Easy Wheatberries

It had been awhile since I made wheatberries and completely forgot how to do it, because, you know, I’m such a whiz when it comes to cooking… not.  So I turned to the internet for advice.  A simple recipe… that’s all I wanted.  Water-to-wheatberry ratio!  Length of boiling time!  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently.

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After searching and sorting through tons of worthless articles about how to boil wheatberries and getting incredibly frustrated in the process, I decided an easy recipe needed to be posted. No rubbish about how wonderful they are for you… just a simple wheatberry recipe.  Here ya go:

3 cups of water to 1 cup of wheatberries.  Boil water, add wheatberries and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.  Eat them however your little heart desires.

Just so happens we eat them on our salad, which is what our dinner was tonight.  You know… New Year, running, upcoming races… no time like the present to get back to healthy. The holidays are over after all and it’s time to re-focus.  However, when I was preparing said salad, and because I’m such a rockstar in the kitchen, I forgot to peel the cucumber before I cut it up. The skin was too bitter to eat, so I took each piece of cucumber out of the salad and peeled them individually.  It’s been a banner night.

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That being said, at least we’re warming up now.  For the past few weeks, we’ve been under a sheet of ice and sometimes snow, getting down to 15 degrees F (-9C).  Today was actually the first day I’ve felt warm in a long time.  The house wouldn’t even heat properly during our cold spell.  I was making those pre-made, drop-dough cookies just so I could turn the oven on for extra warmth!

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Our turkey vulture at work had to have 2 heat lamps hanging for her.

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The trail… yeah, not happening…

But I know one person that the snow didn’t stop!  Such dedication!

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As for the first race of the year… it will be April 9th, The Seahawks 12K Run.  Cannot wait to have that hot little bling in my hands!!  After that, it’s Reno baby!  The Downtown River Run on April 30th!  Half marathon for me and the full for James!

And, so… the adventure continues…

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Happy Trails!

Happy New Year!

In spite of the losses we endured most recently, it’s been a great holiday week… lots of family, lots of food, lots of love.  There was even lots of running done by one of us… okay, spoiler alert, it wasn’t me doing the running.

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The 12yo child is now taller than me… that ain’t right.

Christmas Eve brought tragedy at work.  We got quite a bit of snow the day before, too much for one of the trees to handle, and it collapsed onto one of the yurts that housed a little Northern Saw-whet owl with vision problems.  She escaped.  She is fully flighted and knows how to hunt, so there is a good chance of survival for her.  Maybe the accident was, in reality, divine intervention.  Maybe her stay with us was done and it was time for her to fly and be free. (To every negative, it’s important to search for the positive. #selfpreservation)

20150220_135857.jpgChristmas Eve brought tragedy to the Seattle Seahawks as well.  They lost to Arizona.  The positive?  I was right there in the stadium to watch!  My very first ‘Hawks game! Okay… maybe not so much a positive for the team, but a huge selfish positive on my part!  🙂

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This weekend has been great fun, celebrating the end of 2016.  AJ went to Leavenworth with his friend to play in the snow, and James and I brought in the New Year karaoking most of the night until it was time to watch the fireworks at the Space Needle (from the warmth of our own home, of course… far away from any craziness).

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Got snow?

We have a fresh layer of snow and ice, and this coming week promises to be the coldest we’ve seen in a long time.  I don’t do snow, and it will definitely be a week of treadmill running, assuming I even run, :D.  But c’est la vie.  There is always plenty of good in life to offset the bad. That’s just the way it goes.

…Don’t you know, when you’re down

There’s just one way to go

And that’s singing

C’est la vie! C’est la vie!

That’s just the way it goes!…

Wishing you much love and happiness in 2017, no matter what life throws at you!

MMM is Back!

With the all the cold weather and busyness of the season, it appears that I’m suffering a bit from writer’s block.  My mind has gone completely blank when it comes to writing pretty much anything, including emails, but hopefully it’s just a short-term condition.

However, it seems that James is working on getting past his bout of writer’s block.  He’s just recently posted an update and even a Motivational Music Monday song over at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest.  Okay… well… as it’s the week before Christmas, it’s actually a Christmas song, but still, he’s getting revved and ready for the New Year.

And you know me… I tend to follow suit with MMM.  As we just watched the fabulous TV special put on by Michael Bublé, I have a need to hear some caroling/serenading from the great MB! First up is a song from his album, Christmas, a classic performed by him and The Puppini Sisters (who sound quite a bit like The Andrews Sisters):

But I can’t stop there!  My favorite song from the Christmas album is actually MB’s version of Santa Baby (Santa Buddy).  Love the way he adjusts the words just a smidge (Santa Buddy, fill my stocking with Canucks tix, for kicks…):

I hope everyone is enjoying a very happy holiday season!

