Saturday, January 28, 2012


That's what I did tonight.

I barhopped.


My Racers were scheduled to be on ESPN3 and I wanted to watch them extend their historic record to 21-0, remaining the only unbeaten team in men's college basketball.

So I called and found a bar/grill that said they had ESPN3.

Friends couldn't go, but I decided to go anyway. I've never been to a bar alone so figured I'd expand my single horizons, plus I really wanted to watch the game and drink a drink after work.

I asked for a table near a TV, sat down, ordered a drink and food, and asked for the channel to be changed.

No can-do.

It's an internet only channel, I was told. I asked her to double check, she did, I paid for my drink, which I didn't finish and left.

On my way home I decided to call another sports bar to see if the game was playing. Not only did she assure me they had ESPN3, but I was informed the game was playing RIGHT THEN.

I got very excited as I turned around and headed to Bar #2. The game was well into the first half at this point, so I pointedly asked for a table by a TV and was ushered back to one.

I ordered a drink and food and waited for the channel to be changed.

Next thing I know, my drink arrives and so does the manager.

Game's not on; it's an internet only channel.

Admittedly, I cursed under my breath and was a little pissed off while I drove away. I resolved to drive home and watch the game online in my bed, which is not what I wanted to do. What I wanted to do was to be in public for five minutes, and in a public place that did not revolve around my newsroom, a grocery store or gas station.

Thankfully a friend rescued me and I spontaneously met her and her husband, another friend and her date for dinner.

I'm thankful for friends.

And I'm thankful for a Racer win even though I couldn't watch or listen.

Friday, January 27, 2012


I'm thankful for my mom who calls to talk to me about social media.
I'm thankful she knows I'm multi-tasking while we're talking.

I'm thankful for my friend who calls at 9:20 a.m. to ask for a coffee date.
I'm thankful for when he offers to bring it to me later in the afternoon.
I'm thankful for when he arrives at just the right moment and gives me the coffee.
I'm thankful that he waits another 7 minutes in the parking lot while I finish a meeting.
I'm thankful he comes in and sits by my desk and waits another 15 minutes for me to finish editing two stories. I'm thankful he reads the day's paper while he waits.
I'm thankful he sits with me in the breakroom for 15 minutes and visits before I have to go.

I'm thankful for my friend who instant messages me and another friend who Facebook messages.

I'm thankful my sister texts me to remind me I didn't reply to her other text.

I'm thankful for my dogs who are glad to see me always.

I'm thankful for the Cottage who doesn't seem to mind that her floors haven't been swept or her dishes washed all week.

I'm thankful for the janitor lady who says "You look pretty tonight" as I'm leaving after a long day.

I'm thankful for the sunshine that hit my face this morning when I left the Cottage, and the same sunshine that kissed me when I stole away outside to breath fresh air for five minutes this afternoon.

I'm thankful for my friend who said it's OK to cry tonight, even though that'll put me at two days of crying for the week. She said that's OK, too.

I'm thankful for eating healthy.

I'm thankful for the efficiency of the people I interact with every day.

I'm thankful for the one guy who flirts just a little, enough to make me think that maybe I've got it goin' on despite long hours and too much caffiene sometimes.

I'm thankful for the people who tease me about being a 90-year-old grandma, and for the ones who engage in conversation about sock buns.

I'm thankful for my family who hasn't heard much from me this week, and for my brother who's learning how to be a seamen.

I'm thankful for my bed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

...And...we're up

When I walked into the Cottage tonight I was greeted by a smiling, wagging, bounding dog.

Well, as smiling as dogs can get, and as bounding as a 15-year-old old man can be.

But he was up, he was himself and he was trying to overdo it again. It wasn't enough to walk to follow me around, he had to trot and skip.

Well, not literally trot and skip, but he put way too much spring in his step for my liking and I told him so.

"You're too old to be moving that fast."
"Please slow down before you hurt yourself."

While I tossed the ball around for Skye, I tried to leave him inside. She gets rambunctious in her ball playing and has knocked him over a few times. I didn't want to risk him taking a spill and hurting himself again.

