Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Year....A Fresh Start!

All my adoring fans (Tony!) are a little bitter since I have been completely absent from my blog since October. So,therefore, as we begin the new year, it's time to get back on that horse and "blog on" I say! I have much to talk about as we are just finishing a busy and somewhat crazy holiday season. We started December with a trip to Washington DC, so I felt it only appropriate to ruminate on that for a bit.
Mark and I spent 4 days ambling through our nation's capital. Through that we learned several things. One, it pays to join the Omni Hotels Frequent Guest Program, so you get free coffee delivered to your room every day. Two, the Metro is a great way to get around DC, and the escalators are a great way to conquer one's fear of heights and crippling vertigo. Three, no commerce is transacted in DC with the exception of stores and restaurants. What I mean is; thousands and thousands of people work in DC but they don't produce anything. They all work for the freaking government.
Everywhere you go, it's an exercise in bureaucracy. I was amazed that when we visited the Capitol building and went to the House gallery to view our lawmakers in action (I should say "inaction") We had to check our electronics to ensure we weren't taking any illegal photos of "San Fran Nan" or Barney Frank (right!). Then when we went down the hall to go to the Senate Gallery, we were directed to go downstairs and pick up our electronics, then go to the "senate security office (50 feet away) and check our electronics there. Why? So 17 more government employees can have a job.
There are two gift shops at the Capitol. They are 100 feet apart and they both carry the same items. Is this necessary?
We walked all over DC....every building was a government agency of some kind. Hundreds of them. The EPA, The ATF, The FBI, The bureau of toilet tissue. You get my point. The thing has gotten out of control. As you can imagine, Marker Parker was a hoot through this whole thing. I have a great picture of him in front of the Capitol giving the finger and a big FU to our elected officials(with a special shout out to Pelosi) His Obama jokes were great and I think he really enjoyed the trip. We were a bit concerned about the Phillipine Embassy. As we were walking by, we noticed it appeared as if the Philiipine Delegation had abrubtly moved out with now forwarding address...weird.
But, did I mention the restaurants? We had some great meals (and copious cocktails) in DC. I think the Old Ebbit Grill was probably my favorite. They make a mean dirty martini and their steaks were great. We enjoyed strolling through the Ellipse and looking at all the Christmas Trees including the big one. They had a fire pit where some poor bastard from the Park's Service had to keep loading logs to keep the tourists warm. (Although Mark was convinced that they were burning documents). Speaking of documents we went to the National Archives and had a lot of laughs recalling that Democratic doofus who stuffed the "docs in his socks." (Sandy Berger).
Finally, on the last night we were there, we had dinner at the Darlington House with some friends who recently moved to Baltimore. Dinner was great, although, Mark was having difficulty with the Obama "HOPE" paraphernalia that covered the walls. It was a lovely dinner and a great way to round out the trip.
Overall, we had a great time despite our somewhat jaded view of our government. Oh and did I mention that I was there for a business conference? But I won't bore you with the details of the Student Loan Industry. I'll save that for another blog.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Dempsey Challenge

I participated in the Inaugural "Dempsey Challenge" yesterday. Many people don't realize that Patrick Dempsey (aka Dr. McDreamy) is from Buckfield Maine and went to high school in the Lewiston area. So, when he decided to "give back to his community" he founded "The Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing" at CMMC in Lewiston. The Dempsey Challenge included several cycling events as well as a 5K race. Patrick did the 50 mile ride.....since I look ridiculous in bike shorts, I did the 5K run. (Patrick, by the way looks fantastic in bike shorts). The sky was gray and it was kind of damp and cold yesterday morning as we gathered in the staging areas for our various events. People stood around, drank coffee, ate bagels and waited for the event to begin. At about 7:45, Patrick (we're on a first name basis now) stepped up to the stage and look out at the 3500 participants and the look on his face was absolutely priceless.
I wish I could have known what was going through his mind at that moment. Pride, amazement, gratitude, all of the above probably. I think he truly was amazed at what he had started. There were teams of people in matching t-shirts. Many had a motivation...a picture of a relative who had died of cancer......a friend who was a survivor, some were survivors to tell their tale. I choked up then, and I choke up now just thinking about it. So inspiring. The Maine State Police were 140 members strong on their team, in their matching blue shirts, running the 5k and shouting out their cheers.
The most striking group for me was "Ali's Rack Pack." A group of women all in pink t-shirts, wearing festively adorned bras on the outside of their t-shirts. A rowdy bunch who smiled from ear to ear as they headed to the start line. What I only found out later, is this group was walking in memory of their friend, sister, mother, daughter, Ali who had passed away from Breast Cancer only 3 weeks before. I am sure Ali was smiling down on them yesterday! I am in awe of their grace and determination despite what I am sure is intense grief. And I can only hope that every woman who saw these women....will heed their advice and get a mammogram!

So, I guess all I can say is.....well done Patrick! What started a small way as a way of giving back to the community, quickly became bigger than all of us. I am proud to say I raised almost $900 for the cause, which seems miniscule in contrast the the $1Million raised from the event, but as they say, every little bit counts. I am even prouder to say I will definitely be back next year. This is what life is about. It's cold, damp, tragic, inspiring, funny, grueling, rewarding and so many other things. An event like this helps you remember that.
I hope I never forget.


By the way, they had an exposition tent and many of the tables were giving away door prizes. Of course, in channeling my Nana, I signed up for every door prize and guess what I won?
FREE BOTOX. So, the next time you see me, if I look slightly's not my mood, it's the botox. :-)

Monday, September 7, 2009


Mark and I have just finished up a lovely weekend with some good friends. On Saturday, we went to their house for a good old downeast lobster boil and then on Sunday, they came to our place for Lobster Bisque and steaks on the grill. Both evenings were wonderful and relaxing and filled with laughter. This particular couple are fairly new friends of ours, as we have only known them for a few years and only recently started seeing them socially. But, talk about kismet, we both have 5 year old kiddos who love to play together, and we have so much in common with them.
So this got me thinking about friendship in general and how, in our crazy hectic lives, we often don't make enough time for adult relationships. Sometimes, we are just so busy running our kids to school and soccer and play dates that we forget that we, the adults, need a social life too. And I totally understand that, for many of us, we have precious little time to spend with our cherubs, that we hate to leave them home with a babysitter on a Saturday night. I get that. That's why I say, schlep em along. I almost always invite the children when I have a couple over for dinner. Because, I know, for some people, it's the only way they will get out of the house.
We do have some friends, who, since they have had children, we rarely see. And that bums me out. I don't want to seem too judgmental here, but I feel that friendship takes work. I know that it's often easier to stay home on a Saturday night, laying on the couch cuddling with your kiddos because this type of behavior makes sure their routine isn't disrupted. And I enjoy that kind of time just as much as the next mom. But, I think, if your doing that every weekend, you are really missing the boat. Sometimes, you have to inconvenience yourself a little bit and pack up the kiddos, put on some lipstick and head over to a friends house. Or, if that's too much for you, invite em over to your place. You really should. Because, otherwise, friendships slip away and you lose touch and then someday, it might be too late to get it back. As a mom, I am simply unwilling to forgo friendship, just because I have children. I think they are even more important now and my friends help me retain some level of my sanity.
Do me a up a friend you haven't seen in a while and make plans to get together soon. Remember what my mom taught me many years ago....
You have to be a have a friend.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Have you ever noticed that some people are never happy with the weather? Remember back in June and July when it And everyone was bitching and moaning about it. "Hey, I wonder if the sun is ever going to shine again?" "It seems like it rains every day." "It's so damp, I haven't even had to put my air conditioner in the window....this sucks."
Yup, that's what we heard, day in and day out. Oh, I'll admit it, I was saying it too. Then, all of a sudden in August, the sun came out.....and how! I swear that the sun has been shining almost non-stop since August 1st. We have had almost 17 days of straight sunshine. That's a little over two weeks. And now you know what?......people are bitching about the heat. "It's so hot, I can't stand it." "I'm melting." "I wish the sun would go behind the clouds for a second just to cool things off."
Jesus people, make up your mind. It's funny, we have been waiting for this all year and then it gets here and two weeks later, we are bored with it. With football entering pre-season, alot of people are already getting excited about crisp fall days and apple pie and red wine and cider and all that stuff. Now, I love that stuff as much as the next guy, but could I please have just a few weeks of Sangria, Margaritas, Sweet Corn, Fresh Tomatoes and Sunshine before we move on to the next damn season?
I think I finally figured it out....we are a nation of people with short attention spans. We love to "look forward" to things. So much that we don't enjoy it when it gets here because we are on to the next great thing. Do me a favor. Do yourself a favor. Relax. Sit on the deck. Drink some lemonade. Play some volleyball. There will be plenty of time for Hot Toddies and Cider and Beef Stew in November. For now, drink in the sun, enjoy the heat, crank up the AC if you want to .....summer's here and it will be gone before you know it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

FORTY! (i even spelled it right)

Well, here I's my birthday and I am now......40 years old! And you know what? I feel freaking fantastic. I have a fresh manicure, pedicure, eyebrow wax.....I feel like a hundred dollars. All day, I have received warm thoughts and messages from friends far and wide wishing me a happy birthday. How great is that!?! I went out to lunch at the Sea Dog with Matty P. and we had fun putting together his new Lego Pirate Raft (It's my birthday and he gets a present-go figure). I came home and worked in the yard for a few hours and now I just cracked the cork on a lovely Pinot Grigio. A good friend is coming over shortly to help me celebrate my 40th birthday happy hour. It's all good. So, the day I have been dreading is here and it ain't half bad. A friend at work got me this book, it's called "How not to look old." She did it as a goof, but I must tell you, I love it. Since I started reading it I have switched lipstick colors, reconsidered bangs and had my eyebrows shaped differently. How handy! I am always amazed at the thoughtfulness of others. A dear old friend who I haven't seen in years because she lives far away sent me the most amazing care package. It included a big ol wine glass (we all know I can use that) a "Seventeen" magazine (you're never too old for boyfriend tips) and a Super Leopard Print Snuggie Deluxe....aka the WTF blanket. This little package made my day. Not merely for the contents, but more for the warmth and caring that went into it. It's amazing because this woman changed my life when I had the honor of working for her because she was truly one of the greatest leaders I have ever encountered, but now today, so many years later, she still continues to make an impact on me. Thank you Jody, you are still an Amazing Woman and great friend. Another great friend got me this book called, "Run Like a Girl, Igniting the spark for your next great adventure." It is beautiful and perfect and such a thoughtful gift, I get all Vklempt just reading it.
So, to all of you who I have been whining to about my 40th birthday for months and months....sorry. It's actually not bad at all. I feel boobs are still in the right place....I still have the greatest husband in the world who loves me unconditionally....I still have the best friends anyone could ever ask for....I have a strong faith in god.....and a truly blessed life. I am looking forward to the next 40 years. I hope you all come along with me for the ride on my "next great adventure."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Saying Goodbye

