It’s Thoughtful easy way to make a difference

Take a minute and think about someone who made a difference in your life.

Chances are you just smiled.

You remember how happy it made you, how it changed you or how loved you felt that they took the time to do something for you.

Was it a huge thing like Oprah did when she gave away those cars?  Or was it something on a smaller scale?  It might have even been something they did without  realizing they made an amazing impact on your life.

While we would all like to have the ability to do really BIG things most of us can’t give away cars or houses or fancy vacations.

If you go back to the first question and remember what first popped into your thoughts it probably wasn’t something big.  It was probably something much smaller and doable and yet it was still HUGE to you.

This past Monday I had my day all planned and it was going to be so productive.  I got up early, I ran, I cleaned up and I sat down to work.  My computer had different ideas about my day.  I spent all day Monday, some of Tuesday and will spend a little bit of today getting this one issue,that could not be ignored,fixed on my computer.

Monday was NOT a good day.  Fortunately I did not also have to suffer through “crunchy coffee”.  If you missed out on that adventure go here.

So after some mind bending hours in front of this blasted machine I took the dog out since his little dance could not be ignored . I got the mail and my day turned around when I found these:


Letters for Thoughtful Thursday


Neither one of these friends could have possibly known what kind of day I would have when their note arrived.  I tore into them, read them several times and now they sit on my desk and make me smile.

They made a difference by taking a few minutes to write me a note.  It wasn’t a car or a house or a vacation but it might as well have been because that is how huge it felt to me on Monday.

Want to make a difference?  Make a list ( either written or in your noggin) about all the ways you can turn someones’ day around.  A smile, a note, holding the door open, a compliment, a post it note on the steering wheel or someones’ desk.  A lunchbox note for someone who might never expect it.

FYI we never grow too old for lunchbox notes.

Watch it come back to you in so many great ways including just making you smile when you think of the person finding the note, seeing your smile or savoring your compliment.

Now you know the drill.  Go out and make it a Thoughtful One!! 🙂


Liebster Blog Award

Thank you Carole MacLean for nominating my blog for the Liebster Award.

Carole currently blogs about her everyday trials, tribulations and triumphs as a wife, mother and entrepreneur at  Carole’s blog is a great read and will you inspire with her great writing and heart centered blog pieces.


About the Liebster Award:

The aim of the Liebster award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. There are no set rules for the award, but the guidelines are as follows:

  1. Copy and paste an image of the award onto your blog.
  2. Write a post on your blog to thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  3. Nominate some blogs for the award. There is no rule for the number of blogs you nominate, but the general recommendation is at least 5 blogs.
  4. Answer the questions from the person who nominated you in your post.
  5. Ask at least 5 questions on your blog for those you nominated for the award to answer.
  6. In addition to the questions and answers, list at least 5 random facts about yourself.

Here are my answers to Carole’s questions:

What makes your heart sing?

So many things!  Being with my six grandkids.  They make me laugh!  Writing, running , biking and just being outside!  The sunrise and a beautiful  day are also at the top of my list!

What is your favorite movie?

“Under the Tuscan Sun”  hands down.  So many great quotes and lessons to be learned from that movie.

Where do you like to vacation?

I love the water but I also like adventure and exploring new my favorite place would be my next vacation!!  Which I hope will be Italy!

What is one of your favorite books?

I read alot of non-ficiton but just got back into fiction and my latest favorite is “Finding CeCe Honeycutt”  A great book about women supporting other women.  A few dark moments but for the most part a light read.

As for non-fiction I love “The Sound of Paper” or anything by Julia Cameron  Oh and Eat, Pray, Love was another favorite.

Which characteristic do you admire the most in people?

Overcoming adversity with grace and determination.

Five Random Facts about me:

I tie my shoes with bunny ears and can’t do it any other way.

I didn’t learn my right from my left until after I had kids and I still have to think about it.

I stood on my head so much as a child I rubbed a bald spot on my head.

My husband is the only guy I ever fell in love with 🙂  unless you count Tim in the fifth grade.

I didn’t start running until I was 47 and have completed 3 half marathons and see a marathon in my future.

My Questions for my nominee(s)

1.  What is your favorite thing to do everyday?

2. Which season do you like best and why?

3.  What is your favorite reward/treat that you save for special occasions ( activity, food or?)

4.  Are you a night owl or an early bird?

5.  What adventure to you dream about doing?

My Nominated Blogs:

I had a tough time because Carole stole at least one of my my favorite blogs have way more than 200 readers but here is one of my favs  AND if you know of a blog that qualifies, let me know and I will read it and probably nominate it!

Valerie Paul at:



It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Let your heart do the traveling!

