Wednesday, October 31, 2007

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things ...

... at Disney World on Halloween (and any other day):

Little children in costumes, especially those who have been bibbity-bobbity-booped.

Soarin', especially when I get to pass the crowd via a fast pass and being a single rider, and when I get to sit in Row 1.

Lamb wraps at Tangierine Cafe and whatever salad/vegetable stuff they put in the little cups that comes with the wraps.

New Disney merchandise that I can mull over ... and purchase when I lose all sensible thought.

Singing "It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" with the animatronic robots during "Carousel of Progress". Unfortunately the non-English-speaking, first-time guests sitting in front of me now believe you're supposed to do this.

Seeing guests with "My First Visit" buttons on, and wondering if they have a clue as to what they're doing, but somehow managing to restrain myself from trying to commandeer their vacation in some misguided attempt to help them.

The rice pudding strawberry thing at Kringla Bakeri, and just about everything there and at Boulangerie Patisserie.

Refillable mugs.

Parades and fireworks.

Families of all sizes and shapes - with happy, sleeping, and screaming children; with babies to teens to grandparents; with matching shirts, strollers of all sizes, and various cameras around their necks - and all with good intentions of making this vacation the best ever.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Strangers ... or Not?

Being on vacation, I'm not around people I know. It's really easy for me just to mind my own business and keep to myself. But in the past few days, I've made contact with strangers in the following ways:

*Volunteering to return a shopping cart for a woman loading her car in the Wal Mart parking lot.

*Listening to an ESL woman coming out of Wal Mart asking for a "fire" to light her ciggy. Couldn't help her, but at least I tried.

*Tracking down the lady in the Christmas store and returning her umbrella, left on the floor when she went to look at other ornaments.

I don't mention these people to extol my good deeds, but to make a point. Last Saturday, Kat had a birthday. She celebrated by having a "Make a Difference" party, and encouraged people to volunteer to help others. Being in Florida, I felt I could do nothing, since I was in foreign territory (I know I could have done something, but I'm a chicken). So I did nothing on Saturday. But I've found out in the days following that there are opportunities to make a difference wherever I am.

These weren't big things, but maybe my small acts made a difference to those I met. I know it did to me. It helped me realize that there truly are no strangers - just people like me, waiting for that opportunity to make a difference.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays ...

... aren't so bad after all. Today I caught up on some reading and got a little writing done. Not bad for a rainy Monday. We shopped a little bit and ate a little - isn't that what vacation is all about?

I am trying to relax, but it is a fairly unknown to me. There is always something to be done. But this week I shall try to exhale and let go. Maybe those Lamaze exercises will finally be put to use!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Jogging (and Vacationing) in the Dark

We finished the 13K in just under two hours. I didn't end up on I-4 or in the woods. I had a good first four miles, but slowed way down for the final four. I'm can't say beginning at 9:50 pm is my optimum race time, but it was an interesting experience.

Today we moved to a new hotel, off Disney property, for a week of vacation. I think it's the first vacation we've taken in forever with no definite plans to do anything. Guess this is what vacation can be - a week of rest and relaxation. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wog This Way

A few days ago, I added a piece on this blog entitled "Thoughts Worth Thinking" to share thoughts, quotes, verses, or sayings that I've recorded in a journal over the years. As I was putting in today's verse, I couldn't help but notice the parallel to tonight's race and my life in general.

Tonight I will be participating in a new race at Disney. Although I've seen a map of the course and probably have jogged parts of it before in other races, it is still a new course, and it's in the dark. Sort of like my life - been there, done that, but still doing it again in new ways, sometimes in the dark.

Tonight in the race, there will be people telling me where to go next. Without them, I would be running toward the interstate or off into the woods. But they will keep me on the right track, if I listen to them and follow what they say. A lot like what God does in my life, when I listen to Him and follow what He says.

I'm thankful and reassured to know those people will be there tonight. I will be looking for them and listening to what they say because they will guide me and keep me safe. Exactly what God does for me - every moment of every day, no matter what.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Didn't anybody notice there was no Seventh Reason yesterday? I didn't either, until I had the need to find out once again why I was running in the dark. So, for all of you fellow obsessive-compulsive everything-has-to-be-exact people, here is the 7th reason I am running in the dark on Saturday:

Seventh, thundershowers are predicted for race time. How does Disney do it? You have a scary race AND they manage to have scary weather, too! Dontcha just love Disney!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Here I Go Again

Tomorrow I leave again for the The Happiest Place On Earth for another race. This time it is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K. It begins at 9:30 at night, and at my current pace, I figure I should be ending at 11:30. At night. When I am usually asleep. This should be interesting. One might question why I would choose to do this, so I will enlighten you.

