Wednesday, November 04, 2009

New fitness songs

Here are some new songs I'm loving moving to:

"Crying Lightening" Arctic Monkeys
"The Garden" Mirah
"Virtual Insanity" Jamiroquai
"Mountain Man" Crash Kings
"Brooklyn is Burning" Head Automatica

Monday, November 02, 2009


Tucker was playing with the camera last night and asked me to pose. So I did my best to emulate the vacant model stare, and this was the result. :) (Why is it the best pictures happen when I'm in my PJs and do NOT want my picture taken???)

Lesson from this weekend? When I eat like shit, I feel like shit! Enough said about that.

Actually nothing else I can think of to say. I'm completely engrossed in the book Outlander and I actually have a few minutes to read, so that's what I'm gonna do. Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Answers

First of all, thanks for the nice comments!

So yes, I'm still doing kettlebells, just not as much. It's tough to fit 4 days of P90X and 25 or so miles into a week. But my kettlebells are still here, my clients still love them, and they will always be a part of my fitness life.

My parents are doing ok. For now my dad's Alzheimer's is under control with medication (as long as he remembers to take it). In two weeks we're celebrating his 80th birthday. I'm going to decorate my car, pick him up, then we're going to play, 80 year old style! First stop will be the first house my parents bought when they came to CA. Then off to CSUS where my dad taught for 45 years. Then coffee. Then my house, where we'll watch the movie UP (my dad doesn't want to go to a theater -- too many germs). Then lunch, then I'll take him home. Doesn't that sound fun??? In case you're wondering, my mom is invited, but she never leaves the house, so she won't be joining us.

Is anyone dressing up for Halloween? I love the idea, but can't get enthusiastic about something that nobody else in my family cares about, you know? But I may buy some pumpkins today, just for the fun of it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

tiptoing back?

It's been almost 6 weeks since I've written. Why? I don't really know. But since I write only at the intersection of a) having something to say and b) having the time to say it, I guess those two haven't crossed paths in a while.

So what's going on? Let's cover life by area:

Family: Tim and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in Sausalito. It was fantastic! We ate and hiked and watched football and sat in front of the fire. I was ready to go back the day we got home! Kids are doing good. They both need transportation a lot, but that's going to change when Austin gets his license in December.

Friends: I have the best friends in the whole wide world!

Training clients: I can't tell you how much I enjoy my clients. It's a privilege to be in these women's lives and I feel really lucky to do what I do!

Training myself: Tim and I are in week 2 of P90X, which means I'm sore a lot. :) I missed a workout yesterday so today I did both Plyometrics and Shoulders and Arms. I've been running about 20 miles or so a week, and am starting to get back into liking running, which is quite a relief. I always took my love of running for granted, but I won't do that any more!

Faith: Me and God are good, but I'm trying to understand a confusing issue. I'm trusting that it will be resolved, and in the meantime I'm praying for God's will to happen, and that I would know what the next right thing is for me to do.

Dinnertime: I've been cooking on a fairly consistent basis and it seems to be working out well. One thing that's helped is that I'm not vegetarian anymore. Turns out it's tough to be enthusiastic about cooking something that you choose not to eat. So now I'm cooking AND eating and enjoying. :) I'm going to start updating my second blog "Saving Dinnertime" with quick notes about what I make for dinner and where the recipe came from. For instance, last night I made Roasted Chicken and Carrots with Olives and Lemon from the November 2009 issue of Real Simple (page 314). It was wonderful!

That's it for now. I can't promise how often I'll write, or even if I'm going to write again for that matter. But I think I'm back to writing. I do appreciate having a place to say stuff and I REALLY appreciate that anyone takes a minute out of their day to read it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The serenity prayer

Many of you may be familiar with the serenity prayer. My girlfriend Laurie shared this slightly different version of the serenity prayer:

God, grant me patience with the changes that take time,
An appreciation for all that I have,
Tolerance for those with different struggles,
And the strength to get up and try again...one day at a time.

I LOVE THIS!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Melange

  • Tried Art of Strength Firepower this weekend. FUN! Does anyone else do the AOS DVDs? If not, you've gotta try 'em. Firepower kicked my butt in 30 minutes. :)
  • I was at an AA meeting last night, and the speaker said there are three questions she tries to ask herself before she speaks regarding what she's about to say: is it true? is it kind? is it necessary? Aren't those good questions?!?! And to think you can get that kinda advice for FREE at AA meetings!
  • A great quote: "To the young at heart, everything is fun!" -- Charles Dickens
  • I'm trying a new recipe for dinner tonight: Cheese Raviolis with Pumpkin Sage sauce. Found the recipe in an ad in a magazine. I'll let you know how it turns out.
  • Speaking of cooking, in 1 week from today I will have an oven again! I've been oven-less for 3 months since the big lightening storm in early June. But my beautiful new KitchenAid oven will be installed next Monday. Let the cookies begin!!!
  • And in a final note about food, last night I cooked a dinner that everyone liked! (Well, I wasn't home to eat it, but I'm sure I would have liked it too.) Here's the recipe:
Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew
Recipe found online, serves 6

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices (I used more, cuz my family LOVES carrots)
1 28-oz can stewed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon celery seeds (I didn't have this so I left it out)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chicken broth

Combine everything in a slow cooker (crock pot). Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or high for 3 to 4 hours.

Have a wonderful week, friends!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Quick Tip from the Nutrition Diva

Quick Tip: Keep Produce Fresh Without Plastic Bags
Many of us are trying to cut down on our use of plastic. But do you end up filling your reusable grocery sacks with plastic produce bags? There's no need to bag most produce--simply put it loose into your bag or cart. To store lettuce and greens, rinse them with water when you get them home, shake off as much water as you can, and wrap them in a clean dish towel. (The non-terry cloth type work best.) Then tuck the bundle into your crisper drawer. Greens will stay crisp and fresh for a week or more. Wash all produce thoroughly before eating.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Thoughts...

  • The 49er canyon run yesterday was fun but harder than last year. Well duh! I was in better shape last year. But hey, I finished it and had a great time. Today what's sore? QUADS from the relentless downhill that happens before Stagecoach -- a trail that I think goes almost 2 miles of solid UP!
  • Decided NO to Boston and YES to Big Sur! Yes, I've finally decided on my next goal, and it's Big Sur in April!!!
  • Alzheimer's meds work, but only when you take them! I'm just sayin... :)
  • I've got the Vibram Five Finger bug, and may be sporting one of those funny pairs of shoes in the near future.
  • Fall in Northern CA is the BEST! Actually, it's just Fall that's the best, in my opinion.
  • Dancing with the Stars (OOPS -- I meant SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE) starts again tomorrow and I can't wait! Other shows I'm looking forward to include Criminal Minds, Glee, Modern Family, and ... well, I think that's it. Oh yeah, I do have laundry folding shows, but those are usually old Law & Order episodes that I watch in 10 minute segments. :)
  • I'm getting gentler with myself. For YEARS I've felt I was too big. I'm 5 feet 5 inches tall and usually weigh between 135 and 140 pounds. And I've wanted to weigh in the 120s forever! So I walk around with this "I'm too big!" thought swirling around in my mind, and recently a new thought is there: TOO BIG FOR WHAT?!?!? To fit through doorways? To sit in airplane seats? To appeal to my husband? It's time to let that old crazy belief go. Why am I getting gentler? I dunno. Maybe it's being in my late 40s. Maybe it's just that enough is enough. But honestly, when I can just accept myself as I am, life is so much better!
  • Regarding blogging and reading blogs: I'm catching up about once a week on both writing and reading, at least for now. Parents are requiring more help. Kids are crazy busy with activities (which means I'm crazy busy with transportation and attendance). And I'm still trying for that elusive thing called balance in life. My hope is that I can write more and read more soon. But for now, this is what I can do. So it's what I'm gonna do!
Have a great day, friends!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Today God Wants You To Know

There's a link on Facebook for "Today God Wants You To Know." I read it occasionally -- probably regular reading would be a good thing, right? Friday's message was particularly inspiring:

On this day of your life, Leslie, we believe God wants you to know...
... that humans learn only by trial and error, and that includes you.

