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Treadmill vs Indoor Track

As I begin to type this I want to clarify something first. The best place to run is outside. I would rather be out there any given time. However, when the heat index is over 100 or the wind chill is less than twenty then running outdoors is not a safe option. Saint Louis has been stupid cold for the past two weeks, just in time for me to start full marathon training. The holidays were also factored in so that made me stuck on the treadmill for the past week and a half but today I managed to make it to the Arnold Rec Center.

I love the rec center. I would rather do thirteen laps per mile than run on a treadmill not really moving. Everyone is like just watch TV. No matter what I put on, I am staring at how long I have been on the stupid thing just waiting for it to be over. At the indoor track I can people watch. Usually there are boys playing basketball below me, or girls practicing baton or couples playing pickle ball. Also on the track, I recognize people who I see from time to time. Although I don’t talk to any of them, I have names for them and know if they are there, then they are well. There is a couple that walk together all the time and they are fast walkers. They probably pull a thirteen minute mile. I like to follow them when I am not running but walking. Last year when I was training for the fifty mile a guy asked me what I was training for. So I told him about the race. He lives close to me and told me he saw me on the outer road all the time as well. One day in September he was driving and saw me and pulled over and asked how the race was. So I told him all about it. He was there today and stopped me because he was telling his friend about me and wanted to know how long it took me. I said 13:57. They asked me if I was going to do it again this year. I said hell no, one and done. They both started laughing.

There was a guy named Ron who use to be there all the time. I haven’t seen him in almost a year. I need to ask a couple of the regulars what happened to him. Today a gal was wearing an Oak Bridge Church shirt and I almost said to her, best church ever! She might have thought I was crazy. However running 10 miles there today was totally normal! Although ten miles on a treadmill is total insanity. I would go to the indoor track any time any day when the weather is uncooperative.

Mole Moral~ Find an exercise you enjoy and stick to it. You never know who you might meet or who you might encourage!

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The Mole Year Review 2017

Yesterday I did a Facebook game where it gave a picture review of the year. I had been thinking the year had been kind of yucky but looking at the pictures and reflecting back, the Moles had a really good year. I decided to highlight the positives. Of course having a blog makes remembering things so much easier.

January started with Brian finally getting a TV that hangs on the wall. He also lost a dollar bet in that the TV would be gone from his friend’s apartment trash site before the trash came. He didn’t even get it unloaded before someone took it off of his hands.

February was the worst headache I had ever had in my life. I call that a ten out of ten pain because I prayed for almost eight hours straight for God to take me to heaven to be with my grandparents. I would have shot up heroin if it would have taken the pain away. No matter what drugs were given to me, nothing touched it. Only when my primary did a neck manipulation did it start to go away. This would be important later on.

March was when Emily moved back home from Kansas City. It was her last Physical Therapy clinical’s in the burn unit at Mercy. She loved it and I loved the fact that I worked there when I was pregnant with her and now she was there. I also officially announced that I had to postpone the fifty mile run that i had planned for April. I actually cried the first time I said it out loud but my boss Emily said “oh you will run it in the year you turn fifty and that counts”. She is so smart.

In April I would finally finish a crochet granny square blanket. All my life I wanted to learn how to make granny squares. My Grandma Carty had a pillow made out of them and an afghan. Finally thanks to you tube I was able to understand the pattern. Little did I know that at the end of the year, I would give this blanket to my best friend for baby number eleven.

May brought my fiftieth birthday and my oldest graduation from Rockhurst. Emily is the first in the family to have a doctorate degree. It was such a proud moment when she walked across the stage and received her diploma and hood.

June brought our last family vacation as a family of five. We spent a week in Tennessee and had an absolute blast. I don’t think there was anything funnier than me on the high ropes trying hard not to fall off or lose my balance. I never laughed so hard in my entire life. Of course Emily took one of the funniest pictures ever in which every one of us was wearing red but her. She called it Mole roll call so no one gets lost. We also went on a wild goose chase for moonshine. The first place we went not only didn’t have it but was shady and in a shady neighborhood. We did eventually find it and then discovered where it can be purchased in St. Louis.

July was the month Emily moved to California. She took her first job as a travel Physical Therapist. Luckily she was only three hours from our good friends Gary and Heidi. Even though she didn’t think I needed to drive out with her, she was glad that I did. We had a great road trip and even saw Mike the Headless Chicken.

August was the fifty mile marathon and Brian and I had a great vacation just the two of us. We spent a week in South Dakota and had a lot of fun. We even trespassed and saw the Flintstones RV park that had closed.

September was my twenty-one day food detox and I felt so good afterwards. I must admit I fell off the wagon in just two short months. It’s a lot of work to make every meal and I started making excuses right and left. Maybe this coming year I will get back on as I never felt so good.

October was the month I got out of my comfort zone. I signed up for a Pokemon walk and met up with other Pokemon people. I didn’t know a single person and I survived. It was also the month of one of my favorite 5K’s. It was the Run for Ovarian Cancer.

November brought my moms fall and surgery. It was a rough month for her. Allyson started her job at the Local House and has made quite a bit of money. Her goal was to pay for her server and have money this summer when she goes out to stay with Emily. She has already met both goals. My headache returned and since Western medicine did nothing earlier in the year I went to a Chiropractor and was greatly improved and able to work within twenty-four hours.

December was the month God almost slapped me upside the head with the Christmas Angel. I really did question if I had picked the right person, even though I knew he had told me it was. I had the most awesome photo and post placed on my wall by the person I had angeled. I have never felt so blessed in my life.

 

Mole Moral ~ It is so easy to focus on the negative and forget all the positive. Just like one negative comment takes twenty positive ones to make up for.

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Peter and Andrew

Today in church Pastor Herc gave a run down on the twelve disciples and their personalities. He was making the point that Jesus didn’t pick his team based on the strongest, best traits and abilities like we humans do. Just think back to school days when teams were picked for gym. The least athletic were always chosen last and I was one of them. This was one of the best talks in a long time so I paid close attention to figure out which guy I was most like and it ended up in a tie.

Peter whose name was originally Simon has a lot of my traits. He tended to shoot of his mouth and say things without really thinking. The biggest was saying he would never deny Jesus and yet he did not only once but three times in the same night. It reminds me of the time I said to a patient, I would rather be dead than him. He had lost all four extremities to meningitis. Luckily, he forgave me for about the most insensitive comment I ever made and has gone on to do great things.

I did not realize Andrew was Simon Peters brother and often referred to that way. So no matter what he did he was always over shadowed by his brothers greatness. How annoying that must have been. I often feel this way about my work. I am the invisible nurse. I do a great job but no one seems to remember and rarely am I ever mentioned by name. I know a big part of this is because I take people right after they have surgery when they are still under anesthesia. I am ok with this most of the time but every once in a while when I see the girls with four and five daisy awards or mentioned over and over in patient rounding I get a little jealous and annoyed. I do try to remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:1-4

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

Mole Moral ~ It’s much better to be Peter and Andrew than Judas of Iscariot!

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Christmas Angel

It was back in 2004 and I was at church when Pastor Tom spoke about a thing he did called Christmas Angel. For the 12 nights before Christmas you pick someone who may be struggling, had a bad year or just need a lift at Christmas and drop off presents. The first night you leave one of something, and the second night two, and the third night three etc. But there is a catch, you drop the present, ring the doorbell, run, and try not to get caught. Of course if you have your children help, they can do the ringing and running and you drive the getaway car. He had this done to him by a mormon family who never revealed who they were. He said we shouldn’t tell either but if someone did that for me and never said who it was, it would bother me forever. So on day twelve I always left a note revealing who I was. Although he said this was a way to bless others, over the years it has been a big blessing to our family.

The person or people I have chosen were always picked by God. He put their name on my heart at some point during the year. Some years it’s really early like April or May and sometimes its been as late as October. Now God doesn’t talk to me in an audible voice for that would surely make me a crazy person but I just get the feeling this person is the one. Most of the time it is a patient I have cared for, but sometimes its a friend that doesn’t know this secret about me. This year I received a little push back from who I chose, to the point I started questioning myself (and God). But in true God fashion I got the answer loud and clear on day ten of dropping gifts off. I received a note saying this girl had a bad year and every night she had to have painful dressing changes and knowing she would be receiving a gift made the discomfort less. I started crying when I read the note. After all it is the exact reason we have done this every year since 2004.

This is the first Christmas we had without Emily. She is working out in California and ended up spending Christmas with the Lindsay’s. If she had to not be at home, she was at the second best place in the world. After all had Brian and I both kicked the bucket, our kids were willed to them. There were times they threatened to kill us so they could live with them. Emily was very sad that she didn’t get to Christmas angel with us. Allyson said to me she liked houses that were farther away because we had more time to talk. So I started thinking about some of the highlights and I shared some of them with this years girl. I decided to blog them tonight for my girls.

The very first year I worked evenings so I had to drop the gifts off during the day. Since I worked the first three days I dropped them off during the day. Apparently that person worked during the day so finally on day three I made my sister call from her work and say this is your Christmas angel please check your front porch. The next year we did my neighbors I had as a child. She was convinced it was a neighbor down the street and each night would yell thank you and say the lady’s name. She never once thought it was me. One year the family lived in De Soto. We arrive in the dark and not one single mailbox has the address on it. None of the houses do either. I attempt to get on google earth but the houses are blocked by trees. By this time I am freaking out, screaming and cursing when the husband walks out to check the mail. Last year the guy I did was convinced he had a stalker and almost called the cops on us. He also had no numbers on his house so my oldest went rooting through his mailbox (which was attached to the house) to see what address was on the mail. One year we did Allyson’s friends who are twins. The first night she was at their house so I had to deliver by myself. I knocked on the door so loud that the guy across the hall opened his door also. I scared them all so bad they bumped heads on the table they were under. Before I had a smart phone I had to use map quest. I arrive to the street I was supposed to turn on and it had turned into a QT with no way to get through. I had to call Brian who had to get out his street guide to get us to the correct house. One year we pulled up to the house and Kayla says they are in the garage. I say no they are not, deliver the gift. She gets out starts to walk and I hear them in the garage. I say F**k they are in the garage, get back in the car.

This year was no different. The very first night I had worked and went by myself. There were no numbers on this house so I had to walk up to the neighbors to see their numbers. I ring the doorbell, hit the second step and my ankle goes sideways. I almost fell and I said oh hell no, I am not getting caught on day one and made it down the steps. One day just as I was getting out of the car, they came out of the house to go somewhere. I jumped back in the car and hid till they left. Then became paranoid they would forget something and come back and catch me. On the eleventh night just as Allyson was crossing the street a van pulled up into their driveway so she came back to the car. We did a lap around the subdivision and then she delivered. But the thing we will always remember is the stop sign in the middle of a street with houses on each side of the road. No cross-road or anything. The sidewalks are on both sides of the streets as well so we couldn’t figure out the purpose. On the last day I was actually going to ring the bell and wait (I’ve only done this one time in all these years) but they were not home.

So what started out as a way to bless others has turned into a Christmas tradition that we all love and look forward to each year. We’ve had great family talks and great family yelling. We’ve brightened 19 families over the years and hope to do 19 more. Although sooner than I care to admit, it will be me by myself so I better keep on running so I don’t get caught.

 

Mole Moral ~ Ding dong ditch still seems wrong even when leaving fun little presents.

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A Mole Christmas Tradition

Everyone always mentions family Christmas traditions and my mind always go blank. But this year, one jumped out and smacked me in the head.
Every year I give each of my girls a Christmas ornament so that when they move out they will have enough for a tree. I try to make them something that is relevant to the year. When Emily was in seventh grade she took drama and was in The King and I. She was twin number one. So that year I bought her this ornament.
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Now this ornament plays Shall We Dance so after its put on the tree someone pushes it and we all dance around the living room. This year I put the ornaments up when I was home alone. However I pushed the button and danced around the living room. Allyson came  home from work and saw I had put the ornaments up and looked right where I always place it and pushed the button. She, the dog and I then proceeded to dance around the room. Later that evening Brian returned from the property and he pushed it and we danced again. Kayla is due home from college and we shall see if she pushes it too. Since Emily will be out in California I think we may have to face time her so we can all dance.
Last week Allyson saw that The King and I was playing at the Fox Theater and asked if we could go. I told her if I can get tickets, it’s game on. So we went to the Sunday afternoon show. When I was a sophomore in high school we put on that play. I was in the orchestra and thought for sure I remembered the entire thing.  Nope I only remembered the shall we dance scene, the ending and the ballet scene. I’m pretty sure Kevin Olsen that played Simon of Legree had crazy long fingernails for the part. I ran into him at Mercy many years ago and he was a respiratory therapist. After we got home I got out my yearbook to see who was in the play. My memory was terrible and I’m glad I kept my yearbook all these years. I will never forget B.J. Bock who played the King did not have his lines memorized until the night before. I thought the drama teacher was going to lose his mind. Somehow he pulled it all together and it went smoothly live. I had totally forgotten Eddie Skaggs was in it which is probably how my crush on him developed. I do remember the girl who played Anna had an after play party and I went with my friends Tim and Kathy who also were in the orchestra with me. There was probably alcohol there but I was such a goodie two shoes I would have never drank.

