Spending time with my new friend

English: Rubber bands in different colors. Stu...

English: Rubber bands in different colors. Studio photo taken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What’s better than making a new friend?  Well, okay…spending time with old friends is great, really great!  But making new friends is pretty fun too.  My new friend is the little girl next door.  I’ve previously written about Claire.  Well, I got to spend a few minutes with her after work today.  I knew she was waiting for me as soon as I pulled up after work today.  There she was with her little doll buggy on the sidewalk in front of my porch.  As soon as she saw me, she went right back to the porch post and wrapped her arm around it again.  I’m not sure what that signifies, maybe she needs a little extra support because she’s so shy.  Alright, alright…I know I’m not any kind of psychiatrist…I’m just a writer, give me a break here.

Anyhow, I got out of the car and was talking to another neighbor as I walked toward the porch.  As soon as we finished chatting, Claire timidly said “hi”.  When I smiled and asked her what was going on, she said, “Can I see your kitties?”  I just laughed and told her I’d see if I could catch one of them.  When I put the key in the lock, Claire asked, “Why you always unlock the door?”  I told her I’d been gone all day.  Her response?  “You been gone all day?”  Okay, she’s five years old.  Are you expecting a discussion about the Dead Sea scrolls?

I opened the door and put my stuff inside.  As usual, the kitties were there to greet me, not knowing they had another adventure in store.  Well, Scout may figure these things out a little quicker than Spook does.  As soon as I reached out for Scout, she took off.  Having worked all day, I felt a tad too tired to chase after her.  I turned to Spook and she (silly, trusting, little thing that she is) came right into my arms.  And then we were out the door before she realized my intent.  At first she started to climb my shoulder, but quickly relaxed when Claire approached her.  Who knew my cat likes kids?  Claire and Spook spent a couple of minutes bonding until Claire saw the bracelet I was wearing.

We got in this new product at work, the Rainbow Loom.  You can make bracelets and whatever else you can think of using those little bitty rubber bands.  One of the girls was doing a demo of the new product and made bracelets for all of us who were working.  I  wore my red and white one (go Hoosiers!) all day.  Well, all day until Claire happened to see it.  She pointed at it and asked, “What’s that?”  I told her it was a bracelet one of the girls I work with made for me.  When I asked her if she liked it, she nodded, not taking her eyes from it.  Okay, I’m a sucker.  I gave the kid my bracelet.  She immediately put it on and then showed her mom.

We talked a few more minutes, long enough for me to find out that Claire is starting kindergarten on Wednesday and is excited about it.  And that she’s a little less excited about the new baby that’s going to be joining her family later.  Hopefully that’ll change, I bet it will.  I also hope that I managed to put a little smile on Claire’s face, just like she did mine.

Old friends…

Gus Grissom Boyhood Home

Gus Grissom Boyhood Home (Photo credit: cindy47452)

While working today, a guy came up to me and started talking.  I kept thinking he looked awfully familiar, but I couldn’t place him.  Of course, once he told me his name, I knew exactly who he was.  Then we stood there talking for several minutes and caught up on what had been happening in our respective lives over the past few years.

Years ago, when I owned my little pizza place, he would come in and sit and talk.  I tell you, I sure did meet a lot of people back then.  And it’s such a pleasure when I run into someone from the good old days.  I have so many good memories of the time spent in that little restaurant watching Indiana basketball games with good friends.

Of course, everyone kind of moves to various points across the country and very rarely do they manage to make it back home…until they retire, that is.  I’m giving retirement some serious thought these days.  And I do believe I hear the sweet voice of home and friendship calling my name.

Trip to Amish Acres

Two ways to get there

Two ways to get there (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, it’s been a few days since we had our little excursion to Amish Acres.  I think I’ve recovered…maybe.  It was somewhat of a drive and by the time we got there, it was already unbelievably hot.  We walked around and saw lots of great crafts (managed to come away with several good ideas of things to make).  I was able to find the booth of one of our customers (I’ve done several special orders for her, so it was cool to see some of our merchandise in her finished product).

We ended up being so hot and sweaty that we decided to go over by the restaurant and sit in the shade for a while.  But even that was fun.  It had been so long since I’d spent an entire day with my friends, so just sitting and chatting was nice.

The drive home was quite the event.  The GPS lady (Lori has named her Margo) took us on some out-of-the-way route home…we ended up driving through a lot of small towns, many of which we’d never heard of.  It seemed a little greener in the northern part of the state than it is here at home, I’m guessing they’ve probably had more rain than we have.  Saw a lot of interesting barns.  Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures…maybe next time.

