Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - "Anticipation"





Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Finally jumped ...

Too busy to blog? Seriously folks ... did anyone read the last post I made (whoops that was two weeks ago ...oh dear, I've forgotten the point ...)

Oh right, the holidays ... well, it's been a blur ... did I write something about a hamster and a wheel and spinning ... oh dear, I've forgotten the point again.

Oh right, the holidays ... well, there's been cleaning, decorating, parties, celebrating friendships, shopping, present wrapping, cooking, baking, vain attempts to pry myself away from facebook, even further vain attempts to pry myself away from reading the 3rd and 4th book of the Twilight Saga, a trip on the Polar Express, Christmas, multiple attempts to de-mucus with the neti pot, a lot of nose blowing (my personal tribute to Rudolph), Christmas, more neti-pot, packing up for Hilton Head, and finally sending off those Christmas/New Year's cards on the 29th (splitting the difference between the holidays).

What was my point again? Oh right, the holidays ... something about spinning, I think. Wouldn't it be cool if we followed our own advice? I had such good intentions ...

In deference to this week's Heads or Tails theme/prompt, which is Heads: Watch - I've finally jumped off the wheel and am just watching others spin for a while. If I find myself on the wheel again, I'll just check my watch and set the timer ...

Personally, I'm looking forward to 2009. I have been watching my horoscope ... seems to be an interesting planetary alignment incoming ... maybe some things will align in a positive way ... I'll watch and see. Although Mercury does go retrograde starting on my birthday - I'll be sure to backup my laptop. All you fellow Capricorns, go here ...

So, here's to watching ... and waiting ... and maybe a little bit of doing ... and a truly fabulous 2009! Joy, Peace, Prosperity, Hope and Love to all - oh, and if you didn't see this before ... watch this->>>

P.S. Will I post again in less than 2 weeks? Hmmm, watch me ... and find out!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Round and Round She Goes ...

... where she stops no one knows ...

I've been a tad delinquent on my Heads or Tails participation. Not for any valid reason, just I don't realize that it's Tuesday until it's over. Even with the helpful emails from Skittles, I can't seem to focus long enough to get it done.

But this week's topic, "Heads:Anything Round", seemed oddly appropriate. So here it is:



In deference to the wonderful Christmas season, sometimes we get so caught up in the spin, we forget to stop ... or maybe we can't stop ... or maybe there's a part of us that doesn't want to stop ... but we should [stop] ... at least everyone once in a while, to enjoy that crazy, warm, lightheaded feeling, and appreciate what's a-ROUND us ...

So ho, ho, ho and deck the halls ... and don't forget to jump off the wheel for a bit!
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Friday, December 12, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Krueger Elves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


To Elf yourself ... go here ... you know you want to ... go ahead, do it ... ho ho ho.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Transcending

My friend K2 sent this to me this morning. I cried. Oh, and it's still raining.






Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rainy Day Meditations and then some ...

My rainy day meditations were abruptly halted by the sound of rushing water. Normally, that would be a welcomed sound, but not while sitting in a chair in my family room.

I woke up this morning to the soothing sounds of rain drops on my roof (thankfully not my head ... but wait). Once the sound of the comforting rain drops registered, I promptly re-snuggled myself back under the covers and hit that internal snooze button. My dearest husband was in charge of Dominic this morning and got him safely off to the bus stop allowing me to sleep in ... and I did.

Around 8:30, I pried myself loose from the bed ... this required a near Herculean effort as there was some ultra strong magnetic force which prevented me from getting even millimeters away from the mattress. I made it downstairs to the kitchen, eyes barely open ... found the coffee pot, and proceeded to brew. Somehow, I managed to wait the 185 seconds - an eternity for the magic morning elixir, but realized while waiting that I was unwillingly hosting a sinus headache. I figured the coffee might help, so when it was ready, I shuffled off to the family room to sit in my favorite chair for the healing properties of the caffeine to sink in. One sip of coffee later, I heard the loud rush of water ... I waited for thunder, lightning, and a crash. None came ... only more loud waterfall noises.

Think Niagra Falls here. I rose to investigate.

Think "up on the roof top, I heard such a clatter, I rose from my [chair] to see what was the matter".

