August 31, 2008

Drove the Chevy to the Levee and Lets Hope it Keeps them Dry

As y’all have seen, it appears that Gustav will hit as a Cat 3. That’s still a dangerous hurricane, folks. The question is, will the levees hold up? They’re supposed to hold up through a Cat 3. That’s what they were built for.

Let’s see how that goes… I may be wrong… but I’m thinking there will be ‘issues’.

Meanwhile, Saturdays are my long training days for Team in Training, as I pursue the capability of finishing this marathon on January 11. I had some good training this week… times when I felt great and finished with some sort of whacked out high and I’d love to say it was a runner’s high, except that I walked 1.8 miles and ran .5.

I don’t think that’s enough running to get me a true runner’s high.

Yesterday I got up at 4:45 only to meet my team at 6AM and have it canceled over lightning. I’m cool. I don’t want to die in this… at least not from lightning.

No.

I was scheduled for 1.5 hours of training.

Folks. I’m here to tell you, 1.5 hours of anything physical is a long damn time. But I was hoping for what I call, ‘The Lemming Effect’. If everyone else was doing it, even if I wasn’t WITH them, I could too. I’d go with the flow, leading the pack or in the middle, but if all the other lemmings were training for 1.5 then I would be as well.

But suddenly I was having to train alone. It still needed to be done; it would just not be a group event.

So I got home, and waited for the Gustav bands to pass, and went out about Noon as it was windy and light drizzle and made it 50 minutes before there was lightning at which point I called my husband and said, “Come get me!!! There’s lightning!’

And he did. I was an 8 minute run or a 2 minute ride from the house and I wasn’t taking any chances with an 8 minute run.

I had scheduled my loop so that my house would be at 1 hour and I could do my refueling stop.

This is the deal, when you are training for so long, you need to refuel your body, in particular you need liquid. Saturday’s big realization was that I need that after 30 to 45 minutes. By the time my husband picked me up, I was dragging ass.

I was a frickin’ sopping wet low energy disaster.

I think I covered 4 miles… 1 running, 3 walking. I was a wreck. An absolute wreck.

When training with our group, our coaches have stops planned for us… refueling stops they’ve planned. If I get there at 6, they’re there at 5:30, stopping by our ‘preplanned fueling’ stops and putting down water and Gatorade so we’re good to go. We carry our own energy bars.

Our coaches are volunteers by the way, and not only are they coaching US, but they are training themselves AND they are fundraising as I am. They are truly great people. I love my two coaches to pieces and I hardly know them.

Anyway, lesson learned on my part... when training alone I need to give more thought to rehydration and refueling.

I went out this afternoon with water in hand and a protein bar in my pocket and got home after 70 minutes (I had to make up the 1/2 hour I missed yesterday plus today's training), only beat to hell… not famished and dragging ass. I could not run a lick. I had to walk the whole thing.

In essence, the last two days have been big lessons learned, but they have absolutely 100% sucked nasty filthy sewage laden pond water. I ache, I’m tired, I’m dreading tomorrow even though it’s thankfully only 36 minutes, and I cannot frickin’ wait until Tuesday which is my down day.

And I guess I’m blogging this because I want to be able to read back in a month when 1.5 hours of training was kicking my tail, knowing that I’m training twice that and that 1.5 would be a piece of a cake.

I’m making progress. I know I am. Two weeks ago I couldn’t run for 30 seconds and now I’m walking 3 miles and running a mile… it took just under an hour, but I still did it.

It’s all mental…

Oh and let me add... I've been sleeping like a daggum rock. I don't remember how long its been that I sleep like I'm sleeping now. My body is absolutely... exhausted.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:11 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Hurricane Preparation from the Experienced

Listen to me carefully if this is the first time you've been in a 'cane zone.

If you are in NOLA, you need to leave NOW. Those levees are NOT going to hold up. If you stay, there is a high probability you're going to die.

You need to leave. If the winds don't get you, the water will. LEAVE.

If you are in the cone of potential strike, other than NOLA, I would seriously recommend you evac. You do not live on a Peninsula. There are a lot of places to go.

GO.

If you choose to stay, Yeah, good luck with that and let people outside of your area know you are staying. If you are on any type of water, even some sort of lake or bay that people say, "oh it never floods here." Don't listen to them.

Doubt me?

Go back and google Hurricane Ivan Pensacola Bay. People disappeared... homes were swallowed without so much as a paperclip left.

If you are not in a strike zone, or you are opting to stay, and you don't live in NOLA, it is going to be hair curling nasty weather. I promise you, never in your life have you experienced anything like this.

It is Mother Nature at her Bitchiest. Mother Nature with PMS on Steroids.

It will sound like your roof is coming off. The wind will make you jump.

Have a safe room.

I did a post a couple years ago on Hurricane Preparation. If this is the first time you've ever been through a hurricane and you want to know how to prep, go to my post HERE. There is input from the experienced in the comments too.

Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Unless you live in a low lying area like NOLA... and then, you should be gone.

Evacuate or your life is in Mother Nature's hands. I don't know about you... but I like some control. Evacuate... or you'll probably die.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:13 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 30, 2008

Let's Hope Not Deja Vu

And so the great State of Louisiana is about to get smacked… again. It could be Texas, but either way those that live in LA are going to take a beating… and actually so will Texas.

If it were up to me, this storm would just dissipate and spontaneously disappear… about now. But it’s not up to me. As of yet, I’m still not carrying the Supreme Ruler of the Universe card. I want one… but I guess it’s been held up somewhere.

I saw an article headline online today that said, “Cubans are fleeing”. I wanted to say… “Where? You live on a frickin’ island…”

It’s just one step worse than living on a Peninsula. Umm… that would be me. And its one step better than living in a damn bowl that nobody should be living in.

That would be NOLA.

So… in the hierarchy of places to live in the hurricane zones, in my mind… it is the following, from worst to best:

1) a bowl
2) a barrier island (where you should not be allowed to build, but yet… it happens)
3) an island
4) a peninsula

I guess that covers it.

And as I said over at GuyK’s place, NOLA could be destroyed again and then we’ll have that state and that city looking at us the taxpayer to foot the bill to rebuild.

Hey, I could be wrong. What do I know? I’m just an engineer. But, thankfully, precautions are being taken now and people are actually LISTENING, or so it appears, because there isn't even going to be a ‘last chance shelter’ aka The Superdome, like they had last time.

We can hope this thing calms down... a Cat 4 is a dangerous damn hurricane. A Cat 5... nobody should stick around.

No matter where this sucker goes… it’s going to be ugly.

And I agree with Morrigan’s buddies… she was at work and they were on a telecon and they said we need to just forgo all Russian sounding names for Hurricanes now. Frederick (Pensacola 1979), Ivan, Katrina, now Gustav.

My thoughts are with the people who live along the Gulf. As I am known to say, “It’s like fishing in a bucket.” Someone is about to get smacked down and I have great anxiety for them. I’ll tell you what… I’m not ready to do it again. Ever.

Oh… and, Katrina was a big bonus for Florida. I know, y’all are re-reading that sentence.

I spent hours and hours early on in that hurricane season, way before Katrina, on what we call Lake O. Pull out your map of Florida. It’s that big blue lake on the pan part of the state. We get a lot of our drinking water from there.

There was a horrific hurricane in 1928, that killed over 2500 people. Remember, this was 1928, so there was not the population there is today. However, there is thought that the death toll was much higher… they couldn’t keep the bodies out, so they just buried them as fast as they could.

The population around Lake O is far far greater now. Four years ago, I was doing post after post about what was going to happen if the levee around Lake O gave way. What was going to happen to all those migrant workers? We have farmers and cane fields all around the lake, workers who work for wages that Americans would not, are employed there, whole families sometimes living in Shantytowns that Americans would be astonished exist in our country.

Yet they do.

I’m a big believer that companies should take care of their own. That is not a popular belief obviously as corporate greed has taken over. No more turkeys at Christmas and no more having a job from cradle to grave. But I think it is inherently wrong to employ people to work for you, even give them housing and transportation to your fields, and then frickin’ bail on them, leaving them to die if the big one comes.

I’m not kidding. I could see it happening. I kept saying that if we got a Cat 4 over Lake O, that I’d see dead people.

But NOLA’s absolute devastation and piss poor planning, got the folks in gear here to plan for the people around Lake O. Let us hope they don’t have to ever enact their plan… what I refer to as the Great Logistical Nightmare. Once you get the folks out, you have to have a place for them to go, places for them to sleep, food, and you have to get them back and what happens if the their homes are gone? What a damn mess.

Anyway, the folks along Lake O, the corporations and local governments have been working on it and the State has been spending big bucks to shore up the levee.

I’m not sure if any of this would have happened without Katrina. We don’t have to have it happen to us for us to learn…

And on a sidenote, we Floridians are obsessed with Hurricanes. I was at a party tonight and even though we're not going to be on the receiving end of this bitch, we were glued to the TV all night... scared for the people who will be.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:45 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 29, 2008

Palin

I like her. A lot. So far.

I’ve spent the day watching the news or searching the internet.

Let me set a few things straight here. Folks. I am NOT a Conservative. I am an Independent. I do not vote on one issue… I vote on many and I vote on the person.

In Presidential elections I have voted Independent, and resent when people tell me that my protest plug for Perot was what cost George Sr the election. NO. George Sr. cost George Sr. the election. If he hadn’t pissed me off… I’d have pulled the lever in his favor as I had the four years before.

I never vote FOR someone. I vote against or who I think is the better for this country.

I vote against who I think is the worst for this country, against the person I cannot stand the most sometimes. I’ve never been passionate for someone. Ever.

And although my vote has never been pulled in favor of a Democratic candidate in the Presidential election, that is not the case at the State and local levels. I’ve voted Dem and Rep both.

I’m a firm believer in States running their own affairs and the Federal Government keeping hands off as much as possible. Hence, I don’t blame George Jr. for Katrina, but the vastly ineffective and corrupt governments of NOLA and LA.

Big believer in State responsibility. BIG.

So you never know who I’m going to vote for. I have many issues and I look at voting records and how a candidate conducts himself and how they treat their constituents and how they are with their… family. I weigh lots of things into my decision.

I do not vote on one issue and neither the Dems or the Reps own my vote. They should NEVER take my vote for granted because I can and will just as quickly pull it and throw it to the Libertarian or the Independent candidate before I give it to ANYONE who feels ENTITLED.

NOBODY is entitled to my vote.

Nobody.

I did not vote for George Jr. in the primaries 8 years ago. I didn’t think he was the right fit or best fit as the representative of the Republican Party. And Al Gore is an idiot in my mind.

I don’t like Obama. I live in Obama country. Palm Beach County is going for Obama. Trust me on this… I’m so sick of hearing about Hope and Change down here I could frickin’ vomit.

