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JESPAH's Recent Blog Entries

If They Were Me, and I Was You

Monday, September 05, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=40K2S0-5Xo0

A few things have happened recently. First off, I turned 49 on the 2nd (hence the song -- many thanks to Pseudobritchick for reminding me of it). One more year and I will hit a new running division. This is a much smaller division, at least in the 5Ks that I run. And so I have a chance to actually crack the top 3. Keep in mind I don't think I've seen more than 5 women in this division unless I run a really big race but hey, I could use the kudos.

Today I ran my 22nd 5K and did okay, finishing fourth from last and in about 44:10. Official results will probably be posted in a day or 2.

But -- let me tell you about the gal who finished last.

She was, I am guessing, about 225, 250 lbs. or so. Probably in her 30s.

She was also in a regular wheelchair.

The course is uneven and there are wooded portions. There are two bridges that you go over. There are sticks everywhere, evidence of Hurricane Irene.

And things that you or I would not see as hills -- they were hills to her. And, we talked to her afterwards, and she said that the paved portions all sloped over to the right. So even what didn't feel like even a slight hill was still an issue for her. She said she had to steer with her left hand while pushing with her right. It could not have been easy -- plus it was another overly warm and humid day. She was redfaced at the end of it (as was I).

She finished in about 1:06 and some miscellaneous number of seconds.

Results will be up soon, as I stated above. And then I will know her name.

She says she's going to do the Marathon in April. And I want to know who I'm cheering for. I sometimes go to the Marathon. I live pretty close to where Heartbreak Hill ends. I hope I see her.

Hell, when I grow up, I wanna BE her.

RESULTS: http://www.coolrunning.com/results/11/ma/S
ep5_Badhab_set1.shtml
Go, CATHERINE, go!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NVDONNA 9/10/2011 10:37PM

    Wow,,such strength and determination. And I complain about how tired I am after 30 minutes on the eliptical,,,,kinda puts a new perspective on things,,ya know! Thanks for sharing!

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STRINGS58 9/10/2011 10:04PM

    What a cool story -- and Happy Birthday (youngin') I tried jogging today and it will take work to get my body cooperating.
May your inspiration shine on and on

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SHEL1181 9/8/2011 2:07PM

    That's amazing.....thanks for this story.

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KAYWEB555 9/7/2011 12:10PM

    Thanks for sharing! with her as your inspiration I'm sure you will pick up your pace ! Hope you see her and can give her the Spark People Cheering team that she should have !

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WINACHST 9/7/2011 9:46AM

    WOW! that woman is an inspiration

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KASEYCOFF 9/6/2011 3:57PM

    Incredible story - whatta woman! She's got genuine courage!
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QUEENOTHEFOREST 9/6/2011 9:22AM

    Hey Jes, your story is making me count my blessings this morning. Thanks

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BESEVEN 9/5/2011 10:17PM

    Just a little over a year until my 49th. Thanks for blazing such an inspiring trail! 22 5Ks. Wow. The last 5K I did was when I was in my early 30's. Wheelchair gal may be inspiring, but to me she's no more inspiring than you!
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SWEETZMIX 9/5/2011 8:42PM

    OMG that lady is freaking awesome. And we complain all the time about what we can't do! Kudos on your 22nd 5K!!

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DDOORN 9/5/2011 5:17PM

    I am just bowled over by how amazing folks with such limitations can be...!

Just goes to show how much our spirit and attitude has to do with our whole approach toward life!

Don

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CAROLISCIOUS 9/5/2011 5:07PM

    I am continually amazed at the awesome-ness of some people. What a great story. Congrats to her and to you.

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MS.ELENI 9/5/2011 2:44PM

    Awesome story. Thanks for sharing it with us.makes us stop and think.

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JENNYD97 9/5/2011 2:38PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmZ2
ICOZ8mo

Happy Birthday! Our official birthday tune at work is the beatles tune so I posted a link for you :)
She is definitely an inspiration. Good luck to her in April!

