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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Running Week in Review-- I Made My Goal!

I just finished up my last run for the week, and now I'm cleaned up and my appetite is waking up rapidly!  I need food!!  Mexican, hopefully.

My weekly running goal for this week was 21 miles, and with my 5 mile run today after work, I did it.  I'm so happy with myself.  It was hot running; the humidity was bearable, but I am so used to complaining about the smothering effects of a high dew point, I've  forgotten what it's like to just have it be hot outside.  Can you tell I prefer to run when it's 60-65 outside?

I have to say I am feeling better about my running, although I am still frustrated at my slow pace.  I hope the alternating weeks of hill and speed work over the next month will help improve my speed on race day--which is on Sept. 5th--about a month away!  I'm debating getting a waist belt for carrying my drinks with me when I run long distances.  It would be nice to have my preferred beverage with me, and then I wouldn't have to stop at the drink stations, cutting into my time.  I'm going to check them out and think about it, although I need to decide quickly so I can practice running with it.

So next week is only 18 miles:  hill work of 4 miles, a long run of 6 miles, and a few more 4 milers thrown in.  Two days of cross-training and one day off.  The day off will have to be tomorrow, since I work all day and I can squeeze in the rest during the week.

I am going to have to replace the pads in my shoes sometime soon, and I have a problem with my running shoes:  I've managed to poke a hole in the tops of both shoes where my big toe resides.  I've superglued one shoe, and it seems to be holding.  I guess I'll do the same with the other one.  I may have to get another pair of shoes before I run my third and final half marathon in October.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I am such a weenie

I'm surfing the web, looking for more interesting blogs to join.  I come across this one:

Holy crap!  This woman runs like no one I have ever read about.  How amazing.  I can't whine about a measly 5 mile run again.  
She's inspiring, although I'm pretty sure I will never achieve a 50 mile run in my life.  

Check it out.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

8 Mile Run is Done!

I went out today and ran my long run for the week--8 miles.  I started at 7:03 AM, and finished at 8:40 AM.  This included stopping for water breaks and my final stretches after the last mile.  It was very difficult and the backs of my legs are feeling it!  But it's done!  Can't wait for cooler weather--I've forgotten what it's like to run in  the 60's with low humidity.  I can only expect my running will be better, since I won't be literally dripping with sweat.  The only thing on me that was dry was the top of my head.  Seriously.  The top of my head.  How terribly attractive I looked! This was certainly an ugly sweat.

Going to take a quick nap now--I am pooped.  Two more shorter runs to complete this week to get to my 21 miles--a 4 miler and a 5 miler.  

A close representation of moi...but the chicken is running faster

Monday, July 26, 2010

White Sangria--Mixed Results

My White Sangria-First Experiment
Sunday seemed like a great day to try making Sangria.  I decided on White Sangria, just because I liked the idea.  After perusing recipes online, I realized it pretty much doesn't matter how you make it, since you can put in any fruit you want, any white wine you want, and, if you want, other booze.

So I stuck with white wine, and looked in my fridge for available fruit.  I cut up strawberries, an orange, lemon, and lime, squeezing some of the juice into the wine.  I also had some frozen blueberries, so I dumped a few of them in there, too.  I also added some simple syrup to the mix.  It sat in my fridge all day, until Bud came over for supper.  I was very excited to get his reaction to the sangria.  I poured two glasses, and topped them off with some club soda.

It wasn't what I hoped for.  He didn't care too much for the sangria, saying it was "flat".  Neither one of us could tell what was missing, so I added more simple syrup to my glass, and it tasted better.  I think what was missing was more booze!  Next time, I will try again and add some brandy, which seems to be the overwhelming choice for most recipes.  Bud did insist on drinking his glass, and actually asked for another during our meal; maybe the taste improved with food.  I just know we drank the equivalent of two bottles of wine, and wow, didn't even pay attention to that!  Usually, we can manage one bottle of wine, but two?  The fruit fooled us.

I did discover that I will have to purchase a new glass pitcher for Sangria.  The pitcher I have isn't big enough.  Geez, what a cook must do to maintain standards in her kitchen.  Anyway, that's two recipes off my cooking bucket list.  I think homemade pizza on the grill is up next.  The turkey will have to wait for cooler weather.

