Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas/After Christmas and Operation Jack 10K

Christmas has just been a whirlwind this year.  I have been right out straight since last Monday and haven't had one moment to try to form a coherent thought on this blog.

I think it's rather inconsiderate to hold xmas on a Wednesday.  It really sucks for us working stiffs, especially those that own a business.  You could close early on Tues, (which we did) but then you still have Mon, Thur and Fri.  Or you could close on Thurs, but then there's still Friday to work.  Unless you want to close the whole week, which is not the best answer either.  Anyway you look at it, I hate xmas on a Wednesday.

On a happier note, we should be good for the next 6 years though.  Unless leap year screws it up somehow.

Christmas was like Christmas usually is.  Crazy flurry of presents unwrapping, paper flying, thank you's here and there and in 15 minutes, it was all done.  Kids were happy and thankful so I would call it a success.

the best Christmas present ever.

I got out for a quiet, calm 6 miles in the early afternoon while everyone played with their new gifts.  (read: watch tv).  Even though I don't love the snow so much, it sure was pretty.

looks warmer than it was.  It was about 17* with some wind.  chilly!

The day after Christmas it was back to work for a germ-fest.  Shingles, conjunctivitis--I wanted to bathe in alcohol before heading home.  yuk.  Oh yes, and power outages.  Good times were had by all.

Saturday was the 4th annual Operation Jack 10K satellite run.  This is the second year I have run this.  It is a fundraiser for autism started by one of Danielle's friends whose son, Jack, has autism.  I don't have a personal connection to anyone with autism but I do love to support a good cause.  We didn't have a huge turnout, but it was still a beautiful morning for a run with new friends.

I had to pull over and take a picture of the morning sunrise.  This photo doesn't do it justice.  

I love going to these small local runs.  I swear I get a new friend or two at every one.  It's so nice to be able to meet people who like running and exercise and don't think it's weird to get up at 6 in the dark to go meet strangers and run.  In 15* weather.  On a Saturday.
the group!

and the one who had to keep running to finish her 14 miles for the day~

There seriously has got to be a better way to take selfies.  Must I look so old and toothy and big nosed in all of them??

Oh, and did you notice in the photo the most awesome Idiots Running Club shirt I'm sporting?  I love.  If not, here's a closer look.
run. smile. drink water. don't die.  Sound advice.

Lastly, I finally found a soup kitchen that we could volunteer at.  My step-sister, that I haven't seen in 20+ years works there and through the magic of facebook, we connected and made a plan to head up to serve.  It's one of two wet shelters (need not be sober to stay there) in Maine so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was a really fun time.  Yes!  I said fun.  I wasn't expecting fun.  But fun is what we had.  The kids (and me!) loved serving the food and the people on the receiving end were so appreciative and thanked us so many times.  We are planning on doing this on a more regular basis.

The Hope House in Bangor, ME.  

We brought dessert, oranges and ice cream.  Guess what's needed?  Butter, salt, ketchup, sugar. Who knew?  Next time I'll bring so many condiments they won't know what to do with them all.  I asked about bedding since they house 79 people each night--nope, they don't need bedding now but they do need it in the spring/summer.  This is when many of them choose to sleep outside and take the bedding with them.  So I'll save that donation to bring in June.  

What a rewarding time.  I kinda wish it had felt a little more like work so the kids would understand that they were working to help someone else, but maybe this was better.  Philanthropy can be fun!  Maybe that's a better lesson.  

Have you ever volunteered at a soup kitchen/homeless shelter?

What is your favorite philanthropy or way to give back?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

10 Christmas Memories--Listicles Style

I'm jumping back on again with Stasha's Listicles, a day or two late, but whatever.  If you don't read Stasha's blog or follow her on instagram, you should.  She's all famous now with her Purina commercial that aired during the dog show on Thanksgiving.  I feel like they are my friends since I've been following her for a couple of years now.  I knew exactly who it was when it aired.  Even my kids knew: Mom!  It's that boy with his dog! 

She takes fabulous photos of her dogs and kid and is so fun to follow her life in pictures.  Northwest Mommy.  Check it out.

Anyway, on to the Listicles.  10 Christmas Memories.  Typically my memory about stuff like that is horrible but I'll see if I can come up with 10.  Here goes.

1.  I can remember as a kid that we would barely sleep and wake up at 5:00 a.m. to open presents.  It was always done by 5:30 and then we dragged ass for the rest of the day.  Which brings me to #2...

2. By 2:00 in the afternoon my mom would likely need a break from us so she always made us go take a nap.  In the middle of the day!  On Christmas!  Oh god I hated it.  I would cry and cry, but she would not give in and eventually I fell asleep.  And she would get her peace.

3.  We would always have aunts, uncles, Grammies, cousins--everyone! over to our house on Christmas Eve for a huge dinner.  My cousins and I would eat dinner and then while all the adults were sitting around talking, we would quietly slip out and go find somewhere to hide/play so we would get out of doing the dishes.  Later on my cousin, Paul, and I would always play cribbage.  And he would always win.  Year after year.  I don't think I ever beat him.