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MAPLECANDY3 9/5/2011 2:28PM

    It really is motivating isnt it? It reminds me of a similar story. When i was on weight watchers, there was a woman on the message boards whom was a regular poster and decided to walk a 5k race. She was in her 50s and occasionally needed a walker. She went to the race (with her walker) and pushed through all her physical pain...but she was so slow, and behind everyone that people started to move the road blockers so that traffic could start using the roads. It didnt stop her. She knew the path and had her timer on and kept going. I beleive it took her over 2 hours. She was the first woman to walk it with a walker and she ended up being in the paper! :)

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TRICOTINE 9/5/2011 1:09PM

    Now that Lady sure is some INSPIRATION!!! emoticon
I think I wanna be her too!

Happy 49th BD to you! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/5/2011 1:10:18 PM

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And All I Can Do is Just Pour Some Tea for Two

Monday, August 29, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qVPNONdF58

So we did have rain, and a few gusts, and there was some cellar water, but that's all gone and it's a beautiful day. I don't mean to gloat -- I hope it doesn't sound like that -- but we emerged with no issues after Hurricane Irene. Down several streets, though, a tree fell over power lines, and we saw branches on another street that took out a cable line (Mr. J and I went out in it last night).

Otherwise, nuthin'. I am well aware that a number of people are dead and, even in Mass., 700,000 people are without power as of this morning. But we are fine.

And it does make one wonder about hype versus reality. I do not wish to get into a political discussion but some of this was definitely overhyped. Then again, I am certain that the government did not want another Katrina fiasco on its hands. And the original models were rather dire (we were originally told that we could get 6 - 10" of rain. I think we got 1 1/2" or so).

It's a balance. Panic too many people without reason, and they won't listen to you next time. Warn too few people and people die in their homes or engage in foolish risk-taking. Hell, half the time they do that anyway.

And, here in weight loss land, I suppose the balance is somewhat similar, and is as difficult.

Read too many dire warnings about your health and, if they don't come true, you can often find yourself continuing to tempt fate. That is certainly what happened to me for years. I was over 300, but my cholesterol and pressure were just dandy and the doctor's finger wagging felt meaningless. Hey, I'm fine! Pass the butter!

And then no warnings or few warnings, and people think you're uninformed. I had people tell me they were concerned, and give me magazine articles and the like. Well, duh. I know this stuff. Not. Helping.

I see this all the time on Spark, where people want to know how to help their kids, convince their spouse, etc. and I think a lot of them have forgotten what got them started in the first place, on the path to wellness.

I doubt it was a magazine article or an overly dire warning of an event that seemed remote.

I get the feeling it was something truly personal, and I bet a lot of it came from within.

For me, it was when my doctor just sat me down and said, "Look, I have no idea how you haven't become diabetic up until this point, but you are on that path. And it might not happen this year, but it will happen. You are continuing to increase the odds every year. And one day it's just going to happen."

And at that point, I realized that it wasn't just some idle, empty threat, that she really meant it and I was on a pretty destructive personal path.

But I had to come to it on my terms, in my own way.

So -- people ask -- how can I help others to see the light?

Well, I hate to break it to you, folks, but you probably can't, because diet evangelists are just as annoying to the non-dieting overweight as I am sure ex-smokers are to smokers. It ain't personal; it's just that they are not receptive to the message and you are gonna turn blue in the face and no one's going to be helped and all that will happen is that you will both become frustrated and resentful.

Instead, I think, be a good example. Be a resource if someone asks. Don't ram the lifestyle down their throats. Just live it. When I was working, I would eat rather spare lunches. Usually, if the company ordered something in for a lunch meeting, I might take a small salad without dressing, or just have my own soup with me. And I would sit and do that. I wasn't deprived and I wasn't isolated. But people saw.

Or I would go out walking at lunch. And people would notice.

