I feel rather manly I think.
I still find myself in that self-conscious period right after a lifestyle changing Do. I feel like a newborn puppy. Shaky and unsure. What am I now? I had worn the ever popular angle bob for over a year, and was happy with it, yet bored. Now that summer is preheating its oven, the last thing I want to do is spend a long time blow drying my hair and flat-ironing it. Blech!
Now I don't have to. See?
And I have spent the past, oh, five hours catching glimpses of myself and wondering, "Um...am I sure about this?" Like I have a choice.
1. Summer is upon us, isn't it? No more school, less of a schedule, lazy days and did I forget to mention the heat and humidity? We are already in the grasp of summer's merciless heat in this part of Texas. I refer to this time of year as 2 shower a day weather. At least. Please.
One thing that keeps me feeling cooler (besides staying in my AC bubble as much as possible) is enjoying plenty of cool, crisp salads. I crave them. My current favorite mix is fresh greens, albacore tuna, a sprinkle of Feta cheese, a sprinkle of Balsamic vinaigrette, chopped pear, and an assortment of sliced strawberries, mandarin oranges or blackberries.
What is your favorite salad?
3. I spent a good portion of this morning transferring & organizing pictures in my SmugMug account. I have been dealing with mixed feelings about blogging, since it seems to have replaced scrapbooking. While I am glad to have The Blog as a record, I still miss scrapbooking. So. My goal is to order prints of recent (who am I kidding, not so recent too) pictures and work on the creative side of me more. Annelise loves to pick up the albums I've done and look through them. She can't really do that with The Blog. However, I am thrilled to have my printed blog book on its way from Blurb soon.
4. Two words: LOST finale. Oh my.
5. I took this picture of A. this morning on our way to school. She has two more days left, so I didn't want to miss a chance to get an end of the year backpack shot. Today was movie day, so her backpack was packed to the gills with a blanket and pillow.
Kelly is hosting her fabulous swap again. I had such a blast last year, I can't wait to participate again this year. It's a great way to meet other bloggers and share a few of your favorite things. Pop on over to read about all the particulars and of course, sign up. Hurry though, sign ups end Friday, June 6th.In the words of Gwen Stefani, what you waiting for? Go. Go now.
Meet you back here June 25th for the third gathering of The BBBC.
Our SPT challenge for May ends this week with something blue.
That would be me. In a way.
I don't understand why men are born with a love for all things electronic coded within their DNA. Sometimes this trait comes in handy, other times it is quite pesky. For the last six to eight months my dear hubs has been what some may call interested, however I say obsessed, with acquiring a wide screen TV.
If you look over there in the corner of our family room you will see two deep impressions. That's where I dug my heels in for these last six to eight months.
Since we recently had to move out while our floors were repaired, our family room furniture had to move as well. That was dear hub's signal. The coast was clear.
The last two weeks have been so peaceful without a TV in our family room. Yes, we still have one upstairs, but that took more of an effort, so we did not watch as much. We were outside more, listened to music more, talked more, dear hubs even started to read a book. I know!
I am feeling a bit blue though because today THIS arrived and has taken up residence in our family room.
Could it BE any bigger? (Apparently, they do sell larger TVs. I can't imagine.)
This monstrosity, otherwise known as a wide screen TV, is living temporarily (until an armoire arrives, soon I hope) on this coffee table against the wall. Nice.
What's a girl to do? Dear hubs is beside himself with glee of course.
Be sure to pop over to Lelly's blog to check other blue posts.
Three day weekend for Scott. Burgers on the grill. Relaxing in and around Pappo's pool. Sunscreen applied repeatedly. Sounds of splashing and glee. Delightful.
All in all a wonderful holiday.
Click here to see more photos of A. & the effects of the day o' fun.
I know many of you thought you would never read a fantasy fiction novel involving rabbits. I hope you enjoyed this adventure with Hazel, Fiver, Bigwig, Captain Holly, evil General Woundwort, and the rest of the warren rabbits.
I like to imagine that animals have their own intricate societies and forms of communication. In a way they do, this author takes it much further though. I was swept up in their journey from their home warren, their adventures and discoveries, forming a new home on Watership Down and their trouble with Efrafa.
Hazel was a rabbit of vision, but at times his pride got in the way. By appreciating the talents and skills of other rabbits he made an excellent Chief Rabbit. By thinking outside of the box and helping first the mouse and then Kehaar, he forged friendships between species and helpful alliances. I liked the fact that Hazel was willing to learn, to try to do things rabbits had not done before, and enlist help when needed.
Even though this book is fiction, the author does use facts about the lifestyle and habits of rabbits(heehee, I could not resist a rhyme) from the book The Private Life of a Rabbit. I found it interesting that through most of their adventures it was the constant state of fear, not so much the physical exertion, that tired them out. Fear can become so overwhelming they become paralyzed by it and "go tharn". Hmmm...does this relate to humans too?