4.  I had never seen the Nutcracker in any form (ballet, tv, book) until 3 years ago when my daughter was in it.  Really didn't even know what the story was about.  To be honest, I'm still a bit confused with the story line.

5.  For the first 7 years that we were married we never had a Christmas tree.   I don't really love Christmas and I never saw the point of putting up a tree if we were going to be driving all over New England to visit people.  When we finally decided to stay home for the kids, I grudgingly agreed to put up a tree.

6.  One year I got my class ring for Christmas.  That was nice, but I wanted a computer.  It was a bit of a let down.

7.  Last year was the first year that I wasn't up until 11 p.m. wrapping gifts.  Somehow, I had them all wrapped ahead of time and we just had to bring them out from their hiding spots and put them under the tree.  It was awesome.  Probably will never happen again. 

8.  The only Christmas that I really have felt very little stress and maybe even enjoyed just a little, was 1999 when my first daughter was born in November.  I was on maternity leave for the remainder of the year and was able to take her with me shopping at off times when no one was at the mall.  I got everything done with any time crunch. 

9.  My tree comes down either Christmas afternoon or the day after.  Last year I had to work the day after Christmas and my kids and the sitter undecorated the tree, put all the ornaments away, and the sitter even dragged the tree out of my house and into the woods!  #sitteroftheyear  That was seriously the best present ever. 

10.  Everyone has their own stocking stuffing tradition.  In my house, the stockings are always filled by Santa and filled with little fun stuff like gum, shampoo, chapstick, candy etc.  My husband always wants to add shit that he finds in the cupboard.  Like old nuts or noodles or a can of corn.  He thinks it's incredibly funny.  I think it's incredibly stupid.  So I go behind him and remove that shit.  Does he really think the kids want a f'n can of corn in their stocking?  Dumb. 

I love to hear what everyone's stocking traditions are.  Do you have a special one that is different than usual?  Share it!  I hear one the other day where each person has a stocking and all the gifts are tied together with string and you follow it around the house, kinda like an elf trail, I guess?  That was a new one.

Feel free to share your Christmas memories!  Link up with Northwest Mommy at the link above.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nutcrackers, Track Work Outs and Snow Runs

This past weekend was a whole bunch of crazy as per usual in our household.  Princess was having her dance recital which means a really long dress rehearsal on Friday night and two shows on Saturday.  This year she had a pretty big part as one of the boys in the party scene.  We win in two ways--she has a big part and it's only in the first act.  Score!

Last year her group did Chinese which was only for 40 seconds and in the second act.  So you had to wait around all show for just a 40 second role.  womp womp

Princess is the boy on the far left.  This is a short look at her part.

This seriously took a lot longer to post on here than it should have.  I swear I am a computer idiot sometimes.  This was a portion of the dress rehearsal which is why not everyone is in costume.

Mother Nature has so graciously decided that it is going to be colder than the Arctic here this week--we are talking highs in the 10's.... as in 10 measley, pitiful degrees.  Which means that when you wake up it's more like 2 degrees.  I know it's hard for you California/Florida people to understand exactly what 2 degrees feels like when  you are all crying about your pathetic 50* low.  Wah.  My heart bleeds.

Anyway, highs of this nature dictate that I bring my run indoors to the track at the Y.  Thank you sweet Jesus that we have this track because I just cannot bear to use the treadmills with any regularity.

My mother was down visiting from the more northern tundra where they chose to live (God knows why) and she's been walking 12 miles/day since last spring.  She has since been banished to the treadmill and elliptical as well because of the frigid temperatures where she lives.  Anyhoo, we had a small window of an hour before this kid's basketball game and that ones dance thing so I brought her with me to the Y so we both could get some exercise in.

Let me just say how proud of am of my mom.  She has lost somewhere around 50 lbs with her 12 mile walking every. single. day. thing.  It's really pretty impressive.  I was so surprised to see her run even!  You should have seen the form!  She looked great.  I'm pretty sure I can get her to do a 5K with me in the future.  She could run it.  I know she could.

I got 6 miles in during that 55 minute period.  I did 5 straight running miles and then 1 mile of plyometrics.  Here's how it went, in case you want to shake things up. Eight laps is a mile on our track.

Lap 1--walk
Lap 2--high knees for 1/2 lap, walk the other half (don't judge, high knees is HARD!)
Lap 3--butt kicks--basically try to kick your own ass with your feet
Lap 4--side shuffle facing one way 1/2 lap, face the other way for the other half (again, HARD)
Lap 5--high kicks  I did this walking.  Walk 2 steps, kick.  Walk 2 steps, kick with the other leg.
Lap 6--run backwards
Lap 7--side shuffle a full lap but switch direction every two shuffles
Lap 8--walk/cool down

If you have any other things I could add to this, I would love to hear.  Whatever I can do to confuse my muscles and mix things up.

Sunday night we had a giant snowstorm so there was no going anywhere until after noon.  It took a couple of hours to get the yard such that we could even get off the deck or drive anywhere.  Thank goodness everything was cancelled so we didn't have to go anywhere.  I did think it would be a perfect day for a snow run, which is what I did.  I donned my trail running sneakers--I thought they would have more traction than regular--and they did.  I had gotten them free from a twitter chat so I'm thankful to be able to use them.  I do wish I had gotten ones with a little more cushion..... Next time.  Inov8 in case you're interested.

