Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh, Yes I Did

On Saturday I decided to attempt another 5K.  I am turning into a regular athlete.

It was an "interesting" run.  One and one half miles out, turn around, and one and one half miles back.  I decided to use my regular goals for this race.  Oh, you have forgotten them.  Well, here there are.

1. Run the entire 5K.
2. Don't be last.
3.  Finish the race.

Simple concise goals.  Easy(?) to obtain.

So I lined up at the start and looked up.  There was a STEEP hill.

Oh, my, my, my.

Danny dearest was up about a block from the start to take pictures.  He later told me that I was the LAST  runner coming out of the start.  That means only the fun run walkers were behind me.  You know, small children and strollers.

All the elite runners were up the hill and off and running.

And I kept plodding.

Plodding.

And plodding.
Look VERY carefully and you can see me.  Notice that there is no one close to me.

But slow and steady can win a race because look what I got.
A medal! Let's go in for a closer look, shall we?
I won in my age bracket.  Of course, there was only one other lady in my age bracket AND she had a cane AND I had to trip her, but I won!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Trails

I know that I haven't posted in a few days but I have been a social butterfly lately.  A veritable social butterfly I tell you.  All revolving around my upcoming retirement.

On Wednesday, ten on my teacher friends took me out to eat at a local eatery.  A eatery  would be a good choice since we were like EATING. If we needed cans I guess we could have visited a cannery. If we had needed a falcon or two we could have visited a rookery.  But we were hungry so we went to a eatery.

But I digress...

I ordered a CLT with sweet potato fries.

What is a CLT you ask? A CLT is like a a BLT with strips of pecan encrusted chile instead of bacon.  For my family and friends east of the Mississippi that read my little blog that is CHILE not CHILI.  CHILI is that red stuff from Texas that has meat and beans in it.   Usually it is served from a bowl.  CHILE is usually Big Jim (my preferred variety) chile that is roasted and, in this particular case, pecan encrusted and served with lettuce and tomato on a sandwich.  If you will come and visit me I will make sure you get a cheeseburger with plenty of strips of the green chile on top.  It is a little bit of heaven.

Hallelujah.

Anyway, after the food my sweet friends present me with a gift certificate to a local spa.

(Do these ladies know me or what?)

Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.


Then Thursday, the district had a ceremony honoring those teachers with 20 or more years and those retiring.

That would include me.  My name was called and I shook hands with the School Board members.
 Was hugged by Dr, Nava, our superintendent
.
 Given my plaque and that was that.


And the irony of the situation?  Even though I have my plaque, have been hugged, and honored for my service, I'm not through.  I have to go back this week through Friday.  We have students Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday is a workday.
But when of work time arrives on Friday...

Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  Amen.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sparkly Shoe Saga

Shiny, shiny, sparkly, pretty.

We all know my love for all things sparkly, so its no surprise when I saw some beautiful sparkly shoes at Wal-Mart on Saturday, I had to purchase them.

So along with $100 worth of food and sundries, I purchased my sparkly, sparkly shoes.

But when I got home and unpacked all my Wal-mart bags...NO SHOES!!

No sparkly, shiny shoes.

I immediately got in my trusty automobile and rushed back to Wal-Mart to see is I had left my bag at the check-out.  I rushed up to Customer Services and asked if my bag containing my sparkly shoes (and, by the way, lotion and sunscreen) was waiting there.

It wasn't.

The helpful lady at the Customer Service said that they would have to check the video tape to see if I had left the bag containing my sparkly shoes had been left behind and picked up by the people behind me.  They would get to it in about ten minutes.  Coiuld they have my phome number, please.

I went home and waited.  And waited.  And waited.

Finally, I looked and Danny and said that I knew I was never going to see my sparkly, sparkly shoes again.Could we please go to the OTHER Wal-Mart (yes, we are a two Wal-Mart town) and get me some more sparkly, spakly shoes. 

He agreed.

