3.31.2004

I'm Baaaaaaaaack...

Just wanted to let ya'll know that I kicked it at the school with mom tonight. Her pedometer wasn't working very well, however. And my pedometer just tells me how many steps I've taken which isn't very helpful right now for me, I'm afraid... But for the time we walked and the speed we walked, we know we did at least four miles. So that's what I'm giving myself on the charts tonight.

I don't know if that changes things at all in Hutch land, but it gives me a boost in starting out April toward making it to 500 by the end of the month. That's my goal. Anyone want to place a little bet with me? Have I got any takers? I was originally shooting for June 1, but I'm betting I can hit May 1.

What do YOU think?

Tonight's miles: 4.0
Total so far: 383.86
Still to go for goal: 116.14

I'm tired. I'm sore. I'm going to bed. Well, pretty soon. ;)

Reporting In...

Reporting In...

Well Hutch. I suppose Jacob will get his breakfast in bed for this one.

Today's miles: 4.0
Total so far: 379.86
Still to go for goal: 120.14

Make sure you check back in before bed tonight if it's close, though. I might go up and do another round of workout with mom tonight if she is walking at the school tonight as usual... Just for fun and the extra miles.

Sad Anniversary...

Sad Anniversary...

Today I'm running for our dear family friends Carol and Tom. As I've said before, I don't run for cancer every day. There are other special reasons I run. This is one of them.

A year ago today Tom and Carol lost their son in a frightening and very sad shooting. Once again, I'm left with very few words because there is so little that can be said that doesn't sound trite. I send you my love Mr. and Mrs. M. Know that I think of you and your family often.

I'll be back to post my miles in a bit. Just heard from the papa. He's coming out to look over the tractor. As I was putting it away last fall, Keith looked at me and said, "Watch, the breaks are going to fail on it as we put it away." We've had problems with the breaks busting before. And what happened just as I was putting the dang thing away? The breaks made an awful noise and gave out. Just like that. I swear that boy can jinx just about anything if he sets his mind to it.

Lock Down!

Lock Down!

Well, there is a lovely situation going on in our little town today. About a week and a half ago, the manager of a local restaurant found a tiny bit of grafitti on the wall in one of their bathrooms and reported it to police. It was a handwritten statement threatening UWRF African-American students and referring to Columbine High School. It also mentioned today's date. As a result, all of our schools are in lock-down mode today because the police and campus authorities have been investigating the threat and haven't come up with anything as yet and are concerned for the safety of all of the kids. Thank goodness.

Kel came home from school yesterday and said there had actually been another incident on Monday at the UW. She said a fire alarm had been pulled and when authorities got to the alarm site, another bit of threatening grafitti was found. Fun fun. So it is a bit of a tense day around here. I'm sure it is a prank. But it isn't a good prank. And tensions are running high.

Keep the kids in your thoughts today.

3.30.2004

Gloomy Tuesday

The snow was thankfully unimpressive yesterday. It fell for a sum total of two minutes and if you blinked, you missed it. We didn't even get any rain. We aren't expecting any of the warmer temperatures this week, but snow is back out of the forecast at least.

Today's miles: 6.26
Total so far: 375.86 (Made the goal with a day to spare!!!)
Still to go for goal: 124.14

Yummmmmm. Frango mint. I don't allow myself two anymore. Even on the high-mileage days. They go too fast that way. Thanks again, Dranny Alta. They are still great incentive. Terrific combined with S&H Season One DVD's.

Cool. Made it to 375 by the end of the month, now let's see how much closer I can get to 400 tomorrow to settle Hutch's family bet.

Visited at my cousin's house for a bit on Sunday while we met up to discuss the big Japan trip for the girls. It was my first visit there. They have a beautiful place in the woods. They were just finishing up a big birthday party for my uncle. The big finish involved karaoke. Yep, a family bash with karaoke. My own little family of origin is made up of people far too shy to do anything like that. Although my mom did sing at this party. Then again, my mom is the least shy of the bunch. Not a shy bone, eh Mom? She and Nando sang first off, from what I hear. Ricky Martin was the song - something fast. Way to go, you two. Sounds like it was a great production. Kel and Dad did not sing, however... much more typical of how our party with karaoke would go...

Well, would love to stick around and write more, but I'm coming up slow here today. Everything is stumbling off my fingers at a v e r y s l o w p a c e... I'd better shower and get ready to go get the kid. I took Bear along to pick her up last night when I had to get her late from the school from her last night of any play involvement (they took apart the set and did a kind of awards with voting on made up catagories - Kel won "best techie")... Anyway, one of the other kids needed a ride home and it was dark outside so Bear, who is getting old and kind of blind and cranky decided to be particularly crabby and bark at her in a mean way. She was already kind of afraid of dogs. I don't think I'll take him on too many more rides to get the kid in case other kids need rides. He's such a brat sometimes. Spawn of Satan.

3.29.2004

crrrrrriiiick...

That's the sound of my neck when I try and turn it to the left. I think I slept on it wrong. I hate when that happens.

It's one of those all-in-one weather days. Woke up this morning to a beautiful sun rise with incredible blue color in the sky and a forecast of snow and rain showers. Haven't gotten them yet, but the clouds have definitely taken over and turned the sky a hazy shade of winter. The forest is now definitely gloomy and dismal. I wish the rain/snow would just move in and get it over with. A nice thunderstorm would be cool. Those are always good.

Today's miles: 5.5
Total so far: 369.6
Still to go for goal: 130.4

Forgot to send a note to the HS office today telling them about Kel's pending Japan trip. She wants to let them know and start getting her homework in advance to get going on it. Unfortunately there are only four days of school left before spring break. I'm not sure how many teachers are going to get the homework together for her in that time. Can't believe she is going to be leaving in just a week and a couple of days!

Well, I'd better shower and get ready to pick up Kel from school. And my house needs some desperate housework. One of my days off from mommyhood when Kel leaves for Japan is going to be devoted to going to Keith's apartment and cleaning and organizing for him, too.

Where's that snow? Bring it on! Let's get it over with!

3.28.2004

Yesterday was NOT a vacation day...

It was tax day and run Kel to the play day and run errands day (picking up flowers for Kel, going to the co-op, going to the bank, returning things to Tar-zhay, stopping for coffee, putting the button together for th ebirthday party Kel was going to today, waiting up for Kel to return from the after-the-play-party, etc.)...

I didn't run yesterday. That didn't mean I didn't feel guilty and think about how I should be running practically every minute of the day.

Today, I did run. 5.73 miles. I ran for Kathy's dad, Gerry C. I'm running to bring him comfort and peace. He is at home with hospice. Love and hugs to you, Kath. And to your family.

Today's miles: 5.73
Total so far: 364.1
Still to go for goal: 135.9

I won't be as close to 400 as I'd hoped at the end of the month, but I'll be getting there. Barring any significant problems, I'll definitely be able to hit 375 with three days left.

Gotta run now. Taking Keith back to his apartment. This four day weekend went fast. Too fast. ...Sigh...

3.26.2004

More Signs of Spring...

Keith and I were sitting in the living room this morning reading when we heard a very odd sound... We looked at each other wondering what on earth that was and where it was coming from... What appliance was going on the fritz this time?

Then we heard it again and realized what it was...

The Eastern Wood Pewee had returned to our yard and was making its scratchy-voiced call! Wonder if it will nest in its usual spot beneath our screened porch off the master bedroom again?

And driving home from picking up Kel from school this afternoon, we saw a bluebird! I love this time of year!

Reporting in...

Reporting in...

Today's miles: 6.52
Total so far: 358.37
Still to go for goal: 141.63

You know, staying on the treadmill for such a long time gets me through season one so quickly, how am I going to wait for them to come out with season 2? I haven't even heard rumors of season 2 yet! I'm already through the second DVD out of five! Hutch, how many episodes have you made it through?

Owwwwwwwwwwch...

Owwwwwwwwwwch...

I always feel much worse from a soreness standpoint a couple of days after a hard workout.

I'm feeling the pain of Wednesday's outdoor run on the pavement in the old shoes today. My legs are hurtin' for certain. I'm heading down to Lurch with Starsky and Hutch now. I'm hoping to go a minimum of two episodes to get some real miles behind me and I'm hoping that in short order the pain will be numbed to a thing of the past...

And at the doc's yesterday I found out I get to cut back to half dosage of my blood pressure meds because I've gotten that in control. And my resting pulse was a lovely 52... I guess I'm getting in shape with all this running! :) I highly recommend it from a mental standpoint, too.

Okay. Wish me luck. I think I'll have a sit in the whirlpool full of epsom salts when I'm through. Or steal Keith's massage this afternoon... kidding.

3.25.2004

Today's measly miles... run very late at night...

Today's miles: 3.35
Total so far: 351.85
Still to go for goal: 148.15

Going to bed... Good enough to have earned another duck. THEN I'll go to bed. G'night all...

3.24.2004

It's the Weekend Already!

It's the Weekend Already!

