December 31, 2008

New Year, Thank You

What a year, yes?

So much change, so much to wonder about in our future, so much… everything.

I am left looking towards the New Year wondering what is in store. As the Russians continue to rattle their swords, the Israelis, completely provoked, continue to pound the Gaza strip back to the Stone Age, the Indians and Pakistanis doing some sort of scary dance involving potential use of Nuclear Arms, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea… on any given day, the position of scariest position can swap.

I worry for my children.

I have said to many the week after Obama was elected, ‘Now that he knows the secret handshake, I wonder how he views things? He now knows the REAL DEAL and is probably thinking, “F***. What was I thinking?” while Bush is left grinning inside thinking, “Suuuucker!””

As I said when he got elected, let us hope he doesn’t get us all killed.

And as much as that is a concern of mine, it isn’t for this year.

I have much hope for this year and not because of Mr. Hope and Change himself, but just because… it’s a new year and… I do.

Thank you to my readers who continue to come back and want to peak inside my crazy life.

Thank you for laughing with me when I was laughing so hard myself I thought I’d cry.

Thank you for encouraging me, when I was so down, I was not crying, but sobbing.

Thank you for shaking your head at the chaos my life is at times with the boys.

Thank you for your comments as there are times it has been the life ring that has kept me afloat.

Your comments are always way funnier than my stories. (Shout out to Peggy U, good Lord woman, you need to take that stuff on the road or write a book!)

In essence… Thank you for being YOU.

May your New Year be blessed and safe.

May your relationships be full and happy.

May you be content.

From the House of Boudicca to Yours… Happy New Year.

P.S. How is this for a bizarro first of the year article? Allow me to add... if you are an Italian man living in Italy, may you NOT be sleeping on the couch. Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:23 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Now You See It... Now You STILL Don't See It

Invariably, when you have children something will come up and you’ll find yourself saying to your spouse, “Hey, he’s YOUR son.” (Insert daughter if it applies…)

Then sometimes, there is just no denying.

With Bones and his vast personality, perpetual motion and just overall ‘Bonesiness’ I feel certain its not something he inherited from me.

It’s as if I birthed a cartoon.

My sister and I were sitting in my parent’s kitchen the other day. Bones walked in, as he was hungry, opened the refrigerator door, declaring his hunger.

We looked up and said, ‘What are you hungry for?’

He replied, “A hot dog.”

Morrigan said, “We don’t have any hot dogs…”

He shrugged his shoulders, closed the door and walked out. He came back in five minutes later, opened the fridge and said, “I’m hungry for a hot dog.”

Mo and I looked at each other and one of us said, “We don’t have any hot dogs.” His shoulders sagged and he walked out again.

Five minutes later, he came back in, opened the fridge and just stood there, staring, as if willing a hot dog to appear.

Morrigan said, “We don’t have any hot dogs.”

He got all saggy shouldered again and said, ‘I know… but I REALLY want one…” as he stood still in the doorway.

I continued, “Dude, it does not matter how much you WANT a hot dog or how long you stand there, a hot dog is NOT going to appear.”

That seemed to appease him.

*blink*

Flash back a couple weeks ago. I lost my glasses. You may ask how that it is possible, but I only use them for driving at night. I’m near sighted, but not bad enough to warrant wearing them all the time, although I tend to when the headaches are bad.

Three weeks ago I did that half marathon and had to leave my house at 3:45 AM. Wearing my glasses was imperative because it was dark and I was very concerned about the new terrain.

(Side note: Let me reiterate, I would so be OK with hanging up my car keys forever, even more so at night. I have come to really not like driving at night.)

I arrive there and… have not seen my glasses since.

Secretly, I thought they were in my car. I gave my car a thorough and badly needed cleaning before our trip home.

No glasses.

I’ve looked in my purse.

No glasses.

And its as if I cannot possibly believe they are not in either place because EVERY time I get in my car, I find myself searching the floor (even though its been so thoroughly vacuumed there is NO WAY in hell they are in any crevice of the asexual mom-mobile) and looking in places I keep change and just ‘junk’.

And my black purse?

It’s like I’m trying to be a frickin’ magician, “See my empty purse? Now watch how I reach in and pull these glasses out of my purse! Tah dah!”

Except… there is no Tah Dah! Because… there are no glasses.

And suddenly I’m feeling like Bones at the fridge. It doesn’t matter how many times he stands at that door, a hot dog is not going to appear.

And it doesn’t matter how many times I look in my purse or vehicle… there will be no glasses.

I’m stuck wearing some 1990 pair. Talk about looking like a Goof. Luckily they aren’t my original black ‘birth control glasses’ from 1987. I did anything to detract looking like a young woman in a mostly male engineering organization.

For the record… the glasses didn’t help. They still seemed to notice I was built different.

Go figure.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:18 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 30, 2008

Young Bodies

It is 10:20 here and we're packed and getting ready for bed.

My 13 year old just sat down to a big plate of lasagna that my Mother heated for him.

I think I'm getting heartburn just THINKING about eating that big tomato saucy cheesy dinner (dinner #2) and then going to bed.

Gah!

Y'all see that picture in the below post. WHERE is he putting this food?!!!!

Posted by Boudicca at 11:23 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I Think We Time Warped to the 1950s

And so tomorrow we leave to make our way back to West Palm Beach. Its amazing that you can drive for nine hours in this state and never leave.

In some parts of the country you can drive for nine hours and probably hit as many states.

Eh... such is life at the end of Peninsula.

A couple pictures from this Christmas. As I said, TGOO decided to build a cart with the boys. TGOO designed it and did MOST of the construction, the boys assisted and mostly were the test drivers.

The first cart was a push cart. Operation was one child in the cart and one person pushing it with an oversized dowel. At one point my second son said he wanted two people to push so they could go faster.

I yelled, “WE NEED MORE POWER, SCOTTY!”, but they didn’t laugh. I am old.

Evidently they inherited this ‘need for speed’ from their father.

CIMG0667_2.JPG
First Cart

This second phase added a braking mechanism and another pushing option... as opposed to just the stick. This way, two handed, they could get some serious power that was limited only to the speed and strength of the person pushing.

At one point, Bones was watching as TGOO was pushing Mr. T slowly around the cul de sac, and then up the driveway. Bones looked up at me and said, “He should get another turn. Look how bored he has to be...”

Heh.

CIMG0683.JPG
Push Cart, Version II

CIMG0680.JPG
They ended up making a racing track on the driveway.

And there is one last picture, with the newest braking mechanism being driven by ‘Moi’, but it was a makeupless Sunday, and I haven’t got the nerve yet to post it... I’ll post nasty marathon feet, the huge nasty bruise along my ITB from therapy... but I’m still kind of bristling at the makeupless picture.

In a moment of weakness, I'm sure they'll be posted...

TGOO says he’ll be taking the car apart when we leave and they’ll be building it better come July.

I’m not really sure how you can improve the perfect toy.

Really.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 29, 2008

Where's The Chocolate Milk Cow?

TGOO decided that during this trip my boys would visit a dairy farm and see where milk came from… originally, as opposed to Publix.

In their eyes, they go to Publix, buy their groceries. The end. There is no thought as to where all the food originated.

A few months ago he called the local County Extension Service asking for assistance in finding a dairy farm that might allow his grandsons to come watch a milking session.

Of the three dairies, one said yes.

After having met the people, I understand why. They were just an amazing family.

I pictured some large operation with a hundred head of cattle in a room with machines hooked all over and people shuffling cows in and shuffling them out.

I don’t think that’s the average dairy farm. What we saw today, was what is probably the norm.

They had 80 head of cattle, milking four at a time, twice a day, 2AM and 2PM. It takes three hours to milk all their cows.

We walked back into the milking area and there was one man, the sweetest man, who started milking cows when he was 12 years old, and he very openly talked us through everything.

He was as friendly, funny, and as kind as we could have asked for. I could have hugged him when he left.