My dislike of him is reaching epic proportions. For every voter out there who is madly in LOVE with Obama, I am the polar opposite. I don’t trust him. I think he is inexperienced. His voting record shows he’s so far left… if he shows up to vote. I think he is smoke and mirrors and tells everyone what they want to hear.

You cannot please everyone. To be a good leader, you must take a stand on things, after careful consideration, and sometimes that stand is unpopular.

Obama tries too hard to please everyone… now. But I wonder if when he’s in Office if he’ll throw caution into the wind and show us what I suspect he’s really like.

But I wouldn’t know because he’s like trying to nail down jello. He stands for nothing, but hope and change, and when pinned down to give an answer, he makes people feel like he’s answered their question, when in fact… many times...he hasn’t.

I don’t like him. This isn’t amateur hour here. This is the BIG office of a BIG country.

Meanwhile, I’m looking at McCain, not loving him by any stretch, at all...and knowing he had to pick someone with brown hair. But no matter where I looked I saw what Republicans are known for… stodgy white men.

I love men. LOVE them. I work with them, I’m married to one, I majored in something that was predominantly male. I love them.

But truly, the Republican Party hasn’t had anything new and invigorating happen to it in… well… since Reagan? I remember people being excited about him. Like him or hate him, he added a positive shot in the arm to the party.

Just as Clinton did to the Dems… what Gore and Kerry were unable to do… what Obama has done again.

And so I’ve been picturing McCain up there with Romney… stodgy. Huckabee… kind of dorky and stodgy. Pawlenty… unknown but still seemed kind of stodgy. When I saw Pawlenty I didn’t think ‘GREAT speaker!’ or enthusiasm. I thought ‘old man in a young man’s body’. Maybe I was wrong.

This morning Sarah Palin was named. As they threw her name around in the pre decision, I started doing research on her.

First blush? I like her.

I don’t agree with all her politics. As I said… I’m not a true Conservative, folks.

But I like her.

I like her as a choice because it shows me that McCain was listening to someone. That has been one of my biggest beefs with Bush is he has not listened. He has chosen some really crappy advisors and I know that he’s been told… and he’s not listened. The fact that McCain stepped out of the stodgy white man box… means he listened… gave it thought… and made his own decision.

I like that.

I like HER because…. She’s a strong woman and I know where she stands.

She’s a strong woman and she doesn’t come across as angry, militant, or repressed. She has a positive vibe about her.

She can stand her ground and is not afraid.

She is from Alaska… as far away from the DC insiders as you can get. Good God I love that.

She’s a Governor and not a frickin’ Senator or Congressman.

She is a Mom. She has kids.

She’s smart and articulate.

And I like some of her politics.

And… she brings a positive invigoration to a party that desperately needed it. She is not stodgy. She is a breath of fresh air.

So to those many who emailed me inquiring, and yes there were a few, heh, Yes, I like Sarah Palin.

Gut instinct, first blush… I like her a lot.

I could actually be excited to vote. I won’t hold my breath, but this election has given me a renewed interest.

We shall see…

Meanwhile, I do wonder if McCain realizes what he’s gotten himself into. We strong women… who aren’t known to bow down and say yes… can give you a run for your money. But then again… he’s married to one. I think this might be… a really good fit.


Posted by Boudicca at 08:47 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

August 28, 2008

Flakey Tips

Training tip of the Day…

When training and you find your sock has slid into your shoe, it is not wise to just stop, bend down and pull it up. The blood will then rush to your head and you feel like you’re going to pass out.

At that point you’re thankful that… you have a toe tag on your shoe with all the emergency information so they know where to cart your over heated and sweaty body when someone eventually finds it with a hand stuck in the left shoe, clinging to a sock.

And… I realized today, that during a truly miserable training, music does not motivate me, it irritates me. I’ll be doing this marathon with only thoughts and internal demons… there will be no music.

I need 10 degrees cooler folks. It was 91 at 5:15 today and I couldn't tell if I was drinking or breathing the air. Holy crap. Music irritated the stew out of me... just being ME was irritating the stew out of me.

That said, yesterday I went on line and downloaded a few songs I like that I thought might help. I had some music that Morrigan had given me off of some of her CDs and I lost it in a data disaster. That left me scavenging my brain to remember… exactly who was it I liked from her iPod?

I downloaded some I remembered like The Cranberries and some I wanted like Sponge, Pink, Snow Patrol and then… was at a loss. What was some of that other music she had?

It came to me today and the following conversation happened to the best of my recollection:

Me: Hey. Remember all that music I had from you? I can’t remember who sang one of the songs. I need to download it.

Morrigan: What song?

Me: Remember the song about the Wheat Thin Girl?

Morrigan: WHAT?

Me: That song about the wheat girl? I think that was it. Do you remember?

Morrigan: Ummm… you mean Corn Flake Girl?

Me: YES! That was it!

Morrigan: Ok, that would be Tori Amos…

Heh. Some days I’m so much like my Mom I crack myself up…

Posted by Boudicca at 09:11 PM | Comments (5)

Politics According to Dave Barry

I love Dave Barry. From his site HERE at the Miami Herald, you have to read what he wrote of last night, HERE. (I can't quote it here for copyright infringment.) Holy crap... Hillary as Glenda the Good Witch. You have to read it... and it was the opening paragraph that got me.

I had to look because he wrote this, what I deemed, hysterical post on the Democratic Convention, HERE. Someone sent it to us at work… it was being passed around.

Maybe Obama will turn into a bat tonight. Heh. Read the article to get it.

I can’t wait to see him lampoon the other side next. Heh.

Holy crap, I can't quit laughing...

**Update: Dammit. I corrected the spelling. I was just laughing too daggum hard to proof!**

Posted by Boudicca at 09:04 PM | Comments (5)

August 27, 2008

Running For Joan

This has been mulling in my head for awhile and today was the day I decided to write it.

I saw Joanie today in school.

Joanie is in her third remission. She has had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) twice and Hodgkin’s disease this last time.

Do you want a humbling perspective on life?

Last year when we realized the cancer was back… again… she said to me, “Bou, please pray for me…” And pray I did. I spent a lot of time with her daughter, who I will call Amy. Her daughter is in band with my boys and there would be times as she waited for her lesson that I’d help her with her math or we’d talk about her Mom and what was going on. I think I’d blogged on some of it here.

There is a Women’s Prayer group at our school, one of which I am not a member, but I’m friends with all of them. We all prayed for Joanie. It was her only request.

And then one day she came up to me after school, she gave me a big hug and said, “Thank you. Thank you so much for praying for me. All the prayers, they worked. I’m so happy. I have Hodgkin’s Disease.”

*blink*

She was happy she had Hodgkin’s Disease. She was elated. There were near tears of joy.

In the world of Lymphoma… Hodgkin’s Disease is easier to combat than NHL and has a higher incidence of patients staying in remission.

We watched as the side effects of the chemo and other drugs took their toll on her body. She lost her hair… again. The prednisone bloated her up.

Her hair.

She has never worn a wig since I’ve known her. I’ve known her through two of her three battles with cancer and she’s never worn a wig. She’s worn scarves, hats, and gone bald… but never a wig.

I have the most profound respect for her… I am in awe… her bravery in going hairless… not embarrassed or self conscious.

Do you all fully comprehend what a big deal that is?

We women… it is so much about the hair. We color it, crimp it, curl it, straighten, blow it out, scrunch it up, cut it, grow it, wear it in pony tails, pigtails, and buns. We play with our hair when nervous, worry its thinning, count the grays, gripe at humidity, grouse about hard water, soft water, no water and all that it does to our hair.

Even me, who is a wash and wear kind of gal owns product. I have a shampoo for when I swim, to treat it against the chlorine, and another shampoo for daily use. On my vanity I have cheap hairspray, an iron, a blowdryer, mousse, gel, stuff to keep it from frizzing, junk to help it curl and some goo to keep it from drying out if I blow dry and iron. Oh and I have some funky spray gel that helps give it ‘lift’ at the roots.

And I’m wash and wear. I probably use any of these once a month.

And Joanie’s only concern is sunburn… hence the hats and scarves, or she’d go smooth all the time.

I admire that.

I saw her today in school. She is in full remission; her clothes are hanging off of her as she’s very lean now. She doesn’t look too thin… just lean. The bloating from the drugs is gone… she is probably three sizes different from what she was in April.

Today I heard the stories of how some of the drugs made her near insane. Of how tired she is, perhaps permanently. There is no whining, although she is entitled,… it is with laughter and very matter of fact.

I said to her this morning when I first saw her in the parking lot, as I gave her a big hug, ‘Hey! I want a picture of us for my LLS site.’

She grabbed my wrist and looked at the bracelet I wear constantly now… it bears her name. She laughed.

We walked inside the school and talked. As it was time for me to go to work she said, “Can we wait until my hair grows back in?” referring to my picture request.

“Absolutely,” I replied, laughing.

I picked up my stuff and she touched my bracelet again and said, “Bou, if I had more energy, I’d do this with you…”

My arms full, I said, “Joanie, you’ve done your part. Let me do mine. You beat it… let me run.”

She hugged me again and I left for work with a lump in my throat.

She’s my Team in Training Personal Hero.

Joanie H., I wear her name on my LLS bracelet, night and day. I look down when I’m training and know… that no matter what I do, it will never be as tough as what she’s done.

There is just not a comparison.

And a picture to follow… when her hair grows back. It appears we need just six more weeks… and it should be just ‘short’ as opposed to duck downy soft.

And thank you again... for all who have been able to donate, through that little Team in Training button on my sidebar, and for all the thoughts! Good Lord... it makes my eyes well! I'm writing notes and getting my ducks in a row and... Good Lord... I've never sent a letter to England, this will be my first!!

Posted by Boudicca at 08:28 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 26, 2008

United Socialists of America

My husband and I are having a solar hot water heater installed in our home next month. We live in S. FL and it just seems foolish that if I need a hot water heater, that I don’t try to use the best way to heat water… the sun. My ROI is four years.

And right now there are Federal tax credits, ending at the end of 2008, and a Florida rebate that brings the cost down well over 30%. It was a done deal in my head… considering it a long term investment and with power only continuing to go up.

And so I was talking about this with a co-worker. She is VERY interested and wanted to know what company I’m using. I’ve done EXTENSIVE research and just feel very comfortable with the process, product, and company.

She asked about these Federal tax credits and I told her I was told they are trying to get it extended to 2015, but they are short 3 senators. She asked me if McCain had signed on to support it and I told her I had been told no, he had not.

And no kidding, this was the conversation I had with her. Keep in mind, I work for an aerospace defense company. We’re all military, all the time.

Co-worker: McCain hasn’t signed on?

Me: Not from what I heard.

Co-Worker: Well that seals that, no way I’m voting for him.

Me: I don’t vote on one issue. That doesn’t seal it for me.

Co-Worker: It disgusts me.

Me: Yes, well, I’m irritated too, but no way in hell I’ll vote for a Socialist.