My heart is breaking. Right this very second, it feels as if it has been ripped into small pieces. We just said goodbye to our 14 year old daughter. She is moving to Oklahoma to live with her mother. (I am her step-mom). We have known this day was coming for months now and we had plenty of time to prepare, but that doesn't change the fact that, this morning, I am devastated. We are devastated. We all know that someday, we will say goodbye to our children and send them out in to the world, I just didn't think it would be this soon. There's so much I still have to say, so much to teach her and tell her. There are so many hugs that I am missing already. Cuddles and the soft sound of her saying, "I love you" from down the hallway. God I am going to miss that.
It's not like we are saying goodbye forever, she will be back for Thanksgiving break and Christmas Break and Summer Vacation, but that gives me little solace right now. It's hard to imagine life at Parker's Nest without her. I am sure we will adjust and adapt and find ways to connect with her via email and phone and facebook, whatever it takes. But for right now...none of that gives me much peace. I just wanted that plane to turn around and bring her back right this very second. That's not going to happen though. And that's why my heart is breaking. and that's all I have to say about that.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Beach 2 Beacon Redux...

I am laying on my bed right now.....5 days before my 40th birthday. I have a frozen bottle of water at the end of the bed icing my heel and I have a huge bag of "Party Ice" resting on my right hip and I feel fantastic. I just ran my 4th Beach 2 Beacon 10K this morning. On 5 hours sleep. Ya see, I took our 14 year old daughter to see Taylor Swift last night at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. We left Boston at about 10:00 PM, got back to the hotel in Scarborough at Midnight. I fell asleep at 1:00 and I was up at 6:00 AM this morning to get ready for the race.
I finished this year's race with my worst 10k time ever....1:10:59. I still feel marvelous about it. Let me run down the morning's events and maybe you will understand where I am coming from.
It was a warm (ok, hot) August morning. When I got to the start, I was very discombobulated and somewhat foggy due to my lack of sleep. Usually, I get there really early, do a warm up run and ton of stretches. I had time for none of that this morning. I got there, met up with my friend Leslie and immediately got in the portapotty line. 20 minutes later, it was 5 minutes to eight and we had to start queueing up. The gun goes off, we walk for about 500 yards because there are so many runners, but finally we start running. I felt pretty good to start off but somewhere after mile one....a dreadful ache started building in my right hip. It's been happening on and off lately so this is nothing new. So , I sent Leslie ahead and I started walking. Now, the young immature 39 year old me wanted to keep running, damn the pain to hell. The smart, more mature 40 year old me....decided not to be stupid and to take it easy. After about 1/4 mile, I started jogging again, nice and easy, and it felt....ok. Not great, but ok.
Now, did I mention it was Africa Hot. Fortunately the good people of Cape Elizabeth like to cheer on us B2B runners and spray us with their garden hoses. BEAUTIFUL!
As I continued to chug along at a penguin's pace ( a little shout out to Mr. Bingham) I started this great, positive conversation with myself. "Jill, you're gonna be 40 in 5 days and you are out on the road, listening to the pounding of your own feet on the pavement as you finish your 4th 10K and your 8th race this summer!" I felt like a Rock Star. I would look to the side of the road and some great spectator would say something like, "You're awesome Jill (my name is on my bib)"
So.....I ground it out.....and it was probably the most rewarding race I have ever run. I realized that all that crap about "woe is me, I am turning 40" is just crap. Being 40 just means I am a little older, a little wiser and not afraid to come in 4,965th out of 5,600 runners. Who cares where I finished....the bottom line is.....I finished.
Now, let's not kid ourselves...I am really sore right now and I likely will be even more achy tomorrow. But that's just a nice reminder...of my accomplishment.
So let's look back to when I started this blog last Thanksgiving. All jammed up about turning 40 years old. Vowing to train for a half marathon and lose weight in the process before I turn 40. I am not ashamed to tell you that I haven't (yet) run the 1/2 Marathon. I am also not ashamed to tell you that I haven't lost much weight either. But I did "Run to Fourty" (note I mispelled fourty on purpose) and I feel great. And I am going to keep running to my next birthday and the next and the next. I am a runner. I run like a girl. And that feels freaking fantastic!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Why I love 5K races.....

I have been running many 5K races lately. I think I have run six different races in the last 10 weeks so, more often than not, if your looking for me on a Saturday Morning, I am probably at a 5K race. And here's why I love them. Anyone can do it. Unlike Marathons, 10K's, triathalons etc. The 5K race is the everyman's race. Even if you haven't run in decades, you could probably choke and wheeze your way through a 5K. It's a classic entry level race that's not very intimidating. Sure, sometimes you get to the race and you see that only 80 people are running and 90% of the field is under the age of 20 years old (this happened to me this morning), and you resign yourself to the fact that you have more body fat in your left elbow than some of these kids have on their whole body, but so be it. You are still making the distance, same as them, just a little slower. Ok, a lot slower, but who gives a diddly? It's still fun, there's still food at the end and you still get a free tshirt. Oh, I almost forgot, it's also good for you.
I tend to like the bigger 5K's that have a wider field so I know there are at least 50 or 60 people who I may (and I emphasize "may") be able to outrun. That always feels good. Knowing you just passed the octogenarian with the "will run for beer" t-shirt. Talk about redemption! Small races are fun too. There's something nice about hanging out after a race on a cool summer morning with about 50 or 60 people you have never met before who all have the same thing in common. They would rather run with their friends than stay under the covers. I always meet interesting people and I usually have one or two women who seem to keep the same pace as me and we seem to help each other along. There's usually one fan/family member on the side lines who offers me a high five at Mile 2 when they don't even know me. That's what's cool.
So, if you are looking for me on a Saturday morning around 8 or 9 AM, you will likely find me around the registration tent of a 5k. Getting my number and my t-shirt and trying to find the nearest port-a-potty. Even if I never break 30 minutes, and even if I never have another PR again, I will be there, because it gives me a sense of accomplishment and fellowship that I can't get anywhere else. That's why I love 5K's!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On the other side......

In the last 24 hours, I have heard about several friends who have recently gone through or are currently going through major transitions in their personal lives. When I say major transitions, I think everyone knows I am talking about the loss of a relationship. As I have heard these individual's stories, I couldn't help but reflect back on the year 2000 when my first marriage ended and how at that time, I really felt as if my world was falling apart. Up until that moment, I thought I had it all, great job, husband, house, infant daughter.........all was right with the world. Then, like a Mack Truck careening into my home, it all came to an abrupt end. If I really want to be honest with myself, I probably knew the truck was coming and saw it coming around the bend long before that fateful Labor Day weekend. I just chose to ignore the screeching tires and the horn.
When the dust settled and I realized it was over, I did what every self respecting woman would do......I collapsed. I cried to my mommy, I probably drank too much wine, I smoked a lot of cigarettes, I was a mess. And then, my friends showed up. Even friends I didn't really realize I had. They arrived with notes and flowers and food and held me up. They came to my house and decorated my tree on my first Christmas alone. They took me out to dinner and kept me busy during the times my little girl was with her dad. They made me run up Point Lookout just to prove I could do it. Then, a funny thing happened, time passed, wounds healed, divorce finalized, chapters ended.
Then, I met Mark and we fell in married......built a family.....and lived happily ever after. The funny thing is, I want to tell my friends who are going through hell right now, that it's all going to be fact it will be better than ok. They will move on with the next chapter and someday, just maybe, they will "bless the broken road" and find that happily ever after. I want to tell them that, but it won't likely make it hurt any less right now. So, the thing to do is to arrive with notes and flowers, and help them decorate their christmas tree and take them out to dinner when the kids are with their father. I should hold them up the way others held me up when I felt like I could collapse if the wind blew the wrong way.
I am a firm believer in fate and I believe everything happens for a reason. Someday, these friends will be happily remarried...or not. They will have more kids....or not. They will move to new places....or not. They will be friends with their ex-spouse (I am)....or not. And all this pain will be a distant memory. I hope that day comes soon for my friends.....until then....I am on the job.

Friday, June 26, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup

I am on a quest....a journey really, to rid my home of "High Fructose Corn Syrup." If you believe what you read, and this I do believe, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is the worst kind of "foodstuff" there is. For the last month, I have been focusing on eliminating white flour from the Parker diet and now we are onto the Liquid Death as it has been called, HFCS. The problem is, this junk is in everything, and I mean everything! So expunging it is not an easy task. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find Ketchup, a staple at the Parker abode, that doesn't have HFCS? Virtually impossible, unless of course you want to spend 8.99 for a jar of "natural ketchup" at the Whole Foods. Which of course, I will do, once we finish the Heinz squeeze bottle of poison that is currently sitting on the shelf on the door in the fridge. I mean, you can't throw away perfectly good ketchup can you. Next up, find me a cookie, any cookie that doesn't have this stuff in it.....almost impossible. Now I am up to making homemade cookies for my families lunches since I can't find a decent cookie in the store that isn't loaded with hydrogenated oils and HFCS.
So, tell me friends, have I lost my mind? Am I going cuckoo? I just figure there has got to be away to eat food that has real food in it right? thoughts.....anyone?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Am I Just "That Good" or do I have "SUCKER" written on my forehead?