I'm picking up Keith tonight because tomorrow is Kel's birthday and the opening of her play at school... That means tomorrow is the weekend kind of. Except I didn't go writing with Marge today and I got a long run in. And I won't be writing with Marge on Friday because she can't make it (boohoo!). So it will be more of a regular weekend with Keith sitting in the hottub and therefore plenty of time for me to get out there and run. Right? Right!

That's what I was concerned about. Four days' worth of weekend and slacking on the run right when I've made this challenge to myself. But I'll keep going. Just watch me. And push me.

Please.

Brain Trusters...

Brain Trusters...

Go see the new look on the BT blog. And start utilizing it please. I will too. That's how we're going to communicate from here on out. Except with Alva, of course. For her - phone calls...

Get back to me with your opinions, too...

Summer!

Summer!

Or so it practically feels...

It is gorgeous out there today! And so, I ran outside! What a fun time...

I walked very quickly the first 1/2 mile out to the end of our driveway where I did my stretching. While standing there stretching, I noticed the mailbox was standing wide opened because there was a box sticking out of it. I walked over to investigate. Our postal delivery person sucks. Forgive this statement, but truly... what US Postal person does this? Leaves the too-large delivery in the box with the door hanging open and the rest of the mail just sitting in there, able to blow out or be taken by anyone walking or driving by? We had something from our bank in there! I stuffed the mail under the box (no small feat, indeed, that box was wedged in there but good) so a thief or the wind would really have to work to get it out and started off on the run.

I discovered that 1 pm on a week day is a pretty good time for a run around here. Traffic was light today. This is a good thing because country road shoulders are pretty light, too.

I ran all of the way to the cemetery before my first walk. Not far, but pretty good considering I'm pounding the pavement rather than running on a nice bouncy treadmill at a slower pace and now I'm doing hills rather than flat landing it as usual, and now I've got wind working against me instead of climate control. The walk was very brief... About 10 steps and I realized I didn't really need it. Just long enough to scare the robin off the fence and notice the valentine heart by my old town chairman's gravestone.

I picked it up again and admired the new houses ahead and the two large dogs in the yard of one of them; the two large unchained dogs who were noticing me and trotting toward the road; the two large dogs whose master was also in the yard collecting the large dogs' large poops with a large poop pooper scooper. He looked up when he noticed his dogs had become interested in something coming up the road. He called to them. One of them came back and the other one stayed real interested in me. I kept moving straight at him. He kept looking at me and making this interesting noise. Not a bark, not a growl... just an interesting noise in his chest... kind of like, "Can I keep it Daddy? Can I? Huh? Huh?" I reached the driveway and kept on running. The dog just stood there looking at me. Watched me run past. That was all.

It was about this time I realized that by the time I reached the next bridge over the Kinni, I was going to have to stop completely, take off my right shoe, dump the sand out and put it back on. That's what I get for wearing the old shoes. But see, I didn't want to wear my good running shoes when I have to go through the muddy driveway to get out to the road because I know I'll be back on the treadmill on rainy days (probably tomorrow) and I don't want to wear muddy shoes on the treadmill. So I have to wear the old shoes which have three open holes in them. Yes, we are talking very old running shoes here. Broken down. I could go out and get replacements for them. That's actually what I'm wearing on the treadmill. Replacements for these. But I still can't give these up. These are the gods of running shoes. I promised myself I would throw these out when those arrived. But I couldn't do it. Because they don't make these anymore. Dang Nike. I don't know what their problem is. Why would a company stop making a running shoe? Especially a specific specialty shoe? I was heartbroken when I began looking for the replacement and found out I couldn't get them anymore. So was Kel because she had grown into it and started wearing it too. She was the other reason I couldn't throw them out when the new ones arrived.

I digress.

Suddenly it struck me that I wasn't even going to make it to the bridge because the sandy shoe had come untied. Rats. So I had to stop at the corner and take it off to dump it and retie it anyway. And I had double-knotted it! So I reached over and tightened the double knot on the left side, too. Good thing. It was loose. I started off again. But if I was going to stop completely and have to restart, it couldn't have actually happened at a better place... my restart was on a downhill point. I glided downhill and didn't think much about running past the lonely house with the workmen and the fact that I hadn't brought my cell phone with me. Instead, I was continuing to write this entry in my head and watching the robin in the yard.

I ran over the bridge above the river and didn't stop to watch for trout. I just kept going, interested in whether my level of fitness had improved much since my last outside run in the late summer/fall of last year. I started paying attention to that... Less bounce of the various parts of my body. That must mean something. And I'm definitely doing a lot more running with less walking. I started running up one of the killer hills knowing that this would be a tell-tale sign. Normally on this hill I'm telling myself to just get to the top and then I can walk for a while. This time I just ran. Didn't think much about anything... And suddenly the ground was leveling off and I kept on running... Another good sign. I guess my fitness level has improved a bit. I didn't have any cramps. This actually surprised me because I didn't drink much water before taking off today and I know that can have a lot of impact on the muscles.

The final mile and a half was the toughest because I did stop at the last bridge and do a little stretching and water gazing/listening/enjoying. And I wished for a bottle of spring water to drink. I was thirsty. And I stopped for a walk shortly before that so I could spit. Spitting while I'm running is always a nasty affair because it inevitably just spreads all across my face. TMI you say? This whole entry is TMI... look how damn long it is!

Got back to the mailbox and tugged and pulled the box (there were actually two) out and the rest of the mail and walked the last half mile home for the cool down. What a gorgeous day for running outside. It is supposed to be in the 60's again tomorrow, but they are talking thunderstorms. Probably a good day for lurching on Lurch, I guess.

I've gotta get another bottle of water and hit the showers now. Hope you all enjoyed (haha) this play by play of my run. I left out a lot believe it or not. Like the fact that I was wearing an outfit that made me feel like I walked out of an episode of Star Trek and could be 'beamed up' at any minute, or the woman I saw tootling around on a four-wheeler with her golden retriever on a leash. Guess the dog needed exercise but she didn't? I wanted to yell at her for putting the animal at risk like that. Looked dangerous to me. Oh well.

Gosh, almost forgot the stats!

Today's miles: 5.5
Total so far: 348.5 (Wow! Look how close I am to another duck!)
Still to go for goal: 151.5

3.23.2004

Today's mileage...

Today's miles: 5.0
Total so far: 343
Still to go for goal: 157

This and That...

This and That...

In honor of Stacey, who loves bullets...

  • It's going to be 60 degrees farenheit tomorrow... I'll be running outside, thank you very much.


  • I need to gather up the pink flamingos from their current listing positions in the yard or the 60 degree heat will carry them down the hill with the torrents of melting snow...


  • I think I'm finished buying bananas. Everytime I do, I bring a new batch of those danged little fruit flies into the house and they manage to find me in the office and buzz around my face while I'm at the computer. Drives me insane.


  • I'm hopefully getting a haircut today! Good thing, too because it was getting too long for my spiking up with spray. It was getting to the point where I was frightening little children at the post office again...


  • I'm Starsky, she's Hutch...


  • My baby is actually turning 16 years old on Thursday at 6:11 am (that's 5:11 am according to her birth certificate, but she was born mountain time...

  • Bear needs his one and only dew claw removed (is that how it is spelled?) so we're going to have it done when he goes in for his spring check up this year.


  • Kel missed the bus yesterday so I made her get up 10 minutes earlier today.


  • When I told her the Relay theme last night, Kel said "Disco should never have happened!"


  • I corrected her swiftly and sternly.


  • I think she has come around.



  • Okay, I'm heading off to hit Lurch. I have some miles to put on before I can go for my possible haircut. Hope you all have a great day. I'll be back to post the mileage.

    3.22.2004

    Our Team has a Theme!

    The Relay Committee has announced the theme for the Relay for Life in June. This is where things start to get really fun. Now we get to take the theme and start to figure out how to decorate our campsite, whether we'll be dressing up at all for the team parade, how our "Lady" will be dressed for the Dude Looks Like a Lady competition, etc. All of this gets planned with the theme in mind.

    The craftier of the crew (Alta and anyone else with abilities - not me...) will set to work with sewing machine, hot glue gun, paints and her incredible mind and she'll really come up with something awesome while we shout out ideas at her if we actually think of any. And we'll buy stuff. Usually at Oriental Trading Company because they have tons of stuff that fit the theme and because you can often find reasonable prices. And yes, we always buy way too much. So if anybody wants a good deal on Mardi Gras beads and masks, you know where to come (that was last year's theme).

    So, it should be a good time. I'm looking forward to it. I sent out an e-mail to everyone on the team with e-mail capabilities. That's all but one on the team. I'll ask my mom (hey Mom, are you getting this???) to call her tomorrow and let her know verbally... So by tomorrow, the whole team will know the theme.

    You're all biting your nails aren't you? You're dying to know.

    Okay. I'll tell you.

    I won't keep you in suspense any longer.

    Here it is.

    The theme.

    Are you ready for this?

