Sunday, October 30, 2011

One (More) Last Hurrah

On the spur of the moment I decided to invite some friends over for a soup and salad supper. And eleven (plus me) showed up!! Hurrah!! It was really a fun evening. I made butternut squash soup...

an autumn salad ...

and a cherry pie and some cookies. Amy brought a DELISH wild rice soup. Gotta get that recipe. Jean brought Caesar salad and beverages. Jim Li brought homemade applesauce and beer. We ate 'til we were full to overflowing. And laughed A LOT. Which I needed. It was a nice break for me.

Shirley wanted to take a pic of my CA "bags". EVERY time I use one of these I get a compliment. They are definitely attention getters.

What a fun evening. What great friends.

No workout today. My body is tired and needs a rest. My left hip is a bit sore and all this moving stuff isn't helping. So I gave myself a day off (and that isn't easy for me). I spent 12 hours going through "stuff". Wow. Did I uncover some relics. All my grade school report cards. A program from a 1983 Vikings game. Remember Matt Blair and Tommy Kramer?

And my second grade school photo.

And my college sorority photos. Can spot me?

And the girls of Vanaheim (I think this was senior year, but I lived here both Jr. and Sr. years). Can you spot me in this one?

Congratulations ... to the Strain family on the first of son number three this morning. First was William, then Wes and now ... I'm not sure!! Dan wouldn't tell me before the baby was born. But it might not be a "W" name, that much I did know. And congrats to Jeff and Trevor who finished 4th (8:56) and 5th (8:58) at Surph the Murph 50-miler. Yowza!! They're amazing!! Congrats to Laura who finished her master's thesis this past week. Good news all around. : )

Well, that's enough for today. I am absolutely bushed. And tired of making decisions ... what to keep? what to throw? what to try to sell? Enough.

Good night ...

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Sorry. I'm very negligent in posting. Live is very full right now.

Thursday: Helped at the section cross country meet. It was a perfect day for running. Cool. Not too windy. A little bit nippy for the spectators and volunteers, but all in all, very nice.

Congratulations to Shane Nepstad for qualifying for the state meet next weekend!!

Shane is on the right

There are still some beautiful leaves around the top of the hill.

That brings me to Friday. Most of the day was spent transferring utilities and everything else, changing addresses, etc. A little packing, but not much. Today put a bunch more stuff on Craigslist.

I picked up a part-time temporary job at JCPenney in their home dec. dept. I work on commission, so if you want to buy something there, ask when I'm working!! I start on Wednesday. We'll see how it goes. I don't really have time for another job right now, but I'll make it work somehow.

Nice turnout at Newt's this morning for OSS. Maybe 15 or so. I ran 13.45 miles, my last long run until the New York City marathon next weekend. Congrats to Laura who finished her master's thesis this week. Hurrah!! I've been thinking about Jeff and Trevor today. They're running a 50-miler at Surph the Murph. What a great day for an ulta. Wanda and Buddy are running Marine Corps tomorrow, where the weather has been less than ideal. Hoping it turns for the better for them. The Grahaminator was out at Oxbow today. Hope Casey had a good turnout. Racing options were the Monster Dash and Spirit Run. What a busy day. What a beautiful day.

Well, I'm expecting some friends for dinner at 6:00. Just soup and salad, bread and dessert. One last hurrah before this house is a war zone with boxes and "stuff" everywhere.

Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Yesterday afternoon, it became official. The buyers walked through the house on Monday with the person who'd done an inspection previously and it went very well. No more projects for me to tackle. (Yeah!!) So now, I can move on. For the time being, I'm renting a house and when things start to settle down a bit, I'll decide what my next move will be. But for now, I've got to get moved. The big move out/move in weekend will be November 12/13. If you'd like to help out, even for a short time, just one car load, it'd be greatly appreciated. I've gotten rid of lots of "stuff" but still have lots of "stuff" left. I'll be putting more of it on Craigslist in the upcoming days, making trips to Salvation Army, etc. I've got 2 bags of running clothes that I'd like to give to runners, mostly women's size medium. If anyone knows of a good home for them (they're in excellent condition, I just have too much) please send me an email. Thanks!!

Workouts: 10 miles yesterday morning. Nice morning. This morning, 2 hours on the Stairmaster. It's a chance to get through a few magazines which I otherwise don't do, and no impact on my legs. Does leave two big puddles on the basement floor though. Tomorrow: Team R.E.D. is at the Schmitt's (see the blog for more info) and all are welcome to attend. Not sure what my workout will be. Either a morning run or lifting/swimming. I'll decide when I wake up. It's been that kind of year ... pretty unstructured and unfocused. But that's OK.

