Archive for the ‘funny stories’ Category

I want to share something with you this morning… the story of one of the truest and most meaningful friendships I have ever had.

If I had a time machine I would take you back to 1990. I was just coming out of a very abusive relationship. I was in university and I needed employment desperately. There was an advertisement in the local paper for a management position at a local brass bed and décor shop. This would be a short-term position while the manager was off for sick leave. I applied and was hired.

Enter Sandi. She was the manager who I would be filling in for. I was in my very early twenties and I was told she was in her thirties. She wasn’t. That always makes me smile because we are close to the same age, I was just really gullible back in the day. Sandi went off on leave and when she returned I was kept on as a salesperson. It was a crappy job but I had an apartment and tuition to pay for. Sandi and I started to do things outside of work.

Sandi was different than any of the friends I had ever had before. She was a little lot wilder and had this fun way of just embracing life. I was extremely shy and for the most part, a goody two shoes. I also embarrassed easily. One day I came into work late. I had been having an awful time dealing with the police charging my ex for assaulting me and whatnot. The mall where the store was had fines if you didn’t open shop on time. Great. Just add that to an already wonderful week. I came in and flipped on the power and at that moment I almost peed my pants. You see, Sandi had rigged the cassette player to come on full blast playing I Feel Good by James Brown. Once my heart rate returned to normal I had a really great laugh—you know the kind of laugh that brings you to uncontrollable tears. Best. Medicine. Ever. In some ways this epitomizes how her friendship makes me feel.

Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t always been rosy between us and there were times where we both felt the need to get some space for whatever reason. We always found our way back and our friendship has grown beyond that. Even though we had times where we drifted we always managed to be there for one another when chips were down. Sandi, and her husband Phil were there for us when our home burned to the ground in the spring of 2001… without hesitation. They took us in for pretty much the remainder of that year and it wasn’t easy for them. Imagine two couples, two big dogs and three cats in a two-bedroom town-house. It was nuts. In 2013 they were dealing with the biggest battle of their lives when their son Tyrel needed a kidney transplant. It was our turn to be there for them in whatever way we could be.

I think I can safely say that both Sandi and I are looking forward to some more quiet moments in our friendship. Now that it has been six months since Tyrel got his new kidney we are doing some other things. Sandi started running recently because she wants to participate in the Waterloo Transplant Trot as a way of giving back. I will be there right by her side every step of the way because I know this cause means the world to her. She’s training hard and to say she inspires me would be an understatement. Our sons, Tyrel and Tobias, are going to hangout and walk the course together too. It will be such a fun day with so many of our friends coming out to lend support. It will be great reuniting with people that I haven’t seen in quite a few years.

Sandi possesses everything I cherish in a friend. She has a huge heart and she knows how to be honest while kind at the same time. She’s loyal but will stand her ground if she needs to. She has this way of making me crack a smile even in the worst of situations and she always has my back. Sandi is the friend that will tell me I look absolutely horrendous if I try on something that does not suit me. We’ve laughed together and cried together . We’ve also shared some pretty deep, dark secrets and have enough dirt on each other to grow quite the garden… lol.

24 years. It seems like just yesterday I was standing next to the electrical panel in the back room of the décor store laughing hysterically at her little prank. That was the start of something really special.


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Back in March I wrote a post inspired by a Nike ad. It was called the indoor track and it was about what was going on in my brain while I was running. Yesterday I did a trail run that was part of my hill training for an upcoming race called the TREAD. I thought it would be neat to write a similar post based on that run.

