Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 151 - Kayak

I signed up for a recreational "kayak at dusk" event in July where I will get to kayak from 6:30pm - 9pm, and imagine that I will get to listen to and see all kinds of nature's creatures. I have never seriously kayaked before, and am hoping to take some kayak lessons before my event, but if not, I'm sure I'll still enjoy it! Any pointers for a newbie kayaker?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 150 - MMOM

Since "Java" took the holiday weekend off from posting her own Meet Me On Monday questions, I've made up my own!

1) Which is the one television character that you simply adore?
Hmm... I would have to say Sophia (Estelle Getty) from the Golden Girls. Due to her (character's) stroke, she has no "edit" function in her brain and says whatever she thinks!

2) What was your favorite sitcom growing up?
I think, The Facts of Life. That, or maybe Diff'rent Strokes...

3) Given a complete freedom to start afresh, what profession would you choose?

4) What favorite food puts you in a great mood?
Creme Brulee - it's so sinfully decadent, you can't help but smile while eating it.

5) Which is your favorite time of the day, are you a morning person or a night person?
Morning person! I love working out early, and having a yummy breakfast with a cup of coffee...everything after that is potentially down-hill.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 149 - Kona

Sometimes all ya need to make a day, a really great day, is a cup of coffee! I prefer pure Kona, but due to cost, will happily deal with Kona blends.
What's your favorite roast?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 148 - Energy

There are days I'm absolutely in love with my (dog training) job. Days that I love usually involve working with a pup who's parents have written it off as crazy, and untrainable, only to take the dog and have it perform miraculously with me. People tend to think it's magic, or that I have better treats then they do, but what really accounts for the drastic change in their dog's behavior? One simple word, ENERGY!

Today I got to work with a two-time returned adoption dog that was labeled as untrainable, and not adoptable. Really? Unadoptable is a pretty harsh word! The parents were nervous to bring her to class as they expected wild and crazy behavior, however all I saw was a dog eager to work and please it's parents. I saw a high energy, intelligent, but bored dog - a dog just looking for something to do, but when not given the proper outlet, of course she'll eat your house as if it were made of kibble!

I started class with a cradle and massage technique designed to calm and sooth dogs. Of course, this is pretty easy with little lap dogs, but when you're working on restraining a 65 pound, what I'm guessing to be a Lab/Greyhound mix, it's a little harder. Her over anxious parents struggled with her, but I asked if I could take her to demonstrate, and when bringing a calm energy to the pup, she laid down and smiled. Yes, smiled as only Greyhounds tend to do.

See what I mean?

Immediately her parents asked if I could go home with them to keep working with her, and then it was my turn to smile. As the massage continued to relax the mixed breed, I heard whispers of "she's like the Dog Whisperer!". Comments like those MAKE MY DAY! After the demonstration, I sent the pup back to her parents and discussed bringing a clear mind and calm energy to their training, and guess who had the most well behaved dog in class? Yep, that's right!

It amazes me to see what kind of negative and anxious energy we pass along to our pets, yet expect them to remain in a calm, well behaved state. Take a lesson from dog training and think about what it is you bring to the table. What kind of energy do you present to others in your day to day interactions with your fellow man or woman? Do you walk tall and confidently, or slump over? Are you inviting, or closed off? Think about it, and if you haven't already, change up your energy for the better!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 147 - Decoration Day

Today I took the day off of work. Four day weekend? You bet. But today wasn't about getting away for a long weekend, today was about volunteering and remembering what this holiday weekend is really all about, Memorial Day. It seems that we tend to get wrapped up in family barbecues and weekend super sales, but forget to honor the holiday and those who have made our freedom possible.

Memorial Day started as "Decoration Day" and was first recognized in May of 1868 as graves of fallen soldiers were decorated with flowers. Sadly, "Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country." (usmemorialday.org)

To make sure I did my part this holiday, I responded to a radio plug to help volunteer and decorate the Veteran graves at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL. Once I arrived on site, I was overwhelmed and humbled by the mass numbers of uniformly placed white headstones. I found out later, close to 27,000 fallen heroes (and wives) are laid to rest here. In comparison, just over three hundred volunteers showed up to honor those men and women today by placing a flag on their graves.

