Friday, June 28, 2013

I Believe in the Kindness of Strangers

One of my favorite people from the web is a gal named Sherry. She is the star of Simply Celebrate. She "helps people celebrate who they are, the people they love, and the shape of their lives — from milestone birthdays to mid-life messes and all the mundane Mondays in between."
 Her company, Simply Celebrate, offers coaching, inspirational books, self-mentoring programs, and one-of-a-kind Celebration Tribute Books. She also does audio-grams for the special people in your life.

Sherry has done audio-grams for both of my daughters. Each one during the past year or so has needed to hear that they are wonderful and that they are loved. Hearing it from Jerry and me is one thing, but hearing it through the audio-gram just makes it a little more meaningful. Sherry has done both audio-grams at no charge to me. (Every once in awhile she runs a little offer.)

I can't express how much I appreciate Sherry doing this for me and the girls. She even sent Lacie one of her favorite books to help her through a tough time. All of this for people she has never met. I marvel again at the kindness of strangers.

Head over to her site and join her mailing list & you'll receive three great ideas for one-of-a-kind gifts with imagination and impact. Who knows, maybe some day she'll do an audio-gram for someone special in your life!

—Sherry Richert Belul

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Pilot Did What...?

Last week we flew to Virginia to visit our son, daughter-in-law and grandson. Jack had just turned one so we helped him celebrate. We did some of the touristy things like visit Old Town Alexandria, the Spy Museum and the Roosevelt Monument. Jerry and I have been to the DC area many times so on this visit we mainly wanted to spend time with this little family.

After such a fun visit with them our return trip home was anything but!!! We got to the airport, got on our plane and sat on the tarmac for over an hour. Bad weather was all around so some flights were being delayed or diverted and we had to wait our turn. Finally our plane started moving and then stopped. A little while later the pilot came on and told us he had run off the tarmac. He said someone would have to come and tow us. As it turned out, we were so stuck in the mud that the plane couldn't be towed out. We had to walk down steps in the rain with our carry-on luggage and board buses that took us back to the airport.

Once we got back inside it was pretty much chaos. So many people (not just our flight)had to rebook that the line to get to the customer service counter was LONG!!! We waited an hour in this line to rebook a flight home. We found out that Delta had brought over another plane that could take us back to MPLS. the same night. Yay!

We finally boarded that plane (we were late boarding for some reason) only to sit on this plane for an hour. It needed more fuel in case we ran into bad weather and had to fly around it. Everyone on the plane was thinking, "you've got to be kidding!"

Finally we got to take off and our flight home was uneventful. As it turns out, Delta sent each of us an email telling us they were giving us Frequent Flyer miles for our trouble. It's nice to see that they could do that on their own without us having to complain. Although they did get some bad press (friends told us they saw the plane stuck in the mud on the news)it helps to have good customer service!

All in all, the people on the plane were good sports. There was some laughing (it just seemed crazy that a pilot could drive off the tarmac)and joking at the pilot's expense. Everyone was pretty courteous to one another and tried to be helpful. There were a lot of stressed people that missed their connecting flights and some families with small children. Some of us were thinking a little libation would have helped some of the stress!!

I'll chock this up to another flying adventure. It's not my favorite thing to do but it's the best way to get to see little Jack. As long as we got safely home, it will be forgotten. Do you have any crazy flying stories?

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Skin Care Tips for Runners

What a glorious morning for a run! 11 miles in and feeling great. I got talked into running a half-marathon by my daughter Rana. She promised to fly to MN over the Fourth if I would run the Original 13 Half-marathon with her. (I was planning on taking it a little bit easier after running the Fargo Marathon in May.)I had cool temps, lots of sunshine and little wind. Just perfect for running!

Being in the sun for almost two hours today got me thinking about what we Runners can do to protect and care for our skin.

Here are some tips to help keep your skin healthy and happy.

1. Wear sunscreen! You've heard it before but it is so important. Wearing sunscreen is important because the sun's  rays can hurt you, causing painful sunburns that damage the tissues beneath the surface of your skin. Damaging your skin's deep elastic layer makes it look old and can lead to premature wrinkles.  Wearing sunscreen also helps protect your skin from cell damage that causes skin cancer. Doctors have found that being in strong sunlight a lot (especially if you are fair) and having many sunburns-particularly when you are young-can cause real problems many years later.
(Don't forget to put some on your ears, lips, the part in your hair if you don't wear a hat.)

2. Wear protective clothing. Along with wearing sunscreen it's also important to protect your eyes. Put on some sunglasses. A hat can also add some protection from the sun. I wear a great hat made by Golite.

3. Avoid running at peak hours. While it might be nice to get out for a  run over lunch, during the summer it’s best to avoid running between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Instead, it's a good idea to  run in the early morning (my favorite time) or early evening, when the sun's rays aren't as strong.

4. Avoid chafing. Running in the summer heat and getting pretty sweaty can increase the amount of chafing. To avoid this try an anti-chafing stick like Body Glide. Also, be sure your running clothes fit properly; ill-fitting and loose clothing can lead to chafing. Wearing clothes with wicking fabrics will help too.