Anyone who has peered at my FB page in the last 36 hours knows that I have spent much of that time at the Annual St. John's Bazaar, chairing the soda booth. Now, this is not a complex assignment. The chairperson is required to contact volunteers and finesse them into giving away their valuable weekend free time to help out the church and sell some soda for Jesus. So, about 3 weeks ago, I made calls in earnest and found myself about 12 or so volunteers to cover various shifts throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, a number of folks on my list have since moved away so there were several shifts left uncovered.....and that meant I had to cover them. No biggie, I enlisted the help of my 14 year old daughter along with her friend to help "man the booth" They were a great help, but it quickly became clear that they would rather be riding the rides with their friends. Plus, I needed them to keep my 5 year old occupied, so for much of the weekend, I sent them off to play games and ride rides and I was alone in the booth as the designated St. John's "Soda Jerk." I must say I didn't mind working the booth alone. I was the picture of efficiency, with noone to get in my way and I was really busy so the time flew by. Let's be honest.....In the world of Bazaar Food Booth's, I was good! Soon I had attracted the attention of some steering committee members who were clearly impressed with my fountain drink prowess, for soon I was fielding questions about whether I might be interested in joining the Bazaar steering committee next year......what? All I did was make some lemonade and Iced Tea. Why was I all of a sudden a hot property? This evening, I came home with blistering feet, an aching back, smelling of fried dough and I asked my husband this question. His answer........"because you show up and you lead." How the hell does one lead the soda booth? I think it's more likely because I show up. I also think the word is out that when I am asked to volunteer for something, I never say no. (I always intend to say no....but then I can't, it's an illness) So, guess who will be attending the steering committee meetings for next year's bazaar friends? Yup, you got it.....Jill, the "leading Soda Booth Chairperson" of Brunswick. So I got that going for me........which is nice.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Any day.......

I received word on Saturday night that a man that I knew passed away unexpectedly that morning. Now, I had not seen this man for at least 5 or 6 years and we certainly weren't close but I remember this man fondly for he was truly "larger than life" in personality and spirit. The type of person who should be immortal, one might think. Unfortunately, that was not the case as this 45 year old man who was full of zest for life, suddenly died of a heart attack just a day after returning from a Disney World Vacation with his wonderful family. I found myself spending alot of time thinking about him and his family during the past two days. It was a busy weekend, but he kept creeping into my thoughts. My heart ached for his wife and children who are no doubt reeling from this sudden and horrible event. I prayed for them to find some peace in knowing he is in heaven watching down on them. I prayed that their close family will hold them up and keep them safe and sane during a truly insane period when, I am sure....absolutely nothing makes sense.
Of course, being the narcissist that I can be, I began to think about my own life and about lives in general. It seems lately, I have come just way too close to so many cases of amazing people leaving this world well before they were supposed to. It really makes you pause and think about how life is really so short and uncertain. Many of us become so self involved and think only about the minor inconveniences in life as if they are the end of the world. The truth is, they are just that, inconveniences. Even major issues like divorce, job loss, home foreclosure should seem insignificant compared to the immeasurable grief of a family who loses a loved one well before "their time."
Again, the question becomes, understanding the impact of an event such as this on those of us in the periphery, what does one do? Maybe, just maybe, we hug our kids a bit more, we drink a bit of wine, we go for a 2 mile run, we call our mother, we go to church, we reach out to old friends on facebook, we make love to our spouse, we sit on the deck with some iced tea, we smell the flowers, well, you get the idea. And we feel at that moment as if our kids are just a bit sweeter, the laughs are that much funnier, the iced tea is the best we've ever had, because we really savor it. That's my plan. Because, let's face it, life is a crap shoot anyway and there are no guarantees. That's the lesson here, a painful and awful lesson, but one that I need to remember more often. Rest in peace Chip.........I am sure there will a Preakness Party in heaven this year.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where the hell have I been?

Well, it's been a few weeks since I blogged. I am happy to report the heel spur is on the mend and I have been on the treadmill and out on the roads a few times since then, so it appears that the worst has passed. Still a little twingy, but ok nonetheless. But enough about my foot, let's talk about Sporcle, my newest obsession. If you haven't been to yourself a favor, don't ever go there. It will suck you into a vortex of ridiculous trivia quizzes that will cause you to lose many hours of your life that you will never get back.
I spent a good portion of last evening on this giant time bandit of a website......I particularly enjoy the "corporate logo" quizzes where they show you the logos and you have to figure out what company it represents. I am amazed at how many I actually got right. It boggles the mind to consider how much useless crap we have stored in the recesses of our brain. For example, why do I know every major muppet character as well as the names of most Dustin Hoffman movies? How does this serve me in life? Only on Sporcle my friends, only on Sporcle.
So, once again, consider this my own personal PSA......stay away from Sporcle. You will find that you have time for little else.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Heel Spurs and Vicodin

Ran a race on Saturday. The Brunwick Police Department "Hot Pursuit" 5K. I logged the best 5K time ever and shaved two minutes off my PR. Feeling good, walking tall. Came home, showered, went to the grocery, proceeded with a productive Saturday, thrilled with my accomplishment. Then at around 1:00 AM on Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, it happened. pain. searing pain. My heel was protesting my PR in the 5K and how! It felt like someone was taking a knife and plunging it into my heel. Attempts to "walk it off" were futile. I couldn't put any pressure on it at all. Up all night in pain, popping Advil, like tic-tacs, and it didn't even touch the pain. By 10:00 AM Sunday, I was off to the ER rather than to 11:00 AM Mass at St. John's. X rays revealed a big ugly heel spur that looks like the nose of the wicked witch of the west. My pain, due to inflammation around the "spur" from my PR in the 5K. Crap!
They sent me home with crutches, vicodin and strict instructions to ice and rest my sorry little heel.
The next two days are a drug induced haze. That vicodin is powerful and nasty stuff. Believe me, I was willing to put up with the incoherence because it beat the hell out of the ripping pain in my heel but jeez louise, the crazy dreams I was having were too much! Alligators, and monsters and murderers and crazy flying creatures.....all out to get me.......bizarro. Finally by day three of this crap, I went to the Podiatrist for a better treatment plan besides narcotic intoxication. Dr. S. was kind enough to give me a six day course of prednisone to calm the inflammation and a walking boot to ease the pressure. He assures me that in a few days, I will be on the mend and I should be lacing up my Mizuno's in a couple of weeks. As long as I follow his advice on my training and I let him fit my sneaks with Superfeet or orthotics, to protect my tender Plantar Fascia. No problemo Doc! We are in this together. So, I have added Dr. S. to my training team. He seems to be on board with what I am trying to accomplish here. Yay!
So, the good news is, I am starting to feel better. I am not addicted to Vicodin, so you won't see me on an upcoming edition of "Intervention" and I am getting back to my life. Amen. I am going to make it to church this weekend and pray for Dr. S. and my tender Plantar Fascia!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Are we raising a generation of morons?

We have three children. Ages fourteen, nine and five. My husband mentioned this evening that he is very concerned that our children don't know how to do anything for themselves. For example:
The two youngest went down to the playroom to play tonight and wanted to listen to music. So, the nine year old asks for her IPOD......sadly, it's not charged. How about a CD? No, don't like any of that music. So hubby says, "why don't you listen to the radio?" "How do you do that?" our nine year old asks. Now, fo shizzle, you and I knew how to work a radio when we were nine years old. How else would we have been able to listen to Casey Kasem's American Top Fourty? Hell, we even knew how to work the tape deck so we could record our favorite songs (Journey anyone?)
But, our nine year seriously had no clue how to work the radio. So, hubby gives specific instructions, look for the "radio on" button. Then use the "tuning knob" to set the station. He could have been speaking Swahili based on the look on this kid's face. She clearly didn't know what the hell a tuning knob was and she sure as hell didn't want to find out. But, she headed to the basement in earnest. Five minutes, later she returns, clearly frustrated. She can't find the Radio on button and forget about a tuning knob. So, of course hubby heads to the basement for a quick lesson in rudimentary radio operation.
Similar scenarios have occured at Parker's Nest with such complex items as......
"Setting the alarm clock"
"Turning on the stove"
and of course, the Coup de Gras.....
Running the Dishwasher.

Have mercy! Sure, my kids can get to any song on their ipod in twenty seven seconds, they can get to level 32 on Mario Kart for DS in a few minutes. My five year old has even mastered the complexities of PopTropica online but don't ask any of these kids to change a set of batteries in a flashlight or anything mechanical like that. It just ain't happening.
So what should I do? Hold a weekly "fend for yourself clinic" in the basement with the tribe? I think so. If anything should happen to Mark and I, these kids won't last 45 minutes on their own. Hell, they can't even find the milk in the fridge when it's staring right at them. (Funny, they always seem able to find the popsicles in the freezer-though)

Now, don't judge me. I love my children and they are three bright and articulate youngsters. But sometimes.....I wonder just what else I haven't taught them that I really should. Great, another thing to think about at night instead of sleeping. I am starting a list. Starting with the whole batteries in the flashlight thing!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Communication-It's not just for breakfast anymore

I have been thinking a lot about communication lately. Particularly how some people are so good at it and others are so not good at it. Understand, I am not speaking about the ability to communicate in an articulate manner. Anyone can put together pretty words. I am talking about the ability and courage to communicate what you are really feeling. I have been accused in my life of being "too direct." Several people I know (yes, you Mark) have been accused of having "no filter." In other words, whatever they are thinking comes tumbling out of their mouth. Now there are risks and rewards to being so forthcoming with communication. The risks are, of course, you will say something inappropriate, offend someone, hurt someone etc. The rewards are the people in your circle will certainly know where they stand and they also may find your "filterless" communication very amusing.
But, here's the deal. Throughout my life, people have claimed, that they want to know how I really feel, the want direct feedback, they want me to be honest with them. Then when you give them what they want.......they don't really want it. They get defensive and don't want to take accountability and own it.
And believe me, I am just as guilty of this as the next person. Mark and I have a very communicative relationship. I tell him that we talk things to death and beat the crap out of every subject. But there's great value to that because we always look at all the angles. But having such an open communicator for a husband, also means I sometimes hear more than I want to hear. And I am just as reticent as the next guy (girl) when I hear stuff that I don't want to hear. But it's better than the alternative, which is having to guess how someone really feels about your performance, attitude, cooking, lovemaking, bathroom habits, whatever.
So, I am going to continue to be a direct communicator, albeit continuing to focus on diplomacy and form in my communication. And I want others to do the same. I can take it! Can you?

