Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dan the Man, His Cell Phone and THE Haircut!

Hold your horses and shut all the barn doors!

My Man Dan finally decided to join the 21st century and get a cell phone.  I don't really know why he waited for so long...  I think secretly he felt like a rebel without a cause telling people that he did not have a cell phone when they asked for his cell number.

This is not his first cell phone mind you, and he will be sure to tell you that 18 some years ago, he was so techie, that he had a BAG PHONE.  Who remembers those?  They certainly have come a long way in cell phones, haven't they?!

Anyway... so here is a funny story involving Dan the Man and his cell phone.

Let me set the scene for the preface.  You have to know the whole story.  Dan the Man and I have been married for a little over 16 years.  In those 16 years, I have ALWAYS been the barber for my man Dan.  It all started when we married and all of the sudden had 4 boys who needed haircuts and 1 husband.  Being the resourceful (or cheap) person that I am, I started cutting everyone's hair.  How hard could it be?  I had watched my sister do haircuts ever since I was probably 15 or so.

It was a something I gleefully started, but as the years wore on... the joy became less and less, especially when they wanted haircuts and I was tired from working a full day and the last thing I wanted to do was stand on my feet and mess with their sweaty heads and end up sweeping the kitchen floor and not even getting paid for it or receiving a measly tip.  I began the cherish the day each son moved out of the home... it meant one less haircut that I had to give!

Finally all the boys have moved on and are going to someone else for their haircuts!  Well, that is all but one boy.  My man Dan still remains.  He doesn't demand that I give him a haircut, he just waits until I can stand it no longer and I finally give in because he won't make an appointment somewhere else.  Egads, his own sister-in-law has probably 30+ years experience, yet will he go there?  I blame my mother-in-law for this reluctant behavior.  She use to cut his hair when he was a boy.  Danny claims his father use to cut it as well.  Then when he was in college, his cousin cut it.  I am not sure what he did before we were married, I know he had to have gone some where.

We have had several discussions about this.  They usually go something like this:
ME:  You really need a hair cut.
Dan:  I know.  When can you do it?
ME:  Not tonight, I am too tired.
Dan:  Okay, I'll wait until you have time.
ME:  Can't you please just go some where and get it cut.
Dan:  No, I don't like to.
ME (a week later):  You REALLY need a hair cut.
Repeat lines above...
ME:  If you do not get your haircut, I am not coming home.
Dan:  Fine, then I will just shave it my self.
ME:  Okay, fine!  Just cut it off.

I leave and when I come back, he has not shaven his head.  He has threaten this several times, too many times to remember, but has never once done it.  The closest he got to it was the time that he had Chris cut his hair because I wouldn't.

So the story continues with me driving home from Kearney.  I start to get bored driving all by myself so I give my man Dan a call on his cell phone to see what he is up to.

ME:  Hey.
Dan: Hey.
ME:  What are you doing?
Dan:  Not much, I am shaving my hair.
ME:  Yeah right.  What are you doing, really?
Dan:  Shaving my hair.
ME:  Oh yeah?  How are you doing that?
Dan:  With the clippers.
ME:  Oh.  And how is it going?
Dan:  Fine.
ME:  Oh.  And how do you plan on doing the back?
Dan:  I'll use my cell phone to take a picture of the back to make sure I've got it straight.  I've got to go so I can finish.  I'll call you back.
ME:  Hmmm, well, good luck with that.

I still wasn't convinced that he was actually cutting his hair.  If he was, I was a little irritated because I knew I was going to have to fix it when I got home and I really wasn't wanting to have to do that.  I was tired and getting the cold that Chris had shared over the weekend.  I just wanted to get home and relax, not fix a haircut gone bad.

As I drove on, I decided that I WOULD NOT fix the hair cut.  I WOULD NOT cave in.  I would force Dan the Man to go get his hair cut.

Then I received this picture.

I nearly swerved off the road in utter disbelief.  Oh MY GOSH, he ACTUALLY DID IT!  He ACTUALLY CUT HIS OWN HAIR.  I had to puller over so I could look at the picture and enlarge it on my screen.  Oh my goodness, WOW, he really cut a lot off the back.  I wonder if he kept getting it crocked, so he had to keep shaving his neck up higher and higher?  I can't tell from the picture if it is straight in the back or not so I pull back on the highway with mixed emotions, stunned beyond belief.   I simply can not believe that he actually went through with what, until now, for the last 16+ years, has been empty threats!

I was speechless.  And I couldn't decide if I was mad or relieved.  A little while later I got this picture with a text saying "Done taking shower now."

Ahh, My Man Dan.  Gotta love him!
Back off ladies, he is ALL Mine!

