I’m not OK, I’m going 5K

Actually I am better than ok.  Wonderful weekend with a chance to see more of my favorite people than I ever could have if we planned it.  Love those moments that just happen.  Never realize how much you miss people til you are around them again & remember how incredible they are.

Thankfully I got in some time in the sand & was lucky enough to spot a few shooting stars to wish on.

Perfect weekend to end the summer.  As of Friday, it is back to classes.  Which meant getting the notebooks, files & textbooks.  Bring life back into focus.

So why not toss in another event?

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Need something to work towards.

Another chance to push my limits, physically and psychologically.  I expect this event will draw a huge crowd which means I get to face the fears.

MCo8i.Em.6

Every year I watch as one of my favorite Carolina Panthers enthusiastically encourages a group to participate in the Charlotte Susan G. Komen walk.  The event hits home since his own mother has battled breast cancer.  From her ability to overcome & his unending support, I find inspiration.  Wish my mom was around to help me  so much lately & there are so many times I wished her cancer was one as well known as breast cancer.  Maybe then doctors would know more or have had more of a chance.  Still so many women (& men) lose their fights that I in no way mean to insinuate that it is an easier war to wage – cancer is a bitch, no matter where it hits.

This year, I joined the team.

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Officially part of the Williams’ Warriors!

Will be doing the 5k this year instead of just being in awe & supporting from afar. So excited!  Looking forward to joining others for the Race for a Cure event October 5th, 2013 in uptown/downtown/center city whatever you want to call it Charlotte, NC!

Promise I won’t constantly bug people requesting money, but I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE any & all support.  For everyone who raises $100 via their site, they get this year’s tee shirt from the event & you KNOW I want it.  So chip in if you can.  Even a couple of quarters would make me smile…promise.  It all adds up.  Just like I keep reminding myself that each step gets me further along.

You can help me here.

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Great Hostess Twinkie Run 2012

Of course the day I post about thinking of getting back into a more structured plan of exercising I end up going running!

Although not quite the way I had intended.

Started out with running errands yesterday.  When I woke I browse through Twitter & saw the news that Hostess had decided to close.  Sad, but honestly I couldn’t remember the last time I actually had anything they made.  When I was younger I loved the fat free Twinkies, but doubt they even made those any more.  The hundred calorie cupcake packs had a place in my world for a while, but again I couldn’t remember the last time I had those either.  Even the breads, Wonder, Merita, Nature’s Pride…. no clue when I had gotten any of them last.  Just wasn’t me anymore.

Yet the child inside got slightly nostalgic and I decided I would pick up a box of something for old times sake since I had to go to the store anyway.

Target was the first stop.

I looked for the traditional box featuring the sponge cake picture with Twinkie the Kid beside, but it was no where to be found.  Just an empty space.

Maybe I wasn’t alone in the idea.  Oh well.  The chocolate filled ones seemed odd to me.  I decided to snag a box of the cup cakes & I just walked on.  As I walked I thought about Twinkie & how it was strange to think it would no longer be an option, even if one I never used.

Turned the corner & to my surprise hanging on the side of one of the end caps was a display with $1 snacks – WITH TWO 2 PACKS OF TWINKIES!

Suddenly the sugar rush hit & I felt like I had won!  I got the last two Twinkie packages in Target!  ha ha…. I win! (what I’m not sure?… diabetes?)  I boastfully posted my achievement on Facebook eager to share my joy.  A friend commented on the post that people were selling them like hot cakes on ebay (you knew this was going to be FILLED with puns right?)  I hadn’t had a clue but after a quick check on ebay I realized how hilarious this really was.

Seriously? there are people out there who love them so much that they are paying THOSE amounts!? Suddenly I started thinking about selling my last two packs.  Or maybe sell one, eat one?

Then it hit me… I wasn’t the only one who ate those Twinkies.