First Speed Work Run Recap

Yesterday was my first official "speed work" run of 4 miles.  What speed work entails is this:  you run at your regular pace, then pick it up and run much faster for a short time or distance, then slow down again to your normal pace, then do it again.  My goal was to do it twice per mile.

I started out later than usual, so it was warm outside, although the humidity was waaaay better than Saturday.  Can I just say that speed work is really hard?!  I started out running slowly, then picked up the pace for about 1/10th of a mile, running from one post to the next as fast as I could without hacking up a lung and passing out.  I had to stop and walk afterwards, until I could start slowly running again.  I had never really tried speed work before in a concentrated effort, and I can say it wiped me out!

Now this morning, I can definitely feel it in my legs.  They feel pretty wobbly and slightly sore.  Speed work is only supposed to be done once a week, and my training program alternates it with hill work every week.  After talking with my fellow co-worker, M, who is also training for the same half marathon (his first!), he explained why you should only do it once a week.  It's killer on your legs!  Hill work is also speed work in disguise, so that's why it alternates with regular speed work.  You run up a hill as fast as you can, then either trot or walk down, then do it again.  It makes the "fast twitch" muscles in your legs break down, so when your body rebuilds them, they are stronger.  This helps you run longer and faster eventually.

Today is my one day off from my training program.  Tomorrow morning, it's an early morning for my 8 mile run.  I have to mix up my training each week, since my job is not a regular 9-5 M-F work week.  I will not want to run 8 miles after work later this week, so it must be done tomorrow!  For now, it's mowing the yard, finishing a book, then going to work this afternoon.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Running Recap for This Week--Mother Nature Packs a Wallop!

My sad smiley face
Well, my goal total mileage this week was 19 miles.  I failed to reach my goal.  I am disappointed, since I did so well last week!  

The weather has definitely been a factor.  I still have a difficult time running in high humidity.  It just does not make running a feel good experience.  But, I made myself run twice today, to make up for my lack of running on Friday--I should have run 4 miles yesterday, but between storms and the high humidity, it just wasn't in the cards.  Going down to the gym is equally unpleasant, since the humidity level in there (created by all the sweaty people) makes it gross.  I will probably try running there for the speed runs I have to do, since it's easier to do them on a treadmill--you increase your speed, and it's run or fall off the treadmill!  And no holding on--that doesn't count.

I did manage to do my two days of cross-training; one day was weights, another was bike riding.  This next week my mileage increases to 21 miles with a speed day and a hill day, along with a long run of 8 miles.  
So I'm closing the book on this week, and looking ahead to more running delights next week.  I've discovered I really crave honey roasted peanuts after a long run, and while flavored water ( I tried Propel powder in my water bottle) helps me drink more and tastes better during a run, it still doesn't sit very well afterwards.  The search continues for something that hydrates and gives me energy without giving me a queasy stomach.

Must go--the couch is calling me!

Friday, July 23, 2010

What Does 80% Humidity Feel Like? I Know!

So can I just join the chorus of whiners around the United States and say, "What is up, Mr. Sun and Ms. Humidity?!"

Can you give us a break?  Please!  Our veggie plants are wilting and browning, our flowers don't know what to do, and I'm not alone in running my air conditioning for three weeks straight.  

I'd like to go outside and not break into an ugly sweat before I get into my car.  I'd like to sit on my porch and read a good book, but it's so wet and muggy outside everything sticks--including the chair to my behind!   I think the skin on the backs of my legs is slowly regenerating and healing.

And exercise?  Well, even getting up at 4:45 AM to run is not possible.  This morning, I stepped outside to check the weather, and my glasses promptly fogged up.  I stepped back inside, reset my alarm, and went to sleep for another hour.  No running today!  By some miracle I thought a cool front was moving through this afternoon, but I left work and stepped outside into the same goopy air  I thought I left in the parking lot at 7:30 this morning.  

What about supper?  Nothing sounds good.  Who wants to grill out, or even go to a restaurant in this weather?  Is your temper on a short fuse?  Mine's ok, but geez, some people have become decidedly unfriendly.  

One bonus, though.  I can now easily identify the weeds that are the only thing flourishing outside.  They are much taller and fuller than my flowers, and don't wilt at all in this weather.  And, I am getting my reading done every week.  

I am *Gasp* starting to longingly look forward to October, colored leaves, and pumpkin bread.  

Have a cool and comfy weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yes, I was Right

I was right yesterday.  I did do enough exercises at the gym that I was painfully sore this morning, so much that I couldn't get out of bed to run before work.  So, like a good woman in training, I ran after work.  You know how you can run and kick your butt at the same time?  Haven't tried it?  You should.  I did this afternoon.  I kicked myself in the butt for 3 miles, sweating and muttering "Why didn't I run this morning? You idiot!"  It was rather HOT outside!

But, I was happy with my run.  I just went slow, and managed to squeeze in 3 instead of 4 miles before I stopped.  Now tomorrow morning, I will definitely get up early (hopefully no showers!) and run before work.  I know I will be much happier at 4:30, when I can leave work, go home, and relax!

Off to bathe, get the stink off, and make some bruschetta for supper.  

Hope you have a great evening!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bud and I Produced! He He Ha Ha

I picked a ton of green beans and our first two peppers!  More peppers are just about ready; we have chocolate, red, yellow, and green.  I picked enough green beans to share with Bud's parents, and another supper for us sometime this week.  Tonight we're having the green beans with some marinated grilled chicken, hobo potatoes, and lemon drops!  At least, this is what I'm making--and Bud will eat it because he probably hasn't eaten all day.

Alas, our babies won't be long for this world--just a few more hours, then "Get In My Belly!"

I think the heat has finally penetrated my noggin.  :)  It was very satisfying to rip out weeds that have grown taller than the actual veggie plants.  At least, I'm pretty sure most of them were weeds...

And yes, I am still training... today was a cross- training day.  I went to the gym and did all sorts of exercises guaranteed to hurt me later.  Tomorrow--4 mile run.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hill Work--Enjoyable or Soul Sucking Exercise? Discuss

I went out and ran this morning after posting my last blog.  It was windy, and the sun was not yet peaking out from the clouds.  It was quite peaceful and, while sticky, not overly so.

That is, until I started my "hill work".  In running, it's recommended that you run up and down hills to not only build strength in your legs, but it also helps your body run farther, since it's used to working hard to get up and down hills.  I usually never run on hills, since I have a few running spots and they're mostly flat.  

So today was 4 miles of hills.  I gulped some water, then started at a sloooow trot near my sister's house.  She lives on a hill, and the streets around her all gradually build up to a hill which is pretty steep.  I had no idea how far my run actually was, so I guessed with my time.  Running up and down streets, enjoying the John Tesh show on my Ipod, and looking to see who was up early on a Sunday morning.  Not too many were up early.  

It quickly got very warm and sticky, and I alternated between short  walk breaks and running up hills.  I have lots of room for improvement, and while it was hard, I'm really excited to know that I will see improvement every week as I run hills.  And, I've found lots of new streets to run on through some  pretty neighborhoods that are quiet and all paved with sidewalks!

Now the sun is out, it's getting steamier, and I'm glad to be done!  I think my legs will be feeling the hills later on today.  

Book Review: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners

I got up early this morning (5:30) to get in a run before it gets too hot today.  Unfortunately, the radar suggests I wait awhile, so since I've entered my awake mode and running is on my mind, I thought I'd share a great book for anyone who runs, or wants to know why the heck people do run instead of golf, bowl, or just sit and watch TV.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners by Jack Canfield and many others, is chock full of stories about people who run.  Some of them have run for years, some are just starting; others are returning to running after many years of doing something else in life.  Not all are "elite" runners; most are everyday people who find that running fulfills something in their life and gives them a time to reflect, think, and connect with friends.  Moms get up early and run before the kids are up, so they can better face the day with a cheerful attitude.  Some began to run because they knew someone who couldn't, so they run to honor their loved one.  And some run because a friend talked them into it!  It can be that simple.

I raced through these stories ( no pun intended!).  Some made me smile, others brought a tear or two, but most of all, they inspired me to keep running.  I'm not alone in feeling lousy during a run, or wanting to give up, but still pushing.  I wish I had read this before I ran my half marathon in Council Bluffs!  I think it would have made me feel better to have finished, even though I didn't perform as well as I wanted to.  

There is also a section in the book about people's experiences with triathalons.  Now I must admit it has crossed my mind a few times, and Bud has said "You should either run an ultra-marathon or do a triathalon" ( does he know who he's talking to?!).  These stories were especially interesting; people who have overcome great physical problems (double amputee, for example) to train and participate.  Makes you feel kinda ashamed to be sitting on your butt.  