Co-Worker: Oh I have no problems voting for a Socialist for President.

Me: *blink*

And that’s the thing… there are just a lot of people in this country that are OK with this country becoming Socialist. I know things are bad. I get it. We are feeling it everywhere. It sucks. It truly does, but that doesn’t mean I think that Socialism is the answer.

And to hear her say, “I have no problems voting for a Socialist…”, it was not a statement against the Republicans or the Libertarians or Green Party. It was a statement that she truly does not care if this becomes a Socialist country.

I am still left here feeling… horrified.

And FTR, Obama didn't show for the vote either. I will make sure she realizes her Socialist favoite didn't show great support for her cause when the solar industry really needed it.

And yes, I'm an environmentalist. I don't understand why the Democrats "own" that issue.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

August 25, 2008

Weddings... Misery or Bliss?

If you have not seen this, you MUST go to Oddybobo's and see her post on the Redneck Wedding she attended.

Good grief you cannot make that stuff up.

It reminded me of the worst wedding I ever attended. My husband and I had been dating for just a few months. We were invited to one of his friend's wedding.

Keep in mind, my husband is Italian and almost all close friends, if not Jewish, are Italian.

I was used to regular, non-Italian weddings. A real upscale wedding from where I come is heavy appetizers and wedding cake.

Italians don't do it that way.

The groom's Dad was a baker. So it was all out when it came to the food. Heavy appetizers... would be an understatement. Shrimp, small slices of filet on toast, cheeses, scallops, fruit, everything.

I thought that was the reception... and then we walked in and there was a full sit down dinner where no cost had been spared and on the far wall... Holy crap. On the far wall was every type of baked good you could imagine.

Cakes, pies, cannolis, Sfogliatelle, cookies... Good Lord. I'd died and gone to heaven.

But the creme de la creme, was the wedding cake. It was a cake high on a pedestal, with smaller pedestals on each side, each one with another layer of cake, and the pedestals were bridged together by stairs, that held groomsmen on one side and bridesmaids on the other... and the figurine bridesmaid's dresses actually MATCHED the real bridemaid's dresses.

Good grief. The attention to detail and the money spent, was absolutely astounding to me.

The groom's father paid for the wedding.

Flash forward to the next day... the groom's SISTER got married... in her parent's backyard.

THEIR DAUGHTER, got married in the backyard, where the catering sucked and the bugs were so bad, we had to go eat in our cars. I've not seen a swarm of gnats like that ever in my life.

On the food, in people's noses, around guest's heads... it was summer time so it was an outside summertime wedding at dusk, where very bug imagineable was in attendance.

Horrible.

I think the parents might have been pissed the bride was pregnant... but I'm just guessing. Oh and the groom had a mullet.

So. The best and worst, same family, same weekend, truly bizarre.

Feel free to leave your worst wedding moments in my comments, or write them on your blog and post a link in my comments and I'll create a horror wedding post linking them all!

Meanwhile, go to Oddy's. I can't wait to see it on TV...

Posted by Boudicca at 07:52 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Conversations with Me

Conversation at Publix

Me: Did you see that Tropical Storm forming?

Cashier: YES! I heard about it.

Me: Right off Haiti…

Cashier: I know!

Me: Like it doesn’t suck enough to be from Haiti. Vast government corruption, unthinkable poverty and those folks can’t catch a break, getting slammed year after year after year.

Cashier, laughing: I know! Every year those folks get hit. I thought the same thing…

Me: Yup. Truly sucks to be Haitian… on so many levels.

Damn but we don’t need more rain. Give us a frickin’ week to dry out. Please.

Fortunately NOT ONE computer model shows us as a target… but as we all know… that is subject to change. They should refer to people who predict the weather as ‘Soothsayers’.

And then today I had to stop by my husband’s office and I got into a conversation with one of his employees. We were touching on politics. They had the daily news on.

Me: Holy crap. I’ve not seen the daily news in eons. HDTV is not doing those female newscasters justice!

K: You mean there is a difference?

Me: YES! They were not that ugly last time I saw.

A couple minutes later, as the news was doing a bit on the Democratic Convention…

Me: You know, if my husband watches the convention tonight… I might have to shoot him.

K: I think you have every right…

Luckily my husband, who is a news nut, isn’t interested in watching the tap dancing, in particular as he IS a Republican. His life has been spared…

Posted by Boudicca at 07:37 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 24, 2008

Thank Yous and Confirmations

If you have made a donation and do not receive a confirmation within 24 hours via email from the LLS, it did not process. This has happened to a couple of my girlfriends and so I’m keeping an eye on things.

Thank you for EVERYONE’s Support! It has overwhelmed me… from emails, to comments, to good thoughts and the extraordinarly generous monetary donations to help find the cure.

I said to another blogger last week, “You know I’m not a crying sort, but I’m sitting here at my computer crying.”

Thank you.

And I know that all of y’all clicked ‘No’ for thank you’s, but I got some pretty purple stationary and you’re getting them anyway. Its how my Mom raised me. So don’t be surprised when you get a note from Florida…

Also… A Note to Self:

When training for a marathon, no matter how long, going to McDonald’s afterwards because one is famished, and ordering a bacon egg and cheese biscuit, is NOT the answer.

Pack food.

Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sundays... Sweaty Sundays

I’ve not been a runner. I’ve been a gym rat.

Sure, back when I worked at Company X, I’d meet VW every morning at 630AM to walk and sometimes if she couldn’t go, I’d run with my buddy who was a former Marine and that was always incredibly humbling. I never could quite bring myself to stop, no matter how crappy I felt, when I saw his body covered with old wounds from shrapnel and bayonet entries, also knowing he’d broken his back in a chopper crash… all in ‘nam.

Yeah, that’ll put ‘hurt’ in a whole different perspective.

But no, I’m a gym rat. Treadmills and ellipticals are where I have spent most of my time.

Pavement running… not so much.

But true pavement runners are a different breed. They base their day on the quality of their run and that can be determined by… weather. I knew this already from TGOO and when he used to run. Of course even if the run sucked, they felt better anyway, just for having completed it. TGOO used to say, ‘Sometimes I am motivated just in knowing I’m doing something that most people can’t.’

Not that we're competitive people or anything...

Heh, I wonder if he realized I remembered that.

In the running store yesterday, the manager was fitting me when a man came in, all chipper, with his teenage son. I think that father, about my age, was not a runner. His son, however, was.

The customer was going on about what a ‘BEAUTIFUL day’ it was and asked the manager if he agreed.

This is a running store. Hardcore. They have an Ironman team. The manager is a runner… about mid 50s or so, very lean, runners legs and body. He also is not an extrovert.

He looked at the chipper man, carrying on about how wonderful it was outside and said, “I think it’s too hot and the humidity is horrible.’

This translates to, “I went running this morning and it was a miserable run because it was too hot and too humid. My run sucked.”

But the chipper man absolutely did not pick up on it at all. I kept tying my shoes.

Finally in response to the chipper man, the manager said deadpan, “It was really really humid this morning at 5AM.”

I looked up from messing with my shoes and said, “Good Lord yes it was. And by 7AM, I thought I’d die…”

He grinned and the chipper man said nothing else.

The manager knows I’m with Team in Training. You can tell it by the bracelet I wear honoring my friend Joan H. You can also tell because yesterday I received my ‘toe tag’ from TNT.

That’s what I call it. It’s a clip on my shoe that states my name, blood type, and contact in emergency data. It’s better than carrying my driver’s license. TNT is very big on safety. Now I know if I’m found dead on the side of the road, they know who to call to claim my bod.

He told me as well that one of the really good runners just north of me is training for the NYC marathon. Yesterday was her 17 mile day and… she woke up a half hour late.

A half hour.

She didn’t get on the road until 530AM and wasn’t able to complete more than 14 miles before her body was just ‘done’. It was just too frickin’ hot. A half hour later made the difference.

And as I drove out of my neighborhood yesterday morning at 530, I passed a runner who’d been out there a long time. I could tell he’s already put on the miles and from his build… he looked like one of the triathletes, possibly Ironman. (I heard at the running store that there is Ironman training going on.)

As for today, Sundays are a tough gig for me. It’s the only day I get to sleep in, but in so doing, I compromise myself in training. I was on the road by 9AM, and it was already 80 degrees with 90% humidity. That’s not good training weather, folks. I made it back in 30 minutes, my time for today, and walked in the house saying, “HOLY sh— it’s hot out. Good God. Holy sh--. I need to rethink Sundays.”

I then fell to the floor and dragged my body to the sink, gasping, “water! I need water!”

Ok, that last part didn’t happen, but that’s what was happening in my head…

Bones walked in the room and said, "Yeah, I thought you were home. I could smell you... the house smells different now."

Nice.

I replied, "I'm here. It stinks. I know..."

He walked away saying, "No...it just really smells... sweaty."

I’m definitely rethinking Sundays.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 23, 2008

Future Limpy Empire Penguin

Bones informed me that when he is a teenager he is going to lift weights, but he is only going to lift on one side so, “… one side is really big and the other is limpy”.

Oh sure, I’m sure he’ll get that girls that way.

When we were in TN, I took the boys to an underground cavern called The Lost Sea. Supposedly it was to be 58 degrees the entire time. Bones had a fit, since of course we get cold at anything under 70, and swore he might very well freeze to death.

Upon hearing this, Eric lent Bones his fleece to wear in the event Bones could not handle the frigid weather.

Yes. Six foot, 190 lb Eric, lent 4 foot, 53 lb Bones… his fleece.

Penguin Boy.jpg

We called him, “Penguin Boy”. Heh.

The kid in back of him, is evidently not as invisible as his tshirt professes...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:19 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Just So You Know...

… its dark at 5AM.

Holy crap.

I set the alarm for 4:45 just so I’d not get jolted at 5. I needed time for my brain to process the fact that the only people awake, other than me, were people who make doughnuts, farmers, men over age 60 that had to pee, swimmers and QW’s husband.

I arrived promptly at 6AM as instructed. We had morning announcements, went through some training tips, this being our first group training, and then started on our way.

I met some fascinating people. Since I’m training with the walking group, although I will be running as well, I expected mainly older folks, but I got a group from age 18 through 68.

The 18 year old girl’s cousin died last year of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, ALL, three years after she’d gotten married.

The 68 year old woman is a lymphoma survivor.

When we started, I wasn’t sure what was going on. I hung in the back of the pack and everyone was walking rather slowly. It kind of made me nuts, and finally one of the coaches told me I could pass and I noticed another coach with our oldest team member… way ahead.

I picked up the pace and was behind them not too soon after, moving at a quick clip.

At the end one of the young ones said to a group, “Man, we got smoked by at 68 year old woman.” I replied, ‘No, we got smoked by a 68 year old woman who has survived the rigors of fighting cancer.’

Not that I’m competitive, but now that I know the lay of the land, and how to take off on my own, I doubt I’ll be getting smoked next Saturday.

