italian meal!




Thursday, February 28, 2008

AND THE FUN BEGINS!

Bobby's Work Family-Denise's Daughter-Jessica,Denise, BC, Ruth, & Elisha
Tee Shirt on the Egg with Mr. C's Paul Shaffer look.
The Leap Year Baby has begun his birthday celebrating. Friend, Helen, brought him an "Egg" (AG Edwards Advertising Symbol) with the names of all of our small group members painted on it. She said the small group was his most important investment. I couldn't agree more. He has it proudly displayed on his desk.


His office family surprised him with black (his favorite color) tee shirts with his picture on the front and Conville- 16 on the back. HE LOVED IT! The neatest thing is they totally surprised him.

We make a big deal out of his birthday every year, but every 4th year it is a REALLY BIG DEAL! The man can take a party and a day and stretch it into a week of celebrating at the drop of a hat. We are almost ready to pull out and looking forward to more partying and celebrating this weekend.

Babs & I finished that 10 miler this AM. I had to stop and pull the brace off after 3 miles-it was rubbing a blister-BIG TIME. Had to go slow, but finished. Babs & I both agree that Sonja is correct-it takes more out of you when you go slow! Need to work on that! Did hear that friend, Ivory, went to doctor and will have a MRI next week. Could be a stress fracture, but also could need surgery! NOT GOOD NEWS! Hoping for the best for her!

Updates will come from Erie-Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

POST SCRIPT

Just spoke with #1 daughter & she told me they had about a foot of "NEW SNOW". OK A FOOT-Now that would be up to my knees. HOLY COW! Perhaps we should call some of our duck hunter friends & borrow waders!

HOW TO PACK - 101

Thursday Night: A chance of snow after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. South wind between 5 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.Friday: Rain and snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 36. South wind between 16 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. Friday Night: A chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a low around 25. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. Saturday: A chance of snow showers before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. Chance of precipitation is 30%.Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 23. Sunday: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36. Chance of precipitation is 30%.Sunday Night: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 36. Chance of precipitation is 40%.Monday: A chance of snow or rain showers. Cloudy, with a high near 43. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

You will note that the warm weather we planned on bringing Erie does not seem to arrive until the day we are headed back South. So Sorry-Erie-but better late than never!

Well I am down to crunch time and have to decide what in the world to carry to Erie. Friend, Sheila, loaned me her snow boots-so my feet should be fine. The upper body is another thing! I have my beloved cordoroy jeans which are nice and warm, and I have my "smart wool" socks from hiking this summer, but I may have to rely upon layers for the top. For some strange reason, I do not seem to have many sweaters anymore. Perhaps because our low is about the same as Erie's high on their better days, I stopped buying sweaters a while ago. I have a firm rule that if I have not worn something in a year-it gets sent to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, so those long ago sweaters are long gone. I am a firm believer in packing light-but packing light for cold tempertures could be tough! So instead of going to the closet and making some decisions, I'll just procastinate again and blog instead.

Made that 5 mile run this AM with brace on foot. It was sort of like molasses flowing down the road on a cold day. Babs was most kind and stuck with me which I am sure was trying. It only hurts when my foot is not absolutely level. This means that everytime I roll off of that foot as I run it is a little painful, but not unbearable. If I tried to pick up the speed, the pain was worse, so I just kept it slow. We are running our long run tomorrow since Babs & I are leaving town for the weekend. Her daughter, Heather, who lives in Tennessee also has a leap year birthday and they are headed up there to celebrate. We agreed to let the foot be the judge of our distance, but somewhere between 5 and 10 miles. Then 4-count them 4 whole days out of town before resuming work out activity.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I RESEMBLE THAT!

My sweet & supportive husband made the following comment tonight, "If your legs are as hard as your head, you should have it made!" WELL! Why in the world would the man make a comment like that? Perhaps it was the fact that I told him I would be running tomorrow AM. Just because my foot is a lovely shade of blue, doesn't mean it can't carry me down the road. It only hurts when I flex it or turn it certain ways. I did go and buy an ankle brace today, in an effort to keep it stable while running. My words of wisdom to all of my buddies are, "Listen to your body." Mine is saying, "GO FOR IT!" I have also had a couple of really cute comments about a walker and scooter. One of the strategies for working out the soreness is writing letters with your foot. I have a few letters I would like to write for all of the "Smarties" out there.

While sitting with my foot propped and iced, I began thinking about how lazy I have become since the marathon. I have kept up the running and some of the walking, but that has pretty much been the extent of it. It is PAST TIME for me to get busy and add back the cross training to my schedule. I need to be back in that weight room, adding walking miles, swimming, biking, and maybe even an occasional yoga class. The cross training keeps me in better form and helps prevent injuries. Who knows-if my core had been stronger and therefore my balance better, perhaps I would not have fallen Monday. I am resolved to get to work-but right after a long weekend of celebrating in Erie.

While at the pharmacy buying an ankle brace, I also bought one of those daily pill boxes. You know the kind every old person has that is divided into days of the week and AM, Noon, & Night. Now before I get any wise comments about my age, etc., the only prescription drug I take is for arthritis. I got this to help me keep up with all of the vitamins, minerals and supplements that I take. Some you take once a day, some twice, and some three times. I don't want to think about this everyday and wonder if I have taken them or not, so I bought the little box. I will put them in there once a week and then if the day's slot is empty, I will know I have taken the dosage. I have a doctor friend that told me that if I would eat right, this would not be a problem and no supplements would be needed. That will never happen-bad habits and poor attitude about that subject. This same doctor friend also told me I had the most expensive urine in the parish. Some cute comment about where all those pills ended up. VERY FUNNY, INDEED!



Monday, February 25, 2008

ICE!


I AM NOT A HAPPY ATHLETE! Babs, Larry & I were out for our early morning 5 miles this AM when I made the unfortunate discovery of one of the many LA potholes! I am mad at the Dept. of Highways, but this probably could have been avoided if I had not been so close to Babs. I know in my head that I need a little room to be able to observe the road and its condition, but I tend to panic thinking I am getting left behind. We were going beside a huge oilfield truck at a red light and I was not only close to Babs but also concerned about the truck. My foot caught a deep pothole and down I went. I felt and heard the ankle pop, so knew I was in trouble. I crawled out of the road and Babs came back to help me up. Knew immediately today's run was over for me. I tried walking it off, but when I tried a slow jog after a while it was a no go. I am home icing and elevating now so hopefully I will be back in action QUICK! To add insult to injury, I also fell on my bad hip side. GREAT-both sides out of whack!
I keep telling myself that "I have had worse on my lip and kept on whistling.". MIND OVER BODY! Actually I have had much worse ankle sprains. Once I fell over the dog while carrying middle child down the hall as a baby-THE DAY THAT WE WERE TO LEAVE ON A CHILDLESS VACATION TO BELIZE! Long story short-went anyway! The worse sprain I ever had was during tax season. I used to go to aerobics during my lunch time. We were running through tires and I caught my foot and same story as today only REALLY BAD! When you cannot walk on them, they are bad! I went back to work with ice and propped my foot on a trash can. Hard to think when your foot is throbbing.
Considering the many miles on my legs and feet, really I have been very fortunate. This too will pass!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

THE PRESSURE IN ON YOU, ERIE, PA!!!!!!