Top Ten Reasons I Will Be Running In The Dark Saturday Night

First of all, it's Disney - 'nuf said. If Disney had a race herding sheep down Main Street (the one in the Magic Kingdom, anyway), I would be in. I know, it is a sickness.

Second, it is an inaugural race. I like being a part of the first one and competing in it every year. So far, I have two races like that - the Minnie Marathon (guess where) and the New York City Half Marathon.

Third, you get a medal. What can I say - I like bling, especially Disney race medal bling!

Fourth, it's only a 13K, which in English means 8 miles. Although my training is a little off, I think I can do 8. I did six in a race (wonder where) only three weeks ago , so I think I'll be okay, as long as I don't run into something in the dark!

Fifth, did I mention it's Disney?

Sixth, this is part of my larger training plan for the marathon I'm doing in January. Want to guess where it is? It is the marathon's 15th anniversary, but only the third time I've done it. I got sucked in when I heard that the

The 15th Anniversary Marathon Finisher's Medal is so special that it will remain TOP SECRET until the end of the race. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to earn an exclusive medal that will never be produced again.

I know, they got me!

Eighth, I can justify a Mickey Bar. Or two.

Ninth, menopausal thinking?

Tenth, if I keep doing these things, I can justify an annual pass, and you know what that means - more trips to justify getting the annual pass!!

So, off I go again. If you wanted to join me, sorry, but this race and the marathon are filled. However, the Minnie in May is still open - interested?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

This Tiger Has Done It - For Sure!

Today was the day. It was not raining (as per the past two days), the weather was cool, and the tiger compelled me. It was the day to go for three, and I did it. And yes, it was three miles (to Cedar Lane, for those in the know). It was a straight jog for three, and a slow walk back for three more. I did it, and I am happy.

Did I want to do it? No but yes. Did I enjoy it? Enjoy is not the word I would use - well, until the last ten steps. Did I want to quit? Even before I started. Why did I keep going? Because I knew I could do it. Well, maybe I didn't know for sure, but I just kept going.

Maybe that's my key - to keep going. Even though I think I want to quit and my brain wants to convince me that my muscles, bones, and joints want to quit, I'll just keep going to reach that reachable goal.

Today I reached three miles. On to a new goal!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jogging and Me

This was today's Kodak Picture of the Day. I like it because the caption underneath the picture says that it is "a tiger who likes to swim." My question is then why does he look so fierce and ticked off?

Then I got it. I think I have the same face every time I want to get out and jog, but I can't seem to get started. I tell myself that I really don't want to get out and jog, but I know I really do want to do it. I hate the first half mile, but I end up enjoying it as the miles increase.

So the next time I start out with my love/hate relationship with jogging, I'm going to think about this tiger. I'm going to remember that the good "loving it" part will overcome the crummy "hating it" part - if I just will get out there and get to it!

Monday, October 22, 2007


I skipped posting yesterday, and I am not pleased. I am determined not to let a day pass without some sort of written validation for it. I truly feel like every day is a gift, and should be given its due. But yesterday I just didn't write.

I would like to say that it is the fall rainy weather (which started today), but I like the rain. I would like to say I am just soooo busy, but I'm not. I would like to say ANYTHING that would give me a viable excuse for not putting thought to paper, but there isn't one.

I've been thinking about Randy Pausch and his "last lecture." I think that's one reason I feel so determined to make sure each day counts - not that I know how many days, months, or years I have left, but that I don't. I want to insure that I write something every day, because we really don't know which one will be our last.

I started to title this post "Motivation...Or the Lack Thereof." But I think I've found my motivation. God has given me this day and all the events and thoughts in it. This blog is my way of saying "thank you", whether that day's post is about my experiences, my thoughts, or just some random occurrence.

Today I ate too much junky food, procrastinated way too much, and watched too much insipid television. But I found a reason to write, which makes today significant. It's a neat thing to realize every day will have its own significance - I just have to recognize it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

What To Say ...

... when you think you have nothing to say?

Can a day really go past without some sort of comment? Does it make that day expendable? Does it diminish the importance of that 24 hours? Was there really any point to that day?

As I sit here, thinking of what to write, those are the questions that come up. I shudder to think that I would let a day slip by without comment, yet days like today seem uneventful. And yet, I know they aren't.

It was another day to revel in the beauty of nature, finally beginning to show fall colors. It was another day to laugh and enjoy being with family. It was another day to enjoy food prepared at home that everyone likes. It was another day to sit in my home and appreciate all the planning and care that went into making it our home. It was another day to work in the yard, tidying up from an earlier storm. It was another day to appreciate just being around another day.

