Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tender Mercies

I've been attempting to find the blessings in everyday inconveniences.  I am not known for my patience.  I often see things as a nuisance, rather than noticing the blessing hidden inside.  Let's see how I am doing ...

Ice sculpture courtesy of cold weather and my pond.
  • My pipes froze when the garage door was left open recently.  I didn't have to attend a 7:00 am meeting because I was thawing my pipes.  Water I had stored for emergency purposes was available for drinking and tooth brushing.  
  • The same cold temperatures that froze my pipes created a beautiful ice sculpture in my pond.
  • My furnace has been making funny sounds.  I was able to get it repaired before it quit and left us without heat.
  •  The opportunity to attend the funeral services of an aged aunt brought me ever closer to my extended family.
  • My finicky computer has taught me to save online posts in a word file - just in case!
These are just a few.  Like I said, I am working on it!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Parma's First Annual Turkey Trot

Writing is like parenting. If you focus too heavily on one baby, the others get neglected. I have been attempting to be more consistent with my work and I discovered my blog is not getting the attention it deserves. So much to write – so little time!

Really cool shirt

Parma's First Annual Turkey Trot was held Thanksgiving Day! The most official thing about it was the shirt … oh, and the distance – 5K.
Very tired shoes

We gathered before dinner in an attempt to burn some of the calories we were sure to consume. Clothed in our pretty red shirts, hats, gloves, and running shoes we followed a course on the edge of town. (Definition for those who live in the city: Town; a small residential cluster surrounding local businesses in a rural community.) Our group consisted of walkers, runners, and those who couldn't make up their mind. Run? Walk? Run/walk? It didn't matter, everyone got outside, breathed some fresh air, and burned off a few more calories than they would have had they remained inside watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Did I mentioned we ate cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate to celebrate? I also found that my Thanksgiving Dinner plate, loaded as usual, did not provide the usual anticipated guilt. Oh, I'm certain I consumed more calories than I needed for fuel that day, but I did offset it just a tad compared to years past. Besides, I got a really cool shirt!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Can't You Just Smell it?

Ahh, the aromas of Thanksgiving!  It has begun.  I cut up bread for turkey stuffing this morning and it is drying in the oven, filling my home with a warm yeasty scent.  I enjoy the smells of Thanksgiving almost as much as the flavors.  Maybe more.  After all, they don't leave me with the same over stuffed uncomfortable feeling as do the flavors!
Tomorrow I will bake pumpkin pies and prepare cranberry sauce filling my home with two very distinct and pleasant odors.
Thursday - aromatic awesomeness! I love the smell of turkey roasting with the savory scent of sage enticing me to sample stuffing long before it is time to dish it onto my dinner plate.
Fresh rolls!  Apple Pie!  Green beans! 
It is fortunate one cannot gain weight simply by inhaling.  I would be in some serious trouble!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Angel Walk - Part Two

Part Two as promised ...

And we're off!

Wait. Let's back up just a bit. May 14 was a big race day in the Treasure Valley. Hundreds participated in the Famous Idaho Potato Marathon event running 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon races. Others, myself included, ran in Homedale. We had no race clock nor bib numbers. Nobody strapped a chip timer to his or her ankle. There were no prizes or free stuff at the end of the race except for a paper cup full of water. Or was there a prize?
Homedale Band

The event, Angel Walk, was held in honor and support of Angel Rios-Salas, a second grader at Homedale Elementary suffering from Stage II Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Friends of the family organized the event. When I arrived about 45 minutes prior to the race to register and receive my “Angel Walk” t-shirt, I heard music and observed a small band. Children were cavorting and soon engaged in tug-of-war games with bragging rights going mostly to the young ladies! I am sure the boys were letting them win. Angel's second grade teacher emceed the event and his classmates sang The Star Spangled Banner. I cried when Angel and his parents were ushered on stage and smiled when Angel refused, with a grin and a shake of his head, to say anything to the crowd.

Then we ran, because we could. Others walked, because they could. Many of his friends rode their bikes three miles to support Angel, because they could. It was a beautiful day for a race and a wonderful way to celebrate life and to support a young man who is fighting for his.

Snake River in Homedale
When asked, “Why Idaho?” I often think of the mountain peaks, the lakes and rivers, and even the high desserts that form this land, but if I stop to truly reflect on Idaho, my answer ought to be, “Because angels walk here.”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Angel Walk - Part One

This post was originally intended for another blog.  It was never published.  I am sharing it now. Part Two will follow.
Race Volunteers

The Treasure Valley is full of racing opportunities for everyone from the runner that prefers to “walk just a bit” to the serious athlete eager to take home top prize. Having determined that my best physical fitness trick is to always have a race to prepare for, I chose the Famous Idaho Potato event on May 14. My intent was to run the 10K. My training opportunities have not led me to that goal very effectively! I aborted the 10K mission and opted for a shorter race. Six miles is a bit daunting, but three miles is doable after training for a longer race. A 5K it is! I wanted to follow through on the date, so I found another race in Ontario, OR on the same day. My running partner found yet another race on May 14 and my plans changed once again!
Freedom to Serve

Although most races have a cause, such as “Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure” and “St. Luke's Women's Fitness Celebration,” the community of Homedale, ID is rallying around one of its own. A young boy is battling cancer and they have come together to support him. The Angel Walk is just one of their efforts. That is part of the beauty of rural Idaho. This state is dotted with small communities that come together like extended families. They know one another and when one of their own suffers, they all suffer – and then they take action!

The Angel Walk fits my needs perfectly. Homedale is a short drive away. I can feel good about my meager $15 registration fee because this cause will benefit someone directly. I don't have to fight crowds or park and ride a shuttle! If I really feel deserving after my race I can visit the Frosty Palace. If I'm too hot and tired when I get done, I can even jump in the Snake River to cool off. I probably won't - but I could! Best of all, I may even see the face of the young man I am there to support. I can participate in a bigger race another time. I've done it before and it was all about “Me.” Did I beat my time from last year? How much free chocolate milk can I have? How many people did I beat across the finish line?

This race is different. It isn't about me. Maybe this race is actually the “bigger” race.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Reality Check?

