Monday Morning Musings for December Sixth, Twenty Ten. A smattering of thoughts that alone don't constitute a blog post but together end up here on Monday morning.
- Snow? What snow? (I knew I should have got that snow blower fixed! argh!!!!) At least I put new tires on Marjie's SUV.
- My final Navy drill of the year was here and gone this past weekend in Columbus. Another great weekend and quite productive. Capped off with a very good round-table discussion about deployment, the in's and out's of it, combat training FAQs, living conditions in the war zone, travel amongst different locations, etc. We are such a high demand unit where everyone is either leaving soon or recently returned, that this was a very valuable time to share info and pass it on to help each other.
- With that drill being this weekend, the Bigfoot 50K had to give. Two things can't happen at once so the running event lost out this time around. From what I hear, the inaugural Bigfoot 50K was a huge success! Congrats to all who finished it and to Vince and Brandon (co-race directors). Also thanks to the volunteers to made it happen! Perhaps next year I can make it down to Salt Fork State Park. That's the plan.
- Also on the running front, big congrats to the Burning River 100 which was awarded the 2011 and 2012 USATF National Trail Championship again. THANK YOU to Joe Jurczyk for traveling to beautiful Virginia Beach to fight for it...and get it! Way to go, Joe!
- While gone last night, Marjie was one of several homes on our church's first annual Christmas Walk. It's definitely a "girl thing" but she sure did decorate our house well. She posted several pictures on her blog if you want to check them out. Nice job, Babe!
- I can't give the details just yet but this is going to be a FUN week. By next week's M-Cubed, surprises will be hatched, old times brought forward, and hopefully, lots of sushi consumed! Stand by!
- So did you hear about Wachovia Bank banning all Christmas trees from their branches? (no pun intended) No trees...of course, so they can honor everyone's "diversity" and "equal rights". I'm not sure how the "Tree" infringes on someone's rights and can be offensive. What's incredibly ironic is that Menorahs are approved for display in the branches. Does something not seem right here?!?! You decide.
- OK, I've got $25 credited to my iTunes account yet can't seem to make any choices about what to download! Ugh....it's like me in a shoe store trying to pick out a pair of shoes! Too difficult! (I did like Glee's version of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" last week. I love that song. Speaking of music loved, XM channel 77 is Classical Holiday Pops. I listened to that channel for hours on end yesterday with zero boredom. Loved it!
- There are 300 tickets available for this Thursday's Chris Tomlin concert in Akron...I wish I could go!!! Casting Crowns was incredible there last year and I'm sure Chris' concert will be as well. Mr. Dudones...we need to look ahead and find a concert to go to before April!
- Debt Paydown Update: I don't talk about it often, but it's hard to not talk about it as Marjie and I are 3 weeks from our one-year anniversary from when we said we are "sick and tired of being sick and tired!" We built a budget for the first time in 17 years of marriage, cold-turkey'd the way we were doing things and went to cash only, and attacked our debt with "gazelle intensity." The keys to success thus far has been teamwork and accountability to each other and that budget. Every penny has a name and everything is discussed and planned in advance. We are today, credit card free and have only the final dollars left on my car and debt on our house. We were talking last night and we've applied about 40% of our gross income to our debt this year! WOW! If we hadn't done this (thanks to Marjie for taking the lead and forcing me to read "Uncle Dave's" book), 0% would've gone to debt, we'd have more debt (and more stress) and have nothing to show for it. I know this to be true because for 17 years of marriage, it was! We decided last night to infuse a new dose of passion and fire into this and re-fire the kiln!
- Scout. Remember Scout who I mentioned in last week's M-Cubed? Well, we decided to take him home for a trial period. He is really a great dog! He's a Plott Hound and in his very nature, an endurance runner as Plott Hounds are used to hunt bear...not to kill them but to wear them out in the long run so the hunter can get the bear. Well, we faced the harsh reality for the second time in a year: we are not a dog family. While he was awesome, we just couldn't stand to leave him crated for 8-10 hours a day and that crate time wasn't going to change. It created a whole new stress and anxiety in the house that we felt immediately. 48 hours after bringing him home, he went back to his foster home. That evening, I met Marje and the girls for authentic Mexican and with no discussion previous, Marjie and I turned to each other and spontaneously held up our pinkies and said "Pinky swear to never do this again." Talk about being on the same page! And so we did. It was yet another sad but necessary event in our lives.
Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Trails!