He took the time to show us EVERYTHING, from how he took the cows into the stalls, explained how they were creatures of habit and some cows lined up first EVERY time, some cows preferred certain stalls and let you know they did not want to go into stall 4 because they preferred stall 2, disinfected the teats, hooked them up, talked about some cows that produced hundreds of pounds of milk a day while others were under producers and would be bred one more time to see if it improved or off to McDonald’s the cow would go, showed us where the milk went into the system, into the holding tank, when it would get picked up, how much milk a tank would hold, then he sat down and explained the entire process that occurred AFTER the milk got picked up… pasteurization etc.

It was absolutely FASCINATING.

I think we sat and watched 8 to 10 cows get milked. Honestly? I could have pulled up a chair and watched all day.

He even took the time to go out into the herd and show us their oldest cow… 18 years old.

Towards the end, as we were getting ready to go, Bones looked at the man, who was changing the milking machine off a cow, and said, “So, where does Lactaid come from?”

The man looked puzzled and looked at us.

Bones rephrased, “Where does the Skim Milk come from?” as he looked at all the cows.

It was funny. It was as if he thought, ‘That cow produces SKIM. THAT cow produces Whole. And that cow over there produces Lactaid’.

The milking man laughed and that’s when he explained the process outside of the farm.

I will say that after we left, the asexual Mom-mobile smelled very… earthy.

I suspect I’ll be one of a few who does this marathon in 2 weeks with running shoes that had to be hosed off due to cow poop.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:11 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

December 28, 2008

He Needs a Feed Bag

My 13 year old weighs 75 pounds... maybe 80.

We suspect he ate over 3000 calories today. I'm not kidding. It's two hours before he goes to bed, and I suspect he'll eat more. Typically around 10:00 he eats a second dinner.

I'm just astounded... I can't figure out where its going.

It must be going to his hands...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:06 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 27, 2008

Thinking WARMER Thoughts

I've been living on the Weather Channel, perpetually looking at any indication of weather trends in Orlando in... 16 days.

TGOO has a new Apple computer that is slick hot and he was showing me this 'dashboard' and how accuweather will just pop up when he clicks it and give him the weather in Pensacola.

He clicked it for me and it showed... there was a FIFTEEN DAY FORECAST!

The angels were singing, birds chirping and all around a warm fuzzy happy feeling in my heart at the thought that I may FINALLY SEE the potential weather on race day.

Keep in mind, this race is my obsession... on many levels.

And the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection.

Me: OOOO! Make it show you Orlando!

He typed it in and the forecast showed up for Orlando.

Me: OH! There's the 15 day! Click the fifteen day!

The fifteen day forecast shows up, stopping short of Sunday, the big day, but showing me Saturday.

*SILENCE*

It showed a low of 39 degrees.

Me: Sh**. It's frickin' 39 degrees as a low on Saturday. &^**^&^@%&*$#!!!

TGOO: That's Saturday though.

Me: Sure, but that's the low for SATURDAY NIGHT. Can you imagine how f***ing cold it will be on SUNDAY MORNING?!

TGOO: What are you going to be doing in Orlando on Sunday morning?

Me: RUNNING!

TGOO, laughing hysterically: OH! Yeah!

And he continued to laugh as I cussed and he said something about "Layering" as he laughed some more.

Dammit.

No rain folks. It needs to be DRY and 39.

DRY and NO WIND.

Not that I'm trying to be high maintenance but HOLY FRICKIN' CRAP.

39.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:20 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Chomp! Chomp!

In a land far far away (from Florida), there is another land where they have cowboys, dust, and jokes about Texas not falling into the ocean because of Suckage.

This land would be called… Oklahoma.

And in this land there is a Kingdom, comprised of one King, one Queen, two princesses and two princes, who are HUGE… SOONER fans. The Sooners and a Conference called the Big 12, in their eyes are the fairest in the land.

‘Tis fine to be a Sooner fan and to love the Big 12 Conference, but there are other lands…

Like the Land of the Gators and the SEC, the SEC where the teams eat their young early in the season, ensuring that they rarely get their fair due.

And in a short time, said Gators and Sooners will mix it up on the old grid iron to determine, truly which one is the greatest in ALL THE LANDS.

And I, Bou, of Boudicca’s Voice and the Great State of Florida and the SEC, the best damn conference of all conferences, am challenging JayzaPiper of Food ‘n Drink and Oklahoma and the Big 12, to a little bet.

The loser?

The loser must post on their blog all that is right with the winning team and pile big praises upon the winning team’s conference. There is no such thing as doing the losing post ‘too big’.

An Ode would truly be appropriate, if one can be written. I would like to see myself writing one, should I lose, however, much to the likeness of Calvin having to recite four verses of Ode to Tigers to Hobbes…begrudgingly . (Since I have zero creativity in the writing department, any advanced assistance in this department would be greatly appreciated…)

The winner will link to the losing post, so that all can bask in their glory.

So.

To JayzaPiper of the Kingdom in Oklahoma, where the Sooners rule in the Big 12, from the House of Boudicca… I say…

BRING IT ON!!!

GO GATORS!!! SEC RULES!!!

Posted by Boudicca at 10:47 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

New To Me... A Must See

I don't watch TV, so I don't see commercials. I have not been to a movie in eons, so I'd not seen any pre-movie 'commercials' as of late.

I did see one yesterday, that left me somewhat... astounded, I guess.

I loved it.

I don't know if they play it at every theater, or just in towns like Pensacola, heavy military towns.

Its a video for the National Guard with a song by 3 Doors Down called Citizen Soldier.

Perhaps you've seen it... I had not. I loved how it pulled so much together of those who serve our Country.

If you've not seen it... I found it on Youtube.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 26, 2008

Paws to Thought

My boys are growing.

I know, y’all are sitting there reading this thinking, “And…? It happens.”

The problem is they are starting to grow at what feels like an exponential rate and I keep getting caught off guard. I blink and its as if someone grew a couple inches.

I realized it more when we walked in my parents' home Tuesday night and my Mom looked at me, looked at my eldest boys, looked at me again and said, “They grew since July!”

I’m feeling it with Mr. T. His hands are just a wee bit smaller than mine and he just looks a bit stretched.

Ringo’s growth has snuck up on me, perhaps as I was preoccupied with his younger brother's growth. This past summer, I posted how his feet surpassed mine and how I inherited his very cool Van shoes.

His hands are bigger than mine as well. My husband bought us all gloves for skiing for our stockings and he found a GREAT sale a couple weeks ago, prompting his idea for Christmas. He used my hands as a guide as to what size to buy the boys gloves.

Husband, on cell: Hun, what size are your hands?

Me: Women’s medium. Why?

Husband: Ringo’s hands, bigger or the same as yours?

Me: Slightly bigger by ¼ of an inch.

Husband: Mr. T’s?

Me: ¼ of an inch smaller. Are you using my hands as a gauge?

Husband: Yes. Thanks. *click*

So, about Ringo’s paws.

They’re big. And we’re trying to figure out whose he got.

I know, you’re thinking, “What? They’re HIS hands.” But its kind of fun to sit with kids and say, “He got my sense of humor, he got his Dad’s eyebrows, he writes like his Uncle.” (The writing… this is an odd neurological post in itself…)

And so we look at his hands and… Ringo has surgeon’s hands. They are absolutely beautiful. The way they look, how he moves them, they are gentle, long fingers and smaller palms, seemingly smaller as his fingers are just so... long.

That’s what has us thrown. He holds them up to TGOO’s hands and they are slightly smaller, but his fingers are the same length. Its his palms that are smaller.

My husband has lovely hands… but it’s the same thing. Where my son’s hands are long and elegant, odd thing to say, but he looks like a pianist, my husbands hands have very wide palms.

Girls in Ringo’s school comment on his hands. One girls loves to run her hands over his, touching his long fingers. (He has many female friends, but not a ‘girlfriend’.)

