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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Just a few pictures to get us all in the Halloween mood.  Warm up your cider, get out the candy corn, and put on your witchy hat!  Halloween is here--have a great night!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Freak Out Friday

This is how I feel:

Munch:  The Scream
This is how I want to feel:

Yoga Girl

My problem?  An insane day, and a non-relaxed night ahead.  What will solve this problem?

Pasta and loads of cheese

I'm glad I got that off my chest.  Did you hear me scream in frustration, angst, and stress?  If not, refer to the first picture.  That was me.
And guess what?  It's really not that hard to drink wine and blog at the same time.  Try it.  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mom and Dad--Not!

Bud and I went to a place tonight where the person in charge assumed we were "Mom and Dad".  I'm not sure what gave our secret away--perhaps the fact that we had no children in tow?  That there are no wedding rings  on our hands?  That I gave our vital information under my first and last name, and not his?  

After being called "Dad" numerous times, I stopped laughing and told the lady "Um...we're not a Mom or Dad."  
"As a matter of fact, we have no children, and aren't even married."  

"Oh, how sad."  

Yep, that's what she said.  And then proceeded to call us both Mom and Dad throughout our adventure.  Bud even told her his first name more than once, but no, he was Dad.  I was Mom.  

I told Bud it's a good thing we didn't bring a baby in with us, since we would have immediately been bumped up to Grandpa and Grandma.  Now really, I know we're not twenty-somethings, but we are not Grandparent material, either.  I looked for proof in the results of our adventure, and nope, no support hose or suspenders anywhere near either one of us.  

Being called Dad freaked Bud out--it was a first time deal for him.  I said, "Aw, heck, I've been called Mom since I was a teenager--just put a woman next to a child, and people will always think she's  the Mom. " When I tell people, "No, I'm the Auntie" they give me weird looks--like if I didn't birth 'em why in the world would I want to take a kid anywhere?  Well, for sheer entertainment value, of course.  Then they go back to their real parents.  After I've sent brainwashing materials shooting through their skulls through the sheer power of my voice.  Really, an Auntie's work is never done.  I still do it to my oldest nieces and nephews, who are in their late 20's and early 30's.  I think it might finally be sticking.  Either that, or I've severely compromised their brain cells.  

So I told Bud, after this experience, and 8 years together,  since we are now Mom and Dad, could I call him my boyfriend?  The experience meant we were stuck together.  He just laughed.  I think I'll keep him.  

Not our nuclear family!

Monday, October 25, 2010

One Last Quasi-Peaceful Week Before A Packed November!

I think I may have jumped into the crazy wagon and taken over the steering wheel.  Since I am a person who cannot accomplish much without having so much to do that I panic, I have decided November will be the kind of month that will either make me stronger, or break me into teeny tiny pieces of gibberish, rocking in the corner, stuffing my face with old Halloween candy.  

Here's what I have decided to do.  I am, for the second year in a row, taking part in NaNoWriMo, which is a challenge to anyone who writes, or wants to write.  You have the month of November to write a 50,000 word novel.  It doesn't matter what it's about, or even if it's good at all.  What matters is, basically, throwing up words on paper to reach that magical goal of 50,000 words by midnight, November 30th.  Your reward?  A slap on the back, and the knowledge that you just wrote a novel in 30 days.  Then, you go back and rewrite, edit, and basically re-do all the stuff you typed in feverishly late at night, or for me, very early in the morning.  

Official NaNoWriMo mug you can get for yourself!

I tried this last year, and failed miserably.  I think I got to 5000 words before I fell hopelessly behind.  Either you have a marathon writing session every few days, or each day you write approximately 1700 words.  It's not easy, but it can be a lot of fun.  Check out their website, and sign up!  I realized yesterday I had to get cracking and figure out a basic story, so I've been jotting down ideas on pieces of paper that I must now gather and get in some order, to be prepared for the start next Monday.  

