Grit.

grit-meme

Last week I finished a 10K and a half marathon. 19.3 miles in less than 36 hours with a broken foot. A fractured third metatarsal to be specific. I believe I re-broke it around mile 6 of the half marathon, when I started jogging to stay ahead of the people in last. I know for sure (judging by the pain) it was re-broken during a sprint at mile 9 and again at mile 11 to stay ahead of the sweepers (the people who take you off the course because you are not going fast enough)…I was about 90 seconds from my worst nightmare, being taken off the course because I was too slow. I just could not limp along fast enough. So I ground my teeth and I sprinted.

And I finished that half marathon.

But I wasn’t proud of it.

Wait. What?

Nope. I was not proud. I berated myself for being so stubborn that I would limp 19.3 miles, reinjuring my foot and not making the right decision, which was to quit. I should have quit. I had half a dozen blisters, shin pain, knee pain…all ramifications of limping for almost twenty miles. I had a scary moment later when I was laying on the bathroom floor, overcome with nausea from the pain. My perseverance had made me literally sick. An even scarier moment later when discussing the final hours of the race with my fellow runners and realizing just how out of my mind I was – I never realized it was hot. Never for one minute did I feel the heat or sun that everyone else was saying tormented them in the final miles. I don’t remember ever even thinking it was hot. And not because it wasn’t hot. So at the end of the weekend, I was mostly disappointed in myself for lacking the wisdom to know when to stop.

And here we are, a week later, and I’m ready to find some of the positives in this poor choice I made. I am impressed with my tenacity.  I am grateful to my dedication to training and cross training that kept me in shape (and many thanks to my friend Brian for his training ideas and rehab advice) enough to even walk 19 miles. I am no longer afraid of a marathon – I mean, I’m not signing up tomorrow…but I truly feel like if I could finish those races, I can do anything.

And thus the moral of this story: Grit. In psychology, grit is “a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.” It’s courage in the face of adversity. Resolve. Backbone. Pluck. Bravery. Spirit.

Grit is an awesome attribute to have. And I’ve got it.

And I know what that sounds like – it sounds like I’m bragging, and maybe I am? Or maybe I just have no problem owning both the positives and negatives of who I am. There is power in knowing your own strengths. And your own flaws. Grit is a double-edged sword that it took me until this weekend to see just how deep it can cut.

So my many thanks to Kate and Sarah Beth for their support and strength, but especially thanks for pushing me around in a wheelchair for a few days.  And I am so grateful to Josh, family, and friends who checked in on me and supported me throughout. It was a battle, and I survived, leaving with something much more precious than these medals – lessons learned.

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Now its time to put my feet up and rest and really heal – because I’m coming for you Glass Slipper Challenge 2017…and I’m going to run.

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Have you ever finished something and thought “I should have quit”?

Tell me about it in the comments!

Sucker Punch

<8 months later>

Oh, hey, hello there.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but since I last posted, my Mom died. She died, and it took me this long to figure out how I was going to write about it. And I finally decided I’d write about my experience with grief in the hopes of helping others, even if its just a reminder that grief is a personal process and we all do it differently. So here’s a few things I learned along the way about grief.

1. Waves

I have found that most people describe grief by attributing some sort of movement to how it works – “it comes in waves”, “it’s a roller coaster”, “sometimes it just hits you hard”, etc.  And while being bowled over by a wave or punched in the gut are accurate sentiments when dealing with a loss, I think one important aspect of the “wave” or “punch” that needs emphasized is this – the element of surprise. If loss is anything, it’s a sucker punch. You’re not sure when its coming and there’s no way to prepare. And after the initial blow lands, you’re suddenly standing on a beach feeling the tide go in and out, wearing you down, burying your toes and your sadness in wet sand…until you hear a long-forgotten song or have a dream and the tide turns and the storm brews and a wave of grief crashes over you. And you realize that you were happy, with your toes and sadness buried, and you start to feel guilty that you forgot to be sad.

Feet

2. Guilt

“Could I have done more? Could I have changed something? What were my last words to her?”

Everyone I have spoken to about grief seems to experience some sort of irrational (or rational) guilt after a loss.  I personally had a complicated relationship with my mother so my guilt was, in part, rational. I did not go to her bed side when she got sick. I did not go to her bed side because she has had deteriorating health for ten years and if I went to her bed side every time, I’d have lived at her bed side. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel guilty that I didn’t go the last time. Of course I do. Now my brain and heart both understand that I could not go every time, but that does not stop the “I should have gone THIS time” guilt. And that’s okay. It just makes me human.

