Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Girl Time with Amy

Today was my annual GYN appointment and while I won't go into all that much detail with you (because, eww, right?) I do want to point out a few things that will be happening.

It's time for me to get my very first mammogram!  See, I'm not 40 yet, but I got big girls, so to be safe, we're going to get a 'baseline' mammogram from which to base all other mammograms on in the future.

Also, I will be getting another bone scan to see how my osteopenia is regressing.

Lastly, I will be heading to the dermatologist.  It's been way too long since I've had a skin-check, and there are a few moles I need to get rid of.

Oh, and we modified my birth control so that I won't bloat to the size of a hot-air balloon every month.

That's it. Nothing major happened here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

102 Minutes that Changed America

On September 11, 2001, our world changed.  Our generation suddenly had our "Where were you when...?" moment, like our parents did with Kennedy, and our grandparents did with Pearl Harbor.

At 8:46 AM, Flight 11 flew into the North Tower.
At 9:03 AM, Flight 175 flew into the South Tower.
At 9:37 AM, Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon.
At 9:59 AM, the North Tower collapsed.
At 10:07 AM, Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.
At 10:28 AM, the South Tower collapsed.

Where was I?  I was at work, at a local hospital.  We had a room that was full of comfy chairs for our patients to get IV fluids or blood, and each chair had a TV.  I was doing rounds, delivering mail and such, when I walked by the IV room and saw everyone staring blankly at a tiny TV. Curiosity brought me inside the room and I saw that the North Tower had been hit.  At this point, we all were thinking "Accident" or "Pilot Error", but then another plane flew into the South Tower. We looked at each other with hollow eyes, knowing that this was something completely different, and I ran to my office and called my husband, who was at home with our toddler daughter. I told him to turn on the news, that something was happening and it was like Pearl Harbor all over again.

Flight 175 headed towards the South Tower
I sat in my office, riveted to my chair, as I watched CNN and ABC on my computer, seeing people fleeing the buildings, seeing people cry for loved ones. Seeing people jump from the buildings because there was no other way for them to escape, and they chose to choose how they died, rather than let some gutless terrorist take their lives on their terms.

The explosion, seen from the Brooklyn Bridge
After a while, I went back to the IV room, to be near colleagues, near other humans, to suffer this inhuman tragedy in the company of others, when we realized that our head doctor, Dr. Wingard, was on his way to a conference. To this day, I remember looking at one of our nurses and saying "Wingard is in the air" - I didn't know what plane he was on, but I knew that he was in NY that morning. (We found out later, he was diverted to Canada, and landed safe and sound - he had no idea what had happened!)

At 9:35, we were told that another plane had hit the west wall of the Pentagon, and all of us knew that war was coming. This wasn't a little attack. This was huge, it was well-planned and it was HATRED towards America.  By 9:57, the part of the Pentagon that was hit collapsed as well.

The impact at the Pentagon
At 10:07, Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, PA, and at the time, no one knew why.  It wasn't until later that reports started coming in from friends and family members who had spoken to their loved ones that we learned why.  After the crew and passengers of Flight 93 learn about the terrorist attacks in NYC and the Pentagon, they decide to fight back, attempting to take control of the plane, rather than let the terrorists continue their plan (which was to fly to the Capitol). Many of the crew and passengers call their loved ones, including Todd Beamer, without a doubt one of the most heroic men I have ever heard of.  Beamer was on the phone with a GTE supervisor when the plane made it's southeasterly turn.  According to accounts of cell phone converstions, Todd, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick formed a plan to take the plane back and let other passengers in this effort. He told the GTE operator that they were going to "jump on" the hijackers and fly the plane into the ground before the hijackers' plan could be followed through.  He recited the 23rd Psalm with the operator, and his final words were "Are you guys ready?  Okay, let's roll."
The Shanksville Flight 93 Impact Site
Todd Beamer Memorial from "Grateful Colorado Citizens"
There was no way any of us could get any work done that day.  We were all glued to our computers or the little TVs in the IV room or the TV in the waiting room lobby. We saw planes crash, the towers fall, and how men and women, dressed in typical Tuesday businesswear ran through the streets of New York in terror. We saw the look on George Bush's face when, in an elementary classroom in Sarasota FL, he was told of what was happening.

President Bush being told of the attack in Sarasota, FL
By noon, the evacuation of Lower Manhattan had begun, causing over a million people to walk the streets of NYC in search of a place to go. People who worked in Manhattan, but lived in Brooklyn, or New Jersey, or even Connecticut, all trying to figure out how to get home to their loved ones.

I saw thousands of policemen, firemen and other first responders, frantically trying to dig out their own, and finding more dead than alive.

By the time I got home that night, I was emotionally drained. All I wanted was my husband and my daughter. I wanted to hold them tight and not let go, ever.

Parents should never outlive their children - at the WTC Memorial
On every anniversary of 9-11, I will never forget.