So, I've got a novel to write, and Pom-Poms to make, and work, and lavender to finish harvesting, and lots of frozen bananas and canned pumpkin to make into bread.  And, Christmas gifts to think about.  Oh, and a Christmas cake to make with C-Joy and then remember to feed with booze on a regular basis, so Bud and I can eat it on Christmas Eve.  Or, maybe just me eating it.  He may not touch it.  Thank God I don't have to mow anymore!  Geez, that just might break me.  Oh yes-- and work will be crazy, setting up for Christmas, and doing my level best customer service to put the perfect books in customer's hands.  Reading every day, too, to keep my sanity and have some Calgon moments.  Now where is that Mad Housewife wine I blogged about yesterday?

So this weekend, before the craziness begins, I have some fun time with my friends.  I'm going to my first ever tailgating experience with K & J before the Iowa game, and then on Sunday C-Joy and I will be concocting our Christmas cakes.  And, of course, putting on my witchy hat for the trick or treaters Sunday night.  Oh, how I love to hand out treats to the kiddies!  Maybe I will be able to stay up past midnight to begin "The SuperSue Novel of Brilliant Writing That Must Be Read".   Yep, that's what I've decided to call it--or, for short, "The Nutcase Novel".    So my birthday in November may very well be my last, if the novel, Pom Poms, banana and pumpkin breads, and assorted craziness overtakes me!  Don't even get me thinking about Thanksgiving....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yum Yum! Mad Housewife Merlot

I am by no means a wine expert and usually will drink whatever wine someone offers me.  Does that make me a lush?  Geez, I sound like a lush.  

So anyway, our local chain grocery store carries Mad Housewife wines.  I bought one to take to Des Moines last weekend, but we drank something else instead, so back into the basement "wine cellar" it went.  Bud and I decided to have wine with our supper last night, so I pulled out the Mad Housewife to try.  It's fantastic!  Very smooth, tasty, and no nasty aftertaste.  We had the Merlot, but they have other reds, too.  It's a California wine, and I certainly will add this to my "go to" wine list.  

It's also very affordable--under $10.00  a bottle, so stock up for the holidays!  It would also make a great gift for your wine drinking friends, along with some chocolates and some cheese.  After all, housewives need to take a break from the overwhelming housekeeping duties they have--and drinking a glass of wine leaning against the dishwasher would be ok, as far as I'm concerned.  It would also be ok to lay down on the couch, hit the remote, and watch say Patsy and Edina! Sweetie, darling, go to the store and begin your Mad Housewife day of leisure now.   Only if it's after noon, though.  Unless you really are Pasty or  Edina. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Crafter Wanna-Be Finds Her Craft

I am one of those women who would love to wander the aisles of my local craft store, picking up bits and pieces, then going home to my huge "craft room" complete with a sewing machine, glue guns, papercrafts, and quilting pieces.

However, I was not gifted with the craft gene.  I can only look on in wonder as friends and family whip up artsy stuff, when I can't even draw a straight circle, do simple math, and sew a straight line.  

But wait.  

Pom-Pom Pals just happened to be waiting in our Receiving room one day a few weeks ago.  They had just come out of the box, and were ready to be shelved.  After much shrieking and jumping around,  I had to explain to my co-workers that I had received a pom-pom maker for Christmas a looooong time ago and proceeded to make dozens of pom-pom chicks with the yellow yarn my Mom had available.  I loved that dang thing.  Besides paint by numbers, it was really the only crafty thing I could do as a child.  Oh, and my Barbie fashion plates.  That was about it.  My rock tumbler tested my patience, and I took the rocks out after only an hour or so, disappointed they weren't polished.  Patience is not my strong suit.  Oh--and by the way, we do have rock tumblers for sale in our store, part of the new Barnes and Noble Educational Gift section.  All the toys you wanted as a kid, and never got.  I have the sea monkeys and a microscope on my list.  And shrinky-dinks.  