So I called my Dad.  Thought I have four & if they really are such a rare commodity, it could be fun for us all to eat our “LAST TWINKIE EVER” together.  He declined.  He has been great watching everything he eats lately after a recent scare at the doctor.  He is checking his blood sugar a couple times a day in order to get a better idea of what is going on & in hopes to avoid anything serious.  So a twinkie? nah not really in his diet plan anymore.   Mom never ate them so she was a no go.

Maybe I would be selling one of the packs after all.

Texted my sister & brother-in-law.  She was like mom, uh no way.  But in my bro-in-law… I had found a Twinkie fan who like me hadn’t had one in over a decade!  (Guessing this is more the reasoning behind the shut down than any union strikes.)  So it was decided.  One had his name on it.

A trip to the grocery store (already planned for other things) proved to me again the scarcity of the local Twinkies.  All I found was another wiped out shelf.

Joked with a couple of friends about the end of the world coming & had a few laughs.  Really sad to see so many jobs lost & the end of something so iconic, but honestly none of us has eaten one in a LONG time.  Just wasn’t even something we though about.

Friday night date night wasn’t very thought out beyond going somewhere for dinner, but things took a turn for the strange after discussing the Twinkie shortage.  I’m a big fan of scavenger hunts & random acts of funny.  Suddenly it became a great idea to rush to every grocery store we saw to see IF there were Twinkies left.

Time after time, the same results…… wiped out shelves & the leftover lesser known Hostess products like mini-muffins, zingers, cinnamon rolls, etc.

I got into the excitement of it all & as silly as it sounds, there was hilarity in seeing the last box being checked out right in front of us by an older lady.  If only we had been a few moments sooner, it COULD have been ours!  Racing to find the location since there didn’t seem to be much consistency even between stores of the same chain.

Only once out of the 9 places were we actually able to find Twinkies.  Regular yellow sponge, normal cream filled Twinkies.  Technically I got to the display first.  I looked & thought nope.  None there either.  Hidden on the bottom shelf, in the very back corner was ONE BOX.  The last box.  Just beyond my gaze & now my grasp.  So close!

I may not have gotten the last box of Twinkies, but I did enjoy the ridiculous race that will never happen again.  For some reason it just doesn’t seem like something that will ever happen again.  Memory made.

I can look back on this point in history & say I was one of those nutty people who dashed around trying to scoop up Twinkies.

Why?

Just because I could.  Having random fun in life is what it is all about right?

Also decided that I would see if the ebay buzz is all it has been hyped up to be.  With a twist.  IF the ones I list sell, I will donate a part of the money to the local Food Bank.  Just seems like the appropriate thing to do.

Hope Glows Like a Chandelier

Remember how I dreamed of redoing my bedroom & then put all that on hold after changing & then leaving my job?

study session

I wanted so badly to just change it all from top to bottom.  I really did mean start at the top!

Even tried to make a faux capiz chandelier that basically would fit over the existing unit & replace the cover!  That stupid thing is STILL waiting around for me to finish.  It may end up chunked in the trash very soon. I tried to make lemonade out of the lemon of a bedroom light I had, but without the sugar it just ended up sour & unfinished.

 This weekend I got offered some free handy services from the Crab.  He had noticed a few things that to me would mean expensive outside professional help, but having previously built a few houses himself, he had the knowledge & ability to fix.  Some seemed simple,  but annoying – like the bathroom door that seems to enjoy trapping people inside with its required random number of turns to open.  Some seemed monumental to me – like the dripping faucet IN THE BATH TUB! No clue how to even begin to tackle that one.  I seriously had visions of needing to rip thru a wall to get to the pipes.  Deal was I bought the supplies and he would give free labor, I tossed in dinner for good measure & we were off to the home improvement big box.  Several trips & hours later, I was beaming at all that had been accomplished.

thankfully it wasn’t THAT drastic!

Then he mentioned the fact that the two bulbs in the ceiling light in my bedroom were driving him crazy being two different wattages or shades or whatever it was.  Honestly I didn’t think it mattered as much as I hated that light.  Course I agreed that installing new matching bulbs would be a good thing & off we were…. almost.  Then I brought up the chandelier & how I had dreamed of popping it up one day.   I’m sure he probably regreted the next statement, but there it was “I can put that up if you want. Its not hard.”  HA!  Not hard my ass.  It is when you have no clue what’s what.