    Staying Alive

    Is that not the greatest? What better message for those cancer survivors walking around that track... Well, I could think of a few songs with better lyrics to walk around during their surivor lap...



    Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
    I'm a woman's man: no time to talk.
    Music loud and women warm, I've been kicked around
    since I was born.
    And now it's all right. It's OK.
    And you may look the other way.
    We can try to understand
    the New York Times' effect on man.

    Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother,
    you're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
    Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin',
    and we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
    Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
    Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive.

    But maybe they'll be walking to something else...

    Okay. I'm going to bed. I'm tired after the six mile walk and all the running around today.

    First though - happy anniversary to my Kel and Keith for five beautiful years... Or happy 5th birthday to Keli as we like to say also. She's just a baby! :o) It's been much longer than that really. Keith's actually been her dad since just before she turned three because that's when he became the most important man in our life, but it became legally documented five years ago today.

    Birthday Girl



    Weekend weirdness...

    Weekend weirdness...

    So Keith and I were lying around reading on Saturday night. I'm reading aloud again - and this time it is I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse? (an excellent and very funny book, by the way) - and all of a sudden as I was nearing the end of the chapter (about the fourth or fifth, and it was very late but we were enjoying it so much that I couldn't put it down - too many weird similarities to our own experiences with the medical world during his surgery)...

    ANYWAY... (take a breath)

    all of a sudden there is this HUGE boom.

    Like a cannon.

    I swear.

    I thought we were being bombed or something. Or that I would wake up in the morning to the light of day, look across the valley and discover that neighbor Don's house was missing because the noise that I had heard was a neighbor's house blowing up or something. It was that loud. To me. I stopped reading and we both looked at each other.

    Me: What the hell was that?
    Him: What was that?

    I looked at my watch.

    Me: 1:15

    We sat there silently looking at each other for a couple of minutes.

    That's when it happened again.

    Me: Oh my god! What is going on???

    Keith got out of bed and opened shades and looked south into the dark woods wondering if he'd see a fire ball or something. We swore something had to have blown up.

    Nothing. We went from window to window looking out and looking for the burning propane tanks or house or something. Absolutely nothing. We opened a bedroom window to see if we could hear sirens in the distance or anything. Nothing. About three minutes it happened one last time. We never heard anything about it from anyone else. We never read about anything in the paper (so far). Nothing.

    I still say it sounded like a cannon. It was that loud. But it was the middle of the night time silence. Keith says it sounded like a hunter in the woods just shooting when we get them not too far from the house. He didn't think it was any louder than that.

    It was LOUD. Horrible and frightening. And the middle of the night, people. Put your guns away. What can you see in the middle of the night?

    Even weirder? We never heard a dog bark. Not one. Where were all our obnoxious neighbor dogs who bark at everything? Explain this to me! I'm glad Keith heard it, too. So it wasn't all in my imagination!

    Monday Monday, for Marlene...

    Monday Monday, for Marlene...

    Well, I went ahead and missed my first of the 10 days I had to make that goal, so that means I now have 9 days and updating the average I now have to do 4.78 miles per day in order to get to 375. WOW! So today I did 6 just to kick things off in a big way and make up for lost time. Because it was dumb to miss yesterday. But I always manage to do that. You know. Get lazy that first day and regret setting myself up like that. But I watched two S&H episodes and took my time, mostly walking and very little running so I wouldn't burn out.

    Today's miles: 6.0
    Total so far: 338
    Still to go for goal: 162

    Today I ran for a friend of my mom's - Marlene Z.

    And I heard from Elizabeth, that her mom Sydnor will have her last chemo for a while this week. Hurray for you, Sydnor! Glad you'll get a little break from that. Hope you are feeling well or will be feeling well soon.

    I'm having so much fun watching the Starsky and Hutch episodes! Thanks again Easter Bunny! Those were a great purchase for the cause! Well worth it! Very entertaining and they hold my attention and make me forget any aches and pains while I'm running or walking... I really appreciate it!

    Well, I suppose I'd better get to the shower. Have to pick up Kel soon and it will be a busy week.

    She has play practice every night because the play opens on Thursday night, plus it is the last week of third quarter, so homework and finals abound. Can you spell S T R E S S E D ??? She has to give an oral report from the point of view of a character from a book she picked out and read this quarter on her birthday on Thursday, too. Her chosen book was The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. She is thinking of having a(n) (intentional) nervous break down in the middle of the report... Keep in mind this is my very type-A and extremely shy perfectionist child who doesn't like calling attention to herself in class.

    I still have to laugh when I think of Lorelei and Rory (Mother and daughter from Gilmore Girls - our must-see-tv on Tuesday nights) sitting in front of their open gas stove cooking s'mores and trying to keep warm when the heat went out at their house and Lorelei saying something along the lines of "Did anyone ever stop to think that maybe Sylvia Plath wasn't crazy? Maybe she was just cold?" Okay. Sick humor, but everytime I see The Bell Jar in Kel's hands or she mentions her project, I think of it and one of us starts laughing about it.

    3.20.2004

    Tonic Sol-fa

    The concert was awesome. I just find it so hard to believe that a group that good playing here in a college town, can't fill the auditorium. They deserved to.

    A couple of local high school groups opened for them. They both did a fabulous job. WAY TO GO!!!

    The concert wrapped up at about 9 and we stood in line for about a half hour with Kel's poster so she could have it autographed . We were home shortly after 10 by the time we stopped for gas. A long night. But fun...

    I see by their schedule that they are coming to your neck of the woods later in the season, Hutch. It would be a fun night for you and the Hutch guys. I think you'd all really enjoy it. I could point you to some places to hear snippets of their stuff if you are interested. Or perhaps you already know about them. I bet they are possibly doing a fundraiser for a church or school in your area? Their concert was benefitting St. B's school music program here. FYI...

    This month's goal...

    This month's goal...

    Well, obviously I won't get to 400 by the end of the month, but I did crunch the numbers for 375. If I ran every day and averaged 4.3 miles, I could make 475. That'd be difficult, but doable. And spring is here. So it's possible, if not probable that I could be out on the road for part of it. And when I get out on the road, it's inevitable that I will do more miles per run because just getting around the block is over four miles. Depending on which block I choose. One of them is over five miles, I think. I usually go around the block once I start. It just doesn't make sense to go part way around and then turn and come back the way I started.

    So I guess that's my new goal for the month. 375 by April 1. And I never could have shot for that without Hutch's challenge at the start of March. So thanks, Hutch! I appreciate your push. And your friendship. How are the miles racking up on the new treadmill in your house?

    I'm back...

    I'm back...

    Today's miles: 3.75
    Total so far: 332
    Still to go for goal: 168

    How is it that the weekends can be so busy? I thought the weekends were supposed to be relaxing and calm? Are anybody's weekends actually like that?

    I didn't post a question for the week on Thursday last, so I'm going to do that today... I'm not going to try for thought-provoking or simple. I'm just going to open the book and stick my finger on one. Here you go. Hope to hear from you all...

    If you had to name the dumbest purchase you've ever made, which would it be?

    Going off to shower and think about this one for a while and discuss with Keith. . I'll be back to comment in a bit.

    Weekend Wanderings...

    Weekend Wanderings...

    I've already been out and about this morning dropping Kel off at play practice (only a week left of this) followed by a stop at the grocery store where I picked up a few things, and a stop at the coffee shop where I got Keith's transfusion (two tall triple shot mochas) and breathed in the wonderful aromas going on there and just absorbed the wonderful atmosphere while standing in line in one of my favorite places in town.

    One of the part-time barristas was standing in line herself chatting it up with various townsfolk. There is a photo of her in this week's paper and an article about how tired she was of the mess along Main Street and how she wants to see it cleaned up so she is organizing volunteers to do just that. She's taking donations of cleaning supplies and a cart for storing and hauling them. She's organizing the times for getting people on the street to do the pickup and cleaning. It was a great article and just the sort of thing I love about this town. Go Nell!

    Tonight we see Tonic Sol-fa in concert. Looking forward to that!

    Keith is heading out to the hot tub now, so I'm off to utilize Lurch and make up for lost time from yesterday. My genius daughter helped me figure out how to get some great sound with the DVD's so now I can really hear what I'm watching. That's cool.

    Today I'm dedicating my run to Dan K. I just heard this morning from our friend Alva (who is also a Brain Trust member - Hi Alva!), that Dan (he is Alva's dear Andy's brother) has stomach cancer. So this run is for you, Danny!

    3.18.2004

    Thursday's Miles...

    Today's Miles: 3.5
    Total so far: 328.25
    Still to go for goal: 171.75

    News - Learned today that the High School Band Awards night is the same night as the David Bailey concert. Don't know exactly what this means - because I really don't think Keli will have any awards coming this year as she hasn't done any solo/ensemble competitions this year or tryouts for anything. She intentionally took this year easy, so we may not be attending awards night... we'll keep you posted. I can still arrange tickets for the concert so let me know if you want information.

    Thursday's Child Works Hard for a Living...

    Thursday's Child Works Hard for a Living...

