Posts

Showing posts from April, 2013

April 30, 2013: My New Workday

Image
Day two of my adventure was a day full of technology and a look into the future of healthcare. Did I mention that I love what I am doing? I LOVE what I'm doing. I haven't had this much fun in years. My professional growth is bubbling over and it feels great.

Many have asked me if I have started my new job. I really don't know how to answer this question. There is a perception that I packed a box from Lutz and have now set up a new desk somewhere else in Omaha. Nope. That is not my new reality. No "About Schmidt" boxes of files. No family photos carefully unpacked on a neat new desk with IT set-ups awaiting me.

No doubt I am working, but it feels more like a revolution. A grass roots effort. Building relationships. Solidifying partnerships. Doing the right things for the right reasons. A perfect match to my DNA. And I am having a ball.

Two years ago over a glass of wine at Bonefish Grille, Garrett asked me what my perfect world would be in my professional life. M…

April 29, 2013: Day One RI

Image
First off, Happy Birthday to Ben Lane!! The big 17. Thank-you for letting me sing you the happy birthday song when I woke you up. Sorry that I failed again as a mother by not calling in to school and allowing you to miss your first class. I did not realize that every other good mother in the world did this on their child's birthday. I am hoping the $20 you find after school will make it all a distant memory.

As for me, I forgot about the birthday boy being mad at me by the time I made it to the airport. My flight left by 10:10 and my adventure began. Garrett and I met with our flights adjoining in Chicago and then on to Providence. We rarely get to fly together, so this leg of our trip, in and of itself, was a treat.

The Rhode Island temps are at 60 with the tiny state just starting to burst in blossoming color. Garrett was quick to point out the many tulips we saw surrounding the old houses and mansions. There were some pink beauties that I am going to have to consider adding to…

April 28, 2013: Going on an Adventure

Image
I'm going on an adventure tomorrow. It's been a while. Others may dispute this, but based on the travel schedule I've grown accustomed to; it really has been a while.

The boarding passes are printed and the luggage packing has begun. It is such an adventure that I am actually checking bags. I rarely do that. But I am on this trip. I want my own hair products and face lotion (not mini-size alternatives). I want my favorite boots and heels on hand without having to choose. Yep, I am going all out.

Over the next week we will hit the upper east coast, staying in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The week will include Newport vineyards, historic mansions, and a stay at a New England ocean-front resort. Garrett and I will finish out our trip in Dallas as we enjoy a weekend visit with my brother, Mark. We are very excited for this east to south adventure.

As excited as I am for my first big post-surgery outing, I have been feeling a bit of regret today as I stared at my yet-to-blo…

April 27, 2013: First Class

Image
Kristi Reimers (dear friend, running comrade, subject of many past blogs) is the writer of this funny blog
_______________________________________________________________________ I was just the first one to step off the plane. My ticket: Seat 1D; First Class. That really was a first. Sitting in First Class is certainly not routine for me.  I am solidly a back of the plane, happy to have an aisle seat, kind of gal.
The thought that struck me as I was pampered and treated significantly better than the “economy girl,” was the difference a few hundred dollars can make. Not that this is petty change, but I quickly realized this paid-for splurge included the privilege to board first, walk down a special aisle just for special people, not feel like a herded animal, and to be treated with utmost courtesy.
I was surprised last evening when I saw First Class printed on my boarding pass. This was the doing of my travel agent who helped change my flight from Boston “lock down day” to a later fli…

April 26, 2013: An Ice Cream Day

Image
Yesterday was an ice cream day. And that doesn't mean that all was well in the world. A McDonald's ice cream cone can be clarity to an unclear day; calm to the restless. Basically if things aren't going right and wine isn't the answer, that ice cream cone will do the trick.

Why not Dairy Queen, you ask? Because my fifty-four cent splurge (tax included) makes me feel even better. My parents shared this trick with me. On our many road trips, we would go out of our way to find a McDonald's with this inexpensive treat. A vanilla cone is a cone is a cone...just a lot less expensive from McDonald's.

That cone was enjoyed over many great conversations with my parents. I think of them and smile when I follow their lead as a solo act; an indulgence I am happy they shared.

