Friday, December 30, 2011

Game Night

Fun time at Paige's house last night for "game night". We all brought appetzers (I brought Chex Mix and Peanut Sitting Pretty cookies) to share, and there was plenty to eat. There must have been about 25 people there. She had 3 game tables going. I was at the Cranium table. Pictionary was going on behind us and they were a boisterous crew! I hadn't played it before but was willing to give it a shot. In the corners of the board were boxes containing questions. One of the themes for the questions was Star Performer or something like that. Aaron (my partner, Paige's husband) and I were stuck on green for what seemed like FOREVER. Some of the things we had to do to try to get off green ... me: act like Katherine Hepburn, act like the Energizer bunny, hum Hail to the Chief and I Shot the Sheriff, draw a zipper with my eyes closed, draw the Taj Mahal with my eyes open. Aaron had to hum Amazing Grace, California Girls and act like Boris Yeltzin (sp?). It was pretty commical and a lot of laughs were shared. A fun night. Thank you Paige and Aaron!! Congrats to Jeremy and Pattie for winning Cranium ... after 3 1/2 hours!!

Running Room has a sale going off ... 20% off (with coupon). I picked up some asics 2170s which are very snazzy (white with light green and aqua ... love the colors). Evan said, "asics dropped weight this year". My response ... "I wish I'd dropped weight this year". Everyone laughed. : ) Had to be there I guess.

I've continued my string of running a minimum of 10 miles per day for 16 days now. Feel great. The weather has certainly helped in that effort. I was out at 5:06 today in order to get to work for the opening shift. Glad I went when I did as when I was driving to work, it was very slippery. Had a great day at work. Lots of business which is fun, rewarding and makes the shift pass very quickly. I wish every day was like today.

After tomorrow's shift (I open again so it'll be another early run) I'm going to a wedding. Haven't been to a wedding in quite a while. The groom's mom is a friend of mine and the groom is a friend of Eric's so Eric and Alley will be there too. Hope I don't cramp their style. But I'm sure I'll cut out a bit before they do.

Dan's doing the fourth annual (I think) 2 day marathon run this weekend. I'll unfortunately have to miss Saturday due to work, but will try to catch them on Sunday morning. Literally. They're MUCH faster than I am and I doubt I'll be able to keep up. Monday brings an 8 AM run at Dunn Bros. and a chance to sleep in (I work 2 to 10 on Monday). Hoo-rah!!

Well, I was awake at about 4:20 this morning, even before my alarm was set to go off so I think I'll call it a day. Have a great weekend. Have fun. Stay safe.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


As I was out running this morning, I remembered a few things I'd forgotten to post. Christmas morning, I ran my usualy 10-mile morning route. There was a young man, looked to be 20-something, out walking a couple of dogs and walking toward me as I was running. Based on past experience, I'd guessed that he probably wouldn't return a "Morning!" greeting, so decided against greeting him and being disappointed. But at the last minute, decided that I'd greet him anyway. It was Christmas after all. To my surprise, he returned my greeting very heartily. I was so pleasantly surprised!! And very happy. Also saw Sue Christian out on 20th St SE. We met each other twice and exchanged "Merry Christmas!" greetings. : )

Went to see the movie War Horse with Jean and Julie Christmas evening. I'm not usually much for "animal" movies, but this was a very pleasant surprise and a great movie. And it was PACKED. Just a few empty single seats sprinkled here and there. Can't remember ever being in a theater so crowded.

Had my annual physical last week. Weight: down 5 pounds. : ) BP: perfect. Pulse: perfect. At the end of the appointment the nurse practitioner said that this was the point where she usually tells the patient to exercise and eat healthy. What did she tell me? Surprise ... I should probably exercise LESS. 90 minutes per day would be plenty. But I just LOVE to work out ...

Had an afternoon and evening off today and gots lots of miscellaneous stuff done. Still working on lots of address change/paperwork type stuff. Seems like a never-ending list. But I'll get there eventually. I went back on the healthy-eating bandwagon with my super-sized delicious salad.

But I did have a cookie for dessert. So much for will power. : ( I enjoyed every bite though. : )

10.12 mile run this morning in those stiff NW winds. Very pleasant temp though ... 36 degrees. Can't beat, and clean streets/sidewalks, for December 27.

So what's on the docket for the rest of the week? My brother and his family are coming over for supper tomorrow. "Game Night" with a bunch of Ironman triathletes on Thursday. (Sounds like SO MUCH fun!) Work. Work. Work. Wedding Saturday evening. Possibly a stop in at a party Saturday evening if I'm still awake. And hopefully at some point my last 20-miler before Ocala in January. Another busy week.

