Sometimes…

Standard

You gotta
Make your own sunshine;
Fill your own cup
Of happiness;
Have a wine and cheese party
For one;
Dance with the lightning;
Sway with the thunder;
Turn your face toward the rain;
Order books to listen to;
Tell your family you love them;
Make sure they know…
Hold their faces in your hands
While you tell them so;
Take a risk;
Think of the time
God has allotted you…
And don’t waste a moment…
Do it.
Gracefully,
Graciously.
Leave love
Everywhere you go…
Sometimes you just gotta.

Mrs. Connick’s daughter…

Standard

Yesterday, out of the blue, a kind-eyed, blue-eyed stranger asked me, “Are you Mrs. Connick’s daughter?” RARE. It has been years since some asked me that. I immediately felt my angel’s wings squeeze me a little tighter…”YES??!!!” I walked right up to this guy-with-the-Greek-last-name-that-for-the-life-of-me-I-can’t-remember…He had dark skin and a salt & pepper handle-bar moustache. “I LOVED your mom. I took care of her when she came to Lourdes.” Hospital. My mom suffered from congestive heart failure, and various forms of cancer that stemmed from breast cancer. But this visit, I believe was her heart. The kind guy went on to tell me that there were no beds available and my mom was very patient (typical) and pleasant (typical). He told me that once she got her bed, he still checked on her and always enjoyed chatting with her. The thing that got me the most was that she died about 15 years ago, THIS month. I’ve already been thinking about her this month. I was always astounded how the month could be so full of new life, cool morning air, my son joining his first t-ball team…and my mom lay there, so sick and unable to do anything at all. We were with her constantly back then, and then her very best friend was kind enough to let our mom move into her home and also let me and my sisters stay there as much as possible. We would go into our mom’s room, which was always dim and cool, and there my mom would be, so tiny in that big bed, always anxious to hold hands & listen to me gab to her or among my two sisters. I know she is in Heaven. I saw her reach up to either her angel, Jesus Himself, or, knowing my mom, St. Joseph came down to pick her up himself because he was HER saint. She went to him with EVERYthing. I used to wonder why and then I realized…my dad died when I was 8 and with St. Joseph being the head of the Holy Family, my mom asked him to be the head of ours, too. Anyway. I was dating my now-husband back then. It was Festival time (Festival International, my very, very favorite festival we have here), and I hardly realized it because of the round-the-clock-watch with my mom. I wasn’t even running back then. One of my sisters and I were with our mom. We were talking quietly in the corner while our mom slept that Saturday morning. We noticed our sweet mom’s breath change & we turned to look at her. She reached straight up toward the ceiling as if she was taking someone’s hand. She was. Typical Catholic girls, we started praying the “Hail Mary”. A minute or two later, with each of us holding a hand & her eyes locked onto mine, her beautiful brown eyes that were so full of life for so long, dimmed. I knew she was gone. Just like that. It was amazing. It was beautiful. I was so grateful to be with her as she left us.

Later that night…this is kind of funny. Okay, it IS funny. I am sure I blogged about this before, but that’s okay. While my other sister and I sat on the floor, looking at some pictures of our mom and waiting for the third sister to pick us up for dinner, a bottle of Victoria’s Secret lotion began rocking back and forth on the shelf about 5 feet from us – we just stared, holding our breath. After about 15 seconds, the bottle stopped rocking; my sister and I looked at each other & said in unison, “Momma!” We laughed. Leave it to Libby to let us know she made it to Heaven by way of a Victoria’s Secret lotion bottle…which just happened to be her favorite. I used to massage her hands and hit her pressure points with that same kind of lotion :)

I know she just changed neighborhoods; she’s not really gone. Her best friend – one of them – died on Friday, I just found out…I knew immediately that Momma must have been waiting at the gate for Miss Margaret to come through!

Peace. And love somebody.

Friday. Yet Sunday.

