Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

A little bit of Santa style for my run tonight:
Hope everybody out there has a safe and happy holiday!
Merry Christmas!!
Just for fun - track Santa's progress here: http://www.noradsanta.org/en/index.html
And always remember what Christmas is all about:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow day

Winter storm rolling through today. Here's what it looks like:

9:30am
Snow plow just went through


10:30am
Still snowing.

11:30am
Still more. The street is there somewhere.
Obviously, nobody's gone anywhere today.
And it's still coming down.



Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

It's December; it's snowed this weekend;
the house is looking festive;
I'm attempting to do some shopping;
Yep, It's Christmas time again.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving

I am thankful for so many things it's hard to name them all. But I'll attempt to make a list of the most important:

1. God - no explanation needed - without Him, there is nothing else.
2. My family (parents, husband, brother, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc etc....): I wouldn't be the person I am without all of you. I love you all dearly
3. My friends - too many to name. All of you have come into my life and supported me, shaped me, loved me, etc. You're the greatest and I love you all.
4. My dog - yes, I'm thankful for the dog. She's my "child", my companion, my shadow. Happiness is a warm puppy. And Bree makes me very happy.
5. My health - I wouldn't say I'm in perfect condition, and my body lets me know it on occasion. But that body allows me to live and to work and to play. It's allowed me to push it to new challenges, and that has just made me stronger and healthier.
6. My home - Marc and I are very fortunate that we were able to purchase (and pay off) an awesome house. It's more than just a roof over our heads - it really is home.
7. My job - I work with some amazing people and get the opportunity to do some really awesome things.

And probably a million other little things that all come together to make life the amazing wonder that it is.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Random pic of the week

Me & Bree playing in the snow last winter.
December 2009
Wonder if we'll get snow like that this winter....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Interesting delivery

I recently ordered some running gear: One pair of shoes for my husband, a pair of gloves, a headband, and a shirt. Nothing remarkably big or bulky. Yesterday, we get a big box with the shoes and the gloves. I knew the other 2 items would be delivered today. I assumed they'd come in one box. Here's what we got:
2 really big boxes


Box #1 - the headband
(This is exactly what I saw when I opened the box)

Box #2: the shirt

(Only thing removed from the box was the packing slip/receipt)

Makes me glad shipping was free, because I'm sure it was darn expensive to ship such big boxes....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

Snowy Creek
Park in Eleanor
January 2010
Thank goodness it's not this cold yet!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

Trail in Eleanor
May 2010
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The race is done, the race is won


The race is won by someone other than me... But that's ok. I was out there. I had fun. I finished. I met my time goal. I went farther than I thought I could.

Today was the Ace Adventure Center Gorge-ous Trail Run. I've been looking forward to this race (my only race this year) since I did it last year. Last year, I was a new (very new) runner and wasn't prepared for the distance, so I walked the 4.5 mile walk. This year, I've had a year of training under my belt, and I was going to ROCK the short course (as much as a 12 min/mile can rock a course :o) ) I toyed with doing the long course, but an injury to my knee made that decision for me - didn't want to risk not being able to finish...

So Marc and I got up bright and early this morning (not true, it wasn't bright, it was still dark...) to head to Ace for the run. He had some packages that had to be mailed, so after a stop at the only post office in the area open by 8:00, a stop to get gas & ice, and a stop for some food, we were off.

Until we hit a traffic jam on the interstate.... All I have to say is this: If they built the new bridge to make traffic flow better, then why the heck is it 100 times worse now?

We got through the traffic and arrived at Ace just in time for the pre-race meeting and to grab our numbers. A quick changes of shoes and clothes, and we hit the starting line. Woo hoo, we were off!!

I fell into the common, race newby trap of running with the crowd at the start rather than holding back and running my own pace, so I started out a bit faster than I should have. But eventually, the crowd thinned, and I found a rhythm. Until the knee started to hurt. So I slowed down and started walking more than I should have. It got to the point where I decided that it was going to hurt either way (running or walking) and running didn't make it feel any worse - just a dull ache. So I started running more and found my rhythm again.