Did they change? A little. Sometimes these things can seem glacial. But I know that when most of those people went out to lunch with me, they would often curtail what they were eating. Did I make them feel guilty? I didn't mean to. I was not trying to. I was just eating my lunch. That's it, nothing more. No lectures, no holier than thou nonsense. Just, "I'd like a salad, please, dressing on the side. And water's fine." If someone sees a lecture or a holier than thou attitude in there, I wish they'd point it out to me.

And people would come up to me and tell me -- because of you, I just started Weight Watchers. Or, you've inspired me. Or, where do you walk around here, it looks like fun. Can I go with you some time?

That's it, folks. No overhyping, but no ignoring of it, either. Is it perfect? Hell no. I'm sure that most if not all of my former coworkers are back to their old ways. I don't promise to change the world, by any means.

I think all that we can hope for is to change ourselves, and hope that that change seeps out and touches others.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TCEDEROTH 9/10/2011 9:47PM

    I was missing you, so I came for a visit. So glad you're still here old friend.

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DDOORN 9/5/2011 12:04AM

    You got it Jes: Be the SPARK you want to see in the world!

Don

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VALERIEMAHA 8/30/2011 8:51AM

    You told the truth and said it well, m'dear. Kudos! Yep, my moment of truth was being diagnosed with weight-induced diabetes at 200 lbs....80 lbs. later the diagnosis "magically" disappeared.

Speaking of the the press and "hype vs. reality" I'm continuously astounded by the lack of Good News in the sensationalist press. If they'd make a habit of it, maybe the American public would start getting as "hyped" about that as we do about publishing all the dire tidings!

I subscribe to the Daily Good. Check out this excerpt from a story this morning:

Some people give back to their community. Then there's School Superintendent Larry Powell, who's literally giving back. As in $800,000 -- his expected compensation for the next three years. Until 2015, Powell will run 325 schools and 35 school districts with 195,000 students, all for $31,000/yr. "How much do we need to keep accumulating?" asks Powell, 63. "There's no reason for me to keep stockpiling money." The man who started his career as a high school civics teacher, who has made anti-bullying his mission, wants to ensure that his pet projects survive, and hopes his act of generosity will help restore faith in the government. There's even more to Powell's story: he contracted childhood polio, leaving him with lingering post-polio syndromes. But his view? "It's the most spectacular thing that has happened to me in all my life," Powell said. "People stepped up to help me be successful."
http://www.dailygood.org/more.p
hp?n=4720

Definitely brought a smile to my face.

Lovely tea.
xox
Maha

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KASEYCOFF 8/30/2011 3:54AM

    Great blog, really great. I plan to keep a copy and re-read it from time to time - good ideas and motivation in there, hon!
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BESEVEN 8/29/2011 11:37PM

    This was so beautiful and so true. Thank you!
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CAROLISCIOUS 8/29/2011 10:11PM

    Let your spark light shine...
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MS.ELENI 8/29/2011 10:27AM

    Actions speak louder than words. Always has and always will.

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MARCHMAID 8/29/2011 10:05AM

    Well, I'm a backslider, no inspiration to anybody on the weight front, and I think health has always been the last and least of my concerns. My hands hurt all the time--weight loss won't help that. Strangling the surgeon who mangled the carpal tunnel surgery in January would give me more pleasure than abandoning cookies.

I love to walk--lost 30 pounds that way 18 years ago and kept 20 off for a long time--but now my knees aren't stable. I am older and feel it every morning.

But, the sun is shining and I'm generally pretty happy, not looking to be Miss American any more at least, so my head is on straighter.

Pour me a cup, too, Jes.

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BLACK741 8/29/2011 9:53AM

    When I was a teenager, my mother used to try to shame me into loosing weight. Of course it did not good, and probably lots of harm as I continued to be fat for years to come. Now she is, you need to stop losing, you are thin enough, etc etc. We each come to this in our own way and we do what works for us. I have a cousin who is an alcoholic and think that he has always been ashamed of it, but last time he was in rehab I pointed out that I was no different than he was, my drug of choice was food, his was alcohol and at least he could avoid his, where as I needed to get my drug everyday and learn how to control it on my own. He has been sober now for just over a year, so am thinking that maybe I inspired him to try to do better?