Yesterday was also an ice cream day because of the awesome spring weather. With my sun roof open and shades on, I enjoyed my cone and a little drive. There was no purpose to my drive, other than to en…

April 25, 2013: Kids Days in Remsen

Image
(Guest writer for today's blog is my mom, Mary Wagner) ______________________________________________________________________________________________
Kids Days, an annual 2-day affair and the highlight of Remsen, Iowa’s Norman Rockwell summers.  June 11 & 12, 1975, not too different from those of days gone by, was blessed with a little rain, lots of sunshine and steadily rising temperatures (good for the crops and everyone’s mood) and crammed with events. 
Young and old came out in force to enjoy main street merchant’s sale racks displayed on sidewalks with specials offered inside each store, Knight’s of Columbus food stand boasting of savory burgers and onions, a stand with to-die-for Wells Blue Bunny ice cream, the Kiddie parade, water fight, dances at the Avalon featuring live bands, free swimming at the pool, maybe a baseball or softball game, Bingo, livestock judging and last but not least, the carnival rides!!! 
After a morning shower of rain, Wednesday afternoon found Mat…

April 24, 2013: Goulash

Image
I love making goulash. Today was a goulash day. It's one of Zach's favorite foods. He was over to mow my lawn and asked the question "What's for lunch?" My response of goulash was a welcomed suggestion.

The recipe is my mom's. I refer to her handwritten note each time I make it. This is why I love goulash. I love to read Mom's note with the specific instructions on preparing this concoction. The paper is stained and weathered and stored loosely in my Joy of Cooking cookbook (a gift from my mom).

I love my old cookbooks with notes from grandmothers and aunts on favorite recipes. I have entire cookbooks that were typed on an old typewriter and bound. Most give credit to the cook. A favorite cookie from childhood can be found by locating my neighbor's name in the Remsen Oktoberfest recipe book published in the 70's. In this treasure are newspaper snippets and handwritten recipes tucked throughout it's pages.

As I boil my tomato juice, I smile a…

April 23, 2013: When There were Two

Image
I have kept journals over the years to document funny kid moments. Yesterday I stumbled across a journal I kept in the late nineties. Ben was a toddler and Zach was just starting school. Below are some entries that gave me the biggest smiles. Funny how I forgot most of these events until I read them again. I am going to proclaim "mission accomplished" on the time I took to write in these journals. Lost memories have now been resurrected :)
______________________________________________________________________

1-1-98
Zach and I went for a bike ride today (55 degrees). He wanted badly to go to the "red park". Wearing his helmet, Zach tried to convince me to ride to his park of choice. "I am a very, very good boy and I always wear my helmet so I won't bleed all over the street." Later Zach said "Tell me a story, Mom." After telling two stories to my companion on the bike next to me, I asked him to then tell me a story. "I can't. I'…

April 22, 2013: Come Monday

Image
Is there anything as peaceful as driving across town in the dark of an early morning? This ranks pretty high on my list. At 6:00 a.m. there is a flicker of life beginning to light up, but all is relatively tranquil.

Garrett's traditional Monday morning flight home has me at the airport before six. With a ceramic cup of coffee in hand, my first choice on this early morning adventure is which way to take home. The quick way is the Interstate. The preferred drive is straight through town. Dodge Street is my favored route.

This morning thoughts of hurrying home and catching some more sleep lingered momentarily, but instead I hung a left onto Abbott Drive out of the airport. It was the Dodge way home today. 6:02 a.m.

6:07: Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time" blared on the radio as I weaved through the quiet Creighton campus. A security guard was the only human I spotted as the rain lightly fell on my windshield. I didn't switch songs. Britney sounded good thi…

April 21, 2013: #42

Image
We saw the movie "42", today. It is one I would highly recommend. Take your kids. It defines heroism and courage. And not just from our baseball hero, Jackie Robinson, but from the many others who took a bold stand against prejudice during an "anti-black" era.

Watching Jackie turn the other cheek as he was tormented was difficult to accept. Knowing this to be the era of my grandparents, I was shocked that such unfair treatment of humans happened in a lifetime not far from my own.

As I watched this oppression from the forties, I wondered how my generation will feel looking back at our country's nonacceptance of homosexuality. I bet we won't feel very proud. Will our children's children wonder how we chose to respond?

