Friday, February 17, 2017

FMM - Fun in San Antonio!

Since Jeff was already in San Antonio (he was teaching a class there for the week), I hitched a ride with Karen and Jimmymeow, which was very entertaining.  It takes about three hours to drive there, down highways and some country roads.  Along with a stop at Buc-ee's along the way, we got to see a house - well, half of one, anyway - being moved down the road:
Honestly, it didn't look like there was anything special about this house to warrant the expense of cutting it in half, removing it from the foundation, and trucking it who knows where...but maybe there was sentimental attachment to it, I don't know...

We arrived in San Antonio with enough time to stop at the Pearl Brewery, which is a really cool shopping/restaurant/living area that is being developed in an older, industrial part of town.  We all agreed that if we were single, it would be cool to live in one of the apartments there and hang out in the square below.  We did a little shopping and had lunch at a bakery - Karen and I had creamy tomato soup with cheddar toast, while Jimmy had a BLT that looked amazing but had a little too much garlic aioli on it:
Yummy!  They had some beautiful desserts in the bakery case, but we restrained ourselves.
My traveling amigos for the day!

Once everyone had arrived in San Antonio and checked into the hotel, we walked to Alamo Street Eat food truck park, which was about a ten minute walk away.  Everyone was able to order whatever they wanted for their pre-race meal, which worked out nicely except for us - our dumb pizza took forever to be cooked.  After we finished, we walked over to a restaurant that sold gelato and everyone had a treat.  The ladies sat inside while Jeff, Jimmy and Brian sat outside and waved to all of the people riding by in lighted, horse-drawn carriages.  Inside, we rated the carriages - there was one princess-looking carriage where the horse was even wearing a little crown!  Fun times.

The next morning was the race, and afterward, we drove to the Guenther House, for our traditional post-race breakfast extravaganza.  This go-round, knowing how long the wait would be (totally worth it, btw), we planned ahead and bought one of their ginormous cinnamon rolls to share from their bakery.  They offer complimentary coffee and water while you wait, so we were set.  This cinnamon roll was amazing.  So good - doughy and soft and I'm just going to say it, better than the cinnamon roll at Blue Baker.  Probably a good thing we can only get this in San Antonio, though:
I didn't get a picture of it before everyone started unraveling it, but it filled the container!

We lazed around waiting for our table to be ready - the sun came out and I ended up getting a little bit of a sunburn before we moved into the shade!  It was nice, though - we all chatted and got to catch up with each other, including Cristy, who we don't get to see very often as she lives near Austin.  When we were called for our table, we were pleased to see that they'd given us our own's like our reputation preceded us (or maybe we just smelled bad from the race, haha):
Julia's daughter Jessica took this picture - we had one shot, as right when we decided to take the picture, the waiters arrived with our food!

Speaking of food:
Their biscuits are ridiculously good.  Guenther House is home to the Pioneer Flour Mills, so yeah - they do biscuits right.  I had one with homemade peach jam and the other with sausage gravy.  You will notice that most of the peach jam biscuit is gone because I was hungry and dove right into eating before thinking of taking a picture.

After we ate our fill, we went back to the hotel for showers and siestas.  It is really nice to do a race on Saturday instead of Sunday, because we had time to relax afterward and still enjoy the area. 

That evening, we walked back to the food trucks for dinner - I didn't think I was very hungry, but once my food arrived, I was ravenous!  Of course it was after 7:00 pm, so that might have had something to do with it as well.  I ordered a new-to-me item - a grilled cheese sandwich filled with BBQ pork and mac and cheese, served with spicy jalapeno pickles on the side.  It was AMAZING.  Again, probably good that I can only get this food once a year in San Antonio (I do not need to know if I can find a sandwich like that locally because seriously, I do not need to eat a sandwich like that, yummy as it was, more than once a year).  Then we walked over to a boozy ice cream shop, where you could get homemade ice cream that was infused with booze (or had a shot poured over it), or not.  Jessica had a flavor that was full of edible glitter, which was very colorful, as you can imagine!  I had cookie dough - no booze for me.  Jeff had The Dude, which was a White Russian in the form of ice cream.  Mine was really rich and I only ate half of my ice cream - I almost ordered the kid's size, and I should have, but my brain told me I needed more.  I did not, as it turned out. 