    Helped Kel clean Joe's vase today... it needed it! We do this as a tag-team effort. First she took out the plant and rinsed the roots good to get the debris and stuff off them and set it aside. Next I removed the sea shell from the bottom of the vase and she cleaned it while I scooped some of the water from the vase. Joe swam around frantically watching and freaking out, trying to avoid the scoop. (For those of you new to the Joe saga, Joe is a betta fish that we "won" at a silent auction at Kel's school last November...) When she was done scrubbing the shell, it was time to dump the vase and transfer Joe to the temporary pitcher of water while she cleaned his home and decorative marbles... this is always the tense/terrifying/tricky part. And Joe doesn't like it much either!

    Keli held the collander in her left hand over the sink, the fish net in her right hand to catch Joe when he comes sliding out of the vase in her right and I picked up the vase and began to pour into the collander... He's impossible to just scoop out with the fish net - he's too quick and too big. This technique has been perfected over the months we've been doing it, but it happens differently every single time we do it. That's what makes it terrifying - the unpredictability of it all.

    This time, everything happened in slow motion. We didn't think Joe was ever going to come out of the vase. And basically, he didn't. Pretty soon, nearly all of the water was gone and the marbles were creeping closer and closer to the edge. I kept freaking because I thought his lacy tail was going to get caught in them. My freaking was making Kel freak. And what did that do? It made Bear, who was standing down at our feet, bark up at us. He thought this was all quite a cool game. And gee, not to mention, wasn't it his dinner time? And what was that wiggly blue thing we were talking to? It looked like something fun to play with. Or eat.

    And now there wasn't any water left to carry Joe out of the damn vase at all. How did that happen? That never happens. Usually he comes flying out of there so fast we don't have any time to react and he's lying in the bottom of the collander sucking air before we realize it. And then we're freaking for a totally different reason.

    The net certainly wasn't going to work in this situation.

    Keli: Mom, get him out of there!

    I reached in with my hand and picked him up as gently as I could from his bed of marbles and put my hand into the temporary pitcher of water. He swam from between my fingers. Phew!!! She then went on to clean the marbles and the vase, replace the bed of marbles, the sea shell and refill it with fresh water, pour the pitcher and Joe back in and put the plant back. Then we fed him some of his favorite blood worms. He's so happy tonight!

    Like I said, this job wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the unpredictability of it all...

    Totally Cool T-Shirt...

    Totally Cool T-Shirt...

    Stumbled on this yesterday when I checked up on an old cyberfriend (Buddha)... they sell it out at thinkgeek.com,



    It might have to be a reward to myself for finishing my 500 miles or something...

    3.17.2004

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    Busy day...

    Between going to lunch to toast Lilah on what would have been her 99th birthday, running back to town to get Kel from school, heading home for a while to let Bear, the devil dog, out for a little while, then off to my known-her-since-diapers girlfriend's Mary Kay business kickoff party tonight... it was just a busy day!

    I ran tonight watching the premier show of S&H... I only did 3 miles though since it was 10:30 pm. I was already kind of tired. So I watched part of the show without being on Lurch. I was right, it will be the perfect amount of time on the treadmill to watch an entire show while I run.

    Thanks Easter Bunny!

    Today's Miles: 3
    Total so far: 324.75
    Still to go for goal: 175.25

    Finally, here's a poem, written by my cousin last year when my grandma passed away... in honor of Lilah...

    Grama
    by Jody Brown Miranda
    1-17-2003


    Blessed with the Luck O' The Irish

    She was born on St. Paddy's Day.

    Grasping a rosary in her fist

    and a feisty desire to pray.



    She set her sights on Mr. Brown

    and married her Scottish mate

    the two of them, side by side,

    worked hard and set their own fate.



    Soon God sent them four little lassies

    and a lad for all to spoil,

    helped in childrearing by the Catholic Nuns

    all hyjinks were quickly foiled.



    Her claim to fame was an ample bosom

    and her talent for song and dance.

    As a kid I remember her snappy housedresses

    and her disdain for young ladies in pants.



    I remember Grama Lilah in her apron

    at home and in the Catholic School gym

    makin' chicken or spaghetti for banquets

    or decorating Christmas ornaments with trim.



    I also remember the Thanksgiving treats

    and the stomachaches we'd be feeling,

    and all of us cousins listening in on the grown-ups

    through the vent in the first-floor ceiling.



    My sweetest memory brings the faces

    into sharp focus after all these years.

    Grampa Howard hugging and kissing and tickling

    'till her laughing eyes filled with tears.



    Memories and tales came tumbling out

    as we strengthened the Brown family ties

    as we waited for her Guardian Angel's descent

    as we whispered our loving goodbyes.

    I got it, I got it... oh oh I got it...

    I got it, I got it... oh oh I got it...

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

    It's MINE!!!!!!!!! I SO LUCKY!!!!!!!!



    My present from the Easter Bunny very early! So that I can use it for running! Hurray!

    3.16.2004

    and I'm so jealous...

    because I just found out that Hutch is the proud owner of this.



    And my own mother went to Sam's Club today, asked me what I needed and I forgot all about this being on my Amazon Wishlist! I could have had her pick this up for me! It would be the perfect running show. PERFECT I tell you!

    What's a person to do???

    I'm so lucky...

    I'm so lucky...

    I love beautiful music. I am so lucky because I get to hear it live and in person. Not as often as I used to and not as often as I like to, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.

    Kel is an awesome (and I'm not just being a mom here) french horn player. She's been playing since she was in sixth grade. Back then she was homeschooled, but the school district welcomed her into the school band. And since she was home with me all day for the most part, I encouraged the twenty minute practice per day rule. Only I didn't send her off to do it alone, I practiced with her on the keyboard so she'd know how the tones were supposed to sound, because much of playing a horn is in how you hold your mouth as there are only four keys (three back then) to depress and the rest is all done with the way you play. So she had the advantage of having lots of extra practice time because it was a rare day that we quit at twenty minutes, but there is no doubt about it, she has an ear for music.

    Tonight she brought home her music from school and is treating me to rehearsal... she is playing John Williams' The Cowboys. I've always loved this music but I never realized what a terrific horn part it had until now. She is filling up the house with gorgeous sound. This is a good house to fill with high ceilings and wood floors. There isn't a lot of great acoustical material to grab the sound so it does tend to bounce around a bit, but it still sounds beautiful.

    So thanks, Kel. I've enjoyed the treat...

    Mileage...

    Mileage...

    Today I ran watching home movies. I watched my little girl as a little girl - age 18 months to 2 years and just above. That was fun. And interesting for personal reasons that I won't go into here.

    I'm on hold now with my old Gray Street Girlfriend. Vivaldi, I think, is playing in the background. I'm sweating and starving. But I'm glad she called. We can't catch up via email anymore. We're too busy! So I guess I'd better not hang up on her. :) Hey girlfriend, next time you visit my blog, you better comment! And be thinking about what movie you want to go see when you do have some time off. I will too.

    Grandma and a couple of the granddaughters are off shopping and lunching today. Wish I could join them because it sounds like fun. I just have too much on the agenda. Are you going to see a movie girls???

    Tomorrow would have been my grandma's 99th birthday. She died last January (2003) the day before my birthday. Each year on her birthday, her children and several of her grandchildren took her out for a traditional corn beef and cabbage meal (yes, she was Irish). And we'll continue the tradition this year by heading off and lifting a pint and having lunch in her honor.

    For those of you scratching your heads over this one, I won't be lifting my vegetarianism for the day... I join the family and eat a different meal, toasting Lilah along with the rest of them...

    Okay, so here are the stats for the day...

    Today's miles: 4.25
    Total so far: 321.75
    Still to go for goal: 178.25


    Listening to: Nothing. I can't get the damn soundcard working. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling and rebooting and all that crap. Squat works. I'm torked. We aren't that hard on computers. I don't get it. I really don't. This doesn't happen to other people.

    Ode to Spring...

    Ode to Spring...

    When oh when will Spring arrive? We're supposed to get snow again tonight. At least that's what I last heard. Believe me. We don't need any more snow around here. Our driveway is a sheet of ice. Keli went out for a run on Sunday. I suggested she take something with her to slide down the driveway on so that she wouldn't fall on her butt heading down to the road because we have quite a nasty hill to get down if there is even a hint of ice. She laughed at me. And proceeded to fall on her butt.

    Maybe that impending snowfall is what's making my elbow sore. Maybe it really is arthritis. It's tough to get old.

    Anybody know anything about Dell computers? And SoundMAX sound cards? Our sound card stopped working. I just don't understand. I think it is the stupid websites we visit. This time it might have been Rathergood.com and the spongemonkeys singing We Like the Moon... Okay. So we are easily amused... Maybe they broke our soundcard (don't pursue legal action, this was just a joke). I would like to be listening to some Crosby, Stills and Nash. Or Chicago. Or Simon and Garfunkel. Or a little Tom Petty. The silence in this office is deafening.