Once I got past the frozen wind in my face, the running was actually quite nice.  It was slow going due to all the snow, but my calves sure did get a workout.  Good stuff.

Do you run in the snow?

Any good plyometric exercises you would care to share with me?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Music Rage

So as if the wasteful spending of money isn't enough this time of year, or the erecting of a live (hahaha live.  right) tree in my house to spread it's pine needle joy all throughout, or the thousands of people that all need to be at the same store as you or park in the same spot as you or buy all the same shit as you.  As if that isn't enough this time of year.

But it isn't.

Radio stations all over the country must subject us to horrifically annoying renditions of already irritating holiday music.  Not to mention it starts sometimes even BEFORE Thanksgiving.  Gah.

Some examples:

why, why, why the annoying little cherub voices?

seriously, is there ever a more annoying song than this??

oh wait, this one might be it.  What. The. F.

I've always hated this song.  Even as a kid.  Stick your Par rum pa pum pum where the sun don't shine. Jesus doesn't want to hear your stupid drum.  I know.  He told me.

As I was thinking about this post for today, I had a thought that probably the only Christmas song I might actually like, was if Grumpy Cat had one.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear?

On my Facebook wall, a video, that I would find so dear.

Add to that, Colonel Meow, Blind Cat and that super cute one with the fur mustache, and you have Cat Purrrfection!  And a Christmas song I might actually listen to.  But only if I can watch the video to see the kitties.  Thank you, Danielle, for this treasure.

Oh!  And lastly, I hate those year-end mash up things that they play on the radio now.  Talk about maddening!  You just start to hear a song you like and then it's all mashed up with one you hate.

Let's just get to January folks, when everything goes back to normal.  Please.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekly Check In

Why does it feel like we have ZERO time to deal with Christmas this year?  I mean, really, Christmas is just 2 weeks away and I just purchased my photo cards.  I somehow managed to squeak out enough photos to make the photo calendars that I make every year.  I was really worried because at first look, I hardly had any photos to use.  But after searching all phones (mine, husbands and babysitters), I found plenty!  I guess we are using the camera on the phones much more than the actual camera…

I usually have both of those things done by now and the cards already mailed out so I'm way behind in terms of that.  At least they are ordered and heading my way.

Having said that, I have not yet received a Christmas card from anyone so I guess everyone is behind…

Friday night I took our little Girl Scout troop to see the Maine State Ballet's version of the Nutcracker.  Princess seemed to be especially interested as she is a dancer and is doing her own version of The Nutcracker this coming weekend.  Her dance studio does a tap version, so it's very different than what one normally sees.  One of the girls who was a toy soldier used to be in our troop so that was fun to see her and the band teacher at our middle school was playing trombone in the orchestra.

Saturday we got our tree but was unable to put it up because the tree stand was all broken and crooked. I thought it was fine but the kids didn't like it all and wanted a new one.  Not to mention all the lights were broken or missing so we needed to buy more of those.  I swear, it seems like every year I need to buy more and more lights.  Where do they go?  To the land of the missing socks, probably.

It was a nice, sunny, warmish day so I got to go for a run as well.  I started out thinking I would do 4, then 5 but went on and did 6!  You know, one of those days when you just want to keep on running because it feels so good.

I was finally able to take the dog to the vet to get his damn nails clipped.  Thank you sweet Jesus.  The clip clip clipping on the hardwood floor every second of every minute that I am home sends me right over the edge.  He's old and on his way out of this life, but dammit, I need some peace from the constant clicking on the floor.

He ended up doing his weird wheezing, asthma, I'm-going-to-die breathing thing and then pooping on the floor.  Good stuff.  The vet tech was all wanting to do a work-up about his breathing and I'm like, nope, just clip the nails.  Really.  I swear I can never get out of the vet's office without dropping a Benjamin.  Every time.  Probably someone somewhere says that about the eye doctor….

We met this guy on the way out.

He was so happy.  Despite the 20 quills hanging off his lips.

I'll bet his owner dropped a bill as well.

Sunday was another day of driving 90 minutes south for field hockey practice for Sissy.  While she was practicing I was able to meet up with Danielle and get a great run in.  She lives really close to the college we were at so that worked out really nicely.  I got a chance to see her sweet baby, Henry, in person.  He is so dang cute!

not sure what I'm looking at… photo cred to Danielle

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the indoor facility is near the mall.  Fortunately for Sissy, unfortunately for me.  However, I was able to get over my loathing of the mall and all the people in it to go in and purchase some Christmas gifts.  It has to be done and no one is going to do it for me so I just went in and did it.  That was a relief, as much as I hate the mall.

One of these made their way home with us--a gift for my son.

It's crazy-ass expensive bean bag--yogibo

They basically just put it in a big, clear plastic bag and out you go.  Can you imagine me dragging that thing behind me through the mall?  Well, that's what I did.  I even sat on it at one point outside Aeropostle while my daughter looked around.

this pretty much sums up my feelings about being at the mall 

I did run into my other running/high school friend Bobbi and her family so that was a great surprise.  We ate at the culinary treasure that is Panda Express and then visited the cultural center of Maine--Wal-Mart and then mercifully, went home.  Tree stand, lights, xmas gifts and groceries in hand, I walked into my house at 6 p.m.