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BLUEANGELLK 8/29/2011 9:41AM

    The hype is I think what made me quit SP the first time I tried. Too many people were issuing dire warnings about calorie differential and flax seed muffins. I remember one person who wrote on the message boards a rather scathing post about someone who said running wasn't working for her. I didn't need the threat of someone like that hanging over my head ready to preach at me when I messed up or decided some things weren't for me.

The hype and the pursuit of perfection is what made me this way, it is what caused me to lose faith in myself and quit. Now I am back and doing it MY way. Quietly and without preaching, or even commenting. I am much more successful and happy. Thanks for the affirmation!

Congratulations on your progress and your inspiration of others. Keep up the good work!

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TELERIE 8/29/2011 9:35AM

    I get all warm and fuzzy reading this. Isn't it an incredible feeling when you realize you're someone's inspiration?

I have tried to live like that - not over-hyping, just doing my thing. I have no idea what finally clicked, but I do realize that I was not listening to all I knew, I knew what to do, I just did't DO it. Until I just DID. And eventually was told I pulled others along. Warmth and fuzziness!

You're my inspiration. I hope you get glowing and warm and fuzzy too.

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I Can Solve the World's Problems Without Even Trying

Monday, August 22, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNYKxiRJ2LA

I ran my 21st 5K on Saturday.

And that continues to be a weird and amazing # of times and, each time I add to it, I continue to marvel at the fact that I only first started running (read: jogging, walking and wheezing) them in June of 2009.

Now, this was not a great race. I found myself feeling awful about halfway through the first song. It was horribly humid out (although not super-hot) and that just sucked the life right out of everybody. I could feel myself getting very, very red in the face and all I could think of was: this is why I carry a cel phone with me on these races. 'Cause I might find myself needing a ride in a nice vehicle with a siren.

I persevered. I was able to finish, and I actually only hit the middle of the song right after the finisher song. It was the fourth-worst time I have ever had. One reason is because I have, again, gained a bit. But it was also the godawful humidity. My husband was wheezing, and so were a lot of other people who were younger and clearly weighed less than I did. To me what is truly amazing is that, for the three times I did worse, I actually weighed less (in fact, for this particular race, I weighed the most that I have since I have started doing these). In fact, one of those races was run when I was 39 pounds less. That is no typo. Wacky.

And so I am here, folks, as something of a poster child for the fact that these can be done even if you are not near goal, even if you wheeze and snort like a Clydesdale, even if you pant like a Labrador Retriever. They can be done when the weather is bad, including hot, cold, rainy and humid -- I have run 5Ks in all of these conditions. The only weather conditions I have not run a 5K in are snow and a hurricane. They can be done when you are in a weird head space and they can be done when the scale is unkind. They can be done when you feel fat. They can be done when you feel it's just not gonna happen.

We are on an incredibly tight budget these days, but we are making money for doing these. Part of it is because they often support causes that we believe in (this one was to support a land trust called the Cape Shore Foundation). And we get free tee shirts and whatever swag they are handing out (we've gotten 4 pint glasses already, and 4 finisher medals between us). But it's also for the socializing and the fun. And, it focuses our efforts. It just seems to drive us more to "train" for a 5K, rather than just endless walking and jogging that, bottom line, doesn't seem to get us anywhere, at least not spatially.

But it does get us somewhere emotionally. I cannot begin to tell you how people clapping at the end -- for me, yes! -- how that makes me feel. And it is weird. I was always the last one picked for sports when I was a kid, and I was not an overweight child at all. I was just ... last. For whatever reason, save for exactly one time that I still remember from a good 30 years ago, I was ALWAYS last.

And I am often the last runner (for this time, I actually beat 10 people, which shocks me). I am well aware that one of the reasons I get applause is because people (a lot are regulars) see me and think: okay, now they're gonna hand out the prizes. Yay!

