So Little to Do, So Much Time. . . Eh, Scratch That, Reverse It

To quote Willy Wonka. . . well, Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka. . .

I am a bit obsessed with this movie (and many others) that apparently (at least this one in particular) drives my mother to the point of no return. Sorry mom, it spoke to me when I was little and it still does. A great movie with great thoughts of how to treat others. Even when you think that life is full of worms.

But I have so much to do and so little time to do it! Ahh, yes, dear fall, you tiptoed in and now I am all a flutter about what needs to be done. As in, dear Lord, grant me enough concentration that will at least get me through the middle of the month. Or at least grant me a padded room for October 15th when I go into a fetal position and swear up and down never to let things get this far behind, ever, ever again!

While I may not be in Nashville working at that office; I did manage to finagle a day of pay to go back and oversee the party that I have planned the past couple of years. And I would have taken a vacation day to do this if I had to have gone that route. The loyalty I have for my former office still surprises me. But it was an instant warm, fuzzy feeling the moment I stepped off the elevator and did my first interview. A feeling that hasn’t gone away and while I could complain about things within that office I don’t now because I had a good thing going around there.

I have left other jobs, thankful to have gotten away, not missing much about the work, etc. but this has been different. I had a creative outlet and let me tell you, I love Excel and playing with numbers but not having that outlet like before can make even the geekiest person OD and have nightmares about spreadsheets coming after them. Trust.

But the party is drawing near and I am panicking, I feel like so much needs to be done and have I done anything on my checklist? Umm, no. . . sorry about that. Seems real life gets in the way and I also feel like my first priority is to get my reports done and to clients. And then I wake up in the middle of the night with a start and then start preparing that mental list that I have written way too many times.

Yes, I have a sickness. I apologize for that. If I thought therapy or even a drug would help that OCD, control freak, only I can do it mentality that is within me, I would. Because I know people in my life have wanted to smack me on top of the head when I am wound up like this. And it will go away (at least this time) around lunch time on the 15th.

While I am a messy girl I am somewhat a freak when it comes to planning events. I have yet to figure out a way to channel that quirk into a clean and tidy apartment. But this is one of those times where I will hunker down, hammer out when needs to be done and I will then let others help me. I started allowing this to happen last year. One of my too good to be true coworkers who is a nut asked me what needed to be done. I told him gift bags needed to be setup on the table. . .he did it and then starting sucking the helium out of balloons. When I turned to look at the table, well, it wasn’t how I would have put them out but I realized then and there. . .you ask for help, you let them help you and then you are thankful for that help. No need to change things around, no need to say it should be another way, just let it go. Because that person helped you out, got one more thing off that list and made it one of the easiest setups I have been a part of.

Of course this year when he agreed to help again he did hedge it with the decree of I better provide a better lunch than Wendy’s (which I had done last year) . . . you got it! That is one of the easier tasks at hand! I would offer up a nice steak lunch but that is not in my budget. Sorry about that.

Oh and we are skipping balloons this year. Well, maybe we will have a few. . .

Shallow Hal

It is on one of the many movie channels and I watched it for the first time in a long time today. It is one of those movies that makes you laugh and think. And also makes me wish that there was a simple phrase that could be said to make everyone be kind and show just how beautiful on the inside they are.

I have been up and down that retched scale, I have been a size zero and I have been a size I prefer not to mention. But the reality is I am who I am. And no matter what that scale says or what the size on the label I may wear, I am still me.

And this is where I hope and pray that someday (sooner rather than later though) I will find that special guy who will love me for me. Thunder thighs and all! LOL I have known guys in the past that are similar to Shallow Hal and while they might have been nice and cute, that part of their personality was just plain ugly. I may not have seen it at the time but looking back, well, they do say love is blind.

While the boy never said anything negative about my outward beauty, I knew that he did like to be seen a certain way. I guess when you have some negative marks on your personality you feel like you need to make up for it somehow.

It is great that towards the end of the movie Hal gets it and realizes that true beauty is from within. He had been so busy running around trying to impress God only knows who and when he finally was blinded from outward appearances, he realized that looks may fade. The most important thing is having someone you can talk to, laugh with and be yourself, even when it might be a bit ugly.

I can be scary looking when I get up of a morning, hair going everywhere, but I can still laugh, smile and be kind. I can’t look fab every minute of everyday! And even coming out of surgery, while really out of it, hair everywhere and smacking my lips because I was so dang thirsty, I made my friends laugh. And that laughter goes a long way.

