Slow Down

I’m not sure who I’m writing this for…probably me! Last Wednesday I caused myself a lot of extra work and wasted time because I tried to do things too quickly. I volunteered to substitute for another driver delivering meals for a Meals on Wheels route. When I agreed to take on this task, I felt it would be no problem to clear a couple of hours out of my schedule especially since I could just start work an hour early and continue an hour later.

Well, a staff meeting was scheduled after I made the Meals on Wheels commitment meaning I’d need to leave the meeting about 15 minutes early. Not the way I planned. Then afternoon appointments starting piling up. What should have been an easy assignment was getting more difficult.

Nevertheless, I arrived at Marion Senior Services at 10:32 grabbed the ice chest on the bench outside, gathered the basket, route sheets, and the frozen meals. I was on the road in less than ten minutes and since several clients had cancelled delivery for the day, I’d be finished in record time.

However, when I opened the trunk of the car at my first stop, I realized I did not have the hot meals…only the cooler with the milk, fruit, bread, and butter. So much for finishing in record time. It was necessary for me to return to Marion Senior Service to pick up the rest of the meal…15 minutes to the office and another 15 minutes back to my first stop on the route. By hurrying, I managed to waste 30 minutes and at least one gallon of gas.

This is a good example of what happens when you rush through tasks. Hurrying almost always results in additional work and wasted time. Remember the carpenter’s saying, “Measure twice, cut once.” Sure, it may seem like a waste of time to measure twice, but better to take a couple extra seconds measuring than cutting the board the wrong length wasting time and materials. I sure wish I’d measured twice on Wednesday…checking each item packed so I could have avoided a return trip.

At least it’s comforting to know I’m not alone in failing to slow down. Quotes abound on the subject. Here are seven of my favorite:

It has been left to our generation to discover that you can move heaven and earth to save five minutes and then not have the faintest idea what to do with them when you have saved them.  ~C.E.M. Joad

Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he is about is too big for him.  ~Lord Chesterfield

The West has made people too time-conscious, not knowing where they are going but speeding to get there because time is short. ~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.  Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.  ~St Francis de Sales

He bites his tongue who speaks in haste.  ~Turkish Proverb

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.  ~Lao Tzu

He who sows hurry reaps indigestion. ~Robert Lewis Stevenson

I hope you can learn from my mistake. Do it once and do it right…slow down!




Why do I need a yellow leaf?

On Sunday’s I’m posting poetry written by my mother-in-law, Bettie Lou. Writing poetry was a form of therapy after losing her husband and then her youngest son in 1985.

Why do I need a yellow leaf?

When I look outside my window

I see every shade of green.

But I missed that thin yellow leaf

Hanging from a long, slim stem.

Why did I miss it until today?

Was it readiness?

Was it need?

Is green foliage like beautiful people?

Why do I need a yellow leaf?

Forget the yellow leaf.

Look in the other direction.

That leaf will fall and die.

Enjoy the plush green foliage.

Look in the other direction —

            again, again, again.

Bettie Lou's husband, Johnny, surrounded by his plants at their home in Coral Gables.
Bettie Lou’s husband, Johnny, surrounded by his plants at their home in Coral Gables.

How I Met Your Mother (Father)

The final year of the series How I Met Your Mother aired last Monday. There aren’t many television programs I regularly watch, but this is one I look forward to watching every week. After following Ted’s story of meeting his wife for years, I was anxious to meet the mother.

Since the show is based on Ted’s telling his children how he met their mother, I thought I’d relay the story of how I met your father. It’s not a nine year story like this program, and while I’m sure you’ve heard parts of it, I thought it should be recorded for posterity.

John and I were both students in Dr. Theta Purdue’s American History class at Western Carolina University during the winter quarter in 1977. Dr. Purdue started each Monday morning class with a five question quiz that had a significant impact on the students’ final grade.

One Wednesday in February, Dr. Purdue returned the quiz from the previous Monday to the protests of John and another student, Audrey, who sat next to him. They tried to convince the good professor that they should get credit for their response to question #3. She looked at their papers and said if they could spell the answer…Thoreau…correctly before the tardy bell rang she’d give them credit.

