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Memorial Day Weekend... what it means to me

Sunday, May 30, 2010

This is a weekend rife with tradition for me. One of the traditions is the Indianapolis 500. My dad was a big fan. When he was a kid, sitting in a grade school in Omaha, Nebraska, his teacher caught him gazing out the window and gigged him for day-dreaming. He told her than one day, cars would go by that spot at 100 miles an hour. He wasn't far wrong. The school he went to is long gone, and Interstate 480 goes right by where it was. OK, the speed limit isn't quite 100, but he had the vision.

Anyway, before I even learned to drive, I knew that the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend was for church picnics, a little pick-up baseball and the radio broadcast of the 500 mile race at Indy. AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser... big names. I was listening when Janet Guthrie broke the gender barrier by simply qualifying and starting in the 1970's, and I was rejoicing the other year when Danica Patrick got the first lap lead for a woman driver!

So, that's one part. The day before or after that was the trip to the cemetery, to visit the graves of relatives, and hear the war stories. We always decorated my grandfather's grave with his own hybrid iris (by the way, that is his "Age of Innocence" in the background of the page at the moment), carefully preserved by his widow. We'd hear the stories of how he was taken prisoner in the same battle in which his brother died. We would finger the flag that had been his honor. Now, with my son in the service, it takes on a different flavor, but the same meaning. Memorial Day is a special time to recognize those who serve, and especially those who gave their all in doing so.

So, iris, racing, and honoring those in service. Today I honor them all. And keeping myself as fit as I can, that's a part of it all.

So, in honor of Dad and Mom: ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY332 5/31/2010 8:20AM

    Beautiful tribute to all - past and present Heroes.

Thanks so much and have a GREAT day. Enjoy the race.

Sunny

Comment edited on: 5/31/2010 8:20:35 AM

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KALIGIRL 5/30/2010 9:58PM

    Honor.

How fitting.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 5/30/2010 8:56PM

    Way Cool!

Great Blog!

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MSLZZY 5/30/2010 8:39PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NELLIEC 5/30/2010 6:50PM

    emoticon emoticon Vroooom!

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KASEYCOFF 5/30/2010 5:30PM

    Wonderful blog, Barb, and especially lovely with the iris. My grandmother always called it 'Decoration Day,' and for us too it was 1) early in the day was a parade, which would start in the middle of town and wind to the cemetery, where someone would play 'Taps' and the VFW and American Legion would put flags on all the veterans' graves; 2) time for US to go clean up the graves of relatives and plant some flowers; 3) picnic, and if the weather wasn't very good we would eat on the back porch. Thanx for sharing your memories, and bring my own to mind. :-)

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THIAGRAM 5/30/2010 3:02PM

  I love your background picture! Hooray for our Veterans and men in the service!
God bless you and your family!

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MT-MOONCHASER 5/30/2010 2:27PM

    As I read your blog, I am sitting here watching the Indy 500. It is kind of a tradition for me, too. I really should be outside working in my yard as it is (finally) a pretty nice day, but the yard will still be there after the race.

My dad was in WWII stateside as a Navy flight instructor. Before he joined the Navy he was a ferry pilot for Pan Am from FL to South America to Africa and across the middle East to India. I have one son who is retired Army and his wife is still in the Army with 3 tours in Iraq under her belt. My brother is also retired Army after most of his time spent in the reserves.

For some years I was caretaker at our local cemetery and Memorial Day was one of my favorite times to work there. It was quite a bit of work getting it shaped up for Memorial Day, but it was so green and pretty with all the flowers and flags. There is a high proportion of military veterans from this area and there are flags on every veteran's grave. I think it is the local American Legion that puts them out. I miss working there, but I got a full time year around job and didn't have enough time to do it justice.



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WALKINGANNIE 5/30/2010 2:03PM

    You honoured them and we honour you Barb, as a strong and independent woman with a lot of spirit.

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JUDITHANNIE 5/30/2010 12:45PM

    Loved your blog. My late husband and my husband both served in Viet Nam. Bless all the vets, serving now and the fallen ones emoticon

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CORKYTHEMOM 5/30/2010 12:42PM

    Thank you for posting your blog about what Memorial Day Weekend means to you. My beloved father was a Korean & Viet Nam war veteran. I grew up as a military family. I will be forever grateful to my dad, your son, your family's support and future service volunteers for their continuing fight for our Freedom. God Bless Our Troops and families of the these inspiring soldiers ..... past, present & future. Have a safe & wonderful Memorial weekend.

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Time for monthly progress photo!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I updated the one on the front page... putting in Rawlings, of course, but here's another from this morning:



Maintaining and grinning! Life should be fun. Make it so.

(You can't see the taped up stitches on the photos... they're on the outside side of the right upper arm.)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DHENDLER 5/30/2010 9:30AM

    Wooooo Hooooo Barb! You look Fabulous!

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MSLZZY 5/30/2010 7:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thank DS for all he's done and is doing! I know you are proud of him and you should be!
Have a great weekend!

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SUNNY332 5/30/2010 7:22AM

    You look Awesome and your son is going to be so proud.

Tell him Thanks for his service and know he is appreciated.

Sunny

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JUST_TRI_IT 5/29/2010 10:06PM

    Nice job!!

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THIAGRAM 5/29/2010 7:24PM

  Congratulations! You look great! Keep up the awesome work! Love your cool Rawlings background!

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REJ7777 5/29/2010 6:24PM

    emoticon You really look great! emoticon Congratulations on your success! I find that losing weight is even easier than maintaining because it's so easy to take our health off the front burner (so to speak). We need to be ever vigilant!

