Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cross this off my bucket list!

I ran my first whole mile today. Ever.

This may not seem like a big thing to you-but to me it is monumental.

Having unmedicated asthma and severe airborne allergies-sports were never my thing.
I wanted to run, but was never successful.
The farthest I have run in the past was 440 yards.  (1/4 mile / 1 time around a track)-and that was after a couple months of trying.

Now, with asthma and allergies controlled and a strong desire to succeed, I am attempting to run again.  It has not been easy.  I tried the Couch to 5K program.  I never even made it past Week 1.
I didn't have the right shoes and got patellar tendonitus. My knee became too stiff to walk steps easily.

I gave up twice and let my body heal-and bought new shoes.  I lost 10 pounds.

I have great motivators, however, via Twitter and daily mile.  My friends run.  5K, 10K and half-marathons.  I want that. (at least the 5K part).

This summer I have walked several times a week.  Faster and Faster.  I began running the short blocks here and there on my route that was flat.  I increased my running.  I made sure to have lots of rest days and "just walking" days.

Today, I ran a whole mile on a flat trail. I walked the mile back-telling myself the whole time to take it easy because I really wanted to run intervals back.

I am sure I will hurt tomorrow.  The muscles above my ankles/lower part of shin burned the last part of the run.

It will be worth it!  It felt great!  I can't wait to do it again!

Monday, September 27, 2010


I did it!  I attended PodCamp Pittsburgh this year!
I signed up early-and wavered back and forth about actually attending.  I really wanted to go-but dreaded two things:
1)  Not knowing people-and afraid that everyone would know everyone else and I would just be lost...I was feeling out of place-and out of my league-I have this little blog-and I am on Twitter--but I am but a speck in the whole blogosphere and twitteruniverse. A tiny speck.
2)  Telling my husband where I was going-he is SO NOT into the whole social media movement.  (well I didn't dread telling him where I was going-but dreaded having to listen to what he would say about it all....) He refuses to have a facebook page and sees no use for twitter or blogs.  It will take someone else to convince him of the wonders to be found and the friends to be made using social media.

Then, I realized that some of my tweeps were going to be there and  I could hide with them until I felt comfy.  In reality-this didn't happen much-but I managed and struck up conversations with some great people.  I fake being outgoing (Fake it until you make it!) pretty well-but inside I am scanning for the best hiding places!

As for the husband-he still doesn't get it, but took the reason for my absence from our weekly ritual of watching of WVU football without saying much-and even texted me updates from the game.

I learned so much and met some amazing people-too many to list.  Too many to remember.  I met some new people:

I met @tallcathy (Kiss 96.1) and Secret Agent L  (Notable because (squee!) both are taller than me-a rare thing for me at 5'9"!)
I met @unclecrappy  (He encouraged me to come via twitter when I was waffling!)
I met 2 of the BitchBurgh women (one of whom I share an odd allergy with (Wormy) and one (hotmama) who helped me more than she knows by talking to me when I was waiting for things to start!)
 I discovered that one of my tweeps was family.  Which was great and funny all at once! 

I went to great presentations by @burghbaby, @secretagentL, @justinkownacki, @bitchburg and others!  I learned a lot and definitely plan on returning next year! 

My favorite quote from Podcamp?:
She loves people and puppies-more than shoes and handbags...

I am so glad I went!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

God Bless Southwest

It was like a movie-the Southwest airline worker asked for our Driver's License and all 3 of ours hit the counter at the exact same time-in a little circle.  This was closely followed by a credit card-landing right in the middle.  The Airline worker is yelling across the room to "hold the plane!" as another airline worker was about to shut the door to the jetwalk and my brother, sister and I are all panting and apologizing to the many people in line that we cut in front of and not even caring where this plane is going-as long as it is going to St. Louis.

My brother, sister and I were flying to St. Louis to our grandfather's funeral. 

A funeral that had family visitation in 3.5 hours.

And our flight had been canceled.

We were supposed to be flying on USAir.  We arrived at the airport early and cleared security.  We sat in a bar and loaded the terrified to fly sister up with some liquid courage.  We bantered back and forth as siblings do-keeping our thoughts well away from the reason for this trip. Then, things went south.

The parents had flown out to St. Louis on the exact same USAir flight the day before to take care of the few remaining funeral arrangement details that had to be done in person.  Except the flight was canceled due to engine trouble and they ended up sitting in Chicago, finally getting to St. Louis around 9pm-long after the cemetery and funeral home had closed.

45 minutes before takeoff the phone calls started.  My Dad, very stressed, was calling because our flight was reporting a delay.  At the gate it was still reading "on time".  I nicely approached the worker and asked him about the flight-using the words we know what happened yesterday and we have to be at the funeral (visitation) tonight.  He was nice and said that the plane was fixed and flying in from Hartford-and was running late but we would be out on time.   10 minutes later the board registers a 15 minute delay.  My brother approaches him this time.  He knows our situation, he says, and this plane is fine and just behind schedule.  The flight arrives and some of the passengers get off.  10 minutes later, they make the remaining passengers (who were going on to St. Louis) get off.  Then the flight attendants and pilots get off.  The status changes to "delayed" and the airline worker disappears.  This is bad. We hear words like "engine trouble" floating around.  WE are the only ones who know this is the same damn plane as yesterday that had the same damn problem. WE are not happy.  WE know this is not good.