He refused though, putting up such a whiny stink that I didn't want him to try something stupid like jumping on the wooden bench by the window. So I let him back out and while Skye chased her ball, I petted him (on his level so he didn't have to sit on sore hips) and told him how happy I was that he felt better.

I could almost cry happy tears thinking of the life that was back in his eyes tonight, unlike Tuesday when I quietly sobbed over the thought of him not being here anymore. Emotionally, I'm just not ready.

And neither is he, apparently.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

is this a safe place to admit...

...that while browsing through Dollar General for aspirin and sugar-free candy I got very excited about this endcap?

And that I whipped out my cell phone and took a picture of it?

And this one too?

And that I made a pact with myself to return and buy seed starter kits?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

he didn't get up

I thought that he might die last night. His eyes were resigned and his body posture, laying spread out across the kitchen floor. didn't lend itself to life.

I didn't hear him barking for me while I was unlocking the door and most notably, while I was letting Skye out of her crate, he stayed on the floor - didn't even lift his head. I knelt down next to him, rubbed his head for several minutes and talked to him even though he's deaf and can't hear me.

Finally, I coaxed him to get up and go inside to go potty, but he was limping badly and in a lot of pain.

He over did it this weekend, I know. He can't just sit back at the house when he knows that I'm with the horses or walking out to the barn. He has to go with me and he has to keep up. As a result, he did a lot of running and his 15-year-old self isn't as young as it used to be.

I sat with him on the kitchen floor for awhile, just petting him and thinking. Thinking about how he's my last tangible connection to a past few people know about and thinking about how much life has changed between now and then.

Good talk.

Then I gave him some pain medicine, kissed him, told him I love him, and went to bed.

This morning he's back to himself. Being bossy to Skye, trying to run around as fast as he can and promptly getting up when he sees me.

Zeb is good. Life is good.

Monday, January 23, 2012

How much does God love sports?

If you're of the mind that God loves the Broncos and that's why they kept winning in unlikely scenarios, then I could probably convince you that Murray, Ky. is heaven, the Murray State Racers are angels and Coach Steve Prohm is god.

It's either that or on the scale of God Loves Sports, the Racers rank high. Really high, because we keep winning.

As a matter of fact, if you haven't heard, the Racers are the only undefeated team left in men's college basketball IN THE NATION, and to prove my allegiance to my alma mater, my Facebook profile picture has been changed to a large yellow M with a racing horse.

We are Racers.

It's really great.

When I transferred to Murray State University from a community college, I wasn't trying to pick a university with a reputable mid-major basketball team. In fact, I was invited to my first basketball game because I had nothing better to do, and I had no idea really what was going on on the court.

But I was hooked.

Hooked on the atmosphere, hooked on the team camaraderie, hooked on the energy and competitive thrill of winning. We were winners then too.

Since that first game, I barely missed a home game and traveled to away ones. I learned the game and then introduced my non-sports friends to it. I took my younger siblings and later, the kids I nannied. I ran the concession stands once and argued with an aisle worker during a tournament game. Later, I would graduate for the second time on the court's floor.

The Racers have been featured on ESPNU a couple times this season and I find myself scanning the home crowd for people I know, and reveling in the feeling of being home as the cameras pan over the familiar banners, the Racer Band, the student section, the Racer bench and the section that belongs to friends.

I'm loving this trip the Racers are on and I'm proud to support my team.

I don't think God loves the Racers more than He does anyone else.
All I'm sayin' is that if there were favorites, we'd probably rank high. Really high.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tim Tebow isn't extraordinary

There's a boy and his name is Tim Tebow.

You might have heard of him.

He was unplanned. He plays football. He prays.

He's inspired headlines that mixes "God" and the "NFL." His last name is a verb now and Scripture verses are part of sports analysts' vernacular when they discuss him. He's galvanized some sports fans - if you're not a Tebow fan, you don't love Jesus, and if you are a Tebow fan, you're a Jesus freak.