5. Taking care of sensitive parts. Sore nipples has never been a problem for me but you've probably seen pictures of that guy in a bloody t-shirt at the finish line. Gals can experience this  too—especially if you wear a too-tight sports bra. One that fits well is less likely to allow jiggling, stopping the chafing before it starts. Using Aquaphor Healing Ointment  can help. ($6;

Use these tips to have a happy, enjoyable summer training season. Are you training for anything coming up?

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

I was going to say that I'm one of the lucky ones in that I only have one dad. But then I got thinking of all the families that have a dad, a step-dad or a grandfather, uncle or friend filling in as a dad. Maybe they're the lucky ones because they have more than one dad. However many dads you have, you have to admit they hold a special place in your heart.
My dad is going to be 87 in August. He quit school before the 8th grade, went on to become a mechanic and owned his own gas station. He married my mom, moved to a farm and raised 10 children. He has a quick wit and a slow temper which when we were kids knew meant business! He has had many medical issues which have slowed him down physically but mentally he is still very sharp.
Growing up I don't remember my dad ever telling me he loved me although I always felt he did. After I was older and visiting my parents I saw he was cleaning out some papers. He was holding something written on notebook paper. I was surprised to find that he had kept an essay I had written in high school about what I wanted to do with my life. The essay was about me becoming a teacher (which I did). He told me he was proud of me for achieving that goal. That was extremely touching for me and showed a different side of my dad.
Thinking back on growing up with my dad many life lessons come to mind. Here are a few of them.
A strong worth ethic. That everything you want is yours to earn, not yours to be given.
What a true father looks like.  His sense of compassion, thoughtfulness, humor, and humility are a great example to all of us.

Teach your kids through your actions and model the good qualities you want to see in them. 

 That attitude is everything – always try to look for the positives in a situation.
Manyof the lessons were implicit - learned by example, rather than explicitly through words. For better or for worse, I think that's really what parenting is. It what I hoped to do with my own children and grandchildren.
My dad holds a special place in my heart. Since I'm the oldest I remember being pretty small and spending time with just him and me. When we moved to the farm I helped drive the tractor for him while he piled hay bales on the wagon. I enjoyed his jokes and stories as our family ate meals together. When we went to wedding or shower dances he always asked me to dance with him. These are some memories that will always stay with me.
So...Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there....first and foremost, my own! Thanks for living a life worthy of imitation. Love you, Dad!
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Safe Fun in the Sun

With skin cancer on the rise, it’s hard not to worry about getting too much sun. Here are some pointers to have fun in the sun while protecting your skin.

*Take to the shade as often as possible. (This is especially true for children.) From 10am to 4pm the sun’s rays are the strongest.

  *Whether it’s cloudy or sunny, you need to slather on sunscreen. (This is especially true for children.) An SPF of 15 or higher is recommended. Look for one that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients block both UVA and UVB rays.

*Sun damage continues to occur throughout life, although recent information suggests less than 50% of sun damage happens before a person is 18. So important for children to wear sunscreen!

*Apply lotion at least 15 minutes before going out into the sun. Reapply every 2 hours.

*To protect your head and face wear a hat. With a 4 inch brim, it will protect your ears, face and neck.

*Protect your lips! Very few people think of putting sun protection there. Use a lip balm with an SPF of 15. (An SPF of 50 is only marginally more protective than an SPF of 15; an SPF of 30 has only 2% more protection than an SPF of 15, and a 40 has only 1% more than a 30.) Reapply often. If you wear gloss or lipstick put it on over the lip balm.

*Any tan is a scar, and there is no such thing as a healthy, safe tan. UVA rays found in indoor tanning lead to deeper, more harmful skin damage. You do not have to have a sunburn to create damage to skin cells. Self-tanners are the safest way to obtain tanned skin.

*Scientists are suggesting that drinking 3 cups of green tea daily and adding turmeric in your cooking may provide some protection from skin cancer.

*Check your skin once a month for changes or new growths. (It is recommended that for adequate Vit. D levels we need 10-15 minutes of sunshine on our arms and legs without sunscreen-- two or three times a week)

Here in MN we've only had about 15 days of sunshine since March! We are SO ready to be able to slather on sunscreen and get outside to play!!

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

This Columbine reminds me of my daughter who lives in CO. They both bring me joy.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Ideas on How to Photograph Families and Siblings

If you carry around a big camera and lens people start to think that you know what you're doing. I've had three friends/family ask me to photograph them. I'm by NO means a professional photographer. So I look to blogs, online classes,Facebook and anywhere else that I can find advice and inspiration.

I was truly happy to see that the Harvard Homemaker had a post on 125+ ways to shoot families and siblings. She has beautiful examples by professional photographers but I think anyone with a camera could shoot similar photos. (or at least use the ideas as a start) I made a list of the poses I'd like to try.

I'm excited to get my grandkids over and practice on them. Usually they will cooperate--sometimes a little bribe will make all the difference. ☺ I could practice on Jerry too but he isn't as apt to run, jump or blow bubbles for me!

Go check out this post and then let us know (or share a pic)which ideas you used. I'm hoping to have some examples to post here too.

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