The laundry room is directly between the kitchen and the family room. Since my favorite chair in the family room backs up to the laundry room wall, I went there first. And saw the pretty rushing stream of falling water FROM THE CEILING AND THE WINDOW ("But how can that be because the window is actually under the covered deck and it's on the first floor of a two story house?" - she silently screamed to herself).

Then I realized I was standing a pool of water. Then I realized that the dirty clothes I had in the basket on the floor in front of the washer were wet. Then I realized that I turned the light on ... and the water was coming out of the light fixture ... then I turned the light off.

Next came the phone call to my dearest husband - which of course he didn't answer. The message went something like this: "Noah, this is Mrs. Noah - something in the ark is leaking, the animals have run amuck, there's a den of wily foxes under the deck staging a coo, the floor is covered in water from the rain, there are no olive branches in sight and I don't know what to do."

While waiting for the return call from Noah, I filled two buckets, a laundry basket and a trash can with water (yes, it was raining pretty hard) and started to mop the floor. After I got things under control by strategically placing the various receptacles under the streams of water, I went out to the covered deck to investigate. Did I mention that I did this without the benefit of coffee?

No rain coming through the roof of the covered deck, but more where the deck is joined to the house - which found it's way into the window of the laundry room - which somehow worked it's way into the ceiling and through some hole in the light fixture. That's my theory any way.

About that time, Noah calls and says ... "Wow, that was some message". Right. So while he was on the phone, I went into the attic to investigate any possible roof leaks - I didn't see any - at least nothing obvious - and considering the torrent of water coming through the window and light fixture, I expected obvious.

Then I went into the room directly above the laundry room ... no water leaking through that window, ceiling, or floor. This was proving my initial theory of something to do with the deck not the roof, because well, there was a whole second floor without any water damage above the room with the water damage ... who needed Noah anyway? OK - I don't mean to get cocky now, Noah is very handy and has a great way of explaining things. He even came to the same conclusion that I did without any prompting - ok, there was a little prompting.

He also did offer to come home at lunch to help bail water, but I said I'd be OK - unless the hard rain continued, in which case I was going to side with the wily foxes. Noah made contact with the people who installed our deck but of course they can't actually come out today ... when it's raining ... to see where the water is coming from ... because of course it can't actually be a problem of how the deck is joined to the house ... argh ... that's never happened before.

So now I will continue to meditate ... and listen to the pleasant plink plunk plink plunk of the water drops falling into the trash cans, buckets, and laundry baskets. Ahhhhh, so soothing ... and to think some people use water as torture. Absurd.



Rainy Days and not so Wordless Wednesdays





Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Does your blog have a personality?

Apparently, mine has several. Things that make one go "hmmmm". I came upon the Typealyzer on Christine Kane's blog and promptly typed mine. At that exact moment, my blog was typed as ESTP "heavy on feelings with a pinch of logic"- ok, admittedly, it’s my own logic, but logic nonetheless and I'm taking it.

Today, while preparing this post, I typed again ... only today, the blog is typed as

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.




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Any guesses on what it will be tomorrow?

Try it out on your own blog - give me some feedback!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Run ... Eat ... Sleep

I know this blog has been lacking the angst and horrors of training for endurance events, but running has become almost like breathing (ok, maybe not quite like breathing ... but it's more of just a thing I do, than a sport).

All in all, training for this half hasn't been as event-filled as training for the full marathon. I stopped eating cinnamon rolls for breakfast and went back to eating bagels and bananas. Come to think of it, there was a lot of angst in that alone, but I managed somehow to push through the pain.

I went back to running 4 days a week plus a cross training day. I did two short runs (4 - 6 miles), a medium run (6 - 8 miles) and a long run (8 - 12 miles). I even cheated ... sometimes walking quickly and never actually running on the 4 milers. I ran in 22 degree weather (burrrrrrrrrrr ... it's not supposed to be that cold here yet) and I ran in the rain (albeit, only short runs). I ran on hiking trails, I ran on bike paths (naughty me), I ran on gravel (ouch), I ran on asphalt, I ran on treadmills ... but I ran. It's just what I did. I had some weird pain in my left foot, got some gel insoles for my running shoes and moved on. My fabulous chiropractors kept my knees, ankles and lower back in sync and 10 - 12 mile runs just didn't hurt like they used to. Weird, I know.

