Thursday, June 30, 2011

cry me a spring river

At the beginning of June, I went on a canoe day trip with some of my friends. We went to spring river in Arkansas and I can say that it was a very memorable trip. Kyle didn't get to go. I think he was a little happy because that meant that he got to watch the regional baseball game that Mississippi State was in!

April and I on our way to the drop off point. We ended up being canoe partners.

Cindy's birthday is in January and she wanted to go canoeing for her we did....5 months later!

Back to my canoe partner. I somehow ended up being the back canoer. Well, that did not go so well when April said "this is going to be a long 10 miles" in a not-so-happy tone. We proceeded to veer towards a tree. So I suggested we swap and it was the best decision for our friendship! We ended up being great partners!

Do you see this yacht? I mean 3 rafts roped together? There was a guy with a big speaker, mic, laptop, amp, and stage where he was being the river DJ. I liked it minus the unedited music. These people are regulars!

Lunch time!

The girls-Sarah, April, Shelly, Julia, Lisa, Steph, Cindy, and me. I would like to add that I was the only one who wore a life jacket. I was also made fun of!

This does not look like a comfy spot to eat!

So glad we swapped spots...if not, these smiles would've been frowns!

Our boys were some great rock-skippers! This was the last of our happy pictures....and happy times.

We got back in our canoes and headed onward. Then some clouds rolled in. I thought nothing of it. Then Shelly said it looked like it was getting bad. Then the clouds got darker. So we decided we'd pull over. But one of our friends tumped (that word is for Sarah) over so we pulled over on an island to wait on them. Once they got to the island the bottom fell out. We thought it'd pass after 20 minutes. It started hailing. We had no shelter. The lightning was so bad. The thunder was so loud. We were freezing. So we huddled with about 10 other strangers and sang songs to pass the time. Then 45 minutes passed with no relief. Across the river was a house and a gazebo where these people were playing music on a sound system. How could they party at a time like this? Finally after an hour I had enough! I huddled with some guys under their raft and called (glad April had her phone in a water proof bag) our canoe rental place, Many Islands. Ironically, we were trapped on an island! The line was busy! My idea was to have them come rescue us! No luck. The lightening was too bad to cross the river and the current was too strong to swim. When Ray looked worried, I knew we were in bad shape.

The boys had the bright idea to just go on...REALLY? It had been an hour and 15 minutes since the storm started. I was not comfortable leaving but I didn't want to be left alone on the island. So April and I got in our metal canoe in the lightening. It gets better. 2 girls who had an inter tube hopped in our canoe....our 2 man canoe. Oh why not! It wasn't raining as bad. Sure, you'll be safer in our metal canoe! So off we went. We were in the canoe for about 3 minutes when we saw dead man's curve. April and I were very proud of the fact we had not flipped. We saw the rapid, we thought we had it...then BAM! Our 2 extra people did us in. We think one of them broke their arm. It was horrible. I am surprised I only had 1 scratch. Who is making fun of my life jacket now? We finally got to land and it ended up being a canoe drop off point, but not ours. So the 2 girls got medical attention and left. April and I got back in our canoe and finally it started to clear up. The lightening was still going strong but it was getting further away.

Finally, 30 minutes down the river, we found our Many Islands drop off point. Thank the good Lord we were safe and the canoe ride was over!  It really did rain on our parade. I am not real sure I'll be canoeing in the near furture. I'm going to have to forget this horrible event before I get back out on the river!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

food for finance: in the air tonight

(healthy) food for finance is a column where we talk about how fitness and finance correlate with each other. join us on our journey to be both physically and financially fit.

At this very moment, Kyle and I are in my jeep with the air conditioning on high!  This is a BIG DEAL! Last summer, my air went out.  It was June and it was already in the 90s everyday. We took it in and they gave us an estimate of $1500 to fix it.  We were still working through baby step 2 and had just one more debt to pay off. So we decided to wait out the summer with no air. We thought.....Oh that won't be too bad. The summer before last was a mild one.

WRONG! Last summer was the second hottest on record. If we would've only known....
It was miserable! Kyle and I took turns driving my jeep. We carpooled a lot with work friends. I feel like we lost weight by sweating at red lights. We began to notice a lot of people didn't have air.  I'd see someone driving by me on the interstate going 70mph with their windows rolled down and I'd give them the *I know how you feel* nod. And it was so loud riding down the interstate with the windows down. And all the car exhaust!!  Then August came. Even worse. We hit 100 plus for 3 weeks straight. I was never so glad to see the season change.

 Finally, a year later, the time came. Once it hit 90s for 1 week straight, it was time to get A/C. Since we were debt free except the house, getting the A/C fixed was not a stressful event. It was only an inconvenience because we had money saved for events like this one. We did have the cash last summer since we'd completed baby step 1, but we wanted to wait (see 1st paragraph-we were temporarily insane!)  It ended up being less than expected, $999.60 and it was well worth it! Kyle thanks the inventor of the air conditioner everyday. He hopes their offspring are millionaires.

So tomorrow when you're driving down the street when it is 97 degrees and you see someone in a car with their natural A/C blowing, feel very sorry for them! Then give thanks that you did not grow up in the 1950s when there was no such thing as A/C in cars. I feel like I have a brand new car but I have a 2002 Jeep Liberty. We've been through a lot together and I hope she (Dolly) lasts me many more years!

Ah....the cool breeze blowing through my hair never felt so good!

Friday, June 17, 2011


We've had a lot of McCoy quality family time in May. We spent 2 weekends in Starkville. (Kyle's happy place).  Kyle's sister is getting married in June so there has been a lot of showers, dress hunting, the usual wedding stuff.