You've got to live life, not think about it. Step into the midst of things, try and fail and learn and stand up again. The question is not whether you will or will not make mistakes - you will. The question is do you want to learn and grow, or do you want to shrink back and be stuck? Take that step you've been avoiding. You can succeed, or you can get feedback that it didn't work, but in either case you are sure to feel alive.

Have a wonderful Labor Day!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Reluctantly going down stairs

My parents are starting to have more health problems. Getting older is difficult under any circumstances. Getting older with chronic health problems is kinda like going down into a dark scary basement. You don't want to go down the stairs, but you have no choice. We're heading down those stairs once again. These are the thoughts I hang onto:
  • God knows.
  • God cares even more than I do.
  • My job is to put one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing.
  • And to be kind.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Anniversary plans

This year will be our 20th anniversary. And I've planned a weekend that I'm really excited about. My hairstylist told me about a really cool hotel in Sausalito about a year ago. I wrote the name down and just held on to it. This month's Sacramento Magazine had as its cover article "Dream Weekends" and the first place they featured was Sausalito and the hotel they suggested was the one I'd written down!

So the second weekend in October we'll be in Sausalito (just north of San Francisco) staying at Cavallo Point. The hotel is a half mile walk from the Golden Gate Bridge, and a short distance from the ferry. Here are some pictures of the room we'll be in:

Can you see the Golden Gate Bridge from the window?!?!

The plan is to leave Thursday morning and come home on Sunday afternoon. What will we do while we're there? WHO CARES! No seriously, here are some of the options:

Stay at the hotel enjoying the meditation garden and heated meditation pools.
Hike in the Marin headlands or head to Mt. Tamalpias for some serious hiking.
Walk or take the ferry to San Francisco (TONS to do there).
Hang out at Coit Tower and watch the Blue Angels!

Is it October yet?!?!? :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Words matter

I am blessed with many oh-so-cool friends. One I am especially fond of is Amy. Amy is a mom of 4 kids, ages 6, 4, 2, and 3 months. She is wise beyond her years. And she somehow manages to stay sane and kind in a life that is by anyone's standards a bit ... hmmmmm ... well, let's just say that's a lot of little people to be caring for, even when they're awesome people you love!

So last week Amy and I and some other friends got together for a book study. And we were talking about how you talk to yourself and if the words you use are important. We were contrasting the difference between "I'm so dramatic" vs "Sometimes I can be dramatic" or "I can be dramatic." After the book study, Amy wrote down some thoughts on the subject that really helped me. And she gave me permission to share her thoughts here!
I realized that, for me, even though I used them as examples tonight, using the words "tendency" or even "sometimes" connote a different meaning and I really like the freedom of "can" because the flip side of it is "can not" or I can be "something else."

For example, when I say "I am controlling" that is cut and dry and can keep me stuck in that along with the judgments of myself for that.

If I say "I have a tendency to be controlling" that still implies that this is my natural state of being and therefore it can be difficult for me to overcome that.

If I say, "I am controlling sometimes" even though I have qualified it by not all the time I am still saying "I am" something.

If I say "I can be controlling" then I feel the freedom to also say "I can not be controlling" or "I can be flexible."

This works for more positive things to, "I can be loving", "I can be compassionate", "I can be organized." I don't have to say "I am loving, compassionate, organized, etc" and then judge myself harshly for not being those things all the time.

Therefore, none of these words define me, I am not them, I just can "be" them. They are just part of who I can be at any given moment in any given situation. And when I say "I can be..." I feel like I have a choice about what that fill in the blank word is going to be and can take action about it.

I can also ask God to help me--to either remove something that I do that is a defect and does not serve me or others well, or help me to grow towards something I believe God wants me to be more often.
Isn't Amy the best? Thanks Amy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lightbulbs

I'm doing a lot of things to promote my emotional sobriety (a term I learned in AA that has application outside of addiction in my opinion). Here are two realizations from the last two days:
  • (From the First Ourselves teleclass) A quote from Cheryl Richardson "You're going to need to become ok with disappointing other people as you learn to take care of yourself."
  • (From today's counseling session) I was saying that my to-do list seems really stupid, because I'd fill it with stuff like "do laundry" and "pick up French dictionary." The counselor asked me what our home life would be like if I didn't do the things I do. That stopped me in my tracks. Our house runs (for the most part) smoothly. There are clean clothes. We don't run out of stuff. There are birds in the backyard because I keep the bird feeder filled. As I considered what I do, it occured to me that maybe there IS value in the simple stuff that is the better part of my days. And that made me feel pretty good.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I HEART Campus Queen


I eagerly started reading the post "The 10 Worst Lunch Boxes Ever" from The Best Article Every Day. Sounds like a fun read, right? But then to my horror, I saw my lunchbox -- MY LUNCHBOX -- as part of item number 6. Here's what they say about Campus Queen (and the Pro Sports lunchbox they include with it):

What they say: “My mom has no clue what I actually like, but thinks that this looks like a generic idea of what I might enjoy based on clich├ęd gender roles and utilizing an early crude form of clip art.”

WHAT?!?! How dare they??? I begged my parents for a Campus Queen lunchbox. The girl had yellow hair just like me! She was the epitome of cool to my second grade mind. And the lunchbox had a GAME with it too!

Lucky me -- I DID have a Campus Queen lunchbox. And I still have it, proudly displayed in my laundry room, along with my first teddy bear and my lovely ballerina jewelry/music box.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fabulous Friday!

I had lunch at Latitudes in Auburn yesterday. What a treat! This salad features grilled tofu, tahini poppyseed dressing, and tomatoes from the owners' garden!


The view from my patio table.


The view straight up.


In other random thoughts...
  • Potatoes at night before bedtime seem to be a good thing. I'm cautiously optimistic, and it cracks me up to eat a potato like an apple (I boil small red potatoes with the skin) in front of my family. :)
  • Got a 30 pound kettlebell today. I have a 36 pounder (16 kg) and a 44 pounder (20 kg) but I like having an in between weight. Right now I can get through both of my main AOS workouts using only the 12 kg, and that means it's time to go heavier, right?
  • My kid is 16 years old today! He's at Warped Tour in Marysville with a bunch of friends. It feels great to have a kid who is doing so well that you can LET him skip school to go to a concert (after a huge lecture about the importance of school, of course!).
  • Tim needs to get commissions on P90X, as he's turned a bunch of friends onto this workout. I still do the DVDs with him from time to time, but distance running and kettlebells are more my workout of choice.
  • Speaking of running, I'm signed up for TWO races on Labor Day weekend. On Saturday Tucker and I will be doing the Mather Mud Run, a 5 mile run with obstacles and the infamous mud pit. Then on Monday I'll be doing a 10 mile trail race in Auburn that includes the "is this ever gonna stop?" climb up Stagecoach.
  • Now that I'm running more consistently my legs feel slightly sore and VERY strong and that feels great!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mid-week words

  • Just got some new tank tops from Adidas and I LOVE THEM!!! I usually wear a tank with a shelf bra, and then put a shirt over than, whether it's for training clients or for my own workouts. Well, my tanks (purchased 3 years ago) have seen better days. But bye bye to icky and hello to sleek and cute! (I'll post links later...)
  • Kids are back in school and they love their teachers and their classes -- WHEW! I know that the newness can and will wear off, but at least they're starting out on the right foot...feet...whatever!
  • Reading Potatoes Not Prozac and learning lots about sugar sensitive people. Plan to try having a potato (with skin!) before bed and see how that works -- the book claims it improves both tryptophan and serotonin levels through some mysterious body process. I'll let you know if I feel anything or if it seems funded by the National Potato Farmers Association! :)
  • I have two races coming up. The Mather Mud Run is a 5 mile run with obstacles (yes, including mud) that takes place on September 5th. Then on the 7th (Labor Day) I'm doing a 10 mile trail race in Auburn. It sure feels good to have my running mojo back!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Smonday Melange!