Then went to bed.

And I'm no where near done so I get to do it all again next weekend.  Good stuff.

Where are you in your Christmas shopping?  Better off than me?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Review

This might be a first ever--doing the month in review on the last day of the month.  It appears as though this will actually get published on time.  That's what a 4 day weekend will do for you.

Miles Run--45.9

This makes me a little grumpy cause one more run and I would have had three 50 mile months.  I do still have time, it's only 7:00 p.m. and I could go out to get that last 4.1.  But I won't.  I did 5 this morning in 17* and that was good enough.  If it were 50* out, I would totally go, but 15*?  nope.  I'm badass but not that badass.  Who am I kidding?  I'm not even a little badass.

Minutes on Bike--170

I've been slacking on the spin bike a bit since the weather has gotten colder.  I haven't quite gotten to where I'm heading to the Y on a regular basis to get on the spin bike.  I should be much better with this in the next month.  A friend of mine is teaching a 5:30 a.m. class on Tuesdays that I'm really going to try to make it a routine to get to.  It's nice to get that out of the way for the day.

Swim--9000 yds

I love that the Y is open on Sundays again and also they have extended the lap swim during the day so that I don't have to hurry after work to get there.

Tennis--6 hours

They've asked me to be on a tennis team….. I'm not sure what I think about that.  I don't really love playing tennis when it counts.  I just don't have that competitive drive to win matches.  I play well, but just get in my head if I start playing poorly.  I'll let you know what happens with that.  I'm not even sure I'll have time to do it anyway.

Weights--45 minutes + just starting a squat challenge.

I don't think it takes too many minutes, but I've started a squats challenge where day one was 30 squats, 35, 40, 45 and today is 50.  (or 55, I can't keep track)  Check out the team tough chik page if you want to join us.


Nothing major or even timed, but we did do a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.  Our local Y organized a Turkey Trot again this year.  It's untimed, no water stations, no medals or prizes.  Just show up, donate money to the local food pantry and run.  No frills, just fun.

I wanted to go this year dressed as a turkey and had been working on an outfit for the past couple of weeks.  My kids were mortified and refused to take a pic with me or even run with me.  Party poopers. I wanted them to dress as pilgrims and chase the turkey (me), but nope.  Maybe I'll bribe them next year.
that's a pretty epic turkey if I do say so myself. note the wattle.  there's a beak on the visor that you can't see very well.

I have no idea how fast I ran it.  It was untimed, as I said.  I also was ahead of my daughter and turned around to find her and run with her a bit so I ran a little over the 5K.  Great fun.  Great day.  Great amount of money raised.  We raised over $2100 with around 160 people showing up on Thanksgiving morning.  Good stuff.

Songs I love:

Am I too old to love Ke$ha?  Cause I pretty much love all her songs.  Although, technically, this one is Pitbull's song but Ke$ha makes it.

Other Notable Events in November

Root canal went just fine.  Really, a piece of cake.  In fact, it was much much easier than the original filling for the cavity in that tooth.  I just have to go back in a couple of weeks to have it finished.  Then the crown.  Then I will have no money in my health savings account.

Danielle and I are hosting a challenge on instagram called the #holidayselfiechallenge.  It's just a little thing to get you in the mood for the holidays.  Or to show how grinch-y you are.  Either way.  Just post a selfie on instagram doing some holiday something or other, tag me @ltlindian2 and Danielle @RTdanielle09 and use the hashtag #holidayselfiechallenge.  Now through 12/5.  Or longer if you want.  Whatever.  No prizes or anything.  Although I might come up with something for the picture that makes me laugh the most.

Join us.  It's fun.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Many Ways This Tuesday Blows

Tuesday is the day my friend teaches spin class at 5:30 a.m. at the Y.  Last week I managed to get my ass in there for that class and it was great.  Nice to have the exercise done before most of the world is even awake and bonus that I didn't have to run in the freezing cold later that night.  So I had fully planned on getting up again today to make that same class.

I even called myself out as attending on Facebook.  (mistake #1)

So I didn't bother to shower last night (since I would need a shower after spin class anyway), got my clothes all set out and put them in the hallway so I could find them at dark o'thirty and not wake everyone up in the process.  Then I went to bed at a reasonable hour.  Yay me.

I proceeded to sleep like shit and wake up at 1 a.m., 3 am. and 4 a.m.  And then 5:40.  
The class started at 5:30 and ends at 6:15.  

Needless to say, I didn't go.  

When I finally do get out of bed at 6:30 (cause now I have to shower since I didn't do it the night before...), I look out the window to see snow.  !!!!!  Seriously?  I'm positive that the meteorologist did not even mention snow for today.  LIARS.  IDIOTS.  

  just enough snow to make driving a clusterfuck

Mind you, my snow tires are not on yet because my car guy is in Florida until next week. asshole  So I have to wait until then and drive my van of death along with every other idiot who's not prepared for this snow.  

