Thursday, March 31, 2011

This just in ...

Thank goodness March is leaving us today. It came in like a lion and is exiting that way too. A mixture of *now (rhymes with blow), rain and sleet this morning. Nice. So I went to the indoor running/walking track to get in my road work, that's what I have been call my 5K training.

Anyway, we're decorating for spring and Easter around here.

We have blowup lawn decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. So we decided why should spring and Easter go unloved? The bunny is yet unnamed as we're figuring our two granddaughters will have a say in that.

I do love me some frogs. We have several that live in the myrtle patch you see underneath the bunny in the picture above. While I'm not really into collecting them, we've seen some really adorable ones and have impetuously snapped them up. Johnnie surprised me this past week with this one. His head area is big enough to use as a seat or maybe you're supposed to put a plant on it. Either way, he's pretty cute too. 

I keep telling myself this is just a sticker, just a sticker. And I'm much too old grown up to get excited about being awarded a sticker. Right? Apparently not. I received this sticker last night when I went to my 5K group running practice for attending some number of group runs (I missed three while we were on vacation). I'm so darned proud of doing this and my body hasn't yet forbade me from continuing. Sure, it complains now and then but it hasn't put a stop to my crazy desire to be able to run. 
And the incentive to receive awards as we go along makes it all that much sweeter.  Even a sticker. So I went right out and put it on the car last night. The drops of water are what's left of the morning precipitation mixture. We get a technical jacket from New Balance if we make 17 practices (out of 24). Who says adults aren't swayed by a little reward?

This weekend I'm trying a 2.5 mile fun run to see how I'm progressing before our May 1st graduation run with the 300 people in it from our training sessions. I know I'm not fast but by golly, I'm doing it. My main goal this week is to make it over the finish line. Heck, that may be my always goal!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A conversational moment with Lucy

Lucy is now at that age, about 3 3/4s, where some of the things that come out of her mouth are priceless -- artless and without affectation in any way.

Lucy and I were at BJs (NO we don't have a Costco here. Do I seem testy about that??! Why Yes I am, thank you) Wholesale Club yesterday while Erin was visiting Emily's classroom for an hour or so. She was sitting in the basket part of the cart, not the kids' seats, and goofing around, talking silly baby talk (she's well past that but loves to be silly with it). John called after his lunch break to check in. I was wheeling the cart along, talking to Johnnie and Lucy was babbling. In the midst of her babbling, Lucy sticks her right thumb in her mouth like a baby and begins sucking on it seriously, eyeing me with her typical mischievous  sparkle and smirk around the thumb.

I was really surprised so I said, with a fair amount of emphasis, "Lucy, what are you doing? Take your thumb OUT of your MOUTH!"

She took her thumb out, looked at me and broke down into piteous sobs, curling into a heap on the bottom of the basket. This isn't my first rodeo at this, nor is it Lucy's so I knew most of it was an act. That and she hates having her feelings hurt and I had obviously hurt her feelings by hopping on her so vehemently.

I hung up on Johnnie and tried to reason with Lucy. Yeah, no success, just more sobs. So we proceeded to the dog food and treat aisle where I loaded up on dog treats first, then went for the 44 pound bag of dog food. With Lucy in the basket part of the cart, I figured I would put the bag on the bottom tray. Easy peasy, right? Not so much. Remember, it's 44 pounds. Ugh.

I was struggling to move the dead floppy weight of the dog food bag onto the cart with my foot wedged behind the front wheel to keep the cart from scooting backwards. This continued for a couple minutes: tugging, lifting, hefting, scooching and so forth. Lucy was just above where all this activity was occurring and she became interested in what I was doing. I was completely ignoring her (not the first rodeo, yeah).

After watching me for a little bit, she said, in a completely normal voice, "Here, Gwamma, get me out and I'll help you." The tears, the sobs, the entire event was turned off like magic.

I lifted her out and she proceeded to try to tug the bag onto the shelf. Yeah, little girlfriend, not gonna happen. So I sent her to the back of the cart to hold the handle and just keep the cart from moving backwards as I shoved the bag onto the shelf. She was too small and maybe didn't understand what I was saying because the cart sailed backwards as though nothing and no one was preventing its backward movement. After more tugging and shoving, it was finally far enough on the shelf so it wouldn't drag on the floor so I loaded Lucy back in and off we went.

