Friday, May 29, 2009

BQ Foto Friday

I love this picture. It was taken at the finish line of the Chicago Marathon the first time Hubby qualified for Boston (maybe 2001?). He ran something like 20 marathons before he hit his qualifying time, so it was an awesome moment. Next week, he is hopefully going to qualify for next year's Boston at the Sunburst Marathon. (He missed re-qualifying in Boston last month by four minutes). Please send fast running vibes, as I'm not quite sure what I'll do with him if he misses by four minutes again.

And the cutest Halloween costume EVER! (the wee one is pretty darn cute, too)

Running update: The 17.6 last weekend sucked. My knees have been killing me and it's so disappointing to actually be in shape cardiovascular-wise, but have so many aches and pains that it isn't even fun. I've been doing yoga, massage therapy, icing and anything else I can think of this week. Two slow runs this week showed definite improvement with the knee pain, so I'm hopeful I can get through the 21-miler scheduled for tomorrow. Then it's TAPER TIME!
Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Holy Big Bellies, Batman

She's sunbathing again, but today the 88-year-old Mr. has joined her! Picture a lot of heinously white flesh the consistency of half-set jello, flopped out for the world to see.

I'm usually glad my office has a window. Today? Not so much.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just Spotted

From time to time I like to make everyone jealous of my exciting, glamorous and ultra-cool job. I'll bet no one else today has gotten to lay eyes on an 80-something year old woman, sitting in a lawnchair in her yard wearing a pair of shorts with her shirt pulled up to her boobs. Apparently she wants to be sure she gets her daily recommended dose of Vitamin D. Am I lucky or what?


Little Miss Chatterbox is sitting in the lobby postulating and bemoaning that "no one around here even knows who Chad Pennington is." Um.....HUH? (I thought it was baseball season?)
Happy Tuesday!

Friday, May 22, 2009

TGIF Photo Friday

I found an extra special gift for all you Gladys Groupies out there! I had completely forgotten this picture I took last summer, so what serendipity to find it this morning. Gladys is the redhead, and sitting beside her is Lois, who died this past December.

Lois is the resident who answered the door wearing underwear on her head and once called Maude an old bitch. Man, I miss her.

Speaking of Maude.... Little Miss Chatterbox followed Maude to her apartment after lunch yesterday, of course talking all the way. Apparently, Little Miss Chatterbox was trying to tell Maude she thinks her hair is a pretty color of white (it really is). Maude got to her apartment, turned around and looked Little Miss Chatterbox right in the eye... and slammed the door. Seriously, who has more fun at work than me?

Yay for the long weekend! My plans include running 17.6, playing in the garden, and drinking some wine. Have a happy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pick-A-Little Talk-A-Little

Things are always busy around Rock Ridge, but every once in awhile it gets so hectic that I actually have to do some work. Like this morning. I had to drag my sorry (and tired) butt out of bed early enough to help serve breakfast to the inmates, which required me to arrive an entire hour before I normally do. Assistant likes to point out that I actually willingly get up earlier when I run in the mornings, but she isn't the boss and I'll complain if I want to.

I really don't have too much to complain about, though. Serving breakfast is a riot. You've got the people who forget their teeth, the people who are so hard of hearing that when you walk away from the table they talk about you SO LOUD everyone in the dining room hears it, and then you've got Little Miss Chatterbox (thanks for the perfect name, T!) As soon as I hit the front door I could hear the screechy whine of her voice. She was a constant stream of chatter the entire time I served juice and coffee. She was still talking as I started serving plates. Keep in mind, this is mindless chatter...she says absolutely nothing! Just talk, talk, talk. I was clearing plates when suddenly, I screechy voice! What!? This woman has NOT SHUT UP since she moved in!!! And the dining room was QUIET?! Somewhat surprised, yet altogether curious I asked her table if anyone needed a refill of coffee. As she responded,* the three men at her table all burst into laughter. One of the men pointed at his watch and said "You didn't even make it five minutes!"

"Well, that was her fault," Little Miss Chatterbox exclaimed as she pointed a finger at me. "She asked me a question, I think we should start over. That was a set-up. We need to do it over. Yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda (there aren't enough yaddas in the world to portray this woman's oratory ability)."

Apparantly, Little Miss Chatterbox said she could be quiet for eight whole minutes, and one of the men didn't believe her and challenged her to prove it. Obviously she fell short of the goal.

As I walked away from the table, I finally heard her actually say something of content.

"Whoever is in charge here sure does a bang-up job! These girls around here are just so nice! Like that one! I don't know how they find such nice girls." Apparently she thinks I just serve breakfast. I think I'd like that.

*A Little Miss Chatterbox response is NOT a typical "yes, I would like some more coffee" or "no thank you." Instead it is more like "you know, I've heard it's good to put coffee grounds in garbage disposals. I think I should try that. Can I gets some coffee grounds from the kitchen? I used to put coffee grounds in the garden. I'd save them in a can and then put them right into the dirt. That grows beautiful flowers. You know I can't believe the peonies aren't open yet, seems like they should be since it's almost Memorial Day. I guess we're having a cookout on Memorial Day. I hope there's hotdogs. I love a good hotdog. That reminds me of when... What did you ask me?"

