Friday, November 17, 2017

FMM - More Magnolia

I'll have part 2 of our Magnolia trip up on Monday; in the meantime, here's a few more pictures that I couldn't squeeze in to either post:
Yes we took the picture but no I didn't post it on Instagram.  If I had, it would have been 1,750 miles.  Or 89 miles for me.  Not quite as impressive, ha!
This vintage food truck was adorable!  They weren't selling ice cream on the day we were there, but that's OK; it was so hot that the truck probably would have been swarmed with customers and I wouldn't have gotten a clear picture.
How cute is this??  Gingerbread, cut into design, baked, and then iced into wood embroidery hoops?  It almost looks like something I could do.  Or rather, something I'd attempt, end up with wonky-shaped houses and trees, and have everything crack as I tried to pull it together.  But still, see what I mean about decorating ideas from Magnolia?  Love it.


Speaking of Magnolia, they have a line at Target now, and it debuted while Barbara was still here, so naturally we had to go check it out.  While there were a lot of tempting items, the one thing that had us both trying to figure out how we could justify buying it?  Was a dollhouse.  Oh, it was CUTE!  Sadly, neither of us have that kind of disposable income, to just buy a dollhouse because WE want it:
Hey Santa...?

In lieu of buying the dollhouse, I did the next best thing:
OK, these are pretty cute.  And I do have a thing for salt and pepper shakers.


Have I mentioned how tiny our airport is?  Two gates.  Let's just say you don't have to get there early to go through security, which is how Barbara ended up in line a mere hour before her flight.  Was she going to make it through in time??  I think so:
Sure, we may only have six flights a day, but what we lose in quantity, we make up in convenience.  


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

WWU - 7 Miles!

I finally had a decent long run on Saturday.  Honestly, with my ankle hurting like it has been, I was beginning to wonder if it was ever going to happen.  Now, my ankle still bothered me during the run, but I taped it up beforehand with RockTape (like KT tape but stronger, so I don't sweat it off right away), and that seemed to help - the ankle didn't start giving me stabby pains until I was around mile 5, which is a big improvement.  Sure, I wish it didn't hurt at all, and I am a bit worried about why on earth this started up again, but I'm going to my ortho today for a shot in my other foot, so I'll ask him to check the ankle.  I'll just leave my prediction as to what he'll say right here:  stop running.  Why is that usually the medical profession's answer?

Anyway, the run.  The weather was nice - it was 59 degrees, with humidity in the low 70s, which doesn't sound all that low until you remember that we've been in the mid-90s percentile for months.  We had 10 miles on our schedule, but I'd already decided to just run 7, in hopes of feeling like I'd accomplished something when I finished, instead of feeling like a failure because I hadn't run the full planned distance.  Diane started early so she had 3 miles done by the time I arrived; we met up and set off on the run.  Not only was it a nice morning for a run, but our route had several points where we crossed paths with the other Renegades, so that was good - it's always fun to see our group out there.

I planned our route to run through the park where the Rotary Club always puts flags out for Veteran's Day.  They place 1,000 flags and it's really moving to run by them in the early morning; we did an out-and-back so we got to see them twice.  On our way back, we stopped so Diane could take a picture:
Beautiful, right?  

We paused our Garmins while she took her phone out, took the picture, and put it back in her running belt, and then started running again.  We'd exited the park and were running on the main road when Diane's Garmin beeped for the mile, but mine did not...and that's when I looked down and realized that I'd forgotten to restart my Garmin!  Thus began the forking minute (makes sense if you've watched The Good Place, and if you haven't, you should, it's really good).  Motherforker, I was mad and the curse words were flying!!  I wanted full credit for my run, dang it!  We figured out that I was half a mile behind Diane, so although my Garmin only says I ran 6.5 miles, I really ran 7.  I did, I swear!  Sigh...

We finished up and except for the stabby ankle, I felt pretty good.  It's been quite a while since I've not felt like death warmed over after a long run, so I'll take it.  Oh - I got to wear my new shoes for this run:
Our running store finally got their shipment of the Brooks Levitates!

I've only worn the shoes for two runs so I don't have a real review of them yet, but I have to say that it's the strangest thing - when I put these shoes on in the store, it felt like I wasn't wearing anything.  Like (and I know this sounds so new-agey) my shoes were one with my feet.  Anyway, after the run, I'd taken them off and when Karen came in, she asked to try them out - she wears the same size as me.  She put them on and went for a little run up and down the street and came back saying the same thing - it's like you don't know you're wearing shoes!  Needless to say, she bought a pair.