Few of us ultimately have influence on laws or public perception on civil rights; as was the case with rules on where African-American people were allowed to sit, sleep, or eat in the forties. But each one of us is given free will by God on…

April 20,2013: Pour Some Sugar on Me

Image
Deep in my basement is a classic VHS video clip of Robbie and Kori singing their best Def Leppard rendition of "Pour Some Sugar on Me". With big glasses and big hair these sister-in-laws-in-crime put on a great show. And twenty-plus years later, it is brought up at every family wedding reception.

I now know why my sixteen year-old sent a text a couple days past, asking for a viewing. It is a cult classic. One that was obviously brought up at the rehearsal dinner among the twenty-something age group.

I wish I had the actual clip to share or a picture of that moment of time. The best I can do today are the pictures of Robbie and Kori above taking during that same era. I can also provide a descriptive that may help with your visual.

Picture a video camera the size of a small shoe box, propped on a tri-pod. Picture a very young Robbie in her "Sally Jesse Rapheal" glasses and a peach lace bridesmaid's dress. Picture Kori by her side with bangs sprayed an inch high …

April 19, 2013: Missing Butch...Our Running Comrade

Image


Butch was the leader of our running group. We called our group the "Early Morning Milers". Butch led and organized our morning runs which were different routes and mileages depending on the day. Butch sent a group e-mail providing these details.

As our unanimously appointed leader, Butch didn't take his position lightly. We could count on Butch's weekly e-mail like clock work. If there was a change in the schedule or a special request, we ran it by Butch first or had Hell to pay. He was our running patriarch, which was an admirable position given that organizing us was like herding cats.

We spanned a wide range of ages, with different motivations for running, and varying eclectic personalities. This is a nice way of saying people who run at 5:30 each morning couldn't possibly be normal. The varying runs and runners brought interest to our routine. Everyone had a story and we heard them all as we logged our miles. It was more than a run, it was sharing life.

Pe…

April 18,2013: What Exactly is an Ordinary Day?

Image
Sometimes I think it is just best to resign myself to the fact that there is no such thing as an ordinary day. Today was one of those days. It's best to just go with the flow.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that God is testing me. He is testing me to not be enamored with people with money or status. He is testing me to do the right things for the right reason. He is testing me to stay true to my core values. Although I do think I am passing the test, it's not always easy. Life is never easy or rational. And my kids sure do a good job pulling me back to reality.

I always have to remind myself of the things that matter; my family and loved ones. That it's the journey that brings the experiences and the fun to life. Relationships matter. They matter a lot. The people who you surround yourself with are an extension of yourself.

Each day brings new challenges and joys. And it really is a mixed bag. Days like today, I just shake my head and smile. The day started with my wak…

April 17, 2013: Ms. Fey...soon to be Mrs. Eisenmenger

Image
In another distinct case of "where did the time go", our little Lisa is going to tie the knot. Lisa Fey and Adam Eisenmenger will be exchanging their vows this Saturday. My boys, who have enjoyed her cuddling and love since they were babies, will be a part of her big day. We are all thrilled.

Ms. Lisa was a toddler when I joined the family. Always the responsible one of her siblings (sorry Bud and Linds), Lisa was the rule-follower. She brought cheer to our world with her bright smile.

As I added boys to my brood, Lisa played our ever-functional babysitter. Although a little girl herself, she loved the boys up while showing the aptitude of a teenager.

We watched her grow up. There were recitals and later proms. Friends were always abound and Adam was introduced as her high school sweetheart. And we liked him. A nice boy for Lisa. We were thrilled.

Graduation passed. Lisa then entertained my boys with the allure of her pretty teenage girlfriends (Ben preferred to sit on thei…

April 16, 2013: The Gift of a New Day

Image
Everyone needs a new day on occasion. There is nothing better than the gift of a fresh start. A morning filled with a sunrise and a good night's sleep provides just that. On the craziest of days, there is always the consolation of a new day welcoming us the next morning.

I am a believer in second chances on both large (life-changing) and small (a good night's sleep) scales. Being human provides us with many opportunities to make mistakes by saying the wrong things, saying them the wrong way, or just making poor choices. Even those who try the hardest still wish they had do-overs on occasion. It's part of being human.

Most of us want to do our best with the goal of a low personal defect ratio. But perfect will never happen. Flaws happen. Trying to keep them to a minimum is commendable, but still don't make life mistakes avoidable. On the days where calamities seem to be abundant, there is always the solace of a new day. And that is a gift.