They are absolutely beautiful hands and we’ve been going through the family, both sides, trying to figure out genetically from where they came. We cannot find them anywhere.

Ringo’s arms are LONG. The kid has this crazy long wing span, but a short body. He’s aware of it and hates it. They did this very cool science project in school, “Are you a rectangle or a square?” where they measured their wing span and compared it to there body size.

He’s a rectangle (his arm length exceeds his body length) by the largest of anyone in his class… 9 inches, if I recall. When I tell him that Michael Phelps is a rectangle too, he looks sullen, shrugs his shoulders and says, "I don't want to swim..."

His body will grow and he’ll be 5’6 to 5’7 as that is his genetic destiny, but I suspect his arms and fingers are finished growing, its just a matter of time for his torso and palms to catch up. His feet are still growing…

But that brings me to this year’s Christmas Eve picture at my folks’ home. We all stood while TGOO got the camera in place. Ringo stood next to me.

I put my arm around his waist, I guess an instinctive Mother Hen “this is my child” gesture, when I realized that his waist was where mine is. He is only an inch or two shorter than I.

My son is going to surpass me in height this year. I get it… this is supposed to happen… but I’m just not feeling ready. He’s turning into a man… and I’m left thinking, “Hunh.”

Posted by Boudicca at 06:19 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

The Testosterone Zone

TGOO has been building a go cart for the boys today and the boys have been intermittently assisting. He’s been teaching them all sorts of handy skills… nail guns, pulleys, building the old fashioned way instead of pulling out of a box with ‘some assembly required’.

Pictures coming, I assure you.

My eldest boy had a thin piece of rope about a foot long in his hands and was working on tying it and the following conversation ensued, to the best of my recollection:

Me: What are you doing?

Ringo: Trying to tie a small noose.

Me: They teach you knots in Boy Scouts.

Ringo: *blink*

Me:

Ringo: They don’t teach you noose knots.

Me: Point taken. Look it up on the internet.

Ringo: Phht, it’ll give me the number to a suicide hotline.

Me: Are you serious?

Ringo: Yeah. I just thought it would be cool to know how to make a noose. I don’t have frickin’ suicidal tendancies…

Of course not. He’s a… BOY! Boys want to know all this weird stuff.

Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 06:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Hollywood Thoughts

We went to see Bedtime Stories today. Sometimes, I don’t want my movies to have all the violence and cursing and gratuitous sex.

Sometimes… I just want them to be sweet and funny.

And who knew that Adam Sandler, a comedian I am not fond of as I find his humor juvenile and crude, would be the one that made the movie I was looking for?

I thought it was really funny. The boys thought it was just ‘OK’.

On that note, I’d not recommend it unless you just want innocent silliness. That has been my mood.

On a different note, we saw the previews to some movie with an actress named Anne Hathaway. Perhaps it was the shots in the preview, but it prompted me to write the following to Ms. Hathaway:

“Belly up to the bar, girlfriend! Eat a burger! Drink a shake! You look like CRAP. Seriously, I know we all have different body types, but you’re doing Hollywood thin, I can tell. The intentional waif thin. It makes you look old and your face looks pinched, it looks like someone could snap you in half like a twig, and although there may be a lot of guys out there that love that bag of bones look, most of the guys I know… don’t. Even if you gain 10, you’ll still be lean. Eat dessert. It’ll do you some good.”

Posted by Boudicca at 06:11 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 25, 2008

Christmas Measures Up

We awoke this morning to a gray drizzly rain, which was perfect as it made the boys sleep later!

They had a wonderful Christmas and have been playing all day. If you're a Blokus fan, we played 3D Blokus and its a lot of fun.

This would be the Measuring Christmas. I believe I posted once about how much I love measuring kitchen gadgets. I don't know what it is, but measuring gadgets tweak the inner math geek in me.

And then of course when Mom and I were in a kitchen store browsing last year, an hour we spent, she noticed while she shopped, I spent the entire time looking at different measuring devices, spoons, cups, bowls, pitchers... if it measured, I had to look at it.

Same thing, William and Sonoma last year, she and I were just looking, as I stayed along the periphery of the store and touched all that measures.

Evidently Mo picked up on all this as well...

And in my stocking I had TWO sets of measuring cups, one of which had measuring spoons on the end, and another set of measuring spoons.

Opening up my gifts from Mo and Flam, there was a set of measuring cups and a measuring beaker that is cool as hell, made by Fred Equal Measure. The beaker has comparable measurements next to the actual.

For instance, next to a measurement it might say something like, 'volume of a human brain' or 'one thousand sweet corn kernels' or 'five thousand drops of water'.

Its just very fun. And the recipes that came with it are a riot, like if perhaps it needs a certain amount of vegetable stock it says, "2 human brains of vegetable stock".

Very fun.

So I have enough measurement to keep me happy. For a long time. And then some!

I hope y'all had a very Merry Christmas!

Posted by Boudicca at 11:04 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

We are all gathered now under the roof of my folks'. My bro made it in last week, my sister and her husband earlier in the week, and my family and I last night.

Morrigan is heavy with child, due in just five more weeks. The boys spend their time touching her tummy to feel the baby move as much as possible. The slightest movement can be seen now as a ripple across her tummy as The Great Flambino is almost out of room.

Bones has bronchitis, and is on enough drugs to have granted the drug manufacturers a very happy holiday. Steroids, antibiotics, breathing treatments, he no longer has the sunken in eyes of Monday when he woke up with a barky cough and couldn't catch his breath.

Fire and children who cannot breathe scare the ever living hell out of me.

I can deal with most anything else.

We took the kids to see Santa today. I did leave it for the last minute on purpose. I thought my eldest was a good sport to see Santa with us, but thought if we could do it out of town, he'd not be seen by his friends.

And so in line stood all these sweetly dressed children with the little girls with bows and ribbons in their hair, darling little green and red dresses and the boys wearing red corduroy pants with little matchy sweaters... and they all looked adorable.

And then we had my three kids, two of whom no longer believe, but love to pretend, and Bones who is recuperating and left the house without brushing his hair and my being preoccupied didn't catch it and my eldest in a black Avenged Sevenfold shirt and really... we looked like the white trash gypsy caravan.

And I have the picture to prove it.

On a side note for any new parents who might stumble across this blog... if you have a child from the age of 9 months to 3 years... they are going to be afraid of the Man in Red.

It's a done frickin' deal.

So here's a clue to you... as you dress your sweet baby/toddler to the Nines, you should dress too... leaving the velour Juicy sweat suit at home, so that you can sit on The Big Man's lap and have the picture actually taken.

Is it ideal? No.

I have more pictures than I can count of my lightly sitting on Santa's lap while I hold a toddler on my knee FURTHEST from Santa... using me as a barrier and EVERYONE was happy.

Picture taken. Kid smiling. Santa relieved... I am sure.

Just a hint...

I am off now for Christmas Eve dinner. Bones is beside himself and I am too... as this may be the last Christmas that we have a child who whole heartedly believes in all of it... while the rest of us truly believe in the spirit.

There is a slight difference, although to be honest, my oldest boys believe in the spirit so much... it truly is so very slight.

Sleep tight, my friends, and may you awaken to a most Merry Christmas.

I know I will.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:11 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

December 22, 2008

The Cookie Diet

Have you ever looked back on the day in reflection, thinking of what you ate and realized, you only ate Christmas cookies... for every meal but dinner and for all snacks in between?

Yeah.

Me either.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:59 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

I Scream You Scream... Part II

I've blogged of this before so why oh why do I not follow my own advice?

When you have a child that believes in Santa you either take them EARLY in the season to sit on his lap OR you find out what he/she is going to ask for, and hope they aren't going to pull one of those, "Its a secret... its between Santa and me."

