Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's a +!

Today, I have entered my 40's.

Today, I am 41.

From this day forward, I say I am 40+.

Monday, May 13, 2013

LAB Loss

Yes, they say, change makes the world go round!  But that doesn't mean it's always easy to go along or that it doesn't hurt, even a little, does it?

While I was in Florida having a grand ole time with my biological family, a family member from LA Boxing was fired.  I was shocked, to say the least!  "How could this be?!?"  "Will it blow over?"  "Will they be able to get passed it and he be back?"   

Nick Wayne, to many of us, is the heart of LAB.  He taught the most classes.  He was the most enthusiastic of all the instructors.  He created & was the sole trainer for our circuit classes.  For some, Nick was the reason they stayed, they kept coming back, they continued the struggle to be healthier ~ for them, this is even more devastating, I suspect.  Others were closer personally, to include outside of LAB.  For them, this feels like an act of betrayal and they are not above showing their contempt to Paul & Danielle. 

Unfortunately, Nick had a falling out of sorts with the owners, who also happen to be his sister and brother-in-law.

To say this loss is complicated is an understatement.

One week of Nick not being at the gym had passed before I was back there.  I have now been back for two weeks and I can say with all honesty that things are different.  It is hard not having Nick there...we saw him pretty much every single time we (Chris & I) were at the gym.  There is a pallor, a quietness, an awkwardness. 

I know that it will never be the same, but I hope, in time, the tension will lessen and lessen until it exists no longer.

In the meantime, I am moving forward and making the best of things.  I have a new Tuesday/Thursday circuit instructor, Hammer.  I was apprehensive about taking my first class with him b/c others had a problem with him when he filled in for Nick previously.  However, the owners spoke to him about it and he changed immediately.  My options were: give Hammer a try or no longer have circuit!  He is tough...very intense.  I am liking it! 

We have another new boxing and kickboxing instructor, Chris, on Fridays.  He's doing a good job, too. 

It's not like we haven't lost and gained instructors in the almost 4 years I have been a member, but it was never under these circumstances and it was never NICK! 

Shadow Catcher

"The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis"
by Timothy Egan

A must-read for history buffs, Native American enthusiasts and/or anyone with a love of the written word (like me)!!

As described on Amazon:

How a lone man’s epic obsession led to one of America’s greatest cultural treasures: Prizewinning writer Timothy Egan tells the riveting, cinematic story behind the most famous photographs in Native American history — and the driven, brilliant man who made them.
Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.

An Indiana Jones with a camera, Curtis spent the next three decades traveling from the Havasupai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the Acoma on a high mesa in New Mexico to the Salish in the rugged Northwest rain forest, documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. It took tremendous perseverance — ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Eventually Curtis took more than 40,000 photographs, preserved 10,000 audio recordings, and is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian.

His most powerful backer was Theodore Roosevelt, and his patron was J. P. Morgan. Despite the friends in high places, he was always broke and often disparaged as an upstart in pursuit of an impossible dream. He completed his masterwork in 1930, when he published the last of the twenty volumes. A nation in the grips of the Depression ignored it. But today rare Curtis photogravures bring high prices at auction, and he is hailed as a visionary. In the end he fulfilled his promise: He made the Indians live forever.

Sunny Surprise!