Go. Be. Do.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas One and All

It was a nice quiet Christmas at my house this year. I started the day running 15.12 miles before dashing into the Crown for a quick breakfast as I had to work from 9:00 until late afternoon on Saturday. 83+ miles for last week. Happy with that. After work, I came home and assembled the chicken wild rice soup and made Eric's favorite Brussels sprouts recipe. We opened gifts Saturday evening. The thing I've had the most fun with?? The African drum I gave Matt. It's got a goatskin top. Here's my niece Kaleigh giving it a try.

I gave Eric a 1000-piece puzzle that's all Coca-Cola advertising signs and that's been a challenge. Not even close to being done. So much for instant gratification!!

Sunday morning brought a 10.11 mile run after sleeping in until 7:23 (I think I haven't slept that long in 30 years!) before getting busy in the kitchen. My sister-in-law brought Andrew and Kaleigh over for Christmas dinner (my brother had to work) and we had a nice turkey dinner. They tried on their new jammies. : ) And ate a few cookies. : )

It was so nice to have a day off. This morning ... the annual Fun Run/Breakfast/Beer Exchange. I am SO honored to be in the only female on the invitee list. They let me win the fun run. : ) 10.62 miles for the morning. A record 16 in attendance this year. We had breakfast at Brothers and I had the walnut pancakes. Hadn't had them in quite a long time. They were delish, though too much to finish.

After breakfast, we exchanged beers out in the parking lot. Quite the selection!! Not knowing much about beer, I just did my best at picking something that wasn't too dark or strong.

This afternoon/evening I was back at work. And now, I'm ready to call it a day. So ... good night!!

Friday, December 23, 2011


A whole day today to do exactly what I want. And it was wonderful!! I started the morning by doing "paperwork", heading over to Kohl's and Walmart and wrapping gifts. I didn't get going on my run until about 11:00 AM. By the time I got about 5 miles into it, the wind was very stiff from the SW and it started snowing. Kind of tough running conditions but I stuck it out for 10.11 miles. And that was enough because ...

Last night I joined Team R.E.D. at Millie's house. And what a house!! It's simply amazing. Her dad is a hunter and the lower level was like a museum of natural history. Just incredible and very tasteful. Her mom is quite the cook and treated us to pretty fancy fare for Team R.E.D. ... a cabbage salad (with Sriracha in the dressing so it had quite a kich), scalloped potatoes and ham, fresh green beans and ciabatta rolls. I couldn't believe I didn't have my camera. I was so disappointed. Left it on my desk at home. But Tom Woo posted some photos on Facebook. We ran 5.5 miles (actually some of us did ... and some decided to head back to Beetles where we'd stopped to sing Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas). And they were pretty hilly miles. In addition to my morning 9.51 miles, I had 15.12 for the day. I'd planned to run long today, but decided to keep it at 10 and call yesterday good enough for my long run for the week. I think that was the right decision.

Delivered some cookies today after making one last batch. Peppermint Blossoms.

They're very pretty on a plate of cookies. Then Matt and I continued our tradition of making lefse (a Norwegian things ... kind of like a potato tortilla eaten with butter and sugar). It turned out very well!

Now, after cooking some wild rice for some chicken wild rice soup tomorrow, and eating a bowl of roasted corn and red pepper soup (my only meal today ... too much snacking I guess), I'm ready to kick back and relax and read the paper and watch Say Yes to the Dress. Mindless TV, yes, but fun.

Tomorrow ... an early run and then breakfast at the Crown with a big crew before dashing off to work for the day. Sunday, I'm off. Yippee!! Back to work Monday.

Have a wonderful weekend, and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Round and Round and Round

I made it to the indoor track last night. First time all year. First quality workout since August 2010. I felt so good about keeping up with Woo and Aaron Nepstad, and then Woo said he was having an off night. : ( I ran 12 x 400 and I think that's about what others were doing too. I asked Woo how fast the first couple were (I discovered the watch I wore doesn't have a lap button) and they were both 1:35. I have a ways to go. I used to do my 400's in about 1:24, 1:25 on average. But it was a good start. 7 miles total. 6 miles outdoors in the morning. It was a good turnout at the track. I'm sure I'll miss a few, but spotted were ... Woo, 6 Nepstads, Dave, Jim, Emily, Sue, Cathy, Millie, Mike, Peter, Shane, Amber, Adam, Adam. Here's a couple of us at the bitter end (me, Woo, Peter, Mike).

I've baked all the cookies that I probably have time to bake. Hoping Matt and I can make lefse on Friday. Yesterday I made Apricot Fold-ups ...

and finished up my cutouts.