  • I'm fasting today with Tim, who's having a medical test done tomorrow that requires fasting. He seems to find it more difficult than I do. I think that's cuz I have way more stored energy in my thighs. :) See, there's an upside to everything, right?
  • Last week I ran 32 miles and it was FUN! It's scary when your fitness mojo leaves, and that's where I've been for quite some time. Last weekend a friend suggested I pray about it. I did, and the next day I felt different about being active. What a relief and a joy it is to enjoy moving again!
  • I'm tentatively putting together a schedule for myself that starts tomorrow, as the kids start back to school tomorrow, and that means my life has more predictability to it. So I'm thinking about blogging 3 times per week, continuing to run and do kettlebells, and ... and ... well, I'll need to put some thought into some other things.
  • ONCE AGAIN I discovered that taking an anti-depressant is a good thing for me. Last week I missed one day, and then decided to cut my dosage in half for two days. And then I couldn't figure out why I had my own personal rain cloud following me around. I feel stupid even typing this, but the truth is that it takes what it takes for us to learn, right?
  • Is anyone else excited that a new So You Think You Can Dance? is starting this fall? I can't wait!!!
  • If you don't have a bird feeder, I highly recommend getting one. I picked mine up at Target and fill it about once a week. Having beautiful birds come to my yard makes me feel like a good person, in the same way it's nice if dogs and people like you, you know?
Happy Smonday everyone!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The power of music

Reasons not to run:
It's 99 degrees outside and climbing.
I already ran 5 miles today.

Reason to run:
So Very Hard to Go, by Tower of Power
Miss Sun, by Boz Scaggs
Heart to Heart, by Kenny Loggins

Music wins! Thank goodness we have a pool! :)

Monday Melange!

  • Saw Julie and Julia this weekend and loved it! But didn't like it when I was asked if it was a "chick flick." Maybe I'm being a little overly sensitive, but I see that as an incredibly derrogatory term. (Does everyone see it that way?) Perhaps we could call guy movies "ball scratchers" in order to make it more equitable?
  • Signed up for a 10 mile trail run on Labor Day. Running the gorgeous trails in Auburn this weekend has rekindled my love of running -- hooray!

My new favorite running place!

The view as you run. :)
  • Summer is winding down. The kids start school a week from today. This has been one of the best summers I can remember because my kids have actually had things they've wanted to do with their time. So I'm feeling sad that summer's almost at an end, but looking forward to the structure the school year provides for them and for me.
  • Today is the second teleseminar for First Ourselves. The topics will be "rhythm and ritual, creating nourishing structures and honoring your ebb and flow."
Have a beautiful Monday, friends. I've (literally) gotta run!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Monday Melange

  • I started a teleclass today and I'm really excited about it! It's led by Karly Pitman, and it deals with the emotional issues behind overeating. Karly's website is called Yourself First and it's excellent. I will write more when I have more time, but today's call dealt with how to see self-care as something other than optional and to be avoided at all costs! Here's something Karly posted on Facebook:

Love this quote from anthropologist Jane Howard: "Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." Do you have a tribe? I hear from so many women about how isolated they feel, how they're separated from other women, alone in their struggles. Reach out to your tribe. Give your sisters a hand. We are meant to journey together; not struggle solo.

  • Planning to run 20 miles this week and do 2 to 3 kettlebell workouts. Still searching for a goal (sigh!).
  • I LOVE FarmTown! Am saving up to buy a beautiful white farmhouse. Playing feels a little like the best part of playing Barbies: setting up the houses! My inner farm girl is delighted!
  • I get to have a lot of time with my older son this week. He's been gone at camp for nearly 3 weeks and got home today. It's so good to have him back!
  • I'm spending more time on Facebook these days, and less blogging. That may change when school starts, but if you want to say hey on Facebook, I'm Leslie Prentice Gandy.
Wishing all y'all a wonderful day!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Melange

In no particular order, here's some of the stuff swirling around in my head:

  • I'm about to go on a run. But I don't want to run. But I'm gonna. Why? Because even though I'm not particularly motivated right now, and am quite unsure as to what kind of goal I want to set, I know that movement = sanity for me. Enough said!
  • FarmVille vs Farm Town -- tell me which you prefer and why.
  • It's supposed to be 105 degrees here today. In my opinion that is TOO DARNED HOT!
  • I've just discovered Moleskine journals and I LOVE THEM!
  • Did I mention that it's gonna be super duper blazing hot here today?
  • On that note, I'd better get out and run before it gets too hot to go.
Have a wonderful Monday, everyone!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hawaii, part 3

When you consider that we took more than 200 pictures, I'm really editing down what I post here. But it feels like too many pictures to me. Bear with me -- these are the last of the lot.


One of several delicious meals at our favorite restaurant on Maui, Mala.


We toured an organic farm where lunch was served under this rustic gazebo. It was delish!


One of the trip highlights was the entire family going scuba diving. We explored a reef about 35 feet down -- it was lovely!


I buy one of these metal cars each time we visit Hawaii. This is the view as we left Paia on our next to last day in town. Incidentally, Hillary Duff was in Paia that day, but we never found her.

Thanks for bearing with me. It was a wonderful vacation with my wonderful family!

Hawaii, part 2


You've gotta get a picture by the giant banyan tree in Lahaina, right?


Austin made it all the way across this branch on his 3rd try. Gymnastics continues to provide benefits!


Didn't see this till after he'd made it across -- oops!


Tucker became fast friends with the most darling girl on the island at the BEST shave ice place we've ever tried!


Building sandcastles is Tucker's and my idea of fun at the beach. (So is swimming underwater in the ocean, but that's tougher to depict!)

Part 3 coming soon...

Hawaii!

It's taken forever to get these pictures uploaded. But seeing them again makes me smile -- it really was a wonderful vacation!

We biked down the volcano, which was billed as the only 28-mile bike ride where you can gain weight doing it, as it is LITERALLY downhill the entire way! This picture was taken when we stopped for lunch. As usual, my daredevil family was completely comfortable with something that made me incredibly nervous!


Still in love after almost 20 years of marriage!


It's good to exercise while on vacation, and it's way easier when you have an ocean breeze and an ocean view!


It's also good to eat healthfully while on vacation.


We went ocean wakeboarding. Here's Tucker jumping the wake.

Part 2 coming soon...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quote for the day

Life is not about waiting for the storm
to pass… it’s about learning how to dance
in the rain.
Vivian Greene

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tucker in High School Musical

Tucker was in his first real play last weekend and he was wonderful. His comment was "I've never had so much fun in my entire life" so I think there may be more plays in his future.

For any Trader Joe's fans

My friend Linda won a Trader Joe's recipe contest!!!

Here's her recipe:

Crunchy Chicken Sandwiches
Serves 4

2 cups Trader Joe's Organic Broccoli Slaw
1 Tbsp. Chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp. Trader Joe's Champagne Pear Vinaigrette With Gorgonzola
4 Trader Joe's Chili Lime Chicken Burgers
4 Multi-Grain or Honey Wheat Hamburger Buns

Mix Organic Broccoli Slaw, cilantro, and Champagne Pear Vinaigrette
With Gorgonzola. Heat Chili Lime Chicken Burgers according to package
directions. Place one burger on each bun bottom. Top burger with
Organic Broccoli Slaw mixture and close bun.

And here's what Trader Joe's had to say:

Aloha, Linda!

On behalf of the Trader Joe's Round Table Recipe Review Panel, I'd like
to formally congratulate you (and your recipe) on being chosen as one of
the top 3 winners of the 2009 HiiP Recipe Showdown!

Your recipe for the Crunchy Chicken Sandwiches will be featured on
traderjoes.com, and we would like to get your permission to feature your
name on the recipe card. Please let us know if that is ok with you.

Also, we have a nifty prize to help you create even HiiPer recipes (if
that's possible). Please reply with your mailing address and we will
send it out to you.

Congratulations again, and thanks for submitting a truly HiiP recipe!

Sincerely,
Emily, Marketing Dept.