The production was great and since I barely remembered anything about it, it was like seeing something brand new. Allyson had never been to the Fox so she enjoyed looking at how it was decorated. The program book had a lot of information about it and she found that very interesting. Especially how many lightbulbs were in the chandelier. We both agreed we would not want to be the one responsible for changing the burned out ones.

Mole Moral ~ Family Christmas traditions are cool, no matter how crazy they seem. I must go push the button!

 

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Confess it, don’t stress it

My mom gave Emily real pearls for obtaining her doctorate in physical therapy this past May. When Emily was little she would put on all of my moms necklaces and play dress up. When Emily joined a sorority her big sister bought her a string of not real pearls. (fake just sounds super cheap) and Emily wore them a lot in college. Always makes me think of June Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver fame. Because Emily had decided to do traveling Physical Therapy she left behind her pearls for me to put in the safe deposit box to keep them from getting lost or stolen. The box they came in sat on the ironing board for two months before I decided I would take them to the safety deposit box. This was around the end of August. I must confess I hate cleaning and swear on my death-bed I will not say I wish I kept my house cleaner. So I opened the box and they were not in there. I figured they were around the living room somewhere and I would find them eventually.

It is now December and I still have not found them. Emily has finally recovered from her fourth kidney stone and her first surgery to have one removed. So I bite the bullet last night and call her and tell her I cannot find them anywhere. She says you put them in the safe deposit box. I said no I did not and I just took everything out of it and brought it home to organize it. So she says they are in the special bag to keep them in and to look in her room on the computer desk. So I wander down there while I am talking to her and sure enough right there they sit. Now I had looked on and in the computer desk at least three times in the past trying to find the stupid things and yet now they are right there waving a flag that says hi you blind old lady.

Emily found the entire thing  hilarious. Especially that I had been worrying for months that I had lost them and would have to try to secretly replace them. Except I couldn’t even do that because it wouldn’t be the ones my mom bought her. I should have just called her straight away and asked her instead of being my own worst enemy. As many times as I have lost my debit card and my credit card, I am not sure why she would entrust me not to lose her pears.

 

Mole Moral ~ The real question is; will the pearls make it to the safe deposit box before I misplace them again?

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Why I do races

I often get asked why I do so many races and there are two simple reasons. The first one is practical and the second one is just crazy. I have found that if I don’t have a race coming up then I find every excuse not to run and can go three weeks without running at all. However, if I have a distance race in the future I will stick to the training plan and run all of them so I am well prepared. I recently signed up for a full marathon in April so that I will keep on running. It is my me time, my God time and my keep me from killing people time.

The second and real reason I do races is for the medals. Disney by far had the best medals and I have them in a shadow box. The rest of my medals are hanging on a curtain rod in my room. Recently I was thinking that when I die my kids will have to throw them all away because seriously who wants them besides me. Today was the Santa’s North Pole Dash. This is my favorite 5K and you get a medal as well. Todays medal did not disappoint. The shirt choices were either a Santa shirt or this my favorite Christmas movie.

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I have three Santa shirts so I picked the Christmas Story shirt instead. I wasn’t even thinking that the medal might be related to the shirt so I was in for a real treat.

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I was thinking that after I died my kids could use this as a Christmas ornament to remember me by. Then my friend Theresa’s husband told me to put my face in the opening and that was the best idea ever. So after at least twenty minutes of finding a picture, running out of ink, and cutting it wrong twice it is all finished.

Mole Moral ~ I found the way to be immortal, live on as a Christmas ornament so everyone can remember their insane crazy mother, grandmother, great-grandmother etc.