While we were sitting around on the driveway, cooling down, we had three cars stop and people get out to come to our not-garage-sale.  It was comical, actually - and that was before we pulled out a box of sample sizes of shirts to try on for our new running shirt.  I almost feel like we should make a sign saying we aren't having a garage sale!  Although, maybe we should go ahead and have one - it's only open from when the first runner returns to when we get hungry and need to go to breakfast.  Hey, we might make enough to cover some race fees!


One more funny thing from Saturday - Cary was inside and happened to look in the backyard and saw Abi staring at the fence:
Do you see her through the blinds?

Cary went to the other window and saw that sure enough, Abi was staring through a crack in the fence:
This wasn't even Tucker's yard - who knows what she was looking at so intently?  Cary thinks it might have been a squirrel, but whatever it was, Abi was fixated.  Dogs are so funny and I can't help but laugh every time I look at this picture!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Magnolia Market at the Silos - Part I

As a fan of the HGTV show Fixer Upper, and being that I live only 90 minutes from Waco, you'd think that I would have visited Magnolia Market at the Silos by now...but you'd be wrong.  However, Barbara wanted to go, and that made the perfect opportunity for us to have a day trip adventure to Waco.  Quite honestly, the most I'd seen of Waco before this trip was the Starbucks, gas station, and a sandwich shop where we'd stop as we made our turn onto the 35 as we drove to Denton, back when we'd go visit our kids at UNT.  This trip changed Waco from being the halfway point to our destination, to a charming place to stop and visit for me.

Before we got on the road, we made a quick stop at our local Starbucks for iced lattes, and I couldn't help but smile at the sight of our two cups in the cupholders:
Our first road trip in the Duchess!  Barbara and I have quite a history when it comes to road trips, so getting to have one in my longed-for Mini was extra special.

We arrived in Waco and found the Silos quickly; we were early enough, plus it was a less-crowded Thursday, so we headed straight for the free parking lot despite seeing a lot of people turning into the $10/day paid lots.  There was plenty of space, and it was right next to the outdoor area of the market; as we walked in, we got a great view of everything:
On the edge of the dusty parking lot, about to enter adult excited!

We heard that the bakery was a must, so we planned on eating our breakfast there; we strolled in that direction but stopped to take a few selfies in front of the silos, and a nice woman in a FedEx uniform offered to take our picture:
See the picnic tables on the stage behind us?  That's were we ate our breakfast.

We went around the corner to the bakery and yep, there was a line - but it wasn't too long, and we were in the shade...because of course, on November 2nd, it was gearing up to be a 90 degree day.  The outside was so cute; the window boxes were filled with live plants:
They had a pretty good system in place to deal with the crowds - an employee handed out pencils and cards with all of the bakery offerings listed; you were to choose what you wanted and write your name on them, and once inside, there was enough of another line where you could see the bakery items and made any changes you wanted to before handing your card over to the friendly bakery worker at the counter:
Inside the bakery - everything looked AMAZING.
We got:  the prize pig biscuit, a nutty cinnamon roll, a cranberry orange biscuit, a sugar cookie, and a gluten-free peanut butter oatmeal cookie...perks of being an adult, you can buy everything you want to try!

Of course we ordered too much - we didn't eat the cookies until the following evening.  We ate some of the biscuits and the cinnamon roll and then packed everything back up to take home.  As for taste?  Everything was really, really good.  Flavorful, not overly sweet, just delicious.  We wanted a cupcake for later, but held off so we weren't carrying around something that might melt in the heat.  We sat there, people-watching for a bit - there was a film crew doing an interview with a couple, so who knows if we'll see them on a future show?  We chatted with another couple who were sitting nearby, and took each other's pictures near this old Jeep Willys:
I was reminded of being at a big race, where everyone is helping each other out with picture taking.