There were no crying fits, no flashing blue lights, and I didn't even take an ice bath this fall ...

So, Thanksgiving morning, when it was race time, I was pretty excited - I knew the course, our Governor had not recently been praying for rain, and the weather was supposed to be in the 30's and 40's during the race. Although I did not sleep well the night before, I think my concern was maybe focused on my friend "E" who was going to run with me. It was her first half marathon. She rocked! Although, I think she was ready to deck me a few times because I was so unusually perky in the morning. I picked her up at her house at 6AM ... jumping up and down while she was putting her stuff in my car. I kept the exhuberance level fairly high throughout the race and we chatted almost non-stop ... even sang Christmas carols. As in last year's run, it was a trip down memory lane for me, and as it turned out, a trip down memory lane for "E" too. So every few minutes (literally), it was a running commentary from both of us ... each making most of the same observations, just on different buildings ... "Ohhh, this is where I used to live", "this is where we got married", "this is where we had our reception", "this is where our vet was", "this is where I used to go to church", "this is where I go to church now", "that used to be a great restaurant", "that restaurant is new", "why are we running down the middle of Peachtree", "oh, right, the half marathon", "Lisa, when are we going to get to mile 8?", "um,,,er, "E" - we already passed mile 8, we're coming up on 9","this is where my husband works", "this is where my husband used to live", "ohh, there's the capitol building" ...

And then it was over.

We crossed the finish line ... received our medals (yes, they give everyone one) ... and all was good. We were even interviewed by a Fox news reporter "Why would you do this on Thanksgiving Day?" - was the question at hand. "E" answered first, "She (pointing at me) made me." I laughed. It was a very subtle campaign ... she just kept running with me and didn't realize all of the subliminal propaganda I was giving her ... masterful, I tell you ... I am brilliant.

In a nutshell, I ran, then I ate, then about 14 hours later, I slept ... am I sore today? Truthfully, no. I'm ready to run ... (shopping at least ... maybe just 4 miles tomorrow).

Who's in for next year?





Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hand talking?

Today's post is prompted by this Tuesday's Heads or Tails meme - Heads: Anything you do with your hands ... to play or read more, please go here.

I tend to talk (<----insert gesture of fingers tapping thumbs mimicking a mouth opening and closing) with my hands - which is one of the reasons I like to type, because I think with my hands and the words "magically" appear ... there it is ... I've confessed my secret (or one of them anyway). If truth be told, I probably more accurately talk with my eyes, shoulders, posture, etc. ... but the MEME is about things you do with your hands and this came to mind, ur ... hand.)

In college, friends would grab my hands while I was talking to shut me up. Apparently, one (<---insert gesture of one index finger) phenomenon of hand talking is that if your hands are restricted(<---insert gesture of one hand grasping the other) in any way, so are your vocal cords (<---insert gesture of hands over throat/mouth). It's true, at least for me. (<---insert gesture of hand over heart)

I do know that when I was in my Freshman speech class in college, the professor actually asked me (<--- insert gesture of finger pointing to chest) to decrease the number (<---insert gesture of open palms in an downward movement) of gestures I used in delivery. She said (and I'm sure it was delivered with the appropriate gestures), "Lisa, you may want to consider only using gestures for significant (<--- insert appropriate gesture here) points in your presentations." Sure, ok ... then (<---- insert shoulder shrug, rolling eyes, and the "ok sign" made with your hand).

You can always tell if I'm tired, the gestures are much more subdued and when I pause in mid sentence - so do my hands ... I'm not making this stuff up people, it is what it is. Some have described me as animated ... well, I think that's very polite. Maybe it's a product of my Italian heritage or maybe there's a legitimate scientific link. I don't know (<---more shrugging, head shaking, and hands thrown up in the air).

As a side note in all seriousness, I think sign language is awesome and that even those that can hear, should learn it - it's so expressive ...

Maybe I should have made this a video blog instead ... but then I would not have gotten to type as much ... maybe next time. <--- insert hand waving bye




Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Where is ...

