Thursday, July 30, 2009

To Everything A Season

My local newspaper only comes out every Wednesday. What can I say, it's a peaceful place and there's not much to report - and for that, I'm thankful. I read my paper front to back, EVERY section (there's only 2). When I first moved here and we subscribed to the paper, I would often read it with a red pen in hand and work diligently at correcting all the grammatical errors I came across. That's a post for another day.

Romeo (1991-2009)
On the back/last page of Section B of yesterday's paper, I came across the article "Carnivore Preservation Trust Grieves Loss of Romeo". I was sick. Remember me telling you about that fabulous place, CPT, here? And my experience with "Raj"? What a great day that was. My heart is heavy today for the good people at CPT for I know they are truly mouring the loss of a loved one.

Apparently, Romeo's health had been declining over the last several months as a result of a progressive neurological disease, which made it very difficult, and ultimately impossible, for Romeo to control his hind legs. During the last two weeks, his condition spiraled downward and the difficult decision was made to euthanize Romeo. He was surrounded by all of his caregivers, his "CPT Family" and adoptive "parents" when he passed away peacefully yesterday.

Romeo grew to be twelve feet long and weighed as much as 800 pounds at his heaviest. And he'd gained "celebrity status" according to CPT's executive director.

Celebrity status... Romeo, Romeo - Oh, Romeo... I'd say he "made it" and went out on top, wouldn't you??

Monday, July 27, 2009

Well, It Wasn't On My "Bucket List"

...but I SURE am glad I went!!

My husband has, and often does, told/tell me that I am "wound too tight", that I need to "loosen up some".  I typcially take great offense to that and think to myself..."I'm not wound too tight...I know how to have a good time...I just don't need to act like an idiot in order to have fun and I certainly don't need alchohol to help me along".

So imagine his thinking and prepping when he approached me about the Lynard Skynard/Kid Rock concert!  I can just visualize him talking to himself..."well, I'll ask her but I'm sure she'll say no way...".  But agreeing to this concert meant a weekend with my daughter and, well, I'll do just about anything to have a few days with Bran!


True, there were a few songs in which the lyrics made me cringe and say "really?  Is it necessary to say it like THAT?"  But overall, this was a more than pleasant surprise.

Skynard simply brought back many high school memories.  Those guys were pretty laid back and played all the old favorites.  Kid Rock, however, was all over the music board.  At times I felt like I was at a head banger concert and others, a church retreat - so much so, I looked at Brandi and said, "the offering plate should be around any moment now"!  This guy was such an extremist!  And truly multi-talented.  He played the electric guitar, the bass guitar, the drums and the piano beautifully.  I mean, WHO KNEW?  We certainly didn't.  He was talkative and seriously entertaining! 

The event reinforced to me that I absolutely must not judge a book by its cover.  Never, ever.  Because had I never stepped out of my musical comfort zone, 1) I never would've experienced such a treat and 2) I would've missed a fabulous evening with my Little Bitty - and I'll NEVER let that happen!

Share my photogs, below, won't you?

  Our self, family portrait

Great backdrop

The band

Kid Rock

Michael & Brandi Lee ♥♥

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh, The Places You Have Been

Honestly, I lost count.  But I'm positive it's been at least 3 months since "Big G" went missing.

I didn't begin to worry until after about the 3rd week.  It's not uncommon at all for him to wander off and stay gone for that long.  But then I noticed, daily, that he wasn't among the herd.  After 6 or 7 weeks I had resigned myself to the fact that "G" was gone and not coming back.  I was hopeful that he'd simply gotten off track and some kind family had taken him in and was caring for and loving him like I did (do).  And that's what I continued to believe becasue there was no other "evidence" to the contrary.

I've thought of "G" every day since his departure, especially when walking Sadie (our dog) because "G" always tagged along.  And for awhile, while Sadie and I were strolling, I'd call out "G's" name hoping one day he'd hear me and come running.  That never happened...

So, imagine my delight when Sadie and I went outside "to handle the business" for the last time Monday night and standing on my front porch was "Big G" - in perfect condition?  I was confused by his presence at first, thinking he was one of the other cats.  Then I looked closer and he said, in his very distinctive voice "hello" - and I knew it was him.  It was a loving reunion for us all!  He was welcomed home with hugs and kisses and a can of wet food, which he much appreciated and needed!  And as of this morning, he's still here.