We drove to the other Wal-Mart and ...they had NO sparkly, sparkly shoes.

I decided God didn't want me to have sparkly, sparkly shoes.

But I had forgotten that God works in his own speed and time.

During church on Sunday, Wal-Mart Customer Service called me (yes, I had my phone on silent) to tell me that the video had indeed been checked.  and, yes, I had left my items behind.  If I returned, picked up the missing items, and brought them to Customer Service, I could have them.

So now I have my sparkly, sparkly shoes.
Hallelujah and amen.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend Roundup

Life around the old Champion homestead has been a little interesting this weekend.  In fact, I feel a little like Ma Ingalls this weekend.
Even though Danny and I are living in New Mexico and it is 2011, it has felt like we were homesteading right  here in Las Cruces. Yesiree Bob!  All I needed was the long calico dress and my hair in a bun and you could have mistaken me for Caroline Ingalls (the mother of The Little House on the Prairie gang, if you don't know).

Because on Friday night  we discovered that we had no hot water!

No. Hot. Water.

Our 35 year old water heater had its own personal water heater rapture and left us. With no hot water. 

Did I mention no hot water.

We are waiting for the new one to be delivered on Monday.  In the meantime, I am boiling water for baths and to wash dishes.  I feel so Little House on the Prairie.

We have also had a little house guest this weekend.  Meet Mr. Wilson.
His owners (parents) are out of town for the weekend and he is spending a couple of nights with us.  Over the years he has done this frequently and is usually happy to stay with us. He is our little livestock since he is the only living thing here other than me.  And, of course, Danny.

And lastly, my back forty is producing!

Those are baby squash! Yes, I have baby squash in my massive backyard garden! Let's pull back to see the entire garden.

Yep, that's two whole squash plants!  Hey whatever works!

Boiling water, livestock, and fresh produce.  I know you can't tell me from Ma Ingalls.

Except, of course, that I have gel nails, highlights, and contacts.  But other than that we are indistinguishable.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Different Countdown

So you may have heard some of the hype about the countdown to the world ending on Saturday, the 21st.
Well, personally. I think we will all be here to go to church on Sunday, the 22nd.  Of course, there are quiet a few nice, well-meaning people who disagree with me.

But I have my own countdown going.  My retirement countdown.  Eight days with students or 14 counting weeekends, holidays, and work days...whichever you prefer.

As that red letter day approaches, some days I am more than ready.  Other days I get sentimental and begin to think that I have made a mistake.

I do know, however, that I have loved every minute of teaching in the public schools.  Even on the days I was so angry when I went home.  Or when I went home and cried over a students.  Or on the days that were just another day.  I loved it.

And I know that  there are students who won't remember my name or my class.  But I also know that I have changed lives of children in my community.

And those changed children, those precious children is what makes it worthwhile.  Even when the politicians are complaining about the schools and the teachers, I know some were touched.

And the children, the precious children, touched me in ways they will never know.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Will the Excitement Never End?

Because of a doctor's appointment I did not go to work today.  Actually I could have worked this morning but substitutes don't like working half days they want full day sub jobs so I had to take a full day off for an afternoon appointment.  Read that correctly HAD TO  take a full day off.  No choice.  Out of my hands.

And before you judge,when I retire in two weeks I will have over 90 days of sick leave.  That I lose. I get nothing for them.  Nothing.

So I not a slacker that just takes off...whenever.

But anyway, I was looking forward to sleeping past that 5:15 am alarm but there was one flaw in  my plan.  Danny.  Yes, Danny.  He "forgot" that I did not have to get this glorious morning and left the radio alarm on and turned on the light.

I was awake.

At 5:15 on a day I didn't have to go to work.

This is not me but accurately represents how I felt this morning.
But I am one not to hold a grudge (be quiet Danny and  Baby Susan) and decided to make lemons out of lemonade or some sort of nonsense, and got up.  I did my morning rum (Baby Susan informed me of this typo.  It should say RUN. See her comment below.) of 5 miles and came home and watched daytime television.  Oh my!  I will have to find something to do when I retire or I may go screaming down the road after watching daytime television.