Out came my crystal laden beauty!  After some adjusting for height, there it was – up and on!  The dream was one little step closer to being reality.  We talked of moving stuff around & replacing this or that.  But mostly all I could do was stare in wonder at the light, finally where it should be lighting up my room.  It already felt/feels cozier & more me.

Maybe the dreams aren’t totally dead just yet.  Sometimes I guess it takes a few steps back & letting go to move forward.  Then again a great side kick certainly helps too.

Tomorrow I attempt to tackle the summer clothes purge – 100 things gone (yes I have more than enough clothes to wear! Sadly I may be a clothes hoarder).  We dropped off one bag at the Goodwill today with 26 things no longer needed.  Tomorrow going for at least another 75!  We shall see.

Also looking forward to registering for classes in the morning & figuring out what the next few months are going to look like.  Hopefully I can get into the classes I need & maybe even have some time left over to get a part time job & bring in money to assist in taking a few more steps to home improvement.  We shall see.  But tonight I am going to be snoozing under my very own chandelier – feeling pretty proud, pretty loved & just plain pretty.

Sandy Butts Everywhere

Busy day today wrapping up a few things in getting ready for my return to classes.  Still feels funny to say that & makes me slightly giddy!  I know I’m a bit of a geek & will be kicking myself for doing this later when I am struggling to study or complete homework, but for now I’m just happy!  The closer it gets to the first class the more I realize needs to be done.

  • classes paid for: check
  • parking pass: check
  • ID & libray card: check
  • books: check (& saved around $70 getting them online since the store is closed til Monday, even WITH shipping)
  • get new insurance: working on that one.  I HATE figuring out which medical insurance plan to go with.
  • all the other crap “needed” to attend school:  ……yeah…. working on getting all that stuff.  So much could be helpful, but thinking old school – pens, paper.. with a dash of new school – memory stick.  Who knows.

Already I am feeling like the nontraditional student.  The faces on campus today certainly looked younger than me.  Learned that you can now rent textbooks instead of buying them and they now make erasable highlighters!  Guess things have changed a little since I was carrying around the books.

Part of me just wants to start already but another side says cherish these free moments.  Soon I will be nose deep in books and working again on the side.  Make memories while I can and live each second.

Which is why I am spending as much time as possible with this view

is there anything better than can be done in life alone that makes you feel better than relaxing on the sand with the sound of waves rushing on to the shore?  Thankfully most of the time its still not crowded and the sound of the waves is all I hear other than the occasional engine of the lifeguard’s truck or today the sound of a couple of Ospreys passing by on route back to base.  (I think those guys intentionally take the coastal path to scope the beach & who could blame them!)

I honestly think without the ocean, I would be insane.  It has a therapeutic magic that is unlike anything else.  At least for me.

With today being the 10th I thought it fitting to give some love back to the beach.  To protect the piece of peace in my world.  Plus I’m inspired by someone who is locally doing great things!

Amazes me at how many cigarette butts are left behind.  Even when I did smoke, we never left the butts in the sand.  You picked it up & took it with you.  Obviously not everyone acts the same.

Thankfully there are people who are working hard to keep our beaches & ocean from being polluted with the trash left behind.  Read a tweet today that at Wrightsville Beach, It Starts With Me blogger picked up NINE butts in about a second!  Completely unacceptable.  Currently there is a push to ban smoking on our local beaches.  I understand that many would be upset by this, but when you aren’t respecting the beaches, I’m not sure you deserve to be smoking there.

Unfortunately this isn’t just a problem here.  People are trashing our beaches everywhere.  Check out a west coast view of the issue at The Daily Ocean blog.

Clearly if you see what they can do in just a few moments a day, you have to feel inspired to clean up after yourself when you visit!

There is only one type of butt that should be on our beach! – mine relaxing without seeing a piece of trash or smelling anything but salt water.

