Monday, April 30, 2007

Not Quite Sixteen Ounces

I’ve noticed a trend in liquid products lately. I use the word “trend” because it’s happened to me four different times in the last three weeks. The cynic in me believes I’m getting ripped off. The optimist in me hopes it’s just a coincidence. Honestly, I’m feeling more cynical than optimistic. I’ve taken the lids off of newly purchased items such as hair spray and shampoo to find noticeably less product than I would expect in a full bottle. I realize they never fill those things to the top. However, this was much less than it has been in the past. These bottles were all dark colored, and I wouldn’t have noticed except I was draining the dregs of the old bottles into the news ones because I am my daddy’s girl; tight as the bark on a tree. The first time it happened, I said, “Hm”. The second time, I said, “Hmmmmmm.” The third time, I thought, “This is getting ridiculous”, and the last time I became really suspicious because the item was a tea purchased at a highly automated fast food restaurant that has it’s dispensers programmed to dispense a specific amount according to the button the server pushes. I had opened the lid to add sweetener to the tea. By the way, I had to practically promise my first born to the server just to get the sweetener. I KNOW some people waste condiments. I am not one of them, so please do not shame me and ask me for a resume before determining whether or not I am Splenda worthy. It’s reasonable to ask me how many packets I need, just don’t grill me like a prisoner of war. In order to get some ketchup I almost feel compelled to confess about that Milky Way I stole from the IGA when I was five. I digress.

In the past some companies have made their packaging smaller to avoid raising prices. Are they now keeping the products the same size and putting less in them to keep profit levels the same? I would rather they just be honest with me instead of shorting me a couple of squirts of hair spray. This sneakiness has me ripping off the lids of everything I buy and shouting “Aha!, Gotcha”, instead of considering that maybe Inspector Number 7 was having a sleepy day on the assembly line.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Finish Line

I am SO excited. I ran my first 5k today and placedTHIRD in my age bracket! While I'm not sure how many women ages 40-44 were running, I'm told there were more than three, so it wasn't a charity win. My goal was to run the entire length of the race without pooping out and walking. I met that goal and even beat my normal mile time by a couple of minutes. That was good enough for me. Plus I won a door prize. Blessings all the way around! I didn't expect to place, and I needed to attend to my father in law, so I scooted home without staying for the awards ceremony. A friend who stayed called me after I got home to share the good news. I felt like I'd won the Boston marathon. I get a little trophy and everything. Now I've been bitten by the racing bug. I picked up fliers today for two more races. I was so impressed by today's overall winner. He runs a 5 and a half minute mile. Jiminy Christmas! I couldn't run that fast if my butt was on fire. He was hitting the finish line as I hit the halfway mark. He looked to be well over 40. In fact, a lot of the folks I saw today were over 40. Yea for my generation and those older than us. We still got it! For how long, I'm not sure, but we're hanging in there. If I do more races, I hope to improve my time, but I think I could run 100 more races and no other trophy would mean as much as today's.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On the Run

I am running in my first 5k race this weekend. My goal is to run the entire race and not walk during any part of it. I run that distance several days a week, but my pace is slow, and I’ve never entered a race before. It’s just something I want to do before I get old. If I wait too much longer, my knees or heels may give out and blow my chances of ever doing it. I’d like to say I don’t care how high I finish, but that would be a lie. I’m extremely competitive. I’m a terrible loser. I am worried that my desire to place well in my age category will override my brain and I’ll poop out too soon. I’m going to try my best to stick with the pace I know will allow me to finish without walking. My family doesn’t quite understand why I want to do this, but they are supportive nonetheless. (It's kind of the same attitude they take toward my Parrothead activities...kind of odd but what can it hurt.) It’s all about personal achievement. I just want to be able to say I’ve done it. Self satisfaction is good for the soul. I’m nervous about running next to people who practice “tapering” and “carb loading” and all of that other running stuff. On the bright side I figure they’ll leave me in the dust pretty quick, and I’ll be in the back of the pack with all of the other 40-somethings who are new to this sport. I’ve always thought those participation ribbons they give kids are a little silly, but now I’m hoping they have something like that Saturday. How funny is that?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Johnny's Story

I have to pass along something someone emailed to me today. It’s a wonderful story about how we can all make a difference, even if we think we can’t. Below is the link. It takes only a couple of minutes to watch it, so take the time if you have a chance. It’s a really good lesson about customer service, but it’s also a good lesson about reaching out to others. I must warn you that you may need a tissue if you are a softie. It's definitely a warm fuzzie. <>

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hey, Clarence! A little help over here?