    Guess I'll just go run instead. And watch another repeat of a movie...

    Oh, and speaking of Nano... Did you know that March is Nanoedmo? I didn't either. Until today. I signed up, but I probably won't get very far this month. I may have a glance over the thing for old times sake... May even print it out and take out a red pen and have a swipe at a few pages... Who knows? We'll see. I might choose another month for editing instead. We'll see.

    Back later to post the miles.

    3.15.2004

    Another week begins!

    Time just flies by, doesn't it? I can't believe how quickly the weeks are slipping past. In just a short time, my little girl is going to be 16 years old! That one boggles my mind...

    Today's miles: 3.55
    Total so far: 317.5
    Still to go for goal: 182.5

    Marge, have you recovered from the crabby old guy giving us the business at the bakery during our Friday morning writing session? He outta be a character in our next writing practice... It might be cathartic. Speaking of that, where are we going to write this Friday now that he's spoiled my mood for your bakery at least for this week?

    I've got tennis elbow or something going on in my left elbow. I'd blame it on writing if I was a lefty. I can't figure out what's going on. It isn't from vacuuming because I push the thing with my right arm. I'll have to ponder this one for a while. I must be getting old and have arthritis or something setting into my bones. "Tough gettin' old, eh Ker?" That's what my pops used to say when I started complaining about things. :) Now I can just say, "It sure is." My left pinky is bugging me too now that I think about it. What a baby I'm becoming. Waaahhh! I guess that's what happens when the migraines are managed... I start to notice all the other aches and pains that weren't so evident before.

    I found a new favorite pen at the store the other day. Favorite for having black ink, that is. I'm a pen snob you see. And I prefer blue ink. When I do my writing it is in longhand. Except when I do the Nanowrimo thing in November. That I have to do on a keyboard because there was no way I could do a 50,000 word novel longhand in a month. Anyway, this new pen is divine and I have to find it in blue ink now because it is so fabulous. Any other pen snobs out there who want to know the details, leave me a comment and I'll go on some more about it. Marge, it was the one I showed you on Friday.

    Okay, I guess that's all I'll ramble for now. You've seen the mileage, that's the important thing for today. Have a good night and before you drift off to sleep, send some good vibes off to Bobby for his platelet counts. He's off to Childrens Hospital tomorrow for tests. Thanks.

    Hope your migraine is completely gone tonight Robert.

    3.14.2004

    Sunday miles/Sunday smiles...

    Got to watch the final episode of Cheers while I ran today. I'm so glad we taped those shows when they were on. It was fun to have them and find them for running with. Kel watched them with me. This was the last of what we had taped, though, so now I'm finished with them. I do find I can watch them over and over a few times, though. But I've done that now. Time to find something new.

    Today's miles: 4.01
    Total so far: 313.95
    Still to go for goal: 186.05

    We're off to deliver Keith to his other home. Well, as soon as I shower. Have a good evening!

    Poetry...

    Poetry...

    I was listening to Minnesota Public Radio earlier this week and during Midday they had a program with Bill Holm, who has put out a new book of poetry called Playing the Black Piano. During the course of this show, Bill read a poem called Lemon Pie which was written about a friend who later died from AIDS.

    I cried when he finished his reading. It brought back a lot of the same feelings that we swirled in during our brain tumor days. I went out that night and bought Playing the Black Piano... Here is Lemon Pie, by Bill Holm.

    Lemon Pie

    For your last Thanksgiving in Minneota I invited half the universe,
    Holm's single-handed feed-the-hungry, stuff-the-lonesome-stranger
    with turkey and giblets and pie. Already death had winked at you
    once or twice from behind its shadowy curtain.

    My neighbors pitched in with gravy, bread, and labor. Thursday morning
    Tom brought lemon pies, steaming, acid-sweet smell,
    majestic meringues, soaring peaks of beaten egg white.
    On the table cooling, you smelled them, found a fork,
    and, a mischievous sweet-toothed boy, were set to violate a hot meringue,
    when I walked in and said, sharp of voice, "Get the hell out of there!
    Those hot pies will be ruined if you dig into them."

    "So what?" You shot me an insulted look. "They're only pies.
    Eat them yourself." You skulked out into the morning. Toward night
    your snit evaporated, and you resumed your usual grace and humor.
    By then I'd grown my guilty conscience, remembering
    that you lived under sentence of impending death.

    I should have kept my mouth shut, one nagging inner voice
    said to another, watched you put an entire hot lemon pie
    into your gullet. What a hard business being human -
    all we know and remember shadows every simple act.

    The next Thanksgiving you lay close to death, all food
    loathsome, indigestible. Kept half alive with cans of glutinous
    Ensure, we made a lemon pie to tempt you into one more
    small pleasure, but you impaled the pie with a fork,
    left it standing upright in the meringue, and turned away,
    lost to all joy.

    We are who we are until we aren't anything anymore but air.
    I carry that steaming pie to my own grave, offering it to you
    over and over again, atonement. I hear your wry voice
    saying, as you it said so often: "Eat dessert first; life is short and uncertain."


    I leave you with his wise words and head off to lurch along on Lurch. I'll be back with my mileage in a bit or after I return Keith to his apartment. Have a good Sunday.

    3.13.2004

    Saturday's mileage...

    Well, the hottub was divine. 'cept for the part where the ice pellets started raining down really hard for a few minutes and were hitting us on the head!

    And the part where my book fell in the water. :) Annie Dillard's The Writing Life, which is one of my favorites. It will be okay, though. Just a little wrinkly and crinkly...

    While I was cooling from the hottub and getting ready to run, we had a big old roll of thunder! That was cool!

    I actually didn't feel any pain in my leg at all while I was running. The only thing that hurt was after I finished stretching. I have to remember to leave out one of the stretches. It's one we were told not to do back in high school cross country anyway... Back when I was considering running and joined them for one practice... back when I realized that no way could I run distance...

    So here are today's numbers...

    Today's miles: 3.5
    Total so far: 309.94
    Still to go for goal: 190.06

    I think I'll ice my leg now before I shower. Then it will be time to run after Kel again. I think we might head over to Borders after that. There is a very interesting new book out that I'd like to pick up to share with Keith. I heard about it on Minnesota Public Radio this week. It's called I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse?: An Illustrated Memoir. It sounds humorous and we're all about humor with this topic.

    Hope you all are having a great weekend.

    The weather and OUCH!!!

    The weather and OUCH!!!

    It's a lovely day here in God's country. We woke up to a normal chilly Saturday in March but just as we were getting ready to head out the door to run Kel to play practice we heard the distinct sounds of ice hitting the windows. Looking out on the steps of the patio, we could see the stuff falling and bouncing off the paving stones. Ish. It was a fun drive. We had a lot of stops to make in town... high school, post office, grocery store, bank, Perkins for a vegie omelette :) and the roads weren't horrible, but the ice did pile up to about three quarter inch on the roads in some places before it stopped falling.

    The run will be painful today I believe. There wasn't time for one yesterday and frankly, my leg injury was too new...

    Yep. Leg injury. Unfortunately I didn't get it in some cool way like skiing down the slopes or out running around on the snow shoes or ice skating or climbing a mountain or snow boarding...

    I wish I could report something like that.

    No. I incurred my injury of all things...

    Vacuuming.

    Yep.

    And I thought I was in shape.

    I squatted down to vacuum beneath the desk and was lifting up a basket full of paperwork to vacuum beneath it and the squat was just too much I guess. Because when I stood back up, I knew something was wrong with the back of my knee that hadn't been wrong with it before. It had been bent too much or something. So I hobbled around the rest of the day finishing things up and running around. I noticed it the most while driving because it is my right knee and I use it driving all of the time - depressing the gas and the brake and moving the foot back and forth between the two.

    I wondered how it would feel today when I got out of bed...

    Not bad. But driving was a little painful again. And after driving when I got home and sat down to do some writing and was paying attention and moving my legs around a little I noticed something... the pain wasn't just in the knee anymore. It was radiating down the outside of the calf toward the ankle...

    So the run will be interesting.

    I've decided that since I'm still pretty full from my garden omelette, I'm going to go have a soak in the hottub first. Loosen up the leg for a while. Then I'll cool off for a little bit, drink a little water to rehydrate, and head to the tread. We'll see. It might be a short run. Afterwards, I'll soak it again. Maybe some epsom salts... then I'll report back here with the mileage.

    Wish me luck. Oh silent ones. :) I know you're reading. I'm checking my stats. But darn it, get busy commenting! I misses your words of wisdom! I feel like I'm talking to myself here (with a couple of exceptions of course! thanks!!!)...

    Listening to: My new Meet Joe Black soundtrack... I lurrrrrrrvs this music!!!

    3.12.2004

    Update on Bobby...

    Heard from Bobby's Mom today. She said his platelet count was only up to 7000 this week. His sisters are back at school and doing the immediate shower and clothing change when they come in the door since their being out had no real positive effect on his count.

