It Just Ran Away With Me

I've been going to the gym again. I've been there twice so far, recently, and it's nothing if not reaffirming that I am definitely not gym material.

The first time, I found a section of the gym with treadmills tucked into a semi private alcove. Absolutely perfect for a newbie, anti-social gym goer like myself. Even better, the treadmills had a mini TV attached to each one so that I could entertain myself while walking.

We haven't had cable for years, and I'm so out of touch with television that I don't even know what to look for. I know the Food Channel exists, and well as HGTV, but had no clue where they were found. No worries, I would just search until I found them. I'm a problem solver that way. I pushed the button to change the channel. BEEP. Nope, that wasn't anything I wanted to watch. BEEP. BEEP. No, no.


Gosh, those beeps are loud. People around me are starting to look my direction, and there aren't many people in the semi-private alcove, so it was obvious who the loud beeper was. Fine. I'll just watch what was on, whatever it was. I risked a few more beeps to get the volume to come up just a bit (I didn't want to be loud and annoy the neighbors again), but apparently the volume was broken. No worries. It had closed caption, so I ventured one more beep to turn that on, and read a program that I wasn't really into. Fortunately, the row of empty treadmills in front of me also had the CC on, and I was able to read a few other stations to entertain myself. Next time, I'd bring my headphones and listen to a book on my phone. That would be a better solution.

The second time I was at the gym, that's exactly what I did. I also realized that the volume wasn't broken on the treadmill, but only played through headphones plugged into the console. That was genius, so as to reduce competing programs at different volumes right next to each other. If only they had a silencer on the BEEP, too. I even planned ahead, in case I wasn't into a book being read to me for an hour, and pre-chose a treadmill that was playing a station I thought I might enjoy. No BEEPs from my console this time! I was on top of things!

I plugged my earbuds into my phone, decided to start with the Daily Audio Bible reading a few chapters of Proverbs, Psalms, Daniel and something Paul wrote (because I love Paul's writings). While listening, I tried to get a good workout in by adjusting the incline and speed frequently to keep things mixed up. I hear it's a better workout that way. It also keeps me from getting bored.

It was while jogging that I snagged the cord of my earbuds. This happens frequently with me, as I don't use an arm band, but instead place my phone in a shelf on the console. Usually I just pull a plug out of an ear, but because I was at the gym and not at home, Fate had to up her game. The earbuds stayed in my ears this time, but pulled out of my phone. It was such a forceful jerk that it pulled my phone off the shelf, and it dropped onto the treadmill. The moving treadmill rolled the phone to the back of the platform and flung it across the aisle and into the wall. Fortunately, I have a protective case on it and no damage was done to my phone. My fragile gym-loathing ego, however, was a bit shattered.

I picked up the phone and a few pieces of dignity, pretended it was part of a grand plan, and started all over again. This time without earbuds. I'd just read the Closed Caption again. Life would be easier. The TV program that I chose had changed, though, and I had no idea what I was currently watching. I didn't like it very well, but I wasn't going to start with the BEEP again, so I pulled up my extra-large big girl panties and just read it anyway. Thankfully the empty treadmills in front of me always had the CC on.

I adjusted the incline, and speed, and when I started jogging, I realized that I had made a poor treadmill choice. While walking, it was fine, but the faster jogging pace produced a very loud and even more annoying SQUEAK with each step that I took. So instead of BEEPing my way through a workout, I was SQUEAKing my way through this week. It's no wonder the ladies beside me left soon after I started working out. Here, I thought they were just finished with the treadmill and moving on to weights, or something.

I'm almost afraid to go next week. At the rate I'm going, I'll have my photo taped by the check-in counter, with a note saying, "Don't allow this lady on the treadmills. She abuses her powers and annoys her neighbors."

Everlasting Irony

We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this week. The celebration has been about 5 months in the making. Back in April, Sam proposed all over again while we were on a hike with the kids. He says I've been complaining for the past 25 years that he didn't do it right the first time and he wanted a re-do. Frankly, I love the fond memory of the hilariously botched attempt. It worked, and that's all that matters.