I am now the proud owner of Pom-Pom Pals and they're so cool!  21st Century Pom-Poms!  Whales, weird little creatures; you name it, I can create it in any color I want.  Needless to say, I hope friends and family like Pom-Poms.  
I will make some and show off my little creatures like a proud Momma.  Oh, I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat!  Buckle up, ladies, 'cause the Pom-Pom maker is back in town, and ready to rock!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Don't Wanna Do Anything Today


"Too bad you can't buy a voodoo globe so that you could make the earth spin real fast and freak everybody out."  Jack Handy

Yep, it's that kind of day.  Every bone in my body, and every brain cell, has been infected by the Ennui Disease.  This disease causes listlessness, utter boredom, and stare-downs with the TV.  That is, if you can break through the ennui to reach for the remote and turn the TV on.  If you have to actually go to the TV to turn it on, forget it. Just sit there.  In your pajamas.  With slippers on your feet.  

Finishing Wolf Hall  last night must have drained every last bit of energy from my body.  I feel like jelly.  It's a sunny day, kinda cool, and I should be busily cleaning up the house, maybe working in the yard, and writing out checks for bills.  But no.  I'm posting on my blog instead, sipping coffee, and not wanting to do anything.  The only thing I have to do today is get my hair cut.  But that means getting in the truck, driving across town, and talking to Sara, my hair stylist.  I love Sara, but the ennui won't allow for interaction with other people.  You must lie down and take a nap until it passes, maybe eat a bowl of Captain Crunch, and read a book.  Or watch a movie.  Or read Jack Handy quotes on the internet.  Really, you should--if you want some cheering up.  

I would worry about wasting my day off this week, but the ennui has taken ahold of my emotions and I just can't summon up the will to be stressed about it.  *Sigh*.  Blah.  "What did you do today, honey?"  "Oh, I fought the Ennui Monster and it won."  "The what?"  "Forget it.  Too much effort to explain."  

Have you ever suffered from Ennui Disease?  There is no cure, but rest assured, it will pass.  Probably.  Maybe.  I don't's too much effort to think that hard.  Blah.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

2010 Half-Marathon Triple Done!

When I started out this year, my goal was to improve my running time and enter the Council Bluffs Half-Marathon in May.  I ended up entering two more half-marathons, and yesterday was the third and final half-marathon.  I have to say, I can't believe I did all three, but I have mixed emotions on my results.  Instead of improving my time from my first half-marathon in 2006; I have slowed down with each new half.  In Council Bluffs, the weather was very muggy and humid and that affected my running so much that I had a time of 2:52:47; I had hoped to better my time from my first half, which was 2:31:59.  I blamed it on the weather, not training enough, being older and heavier.  

In September, I ran the Bo-Fest Half-Marathon in Cedar Rapids. I was so excited to run this, the first half-marathon in CR.  I trained all summer, and felt prepared.  But, an anxiety attack, a hamstring injury, and just a complete melt down resulted in me walking most of it, with a time of 3:14:13.  Instead of getting better, it took me longer!  

Off to the physical therapist to get my hamstring healed.  No running for 6 weeks.  Hamstring injury stems from hip problems, so still working on that.  But it is improving every week.

October 17th was the IMT Des Moines Half-Marathon.  I had signed up for it way back in April, with my friend C-Joy who had set a goal to walk the half.  I said, sure, I would go, but I would run.  Well, the injury prevented me from running, and since I still wanted to go, I was going to walk it.  I walked the first 5 miles, then decided to try and run (very slowly) with walk breaks the last 8 miles.  So I did--my hamstring felt ok.  The freakin' blister on my right foot kept my mind off the hamstring, and kept me relaxed.  I finished in 3:19:27.  I was happy with my time, but I was going for 3:15.  A potty stop, a band-aid stop, and stopping to help another participant with serious blister issues kept me from my goal.  But I had a great time with C-Joy, her sister, Mom, and Turtle.  I must say I kept looking up, expecting to see Bud along the route, since he's been with me for every half and the one full marathon I have done.  I missed seeing him with his bike, taking pictures and giving me words of encouragement.  But I was so proud of C-Joy!  She came in under her goal time and did such a great job.  I think I may have destroyed any chance of her walking another half again, tho.  The stiffness and pain came roaring back on the two hour drive home, and both of us had a hard time getting out of the van and hobbling to our couches!  Here are some pictures from our sunny Sunday in Des Moines:
The picture is kinda lousy, but this is walking towards the start line