I hate to be the one to inform all of you Eri-tes, but the pressure is on! We are leaving Thursday afternoon to come to Erie to celebrate Bobby's 16th real birthday. Since Bobby was a Leap Year baby, he only has a "real birthday" every 4 years. The man has legions of friends and those friends always manage to make a "REALLY BIG DEAL" out of his birthday. We have had a succession of creative birthday parties during our years together. A "Cowboy Party", a child's party including toys, a party with all of the church kids we worked with on a memorable ski trip, and a "Belly Dancer" courtesy of his loving wife on his 40th-on I mean 10th. The man can make his birthday a big deal even on the off years, so the "Real Deal" is a full blow out. We will be in Erie Friday for the celebration of said birthday, along with a late celebration for our favorite son-in-law, Adam. I would not want you people in Erie to feel ANY PRESSURE-but the pressure is on! Seeing our sweet Camille and hubby, Adam will certainly help make it memorable, but it will be quite different in Erie, where no one knows Bobby much less when his birthday is. Coming from a town where almost everyone knows you and most know you are a Leap Year baby, that will be a big change. Different though can be good!

Bobby asked me what type of clothes he should take to Erie and I just looked at him with a blank look. He then asked about what kind of shoes he should take and once again the blank look. We have not had any 24 hour period this winter when we stayed below freezing. Even the coldest of days, warmed up to above freezing, so WHY WOULD I HAVE A CLUE!! Shoes-Shoes-why how would I know what kind of shoes you traipse around in the snow in? They don't sell a lot of snow boots at the local Wal Mart or Shoe Department, so I am clueless. You can buy all of the rubber boots you might every want, but I don't think the snow is the same as wading through the swamp. I hear that camo is "Big" in the frozen north of PA, and I know there is plenty of camo around here-but I am not sure if it is the "Super Cold" weather kind of camo. I really don't think we would look quite right with camo on anyway-just doesn't go with our personalities.

We are looking forward to a wonderful long weekend with The Jennings. Hopefully Camille will be completely recovered from her malady and will have killed all of the "germs" before we arrive. It wouldn't be a very good birthday present to send her Dad home with the stomach bug!

We walked 5 miles this afternoon. The great thing about walking is that you are never gasping for air-and therefore you can YAK it up the entire time. We managed to solve most of the world's problems and still get a little exercise!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

LOUISIANA IN FEBRUARY!

Note the clothes on the line to the left of the house in one of Ruston's most exclusive neighborhoods.
Trees are blooming!


Yard full of blooming trees.

Birds on Feeder By My Front Door!



BC wants you all to know he picked up a few limbs.
What a BEAUTIFUL DAY! We started by running our 10 mile long run this morning with overcast skies. By the time I got home, had a little breakfast, a long hot shower and my morning paper read, the sun had come out. The remainder of the day has been cool but a perfect day! You will note in the pictures above that the trees and bushes have begun to bloom. The crisp mornings which warm into wonderful days are the preview of the wonderful Spring which is just around the corner. Tomorrow promises to be a warm day-possibly even shorts weather when we go for our Sunday walk. I am cleaning out flower beds and getting ready for planting which usually begins in March and continues until early May. I love the change of seasons. We have long hot summers, but we also enjoy a distinct spring and fall season. The only thing we really get a shortage of is bitter cold winters-HOW BAD CAN THAT BE?





Friday, February 22, 2008

WESTERN UNION!

Yesterday's post about "snail mail" led me to another memory of a long ago form of communication. When I was a young girl, Daddy owned the local "Western Union" station. Daddy's primary vocation was an insurance agent for all of the locals in Famerville. As an additional income source, he also had the telegraph station for Famerville. When thinking about this, I remembered how much Daddy loved drinking coffee with all of the local cronies and keeping up with the "latest news".

During these years in the late 50's not everyone had a telephone (SHOCK!). There were those that did have telephones, but were on "party lines". This meant that several families in the same general locale were all on the same telephone line. Don't ask me how this worked-I DON'T HAVE A CLUE! I do know that all those on the same party line had different rings to signal the call was for their household. This means that every time the phone rang for anyone on your "party" it also rang in your house. You only answered when your special ring came. A Long Ring and a Short- or Two Short Rings-you get the drift. This also means that when one of the "neighbors" was on your party line, you could not use the line. There were some on the "party line" that abused their fair share of time and spent hours gossiping on and on. There were those on the line that loved to pick up and eavesdrop when you were on the line. In general, it was a nightmare At BEST.

Since there were so many problems with "party lines" and even some who had NO phone, urgent or joyful messages could be passed along by sending a telegraph to your family or friend. Daddy or his secretary were the ones to see the "news" first and thus they became "The Bureau of Information" for all the big news. A telegraph machine was something like a letter sent over the wire-sort of like the first fax. The message came on a long strip of thin paper and was "typed" out by the telegraph machine. This long strip was then pasted on the yellow western union form and hand delivered to the recipent. You could also "wire" money to someone via Western Union. The recipent just had to show up and the western union office gave them the dough. PRETTY NIFTY for the "Horse & Buggy" days.

I am not a big Keeper of stuff, but my cousin gave me the telegram her parents, my Aunt & Uncle, received when I was born from Daddy. Pretty Nifty! I also have a telegram Daddy sent Momma during World War II. HISTORY, INDEED!

I believe Western Union is still around, but in this electronic age of e mails, cell phones, faxes, and bank wires, they are a dying business. There was a day though that when you got a telegram it was a "Big Deal"-even better than getting a letter! As the old commercial said-"We've come a long way, Baby!"


Thursday, February 21, 2008

WHERE HAVE ALL THE PEN PALS GONE?

Back in the "Good Old Days" (my kids think during the horse & buggy times), I loved getting a letter in the mail. My Texas Grandmother would occasionally write me and I had a few "camp friends" that wrote, but I was always excited and pleased to receive some "mail" when Daddy made his daily post office run. This was the standard form of communication during those days. Long distance telephone calls were expensive and saved for special times and emergencies. You didn't just pick up the phone and dial the number. You had to go through the "Long Distance Operator". The call went sort of like this:

Dial 0
"Operator"
"Operator I would like to place a long distance call to name or number"(If you wanted to talk with only one person-which was called person to person it was more expensive. A call just to a number without that option was cheaper)
"Hold while I place your call"
If the call was "person to person", the operator would say, "I have a long distance call for ______." If that person was not available, she would ask would you like to call back.

As a teen, with many friends who lived out of the city on another cities' exchange, there was a little cheating going on (POOR MA BELL). The teen would place a person to person to their number to some bogus person. When the call was received at home, it was a signal to come pick them up, I'm alright, etc. etc.

I digress!!!!!! It was quite the highlight to get a letter. The children's magazines I read all had listings in the back for people wanting to be penpals. You could start a long distance conversation via the US Mail. By writing letters, you could see what life was like in another part of the country or even another country.