I've started my training for my Sept. 5th half marathon, and this book will keep me moving forward over the next 6 weeks to reach my goal of having fun, running light on my feet, and finding the beauty in the scenery I pass as I run.  And most importantly, appreciating that I am healthy enough and lucky enough to be able to run.  

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cooking Bucket List: Gazpacho

I've knocked one recipe off my Cooking Bucket List!  Gazpacho is definitely a refreshing cold soup to eat during the dog days of summer.  There are so many variations, I was a little lost deciding which one to pick.  I think you put just about anything in it you want--whatever tastes good.  The key ingredient, of course, is tomatoes.  My friend Ty shared his recipe with me:

4 cups chopped peeled tomatoes ( do 'em yourself, or buy canned tomatoes)
1 cup tomato juice or vegetable juice cocktail
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup chopped seeded cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 Tbs. snipped basil or one tsp dried basil
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs lemon or lime juice
1 small clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp Tabasco
salt to taste

So, I assembled the ingredients:
Then, I began to chop.  It really doesn't take much time at all--I used a big bowl because I just didn't know how much this would make:
I didn't have any tobasco sauce, so I improvised.  Umm....I think I squirted too much of this in:

Holy Moses!  HOT is the word.  I also used Spicy Hot V-8 juice, but didn't taste the kick.  That is, until I added the hot chili sauce.  Note to self:  use the chili sauce with caution!  I'm glad Bud wasn't expecting to try this--there is no way he would eat it!  After sitting in the fridge for 4 hours, I made some garlic bread, and added something cool to my gazpacho:  a dollop of sour cream:

I added some fresh chopped basil--it gave the gazpacho another great flavor.  And took my taste buds away  from the fact that they were screaming from the chili sauce.  So, I consider this a successful foray into the world of gazpacho.  Next time, I'll watch the chili sauce, and maybe add a few more chopped veggies.  It made more than enough for two; I'll be eating it for a few days.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Garden Update

Well, here I go again messing with my blog.  I accidentally on purpose found out how to adjust the width, so my blog actually looks a little less chaotic.  I decided to add a flower from my garden, since, well, my blog is about my "blossoming life".  At least, that was my goal!  

I picked my hydrangea because I bought this particular bush about 4 years ago, and it has never bloomed.  Ever.    It was part of my great garden relocation last spring, and somehow, this year, it has finally bloomed lovely bluish-purple flowers!  I'm so happy!  

And also, finally, my morning glories are popping out--

I was beginning to wonder if they were a lost cause this year, but once again I was proven wrong.  My potted Roma tomatoes, however, are questionable.  I have quite a few on one plant, but they refuse to ripen.  I'm hoping the next few days of intense sun will do the trick.  Bud's grape tomatoes are green, too.  The crazy rain deluge we had yesterday afternoon caused the main branch of the plant to break, although not clean through.  I'm hoping a little tender loving care will keep it intact until the tomatoes can ripen.  

Bud and I have a garden set up at his business, but I haven't been over there for the last two weeks.  Bud has picked zucchini, which his Mom promptly made into zucchini pancakes.  They are tasty!  Weeds are beginning to outnumber everything else, but it's way too muddy to go into the garden.  I fear I wouldn't be able to get back out.  I'm planning to check it out later this week--providing we don't get anymore rain!  

Basil--looking pretty darn good!  If I could only pick it before the bugs get to it.  I think it's time to make some pesto, or another dinner with bruschetta!  A favorite summer dinner item for Bud and I.  

Tomorrow it's supposed to be near 90 with our ever present humidity making it miserable.  I think it would be a good time to make my gazpacho, since it is on by cooking bucket list.  Stay tuned!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Cooking Bucket List

I was thinking the other day that there are some dishes I haven't attempted to make yet, and I should write them down.  We all have a few dishes that put the fear of failure in us;  I have quite a few.  Wow.  I didn't realize how many!  Here's my first ever Cooking Bucket List.  My goal is to make each one of these at least once before the end of this year.  It may be inedible (and Bud will let me know), but I'm going to give it my best shot!  These are in no particular order:

1.  Cheese Souffle
2.  Roast Turkey  (I always go to someone else's house for Thanksgiving!)
3.  Beef with Hot Peppers
4.  Gazpacho
5.  Sangria  (white or red, either one is yummy)
6.  Braciola
7.  Home made pizza on the grill
8.  A pie--homemade crust and all
9.  Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce
10.  Panna Cotta

I think this is enough for now.  I have less than five months to accomplish these dishes.  Wish me luck!  Don't you think I look like Samantha Stevens?!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oh Boy--I Shouldn't Be Home Alone

After a day chock full of stuff at work, I go home, gather some plants from the condemned area of my garden, and hit the road.  C-Joy is home, so I spend some time chatting with her and Ty and fielding demands from Turtle to fix her bike.  C-Joy now has some lilies and flowers from my garden that will hopefully  live on next year!