Heading towards the Capital Building
Ignorant of the pain we'll have 3 hours later...and freezing!
Free beer?  Hello!
C-Joy and I finished, posed for "official" photos, made our way to the free beer tent (It tasted soooo good I had two), and got massages before hobbling off to meet C-Joy's family for the ride home.  We weren't fast enough to get the official half marathon medals (too many last minute entries--they ran out) so I got the Relay medal, and C-Joy got the marathon medal from last year.  They assured us we would get our medals in the mail.  It was nice of the marathon people to make sure everyone got a medal, even if it was the wrong one!  We also got bonus hip and back pain, plus blisters on our feet.  I got a high five from a man dressed as Austin Powers, and a gatorade from Santa Claus.  Plus, a witch along the way cheering me on and telling me I was SuperSue because I was Super!  Whoohoo!  I also made it a mission to pass the lady ahead of me with a chicken hat on.  I just couldn't follow that all the way to the finish line.  Needless to say, I was standing near the finish line, waiting for C-Joy, when I saw the this lady pass by, chicken hat still firmly in place.

I can say now with absolute certainty that walking a half-marathon is much harder than running one.  Trust me.  Yes, there is pain with both, but with walking, you have much more time to dwell on it, and wonder, "What the hell?  I'm just walking!  It shouldn't hurt this bad!"  With running, you know it will hurt, and accept it as part of the package.  Plus, it's over quicker!  Who knows what races I will enter next year, or how far and fast I will run.  I will leave that up to the 2011 Sue, not 2010 Sue.  She needs a break!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Friday Just For Me!

Oh, today is another day of vacation, and I had planned on working in the yard.  But I just don't feel like it, so I'm not going to.
Instead, I have a long list of things to do before C-Joy and I head off to Des Moines for the Half Marathon, some shopping, and a general good girl's weekend.  I can walk with a hangover :)

My hamstring continues to improve and I got the a-ok from my physical therapist to do the half-marathon.  I was going to do it anyway, but it's nice to have a confirmation.  I have to continue to build strength in my hamstring--according to him, it's been an issue with me for quite some time; the getting hurt was just the final straw.  So, I've been underutilizing my hamstring for probably a few years.  I'm amazed I didn't hurt myself sooner.  Of course, if I ran faster, it probably would have happened earlier this year.   After another session of hamstring separating (hurts like hell, let me tell you!), deep tissue massage (painful on the knot, too), and stretching out my hip,  my leg felt no pain and was warmed up and ready for my bike ride.  I hit the trail, and here are some scenes from my journey:

Me, my shadow, and the trail

An old Ford on a farm just off the trail 

The farmers have been working hard to get in the harvest

The day is gorgeous, and I was lucky to spend some time outside.  Now comes laundry, packing my bag, cleaning up the kitchen from the souffle incident last night, and finishing Wolf Hall.  By all that is holy, I will finish it before Tuesday's book club. It will not defeat me! Then I can read something else from my growing to be read pile.  Bud is busy tonight, but left me a song on my message machine to let me know he loves me!  We'll hopefully see each other again Sunday night.   I'm making a yummy chicken and spinach casserole with--it gets better--toasted bread croutons on top.  No cheese, tho.  Oh, I can't wait!  A movie tonight, a session of obsessing over what I may have forgotten to pack in my weekend bag, and then off to bed!  Have a great weekend everyone!  I'll have picts from the half-marathon after Sunday.
Weeds or wildflowers?  Who cares--they're pretty 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Souffle for Two--The Salad Was Much Better!