Those days of letter writing are long gone-well at least letter writing via US POSTAL SERVICE. E Mail has now become our mode of written communication. I am just as delighted to get an email from a friend as I was a letter via snail mail. Communicating is communicating and email provides a wonderful method to keep up with your loved ones. We can now pick up a telephone or cell phone and have a conversation, but the email can be sent when it is convenient and read when it is convenient. The best of all worlds and FREE!

The blog has become one of my favorite forms of communicating. Much like an email, but many can read the communication without the dreaded "Forwards". As an added bonus, you may even end up with a few "E Pals" along the way. I have discovered new friends through my blog and reading the blogs of others. I enjoy hearing about their lives, struggles, and blessings. I have learned new recipes, cooking tricks, trials and joys of living in different parts of the country, family trials, and on and on. It is fascinating reading blogs from all segments of society and I am glad our former presidential candidate invented the internet.

The one Huge Down Side to the internet and email and blogs is the lack of parental control. My Daddy knew who was sending me a letter before I even saw the envelope. He was in control. I feel for today's parents and their struggle to maintain this same level of control. When I reflect back, I am glad that I was raised during "The Good Old Days!"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SHE TURNED OFF HER "LING-LING"!!!!!!!

Mr. Titmouse

Little Chickadee
Glorious Bluebird


Today was "hill run" day. These new GPS'es are great, but we noticed a couple of problems this AM after finishing our 5 miles. I have my Garmin set to give me a little "ling-ling" at every mile. It also has a different alert for when you are not running in the parameters that you set. My "Ding Dong" was chiming constantly, but I thought that was just part of it. When we had finished our torture (OH I MEAN FUN), Babs said her Garmin never gives her ANY alerts and in fact-she has never heard a single chime. I said, "Babs-YOU TURNED OFF YOUR LING-LING!" They all cracked up. We started looking at why this was and Sandra discovered I had my alert above at .59 per mile. She started laughing and said that not even Marion Jones could run that pace! OK maybe a mile in less than a minute is a bit over the top! We have me resest, so PERHAPS I will not sound like the Church Bell Choir going down the road, but we stilll don't know why Babs'es Ling-Ling is off! Back to the book-UGH! Technology in the hands of a "Baby Boomer" is a dangerous and daunting thing!

Today is another WONDERFUL Spring day! I am stuck inside trying to get my income tax program up and running. I have been watching the birds fly to the feeder which is about 6 feet from my front door and feed all morning. The Chickadees swoop in-get one little piece of seed- and fly off to eat it. The titmouse runs off the chickadees when they come to feed. There name sounds small, but actually the chickadee is smaller. This leads to a continuous parade of Chickadees flying in and out. I did see my bluebird pair on the yard feeder. I have the nesting box all cleaned out and ready for them. I missed having them to nest last year, so hopefully they will claim the box before another. I love watching the action!


I was REALLY excited to see that I had a reader ALL THE WAY from Pittsburg that commented on my "Spring is coming" post yesterday. I wish Spring for PA also! Especially since we will be heading to the frozen NORTH next Thursday. We haven't had enough REAL cold this year to thicken my blood-I COULD BE IN TROUBLE!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I SMELL SPRING IN THE AIR!

I have spent the day outside and loved every minute of it! The azaleas are beginning to bud and I even spotted one or two trying to open up as I cleaned out flower beds. The Japanese Magnolia or Tulip Tree as I prefer to call it is in full bloom. YES INDEED SPRING IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER! My computer time may decrease as I spend every possible moment outside enjoying it all. You have to love Spring and the wonderful blue sky and mild temperatures. My Mamaw James would be so proud to see me out working in the yard. She had a REALLY green thumb and a beautiful old fashioned garden in her side yard. I can see her in my mind's eye raking and working in her beloved garden with her bonnet over her head to keep the sun off her face. She was quite a woman, but I will save a story about her for another day.

Following a fun time in my yard, I rode over to The Boersma Abode for a little blowing off and pool cleaning. Friend Helen & Dr. Dale were napping with daughter-in-law, Rachel there watching. Pray for these dear friends as they all travel down this difficult road. Such grace under such extreme pressures are most impressive to watch. I have had the privilege to watch a wonderful couple and their son David and his wife Rachel pull together in a united front of caring for Dr. Dale. They have my highest admiration as I watch their sweet concern and loving ministry to not only Dr. Dale, but also to Helen. They are well loved and a beloved part of the community. The love they have shown all these years to so many is now being showered back upon them by their legion of friends. God has truly blessed them as they have faithfully served Him and pursued Him all these years. I know they indeed are "Good and Faithful Servants". One of Bobby's favorite quotes is (Paraphrased), When God Stirs Us To Pray, It Is His Intent to Show Mercy. I am stirred and trust He will respond with mercy for our dear friends.

I started my day with a 5 mile walk with friend, Sandra. Before moving into the yard and following a little housework, I decided to "water my nose" again. PAINFUL. I am a little concerned that "watering" it may cause it to grow. We have a long standing contest in the James family as to the "biggest nose". Hopefully all of the watering will not make me "The Winner".

I have neglected telling you of my exercise activity lately, but a 5 mile walk Sunday and a 5 mile run Monday with a 5 mile walk following. I think the legs are getting plenty of work, perhaps I need to get to work on the upper body again!

Monday, February 18, 2008

WHERE DO YOU HIDE?

Camille made a comment on my blog yesterday about hiding in the bathroom that set me to thinking (they hate to hear around here that I have been thinking). As a child my older brother, Robbie, tormented me and delighted in me being frightened. At a very early age, I learned to never show the fear-or invite more torment. What he didn't realize was that all the middle of the night scaring, jumping out of closets and frightening, etc. etc. had made me terrified of the dark. Momma was not sympathetic and I was not allowed out of my bedroom and told to hush. Robbie and brother Noel were in a bedroom together, so they had someone to protect them, but the only girl-was in the bedroom ALONE. My solution was to hide my head under the covers with only the tip of my nose sticking out. I convinced myself that no one would know I was there and I was alright as long as my entire body was under the covers. So I spent my childhood sleeping entirely under the covers-but hidden from all of the dark evil of the night.

Momma was a firm believer in child labor and it was difficult to escape the broad scope of her gaze. An idle child was in danger of a long list of chores and no play time. The only way to escape the daily list of Momma's jobs was to hide and when you hide-you had best be FAR away from the house. I spent large chunks of my childhood roaming through the pine forests that surrounded our home. An active imagination was my favorite playmate as I trooped through shaded paths of pine needles and leaves. I could spend hours hidden in the deep pine groves away from the list of chores and Momma's critical eye.

As a student in school and college, I learned to hide on the back row of those classes that I detested. I preferred the front row of those classes that I loved, but the History, Social Study, Economics, and other classes that I hated-I hid. You try to find the biggest student in the class and sit right behind them-squeezing yourself into as small of a space as possible and for sure with your face and eyes well hidden. For some strange reason you felt if you didn't make eye contact, you were out of sight and out of mind of those teachers and professors of those dreaded classes.

