Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WWU - Glad I Am Not 59 Just Yet!

Jeff ran his age on Saturday - 5.9 miles!  I ran half his age.  It was HOT.  I was really glad that I'm not 59, or even near it...and I already have plans to switch over to running my age in minutes in a couple more years, which sounds pretty reasonable considering my June birthday.  But getting back to Jeff - he did really well with his run.  I don't know if my threat of driving him to the emergency room and just pushing him out the door and going on to breakfast was enough to make him slow down a little bit (this is what 32 years of marriage will do to a person), but he kept to a slower pace than normal, and he came in looking good, so it was a win on all accounts.
I mapped out his run so that he would hit 5.9 miles at the Stripes convenience store, where (conveniently!) he could get an Icee as a reward and to start his cool down.

Diane and I had our last run together for a while - she's gone to cooler climates for the next month to visit family.  I'm totally jealous of how nice her runs are going to be; I'm sure she'll be feeling sorry for all of us left behind to deal with the Texas summer weather.  It was fun to run with her this last month and I really appreciated how she let me do what I needed in order to work on my running without intervals.  Like, at mile 2.25 on Saturday:  we were facing a hill and I just needed a break.  We walked up the hill, which ended up being a quarter mile, and then I felt like I had a second wind and we ran the rest of the way to hit 3 miles.  I could have struggled up that hill, but the short walk made all the difference in the world!

The gang, minus Jimmymeow, who'd gotten up to answer a phone call.

After everyone came in, we went to First Watch, which is a new breakfast/lunch restaurant in our town.  We were so excited to have a nice breakfast place as another option - our town is sorely lacking in breakfast joints - and we were all pretty pleased with our food.  You can eat healthy, or you can indulge; it's nice to have options.  Plus, you get some "dressed field greens" with a lot of the meals, which is pretty awesome...having salad with your breakfast automatically makes it healthy, right?
I ordered the Bacado omelet, which yes, I chose because of the name (bacon, avocado and Monterey Jack cheese inside).  I ate about half, plus I had some of Diane's lemon ricotta pancakes, and a bit of Brian's potatoes, which were both excellent.  Love that our group plays "pass the plate" with our meals!
Jeff had Eggs Benedict Florentine, the rest of my omelet, and some of Diane's pancakes.  Oh and he wisely ordered a side of toast, which was really delicious; mulitgrain bread, fresh strawberry jam, can't go wrong with that.


Monday I walked a 5K with Jenny; even starting at 7:15 am, the sun was out and we were baking by the time we finished.  Yesterday I ran with Cary, and despite it being 79 damn degrees at 6:00 in the morning, the run went pretty well, which is about all I can hope for this time of year.  I'll run with Jeff tomorrow; I haven't actually run with him in about a month, so it will be interesting to see how I do, now that I'm not running intervals, with him...each running buddy makes for a different run in both feel and flow. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dear Doritos...

Dear Doritos:

You got me.  I don't care about your regular flavors - your nacho cheese or cool ranch don't tempt me at all.  Quite frankly, if I'm going to eat some chips, I'll go for some kettle-cooked BBQ chips over yours, every time.  But I don't make chips a habit, so for me to purposely buy a bag is unusual.  Which is why I'm a bit chagrined to admit that when I was waiting to checkout at Target and saw your throwback packaging with taco flavor chips, I was intrigued.  But I did not buy a bag, as it's not something I automatically do anymore.

However.  I kept thinking about those chips.  Honestly, I know that it was the old-school packaging that got me...I'm a sucker for nostalgia, and evidently I'm old enough that things from my childhood are now considered retro, and as we all know, retro is cool.  Which is why I always consider buying Necco wafers whenever I happen to see them, even though I'm pretty sure there are only about two flavors in the entire package that I used to like...but that wax-paper package full of pale, cornstarch-dusted discs gets me right in the memories, and there you go.  

A week later, we had to make another Target run.  As we were driving there, I told Jeff I wanted to buy a bag of those Doritos.  The lure of the packaging, of the old-school flavor, was too much for me.  I had to have some.  He said "of course you do - I'm surprised you waited this long" - so see, I have some willpower.  And I will say, the old Shelley, the pre-2008 Shelley?  I would have bought the chips without Jeff knowing and would have sneakily eaten the entire bag myself.  So this is, for me, progress.  

As for the chips, they tasted like we both remembered.  Taco flavor was good!  But, the chips were a tiny bit on the stale side...or else that's what Doritos really taste like?  I honestly don't know, and I didn't buy another bag for comparison.  We finished off the bag over the next few days, and while I'm glad I satisfied my curiosity and craving, I won't be needing to eat these again.

I'm sure I'll come across another retro snack soon, and I might even buy it, but it feels like I have a better handle on this situation than I would have had in the past...I'm going to claim progress, not perfection, with this.

