On casting the first stone

This weekend something happened to me that caused my blood to boil. I felt furious enough to punch someone.

Saturday morning I did a 12 mile run outdoors. It was a lovely fall day that drew many people outside on bike, foot, and car.

As I was running mile 7, I saw a lady about 10 years older than me walking in front of me with her unleashed dog. A car was coming towards us in our lane. There weren’t any cars in the opposite lane. The lady in the car did not move over or slow down for the dog or the walker. After she passed them, she veered in my direction. Then she quickly swerved back into her lane as she sped by.

I was really upset and complained to the walker about crazy psycho drivers. I slowed down to walk next to her. I didn’t think I could run past her without her dog chasing me. After petting her dog a couple of minutes and venting my rage, we introduced ourselves.

The walker told me of a man that ran by her house all of the time. She thought perhaps I would know him. She said that she started seeing him many years ago and that he lost a lot of weight. He always runs with a beagle dog that, although old, never seems tired. And on and on she went about how wonderful the strange man was…

Maybe I know who he is?? Yes, he’s my husband!

When I got back home, I told Paul about his secret admirer. I told him that I had a conversation with her after our run in with a careless driver.

Paul gets very upset when I tell him about my close calls out on the road. I’d like to say that it doesn’t happen very often, but it does. It makes me even more enraged when people do not move over or slow down when there are animals or children on the road.

Paul said that he had the perfect solution. He said that I should carry a rock while running. If they almost hit me, I should take the rock and chuck it at their car. Perfect!

Forget the mace and rape whistle! My biggest threat isn’t from dogs or the creepy guys that cat call as they drive by. My biggest threat is from the psycho drivers that almost run me down as they speed by. I was even wearing my ‘honk if you’re going to hit me’ shirt. But the words are on the back of the shirt, not the front. My bad!

Carrying around a rock was Paul’s best idea ever. It seemed out of character for him to give that kind of advice. He regretted his words immediately after uttering them.

What if your hobby of running gets you in trouble with the law?? What if they get out of their car and beat the crap out of you?

Seriously, who cast the first stone?

**Honey, if you are reading this…Not to worry, I probably won’t start taking your advice anytime soon.**

Mystery Blogger

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I would like to thank the wrong side of 50 https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.wordpress.com for nominating me for the mystery blogger award. Although I don’t know her name, I consider her to be a friend and my biggest fan. She tells great stories about parenting, her life in NYC, and probably got the mystery blogger award for having a variety of content. Everyday is a mystery…Although she seems to find a quiet corner in the city to write, I think she is an extrovert since she always asks questions and interacts a lot with her audience. She also has the super power of being extremely organized. Maybe even her closet is color coordinated? She is just that great!

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

This award was originally created by Maggie @okoto enigma

Mystery blogger award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.
The rules:
• Put the award logo/image on your blog
• List the rules
• Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
• Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
• Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
• You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
• Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
• Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
• Share a link to your best post(s)

3 things about myself:

  • My personality type is ISTJ, the number one career for my personality type is accounting. I am having some major self-doubt that I am as funny as I think I am. I would do the math, but I don’t really like math.
  • I finished 3 marathons and a Half Ironman. I also had to write book reports in middle school gym class to pass the class because I was so horrible at sports. Moral of the story…don’t let what people think or tell you about yourself stop you from doing something you want to do.
  • I like or dislike foods based on texture more than taste.

Questions asked by wrong side of 50:

  1. When were you most proud of yourself? Without a doubt my proudest moment was finishing the Half Ironman. It was such a challenge to complete it that I didn’t even berate myself over the time.
  2. What is your favorite drink on a hot day? An ice cold craft beer or my homemade banana daiquiris.
  3. If you could go anywhere on your next vacation, where would it be? I am actually going to Thailand on my next vacation…but some of my favorite places that I am interested in going to is Iceland, Bora Bora, Cuba, and Maine.
  4. What color are your eyes? Blue
  5. Dark, milk, or white chocolate? Milk

Questions for my nominees:

  1. How long have you been blogging?
  2. What is your favorite topic to write about?
  3. What inspired you to start blogging?
  4. What is the most beautiful place that you ever visited?
  5. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

My best posts:

https://outrunningmydemons74.com/2016/06/17/will-you-still-love-me/

https://outrunningmydemons74.com/2017/07/18/my-first-half-ironman/

https://outrunningmydemons74.com/2017/01/05/a-flames-last-few-flickers/

https://outrunningmydemons74.com/2015/12/07/demons-past-present-and-future/

It’s really hard to judge what is the best…I would have to reread everything and that might take awhile..

