Friday, July 21, 2017

FMM - Toes and More!

I finally got my first pedicure of the year - yes, YEAR, thanks to losing a toenail in January after running the Houston half marathon.  I was very paranoid about exposing the skin on that toe to anything that might cause an infection, and it took this long for enough of the nail to grow back.  In the meantime, the place where I used to go did a big renovation and got all new massage chairs, so that was a pleasant surprise when I went in.  Here's my feet, looking sandal-ready (not that I haven't been wearing flip-flops - this Cali girl will always be wearing flip-flops):
A woman at the drying table complimented me on the blue and asked what the name of the polish was - I said I didn't know, I just picked it because it matched my car.
Wasn't even kidding...and if OPI made a Mini Cooper colors set, I'd probably buy it!

********************

I was sitting and knitting on Tuesday afternoon when the power went out.  It was 97 degrees, but it felt even worse:

I checked the city's online power outage map (thank goodness for smart phones - we now have access to the rest of the world even with no electricity) and there was a pretty big area out...turns out a pole was knocked down during some construction happening down the road from us.  Two hours later, our power was restored, whew!  Not only was it getting warm because of no A/C running, but not having the ceiling fans to move air was especially bad.  We ended up leaving to have dinner in a cool restaurant and then ran some errands to give the house time to cool down before we came back home.  Times like this are when I cannot fathom how people used to live here before the invention of air conditioning...they did this all the time, for months on end.  Heartier stock than I, that's for sure!

********************

This isn't blooming anymore, but a week ago, it was spectacular:
Texas Mountain Laurel
This year it must have gotten enough rain at just the right time, because it bloomed like crazy!  

In other news, my bougainvillea still isn't blooming, despite fertilizer, full sun, and plenty of water:
Lots of leaves.  Pay no attention to the overgrown grass; our yard guy is coming today.
New growth, but no blooms.  What.The.Heck.

This would look so pretty with the green leaves and pink blooms next to the white brick post - never has a plant let me down so much.  I swear, if this thing doesn't bloom, I'm going to write off bougainvilleas - at least while we live here.  There's still a few months remaining of full sun for it to redeem itself, but if it's not blooming in July, I don't think there's much hope.

********************

We have no plans for the weekend beyond our usual running and breakfasting with friends, although we need to weed the front flower beds.  Of course, it's a wee bit hot, so finding time to do that when the sun isn't burning down on us will be a challenge; there's probably a small window between sun baking and mosquito biting in the evening that we'll have to jump at.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday Workout Update

I really don't have much to report this week - I feel like a broken record saying it's hot and humid, so I won't say that.  ::whispers::  But it is.  Anyway, I ran with Cary on Saturday; we did three miles and what you should be impressed with by that is the fact that she's in her third trimester, pregnant during a Texas summer, and she's still running.  I wasn't a runner when I was pregnant, but I did have a summer baby in southern California and that was rough - Texas summers are much worse, so kudos to Cary for staying so active.

So we ran, and then I ran again with Jeff yesterday.  I had to laugh when I realized that my total mileage for the week was what Diane and I were running on a single weekday during the height of her marathon training...but hey, that's why it's called the off season, right?

After my run yesterday, I needed to stretch out my muscles, which aren't sore from running but from sitting and knitting so much.  Luckily I'm on the tail end of my knitting push and won't be sitting quite so much soon.  I probably could avoid some of this if I'd just make myself get up and stretch every hour, but when I'm in the groove of knitting, nothing can stop me.  Well, except when Paco needs to go outside.  And when I'm thirsty.  And then when all the water I drank runs through me.  But other than that, nothing can keep me from my knitting!  Wait, where was I going with this?  Oh yeah, stretching.  Which is what I did after my run yesterday - I started with my wall stretch:
Legs up!  

Which led to a worried Paco hovering over me:
Why yu on de floor?  Do I need to get help??

Then, once I was finished with the wall stretch, I did a few yoga moves since I was already on the floor - child's pose, cat and cow, and then I did a quick plank.  This always feels so good and honestly I don't know why I don't do this every time I run...except that I forget about it in my hurry to get out of my sweaty clothes.

As far as other exercise, we bought a dog Frisbee for Paco - it's made from a soft gel, in case he ever decides to catch it in his mouth.  So far he's just having fun letting us throw it, watching it land, and then he'll bring it back to us and play tug-of-war with it.  We let him get his chasing after the Frisbee out of his system first, and then Jeff and I can toss our Frisbee without Paco trying to get it.  We are getting better, and it's a fun thing to do in the evening before the mosquitoes come out.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Change What You Can

I've always been one who likes to change up my surroundings - even if I just move things around without buying anything new.  This is especially good right now, when we are on the downside of our mortgage payments.  Our house will be paid off next summer and we'll do some updating to it at that point, but of course I've already started thinking about what to do and because I can't get started with anything major yet, I decided to rearrange my living room.  Yes, again.  It's become a yearly thing with me, and I'm amazed at how many ways I can change it up with the same furniture.

