Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two Overs

I was running in the forest near my house when I came upon a woman who looked as if she knew where she was going.  We ran by each other twice, and she didn't seem like the predator-type.  She didn't look like a murderous, pistol packing jogger so I stopped her to ask if I was on the right trail.

She was middle aged, in sporty jogging clothes and had a streak of purple in her dark hair.  She was jogging with business cards, and her skin hung from her body as if she had lost a lot of weight.  Once I stopped her, I knew my mistake.  I wished I could jog a few extra lost miles to escape the conversation that I saw coming.  My predator light started blinking.

This woman uses her jogs to sell diet pills and shakes.  She gave me her sales pitch:  look at me, I used to be so fat, now I'm sporty and running and have 7 kids, I drink these shakes and take these pills and look how good I look, I'm so pretty now, and how sporty I am now.......

I politely told her that I live a clean life.  I eat my veggies, stay active, drink water and would rather do it my way.  Then she did something amazing: she looked at me and saw me.  Up and down and said, "Well, you're not over-over weight".

My human brain stopped working and the primal-me, the one who doesn't use her frontal lobes, reeled.  OVER-OVER WEIGHT?  Really, did she say that? One 'over' would be a compliment and even the truth, but two was a lie to sell me diet pills and shakes.
This is me from top to bottom, not being over-over weight.

In my defense I was much heavier when I was younger and having babies.  Now, I'm leaner.  I work hard to be leaner and yet at the same time, I'm not comparing myself to anyone, I'm not trying too hard, and I'm not perfect (just like you).  This woman made me want to compare myself to her, to steal the joy from what could have been a friendly conversation in a beautiful forest.  She had already stollen it.

She handed me her card with her number and name, which a mile later I tucked under an old stump (don't tell the park rangers).  Before I was able to escape she told me, "Oh, I also own a salon and we specialize in curly hair."  My hair is actually awesome.  I think I'll just keep running.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Century Run

Several years ago I started running for exercises.   I started because it is a cheap way to get my heart-rate up, and if you live somewhere beautiful, like I do, it's a great way to get outdoors.  Those reasons do not make me a great runner, or even good.  I am not built like a runner:  I'm slow, I'm big, I walk up steep hills, if it's too cold I stay in, if it's too hot I stay in, if I'm injured I stay in, and what's more, I get headaches if I push myself under any of the aforementioned scenarios. (look at the stats in the photo to get an idea of my running mediocrity)  People have to really like me to go running with me.  I'm worth being with, but not as much on a run.

All those problems aside, I ran 100 miles!  I have run several times 100 miles over the last 3 years, but my phone didn't tell me.  I feel like I won an award, just looking at the number 100!  There are a few things/people I would like to thank for my milestone:

I have more to say about running, and I will, but just not today.  Also, don't ask me how long it took me to run 100 miles.  The main reason is I don't know, but I do know it was a long time!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Would do Anything for Love

Today I found a bird while working in the yard.  It's no secret that I suffer from an irrational fear of birds.  I've blogged about it.  It was small, wounded or sick, and hopping around.  In a crazy-mom-move, I put the pets in the garage, got the bird book and the kids and we went out to figure out what kind of bird was sick in the yard.  

They were so excited to save a small life.  I was excited for them, but not to confident that the bird would recover.  I might have even been ambivalent scared.  Imagine my good fortune to live directly next door to the head of the Sierra Audubon society.  He is a bird lover, and I have told him I'm no good with birds.  I sent the kids over there for his help.  

He gave us the number for the wild-life rescue association in town, and we took the bird there only seconds after I figured out the kids were not going to let the bird's life be up to fate/nature.  This got the bird out of range of flying near me, and made them small heros.  

They made the calls, they filled out the paperwork, they captured the Black Gross Beak.  It turns out that the small juvenile bird was not sick, or injured, just tired.  He was too young to fly all the way with the adults, so he took a rest in my flower bed.  

