Smile today

This is for the sad looking man at the grocery store today
The person who needs a fast-paced ‘happy song’, an inspirational, motivational upper
Anyone who thinks life is horrible, depressing and only getting worse.

I have this song on 2 devices, two computers, and as a backup, on a memory card in my car. At times, I’m three of the above. the music and lyrics are great-not in love with the video, so close your eyes if you need to.

Smile by bendj

Sunday, running shoes and family

Sunday’s are great for two reasons. The first is because in theory, I get to exercise, and the second, I get to go to church. One is for health the other for my happy factor. Allow me to explain.

Like every other day, I’m typically awoken by one of my two cats, laying on either side of me, reminding me it is possible to have a sunspot while on Earth, my dog, who needs to be let out, or one of my daughter’s who is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the six-am-range.

Today was no different. By 7 I had donned on the running shoes for my exercise of choice, the treadmill. Yet, Porsche wants pancakes, Sophia is trying to squeeze her head through the metal rungs by our stairs. You get the picture. Time passes, breakfast, cleaning, etc., and I’m not on the treadmill. I’m literally walking towards the rubber mat of death, when Rog comes around the corner, wearing new running shoes and says “hey! want to go running outside?”

Now, I’ll let you in on something. Rog is from Ouray, Colorado, raised at @7K feet elevation. He runs like a gazelle. He needs to run like a fish needs to learn how to breath under water. Which means he’s really telling me that I he bought a new pair of shoes he wants to test out. You must also understand I like being dry, which means running in the sun (or on the treadmill) whereas Rog actually likes the rain, snow, sleet etc. because he keeps cool (that freaking high metabolism again). Mind you, he looks down at his Puma running shoes that he scored for $50 on sale and we both start laughing. You see, he’s got two full bins of running, basketball, workout/lifting shoes upstairs, all of which look as spotless as the day he brought them home from the store.

By the time we get done debating the merits of taking both girls in the Burley, which is boasting one flat tire, the hills we have around the house and whether or not it’s good to run on cement, another 30 minutes has gone by. At 10 am, it’s time for me to get ready for church, thus eliminating the possibility of a workout. Now I get to attend church, a highlight of my week.

Now, this may come as a surprise, since I’m not sure what I come across like to those in my circle of the universe, but I’m pretty sure it’s not that I’m a church-going gal. But in fact, I do. And I like it.

I go by myself (Rog is somewhere between skeptical and angry on the religion spectrum, thus he stays home with the girls), and a funny thing happens. I hear stories of love, hardship, hope and faith, and whether I tune out with boredom during lows, or cry when touched by a heartwarming story, 60 minutes is all it takes to get re-centered on the important thing in life. Family.

One word. I know it. I’ve always known it. But nothing takes the place of hearing about a 42 yr old father of four dying of a heart attack to make me stop and say, WOW, I’m really glad that wasn’t my husband, followed by a quick run-through of all the great things about Rog. Not to sound sappy, but its easy to fall into a trap of non-appreciation, which begets ingratitude, begetting frustration…you see where this goes. And it turns out that no matter the topic (are there bad topics at church?), I come home quite happy to see Rog and the family.

A few years ago, I got lazy. I stopped going for a few months, slept in (we only had 1 kid at home) and Rog said–“have you stopped going?”

“No,” I replied. “I’m just taking a break.” Thinking he’d be pleased, I asked him why he asked the question in the first place.

His answer shocked me.

“Well, I don’t know how to say this, but you are a lot nicer to me when you go to church.”

How’s that for some thick irony? Since then, I only miss if we are out of town or sick. And when I come home, Rog has had “protected time” with his girls, usually the only moments of such he gets during the week.

Now that Rog and P are off at the fair, I’ll get my workout after all. And it was all ok it didn’t happen on my timeline.  I’m happy, feeling appreciative for a (live), gainfully-employed, supportive spouse.

Just this morning…Marital discord, happiness and Thunk

Do you ever wake up, the sun is shining (somewhere), you feel good and then BAM, it all goes downhill? That was this morning…picked what was left of the tomatoes in the garden, such as it was this year, walked around w/P and little P (P-dog), chased rabbits….then Rog and I get into a scrap. Not a major scrap, but enough that we retreat to our respective corners (he the bathroom, me to the office) for personal timeouts. BTW—this nearly saved our marriage a few times. Blood pressure rises, irrationality sets in, and then one of us (the person who’s being-big at the moment) calls for a personal time out.

In any case, he beat me to the punch, called the personal time out first (leaving me more angry), I took my walk, and was bound to set things right. I find him taking a shower, tell him I’m leaving to run errands, and he starts laughing. The inside joke here is that he knows I a) wanted to leave w/out telling him, in the hopes of making him angry, but b) this was my way of saying I’m sorry, although aa) not asking for an apology nor ab) offering one. He then says:

“Since you’re being big, and I know you know that I know you want an apology from me, but you’re being too small to give me one, I’ll give you one first. Then I’ll be bigger than you twice!”

He laughs with the moral superiority that only a spouse who has just won a scrap can, upon which I laugh (at my smallness) and call him a Thunk. That would be the combo of a Thug (which, if you’ve done business with my hard-headed husband, he is a Thug) and Lunk (because if you’ve seen him playing hockey-you also know he’s a Lunk. In fact, that’s Porsche’s nickname for him). Thug+Lunk=Thunk.