3. There’s No Wrong Way

Speaking of being human – there’s no wrong way to grieve. Everyone grieves differently and everyone grieves their own way. We need to stop being so judgmental as a society on this one – “her Mom just died, why is she going on vacation, when MY Mom died, I didn’t get out of bed for a week.” Well two thumbs up for you and your grief process, but everyone copes differently. Let them.

A description I wrote of my own grief and its many facets, a few days after my Mom died:

I lost my mother to her addiction a long time ago. Drug and alcohol use developed into a disease that stole her ability to parent me and our relationship became anything but traditional. So when I lost my mother last week to a heart attack, I know my loss was unlike many others who have lost a parent. I feel consumed with sadness at the loss of my Mum, partially because you only have one mother, but I am also mourning the mother I knew from childhood. I feel a huge loss of history – what did I wear on the first day of 2nd grade? What was my big gift from Santa when I was 9? These are questions only my mother could have answered and I am sharply feeling the loss of this history. I didn’t consider this aspect of loss and it has blindsided me. I also feel anger, as my mother unjustly isolated us from the rest of my family and thus removed all the witnesses I should have had to someday tell me some of these childhood stories. I feel hope, as I know there are future stories that are not yet written and I have a wonderful husband and family to help me write them. I feel relief, as she has battled her disease for a long time and is no longer in any pain. I feel peace, as in the last few years we had come to a better place and she understood I loved her and had found forgiveness. And I feel loved and more grateful than ever for the wonderful relationships I have with friends and family.

See? A lot of different feelings and emotions come with grief, not just sadness. Give yourself permission to feel and empower others to do the same.

4. Don’t Worry About It

It’s easy to start thinking about what you are “supposed” to be doing or feeling. I briefly got hung up on this fact last fall, as I worried what everyone would think. “Geez, she really does have that heart of stone, she barely seems fazed” or “She is such a hypocrite, how can she be so sad, she didn’t even go to her Mom when she was sick” or “Um, Cailyn’s Mom was the worst, why is she sad, it’s a blessing.” Yup. I had all those thoughts and felt so many unnecessary worries. And it didn’t matter for one second if everyone thought all of them or none of them. Allow yourself every minute that you need to feel and heal – but try not to concern yourself with appearances.

Feel meme

5. Forgiveness

Chances are, at some point, someone is going to say or do the “wrong” thing. You might. Your best friend might. Your husband might. Since everyone grieves differently, no one really knows what anyone needs.  Which unfortunately means that at a time in your life when YOU are hurting…you may need to have a little grace, both with yourself and with your loved ones.

Practice forgiveness. Because no one knows what to say.

6. There’s Nothing to Say

I wish there was something I could advise others to say that would help…but I can’t because what helps one person could be the absolute last thing the next person wants to hear. Due to my mother’s long battle with her addiction, it was comforting thinking that she was in a better place and pain-free. But expressing that same sentiment to someone else may result in them asking you “why isn’t the better place with me?!” Which is an entirely logical question to pose when you are reeling from the loss of a loved one.

If I absolutely had to say something, I think the safest sentiments are: “I’m sorry for your loss”, “I love you”, and “I am always here for you”.


Speaking of opinions, this entire list is my personal opinion on grief. Since grief comes in all shapes and sizes, feel free to disregard everything I wrote.  I am totally okay with that. But. If me describing my journey helps anyone understand or remember that they are not alone in their feelings or struggle with grief, than this post was worth it.

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Finally, to my Mum:

Thank you for teaching me to always be myself and reminding me that I can be anything I want to be. Thank you for turning up the radio and singing. Thank you for always choosing ice cream. Thank you for saying you were proud of me. Thank you for always reminding me to believe.

My childhood wasn’t amazing and your addiction was a powerful and cruel disease – But I am grateful for everything you got right.

Mom meme

 

Deflategate – Let’s Get Generally Aware of Some Facts

The Wells Report and Deflategate penalties came down this week and it has caused QUITE the ruckus on my Facebook page with every hater of Patriots nation being very vocal about the report and results. And while I didn’t like the punishment or the report, I really, really didn’t like how many people only read the headlines and ignored a lot of the facts. So here’s a not-quick-at-all-can-barely-be-called-a-summary of what people are getting wrong:

1. Football tampering is SUPER important to the integrity of the game

Instances the NFL did not care about football tampering:

Panthers at Vikings, 2014 – Sideline cameras showed (Evidence! Actual evidence!) both Panthers and Vikings football attendants warming up game balls on the sidelines with a heater. That is changing the air pressure in the footballs and considering tampering and illegal. Both teams were issued a warning. A warning.