My eventual plan, which Jeff is on board for, is to move the two cabinet bookcases to one side of the fireplace and purchase another set of them for the other side.  The mantle flares out a couple of inches farther than the fireplace surround, and we can't fit two cabinets on either side with it there, so we're going to remove the mantle above the fireplace surround.  At first I thought this was sacrilege - remove the mantle?  Is that even allowed?  I know you see it all the time on the HGTV home improvement shows, but this is a perfectly nice mantle.  It was Jeff's idea, and the more I thought about it, the more I agree with it.  Along with fitting in a wall of cabinets without having to have them custom made, we can also mount the TV above the fireplace without it being too high.  I want to free up that one wall in order to change the seating in the room.  One thing I loved about this house when we bought it was all the light brought in by the windows, along with the trees and natural state of the backyard...and yet most of the time we are sitting with our backs to the windows in the living room!

When we do the house updates, I'm also going to buy new living room furniture.  As much as I like the style of what we have in there, it doesn't lend well for my back and hips when it comes to sitting and knitting; I'm tired of the backaches.  Oh - and a while back I had new matching grayish slipcovers picked out for the two loveseats, but coincidentally, the price of the slipcovers was the same as two airfares to Orlando, so you can see what won out.

Here's the newest version of my living room, with the two previous years below:
2017 - I can knit in several spots, but my rolling cart isn't always the easiest to access unless I move it in front of the seating area when I'm ready to knit.
2016
2015

Another view:
2017
2017 (yet another view)
2016
2015

This go-round, along with doing the deep vacuuming that comes with moving everything, I dusted all of the treasures in the cabinets and even moved some things around:
The penguins were on a shelf in my office but got displaced when I put all my yarn in bins, so they made the move the the living room.
I love all of our mementos - I can tell you where everything came from, even the things that go waaay back.

I think this will hold me for another year - and then, all bets are off as I'm really looking forward to making some big changes! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

FMM - Is It Still Considered a Mishmash If I Only Post One Picture?

I'm breaking from my normal routine of posting a bunch of random stuff to just post one picture.  ONE.  Because it's just the cutest thing on the internet today.  Also, fun captions are welcome - hit me with your best shot.  OK, are you ready? 
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Here it is:

It's Woody, the kitty that my running group found in the woods!  Her little tongue sticking out, her paw on her belly - the half-closed eye...she looks like she's been on a bender to me, but what do you think?  I honestly can't stop laughing when I look at this picture.  Pets - providing free entertainment on a daily basis.  Thanks to my friend Andi for sharing the picture with me...and now with you!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WWU - Tips For Running in Hot Weather

1.  Don't.

You might think I'm joking, but seriously, it's just too freaking hot to have a good run right now.  I can power through a lot, but when it's 80 degrees at 6:00 am, with 100% humidity?  Running is going to be hard, so hard, and you're going to feel pretty terrible.  So hey, take it easy.  Run a little, but at this point, why push it?  I think you can see where my weekly update is going, but just in case, this is what I did last week:

Monday:  Woke up early and drove to The Woodlands to get my car in for service.   It's a 140 mile round trip, on a lot of country roads.  I was tired when we got home.
Tuesday:  Celebrated my freedom (and America's birthday) by sleeping in.
Wednesday:  No running but moved furniture around, so I'm counting that as weight training, ha!
Thursday:  No running
Friday:  No running
Saturday:  I ran!  It was a rough go for the first 1.5 miles, until I made a turn and finally got a breeze.  A smaller group of Renegades meant we all ran solo, although people were ahead of and behind me, so although I ran alone, I really wasn't alone.  Three ridiculously hot and sweaty miles later, I was glad to be done.
Saturday night:  It was shady in our front grassy area, so Jeff and I went out and tossed the Frisbee around for a while.  Shade does not equal cool, however - it was still 97 degrees when we did this, at 7:30 pm!  Fun times, I'm getting a little better at throwing to my target as well as catching the disc, so practice is paying off.
Sunday:  Slept in with a dog and a cat.

At least this week, I did go run yesterday morning with Jeff, but only for 2 miles because it's just stupid hot right now.  Pretty much every summer ends up going like this; it's hard to make myself go outside and run when it's so hot.  At this point, I'm just counting my non-running days as building up some recovery for when I start increasing my miles.  And while I miss running more in theory, when I actually get out to run in this weather?  Not so much, ha!

CC and I were shoe twins on Saturday - you can see us from a mile away with these bright yellow shoes!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tuesday Review Post: GlassesShop.com

Disclaimer:  I received a pair of sunglasses for free in exchange for this post.

While I've worn glasses since I was a teenager, I've only been wearing sunglasses for the past few years, which coincided with starting to wear contacts again after about 25 years of just glasses.  So when GlassesShop.com contacted me about doing a review of prescription eyeglasses, I wasn't interested - but when I was offered sunglasses, I decided to give this a try.  While they offer prescription sunglasses, I chose non-prescription lenses, because I wear them with contacts.

For the blog review, I was limited to a smaller selection of sunglasses than what they offer; out of what was offered, I went with the Bowling Wayfarer in black, because I have a similar pair in brown and I like how they fit on my face.  This was a simple order based on what I was allowed, and they arrived in just over a week.
This is what I received - sunglasses, hard shell case, cleaning cloth.

As you can see, the lenses aren't all that dark, considering they are sunglasses.  More on that later, but here's how they looked on my face:
They felt good and fit well.

I have to be honest here - to me, these aren't dark enough to qualify as sunglasses.  But I thought, maybe they might work for my Saturday morning runs, where it's still dark when we start running, but becomes light soon enough; there's been many times when I've wished I had my sunglasses while we run directly into the sun as it rises.  So I wore them on my run last Saturday.  We started at 6:00 am; the sunrise was at 6:30 am.  I wore them right from the beginning of the run, when it was still dark - but I could see just fine because as I mentioned, the tint on these lenses isn't all that dark.

For running, the sunglasses worked nicely - they didn't bounce around or slip down my nose, despite the copious amount of sweat that was pouring down my face.  They did fog up a bit, but once I made a turn and got a breeze, the fogging stopped.  As for helping with the sunrise, yes - having these sunglasses helped, definitely.  I'm curious to see how well they do when I'm out even longer in the sun, such as during a 10 miler, or during a half marathon.
Immediately after finishing my run.

So, here's my list of pros and cons for these sunglasses:

Pros
  • Sturdy frames and lenses - I had to take them off several times during that run to wipe the sweat off my face and accidentally dropped them on the sidewalk once; no damage was done, whew.
  • Decent price - this pair of sunglasses would have cost me $44.95, had I paid for them.
Cons
  • The lenses are just too light to be considered sunglasses.  My contact at GlassesShop.com said they were a 60% gray tint.
  • You can customize the lenses - to get mirrored lenses, these sunglasses would have cost $99.80.  And to get these Polarized, the sunglasses would have cost $168.95, and considering that's about the same price as a pair of Ray-Ban Polarized sunglasses, I'd just as soon go for the name-brand at that point.
To be fair, I'm just reviewing a small part of what GlassesShop.com does - I suspect most of their business is in prescription eyeglasses, and that is something that I did not try out, nor would I want to, as I wear transition lenses and that can be tricky to get right - for those lenses, I go to my local optical shop.  But I'm also a bit old-school when it comes to ordering something like eyeglasses online - have any of you ever tried this?

I do have a discount code for you, if you'd like to give GlassesShop.com a try - use "GSHOT50" for 50% off all regularly-priced glasses and sunglasses.  I don't receive any compensation for this, but if you do order a pair, I'd love to hear your thoughts on your new glasses!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Labels, Part II - I Have One Now!

Last fall I wrote about labels and how I didn't feel like any labels applied to me - it seemed that I fell between the cracks when it came to labels for most of my life.  I've kind of gotten used to that, and am OK with not being labeled - I'm like Lenny Kosnowski from Laverne and Shirley, a lone wolf - and I like that.
I just realized that this episode, where Lenny takes pride in being a lone wolf, first aired in 1976 - how can that be??  

However, the topic of aging has recently come up, and with that, labels - as in being called middle-aged, or senior citizen, or the worst, elderly.  I thought middle-aged was bad until I read about someone being referred to as elderly - and they were in their fifties!  As a 54-year-old who does not feel middle-aged, much less ELDERLY, that hit a little too close to home for me.  You might think I'm exaggerating, but this was the title and description of video that was making the rounds online recently:
Elderly Ladies Line Up To Sing And Dance.
While most senior citizens would stick with gardening and feeding the ducks or whatever is considered fun when you turn 55, these ladies set out to make a song about how awesome they are.
For once and for all, come on people - 55 is not elderly!  While the song and dance was cute, the title and description were way too patronizing for me, which is why I'm not linking the video - no hits for you!

As I've grown older, I've felt more and more that I'm not any particular age - well, except for the "I'm fifty and I can do what I want" but that's more of an attitude, I suppose - and a freeing one to have, I must admit.  While I appreciate each birthday, I don't think "oh, now I'm XX, I should be (or shouldn't be) doing this."  I'm 54, but I don't feel 54, if that makes sense.  I don't know how a 54-year-old is supposed to feel, or act, so I'm just continuing to do my thing; it seems to be working for me.

A better article about women of my age range was this one, where we were referred to as perennials, and I have to say, that's a label that I can get behind.  Because what is a perennial, but something that blooms year after year, steadily returning with new growth and life?  I love this so much, and I think I'm finally able to attach a label to myself - I'm a perennial, people!
(picture from Sunset.com)

I daresay that most of my readers are probably in the same non-middle-aged, non-elderly boat as me...and if you're not, it'll be on you before you realize and trust me, you are not going to appreciate those terms being applied to you.  We've got a label, my friends, and it's a good one.  Let's make being a perennial mainstream.