If you don't, sure as shootin', it'll be Christmas Eve and you make your way to the Big Guy, only to hear your child say, "Santa... more than anything in the world, I want... "Blah"" and out spits some item that never in your life have you heard your sweet angel speak of, leaving you and your spouse gaping at one another, until the adrenaline kicks in and everyone goes into overdrive to figure out where to find said item.

Yes.

This would be the voice of experience.

I thought I knew FOR SURE what Bones wanted for Christmas. Afterall... he'd given me a list.

I crossed off the big knife and the acoustic guitar with bling had been eliminated after much discussion.

And then a few days ago, while in the car, barreling down some highway at 55MPH, when all good conversations take place, I said to Bones in making casual conversation, "So, what are you going to ask for from Santa?"

And his reply?

"Mom, I'm going to ask for a soft serve ice cream machine."

*blink*

The older boys just looked at each other, eyes widened.

Me: Dude, ummm... I thought there was a list...

Bones: I know, but this is from SANTA. I want a soft serve ice cream machine.

Mr. T and Ringo were looking at me through my rear view mirror saying NOTHING. There was no grinning, just shock, as this is the first they'd heard of it too, or surely they'd have fired warning shots my way.

I got home and said to my better half, "Holy crap, you won't frickin' believe this. I finished shopping and YOUR YOUNGEST SON has decided that more than anything in the world, he wants a soft serve ice cream machine, from SANTA!"

My husband stood there and then finally said, "We saw one at Linen's and Things... when I walked through their final sale. I told him he couldn't have it... we have an ice cream machine."

What is it with my children and small appliances? Most boys ask for things like Red Rider BB Guns, bikes, or sling shots.

My boys ask for small appliances. Two years ago, if you recall, it was Mr. T that more than anything in the world, wanted an ice cream machine, from Santa.

I went all over the place, until I finally found a Cuisinart on sale at Sears. Whose kids get frickin' Cuisinart small appliances for Christmas?

MINE.

It must be the age. It was Mr. T's 9th Christmas too.

And so Bones will be getting a Cuisinart soft serve ice cream machine for Christmas because it was on clearance and he BETTER ask for that when we see the Big Guy on Christmas Eve or I'm going to be PISSED.

Humpf!

Posted by Boudicca at 11:58 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

December 21, 2008

Attempting to Avoid the Handbasket

It’s the time of year where most folks are writing their letters to Santa. I’m going to write mine to God instead. I figure, it’s a Christian holiday, he can get a letter too.

In actuality, I’m trying to stave off my first class ticket to hell. I suspect I punched a few more holes in that ticket this year.

Dear God,

I am reflecting on this year on all the good and the bad that I’ve done. I think it probably divides out pretty evenly. The last couple weeks, however, may tip your hand (that hand of God) into the favor of ‘Hell in a Hand Basket’.

So these are a couple things I need to inquire about or perhaps ask forgiveness for or maybe not ask forgiveness but hope you’ll understand and a couple thank you's and special requests.

First, I know you have that Commandment about not worshipping false idols. So, here’s the deal. I’ve had a tough go trying to complete this marathon for Leukemia and Lymphoma. Its been touch and go and I feel fairly certain my body’s final blow was during what was supposed to be my 16 mile training on Saturday, that I cut short to 14 miles due to severe pain in the foot and ankle.

I’m looking for my doctor’s healing hands to… heal me on Monday. He’s not failed me yet, although we’ve both probably had doubt, me more so than him. He never tells me when he doubts it.

I was thinking of building a shrine to him in my home. Does that count against that false idol Commandment?

Second, my sister and brother are currently at my folks’ house, having arrived for Christmas a few days early. My folks cooked one of my favorite dishes, my Mom’s Cheese Grits, without me there.

My sister sent me a text message on my phone to rub it in. My brother has been sending me email. My sister even called me on the phone while she was helping to grate the cheese.

Is it OK that I wished ‘the runs’ on them all for tonight? Nothing life threatening, just… uncomfortable and messy.

I also wished upon them that none of them make it to the bathroom.

Oh, and I called her a bitch when she called me. I am hoping this all falls underneath your vast understanding. It is my Mom’s Cheese Grits, afterall.

Third, thanks for making sure nobody got hurt when Pop hit that tree. The fact that no people were involved is a miracle in itself. Having Pop take some personal responsibility would be cool though, if you could arrange it. We all know that tree didn’t jump out and hit his passenger door.

And lastly, here’s the deal on my death, if I can put out a special request. I’m not trying to be high maintenance, but I have some ‘druthers’.

As you and I both know, I have absolutely NO desire to die by falling out of the sky in a fiery ball or an airplane falling apart. The thought of riding a lawn dart onto terra firma is just not on my radar.

However, over the last few weeks I’ve decided that I don’t want to age to the point where I am incontinent or cannot take care of myself.

So, keeping that in mind, I think the age where my faculties finally go would be a good age and I’d like it, to be, of course, in my sleep of a heart attack. I know, its so cliché and unimaginative, but I’ve been watching or hearing of a lot of people die lately and it’s REALLY REALLY on my mind.

Not quite obsession, but close.

It doesn’t matter how I spin it in my head, the heart attack while sleeping scenario really is the best option.

If anything, at least wait until my children are grown. And I don’t want to be a burden on them.

And if it helps when wondering to where I should spend eternity, please keep in mind that I have not 1) cheated anyone out of money, 2) felt any sense of entitlement towards the government while being completely irresponsible, 3) killed anyone (although that temptation was there a couple times… as you know), 4) and for the most part, honored my father and mother, except for that first little part at the beginning of the letter with the Cheese Grits.

Sincerely,

Bou


Posted by Boudicca at 09:05 PM | Comments (29) | TrackBack

December 20, 2008

Hillary Would Hate Me

This is definitely not the post of Christmas levity. Quite the opposite actually.

I wasn’t going to post it, although I’ve been laughing to myself about it, but when I read Eric’s post on his Bah Humbug thoughts on Christmas this year, it just lent itself as a lead in to my thoughts.

I’m not there. I’m not in the whole ‘Yay! It’s Christmas!’ spirit and I don’t know whether its because I added a marathon to my December deal or because of the financial concerns we’re going through or because… I’m just beat with so much crap going on in our lives.

A decision is about to be made with regard to my fil, stuff I’ve not blogged upon, but let me just say that things have gotten wicked bad with a call to 911, a car accident, and some very scary eye opening events... all in the last two weeks.

And I never realized how much time this marathon training would take. If you have a family and are thinking of running a marathon, don’t do one close to Christmas. My house isn’t decorated at all, we just put the tree up today, there has been no baking, Christmas cards are going out… Christmas Eve, and shopping has just been completed.

I started a tradition last year where I bake cookies and we have hot chocolate as the kids decorate the tree. Of course I just thought it was something fun for last year, not realizing until tonight I’d started a tradition!

So baking will occur tomorrow, with the tree being trimmed, and I’ll start wrapping as we leave on Tuesday for my folks’ house.

My husband has really stepped up to the plate, on top of having to deal with the business issues, his Dad, and life in general. He’s a busy guy, truly stressed, and today he spent the day shopping for the kids… getting stuff for their stockings and buying them clothes as he’s the master of finding clothes on sale for the boys.

I am incapable of going to the mall on days like the Saturday before Christmas. I just… can’t. He can however, so he did.

I am grateful.

But overall, typically, Christmas is the woman’s holiday. Women do the decorating, the shopping, the meal planning, the Christmas cards. On top of all that we do day in and day out, we get to add Christmas to our to do list as it monopolizes our time.

Usually? I don’t care. Usually? I’m game! I love Christmas and the infectious happiness, the wonderful music, the good family time. I try to get my shopping done early so I can enjoy it for what it really is.

This year, however, it’s been too much for me.

And so the following conversation occurred to the best of my recollection… at work.

Me: I’m not into Christmas this year. I hate it. If I didn’t have three kids, I’d skip it.

Joe, one of the bookends: No, you don’t mean it.