For the next several minutes the two of them shouted out combinations of letters in attempt to earn the extra points on the quiz. T-h-r-o, T-h-a-r-o-w, T-h-a-r-o. Dr. Purdue just smiled and shook her head no as she greeted other students entering the room.

Finally, I decided to show some mercy. I leaned forward and whispered to John, T-h-o-r-e-a-u. His response, “Say that again so I can write it down.”

T-h-o-r-e-a-u. In unison, he and Audrey correctly spelled the answer and true to her word, Dr. Purdue added points to their score.

During class John started speaking to the girl who could spell. I’m not sure how things would have worked out if I misspelled Thoreau or if he had been able to spell Henry David’s last name on his own. But in any case, we were brought together by a 19th century transcendentalist, poet, author, philosopher, and naturalist. Not exactly

Of course, this is my version of how I met your father; if you want to get the other side of the story, feel free; but remember, it may be a long, drawn out story with twists and turns along the way much like the one Ted’s been sharing with this children for the last nine seasons.

It’s Mojo Time

I’ve always enjoyed the food at The Mojo Grill, but the restaurant was small, crowded, and loud so we ate there rarely. Now that they moved to their new location, The Mojo Grill may be my favorite place to eat.

Not only do they serve delicious food, they have live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Now dinner out turns into an event. Trivia nights, food and drink specials…every night’s planned for fun for those who want more than good food.

The one problem I’ve encountered at The Mojo Grill…deciding what to order. Fish tacos are my favorite, but Cuban sandwiches, burgers, wings, and pulled pork all compete for my attention.

And who can forget their wonderful nachos…but that brings another tough decision…chili or pulled pork?IMG_0944

Maybe the best solution to this problem is to visit The Mojo Grill more often!

What Does the Fox Say?

IMG_0915With all the talk about the Woodfields’ fox the past few months, it’s only natural I’d enjoy The Fox, a song by Norwegian singing brothers Vegard and Bard Ykvisake who appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show last week. Ellen joined the duo singing the ridiculously hilarious song with a catchy tune that asks the question “What does the fox say?”

After watching their interview and the performance on the Ellen Show, I had to see the full video of The Fox, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s even more fun! Hope you enjoy! And don’t you just love their group name? Ylvis (pronounced Ill-vis).

Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow! Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho! Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff! I’ve seen the fox, but I haven’t heard it yet. At least now I know what it says!

Weigh-In Wednesday: Week 39

IMG_0927I’m settling into a full week of maintenance mode now that I’ve achieved my weight loss goal. No additional pounds shed this week, but I did experience some good news.

I pulled out a pair of bike shorts purchased in the early 90’s. Before the busy years of softball and soccer and cross country, we frequently biked with the girls on the weekends and during vacations, and I remember receiving this pair of bike shorts as a birthday gift.

Despite the fact I hadn’t worn these shorts for at least 15 years, and probably haven’t been able to squeeze in them for nearly as many years, I’ve kept them in the bottom of the drawer. I’m not sure why…maybe because I knew they were expensive and didn’t want to donate to Goodwill.

On a lark, I decided to try them on Saturday and to my surprise they fit. What a great feeling to be able to comfortably wear clothing I’d long since written off knowing I’d never turn the scale back far enough to wear them again!

Tour de Withlacoochee…Continued

In July we rode two legs of the Withlacoochee Trail. We started the tour in Inverness and rode south to Floral City. On this leg of the trail we visited an art gallery, a railroad depot, and vowed to return to take a side trip to Fort Cooper since the weather forced us to hurry back to the trail head earlier than planned. IMG_0350

Then a week later we started in Nobleton and rode north to Floral City. On this leg we stopped at an old General Store and explored a county park where we took a walk down to the river. The tree lined shaded trail is one we plan to ride again.IMG_0451

Since we enjoyed our first two rides on the Withlacoochee Trail, we were anxious to ride the next section. On Saturday, we parked at the trail head near Nobleton and rode south a little more than eight miles to where I-75 crosses the trail. I’d have to describe the ride as disappointing. The trail cuts through the Withlacoochee forest yet lacked shade. With the exception of a couple of swampy areas that added interest to the ride, most of the trail passed through a portion of the forest that lacked much character.