I can only attribute his absence to a long, much needed vacation.  There must be a kitty time-share somewhere on the coast that I'm not aware.

Welcome home, "G" - welcome home...

Friday, July 17, 2009

"That's OK. You Can Just Pay Me Later"

This past Wednesday was a canvass day for me. That's a fancy way of saying I was out in the community knocking on doors trying to drum up some business. Because it was too hot to have a packed lunch tooling around with me in the car and it didn't make any sense to drive back to Bear Creek to the house to have lunch at home when I had an appointment right in town where I was (Pittsboro), I decided I would treat myself to eating out. This is a HUGE treat. I NEVER eat lunch out. I am a dedicated packer. I don't get the concept of going to the grocery store and spending all that money on food only to leave it at home and spend more money for lunch in a restaurant. To say nothing about the lack of healthy choices out there...

ANYWAY, my restaurant of choice was S&T Soda Shop. If you've never been, you need to go. And you need to eat, if nothing else, a Haw River. 'Nuff said 'bout that!

Photo courtesy of google images
(While this is not an actual photo of S&T, it is a VERY close replica.)

I refrained from the dreamy concoction and, instead, got the BLT on whole wheat w/a pickle and some ice water. I enjoyed my lunch while reading a book and being just slightly aware of the other office workers around me taking their break. After wrapping up the chapter I was reading and being inducted as a member into the clean plate club, I made my way to the check out counter. I should mention here that I NEVER have cash with me. I'm one of those people in the quick mart buying a bottle of water and a pack of gum with my credit/debit card. And it's not because I'm trying to earn frequent flyer miles, either. I just never carry cash on me. And I never eat lunch out.

As soon as I approached Vicky, the owner of S&T (along with her hubs Gene), at the counter, I remembered...they have a $5.00 limit on their debit/credit card purchases...and my total was $4.80. Really? Seriously? Vicky saw the look of horror on my face and said "That's alright honey, don't worry about it! Just pay the next time you come in. I never have any cash with me. It's no problem at all." It then occurred to me that I squandered some change from a recent bank deposit; change that was supposed to make its way to my secret hiding place at home. But, thankfully, I forgot about it and found the $20 bill tucked safe and sound in my checkbook! Whew! Vicky giggled at that, too! She said she' s always amazed at the women who can almost always find some change hanging out in the crook of her purse somewhere!

So, I happily paid for my lunch and made my way to my next appointment with time to spare.

I've thought about this episode for the last two days. And I can't help but go back to my thoughts on this place I call home... I am CONTINUALLY reminded of what it's like to live in a tiny community where, at the very least, people recognize you and are sincerely willing to help. I wish everyone had the opportunity to experience such humanity as I have and do...

I love this place I call home...even if I have to be reminded of that every now and then...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Natural Childbirth

I am a big fan of this website. A huge fan, as a matter of fact. I check it every day - really for the "daily chuck" photo more than anything else. But today's post really just made me chuckle a little.

The reading, the researching, the planning, the meeting of the childbirth committee members... I can't wrap my head around it. I mean, you get pregnant and you give birth - the most natural event in any female species.

It's not like "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies"...

Almost twenty seven years ago, I was a kid having a kid. And in my kid-like mind, I knew my baby was coming and I had no control over that WHATSOEVER. What I did have control over was that 10 inch needle going into my back - NO THANK YOU!! I'll take a little hit of oxygen every now and then and leave me to my heavy breathing. It'll be over soon enough...10, 15, 20 hours...but it will end. And it will all have been worth it and you come out of it with a clear mind and not having to wait for any numbness to wear off.

Hey, I respect every woman's decision on her method of childbirth - it's a personal one and one she has to make in order to be comfortable and retain her health and that of her child. But is natural after all.

Way to go, Heather! Way to go! You rocked this one!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Trace, Toby & Me Make Three

Just indulge me, won't you? (And I encourage you to click on the photos to make them larger).

I'm a fan of numerous musical artists - from all genres of music. But regardless of how big a fan I am, I draw the limit on the amount of money I'm willing to spend on a ticket to any of these artists' shows. These tickets - 6th row from the stage - literally fell into Michael's lap. No charge. Free. No gimmicks. No "I'll do this for you if you do this for me". Nothing. Free and clear. Tickets in the 6th row to Trace and Toby - free. I enjoyed the show that much more because of it!

