Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm Alive

Barely. It took four days to get over whatever ugly bug decided to take up residence in my digestive system. Bright side: 3.5 pound weight loss. Down side: I've never been that sick. Ever. But I'm better. Thank goodness.

Now I have out of town company, so not much time to post. Gladys was in fine form this week, so I'll be back soon. In the meantime, here's my TGIF foto fun. Late, as usual. This is what I look like upon finishing the hardest marathon I've ever run, which isn't unlike how I look after four days of gastric distress. Not. Good.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend Update

This post is coming live from my living room where my pathetic self is slabbed out on the couch from which I have not moved in two days. I didn't eat any peanut butter, but I may as well have. The upside: I discovered at least two things I hate more than the treadmill. And both involve the untraditional use of a toilet.

Moving on to a better subject...

The treadmill and I sorta made up! On Monday, I ran 35 non-stop minutes varying between 12 minute and 10 minute mile pace. It certainly won't set any records, but this felt like a great accomplishment considering I ended up walking the past several times I attempted to run on the treadmill. On Wednesday, with the help of some John Bon Jovi eye candy (you all were right about the TV) I ran 30 minutes, but this time I stayed on 10 minute mile pace the entire run.

I still don't love the treadmill yet, but I made myself have a better outlook about it. And I was yet again reminded that attitude really is everything when the universe rewarded my new found anti-antagonistic attitude. The sun came out Thursday, the temperature made it all the way up to 39 degrees, and I RAN OUTSIDE! It was only three miles, but I enjoyed every step.

My plan for this week includes at least three runs (no pun intended), however I will first have to pry myself off this couch.

Friday, January 23, 2009


This is a special treat for all you groupies out there! Today's Foto Friday is brought to you by Gladys herself. (She's the redhead!)

Today she says Naomi has stolen all of her make-up. She came into my office and said "That woman has a screw loose! Why would anyone steal such a thing as make-up? When she married that husband of hers, she went to pot!" She makes me laugh every single day.

She is a really big reason why I love my job.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Meeting of the Minds

Last week we had a Resident Council Meeting. These are a big deal with much talk and preamble leading up to meeting day. Typically, this is a meeting where all the residents attend and then bitch, er I mean, talk about everything that is wrong and needs fixed around this dump. Needless to say, I was dreading this meeting as much as I do the treadmill.

As it turns out, the dread was most unnecessary and the meeting was amazing! This resident council meeting was 1000% different than any other Resident Council Meeting in the history of Rock Ridge. At this meeting, after they did all their cute Robert's Rules of Order stuff and opened the floor for commentary, residents actually stood up and said what the liked about Rock Ridge! They talked about everything that was going right! The consensus was that things couldn't be better! One resident even teared up while talking about how he feels he doesn't deserve to be treated so well and how much he loves everyone here. It was such a positive meeting, that the lone complainer had even changed his attitude before he was finished trying to complain, and I don't think he even realized it! This was such a cool thing to witness, considering the extremely negative history of past council meetings. Actually, it was pretty damn awesome.

The Good: Assistant says I'm the one who has set the tone and helped make this a more positive place to work and live. While I do not believe that this is the case, (it takes a strong team of a lot of positive people to turn negativity around) it was still a wonderful compliment that made me feel good.

The Bad: During the meeting, one resident stood and read the names of all the residents who have died, as a sort of memorial. It was a nice tribute, but I think it made everyone feel a little melancholy. There were so many names...more than we let ourselves remember on a daily basis.

The Inevitable: When Naomi's* name was read, Gladys sat up straight in her chair, gasped audibly, and loudly exclaimed "Naomi Lastname certainly IS NOT dead!" Then she slumped back in her chair and muttered under her breath "She just wants everyone to think she is."

God, I love her.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'll take your Nixon and raise you a Roosevelt!

Today at the Ridge we served lunch as usual, but set up a borrowed big-screen TV in the dining room so the residents (and staff) could watch the historic inaugaration of our 44th president. As we listened to the oaths and speeches, I was uncertain what to expect. It is no secret these elders are from an era where equality was unheard of and prejudices were not only accepted, but expected.

But as I looked around the room at wrinkled face after wrinkled face cupping their hands to their ears so as to hear every word spoken by our new president, I could tell none of that mattered. They were proud. Proud to live in a country where anything is possible, and proud to have lived so long to have witnessed not just this historic event, but so many others that came before it.

