Monday, December 29, 2008

Joy To The World

The bathroom is DONE! We just need to head on out to Target and purchase a shower curtain rod and liner, and that's it. I spent most of my day going through all the almost empty bottles of shampoo and other not-needed junk hidden away in the bathroom. For some weird reason my kids hoard almost empty bottles of shampoo. Instead of using the shampoo all the way to the end, they just purchase a new bottle and the almost empty bottle gets put aside. GAH! What's up with that? They didn't get that hoarding gene from me. I emptied the old bottles and put them out in the recycle bin. I also took the opportunity to put new shelf liner in the bathroom storage, so it looks clean, and will be organized for at least a week, if I'm lucky. I'll get pictures tomorrow.

Yesterday's song:
Here We Come A Wassailing - City of London Sinfonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra & Don Jackson, Canadian Brass, etc...


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Here We Come A-Wassailing


Activity: Walk

Date: 12/27/08 12:15 PM
Distance: 2.12 miles
Time: 0:29:43
Speed: 4.2 mph
Pace: 14' 17 min/mile
Calories: 205

Yesterday I finally met with Jim from the track club to see about correcting how I run with my new set of circumstances. We met at Mission Bay Park. (It was a beautiful day; I should have taken my camera!) I told him about my injury ordeal and how lopsided I am when I run. He asked me all of the standard questions about the injury, surgery, shoes, shoe inserts, physical therapy, how many miles can I run now, and so on. I did a little running to show how my form is, or lack thereof. He gave me some good tips, most were basic, and I knew about most of them (building back muscle and endurance), but the one little tidbit of advice that seemed to help the most is to watch my posture. I know that sounds basic, but I've become somewhat used to my lopsidedness and I'm not as aware (anymore) when I do go lopsided. After our meeting, I had my husband run behind me so that he could tell me how to correct my running posture, and a lot of it was bringing up my right shoulder to help my body become more even, if that makes sense. At any rate, it worked. The only problem is that I can't have my husband run with me every time I want to go running, I still run faster than he does, and even though I'm going slow for me, he can't keep up with me to help me make the corrections. We might work on this posture thing just on Saturday mornings, provided I can get my husband up early enough. He's not a morning person.

Last night a friend stopped by with all the goodies for Bloody Marys with shrimp. I've had a Bloody Mary with a shrimp garnish but never mixed into the drink. He chopped some cooked shrimp in the food processor and added into the drink. It was just like drinking a shrimp cocktail with a kick.


I'm not trying to brag or anything, but IT'S ANOTHER GORGEOUS OUTSIDE TODAY! OK, I'm bragging just a little... My husband is going to take our grandson out to the park to burn off some energy and kick around the soccer ball before the big football game (Chargers/Broncos) this evening. Today will also include putting all of our stuff back in the bathroom, now that it's relatively done. There's some minor things that need to be taken care of, like buying a new shower curtain, but it's done.

I'm going out for a walk now. It's just too nice a day to waste. I might even take pictures.

Friday's song:
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Frank Sinatra - Run-DMZ


Friday, December 26, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


We had Christmas Eve festivities at my sister in law's house. We were missing a few people this year, as seems to be the case every year now that the kids are all grown up and living elsewhere. A few highlights included my father in law being released from the hospital/hospice, my son made creme brulee, 12 individual servings, for dessert -- he's never made it before, and my grandson gave out all the gifts to everyone BEFORE opening his own gifts.

Here are a few pictures:

Daria (the one-eyed cat) making herself at home in a gift box.

This is a big deal. Michael's dad had been in the hospital and hospice for several weeks with a fracture. He was able to come home on Christmas Eve. Evan kept his Great Grandpa entertained all evening long, and watching Evan make his great grandpa laugh was priceless.

My niece and her significant other


We spent Christmas day at home, most of the time in our PJ's, watching the rain from our living room window with a nice hot cup of coffee. The highlights of Christmas day included my daughter surprising us by making breakfast, Christmas music all day long, watching Evan open up his gifts and was very thankful for all of his gifts -- even the underwear, friends stopping by for some holiday cheer, and my son volunteering to spend the night with his grandpa so that my mother in law could sleep.

Back at home, Santa had arrived. All is calm. All is bright.

Do something funny!

After the whirlwind of gift opening

Evan and his mommy playing with his new set of Speed Racer Hothweels.

Logan trying to blend in amongst the mayhem

Erik barely waking up with a cup of coffee.