After a brief instruction ceremony on the "hows and wheres" to place the flag, we began to circle the cemetery with flags in hand. It took the group of us, made up of Veterans, widows, children, families, firefighters and me, about an hour to place all the flags. I was reminded of the realness of loss as I read the tombstones marked, "Beloved Father", "Loving Son", "Forever Loved", "Always Missed" and those of the husband and wife markers that stated, "Together Forever". The longer I walked the more I kept repeating the words, "Thank you" to those who have fallen, and to those who surrounded me. Please be sure that you too, say thank you this weekend to those who have paid the ultimate price for your freedom, our Veterans. Also, please consider volunteering in a program like this in the future, as I found it to be quite a profound and humbling experience.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 146 - Surprise!

These were delivered to me today at work, just because.
The card?
"Surprise! I love you."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 145 - So What

Taking a page from a fellow blogger, today's post is all about saying so what!

So what if I wore workout pants to the gym that probably should have made their way to the laundry basket, instead of my body.

So what if I forgot a knife and had to spread peanut butter on my toast with my finger because I was too lazy to go back to the cafeteria to get one. (By the way, I don't recommend doing this. Ever.)

So what if I take 4 days to get back to your personal email. I sit in front of a computer all day and sometimes, I just know that one more e-mail will surely kill me.

So what if I don't give you my address so you can mail me an invitation to a party I really have no vested interest in going to.

So what if it's raining and gloomy here, at least I still have a roof over my head.

So what if I put too much sweetner in my coffee, you should be thankful as some days it's the only thing that makes dealing with you tolerable.

What is your "so what" moment of the day?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 144 - Burned

lobster Pictures, Images and Photos

This is me. Sunburned. After consciously working a month to get rid of my "farmers tan", I got sunburned yesterday! OK, yes I should have worn sunscreen, but I really don't know how the heck I could have gotten such a bad burn on such a short walk! I look as though I am wearing a red bib around my neck, as my chest and shoulders are no longer any normal shade of human flesh. I can only guess that either my white tank top reflected the sun, or I had some perfume or lotion on that interacted with the bastard's UV rays. In the future, I guess it's turtlenecks and SPF 10,000!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 143 - MMOM

Meet Me On Monday

1. What is your favorite bagel flavor?
I'm not a big bagel fan, but I do like the onion ones, or at least I think that's the name of the variety. Whatever flavor it is that makes your breath stink?

2. If you had an extra $100 right now, what would you spend it on?
It's sad $100 doesn't get you much these days, but I think I'd either spend it on a bicycle tune-up, groceries, or a registration fee for my next event. Maybe a new pair of shoes?

3. What is the last thing that you felt guilt about doing?
There was a laundry incident. I was kinda mean. I won't go into details (must not incriminate myself).

4. Soft serve ice cream or hand dipped?
Why do they call it hand dipped if you're not dipping your hand in it? Shouldn't it be hand-scooped? Anyway, I go with hand-scooped.

5. Are you allergic to anything?
Nothing that I currently know about, but I do have an aversion to leaving my super comfy beds at time.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 142 - Perfect

Today started with breakfast at a new place, "Frances' Deli". He had the Breakfast Sliders, a bacon, onion, cheeseburger with an over easy egg on top with a side of potatoes. I had a scrambled skillet with Habanero cheese. I love the heat, but have to admit, the sliders were to die for! Speaking of, "to die for", Frances' has what they call "Spiked Shakes". Below is a picture of a chocolate ice cream, Oreos, and Kahlua shake. What a dream!

Leaving Frances', we followed a new walking path, and stumbled upon North Pond. There we saw duck and geese.The baby goslings were so fuzzy and adorable, making me forget what a pain in the ass bird they can grow up to be.

