"Choosing trust over doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened." -Victoria Monfort

Monday, December 31, 2012

Out With The Old...But...I Didn't Mind The Old..

I have been "single" for more than just this past year, but for the first time in a very long time, I actually focused on me in 2012. I stopped waiting to do a lot of things I had always thought I would do, because I wanted "someone else" to catch up and be in the same "place" as I was. I stopped wishing for what might have been, and started embracing what "is".

I stopped using the phrase "when I met the right person I will...." and did whatever it was I wanted to do, on my own.

I can't say that I am completely over exmanfriend, but I have come to the realization that while I have continued to grow both in and out of our relationship, he is still stuck in the same place, unwilling to move foreward. I know that it's something that will not change, and that makes it easier to picture my future without him.

I had a fabulous 2012. From marathons, to buying new furniture, to realizing that I am in fact, a pretty amazing girl, who deserves everything her little heart desires, and settling is not an option.

I can't say that I'm happy to see 2012 go. I had one of the best years I've had in a very long time, and all it took was being true to myself.

I hope you all had a spectacular 2012, and if it was hard, I hope you can take away the lesson in the hardship.

Here's to new beginnings. Bring on 2013!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ho Ho Ho and a Bottle of , Wait, I mean Merry Christmas!...

For Christmas, I got two more seasons of one of my most favorite shows in the entire universe... Lost!!!!!! The more  I re-watch this series, the more obvious it becomes that they really did tell us the entire time those islanders were dead all along, but the creators just lied to us the whole time and said they weren't. But I'm not mad about it.

I spent two entire days watching seasons 3 and 4 in my pajamas, (with wine, opened by my new electric wine opener...you might have a problem when....) along with season one of American Horror Story which by now I can probably recite word for word, but at least my DVR can finally be cleared of this season once and for all!

I didn't miss much in the real world, as we were under a winter storm warning, no driving unless it was an emergency. A 4 mile trip to Starbucks for an emergency skinny peppermint mocha took me an hour and 10 minutes.

The downside to this hibernation is that my cheap 10 year old $20 walmart  DVD player was working overtime, and developed a horrible whirring noise, and wouldn't  play some of my DVD's that worked just fine on my laptop.

Now I am forced to move into the age of technology, and get a blue ray player. One with wifi of course, because if I'm going to spend the money on a new player, I want to also enjoy  netflix on the beautiful new TV as well! And, I deserve it!

But mark my words, I'm not buying blue ray discs! No way, no how! Not until DVD's are totally edged out like Beta was by VHS tapes. (remember beta? anyone?)

Mr. Magoo got a new toy which he is learning to like. The squeaker sounds different from his old toys, so he is pretty apprehensive about it.  He also got that handsome sweater from Santa.

What was your favorite gift this year? 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Singular for Christmas...

It's my second single Christmas. My third if you count the time me and exmanfriend tried to get back together for 2 months...

All I can really say now, is it's kinda great.

I don't have to rush around, or split my time with my family up with time with someone else's. I don't have to stress out about what to get which members of the other person's family, or a boyfriend.. and I save a lot of money.

Unless you consider the fact that I spend that extra money on bottles of wine, and crash out drunk in my Moms spare bed with my dog. And... that extra time I have is spent taking stupid pictures of my pets.

Oh, well..I still think I'm awesome!

Merry Christmas, internets! I hope it is filled with love, and happiness, and that you get everything your hearts desire!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Naughty List....

Lucky for my Mr. Magoo, the wonder rescue dog, being cute gets you off the naughty list.

"oh, hi, did you need these?"

This dog successfully chewed up all my Christmas gift receipts, that he dug out of my purse. I hope everyone likes their gifts, because they are stuck with them!

I love him too much to be mad. I just need to start storing my purse up out of his reach!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rockin 37...

I played this about 10 times while dancing around with my girlfriends...I'm totally an adult!

Well, helloooooo, 37!!! No longer in my early or mid-thirties, I'm hanging out on the "late side". But, as I tell my younger friends, life gets so much better with age! I wouldn't trade a number for how much more I get to know myself with each day, it's (maybe) worth the wrinkles I'm starting to get. (but I'm not above botox in the next couple of years....)

Alot was great about this birthday.