Surprisingly, the drive was pretty uneventful for 80% of the way.  I slid a few times while trying to stop but never came close to hitting anyone until I was about a mile from work.  We were driving through town and the car in front of me puts on his blinker to turn left.  I am not tailgating so I have plenty of time to stop (so I think) but my shitty non-snow-tires think otherwise and I proceed to slide towards his stopped car.  I'm not going fast at all, but I'm positive I'm going to hit him so I turn my wheel to the right to try to hit the curb instead.  My car finally stops about 8 inches from his bumper.  Phew.  At which point, this ass decides that he really doesn't want to go left at all and starts going straight again.  ?@!!**?@%  What the what?  

Oh and as an added bonus, I get to work late tonight.  

this pretty much sums up my day thus far
courtesy of my cyber-buddy sarah

On a happy note, I was able to get registered for the Mid-Winter Classic 10 miler that sold out in about 4 hours yesterday.  

Is your Tuesday going better than mine?

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Few Things For Friday

It's kinda like Three Things Thursday only a day late.  Because I'm almost always late.

Except for a race.
Then I'm early.  Way early.

So a bunch of stuff happened this week.  Nothing too earth shattering so don't get too excited.

The day of the root canal finally arrived.  It really was pretty darn easy.  Most of the time there was spent either waiting for him to finish up with the patient ahead of me or talking about what was happening and what he was going to do.  The actual root canal work took about 20 minutes.  It was a pre-molar so only one root, lucky me.  Part one cleaning and putting antibiotic in is done.  Part two occurs in December.   I would totally recommend seeing the endodontist for any root canal work rather than your regular dentist.

This is mid-root canal.  I took a pic so I could see what I looked like but it's really too damn funny not to share.  

My Princess had a project at school where she had to write about her role model.  This is what happened:

It is pretty fantastic.  I'm not sure why she thinks I'm a good baker, but hey, whatever.  I'll take the accolades even if unmerited.  I'm also glad to hear she thinks I do a "pretty good job" of raising them.  Phew. 

I think I have the turkey trot outfit pretty well finished.  Princess and I made the tail feathers last night so now I just have to figure out how I'm going to attach them to me.  Next up is figuring out a beak and maybe a wattle.  My oldest daughter is mortified.  That must mean I'm doing something right.  he he

Anyone with OCD out there?  The asymmetry of the tail was totally irritating my eldest.  She had to leave the room.  

Orange skirt, brown tights and brown shirt, white under armour, brown gloves and turkey tail.  This will be my first time dressing up in a costume for any race.  

Have you ever had expensive/painful dental work?

Ever dressed up like a turkey?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Why I Love My Home Town--Revisiting Monday Listicles

Good gosh I haven't done Monday Listicles in such a long time, I had almost forgotten about it.   I'm still trying to get back into the blogging mode and truthfully, I'm just not that exciting that I have much to talk about, so thankfully, Northwest Mommy gives me the topic.  Phew. 

10 Things I Love About My Town

1.  Let's go with the obvious:

People come from all over the world to look at the views I get to see everyday.

2.  The YMCA is fantastic.  We have a brand new pool, a large field house and almost every activity offered that you could want to do.  Living in a cold environment 6 months out of the year, we are so lucky to have a place to go to exercise and be involved with the community.

3.  Beautiful trails to run and walk on for people and dogs.  No fees.

4.  I am able to practice optometry to the fullest.  Primary care doctors come to me for care and send patients to us for care.  WE are the go-to eye doctors in our area.   It's a good feeling to know that the medical community trusts you and thinks you do good work.

5.  Small town 9 months out of the year with 3 months of summertime craziness.  I love the small town (most of the time).  I love that my kids don't have to be a super star to play sports here. even though they are.   Our school is so small that if the majority didn't play more than 1 sport, we would not likely be able to field teams year round.  (small school = 250 in high school grades 9-12)

Small town also means that everyone knows who you are, who your kids are and most of your business.  Good and bad.  So far, mostly good.

6.  The high school kids are so used to being around the younger kids (they ride the same bus, take band at the elementary school etc) that they are often mentors for them.  The teens in our area are unusually (at least in my experience) kind and caring to the younger kids.  They volunteer to be coaches, reading buddies, and helpers at the Y.   Which brings me to my next reason:

7.  When kids grow up doing things in #6, they end up doing things like this as a senior.  Read about it HERE.  You might have tears.

8.  I get to eat this year round and it's no big deal.

we do cook it first

9.  My commute is 20 minutes, but I live 16 miles away from work.  No 30 minute commutes for 3 miles.  No stoplights.  No traffic.  No highways.  Just trees and ocean.  No Wal-Marts, Targets or any big box stores for 20 miles.

10.  I am 2-3 hours away from everything you could want.  Skiing?  1.5 hour drive.  Beach? 10 minutes.  Lake beach? 30 minutes.  Mountains to climb? 30 minutes.  Big ass mountain to climb? 2.5 hours.  Boston?  3 hours.  Best foodie restaurants?  1 hour.  Outlet shopping? 40 minutes.  Visiting a former President? 40 minutes.  Hunting?  backyard. Boating, fishing? 10 minutes.   You name it, we are close enough to drive to it.

I guess Maine and specifically, Boothbay Harbor, is indeed the way life should be.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hello? Is anyone out there?

So, hey!  How are things going?  Long time no see write.  It seems like when you get in the habit of writing a blog on a regular basis, that's just what you do.  When you get in the habit of NOT writing the blog on a regular basis, well, that's what you do too.

I always feel like I don't really have anything important or inspiring to say, but then I remember that isn't why I read blogs.  I read blogs because I like to hear about people's lives.  The 'boring', the 'dull', the regular shit stuff.  And what I really love is when someone can take something yawn-inducing-dull and make it funny and interesting.  Sorry, you don't get much of that here....  So I thought I'd get back into it again.  Even if I'm the only one who ever reads it.

Anyway, there has been plenty of stuff going on here in Maine.  Outdoor field hockey season is over and the oldest kiddo has moved on to the indoor club season.  She has made one of the U16 teams--we are still waiting to hear which one.  They have 3 teams A, B and C.  A being the most skilled and going down from there.  She doesn't really care which one she is on, she's just happy to be able to continue playing.

Junior high basketball has also started for Big Sissy.  I love junior high sports at our school.  All the practices and games are sometime after school and there is never anything scheduled on the weekend!  Yay!  One less thing to worry about finding the time for.  And the season is super short--it ends somewhere around the second week of January.

Manimal won his division at the Maine Skirmish again this year.  Pretty exciting stuff!  His last two matches were down to decision both times and the final even went into overtime!  Somehow, the little guy won again.
black gi, on the left.  1st-4th from left to right

just before decision--pure grit and determination

Photos courtesy of Central Maine Photography

Oh oh oh!!!  I can't believe this wasn't the first thing I wrote about---I FINALLY GOT AN IPHONE!!!   Can I get a whoop whoop!  I think I might be the last person on this planet to get one, but finally (thank you sweet baby jesus) US Cellular started carrying them.  Somehow I had the insight to call and reserve them so I wouldn't have to wait to get it.  Ok, actually, it was one of my patients earlier in the week who told me to call and reserve it, but whatever, I'm so glad I did!  They ended up selling out of them and some folks had to wait a week to get it!  #firstworldproblem

Yellow!  Is the color I chose!  And yes!  it is just this pretty.  Actually, it's even better in person.  It's so simple to use.  I feel like I'm finally at home.  As Phil Robertson would say, "happy, happy, happy"!

Work has been crazy busy this week and some of last week.  I think the word is out that we are on this vision plan that is popular around our area and folks have come out of the woodwork to get their eyes checked and pick out glasses.  This is good in that we are busy, and it would be great if we were getting paid by the insurance company.  Still waiting for those claims to come through.  I'll feel so much better once we get that first check and I know that we are billing properly and payments can be counted on.

Princess is still going along with her dance.  She is improving, it seems, at a rapid rate.  I really see where she is looking like a dancer now.  Right now they are preparing for The Nutcracker (like every other studio in the world).  I'm looking forward to that being over with and having a break for a little bit.  Her dance studio is about an hour away and classes at her level are twice a week.  I really don't even want to know what I spend a month in gas.  No, I really don't.

I've got two fun runs coming up for the end of this year.  Last year our YMCA did a 5K run/walk Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning and this year they are doing it again.  There are no fees but only request a donation of money that they will donate to the local food pantry.  Last year we raised $1600 so maybe we can break $2K this year!  So fun!  They are also going to do an Elf Run on 12/21 with all donations going to the Yarts club and it's trip to Atlanta.  The kids and I are going to dress up like elves for that race.  I'm considering going as a turkey for the turkey trot....

Do you have an iphone or android?  

Do you ever dress up for running?  Any ideas on what I should dress up as for the Turkey Trot?

I was thinking something like one of these:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

October Recap

One wouldn't know it's November by my choice of clothing today or the weather.  It's a balmy 63* here in Maine.  Crazy.  This fall has been so fantastic, we are going to be spoiled for all other falls.  Pretty sure we won't ever get another one like it.  The only fail was Halloween when it rained.  Pissing on your parade.  Well, pissing on your Halloween.  Whatever.

A collage of pictures from my run this morning.  Maine, on November 1.  #notnormal

Anyway, it's time to recap the past month.  Here goes--

Run Miles--55.5

This might be my highest mileage month ever.  I know that's pretty lame for most of you, but 50+ miles is pretty damn good for me!  Here's hoping I can keep it up in the coming months.  It's going to be a little difficult with the time change but if I keep myself going with races, that will keep the number up.

Tennis--7 hours

Swim--5500 yards

A bit lame but not entirely my fault.  The pool is finally open on Sundays now so that will make it so much easier to get my swims in.  It seems like something happened every Friday that prevented me from getting out of work early enough to get to the pool before it closed at 1.  If I can't leave work by 11:30 then it's not worth going.  Next week they are going to be keeping the pool open until 2 so I shouldn't have any excuses for not swimming on Friday.  Even if I get stuck at work.  #noexcuses

Bike--40 minutes

Eek.  Pretty lame.  Probably is time to move the bike inside on the trainer and it might get used more.  Again with the kids schedules loosening up now that fall sports are over, I should have more time to get to a spin class or spin at lunch time.

