Tag Archives: writing

Happy Full Moon Monday

Sunday I had my “long” run.  There was so much going on in my brain while I was running… great thoughts for my weekly update, random silliness, and so on and so forth, but when I finally sat down to write it all out, I drew completely blank.  The only explanation I can come up with is because that’s pretty how much last week went for me… the sooner forgotten the better!

Not that anything majorly bad happened… I’m healthy, no injuries, I have a job and a home, and I have a wonderful family (blessings counted every single day).  However, I was tired.  Like crawl into bed and sleep for 2 days tired.  Is it because my mileage is peaking as Lake Sammamish is only 2 weeks away?  Have I not eaten enough hamburgers recently?  Maybe not enough chocolate?  Perhaps it’s the effects of the impending full moon…

Anyway, for whatever reason, I did not have a good week.  But I won’t dwell on the negative… only the positive, so I’ll see if I can highlight something happy…

Oh, wait, I’ve got it…

  •  One happy thing that happened to me last week… I won $11 in the lottery!  I can now say “I’ve won the lottery,” because I won more than I spent.  Yay!  Happy-happy-joy-joy!  (yeah, stretching it, I know)
  • Also, I have streaked for 53 days now, a total of 121 miles, and last week I ran a total of 17 miles, so that’s a positive, although my long run on Sunday didn’t quite go as planned.  I got up at 7, with plans to be out of the house by 9.  However, I lolligagged around and didn’t leave until 11.  By then the energy I got from my peanut-butter bagel had diminished, I was feeling lazy, and I was super tight when I hit the trail.  I took my GoPro out to record my run, but I only got about 20 minutes of footage as my memory thingamabob stick was full, so that didn’t work out.  And then it started raining and hailing on me… I swear it felt like it was going to snow.  No, it didn’t snow, only a downpour of rain, but I had to call it after 5 miles.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  Best to have a bad run before the race then on race day.  We’ll chalk it up to that and just aim for better next time.  I’ll go ahead and get a 10 or 11 miler in this coming weekend and I should be good to go for the race.  (wait… I’m supposed to focus on the positive, aren’t I…)
  • James decided we needed to do an ultra event… Hamster Endurance Run in August.  I get to thank Rebecca from Travel, Running, and a Little Bit of Style for putting that little seed into Jamesy’s head.  She signed up to do one, James read about it, thought it was super cool, and voila!  We will now be doing one (it’s okay Rebecca, really, it’s okay, ;D).  As this is our first endurance run, we’re choosing the 6-hour option… a chance for James to get his 50K sticker and for me to run past my half-marathon distance.  He has it all figured out for me… all I have to do is circle the course 10 times plus an additional 0.2 miles and I will have completed my first marathon distance (rrrrright).  Regardless, it looks like a fun event, lots of social opportunities (eat, drink, and be merry) and we’re looking forward to the challenge.
  • We decided that not only are we going to go see Adele this summer, but we are also going to snag tickets to see Howard Jones, OMD, and Barenaked Ladies on July 16.  Back in the Eighties, I had 3 groups/musicians that I loved… Tears For Fears, Wham!, and Howard Jones. So this is kind of exciting for me to actually get to see him perform after all these years!  I wonder if he’s as “out there” at 60 as he was 30 years ago!
  • While it rained every day last week, the sun still came out every single day.

Huh!  Go figure!  I guess last week wasn’t such a bad week after all!  I guess when you start writing out the positives, the negatives quickly go by the wayside.  Lesson learned!

thumbs up

James has a new thing he’s doing on his blog every Monday.  If you’re a music lover, go check it out!  Motivational Music Monday!  Post some songs that inspire you and get you to move, or songs that just make you happy (or sad if that’s the way you roll)!

And as it IS Motivational Monday, I will leave you with a thought:

persistence

… and I am that river…

Have a great week!

Anything you’re looking forward to this coming summer?  Race?  Concert?  Major life-changing event?

 

Echoes Of My Neighbourhood #10

I am joining Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha from A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales for her series, “Echoes of My Neighbourhood,” where she challenges us all to share a photo of bits and pieces of wherever you are at any point in time.