The  I went to the doctor appointment for which I stayed home.  All is fine except my cholesterol. Got to get those levels down.

So that was my day.  Will the excitement never end?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some People Never Learn


If you are a regular reader of my little blog, you know that I recently ran AND completed a 5K race.  I finished one person out of getting a medal in my age division (the old woman's division) and that just whetted my appetite for a sparkly medal. See my post about my love of all things sparkly.

So what's a middle aged, slow, woman to do?

Why, register for another 5K., of course!

So I looked for 5Ks in the area and settled on one that had a portion of the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrion Project.  The goals of the Wounded Warrior Project are 1) raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members; 2) help injured service members aid and assist each other; 3) provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

This sounds like a great project to which to contribute.

So I signed up.

Then I took a look at the course.

Mile and one and half up hill.  Turn around.  Mile and one half down hill.

I'm not worried about the downhill part.  I seem to sprout metaphorical wings on the downhill part and fly!

(Well, what passes for flying for me).

Let's repeat the first part for emphasis...ONE AND ONE HALF MILES UPHILL!!!

Please pray for my legs.

But the uphill scares me to death!  Gravity and old age seem to work against me.  But I will persevere and maybe win a sparkly for myself.
  I can only hope.

Monday, May 16, 2011

One Man's Trash is Another Man's...Trash?

One of the things that I truly admire about Americans is that when  a tragedy strikes, Americans respond.  And respond well.  They will jump in their trucks, campers, and cars and go to the sight and help clean up and rebuild.  They will donate money.They have hearts as big as all outdoors.

But sometimes, they donate...trash?

According to this article, volunteers are having to sort through broken toys and used underwear to find usable donations.

BROKEN TOYS and USED UNDERWEAR!!!

Does this really have to be said, but people, these are donations not trash pick up.  If you wouldn't wear it or let your children play with it, don't send it to people in deep distress.  Put in the the trash.

My personal belief is that you should only donate something that you yourself would use.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bugs

Apparently it's time for the cicadas in the south to start crawling out of their exoskeletons after laying dormant for thirteen years.  And to commemorate this occasion, many people are wearing this jewelry.

Yes, a bug on your hand.  I would be afraid someone might try to swat it and bruise my hand instead.

Great.  A insect around the neck.  How attractive.
Does this look like a cicada in Lucite?  Like a real live bug in Lucite that you hang around your neck.

The only thing that I think would be worse would be one on those little brooches that had a live chameleon attached with a chain from the 50's.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pretty. Shiny. Sparkly.

So Danny accuses  me of having a problem.  He calls it "Shiny Object Disease".

In reality, all that happens is that I am easily distracted.  When having a conversation with someone, I am liable to veer of track and introduce another unrelated topic He seems to think that is sort of like talking to Dug in this scene from"UP".


Sometimes he calls me Doug. I wonder why?

Actually I think it is a sign of superior intelligence to be able to converse about two things at once.

And I do admit that "shiny objects" in the form of jewelry do distract or attract me, depending on your point of view.  I like all forms of sparklies that involve jewelry.  Pretty sparkly jewelry. Pretty, pretty, sparkly jewelry.

Perhaps window displays are designed for people like me.  I can be attracted by this window displays.  Pretty window displays.  Pretty, pretty, window displays.

Apparently my Shiny Object Disease can be traced to early on in my life.  My mother has told me that she recalls an incident when, as a small child, I was setting outside with a shiny bracelet when a bird flew down and snatched my shiny bracelet and took it up to its nest.  My mom said I screamed because my shiny object was gone.


I think that in this photo I am entranced by a shiny object that the photographer is using to make me smile.  I don't know that for a fact but it seems probable. Look at my eyes. Look at the expression on my face.  It's obvious that I want something that is just out of camera range.  I bet it was shiny and flashy and sparkly.