The movie was a great reminder that loving yourself and being true to who you are is important. I won’t shrug off the nice clothes or anything but I don’t let that rule my life. And I think anyone can see I have not missed a meal. I love good food and will pass it up because that would just be sad. At least the boy had no issues with feeding me! But I have to say I am not very grateful for the pounds I added on while eating his food.

So, the next time you think of passing judgment on how someone looks, be careful, you may miss out on an opportunity to get to know someone that is fantastic, smart, witty and full of life.


Target is standing and I managed to make it through my little shopping jaunt with little discomfort. I wandered around trying to remember what I needed and managed to get through there without going overboard.

I did end up with slight damage to my eardrums though. While mama was busy looking at hair care products I was treated to the screeching sounds of a toddler roaming the aisles while his big brother followed him around laughing. After getting about two aisles away from mama, she finally shouted for them to come back to her.

I was actually shocked that she even did that since she didn’t seem concerned about them. Then I heard her say to the older one to just give whatever item the little one was screeching about to him. I guess this is the new parenting mantra. . .

But it was nice to be out and about minus the boot. I still move slowly but getting in and out of the car is far easier now. Plus I don’t seem to lose my balance as easily going up and down the steps.

So I have now set a goal for myself that I will not injure any body part the rest of the year. I am ready to get back into normal shoes and soon, hopefully walk with more grace than I have the last month.

Of course, it was kind of nice having a great reason as to why I should not go roam Target. I love that place but I think it has designs on my budget. Meaning it wants to drain me dry of any pocket change I might have. . . I kept it under $50 and it was for things needed.

Getting Stronger

Well kids, it looks like physical therapy is helping. I have been focusing on my leg the past couple of weeks, taking a break from rehabbing my back. While my back is doing much better, the torn calf muscle put a kink in my plans to be all better by now.

The best part about rehab for my leg? It ends with a massage and heat. Heavenly! Of course, there are a couple of points on my calf that hurt like the dickens but I am no longer flinching when they get to that area. But I still maintain that I think a broken bone would have been easier to deal with. . .

Taking the boot off when I get home is a wonderful feeling, especially if I have been really active during the day. But I walk really funny now because I have been so trained by the boot to keep everything immobile. So next week starts the fun times of learning how to balance, walk and put full weight on it. The boot comes off when I get home from work Friday and I will use the weekend to test out my new freedom. Of course, if I still feel pain I am to call the ortho back and I might be forced to wear the boot again.

I did a test run of the stairs last night, just a few steps, up and down, without the boot on. Yes, I look like a frail old woman because I refuse to take the steps like most people do. I step up with the good leg and then bring the injured one up. Going down, I go down with the bad leg and my good leg joins it on that step. It takes longer but hey, I prefer to keep this injury to a minimum.

Of course, while stuck in the boot I have done a number on my hips and back. My right leg is beyond tired from having to support all of me all of the time. I guess I am just thankful I didn’t have to deal with crutches. That would have been even worse.

But I can tell a difference and this has motivated me even more to get back on that exercise horse and back with the program. I hate to exercise but when you end up with two injuries within a couple months of each other, well, I am thinking that this extra weight wasn’t helping me.

I have found that strangers (well some) have been quite kind. Offering up sympathies, prayers and well wishes. And of course I cannot forget the man who helped me concoct a great story of how I really did hurt myself. . .

While I have been working on getting stronger physically, I have also been working on getting me back to somewhat normal. As normal as I can be. . .sometimes when you are feeling bad about life in general, you tend to wallow in that mud. But I have been working on finding the joy of each day. Sure, I miss home but I do have plenty to be thankful for. And sure, that blind date from this past weekend was nice and it hurt my feelings a bit when I found out he just wasn’t that into me but I have friends that rally and make me laugh. And I have a cat who thinks that I should be here with him 24/7 but at least I know that is his way of saying how much he loves me. Even when he is trying to use my hand as a chew toy.

So I am getting better, stronger and look out world, because I will be a walking mess this weekend. I think a trip to Target is in order. . .haven’t been there in a month. How have they survived without me there, roaming around????

Dreams & a Sign

I dreamed about Granny and Popa last night. It was a nice dream, even if I don’t remember much of it. We were just spending time together, talking and eating. They were much younger in my dream, the way I remember them from when I was little. Sometimes, it is just nice to see them again. It doesn’t even matter that I can’t recall what we talked about or what we ate. Just spending time together at their house.