San Diego Chargers, 2012 – The Chargers were investigated for having an adhesive substance on towels and using those towels on the game footballs. They were fined $20,000 after the equipment manager did not give over the towels. Hm…an uncooperative equipment manager? The Patriots equipment manager was accused of being uncooperative in the Wells Report because he was not available for a FIFTH interview. He has a day job and offered to do it by phone, but Wells refused. And the Chargers were merely fined 20K and this story was never covered by The Today Show.

Patriots vs Colts, 2015 – What’s that you say? The NFL didn’t care about football tampering during The Game? The Colts went to the NFL to warn them about under inflated footballs and the NFL didn’t take the accusation seriously. They didn’t even record the footballs original PSI! No recordings even after they had been warned something might be up? And speaking of PSI levels…

And please don’t tell me about the junk science article you read about the Patriots fumbling record. Not everything you read on the internet is true.

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2.The Science of PSI

Facts:

  • The football pressure was not recorded before the game. Even after the heads up. So we have to take their word for it that the Colts started at 13 PSI and the Pats at 12.5. What if the Colts started at 13.5 or 13.25? Then the difference between the Patriots and the Colts PSI isn’t significant and definitely attributable to weather.
  • One of the Colts footballs measured at 12.95 at half time. And we’re supposed to believe it started at 13? Every other Patriots AND Colts football dropped significantly in the cold weather except that one? In my opinion, it’s more probable than not that the Colts football started at higher than 13 PSI.
  • Two different gauges were used, and the official (Anderson) couldn’t recall which one he used for sure, but “believes he used the logo gauge” (the logo gauge is the one that recorder higher, .3-.45). But the Wells Report states “it’s more probable than not that Anderson used the non-logo gauge.” The gauges were different by .3 to .45. A huge difference when you’re talking these numbers. So The Wells Report decided to report what fit THEIR narrative even though its printed in the report that when interviewed, Anderson said he thinks he used the Logo gauge.
  • Eleven of the Patriots footballs were retested. Four of the Colts were retested, AFTER the Patriots were done. So for almost 15 minutes the Colts footballs were warming up in the nice, heated locker room while the Patriots footballs were checked. If you are currently thinking, “oh come on, you’re reaching…” add that small temperature change in PSI, with the change of using different gauges, with the change of not knowing exactly where the Colts footballs started? It adds up. Also. Small sample size much?
  • In conclusion: No baseline was established for the footballs, different gauges were used, subjects tested at different times, and a different amount of test subjects. My seventh grade science teachers says that is NOT how you prove a hypothesis.

3. Text Messages

Facts:

  • There is absolutely no mention in those texts that Brady instructed anyone to go less than 12.5 PSI on the footballs. Zero. In fact, the only time a PSI is mentioned, the equipment manager says “I just measured some of the balls. They supposed to be 13 lbs… They were like 16. Felt like bricks”
  • The texts are from months before the AFC Championship, and mostly concern a Jets game were Brady was angry at the equipment manager for not getting the footballs to where Brady preferred. The texts indicate the footballs were closer to 16 PSI. No wonder Brady was angry. Numerous NFL quarterbacks have come forward and said that it is totally normal to want the footballs exactly how they feel best. Aaron Rodgers even admitted to wanting them OVER the legal amount, and purposely pushing the limits.
  • If you read the texts and are convinced Brady asked the equipment managers to go below 12.5 PSI, that can be concluded by what you read. If you read the texts and assume he is just riding them hard to get the footballs exactly like he wants them (12.5) then you can conclude that as well.

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4. Uncooperative Patriots and Brady?

The NFL seems to be touting this line from their penalty letter that “the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation” was one of the reasons for the harsh penalty. And that seems silly because the Wells Report stated “The Patriots provided substantial cooperation throughout the investigation.” Huh. So this must be all about Brady’s reluctance to pass over his cell and emails? Because if I was Brady there is no way I would ever give over my cell and emails. We live in a world where everything leaks. The CIA gets hacked and you want me to trust you my personal cell records because you’re on a witch hunt? Absolutely not. His right to privacy is just as sacred as yours or mine.

