Five truths and a lie. (Would have been more interesting if I got to come up with five lies.)



“And, after all, what is a lie?

‘Tis but the truth in masquerade.”  Lord Byron, Don Juan


NaBloPoMo Day 20.

I’ve had so much fun this month participating in NaBloPoMo and hanging out with a great group of bloggers.

Today our challenge was to post  . . .

Five truths and one lie about ourselves.



So here it goes.

Honestly coming up with these, I thought it would be much more exciting to have come up with five lies and one truth —


*   I saw the Apollo 13 Saturn rocket launch to the moon.

*   I was almost arrested climbing over the runway fence at DFW.

*   I waited on Jimmy Buffet. He ordered a cheeseburger with Heinz 57 and fries.

*   I was run into by an angry boyfriend driving his Porsche 930.

*    I ran 3.5 miles in 40 degrees below wind chill temps and survived.

*   I was this close  . . .  to calling off my wedding.


There it is. Which is the untruth?

And I vow to live this next year in hopes my 2015 NaPoBloMo list is more exciting.












Lake Lanier Under the Lights 5K. Worth breaking “the rules.”


Our youngest is 11 years old. I’ve written before how he’s my last holdout, my last buddy. I realize that time is quickly (and probably already has) slipping away.

Okay. That’s not clear. He’s my last child I can talk into hanging out with mom and participating in organized fun.

For example, he and I are a team for the Ronald McDonald House race. And I often procrastinate enthusiastically scan the internet for local 5Ks we can do together. That’s how I happened upon Lanier Under the Lights 5K.

Lake Lanier is a resort 30 minutes north of Atlanta. For us, that meant a 90 minute drive. But what’s an hour and a half of riding in a car for a chance to run through holiday lights?

They hold this race the Saturday and Sunday before the park opens the light show to car traffic.

Joe and I headed that was last Sunday afternoon.

This was at the start. Notice the castle in the background. Oz-ian I think.



It was misty and chilly, which added to the cheery winter mood.

Cheery winter mood?

Yes. I got caught up in the lights and the little whiff of Santa in the air.

This required suspending my long and fast rule: NO Christmas before Thanksgiving. I surprised myself how easy it was to drift into that mum-of-a-little-child-at-Christmas haze.


The official start.

They had waves which was a good thing. Lots and lots of children. Serious runners were up front followed by mid-pace runners, joggers, walkers and entire young families pushing toddlers in strollers.



A few photos.





These pics aren’t conveying the excited children chatting to parents. Parents encouraging their child to run to the next reindeer. The young 20-somethings running in packs.  I knew that when I was snapping away. But I had to try.

My partner never likes me to stop and take a pic.

Notice the green glow-stick stuck in his curls.




The course is hilly. I knew that from a ZOOMA half marathon my friends and I ran there.

We ran; we walked with hundreds of other peeps in search of a pre-holiday buzz.


And had a great time.

The lake is down there somewhere.




A thumb way up!

Don’t know what I’ll do next year if my then 12 year old won’t do this race with me.

:/   <– Mommy angst.

How about you? Will you join me?


Yes, Dear Lizzi. They grow on trees.


Last weekend I participated in one of my favorite blog hops — Ten Things of Thankful.

I mentioned the pecans were dropping this year. Hurrah! Some years we have tons. Some years — like 2013 — we have zilch.



This prompted Lizzi — a bonny English lass —  to comment:




Yes Lizzi, pecans grow on trees. To be such a small nut, they sprout at the end of branches way, way up in the air.

On tall trees.  Between 100 — 140 feet tall.



It’s like having a 10-story building in your backyard.

Albeit a very tall, pencil thin 10-story building.




These big old lumbering beasts can produce fruit for 100 years or more.

The trees in Madison were probably here when General Sherman and Union troops marched through on their way to the sea.

But any more on that would involve a history lesson on the Civil War, Lizzi —  and is another post entirely.

I’m going out in the backyard.

And under all pecans in my hood.