I renewed my license. And for the first time since I was 21, I gave my ACTUAL weight!! I also finally got a new picture to match the new me! I was so super excited about this accomplishment, it made all the sacrifices and trips to the gym so worth it.

The next day I had my girlfriends over to my casa for wine, cheese, and a hell of a good time! Not only did everyone bring their favorite bottles to share, but I got a pretty sweet private stock for my bar! I also got some other gifts, including, but not limited to, a hello kitty gingerbread house kit, and a fancy bedazzled wine glass that holds almost a full bottle. (my friends know me so well!)

I bought a bottle of the first wine that I had on my first date with exmanfriend. Because I loved it. And I wanted to associate it with a new memory. Best decision ever. We laid to rest a painful memory, and made a new one, complete with a positive toast!

I was so excited, and grateful that my girlfriends could all make it. Being a December baby means contending with holiday parties, and family, but my best friends always make time for me, and I feel truely blessed for that!

We spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to take group photos. Setting up the auto picture, after long deliberation about poses, was a billion laughs. There were mostly shots of my back running for my position in the picture. We got a couple good ones out of the 20 we took.

The night progressed with dancing at my favorite gay bar. We danced and sang to "Like a Prayer" like it was our jobs, which I later professed was just as fun as seeing my idol sing it live last month!

The moral of the story is, you are only as old as you feel. And I feel pretty damned good!  It's all about embracing your life, doing what you love, and above all else....laughter! That is what keeps you young!

And maybe wine helps. I think the alchohol content pickles you from the inside, and helps with keeping you look amazing...but what do I know?

Even Mr. Magoo was caught hitting the bottle...


Monday, December 10, 2012

It's My Birthday! (Almost)

My days have been blazing by, because yet another one of my little birdies at work has left the nest. (got a promotion) I'm very happy when my girls can move up, but I'm pretty sad for me. I'm stuck on secretary AND supervisor duty until I can find someone equally as fabulous to replace her.

I simply hate the interview process, besides counselings and reviews its my #1 most hated duty.

I had my Momma sleep over last weekend. Remember when you couldn't wait to get away from your Mom? It was so fun to have her over! We hung out in our jammies and watched movies! Then,  we spent 9 hours Christmas shopping. I'm nowhere near done. Shopping under pressure is hard.

I read "Bared to You" in one day. And started book two. I thought it was safe to start since book 3 comes out NYE, but looks like I'm going to be waiting to find out what happens with Gideon and Eva...

After almost 2 months off from daily running, (slacking) I started back at it full tilt, and I've finally tried SPINNING 3 days a week!! I love the team environment, which fuels my desire to push myself. Running and spinning in the same day makes Jill a tired girl, and I have been crashing very early!

I'll be doing a Christmas caroling run next week with a local running group. Dress festive, and sing carols while running through the neighborhoods. I'm pretty excited about this one, it's all fun, and no pressure!

I've been preparing for my 37th birthday party this weekend! (omg...I'm almost 40!!!)  I'm having the ladies over for another wine party, where we all bring our favorite wines, and cheeses, and then go tripping the light fantastic at my favorite dance club, and forget that we are entering mid-life.

Today, marks the one month anniversary of my legendary attendance of the Madonna concert! I'll never ever, get tired of reliving this memory!

How are your holiday plans coming along?

Mr. Magoo got a haircut for Christmas, and a new sweater.


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

New Neighbor, Strike 1...Old Tenant, Score 1...

I think I've established before, I don't live in the best neighborhood. I keep to myself, and don't walk around after dark.

But, I have a pretty sweet fully re-done pad. My electric and gas bills are cheap due to the new plumbing, wiring, furnace, hot water tank, and windows. And I have 2200 square affordable feet all to myself!

It's close to work, they don't charge me for my pets, I didn't have to put down a deposit, or last months rent, and my landlord is pretty awesome.

I just got a new neighbor two days ago. Last night was the first night she stayed in the apartment. I got up to let my dog out before work, and our back door is WIDE open! I thought, maybe she was still home, and just went to her car or something...no, car was gone!

Ummm...hello? Does she not have a brain? Come on in, degenerates, go ahead and steal everything we have!!

Said back door, leads to our shared basement, and our shared enclosed porch, which gives access to the back doors into our duplexes.