Well, tonight was my cheese souffle attempt.  I found a pretty decent recipe online that didn't require folding in egg whites and seemed pretty simple, with guaranteed results.

So I bought a souffle dish at Target, bought my three cheeses and other ingredients, and made sure Bud knew to be at my house at exactly the moment when I would take it out of the oven, since eating a souffle right away is critical.  

My souffle dish did not meet the 22 oz required in the recipe--it was bigger.  When I poured the mixture into the dish, it didn't come up very far.  Dang.  So, I beat a few more eggs, milk, and sour cream ( this is not your standard souffle!) and added it to what was in the dish.  I couldn't add more cheese, since the cheese was already on the bottom of the dish and covered with the egg mixture.  

I made breadsticks and a fabulous salad from the Barefoot Contessa to go with the souffle:  her Cape Cod Chopped Salad includes bacon, dried cranberries, walnuts, blue cheese, and chopped apple.  It was awesome!  The combination of salty, sweet, and tangy hit the mark.  I will definitely make this more often.  So while we waited for the souffle we ate the salad and breadsticks.  Bud really like the salad and of course, the breadsticks, so at least they were a hit!

The souffle, not so much.  The middle wasn't quite done.  It looked pretty good, but didn't puff up or brown as high as it should have.  I think this was because the dish was just a tad too big.  It did puff up pretty good, just not up and over the rim.  Bud ate a little bit of it, and I ate a chunk of it.  Not much taste to it at all.  So that was a bust.  Bud  was not impressed.  I will try making another one sometime, but with a different recipe and more cheese!  And I won't try and feed it to Bud.  I took a few pictures, but since this can be called a not so good souffle, I won't show them.  

So dinner was a half good, half bad situation.  We both discovered a really delicious salad, and ate our weight in breadsticks.  Bud does not like his eggs poofy.  But by golly, he stepped up to the plate and tried it!  Now that's a pretty sweet dude.  

Onward to the rest of my Cooking Bucket List! 

 I fear for his life when I make a homemade pie.  

Versatile Blogger Award

The Frisky Virgin was so kind and awarded my blog the Versatile Blogger Award.  Thanks so much!  And quite frankly, I love all the blogs I follow; I certainly hope to keep adding to my blog list!  There are so many talented bloggers out there that it's a treat to sit down and read blogs every day.  I have decided, in the interests of time, to not pass this award on to any specific blogs.  But know it has made my day and given me the cajones to attempt my cheese souffle tonight!  I have warned Bud, so I hope he eats something before heading to my house for dinner.

Off to purchase a souffle dish!  Will post the results tomorrow.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scenes From Yesterday's Yard Work

Yesterday was a pretty productive day for me--I was quite pleased with myself!  I cut down my lavender, made four bundles, and hung them to dry around my house.  Thanks to DW; she gave me the idea.  I will put them in sachets for my dresser and tuck them in my sheets.  I absolutely love and adore the smell of lavender; let's face it--we all need the the calming benefits of lavender every day.  I also managed to finish two books--on my way to 100 for the year!  

Lavender ready to hang
I went to physiotherapy; this time I had a lovely woman named Kathy who gave me a different set of exercises to do--now with weights.  A deep tissue massage with something that looks like an electric meat tenderizer got the big knot out of my hamstring.  I had a hard time not involuntarily jerking my leg around--it felt good, but I almost lost control of my leg and started high kicking on the table!

After that, I finally got a new pair of running shoes.  Had to take them out for a test "walk", and it was a beautiful day for it.  I managed four miles of walking pretty quickly and after about a half mile, my hamstring suddenly relaxed and felt the best it's felt since Sept 5th.  I tried to run just a little to see how it was, and after about 100 feet it started to tighten, so I stopped.  I think I've turned a corner ( I pray I'm not wrong) and my hamstring is finally healing.  I know my hips feel better--not so tight!