As we followed the walking trail, we had no idea where we were, or where we would end up. However, we quickly stumbled across this guy (or girl?). There was a turtle demonstration on the lawn of the Nature Museum to celebrate and promote National Turtle Day (5/23/11).

We then circled the museum on what seemed to be a never ending nature trail (but we really didn't mind) in efforts to find the entrance. Once inside, we rushed to the "fun" exhibit, a free flying butterfly exhibit. I felt like a child, amazed by the fluttering of gentle wings surrounding me. One of the first butterflies we encountered was the Owl Butterfly. (Note: Owl-like "eyes" on wings)

Following were other butterflies that I now can't recall the names of, but we did take the time to sit down and educate ourselves about the names of each species while in the museum.

This was a visitor that landed on my boyfriend's pocket and then later tried to stow away and escape with us by landing on his arm. The exhibit attendant had to stop us, and confiscate the stowaway.

We played throughout the rest of the museum with child like enthusiasm. We learned about honey bees, termites, wildlife, water ways, and nature in general. Below, my boyfriend is using a "bird" simulator (puppet type gloves) to weave a nest. Notice how the "bird" is more interested in him, then building a nest?

After leaving the museum, we walked to the lake front. We were torn between people watching, and boat watching as we sat on the pier. We enjoyed the serenity of the lapping waves, the glow of the sun and the caress of the cool breeze. We laid down and watched the clouds while soaking up some vitamin D.

Heading home, we walked along the lakefront and harbors and enjoyed observing the boats, people and pets. As we neared one harbor, I noticed someone swinging in the air. We went to investigate and found that, here in my back yard (ok, really big backyard) they offer trapeze classes! We stopped to watch for a while.

After the trapeze viewing and contemplating when (if) we should sign up, we headed home. The clouds started to sprinkle on us, but we didn't let that deter our fun. We made a vow that if it started to "pour", we would just stomp in the puddles and enjoy splashing each other the rest of the way home. It was just that kind of day.

Once home, the boyfriend and I took a nap and later shared a home made dinner. The night has now ended with me kissing my boyfriend good bye and having taken root on the couch to blog while watching "The Big Lebowski". The storm is starting to roll in, and I am enjoying the rain scented breeze flowing through the apartment accompanied by the occasional crash of thunder. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 141 - Inclusion

If you have a brain and can carry an intelligent conversation, I am pretty much guaranteed to like you on some level. Provided there is a shared respect, our friendship can go a long way. So why is it that some people remain prejudice against color, choice, and biological differences? And better yet, when will we as a nation ever overcome our hatred of differences?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 140 - Obituary

A conversation with a friend inspired this blog post. If you died tomorrow, what would your obituary say? Would it show the world you were a go getter, and lived a full life? Or would it leave behind a statement of regret? I started thinking about what my obituary might say, and this is what I came up with.

Lynn G. died today at the age of 72. Born in the suburbs of Chicago, she enjoyed a quiet, stable childhood surrounded by friends and family. Attending college locally, she earned a dual Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design and Studio Art. Despite her artistic background, she worked for a local health care company for 12 years, while maintaining a part time dog training job. Training dogs and their owners was a great joy in her life, and where she felt she made the biggest impact on changing people's lives and the life they spent with their pets.

After a short stint of living in the city of Chicago and experiencing all it had to offer, she left both aforementioned jobs to work in Africa for the Cheetah Conservation Fund. In Africa, Lynn put her dog training skills and love of the Cheetah to good use. There she helped train the Anatolian Shepherd dogs used to educate local ranchers. Throughout her years of work in Namibia, she traveled the world extensively to rendezvous with her then boyfriend, Mike G. As Mike toured the world for work, Lynn visited him on location and vice versa. During this time, Lynn visited such places as Australia, Italy, Spain, Greece and her all time favorite location, Bora Bora.