Is there any retro snack/candy item that you would buy, if you saw it now?  For me, I could pass on a lot of things (like Tab - ugh, that was nasty back in the day and I can't believe they brought that drink back), but I'm sure there's something else out there that will call my name once more.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Mishmash

Jeff's birthday was earlier this week, and I surprised him with something he's wanted forever - a hammock.  He was totally shocked when he opened the gift...lately, I've been giving him practical things like new running gear, so this was a nice change.  He loves it:
Pretty sure that whenever I can't find Jeff, this is where he'll be...
Paco jumped in and while this isn't the greatest shot of Jeff, I though Paco's smile was too good not to share.
Even Kip joined in the fun and nestled right in with Jeff.

I liked that this hammock is easily removed from the frame, so we can bring it inside when it's not being used; hopefully this will protect it from the elements and make it last longer.  It's a Vivere double hammock - it's sold at Lowe's, but I bought it from Amazon since the price was the same, shipping was free, and I didn't have to wrestle with the box as much.

Speaking of the box:
Kip claimed it.  Poor Henry walked in the room and Kippers hissed at him - no box for Henry!

To celebrate his birthday, Jeff got his free drink from Starbucks:
Caramel waffle cone Frappuccino.

While I tried their new Granita:
Strawberry lemon limeade - not too sweet and very refreshing!

We sat outside in the shade, in the 90+ degree afternoon, and I wasn't dying because of my icy drink.  I'll have to get one of these again was really good, which means that they'll discontinue it - I swear, if I like something, it disappears off of their menu (RIP Coconut Mocha Frappuccino).


The other morning, I walked into my closet and heard Henry meow at me, but didn't see him.  A little investigating, and I found him:
Mr. Big Eyes, tucked away in Jeff's closet.  


I don't have any completed knitting projects that I can show you right now, so instead I'll show you what I get to contend with while I knit:
Kip:  Let me just rub my face on your hands while you neeeeed to pet me right this second!


Tomorrow Jeff is going to run his age (5.9 miles) and then our group is going to try out a new breakfast restaurant in's been getting great reviews already, so hopefully it will live up to the hype.  

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WWU - On a Roll!

Last week's Garmin uploads.

It feel like I've been on a good roll this month with working out.  It's been a long time since I've exercised so many days in a week.  And as you can see by the mileage in the image above, I'm not going out there for long distances particularly, but I am going out often, getting some consistent exercise via running and walking.  While the going is slow and sweaty, I feel good, and I like starting my day off with a run or a walk.  Plus, it doesn't hurt that I have zero guilt when I'm sitting in my air conditioned house, knitting the afternoon away - because I already got my exercise in!

Running without doing intervals is going well.  On Saturday's 3 miler, Diane and I ran 2.25 miles before taking a break!  We were going to break at 1.75, but then decided to go for 2 miles, but then we were at the top of a hill and couldn't resist running the downhill, so that's how we managed to hit 2.25.  Not bad, especially considering the heat and humidity.  And on Monday, we knocked out our first mile in pretty good time, took a short break, ran another mile, and then ran the half mile back to my house.  I think all of this effort will show up better once the weather gets a little cooler; for now, I'm not setting any speed records, but I feel good about the changes I've been able to make with my running.

Not much else to report on - it's pretty much run, sweat, repeat.  But I'll be getting a break from this weather in August, when I go to California for a visit.  Right now that's keeping me going, knowing that I'll get to run in some cool beachy morning weather...and I cannot wait!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Entertaining Myself...

It's summertime and the living is easy.  Also the blogger is lazy - at least this one is.  Which is why, although this has nothing to do with dieting or maintenance or living a healthy lifestyle, when I came across this website over the weekend and could not stop playing with it, I knew I had to share it, along with my lovely creations, with you today. 

This is from the New York Botanical Garden, and was created to promote their current exhibit of impressionist paintings.  Using this link, you can make any of your photos look like an impression picture, in the manner of Monet, Degas, or Van Gogh.  Here's some of my masterpieces:

Flowers Jeff gave me for our anniversary...
My handknit socks look so arty!

Suspicious dog looks extra suspicious.
Kippers looks super fluffy.
Henry is handsome as ever.
Anyone recognize this blogger?  
I love how my sock collage came out.

Have fun with this!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Mishmash

Still haven't quite perfected the couples selfie, but we had to document 32 years!  Some day we'll look back on this picture and marvel at how young we looked, LOL.

I am one of those weirdo date people who loves it when the numbers of the day, month, and year line up in a fun way, and yesterday was an especially good one - a full-on palindrome of 6-16-16...and it didn't hurt that it also happened to be our anniversary - 32 years!  We had a low-key celebration with dinner out, along with sharing a fabulous mango strawberry tart for dessert:
Anniversary Happy?  The waiter came out laughing at how the pastry chef did the writing - but hey, it was a nice gesture.

So after being married for 32 years, I can tell you that the actual anniversary is not as important at the day-to-day things.  For example, on Wednesday morning I opened the back door to the patio, intending to go out and water the pot plants and then clean the patio with my leaf blower.  I got about two steps out when I saw an unidentifiable mass of gore on the chaise lounge, complete with blood dripping down and flies buzzing all around it.  I turned around so fast and was back inside the house, with the door safely closed and locked for good measure that Paco hadn't had a chance to follow me and was left outside with the carnage.  I opened the door just enough for him to quickly squeeze through, and for the rest of the day, he did his bathroom business in the front yard.  But getting back to the gore...all I could figure is that it was something that one of our cats - Kip, most likely - had killed and left to rot in the baking sun.
Who, me???  Why am I always the suspect??  I am indignant!  And OK, yes - it was me.  It's always me...