By the way, I love you all and I thank god for blessing me with your friendship. There, that was a good first step wasn't it?

Friday, May 1, 2009


I just got back from a trip to Nashville. I went to the Opryland Hotel for a conference on Remote Deposit Capture (like you care?) Anyway, what a great time! We arrived on Sunday and since the conference didn't start until Monday, we headed out to Music Row on the "Honkytonk Express" The bus dropped us off in front of the Wild Horse Saloon and we were off to the races. At 3:00 pM on a Sunday afternoon, every bar was packed and had live country music. The music was outstanding. It was great to hear all these bands who were just trying to get their big break. We did the Tennessee pub crawl for about 4 hours and it was a complete hoot. Of course, being the old bags that we are (Bonnie and I) , we called it a night pretty early, not to say we didn't have a nice little buzz when we climbed back on the bus for the journey back to Opryland.
Monday was all business as we attended the sessions at the conference, but Monday night we went out with a group of new friends who were interested in gaining our business. (I love vendors). Dinner for 10 at the hotel restaurant and then off to the sports bar to watch the hockey game. It was a great group of people and we had a lot of laughs. At midnight, they called last call and kicked us out. Now, thinking back, we were all quite upset that the bar was closing "so early" and several folks were plotting how to continue to party. But alas, we all headed back to our rooms, quite well marinated. The next morning at breakfast, we all commented that we were so glad that the Hotel Bar had the good sense to close at midnight and send us back to our rooms before we got into any trouble or drank anymore. It's nice when the management has the good sense to do that.
Finally, on Tuesday night, Bonnie and I headed to the Grand Ole Opry. All I can say is wow, what an awesome time! It was like experiencing history. After the incredible show, we went back to the hotel for an planned early turn-in since we had to get up early for the trip home. But..........a quick stop at the hotel bar for a nightcap turned into a 2 hour laugh fest with some wonderful people at the bar, who happened to think I was Hilarious! You know how I love an audience, so suffice to say, we did not turn in early as planned. But as Bonnie and I sleepily boarded the shuttle to the airport, we both agreed that it was worth it. Sure, we were exhausted and I should probably schedule dialysis to get my kidneys functioning properly again, but what a great trip. And how was your week?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My stolen IPOD

About 2 weeks ago, my car was broken into. in my driveway! while I slept! Bastards. Anyway, they stole my GPS (I'll miss you Nigel) but, even worse, they stole my damn IPOD. So, my question's that work? They can't hook it up to I-tunes, because it's already registered right? Could they wipe it clean and start over? Or are they destined to listen to my music for the rest of their days. Geez, I hope so. I would love to think that some crack addict who stole $3 bucks worth of spare change out of my husband's truck was destined to listen to my collection of Robert Goulet, followed by "Sunshine Day" by the Brady Bunch. Now there's some justice. Sure, they would probably rather listen to "'Timbaland" or "NeYO" or some other bulls*&% but instead they will have to hear "Convoy" by CW McCall or better yet, the original broadway cast recording of CATS! Yes, this is good. I imagine them sitting around the crack den, when all of a sudden, out of the IPOD speakers comes "Copacabana" then maybe a few choice selections from Dionne Warwick. Sure, they could listen to my running mixes and get a little Rihanna or some Coldplay, hell they might even joy my collection of Young MC and DJ Ez Rock with Rob Base. But you know they are going to be hating the Grease Soundtrack and the New Kids on the Block.
Of course, who am I kidding, they probably pawned the thing within 1 hour of stealing it. Still it's nice to dream. It makes me feel better about losing my 4 gigabytes of joy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

spelling is not my forte'

A dear friend just told me that my blog title is spelled wrong. I can't believe I never noticed it before despite the fact that I am an excellent speller.
The problem is, if I fix it then my loyal following (once again, all three of you) may never be able to find it. So, that being said, I am leaving it the way it is.....just like me.....slightly flawed.....but still fabulous! Thanks Jo.

108 days to go.....

I figured out today that I have exactly 108 days to go until I turn 40.   I have to admit, I am really having difficulty wrapping my head around age 40.  I think it's because I still think of myself as 27 years old, that 4o just doesn't seem possible.   It's just can't be right, can it?   So, here I sit, on the precipice of middle age, in the worst shape of my life.   Sure, I'm running, but I would not say I am in peak condition.  I just can't seem to get in the groove.   I keep trying to diet, but I am failing miserably at that.   Life is really complicated at present and I am struggling to get passionate about anything.   I know that I want to record this milestone by doing something fantastic that I can be proud of, but I am having a hard time pulling it together to do it.  Why is that?  Any thoughts, ideas?  I am appealing to you, the three people who read this for your advice.  Let me know what you think.   In the meantime, I'll keep chugging along.  Maybe if I can kick this cold, I will find my MOJO.  Here's hoping.
shuffling off

Sunday, April 19, 2009

First Race of the Season

Heaven Help Me! I ran the Patriots Day 5 miler this morning. Believe me when I say, I had no business running this race. I have not been training regularly at all, due to illness and overall family craziness. I haven't run at all in about 3 weeks. So, anyway, I headed to Portland and lined up in the corral with about 400, much better prepared runners. It was a gorgeous day for a run, but you could have fooled me, because I was paralyzed with fear at the start. My concern, would I be able to finish? I have run a lot of races in the past and I have always been prepared and confident. Not today. I was so jammed up while waiting for the starting gun, I thought I was going to throw up. Anyway, the whistle went off and I began shuffling along. Soon, everyone, and I mean everyone had passed me. I was truly "bringing up the rear" the only ones behind me were the "walkers." About 1.5 miles in as we entered Back Cove, I thought it was the end, I couldn't breathe (did I mention I am getting over a cold?). I was huffing and puffing as if I had smoked a half pack of marlboro lights last night (I know what your thinking, I didn't-I'm not that dumb). So, I did it, I started walking. I walked for about a 1/4 mile, and then started running again. Curiously, I passed a few of those folks who had earlier passed me, they too, had found themselves running out of gas. I kept moving at a snail's shuffle, but I was still in the race. At around mile 3, there was a water stop; THANK GOD! After hydration, I was back in action. I finished the last two miles at a much quicker pace than the first three, amazingly and I crossed the finish line with just a little it left in the tank. I was really proud of myself! Then, I drank three bottles of water (and didn't have to pee-truly a sign of a hydration problem) and then headed home. I got home, ate two huge hamburgers from the grill and then took a long cool bath. After that, naptime. Now, you might be saying, wow you must feel good. THAT WOULD BE WRONG! I am in so much freaking pain right now, I am popping Advil like Tic Tacs. My lungs feel like they have been wrung out.
What did I learn? I learned that I need to get back on the training wagon...........and get serious........after a few days of rest.....and a massage.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beach2Beacon is on the horizon once again....

If I am going to run, let's make it worthwhile huh? See below....

As many of you know, I presently serve on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Lewiston Auburn. I have mentioned to many of you how my experiences working with all of the Southern Maine Boys and Girls Club has had such a profound effect on me. I have had the opportunity to meet amazing kids, who are succeeding on the right path, despite some pretty tough odds. These kids count on the BGC as a "safe haven" sometimes, it's the only safe place they have. This past year, I had the opportunity to again judge the Youth of Year scholarship competition and meet and interview more of these incredible boys and girls. I see how the club has changed their life and I am always moved to tears when I hear their stories of challenges and how they have overcome those challenges with the club's help. So, my friends, once again I am running the Beach 2 Beacon 10K race on August 1st and doing so in honor of the Boys and Girls Clubs. I am hoping you will support me in this endeavor by making a small donation to the club in my name. I invite you to visit the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine website to view more about the club's mission. www.bgcmaine.orgI even have my own fundraising page. If you wish to donate, click on "Sponsor a B2B runner" and then click on my name. Or paste this into your browser:, here we go again, more training, more advil, more ben-gay. I am determined to break an hour this year. (Did I mention the race is only 5 days before my 40th birthday-EGAD!)
thanks in advance for your support.
God bless!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Running 2 Fourty......where am I?

So, I was befelled by illness this week. Just totally run down and pooped out. I think my body just mas.....stop. I have felt like crap and all I want to do is sleep. Meanwhile, I have crossed over the "4 months until I am 40" threshold and I haven't seen the treadmill in over a week. The weather is getting nice, I should be out on the road, racking up the miles. Instead, I am laying in bed, searching for "hatchling" eggs on that stupid facebook app. I gotta get it in gear. It's not looking good for the "half" on memorial day. I am sure I will have no problem with the Patriot's Day 5 miler and the Mother's Day 5K will be a breeze. Hell, I should even be fine for B2B, but a half....I don't think I am even close to ready. So, what's an aging harrier to do? Find another race a little later in the summer, that's what! I have to be honest with myself. I am hell bent on doing a half to celebrate my passage into "40 and Fabulous" but I am a realist too. I just don't have the miles under my belt to get a half done by Memorial Day. And, I am ok with that. It's like Dory said in Finding Nemo, "just keep swimming." But, for me, it's "just keep running"
I will keep all of you (all three of you) posted when I pick my race. Waddle--Waddle

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mi Vida Loca

The Parker's life is totally chaotic these days. We spend our days running to and from Play rehearsals without a minute to spare. It's completely insane. So, it got me thinking. What would we do if our kids were really overscheduled? I know families whose kids do acting, horseback riding, cheering, travel soccer and oboe lessons, all in one weekend. Please people! I don't have the strength. I have been bitching up a storm since the beginning of the rehearsals for "Gone with the Breeze" and this is just one activity. I am really glad my kids aren't big "joiners" ya know. Thank heavens for that. There's something to be said for "homebody" kids who like to stay home with Mom & Dad and watch Spongebob and ICarly. Is that wrong? I think not. Oh, I'm not worried that my kids aren't getting enough socialization, believe me, they get plenty. So, I don't feel compelled to wake up at 7:00 AM on Saturday Mornings to run the munchkins to Karate or Interpretive Dance or Future Accountants Club. I'd rather stay at home and have pancakes thanks. I think it's pretty impressive we get out of the house on Sunday for Church. Now that's important.
But to be honest, once the play has concluded, I am thinking about youth soccer for Matty. Simple, benign, non-competitive Brunswick Youth Soccer. Cup of coffee and a kindergarten soccer game on brisk fall morning would be rather relaxing. And it would be a good way for Matty to work out his excess energy. It's just important that we don't let him get too good. I don't want him on one of those ridiculous travel teams that are like a second full time job. Is that wrong? I think not.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The School Play.....the countdown continues

