Merriam-Webster defines  the word resilient as the following: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.  In the first 5 minutes of last night’s game where OU played Kentucky, I got a funny feeling in my stomach.  I thought, “oh come on girls, don’t revert back to old ways…play hard and smart.”  The score became lopsided and Kentucky kept capitalizing on our errors.  Finally, Coach Coale called a timeout when she’d had enough.  She basically asked her team if they wanted to just go back to the bus and go home.  It jolted her players…and her senior captain Amanda Thompson answered back in the huddle, “No Coach.  Tell us what we need to do.”  A couple of minutes later, Thompson leaped up and grabbed a rebound….shots began to fall and the switch had been flipped.  It was like the seniors collectively told each other, “we’re not done playing yet” and they were off.  We got back to within a few points….then we tied….then we led and never looked back.   It was soon the end of the game and I sat staring at the tv, saying to myself, “Holy crap…they’re going to the Final Four.”   Back up a few days to Sunday night…a friend of mine had called me after the end of the regional semifinal, suggesting we go to the Final Four.  I told her, “whoa, we have to get through Tuesday yet…I’m only taking it one day at a time.” 

As I write this, it’s Wednesday night…..I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, reliving the events of the evening.  I kept saying to myself, “they’re going to the Final Four.  They’re going to my hometown…”  After encouragement from people at work, it was decided….I was going.  In a post-game conference, Coach Coale was asked what happened to create the surge in the team.  She simply described her team as you guessed it, resilient.  “They just find a way to win,” said Coale.  Yes, they certainly do…and like finding a way to win….I found a way to keep watching them.

Crazy dream

So do you ever have one of those embarrassing dreams where you wake up in a panic, wondering if that really happened or is a sign of what’s to come?  Well, that was my dream lastnight.  Here’s how it went…(well, at least what I remember).  I’m at the softball field, sitting there with my sister (who lives in San Antonio so highly unlikely she would be there).  We’re watching the girls warm-up and then it hits me, “shoot, I’m supposed to be at the tailgate thing to help sign people in…” I leap up and head toward the event (forgetting to tell my sister she’s welcome to join me).  I walk in the wrong way to the pre-game thing and find my friend from work.  I was like, “where’s all the food, where is everyone?”  She looked at me funny and didn’t have to say anything at all.  Woops, guess I should’ve asked instead of just thinking I knew where I was going.  I hate that….when I don’t ask.  I end up feeling stupid…and looking it too.  Lesson from the crazy dream: to not be a know-it-all. 

Reality of the dream, however, is fortunately that the game hasn’t happened yet…so I haven’t walked in the wrong way or am I running late.  I can think back to the dream and laugh.  Life’s supposed to be full of these lighthearted moments, right?  If we were serious all the time, we’d be too uptight and wouldn’t know how to lighten up.  I am, however, envisioning a very interesting day as it’s very windy out (yes, yes I know…it’s Oklahoma, of course it’s windy)…but it’s also supposed to be about 60 degrees out…definitely a hat day.  I’m looking forward to it…the no. 3 Missouri Tigers are in town….everyone knows by now that I’m all about protecting the home turf. 

Crazy dreams can be disorienting but at least you wake up and realize….it was just a dream.

Musings on “first day of spring”

Today is the first day of spring…but it’s hard to believe when I look out the window and see snow on the ground.  I went to bed about 12:15 this morning and there wasn’t anything falling yet.  About 8 hours later, all the ground was covered as were cars in the parking lot.  When I woke up, I looked out the window and saw it for myself, “sure enough, we did get snow.  So much for first day of spring, ha” I said out loud.  I hit the ‘on’ button on coffeemaker and then put in my contacts and brushed my teeth. Just like I did during previous storms, I got up a few times and glanced out the window to take in the sight of snow falling.  Yea, I was okay with waiting another day for spring..