Hoping through the efforts she & her family are committed to, others gain a better understanding of the impact of such a seemingly small thing.   May her actions inspire others to join in the process.  I know it has me thinking more about what is in the sand.  Perhaps next time I go out, I will take my own bag to collect trash and those pesky cigarette butts.

Maybe even take it a step further and join the local chapter of Surfrider Foundation.  Certainly feeling like giving some love to the waters that make me feel so alive and ground me into feeling that in the middle of all that stresses me, I am there in that moment and I am as I should be.

Certain sounds just soothe.  My grandmothers giggles & yes she could get them often.  She would get tickled over the most random things and then everything would be silly.  It over took her and she would be helpless to the laughter.  Deep laughing to the point where the tears come to your eyes and you can barely speak.  Skip that days ab work out because you are going to be feeling them.  How anyone could possibly not join it was beyond me.  You wouldn’t have a clue what started it, but it felt right to join in.

The ocean is similar.  It mellows.  Takes me to a place inside that still believes in happy endings, love and connections stronger than death.  Comforts me in a way that feel esoteric.   Heavenly.  As if you have found the place where you venture into the outskirts of the after.  You feel peace and forget worries since only your soul will live on.  As long as you have a pure soul and can deal with your choices, you can find peace for a while.  As if laying on that warm sand, feeling the sun’s rays, the body just slips slightly out of line with the spirit.  Like the many kites flown on the beach, our spirits seem to feel safe enough to float & expand beyond our limits.  How many great ideas have been discovered on those sands?  How many troubles have been reevaluated only to see they really weren’t such a big deal to begin with once you remove the passion of the moment.  Its just a magic that is beyond comprehension.  Primal tie to our soul.

Even typing about it has slowed me down and made me think its time to sleep.  Baxter has been snoring away by my side for a while and the birds have long gone “night night”.  We will have to see who is going to be waking who tomorrow.  For a change it may actually end up being one of them!

One night I will sleep on the beach.

I can only imagine the peaceful night that would be.

Rocking Out in Red

Delayed post.  Sorry. Crazy weekend surprising my parents with a visit & slight restricted computer wise.  I ripped my power cord for my laptop & had to order a new one.  LOVE the Kindle Fire, but as far as blogging goes its a tad limited.  Then again that isn’t what it is intended to do, so I am perfectly fine with that.

As they say the best laid plans….

So I am LATE on my 10 on 10 post & I had intended on posting on time for the ROCK THE RED PUMP project.

I wore the shoes to work on Friday!

Love them & seemed so did everyone else.

I stood in solidarity with other women across the nation on Friday & Saturday in raising awareness in the benefits of getting tested for HIV/AIDS.  Prevention is key, but also is knowing your status.  The sooner you know the sooner you can get care & the less likely it will be the death sentence that it once was.  Plus then you are better able to protect those you love.

The best part – it is easy.

Needles are NOT fun & I am the world’s worst for passing out.  Honestly the sight of a needle makes me queasy.  So if I can do it, anyone can.  It is hard to wait for the results.  Even as someone who is safe, you start to doubt & wonder.  The “what if” game will drive you nuts.  But isn’t that what you are doing by not being tested? The difference is when you are tested, you get  the answers and you can plan the reaction to the results.  Be that a celebratory strut or getting support to deal.

As well as the National Rock the Red Pump day, it was also time for another 10 for 10 donation! Love these days of the month.

In honor of the spirit of the day, I went with an organization that I stand beside in support.  They offer HIV testing & reasonably priced care for those who need it and might otherwise be prevented from getting it.

yes I am supporting Planned Parenthood.

Outside of a dog a book is man’s best.

Since adding the 10 on 10 aspect to this blog, I have really started to look forward to the 10th of each month.  Its a chance to just give without a reason or giving myself grief about “can I afford to do this?”, “is there a better way to spend this cash”… nope.  Budgeted & its not my money – its to be shared.  More than that its a chance to support in efforts I care about or are inspired by.

This month I am certainly inspired.