I live in a rural area in the Pacific Northwest.  For 3 of our seasons, you can pretty much count on the rain being somewhere in the weather forecast.  But I love the rain, every day of it, otherwise I wouldn’t live here.

Anyway, as I said, we’re very rural.  And on those long country roads, one sees various outbuildings just hanging about for no particular reason.  They’re small and they have a bench and they provide cover from the rain.  The only thing I can surmise is at one time, they were used by children waiting for the school bus.  But if I’m wrong and if someone knows their actual use, please shout it out.  It’s been a great mystery to me for years. Regardless, they come in a variety of shapes and colors and are quite fun to look at.

20160220_110636.jpg

20160220_111751.jpg

The following is actually a “free library” on the side of the road.  Donate a book, take a book, go sit on the bench and read a book.  The planters are gorgeous in the summer, filled with flowers and color.  Every spring the wood is touched up made to look new again which, in turn, makes the bench look super inviting.  What a fabulous idea to promote reading and re-use!  Kudos to the incredible people who created this!

20160220_111045.jpg

A Fishy Story

red bettaMy fascination with fish began a few years ago, about 2008, when I was asked to fish-sit my neighbor’s betta (okay, maybe I fed the dogs too).  But he was your typical, red, veil-tail betta, and he was the coolest fish ever.  He used to rocket to the top of his bowl and then float casually back down to the bottom.  With his tail all fanned out as he gracefully floated down, he looked like an autumn leaf gently drifting to the ground.  My neighbor and I would drink wine and just watch him.  Total zen.  That fish lived for at least 4 years.

She made taking care of a betta look like such an easy thing to do, so I just had to get one for myself.  We were all very excited to have a new member of the family!  AJ joined in on the fun and got to name him… Bob (because eventually that is what he would do… you know… bob, :P).  No official tank stuff needed, just a bowl and partial water changes once a week, feeding once a day… easy peasy.  Bob lasted a mere 6 months.

Aug and Sept 2009 014

Bob #1

Being a new fish owner, I had no idea how fragile these guys actually were.  The plants I had put in his bowl were plastic, and he had a ragged treasure chest/castle thing to swim in and out of (fish enrichment, you know).  The ragged edges of the plants and treasure chest shredded his fins and he died.  Yes, I cried as he was flushed out to sea.

Bob #2 was going to have a better life.  Jamesy got me a nice rectangular 10-gallon tank with a heater and filter system.  I got rid of the plastic and went with more natural feeling, softer plants.  I also eliminated the treasure chest and put in a fun circular log for enrichment.

2011 08 Seaside 049

Bob #2’s new tank

2011 08 Seaside 052

Bob #2

I think Bob #2 lasted about 6 months as well… if.  I didn’t know you had to cycle a tank to bring the water up to standard, so he developed ich.  And died.  Again I cried.

Once Bob #2 died, I decided to move onto a different type of fish… something that was more hardy and wouldn’t die so easy.  Enter a school of neon tetras.  Cool looking, but pretty boring. A betta has tons of personality, but tetras have all the personality of a sardine.  So James went to the fish store and bought me about $70 worth of cool fish as I wanted him to pick out the next batch.

Tragedy soon ensued when I forgot to wash my hands one time before reaching into the tank water.  The lotion from my hands created a toxic environment for the fish, and I lost about 10 in a matter of 3 days.  That little incident is now referred to as Armageddon.  There was 1 lone survivor… James’s otocinclus, a sucker fish, aptly named Otto. Have you ever seen these things? Not at all attractive.  But oh, what a survivor.

otocinclus-affinis-otto

Not my oto or picture, but Otto looked just like this.

My neighbor felt quite sorry for me, so she decided to get me a swordtail, supposedly a more hardy fish, and actually quite pretty to look at.

swordtail-rose-pineapple-lyretail

Not my swordtail.

