Sunday, August 30, 2009

HCG Diet, Maintenance Phase and Side Effects

I've been approached constantly at my place of employment, around town and generally where ever I may be out and about, people inquiring how I did it? Did what? Eradicate weight, totally and permanently. It was a combination of things, but I believe the biggest contributor to my weight eradication was determination and endurance. No matter what diet you plan to follow, you have to do it. You are the key to success, not your doctor or eating plan, but you.

Recently a friend related that there's not much we can control, except for the physical shape we're in. I concur. Eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, not smoking, drinking moderately and taking supplements should be a part of everyone's life, and you should find out what works for you. We are not all the same, no matter what people try to force us to believe, we're different, our bodies react differently to varied stimuli and it's a process of trial and error.

The HCG diet works, any diet works...as long as you comply. What's different about HCG is from where the weight is eradicated. Heavy thighs? No problem...with HCG the thighs melt away. Big belly...again, not a problem...HCG will flatten that tummy within weeks. ONE CATCH! You have to strictly follow the eating plan. The right portions and the selected foods and prepared the way you're supposed to eat them!

Every day for a while, I'll include a recipe from the HCG Gourmet Cookbook. Try these out, see if you like them, find out if it's something you can stick with. How bad do you want it?

Sweet Japanese Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber slided/diced
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs Bragg's amino acids
1 tsp finely minced onion
Cyenne pepper to taste
Stevia to taste
Mix ingredients together, marinate for 15 minutes or more and serve chilled.

In this update I'm attaching each HCG Diet blog, documenting my progress.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

UTPB Testing and Turning Time

I won't do the diet update until later this evening. Right now, I'm relaxing surreptitiously in the Dunagan Library on the UTPB campus pretending to study for the next exam, but in reality I'm reading and blogging. I don't think the librarian is aware of my clandestine activities and hopefully he won't be made aware anytime soon.


I haven't been in the Dunagan Library in quite some time, since 2004, but I adore this place. It's enormous (in my opinion) for a small university library and it contains a wealth of primary sources. I remember in my Colonial history class, I was required to analyze an early colonial newspaper and write an essay pointing out how relevant the articles were to that time period...the period right before the American Revolution. My assigned colony of Massachusetts brought great offerings in the microfiche room and I spent hours gleaning paper after paper, I finally came across an article on pissing in the wind. It was quite humorous.

I completed the ESL certification test in about an hour. After leaving the room, I pondered for a moment about what I'd done. Seventy questions, less than a minute on each question...I'd be pretty upset with the boys at West Texas State School had they turned in their test so quickly. These tests though, although centered on a specific content, are focused on the current buzz words. If you know the current train of thought that's prevalent throughout all the training (uh, oh...the librarian has come to check out my clandestine actions) courses and running through the new curriculum, then you shouldn't have a problem passing these certification tests. Right now the educational buzz words are: Facilitator, Co-operative learning, heterogeneous grouping, cultural diversity, group discussions, brainstorming, semantic mapping, guided practice...so, if you can at least narrow it down to two choices out of four, then look for a buzz word, then voila...you have the answer!

I've decided I should probably look for the history of print media, I think it's something I need to know for the next test and besides, the librarian is looking at me over his glasses...I'm feeling a bit peculiar.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Longing for Long Beach

Last night, a friend from Port Aransas, Texas related her evening on the island, likening it to the perfect place to be. Cool night, perfect temperature for the ocean and how fun it was to be a local. I then commented how I had grown up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Long Beach specifically, and how I missed a few of the things, and missed being a "local". Well, I didn't want to complain too much because I scolded someone else recently for being a whiner.

Then I blogged about the possibility of having to move again, and wondering exactly where I would end up, Long Beach hadn't really crossed my mind until I got this email this morning:

"I saw your post from last night. Seems you may be a little home sick.(MAYBE) So I thought I would throw a little more wood to the flames. It is a cool 74 degrees right now with a high of only about 85 today, and for the next 5 days, or so, with lows in the 60's to 70's. I know you are looking for possibly a new job, because of yours running out in a year. So, why not you look around here. There has been about 5 or 6 new schools built around here, between Long Beach, Gulfport, Biloxi, and the county. Hancock County is building a bunch of new schools. Thought I just throw that out there. AND about the beaches, they're better than ever, very clean now, the county is spending a lot of money on them. They have also built a new sidewalk system, and break walls along the whole beach from the Pass to Biloxi. With new parking bays and sitting areas all along the beach front. It is nice. Well, thought I just toss that bone out there. Have a good day.