Me: I do. I do mean it. It’s a f***ing woman’s holiday. F***ing Women’s Rights. I get to work, take care of a family, AND do Christmas. Before women just did family and Christmas, now I get to work on top of it. F***ing Women’s Rights.

Joe: That’s what you get for burning your bra…

Me: *I* didn’t burn my bra! NO. It was those… Suffragettes!! It was those f***ing Suffragettes!

Joe, laughing.

Me: Damn Suffragettes.

And the above conversation was completely in jest and Joe and I laughed as I actually went through my half of the conversation, flailing my arms and being Big Drama for effect. And I’m GLAD I have equal pay. And I’m GLAD I can do the job I do.

Really.

But there are days its just too much and this month has been one of them.

But that’s been my saying at work this week whenever anyone asks how my holiday is going… I reply with a ‘Damn Suffragettes” and I usually get a quizzical look in return as Joe sits in his cube and laughs.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:04 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 19, 2008

Its Not Betty Davis Eyes, But Eric Heiden Thighs

I was given the two thumbs up by my doctor to taper down to 16 miles tomorrow. (That would be as opposed to being grounded and not training.) We’re still working through the injury. He says I can do this.

I’ll be honest, if my doctor says I can do this, then I know I can. I personally have lost all faith in my body and what it can do, but if HE says I can… then I know I can do it.

The minute he has doubt in me… we’re in trouble.

And I cannot put into words how much I appreciate all the support from all of you. Reading the email and comments… the encouragement, has been priceless. They say 26.2 is all mental... and it is. It is my readers and friends that are tipping the mental game into my favor.

Heavily.

It was a tough week this week. I felt myself putting on the good face at a lunch during a field trip I chaperoned. I was depressed and wanted to be alone, but overall, I think I did pretty well, staying engaged in conversation and trying to keep myself up for everyone.

Too much death and dying at our school, and its kind of doing a mind game on me… in particular as until yesterday, there was a remote possibility that my Team in Training partner I’ve been training with, the girl I call Paula of “Run! Paula Run!” fame, had Leukemia.

Her meeting with the oncologist yesterday came back negative.

If she’d been diagnosed with Leukemia during this training, as we train for a race to fight blood born cancers, I’m not sure where I’d have gone emotionally. (Leukemia/Lymphoma/Multiple Myeloma runs in the women in her family.)

So I got the good news she is fine, but not before I went training on the treadmill last night.

I was in a very bad place… thinking of the latest parent at school that died, rethinking the very bad thing I saw on Wednesday night that still has me messed up, dwelling on some family issues I’m not going to blog upon, and the thought that Paula had Leukemia.

I was to do 40 minutes and 30 minutes into it, listening to Remember When It Rained by Josh Groban, over and over, I either had to cry or vomit.

I chose to vomit and cranked the treadmill to an 8.5 minute mile and kept it there for a few minutes until I realized I might hurt myself and by then, the anxiety was quelled.

I went in today to see my doctor. My Iliotibial band is in good shape. We caught it in time. My calf is at status quo, which is good.

I had on a pair of shorts and he was stretching me, massaging my hamstring, checking all the tendons and muscles in my legs and he laughed and said, “Look at these hamstrings! These are GREAT!”

I laughed and said, “Yeah, I told my sister when I tried on her Hot Chili long underwear that I ran in, “Look at my legs! I look like Eric Heiden!””

He laughed because… if you’re really into the Olympic Sports… you’ll get it.

So. Sixteen tomorrow as we taper down. I laugh. Two months ago I’d have freaked at the prospect of 16 miles and now I casually say, “We’re tapering down. I’m only doing 16…”

Heh. With my Eric Heiden hamstrings…


Remember When it Rained

Posted by Boudicca at 09:36 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

December 18, 2008

Misinterpreting that Blank Stare

I helped chaperone a Student Government trip yesterday for the Middle School as Mr. T is in the organization. I had a lot of fun and they are a great group of kids.

In my car I had Mr. T and two little girls, whose families I know, but not well. Mr. T likes both of these little girls a lot... as in thinks they're wonderful and respects them immensely.

So the little girls sat in the middle row of the asexual Mom-mobile and Mr. T sat in the back. The one girl asked me what my badge was that hung from my rear view mirror. When I leave work, I hang my badge, which is attached to a lanyard, from my rear view mirror so I don't forget it next time I work.

The following conversation ensued, to the best of my recollection.

Girl 1: Mrs. L, what's that hanging there?

Me: That's my badge from work.

Girl 1: You have a job?

Me: Yup. I work in the National Defense industry and I have to badge in to get into my building as well as my office.

Girl 1 and Girl 2 gave me blank stares. I interpreted it as they're not getting it.

Me: Ummm, National Defense. I work for a Defense Contractor. I work on military aircraft.

Still the blank stare. I was a bit at a loss...

Me, continuing: The such and such airplane. That's my project...

There is NO expression from either girl. They are literally blank faced, staring.

Now I'm confused. Had they never seen my aircraft on TV? On the news? The boys always say, "Hey! Yeah! I saw that on the History Channel!" or something.

Nothing. I got nothing.

So I took one last stab.

Me, deep breath: It's a jet. I'm working on the back end right now. You know when a jet goes super fast and fire shoots out the back? That's the part I'm working on. Its called the nozzle.

Nothing.

So I gave up.

Finally Girl 1 said: Wow. My Mom just folds laundry.

Girl 2 piped up, "Yeah, mine too..."

And for some reason that made me laugh.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:29 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

December 17, 2008

Solitary

It has not been a banner day. I am left ending my day with great anxiety. There were many good points to the day, but much stress and many low points.

I don't understand why so many parents die. I'm struggling with that, I guess tonight. I saw something tonight that so deeply disturbed me, I'm still processing.

We had our Christmas Band Concert tonight. Mr. T is coming along on the trombone and I'm so proud of him, I could burst.

Truly.

They played my favorite Christmas song... something I am hoping to get me somewhat into the Christmas spirit, as I continue to fight the urge to bolt.

Of all the videos I went through tonight... the solitary woman on the harp playing and singing my favorite song, is the one I choose.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:54 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

December 16, 2008

Athletic Version of... The Princess and the Pea

The answer was... tweaked Iliotibial Band. I had therapy on Monday and it was painful, but if it works, its all good.

ITB.jpg

This is the result of the therapy. Can I tell you I am dreading therapy on Friday? The bruising is the entire length of my thigh and my camera lightened it... the bruising is BLACK and blue and is 2 inches wide by 8 inches long.

This is a result of the unstable area I trained on, on Saturday. I evidently won't be training there again.

I feel like the frickin' Princess and the Pea of marathoning. My shoes must be JUST right. The running surface has to be JUST right.

You should have seen me in the shoe store three weeks ago. I tried on the shoes for my race, ran around, after 10 minutes, the tendon flared nearly crippling me and I said, "No. These won't do."

We spent TWO HOURS trying on shoes. All I had to do was slip them on my feet and I could tell whether they had any stability in them at all. "Nope, this company lied to you. These aren't neutral shoes." "Nope, this shoe has a roll bar." "Nope, these may be neutral, but someone screwed up the left shoe during manufacturing..."

I'm not kidding and I was spot on every time.

I'm a high maintenance endurance athlete.

It's pissing me off...

And I have more frickin' tape on my leg than a frickin' Christmas package. Dammit.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:05 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

What Are We Doing to our Girls?

I went shopping today for my nieces and nephews.

My eldest nephew starts college in the fall. He's a tremendous athlete, a true leader, and has GREAT grades. We're expecting he'll go Ivy League in the fall, with a lot of financial assistance. His hope is to go to Med school. I got him cooking stuff for dorm life, simple things like mixing bowl, something to microwave in, store food, cutting board, etc.

My youngest nephew I bought surfer clothes. The kind we have down here are tough to get in NJ, so he's always happy with Quicksilver or something along those lines. I usually do the same for my eldest nephew, but practicality prevailed for him this year.