Really, Jennifer?!?  It's been almost a month since your last post!  Sheesh!!  If you ever think you should do this for income, you better think again! late April, I made a quick visit to Florida, which was a complete surprise to my mom!!  My sisters and I planned it on short notice.  My youngest sister, Shannon, volunteered to pick me up at the airport.  She usually works Monday nites, so she left the house, as usual.  My flight was delayed about 40 minutes, so we arrived at my mom's quite a bit later than I had wanted (which made for a really long travel day for me...ugh!).  Mom & Shyla were zonked out!  So, Shan and I crawled onto the bed, knowing it would wake our mom up.  Groggily, she is looking at me, but not at all reacting to my being Florida...on her bed...late at nite...unexpectedly!  She finally asks me if everything is okay ~~ let me say here that our mom can be a worry wart, so she clearly thought I was visiting only b/c something in my life was wonky!  When she finally started to awaken, she tells us that she was seeing Shan but hearing me.  The funny thing is: I was closest to her on the bed and I know she was looking at me....Shan and I have completely different hairstyles, so it would be fairly hard to confuse us!  HA!!  Eventually, little Miss Shyla Lynn woke up and I was able to kiss her sweet face and tell her I love her!  We didn't stay up much longer, tho, as all of us were pretty spent.  BUT, we also surprised Mom by telling her she had the next day off!  Yep, Shan spoke with Mom's boss to arrange the day off!!! 

The next morning, I got to wake up to the cute little voice of my beautiful niece who, when asked by her grandma (my mom) if she remembered who had spent the nite, she replied, "Aunt Jennie"!  Sweeter words are never spoken than when I hear my young nieces and nephews say my name!!! 

The next few days were a whirlwind!  I arrived late Monday and was leaving Friday afternoon.  With no real plans to speak of, me, Mom, Shan and Shy were all showered and dressed by 10:30 ~~ but what were we going to do?!?  No one knew!  Then, Shan remembered that after all these years I had never been to the mermaid show at Weeki Wachee.  So, off to the park we flew b/c the show would be starting very soon!  Weeki Wachee boasts itself as "The Only City of Live Mermaids"!  It's a very cute show and the performers are very talented, as it is almost entirely underwater!!!  We also stuck around for a boat ride along the Crystal River.  There are both peacocks and peahens that roam the property, but we didn't see the men in full display!  Still gorgeous, nonetheless.

I was able to interact more with Kennedy Harper this visit, since she is now over 1 year old.  That little cupie doll is the spitting image of her mama!!!  She is just the cutest thing, so teeny & curious!  But, if her daddy is around, forget it...she wants nothing to do with anyone but Cody!  I teased him that he went from Kelley attached to him to Kennedy!  He's a good dad!  He & Kelley made a little sweetie pie!!! 

My mom, grandparents and I went to dinner on the water in Homosassa at the Seagrass Waterfront.  It was a beautiful evening and the food and drinks were tasty and reasonably priced.  Apparently, the restaurant was completely redone and only recently had its grand opening.  I would definitely go back!!! 

Shannon & I enjoyed a girls nite out.  (Full disclosure: We dropped the ball in contacting our other sister.  We thought she knew about the "plan".  I also figured since she was having to work the whole week, she wouldn't want to join us mid-week.  She thought she needed an invitation.  A little debacle by all 3 of us!) 

I was able to visit my brother at his new place, a nice house for him, his girlfriend, Jeannie, her 3 guys and Evan Carter.  Yes, my newest nephew, Evan Carter, born December 23rd, looks just like his oldest brother, Alex, at that age!  {Alex, the first grandchild ~~ I made sure to head to Florida to meet him early and to continue visits so he would know his Aunt Jennie & Uncle Chris.} 
We ended my visit with a family meal at Mom's on Thursday nite.  Mom & I prepared the food; my siblings and (most of) their families showed up! 

I knew it would be quick.  I knew I wouldn't be rested.  I knew I might not get enough time with everyone (and none with some ~ I didn't see Alex, Casey or Jake).  But, I wanted to do this at a time when it would work in my mom's crazy, hectic work schedule and before Chris & I move to Colorado.  

I am really glad I did it!  My grandparents are getting older, as are all the kiddos.  I want my family to KNOW me, in person, not just in pictures. 
Many moments in life are about making memories!

Oh, I almost forgot!  While having lunch with Shan & Shy, I was "accused" by our waitress of being Shyla's ...wait for it...GRANDMA!  It's a good thing I had a botox appointment scheduled for that afternoon b/c, apparently, I needed it!  HA!  (Well, I hope I would have been in the GILF category, at least!!!) 

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