Knowing that I'm a planner, he proposed to me months in advance so that I could take over the planning of the grand party he wanted to have, complete with vow renewals and a new ring. Guys, that man of mine rocks gift giving like nobody's business, but somehow he missed this one. A grand event where I'm part of the center of attention is not my idea of a great time. And the ring was another matter. Sam and Becky collaborated to get me a ring from Etsy, which I dearly love. It's small, simple and so cheap that it barely counts as jewelry. Perfect. I'm just not a jewelry person. At all. I wear my wedding band and a watch. Other than that, I add earrings when I leave the house. I do love bracelets, but they're not practical to wear when working. All the jangling and shuffling gets to be bothersome, but I collect them nonetheless. I take bracelets with me every time I vacation, and usually collect a new one while away. They're fun.

Over the summer months, we had conversations about the party, and finally decided to just have friends over for a cook out. We used the pizza over that Sam and Luke have been working on (and isn't finished yet) and had a great time. It was the best 25th anniversary party that'll ever be held in our honor. It was perfect.

And I didn't get a new ring, which was also perfect. Sometime in May, just out of the blue, Sam asked me if I was coming home from a conference with a tattoo. This is the man who is inherently opposed to tattoos, and wasn't any too happy when Becky got her first. I vaguely wondered if it was really my husband that I was talking to, or if, maybe, he'd been kidnapped by aliens. Conversations upon my arrival home turned into the decision to get matching tattoos to commemorate our 25 years of marriage rather than spending money on gifts for each other, such as another ring. I was down with that.

Ironically, I have bracelets permanently attached to my wrist. I'm not a jewelry person, but I do love them. That man knows how to give good gifts.

You Don't Always Stick The Landing, But Rolling With The Fall Is Important

I should probably not have poked Murphy with the declaration that our family rolls with life. You'd think I'd know better by now. Clearly, I am a slow learner.

Vacation is two days away, and we're all super excited. We're also in the pre-vacation panic mode of trying to get  All The Things Done And Organizing All The People. With 8 of us going, (we adopted an extra for this trip), and meal planning in advance, it's been more work. It'll be nice not to have to grocery shop upon arrival, so totally worth the extra effort now.

College Boy came home late last evening to join us on the vacation, and I sat up until the wee smalls visiting with him. We only see him a few weeks per year now, so every minute counts. My mind joins Anna, from Frozen, with her declaration that "the sun is up, so I must be up," and on days like today I am not fond of this sentiment. Those 4 hours of sleep I got just aren't cutting it. I was dragging by 10am.

I learned the hard way that Darla has a sensitive stomach. I had some canned dog food sitting around and thought I'd treat her, as she could stand to gain a half pound or so. (She's a tiny dog; a little weight will go a long way on her.) She was up a few times in the night, screaming to be let out before an accident happened in her crate. I was grateful not to have to clean up a mess, and happy to know that she's a neat kind of dog. It didn't help the sleep situation, though.

FYI, that is the happiest dog ever. Not even an upset stomach keeps her down. She bounds like a deer in a clover field, and greets everyone with exuberance, even when ill. I think she's pretty much past the worst of it, and I'm so glad I learned this important bit of information about her before vacation. Had I thought to "treat" her while away, that large smell in a tiny cottage with too many people would not be pleasant. At all.

With 1.5 days left to do the packing (which hasn't been thought about, much less started), finish organizing meals, and get all the store orders done, (while trying to pretend that I'm not about to pass out from lack of sleep), Luke decided to test out his newly repaired bicycle before we took it on vacation with us. He also decided to catch some air on a jump as he headed back to the house. He didn't stick the landing the way he envisioned it in his head. He's now rocking a broken rib and shoulder blade.

It's like deja vu.  Our boys should not be allowed to own or ride pedal bikes.

So Luke's vacation will now be spent sleeping on a sofa instead of a bottom bunk, enjoying the paddle boat instead of a kayak, and is borrowing a scooter to keep up with the family while we bike. He'll be powered with narcotics and Advil. This is all provided he doesn't need the bone set before we leave, and we can't even call the doc to discuss this until morning. We're seriously hoping that we won't have to delay the trip for a few days, and that he can enjoy himself despite the pain if we ever get there.

While the timing isn't great, we're rolling with this, too, because we have no other choice. At this point in our lives, we have learned to laugh as it happens. Josh made a meme about Luke's projecting shoulder blade being reminiscent of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I told Luke he must have planned this so he didn't have to fold his laundry that I removed from the dryer this evening. Life moves at full speed, and sometimes there are road bumps. Sticking the landing isn't always going to happen, but rolling with the fall helps keep your sanity.