While it was disgusting, I knew that I didn't have to deal with it, because Jeff would be coming home that evening from travel.  Sure enough, shortly after he got home, he took care of the ick...he thinks it was something the cat killed (a mouse, maybe?), ate, and then vomited.  Lovely.  But it's nice to know that in our marriage, if he's home, Jeff will deal with the gross things.  And when I discovered the cat vomit in my closet the next morning (at least it was just cat food this time), Jeff took care of that for me, too.  It's the little things that make our marriage work - he doesn't have to sweep me off my feet with a romantic trip to Paris (although I wouldn't turn him down if he showed up with two airplane tickets)(but I would wonder how in the hell he managed to get them, knowing the state of our bank account) - he just needs to clean up the vomit.  It works for us.


We are experiencing the dog days of summer already, and that called for our first sno-cone of the season:
Blue coconut - tastes great plus you get the bonus treat of having a blue tongue afterward!


I currently have three socks finished, with three more on the needles.  And only one will make a matching pair - what can I say, I love all the different sock yarn and want to make all the socks!  My goal, by the end of summer, is to have actual PAIRS of socks completed.  In the meantime, here's one:
My mom gave me this yarn for my birthday - it's Regia's Cotton Pairfect, in Beach colorway.  Of course I couldn't just knit the sock according to directions - I shortened the peach toe and used the extra yarn for the heel; I am really enjoying putting a pop of color on the heels and toes when I can.


Have a great weekend - and Happy Father's Day to my Dad. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WWU - Feels Like !@#$%

 Monday morning's weather...

We've hit the time of year when you need to pay attention to the "feels like" temperature for outdoor activities.  It's bad enough to wake up at 5:15 am, check the weather on your phone and see that it's already 79 degrees, but with the humidity coming in at 97%, that means that it will feel like 87 degrees for our morning run.  And I'll be honest, if I saw that it was actually 87 degrees on the thermometer, I wouldn't go for a run.  But somehow, because my brain only registers 79 degrees, I head out for my run.  And then wonder why I'm practically dying the entire time.

The worst thing about running in this kind of weather is the mental beatdown.  As I struggle to run, I think about how I'm a terrible runner, and that I'm so slow, and I feel like I'm barely moving...and then I realize, as sweat is flinging off of my elbows, that it's really just the weather.  Well, mostly the weather - I'm never fast, and especially now, as I work on running without doing intervals.  But, running with a friend really helps to push those ridiculous feelings aside...there's nothing like having someone validate your struggle, or encourage you, or better still, getting outside of your head and being the one to encourage another runner.  The next few months are not going to be easy for running, but at least I'll be in good company!


We are all pretty much just running for some exercise and fun on Saturdays right now - our group chooses a direction and the distance varies, depending on which turn you take.  We met up at 6:30 am on Saturday and the sun was already out and beating down on us - oops!  Going to have to start a little earlier from now on, as that was rough.  Diane, Julia, and I ran down to the entrance of the fancy neighborhood before taking our first walk break, which ended up being at about 1.25 miles.  I don't know if it was the heat, the 100% humidity, the sun, the slightly hillier area (as opposed to the flatlands of my neighborhood), or what, but it felt much harder than my runs earlier in the week.  Once we were in the fancy neighborhood, we switched to running 2:1 intervals - best thing I can say about that run is that I was with my good friends and we survived it.

Monday, Diane and I ran in that horrendous "feels like" temperature of 87 degrees...and that was at 5:45 am, no less!  We broke our 2.5 miles up into a 1 mile run, a short walking break, another 1 mile run, a little bit longer walking break, and finally a half mile run to finish.  This picture does not accurately represent how sweaty we were, but it's the best we could manage:
Happy to be finished!

Yesterday, I walked a 5K with Jenny at 9:15 am, which meant it was sunny and hot.  We tried to mostly stay in the shade of the trees at the scary statue park, so that helped.  Jenny, who is always on the lookout for snakes, finally saw one - a three foot garter (non-poisonous) snake in the grass.  We stopped and watched it slither across the path in front of us, and I could have sworn by her body language that Jenny wanted to pick it up, but it was moving too fast.  Sure enough, once we started walking again, I asked if that had been her plan, and she said yes.  She likes snakes.  While I am pretty confident that I can outrun her, I'm really hoping she doesn't actually chase me with a snake.  We'd just been talking about how she needs to refer to me as "Good Shelley" because she has a really terrible Shelley in her life; I told her if she dares to chase me with a snake, she's going to become "Bad Jenny" - ahhh, friendship.  Apparently we're 10-year-olds deep down!

This morning I'll be running another 2.5 miles with Diane, and while I don't have a lot of optimism for much improvement from Monday's run, considering the weather is even warmer, we'll get it done.  And I'll probably run tomorrow as well...these shorter distances don't seem to be bothering me too much, physically, so I might as well run while I can.