There are parallels between animal and human behavior which were interesting. One quote stands out, "Animals don't behave like men. If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill they kill. But they don't sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures' lives and hurting them. They have dignity and animality." Bigwig, relating what Strawberry had tried to explain to General Woundwort. Let me just say, Efrafa is not the place for me. Shiver.
In all honesty, I skimmed the chapters about El-ahrairah, I could not really appreciate them. To me, the story would have been fine without them.
So, what did you think of Watership Down? In which warren would you fit best, Cowslip's, Watership Down, or Efrafa? Did you have a favorite rabbit? If I were a rabbit, I'd say Watership Down, would be ideal for me. No Efrafa, no way. Hazel is my favorite rabbit, but I admire Blackberry's cleverness, Fiver's sensitivity, Bigwig's strength and Pipkin's spirit.
Now it's your turn. Let's start the discussion. Anyone for lettuce?
When I was a freshman in high school my mother passed away. Even though it has been about 25 years, I still am impacted by this loss in numerous ways. My father remarried, and my step mother and I fashioned a relationship of sorts. Through no fault of hers, I was resistant to allow her to take on too much of a mother role. I'm a stickler for boundaries at times.
I have been extremely fortunate throughout the different stages of my life to have close friends with strong mother/daughter/family relationships, so from time to time I borrow from their experiences. When they talk about their mothers or interact with them, I soak up the details and store them away in my brain. Not in a Talented Mr. Ripley or Single White Female way or anything, just living a tad vicariously through them. There are times when I feel a longing for that relationship, but I make do as best I can. I use my imagination. I enjoy looking at old pictures, reflecting on memories.
I wonder what our relationship would be like had she lived. Would we be close? Would we drive each other nuts? I wonder. I don't usually dwell too long though. I borrow my tidbits and I try to focus on being a mother.
(I hope this makes some sort of sense now that it's outside my head.)
Pop over to read about more things borrowed at Lelly's blog.
Can you tell I was thrilled to be at WW this week? Yeah, I know. I have been quite the WW Slacker lately, only following my points half-heartedly. At times quarter-heartedly. Sigh.
I did get two runs in, 4 miles and 7 miles respectively. Still, that must not be enough to make a difference. Since my body is used to running certain distances, I think I need to amp it up some and change my workouts. Shake things up and hopefully off.
I did lose a pound this week, but it's probably only the pound I gained two weeks ago. I am quite the Yo-Yo (however I don't know any cool tricks). My goal this week is to be more dedicated to following my points and walk away from the low calorie frozen treats that I seem to be consuming in large quantities (my warped brain thinks since they're low in points, let's eat four--or more, usually at night). Time to put the Skinny Cow down, girlfriend.
I must take a moment to introduce my WW homies...
*Will upload video of her performance soon.
As in Hepburn.
However, there is something so flirty and fun about wearing a skirt and ballet flats. I felt all together girly, swirly, and twirly.
Now all I need is a Vespa scooter, visit Rome, Gregory Peck, William Holden, Humphrey Bogart, George Peppard and Cary Grant to fall in love with me, pixie bangs, an incredible french twist, pearls, suddenly become waif-like...
I guess I will stick with skirts and ballet flats.
Here we are, Day 3 of hotel life. Looks like we will be in residence here through the weekend, and return to our true home Monday or Tuesday.
Life in the hotel is not too shabby, though it still feels odd to be in hotel approximately 5 miles from our house. It goes without saying (but I'm gonna anyway) that the pool is the highlight of this adventure for Annelise.
We are able to walk to Boston Market, where I discovered their new Tuscan Salad. Olives, peppers, herb chicken, tomatoes. Colorful and quite tasty.
Yesterday, I ran at the Y like a hamster. As an added treat the man next to me had either Tourette's or a mental quirk of some sort. In order to run through his running commentary and interesting noises, I risked my ear drums and cranked up my iPOD. Thank goodness for The Kinks, Wish I could Fly Like Superman, Sheryl Crow, Out of Our Heads and (shhh...) Madonna and J. Timberlake, Four Minutes.
This morning, I quickly rationalized my desire for another run by telling myself I'd just be frustrated by the rinky-dink treadmill in the exercise room here, and promised myself I will meet the group for a run in the morning in the great outdoors. Yep. That's the plan man.
So I went for this instead...
My pitifully neglected and somewhat gnarly feet were in much need of a freshening up. Just in case you want to know, I went to a new place and was very pleased. I'm going to let the other place go. Buh-bye.
After the pedi, I walked on my happy feet to get a coffee. I sure know how to live large, don't I? Now, let's take a closer look at all the happiness.Reef flip-flops. They are like flipping around on a cloud I tell you. Besides my Mary Jane Crocs, my Reef flips are my go to shoe of choice. Supportive, comfy and cute.
Clockwise you will also notice my vanilla non-fat latte, my current must read of the moment, and the new Neil Diamond CD. Don't giggle. I love me some Neil. A few bars of Sweet Caroline and I am transported back to 1978, riding in our Ford LTD with my mom, Hot August Nights on the 8 Track, windows down. Good times. His new CD does not disappoint.
All too soon it was time to put down my book, take my last sip of coffee, turn off Neil and pick up A. from school. A busy afternoon of dance recital rehearsal, errands, and a birthday party was calling my name. Loudly.
Talking 'bout my girl...
Scott had a little chat with Annelise the other day and asked her some questions. Here are her answers, in bold.
My mom cooks the best spaghetti in the whole wide world. I would buy my mom a stuffed animal, a small pink flamingo. My mom doesn't like when I do something bad. What I like best about my mom is she loves me so much. My mom likes my dad to go to work and eat healthy food and vitamins and drink lots of water and get good rest.
I got so tickled when I read through her answers. Scott promised it was 100% all her. It's always interesting to hear what she thinks, you never know what she is going to say.
Here are a few other Annelisms I want to remember.
When asked while eating where her manners were, Annelise replied, "They're in my pocket."After going to bed the other night, Annelise obviously started to ponder the serious issues on her mind. Soon she was crying. When we asked her what was wrong she said ,"We're going to be on Y next week, there's only two letters left!!! I don't want the alphabet to end! I won't be in Mrs. O's class much longer!!" Sob, sob, wail, wail, hug, hug. Oh sweetie.
I imagine as her little brain winds down at bedtime ideas, thoughts and fears pop into the foreground of her mind. Sometimes she thinks about missing her Meemaw or going away to college someday (remember she's only 4.5) and gets so upset. With a little reassurance she settles down and works through it.
I am always touched to see how sensitive and caring she is. One day she got in the car after school with red rimmed eyes, just upset all over the place. When I asked her what was wrong she explained that two of her friends in class had their pin pulled to red and were getting notes sent home, she was worried about them getting a spanking. Oh the empathy.
I love her outgoing exuberant personality. Clingy she is not. She is such a social whirlwind, a force of friendliness. My Girl.
Lelly's SPT challenge for the merry month of May continues with something new this week. I decided to make a triptych of the newness around my neck of the woods.
First, our *new* floors. Well, sort of. Last July we had to take a forced vacation while our floors were repaired. Not too long after we returned, the section of wood that had been replaced began to buckle. Not. A. Good. Sign. After much dragging of feet (mine) they are being repaired by a different floor company, and we are moving out again. Tonight. Gulp.garden bed. The Zinnias are hardy, the corn is growing taller, and a few tomatoes are beginning to pop out. Honestly, everything else is going to be a surprise. Sadly, I did not make those cute little markers that tell you what's what. I must like to garden by the seat of my pants. Good thing I like surprises, right?
Looks like the triptych is complete. Make sure to click over to Lelly's blog to read about other new things. C'mon, it'll be fun...and new.
That's me. In full Grinch-like glory.
Mother's Day always brings a mixed bag of emotions for me, it has for most of my life. Even though it's been 25 years, I still miss my mother. I don't like to wallow in sadness, but I struggle with resentment, jealousy, and feeling cheated on the whole mother relationship. And having a grandmother relationship for Annelise. Hence the Grinch moves in.
After being particularly cranky, easily irritated and impatient most of this week, Annelise brought an invitation home from school. I felt a bit Grinch like in giving up my time (it pains me to admit this, but it's true). For some reason I thought it would just be mom's mingling or something, and I figured I could leave quickly. I had no clue.
Some school mornings I manage to get myself somewhat together and my face on. Other mornings I wear the t-shirt I slept in and brush my teeth and go. Yesterday was a combination of the two. I dressed in capris and a top, sans make up except for lipstick, and a case of bed head. Remember, my mind set was that I would not stay long for the tea. Sip and go was my plan.
As I saw moms unload their children, all dressed up for a tea party I began to feel the urge to fight or flee. Once we were inside I realized two things, the air conditioner was NOT working and this tea party is completely different than I imagined. My non-made up, casually dressed, slightly sweaty self is going to a tea party.
As I gave Annelise a big hug to the sounds of "I don't want you to go, Mama." and left, my Grinch heart was beginning to grow.
Soon after I arrived home, the friendly UPS man left this at our door. I was so surprised! My Grinch heart was steadily growing, and growing.
Tuesday afternoon Annelise and I went with some friends to a local farm to pick strawberries.