Only six days until the children of St. John's School take the stage in this year's production of "Gone with the Breeze." A madcap, lighthearted comedy in two acts. Michaela, our 14 year old has a one of the leading roles and Kayleigh, is making her theatrical debut in the role of "Pageant Girl." The whole thing is all very exciting.............and......exhausting. Mark is the technical director of this year's play (again!) and is working his butt off. Between rehearsals and set building sessions, I haven't seen most of my family in weeks. So, although I am looking forward to the big debut, I am anxious for it to be over so we can all get back together and things can get back to normal. I wonder what we will do with all the extra time. I know Matty will be happy to get his sisters back. And, I can't wait to get my hubby back :-)
So, at 7:00 PM on Friday night, the lights in the church basement will dim and the show will go on. I can hardly wait to see my munchkins sing and dance. I will be so proud. But the person I am most proud of, is Mark. He has given so much of his time to this thing, I am in awe of his commitment. Of course, he's a bit attention needy and we will need to ooh and aaaahhh over the sets and props so he can feel validated for all his hard work. That, I will gladly do, because he's a rock star in my book.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


This is always an amusing topic and I find myself thinking about drinking today. Not thinking about having a drink, rather how people behave when they drink. Because last night, I took my sister in law out for her 40th birthday. We had planned to have dinner, but that never really happened, because we had drinking on the agenda and that was really the primary focus of our sojourn. We started out at the Wild Rover Pub in Manch Vegas. Now, I haven't been to the Rover since 1994 but the place hasn't changed one iota. Same smelly bathrooms, same wood floor covered with peanut shells, same bartender. Same Bartender? Good god, this guys been serving drinks in the same smelly gin mill for 15 years, holy crap. Talk about commitment. They should name the "john" after him or something. The guys a staple.
Anyway, we started at the Rover and moved on to Margarita's after that guessed it.....Margaritas. After a couple of rounds with Senor Patron, it was back to the Rover to continue on. Well, I can tell you, my sister in law was lit up like a Christmas Tree, which was good because that was the objective. She's married to my brother, so she normally needs to stay sober at parties to drive him home, so now it was her turn. I can say with great confidence that she had fun and that she accomplished her mission of "tying one on" I stayed sharp for most of the evening so when we got home, Jer and Ar were sitting around having cocktails with some friends, so I had the opportunity to catch up.
But, today, I feel like crap. Very tired, and hungry and a little shaky. And I really didn't drink that much. So, it just means I am getting old and can't handle my liquor. I remember the old days, I could stay up all night partying and "carrying on" (as Nana used to say) and I could drag myself out of bed the next day and work a double shift only to go out after work and do it all over again. Nowadays, if I have more than a couple of glasses of wine, I am totally shot. So I really am getting old in some ways. But that's ok, it's Gods way of telling me not to drink like a fool at my age, because there's a price to pay. (he's so smart)
I did get up this morning and go for a 4.5 mile run so that helped the situation, although I had to drink two bottles of water to get through it. So the question remains, why do we drink? If the enjoyment is so fleeting and the payback is a bitch, why have a cocktail at all? Wouldn't we all be better off if we just had an Ovaltine? I suppose, but that's not how we're wired. We want to have a drink to relax, to blow off steam, to forget, to celebrate, we don't even need a reason. And it's pretty freaking fun........every once in a while. So, I suppose if you know the price and you do a quick risk and reward scenario and your still reaching for the Corona--you should enjoy it. That's what I do......Now where is that bottle of Chardonnay?

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I think I have mentioned before how much I enjoy the show Intervention on A & E. If you don't watch this program, I highly recommend it. The premise is this; they convince some individual in the throes of serious addiction to participate in a documentary about their "issues" Usually the participants are pretty close to hitting bottom in whatever their drug of choice may be. What this person doesn't know is that their family is planning an intervention to try to get them to get into treatment. So for the first 45 minutes of the show, you watch this living breathing train wreck chug alcohol until they are barely breathing, shoot heroin, smoke meth or even huff canned air. Then in the last 15 minutes, they show you the intervention and you find out if they got into treatment. Finally, at the end they show you or tell you if the person stayed clean. It is just awesome TV. Watching this show is like watching a car accident, you can't turn away but you can't believe what you are seeing. The kooky girl huffing the canned air was the most whacked. She would go to the local Office Max and pick up a case of "dust off" and then sit in her living room doing hits of canned air. And after she huffed, she started speaking in tongues and stuff. Bizarre. The good news is, she got clean and sober and stayed that way. Not so for Cristy, the meth smoking stripper who lived in squallor and treated her entire family like garbage because she was so wasted all the time. Or the little southern woman who drank dozens of little nips of vodka each day. All I could think was, why not buy a gallon, ya know? But anyway, she got clean too. So bravo to her.
Why do I watch? Because it allows you to peer into another side of society. You see the demons that face the human race and I think I gain a better understanding of the shit that people are up against. The problem is, the drama is so raw and real, you can't help feeling so sorry for these people. I found myself praying for Christy the meth-head at church the other day. Go figure. So, if you ain't watching, I highly recommend it.
hey, wasn't this blog supposed to be about my half marathon quest.....
don't worry folks, I am still on the training plan, it's just not as much fun to talk about as canned air junkies. Am I right?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A bad mommy moment.....and then....redemption.

I am a bit concerned about my memory lately. Sure, I can still remember every line to the movie "Airplane" and the song "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant." But, when it comes to day to day life, it seems I can't remember anything and I seem to be getting things really wrong lately. My brain is not working properly, that's for sure. This was evidenced by a horrifying "bad mommy moment" that i had earlier today. In the interest of therapy and hopefully to inspire others, I am going to share my story with you fine people.
Three weeks ago, Matthew, my 5 year old received an invitation for his "bestest friend" Weston Cooper's birthday party. The invitation was an "evite" ya know one of those cool online invitations that you just respond online and say you are coming? So, that's what we did. We responded in the affirmative and went on with our lives.
About a week ago, I went back into the evite website to confirm the party and to forward the evite to my cell phone so that I would have all the details saved on the blackberry. I felt so hip and cool (it's all I got people!) Yesterday, we went shopping and bought Weston some really cool Lego's and Matty and I wrapped the gift with significant flourish. This morning, Matty woke up and I even managed to get him into the tub with minimal argument because he was looking forward to Weston's party.
After church, Matty and I got in the car, ready to head west to Lisbon for the party. That's when it happened. I looked at my cell phone. Just to confirm the party time and place. That's when my heart sank. That's when I wanted to cry. That's when I realized, the party was..........yesterday.
Heartsick, I told Matty. He was a little bummed, but he definitely took it much better than I did. He asked several questions like, "what day is the birthday party?" and "what day is today?" I think he wanted to make sure I had looked at all the angles. He probably figured, I could be getting it wrong so he better make sure. So we drove home. I was pretty upset and felt like a failure.
But, this is where being a mom is so freaking cool. When we got home, Matty asked me, "Mommy since you forgot about Weston's party and I didn't get to go, do you think I could have his Lego's?" I told him no and he said, "that's ok, then can we bake cookies." Yes. That we can do! So out came the sugar, butter, oats etc and we made a kickin batch of "Oapmeal" cookies. And Matty was happy as a clam. And he said, "this is way better than the birthday party and even though you have the forgets, I still love you."
Until, of course, I inevitably screw up again.
And how was your day?

Thursday, March 12, 2009


So, Rihanna is a big topic of discussion at my house lately. My girls, Kayleigh and Michaela are disgusted with Chris Brown and can't believe that Rihanna might be getting back together with him. Of course, I am right there in the discussion with them, this is an opportunity for a wonderful life lesson. Hitting is not ok, and if a man hits you once, he will likely hit you again. Yada, yada, yada, I sound like Oprah.
Today, the news came out that Chris Brown has withdrawn his name from contention for a "Kids Choice Award" which I suppose in the world of tweens and teens, this is like Brad Pitt taking his name out of Oscar contention. (Although this scenario would never happen to Brad, because Angelina would kick his ass). But anyway, THIS WAS BIG NEWS! So then the debate came up, should Nickelodeon have taken away his nomination once he was arrested, rather than waiting for him to withdraw. Yes, definitely, we all decided. Right on, consensus again. The life lessons keep humming along.
Then, my husband, foolish as he can be, remarked about a joke that he made in the car today about Rihanna, that he clearly found funny but the girls were obviously non-plussed. (I never got the details of the joke, because I was too busy getting disgusted with him for making a joke about the topic) But you know what? His stupid joke actually punctuated the life lesson. The fact that me and the girls were irritated with him and his ridiculous joke once again confirmed the gravity of such a situation. The Life Lessons are flying a mile a minute here at Parker's Nest. So what did we learn today......?????
1. Chris Brown is a scumbag
2. Rihanna is a moron if she takes him back
3. My husband who I love more than anything, makes stupid jokes that can step over the line
4. My girls are very wise and know right from wrong.

all in all---not too shabby
I wonder what we will learn from Paris Hilton tomorrow :-)

