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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prepping for Christmas

Like my blog background?  I love it!  Makes me happy, and will see me through the holiday season and into March.  It's one of the first things I have done today, my day off--the Day of Doing Stuff at Home.

Did I go to the gym this morning?  No.  Instead, I got up and gave myself 15 minutes to clean out the top drawer in my kitchen.  Time to toss all those Hammer Gels from my marathon training all those years ago.  Don't think they were meant to last this long.  I immediately felt lighter cleaning all that garbage out, and straightening my drawer.  Now it's off to washing the inside windows, rehanging the curtains I washed yesterday, then getting in a quick dash for holiday shopping before I go to the gym this afternoon.  Yep.  Going to hit the gym after the lunch crowd, and before the after school crowd shows up.  

I am pondering what changes I'll make to my blogs next year, and what I will be focusing on as I begin 2012.  I am not a computer brainiac, and quite honestly I'm amazed I've figured out this much so far.  I am one of those people who will just hit a button to see what happens.  This has not turned out to be a bad thing :P  

Wrapping myself in Christmas cheer, burning the candles, and plotting my cookie baking output.  And really, just how many cookies can I eat? I think probably a marathon's mileage worth of cookies.  Which calculates out to maybe 2.5 cookies.  
Dang it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Will This Weekend Never End?!

I woke up this morning thinking it was Monday.  Yesterday I was convinced it was Sunday.  I cannot take these 4 day weekends!  Seriously, I think my brain has aged at an unnatural pace since turning 45.  I am looking ahead to this week and getting back to a "normal" routine.  How normal it will be, 4 weeks before Christmas I don't know.  I'm thinking the Christmas decorations will go up next weekend and writing out greeting cards will happen earlier this week.  

Mother Nature has swept in with winds and really cold weather for the past few days.  I think we have run out of mild days for the year.  Crossing fingers that any bad snow storms hold off til after Christmas!  Then I can thoroughly enjoy a good blizzard and a foot of snow by staying home and eating soup.  

The workouts just didn't happen last week, so I'm resetting the workout clock this week and telling myself that getting to the gym 3 times this week is the goal.  Should be a goal I can make.  I feel like a fatty Mcfatty and miss running each week.  Treadmill, here I come!  And some weights.  

Just found out drinking wine can help lower your risk for diabetes.  Not that I need any excuses for drinking wine....but nice to have a back up.  I'll raise a glass to that!

I'm entering my last month of my Reading Challenge for the year.  Can't believe it, and I'm planning a celebration at my bookstore at the end of January for everyone locally who took part in it.  Can't wait to see who shows up, and what and how much they've read this year.  I'll have a recap of my favorite reads in a few weeks.  And more podcasts are coming!  I am sadly behind in this--love to do it, but haven't had a moment to gather my thoughts.  Lots of books to talk about so stay tuned and I'll post those podcasts.  Hope to have two this week.

Are you ready to get back to your routine?  Or did you never leave it?  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week in Review--Yes, I Know It's Monday, But It Feels Like Friday

On my other blog, Bookalicious Babe, I talk about being exhausted from only two weekends of holiday retail work.  I still have about 6-8 to go.  I will get through it, as I always do.  I will endeavor to work out, take my vitamins, and get enough "I just have to be alone" time where I can do nothing at home, or splurge on a lunch during the week.  The exercise and the vitamins may not happen, even with my good intentions.  Sometimes finding that sweet spot in bed--you know, the place where all the pillows are just right, the covers are perfect, and you are simply in a blissful place that you don't want to get out of anytime soon is waaaay more important than getting on a treadmill and running in a stuffy gym.  A close second is drinking a cup of really good coffee!

Anyway, the past week has certainly been a busy one for me, and I was reminded just how many great people I have around me.  Like Regina and Amanda.  Two co-workers--and friends--who surprised me with a lovely gift that will continue to feed my book obsession.  And another Amanda--another co-worker--who gifted me with a signed copy of a kid's book from a local author who was in our store for an author event.  Another wonderful surprise from a very sweet lady.  She also loves to read and is my go to person for kid's books.  