I had an appointment for a massage this morning.  No matter the weather conditions, I was going to make it.   The tension in my shoulders was going to win out over the snow.  It only took about 5 minutes to brush off my car which was a nice change from previous storms.  I headed to the massage place in anticipation of a nice, relaxing hour of being pampered.  After filling out paperwork, I was led to a room by the  massage therapist.  She asked if I had any questions.  I shook my head no but told her my knees were ticklish and to avoid them….or else, there was a chance I’d accidentally kick her.  She just laughed and nodded her head.  It took me a while to fully relax though she was doing her best to help make it easier.  When I flipped over and she was working on my neck and shoulders, I felt like I was totally relaxed, like I was in a warm bath.  Maybe this is more details than readers care to know…but gosh, it felt good.  Everyone needs a little pampering now and then…so I’m thinking I may have to do this massage thing more often….

From commercials to stadiums…

The stage was set.  The day was perfect.  It was Bedlam football.  I knew it’d be a crazy day but crazy can be good sometimes.  I’m fortunate to work the football games and because of that, I get to be around some neat people.  I also get to see and meet some prestigious individuals as well.  Here’s a story about one of them.

Standing off to the side of the Santee Lounge, I saw a man and his wife come inside with some friends.  I thought to myself, “Gosh that guy looks familiar.”  He was in jeans, boots (the shade of orange should’ve given it away) and dressed fairly average otherwise.  The group only stayed a few minutes before heading toward the elevator outside.  As they left, it hit me…the man that intrigued me was none other than the oil & gas tycoon and spokesman for energy independence, T. Boone Pickens.   Being the supervisor, it is my responsibility to call for an elevator.  So after saying to myself, “Even if he is an OSU fan, what the heck…” so I went and joined Mr. Pickens and his group outside.  I told him the elevator has to be called and while we waited, we made small talk (despite his team being down at the time and not playing well).  He was nice enough and I couldn’t help but glance at the gentleman in front of me, shades on, seemingly down-to-earth. I didn’t make a big fuss and didn’t feel the need to introduce myself.   I just did my job and then walked away.  Did I smile at the fact that I was just talking to T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire who has a stadium named after him?  The man who is on tv advocating that we appreciate our natural resources and be more efficient with them?  Darn right I did…

Inspired by Nadia…

I had begun reading a friend’s post (friend being Nadia) before I went to dinner but didn’t complete it until a few minutes ago after I had gotten home.  I loved it…I love the idea of keeping things in perspective and not getting too comfortable with what you’ve done.  You’ve got to keep going….got to keep seeing what’s out there.  So, with that said, after reading her lists, I was inspired to do one of my own…

25 things I want to do before I die (in no particular order):