I met a girl who, I swear, said that her sisters have leukemia as well as her uncle. I could swear that’s what I heard. I was, quite obviously, aghast.

And I met this funny guy, probably in his 60s, who happened to be walking in a park one day and saw the booth for LLS Team in Training and wanted to know what it was. They explained it and evidently he said, “Sure! I’ll do that!” So now I think he’s doing the half marathon in December.

He says it will keep him motivated to continue to fight his diabetes.

Wow.

Amazing people with amazing stories, some funny... some sad... some full of hope.

Meanwhile, back at the runner’s store, after much discussion, it was decided I needed Asics. The man who was running the store, who helped me yesterday, had me try them on after giving much thought and then had me go outside and run in them, so he could see my stride.

His first thought was he was surprised how much I pronate considering I have orthotics. For you non-runners, I hit with the back outside of my heel, and then my foot comes down more on the inside, further than it should. Every runner has some pronation, I just OVER pronate, which I personally think is better than supinating.

So he got me shoes with good support, that are light, and have the big toe box. He’s still concerned it’s not the BEST shoe for me, I think he is wondering if we need to go a half size up, although I swear to God these shoes are frickin' BOATS, but its 10X better than what I’ve been wearing and running in them feels like I’m running on cotton.

I suspect that will not last… this cotton feeling.

He wants to check them in four weeks to see how they’re wearing, how they feel and we’ll go from there to decide if they’re good enough for the big race or if we need to go another route.

My feeling now is they’re great, but let me put 20 or 30 miles on them and then make the decision.

My only issue really is they’re… white and pink. I don’t do pink.

Or rather I didn’t USED to do pink. I evidently do now…

And I’m frickin’ beat. Beat.

tnt20_header.gif

Holy Crap! I got my button to work!!! Woot!


Posted by Boudicca at 08:03 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 22, 2008

Last I Checked... I Didn't Have Feathers

I’m up early at 5AM for my 6AM training tomorrow morning.

Farmers and chickens get up at 5AM.

People who make doughnuts get up at 5AM.

People who own breakfast restaurants get up at 5AM.

People who love mornings… get up at 5AM.

According to TGOO, men over age 60 get up to pee at 5AM.

I meet none of the above criteria.

I’m not a morning person.

As I am apt to say, “Mornings are good for only two things… and they both involve a bed.”

Training for a marathon… does not involve a bed.

This should be interesting.

On a positive note, I found a GREAT little running store today.

I need GREAT shoes as I have flat feet, plantar fascia that when aggravated comes with bursitis in my heels, and a left knee that gives me problems. If I’m going to train for 26.2 and then complete 26.2, I don’t need any injuries that shoes could have prevented.

I’ll have enough to worry about.

So I walked in the store, and found a wonderful pair of running shorts with little pockets all over. A place for my key, for my ID, for my cell phone. Life is good. (FYI, I went to FOUR named brand sports stores, and NOT ONE carried running shorts with little pockets.) Oh! And the pockets have Velcro so nothing will jump out!

I got a pair of good socks and then asked the salesman to fit me for my shoe. This is what they’re known for… finding the perfect running shoe for YOUR foot.

So I stepped out of my sandals and said to him, “I have orthotics, wide toe box, flat feet, narrow heel. I pronate. Saucony has worked in the past as have Asics. I wear New Balance right now, but I think they’re not the best for me."

We tried a shoe, and it was too tight in the middle foot.

He said, “Did you bring your orthotics?”

I replied, “No, because I’m coming from work and because… I figured y’all weren’t going to want to pull out all the cotton inserts to put my stinky orthotics in all of them until we found one that fit.”

He gave me a *blink*.

I grinned and said, “But of course you do that all the time because you are a RUNNING store.”

He smiled back and said, “Exactly.”

I apologized and said, “I’m just not used to going to a store where I’m going to be FITTED for the right shoe. I’ll come back tomorrow.”

I don’t think I’ve been FITTED for ANY pairs of shoes since I was… what… 12?

Good Grief.

So tomorrow I go back to my new favorite store and get fitted. It will be interesting to see what kind of boats he puts my feet in…


Posted by Boudicca at 08:34 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 21, 2008

I'm Going to SEA WORLD!

From Brian over at Point Two Percent, we have this really frickin' funny take on Michael Phelps.

I can't believe TN didn't find this first and send it to me...

Go HERE.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:41 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

So Irritating, I Almost Grew A Pearl

I work for a small engineering firm, as I’ve said. We do subcontracting with an enormous Fortune 50 firm, to the tune of literally millions and millions and millions of dollars. So when Company X, said firm, requests us all to take some sort of special training, in particular for their new ‘quality’ goals, we all click our heels, salute and say, “We’ll get it done yesterday!”

And so today was the deadline for us all to watch and take a test on a quality initiative, a requirement lest we be dismissed. I laid down the law yesterday with my family and said, “Look, Bones can be sick, but I MUST go in and take this test or I’ll get fired…”

So I went in today to listen to the video, take the test, and print out my certificate.

I plugged in the CD, plugged in my ear jack and up popped my ‘escort’ into the virtual world of quality. He wasn’t a real cartoon, but he wasn’t a real person. Do you know what I mean? You know those real looking cartoons they make now? Like the movie Beowulf?

And he so offended me. He got on my every last nerve…

I said, very loudly, to the guys I work with, “This guy offends me! Look at this. They made a person to appease EVERYONE. LOOK! He has African American hair, Hispanic colored skin, a Caucasion nose, and Asian eyes! And they have him wearing glasses too! Do you think he may also be a hermaphrodite?”

The guys gathered around to look at the adrongenous ‘Every’ man and I said, ‘And listen to his voice! I.CANNOT.LISTEN.TO.THIS… FOR…AN… HOUR!”

The non-accented voice made the newscaster brass ring of the ‘non-accent’ seem accented. And to add an element of sophistication and intelligence, they thought that giving it some sort of Blue Blood High Brow tone would be best.

Gah!

NO!

It was awful!

My tech lead, arms crossed over his chest, grinned at me and then reached over and said, “Bou… watch this…” and he pulled the plug on my earpiece and said, “Now, hit ‘no sound’ and CC for closed caption and you can do what the rest of us did and read it, instead of listening to that dork. It goes faster reading it anyway…”

And so that’s what I did.

One of my co-workers next to me finally said, “I think you may be the most politically incorrect person in here today…”

Yup. I’m OK with that.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:33 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 20, 2008

Accolades All Around... On Every Level

I win the sucky Mom award today.

Should I take my bow now or should I tell you the story?

I’ll bow twice. That’s how bad I suck.

Keep in mind, this is the 2nd 1st day of school. They had school Monday, off on Tuesday because of rain, back to school today for another 1st day.

I got up and made their lunches, got ready for work, came back to eat my breakfast and Bones had his head on the table and said his stomach hurt. He is drama.

I said, “Yeah, well, me too. Its because its early and your tummy wants you to sleep two more hours…”

I ate and looked over and there were tears. Tears for sympathy? That was my thought.

I ignored him and said from behind my newspaper, “Look, you don’t have to eat, I don’t care, and if your stomach really does hurt, you don’t have to take your meds, but quit crying already and go brush your hair.”

Five minutes passed and I yelled, “Let’s Go! Get in the car! I’m LEAVING!” and everyone picked up their backpacks as Bones sagged his way to the car.

We got in, he started acting like he was sick, *cough* *cough*, *sniffle**sniffle* and I said, “Dude, don’t you DARE throw up in my car. Are you going to puke?”

No sympathy yet. I was still on the, “He is vying for my attention” angle.

He quietly said… no.

I barked, “Look, if you feel that crappy, just lay down in the back…”

He sniffled, “I’m ok…”

Feeling as if I should at least play into it I said, “Boys, someone hand that kid a plastic bag. I don’t want him throwing up in my car…”

And we didn’t make it to the end of the driveway, when he hurled, thankfully… in the bag.

I looked back, still thinking that maybe he ‘made himself vomit’, and said, “You OK? Don’t let that spill in my car. Here… have a napkin.”

And off I drove to school.

When you puke in the morning, you don’t go to school. I called work and told them I’d not be in. I dropped the two older boys off and… Bones threw up… the entire… way home.

The whole way.

Now I realized, holy crap, this kid is really sick!

We got home and I immediately got him ginger ale and Gatorade, and got him situated in the bathroom, where he threw up four more times… until 10:30 when he said, “Mom, I’m going to take a shower.”

He took a shower, got out, and proceeded to eat 3000 calories. He ate all day.

I have no clue what in the heck was going on… he obviously wasn’t well. But good grief, I felt like the world’s worst Mom. The kids feels like complete crap, and I’m still like, “Suck it up, Bucko!”

Ugh.

I just can’t tell. There is always so much drama… I can never tell anymore what is real and what is… not.

This morning… it was real. Blech.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:31 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

August 19, 2008

Embracing the Suck... Part I

I said to my husband today as I went out to cross train (bike riding instead of interval training with running and walking), “I dread this. Today I embrace the suck.”

We’re in a Tropical Storm here. Or rather on the tail end. The damn thing won’t leave. It just keeps hanging around over Lake O that NEEDS the water, but still… it truly is making us a bit soggy.

It’s all cool.

I rode off on my bike picking a time when it wasn’t raining and there was no wind. My goal was an hour on the bike… getting me to about 10 miles.

The first half I thought, ‘Oh I was so negative. It’s really a great ride. No rain. No wind. All the birds freaking out still…’

And then came the 2nd half when the wind came out of frickin’ nowhere. I’ve never been one to switch gears on my bike as we have no hills and I just ride the same speed. But suddenly I’m heading into a horrible wind and I kept shifting my gears until I was at the spinniest part.

You know that gear, right? That’s the gear where on a normal day, your feet go round and round and you don’t go very far?

I sound like such an athlete. I truly amaze myself.

So here I was, at the spinniest part, and I could barely get my foot around a full 360. I think I was traveling 1 MPH.

It truly did suck.

Team in Training has a Century ride for cyclists where they do 100 miles. All I kept thinking is, if they hit a head wind like that, it will SURELY suck to be them. It takes ‘embrace the suck’ to a whole new level.

I got in the house, having cut it down to a five mile ride as I didn’t want to tear or pull anything, and my husband looked at me with wide eyes and said, “wow, a wind storm just kicked up. I was wondering how that went…”

I shook my head and said, “Oh it sucked. It totally frickin’ sucked.”

Meanwhile, I got an email today from LLS. They were telling me how I really really needed to adhere to the weekly training schedule, because if you only train on weekends… get this… “you will not enjoy the experience nearly as much if you only train on the weekends; in fact you will most likely not be successful in reaching your distance goal.”

Let us analyze this sentence shall we?

“You will not enjoy this experience nearly as much…”

I did a *blink* when I read this. Completing a marathon and enjoy… just never made the same breath for me before. “Enjoy it as much”… that just makes me want to shudder.