And then there's my sweetie, Bud.  He gave me flowers, took me to dinner, and gave me the most wonderful card.  I will add it to all the others he has given me over the years.  Sometimes I look through them and can see the progression of our relationship from newly dating to where we are today.  Can't imagine loving anyone else like I love him.  It really is an indescribable feeling to look at someone and know they are "it".  What a calm, steady, anchoring feeling that is--and those are the easiest words I can find for that overwhelming love.

So here comes Christmas!  A slight freak out on my part a few days ago about decorating for Christmas.  I somehow managed to block out any decorating memories from last year, so I am mentally recreating what I did so I can do it again!  Probably next week, I think.  Gotta clean the house tip to toe before decorating, and buying a few holiday scented candles is on my list, too.  Love to have them lit all during December when I'm home at night.  And sometimes during the day, too.  Gotta put my Christmas music play list back on my Peapod, so I can listen to sappy Christmas tunes while I'm at the gym.  

Get it here

And food?  Hello! The limoncello is in the basement, busy working to make a delicious beverage.  I may make another boozy gift this week--we'll see.  Chocolate crinkle cookies, date bread, and homemade chai applesauce are also on the menu.  I'm narrowing down my Christmas Eve menu for Bud and I--may be going with a beef tenderloin this year.  Quick to make, and perfect for two on a special occasion with a really good bottle of wine.  

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is this week, and Christmas is around the corner. Let's hope the blizzards hold off til January!  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Throwing in the Towel--Does This Create More Laundry?

My NaNoWriMo experience lasted all of approximately 580 words.  Yep.  That's all I've managed since November 1st, and I am throwing in the towel!  No time to sit and type.  Last year I really worked hard, and accomplished my goal.  This year, I just can't get a story to flow out of my tiny little brain.  And I just don't have extra moments to write.   Kinda knew that going into it, but thought I would try anyway. I am gracefully bowing out.  It's getting easier, as I get older, to walk away from stuff without much angst.  My days of endlessly pondering things, and feeling so worked up about them are coming to a close.  Phew.  That feeling is priceless!  If I can't do it, I can't do it.  Case closed.  I'll try again some other time.
It's here

I still have detrashing to do after my trip, and this is my first day off in 7 days, so I am busy finishing up a ton of laundry (how can one person create so much?!)--and yes, I will actually fold it all and put it away today.  I have a horrible habit of putting it in laundry baskets and walking down to the basement to pick through for clean clothes to wear to work--everyday.
This is what I wear when I run out of pants

I did use the leaf blower yesterday to create a ginormous mound of leaves in my back yard for the city to pick up in a few days.  I am a lawn person who waits until everything is down before raking up the leaves.  Why spend every other day out in the yard, when I can just do it all in one shot?  My forearms and hands are feeling it today.  If it gets windy today, I will be pissed.  

find it here

I also ran yesterday for the first time in over a week.  Just simply didn't have time before then, and it was such a beautiful day!  I managed 2 miles and my body was happy, but in shock.  I don't have any races planned, and nothing much planned for the winter except to keep running some miles every week (mostly on the treadmill) and working out at the gym to build some muscle.  My goal is to burn off enough calories so that I can still eat the good stuff with no guilt!  

How is everyone coping with the hour turn back?  I am still adjusting.  I keep thinking it's so much later in the early evening--it's getting dark here by 5 pm.  I just makes me want to build a cocoon and sleep.  And eat.  And read.  Not good when you have lots to do.  Today is "makin' liquer" day at my house!  Limoncello production starts today.  Heading off to the store to buy mucho lemons and begin the juicing.  See, basements are good for something--a cool dark place to let the booze mature.  As long as the creature under the stairs leaves it alone--and folds my laundry--I will be a happy camper.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What Did I Do Besides Run In Savannah?

Rode the Ferry to the Expo
Rocked out with Elvis 

Pretended I could run really really fast

Saw the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile!

Walked up very long flights of stairs

Took pictures at Colonial Cemetery

Ate some awesome pizza!

Drank lots of beer
Ghost tours, haunted taverns, historic homes, lots of fun shops, and a great vacation with two of my sisters.  I think we are going to try and plan a vacation every few years or so for all five of us--this trip has given us all the travel bug--and what is a better way to see new cities and places than with your sisters?  I just wish Debbie and Michelle (my other two sisters)  could have gone on this journey.  Next stop--New Orleans 2012?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Savannah Recap While I Remember Some Of It

I had so much fun in Savannah.  Loved it.  Great hotel, great free breakfasts in the morning (hello, biscuits and gravy), and wandering around with a beer in my hand while shopping all combined for a great vacation.  Oh.  And running that half marathon--what to say about that?