We poked around in a shop nearby, and then half of our group walked to the Riverwalk, while Jeff and I, along with Julia and Jessica, headed back to the hotel.  Jeff's feet were not having much more in the way of walking at that point.

The next morning, we woke up and walked over to El Mercado, or Market Square, for breakfast at Mi Tierra restaurant.  This restaurant is a San Antonio institution and is celebrating 75 years.  Some of the waitstaff have been working there for 40 years, which is pretty amazing.  The restaurant looks like Christmas year-round:
 ...and yes, there are Christmas trees behind Jeff!

We ate breakfast - Jeff ordered pancakes, which are called hot cakes on their menu, but he insisted on saying "panqueques" to our waitress - LOL.  I had a breakfast taco and also I bought a shirt, because I loved it so much:
I do, I do indeed!

We finished earlier than expected, and had a bit of time to kill before the shops opened, so we walked across the street to a park, where I thought for a moment that birds were actually part of this statue:
Nope.  Especially not the one on his head.  This is Ben Milam, from Kentucky.  He played a big role in the Texas revolution and you'll see his name everywhere (there's even a Milam elementary school in our town).

The Market Square shops opened at 10:00 am, so we went poking around.  I was looking for a couple of things and came away happy:
I bought a bowl for my coffee table, and a bigger planter for Marvia, my succulent.  Bottom shot shows one of the smaller shops - I took the picture, with the name of the shop showing, so I could remember that I wanted to go back there when I was considering planters...there are so many shops carrying similar items that it's hard to remember what you saw, and where it was.

The outdoor vendors sold food and we all had to get some fresh fruit:
They cut up the fruit right as you ordered it!

Jeff bought me an early Valentine's Day present - a pair of micro flower earrings:
Tiny sunflowers, grown in a greenhouse in Spring, TX.
Here's a closeup that I took with my Macro lens from a kit that Mini sent me - there's something about taking a picture of a micro flower with a macro lens from Mini Cooper that warms my alliteration-loving heart.

By then, it was time to hit the road for the drive home.  We had such a good time in San Antonio - I don't know why we don't go there more often.  It's a great town for a weekend getaway...and fitting a fun race in is just icing on the cake (or gravy on the biscuit, HA!).

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2017 Missions 10,000 Race Recap!

This year's race shirt for the 10,000 - once again, they knocked it out of the ballpark with the design!  I love the color...I think this is the first brown technical shirt I've owned!  They had both women's and men's cut and huzzah, it fits!

For the second year in a row, I ran the Missions Heritage 10,000 race in San Antonio.  The race was held this past Saturday; you could sign up for a half marathon, a 10K, or a 5K.  Jeff and Brian did the half marathon, but the rest of my fellow renegades ran the 10K.

This is a special race.  There is just something about the feel of it - the community, the gentleness of everyone involved, the fact that 100% of the proceeds are going toward restoring these centuries-old buildings - that makes me want to come back year after year...and that's saying something because the course has some very challenging hills toward the latter part of the race and you all know that I do not like hills.  But I like this race, so there you go.

We all drove to San Antonio on Friday, and went to packet pickup, which was held at a local brewing company in an industrial area of town - it was a little challenging to find, but once we arrived, packet pickup went smoothly.  We were given our bibs, race shirts, and bags:
I really appreciate that once again, they gave out reusable tote bags!  The half marathon participants received a sling backpack, which was pretty cool (but not cool enough to make me want to run another half marathon, HA!).