As an adult I take a more subtle approach, but basically the same approach. I hide from house work by going out into the yard and pretend busy. To hide from things that make me uncomfortable, I become busy with preferred activities. To hide from large mind boggling, misery inducing social functions, I refuse to go-declaring life to short for doing what you don't want to do. To hide from confrontation, I withdraw. You get the drift!

We all have times we want to hide. WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO HIDE? I am interested in what you hide from and where you like to hide. Maybe I will get some new ideas of great places to become invisible!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I EXPECT A COMMENT!!!!!

Have you ever felt totally out of place, inadequate, incorrectly dressed, not made up enough, lacking in conversation, or "Like your hair wasn't holding up"????? Am I the only person that feels like I don't fit in when in a strange social situation? Do you look around at how everyone is dressed and then think-"OH NO-Why did I wear this?" Does it seem that everyone knows everyone else and you are the strange man out? Are you struggling to find someone to have a conversation with and then a topic that won't bore them to tears?

For a woman that is pretty confident of herself in most situations, these large social functions can send me into a tail spin. I will spend days after the event agonizing over what I said or didn't say, or what I did or didn't do. I don't feel totally outclassed intellectually very often, just occassionally, but the social galas can leave me cowering in the corner and praying for Scotty to "Beam me away."

What happened along the way to cause this social retardation? I am married to the social butterfly of Ruston, so why can't I pick up some of his social adaptiveness? One on one is no problem-I can take a social history with the best of them. I will ask just the right questions and have you telling me your family's deepest secrets! Oh, but start adding numbers to the equation and I am beginning to get that sinking feeling of lead boots in quick sand.

OK PEOPLE-FESS UP-IS IT JUST ME??????????

Saturday, February 16, 2008

FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT!

Here is a little story I wrote this morning while watching it rain and not running. ENJOY!

NEW AND IMPROVED!

This is it! I have absolutely had it! Time is marching on and the footsteps of the marching band are permanently etched on my face and body. I resolve! I will change! Today is the beginning of the new me! One step at a time with the goal before me! I am in charge and I will take command! YADA YADA YADA!

I woke up this morning and slowly rolled over in bed, since any sudden movement would cause pain to shoot through my body! Like the snakes I have seen slithering across the yard, my legs slowly curl out from under the cover and to the rug beside the bed. I pull my body erect and sit on the side of the bed-careful to not jump up and cause dizziness. As I do every morning, I put my hands on the side of the bed and slowly rise to my full bent over height. A slow shuffle to the bathroom and not daring to turn on any lights this early for fear of the reflection of the stranger in my bathroom, I head for the commode. Oh great-getting down is not so bad, but then the effort to push myself back horizontal causes moaning and groaning! Back to the mirror and still not light-I brush my teeth and wash my face with long slow circular strokes. The slowness is not a reflection of proper hygiene techniques, but of the energy level I have. Rinsing my face and finally gazing at the mirror what I see is my Mother looking back at me. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? That old woman that I held in such disdain for her lack of energy and old lady habits was staring back at me. THAT IS IT! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Today I will start a new life and the former fun loving, full of vigor, peppy girl I was will be reincarnated!

I head to the den and my pot of coffee, after all I need my daily jump start. With pad and pencil in hand, I sit down to sip the coffee and make my plan for the new me. With firm resolve I stare at the pad and ponder over what I can do to make the changes to resurrect the girl I had been.

Well the first thing I could do was lose a few pounds. The weight gain had come slowly and with each successive child born had slowly grown to out of control. The five pounds I had prided myself on playing with before marriage had slowly eased to 25 pounds after three births and more Girl Scout cookies, birthday cakes and gallons of kool aid needed to supply the entire school parties for a year. That was a good place to start-no sweets and lots of fruits and veggies. This was a great idea-low fat-low carb-low calorie diet. GREAT! First I needed to plan my meals for this week. While perusing the cookbooks, it slowly occurred to me-I DON’T LIKE ANY OF THESE DIET FOODS! I like fried foods, starches, and sugar loaded foods. I would starve to death if I tried this drastic diet and what about my husband. The man works hard! I couldn’t possibly deprive him of the only pleasure he has in life. My job was to cook him delicious, though calorie loaded meals. He looked forward to coming home to the aroma of a delicious supper with a decedent dessert to finish off the meal. Why it was easy to see that he was exhausted since he immediately slumped on the couch, turned on the television and promptly went to sleep. The poor man needed my gourmet meals to sustain him after a long day at work. I could never deprive him of this one pleasure.

Well there were other ways to accomplish this quest! Exercise-that was it-I would begin an exercise program! I could join the local gym and start a walking group with my neighbors and even take a late afternoon stroll with hubby when he came home. There were numerous classes offered at every church, gym, Y, and community recreation centers that I could take advantage of. This was the key! I could reclaim that lost youth with a vigorous exercise program. As I sat and thought over where to start, I remembered the warnings I had read about checking with your local doctor before beginning any exercise program! WELL-if these workout programs all had A WARNING-that was a little daunting! I certainly could not risk permanent injury or EVEN DEATH with a little exercise program. And what about my husband-how could I take that evening nap after a huge meal away from him. He needed his rest and to take that from him by insisting upon a stroll was borderline cruel. I had to think about what was best for my husband and losing me to death resulting from exercising-WELL I JUST COULDN’T DO THAT TO THE MAN I LOVE!

Well my list was certainly not growing very fast, and I was beginning to run out of ideas. I could buy some self help books and read about the power of positive thinking. I could watch Dr. Philgood and Dr. OGOSH on television while enjoying my afternoon coke and cookie break. Maybe all I needed was a change in attitude. Let me look at today’s TV Guide-Oh LOOK-Dr. Philgood is having a dyslexic anorexic! Oprah was having a special on how to feel GREAT about your naked body even though you are fat and grossly out of shape. THAT WAS THE KEY! I just need to accept who I am and relish the woman I had become!

Let me get my coke and chocolate chip cookie plate-THIS WAS THE START OF THE NEW ME! I would begin my quest right this moment by taking the remote and flipping to Oprah. Yes Indeed I Would Learn to Love The Woman I AM! SUCCESS!

Friday, February 15, 2008

HELP, I'M DROWNING!


I started having sinus problems again today. I think it has been coming on all week, but today I began feeling a little under the weather. It seems this is inherant with living in Louisiana. Almost everyone I have talked with this week seems to be having similiar problems. When it is freezing at 6 AM and in the upper 60s a few hours later, this begins the problem. Then today it is in the upper 60's and the humidity is 80%-you can feel the moisture in the air. Then comes the sinus problems.


I had a comment on a previous blog and a couple of friends have talked about a "Netti Pot". Friend Ginny told me today that Dr. Og on Oprah was also singing the pot praises. I decided while at the "Natural Food" store to get one and give it a try. What did I have to lose?


When I read the outside of the box and the blurb talked about using the "Pot" to cleanse your sinus and prepare you for Yoga, I should have known trouble was just around the corner. I have a "hate-hate" relationship with yoga and after my third attempt at trying to learn to like it-I have once again given up.