I ran downstairs to see if I noticed anything missing. Washer/dryer, air conditioners, old computer, my bicycle...ALL of my storage is kept down there. She has nothing, why does she care? Someone could be lurking down there, waiting for me to do laundry and murder me. They could bust out the glass on my kitchen door and unlock it and rob me blind while I'm hard at work!

After a lot of worrying on how I should handle it... I left a voicemail for my landlord, expressed my concerns, and he immediately returned my call.

Not only is he going to talk to the new neighbor, but he is coming out to make sure no one is hiding in the basement, so I am not afraid to do my laundry. He even thanked me for letting him know, as that could also lead to damage to his property.

New neighbor has made a shitty first impression on me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Get a Friggin' Job, Assholes!

I don't live in the best neighborhood. But, that is why I am able to afford such a large, beautiful, affordable duplex, that accepts my 5 pets at no extra cost, a mere 6 miles from work!

Latley, the crime around here, is ridiculous! Shootings, muggings, local restaurants, and fast food chains being held up for stupid amounts of money (often less than $100) And even a bank was held up in the past two months.

This all hit too close to home when acquantences that live about 6 blocks away had their house burglarized between 9 and 11 am this week. Some assholes kicked down their back door, and took their gaming systems, TV, jewelry. Turns out, their entire block was victem to these "pillow case" bandits.

Yes, times are hard. Jobs may be scarce, but that does not entitle any one person to steal from their fellow man! You struggle, and work hard like most honest people on this earth seem to do!

I don't have a lot, but what I do have, took me my entire adult life to acquire. I had to work two jobs for over 4 years to get out of a debt hole, and regain financial stability. I didn't enjoy it. But it never crossed my mind to rob an innocent, hard-working person, or a business to get myself out of debt.

I think it's disgusting that some thugs feel they are entitled to what you have, just because they are too lazy to work hard for it. Or, because they chose to dabble in drugs, and now have an addiction that they cannot support.

After being a renter for many years, I finally broke down and got insurance. I can no longer live inside my fantasy world where everyone respects each other, and minds their own business.  I'm now living under the assumption that "people are assholes".

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas....

I got my decorations out this weekend, and spent hours upon hours decorating trees. The  music of choice, was the Muppets Christmas CD...my all-time-fave!!

Of course, once the trees were assembled, I found out that half my lights didn't work. Isn't that always the way?

My dining room tree is silver and black. It's far more sparkly than the pictures show..
Close up

My main tree in the foyer. It has all the stuff I've made and collected over the years.

My bathroom tree is just a little Charlie Brown tree, for ambiance..

The second I finished the dining room tree, the cats assumed their position.

The tree in my bedroom..

Fizzgig taught Mr. Magoo, kitty 101....lay under the tree..
Mr. Magoo thinks that kitties make the best pillows...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bright Horizons...

I came across a friends FB status about wondering if there is one person in the world meant for just you, that will accept everything about you and love you regardless. I commented that of course there is. Otherwise, you will just stop looking, and settle for less than you deserve.

The longer I am single, the easier the wait has become. I have abandoned the "I'm lonley and miss being in a relationship" thoughts for the "I'd rather be single forever than settle for someone I think is just OK".

And at this point in my life, I see a lot of people who are just "settling". They are not really  happy with their partners, they are going through the motions. Afraid to be alone.  I don't want that for myself. I spent the better part of my life settling for less than I deserve, and the lesson is that I know now, that I am better than that! Alone is a magical place, that you live in until you feel like letting it go for someone else.

To some, I am a hopeless romantic. So what if I want it all? I deserve it! And I know that eventually, the wait is going to pay off.

I want to think about him all the time, while still tending to our own lives. Smile, and giggle when he crosses my mind. I want to be excited to see him. I want to love to kiss him. I want to think that snuggling with him is as close to heaven as I can be on this earth. I want to feel safe when I am with him.

The common theme is, I want a feeling. It's not anything that can be put into words.

Until then, I am pretty content with being single. I'd rather sit at home on a Friday night and watch movies and drink wine with the cats and the dog, than go out with someone "just to go out". Or, be dating people just for the sake of dating.

I feel like that is for people who don't know what they want.

Whatever life has in store for me, the good news is, that I am happy just where I am at this moment.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Way Up North...

Imagine the horror...traveling 6 1/2 hours, and the last few miles are all dirt roads. I was cut off from the world! No cell phone! No internet! No facebook!!!