I have to mention the atmosphere at Magnolia - it was such a beautiful place.  Very clean, even all of the outdoor areas - there was no sticky residue from all of the food and drinks being consumed, the awnings of the picnic areas were super clean, no spider webs lurking in the corners, and that's thanks to the amount of groundskeepers everywhere.  Inside the market, there were workers who were constantly restocking the shelves so everything looked full and fresh.  But the best part was that every employee we encountered was genuinely friendly.  It made for a lovely experience - we spent the day being welcomed and it wasn't cloying or fake.  We could tell that Joanna Gaines had a vision for this place, and it included how visitors were treated.  Employees took the time to ask us where we were from, and we had conversations with them, which is why we realized the bakery line took so long to get through - with only two employees at the card hand-off counter, any extra chatty guests made the line go slower.  But all in all, that's a small price to pay for the experience.  Oh, and our FedEx woman?  Turns out she works there - Magnolia has a shipping department in the market, so if you're buying something too big to carry home, you can ship it.  We ended up chatting with her when Barbara was checking on the cost of shipping home a couple of items.

The marketplace was really nice - we saw lots of great things to buy and also got a lot of neat decorating ideas.  We took our time perusing all the goodies; I think we went around twice just to make sure we saw everything.  I didn't get many pictures inside, but here's a taste of what we saw:
Chip had a lot of cool things in his corner, including several metal signs with his sayings on them.  I was tempted to get one that said "you got this" because I need to remember that when I'm doing hard things like running long distances, but when I went back to get it, the sign was gone.  Is that in itself a sign?  Maybe I don't got this.  Hmmm... 
This is the back half of Magnolia Market.  I tried to get a shot to show how ginormous the building is.  I mean, there's a greenhouse INSIDE of it - it's just huge!
The greenhouse had all kinds of holiday decorations - more ideas to carry home!

We made our purchases and went outside in search of something for lunch.  There are food trucks lining the perimeter of the grounds, so we checked every one of them out before deciding to share an acai bowl - it was so hot that nothing cooked sounded good at that point:
Every picnic table had a pretty centerpiece on it - I would have loved to buy one and bring it home, but they weren't for sale.  Also, Barbara is pointing out the irony of the sign on the canopy, warning that you might hit your head because it's low.  Not to us!

We went back to the car, dropped off our bags, loaded up on more sunscreen, and Barbara changed into a skort.  Then we wandered the grounds; it was nice and uncrowded enough that we got to relax on one of the swings:
This swing was really comfortable and we could have stayed there, swinging, for a long time.

Barbara got to do a lot of this:
Photographing the photographer.

We went to the garden shop:
We loved the idea of using metal tart tins for pot saucers!
Air plants the size of your head - for only $16.  I still don't know why I didn't buy one; must have been the heat clouding my judgement at that point.  I did buy a watering can with a small spout, which I've been meaning to get to water my succulents.  But still, why didn't I buy that air plant?
There was a small greenhouse outside; customers weren't allowed in, but this sweet succulent fairy garden was close to the door, so we looked at it while talking to one of the gardeners there.  Wish I had the talent to make something like this!

Can you believe there's more to our trip?  Stay tuned for part 2!

Friday, November 10, 2017

FMM - Adventures With My Amiga

My best friend Barbara flew out here for a visit, and as always, we had such a great time together!  There's something about 40 - yes, FORTY - years of friendship that makes for being able to fall into a natural flow immediately, despite more than a year going by since our last visit.  We'd be talking about one thing in the car, arrive at our destination and the conversation would switch to something entirely different, and then however many hours later we'd be back in the car and pick up the original conversation right where we left off.  It's a kind of friendship that I don't take for granted, and one that is both rare and very precious to me. 

This was the first visit in 15 years where we didn't have our trusty sidekick, Theresa, along for the fun.  Barbara's daughter is taking some very challenging high school classes and couldn't miss a week, so we were on our own, although there were texts and phone calls to her throughout the visit.  But it was weird to have it just be the two of us - I mean, we met the first week of my freshman year of high school, so we obviously have a lot of history as a duo; still, we missed our girl!

Of course we had to start several of our days at Blue Baker, where Barbara took a picture to send to Theresa, and naturally we had to sit where the Duchess could be included in the shot:
Egg bagel sandwiches, hot can't go wrong with that!

We both had lists of things we wanted to shop for and take care of while she was here, and we ended up completing just about everything, which is pretty amazing considering how long those lists were!  One thing on my list was searching for a narrow plant stand for my little front porch - this one was a contender, and in lieu of having a tape measure to write down the size, we just used Barbara for comparison:
So it's size 7 wide and hip height, gotcha.