5. Draft Picks and Fines

The Wells Report clearly states that Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization as a whole did nothing wrong: “We do not believe that the evidence establishes that any other Patriots personnel participated in or had knowledge of the violation of the Playing Rules or the deliberate effort to circumvent the rules described in this Report. In particular, we do not believe there was any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing by Patriots ownership, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick or any other Patriots coach in the matters investigated.” So…why the exorbitant fine and TWO draft picks targeting the entire organization? The Atlanta Falcons AS AN ORGANIZATION cheated for TWO seasons by pumping in crowd noise. That is something that effects every single play called by the opposing offense if they cannot hear. And the Falcons were fined a mere $350,000 and a fifth round draft pick. And those charges were proven. Not “probably.” Not “generally aware.”

6. A Culture of Cheating

This one REALLY bothers me, primarily because most people haven’t even bothered to read this blog post all the way through and educate themselves about what they’re talking about. First off, most people get the facts of SpyGate so wrong that it’s absurd. Opposing fans love to throw it around and yet most have no clue what happened. I still have people, who I used to think were at least informed NFL fans, posting on my Facebook wall that the Patriots taped an opposing team’s practice. That is unequivocally false. In fact, the Boston Herald had to publish a full, front page story apologizing for printing that story without any evidence. I might need to write an entire “Facts about SpyGate” post because people still don’t get it. Anyways. Culture of cheating? Do the Ravens have a culture of felonies because Ray Lewis was accused of killing someone about ten years ago too? And Ray Rice then knocked out his fiancé in an elevator (this is where I insert the obligatory: And Ray Rice originally got a two game suspension for it?!)? And if you think whatever team you are a fan of has never done any against the rules? You’re wrong.

7. Media and Public Opinion

As I stated in February, the public and media care more about the Patriots than any other team because they win. A lot. So this story is going to make The Today Show, and casual fans are going to decide the Patriots cheated. Because they’re not reading the Wells Report. They’re reading the headlines. And the opposing fans are forgetting “innocent until proven guilty” because it’s convenient. The Wells Report, with language like “more probably than not” and “generally aware” is not convincing and nor should it be. But they didn’t have to convince – they had to construct a narrative that makes sure the NFL doesn’t look stupid (not recording the original PSI? really? I’m stuck on that) because the NFL is their boss (millions of dollars of billable hours to this company that once “proved” in court that tobacco doesn’t cause cancer) and enable the NFL to once again make an example of the Patriots. Tom Brady was absolutely not caught cheating.

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Here’s the thing. Bill Belichick was made an example of because he made a mockery of Roger Goodell by disobeying a rule that has been put in place THAT YEAR that prohibited videotaping from the sidelines. So Goodell made an example of him. I understand. Tom Brady is being made an example of because of two things – he did not take this seriously enough at first. He laughed and the NFL did not. He probably had a PR guy in his ear that said “admit nothing, say nothing, this will go away.” And it did not. And he did not cooperate by handing over his cell and email, even after submitting to a six hour interview, in person. So that’s apparently not cooperating.

witch hunt

My parting general questions:

  • Seriously though – you were warned the footballs might be altered and you didn’t record the PSI? Really.
  • Where are the other quarterbacks now? Don’t want the NFL to come knocking on your door? Because Rodgers made that comment about wanting his footballs above the legal limit BEFORE deflategate was ever a thing. He flippantly talked about it with an NFL commentator like it was no big deal. Because altering a football isn’t a big deal apparently if Rodgers, the Vikings, the Panthers or the Chargers do it.
  • Most importantly: The equipment manager and ball boys never said they deflated the balls after they were checked. Why not? They had said terrible things about essentially their boss (they really, really hated on Tom Brady in those text messages because he was so demanding) and admitted trying to take free sneakers and clothes. They must have known as soon as those texts were released they’d lose their jobs. Why not admit it? One of them is a part time employee! Surely if he deflated footballs in a bathroom he would just admit it when he had nothing to lose.

I stick by this thought, originally from February:

And just to make this clear – if this was sanctioned by anyone in the Patriots organization, it is absolutely wrong and I agree they should be punished for it. But the punishment should fit the crime… and at this point, if they are found innocent of wrongdoing, will people even believe it?

I doubt it – because the court of public opinion has already ruled against them.

Because. They. Win.

Has the punishment fit the crime? Absolutely not. Has the crime been proven? Absolutely not.

This is a big deal because it is the Patriots. End of story. You’re deluding yourself if you think otherwise. Because I didn’t see this kind of coverage during the Falcons or Browns investigations this year. I didn’t even see this much coverage after the original Ray Rice video was released. Or Adrian Peterson. A man can beat his fiancé or child? But something that typically comes with a warning or a $25,000 fine is more important and warrants a several million dollar investigation? Where are the priorities?

