Showing posts from March, 2011

Before and after

Ya gotta love before and afters. They are so telling. . .most of the time. Take, for instance, all those home shows. A horrible yard turns into a resort-inspired retreat with the help of a professional crew and some willing homeowners. An ugly, grime-encrusted kitchen morphs into a warm, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing hub of the home.  As of late, I've been enjoying the guilty pleasure of before and afters. My yearning to release some pent-up creativity and rid my home of bland, boring decor has resulted in the application of numerous paint colors in a variety of patterns. The results have generally been well-received. But the highest cudos come from folks who know how yuk the hallways and rooms looked before the creative crash rushed in and took over. They knew the before and can appreciate the after. But these aren't the only kind of impressive before and afters. Think about all those print ads and TV commercials touting the benefits of some new fang-dangled weigh

Trotting on Terrapin

Photo by Seth Trittipoe Yowzah! The muscles in both my calves instantaneously drew up into tight rubber-band balls. It brought me to an abrupt stop, grabbing for a nearby tree. The spasm drew both feet in directions not intended for a natural cadence. Using the tree for support, I stretched out both legs and gingerly proceeded on my way. I had been doing so well. But when I spoke to a young runner who had taken a headlong plunge into the woods, I lost my concentration and caught my toe on a relatively smooth portion of trail. I guess I can't talk and run at the same time. If it hadn't hurt so bad, it might have even been funny. Down the hatch went electrolyte drink and capsules and a handful of pretzels in an effort to save the day. It did. . .just at a little slower pace. The race was Terrapin Mountain 50K. With somewhere between 7500 and 8500 feet of both gain and descent (reports differ), the race is not for the light-hearted. Quad crushing downhills and relentless clim

It's all in who you know

"Oh my goodness. The first night we were there, they brought a tray full of gourmet cookies and ice-cold milk." She gushed on. "And the next day they brought each of us a huge gift bag with a plush signature bathrobe and all kinds of other goodies. At night, the floor gently lit up as you approached the bed. It was a magnificent suite..." It seems that my friend, Julie, was the happy recipient of lavish accommodations because she knew the right person. Her sister-in-law is a big-muckety-muck at an exclusive, 5-star hotel in the Orlando area. Because of that connection, Julie and company benefited greatly, enjoying amenities known only by the rich and famous, cost-free, no less. You see, it's all in who you know. Now, suppose you were the son or daughter of a king. Yes, a prince and princess. Do you think that those titles would open a few doors? I sort of doubt you would be staying in a no-tell hotel eating convenient store food. And, I think you would get a

To infinity and beyond; Beyond "Pace Yourself,"

FaceBook is both a blessing and a curse. In a digital world, it's just one more opportunity to get sucked into the big black hole that consumes way too much time and energy from already busy lives. FB brings good news and bad, tidbits about everyday events, details so vivid you question the writer's sanity, and an occasional deep thought that makes putting up with all the trivia worthwhile. Last week I was messaged by a friend and it was worth it. Seems like Jensen, her daughter and a bright fifth-grader, is working on a project and wanted my input as an author. I was flattered, of course. But this project was not a typical grade school diorama or annoying fund-raising project. She was writing a book. Yes, a big, big book. A huge undertaking, to be sure. We met up for lunch and between bites of our sandwiches, I was impressed with Jensen's work. When "Pace Yourself" came out last year, she and her parents spent each evening reading the day's selection. The

Sticky fingers

The can clearly said "Handle responsibly. Plan. Prepare. Practice. Wear gloves and protective eyewear." So, why did I end up with my fingers glued together and stuck to the can? In retrospect, it's sort of funny now that the dried, expandable foam has been "mechanically removed or allowed to wear off in time." But it wasn't so funny when I was frantically trying to get off the goop that was forming a cast-like enclosure around my fingers. I grabbed all the acetone I had and dunked both hands in the bowl of the fingernail polish, scrubbing hard with cotton balls and kitchen sponges. When that didn't work, I progressed to a blue colored scrubbie. Too bad that it reacted chemically with the acetone. My hands, caked with this awful stuff turned Smurf-like. Oh great. Nothing would remove the blue. Not Clorox, Not Comet. Not nutt'n. And yes, I know that's a double negative. That's how bad it was. As I have been relentlessly picking and scrapi