Monday, March 9, 2009


Girls Weekend is over for another year. I drove home from Eastover yesterday all by myself, listening to the CD my dear friend Amy made me. Halfway through "I Say a Little Prayer for You" by Dionne Warwick (what can I say, we have eclectic taste) I got to thinking about the bonds women have with each other and why they are so critical. I have a number of amazing women who have come into my life and each has had such a major impact on me and who I am.
First there's Carrie, my oldest and dearest friend. I have always joked that if I were going to become a lesbian, I would want Carrie as my longtime companion, not because she turns me on, but merely because we finish each other's sentences. We see each other maybe twice a year, but when we get together, it's like we never left each other.
There's also my friend Susan, who I don't see much any more, and that really does break my heart. We just seemed to fall away from each other a bit. But I know if I really needed her, she would be here. She was the one person who really helped me pick up the pieces after my divorce and because of her, I am a different person. Better for being her friend.
Then, you have the girls at work Kerry and Bonnie who lift me up when I am down. It's weird to be friends with someone when your the boss, but we just make it work. We have our own version of team building and it usually ends at Grittys.
There's Amy, the only person who can make me laugh harder than Carrie. It helps that their sisters. She is so freaking funny and warm and thoughtful. When I grow up, I want to be like her and be crafty and clever enough to make "party pants" for everyone. Alas, that's not my calling.
There are so many more of these strong women in the picture for me. My dear friend Kris who I share my aspirations and my faith with. We have this special bond that makes it easier to get through the day. Tracey Bayer who convinced me I was beautiful when I was having my photograph taken and beginning to waiver with self doubt. Lisa my partner in crime on the Parent's Association who always gets the joke and thinks I am the funniest PTA President ever.
Oh crap, I could go on and on. But I started to wonder why it is that we women form these bonds with each other and become so close in a way that men can't. I think it's in the genes. So after spending the weekend with 13 of my dearest friends (some whom I had just met) I can tell you that we women have something pretty special. Only this crowd would have walked with me through such trying times....
...........suave cabana boys who were not a day over 16
............losing at bingo
.............A difficult bikini wax
..............Boudoir photos (don't ask)
..............A crappy Disc Jockey
.............Striptease dance class
..............Pelvic Floor Issues
................psychic readings
we laughed and hugged and had a fantastic time through it all because of the spirit of these strong and fabulous women. Of course......the vodka may have helped too, particularly with the bikini wax.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The countdown continues

Those of you who read this drivel on a regular basis have already heard about Girls Weekend and you know that I am really excited for it. Well folks, the time has come, Girls Weekend 2009 is only 4 short days away and I can't wait! I am more excited for GW09 this year than I have ever been. I think it's because it has been such a tough year. Between the economy, minor medical crises, family upheaval and work stress, I am sooooooooo ready to blow off some steam. And Eastover's Girls Weekend Away is the best way I know to do just that. Let me take you through the weekend's festivities so you too can appreciate the foolishness. It's important to understand that Eastover (or EO as we affectionately call it) is an "old timey" resort in Western Mass. It has a certain 1960's in the Catskills feel to it. It truly does remind me of Kellerman's. (You Dirty Dancing fans are getting that reference). During GW, the resort is open to women only, over 21 and all the activities are geared toward a fun girls weekend away. The resort is BYOB, so you can bring whatever you like to drink and it is socially acceptable to drink at any time. We start the weekend with Friday Happy Hour and Karaoke which is always a hoot. Then it's off to dinner in the dining room. The food at EO is mediocre to say the least, so it's best to stick with the salad bar and the pasta, anything else is a risk. But it doesn't really matter, we don't come for the food. After dinner, it's back to the "Heritage Club" for more revelry and dancing. There's also a "passion Party" where you can see all the latest in "marital aids." Always a riot.
Saturday always starts for us with Breakfast and then right on down to Bingo and bloody mary's. It's nice when the table of Octogenarians celebrating Myrtles' 80th birthday get angry with the Bingo caller and yell "Shake your balls" It happens every year.
Saturday is all about rest, relaxation, maybe a spa appointment or a nap. But at 4:00 PM on Saturday, we head on over to the Tally Ho club for "Striptease dance class" OMG. This is ridiculous. But it's the only exercise class I have ever been to where it is socially acceptable to bring a bottle of merlot. Now that's my kind of exercise! After Strip class, it's back up to the room for cocktails and laughs with the girls. Then Dinner and the scavenger hunt. Finally, dancing at the tally ho, where all the drunk women show off their striptease dance class moves.........poorly. Around 2 am, it's time to break into the indoor pool for a midnight swim. It's the best time to work out our synchronized swimming routine.

Sunday morning, is usually a final chance to have breakfast, hug, kiss, remember the laughs and then we all go our separate ways. Of course, the 5 hour ride home is filled with cell phone calls back and forth between cars as we slowly begin to remember foggy memories from the night before and we laugh all over again. The weekend is too short, and as soon as we get home, we start counting the days until next year when we get together and do it again.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Why do I live in Maine?

This is a question I ask myself more and more these days. It seems like it has been snowing here since, oh, I don't know, November. When I wake up in the morning and turn on the local news, I inevitably say out loud, why do I live here?
Let's run it down shall we?
Reasons not to live in Maine
1. I am 2 hours from my mom & dad (too far)
2. Maine is one of the most liberal states in the nation and is bordering on a socialist state.
3. Maine gets way too much snow (I like about 1 month of winter and then I am done)
4. I am way too far from a good New York Deli
5. My dear friend Carrie is 5 hours away
6. My kids are still wearing turtlenecks in May
7. I have to remortgage the house every year just to pay the plow guy
8. I am 2 hours north of ....let's see....mmmm....oh yeah, just about everything

Reasons to live in Maine
1. My daughter's dad lives in Maine

So, that's it, that's the reason I live in Maine. Kayleigh sees her dad every weekend and every other week during the summer. And, that is so important. She has a great relationship with her dad and I think it's critical that she maintains that. So, I guess I am stuck here.
But when she turns 18........The Parker's are headed south baby. Only 9 more years to go.
there you go.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's Super Jill!!!!

Last night, I worked late. I didn't leave work until about 7:00 and it had been a really crappy week. My friend Kris and I decided to go out for a glass of wine since we were both a bit frazzled from the week. At about 8:30, I headed out of Lewiston for home. It was pouring rain so the ride was a little slow going. There were these huge puddles because of the snow banks on the side of the road, so the rain had nowhere to go. I decided to take a different way home last night because I figured the side roads would be really awful, better to take the main road.
I had just called Mark to tell him that I was on my way home. I was listening to "piano jazz' on the radio (don't ask me why- I never listen to piano jazz) and I really wasn't thinking about anything when all of a sudden the car in front of me slammed on the brakes.
I hit the brakes and slowed way down and then I saw them. Two adorable basset hounds running down the middle of the busy road. There was now a line of 10 cars that had slowed down since these dogs were running all over the road. I pulled over along with two other cars, the rest of the cars still backed up behind us. I got out and called the dogs and they came running to me. I immediately put them in the jeep and smiled at every driver who now drove by and glared at me, thinking they were my dogs and that I had caused this traffic snafu. The woman in the car in front of me came walking over and asked me if I needed help with finding their owners. I told her I was fine and that I was going to go to a parking lot where I could check their tags and see where they belonged. Meanwhile "Marley" (that's what the tag said) and his pal (no tag) were romping about my jeep, soaking wet.
After getting to a safe spot, I checked Marley's tag and called the phone number listed. It rolled right to the answering machine, so I called Mark and asked him to "mapquest" the address so I could find it. It turns out these little wet smelly hounds were about a mile from home. I drove to the street (aided by my personal gps -mark) and as I turned down their street, I saw a truck driving by and I heard the woman yelling for "Marley." I pulled over and yelled out that I had them. Well, you know what happened next, a tearfilled family reunion. Apparently my furry friends had somehow gotten out of the backyard. Their owners said they had never gotten out before so they knew they would be in a lot of danger. (Running down 196 on a rainy Friday night-yup that's danger)
As I got back on the road to head home, I felt like a superhero! This one 30 minute episode totally changed my perspective on the week. What a great way to end the week. Sure, the jeep still smells like wet dog but who cares? I am still basking in the warmth of my "good samaritan" effort. It feels great!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A journey of self discovery

I have been really introspective lately( hence, my silly blog). I think it's the impending 40th birthday that has got me on this journey of self discovery. I am revisiting topics that I thought I understood but clearly didn't in an effort to figure out who I want to be. Now, don't worry I am not going to go out and join the peace corps or start walking the earth like Cane on Kung Fu. I am just spending a great deal more time with myself. I am also spending a lot more time with Jesus too. I have started going to church again and I have even joined a six week prayer group for lent. I realized that I don't know much about "my church" and I really am interested in learning more. I also feel in these uncertain times, that my faith is helping me to cope.

My 5 year old asked me at dinner tonight, "mommy what was your first job?" I told him I had a job as a dishwasher (at that fine restaurant Jake Copley's). Like any good five year old would, he then asked me about my second job and my third job, etc, etc. I found myself reviewing my entire employment history over Pork Tenderloin with a 5 year old. It felt like a job interview. But it made me realize that I have been many things in my life. I have been a dishwasher, a shoe salesperson (the perks at Thom McAn were sweet), a waitress, an office assistant, a telemarketer (ugh!), a collector, a manager, a senior manager, A senior vice president and on and on. But that's not really what defines me. If I go back through my "careers" I really have been a social butterfly, a schmoozer, a communicator, a coach, a teacher, an organizer, a planner etc. Then I look at my life and think actually I have been a talker, a flirt, a partier, a girlfriend, a wife, a mother, a volunteer, a steward, a daughter, a sister and a friend. And I am adding to that list, "an active catholic." That's something I haven't been in a long time and I am really enjoying it. Be sure to pray for the people in my prayer group....oh wait, you won't have to, we'll do it ourselves. God Bless

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jilly's Doggie Retraction

Well, now I feel really bad. It turns out Putty truly is sick and not just being his usual neurotic self. He woke up this morning and appeared to be having muscle spasms in his right shoulder. He was also still really listless. So, I called the vet first thing and we took him in. Now, I find veterinary care fascinating. It appears that animal illnesses are much harder to diagnose and often vets will treat what they "think it might" be rather than subjecting the pet (and their owner's wallet) to many costly tests. If you or me were having muscle spasms and difficulty getting around, you can be sure we would have every test imaginable to find out what was wrong. But, with a dog, it's more of a crap shoot. And, since your paying out of pocket, the vet is usually less likely to order tests because they are concerned about the cost.
Of course, when your pet is a member of the family like ours, we authorized all the tests. We still walked out of there with a very fuzzy diagnosis and a whole bunch of medication. And my wallet was $431 lighter ---OUCH!
It appears that Putty may have an infection under the skin on his right shoulder called "Cellulitis." It's obvious he has some type of growth in that area, but they really can't tell what it is without surgery and that would be 'crazy expensive' So, we are going to treat it with antibiotics and pain meds and see what happens.
So, now I'm broke, my dog is high on the equivalent of doggie Oxycontin, I still don't know what's wrong with him and I feel like a heel for joking about him being so pathetic in my last blog.
I need to do pennance or something. Pray for Putty and me too.....:-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