It was a quick drive - about 15 minutes - from our hotel to the race start at Mission Concepcion.  We may have been a little too casual about the proximity, because when we got there, we had to park waaaaayyyy out in a field.  Luckily we still had about 30 minutes before the race began, but that was a pretty late arrival for us.  Still, we had time to take some pictures before the race started:
We were taking pictures while the race director was making announcements over a PA system, when he suddenly photobombed us!  Credit goes to our official photographer, Jimmymeow, for catching the moment.
We realized we were covering up the sign so we went behind it for another shot...also we can't get enough of ourselves.
Diane and I, pre-race.  I was a true renegade and wore last year's race shirt instead of our official RRC shirt.

One of the race officials started out singing the national anthem over the PA system, and then we all joined in.  It was a very sweet moment, with hundreds of people singing together.  Then the race began and we started our run.  It seems like the theme of our lives is that the Renegade Run Club cannot catch a break when it comes to race day weather, and this was no exception - it was 70 degrees, with humidity at a balmy 83%.  At least we had cloud cover for the entire race, but still - it would be really nice if just once this season, we could get some cool weather for a race.

Cary, Diane, and I ran together.  We left Mission Concepcion and ran through an older, more rundown section of the city, but there were plenty of people on the course plus volunteers and police officers directing traffic, so we weren't afraid.  Well before we could see Mission San Jose, we could hear the church bells ringing, which was really cool.  Mission San Jose is so interesting - we took our time going through the grounds, which added about three minutes to that particular mile, but it was totally worth it - check out our pictures:
 Approaching Mission San Jose.
Runners entering the grounds just ahead of us.
Selfie with a monk!
One of the wells, with all the different archways behind it.
Old brick oven in front of the tiny living quarters - see the wooden door and window?  A couple of the doors were open and we could see just how small the rooms were where the people used to live.
While Diane was taking pictures of the architecture, Cary and I slowly jogged ahead...she snuck in this shot of us and you can see how Cary is pointing out something - we were fascinated by the grounds and were talking about everything.  
Outside the Mission - we really need to go back and visit it when we're not trying to run through it.
The race course for the first part is either flat or slightly downhill.  This year, they changed the route a bit so that we'd finish right in front of Mission Concepcion, which meant that we took a different route down to the river.  It was a more remote and a lot more of a jungle feel, which made me extra glad I was running with friends this time (last year I ran this race solo).  Once we got to the river, we hit the rolling hills, along with the swarms of bugs.  They were bigger than gnats and stayed in groups that floated right along with us, which was annoying.  Mostly I was trying to not swallow any at this point.  We also saw a lot of ducks and waterfowl in the river, along with an otter.  Or a seal.  OK maybe it was just a large, slick-feathered black bird, but it was on a rock and the Californian in me saw an otter, plus I had runner's brain at that point.  Any case, it made for a nice distraction from the hills.

We ran back through the grounds of Mission Concepcion, where our fellow renegades were waiting for us at the finish line:
Diane and I - Cary had zipped ahead a minute earlier.

Whew!  I was HOT at the end and glad to be done.  But after a minute of cooling down I felt much better.  Diane and I ended up running into Father David at the finish area - he's the priest at Mission Concepcion and the person in charge of spearheading the renovations for the four missions.  The 5K race is named after him, so of course he ran it.  It was really interesting talking with him and hearing about the history of the missions - these buildings date back to the early 1700s!  Of course we had to get a picture with him:
He was wearing last year's race shirt as well!

Then we went over to the food tent, where they loaded us up with goodies - fresh fruit, Mexican cookies and pan dulce, and a cup of rice, black beans and grilled chicken from Pollo Tropical, which was really good:
The grass was damp, so we wandered over to the park sign to have a dry place to sit and eat.  While we were over there, Brian finished his half marathon - we cheered him on from our sign.