Today's post is prompted by this Tuesday's Heads or Tails meme - Heads: Wear or Tails: Where ... to play or read more, please go here.

"Where is ..." fill in the blank is the one question that fills my days and some nights ... I get phone calls, emails, taps on the shoulder, tugs on my shirt ... you name it. Apparently, I know - and those who ask, assume that I will share that information, correctly even.

I know where things are in the refrigerator, cabinet, pantry, laundry, basement, garage, toy box, closet, car, email in-box, and apparently my husband's computer (which I have to argue ... no, I really don't ... he just has a really organized file system, so organized that sometimes he forgets where he puts stuff ... ).

Let's use this as a sample ... you can substitute Chinese Mustard for whatever else comes to mind.

"Where is the Chinese Mustard?"

"In the refrigerator"

"Right, but where in the refrigerator?"

[In my head, I scream ... where it's been since we got the refrigerator] - but in my big girl voice, I say, "On the shelf with the other condiments."

"I assumed that, but where, exactly?

Here's where it gets tricky ... being that I answer the "Where is" question on a routine basis - dozens of times daily - I can use sarcasm, which might temporarily amuse me, but will render a loving and kind man insane or I can simply tell him. What to do, what to do.

The seconds are agonizing, as his egg rolls are getting cold ... tick-tock, tick-tock ...

"Hmmmm, I think it's to the left of the dijon and to the right of the Heinz yellow."

"Nope, I still don't see it ..." - a hint of distress, a smidgen of frustration ...

"Ahhhh, you might have to MOVE the ketchup."

Barely audible exclamation of joy ... "Got it ... thanks."

Now, here's the kicker ...how is it that I have the missing item radar in the first place ... and why it is that I can correctly locate hundreds, nay, thousands of items for my own family, but when I am in the presence of my own mother ... I have a total lack of recall? It must be some kind of weird retroactive gene that maintains dominance unless in the presence of someone with more experience ... I don't know, but it's freaky.

Here's a last minute P.S. - Several months ago, a back door house key was misplaced. The last person to use it, my husband, asked "where is ...". I suggested that he check his pockets, since he routinely checks all doors, etc. His alleged search came up negative, but only moments ago, the missing key magically reappeared. I asked, "Where was it?" He answered, "Apparently, it was in the pocket of one of my pairs of pants."

Huh. Who knew?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

and ... After

When last we left our hero, Officer Dominic, he was unaware of the kitchen witch. Alas, when he departed to patrol the neighborhood, the house left the house un-guarded ("guard" - a toss to the Heads or Tails Tuesday Meme which is "Heads: Guard" this week).

Well, technically, our friends, Jack O., Scurvy, and Dog were "supposed" to be guarding the premises, but things kind of lit up, when the Officer struck out on his rounds.




Here's what happened...

The witch had a little too much brew, um ... stew ... stared in to the magic mirror, turned into
this (see above) from this (see to the right) ...



... and then was visited by G. Reaper.




Hilarity ensued ... the Officer returned, saw how much fun Reaper and the witch were having, and jumped on the band wagon ...






So the moral of the story is:













don't ever underestimate the influence of the kitchen witch when the house is left guarded by pumpkins named
Scurvy, Dog, and Jack.



Saturday, November 1, 2008

Before ...

Once upon a time ... before the Trick-or-Treating began ...


... in a red brick house with a black door, there lived a little boy with an orange shirt and vampire teeth ...

... and a pirate pumpkin head, named "Scurvy"
... and a cat pumpkin head, named "Dog".















Scurvy and Dog were kept in line by the Great Pumpkin, Jack O. who weighs more than the little boy. Jack O. is indeed a great pumpkin.

The little boy, who is in actuality, not so little, decided to support Jack O.'s efforts in defending the red brick house with the black door. In so doing, he chose to be a policeman for the annual hunt for candy, also known as Halloween.


---> Insert scary music here...

Unbeknownst to our hero, a witch was lurking in the kitchen ... brewing, some, um ... brew...
stew.
















... to be continued ...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - "The Patch"





Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pereptive Best Friend Provides Post Fodder

I'm desperate for a post at the moment. Yes, I know that I still owe pictures of the Lincoln Log Western town ... I have to unload the memory card, the camera needs to be recharged, and I'm not sure where the USB card reader is at the moment ... lame excuses every one, yes, yes, yes.