I had to renew my driver's license this week.  That's right - I am having a birthday.  It's not a significant one.  That happened last year. 
I don't know why, but the driver's license renewal is just unappealing to me.  It is especially bothersome since Idaho went to the eight year plan. Daily stuff like making my bed and brushing my teeth do not present themselves as nuisances.  It's the annual things that get to me - taxes, vehicle registrations, and physical exams.  I just don't seem to have time for those! Those things on an eight year rotation ... why bother?
The driver's license renewal is a bit of an honesty check, is it not?  I'm really squeaking to pass the eye test!  I forgot and left my distance glasses home. (I seldom use them!) The weight question always gets me. 
"Is your weight still the same?"
"Well, no, it has gone down a bit, but actually it is closer to the weight listed.  Just leave it." (I've been lying about my DL weight for years!)
Hair color?  That changes all the time!
It is good, too, that they do the eye test prior to snapping the photo.  I couldn't see a thing afterwards!  I hope I recognize my signature.
Friends have been complaining about the "new" Idaho license design.  I don't think it has anything to do with the new design.  I think we just hate the whole experience.  It's just too revealing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Square Ice Cream

Along the Snake River and through the mountains
To Grandma's house we went. 
Always a stop 
At the “Square Ice Cream Shop” 
In Swan Valley our money we spent. 
I didn't dare ask. 
Just hoped not to pass. 
Maybe Dad wanted a Maplenut treat. 
Sometimes he drove past,
Then doubled back 
To give us a scare. Such a tease! 
Ice cream cone in hand 
The true test began. 
Could I keep it square to the end? 
A lick up each side 
And one 'cross the top, 
I worked as swift as I could. 
But, alas, my nose ached! 
Melting cone he would take 
And round off the edges and drips. 
No more square ice cream passed my lips!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another Reason to Run

I intend to be an octogenarian. It isn't really a lofty goal. You see, I come from a long line of octogenarians. It's in my genes. I also have stroke, Type II Diabetes, and heart disease as hereditary risk factors. And so … I run.
They way I see it, if I am going to be eighty-something, or even ninety-something (let's stop there!) I would like to keep my faculties as long as I can. What good does it do to reach a goal if one can't enjoy it once she arrives? And so … I run.
I am running away from a stroke. Running lowers my blood pressure.
I am running away from diabetes. Running keeps my weight down, thus controlling my blood sugar.
I am running from heart disease. Lub dub, lub dub, lub dub.
Can I beat all the risk factors? Maybe not, but I figure my odds are better if I try to outrun them than if I open the door and invite them in!
And so … I run!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Voice Mail

My brother left a message on my answering machine just days before he unexpectedly passed away. It has been nearly four months since we said goodbye. The messages have been piling up. I didn't want to delete his message, but I wasn't courageous enough to listen for it as I deleted the others. I have been waiting for the “right time.” I tend to do that a lot. I put things off in hopes that I will somehow be stronger or more emotionally prepared for the task. Many of those things are left undone. The answering machine wouldn't wait. With only seconds of recording time left, I knew it was time to do the listening – ready or not.
So I listened. It was as if he were phoning me anew. His voice was the same as I remembered – the same inflections, the same pauses, the same dry wit.
The time was right. The message, itself really of no import, brought joy rather than the anticipated pain.
Aren't we blessed to have the gift of time? It truly does heal all wounds. With time, pain lessens and memories become sweeter.
Blessed, too, are we to have the gift of technology. It can help us embrace our gift of time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Rushing rumbling rivers rolling rocks to reservoir,
Roughened ridges rounded now rest upon the shore.
Remember roaming? Wrestling? Reeling to the core?
Refined. Renewed. Resolved. Reach now for your reward.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another Reason to Love My Life

Eagle Island State Park
I have a bowl of tomatoes on my counter - remnants of a bountiful garden. There is a pot of Butternut Squash Soup simmering on the stove top – my first attempt. The squash is also part of the last of the harvest. A batch of cinnamon rolls is baking in the oven – an overdue gift. As I look out the window, gold colored leaves scatter the green lawn, reminding me that there is work to do outdoors. The swaying trees also remind me that there is more work to come. The weatherman is promising snow for the weekend.
Scotch Pines Golf Course
I am trying to live in the moment. In the spring I can't wait for my newly planted garden to produce. In the fall I pray for a frost to slow the workload! Today, however, I am enjoying the season with its beauty, its unpredictability, and its ever changing vistas. As I roam the country roads, I marvel that the green and gold fields so recently blocking my view have become beige carpets neatly groomed and awaiting the interruption of spring. The wind, tho it hinders my forward progression, cleanses the air and clarifies the horizon.
I know that the thundershowers and snowstorms are coming. They, too, will have a beauty of their own. Today, I glory in the colors of the season.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Just Run, Write?

I have raised a family of runners. Now one might think that because I run and my offspring run they must have taken after me. Not so. In this case the egg really did come before the chicken. The truth is these Greens run because we are not good at sports requiring a lot of equipment, especially balls. Baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, tennis, and golf just have too many parts to coordinate. So we run … and we do math.
“But in order to run 400 meters in a minute I will have to run every 100 meters in 15 seconds...”
“If my opponent runs his/her best time then I will have to run this time to beat him/her...”
“There are 10 hurdles in the race and I have to clear every hurdle...”
“If you run a 6 minute mile pace you will be way under 19 minutes on a 5k ...”
And so on …
My advice to my mathematician runners was always this, “Just run!”
If they would just stop fretting about the obstacles and run, they might clear all those obstacles in the process. They often did.
I don't heed my own advise.
I write because I enjoy it. I am better at writing than I am at crafting, scrapbooking, record keeping. So I write .. and I make excuses.
“If I take time to write and nobody ever reads it, then I have wasted my time ...”
“I have other things I should be doing, like housework ...”
I have writer's block!”
And so on …
What advice might I heed?
“Just write!”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Eye of the Beholder

Two weeks away from the wide open spaces of Idaho was most interesting.  I can't do it all justice in one post, so I will begin with this ...