I stop at my sister's house to go over some party plans we have for August.  It's a place where I can stay indefinitely--just make me some coffee and I'm good for a few hours.  I manage to tear myself away and get home after 7 pm to make supper and try out a new wine:  Cellar No. 8 Pinot Grigio.   I'm pretty sure Ramona from Real Housewives Of New York  City doesn't drink this stuff.  But, since I'm not a housewife, and I don't live in NYC, it's good enough for me!

 Backstory:  Bud and I started out drinking Riesling wine a few years ago.  We've graduated to reds (still don't like really dry).  Unfortunately, the "wine cellar" in my basement has about 8 bottles of Riesling, which is now too sweet for us.  We tried one a few days ago, and somehow managed to drink the  bottle, all the time saying "Man, this is so sweet!"

Anyway-we have plenty of reds, but no whites.   I found the Cellar No. 8 at Hy-Vee for sale, so I picked up a bottle tonight to chill in the fridge while I ran errands.  This was purely research, I'll have you know.  Research for my niece's shower in August.  She wants a mini-wine tasting, so as a good Auntie, I am doing my level best to deliver the goods!  This means research, by me, into some inexpensive whites.  I guess I'll have to actually drink some of these, and Bud's not here tonight to help me.  .  I will do it.  So add pasta, and a HBO documentary to the mix, and you have a tired, slightly tipsy woman watching On Demand HBO.

A friend at B&N recommended I watch a documentary on HBO called "No One Dies at Lily Dale".  If you don't know about Lily Dale, where have you been?  It's a community, established in the 1870's in New York State, that is full of mediums.  People come from far and wide to experience the "spooky" side of life.  As in communicating with the dead.  It was a very interesting documentary, about the mediums and the people who come to Lily Dale now to find comfort or to even question what happens there.  You've got it all--your totally convinced people, your Holy Rollers who carry their high-lighted Bibles and want to prove everyone wrong (believing in something they can't prove (the Lord Jesus), yet dismissing those people who believe in something they can't prove (a life beyond this one provided by yours truly, God?!  What?/!!)  Needless to say, it's now on my bucket list, along with Salem, MA.

Anyway, I immediately called my sister PH to tell her to watch it.  As a believer in life after life, I must say my Dad is probably busting a gut  right now.  Shaking his head at his crazy girl. And saying, "what are you drinking wine for?  Mix up a Whiskey Sour!"  My Dad didn't drink much at all, but on occasion we would mix up Whiskey Sours for Christmas Eve.  Yum.  I only know they involve lemonade, whiskey, ice, and a blender.  That's all I know!  I've never actually made them.  Something I will have to investigate.

Anyway, I have researched thoroughly Cellar No. 8 Pinot Grigio and  how to fix a small child's bike (thank you,  Turtle!).   I can say it takes about  4 glasses to finish a bottle ( I  did not make that--two was my limit-honest!), and it passes muster for a wine tasting.  I know enough about fixing a kid's bike to know I can't do it.

Off to read The Passage on my NOOK before  bed.  I'm actually going to get up early before work and run a few miles tomorrow morning!  Can't wait!  And--I'm officially a participant in the Bo-Fest Half Marathon in CR on September 5th!  Woohoo!!  Training begins next week.

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oops! I Blame It On Insomnia

You may have noticed my blog looks a little different.  I wanted to change my template--this sounded like a good idea at 4:30 A.M.  this morning, when I woke up and couldn't sleep.

I messed it up.  For awhile, I had the new template, and no blog at all.  OMG!  I lost everything on my blog!  Don't panic... you can fix it.  When I couldn't  fix it, I went back to bed, and tried to sleep.  Hyperventilating kept me awake.

Maybe a pot of coffee would help me.  Uh...nope.