Dirt road...cell phones? No can do!
I made a zen rock stack at Lake Michigan...I love this pic!
I had a great mini vacation with my girlfriend! We stayed with her Momma deep in the north woods. Where the only roads for miles are dirt ones...and they have more snowmobile roads than car roads. It was peaceful, and fun, and fabulous! She fed us so much that I think it'll take 2 weeks to work off all the food!
We had a ton of laughs, and I'm lucky to have a friend I enjoy the company of for so long! Great road trip!
Our flip flops are in the tree...
We visited the shoe tree...it was a great attraction. We threw our flip flops up there, and wrote our names and the date....

I had to have this sign to hang on my wall, because when I read it...it made me cry. To me, it's just what a girl wants! My girlfriends mom said "honey, no one is ever going to read all that". But I know what it says, and I love it!

We played games, learned great recipes, sat by the fire, watched the birds and squirrels on the deck, shopped, watched the walking dead (yes! her Mom loves it too!!) and a scarey movie, laughed so much, and most of all, had a great time!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Road Trip!

I am still...5 days later, riding my Madonna high. (see below...) I still can't sleep, I'm so wound up over the event... I wonder how long it will last?  I can't stop pouring over pictures, watching videos on youtube, and squealing with delight...

But! Bright and early, I'm off on a road trip with my BFF for the weekend! We are going to visit her Mom in Michigan. I have never been to Michigan...unless you count the two times I stopped for gas in Detroit on my way to Canada for work.

I have vowed not to judge Michigan by those harrowing stops. I don't think Detroit counts, it just isn't fair to judge a book by it's sweaty armpit of a city.

And, I havn't been on a "friend only" vacation since I was 19!

I dunno how Moms of human kids ever leave them. Because my only apprehensions about a weekend away with my bestie, is leaving poor Mr. Magoo at his gramma's house. She and my brother will take good care of him, but you know, he is a puppy mill rescue, and has only bonded to me.

The cats will stay home, and I have a friend checking in over the weekend. Much as I love the cats, they have each other, and they'll be fine.

"Do these cats make my butt look big?"

I do however, look forward to the hours of girl talk on the drive up and down. The box of wine I packed, along with a compilation of awesome music I spent hours putting together!

And...the possibility that the trip could turn slightly "Thelma and Louise". Not that we'd kill anyone or run from the police. Mostly, the running into Brad Pitt and taking him to a hotel part.

Watch out, Michigan!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

I Came I Saw I Conquered!!! MDNA tour Cleveland, 2012!!

Q: How is seeing Madonna for the first time ever for a 36 year old fan who has loved her from the beginning of time?

A: Legen (wait for it) DARY!!!

Ummm...two days later. I am still on my Madonna high. I havn't slept more than 3 consecutive hours since Thursday, I keep waking up in a panic, first, because of anticipation...now...because I fear I may forget everything when I slumber!! My memories are so vivid, I keep going over and over it in my mind!

When I sat in my seat...I had to keep covering my mouth to squeal with delight. "I'm really here!! This is really happening!!!"

It was worth every single penny I spent! My ONLY complaint, was all the dickbags who spent all that money to see her, and expected her to sing only old songs. Hello? She has been relavent in the industry for the past 20+ years!! She has over 14 albums!

It was the MDNA tour..named after her NEW album, jackhole! Not "Madonna sings her greatest hits". She had a great dose of some oldies, but I happen to love her new album, and I sang, and danced my ever loving ass off until my voice was gone, my feet STILL ache...and my hair was sweat soaked! Best night ever????? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!


That there is my little gem of a video from the MDNA tour. Like a Prayer! Most of my videos suck because I was dancing and/or singing too loud to share them!

Here are a few good pics I got from my pretty sweet vantage point!!!!


I never for a second sat down, during the interludes, the ballads, I don't care!! I paid good money for this show, and I screamed, and sang, and I'm pretty sure since I was the only cool person in my row, Madonna saw me!
After the YEARS of TV appearances, magazines, videos, albums, articles, Tshirts, DVD's....I actually got to see her and enjoy her performance LIVE!!! I was in my own little world.
And I am certain, this is something I will never forget! The wait, was worth it!
This has been a life long dream!
And yes...dreams really DO come true!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Dreams Really Do Come True...