Popa, in the latter years of his life would sit out on the deck and people watch. At that time, Granny and Aunt Jean had started to hang hummingbird feeders as well as feeding all the birds that came to spend time in their yard. The hummingbirds were a crazy little group. They would dive bomb towards Popa’s head and he would just laugh. He thought it was funny, I thought it was a bit dangerous.

But since then I tend to think of him when I see this little birds flying at breakneck speed. My downstairs neighbor hung a feeder on the tree that sits beside our decks. I will catch a glimpse of them from time to time. Last week, one perched on the flag pole and just sat there. Which I found odd since I thought they were always in motion. But this little guy just sat there, looking at me and resting. He was awfully cute.

I stepped out on my deck this evening to sit and read for a bit when I heard a very loud buzzing near my head. I pulled my arms up around my head and ducked, fearing it was some massive bee getting ready to let me know if I am truly allergic to their sting. When the noise subsided, I looked up and saw a hummingbird flying away from me. Hi Popa, thanks for sending that sweet little thing by me but next time could we go for a bit more subtlety? My heart hasn’t stopped racing since that fly by.

I know some people think that signs are silly or don’t mean anything but I like to think that sometimes the memory of a smell, a rainbow or even that hummingbird trying to cause a heart attack is just a way that God likes to remind us that those we lost are still here and still watching over us.

And that brings a smile to my face. Especially after talking about food nonstop to my PT this afternoon. Apparently I really am a lot like my Popa. . .

A Great Weekend

What a wonderful weekend! Despite the PT Friday afternoon, all in all, this has been a great one. I have spent way too many hours watching football, analyzing my fantasy football teams and just down right enjoying the cooler weather.

On the PT front, my back PT is on hold since I have managed to do fairly decently in that department and my wonderful therapist wanted to save a few visits for when I get out of the boot. My leg on the other hand is a bit more challenging. It is one thing to do PT when your injury is pretty much healed but when you still have an injury, it can be painful, frustrating and well, crappy. I am doing okay in terms of rehabbing my leg but I can tell when I have been working it a bit harder. PT seems to knock it over the edge and I am finding that the smooth movements I have in my right leg don’t translate to the left. Meaning, my leg and foot look all kinds of jumpy when I am working with it.

Friday I took the boot off for my workout and the PT noticed that my ankle was swollen. More than likely it is from sitting at a desk and working in the boot. But to have a cankle makes me a bit sad. The massage and heat at the end are great, well, the massage can hurt a bit since they are working on the muscle but still. It seems to make it feel a bit better. I am going through my exercises nightly and have noticed that if I have given it a really good workout, I am achy through the night and when I wake up.

Football, man I have missed you. Life makes sense when the temps get cooler and pigskin is in play. Georgia looked horrible and I was saddened by that, Ole Miss pulled out a win (thank goodness) and Tennessee lost. Poor Vandy didn’t even show up to play LSU, oh well, maybe next Saturday. . .

I was a bit nervous about today, my Steelers played decently but I hate seeing teams scoring field goals only. They pulled it out in OT and I just love watching Polumolu run around the field with his pretty hair. The Titans played solid and while I was cheering for them this week, sorry boys, my Steelers will be in Nashville and that means I will be screaming, I mean cheering, for them.

I did manage to be somewhat productive this weekend. I cooked up a pot of Potato Leek Soup as well as some yummy brownies, ala Martha Stewart. Once this boot is off for good, I will be attempting French Onion Soup and going to my favorite recipe, Beef Burgundy. I have missed cooking Julia, so with cooler temps and plenty of football on, I am ready to hit the kitchen.

I am hoping for some good news from the doctor on Friday; if all goes well, I will be out of the boot. While I still cannot walk normal and I am majorly scared of attempting the stairs without the boot, I am so ready to be rid of this thing.

So, here is to a great weekend. And here is a boo for it being almost Monday again!

9/11 A Look Back

There is a part of me that will always have that journalist instinct, to find the sound bites, to delve into way too much information only for the simple reason of, I want to know why. . . Even though it seems like a million years ago since I was in college, writing and learning about all things within the mass media culture.

I was at home when the terrorists attacked NYC, I was about to start a new job and was looking forward to a day by the pool relaxing, enjoying the day. Only, I sleep with my television on and was awaken by Matt and Katie talking about something hitting one of the towers. At 8:03 am (CST) I saw with my own eyes a plane ram into the other tower. The rest of the day is a blur because I just sat in my apartment watching this horrible event unfold.