Its my eldest niece I struggle with every year. It should not be that hard. I think I blog this every year.

I HATE going into the girl's section. The fashion industry wants us to dress our girls like whores and the cotton they use for their tops is so thin, when wet, you could poke your tongue through them.

This year... I refused. I walked through one of the department stores and thought two things: 1) screw it and 2) Thank God I don't have girls.

I'm so sick of it... I got her a gift certificate. She can hold on to it until she finds something she likes.

I won't buy her whore clothes. I won't. She can buy them herself and since she doesn't dress whorish, she'll be able to pick through what she wants.

I hate shopping.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:22 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 14, 2008

Just Call Me John

The 20 on Saturday nearly did me in. I'd love to be able to write that it was a piece of cake and that I'm ready for Orlando.

I can't.

I did pretty well, being able to ignore most until about mile 17 when I felt a twinge on the outer part of my left knee. I ignored it because... afterall... I had just completed 17 miles.

It was mile 18.5 that my body said, "DONE!" by giving me a sharp, ice pick like pain in my left hip. It was breath stopping, immobilizing, pain.

I think more so because it scared the ever living crap out of me.

I feel certain I know what caused it because I spent the last 1.5 miles slowing it WAAAAY down to finish and with the intermittent pain, I analyzed it as I do everything to figure out the root cause.

I see my doctor on Tuesday, with my trying to get in tomorrow. I need him to fix me. NOW.

Meanwhile, I have this fear that I'm going to forget from where the pain actually started, and how it radiated, so last night I took a black marker and drew a circle on the point on my ankle/arch/foot that started this whole mess.

I thought about drawing other circles where all the other painful spots started, knee, hip, various parts of my calf, with arrows joining them so he could see the pain route as I perceived it, but the fear of my leg looking like a John Madden football analysis was a bit more than even my crazy mind could handle.

So one circle sufficed.

Three weeks, folks. January 11. I'm almost there... so... CLOSE.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:45 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

December 13, 2008

He Wants WHAT?!

I hate Bones' Christmas list. Actually, I hate all of their lists... and its not so much what they asked for as it is, that I don't actually understand most of it.

We've moved into the testosterone zone and I'm lost. I need a map. Or interpreter.

Or something.

Mr. T's list is actually pretty benign. He does have a few airsoft guns on the list, but for the most part I 'get' his list.

But Ringo's? Ringo's list puts me in stores where I stand out and look like I'm clueless.

This would be... the guitar store.

The ONLY thing he wanted was a new amp. I told him, "Good, because its expensive as hell and that's the ONLY thing you'll get".

What started as a lark for him to learn how to play bass has become his constant thought... he practically sleeps with it. He's taken practicing every day to a whole new level.

His request put me at Guitar Center in West Palm Beach. Every time I go in there, I feel absolutely like the fish out of water.

I'm not a musician. I'm not a man. I don't talk the lingo.

Let me state first that every single time I go in there, those men are the most wonderful gentleman. Today as I stood waiting for the amp, I had no less than five men as if they could assist me. And its nothing begrudging, I'm approached by their sales people with a friendly smile and a genuine, "Please, let me help you."

I think every department store in America needs to have their employees take some classes from the salesman at Guitar Center. I'm not kidding.

What freaks me most is, these are not the type of folks I'd normally hang with. They all have either long hair or punkish hair. They dress in black (probably the uniform). I'm an engineer in the military industry (something that I'm sure not one of them had a clue of as I just look like the typical dopey mommish person coming in to buy something for their son), so all of the men I hang with have short hair with the 3/4" taper, dress conservatively, and don't have those sleeve tatts.

So I do struggle when I see folks that I'm not used to being around. It sounds ridiculous, but I know what I know... but these men at this guitar store are WONDERFUL. They are kind and funny and always make me feel at ease. Its really really made me step out of my box.

I'll never feel comfortable there, but its because its not my element. Its always an exceptionally pleasant experience.

It's just a far cry buying his gifts there and not... at Toys R Us. I miss the old days.

But that brings me to Bones. Bones who wants to be 21.

His list reads like this: a money clip, cologne from Abercrombie and Fitch, a big knife from Gander Mountain, a Long Board.

*blink*

A money clip? I am missing something... he has no money.

Cologne? I want my little boy to smell... like a little boy, not a teenager! I love the little boy smell!!!

A big knife? NO. He can hold his breath on that one...

A long board? What... in... the hell... is... that? I was at Toys R Us trying to get some shopping done and I found this big long board with a skeleton on it... Bones. It looked long to me...

I was in the electronics section because he also asked for a camera for his big gift, and that whole experience was goofy in itself.

I had to ask for assistance and a young kid, early 20s, drew the short stick. He was sweet... but as most of the kids in the electonics departments, kind of stuck in their heads.

Me: I need one of those red cameras, but I'm unsure if you have any, however, if you do, they'd be in that case.

Him: Well I have a key to that case.

Me: Excellent. I thought you might be the Key Master.

*pause*

Him: I'm just looking for the Gate Keeper.

Me: Heh.

Him: Did you catch that?

Me: Oh yes I did. I was surprised as you're so young, I never thought you'd get my reference.

Two seconds later he told his equally young buddy working in that section, "Hey! She just made a reference to Ghost Busters!"

They both laughed and carried on and I was left kind of laughing, but realizing that this must be like being a Trekie.

As I went to pay I said to him, "Hey, is this a long board?"

He looked at it and said, "No. That's just a skateboard..."

I was defeated. I replied, "Really? I'm so lost. This was longer than the others so I thought it had to be..."

Any coolness factor I may have attained by the GhostBuster reference, was quickly lost by my lack of knowledge when it came to long boards.

I'm going to have to take Ringo with me. I'm so frickin' lost...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:44 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

December 12, 2008

26.2... A State of Mind

I was looking for a certain tshirt on-line and could not find it. I stumbled instead upon a site for marathon tshirts and gifts.

Holy crap, they are funny. Maybe more so because I'm currently living the miserably wretched experience (I'm injured again and... doing 20 miles in the morning), but some of them in particular I really liked.

Last night I saw this one that said, "Why couldn't Pheidippes have died at mile 20?"

Let me tell you, that last .2 is going to kick my butt, so I thought it was great.

I think it should really read, "Why couldn't Pheidippes have died at mile 13?"

(Side story... I thought I was only doing 13 miles last weekend in the race. I hit 13 miles and looked at my buddy and said, "Where is the finish?" and he said, "Right up there... .1 more miles." I nearly frickin' stroked. I could not believe I was not finished. That's when I started to sprint.)

I liked the one about thinking they were dying and then at the end realizing they were too tough to kill.

Given my black toenail (btw, my Mom saw it last weekend and said, "Oh! It looks MUCH worse in person than on your blog!) I liked the rendition of 'got milk' that said instead, "Got toenails?"

I appear to be in the process of losing toenail #2. We'll see tomorrow.

The mileage sign that says: Hell and back 26.2... seems to be ringing true to me this evening.

Then the one that says, "The woman who starts the race is not the same woman who finishes"... is so correct on so many damn levels. When I finish this... I will not be the same person. I'm not the same person as of August.

And then there is the mug with the two chickens where one says to the other, "You should try running a marathon" and the other replies, "You should try sticking knives into your eyes."

I really laughed at that one... as I swallowed my last anti-inflammatory before bed, unwrapped all the ice off my leg, and thought to myself, "I can f***ing do this tomorrow... its only 20 miles. Its not like its 26.2..."

Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:37 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 11, 2008

Helpful Alternatives

Taking blogging to a new low here at the House of Bou, I saw this article at MSN on these drugs getting the sternest of warnings.

Bowel clearing drugs.

I'm sorry, but I had to read the article. I was wondering... what in the world could they be warning people about.

I mean really.

We know what the drugs are SUPPOSED to do.. so why warn anyone? Evidently there are some potential issues with kidney failure etc.