Friday, May 15, 2009

Foto Friday

Our internet access has been down at Rock Ridge (how do they expect me to get any blogging, er, uh work done!?), so today's photos are sponsored by my home computer. Sarah, these are for you!

I live in a town that has an amateur circus, in which I began performing at the age of eight. It is an annual thing, with one week of shows every summer. I performed in various acts every summer until I was 19. I, being from a tiny midwestern town, was so worldy at the age of 19 I thought it would be a great idea to "go professional," as us amateur circus kids call performing in a "real" circus and actually being paid for putting ourselves in peril 35 feet in the air. I layed off a year from college. I performed for awhile at Knott's Berry Farm in California, and then moved to Florida and performed at Cypress Gardens. After the show in Florida folded, I performed one summer with a tent show that toured Indiana. As glamorous as that sounds, one night as I took off my elephant-stinking fishnets in the front seat of my Ford EXP as the old fryer oil from the corndog stand hung in the thick summer air I decided it would probably be a better idea to finish college. So I did. End of glamorous circus career.

These pictures are from July of 2007, when our amateur circus hosted an Alumni Show in which past (aka OLD!) performers put on the show. This is me doing Spanish Web in that show.

I'll have to see if I can find some old pics from the tent show, because that would be highly entertaining some Friday. Ah, the circus life.

Hmmm...I just contemplated this irony: my current job could be considered a circus, too...only now I'm the Ringmaster and most of my performers are sideshows! :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Nuggets

We had a new resident move in last week and I don't think she's shut up since she got here. I'm not kidding, this woman defies description. Chatterbox, Mouth of the South, or even Windbag don't even come close to painting the picture. I have never in my life heard a person talk so much but say so little....I'm not sure when she breathes!! It's unbelievable. To make matters worse, she has this incredibly grating and squeaky old lady voice that reminds me of a cross between a munchkin and the witch in Snow White. It's bad. Really, really bad. Other residents avoid her and won't let her sit at their lunch table, Gladys has actually gotten up and walked away from her, and I have a headache because she's been sitting outside my office door all afternoon. I have a feeling she might be the subject of future posts....


Pearl isn't coming home. After the episode involving her weapons of mass destruction, she was admitted to a geriatric behavioral unit and they have informed us her dementia has progressed to the point she needs to be in a secured facility (specifically for dementia patients). I know it is what she needs, but I'm sad I won't be seeing her great big purse parked outside my office anymore. I might even miss being threatened with the meat tenderizer, too.


We lost a resident this morning. Obviously this is a really hard part of the job and I'm always sad when someone dies. While I feel terrible for her family, today, for her...I feel joy. This woman had been married to her husband for 70 years. They got married nine days after they met because they were so in love with each other. You could see the love they shared, by the way they looked at each other, spoke to one another, or how one would put out a steadying hand for the other. I've read articles about Broken Heart Syndrome in which spouses die in rapid succession. I believe it to be a very real thing. This resident was not ill and had no underlying medical conditions, but her husband died two weeks ago. Tragic for the family, but yet a beautiful and poetic ending to their love story. Incredible.


I haven't talked much about my marathon training, but it's getting down to crunch time. Today I am exactly five weeks and five days away from Grandma's Marathon. I ran a successful 21-miler on Saturday, at a pace that would make me a very happy runner on marathon day if I were able to sustain it for those last 5.2 miles. It's a strange event, though, and who knows? I'm just putting it out there that someday I hope to say I ran a marathon in four-something, because that sounds waaaaaaay faster than five-something. My IT band is aggravated again, but I'm going to yoga and stretching, stretching, stretching. I think I can limp it along.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Foto Friday

A little late for Cinco de Mayo, but how ironic that this picture would be the 8th one in the 5th folder. This is my little bro and I celebrating some past Cinco de Mayo, although by my apparel one might surmise I thought it was Aloha de Mayo... or something. At least I was being festive with the uber-cool lid, but I think really I was just pissed that P.J.'s is bigger. (He has *always* been mom's favorite!!)
The folks at the Ridge have been unusually quiet this week, unless you count the lady who insists rainwater is getting underneath her house...which is causing high humidity on the inside...which is making her nose "run like a faucet," and no matter how long I talked to her she still can't seem to understand her home is built on a SLAB and there is no freaking basement, and even if there were why doesn't she just buy a dehumidifier already?
Gladys is having trouble with that pesky Naomi again (reminder: Naomi and Gladys were roomies, until Naomi died last year...which Gladys can't seem to remember). Gladys was in the lobby, overwrought and upset, telling Assistant and I that Naomi has been sneaking into her room while she's at lunch, laying down in Gladys' bed and having the nerve to leave withouth re-making the bed!! She is seriously worked up about this... so upset I think she might make herself stroke out, or at least vomit.
Well, this same day I had a procedure on my eye that left it really swollen and red, so Assistant teasingly tells Gladys that she'll take care of Naomi, makes a fist and punches it into her other hand. "Just look what I did to Carrie when she made me mad," Assistant said to Gladys as she pointed at my puffy eye. Instantly, Gladys goes from totally upset and wringing her hands in despair to the quick-witted little love with Alzheimer's that makes me want to take her home, and says "Hon, you better stay away from her. She beat me three times just today."