Hoping this isn’t a repeat but if it’s a good one!  Thanks Carole!!  You do have a Brave, Open Heart!

A dear friend of mine, Carole MacLean, shared this quote with me.  I started to write about it and then realized it can stand on its own because in one short sentence it sums up Thoughtful Thursday.

If you think sending a handwritten letter, no matter how long or short won’t make a difference then remember this quote.

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart. Phyllis Theroux

How about we all move our heart today?


Ready, set, GO make it a Thoughtful One!


It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Technology Saved the Day

I often say I am just tech savvy enough to be dangerous even though my husband calls me the “gadget queen”.  I also  have to admit that I have been resisting lazy about learning all the bells and whistles for each gadget.

Despite my laziness I find myself being so very grateful that technology has saved  me time energy and a little angst when my brain cells aren’t connecting.

My car, for one,  is way smarter than I am and has saved me from locking my keys inside at least 100 times.

I also have many tech savy friends that have saved me from self induced tech trouble.

And now, despite my resistance, ( and being a tad sentimental)  I have to admit that it may be time to give the old address book the heave ho.  It is worn and tattered and seen its better days. It also has a mind of its own and goes missing for days on end.


I realized this when some of  my tech savvy friends came to the rescue of  “Thougthful Thursdays”.  They did it  without even realizing it..just doing what came naturally to them ( tech wise).

A life raft was thrown my way long before I was in danger of drowning.


I wish ( would have made an awesome blog post!)  but no.. just a happy accident.

I was writing notes for  “Thoughtful Thursdays” and wishing I had my address book with me when a light bulb went off.  The last time I was with these friends we exchanged addresses, e-mails, birthdays etc. via SMART PHONES!

There I was in the oh so comfortable Jiffy Lube waiting room writing cards wishing I could mail them on my way home and like magic two of my brain cells collided and I checked my phone and there were all the addresses I needed.


Mission accomplished.  Stamps purchased at the grocery store, note cards breeding indiscirminatly in my desk, and my purse, addresses on smart phone, pen hiding in the grunge of my car, purse, couch cushions or on occasion at my desk.  No excuses not to write these notes anymore!

Thoughtful Thursday gadget style with a little old school thrown in for good measure.  The best of both worlds wouldn’t you say?

So go out and make it a Thoughtful uber smart car, phone, computer and running watch told me to remind you!


If I rock the bike, why not the run?

I hate being fooled.  I especially hate it when I do it to myself.  Getting my bike set up with the bike trainer and actually enjoying training inside was such a surprise to me.  I loved it.  So much so I slacked off on my running.  I figured that if I was doing all this work on the bike then when I did get back outside to run it wouldn’t be so hard to get back up to speed.

Think about it.  The bike is aerobic exercise and so is running.  So if I rock the bike then I can rock the run..right?



It helps but running is totally different than biking.  And I seem to be a slow learner because I have tried to convince myself that they are the same..many times.

For instance if I was doing the elliptical then that had to be the same as the treadmill.  Nope.  Not even in mileage which is one thing I will never understand.

I know I am slow but I can cover a mile on the treadmill in 10-12 minutes.  It takes at least 20 minutes on the elliptical womans health with just as much or sometimes more effort.

There is probably a good explanation but it boggles my mind.

I learned this disparity in fitness levels at a swim class.  Just so you know..and there is no polite way to say this..I suck at swimming.  It’s really not technique but endurance that I need to improve.

In an effort to do improve this I took a swim class specifically for triathletes.  After stating that the swim session kicked my butt and I couldn’t figure it out the swim instructor bluntly told me that it reflected my level of fitness.

WHAT???   Yup..the truth is while I can run and bike pretty well, swimming is another story.   Just so you know, the swim instructor was very kind.  He wasn’t trying to be mean just truthful and I knew he was right.

And that is why I like triathlons.  It is never boring and it is, at least for me, always humbling.

The good thing is when I do kick ass I feel like a gold medalist..even if I am in last place.

I just gotta keep triing!


My life as a sitcom: Couponing at its worst!

Well extreme couponing has taken on a new meaning in our house.  I skillfully kept my husband from seeing the show of the same name for many months. My biggest fear was that he would see it and being the lover of a great deal I would soon be tasked with clipping coupons, looking for sales and buying vasts amounts of things we really don’t need for the sake of the deal.

I have nothing against couponing, I just don’t want it to be my full time job.

Fortunately for me once Paul did see it, he recognized how time consuming it would be as well as bringing out the hoarder in all of us. Seriously who needs a whole case of deodorant?  Maybe a gym full of teenage boys if you can get them to use it.

Who would guess that couponing could actually get a little weird.