Photo problems :(

I keep trying to post photos from vacation and have run into one problem after another. And I told myself I wasn't writing until I actually posted the pics. I hate it when I'm stuck like this.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Today

Today I am grateful.
Today I am appreciative.
Today I am 24 years sober.
Today I am amazed!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wednesday Melange

  • Summer here in Nor Cal is tomato season, and I have the BEST gazpacho recipe, in case anyone's interested in seeing it. Made with home-grown tomatoes, it's out-of-this-world good!
  • My eating is a bit schizophrenic, which is why I can eat fresh gazpacho and an organic corn tortilla for dinner, followed by a nice pack of Twizzlers.
  • In an attempt to improve my eating habits, I'm taking a four week course titled "Back to Basics" at Healthy Habits in Roseville. The class is based on the work of Paul Chek, whose writings I've studied. We'll see if they can convince me that meat is an essential part of a healthy diet, but I'm ready to listen and learn. The first class was last night and I think it's going to be good.
  • Have I written about The Daily Plate? If not, I really should have. It's on the Livestrong website and is a free food tracking system. It's the best I've ever seen, and I'm trying to consistently log my food choices. Got a bit off track over the weekend, but I'm back and entering what I eat, the good and the bad. If you sign up there we can be friends -- I'm "lpglives."
  • I still don't know what's next for me, fitness-wise. I do best when I have a goal, but I can't figure out something I'm willing to commit to. For now I'm kind of thinking I'm gonna run 15 - 20 miles per week and maybe do a couple of P90X videos and some AOS kettlebell workouts too. I'm considering boxing camp, taking a jazz dance class, maybe another marathon, or ... or ... well I just don't know! When I do know, I'll be sure to share.
  • Planning to getting back to reading weblogs again. I think I put too many in my feed reader and just got burned out. Actually it's not that I'm not reading, cuz sometimes I do, but I just haven't had the energy to post any comments. This is probably changing though, because I can feel it shifting.
  • I wish I knew of a word for "mixture" that started with a W, so my Wednesday Melange would be alliterative. :)
That's it friends. Have a blessed day!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Melange

  • This weekend was a whirlwind, with younger son in a play (he was Zeke in High School Musical Jr.), my sister and her kids up to see his performance, and my older son leaving for 10 days at camp. No wonder I'm tired today!
  • Tim played golf yesterday (something he does often) and I walked the course with him (something I almost never do). We had a GREAT time, and it was so fun to experience the game Tim loves in the place he loves.
  • News flash: poor food choices + that special time of the month = feeling ridiculously bloated! Need to remind myself that it's physically impossible to gain 100 pounds in one weekend. :)
  • I have a slight (cough) addiction to Mafia Wars on Facebook. So now I'm limiting my time on the site, and once I hit 501 family members, I plan to go back to a more normal and less addictive relationship with the game. ;)
  • Back to ironing ... more soon ...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Still here

I'm still here, just focusing on other stuff for the moment. Next week I'll post Hawaii photos and perhaps share some of what I'm doing (playing with a new fitness toy, loving a food tracking site, about to celebrate a milestone AA bday).

Enjoy the sunshine, everyone!

Best video ever!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Melange

  • Happy birthday, Tim!!! You are an amazing husband, father, and man, and I hope this year is filled with experiences and opportunities that surprise and delight you!
  • We're back from vacation. Couldn't get to sleep till almost 4 in the morning, and was up at 8, so getting some rest tonight shouldn't be a problem, right?
  • Looks like running in Hawaii kept weight under control, even though yesterday was a day of processed indulgences (Twizzlers, Doritos, Reese's Pieces). Today I'm back to logging food on Daily Plate. Don't know if exercise will happen, with temps predicted at 105 and low energy, it may be another rest day. :)
  • Our dogs are happy to see us.
  • So are our tomatoes. I sat beside a Sun Gold plant this morning and ate one tomato after the other, hot and fresh off the vine -- yum!
  • Although I ate a little fish while on Maui and still don't want to label my diet, if pinned down I'd say I'm a vegetarian who occasionally eats fish. Turns out -- surprise! -- I like how I eat! But not labeling what I am makes the whole food thing easier, which is a very good thing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Melange


  • Running in Hawaii is tough and wonderful. It's tough because you start to sweat the minute you start to move. But it's wonderful cuz IT'S HAWAII!!!
  • There's a mirror in our condo that I want to steal and take back home. In it, I look really good. I still look 48, but I look strong and healthy and like I said, really good! Tim assures me that that's what I look like. Hmmmmm, I may have to reconsider my view of me, or may have to obtain some tools and bring the special mirror home with me. ;)
  • If you didn't know me 10 years ago, you may be surprised to know that I was quite homemaker-ish and pretty conservative. For example I used to like Brighton jewelery, but over time it seemed a little too staid and fussy for my tastes. Went into the Brighton in Whaler's Village last night. Ummmm, yeah, they've updated some of their styles and me likeee a LOT! Got 2 necklaces and a pair of earrings, and may be heading back for a little something else before the trip is over. :)
  • It felt really good to run today. The last few days have been quite active with tons of walking and swimming, and 28 miles of biking (all downhill) but I feel more like me when I run.
  • We spent the day in Lahaina, with lots of time spent in the art galleries. I LOVE that my family loves art. There's a Russian artist -- Roman Czerwinski -- whose works were AMAZING. We met him and I plan to go back to learn more about what he does. His 4"x4" canvases sell for $299, so we won't be taking any of his stuff home, but I'll drink it in while we're here!
  • We're off to the ocean...happy Monday, friends!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Responses


Colette asked for garden pictures. This is our front planter box. It has gardenias, bacopa, and platycodon, aka Balloon Flowers which I LOVE! Don't know if the photo from my phone does the flowers justice, but they really are beautiful. More photos when we return from vacation.

Katie suggested video of lunge walking. I'd be happy to take some, but I've had to cut out lunge walking until my calf strain is gone.

Four Simple Ways to Make the Most of Your Day

I found this at OnSimplicity.net.

Whether we like it or not, days bleed into one another and weeks slip by quickly. I hate the feeling of looking back on a month and thinking, “Wait… Now what did I do again? Anything?” One way to ease your mind that your days have been well spent is to focus less on checking tasks off a list, and more on making each day valuable to you and to the world.

Do One Thing That Scares You

This one has become a cliche, but that doesn’t make it irrelevant. (Please don’t run into traffic just to get heart rate up, though.) Seek out fears that may be holding you back from trying new things. Talk to that cute girl on the bus. Negotiate a deal. Present an idea at work. Attempt a ridiculously complex meal. When you regularly do things that kind of freak you out, you stretch your boundaries and create a much bigger, more rewarding comfort zone to play in. “Safe” and “stuck” don’t have to be synonymous.

Do One Thing That Soothes You

The world doesn’t have to take care of you: you can take care of yourself. You need to take care of yourself. If you’re angry, find a way to release it. If you’re frustrated, do something nice for yourself. If you’re tired and cranky, enjoy a treat instead of martyring yourself for no good reason. Take a moment, just once a day, to make yourself feel good, and remind yourself that you’re responsible for your own happiness.

Do One Thing for Someone Else

Being selfless feels good—more than one study has demonstrated this. (Kind of throws a kink in the “selflessness” of the act, but we won’t worry about that…) Taking time to do a kindness for another person reminds you of the reasons you have to be thankful, all while strengthening your relationships with others. If you give and truly expect nothing in return, it’s rare to have any regrets about it.

Do One Thing for the Future

The future is a pretty fluid concept here: next week, next month, your 80th birthday… You can transfer funds to your savings accout, spend time talking with your child, do some yoga as part of a weight loss plan, anything that gets you one step closer to your goals for the future. Regardless of whether you’re learning French for next year’s trip or making a quilt to be passed down for generations, you need to stay connected with your future on a regular basis. That’s where some of your best moments are yet to be realized.
Lovely.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Melange!