P.S. I like the part about the going fishing at the beach. Brought back good memories. Put a smile on my face. If you know what I mean?"










And...it gets worse...now that the word has spread that I might be considering Long Beach in my future...I've been getting pictures now attached to all those emails.
I've got some pretty great friends, considering I haven't seen some of them in like eons...to be remembering me and wanting me to move on back. I guess, I'll have to consider throwing my hat in the ring on that one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TYC Turmoil and Top Teachers

I'm going to do something that I wouldn't normally do and that's to name names. The names I'm about to drop on here are of people that I've come to know over the course of a year. The year revealed that these people are caring, supportive and a lot of fun to work with. The reason I'm blogging this is because one year from today...Pyote High School will be no more and the staff of Pyote High School will no longer be together.

Debra Cummings is our BCIS and Social Studies teacher. She also pre-tests the boys for GED and does their TABE testing as well. She's short like me, smiles a lot and has a very cheery disposition. Anytime you need help or want a cheesecake baked...she's your gal. She's also rather emotional, and I know if she's reading this right now...she's probably tearing up a bit.

Gene Poole (no kidding) is our science teacher. He's also in charge of physical education and the fitness test. He's been around in education for YEARS! He's got a Tom Selleck mustache, banana boat tan, and loves hula girls. Gene tells it like it is, but will always put a smile on your face.

Leroy Rivera was a former boxer. I couldn't believe that he was my dad's age of almost 60, because he's lean and quite buff. He tells me it's because he married a woman about 10 years younger than him, always keeps him on his toes. Leroy is a big fellow, but soft spoken and has a gentle nature about him. He was the social studies teacher, but switched gears and is now teaching math.

I've blogged before about our secretary, Wendy Medina. This was her first year as a school secretary and she's great at it. She keeps the office well stocked with candy, coffee and teaching supplies. She's also the lady I car pool with daily. Her daughter and my son have been best friends since 2nd grade, I can't imagine leaving them behind.

Well, that leaves our principal, Mr. Hennigan. In grade school I had trouble with which principle (pal) to use. A teacher told me that you can remember it this way: Your school principal is your PAL. I've never forgotten. Mr. Hennigan says that he is the poster boy for the smiley face, he doesn't like to be mean, but sometimes he'll do what he has to do. He's the nicest boss I've ever had and also very patient. He's quite diverse as a person, as well. Rides a Harley, has a ranch in London, loves decorating for Halloween, enjoys hard rock music and Starbuck's coffee (that right there is good enough for me).

If the Wrecking Crew of Brown and Brown have their way, I could be telling this group of people, who've become a second family, goodbye as soon as December. I'm not sure where we'll all end up, but for now...I'm glad we're together.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Up Not So Early To Do Turner Falls

I had not gotten to bed before 3:30AM, Friday night and well, slept in a bit late Saturday morning. I was disappointed with myself, considering I'd waited months to be in Dallas and had major plans to do major stuff. I was finally on my way around 9AM to road trip out to Turner Falls. This adventure was suggested to me by a dear friend from the Fort Worth area.


I've lived in Wink, Texas now for 8 years, 2 months, 3 weeks and 2 days. Before coming to the itty bitty town of Wink, I resided in Denver, Colorado. The terrain and atmosphere of the two places contrasts vastly, but each has their own charming qualities. Driving though Dallas on my way to Turner Falls, brought back some memories of big town driving and big town shopping. I prefer mom and pop establishments, where the ambiance is not forced, but brought on by the wonderful people in the establishment. One of my favorite places in East Denver was the Tattered Cover. Since, I didn't know where these types of places were in Dallas, I opted for a Super Target Center and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did I come across all sorts of wonderful, beautiful tempting fruits...I also came upon a Starbucks in the store. M'm, M'm...

