Friday, December 10, 2010

Oh The Festivities!

Isn't December great?

On top of our every day chaos, let's throw in the stress of Christmas! Yes!

Another busy weekend on tap; it's Bunco Christmas Party Night tonight, the annual Reindeer Run in Pittsboro tomorrow morning at o'dark thirty, shopping/strolling Friendly Center in Greensboro tomorrow afternoon, annual Chapel Hill PD SWAT party tomorrow night and to wrap up the weekend nicely in a pretty bow...Flow Yoga at Carrboro Yoga Company Sunday morning. And all this with my favorite Little Bitty.

Feels like 12/25/10 already!!

*pics may follow...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's All In The Packaging

My husband has always said I'm a sucker for anything packaged "cute". I hate it when he's right!

The first of the month I was wandering through GNC looking for a particular vitamin I had read about in Runner's World. I couldn't find what I was looking for but this caught my eye:

It's a simple box with pre-packaged vitamin packs tucked neatly inside. But more importantly, the product is called "be hot-exercise enhancing turbo pak".
Seriously? Call me a sucker but I was all over this like a pair of Lululemon Groove Pants!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mama Got A New Pair Of Shoes...errr Boots!

If these had been any cuter, we would've been at the courthouse exchanging wedding bands!

And they are RAIN BOOTS, people! YES, rubber rain boots!!! Oh God, let the heavens open up soon. You know what, it doesn't matter because I have every intention of sporting these beauties rain, shine, sleet or snow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Current Events

My life has once again been turned upside down and shaken. But I (we) brought it on ourselves and couldn't be happier because of it. Don't be misled, my schedule and freedom have been affected, my indoor cats have retreated and now live solely upstairs in MY bedroom, I dance with the vacuum cleaner nightly and there are poop bags in my jacket pocket.

What was I thinking?

I was thinking how lonely I could allow myself to be in the evenings when my DH was at work. How I missed the sound of a very content, deep-breathing canine at my feet. How I missed having a buddy that really wanted to be with me and was glad to see me when I came home (20 cats and, really, all I'm good for is tuna).

Bailey's been with us a month now and we've worked hard to fall into a routine that works best for us all. We're getting there. And we're working through the puppy stage - the jumping, the chewing, the nipping. But I can be patient...because once we get the go-ahead that it's okay for her to start running with us, this dog will truly regret the day she violated my Longaberger recipe box and it's treasured contents.

It will soon "be on", Bailey will soon "be on" (said her loving "One Bad Mother Runner")!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'll Call It Karma

There have been times in my life where I am at a place or an event and something happens or someone says something that moves me to my core and I think, "this is exactly where I'm supposed to be" or "I was supposed to hear that, that's why I'm here today". You get the idea. Karma. Coincidence. Intervention of some kind.

The funeral, or as I prefer to refer to it, the celebration of life, was simply beautiful last Sunday. Of course, the brilliant Fall sunshine, my adjusted attitude, the company of my parents and daughter and friends may have had something to do with it and, if so, for that I am grateful. We celebrated our friend's life. The family reflected on her incredible sense of humor, her devout loyalty to Virginia Tech, her recent conversion to Coke from Pepsi and her undying love for animals. I wish the world could have known this amazing, whack-nut woman. It was a better place with her in it...

I ended up staying the night with my daughter and had the great pleasure of spending a few hours with her at the clinic (her place of employment) Monday morning before heading home...

If I had not altered my travel plans for last weekend and opted not to attend the funeral and not decided to stay with Bran overnight and not gone to work with her the next day, the change that is getting ready to happen in my life would/will not have taken place.

Every single thing for a reason. Coincidence. Karma. Maybe it was all just part of her plan. But I am certain I was where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Scars And Working On A Change Of Attitude

I have a few select television shows that I watch/record (is that still an appropriate technological term?) each week. Recently, I watched an episode of one of them in which a character said "scars tell our story of where we've been, they don't dictate our future". I've thought a lot about this lately, especially since I've been nursing my own physical scars from a recent fall back to healthy tissue - to say nothing of a broken heart, which carries the biggest scars of all. I've thought how I'll laugh (hopefully) a year from now over my scraped up palms, banged up elbow and torn-open knees. How the cop that helped me that afternoon looked at me as I was down on all fours and said, "Yeah. it was REAL pretty" when I asked him if he saw the entire event.