Priorities.

Priorities.

Based on the evidence you’ve read above, do you think it’s fair to ruin a man’s reputation? Tom Brady’s legacy is forever tarnished by THIS? That makes me sick to my stomach because of the injustice. This is a media driven story with a narrative developed by a dislike for a team and fostered by an organization (NFL) that needed a scapegoat after  a season of bad decisions. The NFL has gone so far off the rails that I personally think other NFL fans should be upset (they’re not, because #patriothate). And I think Roger Goodell will eventually lose his job over this. Because you can’t make up the rules as you go and expect to just lay the hammer down on the last guy you happen to want to make an example of after an entire season of mishandling sensitive subjects like child abuse and domestic violence.

rice

Obviously I am a Patriots fan. But I’m also an educated adult who believes I can see clearly. The “crime” is equivalent to using pine tar or stickum. It’s a misdemeanor. It should not be done, but I’m not calling Brady a cheater any more than I’d call Jerry Rice a cheater for stickum. If the equipment manager or ball boy someday comes forward and says, “Yes, I let air out of the footballs in the bathroom after they were checked and Tom Brady specifically told me to” then I’ll come right back here and say Tom Brady did it, without a need for a videotape or text message. But right now? The evidence is not there. And if I am going to ruin a Hall of Fame quarterback’s reputation and brand him a cheater, I’m going to need more than “generally aware” and “more probable than not.”

Like I said. Not a brief summary. But then again, the Patriots didn’t exactly summarize their defense either. If you got this far, thanks for sticking around.

In Someone Else’s Shoes

I’ll just start with this: I am not Gwyneth Paltrow’s biggest fan – Don’t love her, don’t hate her, don’t read her blog. But she was recently challenged by Mario Batali to participate in the Food Bank New York Challenge to walk a week in someone else’s shoes and only eat $29 worth of groceries in a week, an estimate of what people on food stamps (now it’s called SNAP) live on in a week. Below is her photo of what she bought:

29 paltrow

The photo now has hundreds of comments and thousands of shares. Many of which are negative. And, surprise, surprise, I have a few things to say about it:

1. A Poor Vacation

Articles have been written about her taking a “poor vacation” and slamming her for insulting the poor by choosing to live on a $29 grocery budget for just a week when poor people don’t have a choice. Why can’t we praise her (or ANYONE participating in this challenge) for attempting to bring awareness to a pressing worldwide issue? She literally can’t win – if she ignored the Challenge, she’s a terrible person who doesn’t care. She does the Challenge, and now she’s insulting the poor by making the choice. Maybe her week of $29 living will make her a better person. And is she not using her celebrity status for good by making a donation and encouraging others to do so? We tell children all the time to “put themselves in someone else’s shoes” and yet when someone chooses to, it’s an insult because it’s a “poverty vacation.” So instead she should forego this experience and pretend hunger doesn’t exist because it doesn’t exist to her?

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2. Only $29

Are there people that get more than $29 in SNAP assistance a week? Of course there is. Are there people that only get $29 or less a week? Of course there is. It’s determined by state and the margins are wide in this area. I fail to see the problem in her attempting to replicate the weekly food budget on the lower end of the spectrum. It exists. *It should also be noted Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t choose that figure – the Food Bank New York City Challenge did because Congress has cut food stamp budgets twice since 2013 and food pantry and soup kitchen traffic immediately increased.

3. Food Choices

The comments advise her to “buy Ramen noodles” and “don’t buy so many limes.” Who cares if she bought food that is fresh or nutritious? That’s how she actually eats and we fault her for not buying additive-laden snack foods because that’s not realistic to how a poor person might spend their money? The point being most cheap food is junk food. The irony should not be lost on us that there is BOTH a hunger problem AND an obesity problem in America. I have no idea why she likes kale. I have no idea why she needs seven limes. Maybe her child won’t drink water without lime in it and she wants him to stay hydrated. Who. Cares. The bottom line: She went grocery shopping and only spent $29. She bought things she likes and eats. Of course Ramen Noodles are cheaper. So now we’re mad that a person that has never had to eat like a poor person doesn’t know how to eat like a poor person?