Jeff has been dealing with some foot pain for quite a while now and running hasn't gone well for him lately.  I was livetracking him via his Garmin, and could see that he was around mile 11.5, which was getting near the long, steep hill that we all had to run up (spoiler alert:  I walked that sucker).  Brian and Jimmymeow decided to walk back to meet him, which was really nice.  Another nice thing that Brian did was to take off his medal and leave it with Cary - I can tell you, there's nothing more demoralizing than still being on the race course when runners who've finished and gotten their medals and post-race refreshments are walking back toward you like it's just a day in the park.  At least limp, or act like you're in pain, you speedy runners!

We all were watching for Jeff when suddenly all three of them appeared - and they were all running!  I said to Karen that I didn't know Jimmy ran!  We may get him into a race yet.  They were too far away to get a good picture while they were still running, and then Jeff entered the finisher's chute and Brian and Jimmy pealed off, but you can see all three of them here:
Jeff, with Brian and Jimmymeow off to the side.
Here's Jeff coming in for his finish, with our friendly race announcer in the picture once more!

Renegades, post-race!  Cristy, Julia, Karen, me, Cary, Diane, Brian, and Jeff. 
My medal - once again, it's wood, which I love.

We had so much fun doing this race; it's challenging, the weather was warmer than we'd like, but the people and the location make it all worthwhile.  We'll be back next year.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Tailwind Endurance Fuel Review

**Not a sponsored post - just sharing my experience with this product**

When you run for longer than an hour or so, you need to use something to refuel and rehydrate during your run.  Over the years, I've tried a lot of products, including all kinds of sugar-laden gels, jelly beans, and chews, along with Gatorade and Nuun.  More times than not I end up with the aching stomach that is known in the running world as runner's gut, and it can take me all day to feel better.

However, I need something to keep my energy up, as I have found out the hard way when my legs turn to jelly and I simply run out of oomph during a long run.  Plus I sweat like a fiend and will finish a run with a layer of salt crystals on my face and body.  But Gatorade gives me runner's gut and the new Nuun formula tastes terrible to me, so I was stuck with just water - at least I was hydrating, but I wasn't replacing the electrolytes.
I read about Tailwind in other running blogs - at first I wasn't sure what it even was, because they kept talking about using it as their fuel.  Was it a liquid, or was it a gel?  I finally had enough of the runner's gut and did a little investigating, and discovered that Tailwind is a powder that you mix with water - it has about 100 calories per scoop, and it provides you with a nice little trifecta in the form of hydration, electrolytes, and energy to replace some of what you're burning during a long run.  It's not sold locally in my area, so I had to order it - lucky for me, Amazon started carrying it while I was looking into it, which was nice because otherwise I'd have had to order it from the manufacturer and pay shipping, and I hate paying for shipping.
I got my first bag, which contained 50 servings, and both Jeff and I started using it for our long runs.  This was back in June, so we gave it a good test over the hot summer months.  My longest runs back then were 5 miles - 5 hot, humid, and very sweaty miles.  The Tailwind worked great and it was all I used for fuel, when previously I might have had a gel/GU around mile 3 if I was running 5 or more miles.  We used up the first bag and I reordered, thinking I'd given it a good trial and was ready to blog about it.  And then I had a longer run where I totally bonked while using it, so I held off on the review.  I ended up having to use some extra fuel in the form of GU, which I wasn't thrilled about because more than one will really make my stomach hurt, but we'd started our training for Houston and our runs got longer, so I didn't have much of a choice.  The Tailwind worked great, but it just wasn't quite enough for me - possibly because I am a slower runner - however, it certainly helped with giving me a steady stream of calories, as I'd take a drink way more often than I was taking a GU, and with every drink, I ingested a few calories.
I feel like a bit of a mad scientist, mixing up our special running, drink.

We are now on our third bag of Tailwind, and both Jeff and I still really like it.  I mix it up in a pitcher the night before our long run and usually pour some into our water bottles and put them in the freezer overnight, and then add the rest of the Tailwind to the bottles in the morning.  The bag of Tailwind costs $35, which makes it 70 cents per serving, which is pretty reasonable for us.