Standard

p>I LOVE FRIDAYS.  Just the idea of having a break with my family or setting my alarm clock because I want to go RUN is an EXHILARATING thought!  I just soak up Friday.  Oh, and I rarely cook on Fridays.  We love Vietnamese food and of course, in South Louisiana, during Lent, Fridays mean crawfish.  I still remember my parents having conversations that circled around penance during Lent, yet crawfish was completely acceptable during Lent.  </p><p>This week has been extra-good for me, physically speaking…I feel 90 percent recovered from the Zydeco Marathon.  I say 90 percent because until I really let it rip with a little speed work, well, that’s when I’ll be back at 100 percent.  My goal this week was, to quote the fitness master Sean T, to “push play” 3 times this week AND also keep some running in the mix.  I did Insanity Day 1, T25 on 2 days, and today I did my first Body Rock class in our neighborhood.  A workout class IN PUBLIC is a huge step for me.  I’ve always been self-conscious, felt uncoordinated, etc.  But you know what?  So what.  I joked with the instructor that I was going to hang out in the back of the class in case I needed to run out &amp; couldn’t hang.  I hung.  Very well.  The hardest part was planking &amp; pulsing a leg at the same time.  EVERYthing started sweating at that moment.  My neck, my abs.  Dude.  Seriously.  My elbows, even!!!!  Lucia, the amazing, ex-Marine, instructor, uses a Tabata timer &amp; there were 3 sets of each group of workouts.  I’ll definitely be back.  The stretching &amp; weights, and everything was just what I needed to help round my week.</p><p>6 more sleeps till my sweet son comes home for Spring Break!!!!  I can’t wait to see him!  I just took a quick nap in his room.  I just miss spending time with him…hearing his voice &amp; seeing that precious face.  I can’t wait to see what Neville Longbottom does when he sees that his boy has come home!!!!  My son told me recently that he plans to take Neville with him everywhere that he can while he is in town.  :)  I love that.</p><p>Lent – the start of Holy Week this weekend!  I took my daughters to the Way of the Cross on Monday evening.  I may have mentioned that in the last post.  May also be a brain-cramp.  Regardless, going to a Way of the Cross can be a very moving experience.  One of our local Roman Catholic high schools, St. Thomas More, used to, and I’m sure still does, a very emotional one where the students are the actors.  Remembering all the years that I went to that brings tears to my eyes even now.  It is such a moving experience.  I love that the students have the opportunity to portray Jesus and the people He encountered during that time – just a very insightful experience.</p><p>Getting ready to go pick up my sweet 8th grader at the bus stop.  She loves her some weekends, too!  She was trying to work ahead on her homework so that she would have a “freer” weekend…can’t blame her &amp; love that responsible way she thinks!</p><p>Whatchall cooking at Easter?  We need to talk about it in this house REALLY soon.  I’ve been swirling ideas around my head.  But our neighborhood does a very good Easter Lunch – we did that last year.  But, since we aren’t going out of town, cooking may work – leftovers will be much-appreciated by my son, I know, who misses my cooking!  I definitely need to make a homemade mac &amp; cheese at some point.  Ham?  Or my mother-in-law’s crawfish enchiladas?  Her private recipe.  Talk.about.GOOD.  You can tell I’m from the South.  We love talking about cooking &amp; recipes &amp; down here, we usually talk about the next meal while we are eating :)  Now that seems to be more on special occasions with all the metabolisms slowing down &amp; food allergies going up!  sigh.  That’s okay.  That’s what special occasions are for &amp; after all, Easter is HUGE!!!  </p><p>Peace, y’all…</p>

April 1, 2014

Standard

Tuesday.  Two days post Zydeco Marathon.  The race.  26.2 miles.  I’m very glad I did it.  I think if I do that one again, given the warm time of year, I will change my expectations.  I was hoping to finish in around 4 hours.  I finished in like 4:17, I think.  Certainly not stellar for me, especially since there was virtually no elevation gain.  Baton Rouge has over 1,400 feet of elevation and I finish marathons there in a lot less time.  Pity party over.  I started.  I finished.  I won, as far as I’m concerned.  I’m soooooorrrrrre.  Like, really sore.  I went from walking like a slow robot on Monday to a transformer today.  I’m not sure what is next.  I’m out of the New York Marathon.  My husband has a trial/trial prep that is happening at exactly the same time, so there goes my chance for that race this year.  As he said, if that’s the worse thing that happens to me, I’m doing alright.  The only problem is, I was/am disappointed because I have thrown my hat into that ring for 3 solid years, with a ‘no’ each time and this year is the last year that I would be able to be granted entry with the sort of “3 strikes & you’re IN” rule.  That rule is over after this year.  I could still raise money for it next year and run it.  I’ll see. 