4. Get a job!

The overwhelming sentiment in the comments section of this photo is that most people on welfare or food assistance are lazy or taking advantage of the system so this Challenge is worthless. The people milking the system? They’re outliers. You hear about them because the story is there. The media isn’t going to report on the 97.33% (that’s a real number – fraud was only found in 2.67% of welfare recipients in a three year study of numbers, on average) of welfare recipients who are just trying to get by and feed their children. You’re not going to see a meme or read an inflammatory forward about a mom that works two jobs and needs the extra assistance to put food on the table for her three children. And this thought, that welfare recipients are living it up on lobster and champagne is pervasive (and yet, no proof) and results in a punishment of those in need. In general, I am all for welfare reform to continue to tweak the system so those who abuse it can no longer do so. I am specifically bothered by unnecessarily making it harder for a child to be a child. For example, Kansas has drafted up a new bill prohibiting welfare recipients from using their EBT cards on movie theaters or swimming pools, as well as limiting them to $25 a day withdrawals. If this isn’t an example of rich people not understanding what it’s like to be poor, I don’t know what is. How should they pay for their child’s field trip if they already used the $25 from that day for the electric bill? And get hit with a mandatory $1 transaction fee every withdrawal, in addition to any additional ATM fees? A huge inconvenience and takes money out of their pockets. Why are they making it harder to be poor? It’s already hard. And children shouldn’t get to enjoy the rare luxury of swimming in a pool or seeing a movie? They’ve been punished enough – they’re POOR. And trust me, they know.

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5. Something to Chew On

  • 805 million people on this planet combat hunger every single day.
  • In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households.
  • 2.6 million children die of hunger-related causes every year.

Facts: www.worldhunger.org and www.feedingamerica.org

Learn more about the Food Bank New York City Challenge. I’ll be making a donation to our local food pantry this week, and I challenge you all to do so as well.

mother teresa

Is walking in someone else’s shoes not an excellent tool for awareness? Is deepening your understanding of millions of your fellow humans’ plight ever a bad thing? Knowledge is power.

I, for one, applaud her reality check.*

What do you think about the Food Bank Challenge? How would you spend your $29?

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 *But I still wouldn’t buy 7 limes.

The Nightmares of a Crazy Cat Lady

TWHS

Josh was out of town last weekend, and so it was just me and the kitties…I had a nightmare and called Josh the next morning to tell him about it:

Me: “I had a nightmare last night…it was so scary. I had a dream that I woke up after hearing a noise, opened our bedroom door, and looked to the left and saw the cat litter box in the middle of the hallway. I was puzzled and walked out towards it and a serial killer grabbed me from behind and put his hand over my mouth! I woke myself up screaming, it was AWFUL.”

…Josh bursts out laughing…

Me: “Why are you laughing?! It was terrible, I woke up actually yelling!!!”

Josh: “I’m sorry, I’m sure it was scary. I am laughing because of the cat litter box. Do you realize that you’re such a crazy cat lady that your version of a ‘distraction’ used by a serial killer is the cat litter box in the wrong place?”

Me: “I concede your point.”

Me: “But it was still scary.”

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How could these furry faces NOT make me a crazy cat lady?

State of the Union – NFL Edition

The Super Bowl is over and my beloved New England Patriots are reigning champions. They won despite being plagued by accusations regarding under inflated footballs during their AFC Championship stomping of the Colts. Accusations that have been categorically denied by everyone from Tom Brady to Robert Kraft and none of which have been substantiated. But I am not going to talk air pressure, or defend the Patriots…my rant is this: In the last THREE days, the following NFL stories and scandals have broken – not a single one of which has appeared on my Facebook or been a leading story on The Today Show.

In order to differentiate, I have placed each story into the three main issues that people seem to be wailing about with the Patriots:

C – Cheating       I – Integrity      NFL – Actions not in accordance with the NFL “Shield”

1. Cleveland Browns, TextGate, C & I & NFL

The Cleveland Browns GM stands accused of texting coaches during the game – a practice that is expressly forbidden because it could lead to a competitive advantage. They currently face fines and a possible loss of a draft pick. That’s serious business and if found guilty, will face the exact same sanctions currently being threatened against the still innocent until proven guilty Patriots. PS: The Browns have plenty of other breaking news within their organization – Josh Gordon was banned from the NFL for a year for violating once again the Drugs and Alcohol policy and Johnny Manziel has checked into rehab.

2. Green Bay Packers DT Letroy Guion, FelonyGate, I & NFL

Good ol’ Letroy was pulled over with $190,000 in cash and over 350 grams of marijuana in his truck. He was extremely uncooperative and hostile to the police and was charged with felony drug and gun possession. Definitely not keeping up with the integrity side of the NFL.