Eventually she gave me a male from her own tank to go with my female.  The inevitable happened… no, they didn’t die… they had babies!!  Swordtails give birth to live fry, so I had all these little things swimming around my tank!  I promptly went to get some floating plants to give the babies some cover so they wouldn’t become dinner or get sucked up into the filter!  One actually survived the whole ordeal!  This is Little Guy:

2012 06 077

The mother soon perished after giving birth (surprise, surprise), but the male survived and Little Guy survived, who grew up big and beautiful.  Come to find out, Little Guy was actually Little Girl and soon had babies of her own!  THREE of her fry survived to grow up big and beautiful as well!

Five swordtails and an oto in one 10-gallon tank wasn’t a good thing, so James found me a lovely 35-gallon tank to transfer the whole family over… all except for Otto… he wasn’t having it, and trying to catch an oto is near impossible, so I let him be.  Unfortunately, once again, 6 months after I transferred them to their new home, all 5 of them perished in about a week of each other.  However, this little tragedy was baffling because I actually did cycle the tank and the water before transferring them, and my water was pristine.  I even added medicine to the water once I realized something was going wrong.  And the catfish didn’t get sick at all.

You’d think I’d give up by now, don’t you…

Fast forward to today… I now have 3 angelfish, 2 in one tank, 1 in the other.  Otto died a couple of months ago from old age (!), and I’ve had my angelfish for a couple of years.  They’re the only ones who can survive my hands of death.

20151205_145510-1.jpg

Moral of the story:  While having a betta is great fun, don’t ever let anyone tell you it’s easy.  Fish are hard work and temperamental little bastards.  And once you start, you will never ever stop…

Who owns fish?!  Have you been sucked into the bottomless abyss as well?

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jamesy and I have had a wonderful child-less Valentine’s weekend!  As well, it’s been great for AJ to get out, get unplugged, and go play in the snow!  AJ is due back any moment now, and while James and I have very much enjoyed our alone time together, both of us are going to be very happy to give him a nice Valentine’s Day hug.

23637.jpeg

Our special Valentine’s Day treat to ourselves… shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate! Happy Valentine’s Day to my forever sweetheart and the best husband ever!

There are only about 3 weekends left before the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon, and today was our normally scheduled long-run day.  After lazing around for most of the morning waiting for the rain to stop, we finally decided to suck it up and hit the trail; James for 12 miles, me for 10.  I was not thrilled about going for my run today for some reason.  Just one of those days, I guess. But then again, 10 miles is a long way to have to wrap your head around.

fb_img_1452820832351.jpg

Still, out I went.  The weather was beautiful, nice and misty, cool but not freezing, and not too many people on the trail… which was good as I just wasn’t in the mood for people.  However, I did run into a couple of teenagers/young adults who seemed like they were up to no good. There is a marijuana … store… that backs up onto one part of the trail, and these kids were peeking in the fence, almost casing the place really… I just had a bad feeling about them.  So I steered clear, pulled the headphones out of my ears so I could hear them and everything around me, and kept my eye on them until they were out of my line of sight.  What on earth do you do in a situation like that? Yes, I had a bad feeling, BUT, what if they were just being curious and really only looking around? They weren’t breaking any laws so I couldn’t justify a call to the police… or should I have called them just because?  They weren’t even trespassing… they were just… creepy.  <sigh>

fb_img_1455424340272.jpg

Anyway, the run went fairly well other than that little blip above.  I started to get tired at about mile 8, was going to make a loop around my house to give me that last mile, BUT, once I actually saw my house, my body and mind said, “oh hell no,” and that was that.  I officially ran 8.6… tsk, tsk. I’m feeling a bit bad about that as I only have 1 long run left, but hopefully if I nail my mid-week runs, there won’t be any serious repercussions from the setback of cutting today’s long run short.

To sum it up, I ran 19 miles this past week and am on day 45 of the 2016 run streak.

  • Favorite song on playlist today:  Charlie Puth — Marvin Gaye (pretty fitting for Valentine’s Day, ;D)
  • Number of cookies, pictured above, consumed thus far:  4
  • Number of calories per cookie:  200 (good thing I ran long today)
  • Number of fish that perished in my care this weekend:  2
  • Number of dinners I ruined this weekend: 1 (I’m getting better!)

James has written a wonderful little training update at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest… go check it out!  As well… a huge shout-out to Miss Dorothea of Wanderwolf Running for running a screaming fast marathon today, a BQ time (!), with some really cool bling!!  Well done Dorothea! Very proud of you!

