Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Plugging Away

I've had a VERY productive week so far. Got lots of entries crossed off my Things To Do list. Appointments made--doctor, dentist, windshield repair. Caught up on email. "Paperwork". Gathering donations for two events coming up (LUABC and SCRR annual banquet). Baked some cookies for someone that's having a birthday this week. Ran some errands, but have more to do tomorrow.

Cleaning and decluttering the house. Laundry. Put up Christmas decorations but still have to put up the tree. Got all my birthday thank you notes done (except for the ones for yesterday) ...

Had a really relaxing, fun birthday lunch yesterday with my good friends Mary and Jeanne. (I snapped a pic of them, but it's not very flattering so I won't post it.) We've been getting together for lunch for birthdays for more years than I can remember. I believe this will be the final 50th birthday activity. :-) We ate lunch at Panera north. We seem to end up at Panera quite often. I had the Orchard Harvest Chicken salad (I had to look it up on http://www.panera.com/), of which I ate half. (My jeans seemed looser yestrday ... hoorah!) Ate the rest for supper with some roasted potatoes.

It was very good.  Mary makes the best pies I've ever tasted and she makes me one for each birthday, usually cherry, which this one is.

I wrapped it up and froze it for when the boys are home. Jeanne makes the most amazing cakes. She is SO clever. Last year she made me a green iPod cake. This year, a pink camera cake. I don't have as much creativity in my whole being as she does in her little finger.

I got this birthday card in the mail today. Very cute. Very funny!!

"Women don't retire when the turn 50. They just keep on cooking." :-)
A friend of mine has a question for my bleaders: "Does anyone have a treadmill they love? What brands have the best performance? What features are must haves? What would they not buy again?" Please post your comments by commenting on this post. Thanks!!

Nominations are being sought for RTC Runner of the Year (ROY award). More info on the RTC website.

Oh yeah ... morning workout was 2 hours on the lovely Stairmaster. :-) Got through a couple more magazines ...

Supper tonight was a salad and some delicious baked buttercup squash. It was very sweet.

I was at Macy's today looking at the women's INC clothing (like that brand a lot). Saw this long jacket with ruched black velet trim. It wasn't marked with a clearance price, but I thought I'd have her check the price just in case. Guess what? It was just under half price. And then I asked if I used my Macy's card if I'd get an additional 15% off. Not today, but if I used her coupon I'd get the extra 15%. So ... I got a $129.99 jacket for $40 something. :-)

This was passed along to me via email. I sang Handel's Messiah every year in college. What a magnificent piece of music it is. The Hallelujah Chorus still moves me to tears whenever I hear it. This is certainly worth a click ...

On October 30th, shoppers at a Macy's in Philadelphia had no idea that performers with the Opera Company of Philadelphia were mingling among them. Pieces were being played on what sounds to me like a pretty massive pipe organ - its low notes rumbling magnificently, when suddenly yhe first bars of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus rang out.

The performance is amazing, considering that the performers were scattered through the crowd. But watch the shoppers - everyone stops shopping, children are lifted on shoulders so they can see, people are singing along, people are photographing and videoing. People are talking to others around them; everyone is smiling and laughing. The crowd cheers, whistles, and claps at the end.

They called it "a random act of culture." It made my day; I hope it makes yours!  Click on the link below.


Time to do other things. Be well.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Birthday Continues ...

A very  nice birthday lunch with friends today. My friend Jeanne decorated this cake. She is amazing!! However ... I have been on the computer for hours and hours today and just don't have a post in me. So ... check back tomorrow!!


Sunday, November 28, 2010


Just returned from a hike at muddy Oxbow Park. Slipped on some mud and tweaked my hammie. A couple times actually, but one was a real good one. I'm icing it and hoping that it feels better tomorrow. :-(

So ... this morning was 2.0 hours on the lovely Stairmaster. Got through 3 1/2 more magazines, but my "to be read" pile is still significant. It's likely I'll be back on it tomorrow as I don't think a run will be in the cards tomorrow. Maybe a swim though.

This afternoon I picked up trash around Soldier's Field bike path. With the strong southerly winds, there was trash o'plenty.

I brought 3 big trash bags with me and that wasn't enough. I found two bags along the way and filled those too, but I still had to leave without getting everything picked up, which made me sad. But 5 bags was all I that I could handle by myself.  In any case, it looks better than it did when I arrived.

After that it was out to Oxbow to join the hikers. A bunch of deer ran out of the woods and across the parking area just as we were getting started. I didn't get a good shot, but maybe Tom O' did.

Then it was time to get going ...

across the third bridge and into the woods.

As I mentioned previously, it was MUDDY. Footing would prove to be challenging.

Oxbow is pretty in any season ...

We stopped for a brief discussion about the best route to take to avoid the mud and a treacherous downhill slide.

Tom O', Tod, Aaron, Meg, Shelly, Ann, Wendy, Mike
Sometime after that is where I slid trying to jog uphill and tweaked the hammie. It was, and still is, sore. I'm hoping for some healing by tomorrow. Or Tuesday. The sun was going down as we circled the meadow.

