Tuesday, November 18, 2008

1st Grader....

Today while at one of my schools I offer to go pick up the students from specials. It's something that I like to do when a teacher has given up her entire planning time to meet with me. This particular class had not met me yet, so I had to introduce myself. As soon as I do I notice that a little boy towards the front of the line is checking out my boots. He then looks up at me and says, "Tall boots, high heels, zing-zing" I about lost it...

You know that 1st grader made my day...where did he learn that? He's 6!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I am going to lose it....

What is it that I am going to lose you say? Are you wondering if I am going to say my mind, or better yet my virginity? Ok, I am not going to lose my mind, yet. And I lost my virginity....wait....I don't need to write about THAT. Suffice it to say that has been gone for a LONG time.

Are you waiting...here we go. Today it is 3 weeks post Chicago Marathon. I had some nasty blisters on my left foot after I was finished. I thought that I might post a pic of the blister, but that is kind of gross. If you really want to see it, tell me and I will email it your way. After the event I did the proper draining, releasing the pressure and making sure that I used enough neosporin to ward off infection. I did all the right things. Well, I thought that I did.

So, tonight I was taking a bubble bath and I look down to my feet to see if I am ready for a pedicure yet. As it turns out, if I go for a pedicure they may give me a discount because they will only have 9 toenails to take care of.

Yes, I am losing a toenail...and I am bummed!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Affair Continues

***this was originally published on North Texas News in October 2005***

What is Autumn?


Autumn (often referred to as Fall in North America) is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition from summer into winter. In the temperate zones, autumn is the season during which most crops are harvested, and deciduous trees lose their leaves. It is also the season in which the days rapidly get shorter and cooler (especially in the northern latitudes), and of gradually increasing precipitation in some parts of the world.
Astronomically, it begins with the autumnal equinox (around September 23 in the Northern hemisphere, and March 21 in the southern hemisphere), and ends with the winter solstice (around December 21 in the Northern hemisphere and June 21 in the Southern hemisphere). However, meteorologists count the entire months of March, April and May in the Southern hemisphere, and September, October and November in the Northern hemisphere as autumn. An exception to these definitions is found in the Irish Calendar which still follows the Celtic cycle, where Autumn is counted as the whole months of August, September and October.
All though the days begin to shorten in July or August in the northern latitudes and in January and February in the south, it is usually in September or March where twilight becomes evidently shorter and more abrupt in comparison with the more lingering ones of summer.

What does Autumn mean to me...the continuation of an affair...and affair that began a few years back...at the Farmers' Market.

While strolling down the parking lot of Cherry Creek Mall it became clear-it was evident, it was everywhere...at every turn and at all the fresh food stations there was no doubting that the squash crops had come in. There they were-acorn, butternut, delicata, spaghetti, buttercup, turban...beautiful to the eye-their colors vibrating. Waiting to be touched, wanting to be picked up. How could I resist. I bought one of each, my arms would not need a conventional weight work out this weekend!

And there I was...my kitchen counters taken over with my own fall harvest...Sure these squash made a beautiful display...one may even think that I was hosting my own cooking show...but no! I had an issue on my hands. I had 10 pounds of squash and NO idea what to do with them.

What is a gal to do...break open the cookbooks, call her friends, spend time on the internet...seeking the perfect squash recipes! Before the baking could occur, identification was in order. What in the world did I have? The New Basics Cookbook proved to be a great place to learn the names of my new acquisitions. And this is where the fun began...

That was 2 years ago...and I am still looking, still searching, wanting, waiting, yearning for the perfect squash recipe...I have boiled, baked, sauted, pureed, roasted...added nuts, cheese, tomatoes, onions, shallots, risotto...

Each fall I look forward to the continuation of this affair...the challenge of Autumn...I may never be satisfied...

Until then, I might suggest going to epicurious.com and searching Butternut Squash-while a bit difficult to cut, this one, dare I say, may be my favorite variety...shhh...don't let the others know...on the counter waiting to be held and experimented with are delicata and spaghetti...