  • This summer has been better than any other for me thus far. Why? Because my kids are involved in things that make them happy, rather than just sitting in front of the TV. Also it helps that I'm learning how to stand up for myself.
  • I'm still seeing the counselor and it's helping. Can't tell you exactly how it works, but I'm feeling stronger inside than I have in quite some time.
  • Hey guess what? I'm a level 67 in Mafia Wars! Yeah, I'm still having fun with it. And I'm NOT a video game sort of girl.
  • Also uncharacteristic? My newfound love of UFC. Maybe "love" is too strong of a word. But when my kid jokingly asks me if I want to watch with him (expecting a resounding NO) and I stay transfixed for 30 minutes, you know I'm liking it. I told Austin that I like ultimate fighting for the same reason I like jazz dancing. "Huh?" was his reaction. To me both "sports" exemplify grace, agility, strength, and athleticism that I find deeply appealing. (But I don't like it when anyone is punching anyone else's head -- that makes me sad.)
  • The Daily Plate at Livestrong.com is amazing for food logging. My girlfriend Laura told me about it, and I figured that ONCE AGAIN I'd try tracking what I eat. (Why do I run so much? So I don't have to moderate my food intake!) I'm really impressed with the site. It has some of the not-so-common foods I eat (Spiru-Soy from Vitamin Shop, Kombucha). However, I get a little weird when I start logging food. Like I don't want to eat cuz then I have to log it. And that didn't work well yesterday as I headed out on a 7 mile run. I bonked at mile 4, so I came home, ate, and then finished. Today I'm trying to learn from my mistakes. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thoughts

As I sit here eating my lunch (Amy's Indian Palak Paneer and an ice cold Diet Pepsi) (yeah, I started drinking them again), I'm feeling really at peace. Both kids are at Sunsplash (a water park) with friends, and won't be home for a couple of hours. During this time I'll plan tonight's workouts (I train clients on Wednesday evenings), do a little garden maintenance, fold some laundry, and just enjoy being at home. As I normally run on adrenalin and caffeine, and try to get as much done as humanly possible, "peaceful" is not my normal state of mind. But I'm really digging it.

Hey guess what? When you run more and clean up your diet, your waist comes back! In case you thought that increased exercise and decreased food doesn't work, I'm here to tell you that it does.

But getting back into running hasn't been easy. It's humbling to feel spent after a run that a few months ago would have been a piece of cake. Yesterday I ran while Austin was at boxing camp. I was tired. It was warm and windy. And boxing is in an industrial area that is less than scenic, with warehouses galore. But yesterday was so fragmented that if I didn't run then, I couldn't run at all. So I ran. Not every run has to be glorious. (Goodness sakes -- if that were a requirement I would have stopped running decades ago!)

Time to head out into the garden...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Brain Dump

  • Yesterday we had our third Big Dinner. Big Dinner is where our kids get to invite any of their friends -- as many as they'd like to invite -- and we provide them with dinner and a fun place to hang out. So there were 20 teenagers here last night eating tri-tip and bbq chicken, pasta salad, rolls, green salad, and brownies and ice cream for dessert. Tim and I enjoy Big Dinner nearly as much as the kids do. My hope is that we're creating memories for our kids that they'll want to repeat with their own kids someday.
  • I've been running the trail by my house a lot. I am in love with this little trail. One of these days I'll post pictures. Why do I love it? Well, it's beautiful. Also there are kid-made forts in a few places. The up-and-down-ness of the trail make me feel like a kid. So do the fallen trees you have to duck under or step over where they cross the trail. I feel very lucky to have something so fun just 1/2 mile from my house.
  • "Melange" sounds so much better than "brain dump".
  • Mafia Wars is my new addiction. I think it's so incredibly fun. I'm only 80 points from levelling up. Is it strange that I broke out the calculator and was figuring out the ratio of experience points earned to energy points spent for various jobs? (Don't answer that one!)
  • Running 7 today was tough as my glutes and calves were really sore from lunge walks. I don't know why I think lunge walks are so fun, but as long as I'm enjoying them, I'm going with it!
  • We took the dogs to the dog park today. You can't be unhappy at the dog park -- it's just not possible!
  • My girlfriend Kris got me a Brazilian prayer ribbon (her client's husband just returned from South America) and I love it! It's a red ribbon that you tie around your ankle making 3 knots and saying your prayer. Supposedly when it falls off, your prayer will have ... come true? happened? Anyway, my prayer is taken from the AA Big Book: Free me from the bondage of self that I may better do thy will. Every time I see the red ribbon I remember the prayer. And it's making life better.
  • Now that I'm not vegetarian, what's changed? Very little. I've probably had 3 ounces of chicken in the 5 days I've gone back to meat eating. But what I'm liking is having more options. I may just go with this till the end of the year, and then see if I want to make any changes. Interestingly, Tucker is sad that I'm not vegetarian anymore. And I liked that the label made me feel kind of special. (Well, it's true!)
Can't think of anything else at the moment. Gotta go check my mafia family! :)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Pushing Reset

I read many wonderful blogs. Today's title comes from OnSimplicity.net in a post titled "Pushing the Reset Button on Your Life." I feel like I'm there right now. It's time to examine my life and how things are working for me. What areas are up for examination? In theory, everything's a candidate. But right now here's what on my radar:

How I Eat -- Your comments helped me to make my decision. I'm eating meat again. Not a lot. But enough that I can actually taste and eat what I cook for my family. The choice feels like a very good one at this time.

How I Exercise -- Not sure I want to do crazy long running. In the same way that cutting entire food groups out of my diet feels extreme, so does trying to run 30+ miles per week. I may go back to my "staying in half marathon shape" goal, which is what I started with before I ran the marathon and the ultra.

How I Start My Day -- Once again I'm trying to start my day in a positive way. It's just so easy to jump onto the computer and click stuff as I wake up. But is that the best way to start? NO! Prayer, spiritual reading, and exercise produce a much better mindset and outlook.

How I Relate to my Kids -- Over time I've let my authority as a mom erode to where I think I'm viewed as a friendly servant. And this becomes a vicious cycle where I make choices (picking up their clothes, dropping whatever I'm doing to transport them, and so on) that make me feel devalued AND perpetuate the "friendly servant" persona and feed my depressed feelings. As today is their last day of school, it's time to get them to man up (literally!) and make more of a contribution. They'll feel better and I'll feel better.

On another note -- We had violent thunderstorms throughout the night last night. At times it was so loud that it hurt my ears. My neighbor across the street had pictures fall off her walls, and figurines topple and crash off her bookcases, and has charred electrical outlets. Our power was out for maybe 6 or 7 hours, and the simplicity was really really nice.

The Pettiness Prayer

The Pettiness Prayer

Keep us, oh God, from pettiness.

Let us be large in thought, in word, in deeds.

Let us be done with fault finding and leave off self-seeking.

May we put away all pettiness and meet each other face to face, without self-pity and prejudice.

May we always be patient, never hasty in judgment and always be tolerant.

Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straight forward and unafraid.

Let us take time for all things, make us calm, serene, and gentle.

Grant that we may realize that it is the little things in life that create differences; that in the big things of life we are as one.

May we strive to touch and to know the great common heart of us all.

And, oh God, let us not forget to be kind.


My plan is to start my day with this prayer each day in the month of June.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

SO SAD

I forgot to order my 7th grader a yearbook. Actually, I thought I ordered it in the fall. Turns out I was wrong. I would have bet money that it was handled! Kid is disappointed and angry. I feel awful. At least I know I'll have something to talk with the counselor about this week.

UPDATE: Feeling better. May be able to get a yearbook today (they have a lottery for the extras). May not. But stuff happens. You'd better believe I'll be sending the money in early next year!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Monday Melange

So today is the start of a brand new week and a brand new month, both on the same day. That seems good somehow, doesn't it?