I have been trying to realize the blessings in each day, and insure that I don't let a day go by without thanking God for them. Which brings me to my new question - I wonder how many daily blessings I receive and don't notice? What a day of wonder that would be, to be aware of every single thing that is wonderful and good and heaven-sent.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Just the Basics

After working out at Curves, I decided I wanted a haircut. I went to a nearby Fantastic Sam's, put my name in, and was sitting in Dan's chair within five minutes. I told Dan I wanted about three inches cut off, and he did as I asked. My hair didn't get shampooed, conditioned, or blown dry, and Dan didn't ask if it needed a color refresh. Dan cut my hair, I paid him $15 (including tip), and that was that. My hair looks and feels much lighter and better.

Sometimes, just getting the basics can make all the difference in how you feel. You don't need any extra bells and whistles, any specialized treatment, or any fancy frills - you just need the bare minimum to accomplish your desires and move you on your way.

By knowing what I wanted and sticking to the plan, I had extra time and money for a leisurely lunch with Sam and Lynnette. It's not always easy to believe that the simplest things are as good as more expensive and elaborate things. But it's nice when it works out that way, especially if it helps create a space for the really good things like family.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Taking A Sick Day

When I was teaching, we were allotted ten sick days a school year. For me, maybe one out of ten would be used for an actual personal illness. Another might be used for a family member's illness. A few would be used throughout the year to catch up on grading papers or planning. But the best use of a sick day was when I took a mental health day. Today I took a mental health morning.

No, I'm not actually employed any more outside the home. But I still remember that feeling, that thrill that accompanies "playing hooky". Today I felt the urge coming on, so I went with it.

It started with a rainy morning. Autumn is desperately trying to appear, but summer heat is holding fast. A few leaves are turning colors, but others are grudgingly keeping their green. It seemed like the perfect day to not do things I needed to. So I did. Or didn't?

I showered, then padded around the house in sloppy, comfy clothes. I did things I wanted to, and considered spending time at the mall, but didn't - it would have required a change of clothes. I sat by the window and looked outside. I stepped over the pile of clothes that needed washing, strolled past the dirty dishes on the counter, and plopped down next to yesterday's paper that still lay on the couch. I didn't walk, jog, work out, or stretch. I ignored everything I needed to do, and did exactly what I wanted to do - nothing.

Those around me might ask why this morning was different than any other morning. After all, I don't go out to a job. How does one have a mental health day when it would seem you could have one every day?

The answer is attitude. Even when you're at home, you have to have a day when you feel you're escaping from the responsibilities that surround you. You have to have a day when you choose to do whatever you want, and realize that you are not doing what you're supposed to be doing. You have to claim a day that is yours, one where no responsibility can claim you. You have to have a day that thrills you because you chose to skirt the work.

So I had my mental health morning. It made me happy and refreshed. Everything I need to do is still there and will get done. But for a few hours this morning, I knowingly and willingly chose to abandon them. It was a great way to spend a morning.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Almost, But Not Quite

Okay, so proper preparation is the key, but I blame my old car (sorry, Sam). Here's the deal: in my former car, I had clocked what I thought was my three-mile route. Today, in my new and pretty car, I found out that my route is actually 2.7 miles. So, today's question is, what about my claim yesterday that I had wogged three miles?

Does it make me sad? No, it's just mileage. Does it disappoint me? Yes, because I thought I had three miles under my belt. Am I discouraged? Heck no, because I am going to earn those three miles. I only have .3 of a mile to go, and I can and will do that!

So, what's my lesson for today? It's that sometimes we think we have reached a goal, but for some reason we didn't. Maybe I thought I had lost weight because my pants were loose, but I had on my fat pants. Maybe he thought he had balanced his checkbook, but he forgot about those ATM withdrawals. Maybe she thought she had everything ready for the school bake sale, but somebody ate all the cookies. Sometimes we thought we had achieved a goal, only to find out that we missed it.

So we try again. We keep at the diet, enter the withdrawals, and make more cookies. We keep going because we know the goal is in reach. We keep going because the drive is within us to succeed, and we have the confidence in our abilities. We keep at it because we can.

Tomorrow I will try again for my three miles. Tonight I will get in my pretty car and map my route again. If tomorrow isn't the day, then there's the day after that. I will make my three miles - because four miles is waiting its turn.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Good Thing About Goals ...

... is that they are changeable. Sometimes you can modify a goal to make it more easily attainable. Sometimes you can made a goal more difficult in order to stretch your abilities. Sometimes you can just kick a goal to the curb because it just doesn't fit you anymore. Goals are just what we should make them - something we want to achieve, but readily modified or abandoned to best suit our lives.