We had a bit of pampering in the form of pedicures:
Barbara was extending summer with hot pink, while I deviated from my usual blue color with a cherry red.  So fun!

We also bought a living Christmas tree - I had my eye on one at Home Depot, and with Barbara's encouragement, ended up buying it.  I've never had a living tree, but for $19.98, I figured it wasn't too much of an investment if I end up killing it.  Also, we couldn't resist the challenge of fitting a four and a half foot tree into my Mini:
Luckily we only had a two-mile drive home.
How pretty, right?  I'll put some lights and ornaments on it after Thanksgiving.

Barbara brought me some succulent cuttings from her garden, along with a redwood planter, so I got that all put together one afternoon:
I love the variety, and also, the wood smells so good!  Reminds me of a new deck.
Another cutting - it was big enough to need a deeper pot.
The little guy second from the left came from Barbara's garden; we found the wire basket while we were shopping and had to bring it home - I love how the mini clay pots look in it!

There's a lot more adventures that I want to share with you guys, but that's for another post.  In the meantime, one more picture for today:
It was super fun to tool around in my Mini Cooper with Barbara years after we visited a showroom in California.  Dreams do come true - eventually!
From 2011 - just another adventure with my amiga!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

WWU - 6 Miles Run, 6 Miles Walked

I'm back!  My BFF Barbara was in town for a week and we were a little busy, so that's why there wasn't a post on Monday.  I'll have more about our adventures in the next couple of posts, but I thought I'd tell you about my exercise over the last week.

I didn't run last Tuesday because I was just plain tired; and then Barbara arrived and we were too busy for me to want to take time out to go to Planet Fitness.  We had a long day planned for last Thursday so I didn't run that morning and I'm glad - I was on my feet a lot of the day and that was enough.

So, come Saturday morning, I was going into our long run without having run for a know I was asking for trouble with that, right?  And, not gonna lie, there was a bit more consumption of treats in the days prior to that run, which I'm sure contributed to my legs feeling like I had heavy lead weights attached to them.  Add to that the 94% humidity, mid-70s temperature, and it just wasn't pretty.  And my ankle was hurting.  I ended up cutting my run short and only finished with 6 miles (out of the 8.9 that was scheduled).  I was feeling pretty bad about my running when Brian came in and said how horrible his run had gone - he was something like 11 minutes slower than the same distance the previous week, when we had that brief cool front.  Once the rest of the Renegades came in, it was the same story - that weather just beat everyone up.  So while I'm not happy that I didn't get my official Logan's Run in, the fact is that this was just a rough day for running, period.
Sad Koda, looking over to his buddy Tucker's yard - but no Tucker that morning.  He was almost as dejected as Tucker had been the last time we'd all been outside after a run.

After we recovered enough to change, I zipped home to pick up Barbara and we went on to Blue Baker so she could spend a few crazy hours with my running friends.  I'm pretty sure she had a great time - they are awesomely funny people!  We were greeted with this gorgeous loaf of ciabatta bread:
 I should have put a coffee cup there for scale - this was huge!

And then a little later, the baker handed us this plate of mystery brownies:
What could they be??  We'd never seen anything like this before!

Turns out the center of the brownies held a layer of York Peppermint Patties!  They tasted AMAZING.  This is a holiday flavor that they're perfecting, and I love that we got to try them.  They certainly helped wash away the bad taste of that morning's run.


Barbara and I planned to walk with Cary on Monday morning, but she ended up having a meeting at work that she had to attend, so Barbara and I were on our own for the walk, which is how we ended up going all over hell's half acre - OK, really just the fancy neighborhood - touring houses and somehow forgetting that the time had changed and even though we started at 8:00 am, the sun was out in full force for the nearly three hours that we were outside, eek!  Thank goodness there was a breeze, but we were hot and sweaty and despite having applied sunscreen before we began the walk, we both were a little pink by the time we were finished.

The walk itself was really fun, of course - I enjoyed showing Barbara certain landmarks along some of our running routes, and we pretended to be interested in an empty lot simply so we could walk to the back of it to see the yard of the newly-built house next to it.  That yard has a plexiglass fence around the pool and no other fence, so it was easy to see everything - and no, I would definitely not want a clear fence around my pool, if I had one.  Too many lookie-loos...hah!