My parents grew up in the depression.  As a result, I grew up believing that you never threw out leftovers ( even if was only a tablespoon) and ALL plastic containers needed to be saved, reused, stored and allowed to multiply at alarming rates.

So I wasn’t surprised when my Dad said he was sending me a coupon that he thought I could use.  He prefaced it by asking if I ever shopped at Victoria’s Secret.

Just the fact that my 86 year old Dad knows about Victoria’s Secret is a little unsettling.

I just assumed it was something my Mom had clipped out of the paper.  I wasn’t quite sure why my Dad was involved but stranger things have happened with those two.

My mother is usually the one who sends coupons for things she thinks I might want to try or I might use.  She spreads the wealth and sends coupons to all three of us girls.  Problem is she keeps forgetting who needs what.  Plus she gets very excited and wants to know if we received them and if we used them.

Not a problem except for months she sent cat food coupons to my sister who only has dogs, diaper coupons to my sister who has college age kids and expired coupons to me.  It made for a few giggles on our part but it didn’t make my sister get a cat or my other sister decide to have another baby!

I thought perhaps because of these mishaps that Dad decided to take over the couponing.

No, he just wanted to send me this one coupon.

Once I received it my reactions ranged from ewwww to maybe I should be flattered to how did an 86 yr old man get on Victoria Secrets mailing list?

This is the coupon I received:


In fairness to my Dad and knowing how he quickly  scans thing, he more than likely focused on the FREE part.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Let’s not leave out Mom here..she was the one who actually sent it!!

While I am not into granny panties, these aren’t my style either but I appreciate the thought.

Lastly I never asked my Dad why he sent this coupon..there are some questions I just don’t want to ask.

AND there is something to be said for just sucking it up and paying full price…sometimes.

Plus there are those paybacks.  If I am lucky enough to live to 86 yrs old I hope I provide as much entertainment to my kids as my parents do for us!

Love you guys!  Keep laughing!


Let’s Tri this again!

If you are a regular reader of this blog you may be wondering why the blog posts lately have not mentioned one thing about triathlons.

Me too!

It has been a season of fighting myself in regards to triathlons  and actually any kind of training.

I had a great intentions of doing my usual tri’s and adding a few more but I became the queen of excuses and procrastination.

The summer here in Virginia seemed to start in Feb.  At least my daffodils thought so and here is the proof.

Daffodils in the snow

It WAS a hot, hot summer.  Not only is this true but it was my main reason for not training consistently.

Then the whining time, no close access to a “good” pool, it’s raining,my back hurts, I just ate and the dog ate my running shoes.

Okay the last one is a total lie but the fact is I was full of excuses or just plain full of it.

Truth is the last ” official ” race I did was a 10k in March.

I even weenied out on my first official “See Jenn Tri” triathlon.  This was an idea I came up with to make up for all the triathlons I missed.  I was going to do my own triathlon just for me with just one participant: ME!

Finally I sat myself down and decided I needed to get a grip and get moving .

  • I put together my halo swim trainer that I bought in March and started using it just this week.
  • I started running
  • I forgave myself for being such a slacker this summer

Amazing things can happen when you forgive yourself.

  • I am actually enjoying  my runs again and look forward to them! ( that hasn’t happened in a long time)
  • My back is not hurting before or after my runs ( Maybe I needed the rest??)
  • I allow myself to either run the planned distance or time OR do a walk run
  • When I don’t feel like running or exercising I find if I just make the effort to get out there I am always happier with myself than if I blow it off

I am not a fiercely competitive person.  I love to get out there and participate.  What my time is and where I placed are low on the totem pole.  It is more about enjoying myself and being a part of these fun events.

So it was a summer of learning.   I learned I do not like to run in 1oo% humidity and 99 degree weather.  If I am to run a marathon ( it is on my list) it is going to have to be one in the early spring.

I will run in the summer but just to keep my running up to par.  For me, summer is better suited to swimming and biking.

I am also looking into joining a tri-training group.  I have been going it alone for too long.

Mostly I have learned to give myself some grace and be a little more gentle and generous with myself.

I have a 10k in October that is being run alongside the Marine Corps Marathon.  I can’t wait.  I am not sure which is more exciting..the actual run or the fact that I am now comfortable with where I am in this process.

I think I will just follow this rule that hangs by my desk:

Celebrate Everything

Sometimes we just need to give ourselves a break and hit the refresh button.  I fought myself on this all summer.   Once I quit fighting it  the path became clear.

What will you hit the refresh button on today?  As for me, I gotta run!  🙂


My life as a sitcom, part 3! (another Bettyism)

My parents, both 85, own a computer.  I am happy to say that it is  more than an expensive way to play solitaire.  My father uses it to keep up with friends, find and send jokes, and when the stars are aligned he can open up photos sent to him  and my Mom of their 10  great grandkids.