And pick up pecans because I’m baking pies — lots of pecan pies.

Folks are ordering them and I’m going to donate all the $$$$ to my Ronald McDonald House TeamRMHC fund.

But is another post entirely too.

So there Lizzi.

That’s what life looks in the middle of a pecan orchard. In the middle of Georgia.


If anyone lives a short drive from my house and wants a homemade pecan pie delivered Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving, just let me know in the comments!

Now I can sleep tonight.


“Oh cr@p.”

Outside in the dark and cold emptying the recyclables, I remembered.

The lettuce.


Like most of you, our temps are to plummet tonight and even into the teens tomorrow night.

My Red Romaine would not make it.

I gave some away to friends today but there was one head left — for me. But I forgot to go out there and pick it. Until now. When it was dark and cold and windy.

Going out to the garden I spied . . .




There is always a gnome to worry about.

Aren’t the children, dog, cats, husband and turtle enough?

I harvested my lettuce.




And went back out into the garden.



Now I can sleep tonight.


NaBloPoMo Day 18 .  .  . if it was the 18th. ha.

Day 17.

True Colors Shining Through.


I’m candid how much of my innards still live by the seashore, but this time of year, I love living in Central Georgia.

As a girl, the only autumn leaves I saw were in backdrops found on the pages of fall-themed children’s books.

The oranges, golds, rusts and reds clustered on the trees, then on the ground.

Never any mounds of brown leaves to jump into. I know. Such the deprived child.

Out walking the dog other morning, I couldn’t help but pick some leaves up and bring them inside to rest on my desk.



This also made me tidy up my desk because putting leaves on an already messy desk is well even too much clutter for me.

Did you know that leaves don’t turn red or yellow?

The reds and yellows are always there. The leaves just have chlorophyll in the spring and summer. Remember class, chlorophyll is necessary for photosynthesis (so plants can eat) and that’s the green that overshadows all the other color.

Shortening days cue the leaves to out chlorophyll production. This destroys the green in the leaf and reveals the other hues that have been there all along.



So even a more colorful life abounds in death.

A great Easter message for the fall.

Until of course, until the leaf withers, drops, dries up and becomes worm food.



Or wonderful compost.

How has the fall color been in your neighborhood?


Ten Things of Thanks for the week that was.


Another weekend. Thanks be to God. I really, really want to tap a nap. And I never take naps.

Not that I’m against them. At all. I used to be a napper of first order. But the older I get — and with nature’s hormonal shift — it’s hard enough for me to sleep at night.

I don’t risk a sleepless night by napping.

So I shall be Ten Things of Thankful for the week that was.

10. This tomato.



I have one tomato plant left from summer in a pot. I picked this yesterday.  I’m thinking a BLT with some lettuce from my garden.


9.  My lettuce didn’t freeze the last few nights. So I can have that BLT if I chose.


8.  I had to get up at 6 a.m. this morning to get my daughter to school.

Well, it was hard to get up. But saw the prettiest sunrise.


7.  My tomato plant is in a pot.

So I could move it and my little peppers — also in a pot — inside the last few below freezing nights.


6.  NaBloPoMo.

Though it’s been hard some nights to get a post in — I’m having fun. Getting to know new great bloggers.


5.  My BRFs

It was cold this morning. It was windy. But when two friends show up at your door expecting you to get out there and run with them — you head out.


4.  A dear friend who texted if she could take a pic of my tree? I’m like what tree?

The only tree I could think of was the maple in our front yard. But it has lost a lot of its leaves. She came and took a pic. And told me how she was driving by and thought it looked so pretty with the leaves on the ground and the late afternoon light.

I now see my tree differently. It is quite lovely.




3.  Husbands who schlep soda cans home from their office, so I can take them in for money to add to my Ronald McDonald House total.

If you’d like to give any amount, I’d be ever so grateful if you click on the FirstGiving link on the sidebar.  :)


2.  Pecans.

After a light year in fall 2013, looks like there are lots of pecans already dropping in our yard. Pies for everyone!




