Thursday, January 31, 2013

I'm never taking another picture again.

Finally, after days of furious activity, I have completely caught up on ALL my scrapbooking!  That includes all the little piles of pictures that needed to be scrapbooked in separate albums, not just the yearly album.  I finally finished Brenna's Crew album - only 3 years after she finished rowing.  I finished our fabulous family trip to Idaho - 2 1/2 years after we did that and finished our 20th anniversary cruise - 2 years after that.  I have a couple of snow days and a teacher's work day to thank for my increased productivity.  My worktable is bare and just looking for another project.  Not sure what excuse I'm going to use now when I want to go hide in the basement and watch my "shows," but I'm sure I'll think of something.  I must admit I'm feeling a little smug but at the same time I keep wondering "what am I going to do now?"  I've sometimes thought of making some kind of business out of taking people's pictures and putting them into albums,  but the problem is if you don't know the people and you don't know the context it would be hard to choose and arrange the right pictures.  People would have to sort their pictures first and that's probably the part they hate the most.  So, for now I'll just go down and stare and my beautifully blank worktable and wait for inspiration to strike!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I say It's Cold, he says Whatever....

Why o' why does my teenage son refuse to wear a coat, hat or gloves when it's freaking 18 degrees outside?  I've tried everything, nagging, begging, "there are freezing kids in Minnesota who would kill for a nice warm coat.  All I get is a tolerant "my mom's an idiot" smile and "will she just give it up" head shake!  You can't tell me he's not cold walking to the bus stop and then STANDING at the bus stop WAITING for the bus....  For heaven's sake, I'm sitting IN the house and I have an undershirt, hoodie and fleece jacket on!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Everyone deserves a day off..right.... say Yes!

I've decided that I'm taking the day off today.  I'm not walking the dogs,  I'm not running, I'm going to the movies and I'm going to eat Popcorn.AND.Candy....FOR.LUNCH!  I know right?!  I'm crazy!  I want to see the movie Silver Linings Playbook.  Nominated for tons of awards, has Bradley Cooper and the Hunger Games Girl
and it actually looks good.  Not something John would want to see, but I do.  It would make a great GNO movie, but I'm sick to death of trying to organize Girls Night's Out.  It's too stressful, trying to find nights that include everyone, outings that everyone wants to do, blah, blah, blah.  So, I came up with my original plan,  just sneak out in the middle of the afternoon and see the stupid movie.  I could get all my stuff done before and after and no one would be the wiser.  But then I got up this morning and it's freaking 18 degrees outside... so I didn't want to walk first thing, but if I walk later that will interfere with the movie or my run, and if I eat popcorn and candy am I really going to want to run, so maybe I should run early and walk late... and then I metaphorically slapped myself upside the head.  Why am I stressing myself out on my "day off" trying to get everything done and squeezed in?  Just TAKE. THE. DAMN. DAY. OFF!   Now my issue is not actually taking the day off, it's trying to do it without the guilt and justification.  "If I don't run today, I can run tomorrow and then also the next day, I can walk the dogs longer tomorrow...."   Why can't I just spit in life's face and say "Yeah, I'm doing nothing today, bitch!"   Why must the guilt always accompany me?  I'm not going to gain 13lbs back in one day if I don't run, the dogs aren't going to fall over dead if they miss one walk, the world will not fall apart if I don't get my grocery list made until tomorrow.  Just freaking DO IT!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grapefruit Memories

I haven't had a grapefruit in ages, but there was a big old bag of grapefruit on sale at the commissary so I bought them and have been enjoying one every morning.  Eating it brings back a whole slew of memories about my Grandparents.  They've been gone a long time now.  We were never that close, by that I mean as a military family separated by distance and time, we were lucky if we got to see them once a year, often it was less.  We were also separated by time or age, they were in their 40's when they adopted my dad so by the time I actually have concrete memories they were in their 80's.  They weren't the get down on the floor and play kind of grandparents, but nevertheless some of my strongest and most vivid memories include them.