The instructions are simple enough-mix one teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water and pour it into the pot. OK-I had no problem with that. Then you tilt your head to the side-put the spout up to your nose and allow it to pour in and out of your nostril while breathing through your mouth. The woman on the box has a smile on her face while doing this. How hard could it be?


When I put the spout up to my nostril, I did not take into account the small size of my nostrils. It is truly amazing how small my nostrils are considering the size of my big nose. I have always had to breath through my mouth while running since I could not get enough air in through my nose. There should be enough room for the spout to pour the salt water into your nose and it to flow back out. RIGHT! When I put the spout up to my nose, it created a seal and the salt water poured down the back of my throat causing me to gag and choke. I thought I was going to drown. I immediately pulled the pot away and began sputtering and spewing salt water. OK-try again. This time I had better luck, but the salt water burns to high heaven. I finally managed to get the knack-at least I could do it without it pouring down my throat and spitting salt water like a fountain.


I must admit that for a while I was able to breath better than I have in years. Perhaps I will try again, but first I must forget today's experience. I am not big into afflicting pain to myself and this was definitely painful! The woman on the box with the big smile on her face was obviously holding an empty pot to her nose since there was no salt water pouring out of her nose and down her face unto her shirt.
When looking for a picture of a netti pot on the internet, I found several Youtube sights of people showing you how to do it. I don't think I really have the procedure correct, but if you want a good laugh, go to YouTube and look at the videoes. I am crazy, but you will not see me on the World Wide Web washing my nose out!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

MY VALENTINE!


I am not sure what I ever did to deserve My Valentine! He is quite the man! When I stop and reflect on all of these Valentine Day celebrations we have had, I count my "Lucky Stars". Mr. C is definitely the "Romantic" in our family. I am more of a "Closet Romantic", since I come from a long line of "Don't show your emotions in public" genes. You could probably say that I am emotionally retarded. Mr. C now-what he is thinking and what he is feeling is right out front for all the world to know. You know exactly where you stand with the man because he is going to tell you just what is on his mind. That is a very good thing! No guessing-no second guessing-he just lays it out and you then deal with it.
Bobby is a very kind and thoughtful man with a definite soft side. He can play hard ball with the best of them, but when it comes to those that he loves-there is never a doubt about how he feels about you. He is openly affectionate and a hugger and kisser of all those he loves. The man can be a "Helpless Romantic" and that is a great thing!
When I think back to our early years, I am not sure why he married me. I definitely came into our marriage with a trailer load of baggage. What attracted him-I am not sure. Bobby was "The Perfect" son and brother in his family who never did any wrong. I was the middle child with an emotionally absent Mother who never approved of anything I did. How in the world did the two of us ever get together?
In my old age and great wisdom, I now realize it was all within the providence of God. He directed our courtship, our marriage, and our lives together. When I think of all the wars that we have had and the great difference in our personalities, I know who knit us together and kept us together. Bobby is a Godly man, who seeks Godly wisdom and does his best to follow the example we have been given to live by. I am sure we would have never survived all these years without that influence in our lives. We are blessed and I am grateful!
Everyday is Valentine's Day when you are married to a man like Bobby. He strives each and every day to serve me and affirm me. His love is a constant reassuring presence in my life. I am complete and at my best when I am with him and I treasure the hours and minutes we are together. There is no one else that I had rather be with and spend time with. I stand amazed that anyone could love me even knowing all about me-but not only does he love me-but he loves me well. Thank you, God, for the blessing of "My Valentine".
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I SWEAR TO TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH!

OK- I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help me God! I HAVE NOT TAKEN HGH OR ANY OTHER PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS! NO DUH!!!!
No one is questioning whether or not I have taken any HGH. Congress has not called and wanted a hearing to determine if I am telling the truth about not taking these drugs. I'M INSULTED! Oh, Wait-I am the one at the back of the pack-so I guess that makes everyone think I couldn't possibly have done anything to enhance my performance. The Turtles in the world are never suspect-in fact we are pretty much ignored. When you finally cross the finish line at the marathon and the food is beginning to run out and they are not making pictures anymore, what does that tell you. We are the "Oh Yeah" group or the "And Alsoes". That's OK-I am just proud to get there! Now if somebody offers me a drug to block the pain when I am huffing and puffing while chasing Babs down the road-well I just might think about that!

I had the television on Fox News this AM while the Roger Clemons Hearing was going on in Congress. SOMEBODY IS TELLING A BIG WHOPPER!!!!! Somebody might be related to "Slick Willy" (you know-Bill). When you can lie with the conviction that you are not lying and the world is falsly persecuting you-could that be what the professionals call a "Pathological Liar"? We-the outside World-we are all wrong and how dare we question their wonderful integrity. As for me and the professional baseball controversary-I DO NOT CARE! I don't watch baseball-never had-never will. But if you believe that all these athletes are achieving these great feats on their natural abilities-well you have your head in the sand!

Good 5 miler this AM in the COLD! Leg did not hurt-HURRAY! It is a little stiff this afternoon, but Babs was once again making me push way beyond my comfort zone!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A SKELETON IN MY CLOSET


I had a comment on my blog yesterday that a reader did not think I had any skeletons in my closet! Well, THANK YOU, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I have the wool pulled over your eyes, but since you only know me through this blog-I guess I could have fooled you! I am sure those that do know me would love to line up and clue you in to the "Real Lora". My family would probably like to be at the front of that line! I do not have "A Skeleton" in my closet it is more like an entire cemetery of skeletons in that closet! Where would I even begin and how brave would I be to expose a few of those skeletons?????


I could go back to high school-which is probably the point that I started collecting skeletons-OH BUT I CAN'T TELL YOU ABOUT ANY OF THOSE SKELETONS. My children think I was a perfect teen. Well maybe not perfect, but anytime they started making excuses for their behavior I would tell them-"Remember I've been where you are and I've made up all those lame excuses-A LONG TIME BEFORE YOU WERE EVEN A TWINKLE IN MY EYE-so don't bother telling me a lie." I am not admitting to any of those skeletons, unless you have proof positive of what they are!


I know I have skeletons concerning my behavior with my family. They all know what those skeletons are and you wouldn't really be interested in any family junk. As my dear friend, and favorite therapist, Barbara, says, "At best all families are a mess." I do have a couple of friends that their families appear to be "The Cleavers Reincarnate." When I hear Warren and June stories from them, I just want to throw up and always wonder-WHERE DID I GO WRONG!


I seem to only have a good handful of friends, so I don't dare reveal those skeletons since I might lose the precious few that I do have. Their ignorance is my bliss! Your friends will love you more if they don't discover EVERYTHING about you! Too much information is way too dangerous! I am much easier to love if you don't know quite so much about me.


BC could reveal quite a few skeletons, but this is a two way street. We have mutually agreed to not share that information with others and tolerated the skeletons of the other. Marriage is based upon not just love but lots of tolerance!


SKELETONS- WHAT SKELETONS??????