But I don't really give a damn why they are clapping. Perhaps, by then, it is oxygen deprivation, but I like to think they are applauding for me. It is my personal 5000 meter dash at the Olympics.

I do these even though I know that the only chance I've really got to ever be in the top three for my age group is to age into a smaller group and, perhaps, trip my competition as they sprint by me. But I don't care.

So -- quit worrying about how you're going to look, or even how it'll hurt for a day or two afterward (It will. Now you know.). And just go out there and do it. I'll be out there, too, wheezing like an old-fashioned locomotive, trying to trip you.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TCEDEROTH 9/10/2011 9:51PM

    Jes, that's not merely applause for you, it's a well deserved ovation.

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JIBBIE49 9/3/2011 8:36PM

    emoticonI admire your determination to run the races. I'm to frugal to spend the money on them even to walk. But, I know it is better that you do what you enjoy than spend the money at the BINGO HALL. emoticon

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 8/28/2011 10:54AM

    Nice work Jes

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MARCHMAID 8/26/2011 6:53AM

    Wish I could get enthused about something today--reading this four days after you posted. Hope you're still up! ; )

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KSGROTHE 8/25/2011 3:53AM

    I had gotten behind on your blogs, and I'm so glad I read this today! I love your blogs! They always make me laugh and think. I haven't tried running yet. I worry about a knee that I have problems with. I love to walk, though. I've walked a couple 5Ks for charity in the past, but not recently. I trained for and walked a half-marathon distance last year and thought I'd try to find a half-marathon that I could walk, but that never happened.

Keep up the good work with the running and the 5Ks! emoticon (although I'd recommend against any tripping emoticon)

- Karen

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SHEL1181 8/24/2011 2:22PM

    You're amazing!!!!

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CAROLISCIOUS 8/23/2011 8:49PM

    Very motivating JES...don't plan a 5K for this weekend...or you might have to check hurricane off your list!

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KASEYCOFF 8/23/2011 3:09AM

    Hon, I hope you know how inspiring and encouraging this blog is - because you make me feel as tho yes, I CAN do this!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MALCONTENTION 8/22/2011 9:22PM

    So impressive! Go, JES!

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FIT_TERI 8/22/2011 1:51PM

    I think they are applauding for you, as they are for each other runner that finishes while they're standing there. That's what you'd do if you were standing around at the finishing line! There's kind of a camaraderie to it, I think. Or paying it forward (or maybe backward)....."people cheered for me when I finished, so I will cheer for someone else".
emoticon on the 21st 5K!

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MS.ELENI 8/22/2011 1:07PM

    Another awesome blog. emoticon

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DDOORN 8/22/2011 10:30AM

    Great blog, as always...! Hate those muggy, muggy days that bog a body down so that even great tunes can't help us much...ugh! Good for you to do it and push through anyway!

Don

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NANCYBOAT 8/22/2011 10:14AM

    WOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Congrats on finishing - that's *awesome*

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TELERIE 8/22/2011 8:56AM

    I wanna do a 5K race with you! We can wheeze and snort and laugh and waddle together towards the finish line!

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BLUEANGELLK 8/22/2011 8:44AM

    Congratulations to you!!! I don't care if you snort like a Clydesdale or pant like a Lib you are a running hero to me!!!! Your descriptions are too funny!!! I was picturing a horse, a dog and a train running the race with you!! Keep up the good work!

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I'm Pretty Sure it Ruled

Monday, August 15, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlyXNRrsk4A

So, last Wednesday (not Friday) I went to a networking event for young hip happenin' entrepreneur types.

And, as usual, very little actually was accomplished. But it looks good, right?

It's funny. These are the kinds of things that you're always told to do when looking for work. Go out and meet people! Trade business cards! Smile! Show, in five seconds, how TOTALLY FREAKIN' AWESOME YOU ARE!!!

Yanno, I did the networking thing for a good year.