Here it is…

JUST wait for Michael to pick Kaia, Tobias and I up. Still waiting. Smiles. Arrive at the Rogers house. Notice Samantha and Vickey in their Sole Sisters team shirts. I should have worn mine. Oh well. Munch on a date bar. These are yummy but I’m not even hungry. Stupid diabetes.  Get into the Tahoe. Buckle up. Chatter with the ladies about Vickey and the Dodge test drive. Why is Samantha honking? Oh, she’s trying to be funny! Try not to think about the impending run. Stop to pick up Jenny. Damn she wore her team shirt too. Honk. Talk of horses. Moo. Hey Jenny, there’s a cow. Listen to the boys talk about zombies. Boys are weird. I have to pee. Pass Dave. Honk. Rolling hills. Check out the legs on that cyclist! Arrive at parking lot. Haul my behind out of the SUV. Panic. Double-knot laces. Samantha asks if I am sure I can handle this—says they can get another runner. Personal pep-talk time. I CAN do this. I know I can. Just suck it up and run. It won’t be as bad as last time.  It can’t be. I’ve committed to my team and I am going to finish this even if it kills me. It just might but at least I’ll be with friends! They can carry me out. Okay, that’s not funny. Get on with it. Deep breath. Walk. Wow, Jenny has awesome calves. Walk. I want calves like that. Say goodbye to the ladies and the boys. I wonder how Kaia is? I can do this.  It’s only 3K. Come on brain, remember how to reset the GPS. Walk. Fiddle. Tinker. Walk. Reset! There… finally, it’s working! Run. Okay, this isn’t so bad. I’ve got it. Keep running. Just keep running. Horse poop ahead—watch my step. This is a scenic area. Wild violets. The creek sounds pretty. I forgot to pee. Mud. Keep running. More mud. Careful on the logs. Walk. Adjust earphones. What a pretty spot. Nice doggie. Don’t forget to turn left. Or was that right? Yes, keep right. Over the bridge. Pretty white flowers. Gravel. Nice and warm in the sun. I love spring. Drink. Adjust running skirt. Hill. I can do this. Just keep running. Remember to run a bit more at the top when it levels out. Run. Run. Almost there. Walk. There is the big downhill. Freak out. Get out of my head, I can do this. Just don’t think about it. One step at a time. Quit being a chicken—you won’t fall down the hill. Waka Waka. Good song. “This is your moment. No hesitations. Today’s your day. I feel it. You paved the way. Believe it!” Almost at the bottom. That’s a damn big hill. Sigh… that’s going to hurt running back up. Up is better than down. Almost to the halfway point. I wonder which way they are going to go. I’m doing better. Hi everybody. Smile and wave. Up the grassy hill. Turn around near the buildings. “Hey Soul Sister”. Here I go! Up the big hill. Up, up, up! Almost to the top. I can’t make it. Almost there. So close. Leg cramp. Should have hydrated better. Only four more strides and I would have made it all the way. Still, not bad. Better than last time. Run. I wonder if Kaia had a temper tantrum yet? I hope Michael changes her bum. Run. So pretty here. I miss the kids. Looks slippery. Downhill again. Sigh. Don’t slip on the pine needles. Quit thinking about it. I hate this song. Note to self: revise playlist. Shoes are muddy. Damn that downhill was a slow crawl. Check posture. Pick up the pace. No signal on GPS. I should have bought the watch with the GPS built in. Stupid GPS signal—where did you go? I wish I had some gum. Peppermint. Walk. Drink. Did I just dribble water down my shirt? Classy. TREAD is in a few weeks. Panic. Shut up and run. Remember to turn left. Don’t forget. Left. Your other left. Bridge. Run faster you need to make up time. Don’t trip on the logs. I should chip in for fuel. I wonder if Bryan will run tonight. I miss him. I hope Kaia is being good. Slow down for the mud. I hate mud. Runner approaching. He looks fit. Check my posture and pick up the pace. Do I look like I know what I am doing? I’m a runner, of course I do. The sound of water. I should have stopped to pee in the woods. Don’t pee your pants. Don’t pee your pants. It’s so nice outside today. I wonder where everyone is? 3K of hills. Maybe I can handle the TREAD after all. Maybe Samantha is wrong. It’s just for fun. No more hills today. Whew. I’m hot. That was fun. I don’t think I like this shirt. It doesn’t feel right. Oh well. Stretch. That lady in her car must think I’m nuts holding this tree for support. Walk down the trail a little. There they are! Hi everybody. It wasn’t so bad this time. I think my pace was better. Go figure. I did IT!

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I have a playlist that I currently enjoy running to. I have it perfectly timed so I know when to do my intervals. Every song has a reason for being there or an inspiration behind it. Take Soul Sister for example, that’s our team name for the Chico TREAD 6-hour relay in Mansfield this May. This is Our Fight by The Ten Daze is there because of the words and because professional trainer, Dolvett Quince of Biggest Loser fame, overcame his fears and surfed for the first time. This was the background song for the final cut.