3. Baltimore Ravens NT Terrence Cody, GatorGate, I & NFL

Cody was indicted this week on 11 counts of animal cruelty, including abuse or neglect of a dog and an alligator. The aggravated animal cruelty are felonies (as they should be) and are also coupled with a drug possession charge (of course). It is hard for me to contain my rage regarding people who abuse defenseless animals, so I am just going to leave it at that.

animalabuse

4. Atlanta Falcons, Artificial NoiseGate, C & I & NFL

The Falcons are currently under investigation for pumping in artificial crowd noise during the past two seasons while their opponents were trying to call plays and during the huddle. It is definitively cheating, and appears to have definitely happened – The Falcons owner has apologized and expressed his disappointment in their lack of integrity, though the investigation is continuing and the Falcons still face fines and possible loss of a draft pick. Fines and loss of draft picks? That sounds familiar. But fans don’t care about the Falcons (or Browns) cheating because no one cares about the Falcons (or Browns). Because they aren’t beating your team all the time.

5. Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle, ArrestGate, I & NFL

Randle was arrested for drug possession after police responded to a call for domestic violence with a weapon. Drug arrests in the NFL seem to be a weekly occurrence, but I am including this one because it is his second arrest in four months. He was arrested for shoplifting in October. Clearly a wonderful representation of the NFL.

6. New York Jets, TamperingGate, I & NFL

The New York Jets owner apparently publicly expressed his interest for Darelle Revis to return to the New York Jets. This is a violation of the league’s Anti-Tampering Policy. I chose not to give this one a C for Cheating, primarily because I think it’s silly – but the rules are the rules and the integrity of the game is sacred and everyone just keeps telling me that when they discuss the PSI of footballs in a game won by 30+ points.

7. Indianapolis Colts LB D’Qwell Jackson, Just a MisdemeanorGate, I, NFL & Idiot

Jackson was arrested this week for getting in a physical altercation with a pizza delivery guy over a parking spot. A parking spot. So I am charging him with insulting the NFL Shield, a lack of integrity, and being an idiot. And not to add insult to 30+point defeat injury, but Jackson is the 5th member of the Colts to be arrested in the last 9 months…including the Colts owner (DUI). Maybe the NFL should launch an investigation and examine the science behind an organization with more mug shots than playoff wins this year.

insulting you

Just a reminder…these stories all broke THIS WEEK. And can all be found on ESPN – some front page, some buried. NONE can be found on The Today Show or on my Facebook feed. Did adding “Gate” to all their offenses make it real to you? Make you want to design a meme or haunt my Facebook page posting articles of football pressure? No? Could you look inside yourself and see that this Patriots situation was treated unfairly by both the media and opposing fans because it’s personal (we hate the Patriots) rather than an actual big story? Especially considering the cheating accusations against the Browns and Falcons – the ones that come with the same exact possible penalties as the Patriots? But no one cares about because the Browns and Falcons do not win. And that’s the truth of it.

socialmediaoverreaction

And just to make this clear – if this was sanctioned by anyone in the Patriots organization, it is absolutely wrong and I agree they should be punished for it. But the punishment should fit the crime… and at this point, if they are found innocent of wrongdoing, will people even believe it?

I doubt it – because the court of public opinion has already ruled against them.

Because. They. Win.

supermanbrady

 

A Lot.

billbelichick

 

Have you been following these stories the past three days? Sharing articles? Worried about the integrity of the game?

Rainy and Rocky

Deep thoughts on my run today:

Mile 5: “Hmm that sounds like thunder. A little light sprinkle might be wonderful to cool me off and lift some of this humidity.”

Mile 6: “Sprinkles! I love you, rain! It’s 10 degrees cooler! I love this! I am a badass. I am Rocky on the steps in Philly.”

Mile 7: “I’m the King of the World! I can do anything! Who runs the world? I do. I am invincible! I’m Mark Wahlberg in that movie… what it’s called? When he’s the walk-on football player? Oh yeah. ‘Invincible.'”

Mile 8: “It’s pouring. This isn’t fun anymore. My socks are getting wet. I hate wet socks. There might be nothing worse than wet socks.”

Mile 9: “I HATE MY LIFE AND THIS RUN AND THE RAIN AND ROCKY BECAUSE HE’S A LIAR. A DIRTY LIAR.”

Some runs are wonderful. Some runs are the worst things ever. Today wasn’t awesome. But the miles are done.

running

#‎whoruntheworld‬ ‪#‎girls‬ ‪#‎eyeofthetiger‬ ‪#‎ninemilesdone‬ ‪#‎towerofterrortenmilertraining‬

Sandwich Kids Understand

TWHS

Josh and I were discussing the possible bathroom options during our long runs on the Creeper Trail.