I feel like I’m at the beginning of something.  I’m not sure what.  I want to do something physically – change up my workouts, challenge myself in different ways…I also want to clean out this house & get rid of all that is no longer useful and give it to someone who can use it!

I’m taking this week off to let my muscles recuperate.  I enjoyed some time on my porch this evening, planting a few things and trying to re-vitalize what’s happening out there since the big freezey!!!!

Lent – and the Padre Pio Novena are in full swing.  Home school is going quite well.  My sweet son will be in during Easter break.  I can’t wait to see him and spend some time with him!  He is doing a beautiful job transitioning from kid-to-man.  That is not an easy transition under the best of circumstances.  He is wonderful and inspiring.  He can make me laugh when I least expect it!  I told him tonight, he needs to write some of what he says down.  He’s a riot and doesn’t even realize it :)

Okay, so peace out, I’m gonna go look at my plants! :)

How do we (I) stop judging?

Standard

As I knelt at Mass today – we were on the 2nd row – if you want your children to really behave at Mass, sit close! Wow! It does wonders! Sit toward the back & somewhere around the homily, I’m wedging myself between 2 poking & pinching teenage girls. Geez. Plus, I love being close to the Light:)

Anywho – btw I’m on my cracked iPhone. And double btw, I know I have some comments that I will definitely respond to…

So. I’m on my knees, eyes on the priest during the transubstantiation – know this: when this is happening, the alter I crowded with as many angels as can fit – angels are Godly beings – but they aren’t human beings – they can’t receive Jesus in the way we do – but they can be crowded around Him at the alter.

I have add. I’m sorry y’all. I just don’t want anybody to miss out on the absolutely most amazing relationship we can have – with Jesus – I’m 46 & I’ve seen it all – nothing comes close.

So I’m kneeling & thinking about Jesus in His perfection and the pain He went through for us. Suddenly I saw so clearly that He died for each of us in our sinfulness – and our sins really don’t matter as far as the crucifixion goes – what I mean by that is, Jesus came and died for Hitler, Dahmer, and me. Screeeech. Huh? Yes. At the foot of the cross, we are all the same – sinners – salvation is personal and not a given – I want mine. I want to store up treasures in Heaven. So, in that thought, I apologized to Jesus for all the wrongs and sins that He died for. I begged Him to help me see each person I encounter as He sees us – which is with love. We don’t know what each of us are going through. The most and the least we can do for one another is to be kind, show love, and give each other a break. The small acts that we can leave with one another may be the only love of God and His Son, Jesus, that some of us may see.

I’m going to do my best to try to see my fellow humans through a better set of eyes – His…the way He sees me :)

Lent – coming up on the third Sunday!

Standard

this will be a mishmash.  shocker, i know.  Lent – the 3rd week IS on my mind.  a LOT.  but, as usual, so are lots of other things.  and at the moment, it’s just me in the house.  say what???  well, my daughters are in the poolhouse – one daughter is having a friend sleep over and when a friend sleeps over, well, the whole conversation, at this point of the evening, gets very much on a need-to-know basis, and clearly, I DON’T NEED TO KNOW :)))))  so, they retreat to the pool house.  if i am the only one in the house, then why in tarnation am i having to be sentenced to listening to a disney show?  that hefty kid who got thin?  you know? jake and josh.  yesssss.  nailed it.