Of course I ended up with a sunburn despite using sunscreen with an SPF of 70.  But then imagine how bad it would have been had I not used one at all…yikes~

All in all it was a fun getaway…now I’m looking forward to those fall festivals…with the cooler temps and pumpkin and persimmon everything.


English: Emergency Room NYC

English: Emergency Room NYC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ahh, yes…the ER..the place we all love to visit and then can’t seem to manage to escape in a reasonable amount of time!!  That’s where I spent the night last night.  Wait, wait…not for any emergency for myself, but for a friend.  I remember it as though it were just last night (that’s because it was)…

I had gone to bed early since my vacation was over and I had to be at work at 7 am.  The phone rang at 11:33 pm.  Don’t you hate it when the phone startles you from a sound sleep?  It’s never good news…no one is calling you to tell you that you’ve won a million dollars, or that your latest book just hit #1 on the New York Times best sellers list, or to ask if you want to accompany that hot,  sexy guy on a trip to the Bahamas.  Nope, a phone call in the middle of the night is never good news.  And last night was no different.

When I groggily answered the phone, I was greeted with, “I think I’m having a heart attack.”  Those words are pretty much guaranteed to wake you right up.  My wonderfully alert response was, “Paul, is that you?”  Hey, you can’t pull one over on me even in the middle of the night.

It was indeed Paul and he repeated that he thought he was having a heart attack.  Then he asked, “Do you think you could come over?”  Okay, I am so not a doctor, not a nurse, not a paramedic, I don’t even do medical transcription…so the thought did occur to me, what the heck does he think I can do?  I was pretty proud of myself that I didn’t scream that out though.  Instead, I very calmly asked, “Don’t you think you should maybe call an ambulance?  Like maybe 911?”

Well, no.  He didn’t want to call an ambulance (Paul, if you’re reading this, I love you…but this probably wasn’t your finest moment)…what if he wasn’t having a heart attack?  He didn’t want to be embarrassed.  This is when I threw my hands in the air and yelled, “But what if you are having a heart attack and we’re arguing about whether or not you should call 911?”

Then of course, I hear, “Please, please, couldn’t you just come over?”  Aww…jeez…are you kidding me?  You better really be sick, buddy or I’m going to have to hurt you!  Did I say that?  Of course not, not me.  I said, “Let me get dressed, I’ll be right there.”  Then I made him promise to call 911 if it got worse.  As I’m putting my contacts in (believe me, I probably would have caused an accident had I not done that), I’m wondering what I should wear…wait!  What?  Like there’s some kind of proper attire for a possible heart attack???  Alright, alright…throw whatever on, grab my purse and keys, and high tail it over there.

I walk in and he’s half sitting, half lying on the couch…not looking so good, kind of sweaty, chest hurting.  So I say, “Paul, you don’t look all that good.  How about we make a little trip to the emergency room?”

And then I have to listen to, “I don’t really want to go to the emergency room.  I’ll be there forever.”

Uh..dude, listen to me.  I don’t want to sit here and watch you die…the paperwork on that one would be unbelievable.  So, I finally convince him to let me drive him over there…insurance card?  ID?  Medical info?  Shoes?  Let’s go.

And then we walk in…do you have any idea how many people there are in the ER in the middle of the night?  Yeah, I didn’t either.  Just take my word for it, there are a lot of folks hanging out there.  When they find out he’s possibly having a heart attack, they jump him to the front of the line….in front of the chick with the cut finger (seriously, girl?  Slap a band-aid on that.  Don’t be wasting everyone’s time with that piddly thing.), in front of the guy with the cold (yeah…really), even in front of the elderly guy who seemed to not know who he was.  Of course, while he’s in there with doctors and nurses, I’m left out there with all of these sick people…fun times!!

Finally, after what seemed like about two days, but was really only a few hours, Paul comes back out from behind the curtain (I couldn’t resist that imagery…it was really a door, but a curtain just seemed so much more ER like), heart attack free.  I’m not sure whether to be relieved that he didn’t have a heart attack or mad that he got me out in the middle of the night on a false alarm.  Okay, okay…I’m relieved…really.

I take him home, we sit there for a while talking.  I pull a promise from him…he will call his doctor in the morning and get an appointment so they can find out exactly what did happen.  Yeah, it wasn’t a heart attack, but it was something, right?  I finally make it back home at about 4:45 am…think about how I have to be at work at 7 am and debate with myself whether or not to call in.  Finally, the exhausted, emotionally drained part of me wins out and I call my poor boss to let him know that I’m going to take a personal day.  Got a kind of funny response from him when I told him I’d spent the night in the ER…

Hmm…Ashton Kutcher? To each her own, I guess

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher (Photo credit: jdlasica)

Have you ever wondered how some of the male celebrities get their “hotness” ratings?  I know we all find different looks and attitudes appealing and there’s nothing wrong with that…But sometimes I find myself shaking my head in wonder when I hear grown women (I’m not talking about the little tweens who swoon over Justin Bieber…not crazy about him myself, but there you go) going all gaga over some guys.

