Monday, December 31, 2007

Same Old Lang Syne


As I bid adieu to 2007, I have a little time left to reflect on the year's mussings...

I actually completed a goal. Not that I hadn't before, but was satisfaction in finishing a year's long physical goal. I completed one run event per month, but I exceeded that goal. On the surface one run event per month is tangible, but I had never done that before. The run events included a marathon, four half marathons, several 5ks, an 8 miler, and a 15K. I've exceeded my goal and did a total of 14 run events.

In my quest to complete the run goal, I met many runners, bloggers, and runners who blog. I've met runners at run events who I happen to see every time. We eventually get to talking and always chat after a run event is over. It's nice to see a familiar face. Then there's the internet... Other people would always question my meeting people from the internet. "Is it safe?" "What if they're raving psycho-lunatics?" Meeting all these people was wonderful. I found a very warm and friendly running/workout community within the confines of the internet, and in person these people were/ARE great. I felt very fortunate to have met many in person. We all come from different places, different walks of life, and different beliefs, but the one thing we all share is the sport of running and being fit. It was nice to have conversations about running/working out and not have blank or bewildered faces look back, but a complete understanding about all the things we go through such as training regimens, nutrition, getting a Q time for Boston, our PRs, and tapering. I also was fortunate to get to know a few bloggers who don't run, but who I find intriguing and share the common thread of stuff that happens in every day life. I hope to get to know more of these bloggers in person some day.

My house is definetly a work in progress. The landscaping suffered a bit this past year, but I'm hoping to get it looking more like WOW instead of ick. We did finish off the garage space and turned it into our temporary bedroom. Next on the list, and not by choice, is the plumbing and heating. I wish we were at the point of remodeling the entire house and property, but that won't happen for a few years, if at all. I do love this house, though, even with all the things that need fixing. I feel fortunate to be here.

Family. Sure, there were some bumps in the road along the way, but we all still like each other, most of the time.

My husband and I celebrated 25 years of marriage. Sometimes it's hard to believe that much time has gone by, but it has.

Sure, there's a lot more to 2007 than I listed, but I just wanted to reflect a little. Tomorrow starts a new year, full of hope and a fresh start.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Do You See What I See?

Would you believe Fisher Price actually makes a kid's digital camera?

These are just a few pictures taken by my 4 year old grandson. Yes, the camera was a Christmas present. These shots have not been edited. I think he has a knack for photography, but I'm somewhat biased.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Run, Run Rudolph

I just about passed out when my husband actually said that we should plan to get out and do a few runs before we start training with the San Diego Track Club on January 5, 2008. This comment is from the person who would rather sleep in until noon, if given the chance, the one who really doesn't run. My first reaction (in my head) was "where is my husband and what have you done with him?" Instead, I replied with a "you're right, we should get out and do a few runs before then."

Christmas was somewhat low keyed for us. It all started with Christmas Eve dinner at my SIL's house, where all the nieces and nephews attended for the first time in a few years Someone has always been away at college or work, or spending the holidays out-of-state with significant others. My SIL did an amazing job preparing the main course of the dinner, and we all brought side dishes. We came home rather late, sometimes around midnight, and we had to, *ahem*, help Santa put out gifts once we arrived home. I didn't get to sleep until after 2 am. Christmas day started rather late for us. Normally, someone is up at the crack of dawn to open presents, but it wasn't until after 9 am until we sleepily shuffled to the Christmas tree to open gifts. Santa brought my grandson an interactive play kitchen. You put a piece of plastic fruit on the cutting board or frying pan, and it tells you what it is, or it will ask you to put a particular item on the cutting board or pan, then plays a happy tune when you get it right. Of course, my grandson also received more Hotwheels cars and monster trucks, amongst other fun treasures. Santa brought my son a drum set. I am thankful that I have a garage space WAY on the other side of the yard from my house, and that's where the drum set now resides... Everyone finally figured out that I work out and run, so I received some very nice work out/running clothes that I normally woudn't buy for myself, plus my husband gave me a heart rate monitor. Later on in the evening we hosted a casual Christmas day open house for the family. I think we all had a very nice and rather quiet Christmas.

Not much else is going on around here, other than getting organized and getting in gear for the new year ahead. I'm also looking to make a new list of goals for the new year, NOT resolutions. 2007 was one run event per month for my goal. I did that and exceeded the goal. I have some ideas of what I want to do for 2008, but I still have a little time to figure out exactly what I want to acheieve for the next 12 months. I have some ideas.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

12 Days of Christmas

Some things are worth sharing. I stole this off of Kyra's blog.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Cookies

Something kinda cute...

Last night I was making cookie dough with my grandson. He was exicted to add the ingredients and lick the beaters when we were done. He knows that today we're baking and decorating Chrismas cookies. This morning he asked me, "Mimi, are we going to decorate the Chrystler cookies today?" Heehee...



Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Silent Night

What's your favorite holiday song?

I have many favorite holiday songs but I really love Silent Night. It was one of the first songs I remember singing in a Christmas pageant in the first grade, and now that I'm just a little bit older (heh) it really gets to me in a warm and fuzzy way... Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is also up there. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree and Jingle Bells are fun songs. The list of favorite holiday tunes is quite long. Heck... I'm a softy when it comes to holiday music. I usually purchase at least one new holiday music CD every Christmas season.

"Sleep in heavenly peace."


Monday, December 17, 2007

Feliz Navidad

I'm waiting to leave from San Diego. It had rained the night before and the weather was still cool and blustery. This shot is from the balcony on our stateroom.

First day out at sea. It was extremely windy and a bit chilly out. Even Michael felt the need to hang on to the railing so he wouldn't be knocked over by a strong gust of wind. We spent a lot of time walking around the ship over the course of the cruise, otherwise, we would have turned into slugs!

This is day two, at the first formal dinner out at sea.

It's anniversary day and our first stop at Acapulco! We went on the horseback riding, sunset and champagne excursion. Michael said it was kind of like a scene from the TV show "The Bachelor." They had chairs and tables set up for us with glasses and chilled champagne. It really was very romantic. By the way, the horses pretty much walked, so we didn't become saddle sore... (Everyone who did not do this excursion asked if we were sore afterward.)

Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa - We went with about 20 others on a huge catamaran to a cove to snorkel. It was fun swimming amongst the fish, especially with a few fish who were equally as curious about us as we were about them. We did get underwater photos but those were on a 35mm disposable underwater camera that has yet to be developed...

On the way back from snorkeling at Zihuananejo, other people on the boat were partying. Food and drink were offered and many aboard became rather drunk. I was, ahem, good... I did partake in the festivities but I did not become inebriated.

This is a resort near Manzanillo, where we could have as much food and drink as we wanted, snorkel, kayak, swim, or do absolutely nothing. We kayaked and swam. Oh, and some food and drink... This is a place to keep in mind for a future trip.

Leaving Manzanillo

The obligatory picture of towel origami, which our room attendant made for us.

On our way back to San Diego, they had a Susan G. Komen walk for the cure. It was only a mile walk, which was about 4 laps around the ship. I didn't know this was going to be one of the activities on the ship, so bringing the pink running skirt was purely coincidental. This is a picture of me with the cruise director, Ryan, after the walk.

On our way back home!

There is much more to the trip than just this, and a ton more pictures, but Blogger might explode if I post everything, such as the spectacular dinner and view at the ship's supper club for our anniversary while in port at Acapulco -- it was a religious holiday, complete with processions and fireworks, and let's not forget each spectacular sunsets along the way, dolphins, whales and turtles in the ocean as we passed, and so on. It was a trip to remember.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Saw Three Ships

I swear, I did use the treadmill on board the ship's gym! Really! 3 separate times!

We're back from a wonderful vacation. I'll write up a synopsys of the 8 days in a day or so. Today is all about regrouping, going through mail, and doing laundry. I haven't weighed myself yet. I'm kind of afraid to, but I'm hoping the damage wasn't too bad.

Thanks for all of the lovely comments in regards to our wedding anniversary. I'll comment on those comments as well, but later.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Friday, December 07, 2007

Without Your Love

My husband and I are taking an 8 day cruise along the western coast of Mexico, which leaves tomorrow. Part of the reason for the cruise is that my husband really needs a vacation, and we're celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on December 11. It's hard to believe it has actually been THAT long. There's so many memories from that time in 1982. I recall the weeks before the wedding, when Michael called me from his apartment in Montclair, near where he was attending college, to let me know that he and his roommate went hiking at night, and underestimated the snow on Mt. Baldy, then fell off a ledge, twisting his ankle. I'll never forget when he came home with crutches. His mother just about had a coronary because he didn't tell her about the ankle prior to him returning home for the wedding... Luckily, he had me to lean on after the wedding ceremony, and the limp was just about unnoticeable... 25 years later we're still leaning on each other.

25 years ~ December 11, 1982 ~ 2007

You can show me the way
give me a sunny day
but what does it mean without your love?

And if I could travel far
if I could touch the stars
where would I be without your love?

Whenever I get to feel
down and out
I think about what what you said
and then I give out

If I could fly away
if I could sail today
where would I go without your love?

You can show me the way
and give me a sunny day
but what does it mean without your love?

And if I could travel far
if I could touch the stars
where would I be without your love?

And if I ever wander away too far
you come and looking for me
with open arms

I could forget my home
feel like a rolling stone
but who would I be without your love?

And what does it mean without your love?

Where would I be?

The above song was played at our wedding instead of the traditional wedding march.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Super Sunny Christmas


I'm trying to get a ton of various chores and errands done today, so I can get packing tomorrow. I really need to do some sort of cardio before I turn into a slug. We'll see how the day goes.

I had a chiropractor appointment this morning, he made some adjustments which helped with the back pain I've been dealing with since Sunday.

I paid a visit to my niece, who works at the photo department at the drugstore. She helped me with my Christmas card photo and had me out of there in less than 15 minutes. Hooray! She used this picture, cropped it, and put a Christmas border around it:

(Cropping and border not posted...)

We tried the family photo, with all of us, but we all looked goofier than usual, so we went with a picture my husband took just this past Sunday at the park of our grandson.

It's goregous outside right now, but they're predicting rain for the weekend. I hope the rain doesn't follow us on our vacay...


Monday, December 03, 2007

An Eggnog, Some Mistletoe, And You

I found this over at Smartypantz32, so I just HAD to do mine. I never had myself pegged as eggnog...

You Are Eggnog

Rich, sweet, and probably a little drunk. Everyone who knows you tends to get a little fatter.

It's time for the list of the October winners for:"NAME THAT ARTIST /BAND/COMPOSER/MUSICIAN/ETC." For those of you who haven't played yet, it's pretty simple. I title my blog posts with song titles. Be the first to correctly guess who recorded/performed the song, post your answer under "comments," and if you are correct, the glory, and a little notoriety, is yours.

11/30/07 Red Rain - Peter Gabirel - Miss Rachel

11/29/07 Celebrity Skin - Hole

11/28/07 Cold - Crossfade

11/27/07 Feeling At Home - Anytown

11/26/07 Gold Medal - The Donnas - Barbie2be

11/25/07 One For My Baby (And One For The Road) Frank Sinatra - Barbie2be

11/24/07 Genius Of Love - Tom Tom Club - Run-DMZ

11/23/07 Friends - Elton John

11/22/07 Red House - Jimmy Hendrix

11/21/07 I Love A Parade - The Boston Pops

11/20/07 Funky Stuff - Kool And The Gang - Barbie2be

11/19/07 Fill Me In - Craig David - Barbie2be

11/18/07 Pancakes - Tori Amos - Barbie2be

11/17/07 Food For Thought - UB40

11/16/07 He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - Hollies - Barbie2be

11/15/07 On The Runway - Sandra Burnhard

11/14/07 Sitting, Waiting, Wishing - Jack Johnson - Barbie2be

11/13/07 Beat Of Progress - God Of Blitz

11/12/07 Running On Sunshine - Jesus Jackson - Be A Good One

11/11/07 Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper - Barbie2be

11/10/07 Dreaming - Blondie

11/09/07 Baby, It's Cold Outside - James Taylor, Vanessa Williams, etc... Be A Good One

11/08/07 What I Like About You - The Romantics - Barbie2be

11/07/07 Rest Stop - Matchbox 20 - Barbie2be

11/06/07 Deck The Halls - Traditional - She Do Run Run

11/05/07 People Have The Power - Patti Smith - Barbie2be

11/04/07 Even Marathon Runners Need To Nap - Troubled Hubble - Smartypantz32

11/03/07 Feels Like Today - Rascal Flats - Barbie2be

11/02/07 Face Down - The Red Jumpsuit

11/01/07 Night Rally - Elvis Costello - Barbie2be


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Jingle Bell Rock

I did it.

113 IRENE M 710 48 5/31 F SAN DIEGO 27:26 8:50

I met my goal of at least one run event per month for 2007. This also puts the total of run events for the year at 14.

I ran in the Jingle Bell 5K for the Arthritis Foundation at Balboa Park this morning. I also dragged my husband with me. I'm not sure if they were expecting a larger turn out, based on all the left over freebies they had. Let's just say that we scored on the freebies that we actually consume. It had rained heavily last night night, and the threat of more rain today may have kept some folks at home. It was also a little chilly out, just below 50 degrees at the start of the race. I don't think it warmed up past 60 degrees this morning, but the cool temperatures tend to make for a more favorable run. This was a fun 5k to attend. Some people dressed up in Santa suits, elf hats and ears, etc. I looked for my fuzzy Santa hat, but it's probably in that one box I still can't find. There was a group who ran as the the reindeer and Santa, as a group -- really cute. There were also several dogs with their owners, both dressed up for the occasion. The event coordinators did provide jingle bells that could tie to our shoes, or where ever. It was kinda neat to run to the sound of jingle bells everywhere. I did have a hard time getting warmed up, and even though my knees didn't hurt, they were very tight. I did OK but I hope that SOMEDAY they implement timing chips for all runs, or it should at least be an option. My time on the clock as I ran through the finish line was 27:14, but the official posted time was 27:26. My wireless run tracker had me at 27:26, but that also includes the time it took to get through the line in the finish corral (after the race) AND finding the water table when I remembered to turn it off.

I've found most of our Christmas decorations. There's a couple of boxes I still can't locate. It's not like we don't have enough ornaments, we probably have enough ornaments for three or four 6' Christmas trees, but there's a few special ones that have significant meanings, and I always like to put those out. (I used to do a lot of crafts when the kids were small, and I enjoyed the Christmas crafts most of all .) A tree is up in the dining room, and I'll probably put up lights on the house tomorrow. I still have a rock pine in a pot from last Christmas. I suppose I should hose that off and decorate it, too.

This year my grandson is very aware of Santa Claus. He's concerned about Santa going down the chimney... Will he fit?


Friday, November 30, 2007

Red Rain

Upper Body Workout - Bowflex - Lats, shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest.

If we decide to run in an event this weekend, we'll most likely run in the Jingle Bell 5k - Benefiting the Arthritis Foundation. My husband said he would run in that one with me if we do run. There's also rain in the forecast for tomorrow, which, ironically, wreaks havoc on people with arthritis, including me. We'll see how it all goes.

Yes, it's raining. Not only am I spoiled by the normally wonderful Southern California weather, but so are my animals...

Two of my cats and the dog are pictured here, in the near vicinity of a portable floor heater. The cat on the floor - under the chair, Luna, has declared war on the dog, Logan, and major hissing and claws are usually involved. This is a very rare moment, that Logan and Luna are cohabiting peacefully for the sake of warmth.

At the upper left hand corner is my big tabby cat, Lumpy, AKA Artimes. He's hard to see in the first photo, but he really is there, hiding... See?

Finally, it's the last day of NaBloPoMo. I've officially posted every day this month. I did notice that I did mess up one day, and that was yesterday's post. I really did post it yesterday but it had the wrong date. I did the celebrity look-alike thing the day before, and kept it saved as a draft so I could add it to my post on the actual day of posting. I noticed the wrong date this morning and changed it to when I actually did write and publish the post.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Celebrity Skin

Yesterday's workout was lower body, sans weights - squats, lunges, side leg raises, donkey kicks, abs.

No workout today, but that doesn't mean I'll be sedentary. I'm dragging out the Christmas decor, which is behind several heavy boxes that my husband put in the way.

There's just one more day to call into jury duty.

I'm still debating on participating in a run this weekend. There are a couple to choose from. The one that I really wanted to do was originally scheduled for 12/8, but it is now rescheduled for THIS Saturday, 12/1. If I don't run this weekend, there are runs right before New Years, and that will fulfill my December run event goal.

It seems like everything comes back again, and this face recognition template is going around, again... Last time it went around I didn't have a blog.

The one on the far right is Holly Hunter. My blog template cut part of the graphic off. The funny thing about this is that I don't think I really look like any of these women. It's just the photo probably looks more similar to the photos of the women that came up.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007


This is an e-mail I received from a close friend of mine. I thought it was worth sharing. It's basically a page from his diary, which is why it starts off like a typical day after Thanksgiving. He gave me the OK to publish this entry. All of the names have been changed.

"This is how my day went. I woke up at 3:00AM in order to get to the door buster Black Friday sales starting at 4:00AM. I figured nobody would be that crazy and I would be first. Last year I went to the stores at 1PM after lunch and everything was gone. Good thing I asked them when the doorbusters were gone, and they said within an hour of opening the doors. Traffic was fairly heavy at 4 in the morning. I visited Kohls at 4, Circuit City at 5, Walmart at 8, LOW/Target at 9, and then finished up at the mall. Kohls was very busy, but it wasn't difficult finding a parking spot. Circuit City was jammed packed. It took me 10 minutes to park, an hour to find stuff I wanted, and 1.5 hrs in the checkout line to pay. LOW was not busy at all so I think I made the right decision to take the tax loss of the shares. The mall was insane, but good thing I didn't go to Wrentham Outlets, which opened at midnight, as there were reports of fights over people trying to find a parking spot.

On my way home, I stopped in WFMI in search of the $100 turkey. I didn't want one, I just wanted to see if I could find one. Sure enough, the high end turkeys at the regular stores, Plainville, was the low end at WFMI. There were about three to four brands above that. The WFMI brand turkey that came in a bag filled with brine solution was $80. And the mother of all turkeys, a 24 pound bird at $4.29/pound, brand Heidi's Hens, came to a whopper price tag of $102.96. This compares with my price tag of $4.90 for the turkey I roasted for the Colts/Patriots game. And that was expensive because I bought just the turkey at $0.49/pound which would have been $0.39/pound had I bought $25 of additional items.

I got home from shopping at 1PM and rested a half hour before heading out to do my good Thanksgiving deed. I helped a victim of the subprime collapse. First, some background information. Readers Digest condensed version. Fifteen years ago a woman named Sara married some guy named Joel. They bought a house and had two daughters. Money was always tight. Sara stayed at home to raise the two daughters and hubby was in the flea market business. Pressures mounted and they got divorced. She got the house, full custody and all the flea market crap which was stored in the house. After a couple of years, Sara meets someone new and dates him until he ends up in jail. What did he do to end up in jail? Nothing. Sara's bad daughter, as opposed to the good daughter, accused him of sexually assaulting her. He gets convicted of that which he did not do, so he is out of the picture. The subprime market collapses and Sara can neither refinance nor make the mortgage payments. The bank forecloses on her and orders her out of the house on Halloween. Here's where it gets pretty bad. Sara and good daughter Mellissa had nowhere to go so they stayed in the house in spite of the eviction notice. Nobody talked much about where the bad daughter was, but rumor has it that she is getting treatment somewhere. The oil tank goes unfilled because the oil company won't fill the tank of a foreclosed house. The electric company shuts off the electricity because nobody is supposed to be living there. After a few nights of freezing cold temperatures and no light, Sara leaves to stay with a friend. Meanwhile, the locks are changed and Sara cannot visit the house to feed the two cats and two dogs. The friend's apartment does not permit animals so Sara figured she would just visit the house once a day. Mellissa is upset because she is worried for her pets. She visits the house at night and manages to toss food in through a crack of an open kitchen window. This has been going on for three weeks.

My coworker and friend Tom, whose daughter is a friend of Melissa's, asks me to help move Sara's stuff out of the house. I am told 8 people have volunteered to help. On Saturday, 11/24, everything that is left in the house will be hauled away. I get there and the house looks beautiful from the outside. However, as soon as the front door was opened for us, the stench reminded me of a public urinal that had not been cleaned for ten years. Two would be helpers called to cancel. Another two showed up at the site and then chose not to help once they saw the inside of the house. Imagine three weeks of dogs and cats shitting and urinating all over the place, and junk piled everywhere just like in the Oprah show segment on the junk collection couple. I could have gone home at that instant when I saw it, but I decided to stay and help. It was cold outside. In was cold inside. There were no lights once the sun went down. All I had was my key chain LED light. I knew I'd have to throw away everything I was wearing once done, including my shoes.

We emptied as much as we could before midnight arrived and we all were tired and hungry. Two members were injured so the real move team was just two, my coworker and me. One of the injuries was a sprained arm so that guy was out of the picture. He fell down the stairs while carrying something heavy. It is hard to navigate stairs in total darkness, except for the light from the full moon, and the carpet was so ripped up that you could trip at any time. My coworker took him to the hospital. Sara went to see if she could get some flashlights or kerosene lamps. So now it is me and Mellissa moving more furniture and boxes from the house to the front lawn to be loaded into the truck when Sara returned with light. Mellissa loses her balance while carrying this six foot tall wooden scare crow and falls, breaking a large mirror and getting glass stuck in her ass. It is so bad that she was bleeding through her jeans. She is in agony and asks me to help and all I can think of is her sister falsely accusing a guy who is now in jail. But it is clear that she needs help so I use my little light to find towels, rubbing alcohol, etc. I had to go into lawyer mode for a minute and asked her to confirm that she requested help, that this does not constitute harassment and that we would tell her mother exactly what happened as soon as she returned. She agreed. There was no light in the house so I turned on my car and in the beam of my xenon headlights, I administered first aid to this young woman's ass. I may not be a doctor, but I did okay, and I'm sure this was easier than if I had been called upon to deliver a baby.

After we finished up, we all went back to my coworker's house for a nice turkey leftover dinner with all the fixin's. Sara said the bank's trash hauling company will be emptying the house starting at 10:00AM, so as a big thank you, we could have anything we wanted. Since I'd say we only removed about 20% of the stuff in the house, there was a lot left. She left behind some decent stuff, a TV, two computers, a piano. Of course, there was no way we could have moved the piano. But most of the stuff was flea market stuff she got from her hubby in the divorce. I told her she could have a huge yard sale, but she thought that was just too much both physically and emotionally.

This experience reaffirms my longstanding belief that if you have a bad day there's always someone who is having a worse day. Capitalism works at the top but the consequences are the ones who get stuck on the bottom. Sometimes there are no safety nets and you can become homeless in a second. The government does little to help the bottom and the middle's standard of living just keeps getting worse. I asked Sara about the bank who is sticking it to her without any regard for the human side of business, if there is such a thing. She told me the name of the mortgage company. I checked them out on the web and they just happen to be one of the largest residential mortgage companies in the country. Never judge a website by its homepage. I saw the reality of what they will do if a customer is unable to pay the mortgage. And finally, if I had been the market to buy foreclosed homes because the price was just too compelling, and I bought this house, the moment I stepped inside I would have vomited, dropped to my knees and screamed."

I'll be back to MY regular posts tomorrow. Have a wonderful Wednesday.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Feelin' At Home

Cardio workout at home - Billy Blanks - Cardio Bootcamp DVD- 30 minutes. Whew!

Last week my husband purchased a few very large sweet potatoes, but I didn't want to make the typical sweet potatoes and marshmallows. Meghan over at posted a link to this recipe for sweet potato minestrone. Today was the day I put a couple of those large sweet potatoes to good use. I like this recipe because you don't need to be exact with the measurements. It says to use large sweet potatoes, but I've seen sweet potatoes as big as footballs... I guess it's all relative to what you have on hand. The flavors are a little different than we're used to for regular minestrone, but it really is yummy, it's vegetarian, and makes for a wonderful cold weather soup to warm the soul.

Here's a photo of my little bowl of soup right before digging in:

I still have to work on my food photography technique, like cleaning up around the rim of the bowl and pairing it up with some crusty, whole grain bread. I was hungry and I didn't want to spend the time prepping soup for a picture. After all, it is soup, not one of my kids! It is one colorful and tasty bowl of soup, so maybe it didn't need further embellishments.

Sweet Potato Minestrone From


* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 large stalks celery, chopped
* 2 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
* 5 cups vegetable broth
* 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
* 2 large carrots, sliced thin
* 6 ounces green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
* 5 cloves garlic, minced


Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion, celery, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, with the juice, broth, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans and garlic. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Gold Medal

Today, while looking for some different exercise ideas on, I had stumbled upon a site that I hadn't seen before, "Medals 4 Mettle."

"Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization founded in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2005. Its mission is to celebrate and reward the individual and collective courage of all human beings by facilitating the gifting of marathon finisher’s medals from marathoners to people who have demonstrated similar mettle, or courage. The recipients can be any age and might have exhibited such mettle by dealing with disease, handicaps or any similar challenge. Marathon runners around the world, and others who have won medals, give their medals to Medals4Mettle. Then our nationwide network of physicians and others award these medals to those who might not be able to run a marathon, but are in their own marathon to continue to live their life. As marathoners run through the streets, large crowds cheer the runners for their effort. Medals4Mettle lets these runners, healthy enough to compete in such an event, to return the cheers to those who have supported them."

A common topic amongst runners (in addition to running goals, personal records, injuries, and training schedules) is "what do you do with your finisher's medals?" Some people have suggested making wind chimes or Christmas ornaments. Some people frame the medals that have significant meaning to them, such as their first medal, the medal from the race where they blew past their last PR, their Boston Marathon medal, etc. After running in several long distance events, a person does end up with quite the collection of medals. I also have my medal collection, and I have plans to participate in more half marathons and marathons, but at some point it may be too cumbersome to hang on to all of those medals. I really don't have THAT many (10). They all hang on a hook along side a mirror in my bedroom. I do like the way they clink and clang against each other when they are moved, which serves as a reminder that I actually did all of those runs. Perhaps it is the sentimental part of me that doesn't want to part with my finisher's medals just yet, but when I do, Medals 4 Mettle will definitely be the recipient. They will take off the original ribbon and put their own Medals4 Mettle ribbons on before handing them out to people who are in "their own marathon to life life."

By the way, they also take event T-shirts.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

One For My Baby (And One For The Road)

Over this Thanksgiving weekend I:

  • saw my sister and her family, all at the same time.
  • ran in a 5k
  • watched what I ate at the big Thanksgiving meal.
  • didn't watch too closely what I ate the days after.
  • spent time with my husband's side of the family.
  • watched a few cheesy Christmas movies with my husband.
  • stayed away from the malls.
  • had family and friends over at my house.
  • nursed my cold.

Now I need to take a look at my running and workout plan, or remake one. I have already exceeded my goal of 12 run events for the year. I'm up to 13 run events, but I would still like to fit in just one more to top off the month of December. There is one event on December 8, but I haven't signed up for that one yet because I need to make sure we can fit it in. It's purely a logistics issue. If we don't do that one, there are a few right before the end of the year.

Have a wonderful post Thanksgiving week!
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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Genius Of Love

I just don't know about this one...

cash advance


Friday, November 23, 2007


My brother in law Jaime and my grandson Evan -- best buddies forever.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Red House

The "Run For The Hungry" 5k is complete. It wasn't pretty, but I finished with a respectable time of 27:29 - my time posted at the event. Even though the event coordinators asked walkers, people with dogs and people with strollers to start at the back, a lot of them didn't listen, so we started the run slow. Once we got going, it was easy to weave around walkers and dogs, and it never bottle-necked, so there was plenty of room to pass. Most of the stroller folks were speedy. It was kind of hard to breathe, still having a cold and dealing with chest crud. I did what I could and feel good about the run. This event was not chipped.

48 244 9/99 F San Diego 27:29 8:51

Pre-race with the crowd

Look! I'm finally wearing Dori's "FIND YOUR HAPPY PACE" shirt! The color actually worked well with my running skirt.

Michael and I

A band at the race playing "Red House." The girl on guitar, about 10 years old, was awesome.



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Love A Parade

The Claritin D kicked in and seems to have helped with the head portion of my cold. I also had a scheduled visit to the Chiropractor this morning. A few adjustments helped tremendously, and my head and chest no longer feel tight. I do feel better, but the energy is still on the rebound.

I picked up our race numbers and t-shirts yesterday. It looks like this run will be a busy one. There were many who pre-registered and many who were just signing up. Thanksgiving 5ks or Turkey Trots are popular, but I've never run in one before. I think I initially like the idea of sleeping in and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV with the kids, preparing what ever it is I was to assigned bring to the feast (usually homemade pies and potato rolls), and thinking that I was glad I didn't sign up for a run because there was so much to do. This year signing up for a Turkey Trot/Thanksgiving Day run was part of the PDB Mega Challenge, which is the only reason I had signed up. My kids are now adults and the only kid at home, my 4 year old grandson, doesn't care too much to watch the parade. Someone else is making pies and rolls this year, so I'm bringing a bean dish and a carrot dish, which I'm prepping tonight. All I have to do is add the herbs and steam the veggies right before we leave for my in law's house, so there really isn't much labor intensive cooking involved.... Perhaps this Thanksgiving day 5k will become a new tradition? Time will tell.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Funky Stuff

I'm still battling this pesky cold. The tough part is having so much to do and I just don't feel up to it. I *had* to go out to Costco this morning. I thought I'd go right at opening but it was already busy five minutes into it. It wasn't too bad, though, not like it will be tomorrow. I came away with just a few essentials, plus Christmas cards, Led Zeppelin's "Mothership" CD, and a stop at the pharmacy to put my name on the national registry because I bought a box of Claritin D for my cold and allergies. I understand why I have to sign the registry, but it still makes me feel strange, as if I'm a criminal. I sure hope the Claritin kicks in soon.

I also have that 5k at Petco Park on Thanksgiving Day. I was hoping to shake things up and attempt something faster than a 8:35ish minute mile (which is what I'm averaging for my 5k's right now), but this cold just isn't letting up. I'm still participating, I'm just not punching it.

Enjoy your Tuesday.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Fill Me In

I've been 100% at NaBloPoMo so far. I've discovered that, although I don't mind posting every day, I'd prefer not to post every day. Some days, in my mind, it's just filler. Maybe the reality is that every day is filler, but I mostly use my blog for keeping track of my running/working out progress or lack there of... The great thing about having a blog is all of the wonderful people I've met. I highly doubt I would have *met* everyone on my own, with out the blog.


Sunday, November 18, 2007


Activity: Run
Date: 11/18/07 11:09 AM
Distance: 3.11 miles
Time: 0:31:56
Speed: 5.8 mph
Pace: 10' 16 min/mile
Calories: 294

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Even though my head was feeling detached from my body, I went out for an easy run in the neighborhood. I did some mindless carb loading yesterday (bread) and this morning (pancakes), so I needed to burn some of that off, before it turned me into a slug. It sure beat sitting at home watching the Chargers get pummeled. I could hear the groans through-out the neighborhood as I ran.

We're all passing around the same cold, again. This time it has manifested itself in my head, making it feel like I'm underwater. It's not bad, just annoying.

I've received an e-mail from for a little competition for their members. All I have to do is wear one of their skirts in a TG day run or turkey trot, and send them a picture (from that event wearing the skirt) with my official finish time. Granted, there are plenty of super speedy women who wear their skirts, and I see them at every event. My chances of winning anything are slim, but what the heck. I suppose I can put off wearing my prize for reaching my goal weight a couple more weeks, until the next 5k.

Have a great week.


Pancakes picture from