April 15, 2013: An Untold Marathon Story

Image
A change of blog. That is pretty much today's topic. I wrote a blog. And then I deleted it. When I wrote it, I was feeling lighthearted and the theme was very whimsical. I later deleted it with a heavy heart.

Yesterday a friend finished his first marathon. This mighty accomplishment was performed in Rotterdam, Netherlands. His feat brought back fond memories for me. I ran my one-and-only marathon in Chicago, many years back. The feelings that inspired my original blog were that of persistence, friendship, achievement, and a little bit of humor along the way. That's what the life of a runner is all about.

Mid-afternoon today, life changed for all of us. It took a very shocking turn for those unfortunate participants, assistants, and onlookers at the Boston Marathon. The tragic events in Boston went viral as I was searching my hard drive for a marathon picture for my original post. With disbelief, I tried to piece together how something so senseless could possibly have happened…

April 14, 2013: A Teenager...Really??

Image
Grant is thirteen today. How did that happen? I had a similar response when he began kindergarten. I sat at kindergarten round-up and kept counting on my fingers the number of years since his birth (the technique of any good accountant). My Baby Grant couldn't possibly be five. There must have been a mistake. Low and behold, no mistake. My little tot really did start school on time. It was only Mom who didn't see it coming.

The next milestone that caught me off guard was the significance of his birthday today; the big thirteen. A teenager. Wow. I don't have enough fingers to recount those years. I'm going to have to trust the system on this one. Just over a year from starting high school. Three years from driving. Five years from graduation. <gasp>. Stop!

I used to tease that Grantman was akin to Matthew McConaughey's character in Failure to Launch. I had visions of a grown man living in my basement, calling up for his sippy cup and round-and-round crackers …

April 13, 2013: A Little Resistence

Image
One day short of one month post-surgery, I added a little resistance. And it felt good. It really is the small things in life, isn't it? After thirty days of exercise equating to calisthenics for geriatrics, I was due to sweat; even if it was a small bit. Today was that day. I was officially cleared to add some resistance to my stationary bike.

Instead of a twenty-five mile ride through the rolling hills of West Omaha, I pedaled five; never leaving my garage. A friend lent me a stationary stand for my bike and Stefano kindly set it up for me. I face looking out of my third car garage.

Garrett questioned why I didn't have this stationary set up in my house. I wanted none of that. Biking facing the great outdoors with the crispness of the air is the closest thing to a real bike ride for me right now. And I like it.

Ben added flavor by shooting hoops and entertaining me with his ever-lively conversation. He even brought me a bottled water. "Mom, you're actually sweating…

April 12, 2013: Happy

Image
Happy. A common comment I have been hearing recently. "Sandy, you look really happy." I get this feedback unsolicited and many times, unexpectedly. I have received random messages saying the same and off comments from acquaintances I haven't seen in years. And I can't argue. I'm glad I wear it on my sleeve. I am very happy.

Today I reflected a bit on this word, happy. What does that really mean? And why is now different than ten years ago? I have always felt like a positive person. What's different now? I know I feel very content and happy, but the feedback from the outside is overwhelming.

Today I sat in a meeting among eight very creative people. I was listening to a presentation I have heard many times before. My mind was wandering as I stared at an aqua blue painted wall. The thought crossing my mind was on this awesome color being my favorite. I had visions of painting my basement art room this electric color. It defines happy to me.

The thought led to …

April 11, 2013: The Days of Toddler Goo

Image
I have often said that Ben could clearly be my only blog subject and I would never lack for material. Right now, my soon-to-be seventeen year old is jumping on the trampoline by himself; anxiously awaiting the arrival home of his younger brother. It doesn't matter that his younger sibling lags by four years. They are playmates.

Ben has had a perma-grin since the minute he learned he had a smile at six weeks of age. Even in moments of hating me (often) for my injustices in parenting him, he still smiles. For the record, he has a laundry list of mothers who are better than me. Those who buy all things within the sited needs of their teenager and who have no care for school grades or curfews. Within my peer group, I am clearly the loser.