Seven years ago, I wogged my first marathon (for those of you running purists, that is a walking/jogging pace, perfectly suited to us woggers and alien to you). Completing a marathon was a goal that I had set for myself in 2000. I really had no plans after the marathon to continue to participate in races. But I got hooked.

In the past seven years, I have completed 37 races. I've done races ranging from 5, 10, 12, and 15Ks (and planning for my first 13K in two weeks), to 5, 10, 13.1, and 26.2 miles (not including two 60-mile, 3-day Breast Cancer walks). I've even done some races back to back, including the Goofy Challenge at Disney World, where I did a half marathon one day, and a full marathon the next. One would think that after all these races, I would be one swift runner. Nope - I've stayed pretty much a wogger.

In some races, I've had a certain time I wanted to achieve. Sometimes I made that time and sometimes I didn't. But in every race, my one goal has been to finish, and it's taken a few different strategies. In some races, I sang to complete one more mile. In some, I wanted to cry to finish one more mile. In some, I wanted to curse to finish one more mile. In the Marine Corps Marathon, I had a "rabbit" - a woman in a turquoise shirt that I would see ahead, then catch up to, then she would run ahead, and I would catch up again. At the end, we finished together and shared a victory hug (not that we won, but that we finished before they packed up the finish line).

I am back training again after a month off. My training runs always start the same. The first half-mile I am deciding exactly how far I will jog before I start walking. By the time I reach the first half-mile, I decide I probably can do a full mile. I keep setting goals (the next mailbox, the stop sign) until eventually I get to the mile and one-half mark, then I decide I will finish jogging my two miles.

Recently I decided to up my miles-jogged to three miles. My goal was to jog two miles (bargaining with myself all the way), then keep running a few more yards each day until I jogged three miles. Well, today I jogged the three miles. I just kept going, albeit slower and slower (as if that were possible), until that last half mile, and I knew I could do it.

That's the thing about achieving a goal - it can come quicker then expected. All you have to do is continue to train and push yourself. I still don't have any particular goals for my wogging, except to get a stronger and faster. But even to achieve this rather vague goal, I know I have to commit to training and pushing myself a little bit more each day.

Today I will celebrate because I achieved a goal. I will enjoy the victory for a few days, then set another one. Wonder how many more mailboxes are in four miles?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pick It Up

Today is Blog Action Day. Today we're going to talk environment, particularly trash.

I am a baby boomer. Back in the day, it was no big deal to throw your trash out the window of the car. I probably threw some out myself.

Four years before I was born, Keep America Beautiful was founded in 1954. In 1965, when I was eight, Lady Bird Johnson started a nationwide campaign to clean up America. In 1971, when I was fourteen, the "Crying Indian" commercial was launched. Mississippi, my birth state, has a 30% higher litter rate than the national average. With a lifetime of litter education, one would think I should see a difference.

A few weeks ago as I was walking around my neighborhood, I saw a fast-food sack along the street. Some of the paper remains of the meal were scattered about. I walk a loop, and knew I would be passing the trash again, so I bagged it and left it for my return. As I walked back, I picked up additional trash, so by the time I had returned home, I had a bagful. I did my part for the environment. At least I did that day.

This weekend, as I was driving home, someone in the car in front of me threw the remains of their drive-through meal out the window. My daughter and I were horrified. We were stopped at a traffic light, and I dared her to pick up the trash and hand it back to the offender. She demurred, citing safety concerns. The light turned green, and we drove on. Only then did we
think about the idea of stopping the car, picking up the trash, and throwing it away properly. On the way home, we saw another can, but didn't pick it up either.

I know all about litter. But all the knowledge in the world will do no good until I do something. I've spent 50 years picking up the litter I choose to, but starting today I will choose differently. I will pick up all litter I can, even if I consider it an inconvenience. It may not be my litter, but it's my street, my city, my world. And if I don't make a difference, who will?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Lovely Sunday

Sundays - a day of rest. Today certainly fit that bill.

It started with a lazy sleeping-in of sorts. I didn't actually sleep late, but I lazily got up, deciding to forgo an organized church service. Instead, I just started slow and relaxed, which felt just right.

The family met for the usual Davidson Sunday brunch at Amerigos, complete with stories and new made-up games. We topped it off with a visit to Bobbie's Dairy Dip where I indulged in my new favorite, a chocolate dipped chocolate ice cream cone.

Naturally, what would these actions lead to but a nap. With the windows open, a favorite blankie, and my bed set on the perfect sleep number, I took a lovely snooze.