    He is headed to Childrens' on Tuesday next to see a Hematologist and one of their Pediatricians for a full blood work up and check-up. Put him on your good-thoughts and prayer lists please... I'd like to see him speedily recover from this rare and odd disease, ITP.

    Listening to: Perfect World by the Indigo Girls

    3.11.2004

    Tonight's run...

    Today's miles: 3.26
    Total so far: 306.44
    Still to go for goal: 193.56

    Gotta shower and go get Kel at play practice. Then she says it will be a late night of more homework...

    Listening to: Five For Fighting's 100 years

    Conversations in space...

    Conversations in space...

    AOL's Buddy List told me that my buddy Marge was online again tonight. I was going to check in with her to discuss our plans for writing in the morning...

    KinnicChick: is this the ghost of DivaMarge past???
    Marge:
    KinnicChick: hello?
    hellooooo????
    elloooo???
    ellooo???
    llooo??
    ooo??
    Marge:
    KinnicChick: Marge????
    Marge???
    arge???
    arge??
    arge?
    rge?
    ge?
    Marge:
    KinnicChick: Is anybody in here?
    anybody here?
    body r?
    Marge:
    KinnicChick: Damn.

    She called and talked with the good people at AOL the other day to find out why it appears that she is online when she isn't really. And why I can have these conversations with her when she isn't really there.

    I'm just glad they didn't ask her if she talks back to me... :) No Keith. She doesn't. hehehe...

    Okay - enough of this foolishness... I must run. Back later to update with the mileage.

    A New Baby in the Blog Family...

    A New Baby in My Blog Family...

    Hutch reports this week that It's a Girl!!! Isn't she sweet? And now her name will be forever emblazoned in my brain because...



    Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand...
    Just like that river twisting through a dusty land...

    Okay, enough with the old eighties music.

    About that body part thing...

    About that body part thing...

    Remember my question from a week ago where I asked:

    If you had to be someone's body part, what would you be, and on whose body?

    I got some great answers during the next couple of days, but just this week, I've heard a few more, and since they were later in coming, and some of them didn't get put in the comments, and some of them were so late, that regular readers might not even see them unless they were really searching for them, I thought I would repost them here, because they were so great...

    Hutch's little guys had some really cool answers... The birthday boy came up with these: "Jacob had a hard time narrowing it down, but the first two that he mentioned were Neil Armstrong's feet, and Thomas Jefferson's hand."

    And her younger son had this idea... Ben wanted to be the brain of Mr. Andrews, the engineer who designed Titanic, so that he could do a better job so it wouldn't sink.

    And finally, my dad added this... "I would be the part of the brain that Keith is having the problems with so he and the rest of his family could have a little better quality of life."

    For those of you who are newer readers around here, my husband had a brain tumor removed two and a half years ago, along with a sizeable bit of brain matter and still has focal seizures in part of his brain. He has a pretty normal life for having this occur. But he did lose his driving ability. As a result, with his current job in computer consulting and most of the work being on the opposite side of the twin cities (about an hour from where we live), he now has an apartment near work where he can walk every morning and Kel and I only get to see him on the weekends when we go pick him up and bring him home to spend that time with us.

    Frankly, that sucks. Mostly for him. And for Kel, who gets to be mostly fatherless again. But we still have him. And we're really ecstatic of that. And the brain tumor is mostly gone and unless it starts growing again, we can relax about it.

    So Dad? You had an incredible answer to my question. You brought me to tears. Thanks. Now I can do the same to you by being a totally healthy, young and vibrant heart beating in your chest so that you never have another heart attack. But it isn't the same. Because you thought of it first. But that's what I'm going to choose. But you beat me to it. Damn it. Love you Dad.

    Moving into the future...

    Moving into the future...

    I've finally gotten the test with paypal accomplished, so I hooked the button up and put it online. Dad and I performed one more minor little test this morning and all systems should be go now. Let's give it a shot! Anybody who wants to donate to my run to nowhere from out there in cyberspace now can. Thanks again for those of you who have been inquiring. Hugs to you!

    If anybody does try it and it gives them any trouble, please let me know. Thanks.

    Oh yeah!!!

    Oh Yeah!!!

    I'm going to see Starsky and Hutch!!!

    See you there, Hutch!



    And thanks for picking up Kel, Mom and Dad!

    It's that time again!

    It's that time again!

    Time to order our tickets to the david m bailey concert! He'll be here in May people and I'm planning on ordering soon, so if you want to join us, I want you to let me know so that I can order a ticket for you, too! Please give it some consideration. We always have a great time at his show and we love to share his music with more people every year. It's appropriate for all audiences. He travels to a lot of places and I know that many of you who are following my running progress would really like his stuff. Please check out his website and his story. He's our brain tumor hero...



    The proceeds from the concert go to a great cause - their local Relay for Life and helping pay David's expenses getting him over here as this is what he does for a living... but that's it. We were able to bring Delores S to his show last year just a couple of months before cancer finally claimed her and she really loved his message. He's special people. I hope you will join us.

    3.10.2004

    Windy Wednesday Updated...

    It is so blustery out there I just can't believe it. The tops of the trees are really whipping around for not having any leaves on them to be caught by the wind. They're talking about a 40 degree day so that should melt some snow. They're also talking about rain changing to snow for tonight, so the warmth won't help clear winter away much should that occur.

    The varying temps and sporadic snows have made for some interesting poses in the pink flamingos of late. They look like they are doing a coordinated and synchronized dance out in the woods. It amazes me how some are leaning left and some are leaning right but all look as if they are doing exactly the right thing because they look so coordinated and I feel I should put some music on a speaker and dangle it out the window for them. But I suspect they hear their own music already...

    It's time for my favorite candy to be in the stores again... Cadbury mini eggs. Good thing my favorite candy is only available for a small window during the year. I'm blessed that way. Unfortunately, it now comes in a BIG BAG like everything else that America manufactures. How's that for this week's question of the week, a day early... a bit of a no-brainer again since last week's had people thinking too hard. We can alternate like that... What is/was your favorite candy? And don't forget to think back to all those candies that are no longer available that you use to race to the corner store with your nickles as a kid on allowance day (back then I was partial to candy cigarettes - how politically incorrect those have become - and candy lipsticks with that red dye that caused cancer).

    Okay. I'm going to run around and clean house for a while now because it needs it. Then I'm going to hop on Lurch if there is still time before getting Kel from school (told you it needed it). Then we might be off to a movie. I'd like to accomplish some writing time and a cup of tea or two at some point, too. Hope you all have a great day.

    Run results...

    Today's run: 3.06
    Total so far:303.18
    Still to go for goal: 196.82

    Didn't get to update last night with the miles because I fell asleep before Kel got off the computer, so there you go!

    Listening to: Harry Connick, Jr. - I Only Have Eyes For You

    Hey Jacob!

    Hey Jacob!

    They say it's your birthday!
    Happy Birthday to you!

    They say it's your birthday!
    You're gonna have a good time...



    A golden one, too!
    I hope you have a really great golden birthday! Have an extra piece of birthday cake for me, okay??? And thanks for helping me earn a new duck...

    A little fun...

    A test today for some fun... found at Methink's place.

    Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
    Harry Potter Personality Quiz
    by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

    In other words, codependent??? ;o)

    3.09.2004

    Feeling strong now! - For Kimberly...

    Well, I had to get on Lurch early today. I have a lot to do. First there is the 9:30 appointment with the local glass service company to fix the target in my windshield that got hit with a rock yesterday on the way into town. That's the second one in about six months. I hate that.

    Then the car is well past due for an oil change. Oh joy. A favorite activity. But right next door to the glass place, so a convenient stop.

    From there I'm off to the bank to set up a little savings account so I can get the Paypal button on here for anyone who might want to donate online because there are so many unbelievably generous people in the world. It cracks my heart open everytime I hear from one of you. I'll get to deposit a few new checks that have come in from other donators. Thank you!

    Figured I might as well do Kimberly's run bright and early before all of that. I discovered something. When I run early? I run even slower than I normally do! It was a loooooong run!

    Tonight Kel has play practice. At that time I'll have even more errands to run, this time in the old home town.

    Today's miles: 5.09
    Total so far: 300.12 (I made it for you Jacob!)
    Still to go for goal: 199.88 (WOW! That feels so attainable!)

    If I get permission from Hutch, I'll have to put up a cute puppy picture here at some point soon. Her family has a new addition to their family. Did I really calculate the miles correctly that I made the challenge a day early? Seems hard to believe...

    I'll probably be back later today.

    Regarding Paypal

    I've got the bank account hooked up to the Paypal account, but for now, the button will have to be on hold because there is a test that has to be done between Paypal and I... as soon as that has been accomplished, it will go on the blog here for all of you wonderfully anxious people who want to make donations!

    I lurrrrrve you all!

    3.08.2004

    Monday - for Gail

    Today I ran for Keith's friend Gail who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

    And would you believe it is snowing here again? A lot. I didn't even know we were expecting snow today. It is beautiful, but I'm really ready for winter to be over with. They are talking about high 40's by Friday, which means a quick melt again, but we really have enough mud and water going on around here already. Things are flooding quite enough in these parts with the creek just up the road. We don't really need anything else right now. Oh well. Can't control the weather, I guess.