 On second thought, perhaps I do have a touch of  Shiny Object Disease.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sunrise, Sunset

So tell me. How does this...

Turn into this?

Somewhere there is a little man playing "Sunrise, Sunset" on a violin.
And I am weeping.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Run, Run, Run As Fast As You Can! You Can't Catch Me I'm the Gingerbread Man!

So, my 5K Run Against Diabetes.  Here's how it went...

My goals for this race were simple.  Not be last, not get lost, and to run the entire race (no walking allowed!).

And the race course was in downtown El Paso.  Close to the border.  By myself (and 1,000 other runners/walkers.  But let's not quibble the finer points, okay?)

So Friday evening, Danny drove the course to show me where to run.

I was so nervous, I couldn't remember it.

But then, as all elite runners know, it was time to carbo load before the big race.  As elite runners, marathoners, and triathletes  can tell you, carbo loading is important to your performance the next day on your run.  Carbo loading usually consists of some form of pasta.  But carbo loading in the Southwest looks a little different.

 Flautas.  Made with enough lard to sink a battleship.  Yum!

Then off to bed and try to sleep before the race the next morning!

Saturday morning.  Woke up before the alarm and we got ready to leave.  Danny had breakfast but I couldn't eat a thing.  Probably not a good idea for a diabetic about to run a 5K but I couldn't get anything down. That was a decision that would come back to haunt me later.

We got to the start and waited.

Here I am waiting for the start, ole number 719!

Then it was time. I lined up with the runners at the start.



I'm in there somewhere. If you look behind the guy in the yellow shirt you can just barely see me in my purple shirt. At least I think that is me.

The gun sounded and we were off!

(I don't have a picture of just me starting.  Operator error on the part of Camera man Danny.)

The first block was flat.  I was afraid to start out too fast and later run out of gas so I knew I had to pace myself.  So I paced myself by running the first block with a 70 year old woman.  That's right. Step for step with someone twenty years or more older than me.  Lot's of people just breezed right by us.  The elite runners and the not so elite runners. But then we turned the corner and faced THE HILL.



It doesn't look like much here but it was a MILE uphill. A mile.  Uphill.

Did I mention that it was mile and uphill.

I lost my 70 year old friend at this point and did not see her again until after the race.

I made it to the top without stopping or walking.  I turned the corner and it was downhill.  Thank you!  So I picked up speed running downhill.  I was flying.  In a metaphorical kind of way.  I really had not sprouted wings.  I felt good.  And then I turned the corner and...

ANOTHER HILL!  I made it up that hill.  And hit another downhill.  I was flying on those metaphorical wings again, getting close to the finish line.  I was passing slower runners right and left.  I was a running machine.  When I turned another corner and ANOTHER HILL!  Right before the finish.

I made it up that final hill and crossed the finish line...

in the blazing hot time of 35.01.

(Camera man Danny had to use a fast shutter to catch my speed at the finish line.)

(Not really.  He used just the regular shutter.)

I came in fourth out of nine in my age group.

I did get a little light headed after the race.  Probably low sugar levels from not eating that morning.  But a banana and a few cookies later and I was fine. I knew that the decision to not eat breakfast would  come back and haunt me.

And my goals of not be last, not get lost, and to run the entire race (no walking allowed!), I accomplished them all  Since I did not win a medal at the race we made a trip to the mall and picked up my own award.

 Better than a medal any day!


 


Friday, May 6, 2011

Four Mothers and a Baby

In honor of  Mother's Day I would like to present...

Five generations of women in my family.  This is Granny Grunt (the one rocking the red dress in the middle), MommyGran (the one to the left), Baby Susan (holding Miss Emily), and me (the tall one in the back).

This picture makes me happy for so many reasons.  Mainly because it has four of my favorite people in it.  I love that Miss Emily is a newborn and looks just a tiny bit like a worm. We wanted Granny Grunt to hold her for the picture but Miss Emily was having nothing to do with that!  She cried until she got what she wanted, her mommy.   A behavior Miss Emily continued for several years.