Because my philosophy is (language alert), ‘Never underestimate how completely shitty you will feel when completing a Marathon.”

So… given that philosophy, I’m kind of wondering about this ‘enjoy’ part. Hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the first 13 miles or so I’ll think they are A LOT of fun.

But… wow… that just wasn’t a thought. I view this as a goal to complete… but hey, if I can truly enjoy it too? I’m GAME!

Bring it on!

And again, if you'd like to contribute to the cause please go HERE to my LLS site. I'll take nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars... and lots of prayer. And for the post on WHY I'm doing this... please go HERE. Thank you.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:47 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Carrying a BIG Stick

I have a girlfriend locally they may be doing this Marathon with me. She turned me onto the Runner’s World site where, by joining (its free), I can plot out my various routes and it will tell me how many miles it is.

It’s very very cool. (If you run, walk or cycle and are interested, shoot me an email and I’ll tell you how to get to that portion of the site.)

So on my little file, I have my entire neighborhood laid out, it comes up as a map and you create your path and log it in. I have, “Little Circle” which is 2.3 miles. I have Big B, which is 4.5 miles. And I have Big B with cul de sacs, equating to 7.8 miles.

My neighborhood is shaped like a Big B. I live on the bottom bubble of the B, hence ‘little circle’.

I’ve walked, run or biked in my neighborhood for 12 years, and other than seeing a gator here or there, typically in the water, and they really will leave you alone if you don’t get too close and provoke, I have never had any type of scare, until yesterday.

I’m doing interval training which is walking and running. Currently, our training is not so hard, so I add an extra 30 minute bike ride to add some cross training.

Yesterday it was raining, and I was walking briskly along one of the canals when I came upon a man and a woman in a golf cart, both of them clad in plastic rain gear, not a ‘real’ raincoat, per say, but the kind of cheap plastic cover you’d get at a sporting event.

As I approached and I assessed them, I could see there was a small dog in the golf cart with the husband who was at the wheel, and the woman was standing outside the golf cart with a 100 lb black pit bull on a leash.

The closer I got, the more I realized that this big muscular dog didn’t look friendly. Sure enough, the dog started to growl.

Now I’m not afraid of dogs. There was no fear emanating from me, just an awareness. I stopped in my tracks and the dog started to lung, lips pulled back, baring every sharp tooth, with a snarling growling menacing bark.

No doubt, he DEFINITELY wanted to eat me for dinner.

I put my hands out towards the woman, parallel to the ground, raised my eyebrows and said, “You got him?”

No fear and no panic, I stood my ground and wondered exactly what was going to happen if this dog got loose.

SHE however, was panicking and screaming at her husband. Her husband was yelling back at her, “I GOT HIM! I GOT HIM!” and she said, “He’s going to kill me! He’s going to take me down!” and he’s yelling more, “NO! I HAVE HIM!”

As they pulled him back to the cart, I kept walking. My only thought during the entire ordeal was, “Crap. I need pepper spray.”

So as soon as this Tropical Storm finishes passing, I’ll make my way out to the sports store and get me some mace or pepper spray, or whatever they have.

Let me assure you, I’m not afraid to kill a dog that is attacking me or my children... or any other innocent for that matter. I was thinking of carrying a knife, because if I’d had one last night and that dog had come at me, I’d have slit its throat. No question, that dog would be dead.

Meanwhile, my boys think this is hysterical. I know, you are shaking your head. They aren’t laughing at the thought of my killing this dog in the fact that I COULDN’T do it, but they were laughing at the fact that they knew damn well I COULD.

They want me to carry a machete.

Yes.

They want me to run with a machete because if I have to defend myself against a dog OR gator, it will be easier.

Where in the world would I be without my little army of boys to think of ways to keep me protected? Can you see me running with a frickin’ machete?

That said, knives are messy and for a dog to get that close to me that I have to stab it or slit its throat means I’ve taken a bite in the arm or leg. So I’m opting for a spray to keep it at bay.

And VW told me that if I can get my shoe in its mouth, that will stop him as well.

It reminded me that TGOO always carried a stick with him when he ran. A stick he did have to use. That may be an option as well.

My blogfriend Writersblock at Perieraville is doing this marathon for TNT as well, only she trains in Orlando. So a tip to her, one she may already know,… get spray or carry a good sized stick. I know about the shoes, and how cotton is not my friend, and about sun protection, and the right socks… but I’d not thought about protection, in particular since I’m only training in my neighborhood.

A place I thought safe.

Some days I’m so foolish.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:27 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

August 18, 2008

Stupid "Sports"

Conversation with Mo today:

Mo: For the love of God, how in the world did Trampoline, Badmitton, and Ping Pong become Olympic sports?

I couldn't answer her...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:15 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

In the Arena

In March, I received a notice in the mail from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, inviting me to complete a marathon, triathlon, or cycling race for them.

I have no idea how they got my name.

All I know is that on the back page was a picture of a little boy and he shared the same name as my youngest.

And it set me into thought… thoughts of all the people I have known that have fought Leukemia, Lymphoma, or Myeloma and lived. All the people I know that have lost the battle and died, leaving grieving families. All the people I know effected by blood born cancers.

If you have been reading me long enough, you remember my friend that died, coming up four years, this October. Although MDS started her on her downward spiral, it was Leukemia that ultimately took her life, leaving her two sons motherless… and just before she died, a new drug called Gleevec (the drug written of in the post) had been discovered… too late for her.

I get really down about this sometimes. A dear friend said to me once, “Yes, but for every person like J., that the drug was too late for, there is a person who it was just in time for.”

And he was right.

There are new discoveries in the fight for blood born cancers made EVERY year. And these discoveries, they are applying to the fight for other cancers as well.

I truly believe, from the bottom of my heart, that a cure will be in MY lifetime.

I believe.

And that is why I’m committed.

I am not a scientist. I cannot do research and find a cure.

I am not a doctor. I cannot find the best course of action for a patient and cure them.

I am not a psychologist that can help them through the mental aspect of treatments.

But I am healthy. I am extraordinarily driven. I am capable of being in phenomenal shape.

I can run. I can walk. I can and WILL complete a marathon.

I am tired of being a bystander and watching those around me suffer.

This will be part of my blog now. You will follow my training as I prepare for my 26.2 miles to be completed on January 11, 2009 in Orlando… the Disney Marathon.

I’m blogging it because… this is part of my life. I trained for an hour today in the rain. I WILL do this. I will complete it.

But this is a fundraiser as well. It has taken a lot for me to write this because in some ways, this is putting me out there. I have a site HERE, for fundraising. It is me… in a way I do not blog. I’ve never been so open as to who I am… anonymonity has always been important to me… but the cause for a cure is more important.

If you can spare anything towards this cause, I will be grateful. I am trying to put a button on my blog, but until then, as I said, THIS is my site.

I will complete this marathon, both running and walking… for my Mom-friend Joan, who is in her third remission from lymphoma and in Memory of Yale, who fought the good fight, until all the Kings Horses and all the Kings Men, and the wonderful doctors at Duke, could do no more. Their stories will be forthcoming… as will be more of my experiences of being a bystander to these awful diseases.

I will be a bystander no more.

Thank you.

Sidenote: I am fundraising outside of blogging. My two lives do not mingle. I only ask that if you leave a comment on my LLS site, that you call me by my first name or not use my name.... just do NOT call me Bou. People will wonder and I don't want them finding me...


Posted by Boudicca at 08:57 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 17, 2008

HB, TN!

Today is my brother’s birthday. Today my brother, younger than me by 23.5 months, is 41.

Unfortunately that means I’ll be 43 in a couple weeks… blech.

Most of you who read here frequently know him as my whacky very rarely serious commenter, TN, short for Toluca Nole.

Growing up, he was the kid into swimming, swimming from age 7 through high school. When he got into something he REALLY got into it. He had his subscription to Swimmer’s World and we knew all the best swim clubs around the United States, who was placing and setting records in what section of the country, what universities had the best programs… and who the rising stars going to the Olympics would be.

Names like Rowdy Gaines were the norm. Steve Lundquist, Mary T. Meagher, Pablo Morales, and… Dara Torres.

Because of TN, US swimming was a household event to be watched and read about.

TN was the white haired blue eyed kid, solid, and athletic.

And he’s our creative one.

It’s funny how relationships change. My boys are older now and more able to relate to adults. They are children, but can play and carry on with adults. And so their relationship with their uncle has changed as well, as they goof with him, and he is able to get more on their level since they are older.

Its been fun to watch.

Happy Birthday, TN!

He is now as old as Dara Torres… heh.

Oh and on an unrelated sidenote, I keep trying to get my sister to name the Chubbalina, if it’s a girl, Shalane Flanagan.

Can you believe she told me NO?! Phht. Some people only have taste in their mouth... Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:24 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 16, 2008

Phelps

Just... Wow.

And if you haven't seen the frame by frame of last night's fly win, the one race that nearly gave me a damn stroke. (My bro sent me the frame by frame. We're all really into the Olympics.)

And Jason Lezak is the frickin' MAN.

And Michael's mother should be proud on two accounts... what a tremendous athlete, but most importantly, he has handled it all with such grace and class.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:15 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 15, 2008

Calgon, Take Me Away!

There are days… I just cannot take my boys out in public.

Can not.

And Should not.

Yesterday was one.

I’m not sure who stole my kids and left me with what I have now, but I want my kids back.

Please.

I am thinking that since I’ve been so stressed about school starting, so horrified, that perhaps a Greater Being is trying to make me want to usher them out the door Monday morning at 7AM.

I had Son#4 with us yesterday; a last hurrah before school starts. We had to drop by the mall to pick up a shirt for my eldest, who had a party to attend that night and he happened to have outgrown all his clothes.

Which brings me to a sidenote. My eldest boy is 13, weighs 75 lbs, wears a size 16 shirt, but a size 11 pants. Broad shoulders, narrow waist, flat stomach, broader chested… and not so long legs. Did I give birth to monkeys, ‘cause I’m thinking with the shirt size vs. pants size, his knuckles should be dragging the ground. I need to check them for calluses…

Anyway, we were approaching the interstate to take us to the mall, when Bones said, “Mom! Can we go to Gander Mountain?”

I replied, immediately, “No.”

But then Son#4 said, “What is Gander Mountain?” and I found myself catching my breath and saying to him, “Pardon me? What is Gander Mountain? Well… I guess we’ll have to go see…” and I crossed three lanes to get in the proper turn lane and took the asexual mom-mobile, unbeknownst to me, filled with the spawn of Satan himself, to Gander Mountain.

As I walked in ahead of them, I could hear the typical boy pushing and shoving.

I ignored it.

I could hear the boy whispering and low laughs.

I ignored it.

Perhaps these were all early warning signs as to what was to come and ignoring them was a tactical error on my part.