For the walking/warm-up portion I currently listen to…

Fix You by Coldplay

Now I run in a series of 10s and 1s for 5K. The rest of my song list (in order) consists of…

Invincible by Hedley
I Like to Move It (Racoon Remix) from Madagascar by Erick “More” Morillo
Who Let the Dogs Out by Baha Men
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) by Shakira
Haven’t Had Enough by Marianas Trench
Hey Soul Sister by Train
This is Our Fight by The Ten Daze
Popcorn by Crazy Frog
Sunday Morning by No Doubt
All to Myself by Marianas Trench
Smooth by Ashantis
All Summer Long by Kid Rock

Then when I am cooling down, I listen to…

One Life by Hedley

But I have a problem. You see, at home I get all goofy and sing while I run. At the end of I Like to Move It the artist says “You think this is never going to end, but it is. 3 – 2 – 1. Not bad, eh?” and I answer. When Waka Waka comes on I even do the odd hand motion from the music video. Not great running form but I just can’t help myself. Music makes me want to dance. I raise my hands and cheer when I am finished the run and start my cool down.

That doesn’t seem problematic to you? Well… I look and sound completely ridiculous. I often run at home so it’s not a big deal if I sing while I run, but in public…

On Sunday I was running 5K on the track at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre here in the city. I was with my husband, the kids and three very supportive friends and the track was fairly really busy—there was a hockey tournament on as well. That meant loads of people within earshot and if you have ever heard me sing, you have my sympathies plus I owe you a pair of ear plugs. Now you understand why I had to really stop myself from doing this on the track lest I embarrass myself… or my companions. It wasn’t just once or twice either. I found that I was catching myself on the verge of an off-tune bellow each time I did a lap. Then I saw the proud Dad taking video of his son’s hockey game. Could you imagine having my voice in the audio track for the few moments that I ran by? Too funny. At least I maintained control while my friends and family were spared from my horrible attempts at singing… this time. I can’t guarantee that it won’t happen at some point though…. lol.

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Today I am heading to the indoor track at the Wayne Gretzky Centre, here in Brantford. We invited my in-laws to join us as they are working on their walking fitness and wanted to check out the track. Last night I was reading a great advertisement for Nike and thought I would write my own version of what goes on in my head while I run at the track. This will serve as my motivation for today’s run.

Here it is…

JUST lock the Jeep door, walk across the parking lot. Hear the sound of road salt crunching underfoot. Glad I wore my street shoes. Move along the sidewalk, through the doors and up the stairs. Kaia is getting heavy. And squirmy. Should have let Bryan carry her. Ah, the track. Icy air. Sound of skates on the rink below. Shiver. Change footwear.  Drink. What day is it? Which direction do I run? Here comes somebody. Clockwise. Walk. One lap. Speed up. Two laps. Getting warm. Take off outer layer. Brrr. Cold. Run. Slow down. Forgot to set lap timer. Run. Around the bend. Someone is in the little glass room enjoying coffee. I’d love a coffee. Mmm… coffee. Run. Pull up running pants. Note to self; buy a smaller size. Run. Calf cramps. Lactic acid? Deep breath. Run through it—it will go away. Check posture. Dodge little hockey players waiting for their games. So many of them. Score board. 10-minutes left in period. Around the bend. Hit lap button. Dream about learning to skate. Run. Lap button, don’t forget. Song changes. Toddler rolling a ball. Hop over it. Run. Run. Calves still cramping? No. Go figure. Walk. Are my laces still tied? Yes. Run. Buzzer. Weave through more hockey players. Forgot the lap button. Damn it. Drink. Hi Tobias. Bye Tobias. Wow, my son is fast! Little brat. Straighten up. Fix earbud. Hi Bryan. Show off! Wave to Kaia in stroller. She’s laughing. It’s bright in here. And cold. Is Kaia warm enough? Pull up pants again. Note to self; buy new running pants. Don’t forget to hit the lap button. Drink. Will this song ever end? Run. New song. Turn it up. Tempted to do the Waka Waka moves. Don’t, people are watching. Tall guy runs really fast. Pick up the pace. Check posture. Slow down to avoid hockey player. Get off the track kid. Who’s Tobias talking to? Former gym teacher, Ms. Hoo. OK. He’s safe. I should have remembered gum. Peppermint. Keep running. Just keep running. You are halfway there. So tired. Don’t be a baby! Suck it up. Cheers! Someone must have scored a goal. Run. You can do it! Don’t stop. Breathe. “Hey Soul Sister”. Don’t sing out loud. TREAD. What was I thinking?  What would Dolvett say? Get out of your head! Do it. Scoreboard. 12-minutes. Don’t forget the lap button. Forgot the lap button. Don’t forget next time. Walk. Pull up pants—again. Really need to do something about that. Run. I have to pee. Buzzer. I am really doing this! More kids to dodge. Can’t you see I’m running here? Tall guy is stretching. He did that run fast. I’m hungry. Starving. What’s for dinner? Sweating. Legs are tired. Shut up brain. That lady reminds me of my former self. She’s doing something—good for her! She’s got a decent power walking pace. Did she just pass me? Run faster. Faster. Imagining race day. The finish line. Kristin and Mandi. Finally, last lap. Run. Push it. Okay, two more laps. Might as well. Make them count. Use that last bit of energy. Was that Tobias? Wonder how many times he’s lapped me! I’m strong. I’m fit. Hi Bryan. He wants to walk with me. Nice. His face is really red. Is mine that red? Wonder what his pace was. Breathe. Walk. Pull up pants. Walk a few more laps. Stretch. Need to work on flexibility. Yoga tomorrow? Oh, I’m finished. Maybe I beat my PR. I really am a runner. I did IT!