    Had a nice MSN chat today with methinks. It is so cool to chat live with someone on the other side of the world! I love modern technology. And to be looking at her beautiful photograph while I chat with her is cool, too - she looks in the photo like she is cheering me on while I'm running as she is doing a cartwheel in it! :-) Speaking of cartwheels, Hutch, have you told the boys about the hundreds of yards of cartwheels we did up at the football field that time? I'm thinking of a Relay fundraiser involving cartwheels now... Not involving me, but my daughter and nieces or something...

    If you ever come on the blog and can't see the photo at the top or the chickens or something, as is the case right now in fact, it means the website where I store those things is down and I can't do anything about that but wait for it to come back online. Sorry!

    Here are the stats for Gail's run...

    Today's miles: 4.16
    Total so far: 295.3
    Still to go for goal: 204.7

    Since I found out at the Relay on Friday night that Kimberly, who I ran for earlier, had gotten bad news and was no longer currently in the lead in her race against the beast, tomorrow I will be running in honor of her again. It makes me so sad to hear this. She had breast cancer and had been through surgery and the treatments about a year and a half ago and I did not get any details about what her news was, but she has a daughter Kel's age and another daughter in middle school. I saw Kim and her husband and both girls at the opening ceremony on Friday night before I heard about it and they all looked really positive about things, so I'm just going to keep on praying and being positive with them.

    We also heard from Keith's mom over the weekend that Sarah had passed away. You'll see that I added a list of the names of the people I'm running for to the right of the blog entries. Those are just the names of the people fighting cancer, or who have already done their fighting and who are now in remission. The names at the bottom are those who have lost the fight since I've run for them. Let's hope there aren't too many more falling into that category. I'm always looking for new names to run for - either those celebrating being finished because they've beat it or those fighting, so please let me know if there are people you know of who I can hold in front of me as inspiration. It helps me get on that treadmill each day.

    If you know of anyone that I've run for who I've excluded from the list, please knock on my noggin and let me know because I'm not always the greatest record keeper and I don't want to forget anyone on my t-shirt!

    When will it all end? Keep on racing for the cure with me!

    3.07.2004

    Sunday - for Bobby...

    It was a late night run for Bobby. There was much to do today, so Lurch was last on the list after a lot of other stuff. And now I'm off to bed but not before I update here.

    Hope you all had a great weekend. I think I can speak for all of us in saying we all did.

    And it was exciting for me to hear that KS95's Radiothon for Kids made a HUGE sum of money for Gillette Children's Hospital and Children's Cancer Research Fund... Last I heard they'd made over $1,280,000 so far and were still taking calls even though the actual Radiothon was over and the auction of items was still going on. In looking at their website, it still is as I post this. I listened to a lot of it as I drove around this weekend and they are doing a lot of good stuff for these kids. Having a healthy teen myself always makes me feel pretty humble to listen to the stories and makes me want to help in some way. I'm glad to be climbing on Lurch for this Relay again tomorrow.

    Thanks to all of my special friends and family for your donations and for the cheerleading. You keep me moving toward my goal!

    Today's miles: 3.51
    Total so far: 291.14
    Still to go for goal: 208.86

    Back tomorrow!

    3.06.2004

    Saturday - for Todd...

    Kathy C asked me to run for her friend Todd today who just learned that he has prostate cancer. So today I'm running for him.

    I haven't made it down to Lurch yet, but Keith is making his pot of coffee to take to the hot tub now, so I thought I would get ready and pick out my movie and head that direction now. So far this morning has been a casual sit around with Keith and Kel, chatting and relaxing about life. After our late night, Kel was up really early finishing her weekend homework and watching a movie before anyone else was awake. I guess that all-day sleep yesterday caught her up on sleep for a while.

    Keli's cousin Bobby has just been diagnosed with a rare auto-immunological blood disorder called ITP. From the little bit of research I've done about this on the web, what I've seen so far, is that this frequently hits kids between the ages of 2-4 years and "in most cases, their ITP goes away within the first two months, tends not to lead to other problems, and does not return." It is a nasty beast, though. With ITP, "the platelets are the target. They are marked as foreign by the immune system and eliminated in the spleen and sometimes, the liver." Bobby's blood count is at 5000 (normal is 150,000). He's basically living in a bubble right now. Most of the family is. They had to pull the girls out of school so they wouldn't bring any germs home with them and the daycare that Mom ran at home had to be shut down for the time being. Dad is the only one leaving the house to go to work and he has to shower and change as soon as he gets home before he can see the little guy. I'm going to be running for Bobby tomorrow.

    On Monday I'll be running for Keith's friend Gail M.

    Okay. Keith's coffee is ready. I'm off... Back in a bit for an update.

    Running with more old Cheers episodes (and wishing I had "Kelly's Birthday Party" or whatever it was called so Keli can see it and hear Woody's ode to Kelly) today, here are the stats racked up for Todd...

    Today's miles: 3.58
    Total so far: 287.63
    Still to go for goal: 212.37

    So tomorrow is for Bobby. We're all praying for his speedy recovery and no further drop in his counts or illnesses.

    3.05.2004

    Frosty Friday...

    Wow did we get the snow during the night and into the morning! Snow day! I got Kel up and sent her off to get ready for school. About fifteen minutes later I remembered that we were supposed to get a bad storm during the night so I turned on the outside lights and pulled the shades. Blast. Snow everywhere, sticking to the trees and still dumping! Wind whipping it around making visibility very limited. I jumped out of bed and ran for the office. I had to boot up the computer because I hadn't gone through my usual pre-storm morning preparations last night and then ran for the radio in the kitchen to see if I could catch a forecast or some school closings. I caught the tail end of them on the local station and he named the old home town, but not the local district. BUT, if the old home town was closed, that's a pretty sure sign the local schools are closed, they always follow suit. I ran back to the computer and brought up a tv station's website from the twin cities. Then I hit their school closings button and gasped at the long list of schools that appeared... I scrolled down the alphabetic list and sure enough - there we were. Now to inform my sure-to-be-ticked and already-ready-for-school daughter...

    Me (from the hallway outside her bathroom): Um, Kel?
    Her: Holy Crap you scared me!
    Me: Sorry...
    Her: What?!
    Me: You can put your pj's on and get back in bed... no school today... bad snow storm.
    Her (coming out of her bathroom completely dressed with wet hair, grinning): Snow storm??? What's with this weather?
    Me: You get to go back to bed!
    Her: I'm ready already.
    Me: You get to go back to bed!
    Her (still grinning, but not necessarily in a good way): Snow storm?
    Me: You get to go back to bed!
    Her: Okay Mom, I get it...

    She did manage to go back to bed, and back to sleep. She slept until 2:30. edited to add: I stand corrected... She informs me that she actually slept until 3 pm... Not bad, eh? I think she's got that whole teenage thing down.

    Tonight she went to the local Relay for Life and worked at Zany Janie's Henna booth, applying henna tatoo's to people for a free will donation for a couple of hours. She did a great job. I'm so proud of her because she was pretty nervous about it. She worked by herself for much of the time and many of her clients were college students and adults - most of them total strangers to her. She handled it very professionally. I know because I got to watch her from a distance for much of it while I waited for her. It was her first time working for Jane and she was told that she'd be called back to do other shows and festivals for pay if she is interested. She said she had a great time and would love to do it again. It's right up her alley being the artist that she is.

    Speaking of the local Relay, Keith and I were there watching it for a while. We saw it as very well organized. It had a lot of energy, brought in part by the addition of all of the University students, I think. It was nice being indoors and having no bugs or weather to deal with (which can be part of the charm of the one we do in the summer, I think). We were thinking we might have to join a team down here sometime and do them both.

    Today I ran watching old reruns of Cheers that Kel found while going through old unmarked tapes in the drawer of our dresser...

    I ran for Sarah - a relative of Keith's who lives in Utah.

    Today's miles: 3.51
    Total so far: 284.05
    Still to go for goal: 215.95

    See you tomorrow! Only have to average 3.19 miles a day now to make 300 miles on Jacob's birthday!!! (Do I get to count the tenth as a running day Hutch?) Think I can do it Jacob?

    Addendum: I had to pick up Kel at her friend Lauren's tonight a couple of hours after her stint at the Relay but instead of coming home, we decided to go back to the Relay for a little while. The reason for this was that Kel has a few friends in a band that was playing there at various times during the night including the luminary ceremony and that was going on about that time. I had purchased a luminary in honor of Keith when I was there earlier and thought it would be kind of nice to be there to see part of their ceremony, too. So, I asked Kel if she wanted to go back and she thought that sounded fun. She also thought it would be good to check on Jane and see if she needed any more help.