1.  Visit Hawaii

2.  Take a helicopter ride

3.  Play in a golf tournament

4.  Attend a Women’s Final Four

5.  Put together a portfolio of pictures I’ve taken

6.  Have a picture of mine on display somewhere (besides on here)

7.  Pay off all my debt

8.  Visit Ireland, England and Scotland

9.  Stay in a B & B in Maine or somewhere off east coast

10.  Attend football game at Notre Dame and Texas A & M

11.  Be able to afford to buy something extravagant for someone else (and maybe myself too) just because I can.

12.  Attend Oprah show and meet Oprah.

13.  Buy a Lexus (only if I can afford to…love the RX-7 models)

14.  Go skiing and snowmobiling in Lake Tahoe

15.  Attend College World Series for softball (that should be accomplished this May)

16.  Own a home

17.  Spoil my best friend’s baby (due this summer….can’t wait!)

18.  Meet Pat Summitt

19.  Visit a lighthouse

20.  Watch one of my nephews’ college games (I’ve got 4 so one of them is bound to play at college level)

21.  Never stop reading

22.  Visit New York City in the Fall

23.  Never pass up an opportunity to say “I love you” to someone I love. (okay, this is an everyday thing)

24.  Do something huge for a complete stranger.

25.  Go scuba diving

Things I’ve already done…

1.  Attended Celine Dion concert in Vegas  (thanks to my sister…the trip was one of my favorite surprises)

2.  Met Sarah Palin

3.  Took a photography class (in progress)

4.  Received my Master’s degree

5.  Attended Joshn Groban concert & Mannheim Steamroller concert

6.  Volunteered on political campaign

7.  Attended LPGA tournament

8.  Wrote a book (well, really it was a ‘tribute’ to my Dad and ‘published’ via my home computer and printer)

9.  Attended two Sweet Sixteens for women’s basketball

10.  Met Marsha Sharp (former head coach at Texas Tech…one of the classiest in business)

11.  Coordinated grammar school reunions

12.  Moved to new city not knowing a soul (to Norman, OK…one of my best decisions)

13.  Delivered pointsettias for Meals on Wheels organization

14.  Worked on house for Habitat for Humanity

15.  Chatted with T. Boone Pickens at football game (he was waiting for an elevator…so conversation was like a minute or two long but still…it’s T.Boone, had to say hi)

16.  Went on a riverboat cruise down Mississippi River

17.  Started a blog…

18.  Participated in a parade

19.  Attended a mission at church

20.  Attended a Bible Study.

21.  Rode back of a motorcycle

22.  Gone horseback riding..

23.  Have my name announced over intercom at airport (almost missed my plane…but didn’t…fun adrenaline rush though)

24.  Tried online dating (no thanks!!!)

25.  Rode ‘Polar Express’ train in Durango, Colorado…it was so much fun as they re-created scene of movie with hot chocolate

Good sportsmanship…for fans

Apparently, I don’t seem to learn lessons well regarding the winds of Oklahoma.  I was watching stats of an Oklahoma softball game via my laptop before seeing OU down 1-0.  I looked at the screen and thought, ‘oh heck, let’s just go watch.’  I had a turtleneck and jeans on and then threw a sweatshirt over that…and then I grabbed a lightweight jacket.  I got to the stadium, parked and stayed in my car before getting guts to head inside.  After I sat down, I noticed the group below me was all fans of the other team.  ‘Perfect’ I thought…oh well, to each their own.  There was a time when one member of this ‘group’ yelled out “Let’s go Utes,” I answered with, “Alright Sooners, let’s go!”  Another Utah fan was standing up to my left and just laughed at my counter-reaction.  I just said, “hey, all in good fun.”  His response was refreshing, “I agree….it’s nice.  Sometimes fans can get too involved one way or the other.”  We chatted off and on during the game.  Fortunately, our girls rallied and ended up winning.  When the last inning was played, he turned to me and said, “Well, you have a good night.”  I reached out my hand and said, “You too.  Good game.”  We shook hands and parted ways. 

I love that about fans….keeping it respectful and fun.  When you think about it, we’re there because we enjoying watching a certain sport….sure, we’d love our girls, our team to win…but even if someone from another team gets hurt, yes we’re fans…but more importantly, we’re humans.

What Not to Wear

I used to sporadically watch the show on TLC, “What Not to Wear.”  I was lucky if I happen to stumble on it where there was more than a few minutes to go.  I hate when that happens…you come across a show or movie that looks really good…you get engrossed in it and then you find out it’s almost over.  Well, tv shows became a topic for me and a friend when she would find herself home sick or with time on her hands.  She would ask me what’s on and I’d rattle off some shows I like.  Somehow ‘What Not to Wear’ came up and so then I just got on TLC’s website to find out more listings.  Now I find myself texting her saying “our show is on” and she’ll know what I mean.  I found out it is on during the day…every day…not just on Friday nights or weekends.  I guess you could say I’m addicted to it.  Stacey and Clinton are the hosts and do a great job of tactfully (and sometimes when it’s necessary, bluntly) telling people what they should and should not wear.  I love it because I pick up hints all the time….and then laugh wondering what they would think of the clothes in my closet, ha!