(Just a sidenote.  This  picture was taken before my current attempts at fitness.  And  this Saturday I will be running a 5K run in El Paso.  My goal is to finish with some sort of running/jogging motion.  For all you hard core fitness types out there, this may seem a little namby pamby but for me this is my goal.  I suspect I will be back Monday with a blow by blow update of my day).

But back to the topic at hand, my beautiful 5 generations picture.

This picture always makes me smile.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

At Least You Wouldn't Have to Shave Your Legs

I like fashion.  No, I love fashion.  I thoroughly enjoy looking at style websites and strolling through clothing stores.  I am on the constant look out for new trends, colors, and styles that fit a woman over 50.

I especially have a weakness for shoes.  Danny will most enthusiastically attest to my love for all footwear. In my view, you can never have enough shoes.  I believe that a snazzy pair of shoes can jazz up a plain outfit..

Boots are a special passion for me.  A plain pair of jeans can be taken from casual to cha cha with the right pair of jeans.  But Prada's new release is an entirely different story...

Those are Mary Janes attached to a leather boot upper!  Why?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Nose Has It

How often  has this happened to you?  You have had a tough day.  You come home and sink down into a nice, hot bath.  You are just beginning to relax when you remember that you need to make an important phone call.  And your phone is a touch screen.  If you touch it with your wet hands it can do immeasurable damage to your smart phone.  What to do?  What to do?

Well, Dominic Wilcox has solved the problem.

A Pinocchio style stylus to operate your touch screen phone!

Well,  alrighty then!

Perhaps I'm just old-fashioned, but it seems to me that unless you're the President getting an important call about the State of the Free World while you're bathing (in which case you probably have some under secretary who can field the call and dial the numbers on your touch screen for you) any call you want to make can wait that minute or two it takes for you to get out of the tub.  

On second thought,  if you were the Leader of the Free World you probably don't take important State of the Free World  talks on a touch screen phone.  You probably have some sort of fancy smancy satellite hook up that you talk to other world leaders on.  Hopefully not while you are in the tub.

But I think my point stands.

This is a strange "invention".

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Wedding Here and a Wedding There

Recently the inteternet has been abuzz with all that surrounded the Royal Wedding.  From dresses to hats to seating arrangments to cart-wheeling priests!




But, I would like to remind everyone that 36 years ago today, on this side of the pond, another important wedding was taking place.  I present, not Wills and Kate, but Dans and Pam!
 

Handsome groom? check.  Blushing bride? check. It looks like a wedding to me.

Actually, truth be told, this was one of the best days of my life.  I found the man who would be my rock when I am going off in all directions.  I found the man that would love my through many weight losses and gains.  I found the man that would support all my flights of fancy and help pick up the inevitable mess that results from those fanciful flights.

I found the man who would be a loving father to Baby Susan and Pepaw to Miss Emily and Mr. Jacob.  I found the man who would be a spiritual leader of the family. I found the man who I would love forever.

I only hope Kate was that lucky.

And by the way, I noticed in the Royal Wedding photos that William had a spiffy military uniform.  Well, soon after our wedding, Danny acquired a pretty nifty uniform himself.


That USA uniform  looks better than other, don't you think?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

Oh, I had seen them in the mall.

They would send out their siren's call to me but I was strong and walked on by.  Sometimes I would stop and look, but then I would quickly move on as if I were doing something wrong.

But Saturday I was weak. Very weak. When the call came out and I stopped.  I looked.  I asked the price.  But then I moved on and bought some Chick Filet and thought...and thought...and thought.  I then I did it.


This is a dramatization.  This is not me.
That's right.  I had my eyebrows threaded.  And just let me know it hurt.  The girl who did it told me it always hurts the first time.  What she doesn't know is there probably won't be a second time.

Don't they look good!

RETIREMENT COUNTDOWN: 34 days