Ahh...the Autumn Hash is just about ready...this one will be paired with a Pinot Noir...

Cheers...Bon Appetite!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What inspires you?

What inspires you?
As I get older I think I get more introspective. I am 40…what is it going to be like when I am 80? Let’s hope that I will be typing, or blogging, or at least talking to people then….

So the other day I went to the hospital to deliver bags of toys to kids. I try to take my turn with the delivery about once a month. This work is through a non-profit I have close ties to. I take the bags to the oncology floor, visit with a few nurses, meet one child and then head back to work. Reflecting on the visit as I drive back to work make me think of inspiration. So, a few words on inspiration.

I felt fortunate to feel a sense of inspiration that day and realized that some people may go through periods of their life where they are lacking inspiration. What inspired me that day? Sounds a little funny to say, but it was the sick child in the transfusion room. The child who had several tubes coming out of his arms, meters connected to him, and a worried mother close by. The child who smiled a smile a mile wide when he learned that a backpack with toys spilling out was for him, and him only!

Inspiration, I have learned, keeps me going. The little boy with cancer inspired me to want to help other kids….to continue with my volunteering. Inspiration can come in many different forms, and at unknown times.
Funny thing is that inspiration keeps me going…and makes me want to give more, praise more, live life…..

What inspires you…

Is it a person…a song….a beautiful day….an interaction….a discovery….a hard workout?
Whatever it is, I encourage you to look for it, name it, react to it…and then pass it on…..I am making that commitment to myself, and to you too…

PS….check out this website….http://www.forbetterlife.org/be-inspired/values

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What did you do yesterday morning?

I was here...it was WAY cool!  

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Election 2008...

Some may know that I am volunteering for the DNC this week.  What you might not know is...(click on the Channel 3)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Can a girl have...

a quiet morning? 

After arriving home a little late from the baseball game, with a few glasses of wine in me I get an invitation to video chat with a friend out of state.  I happily accept the invitation because I like to chat, am interested in what's been going on in her world, and I am not ready for bed yet.  We discuss a few things including a difficult email trail she has been a part of and our respective running.  I ended the conversation finally committing to run the Rock and Roll Marathon with her in Phoenix.  Off line with her, I have to register for the race.  So, up a I am for a little while longer...and then I find something else to do....and then I find another friend to call....what am I thinking....oh yes, I am thinking just fine. This friend is traveling internationally so I am not waking anyone from precious sleep.  

Then it occurs to me.  Precious sleep.  I need some.  It's OMG, WHAT TIME.  Then I realize that I do not care about the time because I have NOTHING, not one thing do I have to do tomorrow.  Off to slumberland I go.  Not a place I visit often enough.  Sleeps alludes me, and rarely stays longer than 3 hours at a stretch.  

I am psyched when I look at the clock and it reads 6:00 AM.  I slept for over 4 hours. Wow, let's see how much longer I can go. I still feel pretty sleepy so this might just work.  It's cool outside, the windows are open, ceiling fan spinning, noise machine set to sound like rain....ahhh.....

Then it starts.  Someone has the brilliant idea of getting extra hours of hammering in on the construction site next door and the neighbor's dog starts to bark because he is, once again, left alone.  UGH....UGH...Just when I thought that I was going to get to sleep some more!  

So, up I get...start some chores, fix my wireless network again, and catch up on some emails and phone calls. Then I listen, it seems quiet.  Perhaps I should go visit my bed again, take a little mid-morning snooze. As I start to go in there I hear a new sound.  There is a band saw buzzing across the alley.  And that damn dog is now crying.  And the group of workers at the building next door has increased.  

So I decide to get my computer out and write.  Can you here that?  Right, it's NOTHING except for the fridge and a plane flying overhead.  Maybe, just maybe I will get to close my eyes again with the hopes of taking a little nap!  