My nominees:

reallifeusblog.wordpress.com

writersenvy.me

These are just a few of the blogs that I really enjoy due to their personal content or things that interest me…sailing, running, humor, and especially overcoming hardships. Please participate if you feel compelled to do so…if not, that is okay..Just keep writing…

 

 

Hollywood Studios

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I’m going to be totally honest with you. Hollywood Studios is my least favorite Disney park. It has some pretty intense thrill rides…The Tower of Terror which is a dropping elevator ride…and the Rock N’ Roller Coaster which is super fast. You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to go on either ride.

My husband Paul took our youngest two children on most of the thrill rides at Disney. I felt bad that this time without the children he had no one to go on some of these rides with. He said he really wasn’t into it though and wanted to see the things the kids wouldn’t be interested in.

There is one ride that I do like in the park…I like the Toy Story ride which is a target hitting ride. I guess I am not a good aim since I can never beat my husband.

We also went on the Star Wars 3D ride and weren’t very impressed. For awhile Paul didn’t think his 3D glasses were working. There was also a live Star Wars show which was kind of cool even though I don’t get into Star Wars. I can’t make it through a Star Wars movie without falling asleep. Unfortunately, I have the same issue with The Lord of the Rings series. I’ve heard many tell me that these are the greatest movies ever made..I’m not sure about that since I never made it through one without sleeping…but I think I just found a cure for my occasional insomnia.

There are some other neat shows there like the stunt show and the Muppets 3D show. There are tons of shows and live performances if you get into that.

My favorite restaurant there is the Sci-Fi Drive In Theater. It is like the old time drive in theater. You are seated in antique cars and the servers come out on roller skates. There is an old black and white sci-fi movie playing on a continuous loop on the big screen. This restaurant offers American fare and you can get a pretty good milkshake.

The funniest thing happened at HS this time. My husband got carded. He was rather upset because he didn’t have his ID on him. This past week he turned 49. I had to buy the guy a beer.

During our stay at Disney, we bought a Hopper pass which allowed us to go to more than one park a day. We didn’t use it once…so it was a waste of money. We were at Disney a total of 3 whole days and spent the last half day at HS. I think it would take awhile to get from one park to another. It is almost more economical money and time wise to not spend the extra money on the Hopper pass. I would spend the money instead on a t-shirt or other souvenir…or maybe save it for another trip..

We had a great visit and hope to be back there again someday soon…

Magic Kingdom

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My favorite Disney park for rides is Magic Kingdom. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of roller coasters. I am a wimp! I did go on Space Mountain a few times years ago. Space Mountain is my limit for scary. The problem is sometimes the only way to see if you will like a ride is to ride it. It sure makes me feel a little braver when I see preschoolers next to me in line.

My favorite ride is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We were able to get 2 fast passes for the ride which made me so happy. Then we were able to get on again right before the park closed for the night. I would say it is a moderate roller coaster, just the way I like it…it has small drops and doesn’t go upside down. The scariest time was when the ride momentarily stopped unexpectedly. I was afraid that the other ‘train’ might hit us, but it didn’t despite my fear.

When we stayed at Disney this time, we were given bracelets that allowed us to get into our room and into the parks. We could make purchases with our bracelets which allowed us to travel very light. We downloaded the Disney app to manage our meal reservations, get fast passes, and see the wait times for rides. Technology has really improved since we last visited a few years back. Of course, this also allows Disney to track you and send you surveys regarding the parks you visited. After we went on a ride, we even saw our names displayed which was a bit on the creepy side for me.

MK is also a great place for unusual attractions. We went on the Carousel of Progress which took us on a trip through several decades viewing how people lived in different time periods. We went on the small world ride which displayed hundreds of dolls. We went to a bird show in the Tiki room. We saw a live performance of the Pirates of the Caribbean and went on the ride which was scary enough to be fun.