I'm continually amazed how sharp and witty Gladys can be when she can't remember Naomi is dead, has no idea what year it is, and thinks she is on vacation at a resort rather than living at an Assisted Living. She's the best.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Whole Lotta Love

"I think you've probably been beautiful your whole life," 97 year-old Freddie just said to me.

"That's the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day," I reply.

"Well, you are beautiful," he kind of sighs before continuing, "Here I am with all this love in me and I've got no way to get it out."


Because I'm getting too old for sibling torture and because Teh Big Bro asked so nice, here are a couple of pics from the Mini Marathon. Unfortunately, I was so busy basking in my PR glory that I forgot I should have been capturing the moment, so this is pretty much it.

(The start kind of reminds me of a Jimmy Buffett concert, only the music isn't as good and the only questionable thing you smell is ben-gay and biofreeze.)

This is my family after the race. We had walkers, runners and some walk/runners. It was great watching everyone finish and catching up after the race. Two of my nieces also participated but are missing from the picture. They had to leave as soon as they finished because the younger niece's prom was that same night. What 17-year-old girl runs a half marathon on the day of her prom!?! MY niece 2:13 no less! (No cream puff girly-girls here!)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Greatest Spectacle in Running

The One America Mini Marathon kicks off the month-long celebration of all things Indy 500. There's nothing quite like Indianapolis in the month of May, whether or not you're even an Indy Car race fan, and the Mini Marathon couldn't be a better way to get the party started. The Mini is the largest half marathon in the country, with 35,000 participants cueing up at 7:30 yesterday morning awaiting their turn at a lap on the famed Indy 500 racetrack. This was my seventh Mini, and Hubby's millionth (or something like that). Each year is just a little different, but the festive atmosphere is always the same. As we wait for the start in our corrals (there are 26 of 'em!) the local news channel is interviewing participants, John Mellencamp (he's from Indiana, ya know) is blasting from speakers, fans are packed in like sardines and hundreds of black and white checkered beach balls are volleying from runner to runner. Suddenly a strong voice can be heard over the melee...and an Indiana State Trooper is singing the obligatory "Back Home Again in Indiana" to signal it's almost race time. He isn't Jim Nabors, but he did a pretty great job all the same.

After the gun went off, it took me a little over ten minutes to get to the start line (Hubby, or Mr. Fast-Seeded-Runner as I like to call him, only took 45 seconds). It took the people in the last corral nearly 40 minutes! The start is crowded, and I have to say it's annoying to me that people lie about their estimated finish time just so they can start closer to the front and then are IN MY WAY because they are walking right from the beginning and not only are they walking but they are doing it THREE ABREAST so that it is impossible to pass. So mile one was a little hairy, but after that I found myself settling in with people at my pace...which was...remarkably...about 9:30. I decided I was going to try to maintain the pace for as many miles as possible. I didn't know how long I could keep it up, but before I knew it I was in front of the Speedway (mile six-ish) and I was still feeling strong.

Running on the track is the hardest part of the race for me. I do think it's awesome to run over the yard of bricks, and for a race fan or someone who has never been to the speedway it would probably be a great life experience. However, having been to the 500 lots of times, to the time trials even more, and drunk at Carburation Day more times than I should have been, it loses some of the luster. That's why I find running on 2.5 miles of pitched pavement with nothing but empty bleachers as scenery kinda boring. The good part of the track, however, is when you exit... all of a sudden you're at mile 9!! And for me, I was at mile 9 still running 9:30s!

I'm not sure what happened between miles 9 and 11, but somewhere out there I finally left the self doubt on the side of the road and allowed myself to believe I could actually finish a half marathon averaging less than 10 minute miles. Somewhere after 11 but before 12, I knew without any uncertainty I was running my best half marathon ever.

My IT band injury never even bothered me (amazing). I was tired, but felt good. I was running to some crazy mantra I had been repeating in my head since the track and suddenly there was Hubby, screaming my name and to "go, girl, go." I could tell he knew where I was. That was all the motivation I needed to find my last bit of energy reserve and finish hard.

Oh, how I love a PR!!! (who doesn't, right!?) Offical time: 2:06:30, which is 7:06 better than last year, and 5 minutes better than my previous PR. That's a 9:40 average pace! What a great day for this back-of-the-pack runner...and to make it even better the Mini has turned into quite the family affair. I had more than ten various family members also participating. What a blast.

Bib 4013
Females 35-39
FiveMile 0:47:08
TenMile 1:35:55
RunnerTIME 2:06:30
GunTime 2:16:49
PACE 9:40
SEXP 3441