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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hungry for More

A week ago, the five of us joined up with a great group of folks and packed meals for hungry people.

Have you heard of Meals from the Heartland?
We Iowans grow a lot of food. Not to brag or anything, but we pretty much crush the Growing Food category. We're really good at it. And I love these people from Meals from the Heartland. They are making it possible for folks all over the nation and globe to benefit from the bountiful harvest of the Midwest. Hungry people getting food from Iowa. I love it all.

So we headed down to a huge room where a bunch of people in hairnets were rocking out to Motown and Gloria Gaynor. These are my kind of people.
We took a two-hour shift, which, by the way, sounds easy. When you are elderly and decrepit, however, like the author of this blog, your back does tend to spasm and your arms do start to twitch. At these moments, however, you must stifle the impulse to whine because (A) you are packing rice and soy protein and dehydrated vegetables for people who need to eat and (B) your husband has gone FULL-THROTTLE into THAT GUY mode. He is THAT GUY, the one who keeps altering the packing system so we become the most efficient, least wasteful packing crew on the floor. He is THAT GUY who monkeys with adding SINGLE GRAINS OF RICE so our weight goal is PERFECT. He is THAT GUY who thinks we might get a TROPHY or a STICKER if we have the most amazingly perfect boxes at the end.
You married THAT GUY and you have never regretted it, but you may not, under any circumstance, refer to your aching back because you know without a doubt that THAT GUY will replace you with a faster, more efficient volunteer who happens to be your five-year-old daughter.
Even with these pressures, I recommend coming alongside what the Meals from the Heartland people are doing. A donation of only $20 provides meals for 100 people! Unbelievable! And if you marry A GUY like THAT GUY he will be quick to tell you that by trouncing the next table over, we packed enough meals to feed over 3000 people! Boo-yah! Wiping up on the hunger-fighting competition! (Good thing THAT GUY is so cute.)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Swimming Upstream With Diana Nyad

Have you people heard about this woman?
Her name is Diana Nyad. I first knew of her after I read a fascinating article about her in The New York Times a couple years back. Miss Diana is now 64 years old, and this week, after 35 years of pursuit, she swam from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida. I'm talking 52 hours and 54 minutes, only stopping for nourishment. I'm talking 110 miles. 

Did I mention she was not in a PLANE or on a CRUISE SHIP but that she was SWIMMING? 

Have you ever swum non-stop for 30 minutes? You know that lung burn? Well, multiply that for about a gazillion minutes, add salt water, dehydration and general crazytown, and we'll be about halfway to how Nyad must have been feeling.
Please note her swollen lips. And the absence of a lido deck. And note the stunned and clapping Average Humans looking on in shock. The guy in the life vest (!) is thinking, "Dang! And the most impressive thing I did today was floss!" I can identify.
Photo by abc.com
I feel the need to point out that Ms. Nyad was the first person to accomplish this swim WITHOUT A SHARK CAGE. Time to let that one sink in.....And she wore the mask above and a full body suit and booties during the night to protect herself from jellyfish attacks. And another moment to absorb that tidbit.....

Did I mention I flossed today?

This woman rocks. She first became famous for swimming around Manhattan, a thought that makes me a little queasy, considering the summertime smell of Manhattan and what might be washing into the waters around it. But swim she did and three decades after her first attempt at the Cuba-Florida route, she made it. 
I am so tired from writing this very short blog post, I need to take a few days off from flossing. Maybe don't wait for my shark-cage record-breaking. But I do own goggles! 

Woot-woot-to-the-64th-power, Diana Nyad! Now go eat some pizza and take a nap!