After all, there were four of them, one of me, and I was playing Zone Defense.

We made it through the airsoft gun section without incident and made our way to camping gear. And that is where we spotted it…

… the shower tent.

It was a ginormous rectangular tent, with a big hot water bag attached to the top, allowing you to take a shower in some sort of privacy. Someone had placed a large beige colored ‘potty’ in there.

I’m sorry. I can’t call it a commode or a toilet. It looked like one of those ‘potties’ we used to potty train our children, except it was a toilet training potty hopped up on steroids.

Immediately Mr. T, not being able to control his impulses yesterday, jumped into the shower tent and said, “LOOK at this!” and then he proceeded to sit on the ‘potty’, scrunch up his face as if taking the biggest… whatever… of his life, complete with sound effects and gasps for air.

I was aghast.

We were in a store.

Eyes wide open I said, “OMG! Stop that!” and then… if I were not horrified enough… the voice of a male sales clerk, could be heard from behind me saying to Mr. T, “The bathrooms are that way…”

If the earth had just opened up and swallowed me right then and there, the universe still could not have been kind enough.

I turned around, eight shades of embarrassed, and said, “Ack! I am horrified!”

He laughed and said, “You have four of them with you… it’s to be expected…”

Good Lord.

But truly the icing on my poor parenting cake, was when I actually took my eyes off the boys, a BIG NO NO when in public with boys, and started talking to the clerk about tents, as Ringo and Mr. T are going to need a two man tent for all their Boy Scout camping this year, and will eventually need a light little one man for their hikes.

I heard commotion.

I did.

I heard laughing.

I turned around, having decided on tent potential, when I saw Bones… walk out of a gun safe. Ringo opened the door, and Bones walked out… of the gun safe.

They have these enormous gun safes that look like they could double as a coffin. You know how people buy coffins and then those cement concrete things to put the coffin inside? These gun safes could double as both.

Bones walked out and I nearly stroked. Visions of children asphyxiating in old refrigerators danced in my head.

I grabbed his arm, shot nasty looks that said, “GET OVER HERE” to the rest of the boys and said to Bones, “WHAT.ARE.YOU.DOING?HOW.MUCH.AIR.DO.YOU.THINK.IS.IN.A.GUN.SAFE?IF.YOU.GOT.LOCKED.IN.YOU.COULD.SUFFOCATE.”

GAH!

The salesclerk seemed equally horrified. He said to Bones, “I think you’d be blue before we got the combination to it and got it open.”

I apologized profusely, gathered Bones by the scruff of the neck and pointed his body in the direction of the front door. The salesclerk said, “Well, you do have four of them with you. Things like this is why we have a ‘no 18 and under without an adult’ policy. In your case though… You’re just way outnumbered.”

Being with Bones alone is way outnumbered. Being with Bones is like being with three regular kids, add Mr. T, who appeared to be hopped up on God only knows what, and the older boys laughing and egging on, and I was doomed from the start.

I wanted the earth to open and swallow me yet… again. I mustered a weak smile and took the circus out of Gander Mountain.

The whole way I was thinking, “And now I have to take them to the Mall?”

We got to the store, with my car practically flying on whatever energy was emanating from the four boys in my vehicle. I gave everyone the ‘BEHAVE’ lecture and made our way to the door.

The doors are double doors. You have an entrance, a foyer and then a second set of doors. I don’t know if all malls are like this, but I think it is an energy saving device as well as theft prevention.

Bones walked to the handicap door and pushed the button. I looked over and… I’m not kidding… he immediately started dragging his right leg like it didn’t work.

I made it into the little foyer area the same time he did, looking to my left, I saw him lurching forward, right leg dragging behind him. I looked forward to see…

… a small group of women with their sweet little girls watching us come through the doors.

The final humiliation.

My youngest son faking a handicap as he figured it was better to look like he REALLY had a handicap while he used the handicap door, when in reality, he just looked like a little blonde shaggy dork, faking a bum leg.

It’s something Morrigan would have done when she was his age.

That was when I realized, one store. I could only handle one store and then we’d go home.

Buying the shirt wasn’t much better as the three other boys were barely under control, pushing the envelope, the entire time Ringo tried on his shirt. I quickly paid and left.

The entire drive home, Mr. T having found some Mike Ike candy, was sticking them to his face and trying to attract the attention of other drivers. He had a red one in the middle of his forehead, a bunch on his nose, and one green one just underneath his nostril.

I drove home staring straight ahead… counting the minutes until separation and eliminating public exposure.

Oh and on another side note, Mr. T said to me, “So what’s up with that big potty? Where does all the crap go?”

Me: Well, I guess you have to dig a big hole, dump it in and bury it.

T: Why? Why not just dig a hole and crap in the hole instead of crapping on that plastic potty, then digging a hole, then dumping it, and then having to clean it?

Me: *blink* I don’t know. I think I’d rather do it the Bear way… but… I don’t know.

Good Grief.

What a long damn day yesterday was…

Posted by Boudicca at 10:01 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

August 14, 2008

Swimming in the Fast Lane

I did some research today regarding the Water Cube. It was Peggy’s question concerning the filtration system that prompted it, but I found many many interesting things.

Remember when I questioned whether it was a ‘fast pool’? I think the answer is yes, on two fronts. I read that this pool is 1 meter deeper than standard pools and the deeper the pool, the less water disturbance, hence faster times. It was actually anticipated that with the deeper pool and the new ‘swim suits’ that many world records would be broken.

So there is that.

But when I looked into the filtration system, one of the articles I read also stated that some are wondering if the water itself has created a ‘fast pool’ atmosphere. Chlorine is not being used. It’s some sort of Ozone system that the US is now looking into as well. It’s big in Europe.

You can look at a description of the system here. Also the water filtration system runs all backwash water through two filtration systems before returning it back to the pool.

All the reading I’ve done today on the Water Cube and its systems show that it is extraordinarily environmentally friendly, both the building and the water.

Of course the rest of the country isn’t, but that’s a whole other issue…

And in my mind, this of course takes nothing away from Mr. Phelps, whose times might not be as fast as they are if not for the 'fast pool' and cool swim suit, but who would still be beating the speedos off every other man in the pool.

I called in to work today as we’re still working a hot project and I call in daily to see if I’m needed to come in for some 2nd shift work. (I worked last night.) I always call my Tech Lead, who if you remember, is a huge Olympic fan like I am, and is having a hard time crawling into work every morning.

Me: Hey! It’s me!

TL: Hey.

Me: Did you get better sleep?

TL: Well… I went to bed earlier…

Me: Yeah, me too. Without Phelps swimming, I feel less inclined to watch EVERYTHING.

TL: Yeah, me too. But you know what? I went to bed at 10:30 and still couldn’t sleep.

Me: Ahhh… your body is now on… Olympic time! Phelps is doin’ his thang tonight.

TL: I know. I dread tomorrow morning…

Posted by Boudicca at 06:31 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 12, 2008

Training Changes or Just Fast Pools?

Those 12 year old Chinese gymnasts sure are a force to contend with. I can't stay up all night, but I really wanted to see how this turns out.

Meanwhile, we just watched Michael Phelps and the amazing relay blow away the World Record. I just have to think that training has seriously changed in the last four to eight years. I've not heard anything about it, but for the WR to be consistently blown repeatedly, I have to think that SOMETHING has changed.

My husband asked me today, 'Do you think Michael Phelps is good looking?'

As much as I carry on about Phelps, I did have to tell him, "No, I don't." I really don't. Swimmers are funny. They spend so much time in the water that they kind of lope when on land.

Mom likes to joke about the time she went to an awards dinner for TN's swim team. (TN was a GREAT swimmer.) She talks about how they all came slouching into the dinner. That's how swimmers are... its as if they don't have bones.

My boys were talking today about how much food they heard these swimmers eat, proceeding to tell me what Michael Phelps eats for breakfast.

I decided that compared to Phelps refrigerator size, I am a cooler. And that fits... I can eat a cooler's worth of food and he can evidently, according to my boys, clean out a fridge.

And... speaking of fridges, I've had the Phelps' swim schedule on it since Saturday, slowly checking off... swim... by swim.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:41 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Work Stoppage... A Communist Plot

I had to call into work today… some not so good things I uncovered the other day had to be discussed on a telecon.

I called in around 8:30AM to get the call in number and the following conversation took place between my tech lead and me, to the best of my recollection:

TL: Hellooo.

Me: Wow. You sound… like crap.

TL, laughing: It was a long night.

Me: Oh. Watch the Olympics last night?

TL: Yeah.

Me: Did you watch ALL of the men’s gymnastics?

TL: Yeah.

Me: Holy crap. I stopped at 11:45. I was too beat. What time did you go to bed, like 3AM?

TL: Nah, it was over at 12:30.

Me: Yeah. No thanks. I couldn’t do it… although I wish I’d seen them pull off that bronze.

Good Grief. I wonder if productivity is being effected at workplaces all over the Eastern Seaboard as we all stay up to watch these Olympics. Its not just swimming I watch, although Michael Phelps is a beast and I just watched him win #4 and I’m waiting for his relay, but also gymnastics. I’ll be all over track and field when it starts.

This week has been OK for me. Its still summer. But next week? I’ll be staying up at these horrible times only to have to get up at 6AM to play cheerleader to my kids as they start school?

Right.

Next week has the potential to be a LONG daggum week.

Oh. Go USA! I was so proud of our Men’s gymastics team!

Which actually brings me to another story.

The young male gymnast, Horton, he was being interviewed. He is just so wide eyed and innocent looking. You have on one hand Michael Phelps who is HUGE and man/boyish, yet looks like he eats rocks and then you have Jonathon Horton who is young and boyish and looks like… someone’s little boy with big daggum muscles.

So on the couch sat Bones, me, and then my husband.

The camera panned in on Horton and I said, “Do you think he shaves?”

My husband said, “Well, he’s old enough.”

Me: Look. I don’t see one hair follicle. I don’t think he shaves yet.

Bones: No. If he shaved, he’d look like Dad. Look…

I looked over at my husband, who I call the Chia pet. He shaves and *POOF!* he has a beard in minutes. His 5:00 shadow that he had at 12 Noon was now moving into a beard by 9PM.

My husband just looked at Bones and me, raising both eyebrows.

I looked back at Bones and said, “You have a point…”

Bones, looking at the TV, replied, “That man has no pickies. No way he shaves…”

Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:39 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 11, 2008

Changing a Slug into a ... Sloth?

I think I mentioned I’m doing a marathon in January. I’m doing the Disney Marathon. I signed up in May, but attend my real meeting tomorrow night, doing Team in Training for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

Twenty-six point two miles… I’ll be doing the Fitness Walk and must complete it in seven hours. The time requirement is a Disney requirement, not an LLS requirement.

So we start training on Sunday. I’m ready. I’m out of shape, but I’m ready. I’ve not really worked out since March. I haven’t been in GREAT shape since November.