That's where the grapefruit comes in.  They had the most enormous grapefruit tree in their backyard; taller than their house and open on the underneath. You could go in under the bottom branches and it was like a secret clubhouse.  I'd create all sorts of imaginary games under that tree, we'd also wake up in the mornings and go climb the tree to pick our own breakfast grapefruit.  I remember sitting up in the tree on a branch trying to decide which was the most perfect one.  The rare times they would come visit us, they always brought one whole suitcase full of nothing but grapefruit.

One year they took us grape picking, we'd never done anything like that.  I remember for days afterwards there were bowls of grapes all over the house and every time you turned a corner you could grab a handful of grapes.  They put huge screens covered in grapes out in the backyard and dried their own raisins.  I think that's the first time I ever realized that raisins came from grapes!

My grandfather made his own Kachinas.  The whole house was full of them, everyone of them different with it's own story.  I loved to look at them and pick my favorites.  I still have some.  He collected the wood himself out in the desert, did the research, carved, painted and dressed each one all by himself.  He was a huge rockhound as long as I remember.  There were rock display cases around the house.  Some with regular lights and some with black lights that caused the rocks to fluoresce.  I love to look at them and to this day my very favorite part of the Smithsonian is the Rocks and Gem exhibit. He spoke Spanish, which back then was pretty exotic.  He also made the most amazing homemade bread.  I loved the smell and eating it hot from the toaster slathered with butter.  Most kids would beg for extra dessert, extra candy.  I use beg for extra bread and plot ways that I could sneak extra slices so no one would know how many I'd actually had.  Again, to this day... always choose bread over dessert if given the option!

They lived in Sun City for all my memories of them.  They drove a Golf Cart to run errands and they let us drive if we were good.  We ate at 7am, 12pm and 6pm and sometimes we got a snack at 3pm.  Hunger didn't factor in, you ate at the appointed times!  It's where I learned to read a map.  My favorite thing to do as soon as we got there... I would take my Grandmother's old bike and a map.  I would just ride the bike randomly, trying not to pay attention to my route.  Just ride until I got tired, then I'd stop get the map out and practice navigating my way back to their house!  Can you imagine?  Back then, no cell phones, no nothing.  I was probably 10 or 12 an I would be allowed to go out and purposely try to get lost and find my way home.  I had no idea where I was, my parents had no idea where I was and everyone was okay with that!!  It boggles my mind now, but I never got lost enough that I had to be rescued.  I imagine that's where I got my confidence to navigate all the new towns we lived in.  No GPS, just a girl and her map.  I've always said, if you give me a map I can get anywhere.

My grandfather was a dentist.  Every time we came to visit the first thing he would say to us was, "show me your teeth."  We'd open wide.  Once I had a front tooth that refused to come in.  I had an empty hole for months.  We went to visit, he took one look at the hole and took me into the kitchen.  Gave me an ice cube to hold on the spot and then before I knew what he was doing, he made a little slit in my gum with a scalpel and within 10 minutes that tooth was coming down in my mouth.  I remember the shock when I realized what he was going to do, I don't remember any pain, but then the amazement as I practically watched that tooth drop down into my mouth!

All this makes me sad that I didn't get to know them better as an adult.  But I guess that's always the way it is.  When you are young, you never appreciate what you might lose.  I know they did amazing things.  My grandfather was in WWII and I have a picture of him at Iwo Jima, but don't really know anything else.  My grandmother was hugely smart, had a degree in physics when women didn't do that.  I believe she was the first woman to get a physics degree at the University of Oklahoma.  I'm sure there's so much more I could have learned and appreciated.

When we were little and would ask my Dad about his childhood, he would always tell us "I was never a kid."  Now that I'm older, if he is like me, it's not that he was never a child, it's just that he can't remember any of it!  John can tell story after story after story about his childhood and I can't remember anything.  That's what makes these memories all the more precious to me!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Everybody...Let's Plank!