I never trust that the stars will be aligned.  It is actually less  frustrating to send them photos via real/snail mail.

My mother doesn’t really understand the computer or the internet.  She prefers landlines to cell phones and facebook  just baffles her.   She loves to send real mail.  I have lots of memories of her sitting in the kitchen writing letters every morning when I would come down to breakfast.

The mix of technology and the tried and true ways often leads to some humorous moments.

Text message for seejenntri blog post

Recently my sister phoned me and said that she had told Mom her electric was out and to use the cell phone.  She was irritated because when the electric did come back on there were 15  thirty seconds or longer voicemails on her landline from Mom.  In each message my Mother was getting more and more irritated that my sister had not returned her calls.

“I don’t know why she did that, I told her our electricity was out”

I was a little puzzled myself but finally figured it out.  My Mom may be 85 but she is still pretty sharp.  She can also be very literal in her thinking.

So this is what she heard ”  Susan’s electricity is out so I have to use the cell”  Great, I can do that!

The next time she  needed to call Susan she got my Dad’s cell and called Susan’s landline!  15 times!

Makes sense to me.

And this is why I should probably write my own sitcom!

I found this the other day and it had all the earmarks of a Bettyism!. Enjoy!

When Mom thinks you run the internet


Friends don’t let friends ride their bikes naked!

Well its true!  Actually I am pretty adamant about not letting my friends ride naked.  Those that do get me riled up and on my soapbox.

Wait.  Maybe I should clarify naked.


Maybe I should have gone with my first choice for a title which was really a question.

What do ER nurses call people who ride naked?

Have I got your attention?

Good and you will be relieved to know that it’s not THAT kind of naked.   Its the nothing on your   head kind of naked as in:

No bike helmet

Hang in here with me and I promise it will be worth your while.

Actually if you are a grown adult and choose not to wear a helmet then I guess its your choice.  I have heard everything from

  • it’s uncomfortable
  • messes my hair up
  • too much trouble
  • just haven’t bought one yet
  • they are ugly
  • never wore one as a kid.

I never wore one as a kid either but  as the saying goes:

” when we know better we do better”.

As for the rest of the excuses, sounds like a lot of inexcusable whining to me.

Here is what gets me on my soapbox.  Most bike helmet laws are for kids 14  and under. I guess brains older than 14 are expendable??

AND lately I have been seeing  several Moms out riding with their kids.  ALL the kids have helmets on, the Moms do not.


Guess its “do as I say, not as I do time”    Holy cow.

Here are a few stats for those of you who like to ride with a naked head.   I was surprised at the ages of most fatalities.

From the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Wearing a bike helmet can reduce your chance of head injury 85%.
  • Most helmet laws are for kids 14 and under.
  • 87% of  fatal bicycle crashes happen to people 16 and older.
  • Average age of injury  30 years old
  • Average age of fatality 41 years old

Just so you know that if 85% of all kids wore bike helmets the lifetime medical savings would be between $197 million and $256 milllion.

Now if we can only get those knuckle head Moms to put one on.

So remember these two things:

What DO most ER nurses call people who don’t wear bike helmets ( or as I like to call it, riding naked) ?


And on a lighter note:

Have fun with it..who says you can’t make a fashion statement with a bike helmet ?  Not this guy!Cristiano

Go put your helmet !  NOW !


Grandma’s T-shirt had a best friend too! Who knew?

Remember how I discovered my t-shirt has a best-friend?   Well it turns out that party in our  closest has been going on for generations.

My grandmother was born in 1902 and lived a full 90 years.    That is a lot of party time for her bra’s and shirts blouses.  Honestly I am not sure she ever ever wore a t-shirt.

How do I know the party started generations ago?  Well look what I found in a box of memorabilia that belonged to my Grandma.

bosom friend 2

Whoa!  Go Grandma!

When she was a young ingenue, Victoria’s Secret truly was a secret yet to be revealed.

I imagine the bras my grandmother endured were built for function ( probably by a man) and not all that attractive or comfortable but they managed to have friends anyways.

One can only imagine what this friend did for my Grandma…

Inside bosom friend

Carried her

  • Extra cash
  • smokes
  • number of her next hook up ( sorry grams)
  • gum
  • lipstick
  • ???

I only wish Grandma had left some hint as to what she really did carry.  Come to think of it my Grandma hailed form West Virginia.

Where is that box of memorabilia?  When I find it my guess is I’ll find a cute little flask, just big enough to hold a few sips of moonshine and small enough to fit in her bosom buddy.

Rock on Grandma..that is a true bosom buddy!