That character was right. The scars on my body and the ones on my heart tell my story, tell all about who I am and where I've been. They aren't, however, dictating where I'm headed. They'll be there for me years from now. They may be the reason a conversation is started with a stranger and, as a result, I make a new friend. And when I look at them, they may make me cry at the memory they carry. But there's the possibility that they'll make me smile warmly because they've brought a sweet thought of someone I love to the forefront of my mind. And then I will try and remind myself that it's all worth it.

My family will be traveling soon in order to attend a funeral, a funeral that none of us were expecting to ever have to attend - at least not for many, many years. A funeral that most of us agree didn't have to be. A funeral that is going to leave a deep scar in our hearts.

I've decided that I need to change my attitude before I head out. I need to be a better example for my daughter. I need to accept the things I cannot change and work harder at moving forward and take comfort in sweet memories.

I need to realize that I will always be able to read my story simply by looking in the mirror.

I have to go now. It's time to change my bandages!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Breaking Points

We all have them.

But I thought good was supposed to prevail over evil.

I thought love conquered all.

And I thought having faith in "God" could see us through anything.

If I haven't been in doubt these last 6 months, I most certainly am tonight.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Afternoon Delight

First, he made a slight adjustment to my hips...pushing them a little more forward.

Then he had me turn my entire torso a little more to the left.

And finally, he helped lift me into a full and complete backbend.

Lower your brows, readers. It was just my afternoon with Blake, one of my favorites at Carborro Yogo Company.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Now I Know...

Clearly this is the reason none of the others wants to associate with him...(yep, that's kitty litter caked on his nose)

I mean, he may as well have come out of the bathroom trailing toilet paper from the bottom of his shoe.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Small Observation

I've been attending yoga classes fairly regularly now for about 2 1/2 months. I'm happy to report that I can see the physical changes the workouts are having on my body. And I'm certain the breathing exercises I've learned help me to remain calm and collected during times I would have otherwise gone nuts (like tonight when my car started acting up and the "check engine" light came on. Guess I'll be dealing with that this week while breathing deeply).

But today I realized I've gained an added, unexpected benefit...

After class this afternoon, I hit the ladies room before the 20+ mile drive home. As I was taking care of business it occurred to me... I was hovering effortlessly!! You know what I'm talking about, ladies!

Utkatasana, or "chair pose", REALLY has its perks!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Is It Too Late To Save My Own Neck?

For as long as I can remember, this baby pink moisturizing potion has had a comfortable place in my mother's make-up bag. And every morning at about 4:45 my mom would slather it all over her face just prior to applying her blush and concealer, making ready for her day. This routine and the soft scent of the lotion is a fond memory of mine regarding my mom.

So, it comes as no surprise to me that for at least the last 20 years I, too, have rubbed and massaged this creamy concoction all over my face. I've never used another product, never saw a need. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - right? But it's recently occurred to me that, until the last month or so, I NEVER APPLIED IT TO MY NECK!!! Oh my God! The panic I'm in!

Every woman knows that your real age shows in your hands and your neck! Will I ever be able to catch up? Can this stuff work magic?
My favorite Uncle Les calls it "Oil of Delay".
God I hope he's right!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Knock Knock

I am convinced that the older I get, the cooler I am becoming. And while the aging process really seems to bother most people, it doesn't seem to be affecting me. However, what does tick me off is that I'm learning so much and trying different things and stepping out of my comfort zone more easily and frequently but only recently! Why haven't I been doing these things all along? Why do we "grow wise". Why do we finally "get it" when it really doesn't matter any more?!

Because I'm acutely aware of this now, I'm making an all out effort to really pay attention to my surroundings. To really watch and listen to people. To really mean it when I say to someone I pass in the hall, "How are you doing today?" And to take the time to listen to their response, because I care.

I took up yoga about 2 months ago in an effort to kick start my new weight loss/body change program. I was expecting physical changes. I was not expecting changes in the way I think, the way I move, who/what I pay homage to, why I eat the food I eat, how much I enjoy something good (a latte, a homemade cupcake, a good night's sleep...) and good music.

This "practice" has opened me up to many new and wonderful things. I'm a little sad to be going through this experience alone but I'm getting sort of used to that now... During yesterday's class, while I should've had empty thoughts during savasana (deep relaxation), I instead was in awe of the music we were listening to. So much so that I cornered the instructor and asked who or what was in the CD player. She smiled and said, "oh, that's Bill Callahan. But you may know him from his band Smog.", I am not familiar with this Smog you speak of. Can I get him at Target?!