I wish you a Sparkling day and lifelong maintenance! emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 5/29/2010 4:51PM

    Wow!!!

Just look at the before and after on your main page. Just wonderful.

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Hope your arm is well on the mend now.

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MARENAMOO 5/29/2010 10:59AM

    Wow - just wow on your progress. That Rawlings is a good looking fella. A little round in the middle though!

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APRILLSCOTT 5/29/2010 10:32AM

    What a difference! emoticon You are dooing a wonderful job! emoticon emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 5/29/2010 10:23AM

    Wow, Barb, you have done just amazing! You are a real inspiration! emoticon emoticon

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ANDI571 5/29/2010 10:20AM

    Well, don't you look right down skinny. Way to go! emoticon
You are showing hard work pays off and there is a chance for me. emoticon There is hope emoticon

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Day 4 of the return to strength training

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Switched off to lower body again today... again, four exercises, but different from Monday's. Today's were abduction and calf raises and a different form of squats... I like changing up the exercises, don't you?

And as for my buddy Rawlings, I figured I'd best get him properly marked to go with the metaphor...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 5/28/2010 3:51PM

    Great pic!

Well done on the training too!

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THIAGRAM 5/28/2010 9:52AM

  Like your picture! I seam to always get doing the same exercises, but at least I am doing some! Keep up the great work!

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CREATINGAMANDA 5/28/2010 9:17AM

    I love it!!!
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KASEYCOFF 5/28/2010 8:01AM

    Great idea for a pic and a background--!

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SUNNY332 5/28/2010 6:31AM

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MSLZZY 5/27/2010 9:49PM

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Exercising with Rawlings

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I figure all this fun with my friend "Rawlings" (remember Tom Hanks in Castaway naming "Wilson"?)... has to count as exercise of some sort.



Standing on a basketball is a great balance / core strengthener, right? As is sitting on it. Bouncing or throwing one is upper body. And you have to get some credit for the attitude boost to be doing something for someone else.

But, confession time: my brother saw that Amazon would ship most things (including sporting goods) to an APO address, so I did the cost/benefit analysis and ordered him one directly shipped from them. Turned out even with the purchase price of the basketball, it ended up being less than twice my normal box POSTAGE, never mind what I put in the box.

So... while he doesn't know it yet, his basketball is on its way, and "Rawlings" will stay with me and I'll keep working on the flattening thing. Wonder if it will be flat enough by the time he comes home?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 5/26/2010 4:11PM

    What a lovely couple of blogs, Barb.

You must have used a few calories and strengthened some muscles by your tussles with Rawlings! I love the balancing pic!

It's great that your son will get such a welcomed gift.

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MSLZZY 5/26/2010 2:13PM

    emoticon Now you have another piece of exercise equipment LOL!

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KASEYCOFF 5/26/2010 10:03AM

    LOL! More than one way to skin the cat! :-D

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CREATINGAMANDA 5/26/2010 9:35AM

    Aha ... love it! Basketball is awesome exercise!

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THIAGRAM 5/26/2010 9:27AM

  Not only did you stand on that basketball, but you kept your balance long enough to take a picture! That is amazing! Nice that you found a better way to send it! Keep up the great work!

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KALIGIRL 5/26/2010 8:58AM

    What a great idea - I assume goodies were in the box?
Enjoy "Rawlings"!
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SUNNY332 5/26/2010 8:57AM

    Great post and I know your kid is going to love getting that basketball.

What a wonderful thing for Amazon to do. I do a lot of shopping on Amazon and now I know for sure I will continue to shop with them.

Take care and have a Wonderful Wednesday.

Sunny

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Well, it hardly qualifies as surgery, but I guess it was...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The insurance statement came today and called it that. Seriously, it was an office procedure and I was conscious the whole time. I blogged about it on May 11th when it was done.

Meantime, for your grins and giggles, my current project for the young man in the desert:

All you military moms & dads, has anyone got any tips on how to ship a basketball? I'm trying to flatten it to fit into a box, but it's slow going. Been working on it since Sunday. You put the needle in, and squeeze. Well, I've sat on it, propped it under a wheel barrow, stood on it (shown) and bounced... told him it would take a while. But it must amuse him to think of his mom trying to do this! emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONEKIDSMOM 5/26/2010 7:58AM

    I finally wimped out and ordered one shipped direct from Amazon. However, he doesn't know that yet... meanwhile I'm posting pictures of the process and things I try on Facebook for the young man's amusement when he gets online.

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LINDAJOYWK 5/26/2010 6:28AM

    Call the coach at his old high school and ask for help! You ARE a good Mom!-Linda

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KASEYCOFF 5/26/2010 3:30AM

    Wonder if a local machine shop or factory has a big press (like a giant vise) of some kind that they can set to 'close' slowly in order to allow time for the air to escape thru the needle--?

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MSLZZY 5/25/2010 11:38PM

    Haven't a clue!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/25/2010 9:22PM

    He's got the pump on the other side. emoticon

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CONCHA77 5/25/2010 9:21PM

    You put that needle in the same place that you inflate it with and squeeze it down (letting the air out)
Don't forget to ship the inflation needle too!
My son would also love me shipping him a basketball. Thanks for the idea- emoticon

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NELLIEC 5/25/2010 8:41PM

    That does sound like a long term project! I assume you are also shipping a pump for it.

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EMC24ME 5/25/2010 8:25PM

    GOOD MAMA! & Good luck, that's a tough one!

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