Weights--10 minutes

I just didn't make it to the Y very much in October and if I don't get to the Y, I don't do weights.  My core and arms are showing it too.  That one day I worked on my arms and abs, I could barely do 20 pushups when I had been up to 40 without stopping.  So weak now.  There really is no excuse for my arms becoming that weak since you can really do pushups anywhere.  I don't need to be at the Y to do pushups.  I should make myself do 20 before bed each night.   That won't take any time at all and no equipment needed.


I raced the Maine Half Marathon at the beginning of the month and even though I didn't do as well as I hoped, I did beat my previous best time.  And I got to run with a really cool girl.  And I met a new friend.  And I saw an old friend.  And I was inspired by her.  There may have been some tears.  By more than one person.  And it didn't rain.   And I had a finish photo.  Even if it was not very good.

But it was worth it to make this meme.

Things I'm Loving

~The weather continues to be perfect.  I can't remember a fall that was ever this perfect.
~ USCellular is going to be carrying iPhones in one short week!  I can now join the cool kids!!! #cantwait
~I love my hair all brown.  I darkened it last month and stopped trying to be blonde (I'm not).  I have gotten so many complements on it and how nice it looks.  Makes me wonder how crappy my hair looked before.  You know when you get those complements--Oh I love your hair!  It looks so much better!  You look so much younger!  Translation:  Wow, you finally did something with that rat's nest you had on your head before.  Good thing because you were really beginning to look like an old hag.  Now you only look 50 rather than like you have one foot in the grave.  Now pull out those chin hairs and you'll be doing something.

Things I'm Hating

~I guess I'm not really hating it per say, but I really don't care for all this beard crap this is going around. Like all men everywhere forgot what the heck a razor looks like.  Can you imagine the uproar if woman all over stopped shaving?  Please men, give us a break and shave your damn beard.  I get the team unity and superstition thing with the Red Sox, but none of those men are nearly as handsome as when they shave.  And really that's the only reason to watch baseball as far as I'm concerned.  Please, Jacoby, hear my plea!

~What does the fox say?  Who the fuck cares.  That has got the be the stupidest song I have ever heard in my life.  And they are actually playing it on the radio.  Those people who made that song should be shot.  Or maybe they had too many shots.   But seriously.  That song has got to go.  And if you don't know what I'm talking about, consider yourself very lucky and don't google it because you'll regret it.

~Turning the clock back.  Oh, how I hate that.  Well, I do like the extra hour of sleep that seems to last for the whole week, but darkness at 5:00 really sucks.  I think I complain about this every year so I'm sorry if you've heard this from me before.  I need to move closer to the equator.  That would solve the problem.  Or move to Arizona.

~Still waiting to get my root canal.  I think even though that totally sucks, it will be so wonderful to have relief from the pain of this tooth and the TMJ it is causing.  18 days and counting.

How was your October?

What are you loving and hating this month?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Boring Life

The postings on this blog has gotten few and far between lately.  I don't have much to talk about with no races on the schedule.  I'm still running, probably more than usual, but none of it is really blog-worthy.  I run alone, mostly during the day or early evening and mostly on the road but sometimes the trails.

Life has slowed down a bit, which makes things a little less crazy at home.  Last night the entire family was at home by 5:15!  Everyone.  Nothing planned.  No activities.  We cooked a real dinner and ate it together. Imagine that.  The kids carved their pumpkins and were still in bed before 8.  Ahhhh.

So this is a little bit of what my boring ole life has been like lately.

receiving the runner's up trophy--not super happy about it.

Regular season champions and tournament runner's up

A sad last game for sure, but our field hockey team has not won anything for a really long time so to be the number one team at the end of the season is fantastic! 

Halloween dance recital!

Dance recital number 1 is out of the way.  Princess' dance studio does 3 recitals a year:  Halloween, Tap Nutcracker and the spring recital.  The girls did a tap routine to The Adams Family and a jazz routine to Bruno Mars Just the Way You Are.  One down, two to go.

FYI--Elvira hair is not easy to work with.

This past weekend, Big Sissy had a 3 hour tryout for club field hockey.  Three hours is a long time to sit and wait in a not-so-warm indoor turf facility so I ended up going for a run.  I didn't have any Garmin with me so the guys at the dome told me the high school was just down the road and they had a track there.  I ran to the high school, about 1 mile, and then did 6 x 400 on the track.  I timed myself even though I have no idea what time I was shooting for or what is even good for my ability.  The splits were:


I walked in between the 400's to give me a total of 2 miles on the track and then ran the last mile back to the dome for a total of 4 miles.  After looking up times and talking with a running guru, based on my half marathon time of 2:01:03, I should be running 400's somewhere in the range of 1:45-1:55.  Hmmm.  So I either need to sprint slower or stop being so slow and lazy step it up for my 13.1.

Afterthought:  My legs were so sore the next day!  Sprinting kills me.  Maybe I should do it more.  Hmmmm.