My newest Facebook Fitness Challenge... I've discovered much like my 5K trainer program, if I post it on FB I feel more accountable and might stick with it.  Even better if I can rope some friends into following along!  This is the latest thing I found while reading some blogs or on Pinterest - I don't actually remember where I found it.  But since I've lost some weight... 13lbs at last count... but who's count... I FREAKING AM!  Maybe I should add a little toning into my life and make the most of what I have.  So here it is...
I propose that for the next six weeks, we collectively focus on building our core strength by doing planks. Planks work the entire core, come in a bunch of different flavors depending on your fitness level and the specific areas you want to work, and are hugely effective when it comes to building a strong midsection. They’re also no joke, and who doesn’t like to feel hard core (no pun intended)?
Here are the challenge parameters: The first order of business is to test your current ability level by seeing how long you can hold a plank, using whatever variation is best for you right now (arms straight, on your elbows/forearms, legs extended, knees bent, etc.) provided that you note what that variation was and take it into consideration six weeks from now when it’s final exam time! 
Once you’ve got your base line recorded, your goal is to incorporate planks into 3 days of your weekly routine.  The overall aim is to increase your total plank time from week to week. You can keep your results to yourself, or share them with the rest of us challengers in the comments. At the end of six weeks, you’ll do a single plank hold again to compare to the one you did at the beginning.  Goal... 4 minutes!
I've got 6 friends doing it with me.  I've been going for 3 days right now and my scores are                                                         First day - a pitiful, measly... 1.06
Day 2 - 1.23
Day 3 - 1.44
It's getting a little better each day.  Still pretty sad... but again, as with the running... every little bit counts!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I'm not sure why I find it so hard to sit down and write..

I'm just not a self starter... I swear I've had "blog" on the top of my To Do list for a week.  Maybe it's that not much has been going on... maybe I'm just a lazy ass slacker...

1.  Brenna has gone back to Radford.  Classes don't actually start until the 22nd, but she wanted to go back early.  I just don't get it. :o)  Why would she want to leave her mother and go back to college and hang out with her friends.  Whatever...

2.  Still running, using my fabulous new Garmin Forerunner 10.. thanks for the Christmas money Mimi!  I love it.  It's very high tech, but mainly it tracks my miles so I know how far I've run.  Since I finished my 5K trainer program, now I'm trying to run for distance and time.  I run 3.1 miles each time I run and hopefully I'll eventually improve my times.  My feet have been hurting late which doesn't help. I'm afraid it might be getting Plantar Fascitis, so I went and got some inserts and I'm hoping that will help.  While I still don't enjoy the running, I don't want to stop.  I took a 3 day break (mainly because I was working - and a day spent wrangling little rug rats wears me out too much to run) and when I did actually run... I thought I'd die.  It's not fair how fast it all falls apart when you don't do it.  I'm also missing my Brenna running mate just a little bit.

3.  Zack has finally saved enough money and is in the process of Building. His. Own. Computer!  Say what!!??  When did that kid get so smart.  Of course he can't remember to turn his homework in, but he can build a frigging computer!  I can't keep up!

4.  Had a fabulous Girls Night Out at an amazing Italian restaurant - Travinia.  I ate like an Italian Food Whore, like I hadn't eaten in a week, like it was my last meal before the Zombie Apocalpyse.  I ate ALOT!  I truly had a food hangover the next day... I needed Tums and had to go back to bed for an hours.  But it was sooooo good... good.  Not to mention hanging out with all the girls.  So much fun, it's the only way to stay sane.

5.  Had my annual pap and physical and just my luck, I got a large, sweaty, very nervous medical student who needed "to practice!"  My Dr. who is great, was there as well... but never the less... nothing like having 2 people peering at your parts and discussing them in detail....  God Bless Military medicine.  The good thing was he didn't yell at me for not getting my Mammogram yet!

6.  Signed up for a Feb 5K and an April 5K - so my resolution is still intact.  I just need to find one for March.

7.  I'm hating the Viking Athletic Booster Club more and more each day.  If I could get away with taking all my notebooks and responsibilities and throwing them in Jason's face, I would... but I can't so I just sit and stew and do as crappy a job as possible! :o)

That's about the extent of my life.... not much excitement, which is GOOD!  Excitement is highly over-rated!

Monday, January 7, 2013

1 down, 11 to go! Frozen 5K - Completed!