15 minutes later I find myself in what I would call a dank, non-air conditioned hole in the wall with a hookah bar on one side and waifs of incense coming from the "retailer" on the other side. I think I went underground, people...

And while I didn't find the CD that had that incredible song on it I relaxed to in class, I did come home with this little gem:

If there's some "alternative" music you're looking for or coffeehouse-type melodies, might I suggest CD Alley on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill? Oh, and you'd feel most comfortable there after having not shaved your underarms or legs for weeks and a bra is not required either.

Yep, I'm officially cool.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Glads Are Blooming, My Glads Are Blooming!

And I'm SOOOOO glad! Aren't they pretty... other colors on the way, too!

But then there are these... My mums are blooming, too. Are the mums confused or am I? Shouldn't they be "sleeping" during this time of year and not showing their colors until the Fall?

And when it's this hot outside, there's really nothing better to do than...well...this...

Stay cool blog buddies!

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Bathroom Smells...


My Gardenia bush is in full bloom - the best year yet! So I clipped off a bloom or two and set them in the bathroom window and every time I go in there, it's like a little whiff of heaven.

Of course, these little guys do full battle when you-know-who is in there with them.

Just sayin'

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Pre-Memorial Day

I had to work yesterday and I have to work tomorrow which meant today was my Memorial Day. And this is how I spent it...

Victoria Bowden at Carrboro Yoga Company hosted a fabulous Flow Yoga class here in the Paper Lantern Room this morning. If you click on her link, you can actually witness me in action (that's me in the blue). She just happened to have a fellow student videoing the class in order to offer a snippet of how she works on her page of MYCYCOs website! Who knew I'd be just a little famous!

The Paper Lantern Room courtesy Carrboro Yoga Company

Next, I headed here. To The American Tobacco Trail. I love running along this tree lined trail.
It's soft, packed sand and is so peaceful. And the sounds just as beautiful as it looks. I especially like to run here when I have a "long" run to do. I can lose myself in my surroundings and pass the miles easier.

The American Tobacco Trail

The start of the trail is just off of the parking area. There's a pretty good hill leading down to mile marker 1.

Beginning of the trail

Of course, before starting out you'll want to make a pit stop. Being eco-friendly, think of these bathrooms as permanent porta-johns. Yep, no flushing and no running water to wash your hands. They want to conserve the environment. And, well, yes...those are "smoke" stacks, where the odors are supposed to escape. Overall, the concept works very well.
Environmentally friendly bathrooms
Inside the bathrooms are information sheets, explaining the benefit of waterless restroom facilities. I especially like the bullet informing us about the "sweet smelling toilets". Um, sorry but there is NO SUCH THING!!

Explanation of benefits

As I take off, this is my view as long as I looked up. My favorite thing about living in NC? The sky...the Carolina blue sky. It really does exist, people. And it's breathtaking, no matter how many times you see it.

The beauty along the trail

And this is what I see for miles and miles. I only wish I could embed the sounds along this breathtaking pathway. The birds and the frogs and the crickets and the kids and the bike tires along the sand and the other runners. All of this was here today although it doesn't look like it below. There were many periods of complete solitude along my way.

My view at mile marker 1

All good things must come to an end. And this is the end of my run. Back up the hill to where I started from.
A great hill to sprint if you've got anything left
Sometimes I even take time to smell the flowers...

I had a good day. I hope you did, too.
Happy Memorial Day blog buddies...Happy Memorial Day

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Guineas Are Coming! The Guineas Are Coming!

I've never considered myself a "city" girl even though I was born and raised in Northern Virginia, just 12 short miles from Washington, DC. I mean, we lived in the suburbs. We had beautiful trees and flowers and shrubs and narrow, two-lane roads and a yard to mow. But after moving to Bear Creek, NC...well, let's just say I may be a little more citified than I thought.

I have seen and experienced things here in the South that I never have before in my life. For example; breaded, deep-fried green beans. Really? Aren't the green things supposed to be the stuff that's good for us? Doesn't breading it and deep-frying it sort of defeat the purpose? And why oh why can't I get a pizza delivered to my house? And Internet service...don't even get me started on Internet service.

But I recently witnessed something that caused me to rub my eyes, squint, and take a closer look. I heard them first. I can't even describe the noise...sort of like a turkey with his waddle caught in a vice. And the shape...much like a plum poised atop a watermelon. Quite frankly people, this was the damnedest looking fowl I'd ever seen in my life! I even said out loud, "What the hell is that?"