The rest of the day went uneventfully, just a bit of this and that. Nothing spectacular got accomplished, nothing particularly noteworthy came about, and nothing monumental surfaced. Just a day of rest.

I think God is pleased when we take days like today for ourselves. It gives us a chance to appreciate the beauty of today, reflect on the blessings of days past, and rest for the mysteries of days to come.

Sundays - a day of rest. What a great way to start the week!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My Saturday 5-K

Today I volunteered at the Germantown Oktoberfest 5K Race. I like participating in races, but I also really enjoy helping out. I love to people-watch, and today I learned a few life lessons. For instance:

1. You get a police escort if you are the front-runner and if you are the last runner.

If you're the final competitor, you get the same treatment as the winner. The important thing is to participate and finish.

2. Struggling runners appreciate it when you cheer for them, and REALLY appreciate it if you know where the last mile marker is!

Sometimes it's the total strangers that encourage us and keep us on our course, especially those who are there at the end of the journey and the culmination of a goal.

3. Some men are way too secure in the manhood, as evidenced by the shortness of their shorts!

Just because you can wear something, doesn't mean you should.

4. As I watched a team of young girls running the race, a mom was on the sidelines yelling/coaching. She was really going after it - I was afraid she might kick my butt!

Moms can be our loudest cheerleaders, our most demanding coaches, and our most loyal supporters - and they will be there with us to the end, whether we want them there or not!

5. A lady was a winner in her 60-65 year old age group simply because she was one of the few her age who participated in the race and finished.

At any age in any race, you may be surprised and win a prize - but only if you participate and finish, which actually may be the prize you truly seek.

6. I spent more time manning my post and directing/cheering runners than I would have if I were actually running in the race.

I learn a lot about running races when I run them, but I learn a lot about life when I am a volunteer.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Where Are My Rose Colored Glasses?

Today's task was one of those things you don't necessarily want to do, but you have to do anyway, so you take somebody with you to do it, even if it's your young adult daughter. What did I have to do? Buy new eyeglasses.

I wear contact lens, so I only wear my glasses at night or when my eyes are tired (I wear gas-perms - I know, I'm old fashioned). Because my glasses are used as a backup, I abuse them. I drop them, lose them, sit on them, step on them, twist them, etc. I am constantly bending them back into shape because one eyepiece always seems to be over my eyebrow while the other is covering my cheek. I think my ears are uneven, but that's another story.

Recently my poor glasses had decided enough was enough. They literally fell apart. The little screw that holds them together fell on the floor (which I left there for a few hours until I forced Maribeth to find it). We attempted to screw it back in, but the screw hole parts were so bent there was to be no reconciliation in order to rescrew the screw. I was headed to get a paper clip to reassemble the glasses, but Maribeth managed to convince the screw to attach. Barely. After a few days of the lens constantly falling out, I decided it was time to get new glasses.

I picked up Molly and we went to my medical center of choice, the mall. We met salesman Todd, who proceeded to point out which frames would compliment my face. There were millions of choices, all with huge price tags. This is where it got ugly. I was looking for cheap, while Molly was looking for fashionable. My look is generally more cheap (I was wearing my white sweat pants, which horrified Molly) than fashionable, so you can imagine my dilemma. We decided big plastic frames were out, as were anything with color, round shapes, and/or jewels. At this point I was considering a seeing eye dog.

Finally, Molly and Todd agreed on a frame, and several hundred dollars later, I have my new spectacles. Or rather Todd does, as it will take a return trip to the mall to pick them up. I just hope my white sweatpants are clean by then!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Meaning of Friendship

This afternoon I shared a dinner with Kay, a faithful friend for eighteen years.

We first met when two of our children were kindergarten pals. Back then, it wouldn't seem that we would be compatible. Sure, we were both married and we each had two daughters and a son. But she was a nurse who worked outside the home, and I was a stay at home mom who played Nintendo while the kids were at school. Her family lived in a beautiful new home with lovely furnishings while we lived in a rental house with an unheated bathroom. When her son came over to visit, she sent healthy food to help with dinner - I sent Kool-aid and candy bars to her house. She was sensible and sane, while I was busy trying to look up those words in the dictionary. And yet we meshed, sharing our lives, often in her swing in the back of her house.

A few years later, I moved thirty minutes away and got busy with teaching and family. But I could always count on Kay to be there for a chat. Time would pass, but a call or an email or a card would remind me that I still had this dear friend.

Today as we hugged goodbye in front of the restaurant, I realized how much I missed spending time with Kay, and how much her friendship has meant to me. I realized that God gave me this special friendship not only to enjoy, but so He could love me through it.