And out of it I got an equity-only role at a company that, let's face it, is not on the fast track to funding. Lovely guys -- I adore them! -- but we are not gonna be skinny dipping in a pool full of cash any time soon.

Hence I go to events like that one.

And, it burns me up, really. Not that the event was bad. It was fine. And I know that a lot of it is me. It is me not wanting to deal with the nonsense. It is me not wanting to do the superficial bit any more. It is me tired of hearing about yet another wacky idea that isn't past the drawing board stage. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know Twitter was once like that (micro-blogging? How droll!). So were a million other ideas.

So much of it is perception. It is Junior High all over again. It is -- is she wearing the right whatever? Is she young? Is she ...

thin?

Yep, there's that.

Yanno, lots of people look at the overweight, the obese and the first things they think are ...

stupid
slovenly
lazy
uneducated
incompetent

I don't try to lose weight in order to please a bunch of yahoos like that. And I don't want to work for them if they suddenly love me because I am within spitting distance of 199 versus having been in spitting distance of 350.

It is amazing, and it is disturbing, how we judge each other, and we are judged. And it's based on appearances.

Did we not learn anything back when we were 13 years old, and it hurt, either us or people who didn't deserve it? Didn't we get it? Don't we get it NOW?

I challenge you - anyone reading this - to go onto the page of someone on here who is bigger than you are. Look around. They hang out in teams with names like "Must Lose over 100 lbs.". You know 'em.

I challenge YOU. Yeah, YOU.

Go to at least one of those people and tell them something positive. Give them hope. And make it personal. Not just, the pictures of your daughter are cute. Yeah, the daughter is cute. But what about the mother?

I challenge YOU.

And then it really will rule.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KSGROTHE 8/25/2011 4:12AM

    This is a great blog! (And that video you linked is hilarious!) I've been judged for so long that I find myself judging, although I try not to. My sister, the one who had to comment on how FAT I had gotten when we we both in our 20s, is now apparently over 300 lbs. She went to the emergency room with chest pain not long ago (she's only 37, for gosh sake!), and all her doctor told her was that she needed to lose weight and should look into gastric bypass or lapband. I hope she doesn't do those because so far she hasn't shown that she can change her lifestyle to lose weight. I've invited her to SP at least twice, but so far she has refused to check it out. I may refer her to your story or to some other other inspiring blogs this time to show her what amazing people are here.

Anyway, I will try to start encouraging others more on SP. It usually inspires me some to encourage others, too. I could use more inspiration. emoticon

- Karen

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/18/2011 7:40PM

    Wow. That was just a fantastic blog. I am so over the superficial glaze that is heaped on so many things as well. I look the way I look. That's it.

You are quite lovely.

Thank you.

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 8/18/2011 8:08AM

    You always have a really effective suggestion. One thing is for sure Jes your ideas are take it to the bank solid. Maybe the Bot Boys are still in the dreaming stage but they are lucky to have your sense and experience. If they will ever have success you will be a big part of making it real. And that is all I have to say about that.

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DDOORN 8/16/2011 11:56AM

    How about that? Just yesterday, BEFORE reading your blog I've been noticing a big fellow coming regularly to the fitness center where I go and decided, you know, I'm overdue for paying forward some SPARK!

I approached him and complimented him on his fortitude and regularity in working out. Turns out he's aroud 350 with multiple back surgeries that are highly limiting but he's really putting in the effort. He looked into bariatric surgery but can't stand our local one and only bariatric surgeon (whose reputation is pretty consistently poor, per many folks I've heard). I shared with him some more promising surgeons outside our area and how I used to be 450 and how helpful I'd found SparkPeople which he'd never heard of.

Felt so good to do this!

Don

ps...and do I EVER hear you re: the superficial bit. Can't think of a bigger turn-off! At the fitness center I get so steamed up over all the crap on the tube, Kardashians, ET's fascination with who's hot & who's not, yadda yadda...yeesh!