A fawn, a couple of wild turkey, several gopher tortoises, and a thousand or so love bugs greeted us, and we located the Silver Lake Campground in the Withlacoochee Forest where we’ll camp on a future trip. It will be the perfect place to start the southern most portion of the trail, and we’ll use the boat ramp for a trip on the river as well.


Sleep On It

There are very few decisions to be made that can’t wait until you’ve had time to sleep on it.

Before making a major purchase, it’s a good idea to slow down and do a little research. You don’t want to suffer from buyer’s remorse when you realize you’ve spent your hard earned money on something you don’t really need or want. Sleeping on it may keep you from buying an inferior product or one that’s over priced.

Just last weekend we nearly booked a trip based completely on emotion. Fortunately, we slowed down long enough to think about whether or not we really wanted to spend nearly two thousand dollars for a five day get away. I’m sure we’d have enjoyed a short trip in February, but by sleeping on it, we avoided a feeling of regret while boarding a plane in a few months.

Sleeping on it doesn’t only refer to decisions involving parting with money. Other times you may want to sleep on it include:

  • before making a commitment to undertake a new project
  • before confronting a friend, family member, or co-worker in anger
  • before changing jobs

Spur of the moment decisions are often made when you’re under stress and as a result it’s easy to make a mistake as a result of not carefully weighing the consequences. You want to make sure you don’t get wrapped up in the chaos of the moment and that you focus on your priorities. It’s easy to overlook your needs or those of your family if you rush to make a decision, and it’s much more difficult to correct a mistake than to get it right in the first place.

Don’t take this to mean that you should avoid making decisions. Procrastination isn’t the answer, but slow down, talk to those affected, sleep on it. You’ll feel more confident and happier with your decisions.

So sleep on it!





On Sunday’s I’m posting poetry written by my mother-in-law, Bettie Lou. Writing poetry was a form of therapy after losing her husband and then her youngest son in 1985.


The death of parents is expected.

The death of a spouse is bearable.

But the death of a son is expected? Bearable? Never.

His birth was difficult but left no scars.

How could I expect to be gutted and scarred by his death –

Left with no visible point of attachment.

Bettie Lou’s son and my brother-n-law, Mark, died as a result of a car accident in 1985. He would have celebrated his 54th birthday today.

Hammock House

Since we need to be in close proximity to the wedding venue where Emily and Brian will be getting married in Apopka, we decided it would be a good idea to rent a house in the vicinity.

This turned out to be a little more difficult than I expected, because while there are an abundance of houses for rent in Orange and Seminole counties, most are too far south, catering to the Disney tourists.

I found several small houses, but we hoped to find something large enough to host the rehearsal dinner on Friday evening.

I’ve returned to the listings on VRBO and Dwellalble, two vacation home sites on numerous occasions over the past four months. As luck would have it, I checked VRBO the weekend Hammock House first appeared. Hammock House looked perfect to meet our needs…a three bedroom, three bath house in Sorrento about 20 minutes from Apopka. A house large enough to easily handle a group of twenty of more for the rehearsal dinner, and best of all, it’s located on ten acres on the Wekiva  River within the Rock Springs Reserve Run, a Florida State Park.hammockhouse5

I called and booked it immediately!

We drove to Hammock House to get a look for ourselves and to plan how to best use the location to meet our needs during the wedding weekend. A stone fireplace in the living room should be perfect for an evening in November. A room with a pool table will entertain guests. A wrap around deck provides plenty of seating, and there are even two canoes if we have a little time after the wedding on Sunday.

It feels good to have a home away from home to take care of all the wedding details during the weekend of the wedding, and if all goes well, Hammock House looks like a place we’d enjoy for a relaxing getaway in the future.hammockhouse4