We have a beagle. An adorable cutie patooty beagle named Putty. Well, Putty has been really out of sorts since our Alpha Male (Mark) went off to Oklahoma City and left the Parker "Pack" behind. I had hoped that Putty would step up to lead the pack in his absence, but to be honest, the little guy has just fallen apart. He's in a deep depression and it's clear that he needs so doggie Zoloft or something because he really is a mess. When he's not sleeping, he's sitting by the mud room door staring at it, like he's waiting for Mark to come in. Last night he slept on Mark's pillow and kept me up with whining and sighing ALL NIGHT LONG! He was whimpering like a baby. I actually stayed up with him from 1:00 AM to 3:00 AM thinking there was something wrong with him. Then I figured out, he's just experiencing separation anxiety since Mark is missing from the pack. I don't have the heart to tell him that Mark's going to be gone until Thursday. I am afraid he will have a complete breakdown. I think we may need to get him some therapy in the meantime.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Missing Marker

Hubby is out of town for several days in Oklahoma City visiting high schools with our 8th grader. She will likely be going to school out there next year, so we are in search of a good private catholic school for her. He left yesterday and I am already going out of my head missing him. Last night, my mom was here so she kept me occupied, but tonight it's just me and the kiddos and I am already going kooky. It's funny, we have been apart on numerous occasions for a few days at a time since we got married, but it's usually me who is going away and he is stuck at home with the kids. Now I know why he always wanted to have these long phone conversations when I call him from business trips and conferences. It is really boring being alone with the kids. Sure we fingerpainted today and played Mario Kart. I worked for most of the day but still I had noone to talk to and I was bored to tears. I have played seventeen games of online yahtzee and finished a book too. When you don't have another adult to talk to, it's really difficult. So, all I can say is babe, I have developed all new respect for you. I am sorry that I leave you alone with these children so often and I will try to do it less in the future. I miss you terribly and can't wait for you to come home.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Ultimate IPOD Playlist

Miraculously, I have been able to get out and run, not once, but twice this weekend. Sure, it was cold (27 degrees brrrrr) but to get out and get some fresh air on a sunny, albeit chilly Saturday in February is altogether something special. I bundled up the layers, charged up the IPOD and headed out. So, while I was ambling through Bowdoinham, I got to thinking about the songs on my ipod. Those of you who spend time on Facebook know that I have already declared "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock one of the greatest running songs of all time. But, there's more to the story. When you think of it, the songs on the ipod are the soundtrack of your life. There are tunes that bring you right back to a certain place and time as if it were yesterday. I have had the chance to glance at other people's Ipods and it never ceases to amaze me what an eclectic mix of music most people have. I love seeing someone who has a playlist with Megadeth and Manilow back to back. That's my kinda music fan. Anyone who can appreciate Guns and Roses along with Neil Diamond gets the point of the music. It's about place and time. A memory of something great, or horrible, or romantic or heartbreaking. Whatever it is, the song always takes us back. Armed with this self realization (all in a 45 minute run) I came back and immediately started to think of what my soundtrack would be. If they ever decided to produce, "Jill Parker, the Musical" what songs would be on the soundtrack? Here's what I came up with.

1. Crocodile Rock--I remember hearing this song as a kid and thinking it was really cool. (Age 6--just figuring out what Music could do)
2. The Night Chicago Died--It was on a K-Tel "Believe in Music" Album my parents had and I loved it! (Age 10)
3. You Shook Me All Night Long--My first real makeout session was to this song, with Scott Evans at Shelley Wolfe's Birthday Party. No offense to Dr. Evans, but he was a sloppy kisser. (Age 12)
4. This Christmas I Spend with You- This was a Robert Goulet song on the greatest Holiday Album ever. (This is the soundtrack to every christmas of my childhood)
5. Wide Awake in America by U2- Shelffo and I listened to this song every morning in the skyfart on the way to High School
6. Sweet Caroline- Sung way too many drunken nights in College at Maggie's Bar at Syracuse. Explains why I never finished.
7. Island by Jimmy Buffett- I spent the summers after college at "Great Woods" in Massachusetts for the Annual Labor Day Weekend Show
8. Friends in Low Places- This kind of explains my first marriage
9. At Last- This really explains my second marriage (and it was my wedding song)
10. Start the Commotion by the WiseGuys--This was the pinnacle of my Beach 2 Beacon Playlist when I ran my first 10K and proved that I could be a runner
11. Everything- By Michael Buble--Says it all about where I am in my relationship with my husband
12. AM Radio by Everclear--A favorite sing along song for the Parker's (my kids love this song, especially my five year old.)
13. Don't Worry Bout a Thing--By Shedaisy. This is the quintissential song for my life right now.

So how bout you? What's on your playlist? Is it the soundtrack to your life? Mine sure is.
Come to think of it, I think there's a few others I need to download.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's 7:30 on a Friday Night.......

I was just on facebook, chatting with a few folks. Caught up with an old friend a bit. Checking out some new pictures someone posted. Then I noticed that under the "What are you doing right now?" question, a friend had posted..."I am ready for bed at 7:30 on a FridayNight" or something to that effect. Within minutes, three other women, all working moms chimed in with "I hear you" and "I Know, I'm exhausted too." It's amazing that the first woman made one comment and instantly, we had a Quorum. Ya know why? Because we are all freaking pooped. Sleep is now a premium and without the requisite number of hours, we just struggle to function. We struggle, but we do it.
But remember when........
We used to be cool and hip, drinking cosmos with our girlfriends on a Friday night. Now we are lucky if we down a Mich Ultra with our leftover mac and cheese right out of the pan.
What the hell happened? How did we let ourselves get this way? I'll tell ya how. It's those damn kids. They suck the energy right out of you. It's a constant barrage of "Mama, can I have" It's dishes in the sink. It's somebody feed the dog. It's where the heck's my permission slip. All of that is exhausting. Throw on top of that some gainful employment outside the home and lord help me.
But, to be honest, we wouldn't trade it for anything. What we gave up in happy hours at some club, we make up for in happy hours at the school play, or playing super mario Kart on game cube. Still, once in a while, it would be nice if we could stay up past 8 on a Friday night and maybe have a cosmo or two with the girls. I think I need to make that a goal. Whose with me?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Day

So, the V-Day holiday is upon us and that is always a big bone of contention in the Parker house. Why? Why, when two people are so clearly madly in love would a romantic holiday such as this one cause such stress and strife you ask? Well, that's a hard question to answer. You see, I love holidays like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birthdays, Arbor Day, Secretary's Day, Sweetest Day etc. I love any excuse to tell the people you care about, just how much you care about them. I am one of those people who loves to see the look on someone's face when they read a card or receive a gift that comes from the heart. It gives me a lot of joy. I also like when people are surprised by a small token that happens on these types of special days. For example, I just finished writing out "Spongebob Squarepants" Valentine Cards for all the people at the office. I am sure the VP of Accounting is going to love her card and candy "crabby patty." And when your in your 30's and 40's you probably don't get too many valentines so I am hoping it brings a smile to people's faces in an otherwise dreary day. (and believe me we have had some dreary ones lately. )
So what's Marker Parker's problem with the Valentine's Day Holiday? I believe it's a combination of things. First, there is the fiscal aspect. A dozen roses for your beautiful and enchanting wife will cost you about 30 bucks any day of the year, but in the run up to cupid's day, they jack up the price about 200%. And you all know my man is extraordinarily cheap so it's tough for him to pull the trigger on such a frivolous expense. Second, I think he gets jammed up by the expectation. It's one of those Hallmark holidays that marketers create in order to create expectation among women and force men to buy cards, chocolate and flowers. Third and finally, he doesn't like to be told he has to do anything, so this massive ridiculous marketing guilt barrage that he receives from television, radio, my kids and maybe me just makes him want to dig his heels in even further.
But here's the rub. I love cards and flowers and thoughtful notes and romance and all that silly girly stuff. And it really doesn't have to happen on this particular day. So I could get on board with his position on this holiday if perhaps I was receiving flowers, cards, a tic tac or something on other days of the year, but that's not really his thing either. So, here we sit.....the dreaded holiday is upon us.
And, I for one am going to celebrate. Celebrate my friendships, my marriage, my family etc. And for the first time, I am letting Mark off the hook. It's not about this day. It's about every day. And I love him more every day. (just pick me a daisy once in awhile ok?) Besides, I am on weight watchers and I can't eat chocolate anyway.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I am finally starting to feel better. My husband fired up the humidifier in our room last night and it was downright tropical in our bedroom. I felt like I was in the Congo or something, but, it surely worked because the congestion seems to be clearing and I can finally hold my head up for longer than a few minutes. Thank Goodness! So, on to other things. Since I had to "take to my bed" due to illness ,I have been unable to train. And though I have missed the treadmill greatly (not!) I have had plenty of quality time with my good friend, FACEBOOK. After wasting hours on this thing for the last several days, I can truly say that FACEBOOK really does bring people together in so many ways. I have outlined some of them for you here so you can see how wonderful (and miraculously random) Facebook is....