PS Honey, I am truly in awe of your barber skills, but next time could you please, Please, PLEASE just go to a barber.  Really.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Oh my gosh, I am actually RUNNING in my very first 5K race!

If you are just now reading this blog or if you have missed the last two post, stop right here and go read them.  They build up to this post.

I have to start with telling you about the drive down to Kearney.  Dan the Man had to stay home to take care of the chickens and the cattle so I went to Kearney by myself.  If Dan the Man would have been with me and especially if he had been driving, this would have never happened.

For those of you who do not know about Nebraska... it is a long ways from Western Nebraska to the other end of the state.  Our ranch is located about 4 miles from the Wyoming state line and Kearney is about 292 miles from the ranch according to Google Maps.  It takes about 5 hours to get there.  The drive can be monotonous at times, but also quite beautiful.

I left a little after noon and was in a hurry to get to Kearney.  We, the boys and Katy, had planned on going out to dinner for Chris's birthday and I didn't want to be too late getting there especially since I would be losing an hour due to the different time zone.  So, there I was, in the the middle of Nebraska, just a mile or two from the middle of no where, radio blaring, me signing along to every song, when out of no where a sheriff car comes over the hill towards me.  Ooops! My eyes drop to see what my speedometer is saying, although I didn't need to look, I had set the darn cruise control thing to 74 mph.  Never-mind that the speed limit was 65 mph.  So, I turned off the cursed speed control thingy and slowed down to the proper speed limit.  Need less to say, that did not appease the sheriff, he turned around and come promptly after me with his pretty lights flashing.

I pulled my car over onto the shoulder, turned off the radio, got my registration, insurance card and driver's license out for him and patiently awaited his presence at my window.

The following is an actual conversation between the overly excited women driving to her first 5K race and the officer who pulled her over for speeding.  The name of the officer has not been divulged for the officer's privacy:

Officer:  Ma'am, I am Officer Such-A-Nice-Guy with the Middle-of-No-Where Sheriff's Department.  The reason I am pulling you over is because you were speeding.  Can I see your registration, insurance card and driver's license.

(I had them conveniently in my hand and handed them over.)

Officer:  Thank you ma'am, I will be right back.

County Chicken Girl: Ok (what else was I going to say?  "See you later sucker!" and drive off like a bat out of hell!)

After a few minutes he returned with my documents in hand.

Officer:  I am only going to give you a warning today ma'am.  I am sure your car is fast, but you need to keep it under the speed limit.  (Did I mention my little car is a 2012 beautiful Black Mustang?)

Country Chicken Girl:  Thank you!  I really appreciate it!  I am on my way to Kearney to race in the Komen Race for the Cure tomorrow!!  It is my first 5K EVER and I am so excited!!  I am also collecting pledges for the cure.  Right now I am in 2nd place for the top individual fundraiser and I have a goal of $1000.  Would you like to make a donation???  Huh, huh, would ya, could ya? (actually I did not say that last sentence!)

Officer, laughing politely:  Well, you have fun and good luck!

I took the polite laughter as a "no" to the donation and thought I'd better not press my luck so said nothing more except for "Thank you, I will!"

I was on my way again, this time within the speed limit.  Chris called to let me know that dinner plans had changed and Katy was making us dinner, chicken tetrazzini (which btw, was delcious!) so I didn't have to "hurry" to get there.

After dinner, it was bedtime for me.  I was exhausted and knew I might have a hard time sleeping since I was so excited for the race.  And, I did.  I kept waking up in the middle of the night to check and see what time it was.  I did not want to over sleep and miss the race.

The race was to start at 7:15 so we left the house at 6:45.  Kearney is not that big of a town, so we had plenty of time to get to UNK's campus (where the race was held), find a parking place and get to the starting line.  We walked around a little before the race and looked at some of the vendor booths.  I was surprised that there were not very many vendor booths.  My mother-in-law has done the Race for the Cure in Denver and she told me that there were tons of booths.  This is the second year that Kearney has had a Race for the Cure, so I am sure it will grow in the years to come.

Katy and me before the race.  It's still dark out!

When it was time to gather at the start, I became extremely nervous, excited and cold!  I wasn't really worried about anything, the race course was pretty simple, so I didn't think I could possibly get lost.  Chris and Katy gave me words of encouragement as I went to go stand in the starting line.  A CANNON was fired to begin the race.  I think it startled at least 99% of the crowd.  BOOOOM, and just like that, I was running my first 5K race.

It was kind of crazy.  I felt like I was running in a herd of cattle being let out to pasture in the Spring.  Everyone was so excited and full of energy!  I can't really describe it.  I had to keep myself from sprinting, I knew I would be in trouble if I did not calm down and get into my rhythm and run at MY pace.  With a few prayers to God, I was able to calm down and let my legs set my pace.

I think I was pretty much smiling the whole race.  Well, if not on the outside, I WAS on the inside!  There was a water station at the half way mark.  I really wasn't thirsty, but figured the water station was part of the race experience and thirsty or not, I was going to partake!  I did not want to miss out on any aspect of my first race. I found out that it is impossible to drink out of a little plastic cup while jogging.  The water kept sloshing up in my face and going up my nose instead of down my throat.  I tossed the cup, still half full of water in the garbage can.  As I continued the run, I was contemplating if I had done the water thing correctly or not.  Maybe you are just suppose to swish it around on your mouth or something?  I really had no idea what I was  doing?!?!  Perhaps I should have done a little more reading about how to run one of these crazy things!

The one thing that I did know was that I was having fun and reaching one of my goals that I had set for myself and even if I ended up in last place, I still will have placed in the race!

There were lots of race volunteers manning the course so you knew right where you should be going and even cheerleaders along the way.  I felt like a real runner as they cheered me on!  Chris and Katy kept showing up at various corners and were taking my picture!  Awww, such sweet kids.

As I neared the finish line, I could hear the upbeat music they had cranked up loud at the finish.  I suddenly felt a burst of energy and was able to pick up my pace and as I rounded the last corner and had the finish line in sight I actually started sprinting!  I felt like I was running a million miles per hour.  I felt like an Olympian!

This is what I felt like as I ran the last bit.  I love this song!!  Without God's grace, I would have never crossed that finish line.  You might want to click on the link that takes you to YouTube so you can read the lyrics to the song.

I ended up running the race in 30:35.  Not bad for an old lady who is pretending to be a runner!  I realized after looking at the results of the race, I have a lot of room for improvement.  The fastest time in my age group (40-49) was 20:47, Stephani Olson who is 49!  Second fastest was 21:02, Deena Sughroue age 48.  I placed towards the bottom, but not at the bottom, and if I had placed at the bottom, at least I placed!  I was 19 out of 23 for my age group and 85 out of 112 (females only) and 123 out of 157 (total number or runners, including men).

I also participated in the bottled water and banana after the race.  Another vital race experience I did not want to miss out on.  Actually, it was the best tasting banana I had had in a long time.

By the time the race was over, Kara, Katy's friend (and now Skyler's friend, wink, wink), had joined up with Chris and Katy.  Kara was going to walk with Katy in the fun walk/run which wasn't going to start for a little while so we once again went around and looked at all the vendors.  It felt good to walk around after the race and by the time it was time for the walk, I had decided that I would do that with Katy and Kara.  What was another 3 miles?

There were quite a few people who were doing the walk and when that cannon went off to start the walk, the whole crowd collectively gasped because it startled them.  Wish I had a recording of it, it was pretty funny!  It took us 51 minutes to walk.

I'm having a hard time putting the emotions I felt during the race and walk down on "paper."  I will admit that I was pretty proud of myself for running the race and I also felt so incredibly blessed by the support of my friends and family in raising over $1000! My heart aches for the millions of women stricken with the disease, especially those women I know personally.  I couldn't help but get a little choked-up during the race as I passed a participant, much younger than me wearing a pink race shirt.  The pink race shirt denoted that she is a survivor.  I looked down at the pink bracelet I was wearing for a dear friend of mine who is undergoing chemo.  I thought, next year it will be an honor to run this race with her!  I hope we do it!  I just can't even imagine the pain and suffering that must come with the battle.  What strength and courage these women must have.  What an awful, awful, awful disease!  Cancer just sucks, that is all there is to it.

I also thought about how far cancer treatment and the ways of detecting it has come over the last 20 years.  WOW!  Thank God for the continuing strides being made in beating this devastating disease.  Thank God for sparing me from this disease.  I know I am just a statistic away from being stricken.  I will run again in this race...

As I was driving home, I had crazy thoughts of organizing a Western Nebraska TEAM to make a presence at the Central Nebraska Race for the Cure next year!  I was thinking we could charter a bus, which hopefully I could get donated, stay the night Friday night, race Saturday and come home Saturday late afternoon or so'ish.  I was thinking that if we (I don't know who this "we" is yet, but I'll need help organizing this thing) could get 20 people to go and we each raised $1000, that would be $20,000 for the cure!  Or if we each just rasied $500, that would be $10,000!  So who wants to go next year?!?!?

The goal for the Race for the Cure was $40,000.  According to their webpage, they raised $25,669.25.  If Western Nebraska took part, we could most certainly help meet that goal, in my opinion.

Click here for race information and the race results.