Hopefully he will be flying the skies soon, after a nap and a sandwich.  I proved to myself that I would do anything for love, even if there are small flying creatures involved.

Also, if you are a Meatloaf fan, you might remember his hit, "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that".  It reminded me of today, except for the last bit of the title.  Warning: it has the words 'sex', 'drugs', and 'rock-and-roll'.  Be warned!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Potato Tower Update

The potatoes in the tower are budding. I would be excited, but they would do that in the cupboard. My experiment is still in the trial phase.
The greens in top (which appear yellow, not green, as they are covered with pollen) are nearly ready. They will be our 'first fruits'.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

I Carry Your Heart

This an article by Robert Krulwich about how fetal cells transfer into his or her mother.  Little bits of my babies are in my body.  It's science!  

I had a feeling this was true before I heard about the science.  Moms know this truth even before science can discover it.  When I look at my kids, I feel a part of them in me, still.

I love science.  

This article reminds me of a poem that I used to think was the perfect way to describe the love I have for my husband.  As I have loved him more and more, and loved people more and more, I have changed my mind about this poem.  For me now, it is about my children. 

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Maiden Voyage

We took our trailer to Tahoe.  I can suggest going to Tahoe at the beginning of May, or in October.  People forget that they want to flock to the lake, and it was mostly left to us.  We spent some time hiking towards the Desolation Wilderness, until the snow covered the trail.  We ate home cooked food and washed off in a hot shower.  We came home refreshed and happy!  The cold nights weren't a bother, and we learned all the workings of the Airstream.

I wasn't expecting to have other campers want a tour of the trailer, but it is cute and fun, so they wanted a look.  Good thing we are so friendly.   

Monday, May 07, 2012

Chocolate Liberty

Photo by P.R.Frank

This week my friend sent me this photo as he led students on a trip to NYC.  It reminded me of a story:

When I was in elementary school the Statue of Liberty was refurbished and celebrated its 100th birthday.  On the shirt-tails of the media hype, and to earn money, our school sold mini chocolate Statue of Liberties.  They were akin to Easter chocolate bunnies, but more patriotic.

I sold a few to friends and neighbors and was given them in a brown grocery bag to transport home on the school bus.  They came with a stern warning not to take them out of the bag, or box, or touch them, or look at them sideways until they were safely in their paying owner's possession.

Not five minutes into a forty minute bus ride, I had all of them out, on the green bus seat, admiring them: the shiny plastic window, the blue box, and mostly, the amount of chocolate in my private possession.  

Not 6 minutes into the forty minute bus ride, the engine of my big yellow school bus caught on fire.  The driver pulled over in a cloud of smoke, and the big kids in the back pulled open the emergency door.  The driver told all of us to leave the bus as quickly and orderly as possible and to leave all our things on the bus. 

I felt my eight year old heart pounding in my ears.   It was pounding with fear, yes, but mostly with guilt.  There was the empty brown bag, all the chocolate in a heap on the seat, and most of the bus length between me and the emergency exit.  Did I leave the chocolate on the seat and expose my rebellion?  Did burn up in an exploding school bus?  These were the questions my adrenaline was pushing through my mind.

I scrambled to stuff the chocolate back into the bag and exit through the back, just as the driver doused the fire with an extinguisher.  Mrs. Fitzpatrick would never know.  I sacrificed my safety for chocolate.

I stood in a line with the other students, our backs to the trashy miner's cabins that would soon be torn down, and waited for the rescue bus.

Still to this day, when I see that green statue, my stomach does a flip from the memory of the fire and the guilt.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Adventure Choir

I'm nearly certain that this child is one-in-a-million.  She might be the only child on record to break her toe while at choir.  Last night we had to get her early because she hurt herself.  This morning it is bruised, swollen and clearly broken.  She broke it while on a break, on the slide.

I have been told to roll her in bubble wrap, and I just might need to, if it is my job to keep her alive until she is an adult.