My favorite flavor is lemon - it's very light, and not at all artificial tasting, nor is it overly sweet.  My water bottle holds 24 ounces, which gets me through most runs on its own, but during my half marathon last month, I stopped at the water stations when my bottle was about half empty and topped it off with water.  An additional benefit to having lemon-flavored Tailwind in my bottle became apparent when, around mile 11, I noticed that as the volunteer was pouring water into my bottle from a plastic pitcher, a bit of debris (probably a small leaf) was poured into the bottle, so I dumped it all out and started with clean water.  I ran on, and when I took my first sip, I realized that the lemon flavoring had been masking the taste of the water, which wasn't very good.  I was really glad I hadn't had to taste that for all 13.1 miles!

As with a lot of things related to running, I'm always on the lookout for something new and magical that will make my running better.  And while Tailwind doesn't make me run super fast nor am I able to get through a longer run without still needing a little extra (right now I'm trying out the Bolt chews - jury is still out as to whether they will affect my stomach but so far it's looking good), it's been a great form of fuel and electrolytes that is working very well for both Jeff and I.  Tailwind didn't provide me with any free product nor have they compensated me for this review - I just wanted to share this with you, in case you are looking for something similar.

Friday, February 10, 2017

FMM - Meds, Plants,, Pup

Nothing like coming home from Target only to discover you've purchased Children's Flonase instead of the adult version to make you feel like an idiot.  In my defense, the packaging is very similar, and I've been buying this stuff OTC for years; I didn't realize they started making a children's version.  See for yourself:

I think the ingredients are the same, just the warnings are different, but still.  Maybe they shouldn't put them right next to each other on the same shelf.  Or maybe I should learn to pay attention...


My succulents have been loving the winter sun - almost all of them are thriving, and some have even started to turn a little pink, which happens when they get a lot of sun:
See the withered leaves on the bottom?  These were started from leaves pulled from other plants - you just set them on top of the soil and they grow from there and eventually root themselves, and you remove the withered leaves when they can easily detach from the new plant.
Here's a new set that I'm attempting to grow - these leaves broke off of another plant when I was repotting it.
Always in the midst of everything, Paco is.
 Here's Marvia...and a very curious nose.  Plant is named after my friend Matt's mother, who gave it to me when we visited her last August.
Better shot, although I couldn't quite get the pink on the edges to show up well in the pictures.  This plant has done the best out of everything that I brought back from California, and I think I need to move her to a bigger pot soon. 

I'm really enjoying my succulents and plan on buying some new plants in the coming months.  While we don't see quite so many varieties in Texas as I do in California, I think I can find some different shapes and colors to add to my little windowsill display. 


Paco finally seems back to his old self.  On Wednesday, he was eating like a champ and even willingly went outside and laid in the sun while I trimmed some plants in the yard.  Yesterday, he posed for a picture for his blog friends:
Tank yu for all da nice words while I was sik.
 I lub yu.  Heer's a kiss.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

WWU - Unintentional Speedwork

 Just a slight height difference...

I don't normally run with Andi on Saturdays, simply because there is a foot difference in our height and her stride is so much longer than mine that I have to jog to keep up with her just when she's walking intently, much less running.  However, both Diane and Cary were out of town last Saturday, and while I'm fine with running solo, I really wanted to run on our new road - but it's really dark and isolated, so I begged Andi to run with me.  She agreed, and even said she would try and slow down, which I know is challenging...I've run with slower people and you really have to work at not running at your natural pace.

We set off doing my regular intervals, and even though she slowed down, I was having to push it a little to keep up.  Of course, I was also trying to have a conversation with her while we ran, but soon had to give that up as it became apparent that I could either run faster, or talk, but I couldn't do both.  The run was good - the weather was ideal, with a feels like temperature of 48 degrees - and it was fun to challenge myself in a different way; running 4 miles was the perfect distance for this.