Having experienced the greatest challenges and accomplishments of her life during "the Africa years", as she often referred to them, she returned to Chicago to marry long time boyfriend, Mike G. Shortly thereafter the couple relocated to California as part of Mike's managerial job with a major music promotion company. As husband and wife, the couple enjoyed spending time between their California home and their summer house in the Caribbean Islands.

During her early retirement, Lynn continued her charity efforts and involvement with the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Additionally, she successfully exhibited and sold her artwork and photography from "the Africa years", leading her to open her own art gallery. As a result of her artistic success, "Lynn G." became a household name.

Some years later once mutually retired, the couple opened the successful hot dog stand, "Gibby Doggs", and saw major success opening chains throughout the nation and, of course, in their native Chicago. Mike and Lynn experienced a wonderful life together up until the time of her death. Lynn passed away at home, while asleep, and surely dreaming of more adventures to come.

Flowers are appreciated, as well as donations to the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 139 - Sac

Out walking today, my friend and I came across a "Cul de Sac" sign. And while we both know what it represents, our curiosity was peaked as we wondered what the literal translation of the phrase was. As we joked about what the translation might be (and made up descriptions of our own) we wondered if people who actually lived in a cul de sac knew what the translation of the phrase was, would they still want to live in one?

Looking up the phrase "cul de sac", it literally translates to "bottom of bag". Who wants to be squished (imagine a loaf of bread) in the bottom of a bag? "Hello, I'm Jane and I live in the bottom of a bag" - doesn't sound so glamorous, does it? I figure if people can live in a bottom of a bag and brag about it, then we shouldn't judge those who live in cardboard boxes and use newspapers for blankets.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 138 - Nuts

Amazing how some of the biggest "nuts"in life are unfortunately, related to us. Or maybe, just related to me. After years of a terrible relationship with a family member, it's sad to see that a second chance is just being thrown to the curb side by ways of clinging onto old, bad habits and really, just being selfish. I'd like to say (as a dog trainer) that you can teach an old dog new tricks, but in this case, the student doesn't seem to want or be capable of change.

Change is hard, I get it. Change is scary, but damn it, (to butcher a quote) when does the pain of staying the same, out weigh the pain of change and prompt you to actually change for the better? I guess in some people, never. I have been through so many ups and downs in past romantic and family relationships, and have had hard decisions to make but I've survived all of the changes, learned from them, and come out on the other side of it for the better. Why are some people so incapable of change?

Life is the greatest journey we will ever travel, so why must we anchor ourselves to things, habits, ideas, and behaviors that don't let us experience it? I just don't get it, and it's sad and disappointing, especially when the people you need to change, are family. So how do I deal with this sadness? By confronting the root cause (calling people out on their behavior and how it affects me), and then, by living my life and moving on. That's the scary thing for me I guess, moving on from someone you should be bonded to via bloodlines, but have no connection with at all. Doesn't that go against some law of nature or something?

As I type this, I realize I have my own ideas that act as anchors (don't we all?) that I need to let go of so I can open certain channels of happiness for myself (no baggage allowed!), but I'm okay with that challenge! I leave you with these quotes:

"It's the most unhappy people who most fear change". ~Mignon McLaughlin

"They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom". ~Confucius

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves". ~Victor Frankl

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 137 - Truthful Tuesday

While blogging every day doesn't seem to be that hard for me, I am having a problem keeping up with the original intent of my blog, that is, writing something of quality that scares me every day. I still have fears to conquer like hot air ballooning, rock wall climbing, and going to the beach (and actually wearing a bathing suit) but those types of events have to wait until they present themselves to me - i.e., warm enough weather to go to said beach, the balloon ride opening at Navy Pier, etc. So what do I blog about in the mean time?