I went to the massage terrorist today. The leg length discrepancy was 1 1/2 inch. NO WONDER MY LEG WAS IN A WAD! After an hour and a quarter of PURE TORTURE, I am lined back up. For the first time in almost two weeks I could tie my right shoe by pulling my leg up! I think it is all Babs' fault for making me run so fast! I had planned to work out today-but you know what they say about "good intentions"!

Monday, February 11, 2008

TRUE CONFESSION

Today's news had a blurb about an upcoming story concerning those that are using the internet to confess their transgressions and clear their conscience. Basically instead of confessing wrongs directly to those that have been wronged, the tort is confessed and sorrow is declared to the world wide web readers. It sounds like the Catholic practice of confessing sins to the priest who then states the penalty for those sins. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Bible instructs to first go to the one that we have sinned against, declare your sin, ask forgiveness and repay those that you have wronged. After this act, you can go and ask forgiveness from God, but you do not pray for forgiveness unless you have atoned with the offended. The news story alluded to the fact that once sorrow has been declared to all the readers, that the wrong doer felt free to continue doing wrong. It sounds like an easy way to clear your conscience and then continue in your old ways. If you have to go to the one offended and make amends before confessing to the entire world, you probably are a lot less prone to continue with those wrongs. It is not easy to humble yourself and admit being wrong and in my mind, this would certainly discourage continued wrong doing. If I start confessing my sins on the internet, you might get worried. Either someone else is posting on my blog or I have fallen off the edge of the cliff.

We ran 5 miles this morning at the fastest rate that we have run in a LOOOONNNGGG time. Babs obviously ate her Wheaties this AM. I was huffing and puffing the entire time, but we finished. After the run, I was going to walk for a while with Sandra and ended up walking 5 miles. Maybe I had my Wheaties too! Our new running GPS'es are really neat. When the info is downloaded on the computer you can get all kind of information including pace, elevation, grade, rate per mile, and time to just name a few. REALLY COOL and unlike "Sweetie" this thing does not talk so no nasty "recalculating" just bells and chimes going off the entire run!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

CALL ME INDISPENISBLE!

FRONT OF HOUSE
To Left of Front of House- Side Yard

Front Gate



Caroline Snacking in the Garage


Poppa Bob & Boys Jumping Away





Big Boys Chilling on the Back Deck




Father-Son BB-in Park Directly Behind House







WHO STOLE MY TEETH!





Little Man Coloring
We had a great weekend in Austin with the Conville part of the family (POOR JENNINGS IN THE FROZEN NORTH). It was a picture perfect weekend with cool, crisp nights, and warm cloudless days. Scott and family have gotten moved into their new home and we stayed in the "In-law Suite"(somebody's in-law for sure). The accomadations were better than the Holiday Inn and the company was WAY better. Short but wonderful visit and the perfect way to spend our Anniversary.
On the way home, we discovered that "Sweetie" cannot be totally relied upon. It turns out that "Sweetie" wants you to travel the most direct path, no matter what. Having worn a rut into the road between Ruston and Waco and Austin, we have tried all routes and come up with "THE BEST" of them. This does not necessarily mean the most direct path. "Sweetie" does not take into account 2 lane or 4 lane or needed stops along the way. It turns out that SOMEONE must be able to read a map and correct "Sweetie" occassionally. Being an expert at reading maps-that would be me! Now if you are trying to find an address that you have never been to in an unfamiliar town, well-"Sweetie" can get you there, but you shouldn't listen to her 100% of the time for sure. She got just a little aggravated with us when we proceeded on the path well worn. Over and over she would "Recalculate" and try to get us back on the path that she had chosen, but after a while-she finally would give up and then we would be back on track again. "Sweetie" definitely provides driving entertainment and will be indispenisble herself in certain circumstances, but nothing will ever take the place of the map reader and the human brain in coming up with the VERY BEST way possible. I am no longer feeling threatened-I AM NEEDED AFTER ALL!
Wonderful weekend and great visit-but as always-
"There's no place like home, Toto!"








Friday, February 8, 2008

I'VE BEEN REPLACED!

That day I have long dreaded has finally come-I HAVE BEEN REPLACED! Today on our trip to Austin, I learned that Bobby has a "New Sweetie". SHOCK and on the eve of our Anniversary! Our entire married life my job has been "Navigator". I have become quite proficient at reading maps and giving BC driving directions. I was really confident of my skills and pretty sure that I would have this job forever.

Bobby bought me (????) a GPS for my birthday. We have used "Sweetie" a couple of times, but the trial by fire came today. We drove "through the woods" from Natchitoches to Austin-truly rural Texas! When you fail to see even C stores and you drive through the "Davy Crockett National Forest", you are in the woods! "Sweetie" got us here without a glitch.

My directions usually included something along this line-

"THHHHHHAT WAS OUR TURN!" "YOU NEED TO BE IN THE RIGHT LANE (we are in the inside left lane of 3 lanes) NOW!" This is just an example of my yelled directions as we are hurling down the road at 70 miles per hour.

"Sweetie" on the other hand gives you plenty of warning. "You will turn right in .5 mile" "Take the next right and stay right" She always has a kind voice and never raises her volume. Personally I think they should program them to say,"IDIOT-you missed your turn!" If you miss your turn, "Sweetie" calmly says "Recalculating" "Recalculating". She never gets flustered and never screams.

The danger is you can get lulled into just listening to "Sweetie" and not use your road sense and heed the stop signs, red lights, etc. You tend to just listen to what she says and forget the dangers surrounding you. That could be a very bad thing.

The only time today that I did not feel usurped was when "Sweetie" became confused. We now drive into the area of Austin that Scott lives on a brand new "toll road". "Sweet" is not aware of this road. She was very confused and had us driving through the middle of nowhere and kept trying to straighten us out and get us on the route she knew about. "RECALCULATING RECALCULATING!" was her cry over and over. I got a good chuckle since I knew where we were going and being the good navigator that I am gave BC great directions to complete the trip.

All is well in Austin and since I forgot my camera hook up to the computer, pictures will come after we get home. The Grands are truly grand and we are enjoying being with them.

I am happy to report that we finished our 10 mile run this AM. My leg did fine. I had the calf covered with adhesive analgesic pads to trick the muscle into thinking it was warm. After I got going, it never hurt until I stopped running. We were really slow, but WE FINISHED! The only problem was the cloud of analgesic vapor that trailed behind me as we moved on down the road. All of the dogs and anyone outside must have thought the door to the gym locker room was open. The really good thing is NO RUNNING until Monday! As Camille so aptly would put it-GOOD TIMES!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO!

Camille is getting her chuckle for the week from an annoymous comment on my last blog. She is living vicariously through someone brave enough (behind the veil of annominity) to call my hand on giving advice to do one thing and actually doing another.