So now it's Tuesday and I'm just getting back to writing. Here in no particular order are the thoughts and observations that are rolling around in my head:
  • I'm considering becoming a flexitarian (mostly veg with a little meat thrown in). Just started reading Mark Sisson's new book The Primal Blueprint, and he makes a very compelling case as to why it's better to eat animal products. Also what I eat right now for dinners is pretty pathetic. I cook meat for my family (tonight it's a Mexican casserole with chicken, brown rice, veggies and cheese) so they whole "it's better for the environment" argument that's pro veg doesn't work for me, as I'm not living it. Anyway, tonight I'll eat ... well, I'm training clients tonight, so it doesn't count. But last night I made chicken picatta with vermicelli and salad and I ate some plain noodles and salad. (Later I made up for it (sigh).) So yeah, I don't know that eating veg makes sense for me. I'd love to hear your thoughts...
  • People in Mafia Wars are mean! I've had hits orderd on me, and someone even just punched me in the face! Why can't I just run my little crime family and earn millions without someone trying to hurt or kill me??? Maybe Sorority Wars is more my speed?
  • I'm in love with "my" little trail. It's 1/2 mile from our house, but it's single track, primitive, challenging (LOTS of ups and downs) and super duper fun. When I run there it makes me feel like a kid!
  • Still hanging onto an extra 5 pounds, but still working towards leanness. We leave for Hawaii in 2-1/2 weeks. Am I motivated enough to be strict with my eating till then? (Oh just the thought makes me tired!) Stay tuned...
  • Have been working in the yard a lot since my visit from The Garden Gal. I hired her to be my gardening tutor after I killed some marigolds (which are indestructible in our area). Her diagnosis? Flukey gardening mystery. She came last week and gave me some direction on many different areas of the garden, and now I'm out there every day slowly chipping away at my project list. If you need gardening help, I'd highly recommend Katrina.
  • My kids are both on Facebook now and they are my friends. Which means I have to watch what I say there. But I get to see what they say...
Ok, time to get ready for my 1:30 client. Have a fabulous Tuesday, friends!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Feeling good!



Me last night as a fashion trendsetter with my side pony.

After many months of unrelenting stress, I feel like I can breathe again. Circumstances haven't changed much at all, but I'm doing some things to take care of myself, and amazingly enough, they're working.

I've had two sessions with the counselor. It feel right to be looking inward at this time and I'm glad I get to do it. So I feel a little unraveled inside (does that make sense?) but I think that's a good thing. I told the counselor that what I'm seeking is:
  • resilience
  • optimism
  • purpose
To my way of thinking, with those qualities, nearly anything life throws your way can be handled with grace and dignity, and you can probably emerge from any situation with your sense of humor and hope intact.

So for a while it felt like my theme song was "Every Day is Exactly the Same" by Nine Inch Nails (you know it's bad when Trent Reznor is speaking for you), now I'm feeling more like "Feeling Good" by Michael Buble.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sad but probably close to true

Michaelangelo's David is to be returned to Italy.

After a two year loan to the United States,
Michelangelo’s David is being returned to Italy.


I found this on the Green Smoothie Girl weblog.
Be good, and if you're in Nor Cal, stay cool!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I am a runner!

I saw a bunch of photos of myself last night. They made me sad. In them I was smiling, in shape, and getting ready to RUN! It feels like a million years ago that I ran the marathon and the ultra, but the truth is they both took place LESS THAN SIX MONTHS AGO!

So today I've decided I'm a runner again. That means there will be more running than walking when I go out. This morning I ran 3 fast-ish miles (8:40 average pace). But it's getting hotter and I felt a wicked headache coming on. So I came back home, went on with my day, and then this afternoon in the 90 degree heat, I headed out again to finish what I'd started. I wasn't even CLOSE to fast during this 4 mile trek, but it got done. And I came home smiling inside, because I'm a runner again!

(Note: I think anyone who runs at any pace at any time is a runner. What I've written about here is just for me at this point in time.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

More laughter

Girlfriend Linda who (sadly) lives in Chicago and not RIGHT NEXT DOOR alerted me to this laugh-out-loud funny weblog: Wendi Aarons. (The title is the author's name -- there is not hidden humor in it.)

Here's a sample of the fun. For some reason I think Colette, Eileen, and Katie will enjoy it most...

Lessons Learned Last Week

Monday
Make the shocking discovery that it's never a good idea to use the term "douchebag" in a PTA meeting. Even if the person you're talking about just so happens to be a really, really big one. Isn't that right, Angela?

Tuesday
At a party, find out that shaping your hair into a nice, high pompadour while drunkenly screaming, "Look! Look at me! I'm in Big Love, baby! Look! I have compound hair! See it? See it? Now, where my sista wives at? Come on, you bee-yotches! Let's fight! MY Bill Paxton! MY Bill Paxton! Hahahaha! Rawrrr!", is actually not something that will make you popular and fun to be around.

Wednesday
During rare visit to the gym, discover that nobody is impressed by a 17-minute mile. Especially when you tell them you sprinted the whole way.

Thursday
Learn that, even if you tell your husband that tonight's dinner will be "tender crescents of imported whole-grain pasta smothered in a pool of rich, succulent, sunset-colored baby cheddar and lovingly paired with an organic butter reduction," he still won't be happy you've made box mac 'n cheese again.

Friday
While watching a DVD, realize that, after one glass of wine, Matthew McConaughey isn't really such a terrible actor after all. After two glasses of wine, happily take back all of the nasty things you've said about him throughout the years. After three glasses of wine, begin to weep over the nuances he's bringing to the role of a romantic cad with a heart of gold. After four glasses of wine, stand up on the couch and howl, "Mathhhhhewwwwww Mc... Mc... Conorwee!!! I LOVVVVEEEE YEWWWWW!!" After five glasses of wine, rifle through stacks of old US Weeklys and lick pictures of Matthew doing shirtless yoga poses.

Pass out with disc of How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days stuck to right cheek and a hand-written note reading "Help Me" stuck to the left.

Saturday & Sunday
Stay in bed recovering from week full of life lessons. While difficult at times, know the experience was worth it. Relax, meditate and promise to be a better person from now on.

Monday
Make the shocking discovery that it's never a good idea to use the term "asswipe" at a PTA meeting. Even if the person you're talking about just so happens to be a really, really big one. Isn't that right, Angela?

Laughter


Chip on dailymile highlighted Awkward Family Photos as his new favorite website, and I'm with him on this. Happy Friday, friends!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Answers

I have a few spare minutes to answer some questions:

Colette asked how I like P90X. I like it a lot, but not as my primary exercise. In an ideal world, I'd do P90X for upper body twice a week, and for lower body once a week, in addition to running about 30 miles. Last night Tim and I did Chest and Back (a million pushups of all kinds, and a million pullups of all kinds), and tonight we're doing the Plyo disk. Tomorrow I'm gonna be SORE!!!

Anonymous asked where the trail was that we hiked on Sunday. I got it from a book titled "Best Easy Day Hikes, Sacramento" that's a Falcon Guide. We did the Mountain Quarry Railroad Trail. To get there (as per the book) you take Highway 49 south through Auburn and down into the canyon. You turn right on Old Foresthill Road at the base of the hill, cross the bridge and park along the road. The trailhead is at gate 150. Hope this helps!

Matt -- I just have to say thank you for taking the time to write what you did. Your encouragement is so very appreciated!

The Other Mothers

My girlfriend Eileen, who has way more energy and smarts than several of me put together, is starting a website for moms. I think the working title is "The Other Mothers." Here's what Eileen has to say about who she'd like to reach:

So maybe I have my niche right there. The rest of us mothers. Those of us who are most definitely not "one of those" mothers. Those of us who love our children, but don't necessarily love the work of motherhood, who try to get it together, but usually feel like we're falling short and just can't keep up. Those of us looking for clever, and perhaps offbeat hacks for getting through the day....

If you'd like to provide some feedback, or stay informed about the project, you can check her out here!

Perhaps a runner?

I'm starting to remember why I like running, which is a good sign. Did 7 yesterday, and 8 today, with a goal of 30 for the week. My hope is that the extra pounds I've put on (limited exercise + eating for stress management = muffin top) will leave nearly as quickly as they came on. Why is it so much easier to gain weight than it is to lose weight?