Comment edited on: 8/16/2011 11:58:36 AM

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CAROLISCIOUS 8/15/2011 9:09PM

    I accept your challenge...and I totally agree with your blog.

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TELERIE 8/15/2011 3:58PM

    Those events often are so fake, no wonder you are tired. (And I never fitted in at junior high..)
Went off to meet your challenge today, thanks! MUAH!

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MS.ELENI 8/15/2011 1:40PM

    another great blog.
The perfect job for you is just around the corner

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SHEL1181 8/15/2011 12:00PM

    Awesome blog! I love the challenge too! I get so tired of the junior high mentality that a lot of people seem to have. I know sometimes I am just as judgemental just with things other than weight......I'm trying to work on that. Thank you!!!!

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FIT_TERI 8/15/2011 11:13AM

    I love your challenge. Off I go to meet it.

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ANONYGIRL 8/15/2011 11:01AM

    Doing this now...Thanks for the idea!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 8/15/2011 9:58AM

    Sorry you're feeling a tad down - I meet your challenge every day, but you're right, the world is superficial. It does get tiresome. Some folks will never learn. emoticon

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Thoughts Meander Like a Restless Wind Inside a Letter Box

Monday, August 08, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ5WPXxNzPU

My husband is a wonderful man with several jobs around here. He is the main garbage dealer-wither. He does the bulk of the laundry (I do most of the putting away). He does much of the post-meal cleanup (I do most of the prep). He does a lot of the yard work (I deal with the car). It is, we feel, a pretty equal partnership.

He has two jobs, though, that are pretty much just his: bat removal and killing the big bugs.

Now, bat removal, fortunately, doesn't happen too often. I tend to scream like an extra in a cheap horror flick and hide under whatever is available to hide under. Last time, it was the desk where I am sitting right now, so I got to be up close and intimate with the constellation of dropped (milk-free) Cheerios that are all over the immediate floor area.

Then there is the ritual slaughter of the really big bugs.

This morning, I was going downstairs, minding my own business, you know, thinking about getting a water refill and selecting a particular flavor stick. You know, the great mysteries of life that we all ponder at about 9:30 AM.

When, on the window sill just above the window seat (this house is over 100 years old so we have wacky nooks all over the place), I see --

the thing.

It is HUGE.

Okay, not huge.

But it is close to an inch long.

Black as midnight, with antlers, er, antennae. A beetle.

Now, it shouldn't really matter, right? It is neither a termite nor is it a roach. And it's nowhere near where I normally hang out. For it to get here, into the computer room, would probably involve a few beetle generations, assuming it could (a) find a mate (b) raise the children to continue the quest to find the computer room and (c) pack enough food and beetle sweaters for the journey (that area gets kinda chilly in the winter).

I am safe, right?

Oh, no.

Now, Mister J has already gone to work.

It's just me and the beetle, and the constellation of Cheerios which are still underneath this desk.

Perhaps the beetle wants the Cheerios? Perhaps the constellation is a subject of their songs and stories, their myths and legends?

DOES IT WORSHIP ME AS THE GODDESS THAT I AM???!?!?!?

I hit it with the newspaper, of course. And I scoop it onto the tray that I am taking downstairs. I get the tray to the kitchen sink.

And -- eek! It moves!

Now I get the neon hunter orange flyswatter that we keep for just such occasions and I tip the tray so as to get it to land on a placed paper towel and then I give it what-for.

Take that, you jespah-worshipping, Cheerio-coveting, window seat-squatting minion of Satan!

Normally I would provide a burial at sea, but the paper towel precludes that. Therefore, a standard burial is provided, straight into the dark blue waste can in the kitchen which fortunately has a heavy enough lid that it would take an army of beetles -- even huge mutant black Satanic ones -- to lift.

I sigh and survey my dominion. I get my water refill (orange flavor stick, for those of you keeping track at home). And I go back upstairs, secure in the knowledge that being a Sparkie has truly helped me to gain confidence and overcome my fears.