Realizing that January is just around the corner and I’ve been an absolute slug this summer, I decided to look up online exactly what type of training to expect to Fitness Walk a marathon.

What I found were things like, “You should have a base of 20 miles a week for six months before starting.”

Umm.

OK.

So what if you have a base of…

Ohhhhh….

Zero miles?

A week?

Because that’s where I am.

Now I know that LLS has taken this into consideration, that they’re going to get all shapes and sizes and all different levels of activity. But really, this has me a bit nervous.

So I started walking yesterday and I have come to the conclusion that… it is hotter than three hells in Florida, even at 9AM, in August. Holy crap. I get home and I can feel myself subconsciously screaming, “IIiiiiiii’mmmm Mmmmmmmelllltinnnnnnggggg…”

That translates to ‘I’m melting’, if you can get through all the long letters.

I have no doubt I can do this. I know I can do it… but I’m nervous for the first time. I’m going into this with 15 miles a week for one week under my belt. I think that does not bode so well…

I guess I’ll find out more on Sunday morning. Ten to one says they have us meet at some God awful time like 5AM. Ugh.

And quickly, back to Olympic swimming, because I can’t seem to quit posting about it… these guys are huge people. Good Lord. What do they feed them? They’re all GARGANTUAN. Matt Grevers is just… really really big. Really big. Huge.

Can you imagine what their food bills must be like?

Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Ho Hum...

Just another World Record for Phelps.

I'm kidding! Its not ho hum! Holy crap. He is just blowing me away with how powerful he is.

But I'll tell you... Chris Collinsworth frickin' cracks me up.

And if you were going to take that game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon and turn it into the Six Degrees of Dara Torres... I found out yesterday that I know quite a few people who know her personally, making me a 2nd degree and all the rest of you, if you don't know her, 3rd degrees.

I personally thought that was pretty dang cool!

Posted by Boudicca at 09:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 10, 2008

HOLY!!! CRAP!!!

If you missed the relay team race in swimming tonight with the USA finishing first, eeking past the French in the last tenth of a second, you missed it BIG.

HOOLLLLY Shit.

Good Lord.

It was fantastic.

Holy crap.

I love the Olympics.

Could you hear the screaming coming from your computer all the way from my house? Holy crap. I still can't believe it. Frickin' French saying they were going to Smash us. Gah! Jerks.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:32 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 09, 2008

The Change in Times

I’m sitting here watching the Olympics.

I love the Olympics.

Of course I root for the home team, but occasionally, I’ll root for someone else. You can find me rooting for some athlete from some small country that comes from a dire background and has somehow managed to make it to the finals.

Sometimes its about rooting for the person and not the country.

Overall, however, I’m all about team America.

The Olympics. I remember watching them on a small black and white TV that received three channels, ABC, CBS, and NBC, oh and channel 23 was PBS, but very fuzzy.

Olga Korbut, 1972.

Nadia Comenci, 1976.

I was seven when I remember watching my first Olympics.

Do you remember when it was the Russians, Romanians, East Germans and Americans seemed to dominate so much?

During men’s gymnastics today, I thought about that. Now it’s the Chinese, Japanese and Russians.

What happened to all those East German athletes? All those women that looked like men. All the doping… did they die of cancer? Are they happy with their lives now?

I wonder about them.

And here I sit waiting to watch Michael Phelps swim. 400IM.

And I believe Dara Torres swims tonight. I do not think she’s doping. I look at her body and I look at those of the younger women and she just looks like top form. She is a lean mean swimming machine.

I do not think she’s doping.

I so hope she pulls this off.

I hope Phelps pulls this off... its so close! Ack!

**UPDATE*** Holy crap! He did it! World Record! I need a life sized poster of Michael Phelps in my bedroom...

Good grief, he's a giant. What is he, 10 feet tall?


Posted by Boudicca at 09:06 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 08, 2008

21st Century Experiences or How Society is Regressing

I had the most… bizarre thing happen to me today at work.

I walked into the ladies’ restroom and was in a stall when I heard someone come in… talking on their cell phone! She proceeded to talk on her phone to her husband, continue talking as she got in her stall, had a full blown conversation as she relieved herself, talking very animatedly about their upcoming move and her honey do list for him.

It was a complete *blink* moment.

I was… horrified? Embarrassed? Stunned?

So many swirling emotions.

None of them happy.

It’s not like she was at home. Do what you want at home… but in Public? NO.

I didn’t know what to do? Do I flush? Do I wait? I mean should I try to be polite because after all she WAS having a conversation.

Good Grief.

And of course the answer is no, of course not, but still, I felt like it was a complete violation of MY privacy because I felt like her husband was in the bathroom WITH ME!!

So I waited for her to finish. I just stood there waiting for her to leave. I didn’t want to know who she was. The whole thing was just horribly uncomfortable for me.

I went back into our little office and I said to the men, “YOU will NOT believe WHAT just HAPPENED to ME in the Women’s BATHROOM!”

I am frequently privy to the antics of the Men’s room, unfortunately, thanks to my co-workers. I’ve had quite an education on men's bathroom filth and what not. All sorts of little sayings like, ‘Pull the boat up closer to the dock if your anchor doesn’t reach…’

Gah!

I hear about it all.

So the men all gathered around as I went on quite animatedly about this ghastly experience.

They busted out laughing and said, “Welcome to our life! You know Dave Jones next door? He walks right into the bathroom all the time, talking on his phone while he walks up to the urinal. You’re standing there and he’s talking to his wife… he urinates, and then he washes his hands and walks out while still talking, never once stopping.”

I’m sorry, but folks, that is bizarre.

All of this is just a huge breach in civility.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

The guys… being guys… said, “Bou, you handled it all wrong. You should have really really cut one loose. You should have farted as LOUD as you could.”

Gah!

Talk about mortifying!

NO.

I think that might be a true example of Mars vs. Venus.

Really.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:53 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Potential Olympic Sites

As I sit here and watch the opening ceremonies of Olympics, I am reminded of a conversation my husband and I had at dinner.

Background, we've had a lot of banter between us as of late as to why China was selected. With all the issues that continue, we've been kind of shaking our heads.

So at dinner tonight my husband said, "So, who's hosting the Winter Olympics?"

I shrugged and said I didn't know.

He said, "North Korea?"

For some reason I thought that was hysterical.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:27 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

August 07, 2008

Engineer's Revenge

I was sent THIS from my reader, Web. If nobody appreciates it, TGOO and Elisson will.

Heh.

I definitely did...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:16 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

It's Alive And Well in Corporate America

Sexism pisses me off.

I’m not talking chivalry, opening doors and the like. Our society has gotten confused with civility and manners versus sexism. Opening a door for a woman, standing when she comes to the table, pulling out her chair, are not sexist.

Asking a woman why she works because of her husband’s profession is sexist.

How many men get asked why they work if they’re married to a successful doctor/lawyer/Indian chief? None. How many times do I get asked that? Since the day I got married? More times than I can count. I was expected to quit my job because my husband had a ‘good job’. I got asked that question again last week. It pisses me off and it’s sexist and offensive.

My husband said I handled it well. That's the best part... my husband was standing RIGHT THERE when the guy asked me. Usually I only get these questions when I'm alone.

I stood there for a minute, surprised as it truly had been a long time since I was asked this question. I kind of stood there in some sort of shell shock.

It was truly a *blink* moment.

Finally I said, "Because I have an IQ over 130 and can."

He asked again.

And I replied, "Because I'm an intelligent thinking woman with skills still viable in the work force and I can."

He seemed puzzled still.

My husband jumped in and said, "We have three kids..."

And somehow that changed the course. He said, "OH! Yeah, I don't have kids at home anymore."

So I picked it up from there and said, "Yes, I have three kids to put through college as well as a retirement to save for. We are self employed. There is no pension other than what we save. Plus, we may have to send our children to private high school since our schools SUCK in Florida."

This seemed to be a reasonable answer.

Being an intelligent free thinking woman who can contribute to society in the work force... isn't.

And did I say I also work with this man?

Yeah.

Love that.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:12 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

August 06, 2008

Busy as a Bee

Have you seen the film Madagascar? Do you remember that song that says something like, “I like to Move it Move it. I like to Move it Move it”?

Well the little four year old that was staying in my home the last few days, absolutely LOVES Madagascar.

And he runs everywhere. It’s a riot. He takes these intentionally itty bitty strides so it looks like his feet are touching each other as he runs and he runs FAST. Whoda thunk it?

So we were at dinner the other night and he decided he had to use the bathroom. He did his thing and then came out and said, “There’s no stool in there!”

The adults just kind of looked at each other.

Then he said, “That’s OK, I’ll go get it…” and he ran into the boys bathroom and picked up one of the many stools they have at their sink and took it into the guest bath and washed his hands.

An adult would have just washed their hands in a different sink.

A four year old knows he has to wash his hands and knows he must use the sink, but needs to make THAT sink accessible.

So he came around the corner, his little feet running with a penguin stride, carrying the little green stool and washed his hands.

We continued the conversation when I heard a little voice saying, “I like to move it move it. I like to move it move it…” and I looked down the hall and here he came, racing back, singing, “I like to move it move it. I like to move it move it” as he RAN the stool back into the boys' bathroom.

There were just so many things funny with that entire scenario. First the kid was hysterical. His little voice, the way he moved, the determination. He remembered to wash his hands, solved his problem, and even PUT THE STOOL BACK where he found it. I can’t get my kids to put their clothes away.

I was laughing at the song. Morrigan was like, “Wait! Gah! He recontaminated his hands!” and we were all laughing.

What a great kid he is. I miss him already. I spent more time conning him into letting me smooch his little cheeks and make him laugh than I should probably admit. VW’s boys kind of know better. Her second son will put his older brother in between us so I quit nuzzling him. His older brother humors me.

Children are so daggum sweet. How can someone just not want to inhale their innocence and love them?

Posted by Boudicca at 09:34 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

August 05, 2008

I Like My Sleep... Crunchy

I don’t think I posted on this when it occurred.

In April, my entire family came to visit. That would be my Mom and Dad, both siblings and Morrigan’s husband. Now sleeping that many people is not difficult thanks to the advent of… blow up air mattresses. As it is, Ringo has in his room two single beds, from when I was a kid. Mr. T and Bones each have a single bed in their room, a split pair of antique beds, refinished by TGOO, passed down to me. And…I have a guest room.

So Mom and Dad slept in the guest room, I moved T out of his room to sleep on an air mattress with TN taking his bed, and then moved Ringo out onto an air mattress with Mo and Flam sleeping in his single beds.

Now for a little background… Ringo had asthma as a preschooler, allergic to dust, so I put plastic mattress covers on all kid mattresses. Additionally, about two years ago, my friend PFB was here visiting when my folks were coming, so I put my folks into Ringo’s room. To make the room more comfortable, I bought feather beds for each bed. Ringo likes to sleep on T-shirt sheets… nice and soft.