Last week, in a moment of sheer whimsy, I registered for this little event and was sooooo excited to get a spot. A few minutes later, I realized I actually have to run this thing. Gulp.
This will be my second full marathon, having completed the Chevron Houston Marathon in January. You can read about my experience here. It took me a while to process the overall experience and decide if I would ever try another one. I want to challenge my body and mind to complete 26.2 again. I want to do better. Gulp.
One of the biggest lessons I learned during Houston is the mental aspect of the distance. The majority of people complete the Half Marathon in Houston, once the full course splits off, it thins out considerably. As a back of the pack runner, I felt so alone and this really affected my performance. But, I value the lessons I learned about the distance and about myself. I also have learned more mental tricks. Since the MCM is such a big race, well supported, and plenty of interesting sights to take in, I think the mental aspect of the race will be much better. Not easy, but better. Now I must start to prepare my body. Gulp.
Thankfully, several members of my local running group are doing the MCM as well and many others are training for fall events. I plan to build up my base mileage again and start getting some longer runs in soon. Living in the Houston area though means dealing with high temperatures and humidity, so we have to get the majority of our runs done early in the morning. In the past, my milestone runs (18, 21) have taken place in the cooler temps of fall. This year will be a challenge to complete the REALLY LONG runs in the sauna of August or September. Gulp.
I'll keep you posted!
Be sure to stop by The Runners' Lounge to read about more Marathon Mania. Or Marathon Maniacs. (It truly is a sickness.)
Do you have Marathon Mania? Is there a cure? What are your goals?
Why, you might ask? Because my feet (and knees, hips, AKA my lower body) will now enjoy running in these new babies. The time had come to retire my old Asics Gel-Kayanos for the newer model.
If you have never been professionally fitted for a running shoe, I strongly urge you to do so soon. In fact, go now. Yes, now.
A proper fit in the shoe best suited for your running style, frame, etc. is essential to your overall running performance and experience. I know running shoes can be pricey, but the pair that is right for you is PRICELESS. You are worth the investment in yourself.
Try on several pairs, don't rush your decision. Most stores will do a stride analysis, maybe a wet test or computer analysis to narrow down your type of running style. At the very least, they should watch you walk, even jog a few steps so they can check for pronation. Ask about their return policy also, just in case something isn't right after you run in them.
Keep track of the miles logged on each pair and remember to replace them every 200-300 miles or if you start experiencing any nagging soreness or issues. I try to alternate my shoes between my long and short runs to stretch their life a bit longer. About a month or so before the big event, I like to buy a new pair and break them in (about 40-50 miles logged) before marathon day.
After being a dedicated Mizuno girl, I am currently giving the Asics Kayanos a whirl. They give me more motion control on longer runs when my form can get all loopy. A new pair feels like running on a cloud. And that's a nice feeling.
Play us on out James...
What's on your feet these days?
It means so much to me that my mom saved some of my favorite toys and much loved books and I can enjoy them again through Annelise.
Be sure to visit Lelly's blog to read more *old* SPTs.
First of all, whether you are Speedy Gonzalez, a turtle or somewhere in between; whether you run outside or on a treadmill, or a combination of the two, you ARE a runner. Believe it. You are. It took me a long time to claim it, I always modified it (sometimes I still do by saying, yes, I run, but I'm really slow), but I still consider myself a runner.
Most likely I will not win a race, I may not ever win in my age group, I may get lapped by a 60+ Grandma. That's okay. Running in an event, whatever the distance, is about the overall experience and the personal accomplishment. It's about the cheers and support of the crowds; it's about the young girl or boy that hands you a cup of cold water; it's about the child that gives you a high five along the course and his big brother holding a sign that says "Run Mama Run!"; it's about crossing the finish line and knowing you did it.
Often signing up and committing to a race event, whether it's a 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon can be the motivation you need to take your running habit a little more seriously and experience it on a different level. The race environment is hard to describe, but unforgettable. You definitely feel the energy and the support from your fellow runners and the crowd.
So. Whatcha waitin' for? Find a race in your area and sign up!
Look for signs or ads about local races in your area; search online or visit your local running store to find race information. A 5K (a little over 3 miles) might be a good starting distance. If you want slightly more of a challenge check out the 10K (a little over 6 miles). Many of these events are family friendly and some allow strollers. Often there are events for the kidlets, like a Kids' K, and it's a great way to share your passion for running with your children. Once you have set a clear goal and you've put some money on the line, now you need to follow through and train safely for your race.
If you have never registered for a race, whatever the distance, I challenge you to give it a try this summer or fall. I can't wait to hear about your race experiences.
You CAN do it! You are RUNNERS. Go girls, GO!
Or spill the beans.
(Feel free to interject your own favorite idiom.)
Drum roll please...TA DA!
Yikes! I better get busy.