Turner Falls was extremely easy to find, and I found myself arriving at the park around 12:30PM. Boy, there were lots of people there. I didn't bother wading around in the entrance pool area, but paid my admission and drove all the up to the main camp site. My goal was simple...find the big water fall, and I did. I wasn't disappointed by the sight, but was a little sad about the sound. I guess I was hoping for rushing sounds so loud that I'd have to yell to talk to anyone. It was a rather quiet water fall, but well worth the trip. I got as close as I could and rested on a large boulder under the trees and ate my fruit and spinach salad.










I met several people. Jeremy, from Terrell, was there with a bunch of other guys and their sons doing the roughing it camping thing. I met Stacy and Jennifer, a couple of teeny boppers in bikinis wanting gorgeous shots for their Myspace profiles. I met Jose, a grandpa that brought several of
his grandchildren to the park, but they came in flip flops which made it
extremely difficult to get down some of them steep grades, so I assisted one of the girls, she may have been my daughter's age of about 8 or 9. I met tattoo guy (didn't catch his name) he was running around with no shirt on sporting his many tats. I was introduced to a whole gaggle of families, and for the life of me, couldn't keep up with all the names, but we shared where we lived and exchanged pleasantries.




I found two of the three caves, crawled down into them, took a very dark photo and then sat quietly just listening. I enjoyed the semi spelunking and thought that maybe after running the half marathon I'd try doing that. I was only at the park for a few hours, but I emerged a better woman for it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

HoTT Sticky Sweet in Dallas

I attended the Def Leppard, Cheap Trick and Poison concert Friday night in Dallas along with several thousand screaming and gyrating exuberant fans. My cousin and I arrived in plenty of time to hawk out the remaining tickets to a father and son duo. Once inside the Superpages.com center, we found our seats and the undulating evening began. Cheap Trick opened the event, belting out some of my favorites; "I Want You to Want Me", "Dream Police" and "Surrender". A short intersession gave way to Poison, with lead singer




Bret Michaels sporting his cowboy hat, tight jeans and 80's long hair. I've never been a big Poison fan, but I'll have to say...they were looking mighty fine that evening. I kept hoping I'd get a glimpse of the ladies from the Tour of Love (sorta the same as the House of Love), but I never did. Big John was there though, filming the swaying arms of fans raised high in the air...paying tribute to the service men and women...Giving Them Something to Believe in.













The night wrapped up with Def Leppard transporting me back in time to when I was a teen/early adult, with really big hair, really blue eyeshadow and really short skirts. I donned the evening with semi big hair, just a smudge of blue eyeshadow and traded in the short skirt for a pair of faded jeans.




I noticed there were a lot of beautiful women at the concert who seemed frozen in time. These 40 year olds have aged well, and well...I'm sure proud for them. Commonality is reassuring at times even when it's badly singing "Pour Some Sugar On Me".

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Teacher Training, Treacherous Tires & Totally Tipsy

Tuesday morning when I went to leave for more teacher training, I had a flat tire. I knew my tires were really old and worn out, but I was hoping to make them last just one more day. Sometimes, the cosmic forces send you a stark clear message..."Don't Push Your Luck." After a frantic phone call, I was picked up by the very pretty school secretary and together we were off to more training in Iraan.

Wednesday's training was in Odessa at the Fun Dome. The keynote speaker this year was Kim Bearden of the Ron Clark Academy. She was a perky little blonde with lots of energy and some great ideas. You may remember the made for TV movie starring Matthew Perry about Ron Clark and his unique approach to teaching.

We broke for lunch and my principal wanted us to all go to Harrigans where we could also meet his mother. His mother, 82, drove herself and was very spry. I was thinking I'd like to be that spunky and capable when I'm 82.

I'd never been to Harrigan's before, and it was a really nice eating facility, sorta upscale. I wandered into the restroom and before leaving washed my hands. There was a lady in there who had just finished washing her hands. There were two decanters on the counter, one was labeled lotion, so I just assumed the other was hand soap. I squirted the liquid, which was very thin and dark green into my hands. As I rubbed my hands together to lather up...there were no suds, then I could smell a minty freshness. Upon further inspection, I realized I had just washed my hands with mouthwash! The lady was still standing there, I guess it's kinda hard to pull yourself away from a trainwreck. As I left the restroom, I pushed through the door and immediately pushed through another door, which had me entering another bathroom. I stood for just a moment, trying to figure out where I was...that's when I spotted the urinals. Ooops! I quickly retreated from the men's restroom and was standing in the hall way trying to recompose myself...and yep, that lady was still there...laughing.