We did it.  The whole family finished the race.  No one cried, no one got lost and no one puked!  It was good. Zack was the fastest, then John, then Brenna and momma was the caboose!  I was only a bit slower than Brenna.  It's always harder than I think it's going to be.  I had to stop and walk a couple of times, but I never stopped longer than 30 sec and I tried to only walk for 15-20 sec and then pick up the pace and keep going.  I just keep wondering, is it every going to be easy?  Will I ever be able to run a whole 5K without stopping and be left wanting more??  I will admit that I LOVE the feeling when I'm done running.  But, I still don't like it much when I'm actually doing it.  I've decided that for me it's more of a mental problem.  If I think about stopping and walking then I do it... I'm not good at the push through, keep going, don't give up mentality.  I'm more of the "oohh that hurts, maybe I'll just walk for a little bit, everyone is doing it" mentality. Even so,  I still managed to better my time by 1min 50 sec!   That's all I really cared about.  First 5K - 33.58, this one 32.08.  If I can just do a little better each time, then that's a good progression.  Of course if I get to a really hilly course, then all bets are off - I hate hills!!  I bought a new GPS running watch.  It will track and record my course, distance, pace, time all sorts of cool stuff.  I used it for the race, but of course I forgot to stop it when I finished the race so it thought it took me 45 minutes to run.  I'll remember next time.  Now that I've finished the 5K Trainer app on my phone, I'm going to use the watch to monitor my runs.  Instead of running for a certain amount of time, now I'm going to run 3.1 miles each time and see if I can start improving my time.

Looking all energetic at the end!

Thinking I might die!

We look pretty good in the aftermath!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

This is it... First of the New Year!

The First 5K of 2013, the first 5K of my New Year's resolution!  I conned everyone into running it with me!  It's cold and dark outside, I guess they call it the Frozen 5K for a reason!  Here's hoping we don't all freeze, no one gets lost on the race course and no one cries!  Mainly those hopes are for me...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013

We celebrated New Year's Eve in Mt. Burnside Way Style!  We ate until we were ready to puke and then we got dessert out!  The big kids played Xbox in the basement, the men watched football in the living room, the ladies hung out at the table solving all the world's problems and the little ones ran around like chickens with their heads cut off, spilling things, spreading toys every where and in general having a great time. It was great!  I had lots of craft supplies ready for everyone to make their own hats, but sadly no one was very interested.  I does make me a little sad when fun traditions fall by the wayside, but I just had another 15 cookies and it was all fine!  Most everyone left about 930pm, a few die hards made it until 10pm and Zoey and I hung on until the ball dropped.   Brenna has had 3 college friends spending the weekend and they were just heading out as the rest of us were winding down.  Oh to be young again.  We're so lucky in the friends we have and the place we live.   Where else in the history of the world, would you find 6 different families who's husbands all get along, wives all get along and kids all get along.  I mean that just doesn't happen, but it does on Mt. Burnside Way!  It's like the Leave it to Beaver life I always dreamed about when I was a kid moving around all the time. 
Austin, Evey and Laney
Like pigs at a trough

Brenna and roommate Brooke, Jack and Zack
Me and my midnight buddy
2012 was a very good, uneventful year and here's hoping that 2013 is more of the same.  Excitement is over-rated!  

I don't generally believe in doing New Year's Resolutions, mainly because it's not the date that makes a person ready to make a change, it's an internal thing.  But I have decided to go with a 2013 goal... I will attempt to run 1 - 5K every month this year.  I really don't think it will be that hard, but we'll see.  I finished by 5K trainer program, so I'm feeling a little pleased with myself.  I can't believe that I ran for 35 minutes.  I still have to stop and walk once or twice, but never more than a total of 60-90sec.  That's pretty good!  At least in my book that's awesome.  Never in a million years did I think I would be able to run for that long.  Sometimes, even while I'm running I can't believe it!  I've dropped 14 lbs and kept them off through the holidays.  Down to 120 lbs, I don't think I've weighed this since I was a freshman in high school and I gotta be honest - it feels pretty good.

Bring it 2013!