We ended up finishing this run three minutes faster than the last time I ran 4 miles, which was two weeks ago.  I've heard that it's good to occasionally run with someone who is faster than you, and I can see why - I pushed myself more than I have been in quite a while, and to paraphrase our Renegade Run Club motto, I didn't die (original motto was "but did you die?" and current motto is "not dying since 2015").  I didn't set out to do speedwork for this run, but that's what ended up happening.  I think I'll have to do this again in another few weeks, just to mix things up.  It's funny - I have avoided speedwork for a long time, but getting to do it, even unintentionally, ended up being a good thing.

After the run, you know the drill.  Blue Baker, treats, coffee, chatter.  We got our usual table once more so all was right with the world.


Over the next few months, I will be running several races but the farthest distance will be a 10K.  Because of this, I don't feel like I have to, well, coddle myself when it comes to running.  It sounds odd, but bear with me - after injuring my ankle and losing an entire year of running to that injury, plus having to start again from zero, I've always had a fear of overdoing it and having that same thing happen again.  It didn't help when I hurt my hamstring a couple years later; that was just more proof to me that I needed to be gentle with my training.

But now, I'm good.  My goal race, the Aramco Houston half marathon, is done; there's no training to be worried about, no "if I don't keep building on this, I'm going to be a hurting fool come race day" - I can run, I can push it, I can take a day off from running if I'm feeling sore.  If a friend wants to run two days in a row, then I can do that.  If a friend wants to run farther than we normally do, I can do that, too.  I'm going with the flow, and it feels very liberating to just run. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

I Missed My Calling

I've never been a career person; while I was in college, my major was journalism with an emphasis in advertising, but I didn't end up finishing college and I don't have any regrets about that, actually.  It just wasn't for me, nor was having an established career path - I've had a lot of jobs off and on over the years, but there was never anything that made me want to work at it exclusively or for the long-term.  Plus I wanted to stay home and raise my children, which I did.  It all worked out.

Of all the jobs I've had, I've enjoyed the ones with customer interaction quite a lot.  I can that be, considering that I hate people?  Just kidding, I really don't - but I do enjoy my solitude.  However, I like helping people - my seasonal stints at James Avery were really fun, even with working during the holiday rush.  And while I didn't set out to work at the gift shop when I applied to be a volunteer at the hospital, I've ended up really enjoying my time there as well.  I like helping people choose things to purchase; neither of these jobs had any stress on me as far as commissions, so that's probably an extra bonus to liking them - I wouldn't want to feel like I had the pressure of making sales or the pressure of making someone purchase something...I just want the fun of helping them feel good about whatever they're buying.

I guess my enthusiasm for shopping translates to our gift shop customers, because my co-volunteer, Rosalie, and I end up doing really well on our days there.  What can I say - we like a lot of the stuff we sell, and when someone is interested in it, we can't help but show our love for the product.  Kendall, who is in charge of the gift shop, noticed this a while back and started letting us choose the Fossil items for the shop - purses, wallets, watches, and jewelry.  I can't tell you how neat that is, to sit at the computer and click on all the items we think are cute and put them into our shopping cart - basically we are buying everything we love, without having to spend any money.  A few weeks ago, Rosalie and I placed another Fossil order; as usual, we picked out everything we liked and left the cart for Kendall to review.  We were shocked when she asked us if we submitted the order - she trusted our judgement that much to not even need to see what we'd chosen!  That made us feel really good.

The week after we placed our most recent order, Rosalie was on vacation, but I came in to work to find that several boxes of purses and jewelry had arrived.  Kendall saves all of the Fossil items for us to display, because we seem to do a good job with that as well.  I unwrapped all of the purses and set them out, and within 30 minutes, one of our new totes had sold.  I love it when a customer likes what we picked out - makes me feel like we are on the right track.  Then another tote sold.  Then a purse and a wallet that I'd paired with it for display sold.  I was elated, but sad that Rosalie missed out on all of the fun (although I'm sure she was having fun on her vacation, of course). 