anywho.  let’s see.  Lent.  has made me think.  dude.  a LOT.  about real necessities.  i make these quiet – as in i don’t tell anybody – that way i don’t have to actually commit.  however, God knows what goes on in this heart and coconut, so He deals with my thoughts as they come – i make these quiet edicts within myself.  like…that’s it.  i don’t think i ever want to eat crawfish and drink beer.  well, the chances of that happening – or not happening, as it were – may be good.  i do love me some crawfish and beer.  but as i delve deeper into Lent and what it means – and to me it means getting real.  keeping what counts, shucking what doesn’t and in all along, giving it up for God – thinking of Jesus.  so, for me, i gave up meat, beer, and cheap gluten.  i know, ‘cheap’ gets me too.  on occasion, i have a piece of Ezekiel bread.  and i’m a runner for Heaven’s sake.  my body does actually need a modicum or better of gluten, i think.  well, on the gluten front, if i am craving it, i eat it.  like tonight for instance.  it’s no-meat-Friday, right?  took my daughter and her friend to the best po-boy place EVA.  (olde tyme grocery).  for the FIRST TIME ever, i ordered a shrimp SALAD.  foregoing the langlinais bread AND beer AND shared french fries.  so i didn’t beat myself up over the batter on the shrimp that beautifully topped my salad.  i even packed my own yogurt dressing.  and i ate the croutons that came on the salad.  it was all so good.

so.  so…i’m a work in progress. we all are.  sometimes the meat thing is hard – i am doing it all through Lent, with the exception of Sundays, if i so desire.  but that’s what it’s about – sacrificing something we enjoy.  i’m sure Jesus enjoyed living His life until the Crucifixion came.  and He went through that for me.  and YOU. 

okay, so now.  the Zydeco Marathon. it’s a week from Sunday.  i went to my doctor the other day for my yearly.  i have MVP.  i found that out when i was 35.  so, my wonderful doc heard a murmur, which i’m guessing is mvp.  he wants me me check it out.  i am.  i am already scheduled.  my doc joked, ‘you run marathons, i’m sure it’s nothing…but still, get it looked at.’  for a nano-second, i was remotely scared.  why?  what if i croaked before i ran the 3-day or 6-day run in colorado?  or Chicago?  or walked St. John’s Way in Spain????  or went to the Vatican??  or Disney World?  specifically, the Carousel of Progress???? and ate the dark-chocolate-drenched-vanilla-mickey ears ?  or drank wine in belgium at Epcot?  and those are just the selfish parts of what popped into my mind; i didn’t even come close to the obvious life-changers – my children getting married and becoming parents themselves, among other things.  anywho.  i’m not worried.  i’m not stopping my life.  for what?  to wait and see what a puny little murmur means?  worse case scenario – i drop on the marathon course on march 30.  well, i was doing what i loved, they can say.

enough of that.

it’s a weird training interval, this one.  i couldn’t ramp up fully because of my timing over the marathons i did in december and january.  oh, get this – the elevation change for the Zydeco????  like 96 FEET.  Baton Rouge has almost 1,500 change in elevation!  i’m not sure what to expect weather wise.  i’d love cold & rainy, but i am expecting warm and humid.  that means i’ll be doing the galloway method.  probably 3:00 run and :30 walk.  i’m enjoying my veggies all i can this weekend, because sunday is my cut-off on greens, for the most part.  i start tapering (going a little nutty) and not consuming as many calories because i won’t be burning as many.  thinking about what i will wear.  what the weather will be.  germexxing everything.  lysoling everything.  it’ll be fun.  no matter what happens, it’s a 4-hour, thereabouts, run, with blocked streets, hydration stations, through the town i was born in.  and i get to sleep in my own bed the night before.  now that’s nice! and back to training, i’m not even very fast.  but who cares?  in my book, if you start, and finish, you win. 

peace OUT.  hang tough with your Lenten promises.  add new ones as Lent progresses.  for me, i want to go to Mass during the week, too.  and i’m trying to at least LIStEN to the Rosary every day.  “Now Bible” app on your iphone.  so soothing and certainly worthwhile.

sigh :)))