For Sunday's Lace-Up meeting, I made chocolate chip and pumpkin cream-cheese filled.

We still need volunteers and lots of runners for Lace-Up (Feb 12). Lots more info on the website.

Weird dreams last night ... dreamed that my car burst into flames, and that I was back in my old house (after the new owners had taken possession) and got caught. Strange.

Need any window coverings? I'm working 4 'til midnight. Stop by!!

Well, gotta get moving. Have a super day!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Going Forward

November was a very difficult month, and I'm glad it's behind me. This past week brought some tough days and I'm glad it's over as well. Hoping for a better week this next week! Topping off the list ... a decent night's sleep. I've worked until midnight the last three nights and that's very difficult for me. I'm not a night owl. My body wakes up about 5:00 AM no matter when I fall asleep. So I've had to nap if possible, trying to recover from just 4 hours of sleep before tackling another late night. But today brought a full day off ... beginning with a 10-mile morning run with OSS (thanks for the miles Tom O, Pete, Marni, Andy), grocery shopping, some cookie baking, a nap and a Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer meeting (thanks for lovely meal and sharing your lovely home John and Lucy. Welcome to the LUABC committee Judy, Betsy and Pam. Thanks for sharing Cutting for Stone Lucy). Soooo nice to have a down day.

Yesterday brought a morning run with OSS ... 20.11 miles for me. More than I thought I'd get in and I didn't have the fluids and fuel that I should have had, but I made it work. We had a couple inches of fluffy new snow and it was a bit slippery so I wore spikes on my shoes. With my rigid orthotics, heavy shoes and spikes, those shoes were HEAVY. On Friday early afternoon, Eric arrived. And his car died in my garage. Electronics stopped working. It was trying to turn over, but we thought it would be worth trying to jump it anyway. No luck. I checked the alternator belt and it was OK. But there was no starting it. So we had to tow it to the garage, where they determined it needed a new alternator. Picked it up yesterday before I had to be at work. Another full and busy day. Matt was home for a couple of nights so that was nice. He'll be in and out over the coming weeks I'm sure.

Well, I'm going to read a few pages of Cutting for Stone before getting to bed BEFORE MIDNIGHT!! HOORAH!!

Have a great week!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mix It Up

Tuesday evening was PK's first annual Chex Mix Exchange. What a fun idea. Easy and quick to prepare, and something different. We each found a recipe on and posted what we were bringing on the evite so as to have to duplicates. There must have been close to a dozen different varieties including Backyard BBQ, Lemon Rosemary, Caramel, Loaded Baked Potato, Traditional, Pumpkin Spice, Parmesan Garlic, Sesame, Malted Milk Ball/Marshmallow/Dried Cherry ... quite the selection.

PK provided us each with many containers which we filled to take home. Fun evening. Fun idea. Thanks PK!

Yesterday I finally got back in the pool and lifted. First time since November 2 and wow I could tell. I've lost strength and am swimming even SLOWER than I was before it seems. I have to get back in both the gym and the pool on a regular basis if I can find the time. Robin Kautz was in the lane next to me and we chatted for a while in the locker room. Got on the Stairmaster for an hour before my 3 to 9 shift for a little stress relief. This morning I'm hoping to go for a run but the temps are falling (it's now 32) and VERY windy. But I suppose it could be worse. Not sure how to address the possibly slippery streets and paths ... spikes on my shoes seem like overkill. I'll see how it goes. May end up on the bike trainer or Stairmaster.

We have a guest speaker for the RTC banquet on January 28. Ruth Brennan Morey. She recently won the ITU (International Triathlon Union) championship and has run in the Olympic trials. Here's what she says she might include in her talk ... my research (ages ago) about self-talk in marathoning, to olympic trials, to my previous sports psychology work, multisport experiences, and life balance issues.

I have my annual Christmas lunch with about a dozen girlfriends. It's always a lot of fun. Then it's off to a 3 to midnight shift. More of the same Friday and Saturday (when I get to stay until 1AM!). No rest for the wicked ... or weary. : )

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cooking Light December 2011

We spent a lovely evening at the home of Amos and Barbara Kermisch. The food was delicious and plentiful and the company was even better. My total fave on the menu ... Jay's homemade bread. To. Die. For. I brought Almond Pumpkin Cheesecake with Almond Brittle.

Happy Holidays one and all!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Catching Up

I can't believe a whole week has gone by since I've posted. But life is busy enough that it's not all that surprising.