The first thing to sell...this pattern also sold in another style as well.  Kendall reordered everything that sold so quickly, so this is the second set of bags in as many weeks.

So apparently, based on my limited time in the gift shop, I should have been a purchaser for a boutique...and also someone who does displays.  We have a small locked cabinet to showcase the jewelry and watches, and we do the best we can with what we have; while I don't think I could handle doing an entire shop's worth, I can make smaller displays look nice.

Of course, I really don't want a full-time job, so this is all just speculation right now.  But it's interesting to discover a possible career path - one that I never had any idea I'd be good at - and it's also kind of neat to see how opportunities appear when you're just floating along in life.


Paco update:  He's doing better.  We've been giving him some canned pumpkin, which is supposed to help with stomach issues for dogs, and he loves it.  I was thrilled on Saturday to see that after he lapped up his couple spoonfuls of pumpkin, he went over to his food dish and actually ate some kibble!  He's not eating a lot, but he IS eating, and he's kept everything down for about 48 hours now.  Fingers crossed that he's on the path to getting back to normal.  Thank you, everyone, for all of your concern - I know that Paco the wonder dog is very popular here, and it's nice to know how loved he is.

Friday, February 3, 2017

FMM - The Groundhog Knows Nothing About Texas

Ahh, spring.  It's just around the corner, if you live in Texas.  Seriously, it was 79 degrees here on Wednesday!  Which is why I started working on our pot plants - I needed to cut back the dead stuff from our two-day hard freeze (aka winter) in January.  Unexpectedly, one of my potted mums had new green growth underneath the dead stuff - I thought mums were seasonal at best - but look, there's green stuff here:
I'll take any amount of fresh greenery in early February!

As a refresher, this is what the plant looked like last October:
Maybe there are different types of mums - the purple one that we also bought was completely dead.  Which is OK, as I have that pot earmarked for a bougainvillea just as soon as they show up in our local garden centers.

I was also trimming the dead stuff off the plants in the front yard, but kept puncturing my fingers with thorns on a fern, so I made a quick trip to Home Depot, where I came home with garden gloves and a new, sharper pair of clippers, plus some more clay pots for my succulents:
I felt like a gardener when I brought in my goodies.  A gardener who doesn't like dirt and the bugs who live in it, but a gardener nonetheless.


Poor Paco has been sick for about a week and a half now - big time tummy troubles.  He's been vomiting a lot, and not eating...even when we offered him some chicken and rice, he very half-heartedly picked at it.  I took him to the vet on Monday; they ran blood work and everything came back fine, which meant no organs were failing or anything major like that, and he was given an injection of an anti-nausea medicine along with an antibiotic.  I've been giving him pills of the same meds since then, but he's still not doing great - this was after being on the medicine for 48 hours:
Sleeping, and shaking, next to me on the couch.  And then he'll suddenly sit up and *blorp* - barf with no warning.  Fun times for all of us, let me tell you.

I may call the vet again today if he's not showing any more improvement, although I don't know what they would do at this point.


I've been having so much fun knitting little mitered squares out of my leftover sock yarn!  Naturally, I couldn't resist beginning to join them together - according to the pattern, I was supposed to knit the first row of squares individually and then begin joining them when I had the desired width for the throw/blanket.  Well guess what?  You don't always have to follow the pattern; this is where my "knitting is supposed to be fun" motto comes into play.  First I had this:
Holy cow, I was actually able to pick up stitches AND knit these together!

And then, a few days later, I had this:
It's coming together!  I have no idea when I'll get bored, and I know this most likely will be a project years in the works simply because I'm using leftover yarn instead of yarn that I purchased specifically for this throw, but for now, it's a fun distraction - I can start and finish a square in a short amount of time and have the satisfaction of completing something, even though the project as a whole is still a work in progress.


It's Superbowl weekend!  Which means nothing to me, except for the commercials.  But if you have a stake in it, I hope your team wins.

Have a great weekend!