22887.jpeg

Would you have called the police had you been in my situation?  How did you “treat” yourself today?  What’s your favorite race bling?!  Have a great week!!

Echoes Of My Neighbourhood 9

I am joining Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha from A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales for her series, “Echoes of My Neighbourhood,” where she challenges us all to share a photo of bits and pieces of wherever you are at any point in time.

It’s time to see bits and pieces of Seattle!!

204.jpeg

Above:  The Columbia Tower… currently the 2nd tallest building on the West Coast and tallest in the State of Washington.

5251.jpeg

3078.jpeg

244.jpeg

Above:  The Clock Tower in front of Century Link Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders.

458.jpeg

12561.jpeg

12067.jpeg

19444.jpeg

I live about 35 miles away from the hustle and bustle of Seattle, but it sure is fun to go visit every now and again!

Have a great weekend!!  Who’s got a race coming up??

 

 

Echoes Of My Neighbourhood #8

I am joining Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha from A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales for her series, “Echoes of My Neighbourhood,” where she challenges us all to share a photo of bits and pieces of wherever you are at any point in time.  Today I thought I would share some of the things I see on my work commute.

I live about 10 miles/20 minutes from where I work.  My travel is purely through farmland and the back roads of the country.  I know I annoy a lot of drivers, but I am constantly looking around during the drive as I never know what I will see, such as…

Usually a few deer:

20151014_085929.jpg

Lots of horses, ponies, and goats:

2016-02-05-18.23.16.jpg.jpeg

And cows (this particular cow was quite willing to have her picture taken):

2016-02-05-16.45.10.jpg.jpeg

Various farms and houses, such as this one:

20160205_141537.jpg

And this one:

20160205_140944.jpg

And the beautifully landscaped yards and driveways with freaky trees that have arms:

20160205_085418.jpg

And beautiful carvings from tree stumps:

20160205_162057.jpg

Regardless of my view during my drive, the highlight is when I finally get there and see this guy waiting for his breakfast salad:

20160127_114500.jpg

Daryl

Month One Down

bear hello

I think it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything… I’ve been enjoying getting caught up with all of you so much, I forgot I should probably write something too!

20160130_115130.jpg

I was finally able to hit my beloved trail again last Saturday for my long-ish run (“-ish” as it’s only the first week of training). The trail definitely looks a bit different in the winter!  But now you can kind of see how tall and skinny the trees are and why I freak out so much when it’s windy. Because things are so bare, I actually discovered a house that I didn’t know was there before. (No, I didn’t take a picture of it, :D)

20160130_120230.jpg

About 3 miles up is a walkway out to a hidden treasure, Lake Cassidy.  People fish in this lake, but I can guarantee you I wouldn’t be eating anything that comes out of it.  I see what floats around in that lake… it’s disgusting.  To be honest, I wouldn’t even swim in it… which people do as well. Regardless, it’s nice to have and is gorgeous to look at and so peaceful, especially during the summer.

20160130_120222.jpg

I’ve thankfully been hitting all my runs, including my streak runs.  I’ve been streaking for 34 days now, and my total mileage since starting is about 70.  Well… hmmm… that number should improve as I amp up my training mileage.  By the end of February, I’ll be at my peak, so it’ll be interesting to compare the numbers month to month (my next race is March 5th).  But then I’ll have 2 weeks of recovery in March again, just like I did in January, so my numbers will be low in March too. Such a vicious circle, haha.

20160130_203351.jpg

James and I had our celebratory karaoke night last Saturday.  We’ve decided to have one of those every time we finish a race.  We can’t do it while we’re training as the *drinking* part of it tends to interfere, but when we’re in recovery mode, look out!  Turn up that music and turn on the mic!  It’s time to get footloose and fancy free!  Our child even got involved and decided he wanted to sing too!  I’m a proud mama!  Especially as he was tackling some tough ones that I had no idea what they were!  Yep, super proud mama!

Anyone besides me love to karaoke?  Go ahead… ‘fess up!  You’re amongst friends!!

Have a great rest of your week!