I am very blessed to have friends. Some I met from cyberspace, some I share DNA and a family, and some I gained by personal experiences. Through each friendship, God has loved me. He has loved me by kind and encouraging words, by happy remembrances of shared experiences, by assurances of steadfast commitment, and by the comfort of a compassionate embrace.

I hope I will begin to appreciate all my friendships for what they are - gifts from God through which He gives a part of Himself. I hope I can be that same avenue of Love for my friends - they certainly deserve it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Today's Gifts

Kat had a super entry last week about God's blessings. She writes,

" ... but it's something I'm working on every day... saying Thank You to Him for my blessings, and to remember that I truly do have a blessed life."

I've thought a lot about what she wrote, and wondered how I could recognize my daily blessings and show how thankful I am for them. So often the special things in each day get lost in the actual business of living that day. As I get older, I realize that I don't want to overlook or ignore any part of God's daily gifts.

I've thought of one way to do it. Each day, I will list the blessing-gifts for that day. I want to celebrate those wonderful things that make my life so meaningful. I want to thank God for those things He knows are best for me on any given day.

I started my sidebar (or whatever you call it on blogs) where each day I will list the things that have made that day special. In this way, I hope to celebrate those blessings and write a thank-you note to God for giving them to me.

God has always shown me in amazing ways how much He loves me. I just hope that in this small way, I can affirm how very blessed I am.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Dr. 90210migosh

I confess. I watch Dr. 90210. I am amazed each week at what people are choosing to lift, rejuvenate, or implant. The doctors on the show constantly uncover hidden parts, cut away extra parts, and put in some new parts.

In other medical news, I already knew that I can carry my own grandchildren. On Sam's blog, I found out that I can also give birth to my child's half-sibling and my grandchildren's aunt or uncle at the same time. I think.

I marvel at the advances in medical science. I can look a million different ways and have a baby with numerous familial implications. I find the possibilities boggling.

So I think I'll just keep it simple. I'll keep the saggy baggy parts I have, along with the wrinkles and stretch marks. I won't ask for any extra parts, since it's hard enough to maintain the parts I currently posses. I'll forgo having any more babies, since nature has decided I should quit (and I wholeheartedly agree), and I don't want to have to figure out exactly to whom I'm giving birth.

So I guess you won't be seeing me on Dr. 90210. I think I'll look elsewhere for my television debut. Do you think the Disney Channel gives out Mickey bars?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

10K and 87% Humidity

Taking a break at MGM

1:27:45 - that was my time in today's Race for the Taste. Not a fabulous time, but a reasonable time considering everything. The race was fun - we ran through MGM Studios and Epcot, but the humidity was stifling. I ended up walking the last half in order to continue living.

The good news is, I did it. The better news is, I want to do better. So, I'll keep training in order to improve my time and stamina. It's good to know that 50 can be only the beginning of better things!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mickey Bars

One of the best things about Disney is the "Mickey Bar." In case you have never experienced this delicious (don't mention calories) treat, it is creamy ice cream covered in yummy chocolate. Absolutely delightful. I've already had two!!

I don't get Mickey bars often, and only when associated with a Disney visit. It is a special treat I give myself on these occasions, and I love it.

I am learning how to treat myself in new ways. This week, Rebekah suggested that I treat myself three times a day, for thirty minutes each time. During this time, I should do something good for myself. This is not as easy as it sounds.

I am lucky because I no longer have to watch over my now-grown children (okay, most of the time), or work at an outside-the-home job. I have time for these thirty-minute breaks. But I am also a task-oriented person, so there are many things I keep thinking I should be doing during these thirty minutes.

However, the point is to treat myself. Why? To feed my soul and spirit. To relax and let go. To be my own best supporter. To admit to myself that I deserve it.

So I decided to start. Today I wrote a little and sat in the sun. I read a book. I watched an insipid movie on Lifetime Movie Channel (you know you do, too!). I can't say I didn't also think of a million other things that I would need to get busy on later. But at least I started.

I think we all need and deserve time to be good to ourselves. I'm going to start thinking about the Mickey Bars my soul needs and begin to treat myself during my thirty minutes. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to keep track of my thirty minutes to see how this works out. I hope you find your soul's Mickey Bars - you certainly deserve it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Tiger Stripes and Bozo Hair

This morning I decided to visit the Animal Kingdom, my favorite park.

Two dozing gorillas look like two sleeping beauties.

I was thrilled to see the baby giraffe.

This deer's antlers look and feel like velvet.

I finally got to see my favorite, the tigers. I learned that a tiger's stripes are much like human fingerprints - no two tigers are alike.