Yard  work!  Oh yes, I did some yard work.  I ripped out the sad looking Lily of the Valleys that have taken over my front garden, clipped more hostas, and swept up the teeny tiny leaves all over my driveway.  It filled the Yardy to the top!  On Friday, I plan on starting to cut down the back garden, and dig up some stuff--namely the goosey plants that have spread like crazy.  Now that the sidewalk is done, I can start dreaming about what I want to do next year in the back yard.  Better start saving my pennies--a fence is required, and I plan on buying many beautiful flowers.  I missed flower buying this year!  Easy on the pocketbook, but for the eyes, well, there can never be enough flowers in the world. 
Purple Aster Plant--another big grower!

My mums have kinda gone crazy.  I did not expect this when I bought these itty bitty potted plants last fall and planted them in the front of my garden.  This year, they are HUGE and have fallen all over the place.  I still find them beautiful, and I love the color.  
I think they look pretty together--ignore the leaves all over
 My friend the Frog Prince was tucked away amongst the flowers.  It's almost time for him to leave the yard for the year, until next spring:

And finally, a friendly witch to welcome guests and Halloween kiddies :
Greetings at the front door

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Long and Rambling Blog About Eggs and Leaves

An Egg Still Life-he he
Well, my plans for an eggstravigant week are in the toilet!  Bud had to move an appointment to tomorrow night (this was much more convenient for the other person, and not for Bud), so no dinner tomorrow night.  That leaves Thursday as our only other dinner night after last night!  So, I guess I'll try the cheese souffle.  I don't want to waste eggs benedict just on me, so I'll have to wait til next week for that recipe.  It's been so freakishly warm here the last week that everyone is getting out their shorts and firing up the grills for one last summer blast.  It's quite frankly making me crabby.  I want cool weather, dammit!  And some rain, too.  A gloomy day so I can stay at home, lounging about and not feeling guilty.  

The good thing is that the weather for Sunday looks perfect.  C-Joy and I won't be walking in the rain or freezing our tushies off in Des Moines.  I received my latest email from the marathon people, and geez, with all the last minute people signing up for the race, they have run out of medals.  And golly--those people who finish later in the half-marathon may get "some kind of medal" at the finish line, and their actual medal will be sent to them later.  These medals come from China, and it takes two weeks to reach the shores of Iowa.  C-Joy and I will have to kick it into gear!  My leg has been aching a bit the last few days, and I think it was from some over-exertion at work.  I'm planning a long walk and a bike ride this week, and finally will make it down to the Y for the first time in 6 weeks.  I feel horribly guilty--like it's a friend I've ignored for the funny one that smells like chocolate and drinks red wine.  I must go to the Y! What I'll do when I get there--who the hell knows?  I hope they let me in the doors.   

Tomorrow is yard day one--Friday is yard day two.  Should have everything cut down by then.  Ah, just in time to start dealing with the leaves that are falling like a bad case of dandruff from the trees lining my street.  Really--are there so many leaves on a tree?  Meanwhile, the lone tree in my backyard is still full of green leaves with nary a twitch of the branches.  They fall in the middle of November, and all at once--a leaf blizzard.  Mother Nature can be a real pisser sometimes!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cooking Bucket List Revisited: I'd Better Get It In Gear!

A few months ago I posted a blog about my first ever Cooking Bucket List.  I thought I'd revisit my goals to make ten recipes I've always wanted to try, but for one reason or another, haven't made yet with my lil' hands.  Holy crap!  I've only made three out of the ten things, and I set a goal for the end of the year.  I've got to put a fire under it and start creating pronto!

So, guess what?  Next week I will be visiting the land of eggs and dairy. Eggs Benedict, Panna Cotta, and Cheese Souffle are up next.  Since for me, there is such a thing as too much egginess, I will space them  out over the week.  Still, I will have to include some bacon somewhere to break through the cheese and eggs.  And coffee.  And chocolate.  And pasta.  I think that takes care of the week.

That leaves me with some of the trickier things for November:  homemade pie, braciola, a turkey, and beef with hot peppers.    Yep, that's the ten on my Bucket List.

I hope Bud is prepared for exciting surprise dinners this Fall and Winter.  Poor man, he won't know what he'll be trying next.  The beef with hot peppers will be for me alone, since the potential for heat in the peppers is only known when you toss them into the stir fry pan and the steam hits your face.  It can be painful, but clears the sinus cavity.  I may make the braciola  on a special night that I just haven't thought of  yet--I'll find an obscure holiday to celebrate!

Stay tuned!  I will present my efforts--good and bad--in the next few months.  

Friday Friendly Pictures For A Calm State of Mind

Taos, New Mexico
This is how I hope my Friday begins and ends--calm, serene, and with some pretty thrown in!  Well, and maybe some chocolate, too.  Take a moment to collect your thoughts, focus on what's in front of you and not what's up next, and enjoy the day.  I'm gonna try it!

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Taos, New Mexico

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another Part Of The Garden Shut Down and Hips A Go-Go!

I thought I'd spare you more pictures of cut down hostas.  I am happy to report the Yardy is completely full; almost to the point that I had a near fatal Yardy accident trying to get it down the slope of my front yard and to the curb.  I could have looked like the Wicked Witch, only no house, just a Yardy and my tennis shoe-clad feet peeking out underneath.  I fell into my meditative "hey, just one more weed" pulling phase, where my brain waves slow down to a creep.  It's very cathartic and before you know it, weeds are flying everywhere.  Next week, it's the front garden, and last but not least, the back garden.  Lots of digging up and clipping yet to be done.

Today I went again to the  Physical Therapist.  This time, he checked my posture, and did some strange body bending things to me to see how my pelvis, hips, and other middle of the body stuff looked.  The conclusion?  I am in worse shape than I realized.  It brings me near to tears thinking about it.  Did you know you have rotators in your hips?  They work first to kick everything else in gear, so you can move your hamstring.  If they don't work in order, injury is the result.  My left rotator has pretty much no power to lift my leg.  He climbed on a stool, and pressed down HARD on points above and below my hip and had me do leg lifts.  Yep, very uncomfortable.  It was weird, cause after a few, I could feel something in my hip kind of "give" in a good way.  He then did the same tests, and my range of motion was much better, and my hamstring didn't ache.  He said it's not perfect, and we'll do more later, but it was a start.  Off to home to continue my twice daily stretches and hip strengthening exercises.  Must open the pelvis!  I'm sure Bud will be glad to help--sorry!  had to include a snarky comment :)

This makes me wonder just how long my hips and pelvis have been messed up.  Is this why I've had such a hard time running this year, and my speed is down?  I put it down to getting older, being heavier, and the old "been there, done that" attitude from already doing all the big races in the past few years.  But perhaps all along it was my body trying to tell me to stop.  I hate the thought of spending all of the money (even with insurance) on physical therapy, but I keep telling myself it's for my own good, and what I can fix now and pay attention to in the future means I can run again in a few months, and keep running for years.  

What I need now is Jackie Warner to come and kick my butt!  Have you watched Thintervention on Bravo?  It's fabulous.  I feel like  a cross between Gina and Nickie except I'm not British, I don't drink heavily every night, and I don't live in a huge house in California with a personal chef.  Anyway, Jackie rocks--she has the most amazing body I've ever seen.  I'm not saying I want that body  (she can probably open a bottle of beer with her abs), but I would like something closer to it than what I have now. 

 Ok, Sue, put down the junk!  As I'm typing, I'm thinking I should hit the DQ for one last peanut buster parfait before they close for the season.  The mind is weak, and the body is weaker--especially my weenie hips.