After the clean-up is done, Luna the cat is looking very proper in the dining room. (She only does this if the dog is outside.)

Other stuff:
We're still working on the bathroom, but it's looking beautiful. It just occurred to me that I did not take before pictures of the bathroom, or I just can't find one if I did. It was 1940's pink and lime green. I suppose it could have looked retro, but the tile was aluminum and falling off. It was pretty gross. Now we have limestone tiles in the tub area and on the floor. Michael is doing the grout work himself. We should be back being to a two bathroom household in a few days. Yay.

Yesterday's song:
Slower Than Christmas - The Boxmasters

Wednesday's song:
Santa Claus Is Comming To Town - The Jackson 5, Bruce Springsteen, Faith Hill, Mariah Carey, Burl Ives, Ray Charles, etc...


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Slower Than Christmas

Yesterday's Song:
Santa Claus is Coming to Town


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Yesterday's song:
Go Tell It On The Mountain - Leslie (Merry Christmas!), Dolly Parton, Sheryl Crow, James TaylorTaylor, Mahalia Jackson, etc... Be A Good One, Tenderfoot Diaries


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Go Tell It On The Mountain

Activity: Walk
Date: 12/23/08 10:44 AM
Distance: 1.51 miles
Time: 0:42:28
Speed: 2.1 mph
Pace: 28' 34 min/mile
Calories: 147

I haven't really run, walked, worked out, or whatever in several days. It was time I did something. I decided the kid had too much TV time and needed to get out, so I took him with me. As we were walking through our rather hilly neighborhood, I realized that he never complains about going for walks. He did say he was thirsty once, but we were almost home by then. I'm hoping that, at some point, he'll want to run. Wouldn't that be something?

Here's a couple of pictures from the walk:

Looking towards Mission Bay Park

The kid all bundled up!

Back at home, the kid was satisfied with a cup of juice to quench his thirst, and I finished up decorating a batch of Christmas cookies. It's amazing what you can do with powdered sugar, water, food coloring and some Ziplock bags.

Yesterday's song:
Baby, It's Cold Outside - Vanessa Williams, Dean Martin, Lady Antebellum, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan, James Taylor, etc... - Katiefeldmom, Run-DMZ, Barbie2be, Heffer Blog


Monday, December 22, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I can't believe what an absolutely gorgeous day it was here in paradise. Temperatures in my 'hood almost hit 70 degrees. I opened up the house. Man, that sure felt good. Rain is on the way, so I took advantage of the glorious sunshine. I talked my grandson into picking tangerines, playing with his cars, and getting the dog to play fetch. I'm still dealing with cold symptoms, but it sure felt good to bask in the sunshine. Then I phoned my sister, the one in Illinois. She informed me that it was -3 degrees in Wheaton. Then she told me to shut up. Ha ha.

It's a blustery shade of grey today, and lightly raining. I'm feeling a little bit better and, just perhaps, it will be a good day to make some Christmas cookies with my grandson, and just get that nice, warm, cozy feeling to the house.


OK, I'll be the first to admit that we're spoiled with the weather here in Southern California. It's not just the people who are spoiled. I took this picture of my dog, Logan, this morning, snuggling up to the space heater:

Friday's song:
Christmas In America - Melissa Etheridge


Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas In America

I've been busy with life. My mind has been so full that I'd sit down to blog and I just can't find it within myself to write ANYTHING. Not even filler. (This reminds me of the college years and having to pull creativity out of the air for graphic arts class. This time it was a writer's block.) I suppose busy can be a good thing, but I also came down with a cold. It's nothing bad, just a regular cold, complete with sneezing, sniffles, and having to walk around with a box of tissue all of the time. On top of that, my dog has an ear infection and requires ear drops. Other than the cold and my dog, everything is actually great. Also, the kid's bathroom should be complete AFTER Christmas. Oh what fun it is for the five of us to share one bathroom. Party mode is in full swing and we have one more party to attend tonight. Christmas shopping is just about finished. I just need to figure out what to give my father, since he has everything he needs and more. He loved the wool felt Indiana Jones type hat I gave him last year.

I haven't been running or exercising, but I've been in constant motion. I was in shock to see my weight drop about 5 pounds this week without even trying. It's also not a healthy weight loss, though. The Zyrtec I've been taking really suppresses my appetite. There's no muscle gain and I still can't get back into my skinny jeans. I'm hoping I can maintain just that five pound weight loss until I begin some weight lifting again, mixed in with some high intensity interval cardio. I need to turn that unhealthy weight loss into a good thing.

Yesterday, right before school, I took some pictures of my grandson for our annual Christmas card. I thought about doing the family picture, but we pretty much look the same as we did the last time we took a group picture two years ago. The grandson is the one who is growing and changing, and there's also the cute factor. The kid has the cute factor down... Well, at least I think so.

I really liked this shot, but it needs to be edited in the space between my grandson and the tree, and I don't have a compatible version of Photoshop for my computer.

I took about 15 photos in all, but one this was the winner:

Monday's song:
All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Cary, Vince Vance and the Valiants, etc, - Barbie2be, Katiefeldmom, Tenderfoot Diaries


Monday, December 15, 2008

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Sometimes making a plan is over rated. With the help of a friend who works in the hotel industry, I planned a little in-town wedding anniversary get-away, but we actually spent only one full day together. Part of the problems was that our anniversary was on a Thursday. That means two more week days to make phone calls, check on projects, employees, building permits, and so on. My husband also arranged to have the tile guys re-do the tile in the kid's bathroom. He didn't realize that he had planned the tile guys the same week as our anniversary. No, my husband doesn't carry a calender. He arranged for the tile guys to be at our house in two weekends, and never thought to check a calender to see when two weekends would be. Consequently, he had to go back home a few times to drop off supplies, pay the tile guys and check the work.

Next year we're getting out of town.

I also took some pictures, BUT my husband has that camera at work. I did have my camera on me, but didn't have it with me the whole time. Here's a few shots from my camera:

At dinner, we're feeling rather relaxed after a couple of cocktails. This is the only picture I have with that dress I mentioned in a previous post.

Back at the hotel, they have an outdoor beach bar on the second floor. Even though we were a little cold, we sat and watched the full moon rise over the hotel building.

While walking to the downtown credit union, we passed by a Toys For Tots toy drive, and Howie Mandel was the celebrity draw for the event. I asked my husband if he wanted a picture of Howie Mandel. He said he didn't, so I took a photo of this Christmas tree at Horton Plaza instead.

While downtown, I guesstimate that we put in about four miles of walking each day. We walked everywhere.

More photos to come...

Last Wednesday's song:

I'll Be Home For Christmas - Bing Crosby, and many others - Baribe2be


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'll Be Home for Christmas

Shopping. Ugh. I did find a nice special occasion dress for $20. Yep. A whole whopping $20. It's even lined and has sparkly embellishments. I just happened to be at the store after the dress had been marked down several times. Score.

I'll be away from the internet or blogging for the next few days, celebrating a special occasion. See you soon!

Yesterday's song:
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? - Elvis Costello - Run-DMZ


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?

I'm not quite sure what happened yesterday, but I made a half a turkey with most of the trimmings. I trekked out to the grocery store thinking I could pick up some turkey breasts, but all they had were half turkeys. I ended up with about 7 pounds of a half turkey. Even the package with the giblets was cut in half. Weird. I also made sweet potatoes, regular mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots and cranberry sauce. Oh, and pumpkin pie for dessert. I really had not intended to go that far, but I just was on a roll, plus I had mashed pumpkin in the freezer from halloween. I also got to use some of my new kitchen gadgets, like the big guns food processor. I've never made pie crust that fast before. I made everything, nothing came out of a can. I guess I wanted to make my lower fat and non-dairy version of a turkey dinner. We won't get into how high the carbs were, and I wasn't even thinking about carb-loading or running. I left out things like butter and used vegetable stock and a little olive oil instead. In the sweet potatoes I used fresh squeezed orange juice (we have an abundance of oranges in our yard right now), left out most of the added sugar (used 1/2 a cup instead of a whole cup) in the cranberry sauce and used orange juice instead of water in the cooking process. I just felt like cooking. My son was perplexed and wondered why I was making such a big meal, if there was some special occasion. I just replied with "I just felt like it." I did feel like I was missing a salad, but there was so much food. At the end of the meal, my son came out of the woodwork to say "thank you" for the meal. I guess I was just missing the left-overs that go with Thanksgiving dinner, and the left-overs were left over at my in-laws house.

The turkey sandwiches for lunch today were awesome.

Today's song is one I never would have thought of for the holidays until now, but I'm including it in my holiday music mix.