But I still ain't touchin' no bats.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFDEEVARUNS2 8/15/2011 9:59AM

    You'd love our Texas roaches!

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ANONYGIRL 8/10/2011 12:05PM

    You would die at my house. D.I.E. I live in deep thick woods and my home is host to all manner of big icky bugs. Spiders that, even after they've shriveled up and died, are as big as the palm of your hand. I never get food eating nasties or roaches or even ants, but I do get 'OMG what is this call the discovery channel this is the first time it has ever been seen, maybe they'll name it after me!' bugs.

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 8/9/2011 7:03PM

    I'm with Pickie. You need those little bats to eat your bugs. Make friends with your bat I say. People will be very impressed (as they run screaming into the Cheerio keeper.

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CAROLISCIOUS 8/9/2011 8:26AM

    Thanks for the very descriptive story and the good laff! What's a "flavor stick?"

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FIT_TERI 8/8/2011 10:41PM

    LOL!!! I love this. I have told my husband that the ONLY reason I am married to him is for critter removal (we have a cat who occasionally, but rarely, hunts). That and opening those pesky jars. Of course, that isn't actually true.
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LTRUM71 8/8/2011 6:56PM

    Too funny!! I hate big bugs (and little ones for that matter).

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TELERIE 8/8/2011 6:47PM

    I'm SURE you're their goddess, dear! Jai Guru Deva!

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PICKIE98 8/8/2011 6:24PM

    I am so disappointed in you!! Why did you not save that beetle for the next bat that comes swooping down to kill you in your sleep????Bats eat bugs, bugs are your sworn enemies, born to antagonize you, why did you kill the one thing that would distract the bats and veer them away from your face with your mouth hanging open while you sleep? Who knows what crawls in and out of our mouth when we mouth-breathe, asleep?? My DD woke up one night(she is NOT afraid of spiders) to find a big hairy spider(size of a quarter) crawling OUT OF HER MOUTH?!@!!!!!!!
It took me a month to pay for all the mouthwash she used, not to mention bug spray, electric bill from her sleeping with all her bedroom lights on!!!!


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MOTTAMAMALOU 8/8/2011 5:32PM

    emoticon You are too much!

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MADERINERUE 8/8/2011 3:24PM

    Brave, brave Jespah. I had previously ceded Bug Control to my better half, as well, preferring to spend my own time screaming, but after a recent "conquest" of his that resulted in roach (yes, roach) guts all over my kids' bookshelf, well, it's up to me now.

(Me, trying not to hurl) emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 8/8/2011 2:08PM

    Thanks for the laugh. Too funny! Having once been bite by a poisonous spider, my big old hubby now squeals like you do. I get to be the official bug-remover at our house. And no - I don't kill them. I put them gently in my hand and carry them outside. My parents were hippies. Explains a lot.

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DDOORN 8/8/2011 1:51PM

    Cute story...hey, your title, isn't that from an old Simon & Garfunkel song...?

Don

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MS.ELENI 8/8/2011 12:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Too funny. My Bill is in charge of mice in back yard. And like you.Any big bugs in house

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THECITYMOUSE 8/8/2011 11:55AM

    MINION OF SATAN!!

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Dear GAWED how I lurve yew!!!

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BLUEANGELLK 8/8/2011 10:37AM

   
OMG!!! You are a stitch. You take what could have been an ordinary experience and written it so well that I have tears rolling down my face laughing at the idea of giant beetles worshipping at your feel. Not that you don't deserve it, but really, I found someone who thinks of these crazy things just like me!!! Asan example, just yesterday I asked a woman I know who just donated a kidney to a friend if the doctor had to fill up that newly created space with something. I suggested the fluffy sweet white stuff from inside a Twinkie. Don't you think that would work?? It has a forever shelf life like the rest of the snack

P.s. My desk has the sam cheerio constellations under it. Do you thing we are looking at the sam cheerio universe?

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CYPRIANARTEMIS 8/8/2011 10:23AM

    Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed the giggle. emoticon

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