Podcasts are my entertainment of choice when I run, and today I downloaded a bunch of NPR's offerings including Fresh Air, Food, and Shuffle. If anyone's interested, there's a good interview with the creator of "Glee" the new series that's premiering tonight. What I found fascinating is that this man is also the creator of "Nip/Tuck." Talk about a range of subjects!

Ummmm, I think that's it from the home front. Have a great day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Feeling a little more like me

Thank you for every wonderful comment and email you took the time to send. They helped to alleviate my fears and to make me feel like I'm not the only one who struggles.

Yesterday Tim and I went for a hike. Did you hear that? My husband (the one who said, early in our marriage "I don't get walking. You should run or you should sit.") and I went on a hike. We drove to Auburn and caught part of the Western States trail, covering 6 miles and having a great time.

The two of us along the trail.

Tim was hiking and smiling AT THE VERY SAME TIME!

Aren't the Sierra foothills beautiful?

Today I went out and ran 7 miles. Well, I ran 6 and walked about 1. That's better than I've done on any outing in a month or more. 3 of the miles were on a trail right by our house. It's all single-track and lots of ups and downs, but that's a good surface to train on, right?

I really am feeling a little more like myself every day. And rather than getting harsh and punitive with me, I'm staying gentle (mostly) so if my pace is slow, or if I don't get quite as much done as I'd like, then that's just fine.

Again, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The whole truth

Although this blog is primarily about fitness, whatever I happen to be enjoying at any given time also seems to make its way into my little wedge of the blogosphere. And I really like to focus on what's good, however...

...this last week has been one of the most difficult I've ever had. I lost interest in everything. Any hope I had vanished. I could barely drag myself out to exercise. Healthy eating? Gone. And I was in a very scary place emotionally.

So what's a girl to do when her hope is gone and she can barely drag her butt out of bed? Well in my case, the solution has been multi-faceted:
  • Honesty: I told my husband and a few key girlfriends exactly how I was feeling.
  • Medication: I increased the dose of the anti-depressant I take (my dr has given me the ok to bounce between two dosages, and believe me, uppping the dose has been a VERY good thing)
  • Professional help: I'm going to see a counselor this week (something I'd been planning to do at the first of the year, but that was when my dad started having troubles, so it got put on hold)
  • Physical help: I'm starting to eat foods that have a vitamin or two in them, and starting to get consistent with exercise once again.
My pride doesn't like what I'm writing, as I'd be way more comfortable saying, "Yep, I just picked myself up by my bootstraps and did what had to be done!" I don't want to be the poster child for anti-depressants. And I like to think that I require less than the average person to just keep on going. But the stresses of this year have taken their toll and it's time for things to change.

So why do I mention any of this? Because I feel that what I write presents a real picture of my life, albeit with a positive slant, and to exclude what's happening now would be a lie of omission. Would anyone else know? Nope. But I would. And there's the teensy weensy possibility that someone who reads this knows someone who's struggling, or could be struggling themselves, and in getting honest, maybe someone would know that they are not alone.

Today I can tell that my serotonin levels are better, as I'm starting to smile again. And I'm looking to the future with a small measure of hope. And that, my friends, is a VERY good thing!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Like a boxer who's been hit hard...

...I'm coming back to standing up, slowly but surely. Being sick sucks. It's not worth the downtime (and the responsibilities don't go away!), and I need to learn a new way to take time off. I'm sitting here carrying a few extra pounds, feeling not very energetic, but completely certain that I can get back to standing firmly on my own two feet.

My dad's doing better each week. He has not had a stroke and does not have a tumor, but his memory is still impaired. Well, this weekend we started playing brain games (variations on what I play daily on Lumosity) in an effort to help him get back to normal.

That's it from here.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Be careful what you ask for...

I could tell stress was getting to me when I first heard about swine flu, and I thought "I'd like to get that." While that may sound crazy to some, I was picturing some freedom from responsibilities and some down time. Well, now I've actually got something going on. Chest tightness. Coughing. And I'm happy about it, as it gives me permission to slow down just a little bit in my life. So I'm drinking Breathe Easy tea and maybe running at 70% speed today. (Not literally running -- just talking about the pace of life.)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Things that make me smile

It's become crucially important to notice things that make me smile. Perhaps it's important all the time, but now when I'm feeling so stretched, it's a must, not just a nicety. So here are a few things that brought a smile to my face in the past 24 hours:
  • Saw a minivan that said "Dad's the boss, right mom?".
  • I got my "Wag more, bark less!" sticker from Agatha and Louise. (My sister Michelle has one on her car, and I'm following suit.)
  • Tim told me about My Living Desktop and I downloaded it this morning. Right now I'm listening to crickets chirping with an occasional horse trotting by and a beautiful pasture scene in the background. And you can set the desktop to provide built in serenity breaks -- great for those who need to be on the computer for hours at a time.
  • I had a podiatrist come by and take care of my parents' feet yesterday. The doctor was kind and gentle and I could not have asked for anyone better. It is a huge relief to know that neither of them (both of whom are diabetic) have any feet issues.
  • Still batting 1000 with my new morning routine. Today I ran/walked 1 mile and threw in 30 incline pushups and 300 lunge walks. The air was moist and it was crisp and lovely. Spent most of the time in prayer, and then listened to the latest Vegan Freak podcast. Anyway, what made me smile was how foggy and mysterious things looked as the sun came up.
About to tackle the piles on my desk. This will not be smile producing in the process of working through all the stuff, but I'm sure I'll be smiling when my desk is clear once again. :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Disneyland!!!

We flew into So Cal early Friday morning. Sandy (my funny, smart, loving mother) met us at the airport and we headed to Disneyland for a whirlwind day of fun.

Tucker plays in Toontown.

Tucker and Grandmother enjoying the sunshine.

Indiana Jones is the best ride at Disneyland.

Me and Tucker trying on ears.

Melange, part deux

  • Dinner is a sandwich from the book "From the Ground Up" by Amy Stewart. I've seen numerous variations on this, mostly called Pan Bagnat. The recipe from this book uses a baguette that gets sliced, then spread with olive and garlic tapenade, then topped with roasted carrots and squash, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, thin slices of bell peppers. Finally you sprinkle the whole thing with a little red wine vinegar and some good olive oil, then put the top half of the bread on, wrap it all in waxed paper, and let it sit under a cookbook (no joke!) for a while. I made this a couple of weeks ago and my whole family loved it. Austin told me I could NOT change a thing when I made it next, and I forgot to tell him that cooking (unless it's from a package) is never exactly the same. We'll see how tonight goes!
  • I bought a much-needed bookcase for my office a couple of weeks ago. It's still not assembled. I'd thought I was going to do it, so I wasn't asking Tim for any help, but today I pulled out the directions and yeah, I need a man. Thankfully I have one! :)
  • My sister and I were going to run the San Francisco half marathon as her first half marathon, but for a number of very good reasons, we've decided to run the Nike in October instead. (She signed up as a fluke and got in, not knowing how truly lucky she is! I will be running as a bandit -- yikes! Is that super bad if I'm just there for her?)
  • I'm back on the green smoothie bandwagon. Really, I've never fallen off, but now I'm back to daily green smoothies as a way to feel great.
That's it for now. Prolly more later...

The new morning routine

Big changes in my morning routine are afoot. My usual modus operandi is to get up, slip into a robe, sit and mindlessly click on the computer for a while, then click some more, and keep myself available for whatever anyone needs. I throw on clothes to take the kids to school (emphasis on the "throw") and rarely do anything to get myself ready for the day until sometime later. This is not working well. It's making me feel depressed. So it's time for a change.

Here's the new plan: Get up and throw on exercise clothes (which I will set out the night before). Spend a few minutes on the computer, then head outside. Walk/run for 2 miles, adding in pushups, lunge walks, marching, and any other exercise that strikes my fancy. Shower and get ready for the day when I get home.

I did this today, which means I'm batting 1000. And it felt really good.

Melange


  • Got back from Southern CA Sunday night. Missed 2 days of solid rain here -- hooray! Will be posting photos from Disneyland soon.
  • Over the weekend, Tim and Austin washed and folded all the laundry in the house!!!!! Do you realize how big that is??? What a treat to come home to no laundry mountain! Thanks Tim and Austin!
  • My dad's doing better enough that he doesn't require daily visits. That gives me a little free time today and I'm taking myself on a field trip here right after I drop the kids at their respective schools. (The photo above is from The Flower Farm website.)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Coming full circle

Let's start with some shout outs:

Jacey -- thanks for the suggestions about and about birds in the backyard and pedicures for diabetics. Interestingly, I'd picked up a copy of that very magazine you suggested on the same day you suggested it! And wonder of wonders -- I found a podiatrist who makes house calls!!!

Ron -- It's so good to hear from you. Thanks for the encouragement!

Matt -- Your words brought tears to my eyes -- merci beaucoup! (More about French in a minute...)

In many ways, my life is coming full circle these days. No I'm not talking about my parents struggles. Rather, it seems like things I was interested in decades (literally!) ago have come to the forefront in ways I'm really enjoying.

I took French in high school. Why French? Because at that time, my choices were Spanish (which was thought of as the "easy" language, and I wanted no part of that), German (which sounded harsh to my ears) and French (the natural default). But after the requisite two years of instruction, I never touched it again until now. Austin's taking French in high school, and if he's lucky, he'll be one of the students selected to take a trip to France next summer. Yeah, guess who's chaperoning that trip -- MOI! So I got a copy of Rosetta Stone French, and have been stumbling my way through a little bit at a time.

This is what my kid does when he's not conjugating French verbs. :) (Yes, that's actually MY kid!!!)

One of my favorite books growing up was "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The descriptions of both the vegetable garden and the kitchen were so vivid and wonderful and they made me want to be good at gardening and cooking. I did learn to cook years ago, and I'm fairly good in the kitchen (although somewhat unmotivated at times!) but I'm starting to enjoy the actual process of cooking. Well, that is, when the stars align and we're actually home for dinner. Tonight we're having Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Viniagrette, Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan, and a simple salad. It's the least I can do when I'm leaving for the weekend, right?

This weekend Tucker and I will be in Southern California, and tomorrow we'll be at Disneyland with my mother. I can't wait!!!

Finally, I took myself on a field trip to several garden places I hadn't seen before. At one place, I found the very best garden decoration in the world (at least to my way of thinking). It's ceramic on metal and stands about 5 feet tall. Alas, it costs more than $1000, so it will have to remain at its current residence (sigh).

Isn't it wonderful?!?! Doesn't it look just like me?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Simple pleasures

The comments made me feel hugged. THANK YOU!!!

I bought and hung a bird feeder last week. And it's been a source of frustration because no birds were finding it. That hurt my feelings. (I know, sounds crazy but it's true!) I was feeling like someone who dogs and kids don't like and one day I nearly threw out the feeder and all the bird seed. But over the weekend some tiny birds found our feeder! I was ridiculously happy to see them.

My dad is having a good day today. I went for a visit, intending to take him to the grocery store (where EVERYONE knows him and loves him) but he was tired after taking a shower and asked if we can do it tomorrow, which is fine with me. Mostly I'm getting things in order for my parents, but one thing has me stumped. I'm trying to find someone who can give in-home pedicures to diabetics. I've tried searching the internet and looked through the yellow pages but no luck. Any ideas?

Went to visit my in-laws today. On the way there, I saw a happy surprise -- the goats are back! Our county uses goats to control wild grasses that can become a fire danger in the late summer with our 100+ degree days. I stopped to shoot this (admittedly bad) picture just to prove that they are really here.


Here are the two guardians of the goats who tried to chase me off as I stood way too close to "their" goats.


I managed to run 4 miles yesterday evening. When I say I feel old and slow, I mean it, as my pace is slower by a full minute per mile than it used to be, and that's when I'm feeling like I'm really pushing it. But I can tell things are looking up, as today I saw someone running and thought, "Lucky!!!" That's definitely a good sign.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Coming up for air

I've heard the term "sandwich generation" but never fully appreciated what it meant till it happened to me. With two teenage sons, and all that comes with parents teens, and two ailing parents, and all that comes with that, I'm feeling like not enough butter on toast. Well, I was feeling that way. But I'm starting to come up for air. Here in no particular order, are some thoughts.
  • I'm uncomfortable writing when I feel as undone as I do right now.
  • Everyone should have their kids EARLY! That way the kids will be out of the house when you're needing to help your parents. Ok, so maybe this won't work for everyone, and certainly it didn't work for me, as I didn't get married till I was 28, and had my kids at ages 32 and 34. But I can make helpful suggestions, can't I???
  • Not exercising is not a good thing when you're stressed. I'm starting back to running after taking some significant time off, and boy oh boy am I feeling old and slow! It really feels like forever ago that I ran a marathon. (Did I actually do that???) But progress has been made, as last week I was feeling so low that I would see people running and think, "Why do they even bother?"
  • I've wanted to do a cleanse of some sort but can never find the right time to do it. Decided that today I'd kind of do the "Urban Detox" from the book Super Cleanse. So I did the hot water with lemon and cayenne. Then I juiced the celery, cucumber, ginger, and other stuff and had that. Later I had a Diet Pepsi. And a couple of fun-size candy bars. Then some carrot-apple juice. Then an Amy's frozen Indian dinner (YUM!). And I'm actually honestly ok with all of this. Because as contradictory as it might sound, I had some good nutrition today, mixed in with the other choices. (That's not all I ate, but those are the highlights!)
  • The doctors think my dad's had a small stroke. His memory is affected, although he's getting better each day. He takes care of my mom, who never leaves the house, and would never leave her bed if someone didn't wake her. So this time feels really scary. I grieve for my dad who has a doctorate degree and retired as a Captain in the Naval Reserve, who now can't get his brain to work right. I continue to feel so sad for my mom, who I'm sure never wanted her world to be so small. My conclusion from all of this? Growing old is NOT for sissies!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'll be back...

My parents are having some issues :( and I need to take some time to get them back on track. I'll miss reading what you have to say, comment on it, and (occasionally) writing something myself, but rest assured, I WILL be back!

In the meantime, as Abe says, whatever you are, be a good one!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

All's well that ends well

This is Daisy. Well, her real name is Bonnie, but for the 12 hours we had her, she was Daisy. We saw her running out of our neighborhood last night, and Tucker insisted we turn the car around and get her. As she had no collar or ID, he then made signs and at 10:00 pm we drove around and posted them on the mailboxes. This morning we received a call from her owner who had seen the signs (after driving around for 2 hours looking for his dog!). Bye Daisy. You will be missed!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thoughts for today

God knows.
God cares (more than we can possibly know).
God is in control.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Hope it's been a wonderful day for everyone. Tim, Tucker, and I volunteered at church this morning, then joined the fam for Easter brunch and finished the afternoon with some gardening and some time at the high school where Tucker had found a tractor tire yesterday. So Tim and Tucker played with the tire, ran hurdles, and played HARD. Tell you what -- I have some coordinated people in my family, as BOTH of them can run while standing on top of the tire as it's rolling!

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I took an entire week off from 3 things:

exercise
eating healthy
blogging

I think I'm ready to come back to my normal life now. Don't know if it was hitting 500 miles, or not doing the AR50, or what, but I just needed a break.

When you don't run 35 to 40 miles per week, you have a LOT of free time and energy on your hands. I've been channeling that energy into gardening and having a lot of fun with it. Tim officially turned over the yard to me last week and it's been a very enjoyable challenge. In my typical "all or nothing" fashion, I spent 6 hours doing yard work yesterday, with nearly 3 of those hours spent pick axing rocks from the hill in the back. Boy oh boy my hands are bruised and my forearms fried, but the hill looks better. (Our house is on lava cap with river rocks -- they don't call our town "Rocklin" for nothing!)

Ok, so that's it for now. I tried not exercising, not eating good and not writing and I just don't feel like me without those elements. First thing tomorrow morning, I'm gonna be out running and it's gonna feel GOOD!