Yesterday's song:
We Wish You A Merry Christmas - The Brady Bunch, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Kenny G, Raffi, Patti Page, The Chipmunks, Gary Hoey, Ashanti, Willie Nelson, etc... - Run-DMZ


Monday, December 08, 2008

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays! This quiz came from Not Soccer Mom.

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.

Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.

In reality, our holidays are more between National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and a little like A Christmas Story. One year my husband was actually expecting a big bonus but ended up with a corporate gift, similar to the Jelly of the Month club (from the Christmas Vacation movie.) We also have the relative that was asked to say the blessing and they say something like the Pledge of Allegiance instead. (Which just about happened THIS Thanksgiving, but I won't get into details just yet...) Where our Christmas is a little like A Christmas Story is receiving that gift that one of us likes and the other doesn't, and it suddenly breaks or disappears. (Remember the *Fragile* leg lamp?) I suppose there are some parallels to a Very Brady Christmas, well, maybe just one. My husband is a Mike and he happens to be an architect, just like Mike Brady. *sigh* I'm really stretching it here. I can't even remember A Very Brady Christmas, but I do recall seeing it.

Yesterday's song:
That Christmas of Spirit - Ray Charles - Run-DMZ, Katiefeldmom



Sunday, December 07, 2008

That Spirit of Christmas

Again, thanks to Smartypantz for this one:

Your Christmas Sprit Level: 95%

Your Christmas spirit is almost as big as Christmas itself. Christmas is definitely your thing.

You celebrate Christmas with enthusiasm. You love every minute of the holidays.

Your Christmas spirit is inspiring to everyone who runs into you during the holidays.

You make everyone's day just a little bit brighter. And that's what the holidays are all about!

In reality, the number is probably a little lower. I think I would have more Christmas spirit if my kids and husband were really into it, but as I've said before, their favorite holiday is Halloween. My grandson is probably more into Christmas than my own kids were/are. He was excited to help decorate the Christmas trees and put out other household Christmas decor. He found the nativity scene and was exited to arrange the figurines. He found his mommy's school-made ornaments from when she was in grade school and placed those on the tree. He was so excited and every old ornament seemed new to him. He's quite fascinated with my Christmas snow globe collection and always asks if he can play the music on certain ones. He shares my warped affection for silly holiday movies and music. (Yay!) Yesterday he went to the mall just to visit Santa. He was so excited to tell me all about it, and that he received a piece of red and white candy that looked like the letter J. He's trying so hard to be on his best behavior so that Santa will bring him what he wants.

I must give a shout out to two of my running friends, Anne and Leslie. Anne is proof that you can't win anything if you don't participate - so major kudos to Anne for placing first in her age group at a 10K yesterday. Then there's Leslie, who had a great year of running, ran her FIRST marathon and qualified for Boston! Those two things that Anne and Leslie did are a part of what runner's dreams are made of. Congratulations, ladies!

Yesterday's song:

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes


Saturday, December 06, 2008

What's This?

Since my surgery and being relatively out of commission with workouts and running the way I was accustomed to, my body has changed. I haven't gained or lost weight, but I've lost muscle and how I carry my weight on my body has shifted. My clothes don't fit right, mostly pants. I really don't like shopping, especially during the busy holiday shopping season, but I needed to go try on some jeans, otherwise I would have 'trolled the internet for jeans. I braved the mall. I figured Macy's offered a plethora of jeans and pants, but I was overwhelmed. (I was sort of hoping that Tim Gunn and Gretta Monahan would just happen to show up and rescue me, but no.) I tried on 3 different sizes in several different brands, but nothing really fit right, and the ones that did sort of fit were more than I wanted to pay. I just can't justify spending $200.00 on jeans. I don't know why I even bothered to look at those. Flustered, I meandered down to Old Navy and found their jeans on sale for $20.00 AND THEY FIT. GASP! I should have known.

Thanks to Anne, I can now play "Yesterday's song" on my blog post. I won't do this all the time, unless it's a really obscure song that happens to show up on Mixwit.

Yesterday's Song:
Super Sunny Christmas - Redd Kross


Friday, December 05, 2008

Super Sunny Christmas

Christmas is upon us now - it's summertime
I don't have to wear a jacket in my 409
Oh, bikini-clad angels
Wear mistletoe as halos

It's gonna be a Super Sunny Christmas, I know

It's been a long cold winter
I was naughty on ice
But now the sun is out
I think I wanna be nice, oh!
Got the Zeros on my stereo
I'm so glad there ain't no snow

It's gonna be a Super Sunny Christmas, I know

Peace on Earth will shine
Loving another is on my mind
The day the planets are all in line - oh

Christmas is upon us now - it's summertime
I don't have to wear a jacket in my 409
Oh, bikini-clad angels
Wear mistletoe as halos

It's gonna be a super...
It's gonna be a mover...
It's gonna be a Super Sunny Christmas, I know
I know
I know
I know...

Have a Merry Christmas (Happy New Year)
-repeat & fade-

Yes, Virginia, there IS a California Christmas song!

Yesterday's song:
Winter Wonderland - Macy Gray, Johnny Mathis, 98 Degrees, Andrew Sisters, Burl Ives, Eurythmics, Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, Jewell, Rockapella, Neil Diamond, Gary Hoey, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, etc., etc., etc. - Run DMZ - Barbie2be, Not Soccer Mom


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Activity: Walk
Date: 12/04/08 11:38 AM
Distance: 2.74 miles
Time: 0:54:58
Speed: 3.0 mph
Pace: 20' 00 min/mile
Calories: 249

"Walking in a winter wonderland..."
We need a costal Southern California version of Winter Wonderland. I went walking in my neighborhood and noticed all of the houses decorated with holiday ornaments and lights. The palm trees and giant bird of paradise plants were gently moving with the warmish breeze. There were people out bike riding and running with their shorts and tank tops on. In the distance, I could see sail boats on the bay. The song Winter Wonderland popped into my head, but it didn't quite fit.

"In the meadow we can build a snowman..."
When my son was in the first grade, one of the homework assignments was to make a snowman out of something other than snow, since we very rarely ever get snow here. We made a snowman out of gym socks stuffed with batting and used buttons, ribbons, raffia and what ever else we could recycle to make our sock snowman.

"Later on, we'll conspire, as we dream by the fire to face unafraid, the plans that we've made walking in a winter wonderland."
OK, I'm going with a bonfire at the beach.


Yesterday's song:
Colors of Christmas - Fred Mendel's Emotions


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Colors of Christmas

What colors are the holidays?

I actually had this conversation with a previous boss. We had a little *ahem* discussion over what color paper to use for the employee news letter during the month of December. I personally think the holidays, which ever ones you celebrate, can be any color you want them to be. I have a blue/silver/white thing going on right now. I put up my Christmas tree on Sunday and I think it looks rather lovely in the hues of blue. It's purely not blue, there's some ornaments with reds and greens mixed in there, but it's mostly blue with clear lights. I will have a smaller tree going up in the sun room that will don some of my more traditional and homemade ornaments, mostly reds and greens.

Several years ago, my husband worked at a firm that participated in a tree decorating contest. One year they had a tree that was decorated with things from the 1950's, such as bubble lights, fuzzy dice, vinyl 45's, bubble gum pink and baby blue ornaments, etc. Another year they did a completely white tree with all white ornaments that had to do with baseball, in honor of a local sports celebrity. At these same events we saw other trees that had to do with The Wizard of Oz, rainbows, monarch butterflies, peacocks, etc. It was a fun event to attend, just to see the themed trees. Aside from the trees my husband's office worked on, I liked the tree decorated with monarch butterflies. Who knew orange, black and white butterflies would make such a lovely tree?

When I was about 8 years old, my mom bought my brother and I small Christmas trees for our rooms. Mine was a fake white tree with shiny pink ornaments, and my brother had one of those shiny aluminum trees in gold with green shiny ornaments. I thought that having my own tree in my room was the end all. I'm waffling around with putting a small Christmas tree in my grandson's room. I may hit up Big Lots and see if I can find something inexpensive with unbreakable ornaments. My own kids weren't as into the tree decorating thing as I was, but their favorite holiday was/is Halloween. Oh well.

What ever colors your holidays are, I hope they bring you joy.

Monday's song:
Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley - Miss Rachel


Monday, December 01, 2008

Blue Christmas

So, I changed my blog. Blue for the holidays! Why not?

Before I forget to mention, my brother ran in a 10K over the weekend. It's probably his speediest since he entered the 50's decade three years ago. He was pretty happy about it with his 7:30 minute mile. I can only dream about going that fast. Here's his results:

San Francisco - Run Wild for a Child - 10K
132 Karl S Fremont CA 4606 53 12/82 M 50-59 46:35 7:30/M

Yesterday's song:
Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Judy Garland - AKA Alice (Heffer Blog)