As we rounded the corner to head towards the fruit and meat area, I said, "Lucy, I'm really sorry I hurt your feelings. I was just so surprised that you were sucking your thumb!"

She replied in complete seriousness, "That's OK, Gwamma. You just bwoke my heart."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day hodge podge

From India to America back to India to America (rinse and repeat)
How much sense does this make? Here I am, an American, reviewing, correcting and editing Web page copy written by someone in India about a proofreading service based here in the United States that proofs papers and whatever for students and academics to guarantee that the English used is appropriate and accurate. Meaning that the service does a lot of proofing for non-native English speakers. This seems kinda goofy and a bit circuitous to me. On the other hand, it might be an interesting business for me to investigate as another client. I'm betting most of it is done over the Internet anyhow.

Checked it out: - the jobs are by bid, they take a 12% bite off the top and use PayPal to pay so there's another 3% nibble. Saw lots of available reviewers and no projects -- more supply than demand.

Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans
I don't remember how we got on the subject yesterday at breakfast but John and I were reminiscing about really early TV shows - circa 1955 and later. I remember watching Captain Kangaroo and being really irritated with him (even as a child) that he'd announce the time as "it's 20 minutes after the hour..." or "it's 15 minutes before the hour..." and I thought that was really dumb. And irritating because I was learning to tell time and knowing the hour would have been really  helpful. I didn't figure it out until much later that it was because he was live across different time zones so he couldn't say it was 20 minutes after 9 or 15 minutes before 10. Still, I was ticked about it and just found him useless to watch as a result. John pointed out that that was a rather poor reason for me not to have watched Captain Kangaroo. Whatever. The doofus (Captain Kangaroo, not John) annoyed me enough that I didn't watch.

Geese! Ducks! Goldfinches!
We are finally starting to see some signs of spring in our area. Yeay! Bridget and I were walking last week and saw hundreds of geese and ducks returning to the area. There have been goldfinches (which stay here in cold weather but lose their gold coloring) with gold feathers at the feeders. Thank goodness!

Week 7 of 5K Training
I've been doing my training for the May1st 5K I'll (hopefully) be running. I'm up to three minute runs interspersed with three minutes of walking. Amazingly, I am recovering my breath faster and feeling much less winded. The organizers just keep telling us to trust them that we'll be able to run the whole 5K (3.1 miles) by May 1st. I'm just not worrying about it and will put my trust in their hands.

We have had the most rotten weather on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings in which to do our group workouts -- all together there are about 300 of us crazies out there for the group runs. Last Wednesday (a week ago) it was pouring rain. Last night there was a very sharp wind that kept the 40 degree temperatures from feeling moderate. We've had everything: wind, rain, ice, *now (the white stuff whose name rhymes with blow). They made it perfectly clear at the beginning that we go out regardless of the weather.

For my other two training runs/walks, I've loaded up my iPod with some great music and just do the neighborhood streets. It's beautiful out today and I ***should*** do my work out today but I suspect it will be postponed until tomorrow and more crappy weather. Ah well. They have definitely taught me that weather shouldn't be an issue regardless of what it's doing outside. Just go.

I have dropped a couple pounds in the process but more I can tell the difference in the tightness of my legs and my endurance. Luckily the plantar fasciitis and knee/hip issues haven't been a lasting problem. I'm hoping that I can keep any physical problems at bay so I can do this. While I don't really feel like an athlete yet, I'm starting to think I could be one. And I'm really loving the running parts of all this.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What we did over the Presidents' Day break

We went on a cruise (Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean including Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize and Honduras) and took all the kids! It was months in the planning and it came off mostly without a hitch. That is, if you could waiting at the airport in Miami for more than an hour at 10pm one night waiting for the hotel shuttle. And if you could the airlines losing Holly's bag so that she had an entirely new wardrobe for the cruise courtesy of Target Boutique and Marshall's. She looked lovely and no one would have been the wiser.  Oh yeah, and Emily had pneumonia for the first three days of the trip.Other than that, it was fantastic!

Anyway, we had a blast. Here's the official picture proof! More later!

Top row: Holly & Mike, Mike