I did a little time/distance check on the iPod. 6.88 miles - almost done already... Different websites reported the short course as either 7.5 or 8 miles, so I thought the finish line was coming soon. I thought wrong... We followed the red arrows like we were supposed to and kept going and going... I was getting tired and grumpy and my knee hurt. We began to wonder if we had read the signs wrong, but I kept seeing red arrows, and we kept following them. Finally, after about another mile or so we reached the point where the blue arrows (for the 13 mile long course) and our red arrows went different ways. We followed the red arrows for what seemed like forever. I was walking at this point, and was ready to be done...

But then I heard a crowd cheering for some other finisher, and I thought, I'm not walking across that finish line. I started running and realized I felt pretty good.... And ran all the rest of the way across the finish line, to applause and a chorus of "Great Job!s" and "you did it!"s Yep. I had done it! A couple miles more than I planned and wanted to go with sore knee, but, still - I finished!! 9.94 miles at an average pace of 12:06/mile (even with what I thought was excessive walking.)

So in short: I went out there; I had fun; I finished; I met my time goal; I went farther than I thought I could.

Makes for a pretty good day.
Me & Marc on the trail.
Gorge-ous Trail Run
Ace Adventure Center, Oak Hill, WV
October 23, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Not so Random Random pic of the week

Diana Gabaldon signing books
WV Book Festival
October 17, 2010

Got my copy of "The Exile" signed.






Saturday, October 16, 2010

Random Thoughts for a Saturday...

1. For someone with a sore knee, I sure have put in a lot of miles (almost 31) this week....

It might just make people think that I'm making it up. Nope. The knee hurts. In fact, it's sore right now... (I really must learn to not sit crossed-leg (or "indian-style", if you want to be politically incorrect about it) on the couch after a run.) I have just chosen to not let it stop me.


2. I had a choice about what to do with my day tomorrow. I could drive about 2 hours and pay money to run a not so fun 5k. (last year it was my first race; I came in last; I got beat by a walker.... sad sad sad. But hey, it was my first race, and I finished it, so it wasn't all bad. Just mostly...)

OR...

I could drive 2o minutes to go to the WV Book Festival to see my favorite author for free. Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, which I have read at least 5 times (or maybe 6, or maybe 7... honestly, I've lost count I've read it so many times) will be at the festival. Her books defy descriptions. They're romances because there's an awesome love story. They're Sci-Fi because there's time travel. They're historical, because well, they take place in the past; and they're some of the most descriptive, well written, educational historical fiction I've ever read. I know they sound strange, but trust me... It works. Reading these stories, you can almost believe that it could happen. And the characters - they're so well written that they're real. In short (which the books are anything but...) they're awesome. Highly recommended. Get thee to a bookstore and buy them!!

So, it really doesn't need to be said which option I chose. Once in a lifetime opportunity and all that. The only decision left is do I just take one book for her to sign, or do I cart all of them down there??


3. Another debate raging in my world right now relates to Random Thought #1... (the sore knee). There's an awesome trail run next Saturday. Last year it was my second race. I came in 4th. (ok, that statement requires a bit of a disclaimer... There was a walk, in addition to 2 runs. I walked the walk).
Before I hurt my knee, I was thinking about doing the 13 mile run. A long way (longer than I've gone before) but I know I could do it. I'd be slow, but I could do it. Then the pain started and I thought I was out for good. Spent a week riding the bike and walking and got stronger and can now run without too much pain. Some soreness, but nothing major. I've got a knee brace/support that really helps. I've now done two 5 mile trail runs with the brace, and I've felt pretty good after both. So now there's the debate... do I walk the 4.5 mile walk, run the 7 mile run, or go for the big one and run the 13 miler? Lookin' like that's a game day (errrr, race day) decision.

Marc (and a bunch of other people on wheels) on the news


(Marc's the one on the skateboard. :o) )

(If you don't like clowns, stop the video before the end (at about 26 seconds).... the next story was about a haunted trail, and a creepy clown showed up before I got the video stopped.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

This is Bree with her toys.
All squeakies must die!!!
(Mutts by Patrick McDonnell, June 3, 2010)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Tie your shoes my dear friend, and press on"

I was re-acquainted with the song this line came from when I found it on iTunes earlier this week. I remember loving it and singing along with it over and over. A very catchy tune with a wonderful inspiring, uplifting message. It popped up on the shuffle on my iPod on my drive home the other day and I heard the whole thing for the first time in years.