My Sunday school class has been studying Rick Warren’s book “A Purpose Driven Life”. While I have many issues with the book (another column, another day) it has been thought provoking and has prompted me to thoroughly consider my purpose in life beyond reaching my family and career goals. This little experiment is a lot tougher than “It’s a Wonderful Life” makes it seem. Where’s that darn Clarence when you need some help? I don’t think I’m anywhere close to discovering my purpose, but I am weeding out some of chaff that prevents me from seeing my purpose. That’s progress, I suppose. Self examination is good, even if we don’t always like what we see.

A classmate from Sunday school sent me an article about finding your purpose. The author described an exercise he used to determine that his purpose was “to live consciously and courageously, to resonate with love and compassion, to awaken the great spirits within others, and to leave this world in peace.” How beautiful is that? I can’t thing of a way to make that statement more complete. I’m tempted to stop my own soul searching and just follow that statement. You can’t go wrong with courage, compassion and peace. I will continue this journey inside my heart but I don’t think I’ll be disappointed if I don’t discover my purpose soon because I have his idea to fall back on.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Oh My!

Things that make you go “Oh my”:
-The lady I saw today wearing leopard print pajama pants and a T-shirt with a spray painted message that was obscured by a dozen beaded necklaces.
-The ratty state of the panties I pulled out of the underwear drawer this morning.
-Putting on those ratty panties instead of chucking them.
-The state of my husband’s hair when he was scared out of bed by a 6am phone call.
-The REALLLY loud rumble of my digestive system today after a round of baked beans yesterday.
-The spiders painted on the fake nails of the lady at the drive-in window at McDonalds.
-Writing a $1006 check to the IRS today because we didn’t plan our deductions well enough this past year.
-33 people losing their lives in a senseless shooting on a snowy morning in Virginia.
-The fact that despite such a horrible day in our nation’s history, we are blessed to have the opportunity to start fresh tomorrow on ways to end that kind of violence and pain.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Have you ever noticed that the older you get the more likely you are to be involved in a conversation that involves foot problems, irregularity or hair removal? It seems as if every time I turn around these days, someone brings up his foot problems. I stumbled into a conversation this morning where a co-worker was talking about sanding down her calluses. I’ve even caught myself talking about it lately. I have tendonitis in my heels which flairs up when I run on an incline too much. When I was a kid I used to laugh at my grandma’s bunion. Thank goodness, she refrained from slapping me up the side of my head, but I honestly found it funny then. Even the word “bunion” was funny. At ten years old a misshapen foot is worth a good round of giggles. At 42, it’s not so funny. What IS funny is our apparent belief that it’s okay to share intimate details of calluses, corns and ingrown nails with a room full of people. I can’t believe I’m a member of the “old feet” club. Can conversation about laxatives be far behind?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

25 Years Later

My fears have been confirmed. My 25th high school reunion is going to take place this summer. I’m excited and a little afraid. I missed the 5th reunion because I just didn’t care. I passed on the 10th because I was four days away from giving birth and was absolutely miserable. Besides, who wants to go to a reunion looking like a beached whale? I didn’t even have decent shoes that fit at that stage of pregnancy. I did make it to the 15th, and that was somewhat fun and interesting. Some people had changed quite a bit. Others were their same old shallow selves. What’s worse than a self absorbed Homecoming Queen? A 30-something woman who is trying to get elected to the Homecoming Court she still believes exists somewhere in adult-land. We didn’t have a 20th reunion, so it will have been at least 10 years and in some instances 20 plus years since I have seen some of these folks. It should be pretty interesting. Some folks are on their second and third marriages. Many don’t have any hair and most are carrying more weight than they did at age 17. Some have grown children. Others are on their second careers. I can’t wait to see how everyone is approaching middle age. I’m pretty excited that right now I can wear the same dress size I wore during my senior year. My goal is to keep from puffing up and blowing that before reunion time. Yeah, it’s vain, I know, but the ghosts of high school are hard to beat. I wasn’t the most popular kid in school, but I wasn’t at the bottom of the ladder either. I was in the middle with a bunch of regular looking, smart kids who are now the successful movers and shakers of their community. Yea for the nerds, the band geeks, the science club officers and the wall flowers! We have blossomed and are running the world. I can’t wait to celebrate our successes.