1.  The parts to fix our furnace arrived earlier in the week.

Nuff said.


What are you thankful for this second week of November?


Ten Things of Thankful


People of the Pool Alert System: Hot. Cold. Just Right.


“Jamie. Have you been to the pool today?”

I was at the bank making a deposit. Searching for my account number sifting through all the little slips of paper tucked away in the pockets of my billfold.

A friend standing at the teller turned around to speak and she asked the above question.

Coincidentally, I had indeed decided to swim this afternoon. I needed to get back in the pool after an extended break.

We are very fortunate to have a new aquatics center while living in a fairly rural county. Such a boon for us aging athletes. Take my mother — please. No silly. My mother is a loyal water aerobics devotee.

And there is an assorted tribe of us who like to swim laps.

I hadn’t been swimming for a few months and needed to start back.

Paula’s question at the bank made me pause. “Have you been to the pool today?”

Was that code for the water is FREEZING? Dear Great God in Heaven, please no. I can’t take that.

Just then while I was still filling out my deposit slip, up walked another friend, Brillo, who answered the question bouncing around in my head.

“It was hot. Like 92 degrees hot.”

Ninety-two degrees? At the county pool? Is that even possible?

We spent a few pleasant seconds chatting how it was so nice to get into a warm pool but that after a few minutes . . . you broil.

It occurred to me all of us — the county swimmers, water aerobics participants and dog paddlers —  would benefit having a finger on pulse of the water temperature at the pool.

Then I thought of a plan. I thought it up quick. A great one in fact. A great plan and quickly. Unusual for me.

We needed to form a Facebook group.

Or even better, a text alert system. Anyone in the pool early in the day, say the 6 a.m. crowd — Emily, David or Joe. This front line could send out a TEMP OF THE DAY text to the People of the Pool.

Something like this:






Like today. Though it was too warm, by slowing my pace and going heavy on the backstroke, I was okay.

So if I saw red, I would proceed to the pool as planned.



If I received this alert — NO WAY — would I take my little #BreakTheInternet swim trunks to the pool.

A few times the heater has been out and I’ve swam. Never gets warm. One time it was so bad I would have left but the guy in the next lane got in —

I didn’t want to perpetuate a stereotype and let TEAM GIRL down; so I swam in misery.

But the vast majority of times,



It’s just right.

Any swimmers out there? Hot, cold — what can you tolerate?





Chickamauga Battlefield Half Marathon. 13.1 Miles of History.


13. 1 miles of history . . . Or so says the back of our dri-fit shirts.

Every fall my running buddy Kim says we need to do this race. So this year, I signed up and when Kim couldn’t join me — I talked my husband into going with me. He walks for exercise.

Like really fast walk.

He’s secure in his maleness to walk 13.1 miles. Which is cool with me because the main thang is to have him walking his little heart out getting cardio exercise.

The man is into history as in would-have-loved-to-have-been a history professor into history, so I thought this was perfect for him. So after I begged and pleaded and promised things I’ll never follow through with, he agreed to go with me.

It’s ironic that recently, we stumbled upon a PBS show about Chickamauga. Okay, I happened to walk in the bedroom while he was watching — remember he is the history nut in the family.

According to the show, Chickamauga is a Native American word meaning river of death. The river there was so named when the Cherokee contracted smallpox. The sick would go to the river seeking relief from their fever  and many of them died while at the water.

Ironically, the battle fought at this river of death was the second deadliest of the Civil War. Second only to Gettysburg. Very sobering and hard to imagine, in a place that today is the epitome of bucolic beauty and tranquility.


Here we sat last Saturday morning.

Let’s cover why this race is great from a runner’s perspective. You can wait in your car with the heater on. Which is awesome said anyone who has stood around for an hour in cold weather before a race.