I landed in Pittsburgh and rented a very small economy car to drive to Erie, PA.   Beautiful green trees with splashes of red were everywhere!  Freeway exits in Idaho are spotted miles away, as are the various conveniences surrounding those exits.  In woody Pennsylvania, if one isn't reading signs she may miss the exit entirely.  At the very least, she will be unable to spot any of the conveniences surrounding that exit.  (I did not miss exits.  I avoided them.)  The "ways" are not FREE.  I encountered toll highways. 

In Idaho, as in Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and most western states, mountains are clearly identified.  Hills are not mountains!  Apparently, the wooded hills I was traversing were mountains.

When I spotted the warning road sign "Falling Rocks" I naturally looked heavenwards.  It's a normal reaction for a Westerner! We expect to see rocky cliffs threatening to loose small boulders sending them tumbling to smash our vehicles. There was nothing heavenwards.  Rather, there was a raised median that was sloughing mud and a few small rocks into the barrow pit.  Hence, the "Falling Rocks" warning!

Their lake is vast.  I wanted to call the shoreline a coast.

It's all relative!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pay Attention!

Sinful colors and Sally Hansen
I have never been much into nail polish. I think it has something to do with my personality, or lack of patience! When I paint, smudging invariably occurs. On the few occasions I have had a successful polish application, I am soon disappointed as chipping and wear require removal and more tedium as I once again attempt the seemingly impossible. Don't get me wrong – I love the look of painted nails. I just don't have the patience for it.

Several months ago I determined to paint my toes for a trip to St. Thomas that never was. Ice storm in Dallas. Long story. I chose a color that I thought matched the waters of the Caribbean. Alas, we may never know. I discovered two things. (1) I liked my painted toes. (2) Polish on toes wears much longer than polish on fingernails. A plus for us impatient souls.

I have since kept my toes painted. I have discovered something else. Sinful Colors from Walgreens wears a very long time! I recommend it, especially for those of you cursed with an impatient nature.

The most amazing discovery of all came as I was removing my polish during my most recent pedicure. Here it is important for the reader to understand that I have a shameful addiction to diet soda. It can be so satisfying! The long wearing properties of Sinful Colors makes it extremely difficult to remove. I was enjoying my soda and working hard (tedium!) at removing polish when it became necessary to douse another cotton ball in polish remover. I expect the reader is thinking, “I know what happens here. She dumps either the soda or the remover all over the place!” Not so. I grabbed the polish remover and took a big swig! Burn! Burn! Burn! Fortunately, I like to savor the bubbly goodness of soda against my tongue before swallowing. Otherwise, I may not be alive to relate this sad story! I jumped from my seat carrying the open bottle of remover with me. I was making panicked mealing sounds - that would be a cross between moaning and squealing – as I raced to the kitchen sink to flush the vile fluid from my oral cavity! My concerned husband did not move from his recliner. He simply asked, “What are you doing?”

My discovery? Polish remover is not potable.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Is it Just Me?

I've reached that time in my life where I don't know what to wear.  I go to bed wearing an extra layer, then sometime during the night I kick off the covers.  By morning I don't want to get out of bed because it is too cold.  Before long I am perspiring again, changing out of the sweats and into lighter layers, or even a pair of shorts. I fight my urges to turn the thermostat up and then the air conditioner on!
I know what you are thinking, but it isn't menopause ...
It's Autumn!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What Does it Really Mean?

You've heard the expression, “And then the wheels started coming off.” It is a metaphor most often referring to the falling apart of a plan. How about this one? “I'm going to drive it into the ground.” This is yet another metaphor for using something until there is nothing left to use, as in a car or a vacuum. (Spelled it correctly this time!)
Well, today I did both! As I was mowing our large and hilly lawn with my John Deere mower that has high miles and a rebuilt body, one wheel fell off! The drive wheel, however, was still engaged in its duty, continuing to propel the mower forward literally driving it into the ground! There is a lovely gouge in the hillside of my front lawn.
And I thought they were merely metaphors ...

Monday, August 29, 2011


Dirty dusty documents deepening daily on my desk.
Do I dust, ditch, or determine direct destinations
Diminishing droves of data and debris?
Daydreams delay decision and divert the dread of debt.
Dynamite? Decomposition? Does dropping in the dumpster
Do dire damage or dispense delight?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Getting Help!

Three years after my first book publication, much hand wringing, and several (ok, lots) rejections on my novel, I have decided to join forces with other female writers.  The result is ...
Doesn't this cover make you smile?
This book will be released by Freundship Press on September 15.  You can expect reminders and event info to follow!  I am excited for A) the opportunity to be published again and B) the friendships I am making along the way, albeit mostly through cyberspace at present!

Visit the Facebook page here

P.S.  I am one of the "Carols" printed on the sunflower petals.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear Blog, I've missed you!

I've been neglecting my blog a bit. I won't blame it on writer's block this time.  I've just had other things on my mind as in:
  • How many hoops will Spence have to jump through to obtain his Utah Residency status and have out of state tuition waived to the tune of $6000 per semester?
  • How many times will I tell my married kids and granddaughter "Goodbye" before they actually leave for Pennsylvania?
  • How sad will it be?
  • How long before I hop a plane to Pennsylvania?
  • How am I going to get through another year with a high school senior?
  • How much money will it take to fix the pickup so the "Service Engine" light will go off and an emissions test can actually be performed?
  • How many pints of beans will I can this year?
  • Ditto for quarts of tomatoes.
  • When does An Eclectic Collage: Volume II (A collaborative work on relationships by female authors) come out so I can tell all my friends?
  • What's for dinner?
 Well, I have some answers and they are all good!

  • As many as it takes.  Residency Awarded!  No more out of state tuition hanging over his head - nor mine!
  • About three.
  • Sad.  Very sad.
  • Five and one half weeks until I make my first visit to Pennsylvania and welcome a new grandchild into the world.
  • Hang on!  It's a wild ride!  However, I am wiser and more seasoned than the first two times I rode this attraction.
  • $175
  • Between 50 and 60.
  • Who knows?  They are just coming on.
  • September 15!  I am one of the authors of this book.  More info to come!
  • Whole wheat waffles - or maybe BLT's.  After all, the tomatoes are ripening!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Running Lesson

Non-runners often wonder what makes runners want to run. Why do we do it? There isn't just one answer, and frankly, runners don't always know why they run. They can, however, tell you many things that running teaches them. This is just one lesson:

Walking is not an option.