Having just finished a book within a couple of days, I am officially bitten by the reading bug.  Started book number 3 of 2012 – still another non-fiction one that is slowly being read, but another fiction work has sucked me in.  I know reading on the treadmill isn’t going to win any races, but it certainly made that 30 minutes fly faster than ever!

I am so grateful for being able to read.

Its a gift that my parents gave to me early in life.  Teachers who knew that by learning to read, you give keys to life.  So many lessons and secrets that would never be discovered otherwise are found within the pages bound in each cover.  Knowledge, guidance, confirmation and reminders.  Even a space to get away from life..  all discovered in books.  The library was a place where we were very familiar, even before the days where my Dad retired from teaching to work there.  New books were always coming into our house.  So many nights spent together reading “just one more story” before we were tucked in & lights out.

evidently my sister was really excited to hear about the Baskin Robbins adventures

Historically, (WAY back when) I know it was something taught to boys, not girls – since it was more for business and government which was not for the fairer sex.  Now I am lucky enough to live in an era where barely anything is off limits for me as a girl.  I can explore the world equally.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”  ~Sir Richard Steele

Part of me still struggles with reading electronically, but it works.  It is easy & I guess eco-friendly.  But there is a magic beauty to be found in turning a page to find written words there for you to see.

So this month, I want to share the gift.

I want to help others to read.

There is nothing that will ever give me a glimpse into what the world is like for someone who is illiterate, but I know from work that there are adults locally who simply do not have the skill.  It breaks my heart & I have to wonder what life they have had to endure to reach adulthood without anyone being there who was able to connect in a way that they learned.

“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” ~Mortimer J. Adler

So my gift this month is to the Cape Fear Literacy Council.

This group works hard to enable local residents to learn to read.  They work with those who are just learning to read and people who are learning to understand English.  They offer a place for everyone to grow in their learning.

What better gift to give right now?

Even when reality seems hard to face, a vacation from the day can be found in a book.

So thank you Mom & Dad.  You have enabled me to go further than you can imagine by taking the time to share with me this love of reading.  I know it probably wasn’t a quick or easy task, but I truly am grateful.

Mustache Ali

Moustache? for moi?

maybe not… but for today I have to.  Inspired.

Thanks to Twitter I learned of this fundraiser from a seasoned grower himself!  Check out @Jergo for his status on this year’s new growth.  Better yet do like I have & DONATE!  You can give a little or a lot, but every little bit helps kids who could really use the cash.

2011 Mustaches for Kids Promo from Matt Ev on Vimeo.

I moustache you to help too!

Remember back when I said this month’s 10 on 10 was going to be at a later date?  This is why! Had to support this great cause.

Wilmington’s Mustaches For Kids is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been giving to children’s charities since 1999. These guys spend a month growing mustaches and raising cash for local organizations.

Donating is easy.  Just go HERE, make whatever donation you can to jgodwin@jerbgo.com (remember to choose “PERSONAL” & “GIFT”) & follow along as the month goes on to see this year’s ‘stache progress.

To those participating: GROW ON!

Funny enough, facial hair has always sort of been a turn off for me. Throw back to bad experiences of my youth made me slightly untrusting, well other than Santa.  Still lately I am learning about the beard. Part of healing has to be rethinking those thoughts that you think but don’t really have a good reason why.  If you can’t defend the belief, why support it.  So open mind, open heart & forget the fear.

Finding myself seeing past it to the comforting eyes behind.  The guys who are participating in Mustaches for Kids prove the fantastic things these hairy guys can do.  So tossing the old urges aside & opening my world to a whole new view.

Added bonus I never thought of before: its great for exfoliating.  Don’t think about that too long.  Probably too much information but my lips are doing wonderful even in this cooler weather!  Funny enough one of the dates I thought wouldn’t amount to much more than just a night out is the one that I’m finding myself thinking more and more about.  Who knows where it will lead but I know it tis the season of the ‘stache! (no not @jergo! Don’t want to start any rumors by misunderstanding.)

Now I am afraid I MOUSTACHE away & defurrify my face.  Admittedly the fuzz is not my style.