My extremely perceptive friend, whom I shall refer to as B, assumed correctly that I was in the place that, accurately described by B, "resembles the hamster ... that jumps on the wheel and keeps running and running and running until you feel like you're going to scream". Author's note: B is quite the perceptive one!

Thus said, I have not been able to focus - not on my business, not on my blog, not really on anything (okay, the temporary diversion of the Lincoln Log town excepted). It's difficult being far removed from my family members and just waiting for updates. I completely understand and respect the situation, but the hamster needs it's exercise, thus rendering the rest of me relatively useless.

So, anyhoo ... in trying to fill my days of unfocused energy ... a couple of things have happened.

I found a book called Twilight by Stephanie Meyer - which unfortunately or fortunately has 4 books in the series. I do believe that I am the last person on the face of the earth to read it, but as I did read the Harry Potter series, I feel obligated to keep in touch with my inner teen.

As I told B, " I have been letting the hamster had a bit of a lie-in so that I can read these books from cover to cover ... actually, maybe the hamster power has fueled my ability to stay up to read."

It feels like an addiction ... I am completely and utterly lost in this series. I cannot put the books down. I take them everywhere. And, being that it has quite an appropriate cast for the month of October - vampires and werewolves - I feel slightly redeemed. Plus a good Romeo/Juliet/Paris vibe and extraordinary photo covers.

The other thing that happened is "Extra" ... which has perpetuated the addiction to the Twilight series ... but that will be another post. Don't give up on me, I'll be back.



Friday, October 17, 2008

Is it Friday already?

It's been a relatively quiet week in Lisa's Land-o-legos. Unfortunately, my cousin had a blood clot at the base of his brain which caused a stroke late last Friday and then a subsequent one on Monday. For the last seven days, we've all been in wait mode. Please send him and his family loads of positive energy and prayers.

Dealing with crisis brings out some interesting traits in me. Over the years, when in crisis mode, I've turned into a matron of cleanliness (the scary freaky kind that scrubs floors with toothbrushes), organized closets and drawers (think Mission Organization), and attempted to exercise away every ounce of energy.

In this particular case, I've spent hours running (at a time) ... which is easy when you don't run very fast and built a Western town, replete with a bank, trading depot, Sheriff "station", private residence for the token girl, and a school with a playground. All constructed not with Legos (horrors) but with Lincoln Logs ... alot of them, and I do mean alot. I really should take a picture of it. And if anyone is wondering (heh heh heh), it was my son's idea to build it.

Since I feel oddly silent, I'll log (Lincoln log, that is) off for now. But check back for a photo shoot - although, I might have to clean up first ... too bad I didn't opt for the matron of cleanliness trait this time around.


Friday, October 10, 2008

The Ultra - WHAT?

... Marathon ... yep, there's something called an ULTRA MARATHON. And, here I thought that running 26.2 miles was pretty ULTRA. I am so naive.

I have more than one friend who have completed Ironman Triathlons (you know, the ones where you swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and THEN (as if the swimming and cycling portions weren't ENOUGH for you) run a full marathon, 26.2 miles. And, they have done it ALL IN ONE DAY - and I mean the SAME DAY. I was amazed by that, even more so when I completed my little marathon - knowing that I ran 26.2 miles in the time it takes some to complete a full Ironman.

So, today, I was viewing another friends fabulous photos of his sister's wedding in South Africa (apparently they invited elephants, zebras, giraffes, hippos, and a lion - or maybe the lion just crashed). Enthralled with the pics, can you imagine getting married with safari animals in your wedding party? Well, maybe they weren't exactly in the wedding party, but they were pretty darn close - beautiful pictures, fabulous experience for all involved to be sure. Now, where was I?

Oh, right, so I'm on a virtual safari, living vicariously through my friend's pictures, and an ad pops up about David Goggins and the ULTRA MARATHON - that's 150 (ONE-HUNDRED-AND-FIFTY) MILES. In one day ... well, actually, it's about 30 - 35 hours, but it's not over a period of say, a month, it's at one time.