It brought to mind some of my friends and family who are going through some tough times and dealing with some hard issues. So this is my prayer for them and for anybody else facing a rough patch -

"I was down in the valley
Of the shadow of death
Where the passion for life
Drained like blood from my chest
And it took more than my will
Just to take a step
When the compass of hope was gone

In a silence so black
That I wished for the blues
Every desperate prayer
Seemed like Heaven refused
And some days I found faith
meant just tyin' my shoes
And it was All I could do
To press on

Press on me amigo
Press on mon ami
Walk on in the face
Of the mystery
Though the night hides the light
Through the darkness still dawn...
Tie your shoes, my dear friend
And press on

On the ocean so lonesome
I was not left alone
Had some heavyweight friends
When my heart was a stone
And they carried my heartache and
Made it their own
When the current of sorrow was strong

(and one said) "I pray your memories
will not drag you down
Not be anchors but treasures
Of the love that you've found"
And His kind words turned hurt
into comfort somehow
And the wind in my sails
To press on

So press on me amigo
Press on mon ami
Walk on in the faceOf the mystery
Though the night hides the light
And the journey is long...
Lean on me, my dear friend
And press on

Though the days seem like years...
There may be giants in our fears...
Ah, but they who are sowin' tears
They shall reap in joy
They shall run and leap for joy!

So press on me amigo
Press on mon ami
Walk on in the face
Of the mystery...(...)
Though the night hides the light
And the journey is long...
Lean on me, my dear friend
And press on

Press on me amigo
Press on mon ami
Walk on in the face
Of the mystery
Though the night hides the light
And the journey is long...
Tie your shoes, my dear friend
And press on!"

Press On by Billy Sprague
from the album The Wind & The Wave, 1993


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

Boy Scout Trail
Putnam County Park
Taken September 2009
This is one of the trails we frequently run on.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Random Pic of the Week


Sign on the trail to the lower falls at Hills Creek.
(The bad weather over the winter tore up the trail
and it's closed until further notice.)
August 1, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Few Friday Facts

1. I love to ride my bike for fun. (example - the Critical Mass ride I went on through the streets of Charleston this evening was awesome!)

2. I hate to ride my bike to train/workout. Way too much work. Running is work too, but it's different somehow.

3. It is now the 2nd day of fall and it feels as hot as a night in July. Yuck.

4. I got more mosquito bites tonight than I did all summer long. The itching is driving me nuts!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Running Rules of Thumb

Found these today and thought they were either (a) fitting or (b) kind of funny.

Running Rules of Thumb
1. If you see a porta potty with no line, use it. Even if you don't need to.
2. If you have to ask yourself, Does this driver see me? The answer is no.
3. If you have to ask yourself, Are these shorts too short? The answer is yes.
4. 1 glazed doughnut = 2 miles
5. You rarely regret the runs you do; you almost always regret the runs you skip.
6. Not everyone who looks fast really is, and not everyone who looks slow really is.
7. Nobody has ever watched Chariots of Fire from beginning to end. Not even the people who made it.
8. You can never have too many safety pins on your gym bag.
9. Running any given route in the rain makes you feel 50 percent more hard-core than covering the same route on a sunny day.
10. If you care even a little about being called a jogger versus a runner, you're a runner.

Where they came from: http://www.active.com/running/Articles/A-Few-Rules-To-Run-By.htm?cmp=18-1293&utm_source=sendible&utm_medium=feed&page=2

Monday, September 20, 2010

First day of fall (a totally random thought)

If this coming Wednesday (9/22) is supposed to be the first day of fall, then why is the forecast for temperatures to be in the 90's? Fall is supposed to be cool & crisp. Not hot & sweaty...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

Crossing the finish line in my first 5k
(i came in last, but i finished)
Nut Run 2009
Black Walnut Festival
Spencer, WV

Friday, September 17, 2010

This week's runs

I had a very slow month in August when it came to running. Lots of out of town trips; lots of days with over 90 degree temperatures with 900% humidity; given enough time, I'm sure I could come up with more excuses. But this week I decided to change it and get back into my "training". Not that I'm training for anything in particular. (Although there is an awesome trail run at the end of October that I want to do. Walked the 4.5 mile walk last year - want to run the 8 mile run this year (or maybe I should go for the 13.... Lately I've got it in my head that I want to do a half marathon...) Anyway.... I digress)

So last Sunday evening I was going back over my runs on the Nike+ running website, and I noticed that I started slacking off after July 29, when I met my goal to do 30 miles in a week. I figured that since I'd conquered 30 miles in a week, I deserved a break and could take it easy. I neglected to set another goal, which resulted in the next few weeks being really short on miles. I went days without going out and doing anything... (For comparison's sake - in July I did 25 runs/walks, for a total of 93.99 miles; in August I did 16 runs/walks, for a total of 59.53 miles; not terrible, but not great either). It dawned on me Sunday that I really need a goal to work toward, or I just kind of play around aimlessly.