We also encountered a builder who was starting a new house; it was a spec home so I'm sure he was thinking he might just have an interested buyer in us, and he showed us what it will look like.  Basically I could spend about $200K more than I should get if I were to sell my house, and end up with the same size house, only brand new, but on a much smaller lot.  Good to know?  We were ready to leave the fancy neighborhood when we saw one more house under construction, so we took a tour and that floor plan seemed really nice, plus although it was larger than my current house, it wasn't a mega-mansion like so many in that neighborhood.  It probably will cost quite a bit more than the extra $200K house as that one backs up to a pretty section of the golf course, but I'm guessing at that point, those who can afford it really CAN afford it...unlike me.

Oh - one more interesting thing that we discovered during our walk - take a look at this picture of these Christmas tree-shaped trees:
This neighborhood has a huge garden staff to keep the grounds looking so green and lush.

Ever wonder how they get their shape?  Here's a closer crop of the picture:
Do you see the cage on the tree?  And see the size of the gardener by the tree on the left?  We are figuring that he must have to climb the ladder to the tree cage in order to trim the branches to shape the tree.

This was so interesting - I always figured they just eyeballed that shape when trimming the trees, but to see that cage, both Barbara and I were all "oh, THAT'S how they do it!"

We watched the tree trimming for a minute and then Barbara said she was done and ready to get back to the car so we could go have breakfast; well, it was rapidly approaching brunch by that time.  I didn't have the heart to tell her just how far we were from the car; we set out walking and nearly a mile and a half later, we finally finished our little walk.  Oops.  I kept having flashbacks of when we were teenagers and would go to the beach for the day, and would set off on a walk; we'd meander down the beach and go around rocky cliffs and eventually we'd turn around with me having no idea of how far it was back to our beach towels, and Barbara would just keep charging ahead, telling me it was just around the next this was a funny form of role-reversal for me. 

All in all, it was another BS adventure to go down in our friendship memories...and yes, that is teenage Shelley speaking - we used to leave notes for our Director of Volunteers back when we were candystripers and sign them B(arbara)S(helley) because we were pushing the naughty envelope.  I know, I know.  Nerd alert, really.

Friday, November 3, 2017

FMM - Presents, Pups, and Plants!

I don't knit for profit, or take orders, but if someone special asks me to knit something, then I usually do it.  Which is how I ended knitting this cute hat for one of Allie's coworkers who just became a new dad:
Yarn is Adriafil Knitcol, colorway is Verdi Fancy, with a brim of Cascade 220, colorway Sapphire Heather, which was leftover from a previous hat and ended up matching the main yarn perfectly, despite being from a completely different company!  Pattern is Basic Baby Hat.
I offered to find an outfit that went with the hat, which Allie gratefully accepted, and this is what I came up with.  Cary helped me shop; she loves these bodysuit onesies and little soft jogger pants for Logan, so I figured this would be a good choice.
I'm a full-service mother - even bagged up the gift and sent it along with Jeff when he went to Dallas so he could bring it to Allie.

Best part about knitting this hat was having a baby to try it on for size; Logan is growing out of his hats so quickly that I wanted to make sure this would fit the new baby for a few months, at least.  Lucky for Logan, his mama is knitting him some sweet hats so he's covered - haha, literally!


This may look like a simple picture - Paco and Henry on the bed:
Whut?  We just chillin'.

But what is remarkable is that Paco stayed on the bed while I took a shower.  We've had him for nearly 11 years, and every time I go to take a shower, he jumps off his nice warm spot on the bed and "hides" behind the closed bedroom door, because he's afraid he's going to have to get a bath.  Every time.  And yet when it's actually bath time for Paco?  We remove his collar and he walks into the shower fairly willingly.  But he always hides when he's not even close to having a bath - until one morning last week.  I was so surprised to see him that I had to take a picture and send it to Jeff.  He's back to hiding again - this was a one time deal, I guess.


Look at the sweet baby hostas that Lori sent me from her garden:
I hope these New Yorkers can adjust to becoming Texans!

I've always admired her hostas whenever she shows pictures of them, so she very kindly mailed some to me; they are a shade-loving plant, and while I have a few shady areas around the side of our house, I wanted to see these guys, so we planted them in a pot that is mostly in the shade on the patio.  Fingers crossed we keep them alive!


We have a special themed run on tap for tomorrow - I'll tell you more about it on the next WWU.  Have a great weekend!