My boss was a bit worried about all the mistakes I made and on the way home he purchased a triple grande soy cappucino extra wet...just for me. I'm sure it was to ensure I'd liven up and not make any driving mistakes, but he told me it was because he liked working with me, mainly because I was weird. I took being weird as a compliment.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Simon Management and a Retiree

I logged into Face Book this morning and looked around on my home feed...that's when I saw this comment by a dear friend down in New Orleans:

"A friend was laid off yesterday after 22 years of service and 6 months until retirement. A whopping two-week severance package awaits him."


Being the nosy busy body that I am, I continued to read the feed posted by his Louisiana friends and was shocked by the scandalous dealings of a management group properly known as Simon. Seems that they took over the management of a mall on West Esplanade, I'm thinking if memory serves correct that would be the Esplanade Mall, but it's been years since I've graced the area.

Then my friend continued with a little more of the story:

"The management group recently took over control within the last few years. So technically, they only owe him what he got. But when you buy the company and get skilled, experienced employees that keep your profits rolling in, you have an obligation (IMO) to own the experience they give to you daily. Example: Post Katrina - Oschner Hospital bought ... Read Moreall the Tenet Healthcare facilities, hired employees that wanted to come over and gave them tenure based on previous experience with the prior management. At least somebody gets it.
"

Then one of his friends thought she read just recently that this same shopping mall received Eleven million dollars in hurricane bond funds. According to the article, a brand new movie theatre is slated for construction which would be a really nice way to pay back the community. I mean, why should this management group worry about one little guy, after 22 years of service, when they can build a brand new pretty movie theatre?


Monday, August 17, 2009

What Every Man Should Know

One of my friends is always posting some very interesting looking links and today, I got around to reading a few of them and found out some crucial information that I think every man should know about, it's a matter of life or death. I don't know when this information was set upon, but I assume it's extremely valuable and worth passing on.

"Two large studies, reported in 2003 and 2004, found that middle-aged men who had (or at least remember having) at least four orgasms a week throughout their 20s, 30s and 40s had a reduced risk of prostate cancer by as much as one-third. Some researchers speculate that ejaculations may clear the prostate of carcinogens.
"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Soloist and My Own Bout With Being Homeless

I wanted to spend some quality time with my teenage son, so we watched The Soloist together. The Soloist, starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr., relates the true story of Steve Lopez, a L.A. Times journalist, who discovers Nathaniel Anthony Ayers living on the streets playing a violin. Ayers, a talented cellists, dropped out of Julliard after developing schizophrenia. I've always been enamored with Downey, after his portrayal in 80's movie, Less Than Zero. Downey's poignant performance as Julian, a wealthy adolescent cocaine addict, foreshadowed Downey's soon to be true life troubles. I'm very pleased to see that Downey is making a come back and hopefully he's clean and sober.

The Soloist deals with the homeless problem, or I should say with one man's homelessness. I've encountered the homeless while living in Denver, New Orleans and in Houston. It was while I lived in Houston that I had a short stint of being homeless.

It was early in 1991, I was 21 years old and just separated from my husband. I moved out without anywhere to go. I was working at Alief Medical Clinic at the time and attending Houston Baptist University. I had $80, and a borrowed vehicle from my friend Darla. I was to have access to this car for two weeks until her brother came to pick it up. I also had a box of Girl Scout cookies that my Grandma Ann sent prior to my move. I knew I couldn't afford an apartment, so I started looking in the paper for rooms for rent.

I had just finished using the pay phone inquiring about one of the ads, when I decided I should look for a place close by to hunker down for the night. I drove away, to the far end of the parking lot, hoping not to draw much attention to myself. That's when I realized I had left my change purse at the pay phone. I drove back over to the pay phone, but the change purse was gone. That was my first set back, I no longer had any money for food or gas and I wouldn't get paid for another four days. I decided that I needed to ration the Girl Scout cookies; I had one for breakfast, two for lunch and two for dinner.

I can remember being very scared, not really sleeping, afraid that someone might notice me or try to steal the car. I don't know why I didn't ask for help, I suppose I was sorta living the, "you made your own bed, now lie in it" adage. I didn't sleep in the same spot every night, I changed parking lots so no one would think the vehicle was abandoned. I'd get to work about thirty minutes before, quickly make my way to the bathroom, clean up, change clothes, brush my hair and teeth and start work.