Have you read Dave Barry's column on the colossal colon? A MUST READ for anyone about to have a colonoscopy exam. I sent it to every guy in the office before they had theirs last year.

And when one of the bookends suggested he mix his Vodka with the 'bowel clearing drugs' his doctor gave him an emphatic NO. (You have to read the article to get it...)

Anyway, there are other ways to do the whole bowel clearing without resorting to drugs. One of them is to just drive through Miami. That's in... be behind the wheel. That does it to me every time.

Of course drinking that stuff is probably safer...

Eating at certain restaurants here in town will do it. That's a more expensive way, but I'm sure much more pleasurable than drinking that bottle of junk they give you.

And of course, if someone would just bottle water from Mexico and send it here to give out before colonoscopies, I hear that'll do it too... for days.

Just trying to be helpful...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:40 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 10, 2008

Four Weeks and Counting

It’s been a bit insane here the last few days. I’m hoping for things to calm down… soon.

Last night I saw my friend, Joan. We were at a school function/fundraiser at a local store and she was there with her husband.

I immediately showed her my wristband, as I always do, the one I wear with her name on it. I’ve written before that I keep her name on my wrist.

It has saved me.

My wristband is very worn now, it is cracking and the snap is rusted. I’ve worn it nearly every day since I started training in August. The Team in Training logo is nearly worn off now and I’ve had to rewrite her name in Sharpie no less than 10 times… as of now it’s in blue and seems to stay better than the black did.

I had thought in the beginning I’d create a new one before the race, but now I know that this is the one I’ll wear… it’s been through training with me and it will go the 26.2.

Anyway, I told her last night, that there are times I only function through training because of her… that I think to myself, “Joan was never able to say, ‘I feel like crap today, I’m skipping chemo’. She never had that option…” and I went through my mental steps of “Joan never had the option to skip chemo because…”

She was laughing, I was clowning, but serious, because it’s all true, and her husband, a big bear of a guy with a wonderful heart, watched and then started to tear up.

I had not paid attention to the fact, she endured it, but he watched it. He’s still living it. He’s been with his wife through cancer THREE times.

That is no longer lost on me…

Meanwhile, I dropped my mileage time today down to 12:30 per mile which is a full minute off my race time. The entire thing sucked and had no redeeming qualities and I can only hope that tomorrow morning’s will be better because as of now I’m dreading it…

There was a man at the race on Sunday that had a t-shirt I want… it is my motto:

“If you think running a marathon is hard, try chemotherapy”.

Four more weeks. I’m nervous, and still injured and am having to take care. I’m taped AGAIN as he doesn’t want me to do 20 on Saturday not taped and this race did cause some inflammation.

Joan is talking about coming to watch my girlfriend and I run. I'm running for her... she's in remission, and she's thinking of driving 2.5 hours for me? It makes me want to cry.

I don’t want to fail her… I don’t want my body to fail.

I guess that’s what’s mainly on my mind…

Posted by Boudicca at 11:04 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 08, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

It is amazing to me how quickly technology changes. Its only been nine years since I had my last baby, and already I see things and hear things that blow me away.

Its not the newest strollers or the video monitors (they had them for us, but it was not the norm and they were CRAZY expensive) or anything techie like that.

It's the ultrasounds.

First, let me say I think that The Great Flambino is the ultrasoundiest baby ever. I was thinking they might as well just have put a window on Mo's belly until I saw the latest.

Today she had some new kind of ultrasound. Holy crap.

I call it: The Window to the Womb.

And so for all of you to see, my newest niece or nephew, not yet born, but still fully visible as to what those smoochy little cheeks look like and... holy cow... what he or she is truly going to look like.

It amazes me...

babyflambino.JPG

Meanwhile, there is video of my finish. Go HERE, click on 02:57:21 - 03:06:47
and then pull the little bar to 50 seconds. I should appear a few seconds later.

The time on the run clock is not my time because I didn't start at 0. My chip is what gave me my time.

So... its like you were there with me. But not. There's no sound, but you can cheer and make your own!

I won't tell anyone... ;-)

Oh and anyone you see finishing to the left of me is finishing the full 26.2 as I finish my... 13.

Talk about Humbling...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:31 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

December 07, 2008

Goals Within Sight and Good Friends

Today was my first race, ever… a half marathon. The Palm Beach Marathon was used as a ‘mock’ for those of us doing Disney.

We needed, in essence, race experience.

For me… I needed a pace time. The time I am slated to do for a full marathon is whatever I do for a half, times 2, + 30 minutes.

I really really needed to do it under 3 hours for me to know I could complete the full in 6 hours and 30 minutes.

I completed in 2:56:41 or a 13:29 minute/mile pace.

I’m not loving the pace, but it’s the best I can do considering I’m still somewhat banned from running. I’m doing a walk (FAST!) 4 minutes and run 1 minute pace, but I’m starting to add more running… and hope that I can bring my half marathon time down to 2:45.

So… I lost two minutes stopping to pee. That sucked. I also lost a couple minutes here or there, so I need to work on efficiency.

I got up at 3:30AM, was out of the house by 4:10 and was checked in and putting my chip on my shoe and my race number bib on my shirt by 5AM.

It was insane. I’ve never seen so many frickin’ people at 5AM, all bright eyed, bushy tailed, and eager to run.

And this is where it gets kind of funny…

… I was with my girlfriend, Paula, and we lined up, not really knowing what we were doing. And the following conversation occurred to the best of my recollection.

Me: Are we in the right place?

Paula: I think. The runners go on THAT side and the walkers on this side?

Me: OK. Uh oh.

Paula: What?

Me: See that sign. It says 10:00.

Paula: What does that mean.

I looked around.

Me: I think it means we’ve put ourselves in the midst of the 10 minute mile runners…

Paula: Are you sure?

Me: No. No clue… lets wait and see.

The crowd started to push forward, everyone chatting, and we pushed forward with them. Suddenly we were at the Start line… and… everyone stated to… RUN!

I looked at Paula and said, “Run! Paula! Run! We’re with the runners!” and so we started to run, just to keep up, until we pulled over to the right and started to slow down enough to not get in anyone’s way.

And THAT is how my first marathon started. As a true RUN, although it was more so to keep from being trampled on by REAL runners.

And if you’re going to talk about good friends… I have a buddy, the one I’ve blogged on that runs with his dogs at other races, who did a 5K LAST NIGHT, slept an hour, then jumped into his car and drove 4 hours down to our marathon, finished the half in 2:05 (the man is insane), and then… I’m not kidding… he really did this… he grabbed something to eat, then called me, asked me where I was and MET ME at 11. 5 and walked/ran with me the last 1.5.

I’m not kidding. As if he was not tired enough… he did the last mile and a half with me, sometimes running ahead of me to take pictures as he had his camera.

We got about .2 out from the end when he ran ahead of me to take a picture of me crossing the finish line. I said, “How much further?” and he replied, “About a tenth…” and I ran up beside him and started to sprint in.

He said he went to take a picture and there I was… running, so he ran too and I sprinted over and people cheered. It was really funny and goofy and great…

He started to laugh and said, “You did not do this race fast enough if you had the energy to sprint over the finish line…” to which I replied, “Wait. Let’s see if I throw up first…”

So. There you have it. I finished my first official race, finished it under the time I wanted, and had a good friend with me the last 1.5 miles which was really really cool as he’s a runner I HUGELY respect, and I’ve been talking to my coaches this afternoon on how to improve my time.

Next up… if given the all clear by my doctor, 20 miles on Saturday.

And I will freely admit, around mile 11 I thought, “Holy crap… I’m going to add 15.2 miles to this? Am I… insane?!”

Posted by Boudicca at 10:45 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

December 06, 2008

Running Like a Mad Woman

Mo's shower is over and I'm off in 30 minutes to catch my flight back to West Palm Beach.