My brother goes directly to the source-the pilot.  He talks to him for about 30 seconds and then walks to the Customer Service Desk down the hall. 5 minutes pass and he calls and tells me to grab the sister all of our bags and RUN.  Our flight is canceled and there is a Southwest Flight boarding now-leaving in 4 minutes.   I grab sis and our bags and take off.  She asks what's going on and I loudly yell to her (and the entire waiting room) It is canceled.  We have to go NOW! 

So-if you were in the airport around 2:15 Tuesday you saw 3 adults running as fast as they could-bags in hand-through the concourse.  In the middle of this-MY phone rings.  It is our Dad.  I answered the phone, dropping my brothers water bottle and my purse and yell "WHAT?  I am running as fast as I can!! We have 2 minutes to get on this plane or we are not making it to St. Louis tonight!"  Dead silence on the other end-and then a "call me when you know if you can get on a flight".

We have no idea where to go other than "Concourse B"  So I run up to the first desk and ask for help, gasping and out of breath (asthma-I felt fine-just sounded bad).  The Southwest person was immediately helpful.  She asked what was wrong-and told us she could help us-the flight behind her was the one we wanted.  She calmly stopped what she was doing and started working on our problem-while letting the long line (of nice and understanding travelers going somewhere else-thank you, btw!) know that our situation required her immediate attention.  In 5 minutes we had tickets, a flight number and the knowledge we would stop in Chicago on this plane-but not get off-and were on the plane-door closed and getting our pre-flight directions (exit doors, etc.)  I was on the phone-literally standing at the plane-touching it-while on the phone with my Dad letting him know the flight details-and that our return flight needed rebooked because USAir canceled our entire tickets.  I am not even sure if we GOT paper tickets-all I had was receipts for paying for them.

There were other hiccups-but all of them mild in comparison:  A windy Chicago delayed our take off for bag wouldn't fit in the overhead (I was last on the plane) and asked then to "check" it-they did but I had no idea that meant I had to go to baggage claim to get it-another delay. 

We kept sis fairly liquored up and I asked a couple of people to move on the plane so we could sit together (or THEY would have to deal with her  :)  ) and they complied-and wouldn't even let me bye them a drink!  I kept her mind occupied on the first leg-and handed her off the the brother for the second leg.  By some small miracle we encountered ZERO traffic during rush hour.

In the end, we arrived at the hotel about 60-90 minutes later than we first planned-but we were at the funeral home for the majority of the Visitation.  Which, considering the alternative (late night arrival) was great.

Thank God I had that double shot of Tequila!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Grandpa

My grandpa:

-was the most honest and ethical man you would ever meet.

-was meticulous, methodical, a perfectionist, patient and kind.
Everything had it's place. He picked up microscopic pieces of lint of the freshly vacuumed floor.  Recently, my dad found a file labeled "raincoat" in a filing cabinet full of stuff of my grandfathers-work stuff, bills, etc.  He expected to find a warranty for some kind of raincoat.  Inside this paper thin file was-a perfectly folded vinyl raincoat. I found a book about math or chemistry or some science today of his today when sorting a box looking for pictures to take to St. Louis.  His printing was the neatest printing I have ever seen.  It resembled a type writer. The drawings were perfect and exact.  There were no eraser marks, no pages missing.

-wore bolo ties and "Mr. Rogers" sweaters.  Wore slacks every day.  He wore a suit coat and hat when he went out.  I never saw him in khakis or jeans-even when doing any type of work around the house. 

-collected stamps (and some coins).

-would not let me walk on the (paved) driveway in bare feet.  There is a picture somewhere of me with one foot in the grass and one on the driveway looking at him with a glint in my eye.

-started at a chemical company (now Bayer) as a washer of beakers and test tubes while going to college.  He retired as Treasurer.

-loved my grandmother.  I have pictures of him looking adoringly at her throughout their life together.

-was a gentle, patient man.  Never raised his voice to us grandkids-even when obviously annoyed with us.

-was my only grandfather.  I have 4 grandmothers that I remember (both of my parent's parents and their parents (in other words-my grandma and great-grandma-from both sides of my family).  But only 1 grandfather exists in my memories.  The rest were gone before I was born.

My grandpa died yesterday.  He joins my grandma, his wife of over 60 years, who died 3 months ago .
He lived a wonderful life.  The last couple years he has steadily declined and had his ups and downs, good days and bad days. He was 94.  I was blessed to have him as a grandfather.

I miss him...

Friday, September 17, 2010

I blinked....

I blinked...
-and it is almost fall.  It seems like just a few weeks ago Snowmageddon occurred and we had  almost 2 feet of snow overnight.


-3 weeks ago it was HOT and HUMID!.   90's! The kind of hot where you want to stay in the shade!


 -So hot I wore a dress to work it was so hot (me sitting on the floor playing with preschoolers all day is not exactly dress up time).

-Now, I see the trees are turning to golds and red-no longer "just 1 or 2"-but most have some spots of change.

-There are leaves all over my yard-laying on still blooming flowers and green grass.

-I saw Halloween decorations in yards today.

-My husband suggested taking the air conditioners out of the windows.

-I love the colors of fall
-I love the smells of autumn
-I love halloween
-I love football weather

-It was what I missed most when we lived in Florida

-Now, what I miss most is warm, sunny, hot weather.

-Could we just skip winter this year? Huh? Just once?  No daytime temperatures below 60? Lots of sun? No snow? No cold rainy icky yucky days? No ice? No dead landscape? None of it.  I don't think anyone would miss it this year...Please?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

YouTube Finds

Some feel good videos.....

My absolute favorite Simon's Cat video.  Classic.

This cat doesn't move...but each fram he gets closer..and closer