This man will always be my biggest hero

In a single day, 19 men changed my America.  And I will never forgive.

If you would like a simple timeline of what horrible things happened that day, click HERE.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Run for Haven 5k Race Report

Today was my first “away game,” so to speak. It was in Orange Park, about 100 miles from where I live.  I woke up around 6 and picked out my clothes, then plopped onto the couch to eat Multigrain Cheerios and drink some OJ. I was out of the house by 6:30 and decided to let the Garmin navigate me.

If you live in or around Gainesville, you KNOW about the town of Waldo. Hell, if you live anywhere in Florida, you know about Waldo. Waldo is a huge speed-trap. The speed drops from 65 to 55 to 45 to 35 to 25 (I think) within a mile. Cops are stationed pretty much every day to catch speeders. If you go over the speed limit by 1mph, they bust you. It’s how the city pays their bills. They are pretty much proud of it. So, needless to say, I hate having to drive through Waldo.

Luckily, my Garmin found a way to circumnavigate Waldo road. It sent me down County Road 235 which goes pretty much all the way to Starke!  I didn't realize where I was until I was driving down 301, keeping a wary eye out for the signs, when I realized that I’d already passed Waldo and was coming up on Starke. It was very confusing.  It was also a VERY relaxing drive. I don’t think there is anything more peaceful and beautiful than a 2-lane rural road at sunrise.

It was cool, misty and smelled like cows - how rural areas SHOULD be!
I got to the Orange Park Kennel Club by 8:15 (who know they had a dog track? Not me!) and picked up my packet then headed back to the car for the swag photos. 

Cotton tee, nothing fancy
$22 "Cash" at Complete Nutrition and a pencil - I think I'll get more use out of the pencil.
$2 off coupon for TCBY - I really wanted to use it, but forgot that I had it!
As it got closer to the start time, I double-puffed, loaded my SparklePockets and headed toward the start line. There was a local Zumba instructor getting everyone warmed up, and I almost jumped in (even though I’ve never Zumba’ed before in my life), but my self-consciousness got the better of me. WTH, Me?!? – none of these people know you and will never see you again. You are already in a freakin’ sparkly skirt, just Zumba already!  Ugh…

Vibrams Gal there was REALLY into it!
Anyway, we all soon lined up at the start line and took off towards the St. John’s River (I think it was that). Basically, we were going to do 1.55 miles up and 1.55 miles back along River Road, which parallels the beautiful waterway. With the sun just up, spangling on the water, it was beautiful! 

On the way to the start line
Gorgeous! There were boat docks across the street from each house!
I fell to the back quite quickly, as usual, but I was fine. There were lots of other walkers. The road was all ours. We walked past nice homes and what looked to be a retirement home as well, by Mile 1. 

Mile 1 already?
 By Mile 2, I was sweating and I was glad to see a water stop – I grabbed a cup and dumped it on me! Felt so good!

This photo shows how we could either run on the road or the little trail - both had great view of the water
As I got to Mile 3, I realized that I was cutting REALLY close to PRing!  I gave it everything I had and crossed the finish line at 48:08 (official time).  

Mile 3 - so close!
Was this a PR????  Sadly, no – I did the Fallen Heroes at 47:11.  But SO CLOSE!!! 

I put on my medal and got my Finish Line photo taken, then headed out. 

You'll notice - no leg sleeves this time. I regretted that decision badly.
Not a bad medal for a small, local race. It matches my skirt!
First stop was a local mall so that I could change clothes. JCPenney always has restrooms close to outside doors, so I snuck in, changed, returned my sweaty clothes to the car, then headed back in to shop a bit. I didn't find anything I wanted…mostly because I REALLY had to potty. I decided to head to the restroom at the Food Court so I could see if there was anything I wanted to eat, or if I wanted to go to a different location (like The Loop, or something local).  I could’ve sworn that the mall’s website had listed Chik-fil-a as an option, but after leaving the restroom and walking around the food court, I couldn't find it and I ended up at Sbarro’s (I haven’t been to a Sbarro’s in decades!)  I got a slice with breadsticks for way too much money (seriously, like EIGHT bucks!) and sat to eat it. It was good. It wasn't as good as I was hoping. I should’ve gone to The Loop. Hell, I should’ve gone anywhere else. Oh well. It’s carbs, it filled me up and gave me energy to make the drive home.

Of course, after throwing my trash away and leaving the food court, turning to finish walking the mall, I found the damn Chik-fil-a…. Grrrr.

Other than stopping at the Post Office IN THE MALL (how cool and helpful!), there was nothing else I wanted to check out, so I ended up heading home.

God Bless the USA and God Bless my Soldiers!
I like “away games” – it gives me a reason to go somewhere that doesn’t involve shopping or eating. I definitely want to do this one again next year. It’s cheap, you get cute bling, and it’s a pretty peaceful run. 

And they have redneck briefcases...

The photo doesn't do it justice - these were like XXXL or something. Eww.