So, tomorrow, I am going to see Madonna!!! Live and in person. Bucket list item Numero, uno!!!

She hasn't been to these parts in well over 20 years, and at that time, there was no way my Mother was going to buy me a ticket, let alone take me!

I have so many memories thru the years with Madonna!! I was terrified buying my ticket to see "Who's That Girl" because it was rated PG, and I was only 12 at the time. I thought for sure, they would not let me in! But they did!

Before TiVo, I had to watch TV all night to catch her much anticipated Pepsi commercial, that was met with great controversy, featuring "Like a Prayer".  Burning crosses? Kissing a black man? GASP!!!

I was 14 years old, and I didn't see what the big deal was.

Almost immediately after this premiere, I tried to use clorox bleach on my bangs to have the same hilights look as she did in this commercial. Thankfully...Clorox doesn't work...

And who can forget waiting to see the premiere of Justify My Love in the middle of the night.

Madonna's first album was the first cassette tape I ever bought...Ray of Light was the first CD I ever bought. I dressed in my older sisters pink prom dress and lace gloves and lip synced "Material Girl" in the mirror just about every Saturday morning!

I dressed as Madonna for Halloween when I was 7 years old. (Mom's idea of a costume was not remotely Madonna-like, but she did let me wear a lace bow, a beauty mark, and black rubber o-ring bracelets)

Evita was the first movie I ever lied about to get a friend to see with me. She had no idea it was a musical, and I kept telling her it wasn't, even after the first few songs.

I have not only waited a year since buying tickets...I've waited a lifetime to be in the same room with my Idol.

I've driven those close to me absolutely nuts with my excitement, and impatience over the last year, counting down the days. Several times a day. Every day. And now? It's just HOURS!

I've got my outfit picked out. Jewelry ready to go. Hair appointment, and dinner reservations. All that is left is to spend an evening with the girls, dance my ass off, and sing at the top of my lungs! (I have a solo ticket, but found friends to drive up with that didn't want to pay $200 for a ticket...so they will be far above me, enjoying the same show, without the same view!)

Love or hate her, I don't care!!

I am going to be riding this high for a very, very long time!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

On Great Things...

I got my new furniture today. Soooo worth the wait!!

Here it is by day...
 And it looks like this at night!
I am kinda in love with it. My chair is super comfy, and will soon be getting a matching twin because it is just that fabulous! My entertainment center is my first brand new piece that is not particle board! I have a few things that I've purchased second hand at the Salvation Army store, but they don't count.
And how about my beautiful television?  I am so in awe of it, that I stay up far too late watching TV! I don't even care what I'm watching!
If I'd have known my 30's would be so fruitful, I'd have not wasted so many years dreading their arrival! The me that worked two jobs for years just to make ends meet, never imagined I'd be where I am today!
The best thing about this week?
Besides new furniture?
In just 4 short days, we will share the same air space! I will be living the dream for an entire night!
Then, I'll go home to my fabulous apartment, and fall asleep in my (practically) new bed, with my very new bedding.
Very similar to my old set, minus all the rips that occured from machine washing a dry clean only bedspread...
Yes...great things come to those who wait, and work hard for what they want. Now....we are just awaiting that prince charming fellow..

Friday, November 02, 2012

Old is Just a Number...

The other day, I was invited to join a facebook group.

Was it for fabulous singles? Uh, no...more like my 20 year high school reunion planning.

I still have one year and 6 months until it has been 20 years. I would've appreciated the extra time to let it sink in.

It always amazes me when I see my friends or classmates having been married 10, or 15 years, some of them with scores of children. Some of those children...are...um, able to like, operate motor vehicles, or have graduated high school, and in some cases...have had children.

People my age should NOT be grandparents!

My Mom always likes to say that when she looks in the mirror she wonders who that old lady is staring back at her. Until recently I didn't "get it".

Sigh...Yes...I'm getting laugh lines. I can see the crows feet trying to sneak their way in! And..when I get up in the morning, there are creases in my face that don't go away before I leave for work. (I need to try this satan pillowcase thing that I read about online....)

I am getting to the point where I really "get" that age is really just a number! I still feel 21!! It is so hard to accept the physical aging process, when your mind still thinks it is so young.