I mean, Ashton Kutcher…really?  I just don’t see it.  He’s all right, I suppose, but as a 50+ year-old woman, I’m over the parties in Rio and the late nights at the clubs. I like to sit on the deck with the family and some friends, the grill doing its job, some music playing…and somehow I don’t see Ashton fitting in with that scene…

Tim McGraw, on the other hand, come on over…bring Faith and the kids…we’ll have a good ole time…

The long and winding road to fitness, day 116

“Fruit Basket”, oil on wood

Image via Wikipedia

At least I woke up on time today.  Checked that alarm several times before I went to sleep.  It was another one of those days when I felt like I didn’t really get a lot done, but I guess I did.  Of course, there’s always so much to do at work that I never feel like I’m ahead. (And believe me, I’m not)

I had a nice little visit with a couple of long-time friends (how’s that, Margaret?  I didn’t say old friends.) today.  That’s one of the perks of my job, people can come in and chat with me while I work.  My best friend from grade school, junior high and high school(Cindy) was in the store today.  Oh my, did we ever get up to some mischief when we were kids.  She asked me if I remembered backing into the light pole at her parents’ house when we were in high school.  Well…no, I’d managed to forget that…until you reminded me, thank you very much!!  I didn’t realize that she was now living in the house where she grew up (man, do we have some fun memories associated with that house).  All of our parents are now gone, it just doesn’t seem like we’re that old.  But we are…and life goes on…we make the best of it and try to create new traditions while honoring the old ones.  She wanted to know what I was doing for Christmas…how sweet is that?  I’m truly blessed with good friends in my life.  Now back to the healthy living aspect of the blog (although I tend to think that having strong, loving relationships is also part of living a healthy life).

I did do strength training and stretches before work, walked for 25 minutes and then whatever I did at work.  I need to get back on that exercise bike sometime soon.  Seems like I’m always so tired and can’t manage to get enough sleep.  Bad habits…

I was thinking about what I can do to kind of kick-start my whole fitness, healthy living thing with the understanding that I’m going to be too busy for the rest of the year (working in retail does that to you) to make any commitments that are going to require a lot of time.  So my thought was to simply aim for at least five fruits and veggies every day and some form of exercise every day.  I think that’s do-able and won’t really involve any more time than I’m already putting into it.  Then, after the first of the year, when things calm down a little, I can focus more on other aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

So, obviously I managed to get the exercise in.  The five servings of fruits and veggies?  Hmm…not quite there yet.  I may drink a quick glass of V8 yet this evening to get me to five for the day.  No, not “I may”…uhuh…I’m going to do it.  Don’t want to miss my goal on my first day.  I’ve got a big Honey Crisp apple that I think I’ll take to work tomorrow.  I think an apple that size would count for at least two servings of fruit.  So have that with a little peanut butter for a morning snack and I’ll be well on my way to five!

Do you eat at least five servings of fruit and veggies every day?  Which do you like more, fruit or vegetables?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 109

National Lampoon's Class Reunion

Image via Wikipedia

Ahh…the work day is done, the weekend has begun!!  As you probably guessed, I have the weekend off and I’m pretty excited about it!  Don’t really have a lot of plans, but I don’t intend to go in to work and that’s good enough for me!

I worked all day today, but didn’t feel all that good.  At one point during the day, I thought about just going home, but I stuck it out and managed to get quite a bit of necessary work done.  I had a lot of really nice customers in the store today, cute  happy babies, people trying on little Halloween accessories and taking their pictures (who would have thought, 20 years ago, that you’d be able to take pictures with a phone?  Technology is an awesome thing), people just generally feeling good and being cheerful…that’s what I like, makes my day much better~~

I had Cheerios and a banana for breakfast again today.  (Have you noticed that I kind of get stuck eating the same thing for several days in a row?) Lunch was a Lean Cuisine that I won’t be buying again…some kind of chicken, veggies and noodles in peanut sauce…not very good…ended up throwing most of it away.  I drank my V8 fusion with my lunch, so got a serving of veggies and one of fruit there.   I did eat this cute Little Debbie pumpkin snack thing…not bad.  I also had yogurt with cherries and granola for a snack this afternoon, that was pretty darn good!!  Dinner was some bread sticks (that I made) and some lite Ranch dressing…not bad, probably should have had some soup with the breadsticks…think that’s what I’ll be cooking this weekend…maybe minestrone, with kale?!  Hmm…farmers market, here I come.

