Monday, March 31, 2008
...that I'm buying yet another wedding gift for people who either-
A) obviously never looked at our wedding registry, since the gift didn't come from it, or
B) didn't bother to buy us a wedding gift at all.
This has happened more than once.
It also calls attention to the fact that nobody hosted a shower for us, or an engagement party, luncheon, or dinner of any sort.
And nobody contributed a penny to our nuptials at all.
Sorry to sound so glum, but after all these years, it still hurts so intensely, that I break down crying every single time I'm called upon to celebrate another family members wedding and buy them gifts. It's not even over after the first occurrance: first there are shower gifts, then there are wedding gifts. I buy multiple registry gifts for people who completely ignored our registry or any semblance of social custom on our behalf.
I'm happy, even thrilled for them... but there is a huge ache inside me, still.
My husband does NOT understand this. The bliss of being male.
I wish I could forget the fact that we received a total of ONE item on our registry, and two things that could only be described as 'gag' gifts.
So, years after the fact, I'm sitting here, clicking through someone else's online wedding registry, bawling my brains out while purchasing a wonderful item for them that was also on my own registry, but never purchased.
Lord, help me get through this celebration without crying in front of people.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Yesterday was my first day back at the nursery in almost two weeks. It's been so long since people have seen me, that they were swearing up and down that I've lost more weight. I think it was the tight t-shirt. Eighty degree weather peels off many layers that have been hiding me for the past 4 months.
And of course, there was the sexually charged commentary of the juvenile males I work with:
"Janine, it's a shame that I'm only 19 and you're married."
"It's a shame because of your age or my marriage?"
"Both. Even if I were older I wouldn't be in your league."
Ok, that is flattery; but being teenage boys, they quickly degrade to lower forms of innuendo, not directed at me, but clearly meant for me to hear:
"I can't have lunch with you (talking to another teenage boy). I can only have lunch with a girl, because I'm a strict vagitarian."
Public Speaking 101
I am about to be retitled at work. I believe I will become, officially, the Staff Arborist. If this happens, I will get company business cards.
Yesterday, my manager brought up a subject that has been on my mind for a few weeks- public speaking engagements.
As the Staff Arborist at the #1 retail nursery in the area, I will be obligated to conduct periodic educational seminars for the customers and employees. The OBVIOUS time would be, of course, Arbor Day. That means I have about two weeks to become an educator. My gosh, how do I do THAT?
I already know what I want to talk about. It has to be something that is close to 100% relevant at that time of year, so PLANTING it will be. Now coming up with the rest will be the tricky part.
This has actually been a career goal of mine for a couple of years now. Problem is, while I've attended more seminars than I can count, I've never conducted one. ...
Friday, March 21, 2008
I relented today and went to see a doctor. It's that bad.
The stuff that I coughed up today swayed me toward antibiotics.
My lungs HURT. I mean they hurt badly, and so do my sinuses, every time I breathe. Any type of physical movement that increases my breathing is too painful to take.
So I got the prescription cough syrup and the super-bug antibiotics.
The doctor reassured me that I was in good company, and they're seeing "lots of flu and pneumonia" this year. I figured as much while I was in the waiting room.
So, I'll be sucking down a lot of yogurt next week.
And if I spend any more time away from work, I'll be bored...
so look out for daily blogs.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I was so scared of crapping out because I feel so poorly.
Plus, it takes me forever to do my hair on a GOOD day.
I brewed the coffee extra strong and took some drugs, including the last of my cough syrup (gee, that didn't last long). Then started working on some promotional materials to take to the meeting... trying to look professional and all. They came out so well, even I was impressed by reading them. LOL
So next thing I know, I am standing next to a putting green with my client. The property is a country club. This man is showing me land surveys (yay! so much less work for me to do because he has these already) on the back of a golfcart. No kidding, he GIVES me all this great mapping. Very cool.
So I start writing notes directly on the surveys, noting things that aren't on there (such as which way the wind is blowing, where water has accumulated, and where traffic is moving. I start sketching in the existing trees.
Before I even mention my rate, I am pretty much hired. In fact, I was probably hired when he first phoned me. He said my boss at the nursery highly recommended me. Then, he gives me his budget. Up front. Without me asking about it.
The numbers seem to indicate that I have carte blanche.
Can all my clients be this easy?
I move over to the picnic pavillion to take some measurements, and what do I see in there? A drafting table. About the same size as the one I use at home.
Pinch me now!
On the way home, I stopped at the drugstore for some more decongestants... and a thank you card for my boss at the nursery.
Monday, March 17, 2008
...but I obviously can't walk them.
At least that was what I started telling myself after the first three hours of walking the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach yesterday.