When you are there, you can’t miss the Monsters Inc. Comedy Show. It is hilarious regardless of age. The only ride I didn’t like was the Lilo and Stitch ride.

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Also good to know, MK is a dry park. That evening we went to Narcoossee’s a fancy restaurant at the Grand Floridian resort. It takes two meals per person on the meal plan. Paul and I both enjoyed lobster. I got to drink a local Orlando beer out of a Mickey Mouse straw. Then we took the monorail back to MK for the fireworks show. It is cool to experience riding the monorail at least once.

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The fireworks and light show at the castle is a must see. I tried to take some pictures with my phone but only ended up capturing hundreds of other people taking pictures of the same event with theirs.

After the fireworks, the park remained open until 11 PM. We were able to go on a lot more rides since the park emptied out a little after the fireworks. Unfortunately, the wait time for the new Seven Dwarfs ride was too long and no fast passes were available…we will save that one for next time.

This is also the park that parents spend hundreds of dollars dressing their girls up as princesses for. You can see lots of little girls in fancy dresses with curled and glittered hair. You might even see the adult version walking around as well. There are many characters at this park.

It truly is a magical place and a must see with small children.

Animal Kingdom

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Animal Kingdom is my favorite park with kids. One of the best things to do there was go on a safari ride to see the animals.

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When we went with the kids, they got their faces painted. We did an African dance and played instruments. Each part of the park has separate continent themes to enjoy the animals native to that area. This time they even had an area dedicated to Avatar. It was over a 2 hour wait to go on the ride, so we didn’t.

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I think that this park was the hardest for me to tour without the kids. I felt sad that they had grown so fast until I saw the little kids cry. The parents seemed surprised that their children weren’t happy the whole time they were at the happiest place on Earth.

I had expectations at one time too. I thought that my children would get along. I thought that if I provided the right kind of environment for them that they wouldn’t argue as much as they do. It took me until my 2nd child was 6 months old to figure out that expectation wasn’t going to work well for me.

The evening we went to AK, we ate at the African restaurant at the AK resort. I loved seeing all of the animals, but I like to people watch too. I saw a couple with a small child at the table next to ours. When he got a little fussy, they handed him a cell phone. They relaxed instantly to know their boy wasn’t going to make a scene. But I thought ‘how sad’ in my motherly mind…they don’t know this yet, but in another decade they will be trying to pry the phone out of their teenager’s hand to have a conversation.

I have learned so much, but there is still so little that I know.

I really thought I had this parenting thing down. I mean, my oldest adult daughter and I are like best friends. She tell me things that I would never share with my mom.

But what worked with her did not work for my other 2 children. With them it is more of a struggle.

This week I had to tell my son that he needed to do his homework. He is a very smart guy but doesn’t care enough to do the work. He has been sliding by the last couple of years with C’s and D’s. He thinks that he will be able to get into a decent school by just having raw music talent. I also told him that he needs to wear his seat belt although he argued that he has never been in an accident and will not die because he is young.

My youngest daughter thinks that she is stronger than me. She said that she could beat me in a short race. I reminded her of the 5k we did a few years back where I placed in my age group and she came in last place overall. Seriously!

These are the types of conversations that I have with my teens.

But despite my insanity from parenting teenagers, I missed them when I went to the AK park. I missed all of our trips to the zoo when they were little. I missed their excitement and awe over seeing the animals. I wish I could recapture that again. Maybe with my grandchildren someday.

Epcot

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Things have been getting a little heavy lately…so I wanted to share about our trip to Disney before I forget all about it.

I forgot my journal at home along with the luggage tags.

The first day at Disney we spent in our clothes that we wore to the airport and slept in.

Note to self, pack an extra set of clothes on the carry on bag in case of lost luggage.

It was hot in Florida. Of course, we happen to be wearing black. We were soaked in sweat left without deodorant, a tooth brush, or a hair brush. Surprisingly, I am posting the pictures anyway. Good thing we don’t have the technology to capture scent online yet.

Anyway Epcot…I would have to say this is my favorite WDW park. We had the ability to sample beer from around the world. One of my favorites was the pomegranate beer. It was very light and flavorful.

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For a short period of time, we felt like we traveled around the world. We also went on the ride Soaring and went on one of my favorite rides through a greenhouse that focused on agriculture and sustainability. I find it interesting despite my black thumb.