Good Lord!  :P  

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Monday Off Work--I Am Soooo Confused!

I normally work every Monday night at the bookstore.  This week, I have the joy of two days off in a row.  One of  those days is today.  Can I tell you how messed up this is making me?  It's my mantra today:  "You do not have to go to work this afternoon.  You do not have to go to work this afternoon."  I figure by the time Bud comes over for dinner--another rare Monday happening--I may have relaxed enough to enjoy what's left of the day!

It must be the weather, cause I'm having a major cooking craving.  Not to eat, necessarily, but to cook.  Cook like a maniac!  I think I may be nesting, and the only reason for this is the cooler weather.  So right now, I'm making a Green Chile Stew, recipe courtesy of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.  It smells spicy; can't wait to eat it for a late lunch.  The rest goes in the freezer for a single girl dinner some night this fall.

So to continue on my cooking craze, I'm making Swedish Meatballs with noodles tonight for Bud.  He had a choice:  lasagna, or the meatballs.  He must be craving meatballs, since there was no hesitation over the phone when I gave him the choice.  I'm going to use up some of the apples I've purchased, and shamefully, not eaten by making an apple crisp for dessert.  If I didn't want to dig into my pile of books today and read,  I would drag out some nanners and make banana bread, too.  What the heck?  I think I want to feed the world!

I've eaten all of my Brach's candy pumpkins, and am fresh out of HoHo's and their "I guess you'll do" cousin, Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls.  No chocolate in the house, unless you count frozen chocolate chips.  Hmmm....

Anyway, here's to Monday, cooking, and doing something a little different this week.  I attempted to put the hammer down today and walk at my usual pace for hopefully, miles, but the leg still won't cooperate.  And somehow I got blisters.  I never get blisters--that cut my walk way short of my goal and really chapped my *ss.  I was a bad girl, and jogged just a little bit, and was again reminded that it's just not in the cards right now.  Off to do my stretches and exercises before I dig into my stew!  Enjoy the day and cook something for yourself!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Closing Down the Garden: Part One

October 1st!  October 1st!  I am so happy!  This is quickly tempered when I walk out my back door and see that what I have created over the past summer, must be undone for the winter.  Do I still not understand that all the planting and buying of flowers I do in May means I have to go back out in October and cut down, rip out, and pretty much denude my yard?  Of course, the Creeping Charlie is still thriving.  If I had a nuclear device that would harm nothing other than Creeping Charlie, you can bet I'd have a "Say Bye-Bye to Charlie" launch complete with nibblies and drinks for guests.  

Yesterday I decided it was time to start on the yard.  In order to not be overwhelmed, I've figured out that I will take one section at a time and work on it.  Plus, the Yardy fills up quickly, so it's either do a little at a time, or have a big pile of dead vegetation in the back yard waiting until the next week.  And it saves my back and legs.  Did you know gardening is a great kick--butt leg workout?  Just try it.  You'll see that night and the next day that you can't move your legs much.  Building muscle!

My neighbor has a long fence along one side of my yard, and I have planted lots of hostas along the fence line.  This was my first area of destruction:

My sad lookin' hostas
Hostas are pretty indestructible.  After all, it only takes one leaf to make a whole new plant!  All of these hostas began as just one leaf each.  Bud bought them at a garage sale years ago, brought over the bucket, and says "Here you go!  Have fun planting!"  Yep.  Took me a few days.  

After about an hour of hard work, here are my results:

No more hostas!
Next week, I'm finishing off the rest of this run along the fence.  I still have the side of my house to take care of, and last but not least, the garden out back that had a bad summer.  I whacked a few things down, but was too disheartened and overwhelmed to keep going.  More sunny, cool weather is in store, so I should have plenty of backyard time next week.  I did find a few things blooming in my front yard garden:
Autumn Joy Sedum

Mums gone wild
Time to get out the pumpkins and ready the rake for some leaf action!  So looking foward to that.  Not.