Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Fit Family?

We did it!! The entire clan participated in a fun fitness event. MGR, JOR and SRR ran in the First Market Mile Kids Run. MGR ran with SRR and one of our beloved Fairy Godmothers, LA, ran with JOR. Of course, poor LA had to be the adult in this "Fantastic Four".

Luckily, God was with us as we drove up to Richmond. We found a great parking spot and had plenty of time to prepare for the race. That meant eating for SRR. The only time this boy stopped eating was for the 10 minutes it took him to run the mile. A speed bump in his eating adventure!!

LA and the boys ran a fantastic race! I was especially proud of JOR, as he had some challenges completing a nonstop mile in his training. He did today's race without stopping at all!!! I'm hoping this race will help all 3 boys get the running bug. MGR tried to convince me that his participation warranted an iPod shuffle. Nice try Honey. Maybe when you run more than a mile....

It was now my turn. This is the 6th year I've done the Ukrops 10K, but only the 2nd time running / jogging / schlepping it. The training worked (imagine....) as I took 7 1/2 minutes off of last year's time. Here are some random thoughts / observations / head scratchers:
-Came out of the PortaPotty, the band was playing "Suicide is Painless" (MASH theme), EJG calls me as I see this painted on a building:

Simpatico perhaps?

-Why don't people have directionals and / or brake lights installed on their backs when they stupidly decide to weave in and out of the racers, than stop? Especially in front of the water stop?
-What part of "race two abreast" did you four people NOT understand?
-While there was a slight decrease in intelligence on the track, there certainly was an increase in friendliness, smiles and overall good karma. I think this is what I like best about this race!!

Attending the Expo yesterday, I saw some intriguing slogans:
-"In my dreams, I am Kenyan."
-"This seemed like a good idea three months ago."
But this one is my new favorite:
"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the Courage to Start."

I hope that my courage to attempt a healthy lifestyle through eating right and exercise will influence my family. That is, after I digest my post-race bacon cheeseburger and ice cream!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

20 years without him....

People often commemorate the deaths of famous people. Today I write a tribute to a man who, while not famous, made me who I am.

It was twenty years ago today that my beloved father passed away. I can't believe that two decades have gone by and I'm still here, still functioning, still going through life's ups and downs, all without my "Stinky". He was my buddy, my advisor, my priest, and many times, my world. That morning, as I held his cold hands, I said prayers of thanksgiving that God took him and that he no longer suffered. However, my bratty alter ego was trying to figure out how life was to go on and that I wanted my Daddy back!!!

Fast forward twenty years. My world has totally changed since that day. Location, job, family, is vastly different. While I have a few minutes, and a few glasses of wine, I'd like to write a letter to him. Please indulge me as I use this forum for my therapy!

Dear Daddy Stinky,
Well, I hope you're happy. You spent all that time and effort trying to make me a productive member of society. And guess what? I think you succeeded! You now have grandsons who are much smarter than the two of us "dumbells" put together!! However, as they grow older, I am finding myself imparting wisdom that sounds eerily familiar:
-"If you don't have your health, you don't have anything!"
-Pay your bills on time. (They see me struggle with this every month!)
-Pray!!!! The Blessed Mother will hear you!
-If you have food on the table, clothes on your back and a roof over your head, you should thank God for all he has given you!
-Help when you can.
-Do your best.
-It's cheaper if you do it yourself, especially cooking! Why waste money when you can have a good meal at home?
-America's the greatest country on earth!
-Read the newspaper and watch the news.

These are just a few. I wish you could see those boys. They look like you sometimes (especially when making a "stinky" face), and act like you, especially when they are causing trouble! Your namesake will put on a little paper hat like the one you used to wear at Cappy's and the resemblance is amazing!!! The little one would eat you out of house and home, so I know you and Mom would have had him over every weekend! All in all, we are doing our best to raise them with the values you tried to give us. MGR is a wonderful husband and daddy, so don't you worry. He and I are a great team!! It scares me how much he acts like you, and he's not even a relation! Think of all the tricks you would play on Mom. 'Nuf said!

It's amazing how much fun those boys are. Spending time with them reminds me of all the fun we had: jamming in accordion / piano duets, working in the yard or on the plumbing ("Pinky get me a hammer!"), going for our weekly trip to the dump or the hardware store. The ice cream runs after Monday night Novena were great, as were the trips to Pierre's bakery after Mass. The Sunday afternoon barbeques as we listened to the Yankees games will never be forgotten.

The times and food were great, but the quality of time spent with you was even better. We discussed everything: religion, politics, neighborhood gossip, the lottery, etc. You gave me a perspective that I would not have recognized and wisdom and knowledge that I had not yet achieved. When facing a major decision, I always try to find your voice and hear your thoughts. Please be really loud the next few months, as lots of decisions may have to be made!!

Well Stinky, that's all for now. I just wanted to tell you how much I love you, how much I still miss you and how much there is of you in the next generation! The boys ask questions about you and Mom all the time and when I answer, I get such a warm feeling inside. Little do they know how truly wonderful their Dziadek was. Give my love to Mommy (if she's talking to you this week) and I hope we will all reunite someday. In the meantime, would you please send us some winning lottery numbers?

Love always,
Basi Pinky

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What a difference...

....a week makes!! Last Sunday, we were raiding the grocery store to prepare for the impending storm. Today, MGR and I almost finished chopping the entire broken limb and vacuumed up all the leaves in the front yard. It was close to 80 degrees, sunny and lovely. We even had dinner outside!! I love my grill!!

I'm not sure if I want winter back or not. As much as I loved the snow, I think I'm ready to begin the outdoor clean-up.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Flakes...inside and out

A beautiful sight awaited us this morning. Pristine snow blanketed everything. The powdery substance gave the world a chance to stop in its tracks, its muting power silencing the chaotic symphony known as life. We had an excuse to just pause and enjoy Mother Nature in all her glistening glory.

Then I got out of bed.

When are we going outside? What's for breakfast? He hit me! I'm telling! He took my game! I was playing with it first. Why do I have to go to time out, he started it. Can you fix my video game? I can't find my boots. He took my hat! Ewwww, he's got snot everywhere! Can you zip my coat? I need a tissue. You never told me I couldn't throw snow in his face. Why can't we go in the street? You still didn't fix my video game. Why do we have to bring our sheets down. What's for snack? Do we have to empty the dishwasher? Is it time to go outside?

We did the obligatory frolic in the snow. Then I went back to bed.

The snow is beautiful, a little on the powdery side, so snowballs took effort. We lost part of a tree, split due to the weight of the snow. It's resting in the street, since the frozen shed lock prohibits me from getting the saw out. There are a few other trees getting ready to split as well.

The schools are closed again tomorrow; roads are predicted to be icy. However, my 11 month status dictates that I go in two hours late tomorrow morning. Of course, this could change....


Maybe I'll go in two hours early.

Here are the loves of my life in full snow bunny attire. If I didn't love them, I'd have to eat them!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The light in the darkness....

OK, they just closed ALL schools and offices!

Time to celebrate with a little merlot and time with Hubby!

(BTW, this is a picture of our little tree in the front yard. SRR says it looks like white broccoli....)


The jammies are inside out, the ice cubes down the toilet. It worked!! The three boys get their first snow day!!!

Mom's luck is different. Since I'm an 11 month employee, I was told to report 2 hours late. God has a warped sense of humor!!

Time to get the jammies out and ice cubes ready. I NEED A SNOW DAY!!