I have Mondays covered with the new, Meet Me On Monday effort, but what about the other 6 days a week? Truthful Tuesdays? Wordless Wednesdays? Thankful Thursdays? While I am not against these types of posts, I don't want my blog to become impersonal or one big "gimmick". And the only subject I know well enough to post about every day is me, so I guess that is my answer! "Scary" posts will continue as they happen, but in the mean time, the blogging word is gonna get a nice big dose of Lynn and her daily life and thoughts. Readers beware!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 136 - Meet Me On Monday

1. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
Smooth please!

Peanut Butter Pictures, Images and Photos

2. What is your favorite color Rose?
Hmm... I prefer lillies, but if I have to take a rose, I want red!

3. Do you remove your shoes when you walk into your home?

4. What is your favorite season?
Spring! Give me the 75 degree days, flowers, the sun and a cool breeze and I'm in heaven.

5. Approximately how many hours a day do you spend blogging?
Too many!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 135 - Zoo

As part of my commitment to myself and this blog, I've signed up for my June event! The United Run for the Zoo has yet another participant, ME! If you're in the area, please think about signing up to help such a great place, the Lincoln Park Zoo! Check it out at:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 134 - Blood

Despite being a long time blood donor, I still fear the prick of the needle. Despite fear, and running ten minutes late for my appointment, I rolled up my sleeve for a donation, hoping that it brings life and joy to others. If you don't already, please consider donating blood! You never know who's life it is you may be saving.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 133 - 13

Happy Friday the 13th - the scariest day of the year! Go out and brave the black cats and ladders, I am! Here's a little bit of information as to why some consider Friday the 13th to be unlucky...

Per Wikiepedia, "In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, twelve gods of Olympus, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.

Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century's The canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Black Fridayhas been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s. It has also been suggested that Friday has been considered an unlucky day because, according to Christian scripture and tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 132 - Leona's

Eating out for someone on a diet can be challenging and full of fear. Eating out at an Italian or Mexican place is extremely dangerous for me, as I have no carb stop button and tend to over eat. Despite fear, my boyfriend and I walked around the city soaking in the last remains of the sun and running errands before we settled on Leona's for dinner. We've been there a hand full of times and the food is great, but my typical order is a cheese filled, alfredo covered lasagna. Not quite the stuff of dieter's dreams. (Well, okay maybe it is.)

Choosing what to eat was upon me, and in a panic state, I asked "Do you have grilled chicken?". "Yes, we can do that", the waitress replied. So I ordered a penne pasta with marinara sauce and a grilled chicken breast. Eating healthy never tasted so good! Added with the extra walking, and learning to not over eat and taking a "doggie" bag home, felt great!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 131 - Come!

As a dog trainer, I preach a lot of practical knowledge but don't always get to practice it. One such example (and free advice for you dog owners out there) is the command, "Come". While I do practice and teach the actual command to my students, I have never actually practiced the emergency advice I give.

While not advised to practice this as a rule, I advise my students that when in the training phase if your dog escapes you and does not know the command "Come", instead of chasing your dog (which turns into a great game for your dog) you should call it's name and run away from it. The expected result is that your dog will more then likely follow you. This has always been the theory, but I've never tested it. Until now.

A small Havanese-mix and I went to work on her training. Her parents insisted she was crazy and perhaps dumb, however she did everything I requested. The longer her parents talked, the more I was witness to their bad behaviors that led to a confused dog. I pointed out their behaviors that needed correction and continued to work with the pup. They were amazed at how well their dog listened to me. "Well of course", I thought to myself, "clear directions do tend to work better then garbled messages".

"She runs away ALL the time!", they insisted. And that's when I set fear aside, and put theory to test. First I chased her, to demonstrate how she would run for me as if it were a game of chase, and sure enough, she ran from me. I quickly turned the tables, called her name and gobbled like a turkey (exciting noise to catch her attention) as I ran away from her. When I reached the door of the training center, guess who was right behind me? That's right, the little "dumb" white pup! She had followed just as my theory expected her to. It was one of the coolest dog training moments for me to see theory turn into fact.