This was in the days before the internet really hit it big, so everything was relayed on the tv, there were no back to your regularly scheduled programs, no local news, just disbelief that we had been attacked.

As I look back on it now, I still have a hard time with what happened. I am one of those naive fools that thinks that we don’t all have to like each other or agree with each other. But there are people in this world that take a stand and determine that their way is the only way and to hell with everyone else.

I have struggled over the past few weeks to come up with any decision of my own thoughts about the mosque being built close to the site. It bothers me but then the other part of me, the one that wants everyone to get along and respect each other starts raising questions. And while I do adore having the First Amendment in place, I have a hard time with anyone wanting to bun books, flags or the like. On a simplistic level that does not even rate an equivalent, as much as I hate all things orange and the TN Vols, I still wouldn’t burn their stuff. It means something to them. But again, we are talking apples and oranges on this point.

I have been to the site and to the makeshift museum in NYC. The destruction that the terrorists caused is huge, no picture or big screen television could give it justice. It tore at my heart to think that innocent people, just working to provide for themselves and their families, were killed that day. The second time I was at the site, it looked like a random construction zone and the tears only came once I went into the museum to look at the items.

I have read books, articles on the internet and watched tons of specials on 9/11. The one that still haunts me though is the documentary filmed by the French brothers who were following probies for the FDNY. That banging sound you hear? That is people jumping from a burning building. These people chose to end it their own way as opposed to burning to death. I was shocked. And of course I had to wonder exactly what went through their minds as they did this.

I have met some of the FDNY while up there and watching the St Patrick’s Day parade. Those men are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. They talked with us, posed for pictures and one very sweet older man offered up a shot of his whiskey to me. The pipe and drum core of the department happened to be on the side street I was on that day and I cannot thank them enough for their kindness. Even while wearing kilts in snow that was starting to melt.

This day is one that will always be a vivid memory for me. I could never forget watching the kindness that came from strangers as they tried to help anyone and everyone through the horribleness. My wish would be for everyone in the states to be able to visit the city just once, visit the site and the museum. Take a moment to remember those who lost their lives and then remember that we are all in this together. A little kindness goes a long way.

TGIF! Thank You Jesus for Fridays!

I have been so proud of myself this week, I have managed to get up after only hitting the snooze three times, get ready, fix my iced mocha and pack my lunch! And I do all of this and get out the door by 7:15! With a boot on!!!! Go me!

The only thing is that as the week wore on, my sad little self had a harder time getting out the door that early. I still managed to do it but yesterday was a struggle and this morning? Well, it was a miracle. Along with the fact that my precious little man, Wookie, seems to stay in bed now. Although this morning he saw me head towards the kitchen, darted off the bed and past me and landed squarely in front of the refrigerator. Apparently he needed a little breakfast too. So he stood there, meowed, looked at me then sauntered to his food bowl and sat down, back to me while looking over his shoulder and then back to the bowl. And he has me trained. . . the little booger got some can food.

I have been practicing walking with a somewhat normal gait this week at home on top of the PT exercises. Let’s just say the gait looks all kinds of sad. I am now swelling around my ankle after sitting all day at a desk with the boot on. PT is going well and I am pushing myself, even when it does hurt. I know I shouldn’t but I just want the stupid muscle to heal so I can wear any shoes I feel like.

This weekend is a recovery weekend for me. I will be lazy, watch football, make some soup, nap and if the spirit moves me, I will do laundry. I am hoping that with all the resting I will be able to do my early schedule again next week. I like getting in earlier, when it is quiet, to poke around, get a few things done and not have to worry about my radio being too loud for the neighbors.

And there was a man on the elevator the other week that asked me about my injury. I laughed and said, well, I tore it walking. Nope, you heard that right, the lamest story ever, just walking across the street. So he helped me come up with a story. Which was tried out on another man in the elevator this week, while the first one egged me on. Here is what really happened to me. . .

I went bronco busting with George Clooney and as I was about to really impress him, I gripped the bronco too tight and tore my calf muscle. George felt really bad about it and has been pampering me. . .

Hey, first man was the one who threw it all together. . .I might have picked another sexy man to impress but Clooney’s not so bad. . .