My flight arrives at 8:45, where I will quickly grab my bags, get home, set out my stuff for tomorrow's race, get to bed, wake up at 3:45 AM, get ready for the race, be downtown by 5AM to meet my coaches, 6AM my very first race, a 13 mile half marathon begins, and I should... be home... by 10AM.

I'm anxious obviously. I'll be doing this half with not much sleep. I had dreams all last night that either I didn't wake up in time or I got lost and couldn't find my team.

And of course I laugh, that never in my life have I ever done a race, and my VERY FIRST race is a half marathon.

Why do anything small when you can do it big?

All is well in the home of Morrigan as they prepare for the arrival of the baby. Seven short weeks until the due date. She looks like she has a medicine ball attached to her torso.

Baby clothes are tucked in drawers, closets are full of big baby paraphenalia like swings and baby bath tubs, and there is a palpable excitement throughout the house.

Her cat is going to freak.

Heh.

So I'm off. No more blogging until after the race. I have a couple posts written, but haven't had time. Pictures too...

I would LOVE to finish this race in 2 hours and 45 minutes... but injury free and 3 hours will do. I have a cold... so running with a cold should be interesting.

Ciao.

Posted by Boudicca at 04:33 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

December 04, 2008

The Streaker May Have Had a Reason

I'm sitting here, in my compression socks, in Atlanta at Morrigan's home as her Baby Shower is this weekend. She and I are taking my Mom to the Biltmore today... the last hurrah before the Chubbalina arrives in seven weeks.

That's right... seven weeks left.

Mo looks so cute!

I trained my hour here this morning, in 35 degree weather. What I've learned now, having trained a few days in this type of weather, is that after 10 minutes, I'm ready to run naked.

Forget the long johns, the hats, the gloves, the fleece, I want to be running naked as I'm so frickin' hot.

So far I have refrained, although I did wonder when I ran through Central Park last week if anyone would even notice... being NYC and all.

I do have a post on Central Park coming... something I wrote in the hotel. I'm all about life experience and when I realized we were so close to CP, I realized, 'I MUST train there.'

In the airport, waiting to board, I texted Erica, and this is the txt conversation as best I can recollect:

Me to E: I want to run through Central Park...

E to Me: Don't go when its dark and make sure there are other joggers.

Me to E: OK...

E to Me: John Lennon was murdered on the corner of such and such and such and such...

Me: *blink*

Me to E: Is this safe????

E to Me: Yes.

I'm all about life experiences, but getting mugged is not one of them.

I'll pass on that one.

Anyway, we are off to The Biltmore. More tomorrow... I'm hoping with pics. We are VERY excited!!!

Posted by Boudicca at 11:31 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

December 02, 2008

She'll be Dragging My Carcass Across the Line...

Writersblock met her goal.

THANK YOU.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Not Even Venus Mars. We’re Talkin’ Mercury Pluto.

Good Grief.

I went to my doctor’s today. The one who told me I was healed last week. I took ‘healed’ to mean… you know… back to normal, like nothing ever happened.

His definition and mine… are not the same.

His definition is along the lines of ‘not quite as injured as I was’. Or so I gather.

Healed to me meant ....if I wanted to run this marathon, I could.

Healed to him means… my goal is completion.

Healed to me meant.... I was going to ask today if I could start running… more.

Healed to him means... I’ll be walking with a lot of people.

Healed to me meant no more taping, visiting once a week to make sure all was well, and moving on.

Healed to him means… I’m frickin’ wearing compression socks now.

No sh1t.

He said to me today, “You still have edema. I need you to get some compression socks.”

Me: *blink*

Him:

Me: Where do I get compression socks?

Him: You can get them in CVS. Don’t get them too tight. You don’t want them cutting off circulation.

Me: Compression socks.

Him: I want you to wear them when your legs are… below your waist. When you’re standing.

Me: Do you… want me to train in them?

Him: Actually, that would be perfect.

Me, mentally, not saying out loud: Like I’m not enough of a dork. I have to wear compression socks when I train.

Morrigan’s response to this story was, “This is a sign you do not run anymore after the Marathon. He’ll have you in Rockports next.”

My girlfriend’s response was, “You’re too old to be a dork. Don’t worry…”

I bought a pair.

They are white.

Not nude.

White.

They come up to my knees. I’ll be wearing them under all my clothes and when I train. (Washing them at night as they’re expensive.)

Dork.

Running shoes, white compression socks, and running clothes.

Good Lord.

So.

Evidently I’m not healed. I made a leap that was not to be made. I am healed enough that I can complete this marathon. I’m not healed enough that I can run it.

And if any of you are doubting me, TRUST ME, when I say, I have run the numbers and know what ‘minute mile’ I have to do for 26.2 to complete in 5.5 hours and its not happening. I’ve run the numbers… I ran them last week when I thought I was completely healed… and now I’m back down to… completing.

And I’m fine.

I am.

Just trying to wrap my mind around the fact I’m not really healed… and that I have to wear compression socks when I train now and when I stand for long periods of time.

A day walking in NYC, 2 hours waiting in the Empire State Bldg line, 18 miles on Saturday (YES! I did 18!) and all that flying took a toll.

I can’t believe I have to wear frickin’ compression socks when I train.

Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:27 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

December 01, 2008

Seeing it Through

I trained in NJ this weekend. Lovely ladies. However, I think they’re smokin’ something and didn’t share because they said we did 8 miles and with the pace we were keeping and the time it took… I KNOW FOR A FACT we didn’t do over 6.

Probably 5.7.

Theirs is a small group, having lost most of their original members to fundraising issues. To run the marathon for Leukemia Lymphoma, there is a fundraising minimum we are all given. Everything is layed out in black and white in advance... all milestones that must be met, and what we must have to run the race and when.

Crystal clear from the very very beginning.

They provide all the training (coaches are volunteers), fundraising support, race entry fees, and if out of state, transportation. We get hotel covered too.

The Society KNOWS how much we have to raise to keep us at a 25% or less overhead.

Seventy-five percent of what we raise, goes directly to help find the cure for blood born cancers.

I’ve met a lot of runners since I’ve started this. I met them mainly through running stores I’ve been in.

I have read it in articles and had it said to me, that running for someone else, is the ultimate.

I’m not running for me… I signed up for this to run for my girlfriend, Joanie, and because I truly believe there will be a cure. (My post on running for Joanie is HERE. She is an amazing woman...)

In all honesty, I think the runners are wrong. Although it may be the ultimate in their eyes to run for someone else, instead of one’s self, I will say it is easier to run for someone else.

I’ve hit some real lows these last few months. There have been times I’ve cried, screamed, and wanted to give up. I have been full of self loathing and self doubt.

There have been times I’ve been hurting, it’s been cold, I’ve been tired or felt like crap, and not wanted to get out of bed to do my training.

… but I always think of Joanie, who, in her all her chemo treatments to get her into remission, three times, never once said, ‘I feel like crap this morning, I’m going to skip chemo’ or ‘its too daggum hot outside to leave the house, I’ll pass on chemo today’.

She never had that option and I will be completely honest, there have been times that just knowing SHE never had that option, has been the only thing that has had me lacing up my running shoes and hobbling out, with blisters, black toenails, and arches that hurt so bad I wonder if I'm doing permanent damage.

Writersblock over at Perieraville has been training as well. Her progress has been absolutely remarkable.

The only thing keeping her now from running is… she’s not met her fundraising goal. She’s put in the time, the miles, the sweat and the tears, and unless she meets the goal, she’s not running. All the money she’s raised will go directly to LLS, she just can’t run. (She'd gladly donate it all herself, but she lost her job last month.)

So if you’ve got an extra $5, feel free to go on over HERE, help a most excellent cause, and help make sure that she’ll be with me on race day. We’ll be goading each other to move along and push through the sucky times.

And I feel certain there will be many sucky times… but none of them will ever be even remotely close to what Joanie has endured… and THAT, my friends, will be what sees me through.


Posted by Boudicca at 10:29 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack