Never Late is Better

October 21, 2011

You know the saying “better late than never”  I hate that saying.  BE ON TIME!!!

I am taking Real Estate class that starts at 8:00AM each morning.  Now I know that is early but we are training to be professionals and have clients that will one day put a lot of trust in us.  Each day, there are 5-10 people who come to class late.  Some as many as 30 minutes.   It really bothers me!   I know I have no control over what other people do. I know they will not make for a very good agent if they are continually late.  But it’s just so annoying to me.  Why are you interrupting the rest of us who managed  to set our alarms and got here on time?

I am very prompt.  If I am not 5 minutes early, I am late. I hate being late.  I get a sick feeling in my stomach.  This may come from the fact that in my previous profession, if I was late, I would be penalized 2 strokes or be disqualified.  Maybe we can come up with a penalty system for people who are always late.  Give them an equivalent of a 2 shot penalty or DQ them all together!

Funny, how it’s the same people who are always late .  They even make a joke about it saying, “Oh you know me, I just can’t get here on time”  Bullshit!  Leave 10 minutes earlier, get your stuff ready to go before it is time to walk out the door. It’s not that hard.  Most people do it everyday.  You not being here on time feels a lot like you not respecting my time.

So I will see you around but do me a favor and BE ON TIME!!!!

A Baltimore Tradition

September 22, 2011

I live in Arizona now so each time I visit Baltimore , I am sure to get crabs.  (Insert joke here)

Before you can eat crabs, there are preparations to be made.  If you are wearing nice clothes, now is the time to put on a dark t-shirt. You must take off any watches or rings and put band-aids on all cuts.   Newspaper or brown paper is  spread out on a table and the beer should be cold.  Hammers and knives are accounted for and the crabs are dumped into a pile at the center of the table.

Before

Now the fun begins!  There are many ways to pick a crab and each person sitting around the table will probably have a different method.  The first step is to turn the crab over and with a knife peel the apron off of the crab.  You then must grab the shell and pull the crab into 2 pieces.  At this point, I save the shell to be sure to lick off any Old Bay seasoning as needed throughout the meal.  An added benefit to this is to keep an accurate count of your total crabs eaten.  Next, its time to clean the crab.  The lungs and all things squiggly must be removed.  This is the time I also remove the claws.  When you see people using a hammer, they do so when eating claws.  I normally save the claws until the end if I eat them at all.  The real meat is in the crab!  I now break the good part of the crab in 2 and start digging for meat.  Occasionally you will eat a little piece of shell which can be spit into the pile of discarded squiggly stuff.  The crab is sweet and salty and there must be plenty of beer to wash it down.   Eating crabs is messy.  Your hands are filthy, your nose may run and that is all part of the fun!  Its a social event as much as a meal.

After

Once your bellies are full and you can’t stand how dirty your hands are, it is time to clean up.  This is so much easier than it sounds. Hammers and knives are accounted for and the newspaper is rolled and put neatly into a large garbage bag.  You wash your hands with simple soap and water and the meal is finished.  Many people crave something sweet after crabs.  I am usually craving more beer and a game of cards with my family.

So that’s how you get crabs in Baltimore. ( I am sure there are other ways…insert joke here)

Never Forget 9/11/2001

September 11, 2011

Where were you?

As we remember the 10th anniversary of the worse tragedy of our generation, many people will ask “Where were you?  It is been 10 years. We must always remember and never forget.

Where was I?

September 10, 2011  My best friend Jacki and her daughter Sydney met me at the Portland International airport.   I was arriving from Tulsa where I has played the previous week.  They came from their home in Minnesota for a week’s vacation.  Portland was one of my favorite stops on tour.  The weather was always fabulous.  The golf course one of my favorites and always in great shape. The town was a lot of fun.  Jacki had never been before so I suggested a trip and she was happy to join me.  Sydney was a seasoned traveler already at 14 months old and quieter than most on a golf course.  It was going to be a fun week!  Upon their arrival, Jacki told me Sydney had spit up a little on the flight and that she would wake early and do some laundry.  I was happy to throw in my clothes as trips to the laundry room in the hotel were never my favorite.

September 11, 2001  Jacki woke early as promised to do the laundry.  She stopped at the front desk to get change for the machines.  The attendent working asked if she had seen what happened. The first tower had just been hit.  Jacki immediatly came back to the room to wake me and we sat on the end of the bed in a hotel room in Portland and watched in horror at what was happening in NY, Washington and Pennsylvania. I am an East Coast girl.  My husband is from New Jersey. We had family and friends that worked in the city. I couldn’t believe what was happening. No one could. Eventually, I had to go to the golf course.  I was originally scheduled to play a practice round at 9:00AM.  I was in touch with my caddy and we met at the golf course some time around noon.  The atmosphere at the golf course was obviously very grim.  Normally Tuesdays during tournament week are a bustle of activity.  But on this day the  course was empty.  My caddy and I felt like it was wrong to be there but didn’t really know what to do.  I hit a few balls and played a couple of holes but the golf course was the last place I wanted to be.  We left  and went back to the hotel to watch more TV.