I will attend this 20 year reunion (in over a year) feeling on top of the world! I can't say that I feel in any way that I am missing out on anything because I don't have a "family".

Everyone has their own course to follow in life, and I am embracing each step along the course that is my life!

20 years? Pshhh. I got this!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ahoy Ya Scurvy Bastards!...

This year my BFF and I went haunting as pirates. Mr. Magoo's costume was only available in small, and he is medium (he isn't fat!), so he put on my hat so he could feel included.

Lessons from the night...

1. Mixing wine, energy drink, and dirty martinis does not help with your sea legs.
2. Falling down at 36 (a few times...) is not as easy as falling down at 21.
3. Trying to get a cab ride home at 1 am on a holiday weekend, is not easy.
4. It's freaking freezing in Ohio in October.
5. Giving your house key to your friend is a smart move.
6. Wearing high heels is not nearly as easy as running a half marathon. I am in a lot of pain.
7. Chilvary is not dead!! After four calls to the cab company, some nice young men shared their cab with us so we could get out of the freezing cold!
8. Club Zar in Akron, has something against playing "Pussy Control" by Prince. We waited forever and never heard our request!
9. I'm lucky to have a super fun friend who makes me dress up even thought I don't wanna, and likes to have a good time!

Did you celebrate your Halloween this weekend? What did you dress up as?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Smart Shopping...

So, I had to return my new entertainment center before it was even delivered.

One, because I got an invite to a VIP event the day after buying it...where I can get the same piece for 20% off this weekend.

And two...because after buying my new  42" TV, and seeing how big it is in real life I realized it is far too tall, so I am getting the same look, several inches shorter.

And then while I am at it, I am going to get this chair to go with my new couch. So, by the end of next week I'll have my living room put back together!

I cannot wait to see how amazing it all looks! I'm super excited!

My entertainment center, and current living room chairs were parked on the curb. My chairs lasted roughly 15 minutes before someone swooped them up.

I should have taken a picture of them. Underneath the covers, they were all tore up. I was shocked anyone wanted them. But, one mans trash..

Now, excuse me, as my giant new TV is calling my name!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sweetest Day Done Solo...

I guess you could call Sweetest day a made up holiday, that originated in my home state of Ohio. But who cares? It's real to Hallmark, so it's real to me!!

And after two years of single, I decided to take it very seriously.

Instead of focusing on my lack of a sweetie..and how all my friends are coupled up, I decided to be my own sweetie, and it turns out, I am the best sweetie I have ever had!!

I did fabulous things!

The day started early, with a nice run outdoors. I enjoyed the cool weather, the beautiful leaves, and time alone with my thoughts, all while working up a sweat!

I took Mr. Magoo to the Howl-o-Ween party at our dog park. He sniffed butts, and got his nails trimmed.

I bought myself flowers! I love flowers!

I bought myself a new entertainment center, the kind you get from a bonefide furniture store! (this will house my soon to be newly acquired 40" flat screen TV....eeek, technology!)

Thanks to my fuel perks, I got a full tank of gas for $31!

I got my second ever set of egyptian cotton sheets! And I bought all new pillows!

But the hilight of my day was that I had my very first ever, in 36 years, professional massage.....HEAVEN!!! As I lay in utter relaxation, I channeled my Dad and thought..."I wonder what the poor people are doing?" I see many more spa days in my future! Being pampered was pretty amazing!

I wound down the day by loungin around my clean house, and smelling  my favorite fall candle, pumpkin cheesecake. I ordered in chinese, because it is a definite no-no, and today was all about yes-yes!!

The rest of the evening will be spent cuddling under my favorite fuzzy blanket, sipping on champagne, and watching my favorite scarey movies!

These two brothers are invited to the snuggle party.
Being single is really pretty fabulous when you do all the things you most enjoy, and don't dwell on what you don't have!

These three kitty amigos say Happy Sweetest Day!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What a Difference Two Years Makes...

One of the best things about being single, is the time you have to focus on yourself. At first this is terrifying. Being alone. Oh, the horror! It's scarey. It's lonley. No one understands.

It's been over two years.

This the longest I have ever been single since my very first boyfriend at 12 years old.

Dating? Yes. But without the strong need for being a "couple" dating forces you to be more choosy. In the past I'd have held on to someone who wasn't right for me, simply to be a "couple".