The day started off bad. No, let me back up some- the WEEKEND started off bad. My boss scheduled me to work, which caused a bigger conflict than I knew (I found out later).
I never thought about how that MIGHT be a problem for my marathon... I just told her there was no way I could work on Sunday, because I'd registered for the marathon 5 months ago.
Now, I *have* been feeling a little rough for over a week. However, my health took a sudden and dramatic turn for the worse on Saturday, so much so that I left work an hour early so I could get some rest before the marathon.
I forced myself out of bed at 5am and came to my computer to print out my confirmation. THEN, I saw the words that crushed me flat: "there will be NO race day packet pick-up, NO EXCEPTIONS." I started bawling right then and there. HOW could I have made such a gross oversight, for something I had been planning so long?
For a few minutes I was feeling sorry for myself and trying to come up with plan B. My husband was looking on, helplessly, waiting for instructions.
There was just no chance that I would NOT be walking that day. It was going to happen, SOMEHOW. We got in the car and started the long drive to Virginia Beach.
Unfortunately, my health had other ideas, in the form of an excessively long bathroom stop on my account. It added over 20 minutes to our ETA. Bad news.
When we got to the runner drop of point, the race had long since started. I hopped out of the car and searched for the starting line. I looked and looked, but I was too late. It had been removed. The racers had moved on, and the course markers were being dismantled behind them. I couldn't walk the route.
I walked north, in blustery sidewinds, trying to locate the finish line. Eventually I found it and started to backtrack. I set my stopwatch and kept backtracking, following the course from sidewalks and shoulders. The further I got from the finish line, the fewer people I saw. Somewhere, I lost the course again. The mile markers jumped from mile 4 to mile 16, and I found myslef walking WITH the runner traffic rather than against it. I'd found the course again, but had no way of knowing how far I'd walked.
After a while, the course entered a military base. At this point, I parted with the rest of the runners. I had no race bib, so I knew this portion of the course was off limits to me. It was sad to keep walking in one direction, and watch all the other people go another, but I kept moving, with tears in my eyes.
I was walking through a forest... some kind of nature preserve to my right. I could make out trails and picnic tables. I could walk right on the highway, knowing that the road behind me was closed due to the race. My ankles got a much needed rest from the terrible terrain on the shoulders.
After a couple of miles, I came into civilization again. There were homes and businesses. I needed another potty break, but this one was short... then I pressed forward.
It couldn't have been another mile when I ran out of land. I came to a big bridge, and didn't see a sidewalk on either side of it. I had no way to cross the water, so I turned around and walked back the way I'd come, on the other side of the road. I decided to turn right at a major intersection, thinking it would lead me toward a more densley populated area (turned out to be right). I walked and walked, right over another big bridge, on and on through the neighborhoods.
I'd become numb to the cold wind miles ago, but suddenly I began shivering... I guess I was sweating under my fleece, and the wind blew right through it. Around that time, my body felt as if it had arthritis... all over. Everything felt stiff and sore. My extremities were swollen. My pace slowed to a crawl.
I hesitated, made several false starts, then finally phoned my husband. I found out he'd never left the beach.
My husband tends to think things through carefully. He was worried enough about my health, and my distraught demeanor that morning, to stick around and wait for me.
"Were you just that sure I would fail and give up?" I asked him.
"Not at all" he replied (annoyed by the insinuation). "It takes two hours to drive one way, and it's over 100 miles, and the miles per gallon..." okay, I never listened to the rest because math bores me; but I knew he was right. Even if I walked whole marathon, driving all the way home, then turning around and coming back an hour later, didn't make any sense. And I *DID* look in the mirror in McDonalds bathroom... I knew how bad I looked the last time he saw me.
I gave my husband my location, or, at least where I thought I would be in 15 minutes based on my pace. Amazingly, I beat him to the rendezvous point. I'd been walking 5 hours.
I collapsed into the car and he handed me a banana (how thoughtful is this guy??). I told him to drive about two miles north to a drugstore I'd passed. He obeyed. I gave him a shopping list, and he returned with my lunch: a box of extra strength Goody's powders and a large bottle of cough syrup.
Once fortified, I reclined the seat and slept on the long trip home. Once we were there, I slept more. The whole world was spinning... or it just felt that way. I'm definitely sick.
I woke up briefly to eat junk food and take more drugs. I did some strength training in front of the TV, and tried to calculate the distance I'd walked that day. Turns out, it was only about 16 miles, so I have yet to walk a marathon.
Today, my bronchitis is bad enough to keep me moving slowly, but this will be a busy week. I'm praying to get better soon and be back to 100%... and schedule my next marathon.
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