    Well, we got there and Jane was swamped. So Kel pitched right in and got back to work. And I headed into the gym to have a look around. I am so impressed with this Relay. I watched the end of the luminary ceremony and got to hear Keith's name called off, Kel did too, actually because at that point, Jane had no extra bottles to work with. I got to watch a Survivor game played between the teams that was a hoot. They had a great time playing it and those of us watching had a lot of fun just watching! I watched a limbo competition that was a lot of fun. Still to come were hula competitions, a tug of war, a timed team tent set up, campfire stories and songs, partner skills involving fishing waders, more team games, a workout with a YMCA fitness instructor and a yoga session. They'd already had the Dude Looks Like a Lady contest, some dancers from a local dance studio and two live bands.

    I discovered another positive about their indoor setting - the sound system is incredible. You can hear everything that they say and all of the music really well. It's a really hard call which is better... but they were definitely really well organized, I'll say that for them. And again, all of those university students give it a different kind of energy.

    Kel thanked me as we were leaving (before she fell on her butt on the hard sidewalk which had gotten very slippery from the still falling snow) for going back because she'd had a really good time helping out with the henna again and seeing her friends some more. They made a total (I think) of $250 in donations which means they did 50 designs in the 6 hours they were working. Not bad!

    3.04.2004

    Thursday thoughts...

    Hola! Hope everyone is having a good Thursday. I'm starting the day early because Mum and I are heading West to the cities for a yarn shopping experience. She's in the knitting mood and I'm in search of baby yarn for a baby blanket. I have a cousin having a wee-one and there is a shower coming up. Of course, now that mom is doing some knitting, she has decided to do the baby blanket thing and took my job away from me, but I might just have to double the job and make one as well... We'll see. I don't have much time as the shower is at the end of the month. Of course, I haven't seen an invitation, either, so... perhaps I shouldn't worry about it, eh? :) Just kidding.

    Anyway, here are the stats for today as I finished watching Titanic.

    Today's miles: 3.76
    Total so far: 280.54
    Still to go for goal: 219.46

    Man that last hour is a painful one. Although I did manage to watch nearly the whole thing without sobbing this time. Third time's the charm I guess. First time I saw it was in the theater and I cried a bit but watched it mostly in shock. Second time I saw it I cried pretty much from beginning to end. This time I just cried a bit here and there. Could have been that I was chugging along on the treadmill. Who knows?

    Okay, it's Thursday, so it sounds like a good day for that question from the book again... I told you this week's would be a little more thought provoking than vegetables, but don't let that stop you from answering. I had great response last week and would love to see that continue this week. Here goes (I admit this one is a little out there, but interesting):

    If you had to be someone's body part, what would you be, and on whose body?

    I thought this was a near impossible question. I asked it of a guy whose blog I read when I was sending out interview games for people and I thought his answer was really interesting (I don't think he reads here, but if he does, HI DEW!) Anyway, he said he would choose Lee Harvey Oswald's eyes because then he could have seen what really happened the day Kennedy was shot. Wasn't that a cool answer? I thought it was great. But then I thought about the fact that he also soon after saw Jack Ruby coming after him, too. That was a little unfortunate.

    Now I have to go shower (pee u) and head to the cities and think about my own answer because I've never come up with a satisfactory one myself... Somebody else will have to kick the comments off today. Hope you have fun with this one and it generates conversation!

    Have a great Thursday and I'll see you later! Thanks for being my cheerleaders gang! I lurrrrvs you all!

    I've made a few changes around here to try and make things a little more readable with or without the bifocals... Hope it helps. Let me know what you think.

    Totally looking forward to seeing the new S&H movie which came out today. It's getting a lot of hype for Owen and Ben. I'm excited to get together with Hutch and see it. In the meantime, here's a great picture of the originals, which really can't be replaced, no matter how they try...

    3.03.2004

    Wednesday words...

    Thanks for the comments about the new layout. I'll look into changing the comments for those of you who had difficulty reading the blue on black. That isn't tough to do at all. I like the colors but maybe I can find a larger font that would make it easier.

    Well, it looks like winter has returned around here. We are getting dumped on with snow showers today. It wasn't snowing when I headed down to the basement for my run but things sure changed by the time I emerged... What a difference an hour makes. Yuck.

    I enjoyed watching more of Titanic, though. Rose just helped Jack escape his handcuff situation...

    I have such a strange dog. Haven't written about him for a while. Yesterday after I crawled out of the cave I'd hidden in all morning with my migraine, I was in the bathroom washing up and getting ready to head to town to get Kel from school when I noticed in the mirror that one of my earrings was missing. So I wandered around shaking out the shirts I'd worn over the past couple of days and nothing fell out of them. Next I headed to the bed and picked up my pillow and was fortunate enough to find it lying there in the bed. This meant of course, that the back was missing, too. So I started looking around on the floor and saw something shiny that looked like a little crumpled piece of tinfoil. I bent over and picked it up figuring it to be a remnant of a Hershey kiss from Keli's Valentines that Bear had gotten hold of or something. Turns out it was the earring back.

    Guess it was crumpled into that shape because it was the hard thing I heard my weird dog chewing upon yesterday morning while I was lying in bed nursing my migraine. I heard him chewing on something while he was lying on the floor beside the bed. I asked him what on earth he had gotten hold of now. He ignored me. Of course. I didn't bother getting up to investigate because I was in pain and he eventually dropped whatever it was and left it alone and I forgot about it. Now why on earth would a dog chew on the silver back of an earring? Guess he has a sterling deficiency or something. Or it looked like something interesting to chew on. Or he wanted to get my attention. Or he's just weird.

    Today's miles: 4.16
    Total so far: 276.78
    Still to go for goal: 223.22

    Closing in on that goal for the tenth even faster than I had hoped! Hurrah! That means the March goal is that much more reachable, too. Yippee!

    Better hit the shower so I can go get the kid. She wants me to force her to go to bed at 6 tonight. Yeah. That outta be fun. She loves it so much when I try and force her to do anything. Movie night with the girls has been cancelled again. I miss it and we've only done it once!

    3.02.2004

    New Design!

    Thought I needed to jazz things up around here a little bit. Found this pretty skin with the lovely runner and decided it was the look for me.

    The migraine is still with me. I'm taking a poll. Any other migraine sufferers that might read along with me and live up in this area, I'd love to hear if you might be suffering along with me at this time... Weather related stuff seems to be hitting people right now. Hutch, how is Jacob this week? I'm hearing of lots of people who are being hit with migraines in the past two days. Just curious.

    Okay. Heading down to lurch along on Lurch now. This one is for K (you can refuse it, but I'll still give it to you! hehehe). Hope your medical tests gave you answers and that they also gave you help and comfort, Dear. Hugs.

    I'll be back to post my miles.

    Okay, I ran watching the first hour of Titanic tonight. Haven't seen that for a looooong time.

    Today's miles: 4.26 yeeehaaaw!
    Total so far: 272.62
    Still to go for goal: 227.38

    Headache faded into the background during the run. I actually thought it was gone for good. Seems to be roaring now, though. Perhaps the shower will help. Have a good night. It WILL be gone tomorrow. Tomorrow is movie day with the girls...

    3.01.2004

    Migraine Monday...


    First migraine in months and it happens on the first of March and on a Monday and on the first day of Hutch's challenge which I read totally wrong the first three times I read it. I read it correctly tonight when I came in to post my day's run results and look things over and figure things out...

    Today's miles: 3.50
    Total so far: 268.36
    Still to go for goal: 231.64

    So now that I really know what Hutch's challenge (from yesterday's comments) is, I can recalculate things and figure out what I have left to accomplish if I want to try and reach that goal... (whipping out handy-dandy calculator) 31.64 miles to go by March 10 and 9 days left to do it... Just over 3.5 miles per day with no days off! I can do that! Jacob - for you? On your golden birthday? No Problem!

    Busy day today after I finally dragged my painful head out of it's dark cave of a bedroom (thank goodness for room-darkening shades) when I had to go get Kel at school. Her new glasses were ready to be picked up so we headed for the vision place for those, then we headed to the folks' to show off the new specs. As soon as I can get her to stand still I'll get a photo and post it.

    From there we grabbed some junk food and headed off to the high school where Kel had play practice and I got to stand in lines for 90 minutes and talk to teachers at Parent/Teacher conferences. This was actually a delightful time because the teachers love my daughter and I have fun chatting with other parents I don't get to see often. Then I sat around in the car for another 90 minutes finishing a book I was reading and doing some writing until play practice was over and we headed home.

    Then it was on the treadmill to get started on the March mileage challenge. Tonight's viewing pleasure was Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill from last week - thanks Mom!

    Hutch, after seeing previews again a few days ago for the new Starsky and Hutch movie, I am SO looking forward to hitting that movie with you... Looks to me like Ben Stiller has totally NAILED the Starsky character. Time will tell how Hutch is. :) I can't wait! Kel wants to go with us. Don't know how we're going to do that.

    Okay. Posting this so I can help her finish up some last minute homework stuff before bed. G'night all. Determined that tomorrow this headache anomaly will be gone!