Hmmm.  I know!  I'll email C-Joy--she'll know what to do!  Ok, she'll stop over later today and help me.

An hour later:  Wait!  My blog is back--sort of.  I can't get my colors and stuff back to where they used to be.  Ok, C-Joy doesn't need to rescue me.  I'll be fine.

I think.  Maybe she does.  I may have to bribe her with food and drink...

Anyway, have patience as ding dong girl (that's me) works on getting my blog back to normal.  I can't ask Bud to help, cause I had to explain to him what a blog was.  Computers aren't his thing and unless the website has a tractor or some  cool gizmo  on it, he's just not interested.   Build a house?  Sure.  Fix anything hydraulic?  Yep.  Computers?  Heck no!

Go ahead, laugh.  I've reached that point myself.  .  I think I've had too much time off!  I'm looking forward to going to work tomorrow!

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Race Seen from the Sidelines

I have never actually watched a running race from the sidelines until yesterday.  The Alliant Energy 5th Season 8k race was held in Cedar Rapids yesterday.  It's a 4th of July tradition, and starts downtown, runs through neighborhoods into Bever Park, and ends back downtown.  I've run this race three times in the past few years, but this year I decided to skip it.

Luckily enough, the race went right past Bud's house, so we sat outside and cheered everyone on as they ran past.  The first runners were elite runners--they were running about a five minute mile.  I can't even comprehend that!  I was especially interested in the people who were running a bit slower--"my people".  Those runners who are usually the people I'm running with.  I studied everyone's faces; it was interesting to see how people looked.  They looked exhausted!  It was pretty muggy outside, and even though Bud's house was at the 2 and 3 mile mark (it was an out and back race), people were struggling.  These are the people that I clapped and hooted the loudest for as they ran past.

 I completely understood how they felt  and it was very easy to put myself in that race.  I think I would have been feeling pretty crappy.  I was very happy with my decision to skip it this year.  I was very happy to have the opportunity to cheer the runners on to the finish line!

Now, if only it would stop raining and stop being so humid, I can get back out and run!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Run, A Ride, and A Margarita

I had today off, and it was a perfect day.  I got up very early and ran 4 miles, went home and had my friend K come over to take some of my flowers from the "condemned" zone in my back yard.  

After getting cleaned up, I took Laura and Cole bike riding.  We rode on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail--five miles out, five miles back.  Ten  miles!  After a few miles, my legs were feeling it.  I told the  kids I would take them for ice cream if we did ten miles, so I kept my word and we hit Parlor City for sweet treats.  I sucked down a chocolate malt, thereby demolishing the calories I'd burned running and biking.  I asked the kids if they were up for 12 miles next week, and they just snorted and said they were done with biking for awhile.  Cole declared he was not going to do any more exercise today, since he had already done so much on the bike ride.  Poor peanut.   

So either I am getting so old I have to take restorative naps, or being out in the sun all day wore me out.  Either way, I went home and passed out on my bed for about an hour.  I simply couldn't wake up!  A quick call to Bud, a run to the grocery store, and we were set for a great night.

It was Mexican night tonight.  We had nachos, homemade guacamole (damn it was good!) and margaritas.  I have to say, they are simply the best margaritas I have ever had.  I'm not even tempted to have them at restaurants because I know we can make them at home at a fraction of the cost, and they taste  so much better.  Here's the recipe--it makes one drink, so I just double it for Bud and I:

2 Oz Tequila
1 Oz  Triple Sec
1 Oz Simple Syrup
1 Oz Key Lime Juice  (you can get this in the juice section of the grocery store next to the bottled lemon juice)

Dump it all in a shaker with ice, and shake shake shake!  I like mine on the rocks, so I just pour it over ice in a glass.  If you like them blended, well... put it in a blender with some ice and blend away!  

So, after nachos and a margarita, Bud and I both passed out on the couch, missing a chunk of the Alice in Wonderland movie.   I thought it was the tequila, but soon realized it was just a movie :)  Bud is still on the couch, sleeping off his supper.  I guess I made some pretty potent margaritas!  

Sorry, no picts of the drinks.   I didn't think of it in time, and they were gone too quick.  I'll post my guacamole recipe  in a future post.  Again, it pays to have a brother living in the Southwest!  He has all the best recipes!  

Have a great July 4th!  Get out and celebrate!