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I know I should....

Ok, I will admit...I am a complete failure when it comes to taking vitamins.  I get on a kick, take them for 3 days and then stop.  Why do I stop you ask.  My first response is that I forget to take them.  Then I will say that I do not like the taste and I always feel like my vitamins are with me, in burp format, for the rest of the day. 

Solution you say...take them before bed.  Ok, I am trying that.  Last night, however, I woke up in the middle of the night with some stomach issues.  This continued until about noon today.  Was this related to the midnight vitamin ingestion?  I have to think that the answer is yes.  

So here I am tonight, ready to go to bed.  The question....do I take the vitamins?  I review the bottles. Two of the 3 suggest that they be taken with a meal. While I am not eating a meal now, I have eaten in the past 2 hours so I decide this is fine since my stomach is not technically empty.  

What will happen to me in the middle of the night....in the morning?  Am I getting the benefits I am supposed to be getting from these vitamins or are they just being disposed of in another format 12 hours later?  

Are there some other vitamin solutions out there.  Really...I want ONE...that will give me all that I need without discomfort and the sudden urge to rush to the bathroom or cover my mouth.  

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cyclists are....


While running I always say hello to people who I see along the way. Whether they are out walking their dog, strolling with their baby, running, or riding a bike. If my path crosses them, I say hello. My running buddies have called me the ambassador of running. I like to be thought of as an ambassador, but part of my thinking behind being so friendly isn't because I am seeking new friends...part of it has to do with safety.

I have read somewhere, don't as me where, that predators are less likely to interfere with you if you look them in the eye and personalize the exchange. With this in mind, I offer a "Good morning". Ok, ok, I do also believe that the world would be a nicer place if we at least greeted one another. Who knows, perhaps that person has no one at home, is sad and lonely, and my 2 words lifted their spirits. Did it take that much energy to say hello....not really!

So come with me along my 15 mile run last weekend. I have no friends to chat with, I left my ipod @ home. This perhaps was a bad move. I start my run rather early, when there are not a lot of people out. I pretty much am outdoors with all the senior citizens in Denver and their dogs. I offer my greeting, making certain that they see me before I speak. I do not want to be responsible for any heart attacks this morning. Much as I expect, I get many warm good mornings in return. All is good!

My run continues along a bike path. Enter people in tight shorts, brightly colored shirts, and funny little shoes. They are tooling along. I continue my greetings. I realize that the bikers are not saying anything back. In fact, I do a little survey over about 9 miles. All of the people on foot reply to me and less than 25% of the cyclists do. What's up with that?

I ponder this....and come to the conclusion, perhaps unfair, that they are just in a world of their own. They think that they do not have to say hello to the lowly runner....they are in fact a little irritated that they have to share the path with me.

Yesterday, I had my theory confirmed. After running a half marathon, I am standing along the side of the course cheering people on. The road is closed, both sides of the street. There are many people shouting "GO (insert name)", "You rock", "You're almost there". I hear something behind me. It does not register. My friend takes my arm and pulls me aside. Apparently a man and his companion are racing down the street in the opposite direction of the race on their road bikes. One is saying, "Head's up, head's up". So, I did not hear him, and he yells at me, "Get out of the way". My friends reply, "There's a race going on here." He yells something back, which I can't remember exactly.

I wondered for a moment if he is a police or rescue worker. Turns out, he is not. AND get this; his car is about a tenth of a mile down the road. I called him something I am not supposed to say around children, and then apologized to the parents around.

My friends and I offer our theories as to what was going on in his world that caused him to about run me down. We laugh and let it go....I am left thinking that these dudes are just MEAN…don’t try to tell me differently!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's not easy.....

being green....

So, it's time to start looking for a new car....what do I do? Stick with what I have been driving, go with something more fuel efficient, or go hybrid....there is something in me that nags like the Tell-Tale Heart...go hybrid-go hybrid....