Fortunately, my husband is a country boy - born and bred in Kentucky. He laughed and said, "those are guineas". Yeah, that immediately cleared things up for me. My response? "What the hell is a guinea, where'd they come from and why are they in MY yard?"

Apparently, our closest neighbor is the proud owner of these ground fowl. And apparently they wander, looking to gobble up insects that live on the ground or fly just at knee level (my knee level, not the guineas). Evidently, they are great at keeping the tick count down and having mosquitoes for dessert - both of which I'm more than okay with!

But why must they be so odd looking? Of course, they could be thinking the same thing about me, huh?

The thing that cracks me up the most...when I start the riding mower, it's only a matter of minutes before I am surrounded by these barnyard fowl. You'd think I'd just opened a flavorful packet of breaded, deep-fried ticks.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A New Man In My Life

For some time now, I've felt out of control of my life. Floundering. Not living the plan I made for myself so long ago.

My family has been surrounded by sickness and death. The economy has devastated many of my loved ones. And for the last 9 months, my husband and I have had to communicate via text messaging and notes left on the kitchen counter because he works the 12 hour night shift and I work the 12 hour day shift.

While I can't control much of what is happening around me, I decided that I can work on how I deal with these obstacles. I've always tried to take good care of myself physically but never paid much attention to the overall well-being of my mental health.

In a recent conversation with my daughter, I was complaining to her how frustrated I was with the fact that I was running an average of 15 miles per week yet my body wasn't changing at all; the shape or the weight. She brilliantly said, "Mom, your body is used to doing what you've been asking it to do for so long now. You've got to give it a shock. Ask it to do something different." I thought about this profound statement and wondered what could I do to elongate my muscles and stretch out my soreness...

About four weeks ago, I started attending yoga classes on a regular basis. Since then, I have lost 10.5 pounds and over an inch off my hips. And while I'm ecstatic about those results, what's made me even more happy is the calmness this practice brings me.

For an hour and fifteen minutes a few times a week, I am at complete peace. My mind is free of worry and concern and heartbreak and sadness and critical thinking of my own body (my hips are too wide, my hair is too dry, my nose is too big, my arms are too long...). For those 75 glorious minutes, I am okay. I am quiet. I am satisfied.

Last Thursday night, on a whim, I went to a class that I was sure going to help me unwind from another hectic day. I double checked the schedule I had here at the house and noted the instructor, a female, was one I had not had before. When I arrived at the facility and walked into the Paper Lantern Room, I met Blake. Far from the female instructor listed on my schedule. Immediately I had reservations. Not sure why...not at ALL sure why.

Blake's class was one of the best I've ever taken. His deep, monotoned voice was music to my ears, which had heard nothing but the beeping of IVs and the moaning of people in pain all day. He was strong, forceful in his teaching. He would get us in a position and then read to us - READ TO US, people. He read the resounding words from a yogi expert I am clueless about but am now grateful to. He read to us about love, about loving ourselves and our earth and one another. He brought me solitude and comfort that evening. And he helped us to understand that we had the power within ourselves to go to a peaceful place whenever we needed to - i.e. when we're surrounded by death and sadness and feeling out of control of our lives.

It's my desire to continue to practice yoga. And while it started out for me as a way to change my body - which is has, does and will - it's become a way for me to change my mind. Not necessarily the way I think of things, but how I use it. It has the power to take me to my grounded place.

And while my schedule won't always allow me to attend every class Blake teaches, I plan on spending as many evenings with him as I can.

All the Paper Lantern Room needs now is a bistro table and a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

Namaste, Blake. Namaste.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cause That's How She Rolls

Sweetie Big Girl

No, really. That's how she rolls...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mission Accomplished

You remember the "before" shot, right? Why there was a portal window in a century-old farmhouse is the million dollar question. This eyesore couldn't be removed fast enough for me.

So after a prayer or two to the rain gods, Contractor Dad got to work. I was at work that particular day so I missed all of the grunt work and real mess. But I did make it home in time to find the new little window in and CD painstakingly replacing siding and tacking up trim.

His attention to detail is remarkable...and frustrating at times. Like when I want the project to be over!

But it all pays off and is more than worth it. Look how pretty! He even made a deep window sill so I have a place to sit something pretty (like a cat...who won't keep her face out of the window screen).
And after a few coats of bright white paint...VOILA! A much more time-suited, attractive window! I love it!