I found a recipe on facebook, of all places, that was a new way to make spaghetti squash.  I've done the usual and replaced my pasta with the squash when having red sauce and meatballs, but that is getting old.  This one ended up being very tasty.  Cook the squash first by cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds and placing the halves face down on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes or until done.  Scrape out the squash using a fork and place in a bowl.  Saute onions with olive oil (and butter, yum!) and whatever spices you like. Add the onions to the squash when they are clear.  Add shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, I think the recipe called for 1/2 c. of each but I just add until it looks good.  I suppose you could use plain greek yogurt if you would prefer.  Mix it all up and then bake in a casserole dish for 20 minutes.  YUM!

I have eaten the whole thing already and I only made it last night.  Therefore, no picture.  #bloggerfail

Do you use the track for your workouts?

Any good spaghetti squash recipes?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Trail Run and Five Reasons Outdoor Runs Beat a Treadmill

This morning was another beautiful fall day here in Maine.  Perfect temperatures, sun, vibrant fall colors.  Really, what more can you ask for?  We have been so spoiled with the perfect fall weather this year.  I guess we are getting the good weather now that we didn't get in July.

I took the opportunity this morning to head out on one of the many trails that we have here in Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor.  The Boothbay Region Land Trust oversees all the these trails and there is no fee to use them.  Anyone can come and enjoy the beauty of these trails that bring you close to the ocean and coastline.

I tried to find one of the longer trails to run so that I could get a decent workout.  I chose to go to Oven's Mouth Preserve.  It has two sides--East and West--so I'm able to run two separate trails.  One side has 3.7 miles of trails and the other has 1.6 miles.  I ran all the trails available on this preserve.  I didn't see a single person out there so it was so quiet.  The fall colors were so pretty, I really could have done this all day long.  I was gone about 70 minutes and I guess it was around 5 ish miles?  I didn't wear a Garmin, I just ran.  Over roots, rocks, dirt, a bridge and through grass.

 Exiting Oven's Mouth

  Looking back at the bridge that connects Oven's Mouth East and West

on that bridge seen above

Which brings me to my next topic:

Five Reasons Why Trail Running in Maine is Better Than the Treadmill


2.  This is your view

instead of this
photo stolen randomly from the internet, I didn't run this

3.  When you need to spit or blow your nose, where do you do that on a treadmill?  When running outside on a trail, the world is your tissue.  Blow your snot rocket as you wish.  No one cares.  You can spit at trees, or on a bush or on your shoes.  Wherever.  It's all good.  

4.  You get to run across this

this I actually did run across.  twice.

instead of this

5.  Lastly, did I mention this?

Oh yeah, I think I did already.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

September Recap

Once again this report is oh so late.  I need to quit having a race right at the beginning of the month so that I can get the previous month's recap done first!  Or maybe I just have too much to do. 

Run:  50.6 miles 

For the past 3 months, I have hit the 50 mile mark.  I'm pretty pleased with that and I think that is a perfect number for me to try to maintain long term.  I am not a 100 mile/month-er and I never will be.  I think mentally, it would be too much to maintain, and also physically not the best for my body.  So this was a good month for running.

Bike:  170 minutes

Quite a bit less than July, and one good ride short of August.  With the days getting shorter, there just isn't enough time to get out on the bike.  I haven't gotten in the swing of spinning at the Y yet, but that will happen soon enough.  I think my riding outside time is pretty limited from here on out.  Back to the trainer I go.

Swim:  2000 yds

Lame.  Lame.  Lame.  This month was just too busy with the kids activities to get to the Y with any consistency.  Princess now takes dance twice a week and of course, one of the classes is on Friday.  My swim day.  Saturdays have been filled with field hockey and soccer and the Y has been closed on Sunday for summer hours.  After this weekend, the Y will now be open on Sunday so that will give me another day to be able to get my swim in.  I do miss it.

Tennis:  2 hours

Weights:  40 minutes

Races:   I scored a new PR at the Harborfest 5K held right in my hometown.

23:18 baby!

Things I'm Loving:

This weather!  Oh the weather!  For once the weather is *FANTASTIC* here in Maine.  Fuckin' fantastic!  Beautiful sunny skies, 65* temperatures, 45* at night.  Did I mention the sun?  It is so perfect.  I wish the weather could be like this every single day.  Well, actually, it has been for around 3 weeks now.  Perfect for just everything.  Field hockey--

Apple picking--


We couldn't ask for a better fall.

Music I'm Loving:


I am reading all things Jack Reacher right now.  I don't know if I'm late to the game with this series, but apparently, there are 15 or so books in this series by Lee Childs.  Jack Reacher is the bomb.  I've read Killing Floor and Trip Wire and I am currently reading Die Trying.  Thankfully, there are so many to read so I've got plenty of books to keep me occupied for awhile.

I'm so glad I don't really care about movies because I guess they've cast Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, which is horrible considering Jack Reacher is supposed to be 6'5" and 250 lbs.  Did they not look at Tom when they cast him?  Jack deserves better.

Things I'm Hating:

I need a root canal and crown.   That sucks on so many levels--pain and misery, cost, missing work, cost, pain and cost.

On the bright side, once it's fixed, it's fixed.  I shouldn't have any more problems with it.

Have you read any of the Jack Reacher books?  What do you think about Tom Cruise playing him?

Have you had a root canal before?  Was it awful?