So, got it? This is the make up of his beds… mattress, plastic cover, feather bed, tshirt sheet, comforter. His buddies FIGHT on who gets to sleep on his other bed, when more than one comes to spend the night. They think its great… hell, it has a feather bed.

Flash forward to April, when Flam and Mo were here. Mo said it was the middle of the night and she heard thrashing around in the bed, a *crunch* *crunch* *crunch*, and then *FOOM!*

In an attempt to get comfortable, Flam was tossing and turning on the slick tshirt sheets that have no body to them they were sliding around on the feather bed, that in turn was sliding around on the plastic mattress cover, making a *crunch* *crunch* *crunch* noise, until *FOOM!*, the tshirt sheets snapped off the mattress, snagging the edges of the feather bed, and the feather bed in turn collapsed into a bowl form, completely engulfing him in feather bed, sheets and pillow.

It wasn’t a good night.

So the next day, when Mo pulled me aside to tell me how it wasn’t going well, I took the plastic cover off, and put on more of a traditional cotton sheet that would stay in place, and it was much more tolerable.

Or as tolerable as a single bed can be when you’re used to sleeping in a Queen sized bed with your soft warm wife.

We laugh about it. You need to see Morrigan’s imitation of him thrashing around in the bed, complete with sound effects. It’s damn funny.

So last night, we were moving people around again as PFB is here with Mr. Smoochy Pants and they are sleeping in the guest room. Mo had to get up early for a meeting, so I put Bones in Ringo’s extra bed, and put Mo in Bones’ room.

Got it? We have musical beds down to a science here.

Bones must have the dust cover. His mattress has to stay protected as once every few months, he still wets the bed. It doesn’t happen often, but I think it has something to do with his ADHD. He sleeps deeply and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets distracted in his sleep like he does in his waking hours.

I never make a big deal about it. It is what it is and I figure it’ll eventually stop.

And because of this, I don’t have a feather bed on his bed. When he’s sleeping dry permanently, then he’ll get one. Until then… No.

I have new Tshirt sheets for his bed, and they are SOFT. Ringo’s sheets are soft, but these NEW Tshirt sheets are so soft, it feels like you could stick your tongue through the fabric.

I made the bed with the clean sheets and said to Mo, ‘Umm, there is something you need to know. Bones has new sheets… they are soft and thin, he doesn’t have a feather bed… and he has that plastic cover on his mattress.”

She stood there for a minute, looking impassively, and then she leaned over and pressed on the mattress.

It made that *crunch* noise.

She looked back up at me and said, “Crunch, Crunch, Crunch…”

I started to laugh.

And then she said, “Great, it’s going to be like sleeping on a gigantic Maxi-Pad.”

Heh.

I forgot to ask her how her sleeping went. A full sensory effect… cozy and crunchy.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:39 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Beefy Boys

I’ve had a four year old in my home the last couple days. Four year olds are just damn funny. That’s all there is to it.

I never know what little kids will eat. My kids always ate what we ate. But my niece, my brother in law’s daughter, will eat NOTHING but spaghetti and chicken fingers. Nothing. I’ve never once cooked a meal that she’s eaten.

She is soon to be five.

In her defense, this applies to dessert too, so it’s not as if she snubs her nose just at dinner. She only eats ice cream for dessert. No pies, no cakes, no pastry… just… ice cream.

Chocolate.

I don’t prepare a separate dinner for her. That’s her mother’s job in my opinion. And so whenever she won’t eat, I just say, “Hot dogs in the freezer, peanut butter in the pantry, carrots in the vegetable bin.” She can do as she wants, but I stay put.

So I’ve spent some time trying to figure out what to cook for dinner with Smoochy Pants here. I wanted to make sure it was something EVERYONE would like, including him. I fixed my chicken pot pie, which is pretty benign as far as spices go.

He took one look and said, “I’m sick…” and proceeded to cough like Mr. T. We all just kind of looked at him and my girlfriend said, “No, you’re not. Try this…”

He then started to breathe hard, like T’s labored pneumonic breathing but exaggerated… it was Smoochy Pants’ best imitation of Darth Vader. Every time he declares himself not well and starts with the heavy breathing, which is hysterical, I half expect to hear his little boy voice drop four octaves and declare, “Luuuuuuke, I am your faaaatherrrrr.”

My girlfriend looked at him and said, “You’re not sick. Try a bite of this.”

He took a bite and then shook his head and said, “My tummy said its not going to like this…” and we knew that was that. She got up and made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And it was more than the food... it was a new table, a new group of face, new food, new experiences.

Now I know these things happen. The key is, I don’t know him well enough to know if this is habit or if this was just a case of “Uh oh… no… not this time.”

I have kids. I get it. My kids, although will eat most anything, definitely have had times where they have said, “NO” and no threatening, bribing, or cajoling was going to convince them otherwise.

Chili is a big one. They hate chili.

And gumbo. They don’t do gumbo.

And TGOO tried to serve them both, on different visits to their home, out of a GREAT ceramic soup turkey tureen my Mom owns.

Mathematically, two points may not be a trend, but don’t tell my boys that. They see the turkey tureen at my folks’ house and they’re eyes get big and they say with great horror, “OH NO!” as if they have no doubt they’re about to be poisoned.

And then there was the time my Mom made this great homemade macaroni and cheese, knowing my boys love mac ‘n cheese, only for them to eat it and shake their heads no. It didn’t have enough chemicals and the cheese was real. Unless it’s Kraft and oozes fake cheese and preservatives, then they won’t eat it.

I was aghast.

So I get it. Kids are odd and can be unpredictable with food, unless of course its my niece, and it’s the full predictability that she will hate it all.

Today I realized I had no clue what the little guy would like, so I decided to just go ahead and cook a normal dinner and my girlfriend said if he didn’t like it, she’d cook him an egg.

Fair enough.

So I made a recipe for Beef and Tortellini that is cooked in onions, with garlic, mushrooms, sour cream and gravy.

The kid nearly out ate my youngest.

I think the pot pie may have been too peppery for him. But the mix of flavors in the tortellini dish was perfectly great. I think it’s a very very adult flavor, but evidently, he thought it was awesome.

No way in hell would my niece have eaten it. No way.

And so in the extended entry is my recipe… for Mr. Smoochy Pants. Kids are so daggum funny!

Beef With Tortellini
Ingredients
1 to 1.5 lbs of steak sliced and sautéed in olive oil with garlic powder and parsley, cooked to your family’s liking
1 jar of beef gravy
2 tablespoons garlic butter (or 2T butter with a couple minced cloves of garlic)
1 cup diced red onions
4 ounces sliced baby portabella mushrooms (1/2 package)
2 cups water
1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated three-cheese tortellini
**1-1.5 lbs of steak sliced and sautéed in olive oil with garlic powder and parsley, cooked to your family’s liking
**1 jar of beef gravy
1/3 cup sour cream

** You can substitute a 24 ounce pkg of fully cooked beef tips and gravy.
Steps
1. Place butter, onions, mushrooms, water, and tortellini in large sauté pan; cover and bring to boil on medium-high heat.
2. When boiling, uncover and boil 8–10 minutes. Gently stir, occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed. Stir in beef, gravy, and sour cream; cook, uncovered, 2–3 minutes until thoroughly heated. Serve.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:32 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 04, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

My sister is in town on business, my best friend from High School, PFB is here with her son, Mr. Smoochy Pants.

There is much playing of Scrabble and Blokus.

And if you’ve never had Chocolate Trinity ice cream… you are missing out.

And I still think one of my favorite movies of all time is... Finding Nemo.

Boys are better... we will find out more on Thursday. School starts in two weeks. Boooo.

Training for the marathon starts in two weeks... Yaaaay. I'm ready to have a reason to HAVE to exercise. Its too easy to... not.

And nothing gets the adrenaline flowing in a lazy summer than to get an email stating you're giving a talk in September and it is to last an hour.

*Blink*

Right.

I need to start writing...


Posted by Boudicca at 07:18 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 02, 2008

Confessions of a Crazy Quilter

I have to admit something…

Are you ready?

I’ve never seen a Mummy movie with Brandon Frasier.

There. I feel better.

On to other news…

I was determined today to get the binding on Mo and Flam’s wedding quilt. This moving into the 18th month of their marriage, I MUST finish the damn thing. I have a baby quilt to make, afterall.

Binding a quilt to me is the worst part. I hand bind mine with mitered corners. My corners, until this quilt, have always come out all wonky. This time they are perfect!

So I had the quilt on the floor, making sure the binding I’d sewn together was in fact long enough to cover all four sides, for it would surely have sucked nasty pond water if I’d started putting the binding on, only to come up short.

T walked in and said, “Wow, it looks good, Mom. How much longer do you have?”

Walking around the quilt with pins in my hands, eyeing different sections, without looking up I said, “30 or 40 hours.”

I found him and me looking at each other as we realized the realization of what I'd instinctively answered.

Holy crap.

It’s the quilt… that just… won’t… stop.

And back to the funeral of last week for a second. It took me three minutes to drive to the cemetery. The Jewish cemetery is across the street from my neighborhood. We joked at work I could have ridden my bike but...

One, it would have looked tacky.

Two, its summer and there is no showering before a funeral.

Three, daggum, it was hot enough burying him at 1:30PM on a Hot Humid Florida July afternoon, let alone ride my bike.

Besides, we were all joking. Really.

But as I left his gravesite, I passed the site of a friend of mine's parents. What truly was the probability that of this massive cemetery, that I would find myself standing over the final resting place of her parents?

A flood of memories came back to me, of her sitting Shivah, of the vast devastation of losing her parents. And I'll be calling her later this week to see if we can get together.

I don't believe in coincidences.

So I said to my husband, "I saw Sarah's parents grave today..."

Hunhead: REALLY?

Me: Yeah. You know, that cemetery is really close to our house. I wonder if they'd let a non-Jew be buried there. I mean... if I were to die young, then y'all could just ride your bikes for a visit whenever you wanted.

Hunhead: *blink* You're not dying young. And no, you have to be Jewish.

I came really close to saying, "Maybe I should look into converting..." but I knew I'd get one of those crazy looks he gives me sometimes when I say something incredibly whack. Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:05 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Blog Issues

If you use Sitemeter, anyone using IE7 cannot view your blog. It will bounce them out with an IE connection issue.

To correct this, go into your template and comment out sitemeter. Joan has all the scoop HERE as well as a link on dowloading Firefox should you like to use that instead of IE7 and in the comments Vman says its a bug with IE7.

Bottom line... if you blog, temporarily kill the sitemeter code until this is fixed.

** Update, it may be a coding issue with the people from Sitemeter, not Microsoft.**

**Final Update- According to Sitmeter, it was their fault. They have resolved the issue and if you are blogging, you can undo the commenting out of your sitemeter coding.**

Posted by Boudicca at 09:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack