Friday, January 30, 2015

More action down on the farm...


 A lot of my preparing for this year's Bike To The Bay is Like Deja vu all over again, because all of the riders and team sponsors, all though they graciously helped me last year,  may have other commitments this year.

     I already cornered Jason, the General Manager from the Monroe St. Bob Evans, so my next stop was to meet with Matt from the Central Ave. store.

     Matt was very instrumental in our team's success last year.  Not only did he ride, wearing that cute pink shirt, but he also sold about a million of them (give or take) to raise money for our team.  He was probably the most enthusiastic one of the bunch.  And believe it or not, he actually thanked me for asking him to ride, when the privilege was all mine:) 

     He mentioned his next step was to get a serious bike because he hopes to ride further this year! He also mentioned trying to get his boss to ride as well. 

     So if Bob Evans gets super involved with Team Leapfrog this year I guess they might have to add frogs to their list of farm animals; that or they might have to change their slogan to "Bob Evans, down on the pond". Lol

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

just when you think your life is challenging...

     I know we've all had our moments where we think life isn't fair, but I've always tried to convince myself that the things we learn from our struggles are well worth the trouble and just one more life lesson.

     So as you know I'm planning to take a trip by myself as a test to see if I can do it on my own, with my bionic leg and all of the interesting things that accompany it.  However, just removing everything to get through security might be enough to send the other passengers behind me through the roof.

     I won't lie, I've started thinking of all of the complications  I could face while left to do everything on my own.  Yes, I have two perfectly developed legs, but my brain doesn't always communicate with one of them, and I know I'll need to make sure to remember to focus and not let my mind get ahead of myself and go flying.  I'm bringing along a carry-on and tote, and I know it'll be up to me to lift them on and off of the plane and up to the overhead storage.

     I'll be lugging both of them across the airport by myself, and while you're probably thinking "Are you kidding?!?!?  It's the freaking Toledo Express Airport; give me a break!!!"  Well, to you it might be a baby airport, but to me it feels like eight miles, because every step is exhausting, thought out and deliberate.

     I know it's my own test and my decision to do this, but all of the fear and questions of "why me" totally left my mind when I was given this you-tube video to watch.  I was told it would blow me away and I needed to at least watch the first five minutes and I would no doubt have to see it to the end.

     It was about a man named Nick Vujicic.  Nick was born without any arms or legs.  The only minute form of mobility he had was a mere stump of a foot with about two or three measly toes protruding out from it.  If you ever have a spare half an hour and you really need something to prove to you life is good, you have to watch this. At least the first five minutes...

Nick Vujicic: Best life changing inspirational video of all time.

     In this video Nick is on a stage in front of an auditorium of  high school students, speaking from on top of a six foot long table, with a telephone at the other end of it.  He asks how do you think he would make his way to that phone with out any arms or legs... He then replied "one step at a time", as he used those tiny little toes to inch his way to the other end of the table.  He explained that even if he had two legs it wouldn't matter because you can only take one step at a time.  Ironically, Nick didn't feel like he was missing anything because his life was perfect.

     He then mentioned how he can fall over and it might take him 100 attempts to get back up but  it doesn't matter because eventually he will do it.

     Well, I made it through the first five minutes of that video and before I knew it I had seen it to the end, and was not only humbled, but in tears.

     I guess my point in all of this is if you ever think life isn't fair, all you have to do is look around and realize anything is possible.

Have a great day!!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Those team shirts aren't gonna buy them selves!

     Last year being the first year for Team Leapfrog, we had no idea what to expect or how to go about building it.  We were able to drum up a hand full of sponsors for our shirts, Bob Evans Monroe Street being one of them.  We then had to look for team shirts within our budget.

     I wanted to make a statement, and what better way than to make our shirts pink and covered with frogs.  I just threw the idea out there, and when the first guy said he didn't have a problem with wearing pink I knew I could convince the rest.

     The shirts were just plain pink cotton Ts but no one complained.  This year however, I decided we need to take it more serious.  No more girly pink Ts; oh yes, the frogs are staying, but we need real bike shirts and a strong color that says we mean business.

     I went into Bob Evans and Met with Jason, the general manager and asked if he was willing to sponsor our team again this year, and not only is he more than happy to help us but he plans to get his district manager, Brian involved and hopefully get all of the Bob Evans in this area to sponsor our team!

      We're working on the logistics of the shirts, but now I have to get serious about sponsors, because those shirts aren't going to buy themselves.

     So the ball is finally rolling and we're on our way!  No more girly pink but you haven't seen the last of my cute pink frog:)  I'll keep you posted!

Have a great day!!


Friday, January 23, 2015

A bonus falling in my lap is a good thing.

     When I was in the Black Kite Coffee Shop the other day I was pleasantly surprised how easily I was able to get another team member.  I'm not against working hard for what I want, but I'm not at all opposed to having a bonus land in my lap.

     As Kristin and I were going on with our idle chit chat about the Bike To The Bay her husband, Andrew walked in.  Now, there are some days where I have my soap box out and I'm soliciting to anyone with a pulse...  for some reason this day wasn't one of them.  

     Don't get me wrong, I'm always eyeing up new prospects. but with the freebie falling in my lap I felt like it was mission accomplished and my job was done for the moment.

     But when Andrew piped in and said "Hey, I'm interested in riding with you guys", I was totally blown away.  I felt like I was handed something I didn't work for.

Andrew Newby

     Then I started thinking, there are a few team members who can't make it this year, but I know they'll be back.  The people who come out of the woodwork to join our team were put in my path to fill in the gaps.  Like last year, I have faith this year will work out as well and if we just keep focusing, before long our team "team leapfrog" will surely earn it's title because it's that leap of faith that keeps us going:)

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Just because it didn't work out last year doesn't mean we stop trying.

     Remember last year when I was asking every person I made eye contact with to join Team Leap Frog??  Well Kristin Kiser, the owner of the Black Kite coffee shop in the Old West End would have liked to ride, however, she already had a wedding on that date (those people and their "save the date" cards, ugh...).

     But this is a new year and her friends are already married so the odds of her not having another wedding this year were in my favor.

     I stopped in to the Black Kite and Kristin was there.  I mentioned the Bike To The Bay again and she said "I really want to try to ride this year.  What's the date?"  I told her it was June 20th, she checked her calendar and low and behold that day was free!

     Her next comment just blew me away... She asked if I minded if she joined our team.  I said "are you kidding?  You just saved me from begging you to join us!!"

Kristin Kiser

     Last year Kristin was kind enough to let us hold a fundraiser for our team and I'm looking forward to doing it again this year:)

     I've learned that as much as I continue to ask people, even though they may not be available, I just need to keep asking, because it's inevitable I'll eventually catch them on the right day:)

Have a great day!!


Monday, January 19, 2015

A wild Saturday night out with the boys...

     I guess we all have our own idea of a wild Saturday night out with the boys. Out with the boys and shopping don't really go together.  If you're able to get a guy to go to a shopping mall with you, you're pretty lucky;)

     The mall on a Saturday night is something I haven't seen in a  million years, and the only boys that could be coaxed into spending their Saturday night there would have to be saints, or under 2 years old.

     Lucky for me I had two grandbabies that fit the bill.  All they expected in return was to be fed and entertained...

     After we ate at the food court, my daughter and I took turns riding up and down this elevator over looking Dillard's Department store, about two dozen times with William.  There were several coin (or should I say dollar) operated rides throughout the mall, but William was happy as a clam to just alternate between the escalater and elevator, and these rides were free!!

          He had had enough of his stroller and left his poor little brother, Connor, behind while he explored the mall. 

     The elevator and escalator were on the opposite sides of the department store, and on the way back from the last run William was already asking his mommy to give it another go.

          While William was having all the fun, Connor and I were left to entertain our selves while we waited...  the "selfies" weren't exactly cutting it with Connor.  He doesn't even have an instagram account, so this was a big waste of his time.

       It took a few minutes, but I was finally able to get him to smile and have a good time, or at least look like he was.  How do we really know... he's only a baby...

     We finally managed to pry William from the  elevator, and after tossing a few pennies in the fountain, we made our way to his favorite thing that evening, and that was the frozen yogurt (which by the way, his mom felt a little guilty giving in to ice cream, when he didn't eat much of his chicken and french fries. 

 But Ahma trumped mommy:)  Come on, A kid's gotta have fun!!

Have a great day!!



Friday, January 16, 2015

I convinced one of my pharmacists; why not the other...

Jeff Moran; the other Pharmacist

     It's pretty unusual to know your Pharmacists by name, but when you have as many things going on as I, you end up being BFFs.  I probably spend less time at the grocery store.

     If you remember, last year I was able to talk my pharmacist, Jeff Nagel, into riding in the Bike To The Bay.  I really thought he was just doing it because he felt sorry for me, or he simply wanted to get me off his back.  

     Remember, I was a girl on a mission and I was bound and determined to grow Team Leapfrog. Being the first year riding I had to start my team from ground zero, and if I was gonna ride I planned to take many prisoners with me:)

     Not only did Jeff ride, but he really enjoyed it!  So now I planned to use the "band wagon" approach to convince my other Pharmacist, who's name just happens to be Jeff as well.  Of course, his last name isn't Nagle, it's Moran; if it was Nagel that would be way too much of a coincidence...

     And of course I had to take a picture of him too, just so he doesn't back out;)

     I know this is only January, and it's freezing outside, but I may as well start recruiting more people now, because as soon as the weather breaks I'll be busy scoping out more bike trails, and hopefully my camera will be all filled up with Sun rises:)

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Anyone can be a grandma but it takes someone special to be Ahma.

     When my daughter Emily had her first son, William, everyone kept asking me what I was going to have him call me.  He didn't even have teeth yet so I knew there was plenty of time to figure that out.

     The thought of being a grandmother was freaky as it was.  I loved that little guy but to think of a grandmother I think of some little grey haired lady with a shawl around her shoulders; how could I be one of those??

     My friends spent more time stressing about the name than I did.  I knew somehow there would be a name that fit the bill.

     From the time William was a little baby Emily would talk to him and refer to me as grandma.  Nothing special about the name but he still wasn't talking so as far as names go, the sky was the limit.

     Emily and William would meet me every Sunday at the shopping Mall to make sure we got together at least once a week.

     I usually managed to get there before they did and we always met in the food court.

     One Sunday, Emily put William in his stroller and started heading to the mall entrance.  As they walked through the doors William got excited and said "AHMA'S ! AHMA'S!!"  And there we have it; a new name was born:) That and William thinks the mall is where I live... crazy, but not a bad idea...:)

     Anyone can be a grandma;  it takes someone special to be Ahma!!

Have a great day!!


Monday, January 12, 2015

Never wake a sleeping baby.

     This is my precious little grandbaby William, who is not such a baby anymore. Today, January 12th, he turns 2 years old. 

      But he's my first grandbaby so he'll always hold a special place in my heart. 

     This is his neat little potty chair he got for Christmas.  It has pictures from the Movie "Cars" all over it.  He was having so much fun hiding toys inside it and this was surely going to give him hours and hours of entertainment.

     My daughter said "but how do I get him to understand it's a potty and not a toy box??"  I said "get him a potty that doesn't look like a toy box?!".  Is this really rocket science?!?!

     Now my little grandbaby Connor is precious as well; especially when he's sleeping.  But you know how they always say never wake a sleeping baby...

     I didn't care, he was just too cute and I wanted to hold him.

          But old sayings die hard, because I no sooner picked him up and he was squalling.  

          I guess that's why you never wake a sleeping baby...

          But when the babies are this cute, it's hard not to:)

Have a great day!!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Polar Vortex?!?! Not again!!

     I know people are sick of hearing about this Polar Vortex thing, and maybe the phrase was totally over used last year when half the country got swallowed up by the bitter Arctic freeze.  But what ever you want to call it, that monster can go right back to the rock it crawled out from, because we don't want it anymore!

     Look at this photo of my favorite park; that sun can try all it wants to peak around those trees but you can still see the freezing cold air jump right out of the page.  The windchill is well below zero but they say this will only last a few days this time.  I say one day is still too long...

          Not long ago these picnic tables were filled with happy faces and now they're turned on end with no sign of ever being used again.  But I'm sure it won't be long before we're back out there, and complaining how hot it is...

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Turf Toe; more like turf face

          It's amazing how much I can learn just by having a bionic leg.  All the inquisitive people force me to come up with more interesting stories, just so I don't drive myself crazy telling the same old story ten times a day, for the rest of my life.  But the good news is, every time I tell it I get new feedback and in the process I end up with a plethora of random knowledge.

     The other day I was sitting in the lobby of a clinic while my mom was having a minor procedure done.  The man sitting next to me was also waiting for someone, and probably bored out of his mind. 

     Out of lack of anything better to do he took one look at me  and commented "It looks like you have some  issues of your own going on".  I'm sure he was waiting for some elaborate story to pull him out of his "just short of comatose" state. I told him I would love to tell him all about my skiing excursion in the Swiss alps, and how coming out of a triple flip caused my leg to snap like a wishbone and then I was hanging on for dear life after waiting for the rescue team to dig me out of an avalanche,  and then catapult me down the mountain  where I would celebrate my overwhelming triumph. 

     Unfortunately, I told him my story wasn't that interesting, but I am still walking.  As I was trying to fill the time with some idle chit chat I began to tell him how the footdrop caused the knee thing, and the turbo leg and bionic leg work together to keep me mobile, but that doesn't mean I'm always vertical, because if my toe doesn't listen then my body goes flying.

     Remember a year or two ago when I forgot I couldn't run and took a nose dive...  I swore when it happened I would take that story to my grave...  For about five minutes...  Then I decided I may as well put it in my bag of war stories to tell my grandchildren (and anyone else who cares to listen).  

     Of course I had to take a photo for the drama; after all, I did draw blood.

     The wound is heeled by now, but the scar still lingers on.  I know it really doesn't look that bad but to hear me tell the story you would think my hand was hanging on by a couple loose tendons and a tourniquet was used to stop the bleeding...

     As I showed my new friend my scar and told him my war story resulting from scuffing my toe on the carpet he said "well, surely you must be all too familiar with football players and their turf toe".  Truth be told, football terminology isn't exactly my strong suit, and that is one phrase I have never heard of.  I asked him what it meant, and as he was about to educate me the nurse called him back, and he left before I had a chance to hear what this "turf toe" was.

     I can't learn something new without knowing the origin, so the first thing I did was google it.  I found out it's an injury that some athletes get by jamming their toe, especially football players when playing on artificial turf and their toe gets caught, causing them to jam their toe.  Wow, I should start telling people I have turf toe and maybe they'll think I'm an athlete (that or some morphically diseased creature).

     I know they say you never stop learning and I totally agree, so thirty years from now I should be a walking Dictionary; Key word being: walking:)

Have a great day!!


Monday, January 5, 2015

What's so lucky about the number seven??

          I've never been a true believer in luck.  Fate, maybe; destiny, absolutely!  But no matter what you do, luck isn't responsible.

     They say the number seven is lucky.  I have no idea what they base it on.  Nothing can be divided by that number, donuts, six packs of soda, a carton of eggs... it's a very complicated number, yet so many people put stock in it.

     Then in the same token, the number thirteen is supposedly unlucky. I'm not sure why, but somehow it got a bad wrap.  In fact, some buildings skip the thirteenth floor and move right to fourteen, because of superstitions.  But wouldn't that still make it the thirteenth floor, regardless of what you call it?? You know, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck...

     Of course I do believe in favorite numbers.  Mine happens to be five.  The amazing thing about five is it's always half way to a perfect ten, and if you can make it half way, you're home free.  The glass half full thing... half of anything is as good as all of it, because the hard part is out of the way.

     This year, 2015, is surely going to be a good one; I just know it has to be, because there's a five in the number.  The last time that happened it was 2005.  which was ten years ago, and five is half of a perfect ten... see a pattern?? Then the last time before that was 1995, and new years day that year my daughter Lindsay was born.  Five is clearly a great number.

     You can believe in luck, but at the end of the day it's fate that will guide us, and the writing is already in the sand.  However, that doesn't mean we can't have favorites, and I know 2015 will undoubtedly be mine.

Have a great day!!



Friday, January 2, 2015

Starbucks: The cure for what ails you.

     With this juggling act I call life comes a million balls flying through the air, and it's up to me to catch them when they come back down.  

     I've found that a good cup of "Joe" along with good company can sometimes be just what the Dr. ordered.  My friend Nani, who also has MS,  is a fellow blogger.  We try to get together on occasion to compare war stories and battle wounds. 

     We can go on for hours, comparing how totally similar we have it, and yet we can also be on the complete opposite side of the spectrum.  

     Actually, physically, we have absolutely nothing in common.  We could both look at each other's situation and say "at least I don't have that".  But what we do have in common is the ability to figure out how we can improvise to make what we do have - work.

     Nani had admitted to me there are days that she might have to write three posts before she gets one that feels positive enough to share with the world.

     I can totally relate.  My blogging is a real learning lesson for me.  I can start writing and not even know where I'm going with it.  Then it's as if there is a ghost in my computer typing letters on my screen.  You've heard of ghost writers, well, remember the Movie "Ghost"??  Sam's spirit moved the keys on the keyboard...  I think I have my own "Sam"  because I sometimes find myself anxious to see how my story will end.

          I can't tell you when the last time was that I had a day that went absolutely perfect, but what I can tell you is no matter how bad it is, there's nothing Starbucks and a good friend can't fix:)

Have a great weekend!!