This process went on for about a week, eating Girl Scout cookies, looking for an affordable place to rent, getting a second job at night...basically pulling myself back together. I did find a room for rent with utilities paid for $175 dollars per month, I couldn't afford a car, but I purchased a bicycle and got around that way.

My homeless experience was due to being in transition, but from that moment on, I didn't judge those I found on the streets. I also was less afraid, because...what if they were someone just like me, but their transition period maybe severely delayed due to some unfortunate circumstances beyond their control?

Thank You -- Simple Gratitude

I just read in a book that a simple thank-you is one of the most powerful forms of recognition available, and it costs nothing. A few weekends ago there was a charity Co-ed softball tournament to benefit Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. That benefit was done to thank the hospital proper like for taking such good care of some of our Wink children. Another softball charity event will be taking place the weekend of August 29th, but this time we won't be thanking a hospital...no, this time, we'll be thanking a veteran.

My favorite veteran passed away this year and will no longer be sharing his stories of being a medic in WWII. Earl Nelson Mohler, my grandpa (whom I called lovingly, grumpy), believed that people learn best from experience. Sometimes, his path to educate you left one feeling he was a bit on the ornery side. He just installed an electric fence around his garden to keep some of the pests out. I asked him if I touched the fence would it hurt me. He smiled and said of course not, go ahead and touch it. I thought about it, but then decided I wouldn't touch the fence. He reached out and grabbed a hold of that fence, stood there not wincing, not flinching...looking at me as if to say, "See, it don't hurt." So then I tried it.

Slowly with purpose I reached out for the fence, inching ever closer until at last I clutched the wire and a surge of electricity coursed through my hand, arm, shoulder...I winced in pain, I may have even cried. I then gave my grandpa a look of complete and utter disbelief. "Even those that you think you can completely trust can end up hurting you. You got to think for yourself, girl...or you'll end up a complete mess."


I never thanked my grandpa for that lesson, and I didn't always heed his advice. I've gotten my heart broken a few times, well maybe more than just a few.

In 1985, my parents moved us far away from all our family, people I'd grown up with, spent time with and loved fully with all my heart. I was saying goodbye to my grandpa, wasn't sure when I'd see him again. I asked him if he had an old sweater that he wouldn't mind parting with. He looked at me a bit quizzical, and then got up to retrieve a light brown sweater of his with pockets. "I don't know why you want that old thing, but I never wear it anymore, so here."


Almost 25 years later...the sweater still smells and feels like my grandpa, thanks grumpy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Final HCG Diet Update

After posting last night, I realized that I failed to include measurements and some personal thoughts about the overall success I experienced. My starting point with weight was 150lbs and the official weigh in this morning was 119lbs.



Before...................After
Waist......... 24"......24" Hips...........42"......35" Bust...........36"......33" Thighs........26"......20"


I did experience a reduction in cup size, this is a bit troubling. It's not that I'm upset about having a smaller bust size, it's just now I have to purchase new braziers. In a previous post, I mentioned my fear in finding size 2's or 0's, but a friend from New York replied that size 2's and 0's are plentiful in his region. He's suggested a shopping trip in the Big Apple. I've never been to New York, I'd like to go. This friend also suggested since I've never seen a waterfall, that we go alleviate that problem as well by going to Niagara Falls. In about a week, I will be seeing my very first water fall, suggested by another friend. These falls are in Oklahoma.

AND besides, since I'm now a bimbo...jetting off to exotic places with mysterious older prominent men seems the only logical next step.



Thursday, August 13, 2009

What's Your Optimism On a Scale of 1 - 10

Optimism is a skill and can be learned, as negativity can be a habit. It depends on how you "frame" your events. I'm in control of how I respond to the events that happen around me in life. I can't control what happens, but I can always control how I respond. Recently, someone has pushed me to my limit on responding in an optimistic fashion. How I interpret an event or life situation determines how I respond.

Let me contrast a pessimist with an optimist. A pessimistic person sees things as permanent, unchangeable, transfers blame, holds onto blame, permeating negativity into everything, and are famous for rigid or absolute language. They tend to focus on the past in order to point out what did or didn't happen.

