Monthly Archives: August 2011

Something Special.

Yesterday, a Saturday, my alarm went off at 4:45am. It was no mistake, I had set my alarm for that time. On a Saturday. I rolled out of bed and put my swimsuit on, drove up the hill to the “upper pool.” As I slipped into the water, chilly at first as always, I swam my first lap and finished it with a backstroke. The moon was off to my left and a flash shot through the sky directly overhead.

A shooting star.

Instead of wishing upon the star, I used it as a reminder to pray for those who I know are struggling right now. There are so many. Wishes are hopeful, but prayer is action.

Forty minutes later I finished my swim and started my stretching routine, something that has become almost as important to me as the swim in the last couple of years. I carry my tension in my neck and shoulders, so if someone were watching me stretch, I probably look very strange to them at that point in time. I finished my neck and shoulders and moved on to stretch my hamstrings and calves. I looked up to the trees above the restrooms and saw a hummingbird dart into the open arms and waiting cloak of leaves of a tree that is at least 50 feet tall. Seconds later, a swarm of hummingbirds, at least 20, maybe 30, followed the first one in. I blinked, tilted my head. I’ve never seen that many hummingbirds in one grouping and I know they’re territorial, but there is no doubt — indeed, they were what they were. Three or four stragglers darted to join the party a minute later. I smiled.

That was, hands down, one of the best stretching sessions I’ve ever had. What a way to start the day!

Not long after that, we were on the road to Disneyland for the “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” tour of Disneyland. I didn’t even know such a tour existed until recently, and given our love for Disneyland, decided it might be a nice anniversary gift to ourselves.

But first! We rode in a horse drawn streetcart down Main Street — pulled by a Clydesdale named Danny! I even took a video of it, if you want to watch. You can be thankful that I turned the video off seconds before Danny pooped. The reason you can be thankful for that is because we were in the first bench seat and had an awesome view of the whole occurrence. (Click to see video.)

Now, back to the “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” tour.

One of the most comprehensive reviews I found about the tour is here (link). On our tour, our guide was really good about finding shade and places for us to sit while she shared her narrative of the various places — it was one of the hottest days so far this summer. So hot, in fact, that around 11:15 am she obtained permission from her supervisor to remove her hat (kind of a big deal in Disneyland)! She was also personable and sweet. I kept thinking she reminded me of someone, with her proper posture and enunciation, and I finally placed it when one of the characters walked by: Mary Poppins! She didn’t LOOK like Mary Poppins, but she had that kind of demeanor. It was kind of cool.

One of the highlights of the tour for us was hanging out in the side path alongside the castle for shade (it’s kind of a short tunnel) heading into Fantasyland and, who knew, but a ton of the characters and Disney Band pass through that tunnel at 11:30 am for a show in front of the Castle — and we were right there!

We left Disneyland around 1:30pm (after they served us lunch and gave us a commemorative pin) and we felt as if we learned several new things about Disneyland, saw a couple behind-the-scenes places we hadn’t seen before AND had fun. If you want something the “normal” guest doesn’t do, and want to learn a lot of stuff about Walt Disney and Disneyland’s history, it’s definitely a tour I would recommend. Great value for the money spent.

The takeaway impression I was left with, through many of the stories that were weaved throughout the tour about Walt Disney was, that no matter how weird or strange or crazy your goal or vision might be, or the amount of time or even the amount of money it may take to get you there, or how complicated or badly things may appear to be going, or how many setbacks or judgments you face, if you focus on that goal and never give up — realizing that you may have to get creative about how you go about it — you will ultimately find a way a way to make your dream come true.
(Click to view larger size…)

Because some goals and dreams are simply *that good* that they shouldn’t ever be given up.

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Filed under Best Husband, I did something Special, I Stimulate the Economy, I'm Never too Old to Learn

Blogabilities – Week of 08/14/2011

* I went to Costco today and at check-out, the cashier applied a coupon (which I didn’t supply him with) for $2 off one of my items. In fact, I didn’t even know he’d done it until I was already back at work reviewing my receipt. That was really nice of him. So, I give a virtual “thank you” to cashiers who are kind to their customers, even when the customer is oblivious to their kindness.

* I found out this week that a friend of mine and his wife are expecting after an 8 year battle with infertility. I am truly speechless with joy for him and his wife. They have worked so hard for this. With a long, long road ahead of them, every time they cross my mind I pray that the road they’re facing will be smooth and enjoyable. So much I want to say, but … speechless. It really made my week when he shared their news with me!

* On the pet front, all the fish seem healthy for now. The bird is moulting, so she’s just a little bit cranky. The cats? Well, we discovered tonight that one of them has diarrhea with blood. We’re not sure if it’s just a weird thing, like maybe one of them ate something he shouldn’t have and he’ll be OK after a couple days or what. So we’re just observing for now.

* We went to Disneyland on Tuesday night. We got Tony a “Happy Birthday” pin (it was Wednesday) and also a “Happy Anniversary” pin (coming up on Saturday). It was fun, although I totally think the Buzz Lightyear ride is rigged. Otherwise, how to explain the HUGE gap in points?

* No glamorous sunrises to go with my sunrise swims this week. It’s been really foggy in the mornings, which brings the gift of really fresh smelling air and makes the pool feel warmer once I’m in. I continue to revel in my outdoor swims (vs. indoor). *happy sigh*

* A mountain trip is on the agenda for this weekend. Really looking forward to that.

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Filed under Blogabilities, I have Friends, Kid Substitutes, Mermaid Envy

Blogabilities – Week of 08/07/2011

* It’s been two or three weeks now and I’m still a bit weirded out that we have a neighbor who opened my package, stole stuff, but “not really” because they returned the stuff they stole (Link). Which then begs the question of whether I should be insulted? Like, what I bought was good enough to steal, but then they RETURNED it to me? And… should I be thankful for that? I’m also surprised that none of you all seemed to be even remotely weirded out by that. What if it had been YOUR stuff and your neighbor?

* My strategy of bringing the alpha cat (Tug) along to the vet with his cat’s vet appointment was genius. Pure genius. It only took Tug 2 days (vs. 1 month) to accept Snug back into his good graces. If poor Snug ever has to go to the vet again, I will definitely be bringing Tug along. I’m thankful that my vet tolerated the weirdness and didn’t charge us a boarding fee for the day.
We should all have sweet nothings licked into our ear…

* This bouquet of plumeria flowers that seems to keep blooming and blooming. It greets me every time I look out the window or go into the back yard. Plumerias are the best. Plus, it brings Hawaii to the forefront of my mind and Hawaiian nostalgia is always a happy thing.
Plumeria bouquet

* I’m grateful for humor. On Monday I went over to the local mall. As I was walking in, another lady and I crossed the street at the same time as a vehicle with some dude blaring his stereo with overwhelming bass drove behind us. I looked at her, she looked at me. I said, “Doesn’t that just make you want to beg him to stop his car so you can crawl in and drive around with him?” She smirked and replied, “No.” I said, “Yeah, me neither.” We both laughed.

* We really had a fantastic time at the county fair. Minus the part where I accidentally stepped on the back of Tony’s flip-flop and broke it. But still… where else can you ride an elephant, visit an ice museum, eat food off a grill so huge that it’s pulled by a semi-truck, see the Clydesdales (my favorite horses in the world), and as the grand finale, see Bill Cosby (a performance that lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes, and he was EARLY) all in one day? And, bonus, the price of fair admission was included in the cost of the Bill Cosby tickets (which really weren’t very expensive)! I really love our county fair!

* I am so thankful that in 2006 I found an activity — lap swimming — that I love to do, that I’m healthy enough to be able to do (a few years ago I wasn’t), that I have facilities conveniently available to me (both within my community and at my gym), and of all the things in the world that I could be addicted to, somehow my addiction has turned out to be one of the best things for me. It truly is my cure all for everything and I am thankful every single day for it.

* Our city is having a “Shop & Dine Locally” event this week. A whole bunch of businesses are participating and they’re REAL discounts… like, buy one dinner, get one free or 25% off of your order type of stuff. With anything in life, there’s a counter-balance for everything, but given that we live in the city (vs. the country), all things considered, most of the time I really, really love where we live.

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Filed under Blogabilities

Wordless Weekend!

Tony (yesterday): Do you know what you want to do tomorrow at the fair?
Me: Yes!! I made a LIST!!

He thinks my lists are cute…

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Filed under Best Husband, Wordless (mostly) Post