Going out on a limb today to test theory was well worth it. Not only did I grow as a trainer, but I got the parents to sign themselves up for some much needed human training, err, I mean dog training! It was a win-win situation.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 130 - Doubt

Sometimes I find it hard to tell people the truth as I think it will hurt their feelings. This is not to say I lie to them, rather, I just don't push certain knowledge upon them. Despite fear of hurting someones feelings, I shared information with them today. I was afraid they may be upset, or hurt but what I found out is, that they would have rather known about my action a few days ago when it occurred, versus being in the "dark". Point taken.

Lesson learned? That I cannot doubt the resiliency of others or assume how they will or won't react when I make a decision to do something in my life. I need to trust them with the facts...yeah, I can do that!

"There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills." ~ Buddha

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 129 - Meet Me on Monday

1. Caesar Salad or Garden Salad?
Both depending on my mood (or diet!)

2. Will you be watching the Royal Wedding on April 29th?
I did not...but caught the highlights!

3. Last thing you spent lots of money on?
Plane ticket to California.

4. Window seat or aisle seat?
Window so I can lean my head up against it.

5. Do you know your blood type?
It's A+ and I know that because I donate often! If you're reading this, please consider making a blood donation to your local facility as the facts are staggering:

Only 38% of Americans are eligible to donate blood and of those only 8% do. That amounts to only about 3 out of every 100.

1 donation can save up to 3 lives.

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.

Blood donation is a simple four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 128 - Short K

I woke up at 4am with a pounding headache and no Advil in the house (not that I was going to get out of bed to go get it at 4am had there been a supply handy anyways). "Go back to bed Lynn, it'll go away", I said to myself knowing the alarm would be going off at 6:15. It was 5:30 and the headache and I were still awake. Somewhere between 5:30 and 6:50 we fell asleep though, only to wake and realize we had now over slept (it's very important when setting an alarm, that you actually turn it on)!

Now, the headache and I were awake in a full panic state because we should have been walking to the train by 6:50 and not just waking up at this time, but wouldn't you know it, that little jerk invited his friends to visit! Now, I had stomach cramps and a backache to contend with. "Damn them!" I thought as I fought back tears of self pity, "I have a 5K to participate in!".

I definitely did not feel up to participating in a 5K with all the free loaders visiting, but I struggled to get dressed, and flopped back into bed immediately as if inactivity and boredom would force them to leave. With their persistence to stick around I thought to myself that, "I just simply won't go" to the Y-Me 5K event, but then guilt kicked in as I had made my boyfriend drive to the city and wait in line just a few days earlier to pick up my t-shirt and race day packet. And now, I wasn't going to use it? Also, what about my commitment to this blog and myself to participate in 1 event per month? Considering all obligations, I finally said, "OK, I'll go." to myself, the headache and his visiting friends.

The ray of hope I held onto was, that there was a 3 and 1 mile option for the event, so I told myself at least go and do the 1 mile, and if you're not feeling better by then you can go home. Having woken up late there was not enough time (or energy) for me to walk to the train, so I hailed a cab and off we went. Pulling up to Grant Park, I screamed, "You can let me out here!" to the taxi driver in the middle of Lake Shore Drive (any Chicagoan knows that LSD is not an appropriate stopping point) but thankfully he pulled over. I simultaneously threw my money over the seat and opened the door to escape his horrid driving. Ahhh, fresh air!

I kept telling myself to focus on the event and, "You'll feel better Lynn." But let me tell you, a crowd of 20,000 excited, screaming people does nothing for a headache. Despite the crowd and noise, I made my way to the starting line only to find myself directly in front of a loud speaker with a lady on the other side of it that should have never been given a microphone. "Just start the race already", I grumbled to myself with my face all skewed in disgust, while thousands around me smiled and danced. (Yes, I realized I was the only party pooper in the crowd). I only hoped the news crew wouldn't find me in range of their cameras as the caption under neath the video would surely say, "What the hell is her problem?".