Running is and always will be hard. The farther one can run, the farther he must push himself. The greater his condition, the faster he goes. He often wants to stop. What a luxury it would be just to stop and walk for a minute. He could catch his breath, work out a kink or two, and then run again when he felt stronger. During every run, and especially during every race, the thought crosses his mind, “I would really like to walk.”

Sometimes he does. When he does indulge in this luxury, he finds he feels better – for a moment. Then he must run again, and picking up the pace is difficult. He also finds that he is tempted more frequently to take a breather and walk. It is better to continue to run.

I sometimes find myself there, not on the road or the track, but in life. So many times it would feel good to just walk a bit – to rest. Unfortunately, when I feel the most like resting are the times it is critical to keep moving forward. A breather could prove costly!

“I would really like to walk,” but walking is not an option. It is better to continue to run.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to Make Your Own Tribal Tattoo

Ever wanted to try one on for size, but were afraid of the pain and long term consequences of committing to the real thing?  Well, try this instead.
A-  Commit to joining some friends for a 22 mile hike.
B - Don a pair of capri length running pants, running shoes, and dorky crew socks.
C - Apply sunscreen.
D - Apply insect repellent.
E - Tromp around mountain trails for eight hours.
F - Remove shoes and socks.

Voila!  You now have a custom, semi permanent, tribal tattoo.  Yes, it washes off, but not without a fair amount of hot soapy water!  The same guarantee does not exist for running shoes.  I don't know if they will ever come clean!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Okay, how embarrassing!  The last blog was much more than a photo - or at least I thought it was!  I told all about how we were prepared or unprepared, etc.  Then I decided to post a photo (from last year, no less) and apparently I erased the text!  Too bad.  Now I can't remember what fabulous words of insight I shared.  Alas!  I will have to do better next time!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ready or Not!

Someday I’m going to write another book entirely about pain. In the meantime, I’ll share a few thoughts about the subject. I do not believe that life should be lived pain free. Rather, the goal is to live life in spite of pain.
I am a runner. This is a relatively new definition of me. I began running two and a half years ago. I don’t especially love running. Running loves me.
Why I run …
It is a cheap form of exercise. The only equipment needed is a good pair of shoes. No membership fees, no fuel expenses, nor any special gear is required. A few cute running shirts and pants are fun, but they are not critical to participation.
It is convenient. Just step out the front door.
It improves other parts of my life. I have greater endurance during other activities such as waterskiing and snow skiing. It makes me sweat and that has to be good. I have a great blood pressure reading.
I am afraid of age onset diabetes.
What I have learned …
Running hurts. As a non-runner I often supposed that running was easy for runners. It is not. If running were easy it would be called walking.
Injuries happen. They are mostly of the strain and tendonitis type, but injuries do happen.
RICE. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.
Vitamin I. (Ibuprofen)
Pain does not always mean “Stop!”
Pain sometimes means “STOP!”
Where the fun is …
5Ks and 10Ks.
Sprint Triathlons.
It’s not about them (those real runners passing me) it’s about me.
Talking about the races. Wearing the goofy race t-shirts. Thinking about the next race. Cheering on fellow racers. Looking around and seeing how far you’ve come.
Mostly, the fun is, knowing you are doing something painful today that will help you stick around longer tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And So it Ends ...

Before Brazil
Two years ago I tracked a flight from Boise to Brazil.  I lost track of it as it passed over the equator.  My nineteen year-old son was on that flight.
Tonight I will begin tracking another flight from Brazil to Boise.  My twenty-one year-old son will be on that flight.
So much has happened since he left ...
His truck has nearly worn out.
Little brother is now bigger brother by about five inches.
His baby niece walks, talks, and does somersaults without her hands.
He has another niece on the way.
Navy Seals eliminated Bin Laden.
BSU Broncos won a whole bunch of football games.
His parents have added Road Biking to their list of recreational activities.
Lots of people got married.
He speaks Portuguese.
We built a new gymnasium.
His uncle passed away.
Many things stayed the same ...
The economy still stinks.
Gas prices are still high.
The lawn still gets mowed on a regular basis.
We still speak English.
The Greens still ski.
I still bake when I'm feeling nervous.
We still love football.
Life still moves on.
This chapter is over and another begins.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm a Real Biker Gal Now!

I've been a bit smug as of late.  My husband has wrestled with many a flat tire since taking up his road bike hobby.  I, on the other hand, have not - until a week ago!  I ran right over that big sharp rock I had in my sights.  I was attempting to avoid it!  Funny thing about sighting in on something, I am always sure to connect! Just like a tree on a ski hill, I went right for that rock, and my tire went flat. Not so smug anymore.
That, however, pales in comparison to my Independence Day Ride!  I've ridden 15 miles on occasion.  I usually  prefer about 9 to 11 miles, but we wanted to have a "Family Activity."  We packed up the saddle bags with Gatorade and frozen water bottles, added a few granola bars, and spare bike tubes and off we pedaled!
My biking companions?
The funny thing about riding twenty miles out is that you have to ride that far back home.  Our first stop was Wilder around mile nine.  Down the hill and past the golf course to Homedale we flew only to discover all the ice cream shops were either closed for the holiday or opening later in the day.  What?  Nobody wants to sell ice cream at 9:00 am?
Homedale was quiet, as was the countryside meandering northwest towards Adrian.  At least it was quiet until the guy with the pickup and stock trailer came barreling down a hill towards a corner.  Same corner at which I would meet him!  It was him or the gravel!  I chose the gravel and the gravel won!
Now maybe I was a little scared and took the corner just a bit wide.  Maybe he didn't see me in my bright yellow shirt as I trailed my husband (bright red shirt) and son (another bright yellow shirt).
Maybe he thought he owned the road and I had no right to share it.  Maybe ... he thought if he slowed down to see if I was alive I would memorize his license plate and complain to the authorities!
Alas, my handlebar wrap is shredded, my chain came off and I had to repair it, and I have a nice case of road rash to brag about!
Road Rash!
Did I mention I had to ride another twenty miles home?
Very Tired!

I think I qualify as a real biker gal now!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Best Job Ever

I've said it before and I'll say it again ... "Being a grandma is the best job I have ever had!"
I love my own children.  I rejoice in their successes and mourn their sorrows.  However, there is nothing like grandparenting.  The pressure is off.  If the grandchild isn't perfect, it isn't my fault.  If she doesn't eat right today, I don't worry that she won't be healthy.  She can make up for it tomorrow.  If something gets broken, I now know that it isn't the first mishap nor is it the last.
The best thing about grandparenting is the unconditional love both given and received.  It was illustrated this evening when my granddaughter took my face in her hands and giggling said, "I see me!"
"Where," I asked?
She nearly poked my eye out!  It took me a moment to realize she was seeing her reflection in my eyes!
"Do you know why you can see yourself in Grandma's eyes," I asked?  "Because, I love you so much!"
Another giggle and then the sweetest hug was bestowed upon this grandma.  Ya, I'm pretty sure that being a grandma is the best job ever!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A New Adventure!

I'm diving in!  I'm jumping on the band wagon!  Nothing ventured - nothing gained! Everyone is doing it!
No, I'm not going to self publish the novel I have been trying to peddle to agents and publishers.  Nor am I trying the latest fad diet for rapid weight loss.  Coloring my hair?  I already do that. Nope, none of the above. I'm going to get a Bountiful Basket tomorrow!
I am a little leery of the unknown.  I don't know what I would do with Japanese radishes the size of sugar beets, and I am quite certain that artichokes will "go begging" at the Green house, but why not try?  (Not to be confused with Y-Not Tri)  My friends are all raving about the great produce, its longevity due to its freshness, and the fun of trying new things.  It's those new things that could be an issue!  I was dragging my feet, but the man of the house said, "Let's try it now, while we have company."  That might mean that my company gets to eat the unknowns!
Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'd Rather be Writing?

Why is it sometimes so hard to write?  When I don't have the time, all I can think about is writing.  When I have the time, here is what I do ...

Turn on the computer and check my email.
Start a load of laundry.
View my checking account balance.
Look on facebook to see if I have any new friends.
Grab a snack.
Check my blog stats.
Check my other email account.
Look to see if I have written anything in the past worthy of posting today.
Google literary agents.
Read the blogs I follow.
Wonder how to get more followers on my blog.
Look for a cute photo to post with a blog I have not yet written.
Bake something.

And the list goes on ...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Good Works

Okay, I know everyone is talking about it, and I know I don't have a clue how many people have pitched in, and I know some have done so much more than others ... but when the delivery truck loaded with roofing supplies showed up this afternoon, I cried again!

You've seen it happen on TV in a matter of days ... with professionals and a Television network driving the project, but have you seen a small community rebuild a house for someone in need in just over a week?  That is what is happening in Parma this week, and it is inspiring.

Contractors who could be working on paying jobs are donating their time and resources.  Housewives are providing nourishment AND tearing up old tile!  Teenagers are tearing down, cleaning up, smoothing out, hauling off, and doing it all with a smile!  The best part is, most of these people have never met the recipient of all this good will! They just know he is a member of the community who is in need.

I once read a quote that said, "There isn't much to see in a small town, but what you hear makes up for it."  I'm here to tell you, there is much to see and hear in this small town!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Raging rains wreak ruin as rapidly rising rivers run rampant o'er rocks resting risking rafters' recreation rudely wrecking our reunion!

Just a little cerebral exercise when writer's block threatens.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Remember Now ...

I have this little job that I do and sometimes I wonder why.  I am referring to my responsibility as school board trustee.  There are times when it seems tedious (policy revisions) and times when it seems hopeless (student expulsions) ... and then there is May!

Here is what happens in May:
  • State Championships
 To borrow a quote from The Wide World of Sports, "The thrill of victory.  The agony of defeat."
  • Music Concerts
Whether choir or band, one has to appreciate the number of students involved in music programs in our little district.  
  • Academic Awards
That is what we are all about - academic achievement.
  • Scholarships
Got a B average?  You can go to college, thanks to the philanthropists in our little town.
  • Graduation
This is "Pay Day" for school board trustees.  It is why we put up with the tedium, the frustrations, and the disciplinary hearings.  It is why, when someone asks, "Are you still on the school board?" I answer, "Yes.  Yes, I am!"  Occasionally, a trustee gets a "Bonus" on "Pay Day."  Occasionally, a trustee has the opportunity to present a diploma to his or her own offspring!

I am grateful for May!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Surely Shod

I've been running now for close to four years.  In that time I have worn and worn out four pairs of what I thought were running shoes.  In that same time, my son with the large feet, has shredded twice as many as I.  He has recently been suffering from a foot injury - tendonitis.  It could be a stress fracture, but that is only determined by a bone scan or MRI. (That's kind of like saying, "The only diagnosis for Mad Cow Disease is a brain autopsy.")  We are treating for tendonitis.

The treatment includes an anti-inflammatory drug, cold therapy (soak it in a bucket of icewater), taping for support, rest (he can begin resting as track season is over), and most recently, new shoes.  For the first time in the history of Green Family Runners, we visited a bona fide running store.  Amazing!

Here is what we learned:
  • He over-pronates.  This means he strikes the pavement with the outside of his foot and "snaps" it inward, thus straining supporting tendons.  Hence, the foot injury.
  • High definition video is awesome for diagnosing over-pronation!
  • Shoes make a difference.  In this case, stability shoes.
  • Shoe shredding is a symptom of combined over-pronation and inferior shoes.
  • All athletic shoe manufacturers price all performance shoes from $90 - $109!
  • If the original price of a "running" shoe is under $90, expect shredding!
  • Over $109?  Too much shoe.  You're gonna get ripped off!
  • How much does it cost to find a good shoe?  FREE! 
The shop owner did not have the right shoe for us, but he directed us to a location that would, and guess what? We found them on sale!  Original price - $99.  Twenty dollars off?  SOLD! I expect to see less shredding and improved tendons.  I should also net a savings due to the decreased shredding!

Guess what else?  I've told all my friends to go see "the guy at Pulse Running & Fitness" in Meridian. He took time to help us and didn't get the sale, but he will get more in the future.  This guy knows how to pay it forward.

Happy running - or shredding!  You pick!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Cried for Angel

The first time I ran a 5K race I cried - for myself.  It was cold and wet.  I was exhausted.  I was stunned at my sense of accomplishment.  Today as I ran another 5K race and I cried again.  This time, not for myself, but for Angel and for all of the people supporting him.

Angel has cancer.  The Angel Walk was organized in his behalf.  His second grade teacher emceed the event.  His classmates sang "The Star Spangled Banner."  His elementary principal gave some thoughts.  Friends of the family organized the event.  Many in his community turned out to support him - runners, walkers, and kids on bicycles; young and old alike.  Local law enforcement stopped traffic to ensure the safety of those participating.

When Angel accompanied his parents to the stage, he grinned - and I cried.  When asked, repeatedly, if he would like to say anything, he shook his head, stunned and maybe a bit embarrassed over the attention.

Then we ran, because we could.  Others walked, because they could.  Many of his young friends rode their bikes for three miles to support Angel, because they could.

It wasn't a huge event with chip timers and free chocolate milk at the end.  Nor can I view my stats online.  It wasn't even a true 5K (Much to my disappointment.  My time was really fast!) but it was a wonderful way to celebrate life and to support a young man who is fighting for his.

Hats off to Homedale and all the friends of Angel Rios-Salas!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Change of Course

Sometimes the best path to follow is a change of course.  Road construction is an obvious reason to divert ones path, however, there are a number of other circumstances which might give cause for correction ...
  • The path became dangerous.  
  • Obstacles.
  • The initial goal was good, but a better one presented itself.
  • The path was not good to begin with. 
So it was that my running buddy and I changed our plans to run a 10K race on May 14.  We had a training schedule and were doing our best to follow it, but the path became dangerous when the spring weather refused to cooperate.  The day we ran four miles in heavy wind was the beginning of the course change.  How would we ever train for six miles in this weather?

Obstacles?  She fought an ankle injury.  I caught a cold.  We kept training, however, less enthusiastically than we would have liked.

Our original plan to pay the $40 registration fee and run a six mile race with hundreds of other runners was a good one, but we found a better one.  This race might not have a famous name, but the logistics are better.  The registration fee is only $15, the race will be small, it is closer to home, and best of all it will benefit a young man fighting a serious illness.

So we've corrected our course.  We are well prepared as the original path conditioned us for the one we will actually follow.  Sometimes those little detours are the very things we need to prepare us for the journey ahead.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Singers and Stars

I recently had the opportunity to chaperon the Parma High Singers on a trip to Seattle. It's quite a job. They are a pretty rough crowd - a bunch of country kids, athletes, and honor students. Just look at them!

After their performance the judge was doing her best to critique and display her knowledge. One number she chose to give pointers for was "And the Night." In an attempt to inspire the choir to catch the "feeling" of the song (the night is filled with music) she told them to imagine they were camping. "Look at the sky and see all the stars - not like when you are at home in the city." (Or something like that.)

Hey Lady! We can see the stars from our front step!!

Ya gotta love the country!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gum Wall!

“Good Grief, Girls!” Gilda gagged.

“Grimy gobs of gooey gum!”

Giggles gurgled as Green Guy gobbled

Gross gargantuan gum ball glob!

Grabbing gum with gusto glued

Greasy gob to growing gunk.

Ghastly gasps gave way to glee.

Gazers guffawed as Green Guy's gift

Glistened on Gum Gallery!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Channeling Shirley

I've found my muse!

I'm going to forget about writing material that has any depth to it. I just need to write about junk. The kookier the better.

I caught snippets of Shirley Maclaine on the Oprah Show yesterday afternoon. (I'm not a regular Oprah viewer, but occasionally I indulge just a bit.) Now there's a woman with something to say! What she says is, well, out there!

I believe in allowing folks to follow their own path. If they truly believe in something, who am I to stand in their way? Let them follow what they may. And if it sells books ...

Does she really thinks all those goofy things, or does she just know how to sell books??? The woman is a a self-proclaimed expert on reincarnation and UFOs. I'm wondering what the purpose of UFOs are if the same souls just keep returning to this earth over and over again. Don't UFOs travel betwixt planets? Having seen them in Peru and other parts south of the equator, Shirley would certainly know how to identify an unidentified flying object, would she not? Because she lives in New Mexico where she claims there is a concentration of UFOs (apparently the Land of Enchantment is a conduit) her observational skills are well honed...

"UFO's look like clouds," she says. "But then they move."
Moving clouds? Incredible! Where can I buy her book?

I'm gonna give it a try.
I have aliens in my fruit room. They look like potatoes, but they have white antennae coming out of the top of their heads.

Anybody wanna buy a book?

Monday, April 11, 2011


I'm feeling a bit dumpy - creatively speaking. It could be because I haven't recorded my thoughts in awhile. I usually blame not recording my thoughts on a creative slump. Which comes first?

These are my excuses ...
It's track season.
It's tax season.
Cutting down on carbs means I have to spend more time in the kitchen - and the grocery store.
I am training for a race and that means more time in my running clothes.
Someone needs to work the crossword puzzle.
I have to register for college (for my son who is currently out of the country) and I haven't jumped through those hoops in over two decades!
Discouragement. I got another rejection for my novel today.
Distractions. What are my friends doing on facebook? What are they blogging about? What can I find to eat?
... and so forth.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Heart Track!

That's right. I LOVE track season. Either you get it or you don't. For those who don't, I'll try to explain why.
* I get to hang out with friends that I haven't seen in awhile. They are fellow parents of tracksters who are busy cheering their offspring on in various other sports throughout the year.
* Although ski season is coming to an end, I get to don my ski gear just a bit longer as I weather the weather!
* Gatorade, granola bars, and string cheese.
* There is something for everyone. Fast, strong, or just persistent, track offers an event for everyone's strong suit.
* PR's (Personal Records) Every athlete can have a great day even if he does nothing more than improve upon his best performance.
* Excitement. Winners are determined in seconds, minutes, and by fractions of inches.
* Camaraderie. Track athletes cheer for the success of their fellow teammates, even when that success might cost them a spot on a relay team.
* The Unexpected. On any given day, the favored to win might false start, fall on a hurdle, miss his mark, or drop a baton, leaving the door wide open for an upset and ensuing elation for the surprise victor.
* Inspiration. I seldom cry at other sporting events. However, tears are routine at track meets and I don't even have to know the participants. When the 110 Meter Hurdler catches a toe and leaves skin on the track, I cry. When the last runner crosses the finish line of the 3200 Meter Run having been lapped twice by faster athletes, I cry. When my own child turns in a stellar performance, I cry. When that same child competes in his or her last high school track event, you can bet I cry! And when it snows, sometimes I want to cry!
I heart track!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Time to Repent

Here is a little background ...

A few years ago we remodeled our kitchen. The process was "supposed" to take about six weeks max. Six months later we were finally putting the finishing touches on the kitchen. I will spare readers the tedium of the details. Suffice it to say that my "favorite store" became a slur in my vocabulary and I had a desire to inflict grave bodily harm on bystanders whenever I heard The Home Depot Jingle!

Of course, The Home Depot was not spared. I conveyed my displeasure in a lengthy account of the proceedings, missteps, and neglect. I even went so far as to fill out an online job application for their kitchen and cabinet design department because, "I was certain I could do a better job than the designers that had worked with me!"

The comedy of errors that was our remodel has yet to become completely comical to me. In the years since I have boycotted the store as often as possible. When the occasional need for DIY home repair occurs I frequent any and all facilities available prior to patronizing The Home Depot. Then I send my husband!

Our toilet seat broke. He went to The Home Depot and purchased a new seat.

"Hey, I had four different people offer to help me at The Home Depot today!"


"Ya, it was quite refreshing."

"Ya, well,I still hate that store." (I love my new kitchen. It's the store that causes me grief.)

A bracket on one of my cabinet drawers broke.

He - "Do you want to go to Home Depot with me?"

Me - "No."

He - "Well, I think I can get a part to fix it."

Me - "They should have some kind of lifetime guarantee!"

He went to Home Depot. I looked online. He brought back some generic hardware. I found "Available Exclusively at The Home Depot. Lifetime Warranty. Contact The Home Depot."

I had to go to The Home Depot.

The attractive blond in the design department called the cabinet manufacturer. She ordered 4 replacement parts that will be shipped to my home "at no charge." One part will replace the broken bracket while the other three are spares. You know what that means? I don't have to go to The Home Depot next time the plastic parts fail!

We needed a vacuum belt. An employee directed us to the vacuum belts and I found exactly the one I needed! We encountered two more offers of help before we left the store!

He - "Wasn't that refreshing?"

Me - "I'm kind of in shock!"

I'm still in shock. The Home Depot might be my new favorite store!

Friday, February 18, 2011

How to Snow Ski

I know the temperatures flirted with 70 degrees this week, but I can assure you it isn't spring yet! I'm still hitting the slopes. For those of you who have thought about it, but are still a bit too timid to try, here is a tutorial to help you decide. For the avid skier, it's just fun to reminisce.

Step One: Find a Friend

The initial desire to snow ski most often occurs when one becomes acquainted with an avid skier. Just as yawning can be contagious, the excitement emitted by skiing enthusiasts promotes envy and curiosity not easily denied. Hopefully, the skiing friend is also blessed with good communication skills and abundant patience.

Step Two: Find a Mountain

Any mountain will do, as long as it comes equipped with snow and some form of mountain ascending apparatus such as a chair lift, gondola, tram, or even the ever eventful rope tow. Instructions will follow.

Step Three: Locate Equipment

A few items of protective gear are necessary to ensure fun and safety on his maiden voyage into the great white wonderland of downhill skiing. Clothing that is both warm and comfortable is most suitable. Style is underrated at this point in one’s skiing career. It is folly to don expensive clothing that will only call attention to one as he is careening out of control down a mountain slope! Something that screams, “I borrowed all these clothes because I really don’t know what I’m doing and don’t plan to invest in style until I have survived my first outing,” will gain the most tolerance and empathy from onlookers. Layers of clothing will provide the most warmth and cushion. Yes, cushion will be needed! Gloves, socks, and some kind of head wear will protect extremities from the cold and other occurrences. A helmet is recommended. Other necessary items are eye covering (sunglasses or goggles will do), ski boots, skis, poles, and Ibuprofen.

Step Four: Tap Savings Account

Skiing is not an inexpensive sport! After the obvious costs of equipment and ski passes, one must face the hidden costs associated with this winter sport.

Transportation to ski resort. Do you live in Vail, Colorado? Probably not. Then some sort of travel will be required, whether by train, plane, bus, or the ever affordable thumb. Yes, skiers do hitchhike.

Lunch money. It isn’t called a resort for nothing. Food is not cheap on the mountain. After paying the exorbitant lift ticket price, one will be determined to spend the entire day to “get his money’s worth.” Hunger will ensue. Depending on the notoriety of the resort, one may eat a sack lunch in the friendly local lodge, or he may pay as much as ten dollars for a bowl of soup and three dollars for the bottle of water required to wash down two Ibuprofen tablets.

Rental fees. Unless one is fortunate enough to have a friend with not-so-used equipment and the boots just happen to fit, he will be required to pay an average of $30 for rental equipment. This is not a year long lease. It only covers use for one day on the mountain!

Replacement gloves. See rope tow instructions.

Chiropractor or emergency room fees.

Step Five: Travel to Ski Area

Did you remember the Dramamine? The trip to the ski hill, unless originating in the mountains, will require some travel upward. If one is fortunate, a highway may deposit him at the base of the mountain. More often, several miles of sharp hairpin curves precede arrival at a ski area. One of the most notable is Bogus Basin Road. Located a mere sixteen miles from the busy metropolis of Boise, Idaho, Bogus Basin Ski Resort is a relatively well kept secret simply because the trip is not for wimps!

Step Six: Don Ski Gear

After piling layers of clothing onto a shivering body (the shivers may be due to slowed circulation promoted by nervousness) one must now insert feet into ski boots. This may take some time.