An optimistic person knows that setbacks are temporary, that they are isolated events and can be solved. Most times they aren't interested in placing blame, but would rather solve the problem. They become frustrated when an attempt to rectify can't happen, but will eventually move on whether or not the problem is solved. They tend to look towards options, solutions and actions.

Words are powerful and shape our outcomes. I find it taxing at times to distinguish between a purposefully mean comment with a comment that's intended to be funny. I tend to take things literally, logic based and at times have probably been a bit sensitive in my responses. I also over analyze, re-read things, look for hidden meanings, question motives and sometimes rationalize. I realize my limitations and know when I've been beaten. You can't always win, sometimes you do have to lose...otherwise the game will not come to an end.

Here's how you can practice optimism:
1. On a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 a pessimistic view, where do you see yourself now?
2. How do your beliefs impact your frames? What needs to change?
3. Think about a difficult situation you are facing now. How could you frame it differently? What would an optimistic person do in this situation?

HCG Diet and Weight Eradication Update

Jesse, my usual work out partner only finished half our routine opting to play racquetball instead even though he broke his nose last week when he played. The men in the weight room challenged me to do some free weights, and considering that I'm highly competitive, I accepted.

Just like with running on the treadmill and then taking it to the track, free weights are another whole level of difficulty and intensity. First, you have to concentrate not only on doing the exercise properly, but maintain your balance and not wobble around. Well, I did a bit of wobbling tonight with the four exercises I was introduced to.

The fellows wanted to know what I'd like to work on...I hesitated a bit, not because I didn't know, but because I was a teeny tiny embarrassed to tell
them. So, finally I said that I'd like to workout my pectorals. They looked at me a little stunned, I suppose wondering why I'd want to do that, so I sighed heavily...basically explained that I'd like a natural breast lift. Well, they understood that right away and knew exactly what exercises I would need to do.

Exercise number 1: Bench press, 3 sets of 8 bar only 45lbs
Lay down on bench, place hands on bar spread apart as far as comfortable. Lift bar from supports and slowly lower bar to chest, but don't rest on your chest. As you lower weight, you'll inhale and as you raise the weight you exhale.

Exercise number 2: Declined Dumbbell press, 3 sets of 8, 2 dumbbells

25lbs each
This isn't an incline bench, but it's close to the floor and then extends upwards in a 45 degree angle. Lay with your head towards the floor, legs going upward away from the floor. Take a dumbbell in your right hand, and while using both hands lift the dumbbell above your chest, arms fully extended. Then a spotter will hand you the other dumbbell for your left hand. Lower the dumbbells slowly down towards your chest pulling outward across your body. This was a difficult exercise to master, and I needed a lot of help to steady my arms.

Exercise number 3: Upward Dumbbell Press, 3 sets of 8, 2 dumbbells 25lbs each
Same as exercise number 2, except now your feet are towards the floor and your head is laying upwards on the bench.

Exercise number 4: Inclined Dumbbell Press, 3 sets of 8, 2 dumbbells 25lbs each
In a sitting inclined position you do the same motions as in exercises 1 - 3.

Charles Allen Bradly Jr Finally Pays Restitution

Annie and I were supposed to attend to swimming at the indoor pool at 2PM, but there was a tiny rap at the front door. I went to inquire as to who it may be, and I was greeted with, "Hi, Miss Joely, it's me, Joey and Daelyn." My daughter promptly came to the door and was invited by the three to go bike riding. She looked at me with her big hazel eyes and asked if it would be okay to fore go swimming in exchange for a bike ride with her friends. Of course, I said yes.

Something else that pleased me today was receiving an official document from Denver, Colorado. At first I couldn't figure out why I was receiving a check from Denver, Colorado for twenty dollars. I hadn't lived in Denver since 2001, then I saw the words "restitution" on the check...click...the light bulb of forgotten memory turned on and it all came back shining brightly.

In late 1997, I had just moved out of my lovely rental home in Golden, Colorado and moved into a not so desirable neighborhood North of Denver. The move was to help my finances greatly as I was renting the house in Golden for $975 per month and the apartment with utilities included was $475 per month. I wasn't excited about giving up the yard, dogs and playhouse, but I was working three jobs and I was just getting really worn out.