Although I remind Ben that I am not concerned with the rules and rights of his friends, that my only concern is Ben Lane, he still doesn't like me most of the time. And no matter how many times I remind him of my rubbing his back as a sick toddl…

April 10, 2013: Some Thoughts on $

Image
Money, money, money...some have very little, others a lot. Some had it and lost it. Others wish they had more. To me this is all really a lot of blah, blah, blah.

A person's wealth or lack-thereof has never been of interest to me. I had always attributed this to my profession; I have seen so many financial numbers that the significance eventually lost significance. Although I do believe there is some truth to this theory, I've come to believe that I simply don't care because that's how I'm wired (personality flaw? maybe).

As I have grown in age and experience, I find myself dealing with all classes of wealth (ubber, modest, had, don't have). In my simple mind, the significance of the person is never measured by their money. I view the world as the same playing field. We all have different strengths, weaknesses, and blessings. The fascinating part is to observe how people respond to these life differences.

At the end of the day, people fascinate me. I'm a o…

April 9, 2013:The Drover and Some Hurleys

Image
"We love Morgan!" was the exclamation tonight by my soon-to-be thirteen year old. Our Irish friend arrived on American land bearing gifts for the Lane Boys. As most know, my boys love everything hockey, football, and rugby. Today they were introduced the the Irish game of hurling. They are now the proud owners of four hurley sticks with accompanying sliotar balls.

As we sat at the Drover waiting for a table (adults sipping adult beverages and the kids, Shirley Temples), the boys Googled everything hurley. They now know all the intricate details of this Irish game with cool wood paddles. I am a bit worried now for broken windows and bruised faces at my house. Not a sport for the faint of heart.

With bellies full of the wonderful Drover whiskey steaks with great American/Irish conversation, my very content boys are obsessed with their new hurley sticks. The Sharpie has been pulled to personalize and engrave rights to each stick. It is feeling like an Irish Christmas around th…

April 8, 2013: Chefs in the House

Image
I'm feeling spoiled. People talk about their guilty indulgences...spa treatments, nannies, fancy cars. I just figured out the best indulgence that I hadn't considered before; having a chef in the house. And there has been a byproduct of this household addition. My finicky middle child has surprisingly expanded his culinary palette and skills.

My cousin, Stefano has moved into my house. All who know Stefano will not be surprised to know that he is an excellent chef. I was quickly reminded of this skill as he took over my kitchen the day he moved back.

Stefano moved in the week I had surgery to help me recuperate. Worried that I would pack on some pounds due to lack of exercise, I asked him to help me monitor my calories as he monitored my meds. Recently losing weight himself and at the peak of fitness, he took on this challenge with enthusiasm. The result is that I have actually lost five pounds over the last 3 1/2 weeks. And the food has been amazing!

Tonight was Chicken brea…

April 7, 2013: Happy Birthday, Brother

Image
I am a sister. I wear that like a badge. My brothers have been a part of me and a part of my identity. People would know us collectively by our names; Matt, Mark, and Sandy. There wasn't one without the other. Each born a year apart, we were a troupe of three.

Mark is the middle child. Although there are some perceived stereotypes with this birth order, none of us three ever fell into our noted roles. I always racked this up to our closeness in age. Birth order was irrelevant since we always felt the same age. Just a troupe of three. In fact Matt and Mark are less than eleven months apart. They were dressed as twins until they were old enough to tell our mom to stop.

I like to write stories about my brothers' oppression towards me. Although the stories are true, I actually liked being the girl among boys. And my brothers were everything boy. They loved guns and mud. Fights ended with wrestling matches and fists. Our toy room was filled with Legos, John Deere tractors, and tru…

April 6, 2013: A Mexican Diversion

Image
There is an old wive's tale that Russ Lane (Jr.) grew a uterus in Mexico a few years back. As a witness, I can tell you that although it was a temporary affliction, it's true. The reality is that he took one for the team on that very random day in Mexico. What had started as an impromptu girls' day trip with Russ as chaperon ended as a day filled with unexpected surprises and girl (& Russ) bonding.

It all started at the Angel Flight fundraiser and the couples at our table deciding to bid on a trip to Manzanillo, Mexico. The four pooling couples "won" the trip. Months later we booked our prize trip and were off on an adventure.