By the way, I was informed by my husband earlier, “You better hurry up and get things done today!  It’s the shortest day of the year you know…”  (Take a minute to process that… I’ll wait.)

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Happy Winter Solstice!  

 

My Brother

As I headed to Target today to brave the masses, I started thinking about my brother.  For those who aren’t aware, he passed away last November from bone and lung cancer.

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He used to say some of the most profound things to me.  Completely out of nowhere.  One night when he had come over to visit, he looked at me and said, “I still find it hard to accept that I can eat a gallon of ice cream for dinner if I want.”  Because he was an adult now, and adults get to do what they want.  Nevermind that he was almost 30.  😀

My brother, sister, and I all used to work at the same place (my sister and I were typesetters and my brother was the computer programmer/tech guy).  Sis and I were hanging out in the back room with him for a little break, and he looked at us and said, “Just think… if a bomb went off right now, Mom would be childless.”  Okay, a little dark, but still… things that make you go hmmm…

And the things he used to do to me when I was itty bitty little, like 5 years old.  One time when I wouldn’t leave him and his friend alone, he found something resembling a coat hook in the carport and hung me up by my underwear to get me out of his hair.  He got into a bit of trouble for that.

And once when my sister and I were sleeping in a camp bed on the floor, he put tuna fish in our ears and let loose 6 hungry kittens.  He kind of got in trouble for that too… after my mother stopped laughing.

Here he is teaching my cat Zeus to read the newspaper shortly before Christmas dinner in 2000:

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He also was the first to teach me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”  It was a lesson I learned well, way before I had ever heard of the book.  And, true story, it’s all small stuff.

Yet, at the same time, it’s the little things that really matter in life, isn’t it.  Such as a hug.  Or a kind word.  Or a smile.  Or 5 minutes of your time.

In January, I ran my first race of the year in his memory:

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My sister-in-law told me to look for a blue butterfly while in Maui as that would be a sign from Kris.  I saw one blue butterfly the whole entire 7 days we were there… at mile 11… and anyone who runs half-marathons (as opposed to full-out marathons) knows the emotional breakdown happening at mile 11.  I also saw a rainbow… on his 16th wedding anniversary.

So tell me, who have you hugged today?

And The Winner Is…

Thank you so much to everyone for reading and commenting on my post about beavers and entering my little giveaway!  I received such a great response!  My hope is one day we can all understand how important beavers are to our ecosystem (not to mention they’re cute as all get out)!

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So on to the important stuff… the winner!  I truly wish I could send everyone a beaver ornament, but unfortunately, there can be only one (I’ll send a wildlife calendar to the first one who can tell me what movie that line is from… no googling)!  The Child did the drawing, see the video below (which is only about a minute).  It’s amazing how much he’s grown up from last year (you can see that video here).

So if the winner could kindly contact me, I’ll get the package off to you posthaste.

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Just to prove the drawing was legit, haha!

As well, a big thank you to my readers/my friends for following my blog, my running, and my life!  You are much appreciated!  (And yes, this song is on one of my running playlists, ;D)

By the way, James has posted his race recap on Tulsa… he did a great job!  You can read about that here.

Patient of the Year and Giveaway

I work at Sarvey Wildlife Care Center, a rescue and rehab facility for wildlife.

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In May 2015, this baby beaver was discovered by some campers.  He was without his mother and too young to survive on his own, so the campers brought him to us.  We actually already had a female beaver with us who was rehabbing from an animal attack, and the two beavers were eventually put together.  The older female became a surrogate to the baby male.

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The two beavers spent a year with us.  This past spring they were both released, together, in a secluded area with lots of access to trees, water, and natural habitat.

Beavers play a crucial role in biodiversity.  Many species rely on beaver-created habitat, and a lot of these species who rely on beavers are threatened or endangered.  This year, the baby American beaver was made Patient of the Year at Sarvey. Ornaments and cards were made to celebrate this particular animal.

In honor of this little guy and with the hope of bringing awareness to the importance of beavers, I am holding a giveaway.  One person will win an ornament featuring the baby beaver, a blank holiday card to coincide with the ornament, a Sarvey Wildlife Calendar which has lots of fun tidbits on the inside, and a Sarvey tote bag.  All you have to do is write “Go Hawks” in the comment section!!  Okay, just kidding… let me know if you’re interested with a comment and I’ll put your name in the drawing.  Or send an email to neveradullbling(at)gmail.com.  The drawing will be held this Friday (12/11) around 5 p.m., and I might even get AJ to participate by drawing the name while I’m recording it (gasp!).

BENEFITS OF BEAVER PONDS

  • Decrease damaging floods
  • Recharge drinking water aquifers
  • Remove pollutants from surface and ground water
  • Drought protection
  • Decreased erosion

For more information on Sarvey Wildlife, please visit their website at sarveywildlife.org, or follow them on Facebook.  Sarvey is a nonprofit organization that relies solely on donations.  If you’re interested in purchasing an ornament, calendar, or tote bag for yourself, please visit Sarvey’s website… and make sure to say Paula sent you.  🙂

All photos used with permission from Sarvey Wildlife.

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Williams Route 66 Marathon

 

If you follow my blog regularly, you may already know that James and I ran Route 66 in Oklahoma last Sunday, November 20th (him the full, me the half).  One word comes to mind… hilly.  Okay… another word also comes to mind… fun.  What a fabulous experience! We made a point to qualify for Marathon Maniacs/Half Fanatics earlier in the year specifically for this race and the VIP experience, and it did not disappoint.  When you’ve had the extreme pleasure of standing in the never-ending portaloo lines pre-race, only then can you appreciate the serenity of a private row of blue cabins with zero wait time.

As I tend to suck at writing race recaps, I’m just going to stick to my little weekend summary with pictures, but do keep an eye on 50 in 50 Marathon Quest for the actual mile-by-mile breakdown.

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Soooo… my first impression of Tulsa as we were flying over it on Friday was flat.  Don’t laugh… it’s true, it looks flat. You can see forever, until the earth starts to curve again, kind of like a never-ending horizon.  However, I discovered our first night there that Tulsa is anything BUT flat. And it has gorgeous sunsets.

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On Saturday, we had the race expo and blogger’s forum with which we were invited to participate.  The expo was great… lots of fun stuff to be had.  We came away with a bag full of swag and stuff we probably didn’t really need, but it’s all part of the fun expo experience.  I even found some shoe charms that James was gracious enough to buy for me.

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The blogger’s forum was also a great experience.  Everyone was so nice and so friendly, and the social media director for the race was just amazing… super sweet!  I had a blast getting to know the other bloggers and talking with them, sharing notes and ideas, etc.  If you ever have the chance to participate on a panel, I highly recommend it.

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Okay, on to the race… we met up with the Maniacs and Fanatics beforehand (remember… our very own portaloos with no lines… okay, well, maybe a little line).  This is the official picture of all the maniacs that were there:

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In case you’re having issues picking James and I out in the crowd, here’s a little help:

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It was cold… very cold.  And windy (we later learned that the wind always blows in Tulsa). I tried to get some video at the start line with the music playing in the background, but my phone didn’t do a great job at picking up the music.  However, if you’re interested in checking out the buildings down town and all the people, here ya go:

The course started out relatively flat… yay!  But then we went around a corner, and it was all up and down from there.  Long rolling hills.  You were either going up, or you were going down.  There was 1 mile out on the highway that was also relatively flat, but we ran mostly through neighborhoods, so up and down we went (but oh, the neighborhoods were gorgeous).

The support for this race was amazing.  People were everywhere, having block parties and blasting music.  The chickens even came out to cheer us on.

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At about mile 9, beer shots were handed out at one of the aid stations.  I don’t drink beer, and I certainly don’t drink it at 10 in the morning; however, I will admit I took a shot.  After all those hills, I needed the sugar and carbs to keep me going.  There were also beer shots at miles 10 and 11, and then somewhere in there, they had jello shots made with Fireball.  What can I say?  I had a great time.

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The hill past the above sign really, really hurt… just saying.

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Once we crossed the finish line, we hobbled on over to the Maniacs party tent to partake of the barbecue and pizza.  We also received the medals specific for our club (Fanatic or Maniac).

And, with the Turkey Trot 5K we did 4 days later on Thanksgiving, so endeth the 2016 race year. Route 66 was a fabulous finale race and a fabulous time, with the best bling of the year.  It made qualifying for the Fanatics worth every single painful mile.

After completing 8 races this year, 7 of them being half-marathons in 5 different states (including Washington), and after the heartache I endured this fall, I leave you with this pre-emptive Motivational Music Monday song:

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!