Strangeness Abounds

As I was driving to Nashville last Friday I found myself wondering all kinds of thoughts. Apparently that was the theme for the weekend.

Like, why are there random cars just left on the side of the road? If my car died, I would certainly get it to a shop and fixed. Maybe I just don’t have endless amounts of cash sitting around which would allow me to discard my car should it decide it doesn’t want to run anymore.

Also, the random shoe on the side of the road. Do people just decide they don’t like the right one and toss it? Did they leave it on the roof of their car and forget that it was there. Or did that shoe decide that it was tired of having a smelly foot encased in it and opted that life is much better on the side of the road?

Of course, I love the four way stops, you can see people starting to really overwork their brains a bit when it comes to who gets to go next. I even caught one driver stick his hand out and pat his SUV lovingly while he went through the intersection. I also love the driver, on his phone, propped up on the seat rest in the middle of the car. Is it really that comfortable? I guess I should try it next time. Just to see. . .

Of course, as I was walking into Publix a lady rushed to get her things out of her cart and said, please take mine. It was really sweet of her to do so because it really did save me a few steps and adjustments to get one of my own. I also love the looks on peoples’ faces when they see me hobbling along. Some are quite kind, others just look at me. It isn’t as bad as it looks. The boot does help me walk faster, although my poor gait is wacky.

Two lovely couples at Bread and Company started talking to Sonia and I about walking gone bad. It was a riot to hear that I am not the only one who harms herself just by simply walking! And Sonia was beyond sweet, running to get my food when hers was called as well as helping me prop the thing up so I could be comfy while eating the best breakfast in Nashville!

Of course I got quite the workout when visiting friends who have a two and a half year old. He didn’t care that I was in a boot, I was expected (quite rightly I might add) to play, catch him and toss sand as if I didn’t have a care in the world. Candy, that little one of yours is precious! So glad I got to spend some time with you all. And she should me her “summer” diamond. Meaning some are diamonds, some are not! I loved it!

Of course, a trip would not be complete without spending time with the Queen. We hit the pool in Franklin and I was given the gift of giggles. Why do some men shave their heads but do not opt to groom their backs??? I also got to witness an older man with very long, luscious blonde hair sit by the pool with his cowboy hat on and jeans. No shirt. He finally decided to switch to shorts and I was thinking, you have to be hot in those jeans!

But with all the funny stuff I saw this weekend I am still baffled by the cars left on the side of the road. Can someone help a girl out?

But I Thought It Was Gum. . .Stupid Things Said by “Celebrities”

Poor, poor Paris Hilton. She “borrowed” a purse that she actually Tweeted about previously buying only to have a packet of cocaine tumble out of it. In front of a cop. . . poor thing had to come up with an excuse, so “I thought it was gum,” became the laugh heard around the world.

I don’t like drugs, don’t use and while I have been around them in my younger, college days, they didn’t do anything for me. Not even an ounce of curiosity could make me cross that line. Sure, I find it fascinating to read what Nikki Sixx and Ozzy Osborn have to say about their days trying everything, including an incident when the only thing to shoot was Jack Daniels. It interests me to see how they got there, what made them change and the slips along the way.

But you could lay out the illegal drug of your choice in front of me and I will not find it appealing, at all. And if you are a guy that I might be interested in dating? Well, that pretty much ends it for me. I don’t care for the drama, so it is best we part ways now. That way you can go on your merry little way and do what you think is great fun.

But I have to question the handlers of Paris, Lindsey and the like. Can’t someone explain to them that just because they have fame and fortune, life still has consequences? Or how about the next time one of this little girls go on and on about how tough fame is they have to pay me a sum of money. Or force them to come live with me, on my paycheck, and see how life really is.

I have a hard time believing Ms. Hilton when she has been busted for drugs at least three times this summer. Sorry honey, but me thinks you like the pot and coke a bit too much. And the baby voice? You are nearing 30 with no real marketable skills, how about acting your age and realizing that not everyone gets that pampered, privileged life you lead.

And the sad part, you don’t even appreciate what you have been given. The good you could do by aligning yourself with a great cause or even working somewhere, doing something. Being paid to party is not a job sweetie. I promise. And I wouldn’t trade my life for yours for all the money in the world.

I may not be rich, but at least I have friends, real ones, that love me. I have a roof over my head, a car that runs and a cat that is well loved and taken care of; I would love to be out of debt, even go back to school so I could teach but I will make do with my meager wages because at least I can tell what is gum and what is not.