What does all this have to do with bozo hair? Let me explain. I have lots of thick naturally frizzy curly hair. Today it rained a lot while I was visiting with the animals, and when it wasn't raining, it was humid. My hair loves rain and humidity so much it just gets frizzier and curlier and bigger. By the time I left the park, I was lucky just to get my head inside the bus door.
The marvel in today is knowing that my God who can design specific stripes on every single tiger can also create a head of hair on me that makes us both laugh out loud. My God can create a baby giraffe taller than a full grown human, and gorillas that seem almost human. My God can create velvet on a deer's antlers. My God is truly magnificent.
God reminded me today that He is involved with every little piece of His creation. Nothing is too insignificant for Him to pass on. He created each of us, every piece of nature in His creation, just the way He wants us. What a wonderful blessing to know that what we might construe as our physical imperfections were created solely for us, to make us truly unique.
So the next time I am trying to calm my hair down, I am going to remember that tiger and his stripes. And I'm going to offer a prayer of gratitude for the very things God created just for me.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I Have Seen The Future, and It Is Disney

As I said yesterday, I frequent WDW quite often. Several of these trips include my sister, Marilyn. We plan trips for races (where we bring up the back), for fun (sometimes never getting on a ride), and for cruises (because we are princesses). By the way, she is Cinderella, and I am Sleeping Beauty.

We can trace our Disney roots back to August of 1974, when we first visited The Magic Kingdom with our parents. Marilyn was in college, I was about to begin college, and my brother was in high school. My parents still thought we were too young to be out of their sight. Therefore, we did EVERYTHING together as a group, including my "interesting" aunt (who, when I said I wanted seafood for lunch, she said Burger King had a good fish sandwich). Sorry, I digress.

We managed to survive the day without bloodshed, and it was almost time for the big fireworks show. We had never seen a big fireworks show. We lived on a farm in a small town in Mississippi. Our idea of fireworks was my father shooting Roman candles off in the backyard. Apparently he felt that the Disney fireworks were probably on the same level as his display, and decided it was time to leave to "beat the crowds." Naturally, my sister and I were appalled, as we knew the fireworks were probably going to be second only to the Second Coming.

We tried everything, from walking slowly, to going to the bathroom, to begging and pleading, but to no avail. We left before the fireworks, thus leaving a gaping hole in our hearts (do you hear the violins yet?).

We believe this incident scarred our delicate lives forever. We are currently in search of a therapist who will certify this as a traumatic psychological disorder which needs on-site therapy, so we can submit our trips to our respective insurance companies. Alas, so far we haven't found a cutting-edge professional to do so. So, instead, we feed our sickness and continue to plan trips to our homeland (all things Disney) in search of inner peace (I know I hear violins - but I think they are playing "It's a Small World").

Nearly all of our trips have been since our children have become adults, and another large number haven't even included children. This is probably another issue our yet-to-be-found therapist needs to address. (Maybe we could score a diagnosis if we volunteered to bring the therapist WITH us on a trip. Hmmmm.)

Anyhow, we have even made plans for when we get old and decrepit. When we are in wheelchairs, complete with oxygen tanks and feeding tubes (although we are trying our best to store reserves on our bodies so we can live off the reserves like whales), we feel we can continue to make our pilgrimages to Disney World. All we ask is that someone just park us on Main Street and let us people watch. Yes, we are the Lewis sisters, and we are Disneyworldaholics.

I tell you all this because I saw our future today. This morning was sunny, so Steve and I went to the pool. Across the way were two much older ladies sitting in their chairs, sunning by the pool. I like to believe that they are sisters, still getting their "fix." It's easy to see Marilyn and me in 25 years, doing the same.

There are some things that only sisters can share. If we're lucky enough to have a sister, we have the possibility that somewhere along the way, we will also have a best friend. It's the kind of friend that even though you're as different as day and night, you still remain friends because there's a bond that cannot be separated. You share memories, you share secrets, you may share DNA, and you share a life. You're there for each other no matter what, whether you agree or disagree, and whether you think the other is right or wrong.

I'm very blessed to have all of the above. I have a sister who may not always understand me, but will always have my back - especially if we're headed down Splash Mountain!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My Date With Mickey (or Donald!)

I'm flying to Orlando tonight for a few days at Walt Disney World, and the Race for the Taste on Sunday. It will be my first "race" since the big 5-0 and g-bladder, so it should be interesting!

I go to WDW several times a year, much to the surprise of friends. Sometimes I go for the races, sometimes for a "girls only trip", and sometimes just for some R&R. I don't go to the parks every time, and when I go to the parks, I don't ride every ride. But I still go. Why?