Who would've thunk that a simple setting on a computer would keep me on track and inspire me to push myself to work harder and stronger? If I failed to live up to the goal, nobody would know but me. And I think that's the main reason it works so well. I don't want to let myself down. I keep the goals realistic so I can meet them; hard enough that I have to work for it, but not so difficult that I stress out and push myself harder than I can handle.

So on Sunday, I set a goal for myself to run/walk 25 miles this week. After several weeks of only running 2 or 3 times with an average mileage of about 10 miles, I have to admit I was a little intimidated by it. The first long run on Monday and short run on Tuesday went ok. But on Wednesday, when it was time for a long run again, I was ready to give up. I was tired; i wasn't feeling too great; it was just blah. I did the miles, but that's the only good thing I can say about it.

I was so not into running after Wednesday's outing that I was ready to skip Thursday's run all together. But as the day went on on Thursday, I changed my mind. I wanted to go out and give it another shot. The schedule called for a short, one lap circuit of the neighborhood (about 1.15 miles, give or take a couple 0.01s.) If it was tough and crappy at least it wouldn't last very long. Bad attitude to have at the start of a run. But the running gods were smiling on me. It was fairly cool and it felt like my feet had wings. The uphill part was tough (as usual) but it didn't seem to slow me down much. My husband, who rides his skateboard with me on the short runs, had trouble keeping up with me (which hardly ever happens). I get home and check the ipod. Fastest. Mile. Ever!!! 10 minute mile, baby. Woo hoo! I glowed over my accomplishment for quite a while.

Today was another long run day. After a long day at work (which marked the end of a long, busy week), I didn't know how well I do on the run. I set off a little slow to pace myself because I knew I had 5 miles to finish. But as I went on, I realized I was feeling great. Again, I felt like my feet had wings and I was flying. My walk breaks were shorter; my running sections were faster and longer. It was awesome. Got home and stopped the ipod, heard the run details, and jumped for joy. 5.25 miles in less than an hour! 11:07/mile pace. Fastest.Long run.Ever!!!!

So my week started out just ok, went all the way down to awful, and then went way back up to spectacular! If wasn't for that pesky goal I had set for myself, I probably would've given up on the week after Wednesday's bad day. And just think of what I would have missed if I'd done that! So next week, I'll definitely be setting another a goal. And I'm totally hoping that I can keep those wings on my feet and keep up the pace.

Here's the week's mileage:
Monday - 6.52 mile run (11:37/mile) + 1.75 mile walk = 8.26 miles
Tuesday - 1.17 mile run (10:09/mile) + 1.12 mile walk = 2.29 miles
Wednesday - 6.02 mile run (11:51/mile) + no walk = 6.02 miles
Thursday - 1.14 mile run (10:00/mile) + 2.3 mile walk = 3.44 miles
Friday - 5.26 mile run (11:07/mile) + 1.16 mile walk = 6.42 miles
Total miles = 26.43

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

Jamie Bestwick rolls in.
Vert Ramp Demo
2010 East Coast Surfing Championships
Virgina Beach, VA

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thought for a Monday

I'm sitting on my couch after 10 days of vacation - 10 days of relaxation and fun. After five days at Virginia Beach, we were chased away by Hurricane Earl, but those five days were spent enjoying the best beach weather I've ever seen. We came home early, but the vacation fun didn't end. We spent one day traveling to a beautiful park and going on an awesome trail run. We spent another day at the local skatepark. And yet another day at another beautiful park taking the dog for a hike and then Bree & I relaxed while Marc went for a mountain bike ride.

Life is supposed to be fun. And Marc and I try our best to make the most out of life and have fun at every opportunity. This year's vacation and all the awesome stuff we managed to do in the last 10 days bring to mind the sermon my brother gave at our wedding. Here is what he said:

"You do realize what you've done? There was a time, not so long ago, that I was weird one in this family. Unicycles, flower dogs, skateboards? You're providing me quite a challenge when my own wedding day rolls around. Somehow, I'm going to have to top all this.

"Of course, this stuff is part of what makes today so special. You two have taken an already special occasion and made it truly your own. I think I said this a few

times when we were putting all this together, but I am so immensely proud of both of you. Not just as a brother smiling upon his kid sister taking this huge and wondrous step in life, or as a man about to receive a wonderful man as a brother, but also as a pastor.

"You see, we pastors get up in pulpits and in front of congregations every Sunday and we
preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ every Sunday and the next week we do it again and so forth. Yet despite that, only occasionally does anything seem to change in the people we preach to.

"But I know today I am preaching to at least two people (and hopefully more) who do get it.
Marc, Missa, you understand. The proof is here in front of us. It's in the skateboards, the unicycles, the mutt dogs, the high top sneakers, and in the spirit of this day.

"Alright, has Allen really gone bonkers? It doesn't talk about skateboards and fun hogs in the
Bible, so what on earth is he getting at? No, it doesn't mention these modern things, but what it does talk about, quite frequently, is life.

"You see what you have done in crafting together this wedding celebration is create a celebration of life in all its aspects. Jesus, I think, would approve. After all, this is the man who once told his
followers that his purpose in coming was that we would 'have life and have it abundantly.'

"You see the problem we've had with those words of Jesus is that we've always presumed Jesus was talking about some heavenly here-after and that our abundant life would begin when we get there. And everything we do up until then is just dull and boring drudgery. No fun. Got to be serious all the time. Heaven forbid we actually enjoy ourselves. God forbid we have fun.

"NO! That's not what he meant at all. He meant for us to look upon our lives and see the gift therein. He wants us to enjoy our lives here and now. He wants us to ride skateboards, or play
video games, or go fishing, or whatever your hobbies and interests may be. He wants us to
have fun here and now in this life.

"Don't believe me? Well, there is a story from Jesus life that shows this truth quite clearly. And it takes place, interestingly enough, at a wedding in the town of Cana. Jesus and his disciples have been invited to a wedding and they're all there having a good time and enjoying themselves. But suddenly, there's a problem. They've run out of wine.

"Now to remedy this problem, Jesus commands the house servants to fill the home's jars of purification with water. And poof, Jesus does his miracle thing and the water in those jars becomes wine.

"Now how is this a sign that Jesus wants us to have fun in life? Well, let me tell you. First off, let's remember they're at a wedding. They're celebrating. They're having fun. It's a party.

"Secondly, we need to remember that Jesus NEVER uses his miraculous powers for frivolous reasons. He heals the sick. He casts out demons. He calms the storm to protect his disciples. He feeds the multitudes. All big important stuff. Yet when itis suggested that he calm his grumbling stomach in the desert by turning stones to bread, he refuses. Too frivolous a use of his divine power. He won't do it.

"And yet, here he turns water into wine. Why? Well, wine is the drink of celebration, in their culture as well as ours. It's the party drink. When you run out, the party's over. When there's more wine to be had, the party can continue.

"Now bearing that in mind, let's remember how much wine Jesus has just created. These jars stand about yay tall and are about this big around and as the Bible tells us, they hold about 30
gallons. There are six of them that the servants fill. Do the math. Six times thirty is 180 gallons of wine.

"Now presuming two things, one that the wedding guests are indeed human and not some manner of space alien immune to the intoxicating effects of alcohol, and two that these good people will not overindulge and drink themselves into quick oblivion, how long will this party last? Long time. They will celebrate days upon days upon days. The party will go on.

"'I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.'

"Marc and Missa understand that teaching, and now on this day, they are joining their lives together. They are giving that gift of life to one another. If past experience, and this day itself,
is any indication, their life together will be one heck of a party. And you know something, we're
partying along with you, your friends, your family. we're here for you in the joys and also the
sorrows.

"And so too is Jesus. He'll cry with you. He'll laugh with you. He'll, dare I say it, party with you. In fact, he's probably sitting back there, unseen by our eyes, telling me to wrap this up. 'Come
on, Allen, we're missing good celebratin' time.'

"Amen."

So there you have it. Life is supposed to be fun. So get out, have fun, and live your life to fullest.

(Sermon given by the Rev. Allen Schwarz, (pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, Davis, WV), at the wedding of Marc & Melissa Fuentes, April 29, 2006)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday Facts (on Saturday)

1. When I'm on vacation, I tend to lose track of time (which is why you're getting Friday's Facts on a Saturday). At least I think it's Saturday....

2. I have now been chased away from the beach by a Hurricane 3 times. In 1996 by Bertha, in 2008 by Hanna, and in 2010 by Earl. Boo hiss to hurricanes. Not only because they screw up vacations, but because they can cause devasting losses to life and property.

3. Why is it that I can drive for hours and not get too tired, but if I'm the passenger, I'm asleep after 45 minutes?

4. The East Coast Surfing Championships were going on when we got to Virginia Beach. We didn't catch any of the surfing, but the skateboard and bmx demo at the vert ramp was awesome:

5. I like to read. I like to read on the beach. Marc took this pic of me from our hotel room balcony. I'm in my own little world:


Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Facts

My poor, poor neglected blog... Life has been pretty busy lately, but here in my Friday Facts, I'll try to update the world on my latest doings.

1. I hate to fold laundry - there's a basket of towels sitting next to the couch that's been there for over a week now. I keep waiting for the laundry fairies to show up and fold them...

2. Since I met my husband, I have become a big fan of Mopar Muscle cars. The Plymouth Superbird is my favorite. Last weekend, we went to the Mopar Nationals near Columbus, Ohio. This is me next to an awesome blue Superbird:


3. I'm a lifelong animal lover and if a city has a zoo, I'm gonna want to go to it. So, while we were in Columbus, we checked out the zoo. We went fairly early in the day, when the sun wasn't too hot and a lot of the animals were active. Here's a couple of my favorite shots:







Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Facts

1. I hate to clean my house, so I make it a bit more tolerable by having the movie "Cars" playing. One of my favorite movies.

2. If you don't like fingerprints or streaks - Don't get stainless steel appliances. Keeping my fridge clean is a challenge

3. I have subscriptions to several cooking magazines. I drool over the recipes inside them, but rarely ever actually attempt to make any of them.

4. It's 11:35 on Friday night, and I just got my first opportunity to sit down and relax about 10 minutes ago. My brain is having a hard time coming up with any facts that might be even remotely interesting.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Not so random Random Pic of the Week

Bree at the Middle Falls of the Falls of Hills Creek.
August 1, 2010.
Her 11th trip to the falls.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Facts

1. I like to put things away in places where I'll be sure to find them again. But then when I go to get them, I can't remember where it is I put them.

2. At some point, I'm going to paint my living room and dining room. I'm making good progress. I picked out the paint colors - 2 years ago.

3. I have taken more steps in the last 2 hours than I did in the 8 hours I was at work today. Obviously I sit at a desk. I sit alot....

4. I am a big fan of Snoopy. There is at least one Snoopy (stuffed, picture, figurine, etc) in almost every room of my house. In fact, from where I am sitting right now, I can see 4. At Christmas time, it's even worse (better?) He's everywhere!!

5. My husband is a collector of Hot Wheels cars. Not to be outdone by the Snoopy's, there is also probably at least one Hot Wheels car in just about every room. Tiny cars are cool. I have my own collection of Mopar muscle cars in a case in my bedroom.

6. Want some good sunglasses? Oakley Half Jackets. Best ever. Kinda pricey, but so worth it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thought for Monday

To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.

~Eva Young
This is the same quote as last Monday. Last week, I was in a down mood and feeling a bit negative about a lot of things, so I looked at it in negative way. But the more I thought about it over the week, I realized that there was another way to look at it.
If you think about something long enough, you can find a way to solve a problem or form a plan to meet to goal. Thinking can get you through some tough spots. Positive thinking can propel you to bigger and better things.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Facts

1. People think I’m quiet and shy. If you really know me, you that’s not the case – I’m just very selective; If I have something to say, believe me, I’ll say it.

2. My email address is still my college nickname. Webster Andretti. Webster for the dictionary because I’m a storehouse of useless knowledge. And Andretti because of a lapse in my good judgment in driving home from a sorority event. I raced a friend down winding Pennsylvania roads going way way too fast. (and darn it, if I had just cut through that gas station parking lot at the corner instead of waiting for the light to turn green, I could’ve beat her too!!)

3. I can quote Disney’s “Aladdin” and “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” pretty much from beginning to end. Some of my favorites are “PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS – itty bitty living space” “in case of emergency, the exits are here, here, here, here, anywhere. Keep your hands and arms inside the carpet – WE’RE OUTTA HERE” “I’m gonna cut your heart out with a spoon!” “Why a spoon cousin, why not an axe or a ... Because it’s dull you twit, it’ll hurt more.” “I had a very sad childhood. I ought to tell you about it sometime. It’s amazing I’m sane”. I could go on, but I’ll stop now.

4. I miss Bree’s puppy days. She was such a cute little thing.

5. Bree is named after a character in one of my favorite book series (Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series). According to the books “bree” is a Scottish word for “a great disturbance.” She is that – you should hear her snore.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Thought for a Monday

To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.

~Eva Young


I am the master at overthinking things and psyching myself out. Ialways start out thinking I can do this; I just need to do this, this, this, and this.... And then I've thought too long and too much, and I get scared and it's over.

I do it on the mountain bike - I come up to a downhill and start thinking about all the things that could go wrong and before I know it, I'm giving up - getting off the bike and walking it down the hill.

I do it on the skateboard - I start cruising down a hill and thinking about how fast I could go and how much a fall will hurt, and the foot comes down and I'm slowing to a stop.

I do it before a run. I have a plan on how far I'm running on a particular day, and if I think about the distance any more than that initial plan, I start thinking about how hard it'll be and how much easier it would be to go shorter (or even not at all).

But I'm getting better with the runs. I try to get into what I call "The Little Engine That Could" mode: my mantra becomes "I think I can; I think I can; I think I can". And, if I can keep that mantra in my mind, it works. But keeping it up and not letting the thoughts of "it's too hot out here" and "there's such a long way to go" and other negative thinking drown it out is difficult.

I need to figure out a way to turn off the negative parts of my brain and stick with the "I can do this" mind set and be "The Little Engine That Could" every day.





Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hiking

My friend Keira came down for a visit this weekend. She wanted to go hiking so we went to Kanawha State Forest and hit the trails for a nice walk.


I should've charged my camera battery last night, but no, I didn't. I figured it would be fine. Well, I managed to get one whole picture before the battery died.


Lovely blue butterfly:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Food

Tonight's dinner - Spicy Zucchini Boats



(ok, so this is the picture from the cookbook, but I swear, the ones I make look like the picture. We just get so excited to eat them that there's no opportunity to take a pic of the real thing. :o) )

Books that make me curious

Every now and then I'll read a book based some real historical event or place, and it will make me extremely curious. It happened when I read "The Terror" by Dan Simmons, and now Simmons is doing it to me again.

I'm currently reading "Black Hills". I'm a little less than halfway through (about 40% according to the Kindle), so I don't know if Paha Sapa succeeds in his plan to obliterate Mount Rushmore so that his vision of the Stone Presidents coming alive to devour the world does not come true.

I've always been interested in Native American history and I knew they considered the Black Hills to be sacred land, but I never gave any thought to how they might feel about a monument to 4 white men on their sacred ground.

So I'm going to do some more reading and some researching on the subject.

To start, here are a couple of articles that I've found for some background:
Article "Native American Culture and the Black Hills" : http://www.blackhillsvisitor.com/main.asp?id=14&cat_id=30118&open_id=71

Article "Paha Sapa - The Black Hills" : http://www.blackhillsvisitor.com/main.asp?id=14&cat_id=30034&open_id=71

Monday, July 5, 2010

Thought for a Monday

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
~Albert Schweitzer
The 4 ladies (and their little ones) that I spent the 4th of July weekend with are some of those people that rekindle my spirit. There's not much better than a weekend full of fun and laughter with good friends. I've already mentioned how blessed I am to have "my girls" in my life, but it can't be said enough.
Thank you Becca, Jen, Shannon & Keira (and Kayla, Katie, and Ali, too) - the weekend was awesome. Can't wait for next time!

Random Pic of the week (a day late)

Wedding pic. Me & Marc. 04-29-2006




(been out of town, and didn't get a chance to post the random pic on Sunday - was too busy having fun with the girls at Girls' Weekend :o) )