I had only been moved in for a few nights, when in the morning on my way to jump in my vehicle to drop Justin off at preschool and then head on my way to work, I noticed I couldn't find my van. It had been stolen or maybe someone borrowed it without my knowledge. I contacted my work first (well, they're the ones who were expecting me) then I notified the police. After that was taken care of, I then called work again. I really couldn't afford to take off, so one of the very sweet marketing reps volunteered to pick me up, drop Justin off at school and then take me to get a rental car.

A week or so passed, the insurance I had at the time allowed for a 30 day rental in the event of something like this taking place. One day at work, I was contacted by the police department with notification that my vehicle had been located and I needed to come to the impound station. Upon arrival, I realized I wouldn't be driving that van ever again. The thief was apprehended, but only after a high speed police chase with him rolling the Dodge Mini Van. The van was completely totalled.

I'm not sure how I ended up $4000 dollars upside in this vehicle, I purchased it used in 1995, but in 1997 the bank said I still owed $4000 more after the insurance company sent them a check for $7000. No vehicle and still paying a car payment, I was feeling quite down. No matter, I filled out all the paperwork for victim's assistance, attended the trial and was awarded by the court to be paid $12,000 in restitution. So, here I am...twelve years later receiving twenty dollars in restitution.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Scary Night Time Running

I knew I had to run tonight due to no running the night before and no work out at the gym today. I left for the track around 9:30 without Annie and the lucky dog for the evening, she was too exhausted from today's shopping excursion. As soon as I started the first lap, a white pickup truck pulled in behind my vehicle, lights on halted for about 10 seconds. The truck then peeled out and away, sorta swerving a bit. I did think it was strange, but continued to run. Then lights appeared in the right side parking lot of the track. I looked over and realized the same white truck was now on the other side of the track. My heart began to beat a bit faster, but I remained calm, telling myself that this is Wink and there is nothing to worry about.

I was just starting my 3rd lap and really wanted to do two miles, but wouldn't it be rather silly to find myself in some danger just because I wanted to finish my run? Well, the truck left and I assumed that the person was probably looking for someone, thought maybe that someone was me, but then realized it wasn't and went on. I felt a bit better, until on the 5th lap, the truck returned. This time at the back of the track, next to the elementary playground. It moved slowly along side me as I took the curve. This sudden reappearance of the white truck couldn't be ignored. By this time the adrenaline was definitely pumping and flowing. I didn't want to go to my vehicle alone, I kept waiting for the usual runners to arrive, but no one did.

The white truck then turned left, went back on the road used in the beginning, behind my truck, to the stop sign, took a left, went behind the gym, through the school parking lot and ended up parking right outside the tennis courts about 100 feet away from the track. I nearly broke my neck watching and keeping my eye on the truck. By this time, I think I began to lose a little focus on the run. I started thinking about when I had been this frightened before all alone. Only one other time I had found myself in a similar unsettling situation. That was over 15 years ago when I resided in Louisiana. That experience led to the purchase of a handgun.

I kept waiting for someone I knew to come to the track. In the evenings, there are usually other runners, but I had gotten off to a late start and most likely no one else would be arriving. My mind raced. It's hard to keep your imagination in check, all sorts of horrible and outlandish situations play out in your head. All this fear and worrying lead to the total abandonment of any pain that I was experiencing due to the run.

I stayed on the track, running. If any of the instruction from the self defense courses I took while living in Houston lingered with me it was this advice I remembered: "Don't panic. Stay aware of your surroundings." I have never thought of Wink as a place that I'd run into any harm. I've been to the track now for a month or so, and have never had any encounters. AND this may all be explained away as well. It could just be a case of mistaken identity.

My decision was to continue running and only leave the track when I no longer saw the white truck nearby. The truck remained at the tennis courts through 4 more laps, putting me on lap number 12 (or so I thought). The truck pulled off slowly, heading away from the track up to the stop sign and made a left. This put the truck out of my sight and it was time for me to get as quickly to my vehicle as I could.

Seated in my truck, doors locked, fumbling for my keys, I backed out and made my way for home. As I was traveling along 1st Street which runs in front of the elementary, I noticed the white truck was sitting at the stop sign. The driver pulled out in front of me and sped off to the next road and turned left. I'm not sure if any of the driving and parking of this person was directed towards me, but I continued home, and after arriving home locked all my doors and windows.