Now, to dress it or not? It's high enough off the ground that you can't see in from the outside so curtains/sheers/mini blinds aren't really necessary. But I think it needs a little something, huh?
I'm open to suggestions blog buddies.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good News

Contractor Dad is en route to Bear Creek.

This could mean that possibly - JUST POSSIBLY - the new window will be installed in the bathroom and I'll be able to cross that project completely off my list.

Big things happen when Contractor Dad (and Foreman Mom) are in the house!

Stay tuned for pics to ewwwww and ahhhhhh over.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What's Next?

The 3rd Annual Philosopher's Way Trail Run.
Yeah. A 15k run (that's a little more than 9 miles) through...that.
I'm afraid. I'm very afraid.
It takes place Mother's Day Weekend. Bran, you may want to go ahead and make a reservation for me on the 2nd floor at UNC hospital! I can't think of a more perfect gift.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's Been Awhile

I've made numerous attempts to post something new and fresh. But I've failed miserably.

Failed because 1), I fall to pieces everytime I open this blog and see that last entry and 2), well, there simply hasn't been anything new and fresh to blog about and, quite frankly, I'm having an exceptionally hard time moving forward.

It seems that I, my family really, have a "death cloud" looming over us from which we can't seem to escape. We've been personally affected practically on a monthly basis since November. It's to the point that I don't want to answer the phone anymore, I don't want my family members to travel and I now find myself wishing my husband were in another line of work (something I have NEVER questioned or been concerned about). The anger in my heart and the fear are overwhelming...and my faith is waining and in question - which should be my greatest fear, right? It's during these difficult times I should be turning to Him but, instead, I am furious and feeling betrayed and foresaken and undeserving of all the heartache. Selfish? Yep...

My husband says I need to "redirect my feelings into something positive". My mom is famous for telling us "this, too, shall pass". And a beloved great uncle would always tell us to "pull yourself up by your boot straps and move on". All of this is great advice, which I should put into action. And I will, eventually.

In the meantime, I have these guys. And I am grateful.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What Saying Goodbye Looks Like

I didn't even have time to brush him clean...
He made me smile like the sun...
He was afraid of the wind and blowing tall grass.
He loved carrots and apples, of course, but he also had a taste for Doritos...
It wasn't his back end you had to stay clear of, it was his mouth - Jess was a biter...
He did not make a good first impression on my family - he tried to bite Bran's face off...
I financed him...did you know you could do that...
He and a buddy escaped from the farm one day and took a joy run through the neighborhood, with Brandi and I running after them (picture that - it's good for a laugh)...
He never had to befriend another horse or dog, they always came to him...
If I could've bottled his smell, I would have done it a long time ago...
Everything he wore was black and/or red...even my truck and his trailer...
In the summer, he never went out until the sun went down...
When we first started riding together, I spent more time on the ground than I did on his back - which made me often question the investment I'd made...
In our younger days, we were excellent jumpers - I have ribbons to prove it...
His barn name was "Jesse" as in James; he was a registered Appaloosa with the name "High Hat Blue"...
Jess, Bran and I grew up together...I had Jess for 21 years...21 years
He brought me complete joy...complete happiness...
He would literally and gladly open his mouth to accept his bit...
He had a custom made tack box and storage trunk - because Jess and I were both loved that much...
He hated having his face washed and broke countless cross ties whenever I attempted to do it...
He loved having his belly brushed...
He was my buddy and I loved him dearly and today I don't know what to do to fill this life-sized whole in my heart...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

And What A Beautiful Day It Was

It had been way too long since the Gal Pals had been together. Boy, did we hit pay dirt today when we met for lunch at Fearrington Village.

Here's some of how we spent the afternoon...

Ain't that the truth!

Cathy and me :)

There was no choice but to model the $198 Chapeau!

Linda and me :)

Everyone can use a little David Yurman, huh?

Can you believe his naturally curly hair?!

And how sweet is this little fella?

A lovely gift shop in Fearrington, "The Dovecote"

"The Granery", where we had lunch - al fresco!

Where Cathy had shrimp & grits, a southern "delicacy" (I'll pass, thank you)!

Linda had a delicious omelet and I dined on the ice berg lettuce wedge - YUMMO!

The view from The Granery.

McIntyre's Books (one of my favorite places in Chatham County) where us girls met today.

More shops, including Vietri, the overpriced custom pottery maker.

I couldn't think of a better way to spend the first day of Spring!!!
Thanks girls!!! See you in May!!