The entire week was like this.  We were glued to the TV but eventually had to stop watching.  I felt so lucky to have had my best friend with me but still wanted to be at home.  The tournament was eventually cancelled and I decide that my season was over. On Friday there was a beautiful and emotional memorial service held on the 18th green. I was able to fly home on Saturday.

September 11, 2011  It has been 10 years.  Jacki and I are still best friends.  Sydney is now 11 and just started middle school.  As I look back, I am so grateful that she was there that week,  At the time she was an adorable 14 month old who loved flags and knew nothing of the devastation that was happening.  But it is because of her that we must never forget. We need to honor those that died that day.  We need to celebrate the heroes and remember how the country came together in the aftermath. We need to work together and stand united.  I am proud to be an American. I will never forget.

My Fantasy

August 28, 2011

I am involved in 2 fantasy football leagues, 3 suicide leagues and 1 pick a winner league.  In addition, I am in 2 fantasy golf leagues and a fantasy hockey league.  Tomorrow night is our draft and I couldn’t be more excited!  I have tried to prepare by doing mock drafts and scouring the internet for sleepers, handcuffs, and td vultures.  I follow fantasy gurus on twitter and listen to the NFL network anytime I am in my car.

My husband started playing fantasy sports before me and I wasn’t sure I like it.  His focus went from rooting for our favorite team (the NY Giants) to rooting for his fantasy players to do well.  We would go out and watch a game and he didn’t even care who won as long as Peyton Manning threw 3 touchdowns or Adrian Peterson ran for 150 yards and a touchdown.  I really didn’t “get it” and wondered what the fuss was all about.  The next year there was a spot open in his league.  I decided to join.  I really didn’t know what I was doing but thought if “you can’t beat em, join em”  I was hooked!  It was so much fun to now follow all of the games and take an interest in your players as well as your opponent’s players for that week. It makes the 17 weeks of football in the Fall must see TV.

I still route for the Giants and want them to win the Superbowl.  I also route for the Cardinals and hope for a fun playoff run like we had a few years ago.  But I will also be cheering on my fantasy players and hoping to beat my opponent into the ground each week.  My goal is to make the playoffs and maybe even win the Superbowl this year.  With a little luck and the right draft strategy, I like my chances.  It would be a fantasy come true!

I haven’t posted in a little while because I have had a crazy couple of weeks.  The first week started with my duties as a coach at The First Tee Life Skills and Leadership Academy.  This is a camp for 96 First Tee participants from around the country.  They flew into Phoenix to experience life on their own for a week on a college campus.  The week was filled with golf, life skills and all kinds of fun activities to keep them busy and their minds off of the 100 degree temperatures that are the norm in Phoenix this time of year.  A fun time was had by all including us coaches and I am sure there were more than a few tears shed when they left the dorms the last morning.

Camps similar to this one take place all over the country during the summer months. There are the sleep-away camps and day camps.  There are all kinds of sports camps, church camps and band camps.  Anything that might interest your child, I am sure there is a camp for him/her to attend.

Growing up I went to several church camps and summer activity camps, but the experience I remember best was golf camp at Duke University when I was 16.  I was going to fly for the very first time and I was so excited.  Unfortunately my Mom overslept the morning of my flight and we rushed to try to get to my flight on time.  I remember running onto the plane and not even having a boarding pass!  I finally arrived in Durham and had so much fun!  I was shy at first as most kids are, but by the end of the week, I was sad to be leaving my new friends.  This was long before the days of texting and Facebook so we have not kept in touch, but those were great times. In fact, it was because of golf camp that I ended up at Longwood University which led me to the LPGA tour and now to my current position with The First Tee of Phoenix!  Funny how life’s chain of events work and it all started this one time at golf camp.

Gym Rat

August 1, 2011

The other day at the gym, I watched a woman do bench presses with 60 pound dumb bells.  Wow!  I have no shot ever of bench pressing that much weight.  You know what?  That is OK.  I like going to the gym.  I like the feeling of accomplishment after a good workout.  I like lifting weights and getting a good sweat on.  It is not a chore for me at all, it is just a part of what I do.

I first started working out in college.  This was a long time ago before the day of golf specific exercises.  We would meet a few times during the off-season and do some light weight-lifting.  I  also would do a little running but that was mostly to work off my freshman 15.  Once I got on tour, I worked out in the off-season.  We were careful not to lift heavy weight and we rarely worked out during the season.  Tiger and Annika changed everyone’s opinion about golf and working out.  Once everyone saw it was possible and even beneficial to be fit, working out became the norm.  I hired  a personal trainer and did golf specific exercises.My goal was always to try to hit the ball farther. I worked out hard in the off-season and continued throughout the season even working out before a late afternoon round.  I never did hit the ball farther,  but it was not for lack of trying and working out still made me feel good about myself.

When I retired, I knew I still wanted to work out.  I wanted to keep my womanly figure and still be able to drink beer and eat pizza and ice cream (insert joke here!)  My issue was that my workouts had always been geared towards golf.  So I did some research, watched people who looked like they knew what they were doing at the gym, and developed a work-out routine that has been pretty good over the last few years.  I do a 2-day workout that includes some cardio and abs.  Day 1 is upper body and day 2 is lower body.  I try to change up the exercises and reps so that my body does not get too comfortable.  I feel like I push myself pretty hard and until my accident, was getting stronger. After my accident,  I had to take more than 3 months off and I really missed the gym  I have been slowly getting back but found that I lost a lot of upper body strength (and I really didn’t have much to start with!)  But I am staying patient and slowly getting back to “normal.”

I go to a local gym only 2 miles from my house.  It is pretty hard core with a lot of body builders and serious lifters.  I really like it though.  They have limited the number of members so it is never very busy.  It has all the latest equipment.   The people are friendly and the employees are helpful. I feel good when I leave.  I feel energized.  I feel strong.  I feel like I can eat a piece of pizza and it won’t stay on my hips forever.  It’s a good feeling-try it!

My friend’s son Ian,12, made national news last week.  He was at a baseball game, caught a ball and then realized the ball was meant for a younger kid.  Ian saw how upset the kid was and without hesitation, gave him the ball.  The announcers saw his kind act and word spread from there.  He was taken into the broadcast booth and given a signed bat.  The next day, he took batting practice, threw out the first pitch and was “person of the week” on ABC. The video of his “heroics” went viral.  To say I was a proud would be an understatement.

It also made me think about the news.  I do not watch the news on a regular basis. (Unless you count SportsCenter)  I catch bits and pieces at the gym or in the evening.  I prefer longer “60 Minutes” or “Dateline NBC” type shows.  I feel like I should watch the news, but when I do, I get very frustrated.  Like recently with this Casey Anthony case.  The “Today Show,” which I thought was a reputable news outlet, was tracking a possible plane she might or might not have been on.  They might as well have been TMZ.  The local news is frustrating as well.  They report mostly bad news or random fires, train crashes and car accidents that happen throughout the country.  The reason for all of this I know is the “R” word.  Ratings rule the world and the people of America like to see fires and follow Casey Anthony’s plane (and watch Reality TV, but we have been down that road before!)

The good news is that occasionally there is a feel good story that makes headlines.  Ian was one of those stories.  Thank you Ian for giving us all a break from the news we normally have to endure.

Trashed

July 17, 2011

The first time I ever visited Arizona, I was amazed at how clean the city was.  I have now been here almost 20 years and my opinion has changed.  I take a walk each day with my dog Bella.  We usually go early in the morning and it’s a nice way to burn some of Bella’s endless energy.  Our route takes us around my neighborhood and past a local high school.  I can not believe the amount of trash that we encounter.  The last few days, I have taken a trash bag and tried to do my part in cleaning up. This morning I walked less than 1 mile and my bag was full.  This makes me absolutely sick!  Why do people think it is OK to just throw trash out of their cars?  I remember a commercial when I was little where an American Indian was crying when he saw someone littering, I feel like that Indian.

There are three main litter bugs that I can see when picking up trash.  The first are smokers.  There are endless cigarette butts and even empty packs of cigarettes.  I find it ironic that people are willing to smoke and pollute their bodies but do not want a cigarette butt to “dirty” up their cars.  The second are construction workers or people with pick-up trucks. This group puts their trash from Circle K into their pick-up beds and the trash flies out when they are driving. So even though they are not consciously throwing trash out of their cars like smokers, they are still responsible for the mess by the side of the road.  The third group are the drinkers.  I am not sure whether these people are drinking and driving and want to hide any evidence or they are underage and hiding evidence but there are way too many beer cans, broken bottles and empty minis littering our streets.