WELL, LUCY, LET ME ESPLANE (as Ricky would say)! Dr. Sonja and I have conferred and are 99% sure that I have a muscle problem. My hip has actually gotten better since the Massage Terrorist worked on it last week, which is a good indication that it is muscular. (That or the arthristis medicine kicked in) The calf that is in a major wad now may have started by me over pronating to compensate for the hip. Dr. Sonja looked at it today and said it was in the solar plexis (or some other big name) muscle. She felt along the bone in my lower leg and there is no pain, so no stress fracture. I have gone and gotten the big adhesive pads with analgesic in them to trick that muscle into thinking it is warm before I run tomorrow AM. I am not crazy enough to continue running if the pain gets worse. After all of these years of running, I listen to my body and can pretty much identify what is not doing any permanent damage and what pain I can actually run through. SO-long SLOW run tomorrow which is not as much pounding-unless the pain is unbearable! I actually stayed home today and did not lift or walk in an effort to give it a chance to heal and we will be gone this weekend-so almost 3 days of rest before the Monday run. THE DEFENSE RESTS, YOUR HONOR!

We are on our way to Austin tomorrow AM to see the Grands via Natchitoches. Now I know you are thinking that is the REALLY LONG WAY AROUND, but BC has business there, so business before pleasure. Saturday is our wedding anniversary and what better way to spend it than with our kids and grands! We are looking forward to seeing the new house and "eyeballing" all of them. It is one thing to talk with someone via phone wires or email-but there is not quite anything like putting an eyeball on them. You need that visual for assurance that what you are hearing is actually the facts. Pictures to come of all the fun in future blogs.



Wednesday, February 6, 2008

SOME SAY I AM "BOSSY"

There are those individuals that say that I am "Bossy" and I don't moo, so not the cow, Bossy. I must say that I probably missed my calling in life, I should have been a "Life Coach". There are people out there that pay good money to have someone tell them what they should be doing. I have done that for my kids and most anyone else that would listen for years FOR FREE! If you need someone to line you out and tell you just what you need to be doing-GIVE ME A CALL. I am your woman! I am sure this is a genetic thing since we called my mother, "Boss" 40 years ago. My brother, Robbie, watched a "Wild Kingdom" special about elephants and came up with that name. It seems to establish dominance and who is in charge in an elephant herd, they throw their head around and swing their trunks back and forth while blaring out a trumpet calll at top volume. Reminded him a lot of Momma. She could give orders with the best of them. What was truly amazing is that she did not lead by example, she lead by intimadation. Momma was a little woman-shorter than me by almost a head and most of her life skinny, but that did not stop her from throwing her weight around when it came to her kids. Come to think of it, I saw her do the same thing with non-family members as well. She had no problem letting you know what you needed to do and how she wanted it done. If not done right, you got to do it again. I never saw her do any physical labor-NONE-ZIP! Amazing! Now my method of leading, with my children, involved doing it myself and being huffy because they did not want to help. 1000 excuses! To this day, I can work rings around all three of them.

OK-I got off the subject. I have a new project and someone put me in charge-POWER! Now with non-family members, I can actually get people to co-orperate and do what I say. I LOVE IT! Get on the phone-make a call-"I need you to --fill in the blank- on the 12th. Does that work for you?" Hard to say NO! I really like e mail-send a short authoritative note-We need -------and I knew I could depend on you! Please put this on your calendar. Give me a list of volunteers and a list of jobs and I am loving it. ORGANIZING & ORDERING-what I do best!

It was cold this AM while running down the road. Babs ran off and left me, but I have an excuse (some of us always have an excuse). My right leg is in a major wad. The pain now extends from my hip all the way down to my calf and there is a big knot in my calf. I am sure all of this radiates from my hip, but have spent the day analyzing what is going on. Perhaps I am pronating in an effort to take the pressure off the hip and that is causing the calf problem. Our new toys are really neat. I didn't get chimed at until I had gone over 3 miles and my leg had started hurting. Then I sounded like the "Bell Choir of Notre Dame" running down the road. I have the heat pad out and I am on the meds including alleve and I am stretching. Don't know what else I can do. Just keep on running and complaining and moaning and groaning! What is truly amazing is that all of this started after the marathon. God got me through all of those long miles. Truly amazing the power of prayer!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

MARDI GRAS 2008


Today ends the annual fesitval of excessiveness-Mardi Gras. While growing up, Mardi Gras was confined to the towns in south Louisiana. In the rural central and northern Louisiana, the pagan fesitval was completely ignored. As a sign of the blending of societal lines, Mardi Gras has slowly but surely moved north. Most of the larger towns in Louisiana now celebrate Mardi Gras to some extent. I personally have never been to a Mardi Gras celebration. I had just as soon stay at home and enjoy the warmth and comfort of my den, but I am glad that folks have the opportunity to attend local parades and balls. We tend to be much more sedate about our celebration in North Louisiana. As far as I know, there is noone flashing the float riders in order to get a few trinkets. Tonight at midnight the party ends and tomorrow begins the clean up. I wonder how the street cleaners in New Orleans feel about this annual celebration. Probably something along the line of -MORE WORK!


Tomorrow begins Lent with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. It is tradition to give something up or forego some pleasure during the period from Ash Wednesday to Easter. I have actually tried this in the past, but do not feel the need to do so today. This denial is to serve as a reminder of the passion and death of Christ. I think about that ultimate sacrifice every day and do not need anything to jog my memory. This sacred season of the church is a celebration of the final days of Christ in His earthly form and is an important reminder of the grace we have been gifted with. I personally think the celebration and party should be postponed and better celebrated Easter Sunday. What greater thing could we celebrate than the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Many are out celebrating tonight thinking that this is the end of the party season. My personal belief is that everyday is a party and celebration knowing the gift of eternity was completed those many years ago. HAPPY MARDI GRAS !


IN CASE YOU MISSED THE NEWS!

"As I look around me, a bright sky I see, and a shadow beside me. Six more weeks of winter it will be!"

Punxsutawney, Pa. -- A record crowd of nearly 30-thousand people waited hours in the pre-dawn cold to find out from Punxsutawney Phil . . . "Six more weeks of winter."
Despite low clouds, fog and freezing Drizzle the nation's first prognosticating groundhog saw his shadow. Phil has seen his shadow nearly 80% of the time since he began forecasting the spring weather in 1887.
Gobbler's Knob, just outside of downtown Punxsutawney, was alive with a large bonfire, live music, fireworks and plenty of coffee and hot chocolate.
The windchill was 14 degrees as Phil emerged from his home to the cheers of thousands of followers.
Scott Harbaugh Meteorologist WPXI Severe Weather Team 11
I am sure Phil has a good life for 365 days 23 hours every year, but the one hour he is on stage must be torture. You should look at the web site and read all about this annual fesitval. What we humans will not do! The poor animal is thinking life is great and then WhAM-back on center stage in the middle of a crowd of tens of thousands of screaming NUTS! What must he think!

Monday, February 4, 2008

FOUR HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE!