Two years of trying new things. Spending more time with friends and family. Discovering the greatness of Friday happy hours with my girlfriends, and early Saturday runs. Getting in shape....NOT just losing weight. Running races (I still can't believe this one!!) and simply getting to know myself.

Two years of finally having a savings, paying off debt, getting new furniture, and a new car. Learning that you are what you eat, and loving that journey, just as much as I hate it.

Being single forces you to enjoy your own company. Loving your alone time, and being in touch with your own thoughts, feelings, and dreams, without the distraction of what anyone else has to say about it.

Was I letting others hold me back until now? No. I just wasn't ready to be alone. But when you need "something" badly enough, the universe finds a way of making you find out what that "something" is.

Sometimes I find myself wishing I was in love. But if I had someone else to focus on, I'd have never had the opportunity to learn my limits, or find out what I am capeable of, which is far more than I gave myself credit for.

The fact that I am still single doesn't mean I am horrible. Or unloveable. I won't wind up an old maid with 80 cats. To me, it simply means I still have more to learn. I'd rather take the time now, so that when love does find me, I am 100% ready.

I'm learning to embrace what life has given me, rather than fight it.

And what's to fight? Because honestly,  my life is really great. Instead of wallowing in self pity for two years, or needing the constant distraction of others, I've had the opportunity to appreciate who I am. I get to realize that while some people I know are in loveless, or unhappy relationships, I still have the opportunity to find my happily ever after!

And when the stars are aligned, that person with an equally great life is going to cross my path, and the possibilities will be endless.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Like a Girl Gone Wild...

I can hardly contain myself, as it is 100 %, without a doubt... less than a month, until I am in the same (all be it, a giant) room with my life long most favorite celebrity in the universe....MADONNA!!

I remember almost a year ago when I bought my (solo, but who cares) concert ticket how I thought this day would never come!

And now it is upon me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love or hate her, I really don't care! This is the only thing I can remember ever wanting for my ENTIRE LIFE!!

I don't often get to make my own dreams come true, so this is legendary!

I loved Madonna even wayyyy before she sang Holiday on American Bandstand circa 1984.  At that time, I was 9 years old.

November 10th, 2012....is 26 years in the making!!!

In the meantime, I have made a total of 6 CD's of all my top favorite songs, (it's hard to choose!) and I spend most of my time performing them either at home, or in the car.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Don't Go For Second Best, Baby...

One of the exciting parts of races is getting your race shirt!

I did it! I ran another 13.1 miles! Despite a bathroom mishap,  I was so pleasantly suprised at how well I felt throughout, for over half of it!  I had to get up at 5, and leave by 6, so I could sit at the site for an hour and a half before race time. That has to be the worst part about races. Hurry up and wait.

It was barely 40 degrees. Ummm..brrrr....

This was a shared route, so we looped back, meaning you were suppose to stay single file unless you were passing. This helped me because I would speed up to pass people, and then I'd feel bad if I fell back to a slow pace, so I kept up quicker than I normally would on a long run.

Around mile 9 I was on top of the world! I felt great!  If I got to mile 10 by 10am (just short of 2 hours from start time), I had 55 minutes to run a measely 3 miles, and totally beat my first half marathon time! Anyone can run 3 miles in less than 55 minutes!!!!!

But then mile 10 came.

Out of nowhere, I had to go to the bathroom so bad. I knew there were no port o lets until the finish because I am an avid course map studier!

This was a #2 need, not a #1. It was pretty awful!  There as no stopping it! It would have been a "bridesmaids moment"!!!

It made me nauseus to the point that I had to stop running, I had to walk, and  tried to tell myself "it will pass" over and over. But it didn't pass! If I walked the last couple miles I would not beat my time! I was doing so good, and this stupid thing would not stop me!! I had no choice.

So I did what any self respecting runner would do, I started scanning the woods off the trail for a somewhat private spot, then went off road to expel the evil inside of me that was wreaking havoc on my intestines!!!

 I was then covered in pricker scratches all up and down both legs. OUCH!

 The lesson here is not to have greek yogurt with your eggs before a half marathon

Then I  somewhat ran the last two miles after my stop.  I do not do well with "breaks" once I stop running, the pain sets in and I have a hard time getting back to pace.  

The impromptu break aside, I still managed to beat my first half marathon time!!