I'd like to say that my close up and personal experience Saturday night with these two gentlemen has changed my way of thinking and that, from now on, I will mortgage my home in order to pay for tickets this good. But nope. I'll still monitor my purse closely and be happy with the nose-bleed section if that's I'll I can afford. But I sure did enjoy, and appreciate, the treat we had last weekend...

Our traditional self-portrait (wow, I have big cheeks and a big nose...guess that's just me, huh?!)

Sorry, but I don't have a PG-13 rated comment I can leave here. Let's just say Trace has his game on!

See, up close and personal.

A rare, quiet moment from Toby.

The grand finale with both boys. A perfect closing performance.

(*Edited to add...hey, Toby sort of has big cheeks and a big nose like me!)

Friday, July 10, 2009


My Halloween plans have been laid!

I'll be in VA Beach running the Blue Moon Wicked 10k with my Little Bitty (barring any unforeseen road block in my life)!! I am psyched!!! I think this is going to be hysterical, people!

I've never run in costume before and Brandi's never run 6 miles! This is going to be a great memory in the making!

We're taking suggestions on what to wear and may need the services of a local seamstress - so don't be bashful about bragging on your talents!

You will want to stay posted for pics from this event!

**Edited to note: Hey! I just realized! My last post (below) was #200!!! I think that's some sort of milestone!!!! Who knew I had so much to talk about?! Thanks for following!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Just Once...just one time...

The Le Tour de Carrboro's "Four on the 4th" yesterday was FABULOUS!!! It couldn't have been a more perfect day - nice and cool in the morning and warming up JUST enough about an hour later. It was a record setting day with 565 registrants and a new course record of 20:01 (that boy was smokin'!!). Do the math, people... that's running a mile in 5 minutes - YOU try it!!

Because I was solo at the event and didn't have anywhere to be until much later in the day, I stuck around for the entire awards ceremony. Typically, there's an overall male and female winner and then there are age category winners - the top three - for men and women. I've never been particularly caught up in these awards but yesterday I felt a little pang of envy..."wow, look at her...50 and fabulous and running almost twice as fast as me...that medal sure looks good around her neck...I'd probably wear mine with my scoop-necked black ruffle can she be that much older than me and run that much faster...what do I need to do to JUST ONCE win one of those age-specific medals..."

The best part about this sport is that literally ANYONE can do it.

From two year olds... (yes, that's a blue ribbon she's holding...that she won despite running her event in a pretty patriotic slip dress)

To seventy-two year olds... (yes, that's a Boston Marathon tech tee he's wearing...which he probably earned despite being almost TWICE my age)

The little green monster didn't sit on my shoulder long. I drove home very satisfied with my personal time of 41:44 (about 10:23 per mile). And really very happy for those who trained harder than me, who ate better than me and simply ran a better race than me and, as a result, took home one of those nifty, hand-made medals.

And to reward myself, I stopped at McDonald's on the way home and picked up a "skinny" vanilla latte. Hmmm... perhaps this could be the difference between bringing home a medal and not?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The First of Three

For me, like most of you I'm sure, today is my Friday! Can I get a "holla' " in the house...whoop, whoop!

No doubt, the weekend plans for most include a cookout of some sort...maybe an outing on or near water...time with family, friends and neighbors...and "oohs and aaaahhhhsss" at all the fireworks in our hometowns...all traditional July 4th celebrations.

While I'll be honing in on such a party somewhere later in the day Saturday, I will begin my 4th of July celebration at O'Dark Thirty doing this:

The Four on the Fourth is the first of the Tri-Fecta of races hosted by Le Tour de Carrboro. And I am a sophomore to this event this year!! I love running in Carrboro. The routes the race officials put together are some of my favorites. We wind through "downtown" Carrboro and through old, established neighborhoods shaded by beautiful pines and's a real treat! And because my other half will be visiting family in KY, I will be running solo...again. But I'm sure some fine, sweaty soul will graciously accept my request to take my post-run photo, which is tradition. So, stay tuned for that glossy shot!

And however you choose to celebrate our wonderful nation's birthday, just respectful of others, be respectful of our earth and with a burning passion I ask - - - please don't drink and drive.

God Bless America - Happy 4th my blog friends, happy 4th!!