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That evening we ate at the restaurant Marrakesh that featured Moroccan food. The food was phenomenal. A belly dancer entertained us during the meal. When we travel, we try to experience as much ethnic food as possible.

There is not a lot of cultural diversity in small town Wisconsin. There is more now than when I was a kid. My graduating class had one Asian kid…all the rest of the kids at school were white…they looked, talked, and shared similar beliefs to me. We were never exposed to different cultures that I find so fascinating, especially in the days before the internet. We didn’t travel to exotic places besides the local library.

In small WI towns, there are not a lot of jobs available…so a lot of people don’t move in. Most of our people don’t move out of the state either…if they do, it usually is to a surrounding Midwestern state. I haven’t moved more than a few miles away from the ground my ancestors tread a hundred years ago.

Beside Mexican and Italian restaurants, most other ethnic restaurants don’t thrive in this area. Epcot gave us the chance to talk to people from around the world and try foods that we are not accustomed to.

That evening in Epcot, a thunderstorm came through. It down poured for about 20 minutes. The storms went through in time for the fireworks display which was awesome.

What is the meaning?

Are you there God? Just show me a sign. Let me know that I am not walking alone. Sometimes I feel alone.

I am angry dealing with a rebellious 17 year old. Maybe someday I can look back and laugh at this. Maybe it will be like the time when his buddies and him mooned his classmates at recess in grade school. I laugh about that now.

Even though I am angry, I still feel love. He is a good person. He said that most teenagers would jump at the chance to have a cabin to party at with free alcohol. Perhaps that is true. He didn’t partake of the property destruction.

Last week my son texted me about saving a bird. He saw it as he was leaving for school flapping on the ground. The bird hit the garage door and was bleeding from the head. I tried to save it, but it was too far gone.

Doesn’t God care for the sparrows? Doesn’t God care even more about me?

I have been thinking a lot the past few days. I don’t think I feel angry about my current situation as much as I do about the past. It brings me back to a time that I didn’t feel like God was there for me, for my mom..

My mom is right up there at the top of God’s most faithful servants list. I, perhaps, am at the top of the doubting Thomas list.

You see, my mother’s life has been difficult since her first premature breath in a foreign country. I can almost understand if God is not there for me…but my mother??

She had to deal with 4 teenagers at a time…two that were severely depressed. One that was into alcohol and drugs…and my brother Matt, the Helen Keller of mental illness…anxiety, autism, schizophrenia, and tourette’s. He was often violent. My dad was also depressed. When he wasn’t depressed, he was angry and cruel…

God, were you with my mother the many nights she cried alone??

Does what I went through have purpose?? What is the meaning? Did I even help one person live another day besides myself??

Are you there God? Can you show me a sign?

 

Walking away

I bet you were waiting all weekend to hear if we have bedbugs. Good news! We don’t.

We spent money to find spiders apparently. But I have a piece of mind that everything is okay.

We have since moved on to our next crisis.

Our son’s car broke down right after the exterminator left. The car started steaming when he got to our road. When he pulled into the driveway, all of the antifreeze leaked out. Today we had to get the car towed to the garage to be fixed.

We have been having record high temps in WI. It has been hotter the first few days of fall than it has been all summer. All I wanted to do was go to the beach, but that never happened.

On Saturday we drove a couple hours to go to my friend Lisa’s 40th birthday party. She wanted to go to a small town’s Octoberfest.

While we were there, we heard from a friend that we might get sued.

Just a quick recap…last month my son, along with 20 other kids, went partying at another girl’s cabin without her. She got busted by her parents with alcohol but told her friends to go anyway. She gave them directions and told them how to get in. There was some minor property damage…a broken water pump, broken glass, blood on the carpet, and penises drawn on the wall.

We have been in constant communication with the parents and have offered to pay for a share of the damages. Now we are wondering if we need a lawyer. It doesn’t appear that my son will be facing criminal charges since he got permission to spend the weekend at the cabin via text from the daughter. However, we don’t want to get sued. We know some of the other parents will be unable or unwilling to pay. Will they go after us for more than our fair share?

I didn’t feel like celebrating after hearing we might be going to court. I didn’t even do one dance. I took a walk through the small unknown town by myself. I needed to be alone to think. I walked until I saw the courthouse and sat on the steps. It seemed bizarrely suiting for the occasion.

Sometimes I feel like walking out of my house with the clothes I have on and never coming back.

When I am really upset, I aimlessly drive for hours or go on a long walk. Last night I went for a long walk. I felt anger and despair. I wondered if God really was there.

Paul and I have been upset and/or fighting about this all weekend. We accused each other of not caring about the other, but neither one of us said that we didn’t care.

Now we just sit and wait wondering what will happen next. We just want this to be over with. We want to stop feeling angry every time we hear about it. Thankfully Paul and I are getting along better today..It is hard to be angry and to express that anger without feeling blamed or attacked.

I just want to walk away…or better yet, sit on the beach oblivious to the cares of my world..

 

Torn linoleum, bed bugs, and a touch of poison ivy

Remember last year when I told you about our worst return home from a family vacation to Florida??

Just a quick recap…we pulled into our snow covered driveway to find our pet sitter stuck in a snow bank…our house was covered in dog piss, feces, and vomit. There was wet pee covered towels shoved in under clean, dry towels…and someone went rummaging through everything in my bedroom..

This return home from Florida was up there with the worst.

We had a great time in Disney…then Paul and I stayed a few days for a conference..At the conference things started to fall apart. I was having a hard time sleeping and got a head cold. I had to force myself to stay awake for the seminars and was too tired to do a lot of the fun stuff afterwards. Great!

The kids spent the weekend at a camp up north for a family reunion with my mom.

The first problem came on Saturday afternoon when the new pet sitter arrived. She noticed that the dog got locked in our bathroom. I usually leave the bathroom door closed. But since I wasn’t there, it was left open. Upon leaving, I am always the last one to leave the house to make sure the oven is turned off, etc…to make sure these types of things don’t happen.

This is what I came home to:

Someone left the door open and the dog trapped himself inside. Our dog tried to scratch his way out of the bathroom. He tore the linoleum and clawed up the door and trim pretty good. To think that all of my worry scenarios involved teenagers trashing my house, not a geriatric dog!! Seriously!!!

Great! Good thing my son had that flooring job for the summer.

The following day, my son contacted me about bites all over his body. My mom thought it could be poison ivy since he walked near some. My son thought it was bed bugs.

The next day, he was covered in a rash.

I blew off some sessions to make a doctor appointment. Then I had to stay on hold to give parental consent since he is 17, under legal age.

The doctor didn’t know what was causing the rash…she told my son to thoroughly clean his room. That was the best advice a doctor ever gave my kid.

My son bagged his bedding and vacuumed his mattress. He thought he saw bugs, but wasn’t sure.

Meanwhile, my mom called the camp they stayed at for the weekend to ask about bed bugs in his cabin. This prompted a visit to the camp from the health department with no signs of bed bugs there.

Then I blew off some more sessions to contact my friend who works for an exterminator. To make a long story short, tomorrow I have an appointment set up with someone that does canine inspections for bed bugs. I really hope it is poison ivy or spiders. Yes, I am starting to like spiders even more..

At least this time I knew what I was coming home to. Although that did not make it easier..

I felt so miserable being sick. I felt stressed out about everything at home. I wanted to take a nice long walk…at nighton the freeway…but instead I literally cursed my luck with a few 4 letter words..

Why me?? Why??

I have a feeling this workation is going to be a lot more expensive than we had planned. It already cost what little was left of my sanity…

 

Animal Kingdom’s peculiar animals

…the herd is taken over by a younger male gorilla…the older male loses his family and remains alone…the staff member says as she waves her hand towards an older gorilla that we are gazing at. 

Two little boys (~6) slide in next to me by the gorilla display. 

Boy 1: That gorilla doesn’t look very happy. 

Boy 2: That is because he is an adult. All adults look sad. 

Boy 1: I think he is a female. 

Boy 2 turns to me and asks…Hey lady, is he a female? What do you think?

I turn to the boys with a smile masking an inward chuckle. I tell them that the gorilla is an old male. Look at his white fur. He is simply old and tired. 

The boys, satisfied with my answer, thank me and walk away. 

The old gorilla looks my way. I bet he thinks how peculiar the humans are that parade by on display.