Lots of well wishers in town
Well, I'm trying to remember a lot of it.  I got up early, and left my sisters sleeping at the hotel.  It was very chilly out--around 40-45 degrees, and a breeze off the river.  I walked down to the start of the race and stood in a porta-potty line for 20 minutes.  There were so many people around it was kinda overwhelming. By the time the race started, my feet were completely numb from the cold.  I kept getting my Garmin set up, but it would go into 'save' mode because I was too anxious to just wait til I was closer to the start.  I had my cell phone with me, so I could call my sisters when I finished.  I was pretty sure they would never find me, and sure enough, I did not see them until after I had crossed the finish line.  

They were watching the start of the race from the hotel--it was live on TV.  The gun went off at 7:30, but I was in corral #19, so it took almost 25 minutes until I got to the start line.  After a brief bit of panic that my Garmin wouldn't start (it did, phew) I started running.  I've never run a race with so many people before, and pretty much the whole time I was just concentrating on passing people.  A lot of weaving in and out; hitting the gas pedal to pass annoying groups who all had to run next to each other, blocking the way for those of us behind them!  I just kept running and running and running.  I hit the 7 mile mark and grabbed a water and ate a bit of my snack.  I had to walk through that water stop, cause they weren't filling the cups fast enough.  Plus I couldn't chew swallow and run at the same time.  My sisters and I had agreed on a spot where they would watch for me, and I told them to be on the right side, since I tend to run on the right side of the road.  Well, I kept running, and never saw them.  I think they were behind me.  By mile 10, I was running out of juice.  I started drinking Cytomax at the stops, hoping it would help kick start me.  I had to take walk breaks, and I was a bit annoyed that I just wasn't going to make my 2:15/2:20 goal.  Towards the end, it was crazy.  I wanted to pass the slow pokes in front of me, but there was no room to pass, so I had to be happy with running behind a man who was jumping and skipping down to the finish line.  He made me smile that last little bit.  And once again, I managed to look like an idiot kinda half-raising my arms in a lame victory sign as I crossed the finish line.  And a minute later remembered to shut off my Garmin.  I heard Patti yell, and saw her and Pam on the side, but I couldn't get to them.   The runners were given medals, and told to keep moving along the line as we grabbed snacks, water, warming blankets, and stopped to get our official photos taken.  

I did not need this during the race

We forgot to take more photos after the race--duh
Then I couldn't find my sisters again.  I called Patti, and she didn't answer her cell phone!  Dammit!  I wandered around for a while, then spotted them standing by the end of the line, looking for me.  We finally met up, and they got a few shots of me and my medal. I called Bud since he was following my race via texts from  He was so happy with my time and even though he wasn't there to see me run, I knew he was cheering me on and willing me to keep running. Official time:  2:23:59.

 But no more race photos!  So I'm glad the official photo turned out.  I'll post more photos in my next post and more recap on our trip.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Did It!

Oh Savannah, how I love thee.  Just a quick post to say "I did it!"  and an official photo.  More to come later!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo Sucked Me In

It's November 1st--that means the beginning of NaNoWriMo.  Last year I took the plunge for the second year in a row and actually finished my "novel".  This "novel" that I haven't looked at since I hit 'save' last November.  

I wasn't going to participate this year, since I will be starting almost a week late, but the annoying tug of my inner voice is making me cave.  I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, after all!  It just means I will be frantically typing like a fiend when I get back from my half marathon next week.  I plan on pondering my story while I'm wandering around Savannah, camera in hand.  I'm hoping to capture some images that will fire up that old imagination and plant an idea in my head.  I'd better take a journal along so I can jot down ideas.  

Are you going to write a 50,000 word novel this month?  You can do it!  It's like vomiting up your brain onto the computer.  It's a stress-bringer and a stress-reliever all at the same time.  It's fun.  It's a great way to wake up your brain, fire up your imagination, and prove to yourself that you do have a creative bone in your body!  Just do it, already!  Go to NaNoWriMo to sign up and get started.