Off I go to test drive cars on a Saturday afternoon. I go into the local Toyota dealership, confess that I have driven semi gas guzzlers for the last 17 years, and ask to test drive a Prius. The sales guy laughs, calls his buddies over, and they laugh. Yes, they laugh at my request.

You see, they tell me that I can't test drive a Prius because they do not have one. They go further and state that no dealer in the Denver Metro area has one. I am still a little suspicious about that fact, but I take their word for it. My salesman hands me a shiny brochure, and begins telling me about the '09 version. Wait, I did not ask about the 09 version. Part of my strategy for looking at cars at this time of the year is that I think they may have some 08 models they want to get rid of. HA....that is not true at all.

The salesman encourages me to give him a 1,000-nonrefundable deposit. So I can order a car....a car I have not driven....oh, and by the way, we are not really sure what the final price will be or when you will really get it. He brings out the spec sheets. Really I think that this man believes I am just going to fill out his form like I am ordering Girl Scout Cookies from my colleague's daughter. That is how casual he seems....

I push to get a test drive...I receive a laugh, again, and a suggestion that I try to rent one to see if I like it. Seems ok and smart at first, but then I think....are you kidding me? You all want me to rent a car, pay for the rental, and then come back and give you 1k for a car I am not so sure that I like? "Do you have a rental agency you work with", I inquire. NOPE they say back to me...this is absurd! I leave....and go test drive another SUV @ the Honda dealership.

Still the nagging....go hybrid, go hybrid....in my head....guess what I did today? I called 4 different car rental agencies looking for a Prius to rent for the weekend. I still do not have a Prius, but I do have a reservation for a car. My instructions were to call the night before to see if they have one. If they do, they will "save" if for me.

See, why I feel like Kermit???

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Can you figure out this puzzle....

This is a t-shirt that I just purchased...thought that it was fun....wore it to a party tonight...I do not think that anyone figured it out on their own....a couple guys suggested that they did not want to stare---what @ my chest....please, we are all in our late 30s-early 40s....aren't we beyond that....maybe not....perhaps that it a subject for another post...why men are men, women are women and the stupid things that men say and do....oh, I will stop....

Ok, back to this....really, no one got it....was it a post 4th of July stupor, are people just dumb as rocks (ok, that was mean), or perhaps they were expecting me to show up in a cute sundress?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yes, I can...maybe

I am not fit for Home Depot…..

I am fit for many things…I am a runner, and can go out and do 5-10 miles with relative ease…I know my way around a kitchen, a classroom, a computer, many cities and airports, and a mall. Last weekend I tried to add to the list. In fact, I have been trying this one out for a sometime. I have watched my fair share of HGTV and Martha Stewart thinking, “yes, I can….” Of course watching such shows leads one to head to the local hardware store looking around, wondering, looking a little helpless, hoping that a helper in a lovely orange apron will come to me and give me advice. Secretly I want this person to say, “Where do you live? I can come over and do this job for you.” But there is a part of me that wants to say; “I can do this myself…how hard is it….”

So that is where I was last week. I ordered a light fixture to (finally) replace the one that came with the home 3 years ago. When the fixture arrived on my front doorstep I thought…this will be a call to Chuck the Handy Man. Really, that is what his card says. Irritated that it will cost me an additional $60 to install this light, I bring the package inside. It is not as heavy as I expected it to be. I am interested in what is involved with the job of replacing the fixture, so I open the box. There are a minimal amount of items in the box. Seriously, this looks much less intimidating than the gas grill and stand I assembled last week. So I dive deeper, take out the parts and the directions and read….well, I really look at pictures. Dude, this does not look hard at all. I can do this….yes, I can….