Photography class

So, I signed up for a photography class a couple of weeks ago.  I’ve been pumped about it ever since…until last week.  It was day one of our class.  I walked in and was still excited, told the instructor my name and then sat down and started visiting with another girl there.  She had this beautiful Nikon D60 camera.  I didn’t know her well enough to rip it away and convince her to let me use it.  So I just complimented her on it and then busied myself with my camera.  Well, we co some minor introductions.  Come to find out, I was the only one in the class with a 35mm camera.  Granted, it is a very nice camera but still…it uses the f-word: film.  We went through the class and the instructor gave us things to practice.  I looked around and felt like those activities we looked at when we were kids, “Which one of these things doesn’t belong?”  The class was interesting and I wasn’t at a complete disadvantage….until he asked us to practice during the week and then ‘post’ pictures to their website so he could critique and comment. 

Well the week goes on and I put it out of my mind when at work.  I struggled with figuring out how I was going to post my pictures, how I was going to fit into this class.  I thought to myself, ‘great, I’m going to have to blow a roll of film every week…what was I thinking? How did I not see this was strictly for digital cameras?’  I was very close to not continuing the class.  Yesterday I began an e-mail exchange with the instructor who ultimately convinced me that as long as I practice and look over slides, I should be fine.  He recommended that I stay in the class. 

So, I’ve been home for about an hour and can honestly say I’m glad I went to the class.  It was kind of funny because Dustin, the instructor, teased me a few times and singled me out saying he’ll start using film again.  As I was walking out after class, a Mom and daughter who are also in the class stopped me and said, “Mary, are you in a hurry?”  I said no and walked over to them.  She asked, “you have a film camera, right?”  I laughed and said that I did.  We chatted for a few minutes about my camera and she said that her daughter is taking a class in Europe this summer and it requires her to have a film camera.  I teased her saying that if I have gotten a digital camera by then, we’ll work some sort of trade out.  We chatted a minute or so more and then parted ways.  I walked to my car smiling thinking that I made the right choice to follow through with the class.  I love photography and will keep the faith that I will leave this class a better photographer….not just a person who happens to take great pictures….with her preferred camera, and this will make my instructor shudder….but a Kodak point-and-shoot.  I’m learning to appreciate my 35mm though….patience in all that we do.

Mission definitely accomplished

Last Sunday at mass, our priest discussed the 3-day mission that was to start that evening and run through Tuesday evening.  As I sat listening, it sounded like something I’d enjoy. I had a moment of realizing I was aging as I always thought of missions as something my Mom attended.  Our philosophies about them are the same…if the priest conducting it gives good talks, the time flies by and it’s so worthwhile.  I had a feeling that would be the case with these missions.  So, Sunday evening came and I sat there engrossed in what the priest had to say.  The material was probably too controversial for some as he got into politics a little but that didn’t bother me one bit.  Specifically, he discussed pride, envy, anger. sloth, gluttony, lust and greed.  He gave clear examples of how we abuse these each and every day….yet also gave us ways of how we can be better people when we realize the consequences of our actions. 

Even though it made for long days, it was so worth it.  I’m really glad I went.  I needed to hear those things.  I needed to be reminded of how I could be a better Christian, a better person.  Throughout the rest of this Lenten season and beyond, I hope to constantly remember the words I heard.  I don’t want to get too comfortable in my beliefs and want to keep pushing myself.

Oklahoma faithful

Lastnight was my first home game for softball to attend this season.  I had told our coach I was determined to make more games this season.  She promised they’d be better this year.  So far, she’s proving to be right.  Earlier in the day, it was gorgeous…maybe in the 60’s with the sun out.  I kept thinking “wow, what a perfect day for a game.”  I attended a pre-game event with other softball fans and clapped as the team ran out of their practice facility onto the field.  I looked around at the group of people.  They’re a group who wants to support OU softball and will stand behind them through ‘thick and thin.’  That’s pretty cool.  When it was time to take our seats, the temperature had already begun to drop.  The sun was gone and it was a cool, crisp 48 degrees.  It didn’t matter to The “Oklahoma faithful” group of fans.  They huddled together in their seats with their blankets and zipped-up jackets cheering on a talented group of girls.  As tempting as it was to leave early with a lead that got more secure as time went on, I didn’t.  I didn’t “wimp out” and stayed until the last inning was over.  I’m proud to be a part of this group…