The sunset was BEAUTIFUL.

We certainly took a little bit of the park away with us on our shoes.

4 miles total. Then it was off to Margarito's to warm up and rehydrate.

Tom O', Ann, Mike

Shelly, Wendy, Meg, Tod

Mike's first margarita ... the second was a frozen strawberry mango : )
Some people ... and their "kids". :-)

Team R.E.D. is tracking mileage and hoping to make it to the North Pole soon. So I've been emailing my mileage to Lori this week. I didn't know she was keeping track of individual mileage as well as total miles. She said I had 53.85 for last week. No wonder my legs were shot ...

That's it for today. Off to do more Christmas decorating.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sooooo Very Tired ...

My legs are just shot right now. I got on the Stairmaster for a couple of hours last night (that launched a flurry of Facebook messages) and then ran 15 miles this morning. And my legs are feeling it. Back to the beginning. I started from Brothers at about 6:45 and got what I think was 5 miles in. Why am I not sure? Because my (un)trustworthy old Garmin 201 decided to be nonfunctional despite having 8 hours of charge left. Bah humbug. (When I got home, I looked on Amazon.com for a new one. There is currently one in my shopping cart). So I had to guess at the early mileage. Then I went inside briefly ... and there were LOTS of people there. I was happy to see such a good turnout.

Then we headed across Broadway and around Soldier's Field golf course. (I noticed that it's really "trashy" on the south side ... might head down there and pick it up tomorrow.)

Then we headed north past Folwell School ...

and down toward the Cascade Creek bike path.

It looks like my arm is missing (I'm on the far right)!!
The geese have discovered Cascade Lake.

I ran the whole 10 miles with Millie.

I was starting to fall apart the last half. The Stairmaster must have done me in last night. My legs had nothing in them, nothing at all. And I started cramping the last few miles. I think I was dehydrated (didn't pee until 2:45 this afternoon. Not good.) Thank you Millie for sticking with me. It wasn't pretty. Then it was in to Brothers' to join the crew.

I didn't have the opportunity to place a breakfast order, so when I had my oatmeal at home at 11:00 I was STARVING. At long last, Kristin got her Chocolate Chip Walnut Pumpkin Bread (a fun little spur-of-the-moment Facebook giveaway).

Kristin is wearing the asics jacket she got for $19.99 at Running Room. A steal!!
And P.K. was there with her neighbors so she stopped over to say howdie.

This morning, Jean gave me the pictures from the surprise 50th birthday party on the 18th. I was so glad they were saved. She, and several other people, really put a lot of time and effort into gathering them. Here they are (most of them) with dates added:

Thank you again Jean for the wonderful party. :-)

FYI: Team R.E.D. will be running from my house on Thursday, December 9. Please join us!!

Kid stuff: 1) This morning the headline on the Post-Bulletin was about some pedestrians that had been hit early this morning on Broadway. I've since found out that my son Matt was across the street when the pedestrian was hit and killed. And one of the injured persons was a running friend's daughter (and her friend as well). What an awful situation for everyone involved. 2) Eric slept outside in a tent last night. He bought a sleeping bag at Fleet Farm yesterday rated to -15 and he wanted to try it out. He first set up the tent in the living room, and covered it with tarps before carrying it all outside as a unit. :-)

3) Dinner talk. Eating contests. Eric challenged himself to a Brussels sprouts eating contest up in Mpls. (we had them tonight). He ate 119 of them in 25 minutes. And then felt really sick for a while. Kids, kids, kids ... And then he told about a YouTube video about some guy and a Cinnamon Challenge and Soda Cracker Challenge after ingesting salvia (a hallucinogen). Hmmm ... it's gross. 4) Eric and his good friend Rik were interns at Oxbow Park recently and they're pictured in the latest Oxbow newsletter along with a little write-up from each of them. Here's a link. (Speaking of Oxbow, there's a hike tomorrow at 3:30 at the third bridge (go past the zoo area and make the right turn. I just might wander out there. Supposed to be nice tomorrow, and in the 40's. Follow it with margaritas at Margarito's.)

My niece Kaleigh went to see Disney Live this afternoon. Her mom curled her hair. So pretty. Reminds me of my hair when I was young ... my long blonde ringlets. I should see if I have any pix ... But here's Kaleigh:

I'm going to do kind of a last hurrah and will have a few groups of people here in December: Book Club December 7, Cookie Exchange December 12, Team R.E.D. December 9. Stay tuned re: December 18. If there's a beer exchange/Brothers' breakfast I might ixnay those plans. I really enjoy decorating for Christmas. I got started today. I'll post pix tomorrow (or whenever I get done). Looking forward to each gathering.

I chatted with Bill Nevala outside the Y on Wednesday. They're having a lefse making party. My griddle, rolling pin, board and turner are ready to roll! Several recipes will be taste-tested (blind). Sounds like great Norwegian fun!!

Well, I think I might take a little spin on the bike tomorrow for old time's sake. It's getting pretty nippy, but one last ride would be fun ...

Stay warm. Good night.