Finally, we were off. There was no escaping the crowd as there were just far too many participants, so as people passed me by, I was over taken by their over powering perfume and cologne (note: headache makes Lynn super sensitive to smell, and who puts on perfume/cologne to walk 3 miles?). I raced down Columbus and turned west onto Roosevelt and all I could think was, "Where's the damn 1 mile marker already?". Having forgotten my I-pod, I listened to other's conversations as I continued on what seemed to be the slowest mile ever (and it was due to the number of participants ahead of me). After 25 grueling minutes, I saw the 1 mile marker (note, it does not take Lynn 25 minutes to walk 1 mile on a normal day) and then became confused as the walk was either a 1 or 3 mile option but there was no finish line or clear exit of the course at the 1 mile mark. I felt trapped!

Feeling no better then when I had started, I continued up Michigan Avenue and was looking for my escape. Just as the mass numbers of people turned right, I turned left onto Harrison to walk to the train station in efforts to head home. I think I could have had multiple $100 bills pinned to me, and no one would have tried to take one based on the horrible grimace on my face. No one sat next to me on the train, as I can only imagine in my hunched over state they assumed I was going to get sick on them. Once at my stop, I staggered home and went back to bed. It was only around 10:30 that I finally started to feel better.

It was a rough morning, and hard to face "failure" as I did not complete the 5K I intended. I took solace in at least doing something however, and am glad I faced fear and participated. Sometimes it's not how much you do that counts, but rather just showing up.

"Eighty percent of success is showing up." - Woody Allen

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 127 - Help

There's a new trainee at work. I was asked if she could help me teach today. I don't like help (often) as I am a control freak, and would rather see most things through on my own. And now, you want someone new to help me? Someone that is still learning and doesn't know everything I know to help me?

Ok, ok, I remember what it was like to be new, so I let the trainee help me. I'm not heartless, just a perfectionist. It was very hard to allow the newbie to help, but I set fears aside of an imperfect training session and let her teach two different dog training techniques. I chimed in as needed in what I hope was a non-overbearing manner to round out her lessons, and things ended successfully. Having Jennifer's help today was actually a nice break from having to yell over the top of a barking Bull Terrier. Hey, I could get used to this!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 126 - Here I Come!

Remember this scene? Yep, I'm going.
I put fears aside and booked my flight.

CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 125 - Opa!

Joining two friends at Demetri's Greek restaurant proved a tad challenging as I could not decide what to order. I was torn between:

Mediterranean Chicken $15.95
Pan seared chicken breast with olive oil, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, garlic, oregano, lemon, white wine and capers. Served with spinach & rice pilaf.


Kota Lemonati Agriomanitaria $14.95
Chicken breast & wild mushrooms in olive oil, lemon & white wine. Served with rice & vegetables.

Despite the long name for the second dish, I did try my best to enunciate it to the very, very Greek waiter, and then asked him for his recommendation between the two. In one simple question he replied, "Do you like tomatoes?". "Yes", I stated. And just like that, my order was placed for the Mediterranean Chicken, because it was his favorite, and I liked tomatoes. Pretty scary to trust a stranger with my dinner, but his Greek accent was pretty dreamy, err I mean, convincing.

When the food arrived, I was a bit concerned about my chicken which seemed to be covered in a tomato sauce, versus having the fresh cut tomatoes on it that I had secretly envisioned. Despite the layer of chunky ketchup, I cut into the tender chicken and took the first bite. If it weren't for looking ridiculous, I would have exclaimed "Opa!" as it was absolutely fantastic!

Pinot Noir: $10.25
Appetizer: $7.95
Mediterranean Chicken: $15.95
Trusting the waiter: PRICELESS

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 124 - Walk

Because I seem to be running low on really good things to blog about, maybe today should be a wordless Wednesday? (Or almost wordless?) Walking should be good for your heatlh, but these pictures could prove otherwise!

While walking, the sign said...

But we pushed through the fear, and continued walking.
This is what we found...