Ski boots, however expensive and attractive in color and design, are not typically user friendly, especially for the novice. Fortunately, the human ankle flexes! If one’s youth, agility, and multiple clothing layers permit, bend over and grasp top of boot with both hands, prying it open simultaneously balancing on one leg and inserting toe into top of boot. If one is still upright, transfer entire bulk of body weight onto leg sporting ski boot and attempt to force foot further into boot until sole rests on boot foot bed. If this method is unsuccessful, transfer entire bulk of body weight onto back of friend while said friend pries open ski boot. Insert toe as previously described. When foot is secure in boot foot bed, stand upright and suck in much needed breath. Take two if necessary. Bend over again and tighten buckle clasps, taking care to keep fingers, gloves, cute stocking cap tassels, and other significant items free of boot buckles.

Step Seven: Locate Ice Pack

Having closed boot buckle on index finger, one must quickly apply cold pack to reduce swelling and discoloration. Remember, you are on a mountain in winter. Locate nearest snow bank and plunge finger into the cold source.

Ask friend to buckle boots.

Step Eight: Repeat Step Six

Omit Step Seven if possible!

Step Nine: Click On Bindings

This is the process of attaching skis to boots. Once again, balance or the employment of a patient friend is necessary. Place skis parallel to each other on a flat snowy area. Flat is the operative word. Stand to the left and center of skis.

Ensure ski bindings are in the OPEN position. (You don’t really have time to learn the difference today so just ask your friend to check.)

Grasp a ski pole in each hand and plant firmly into snow on either side of skis.

Raise one foot in preparation to attach binding. This will be surprisingly difficult as ski boots are larger, heavier, and less comfortable than everyday footwear.

Insert right toe of ski boot into front binding of respective ski. In one smooth action, transfer entire body weight onto right leg and catch rear binding squarely with heal of boot. Anticipate loud click confirming binding is engaged.

No click? You missed, or you wimped out! Try again. This time, keep boot straight and actually transfer weight onto right leg rather than onto the security of ski poles.

Step Ten: Whoa!

I said “flat” snowy area. Skies will lie deceptively still until weight is applied, at which time they will travel in a downward direction – forward or backwards – depending on the slope of the snow they are resting upon!

If you maintained possession of your ski poles during your little ride, use them to help yourself to a standing position. Ski should still be attached to boot. If not, pick it up and repeat Step Nine.

Step Eleven: Locate Left Ski

Once you are upright, get a visual on your missing ski. Then get a visual on a nice looking stranger close to your ski and call to them, pleading for assistance. Your skier friend will be of no service as he is currently engulfed in tearful guffaws.

Step Twelve: Repeat Step Nine

Successfully. At this point your friend should have recovered from his belly busting bliss and is now ready to instruct you in mobility and control.

Step Thirteen: Mobility

Can you do the splits? Commonly known as a snow plow or piece of pizza, the wedge is the first ski technique (after apparel donning and equipment engagement) one must learn. Mastering the wedge allows for stopping and turning, two very important skills for an individual careening downhill on a tree lined slope.

This is accomplished by bringing the tips of ones skis almost in touching position while spreading feet and ends of skis far, FAR apart. When performed properly, the wedge feels as if one is attempting the Chinese Splits!

Step Fourteen: Quack, Quack!

Having perfected the “stop” skill of the wedge, it is now time to move. Maintaining wedge position, begin walking like a duck. This will allow you to move up or downhill, as well as apply brakes when necessary. Make your way to the rope tow.

Step Fifteen: Do the Shuffle

Failing to make skis move, tiring of the wedge, and desperately needing relief of wedge induced hip cramps, give up and do the shuffle. This is not an approved ski technique, rather an act of desperation. It is accomplished by attempting to walk in ones skis. Unfortunately, the forward motion of one foot forces the slick underside of the opposite snow ski in a backwards direction, resulting in one step forward – three-quarters step back.

Not to worry, skier friend will presently become frustrated and help you to the rope tow. This will involve holding on to his ski pole while he drags you forward, or having his gloved hands push you from behind. Either way, you get a much needed rest!

Step Sixteen: Encounter the Rope Tow

It’s not really a rope. It’s a cable! And you have to hold onto it while it drags you up the bunny (beginner) hill. You must now forget everything you have learned about skiing techniques to-date. In other words, “Don’t snow plow!”

Duck walk or shuffle your way to a position lateral (that means beside) the moving cable. Skis should be parallel to one another and parallel to the cable. Hopefully, the snowy surface beneath is flat!

Squat. That’s right, bend knees so that legs are flexed and springy! This may be difficult depending upon the time and energy exhausted while learning the wedge position!

Maintaining squatting stance and keeping skis straight, gently move hands into a position around the cable similar to that of a golfer’s grip. Patiently close hands around cable and allow it to pull you towards the top of the slope. Immediately the need for springy flexed legs will become apparent. Now the rope tow is in charge!

If one is able to maintain his stance, the cable will bring him safely to top of slope where he must quickly let go of the cable, move skis into a slight wedge to allow them to turn away from the cable, and then form a stronger wedge to come to a complete stop.

Unfortunately, this is easier instructed than accomplished.

Step Seventeen: Damage Control

That little stance while holding onto cable wasn’t so easy, was it? Having moved several yards along the tow path before losing one’s balance and crashing to the ground, skier must now repeat Steps Ten, Nine, Sixteen and quite possibly Step Eleven. In that order! Skier friend will once again be doubled over in uncontrollable fits of laughter.

Repeat Step Sixteen successfully.

Step Seventeen: Ski!

Having made his way to the top of a small slope – remember, bunny hill is short for, “You really don’t have any business being here” – it is now time to careen down the slope. Maintain a wedge! Point skis downhill and let ‘em run! Do one’s best to avoid contact with any object not made of snow such as other skiers and/or their equipment. It would be good to cover some control and turning points; however, the skier and this writer are nearly exhausted. Skier will most assuredly be too excited or scared to recall any techniques other than the wedge; therefore, those points will not be covered at this time.

Step Eighteen: Do One or More of the Following.

Take four Ibuprofen, see your chiropractor, or … visit the emergency room of the nearest hospital.