As far as the race size — it wasn’t too small; it wasn’t too big. It was just right. The marathon and half folks started together. I was reading about how the first place woman in the marathon was disqualified when her split times didn’t make sense. I think she probably got confused and didn’t run some of the course. Who knows?

Alls I know is that I covered every inch. And then some.

My time was where I seem to be stuck these days — 2:30. Well, 2:31:something. Which is 15 minutes slower than I did consistently a few years ago. But considering the wear and tear on my joints, I’m just happy to be participating in these things.

As much as I enjoyed this race, I encountered technical difficulties.

And since this is my blog and not an official race report, I will bore share them with you.

—  The race started. I turn on my iPod shuffle. No sound. For about the first half a mile I fiddled with the shuffle. I fiddled with the ear buds. Never got the blasted thing to work. So I quickly changed expectations — 13 miles. No music. No problem. Said no one ever.

—  Between Mile 7 and 8 my RunKeeper died. Well, my phone did. So instead of carrying a dead phone in my hand, I stuck it in my tights. Before long, my phone would fall down my leg and end up at my knee. Which caused me to stop and reach down into my tights to retrieve dead phone. I did this off and on for a few miles till I thought — this is maddening and carried my phone in my hand the rest of the way.


So even with no music or time, I’d have to say this was one of my top three half marathons. And I’ve run a ton.

A beautiful spot. Race day conditions were perfect. In the 30s. No wind. Blue sky.




I took this because I thought the steam rising off the runners was cool.






Yes, we were running through a battlefield. One where many, many young men lost their lives.

I have no notions to romanticize The Civil War.  It was a horrific thing. A horrific thing that had to be.

Slavery was a way of life in the plantation South — an inhumanity unthinkable in our culture today.

History proved war the heinous solution to end an even greater evil.

That was 151 years ago.

I kept having to remind myself that thousands of men died here.


Sixteen thousand, two hundred Union casualties and 18,500 recorded for the Confederate.

I can only shake my head as I type that.






We did it.




Thanks Johnny for coming with me.

So with no music and no timekeeper to neurotically check, I still give this race a must do.



Moonlight over Madison. (Almost moonlight.)


My 11 year old and I are running partners. As a team, we are raising money for the Ronald McDonald House of Central Georgia.

That 10K race isn’t till February so I try to coax him out to do a few miles. We have a 5K on the agenda next Sunday.

That could be very fun. Or turn out very not so fun.

Regardless, we have to get out there and run.

Last night we hit the pavement.

And ran by Madison’s skyscraper.





It was so nice and warm.



Lots of y’all are freezing right now.

But last night around here, it was perfect.



When we got up to the Courthouse and the square — I had an ephiphany.

Veterans Day.

This was going to be my blog post for last night.






Then I saw that documentary on Diana Nyad and thought it was so cool, I blogged about that.

That’s NaBloPoMo for me.

No. That’s life.

My intentions interrupted by something completely unrelated but in the end it all works out.

I think.


Not sure.

At all.

Definitely I think I’m not sure, at all.

Day 12.



“I can swim from Cuba to Florida.” Well, not me of course.


“Jellyfish come at dusk.’

Diana Nyad mid-swim on when she needs to get in her shirt.

Those damnable jellyfish.

I’m watching The Other Shore — the documentary of Diana Nyad’s dream to swim from Cuba to Florida.

As a very mediocre swimmer and 51 year old watching 61-year-old Nyad’s journey is just expletive unbelievable.

It testifies to the human spirit and well, something she has that I don’t have.

When they pulled her out after swimming short of her goal (she swam 91 miles factoring in the current) my 13-year-old daughter said, “At least she got tan.”

My husband said,”This is the hardest thing I’ve ever seen.”

After her second failed attempt, Nyad said she wanted to try again.  Her partner replied, “Diana, you’ve said ‘one more time’ . . . three times.”

You’ve got to see this.

I will never whine about physical pain during exercise again.

Okay. Maybe that is a tad optimistic.

Thoughts —

NaBloPoMo Day 10



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NaBloPoMo November 2014