Exercise was strength training and range of motion exercises and some stretching.  Walked for only 20 minutes, I still was feeling the effects from yesterday’s truck.  I think I’ll do some walking tomorrow and maybe get some good pictures.  I noticed how pretty the leaves were tonight when I was coming home from work.  I just love fall.  And right now we don’t have to have the heat or air conditioning on…pleasant…and frugal!!

I saw an old school friend in the store today…that’s one of the things that’s pretty cool about my job…I manage to see people who I may not have seen for a long time, get to chat a bit and catch up on what’s happening in their lives.  I really should go to my next class reunion.  Can you believe I’ve never gone to one?  What’s up with that?  I just never really had the desire to go, but now I’m thinking I wouldn’t mind it…we’ll see…

What about you?  Have you attended a class reunion?  How was it?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 100

Okay, to be honest, this may be day 101, but I didn’t want to miss the celebration of 100 days of working toward leading a healthier life.  I feel somewhat proud that I’ve done this for 100 days in a row, even if some of those days didn’t go as I’d planned…but then life often doesn’t go as we plan it, does it?  But to stick with it and at least make the effort is pretty cool.

I also just realized that this is my 300th post on the run4joy blog…wow!  This is so much fun, I’ve met so many wonderful people through this blog, and I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends (hey, Kim…wish I’d had more time to talk with you today when you stopped by the store…you look marvelous, girl).  I’m able to do something that I feel passionate about and (hopefully) improve my craft just a bit.

Another reason to celebrate today…our corporate visits are now over for the remainder of the year (unless that much feared auditor would happen to stop in for a surprise visit).  We had the head of HR in our store today…what a nice guy…seriously.  Totally different feeling with this visit than with the visit we had last week.  Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, we got an A!!!  High fives all around!!  The store really looks fab!  Now to just keep it that way!  I stopped at Kroger and bought some yummy looking brownies for Sean (the HR guy)…and no, I didn’t bribe him with them, I gave them to him as he was getting ready to leave!  Oh, did I mention, we got an A for the visit?  I did?  Well, I’m just trying to get it to sink in.  I’m just so darn proud of how hard everyone worked for this!!

So let me leave you today with a picture of something I noticed outside my kitchen window this evening…

The  rainbow after the storm…kind of speaks to life, doesn’t it?

Making wrong assumptions


After reading a friend’s blog today, I was thinking about the assumptions I make about other people.  He was talking about homelessness and how he has viewed homeless people.  I have to admit I’ve had similar views and experiences in that regard. 

 Then I started thinking about how my assumptions are sometimes wrong.  For example, I had avoided reading his blog because I assumed it would be overly religious and preachy, I mean his blog title is practicalproverbs…what was I supposed to think?  Totally  wrong assumption on my part.  His blog was well thought out, well written and very applicable to everyday life.  No preachiness at all.  How could I have assumed it would be otherwise?  I mean I’ve known this guy for years and years, I know what he’s like, I know he’s a good guy.  But I allowed my wrong assumptions to keep me from reading something that I ended up thoroughly enjoying.

So where else in my life am I allowing my wrong assumptions to keep me away from something that will be beneficial or enjoyable?  Something to think about, isn’t it?

Men are better planners and organizers

You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into

Image via Wikipedia

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this post by one of my friends (guy) on Facebook the other day.  Of course, he said he wasn’t trying to offend anyone…why is it, when someone says that, you know you’re about to be offended?  I didn’t respond.  Really, what’s the point?  Nothing I say is going to change his mind.   People believe what they want to believe and there’s not a lot you can do to change their beliefs.  All you end up doing, when you argue about something like that, is end up getting angry, saying some things that you can’t take back, and raising your blood pressure.  Just let it go.

I try not to make sweeping statements about any group of people.  There is no “all _____ are…”  or “no ___can ever…” or “never…” or “always…”  People are  different, with different abilities and talents, different dreams and desires, different interests, and different life situations.  That doesn’t mean that the Wall Street big wig is better than the guy flipping burgers at McDonald’s.  It simply means they are in different places in life.

I’m finally in a place in my life where I no longer compare myself to others.  I’m where I am because of choices I made, some good and some bad, but all mine.  That doesn’t make my life less (or more) important than the CEO of the company where I work. 

 How did we ever get to a place where we allow our work to define us as human beings?  What happened to being a good person?  What happened to developing good character?  What happened to making the world a better place for ourselves and our children?

I’m not particularly concerned with how most people see me, with whether or not they think I’m a success.  There are a few people in my life that I love with all my heart.  How I treat those people is my measure of success. 

Men are better planners and organizers?  My response to that… is that why the world is in such great shape now?  You have to wonder…