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ready for the office

One of my biggest rewards in life is being a Mom to Tobias and Kaia. Tobias is growing up fast and will soon be eleven. Kaia is a rambunctious and precocious toddler. It makes my life very busy but I would not trade this for the world.

Kaia mimics everyone the family. She tries to imitate Tobias when he dances. She grabs the cooler bag and puts her Daddy’s shoes on as if she’s ready for a day at the office. Kaia even tries to eat like she’s a dog. My darling toddler walks around the house with a purse slung over her arm and she puts the craziest things in it. Yesterday I could not find the dog’s collar. It was in her purse along with a few other missing items. She had slipped it over his neck and claimed it as her own.

Right now she copies me more than the others, probably because we spend the most time together. She does some of my yoga poses and things like that but the funniest was on Sunday. I will never forget the moment. After I finished my running workout I did some stretching as usual. One of the stretches for the back of my leg requires that my palms be on the wall for stability. Little Miss Trouble positioned herself between the wall and me, then copied my stretch perfectly. As I went onto the next set of stretches she copied each one. It was simply adorable.

It also illustrated something of importance to me—a reminder that children model what they see. It is my hope for both Tobias and Kaia that they see the intensity with which I embrace a healthy lifestyle and have more enriched lives because of it.

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I like love the weekly Writer’s Workshop because it gives a bit of a break from some of the more serious topics discussed on my blog. It is also fun to write… especially this week. This one is sure to make you laugh at my expense. Feel free to comment—teasing is most welcome.

I was creating a brochure and website for a long-standing client, one whom I’d been working for over the period of a few years, but had never met. Bryan always handled the photography end of the contract and with becoming new parents; I would stay at home with our son who was 4 at the time. The office manager was a lovely lady named Cheryl and she decided that this would not do. Cheryl insisted that I come to the next shoot and bring Tobias. The plan was that we would go to their home and I could download the photos onto a disc and then she would make us a lovely dinner. I didn’t want to bring him because I thought it might hinder the shoot with a little one in tow, but anyone who knows Cheryl, knows that she is one persistent lady. So, I relented and said we’d love to come for dinner.

What happened next is something that I will never live down. Never. Dinner was to be a beautiful grilled chicken and mushroom dish. The smell was incredible—mouthwatering. I helped set the table and we sat down to this wonderful meal. Tobias was next to Cheryl and she asked him if he would pass the platter of chicken and mushrooms to me. He looked at her in sheer horror. I thought at first that he might have been worried that he would drop the plate when passing it to me, but then the words sprung from his mouth with the sort of innocence that only comes from a child.

“My Mom can’t have that! Mushrooms make her fart!”

Mama’s Losin’ It

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