Four of us runners have a new toy-Garmin- Forenunner 205. This baby is "Nifty!". Unfortunately when you get to be AARP age, the learning curve for these electronic gadgets can be steep. If only Grandson Caleb, lived a little closer! When you are 7, these kind of gadgets are not the least bit intimadating, in fact it seems to be instinctive as to making them work. This is a GPS computer for running. WOW. You can track your distance, track you speed, track the calories burned, program types of workouts, and alert yourself to a range of pace and on and on. IT IS SO COOL! The four of us got together today at lunch and after a quick bite (cannot forego eating), we proceeded to figure this baby out. After 2 hours of trial and error and collabration, we have it figured out. This could turn around and bite me in the rear, since an alarm will go off if I am not running fast enough. The other 3 girls look at their GPS's during their runs. I am able to completely ignore it while running but the alarm will go off if you don't stay within the parameters. We might end up sounding like a "Bell Choir" running down the road.




Friend Sheila's son, Andrew, is selling firewood. I am rapidly burning through my rack of wood, so I asked to buy a truckload. When Sheila and Andrew delivered it today, she backed into the woods by the woodpile. OOPS-the leaves covered the soft and wet ground and the pile is on the side of the hill we live on. She couldn't get the truck out of the woods. Now I have been around other stuck vehicles, so knew to put a piece of wood in front of the tire. She actually almost got out of the woods-but only almost. Andrew called his Dad to come give them a pull out. When Rob arrived, I noticed this "grin" on his face. You know the "you girls don't know what you are doing" grin. One little pull and out she came. Personally I think Sheila knew just what she was doing and if we only had another truck we could have pulled it out ourselves. I am sorry it was dark and I couldn't get a picture. A GOOD LAUGH!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

BS

Did the title catch your eye? Naughty-Naughty! I am actually talking about my BS in accounting that I received all those many years ago. Thought you might like to know just how that happened.

I was a single mom with a job in a bank-not making much money at all, even after 3 years. I had to make a living and support my little family, but the money I was making and no financial help from anyone made this a struggle. It occurred to me one day that I was training the young men, fresh out of college, in their jobs at the bank. The fact that I trained them, while they started work making more money than I did not set very favorably with me. I decided I needed to try to finish my degree. I had finished 1 1/2 years of college when I got married and had a child, so there was 2 1/2 to go. I began school by trying a couple of night classes to get my feet wet and see if I could handle all the responsibility I would have. That went well, so after much thought, I made the plunge. Barbara was a tremendous help with baby sitting and I will be forever in her debt.

I went back to school in the fall of '71 with plans for an accounting degree and student loans to finance that education. I was able to get a job in the controllers office since I had banking experience and worked when I was not in class. I had no help from Momma and my step-father, Bill. In fact, Bill asked me did I know how long it would take me to make up the bank salary I would be foregoing once I got out of school. I was disappointed with their lack of encouragement, in fact discouragement, but stepped out anyway. I was dating Bobby by this time and he was very encouraging. He actually bought a small two bedroom trailer and put it by his parents house for Scott and I to live in while I was going to school. He has always been my champion and I will always be grateful for his encouragement. Once I had been in school for a few months, Bobby and I married and moved to Ruston. OK now I had added being a wife to my other jobs. I must have thought I had a few extra minutes in each day.

The next two years were difficult to say the least. Not much sleep while going to school, working and being a mother and wife, but I was young. When I graduated in May of 73, after taking as many hours and more as allowed every quarter, it was a great relief. I went to work for a local CPA and made up for the lost wages at the bank in about 6 months. During the 2 years I worked for Mr. Holladay, I learned much and even passed the CPA exam. Going back to school, as hard as it was, was the best decision I ever made. When I think back I am not sure how I was able to keep all those balls in the air, but I am thankful that God pulled me through it all.

I used that education well and was able to grow my own CPA practice into a very nice business that was financially very rewarding. There came a time to sell that practice and finish funding my retirement. I now enjoy retirement to the fullest, but one of the best decisions I ever made was to go back school and get that BS!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

YUMMYLICIOUS!

It is always a lot of fun to cook with one of your best friends! When The Thompson's came last night, I had a dinner menu planned that would enable Barbara & me to be in the kitchen cooking together. The meal always tastes better when it is prepared with good conversation! We cooked chicken marsala and risiotto rice with a spring mix salad with balsamic vingar dressing. It was fun cooking together and we all enjoyed the fruits of the labor.

The marsala chicken is a delicious dish that is really not that difficult to prepare. If you would like to come over and help me prepare this dish sometime, I would love to cook and eat with you!

We had a wonderful visit with The Thompson's picking up where we left off and instantly catching up. How many friends do you have in a lifetime that you can share anything with, without fear of judgement and always with good advice attached on the other end. We are planning our annual summer vacation together when their son and his family and all three of our children and their families coming along (If you will pay they will come)! We are looking forward to a great time together as we make new memories and reminensce over old.

My hip is causing GREAT discomfort today! Hopefully it will begin to get better tomorrow as promised by the "exercise terrorist". A tough massage on Thursday and 10 miles on Friday = Pain on Saturday!

Friday, February 1, 2008

SWEET FRIENDSHIP!

Our dear friends, Mark & Barbara, are coming for a visit and spending the night in Vienna. We are so excited to have them with us! Our friendship goes WAY BACK! Mark, Bobby, & I worked together at a bank when Mark was in college and then after his graduation, I was a single Mom and then went back to college, and Bobby was our boss. When I started back to college, I went to night classes and worked full time. Barbara picked up Scott for me and took care of him until I got home. Bobby & I courted in their living room. They were our witnesses when we "eloped" after the bank stockholder's meeting. We have raised our children together and lived life together. We started going on vacation together when Gabe was 18 months old. He is now 31 and this summer will be our 29th vacation. We know all about each other and yet they still love us! We celebrated Thanksgiving together until this past year. We have LOTS OF HISTORY! They live in south Louisiana, so we do not get to see each other daily. When we finally manage to get together, we pick up where we left off and love every second. In these days of kids being scattered all over the country, grandchildren to visit, and aging parents, it is more and more difficult to get together, but well worth the effort!

The neatest thing about our friendship is how we have grown "In the Lord" together. When I think back to where we were in our faith in the beginning and where we are now it is unbelievable. You have to know that God had this in His plan and pulled us together for this very purpose. We have spent many a late night discussing theology and stretching each other to think. Truly we are blessed to call them Friend!

BC is most anxious to see the replies to his blog from last night. I told him that for some strange reason, most people do not comment, even knowing it can be annoymous. Bobby is the best writer of the family. Of course, that minor in English, probably didn't hurt his abilities. I am looking out at the woods from all of my den windows and thinking about that very night and how the woods were filled with cars, trucks, and teens. MOST MEMORABLE!

We ran our first double digit run this AM since the marathon. After running that 10, REALLY SLOW, in the cold (Ice on the puddles), it is really hard to believe that 3 weeks ago I ran 26 miles. I am having lots of problems with my hip again. I went to the massage terrorist yesterday and almost cried it hurt so bad. He FOUND the spot-right in the hip socket. He told me if I did not get some better by Sunday, it probably was arthritis. My old friend "Arthur" has me in a major wad! How strange that it did not hurt while in the later stages of training for Houston, but once I came home and quit taking the medicine (HMMMMM) it is once again killing me!