Tonight: book club. I didn't want to go to the store to buy anything as I've got plenty of food in this house, so I'm making Baked Potato Soup to share. Haven't finished the book, but that's OK.

Well, back to work. Have a great evening. Toodles.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Waiting ... and waiting ...

Seems that's all I'm doing lately. And getting tired of it. Not much to share on the home front.

I ran 10.04 miles this morning. There's kind of a stiff breeze from the NE, but all in all, for late October in Minnesota, it was nice. Yesterday I gave my running muscles a break and lifted and swam in the morning and went for a 30 mile bike ride late afternoon. It was nice to be out on the bike again. It's been a while.

Tomorrow night: Book Club. Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. Here's a 100,000 foot view of the story: "Henrietta was the involuntary donor of cells from her cancerous tumors that have been cultured to create an immortal cell line for medical research. These so-called HeLa cells have not only generated billions of dollars for the medical industry; they have helped uncover secrets of cancers, viruses, fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping." I'm just over half done (and probably won't finish) and it's pretty slow going. A little too much cellular info and the story is dragging. But we'll see how the discussion goes. Thursday: Working the Section 1A cross country meet. Then there are two options: Team R.E.D. or TriRochester at Glynner's (or the couch at home!). Saturday: I believe I heard Jean say that OSS is at Newt's north. And Matt's friend Whitney posted this on my FB wall: On Saturday my nursing program is holding a little event ... you can run as fast or slow as you want, you can wear a costume or not, there will be prizes and treats. The cost is 10 dollars and it supports the Nursing college board at the U of M rochester. I would love to see you there and bring all your running buddies too. Registration starts at 9AM down at solider fields park.

Sorry I'm short on news. But that's the way it goes some days. Have a good one. : )

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Had a wonderful evening with friends last night, thanks to Amy. It was her third annual fall dinner at her beautiful home outside Chatfield. Such a relaxing evening ... just exactly what I needed. Headed down 52 with Jean and George just as the sun was setting.

I just love sunsets. There were 11 of us for dinner and it was delicious.

Not sure what was in the air (ghosts?) on that one, but nothing was burning!! We feasted on salad, chicken, calico beans, squash and pumpkin muffins. A perfect fall menu. I was hungry after my morning run and afternoon walk. Can't remember if I ate lunch ...

Dessert was delightful. Randy and Anita brought apple crisp, Amy had a pumpkin cheesecake and I brought some cookies.

Lovely, lovely evening. THANK YOU Amy.

The day started with about a dozen of us at Brothers for O.S.S. I wanted to do more than the 10 scheduled miles, so I got back too late for breakfast. Then Jean and I went to look at a neighbor's house that's for rent. Can't remember what I did with the middle part of my day. It must be my age ... or just too much going on these days I guess. A big shout out to everyone that ran in Mankato yesterday. Some really impressive times on a perfect marathoning/half marathoning day. Good job one and all!! Today I met Jean, Dave and eventually John and Jim at Panera for a run followed by breakfast/coffee. Best wishes to Dave as he runs a marathon in Greenville, SC next weekend. Pam is running the half. Have fun!! Run fast!! : )

Oh ... now I remember what I did yesterday. Worked on the "special issue" of RTC News. It's going to be a year end retrospective. Thanks to everyone that's providing input. I think it'll be a very good read. We're printing it, in color.

I have banana bread in the oven and it smells wonderful. Haven't had lunch (had breakfast at 10:30) but I think I'll just skip it at this point.

Until next time ...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Things I Love

It has been a rough day for my family. Lots of tears. Fear of the unknown. Prayers. I will just say that no one should ever EVER be given a diagnosis of cancer on a Friday afternoon.

I am going to end my day in a happy place. I'd seen something like this this, on some blog, somewhere, sometime. Here goes ...

Some Things I Love

My family
The ocean
Baking cookies
Giordano's pizza
The smell of bread baking
Reading books
Christmas music
Cherry jam
Finishing a marathon
Rain falling
Dark chocolate m&ms
Playing solitaire
A clean, tidy house
Peanut butter
Euphoria (from Calvin Klein)
Big funky purses
Autumn leaves
Road trips
A clean car
Cherry pie
Listening to a violin
A good book
The color pink
Good wine
Riding a bike
Ronnie's Rolls (Decorah, IA)
Dark chocolate
Watching Seinfeld
Making friends
What Not To Wear
Handmade quilts
Taking pictures
Grocery shopping
Taking a nap
LBDs (Little Black Dresses)
Snow falling
My friends
There you have it. Feel free to comment on this post with some things that you love.

Sleep well, my friends. Good night.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crazy Busy

So much going on. So much to do. So this will be short.