Me: “Around the four mile mark there are two Bouse Houses. That’s always an option.”

Josh, staring: “What.”

Me: “I mean, worst case scenario, obviously a Bouse House isn’t preferable…”

Josh: “I don’t understand the words that are coming out of your mouth. Are you speaking another language?

Me: “Which words?!”

Josh: “I seriously don’t understand. Boose Hoose?!”

Me: “A Bouse House? You know, a Porta Potty? A Blue Room? Is ‘Bouse House’ a Northern term? Are you messing with me?”

Josh: “I have never heard the term ‘Bouse House’. Ever.”

Me: “Huh. Maybe it’s a Northern thing. Let me Google it.”

…Googling…

Me: “So. My bad. It’s not even a Northern thing. It’s a SANDWICH thing. It’s totally the name of the Porta Potty company in Sandwich. Ha. I had no idea that wasn’t common slang. I’ve always called them that. I guess it’s not the first time I’ve been speaking my own language.”

Josh: “Clearly.”

You can take the girl off of Cape Cod, but you can’t take the Cape Cod out of the girl.

Anyone else call them that to a non-Cape Codder and be met with puzzlement? Or is this just me? 

That’s What SHE Said

Switching up the usual That’s What He Said and featuring a little story from last night:

I was talking with one of my best friends (she shall remain unnamed unless she wants to take credit in the comments…hehehe) about people being judgmental of others on Facebook:

Her: “Yeah, I was just reading the other day about Mom on Mom hate. Like, how wrong it is that Moms don’t just support each other. I think I was reading it on the Today Show website.”

Me, laughing: “The Today Show huh? Or maybe you read my blog?”

She bursts out laughing.

Her: “Oh my goodness you’re right. It was YOU. I just quoted you TO YOU.”

It was so perfect and hilarious I just felt like I had to share. I’m so lucky to have such wonderful friends… and readers 😉

old friends

Have you ever quoted something someone has said to the person that said it? Have you quoted something from Live, Laugh, List?

Do Turkeys FLY?!

It’s Throwback Thursday y’all! And today’s #TBT will feature a #countrylife story going back to my VERY FIRST day on the farm:

It was my first morning in our new home and I was alone and eating breakfast when I started to hear a knocking. The following internal dialogue took place:

“WHAT IS THAT? Who could possibly be knocking? Our driveway is a mile long! It’s not like someone could have snuck up on me!”

…cats go scurrying under the bed…

…I consider also scurrying under the bed…

“Ok. Must investigate. Here we go. I can read the newspaper headline now: ‘City girl gets killed by weird serial killer that claims his victims in broad daylight and after insistently knocking.’ …Do they have a newspaper here? Maybe we should get the Sunday delivered for coupons… I bet they don’t deliver down our driveway. I’d have to walk two miles on Sunday mornings for coupons…Ok, focus, I still hear knocking.”

…check the front door…

…check the side door…

…grab my cell phone and a broom so I can simultaneously call the police and beat the serial killer with a broom…

…finally tiptoe out onto the deck…

“This is how horror movies start. I’m the girl that gets lured outside and investigates the noise. I hate that girl, I can’t be that girl. I’m holding my cell phone like I’ll have time to make a call to the VOLUNTEER police services in this town of 1,456 residents. I am SO that girl…”

…and look over the rail at the basement door…

“…WHAT IS THAT. ARE THOSE FEATHERS?”

turkey2

“Oh my gosh I think that’s a turkey. Could that be a turkey? Knocking? I’m confused.”

…creep back inside, down the stairs, and slowly open the door so I can see where the turkey/serial killer would be standing…

turkey

“THAT’S A TURKEY. KNOCKING ON MY DOOR. I should try and record this. No one will ever believe me.”

This story ends with a short voice mail that I left after going back upstairs, out onto the deck:

:whispering: “Hey Josh. It’s me. Sooo I think a turkey is knocking on our back door…

…turkey hears me on deck and starts to fly away…

:suddenly shouting: “OH WAIT. DO TURKEYS FLY? It’s flying away?! Maybe it’s a vulture? I don’t know, but it flew!

:shriek: “Ahhh I just walked into a spider web.”

:slightly ashamed: “Call me back.”

I may or may not have needed to edit the language of my voice mail transcription. Which Josh STILL has saved on his phone since he thinks me almost being murdered by a polite, day time serial killer is hysterical.