Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ode to Papaw

(From March 2008)

My grandfather was a remarkable man.  Had he not been a child of the Depression, he might have had the opportunity to go to college.  The Navy had the good sense to steal him away from the Army following an aptitude test.  My grandfather served in WWII as an electrician who maintained electrical systems on ships. 

My grandmother loves to relate a story about how my grandfather was home on leave one time and stomped a skunk.  He and my grandmother had attended a dance and my grandfather proceeded to get very drunk...which led to his stomping the skunk.  Needless to say, the skunk won the battle; for my grandfather was very odiferous following that incident.  To make matters worse, he had been in uniform and so he had to return to his unit smelling extremely putrid.  My grandmother and great-grandmother had a meritable idea that did not prove successful.  Just before my grandfather left to return to the base, my grandmother doused his uniform with a perfume called "Evening in Paris."  This only made matters worse, but years later this story became the source of guaranteed laughter whenever it was shared.  

My grandfather went on to own several retail businesses, the last being a grocery store.  I spent many hours in that store playing and just having fun.  As a teen, I also worked there.  My grandfather’s last career before he retired was as the City Inspector.  He thoroughly enjoyed that job.

"Papaw", as we called him, was a kind and gentle man.  He could be loud and raucous in a heated debate or when telling a humorous story.  I never knew of anyone who did not like him.  Children gravitated to him.  He had one of those magical personalities that always attracted kids.  It didn’t hurt that he kept a pocket protector full of pens, notepads and gadgets. He also could almost always be found in possession of a new roll of Certs candy. 

I have many stories about his kindness and generosity.  He and my grandmother helped raise my sister and me.  We are both incredibly lucky to have had such a wonderful man influencing our lives.

In the last years of his life, my grandfather was diagnosed with dementia.  All who have had loved ones with an organic brain disease, understand how tragic it is to watch the decline of those loved ones.  Yet, my grandfather didn’t seem to suffer much--he had periods of intensely bad health, but he managed to rally and return to his baseline.  Ironically, he was opening presents on his birthday when his time came.  Those who were able to be with him during those last precious hours related that his passing was very peaceful.

I will miss my grandfather immensely, but I find solace in knowing that he lived his life well and was honored and respected by all who knew him.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Ivory Coast National Basketball Team

They placed third overall in the African Summer League (Coming soon! Blog story of my connection to this)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts


I enjoy reading RTT by other bloggers I admire (Momspective, The Un Mom, Us and Them, just to name a few), so I plan to make this part of my weekly features as well.  I read a wide variety of blogs and will eventually refer to each of them, but there are too many to effectively list altogether here at this time.  I shamelessly stole the graphic from The Un Mom, but the code was right there for the picking--intentionally placed there by her--and actually links to her site.

Some randomness that amuses me and some random facts about me that will serve as fodder for future blogs:

Spiders on drugs make weird variations of webs, check it out

My grandma celebrated her 85th birthday by becoming a Harley biker girl for a day(a post on this will be forthcoming)

I have a “temporary” prep for a crown that will be finished by my lovely dentist in two and half weeks

I’m a grandmother (if you’d just read my profile, you would know that already, geez) 

The Four Corners Monument is actually in the right place after all.

My dog has diabetes and we give her an insulin injection twice a day. She actually uses Humulin and we buy it at our pharmacy. It makes me smile every time the pharmacy clerk asks for the patient’s name and I have to say “Sarah Dog Scott”

Stain removal is one of my hobbies

I consider myself an ice cream snob connoisseur as I have eaten ice cream in many places, including some in foreign countries. My favorite is made with saffron, pistachios and rosewater and it is unbelievably good.

I used to be a Deputy Coroner (and yes, I wore a gun for my job)

Cocoa bean mulch smells like chocolate(of course, duh) 

I placed ninth in the Rio Vista Bass Derby in 2004.