Our oldest resident was born during President Roosevelt's second term. TEDDY Roosevelt's second term. Isn't that just incredible?!? My grandmother (who also happens to be a resident at Rock Ridge...I'm so blessed) witnessed her 17th presidential inaugaration today, with the first being Woodrow Wilson's. Just think of the life experience they have! Although I live with the wisdom and experiences (and shenanigans!) of these seniors every day, I rarely take the opportunity to reflect on that. I'm grateful I was able to today. (It also made me feel like an infant that Nixon was president when I was born. Seriously. How does he compare to TEDDY frickin' ROOSEVELT!?!)

And just to prove my concern of intolerance was way off the mark, one 94-year-old sweetheart leaned over toward me as she gazed at President Obama on the big screen and said "He sure is a handsome man, isn't he?"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekend Update

Work was insane this week. I have stories but somehow don't feel like writing about them yet. Someone died this week, too, which is probably why I don't feel like it. That part of the job really sucks.

SO. Moving on. I've decided weekend posts will be about my running (or lack thereof) . I need the (perceived) accountability right now because I seem to be lacking a little in the motivation department. I signed up for a marathon this week and then only ran ONE TIME! I have to get over my antagonistic relationship with the treadmill. The temperature ranged from -18 to about +7 this whole week, and there is 6-7 inches of snow and ice on the ground. There is no way I can run outside. I have to figure out how to make treadmill running work for me.

The dumbest thing about despising the treadmill is that I don't even know why! Yes, it's hot. Yes, it's pretty boring. But other than that I can't even think of a real reason WHY I hate it so much. Maybe that whole weird exposed tummy episode caused enough mental anguish that I've subconsciously transferred the horror into treadmill hate?! Yeah. Probably not. I've never been too big on making this week I'm going to try and change my outlook. I'm going to be grateful I have a treamill to run on. I'm going to be happy that I have strong legs and can even run in the first place...and then I'm going to run on that treadmill as if I am loving every single second of it. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why I Shouldn't Work from Home

Dear Carrie,
Congratulations! You are officially registered for the 33rd annual Grandma's Marathon on June 20, 2009. We are looking forward to welcoming you to Duluth, and providing you with a world-class race.
Since it is currently -9 degrees (yes, that is a minus) in the frozen heartland, I probably should try and make up with the treadmill. Oy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Pearl has Two Faces

Pearl was in an unusually jovial mood the other day. She, Gladys, and I were chatting when Pearl told us she used to be a teacher. I had only known that she was a nurse, not a teacher, so I asked her about it. "Well, I didn't teach for too long before I decided to be a nurse," she explained.

I asked her why she had decided to be a nurse when she already had a teaching job. "I'll tell you what made me decide. Archie did."

"Archie?" I asked.

She tells this story: Yeah, Archie. I sent him out back to bring in a bucket of water from the well. When he brought it back in, I dipped up a cup to get a drink. A little girl in the front starts saying "Teacher! Teacher! Don't drink that! Archie peed in the bucket!"

"What did you do?" I laughed.

"Ohhhh, I whacked him good and sent him home!" Pearl declared proudly.

We laughed and talked about how different things are now, and that today she probably would have gone to jail for "whacking him good." We were having fun and laughing! Which is why I thought I could get away with teasingly asking: "Pearl, what on earth do you have in that bag?" when she tried to lift her purse off her walker but couldn't because of the weight.

And just like using a light switch to turn off a light, the happy and laughing Pearl was gone and the normal, red-faced, vein-bulging, paranoid Pearl retorted (in a voice only comparable to Linda Blair's Regan), "I have everything in there I don't want STOLE!"

So much for jovial.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

In the Long Run

I'm late to Thank Goodness It's Friday Photo day. What a week. Rest assured when I have more time you'll be hearing all about the happy things that went down at Rock Ridge. But for now! I decided any weekend posts would NOT be about work (I love them all dearly, but I really need the weekend break). is my late photo, along with my weekend confessional.

The picture is Hubby getting ready to board the bus for Hopkinton last April. The amazing thing about this picture and that particular Boston Marathon: Hubby had shingles. Bad. And he ran a freaking marathon. And finished with his second best Boston time ever. He is an animal.

Confessional: The weather here has sucked all week which equates to no outdoor running. The other thing that sucks is me on a treadmill. On Monday before the weather turned, I logged one quality three-mile run(36 degrees and sunny). The rest of the week included two pathetic attempts at treadmill running. Score: Treadmill, 2. Me, 0.

It might be a long winter.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Let the New Year Begin

So far today, the Cheaps have cleaned out the snack bar (we're talking enough snacks to feed a family of four for three weeks) AND took the baskets of crackers off the dining tables, Pearl is missing a pair of blue velvet slacks and claims Rock Ridge is the "thievenest" place she has ever lived, and la piece de resistance: A resident drove her scooter into a wine display at the grocery store.

They may never let us back in the store.