First go-round I finished 2:55, at a 13.3 minute mile. . This race was  2:35 at an  11.45 minute mile!!

I shaved off way more than I thought I could, and it inspires me for next season!! (unless I find a taker in a 2 man half marathon relay later this month!!)

Another medal for the collection...I heart these!!

I think a good finish time justifies a poo in the woods any day of the week. But...that's just me!!

In the end, any time you do something you never thought you could, it's a win! Set your goals high and go for them! I never thought in a billion years I could do a half marathon, and now I have done two!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month...

I was always a "pet snob". I only wanted pure bred cats and dogs. Papers in tow. I never ever thought I would adopt a "used" animal. That is, until one stole my heart.

It is adopt a shelter dog month. I put together a little video in honor of my trash to treasure dog in hopes that more people can see that just because a dog doesn't look perfect, he can still be a loving companion.

With love and patience, I rescued this shy little shih poo after a life in solitary confinement... a cage. Being good for only one thing...breeding in a puppy mill.

He didn't know humans, treats, toys, stairs, petting, snuggles potty training, or love. The biggest thing was..love. Shelter dogs deserve a happy ending to their lives of misery.

The song is by my favorite singer/songwriter Edwin McCain "The Lucky One".

I have had lots of pets, but the special bond you achieve from rescuing an animal, and showing them how life "should be" is unexplainable.

I hope that you take the time to consider a rescue pet. And if you are unable, make a small donation to your local no-kill shelter. If not monetary, they always need used towels, blankets, etc...

Shelter dogs aren't broken!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Race Season is Coming to an End...

This weekend is my last race of the season.

By last race, I mean one where I will receive a medal, and it will be a challenge. I'm doing the Towpath half marthon. I'm still trying to get people to get on board with a turkey trot, or a NYE 5k..or even a Zombie 5k for halloween, but I don't consider these "official races".

I only aspire to beat my May half marathon time of 2 hours 56 minutes. While I have not been "on" my training as of late, I am taking into account that my first-ever half was in a 108 heat index...and on the harsh city streets of Cleveland, Ohio.

This race will be in (predicted) a comfortable temperature of 47 degrees, and sunny. Mainly flat. And mostly on a heavenly crushed limestone towpath trail.

Im my beautiful home town...I will get to experience the changing of the leaves, and the crisp fall temperatures! This is my most favorite time of year!

I can't imagine living somewhere that you do not get to experience a "true fall".

Or, know what a "lock" is...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Akron Marathon Relay 2.0...

It was maybe 40 degrees this a.m. um...brrrr.....

Ahhh, race day! Who doesn't love a sleepless night, and a 4:30 am wake up call in the bitter cold?

It was a 2 hour wait in the freezing cold until I was "on"!

Sidenote: I'd much rather hop around and stretch constantly to keep my muscles warm, vs. almost die of heat exhaustion any day. (hello, Cleveland marathon with its 108 heat index!)

I was a bit worried about my performance since I was off my training for a while due to illness.

 Mr. Magoo poses with my race shirt and bib. I love our shirts this year!
Mr. Magoo had the utmost faith in my ability to still race well. Dog's opinions obviously matter.
I did ok! I kept it a comfortable jog the whole time until I noticed at the last half mile...which was the bottom of a grand hill......that I had a chance to come in under my goal time and pushed it a bit too fast, and as a result, I had to WALK into the relay exchange, while dry heaving. I sure hope this isn't on film.
One day I'll learn not to do that.
Getting your medal, is the best part!!

 I had an original goal of a 10 minute mile pace. Race day, I had hoped to come in at a 12 minute mile and finish my 7.5 miles in 90 minutes. I actually finished it in 85 minutes, at an 11.3 pace. So I did better than expected.
My team which consisted of two of us avid runners, 1 beginner, and two casual runners, finished the 26.2 in 4.5 hours.
Not too shabby. And, just as I had expected, it stirred up the race day excitement in them all, and I have some new racing buddies for the future!
My beginner, wants to do the half next year, and thanked me for being an awesome workout buddy, and said she couldn't have done it without me. Now I know why people train. It's very satisfying!
I told her I will be her training partner, and stay with her thru every step of that half, just like my BFF did for me.
Isn't running GREAT?!

 Yes..the dog really thinks he had a part in this whole thing, so he tried to get in every photo.