There you have it. Now I can be off on my errands, the world set in fine order, a new word to boot.

My favorite fall finds

Fall is awesome. Assuming you can tell the transition from summer to fall. This summer, the seasonal change went unnoticed, since one type of rain blended into another with little difference. oh, a leaf fell yesterday. that was the difference. On the bright side, the lack of outdoor activities for the fam gave way to Internet and store indulgences, looking for good buys on things that glitter with some glamour.

Find one: Butter nail polish, from London. Found this at a local store, didn’t believe the pap about it being environmentally conscious, but for 14 bucks, i gave it a shot. The great news: I’m a FAN. no staining. no bad colors. no carcenogens. LOVE it. My mom, who’s 70, hates polish because it cracks and chips. For her, a piano-playing fool, she can’t have that. She learned what I did-it lasts a long time. I went back, picked up 6 more colors + top and base coats, sent some off to my equally skeptical sister (the fashion maven who helps me keep current) and she was another convert.

Find two: twinkle boots. The latest take on the Sketcher’s twinkle shoes that light up with each walk. Found the boots outside Tahoe in a western shop. And NO, these aren’t for adults. For girls. In pink–at $44, debatable if it’s a necessity or a splurg. But Porsche has worn her pair for days in a row. She’d sleep in hers if she could.

Find three: metallic, hanging pumpkins. sounds crazy and cheesy, but my local nursery had a set on display, and they are totally cool. I removed my kitchen hangings (which I’d not done for years) to put these up. Love them! $29–a great accessory I can leave up until Christmas comes along. The pieces are approx 24″ wide by 18″ tall, and have hooks on the back. Tried to find online-no success. But could probably locate from the nursery.

Find four: knee high boots. Wow. Took me 42 LOOONNNNGGG years to be able to fit my badboy calves into the things, but perhaps that’s what having my last child did for me. Thinn(er) calves, finally. Of course, I temporarily lost my mind, and bought several. Would show pics but the items must be in-store only. Couldn’t find on-line. ohwell. Rog LOVS them, and in turn, is very pleasant. Who knew?

dogs and cancer–10 yr trend and cure

Last May, my special P-dog, code named such because my sister named her p-doggy because Penelope the pitbull frightened the uninitiated…started manifesting lumps on her body. They were red, and would come and go like an overgrown bug-bite. It was really strange, especially when she kept after them, licking them until they started bleeding. I wasn’t really worried until she got three on the same side of her body.
Jane the Vet identified the bumps as cancer cells gone awry, requiring major surgery, removal, and some nasty scars on my poor, lovely, mushy dog.

“Is this going to return?” I ask.

“Most likely,” she says, before telling me why.

Turns out that big dogs, or dogs with a lot of muscle-pits, rotts, mastiffs, bulldogs etc., have had an alarming increase in cancer over the last decade. Jane said she’s not quite sure why, but the thinking among vets is that something in the food/air/whatever, is getting into the muscles. The muscles can’t “expend” the carcenogens, it builds up, and then poof. One day, it turns over to the dark side and is cancer. She gave me 2 types of pills designed to ‘dispel and dissipate” the build up. It wasn’t quiet a death sentence. More like an on-going session with the chemo machine.

Now, I’m going to reveal that I’m a believer in alternative medicines. Not because I’m not down with western medicine, it’s just that the Chinese have been at it for 4,000 years, and I roll with the notion that they perfected using nature for healing. Since homeopathy is the same principle (plant based healing to be simplistic) I turned to my swami in the foothills in Arizona to see what could be done.
He told me about AlcaGreen, a green, powerdy substance comprised of a whole lotta good foods. Turns out that stores abound (on-line) of people being helped/cured by the the human version of the stuff. I bite, and in a few days, i get two big vats of green powder I’m to feed my dog every day.

Skip forward 6 months. The dog, nicknamed Stitch, when she’s turned left, and P-dog when she’s turned right, was fine, until I stopped giving her the Alcagreen. I went on vacation for a month, didn’t take with, and in another 30 days, 2 bumps reappeared. Call the swami, he said-don’t freak-and resume treatment. Sure enough, the bumps left, Jane couldn’t find the lumps when I took her back in, and it appears we might have the solution to this weirdness afflicting our pets.

My specialty is mixing a tablespoon with half-cup of soup, though she’ll take the remnants of baby food in a pinch.

the importance of photos

Rog hates this photo and suggested I crop it. but why? if I did that, it would take out the hysterical white-girl yo-sign that we did at the lake. and for my peeps, Janelly and Lindsay, that wouldn’t be much fun. If it goes down, then i’ll have to find something else equally as interesting.

This blog is intended to compliment my other ‘business‘ (e.g. boring) blog required by my writing adn business world. To quote my editor, it sucks for the general reader, while great for the .000000001% of homosapiens that care about writing. uh, ok.

So here it is. My sis came up with a complete email full of great subjects, more in a thirty-second stream of brilliance than i could must in 2 months of complete suckiness writing. Rog then helped even further by telling me to write a cookbook on Swedish Fusion, which in fact, I may do. I’m tall. I’m swedish. I like to eat. That too, can apply to the other .00000001% of folks I failed to reach with my other blog.

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