It's a place for me to go to relax (remember, my kids are grown and can ride the rides by themselves). It's a happy place, and people are generally nice and helpful. There's always something to do, or not to do, and plenty to eat. There are shows, rides, and plenty of people for people-watching. Everything is pretty and neat and clean, and it's just a fun place to be, unwind, and escape.

So, I'm off to Fantasyland. I'll see all kinds of people and observe lots of interesting events. I think that's one of the reasons I love Disney - there's always something new to experience, whether it's your first time or your millionth and whether you're 5 or 50. You just have to open your eyes to what's out there.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

And Then There are Those Days ....

One of the interesting things about getting older is that I have a sharpened ability to recognize differences in days. There are the days when my body can't decide which part wants to ache - my knee or my shoulder or my hip. There are the days when I have to keep telling my self that my children are grown (and I have to keep telling them!). There are the days when everybody is talking to me way too much, and I want to escape a no-talking monastery. And then there are days like yesterday ...

It started off nicely enough. I was doing things that needed doing. I blogged and exercised and walked. And then I checked my email.

I received a comment from Kat on my post yesterday. She mentioned that she had something for me on her blog, so I skipped over. Kat gave me an award!! Now, this is a woman who does many things. She is a wife, a mother, a professional, keeps up with her two blogs, makes quilts, and is consistently working to complete five achievable goals, one of which is quitting smoking. I am in awe of this superwoman. And yet, she took the time to stop her busy life and give something to me. I hope she knows just how much she gave.

She gave me the thought that I might have readers out there, who actually "get" what I write. She gave me the support that in my own way, I do make a difference, and gave me the encouragement to keep at it. She gave me the belief that anything is possible at any age, if you know somebody else believes in you. She gave me the conviction that a total stranger can become a valued friend by saying just a few words of support and encouragement. But most of all, she gave me the assurance that God blesses me in the most surprising ways, even through cyberspace.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Julie!

Today Julie Andrews turns 72. I've admired Julie Andrews for as long as I can remember. She is the star in many of my favorite memories.

I saw her in The Sound of Music when I was a little girl. The movie was shown in a fancy movie theater (or picture show back then) in Memphis. We had assigned seats, and an usher took us to the seats. I had on my Sunday dress, and souvenirs were sold in the lobby. This was a special event for my family. At the end, as the von Trapps were traipsing over the Alps, I shed one tear, which was quite a lot for a child who didn't cry. I was hooked on Julie Andrews.

I saw her next in Mary Poppins, a movie that enchanted me. I remember riding in a car with my best friend, Kelli. I asked Kelli for her favorite movie star, mainly so I could tell her mine. I was so proud to be a Julie fan.

I continued to see Julie movies, and remember my first Julie record (those big black round disks). The album was The World of Julie Andrews, and I listened to it constantly. I still have the album framed in my office. In my high school senior yearbook, my friend Carol wrote, "Don't stop collecting Julie Andrews records - otherwise everybody else will forget her." Fat chance. In college, I worked in the library, and photocopied every article I could find on Julie. Yes, I had a scrapbook (which disintegrated over time). When Julie started writing, I read and bought her books, which continues to this day.

I still keep track of Julie, because she is still a part of me. Last Thanksgiving my family went to New York City to see the Macy's parade. Guess who was on a float - Julie Andrews. It was such a thrill to see her in person, even though I was high up in a building.

My family often asks me, if I were to see Julie on the street, would I speak? My answer is always no, because I really have nothing intelligent or original to offer. There are fans like me all over the world. There is nothing I could say that could adequately convey the joy she has given me over the years.

In a world full of chaos and confusion, there are those things that are safe and comfort us our whole lives. Perhaps because of the vast distance between Julie and me, I can use her as one of those safe things. I can escape and enter whatever world she has created, and feel content.

So thank you, Julie Andrews, for all the things you have given me over the years. I hope there is somebody who has done the same for you. Happy 72nd!

A Goal for Fifty-One? I Think Not!

I'm in awe of the this 51-year-old grandmother who gave birth to her twin grandsons. I think it's great she obviously loves her daughter so much to do this. I love my daughters too, but I hope they think I'm just too old to go through this!

There would be just too many things to consider:

*Does AARP cover surrogate pregnancy?
*Which would qualify me for preferred parking - my being pregnant, or my hoveround?
*Does anybody really want to see this body in those skin-tight maternity clothes the starlets wear?
*I gave birth to a gallbladder - isn't that enough?
*There are just so many stretch marks that a body can bear.
*While pregnancy boobs look sexy, I think I can buy some from my local plastic surgeon.

So I think I'll pass on the surrogacy granny thing. Besides, that's why I have TWO daughters - there's always the chance they'll learn to share!