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Confessions of an Un-Runner

Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Bio: Who is the Un-Runner?

The daughter of a country preacher and a strong-minded woman, the Un-Runner was raised to fit in, to do what she was told, and to NEVER make waves. She excelled at it - but she's better now!

Cyndi Paxton Johnson balances family, friends, fitness, homeschooling, writing and a family business with humor and tears. She's been published in Donne Tempo, The Washington Times, and Cecil County Magazine, among others.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Let it Snow!Let it Snow!We're sorry, the Mid-Shore is temporarily out of order! It's a snow day for most of the mid-shore (sorry, Dorchester County - maybe next time!) Enjoy the snow now - for it's supposed to change to sleet and freezing rain tonight!

Drive carefully, friends - the roads are actually covered. By tonight they'll be downright treacherous - so try to stay warm and dry inside! For those of you from places that get REAL snowfall - try not to laugh. Here on the shore - we take whatever snowfall we can get!

Speaking of snowfall, my Eastern Shore children were outside for an entire 20 minutes until the biting cold and blinding snow forced them indoors. (and yes, I AM being sarcastic) They had dug out their old but never used plastic sleds and screamed with delight as they flew down the snow-covered slopes in our backyard - also know as the three-foot high dirt pile. Real screaming - the kind you hear on death-defying roller coasters. It's very sad. Perhaps it's time we built a REAL hill on the mid-shore that families could actually sled down?

Mid Shore Cake Rant

Beware the ranting woman! I've just wasted two hours of my life trying to find a bakery - on the mid-shore - where I can order a birthday cake for my daughter. She wants something specific this year - a dragon. Not the Disney Princesses, or My Little Pony, or Nascar - a dragon.

I've found exactly ONE bakery that allows you to order online - Giant Foods in Easton. They even gave pictures of the cakes - and prices. It may have taken me awhile to actually get to the appropriate page - but their site DID meet my needs. Except they have nothing even minimally resembling a dragon. Do you think Scooby-Doo would suffice - if I painted a long tail on him???

Cake Wrecks Made My Day!

IQ Test?IQ Test? It's raining, dreary and boring on the Mid-Shore today. Snow would be lovely - this is just....muddy. But take heart - I've found the Blog of the week:
Cake Wrecks:When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong! Ok - who gets the baby?Ok - who gets the baby?

Seriously folks - this is one of the funniest sites I've ever seen. Fight off the weather doldrums with a hilarious trip down fiasco lane. Enjoy!

Finding Calm Amidst Chaos

Focus on the PositiveFocus on the Positive

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

It's THAT time of year again. The calendar is taking on a life of it's own - and our to-do lists and obligations threaten to overwhelm us. We feel burdened at what should be a time of celebration, family and friends.

I want to focus on what's important: laughter, love, friendship and community. To do so, I need to banish the demon of perfectionism that hovers behind my ear, continually whispering that I'm falling behind, that I'm not good enough, that I'll never get things right. What does that demon know, anyway? (read more)

Knitting? Kno Problem!

Ok, here's the thing. It takes awhile for my talent to catch up with my imagination. (think...millennium) I can visualize something quite clearly - producing it...well, that's another story.

Case in point: I have been actively attempting to knit a baby hat and kimono for my nephew's new son. I've been working for over a month, the baby arrived yesterday. There's a small caveat - I don't knit. Well, I've made lumpy scarves - but that's it.

Read more...

Home, Sweet Home!

Traffic JamTraffic JamThere's nothing like a shopping trip to Baltimore and Towson to make you appreciate life on the Mid-Shore! Even though I've lived in Baltimore, Frederick, and New York City; a mere five years on the slower shore has reset my tolerance levels. I no longer appreciate, understand or accept:

1. rush hour traffic
2. overcrowded parking garages
3. a 40 minute wait at a restaurant
4. rude shoppers
5. size 0 fashion plates lugging around a designer leather bag larger than my overnite case. (I think they fill them with helium!)

Let's face it friends, I've been countrified - and I like it! Give me my chickens, back roads and friendly faces! Yee-haw!



Winter Hits the Mid-Shore!

Memories of WinterMemories of Winter

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

It's a blizzard!!! We could be stranded for months! It's every Mid-Shore resident for himself!!! Save yourselves!

Um...wait. The forecast said there MIGHT be snow flurries. Most likely rain. More rain. It will be well above freezing for most of the day - and temps were in the 70's just FOUR days ago!!! (don'cha just LOVE MD weather???)

So....if we MIGHT get a few snow flurries overnight...please explain to me the WALL of people at the grocery store last night - madly stocking up on milk, bread and toilet paper???

I don't know about you - but I'm hearing the entire state of Minnesota falling off their chairs, laughing. You know, the people that plug their cars in at night and don't cancel school when there's a mere four feet of NEW snow!

Oh well - we're on the Mid-Shore! We know the Chesapeake Bay, we know fishing and crabbing, we know chickens, and we know corn (boy, do we KNOW corn!). But snow???

Ok, so we don't do that well with snow. At least we ALWAYS have milk, bread and toilet paper!!! end

The Snake Whisperer

Snake!Snake!

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

You know you’ve adapted to life in the country when you step off of your back porch and onto a small snake – and your heart continues to beat! In fact, after the initial gasp of surprise, you turn it into a learning experience and call the kids out to see – then carry the snake out to the field, in the hopes that the rye grass will protect the poor baby from predators! Maybe it's not the country life - maybe it's me. I have a history with snakes. 

To Consume or to Conserve

Egg basketEgg basket

by Paxton Johnson

We are in the Wal-Mart era of history: buy cheaply, dispose eagerly, repeat. We are the quintessential consumer – we consume. Literally, we devour, we eat up, we waste. In fact, the average American throws away 600 times his/her adult body weight. That means each of us leave behind over 100,000 pounds of garbage. That’s a scary number, and a disgusting legacy.

Many of us are torn by conflicting desires. We want to save the planet and her resources, but feel overwhelmed by people telling us we need to do 927 things daily to conserve.

Now there’s a good word – conserve. To use carefully, avoiding waste; to protect from loss or harm. Pretty much the polar opposite of consume - which might explain why we are trained to think of ourselves as consumers, not conservers. Better for the economy – at least better for those who are doing the selling!

But what’s best for us? Yes, we have a tendency to accumulate stuff – maybe more than we need. But how do we determine need from want? And really – don’t we deserve the things we want? Where does it end?

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