According to some, he's not even that good. Others wonder if he's a hypocrite. Christian girls want to marry him. Mothers want their sons to be like him. Youth group leaders are having a jolly good time heralding him.

I maintain my position.

Tim Tebow is not extraordinary.

He's a guy with a couple passions.
He's an ordinary man with less than ordinary talent who shares the faith of thousands.

Yet Tebow haters and lovers are transfixed and perhaps it's because this guy means what he says.

He doesn't just say football, he means it.
He doesn't just profess faith, he makes it visible.

Can we do the same thing?
Can I do the same thing?

Friday, January 20, 2012

messy life

Life is like a bag of dog food that spills its entire contents into the dog bowl when you're not ready for it.

And then you curse-murmur under your breath, or at least I do.

Or I yell, "I wasn't ready for that shit!"

But ready or not, prepared or not, blindsided or not, life has arrived in all its slippery unpredeictable glory.

Life might provide the music, but we can choose the dance.

What was intended as a roadblock can become a bridge.
What was hurled as a diversion can become a new path.
What was destined for destruction can become our most fertile ground.

Life has arrived. Well, it's been here for awhile, but in whatever circumstance we're dealing with right's here.

And it becomes our stage.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Goodbye and Hello

I don’t like goodbyes because I don’t like change.

I know. It feels like a contradiction coming from someone who thrives on adventure and taking risks. Consider it a flexible contradiction.

You see, I do love adventure and I take as many opportunities to fulfill it as possible. I spontaneously slept in a deer blind Saturday night in below-freezing temperatures and then hunted Sunday morning. (And by “hunted,” I mean “slept-sitting-up-in-a-chair-waiting-for-deer.)

But I don’t like change.

But life likes to change.

And it’s the change that feeds the adventure so it’s a universe-balancing act.

I get it.


When I hugged my brother good-bye, I didn’t think about it being the last time I’d hug him for a few months. I pretended that I was heading back to my house and he was staying at his and I’d “see him later.”

I did hug him tighter and longer. And mid-hug he cracked a joke that threw me into a fit of laughter-tears and hysteria. We did walk to the door together and before we parted, I hugged him again. Kissed him on the cheek.

We’ve known since October that this was his day, but in sneaky little ways, time evaporated and it was here before I knew what hit me. Last week, sadness was edging out any other emotion I was feeling about his departure, and true-to-my-nature I was laying in bed thinking about it.

In the midst of thinking about all the things he’s not going to be here for and the void his absence will leave at the dinner table, the baseball field, the afternoons on the couch watching football, the dance hall, the Cottage, our hearts – a new thought took dominance over all the other ones.

This is his time.

Duh, right?

But it really is.

I’ve cried since he left. I wasn’t able to be one of the ones dropping him off, but the pictures from the scene made me cry. And I cried when I heard about other people crying and when I read Facebook statuses and notes on his wall. And when I wanted to play 4-handed Pinochile this afternoon and thought, “I’ll invite Emily, Katie and Daniel…” and then remembered that I can’t.

I’m proud of this kid and I’m proud of the way we love him and the people who are missing him. I’m proud he’s serving our country and pursuing his dreams. I’m proud to be his sister.

Friday, January 13, 2012

wild and precious

I get this way every once in awhile.

This wondering what's happening on the other side of the world.
This wanting to see it for myself.

This crushing need for adventure.
This nostalgic gratitude for my simplicity.

This reminiscent mindset.
This peace like a river.

This urge to write quotes on mirrors and window frames.
This humor when I've done so in permanent marker.

This appreciation of house and home, faith and family.
This desire to make it all bigger.

This pride for plans and dreams.
This determination to make it all happen.

Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life...

I plan on living it this way.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

comin' home

Before you read this and think that I'm some sort of angel who comes home every day and speaks in the most pleasant of tones, let me assure you that does not always happen.

Case in point:

The last two nights I've been rude to my dogs.

I did not want to play. I did not want to cuddle. I was not amused by antics that are usually amusing. I wanted them to go lay down and leave me alone. And then I wanted to curl up in bed and watch college basketball and sleep for 12 hours for the second night in a row. Eh, fatigue.