2012 Komen Central Nebraska Race for the Cure

Here are some pictures from the race.

That's me, the one in the BRIGHT pink!

Around the 2 mile mark.
My hair looks like wings!

On the home stretch now!

Kara, Kathi and Katy before the fun run/walk.

During the walk!

The end finish line!

One of the fraternities formed a tunnel for us to walk through.
Nice touch men!

Our time for the walk.

Special Mustang that was on display.

There was a all pink response vehicle that we could all sign.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thank You for Your Support!!

Well, last week at this time I was on the road driving from Kearney back to my home sweet home at the Open A Bar 2 Ranch.

I was in Kearney for the 2012 Komen Central Nebraska Race for the Cure.

If you missed the last post, you probably should go back and read it.

Anyway, WOW, WOW, WOW... what else can I say and where do I start?

10 weeks ago I started a little running program called The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan.  I tried to do this little program last year, but with a disappointing ending because I have a bad ankle and it began bothering me to the point where I just could not run.  I was determined this time, that I would be extra careful and baby my ankle so that it would not give me trouble.  By God's grace, the ankle held up.

Let me give you a little background on my physical ability or lack there of when it comes to running.  I have never been a distance runner, only did sprints in school.  I loved to run during grade school and jr. high, but injured my ankle in high school and  just up and quit sports all together when I was a sophomore.  When I went to college, I did do a year of bodybuilding, yes that's right, you read that right, bodybuilding.  Oh, those were the days!  Anyway, uh, MANY days ago...  I have always thought of myself as somewhat athletic, but NEVER, NEVER, NEVER a distance runner.

The one thing I liked about the Couch-to-5K program is that it started out easy.  Run a little, walk a little, run a little, walk a little.  It seemed almost too easy until I started having to run much more than I was walking.  But with God's grace, again, I was running a mile before I knew it.  Then it was two miles.  I was in awe of what God was accomplishing with my nearly 50 year old body, neglected body.  When it was time to run 3 miles I decided I needed to sign up for my first 5K before I chickened out.

I knew that Katy, Chris's girlfriend in Kearney, was doing the Race for the Cure in Kearney.  I really wanted to do it with her, but was having a hard time justifying to myself that it would be okay for me to take off from my busy schedule and drive down to Kearney, a 4.5 hour drive from here and just do it.  I finally talked myself into doing it and registered on line.  I was so excited after I registered that I texted Katy to let her know I was coming down to do the race with her!

The text went something like this:
ME:  Hey Katy, guess what?  I registered for the Race for the Cure.  I am coming down on Friday!
KATY:  That's great!
ME:  I am so excited!
KATY:  Me too!  You DID sign up for the FUN run/walk right?
ME (with my jaw touching my knees):  Uh, no, I signed up for the RACE!

Well, I had already committed and wasn't going to back out now.

As part of the race, you can raise money for the cause through pledges.  You can set up your own page where people can donate.  Here is my page.  They suggested that you set a goal, so I set my goal at $100.  I posted on Facebook what I was doing and in a matter of 24 hours or so, I had met my goal.  I then raised my goal to $250.  Same thing, told people on Facebook and met that goal within a day or two.  Call me crazy, but I then upped my goal to $500!!!  Once again, met the goal.  Call me a lunatic because I then set my goal for $1000 with a couple of days left for fundraising and was suddenly one of the top 10 individual fundraisers for the race!

As the deadline for the donations neared, I feared that I would not make my goal, but thanks to some incredible friends and family that supported me I raised $1025.67 and was the 2nd top individual fundraiser for the event!  Everyone who made donations is listed on my page except for Myrna and Bruce Mitchell who gave me a check!

I am listed on this page 2012 Komen Central Nebraska Race for the Cure as the 2nd top individual fundraiser.  AND funny story about that...  the guy listed as the top individual sent me a message Friday night on Facebook and said "Congratulations on your fundraising effort for Susan G Komen. It was your effort that helped me put in a little extra time for this great cause. Hope your first 5K is fun one for you."  How cool is that! I was nipping at his heels and at one time did hold the top spot!

Well, I don't want to make this post too long, and I have other things to get done this afternoon, so I am going to have to close for now, but not before I say how truly thankful I am to each and everyone of you who donated to the Race for the Cure.  I can not tell you how much it means to me.  You made me feel so special that you wanted to support something that was dear to me.  WOW, what an encouragement.  You are ALL truly special and I pray that God will richly bless your generosity!

More about the race in posts to come.  Stay tuned.

Katy and Me before the actual race.
Boy oh Boy was I cold and nervous!!!

Picture I put on Facebook.
One of my friends asked if this was the "chicken run"!
And Chris said, "You are not bringing the chicken are you?"