1. I have started up a wonderful renewed friendship with one of my dear friends from high school who has long sinced moved south the warmer weather (bitch.) But seriously, it's amazing how much we still have in common since we have both changed so much. We share a love of distance running, family and the tv show, "Intervention" Weird
2. I now talk to my brother more than I ever did before. We never speak on the phone (i hate the telephone) so we only catch up when we get together at Jer and Ar's for holidays and such. Now I know what he's doing most weekends and I get to see pictures of his adorable kids on a regular basis "BONUS"
3. I have connected with many old high school friends and some of their memories make me chuckle. For instance, one of my jr. high boyfriends was kind enough to remind me of the time that he "felt me up" in the 7th grade. Now that's just a hoot.
4. I have found other common ground as well. I have joined some great Facebook groups such as the "Moms who sometimes have to go out with their girlfriends and drink Secret Society" and the "I'm addicted Intervention" group. How fabulous is that?
5. And finally, my husband is enjoying Facebook too. Last night, as we sat next to each other on the bed, almost touching. He lovingly posted a message asking me for a bowl of ice cream. How romantic! I can't wait to see what he posts on my wall for valentine's day :-)

But seriously, I really am loving Facebook. Sure, it's a humongous time sponge and a colossal waste of energy, but what else am I going to do? Cook nutritious meals for my family, talk to my kids about their day? I think not. (just kidding)
Gotta go, I think I need to post a group message for my friends in the "Billy Mays Why are you Yelling At Me" Support Group.
Have a good one.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cough Due to Cold......Can you OD on Nyquil?

I have a cold. A nasty, phleghmy, disgusting cold. I feel achy and tired and just want to sleep. So, last night, I took a nice double shot of Nyquil and had just fallen asleep when the phone rang. It was work. A call from work at 9:30 Pm on a Friday night is never a good thing. Apparently, there were "technical issues" on second shift. Now, I am usually very responsive to these types of things, but when you are working the Nyquil haze, it's hard to be articulate and make key decisions. I was a total moron on the phone. It took me about 10 freaking minutes to figure out what they were telling me and probably another 10 minutes to figure out who I was talking to. When I finally got the message of what was going on, somehow, I pulled the solution out of my ass and saved the day despite my medicinal impediment. I am quite proud of myself. But this morning, I actually had a bit of a Nyquil hangover where I had to ask myself......."did that really happen or did I dream it." Consider yourself warned. That Nyquil is heavy duty stuff.
Have I mentioned that I haven't been on the treadmill in 3 days? My training plan is on hiatus until I can kick this cold. Maybe a bit more Nyquil is in order......hmmmmm.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Who loves ya?

Last night, at my children's school we attended a Prayer Service and Spaghetti Dinner. Obviously, my kids go to Catholic School, because if it was public school, we wouldn't be praying, we would be meditating or something silly like that. Anyway, at the prayer service, they had the children present their families with letters thanking their parents for all they do. Well, our letter from our nine year old made me laugh and cry all at the same time. She thanked me for "making cookies" and "giving her breaks from her little brother." She also thanked me for being patient. But she was most thankful for the fact that I "let her take long showers." Wow, that's random. She thanked Mark for challenging her to do things that may be scary and for being tough on her about her homework.
This letter was a revelation for me, because it dawned on me that kids really appreciate the big things and little things that you do and nothing is insignificant to them. I started to think about this as the prayer service continued and I admit, I started to get pretty emotional. Then, they called each of the families up one at a time so Father Sheehan could "bless the family" It was really special and reminded me how lucky I am, despite any challenges I might have. This made me realize that I am already truly blessed and I need to remember that rather than dwelling on the negative. So that's what I'm gonna do. every day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Punxatawney Phil---I curse your name.

Yup, the little rat saw his shadow this morning, and you know what that means? Six more weeks of winter. Ugh! Has the diminutive little bastard ever not seen his shadow? I doubt it. Big wimp.
Now, living in Maine, I am used to winter, don't like it, but I'm used to it. The problem is (why, oh why, is there always a problem) I am trying to train for a half marathon here people. And......I have this love/hate relationship with my treadmill. It's what one might call, a necessary evil. I need to run at least four times a week to stay on pace with my training plan. I would love to run outside, but it's just not safe. There's six feet of snow on each side of the road. This just makes for a dangerous situation. I live in a pretty rural area so the local yokels drive down the road pretty fast. I'd hate to become a statistic and not live to see my fourtieth birthday just cause "Wilbur" picked me off in his pickup on the way to the ice fishing derby ya know?
So that means I need to embrace the treadmill as best I can. But I really do feel like a hamster on a wheel. I would really prefer to run outside, where I can check out other people's houses while I run and wonder what kind of freaky deaky stuff goes on inside. (oh, you know you do it too) But, according to one ornery little vermin in Pennsylvania, my dreams of running outdoors will have to wait a while longer, like six weeks. bastard.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Freaking Groceries

I just came back from the grocery store and I am thoroughly disgusted. First of all, you should know, I love grocery shopping. It's one of my favorite things to do. I prefer to do it without my five year old in tow, but what can you do? Daddy's working today so Matty and I were on a grocery mission together. Now, to prepare for my trip to Hannaford (that's my store) I always go over the online circular with a fine tooth comb and determine what's on sale. I then make my list on an excel spreadsheet that is separated by sections so the list is organized in the same order as the store.
Then, I do a second review to determine if I have any corresponding coupons or special offers. I usually save about $10 a week in coupons, so I think it's worth it. Once I have given the list the final review, I head to the store, ready for some fun. (I am what you might call, a grocery geek)

So, based on what I've just told you, why would I be disgusted? Why? Because I swear to god, the price of everything just keeps going up and up and up. Those of you who read this blog know that I am trying to reduce my cholesterol. In order to do that, I have to buy fresh foods, primarily lean protein, fresh veggies, dairy etc. Of course, that stuff is the most expensive. The price of vegetables is insane. I buy a lot of frozen veggies, but ya know they don't freeze lettuce, tomatoes or cukes so you have to buy them fresh(and cause their delicious) Unfortunately, if the Parkers want to have salad with dinner this week, we may need to take out a second mortgage on the house.
What pisses me off is the fact that I think they are just jacking up the prices because they can. I saw prices going up about 6 months ago as a result of rising fuel costs but it continues to climb despite the fact that fuel prices have gone down by 40%. What the hell is that? What really fries me is the fact that if I want to eat crap, I can probably do that pretty cheaply. I can eat hamburger helper, mac and cheese and hot pockets for half of what I currently spend on groceries. Of course, we'll pay for that in increased premiums and copays when we all start pushing maximum density and develop all sorts of weight related issues.
Boy am I bitter or what?
So, I guess I better clip more coupons so I can afford to be healthy.
No other choice.
Have a great weekend
Enjoy Greek Yogurt!

Friday, January 30, 2009

As seen on TV---Slim and Lift

I am embarrassed to tell you about this, but hell I only know a few people who read this thing and I can trust you can't I? Anyway, I have always been a sucker for infomercials and I am not ashamed to tell you that I have an extensive collection of items purchased off the tv, most of which are related to looking better or feeling better. What I mean is, I don't have the Sham Wow! and I think Billy Mays is an idiot. I wouldn't be caught dead using the ab-lounge or purchasing the fantastic space bags, but I do have Hip Hop Abs (Shawn T. was a friend for a while) and Slim in 6. Well my latest ridiculous tv purchase was the "Slim and Lift, smooth contour garment." OK, have you seen this one. It's basically an industrial strength girdle that is supposed to allow you to go down a dress size. Now I have a lot of dresses in my closet that haven't seen the light of day in a while, so I figured the Slim and Lift might be just the answer to my wardrobe issues. I assumed that if they could stuff the girls on the infomercial into this contraption certainly we could shoehorn my fat butt into it. (Don't worry, I don't have self esteem issues, I am just honest with myself)
Well, the thing arrived last week and I can only say the Slim and Lift is not a garment, it's an instrument of pain. On the infomercial they show these women sliding on the Slim and Lift and immediately looking svelte, comfortable and full of confidence. A very different event occurred in my walk in closet on the day that the damn thing arrived. I wriggled, I hopped, I did deep knee bends, but to no avail. There was no way I was getting this thing over my "motherly" hips. After 20 minutes, I finally gave up and threw the freaking thing back in the box and shipped it back to the company.

The good news is the larger size should arrive next week. In the meantime, I think I should have some carrots and then hit the treadmill. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Girls Weekend

Well, it's that time of year again. Time to gear up for girls weekend. Several times a year, Eastover Resort in the Berkshires hold "Girls Weekend Away" No men allowed. Our little group has been going for several years now and it's always a hoot. There's a core group of about six of us and then we always have a few newbies who are recruited into the group each year. So what happens at girls weekend? I know my husband would like to imagine that we all sit around in our underwear and have pillow fights while drinking champagne in some perverted fantasy, but it couldn't be farther from the truth.
First, Eastover is not exactly the Four Seasons. It's what you might call Rustic with a certain Bates motel charm. It's a series of buildings on a sprawling piece of property so there's a lot of walking outside in the freezing cold to get where you want to go. But that's ok, because you are virtually always carrying a cocktail. I don't care if it's 8:30 in the morning, you just need to drink. The place is BYOB and it's a total scream to see all these women walking from the dining room to the horseback riding stable or the bingo hall, pulling along there little coleman coolers.

The whole weekend is filled with silly activities like Karaoke, Scavenger hunts, Tarot Card Readings, Bingo etc. Anything that can be done while still drinking a glass of merlot.
There are self help classes and group exercise, but again, that's not really the point. The closest I ever got to exercise at Eastover was Striptease class which was an absolute hoot. But the best thing about Girls Weekend is the laughs our group of ten always has. There are usually hundreds of ridiculous memorable moments (many we forget because of aforementioned merlot). So, from the home office in Lenox Mass, here are the top 5 Eastover Moments

5. When the woman who was getting ready to teach the "organize your life" seminar showed up 10 minutes late, having just had a pedicure and still walking with the toe separators in and a butt hanging out of her mouth. (Like I said, EO is a bit lowbrow)
4. When Carrie won the George M. Bisacca Woman of the Year award for her fine legal work that she does despite the fact that she has no formal legal training
3. When the 75 year old woman showed us her freshly airbrushed tattoo, consisting of a shamrock on her breast that said, "Frank's Bitch."
2. When Amy came walking into the indoor pool area rolling the cooler and wiped out and sent beer and margarita fixings flying (you had to be there)
And finally, the number one memory
1. At the end of the weekend, after I had been given the "I'm a Good Eater" Award for my voracious appetite and on the way home, I forgot I was wearing the ribbon as I ordered a Big Mac Extra Value Meal and the clerk just assumed I wanted to supersize. (Mortifying but hilarious.)

Girls Weekend is only 30 days away. And I can't wait.