Running from where I'm living now involves a lot of hills, but in the overall scheme of things, that's good. I can tell it's made me stronger. I've got a new route that I really enjoy. It can be 6 miles, 8 miles, or 10. I run up the hill to the water tower, up over 20th St to the east (not as bad as west) and then east on 20th St all the way to Marion Road. The stretch between 11th Ave and Marion is new and this week was the first time I'd even seen it, let alone run on it. The city is plowing it and it's been ideal for running. From here, it's 2 miles to 11th/20th and then one mile to Marion. A great spot for mile repeats. I've brought my 10 mile time down 6 minutes this week and that feels great. Yesterday I ran 20.04 and the first 10 were in 1:24:21. Each mile got faster up until 9 when I headed back here for some water and a slice of bread. I hadn't intended to run long yesterday thinking I'd do it today instead (warmer today, and I had to work all day yesterday) but it was going well so I just kept going. The last 11 miles were hilly. There's not much more than 1/8 mile that's flat within a mile of this house, so the last 11 were quite a bit slower. 2:57 for the 20 miles and I was happy about that. I am running a marathon in Ocala, FL in late January and Napa Valley in early March. I ran 61.53 miles this week, 2 hours on the Stairmaster and Friday was an off day. Feel like I'm getting back in shape, and feeling good. This morning I ran 10.16, the first three by myself and the rest with Millie and Jen. Fun run, even though we were ALL pushing the pace. : )

What else went on ... lots of hours at my jobs. 50'ish. On my one evening off, Tuesday, a bunch of us gals went to Hugo in 3D. My first 3D movie. I liked it. Good story. Here's our merry little band in our stylin' 3D glasses ...

Gina, Julie, Jean

Me and Cheri
Friday was a big day. Matt, my youngest, graduated from college magna cum laude with a degree in music education. They had a nice ceremony in Winona and we went over to WI for lunch at an Irish pub afterwards. My dad was still here and that made the day even more special. The first couple pix are two of the big thank you cards that Matt got from each class at the elementary school in Lewiston where he spent the second half of his student teaching experience (JM High School being the first half).

The graduate!

Me and Matt

Eric and Matt
That evening, I took the boys to the Tonic Sol-fa concert at the civic center. They're a 4 man acapella group. Matt's acapella group, Hear and Now, opened for them in Winona once. Anyway, it's a very fun concert with humor and audience interaction mixed in. They sang holiday music.

And that brings me to today. My first day off with nothing scheduled in 2 months. Got lots of cleaning done. Made a pumpkin almond cheesecake for my Cooking Light holiday get together tomorrow. Had to run to the store midway through to get more almond paste as I'm having issues with this oven. The first attempt at the almond cake base wasn't too successful. Tuesday evening my friend Pam is having a Chex Mix exchange. We all had to pick a recipe from and then we'll exchange them. What a fun and different idea!
Well, better check on the cheesecake. Have a great week!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lorie Line!!

My friend Jeanne and I have been going to the annual Lorie Line "holiday extravaganza" for many, many years. I guess it's become a tradition for us. And this afternoon we continued the tradition with another wonderful couple of hours being entertained by the talented pianist and her musicians. She puts on such a good show, and the costuming is nothing short of amazing.

After the show we went to Chester's for dinner. And guess who walked by and stopped to chat with us for about 5 minutes? Lorie Line!!

I look AWFUL in this picture. But it was so much fun to chat with her. She's very personable. We talked about bells, the grind of touring, working out, the Chopin piece she played (10 on a scale of 10 she said), our ages, our arms at our ages, ... Girl talk. And it was fun. : )

So that followed a shift at JCPenney which followed a shift all day yesterday which followed a shift Friday and Thursday ... You get the picture. I'm working a lot. Coming up, shifts until midnight and 1 AM. Good thing I enjoy what I'm doing. I'm just hoping some people decide to buy window coverings between the hours of 8 and midnight or I'm going to have a hard time staying awake!! I'm guessing that the last time I had a day to stay home (or just do whatever I wanted) was sometime in early October. Maybe. No Christmas tree this year. No cookies (yet). No time.

I ran just 5 miles this morning after spending an hour shoveling. The running was difficult, especially on the hills. And the shoveling took longer than I bargained for. I'm guessing I have close to 100% more driveway than I used to have and a retaining wall along one side so I had to carry the snow to the front yard.

I called someone last week to change the addess on one of my accounts. I got 3 confirmation letters yesterday (it affected 3 accounts). Meadow got spelled Medow and Drive got spelled Dive. Guess I'll be making another call.

Well, I just washed a load of workout clothes. Better get them hung up.

Have a wonderful week.

Happy 80th birthday (yesterday) to the best dad in the world. Love you. : )