(Don't worry, it was a rubber decoy to keep geese away!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 123 - Zumba Tone

I'm not a stranger to Zumba, but I am no expert at it either. Despite lack of rhythm and probably looking like something is wrong with me, I enjoy a "normal" Zumba dance/fitness class and the variance it provides from the ho-hum regular group exercise class. Today however, I took on the challenge of a Zumba Toning class which incorporates weights and toning, with Latin dance. All I can say, is thank goodness I can laugh at myself and lack of coordination! To add insult to injury, because I was one of the last people to show up, I got a nice front row position where everyone could see my off balance gyrations and wrong direction turns (won't even mention the sloppy footwork). None the less, an hour later I burned some calories, felt better, and even talked to some fellow Zumba peeps. Fear of breaking something (namely a hip) and Zumba Tone conquered!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 122 - Meet Me On Monday

Having just finished the April, A-Z Challenge where the directive was to post about subjects that correspond to a letter of the alphabet, I thought "Hmm. How can I apply some of the ideas from the challenge to my own blog?". What I mean is, what if I had a reoccuring theme for certain days other then the initial intent of my blog? When reading through other challenge-takers blogs, I saw such things as "Wordless Wednesdays" where only pictures were posted on that day, or "Thoughtful Thursdays" where personal thoughts, or inspirational quotes were posted and I enjoyed the posts immensely!

So how does this translate to my blog? I stumbled across the blog, "Never Growing Old" and the "Meet Me On Monday" initiative. Every Sunday, "Java" (author of Never Growing Old) posts 5 questions, and it's up to me to post and answer them every Monday! With that said, here goes my first May, Meet Me on Monday:

1. What is your favorite kind of muffin?
Hmm...first question of my new "challenge" and I'm already stumped. I love warm, buttered fresh blueberry muffins (as well as banana nut).

2. What was the first car you ever owned?

A purple, 4 door Chevy Cavalier (4 doors made it friend accessbile!)

3. Which TV Show were you sad to see end?
The Starter Wife - I loved Debra Messing!

4. What is your lucky number?
I obviously haven't found it yet, or I would have won the lottery by now! (Okay, it's really 7)

5. Pretzels or Potato Chips?
Pretzel Chips are the best of both worlds, but my most recent discovery of Pop Chips, makes my answer chips!

pop chips ad 2 Pictures, Images and Photos

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 121 - A - Z Reflection

First, a thank you to all who made this challenge possible, and to all those who participated and more so, to all those who stopped by for a read - thank you!

I've been blogging daily since January 1st of this year as part of my original blog intent is to chronicle the one thing I do every day that scares me. Sometimes it's small and simple, and other days it seems like the task to be conquered should be in the record books for having been completed. The A-Z Challenge proved to be one more fear for me to conquer and journal about here. Will I complete all the posts? Can I come up with a subject for each letter successfully?

Having decided to finally take on the challenge, I wasn't so much afraid of the quantity of posts, but rather afraid of over all failure and lack of creativity on my behalf. I will admit the challenge was...well...a challenge! Due to work schedule and social life some posts were scheduled ahead of time, or a bit delayed or even rushed. As such, there are definitely some posts I am more proud of then others, and I think commentary or lack there of reflect the effort and time put in.

What I gained from the challenge, I am grateful for. And what is that, you might ask? A few things, including but not limited to, getting to "know" some fellow bloggers a bit more, "meeting" new bloggers, being educated by informative posts, stumbling upon humorous posts that made bad days a little better, perspective from others in different age groups and at different crossroads in their life, inspiration and a sense of community. It was great to see what others' creativity brought to the challenge through the variation of the subject matter used for each letter.

I will miss the A - Z challenge, but the challenge for me doesn't end here. As one idea always leads to another, this challenge has inspired ideas for future posts. Additionally, I look forward to popping in on the blogs I've chosen to follow thus far, and still have many more to drop in on! In closing, whatever it is that life brings you, best of luck to you on your next challenge!