I am not very “green”  I drink water out of plastic bottles.  We own an SUV.  I like a light on when I watch TV.  I don’t have a garden.  But I don’t litter.  If all of us can do our part and just pick up a piece of garbage if you pass it.  Maybe even take a garbage bag with you on your next walk?  If we all just do a little, it could be a lot.  And it would certainly make my walks with Bella more enjoyable.

6 Months of Good & Bad

July 13, 2011

July 12th marked 6 months since my accident.  July 18th will be 6 months since surgery.  I am not sure which date should be marked as an anniversary so I thought if I updated the blog somewhere between those 2 dates I’d be safe.

I am always one to measure and reflect as time passes.  I think about what I was doing last week at this exact time and what I might be doing next week at this exact time.  I think about what has happened a  year ago, a month ago, 2 months ago and obviously when something as major as a broken neck occurs 6 months ago there is a lot of reflection.

There are a lot of things that have happened: some good, some bad.

Good:  I lost 15 pounds (maybe even 20) and have kept it off.  This gives me the option of wearing every item in my closet (although most are too big) and has given me an excuse to shop for new clothes.

Bad:  The reason my weight has stayed off is because I still can’t swallow well so I don’t really enjoy eating like I used to

Good: I eat ice cream almost daily

Bad:  There is no bad to this one.  I love ice cream!

Good: I started reading a lot more and have read a lot of really good books.

Bad:  Only that I should have started this hobby way earlier.

Good:  My neck moves really well up & down

Bad:  My sideways neck movement is not good.  It seems to be getting better but my range of motion is very limited.

Bad:  Because of my limited neck movement, golf and tennis are difficult.  I was hoping to play in some Legend’s Tour events this year, but that is on hold and I was hoping to move to a level 3.5 in tennis but that also will have to wait

Good: It’s too hot for tennis in AZ in the summer anyway.  The Legend’s Tour will be there next year. (this one hurts but I am trying to stay positive)

Good:  I have an awesome support system that really stepped up when I needed it.

Bad: Nothing here for this one:-)

As I look back on this list, the good far outweighs the bad.  Sure there are a few things that I have to deal with, but don’t we all.  I still think back to that day, and wonder.  One second of not thinking changed my life.  I was lucky though and I know that.  Life is Good and I am trying to enjoy it and that is a very good thing.

Book Smart

July 2, 2011

I saw that three of my favorite books are opening as movies this summer:  “The Help”  “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” and Sarah’s Key”  I am not sure how I feel about it.  I know I will see the movies.  As I’ve stated before, I love going to the movies.  But these books hold a special place in my head and heart and seeing them on the big screen may change things.  Why is it that a movie is never as good as a book?  It’s hard to believe that describing something in print can be better than seeing it on a huge movie screen especially to a visual person like myself.  But the reality is, that yes, reading about something and  picturing the places and the people in my head makes the experience richer.  I am trying to think of an exception and can only come up with “Love Story,”  but that may be because I saw the movie first.

My family and I were talking about reading on my recent visit home.  My mom was amazed that all 4 of her children love to read.  As young people, my older brother and sister were readers, my younger brother and I, not so much.  I remember reading a few Judy Blume books like “Are you There, God, It’s Me Margaret”  and “Blubber”  My sister (who is 6 years older than me) had Blume’s “Forever” and “Wifey”  I definitely read those but that was probably for the dog-eared sex parts!  At that time of my life reading was a chore.  We had to read in school and I didn’t appreciate books as I do now. I was out of college and traveling all over the world when I started reading for fun.  I read more now than ever before. I am always looking for suggestions from friends and family. Two years ago, I got a Kindle.  I wasn’t sure if it was for me.   I liked the feel of a book in my hands. I liked to display it on my  bookshelf  like a shrine  But now I like my Kindle.  I download books all of the time.  It is so easy and I can even make the print bigger for my 45 year-old eyes. Besides, I ran out of space on my bookshelves!

It’s funny how some kids like to read and others do not. I am trying to get Hannah, who is my  10-year-old little sister in The Big Brother’s and Big Sister’s Program, to read more.   She is like me at her age and thinks reading is boring.  She’d rather play video games or play outside.  My goddaughter Sydney, on the other hand, who is 11, loves to read and even wanted to take her book to the Twins game the other day!   My hope is that Hannah will one day find like I eventually did that reading is a great way to relax, learn about the world and lose yourself even if it is just for a short while.

So do yourself a favor and read “The Help” “Snow Flower and The Secret Fan” and “Sarah’s Key” before you see them at the movies.  These books will make you laugh, make you think and make you cry.   I am guessing that is the reason Hollywood has made them into movies.