Russ' journey on the female side was a day the other guys were ATV'ing through the rugged countryside of Mexico. Russ, not one to get his hands dirty, valiantly volunteered to instead chauffeur the girls to an exclusive resort Kori had found on-line. He didn't think we should go anywhere unattended in Mexico, let alone up a…

April 5,2013: The Leek

Image
My creative nephew, Russell, has started a blog. It's called "The Leek" and is the beginning of a series of satirical blog posts. The highlight for my blog post today is Russell's blog. Enjoy and remember...it's a SATIRE!
______________________________________________________________________
"If you haven't figured out that this is a satire blog, you will today. The Leek's tribute to Roger Ebert. (Disclaimer at the bottom of the article for those who still don't understand satire)"

http://theleekisleeking.tumblr.com/

(final Sandy note: If you enjoyed and want more..."Like" his page on FB...https://www.facebook.com/TheLeekIsLeeking)

April 4:2013: A Day of Two Sided Conversations

Image
Yesterday was an excellent day full of TWO sided conversations. And it was just what the doctor ordered. The main event was my Aunt Rebecca in town on a visit and an afternoon enjoying the company of three of my aunts. The weather was perfect as we sat out on the patio of DJ's Dugout in Aksarben Village.

Rebecca, now a Washington D.C. resident, lived in Omaha through the 70's. All three of my aunts lived in Omaha at that time. They recalled many Omaha memories relating the this strip of Aksarben land, now a bustling hot spot in Omaha. Rebecca told the story of the big tornado of 1975. With thousands of people at the Aksarben horse track that day, miraculously the tornado's path just missed this populated spot.

As I sat back, enjoying my glass of Chardonnay and the gorgeous afternoon, I listened to my aunts update me on their families, stories of the past, and interests of today. It was nothing short of bliss. I do have some awesome aunties and it is such a treat when we c…

April 3, 2013: One Sided Conversations

Image
I had a bit of an "aha" moment today. And it came from receiving some compliments. First was the receipt of a very nice note in the mail with congrats on my career change and sweet feedback on my blog. It gave me a huge smile. The second was a message in FaceBook. I missed a friend at church and she was catching up. The last was an e-mail from a running friend. My ACL problem has made our daily conversations a distant memory.

What came across in her e-mail was that I wasn't a distant memory. She was enjoying keeping up with my life via my blogs. The same with my friend from church. She knew what my days looked like, but other than a few FB posts, I knew little about hers. One-sided conversations. I love to write and blog, but that is really what it is; a one-sided conversation.

The thought of a one-sided conversation doesn't feel very good to me. Some of it is just bad timing; I have been holed up with a bad knee and out of my normal routine. And I have been busy wi…

April 2, 2013: Hakuna Matata

Image
Hakuna Matata. Per Wikipedia, "Hakuna Matata is a Swahili phrase that can be translated literally as "there are no worries". It's meaning is similar to the English phrase "no problem" and is akin to "don't worry, be happy"." That being said, what do you like more...the cheery song on these words that we all have embedded in our brains or this catch phrase's cool meaning? It's a toss up for me.
Last night it was all Hakuna Matata while enjoying a night out to dinner and The Lion King performance at the Orpheum. Our foursome was my son (Ben), his girlfriend (Valerie), my aunt (Kathy) and me. We were celebrating a belated birthday and using Christmas gifts given in the form of this entertainment. We had a ball.
The kids picked the dinner spot, Spaghetti Works, and had perused their food choices on their I-Phones prior to choosing the restaurant. As a child, this vintage eatery was a favorite spot for me as well. Although the restaur…

April 1, 2013: Sick

Image
I'm sick. And unfortunately for me this is no April Fool's joke. The good news is that I don't feel as bad as being hit by a truck (my historic telltale sign of pneumonia). Instead, the quick diagnosis to my ailment is a cold bug. The quickness of this diagnosis is from my reaping the benefit of working in healthcare. Being surrounded by clinicians daily, I am many times diagnosed before I even know I'm sick. Today they were right on all accounts.

After a couple of very lively trips to an unnamed retail pharmacy, I was reminded of why I have changed career paths and more importantly; why the deliver of healthcare needs to change. I can't imagine how this would have all played out without my "ins" to the system. More to come on that at a future date!

For now I will embrace the many challenges God has put in front of me today. There were definite wins, but much pain from other fronts too. All in a days work, I suppose. So now I will tip my Robitussin med c…