My mother is an identical twin

I spent quite a bit of time, researching blogs, but could really use some pointers (shameless begging aimed at seasoned bloggers). Any of you who would be interested in taking me under your wing and being my blog mentor, please let me know. I welcome any and all criticism advice (I just started playing around with McLinky and I'm not sure I have the hang of it yet or fully understand the implications).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Welcome to my Blog

I have had the itch to blog for quite some time and I am finally taking the plunge. As with most significant decisions in my life, I spent a fair amount of time studying other blogs in search of inspiration, style and management techniques (but I'm still very green so keep that in mind). I have "mini-blogged" on MySpace and will use some of that content here to help me get rolling. So with that in mind, my first post is actually a repost about running a charity 5K last year. It's relevant because I will be writing a post about this year's efforts to prepare for that same race.

Sometimes a really dumb idea turns out to be a good one...(from November 2008)

I have run a few 5Ks in the past, two to be exact. When I ran them, I did it just to prove I could. It was a life goal or I guess the current term is "item from my bucket list."  My daughter came and asked if she and her friends could run the Sacramento Run To Feed The Hungry. It is an annual 10K run and 5K run/walk held rain or shine on Thanksgiving for the past fifteen years. Always one to encourage my children to have charity, awareness and empathy for those less fortunate--combined with an athletic activity--sounded like a great idea so my husband and I agreed that she and her friends could participate, and we would take them and bring them back. Then I got the itch. I playfully told my husband I would run the race if he would cook Thanksgiving dinner. He readily agreed just a tad too eagerly. You see, my focused, specific, dedicated exercise habits have dropped off somewhat here of late. In August, I valiantly decided to start running with my daughter, and after one mile in a muggy, smoggy, unpleasant trot around the neighborhood, I told myself and her that I would wait until the weather was more accommodating. Then life got really busy as it always does...

So when I decided to sign up for the race, I thought I'd have plenty of time to condition, after all, we only intended to run the 5K and not the 10K. I figured daily runs for two weeks would put me right where I wanted to be--ready to race. Once again, a busy life and a minor illness stood in the way of my good intentions (okay, fair intentions, but still intentions). The night before the race I didn't think I was going to go. The morning of the race I didn't think I was going to go. At the very last minute, I said what the hell and we all climbed in the truck.

Now, I've run a few of these races and I know better than to try to show up anywhere within an hour of the start time and of course we did not allow for much more than that. So when we arrived, the race had already started.  As you'll note in my chart, we were about 15 minutes late (gun time vs. tag time). We ran about a mile from our drop off point to the actual start line (so I'm counting this as 7K). Luckily, we had little electronic tags attached to our shoes that tracked us from start to finish. Unluckily, our lateness put us behind the walkers, strollers, pets on leashes and so forth and in almost shoulder to shoulder crowds which usually meant if I wanted to pass someone I had to run up on a side walk and across some resident's yard (the race was partially through residential neighborhoods). Sometimes I had to jog in place until a space opened to pass.

The girls intended to try to stay together and I told them not to wait for me--I knew better than to think I could keep up with them. However, I was elated when I crossed the finish line just one minute behind them. Yay me! Then I was deflated to learn they walked for part of the race, oh well. Below are my racing stats that I copied from the website. For you non-believers, here is the link but really, do you think I would make up a 16 minute mile???? My bib number was 25369. The combined 10K/5K numbers went past 30,000 but total participants ended up being about 21,000.

Runner Details Race Results
Bib:25369 Overall: 6059 out of 14992
Name: NeCole Scott Women: 3372 out of 9125
Gender: F F 40-44: 294 out of 762
Age: 43 Age/Grade: 31.45% Place:6171
Hometown: Antelope, CA Finish: 49:53 Pace: 16:04
Tag Time: 49:53 Gun Time: 1:03:13

The race sponsors graciously provided snacks and drinks after the race, and after locating the girls, we walked back to our designated pickup spot and drove home. I immediately climbed into the hot tub and took an Advil. My husband kept his word and made dinner. A few more Advil and a hot pack on my right knee overnight and I was none the worse for wear.

So as the current recap cliche tends to go - running a race without training and conditioning=stupidity. Arriving at said race late=frustration. Having a 16 minute mile posted on the internet for the world to see=humiliation. Setting a good example for my kids and giving back to my community=priceless