But most nights, I acknowledge my blessings.

Skye and the Old Man are always glad to see me. I can hear them barking and whining for me as soon as I get out of my car and their jubilation only intensifies when I unlock the door. I can be gone for 5 minutes or hours and their level of excitement doesn't waver.

At that moment, I am a rock star.

Tonight's a sampling of what we do when I get home.

I let them out.
I change as quickly as possible.
I get Skye's ball and the dog brush and we go outside.

While Skye tracks down her ball in the darkness, I brush the Old Man and then throw the ball, brush the Old Man, throw the ball....

Then it's time to do a little housework and make my salad:

It's simple.

But it's what I do when I come home.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

every girl should do (this) to stay young

I don't particularly like sleeping on a mattress on my mother's living room floor.

But I do it often.

Nearly every time I go home.

One of my siblings asks me to and what can I say? "No" is not an option.

And since we live in a household where mattresses are just as easily taken off their box springs as they are put back on, there's little dispute when we build our makeshift bed.

Don't put it past us to one day put a roof over it and call it a fort.

At one point during the weekend, I was reading a woman's magazine and there was a list outlining things women should do every once in awhile to stay young at heart.

Two of the things that made the list:

Have a sleepover
Build a fort

Who cares that I'm 28 and would rather not want to sleep in the living room?

Heck, I'm doing it, and I'll even help haul the mattress out.

Friday, January 6, 2012

there's a sock in my hair

Sock buns are all the rage at the Cottage.

Someone asked me today: "So what are you doing different with your hair? Sleeping in curlers or what?"

I don't usually tout my beautifying secrets, but she asked so I answered.

"I just discovered the sock bun," and she replied with: "You are a 90-year-old grandmother."

"Have you ever heard of the sock bun?" I asked in defense.

"Yes," was her reply. "From my 90-year-old grandmother."

I am addicted to this notion. I'm barely through the door of the Cottage, after having left the dogs out, and my hair is entwined in a sock.

I discovered this while visiting a long-haired friend. Her hair was up and she casually said: "Yeah, I have a sock in it."

Um, tell me more. A sock in my hair sounds like something I can handle.

And it is, and it's even better now that I've had practice.

Naturally, I'm behind the times, because when I mentioned my newly-discovered craze, my sister nonchalantly replied that she'd be doing it for awhile.

"Why haven't you told me?!"

"Well, I didn't think I had to."

Yes. Anything that involves a sock in my hair should be told to me. She redeemed herself by giving me pointers. (your hair should be completely dry.)

I'm too tired right now to explain how to put a sock in your hair, but if you have long locks and you're looking for something quick and that serves the purpose of giving you curls in the morning when you take it (yes, you can sleep in the sock bun!), this is for you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

tell me why, electric lady

It’s true that my emotions are all over my face, but they’re in my voice too.

I guarantee you that the woman at my electric company knew I was incredulous over the phone when she told me how much my electric bill was.

First, the obvious question from me: “Um…why?”

Internally, I was screaming: why the hell is my electric bill more than $100?

The kind woman explained that it’s gotten colder and therefore I’m using my heater more.

“But I live in like 600-square feet of space…I don’t understand,” I replied. It’s not that I doubted her, it’s that I was suddenly not an adult anymore. I was a five-year-old kid in mourning. But why….

“Well, when you moved in, it was October and so the weather was mild and you didn’t have the heat on, or anything for that matter, and so you were only using 3,4,5 kilowatt hours each day,” she said. “But now that the weather has cooled down, you’re using about 25 kilowatt hours a day and it’s because of the heater.”

This woman is brilliant. She must have eyes everywhere and sees me at night crank up the furnace to 71 because this old-body-in-a-young-age is freezing.

Curl up, dogs, and humans, grab a sweatshirt. We’re not using 25 kilowatt hours a day of electricity. No. No, we’re not.

(I’ve joined the 21st century according to Facebook and have a subscribe option on my page. So, subscribe away!)