Our first trip to Starkville was for Jeff's wedding, a friend Kyle grew up with. Kyle was a groomsman so he was super excited that the rehearsal dinner was at the M club, a place overlooking the football stadium for the athletic alums.

Inside the M Club
 Jeff married Rebekah, from Strakville, so all the festivities were held there.

My handsome husband at the reception. And you know it was on campus too.


 The newlyweds! Jeff and Rebekah!

 Rebekah's son Bran and, as of last week, he is offically Jeff's son too! He's a great breakdancer!

The very next weekend was Leah's (my sister-in-law) bachelorette party in Nashville.
Kyle had a fun weekend too. He went to BBQ fest with our friends, Jen and Leon, and to a crawfish boil the next day. 

Back to the party...we had a good time.  All the bridesmaids came which included Leah's cousin and soon to be sister-in-law. We had a great time meeting some locals and touring the town. Nashville is always a fun place to go for a weekend!

Memorial day weekend we were back in Starkville for Leah and Josh's engagement party hosted by Mr. Simmons. You ask who he is?  He is 87. He used to own the CPA firm Leah works for and he sold it but still works there part time.

Kyle and I at the party.

sibling love

the girls

Our 1st family photo with the engaged couple.

Maybe you're wondering how an 87 year old man still works, drives, hosts parties, and builds retaining walls. So I asked him. I asked Mr. Simmons what his secert is to living a "young" healthy life. He told me he used to work out 3 times a week and drink gin and tonic.  He also said he didn't get married until he was 40. He's been married 47 years to his wife who is 82. She said all of our names as we were were leaving their house. How come I can't remember where I put my keys? 

We stayed the rest of the weekend in Starkville to hang out with Kyle's parents. We got up Monday morning and headed to my parents to cookout with them. Lots of good memories were made!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

my world is a flood

....slowly I become one with the mud.-Jars of Clay.

That song reminds of high school track practice. Today it reminds me of the Memphis floods in May. The muddy Mississippi decided to crest at 47.85 feet just shy of reaching the all time record of the 1937 flood of 48.7 feet.

With all the media here, you'd think the whole city was going under! Just under 10 % of the area was flooded and most of that was uninhabited areas.  This is why I don't believe half of what the news says. I need an eyewitness (that I know personally) telling me if it's true or not! We sure were on the news a lot. GEEZ! So here is a recap of the events back in May.

The parking lot in Harbor Town.

The parking lot flooded in Harbor Town.

You can't see the walking path.

Sand trucks covering Island Drive on Mud Island just in case the river crested over the road (it didn't).

My co-worker and I took a stroll on our lunch break to see the new tourist attraction.

 This is Beale Street where it meets Riverside Dr.

Media time: Everyone was here from Al Roker to Diane Sawyer. They were here to report less than 10% of the city being under water and most uninhabited! Granted there were some homes that were flooded. But come on now!!

There was a man selling water.  This was a true attraction!

Media frenzy.

Riverside Drive was apparently closed.

More of Riverside.

The CNN guy was reporting live... I had to grab that moment!

This is a great statue of a person trying to be rescued

Ironic it was under water for about a week.

They had to move BBQ fest to Tiger Lane (where U of Memphis football tailgating is held) but all the other Memphis in May events were downtown.

I loved the t-shirts!!!! SOS-Save our Swine! 

There were so many good things happening in Memphis the week of the floods. The Memphis Grizzles were in the NBA playoffs and President Obama came to speak at Booker T Washington high school graduation. But you'd never know that if you watched the news!!! Don't believe everything you hear!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

food for finance: schock vs weiner

(healthy) food for finance is a column where we talk about how fitness and finance correlate with each other. join us on our journey to be both physically and financially fit.

However you feel about the new health care bill, lets face is going to go up in price. And why? Because we as Americans are letting it! I honestly have no idea what Congressmen Aaron Schock stands for except that he is the the youngest congressman (age 29) and he was on the cover of Men's Health.

I saw this clip from the Today Show and I was so excited!  Aaron Schock is challenging Americans to be fit for life. He talks about how you have to make a change for yourself.  It does not have to be a big change all at once. Start by going for a walk 3 days a week for 15 minutes. Choose to drink water instead of a coke. Have fruit instead of chips for lunch. And the list goes on.

  Don't confuse Aaron Schock's chest pictures with congressman Anthony Weiner.  Aaron did his photo shoot to encourage Americans to live a healthier lifestyle. The big fight in Washington is "who is going to pay for health care?" We are!  According to the CDC, Americans spent $147 billion dollars in 2008 on medical care costs relating to obesity.

Not having enough time is the excuse I hear a lot when people talk about loosing weight. I don't have time. I can't. Yadda, yadda, yadda. When Kyle and I cut our cable, we realized how much t.v. we were watching. It took us doing that to figure out we could be doing so much more with our time. We have our cable back now but we don't watch it near as much as we used to.

In Michelle Obama's Let's Move website, it says "Eight to 18-year old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, including, TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies, and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity."  We all need to step it up and encourage each other!  Challenge each other to do something you normally wouldn't do. Go for a bike ride. Go on a hike. Walk the dogs. Take the kids to the park. Play hide and seek. Since it is so hot out there, find a pool and swim (this is me hinting to my pool friends to invite me over!)

My awesome husband did his part by lowering his LDL and HDL. Since he's lost 60 pounds and kept if off, he's helping to bring that $147 billion down just a little. Who knows what kind medical problems he'd have if he didn't take control of his life.

My job is even on board. We get so many points for getting our annual check-ups, exercising, being smoke-free, etc. This year I got the most points and my health insurance did not go up. Instead I get $15 off a pay period for being in good health. Such a great incentive to be healthy.

Thanks Congressman Schock for taking one for the team and baring it all for such a good cause!