Off-Season Striders are gathering at Brothers on Saturday morning at 7:30 AM. Here's the route (thanks to Pete Martin):

Then gather for breakfast afterwards. Brothers was my request ... I've got a gift certificate that's expiring soon. ;-)

Wanted!! Runners!! The Bear Creek 5 Prediction run is November 5, and it's a BARGAIN. $10, with a $2 discount for RTC members. All particpants will get polypropylene gloves. And the customary post-run treats I'm sure. I'll be in New York, but if I was in town, I'd be there!! Starts at 9:00 AM at Mayo High School, door 6. Hand carved wood bear trophies to those closest to their predicted time without being faster.

Wanted!! Committee members!! Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer could use a few more dedicated, fun-loving folks for our steering committee. If interested, please contact John. Thanks!!

On the home front: putting stuff on Craigslist, or giving it away, or throwing it away. It dawned on me that it was past time to flush the sediment from the water heater. (According to the owner's manual it's supposed to be done every 6 months.) So I drained it, flushed it and successfully got it lit again. Hot water in the morning. :-) (A little) success.

Time to get back at it. Sorry to not be very newsy.

Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

So Little Time

Life seems a blur these days. So much to do. So much going on. And seemingly little time to get everything accomplished.

Yesterday started with lifting and swimming at the Y. After work, a stop by Great Harvest and then my brother's house to see Kaleigh get on the bus for kindergarten.

Then a trip to Trader Joe's to get some things for supper. My dad and Ada, my brother and his kids, Matt and I all ate together. We had peppercorn and garlic-crusted pork tenderloin, a wild rice pilaf, green beans amandine and Great Harvest honey whole wheat bread. Brownies and ice cream for dessert. Pretty good meal.

After supper, we were off to John Marshall H.S. for Matt's end-of-student-teaching directing opportunity. He directed the ninth grade band for a piece called Rhythm Stand by Jennifer Higdon. I was so proud. He was so cool, calm and collected. Nothing like I'd have been in his position. This photo was during the practice run-through.

Now he's back in Winona and student teaching elementary students in Lewiston.

This morning brought a 12 mile run for me. Nice morning. First run in pants for the season, but I think I could have gotten away with shorts. This afternoon I swept all the leaves out of the garage (these brisk NW winds fill it in no time) and put the glass in the storm door on the front. Seems like I just put in the screen.

Well, time to roast some "sweets" (sweet potatoes) for supper. Have a good evening.

Later ...........

Sunday, October 16, 2011

SOLD, Redux

So. Back to last week. First showing of the house was 7:15 PM Wednesday, the evening it was officially listed. Three showings Thursday morning. Two showings Thursday afternoon, both second showings. One call was "I want to show it immediately." So I grabbed my shoes and was out the door putting my shoes on as I left. I found out there would be at least one offer, which came Friday. (The other people weren't expecting to find a house they liked and didn't have their financing in order yet.) Full price offer. Closing November 18. Wow. Exciting, but it caught me so off guard. With the average time on market in Rochester of about 6 months, I wasn't expecting to decide where I'd live next for a while yet. But that wasn't to be. So now I'm dealing with "Where next?" And that's still TBD. Stay tuned.

Friday was spent getting ready for Saturday's breakfast run (and pondering everything that is involved in selling a house, finding another residence, and moving). I brought 7 bags of leaves to the compost ...

made Butternut Squash soup (with potatoes and leeks) for supper (DELICIOUS recipe ... thanks Margo!) ...

and lots of baking for Saturday, including these caramel pecan cinnamon rolls.

And blueberry scones.

And lots of cookies.

I think 30 people made an appearance at one time or another on Saturday morning, though not all were there for the lift off picture.

Steve and K.C. popped in for just a minute.

The food was plentiful and delicious. Thank you everyone for your contributions!!

Thank you to everyone that showed up!! What a fun morning.

After getting the house cleaned up, and resting for a minutes (I'd been on my feet all day) I headed out for a run hoping to get in a long one but not knowing how it would go being I hadn't slept much and the wind was blowing HARD again. But I just kept running circles around the hill until I had in 20.33 miles. 3:09. Not super fast, but I ran a marathon last weekend and 69 miles last week. Good enough. I was tired when I was done. When I returned, Dad and Ada were here. Ada and I went to Trader Joe's for a few things for supper. Eric and Alley arrived just before dinner. It was great to have them here with us.

Today Jenni and the kids came over for the afternoon. Such cute kids. We had a lovely relaxing afternon after having chicken wild rice soup, Brussels sprouts and bread for lunch. And cherry pie for dessert.

I love my family. <3

Well, I really need to call it a day. It's been a very busy few days and life will only get busier. Good night.