Now before you reply to me about the dangers of electricity allow me to inform you that I consulted with many websites before I actually decided I would embark on the task. In fact, I called a few people….none of whom has electrical experience….I told them my plan….I suppose I wanted some back-up for my thinking….One friend had some good advice. She told me that I should let someone know when I was starting the project and then send word when I had finished it. That way if several hours went by without connection from me, they would come to the conclusion that I had not been successful and should send someone to come find me on the floor of the bathroom with a screwdriver in hand in a puddle of water. Who knows, maybe I do not know how to use the electrical box in my house and turn the switches from ON to OFF. I feel as though I have experience with this task since my sisters and I used multiple hair styling devices in the 80s which required electricity and lead to overloading the circuits on numerous occasions.

So, here I go….Saturday morning…I head to Home Depot dressed in a cute dress and heels with my hair pulled back with a large stylish headband. Never mind the reason I am dressed like this on a Saturday morning. Suffice it to say, there are not many complementing my chosen outfit. I already feel like a fish out of water….I have 2 things to get-electrical tape-the directions in the box said that I needed it and light bulbs…some cool little ones to match my fixture. I am so excited to finally complete the look of the bathroom I can hardly contain myself. Then it starts….where does one look for electrical tape? Is it in the general accessory area? I know the people in the orange aprons don’t call their gear accessories, but I do. It helps me understand their stuff a little better. Well, the tape is not there. Oh….it’s electrical so it must be with the lights. I click my heels towards the LIGHTING section to find, lights. Oh, this makes sense (a little) but there is no tape. Remembering that I need light bulbs I start looking for them only to find a dinky section of clearance bulbs. I circle around. Where are the bulbs, where is the tape? Surely they have both things. Still I do not see them. I do not know what I was thinking; perhaps I would find some secret passageway like in Harry Potter and be magically taken to an aisle that most humans cannot see? Aisle 2.20 or something like that. Where are the people in the aprons? I could really use their help about right now. Are they all on coffee break? Do they have a secret code for women who are not dressed in the right weekend do-it-yourself clothing that tells them to all head away from the clicking heels?

Finally I spot one. He is engrossed in a conversation that sounds a little like a foreign language to me. I have literally no background knowledge into what he is talking about. I comfort myself remembering that I am in the lighting section, so they must be talking about lighting. Seriously, I do have a masters degree….I am not an idiot….or am I? My turn to ask a few questions…I am told where the supplies are that I need. Turns out, that the light bulbs are not near the lights. Who knew? Does that make sense? NO. I actually tell orange apron man that this is not the way that I would organize the store. The look on his face tells me that he wants to remind me not to use my heel as a hammer when I get home. He does not speak except to say that he will lead me to the light bulbs. Really he is leading me to the light(s)? Is this going to be a religious experience? I am amazed when I get to the bulbs….there are so many of them to choose from. Perhaps I will have a religious experience in the form of saying JESUS out loud. I take a deep breath, I find what I need and head to the cashier and then home. I have a fixture to replace remember! Yes, I can…

Back at home I lay out all of the supplies, text a friend to tell them that I am flirting with danger, turn of the electricity to the bathroom, climb up on the vanity with a screwdriver in hand. Once I get up close to the fixture I realize that there are no screws. This perplexes me for a bit, but then I manage to move the metal enough to pop it off…really there are no screws at this point. I get the front part off and then find a place to employ a screwdriver. This is making more sense. I go into disengage the plate on the wall only to find more wires than I expected. I step down, consult the internet and regain confidence. Yes, I can…

After a little grunting and a few expletives, I get the whole thing down and see that I have 3 wires…one black, one white, and one copper…this is what I am expecting! Thinking that I might actually have to start a part time gig installing light fixtures in bathrooms, I take a closer look at the wall. It appears that the hole in the wall is not centered. For the former fixture this did not matter, for the new one it does….Darn, it does matter! On closer inspection I see that there is no outlet box in the wall. The builders simply punched a hole in the wall and pulled the electrical wires through…hmmm

See as it turns out I am not fit for Home Depot….the man who I will be calling to install the fixture is!
In case you are wondering…I am still saying….yes, I can! I will try something else I am sure!