I'm still kind of in shock - first the elephant peeking out of the foliage at a wedding, then a video of a guy running 150 miles. I may need to start happy hour a bit early.

Please watch this video - it's worth it to hear his take on the Ultra (that's the race, not the beer) and be amazed at what the human body can achieve. He does this to raise money for fallen soldier's children so they can go to college. His daily workout is roughly my weekly one. (But, as you'll see in the video, he actually looks like he works out, whereas, I decidedly do not.)

His perspective is a good one - "if you can SEE yourself doing something, you CAN do it" - you will do it. I think that applies to just about everything. If you see yourself succeeding at something, no matter what that something is, you will succeed. His motto is "Show No Weakness" - how Navy Seal is that?

I also like what he says about hitting walls - apparently when you run 150 MILES at one time, you hit more than one (no, really?). He says that when he hits a wall, he knows there's a door and he looks for it - because when he finds the door, he has to make a choice of whether or not to go through it and that choice of getting through the wall helps him get to the next point.

I've only been in one marathon ergo I've only hit one wall (mile 22.5 for me) and I can relate - but it's kind of cool to see how that applies to life in general at so many levels! You hit a wall, you look for the door, you get through it ... and so on, and so on ...

Anyway, the video definitely worth watching.





Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ok, so I'm Back in Pink

Just a quick little PSA ...



And, no I'm not going to post any Youtube videos by Pink - ew. Clearly, that would be just plain wrong (um, wrong for me, that is). I'm sure there are those who are um, fans, somewhere ... and I'm certain, you're lovely people, but we'll just have to disagree that Pink is a credible musician - she's no Steven Tyler, after all, although there is a weird resemblance in some photos, and I can't believe he's actually Liv Tyler's father ... but I'm digressing.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have a cousin who is a breast cancer survivor as well as several friends who are breast cancer survivors. These women rock!

I wear my pink ribbon to honor them and their courageous spirit. It's amazing to me how many people are indirectly affected by this disease.

I was in a seminar once when the speaker asked the following questions to a group of about 100. He had everyone stand up - then asked for the people who were cancer survivors to sit down. Then had those people who had family members who were dealing with cancer or who had dealt with cancer to sit. Then had those who friends, neighbors, and/or co-workers who had experience with cancer to sit. At this point only about 10 people remained standing (out of one HUNDRED). Finally, he asked those 10 if they knew of a friend or spouse of a friend ... yep, everyone else sat down. So out of 100 people in a room, everyone was at least indirectly affected by this disease.

So, I encourage you to think Pink this month. You can contribute here, buy merchandise here, or at least click to support free mammograms here.

Here's a little something from the "softer side" of Steven.






Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Back in Black

This week's topic for the Tuesday Heads or Tails meme is:
(Drum roll ... and that would be the drum riff in the above song) ...

HEADS *OR* TAILS - Black *OR* White



Um, guess which one I'm choosing?

I could wax philosophic on you, but in light of the fact that I embedded an AC/DC song, I don't feel philosophic and I wore a black T-shirt and sandals today.

So here it is:

Black is a great color choice, it's slimming, alluring, and - well, you just can't ever have too much of it. Which leads me to this little number ...



All of you NEED this ... you CANNOT live without it ... not only it is adorable, slimming, and alluring, but you MUST have it, MUST, MUST, MUST!

Dear Friend, Vixen, has just launched a new site, Apron Frenzy. Guess what she's selling?

Ah common, you can do it.

I looked up the word, Frenzy. Dictionary.com says it's "a fit or spell of violent mental excitement".

So, in that vein (or vane, if you want to go the pun route) ... it's October for goodness sake, put a little "Boo" in your Kitchen Booty! Get radically excited, wave those arms, dial those digits, type that URL, and click, click, click.

Oh, and just so you know, she's having a contest, too. Check out her site for the rules - the prize is a cute little fall apron!

I'll be back in black (most likely) - later in the week!






Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Snorting Salt Water



It's like watching a train wreck, isn't it? You want to turn away, but you can't ... you may even find yourself whiling away the minutes on YouTube watching other people use the neti ... it's hypnotic. The lady in this video is hysterical ... you know she's trying not to laugh, especially since she's being filmed. Notice the complete lack of expression, almost indifference even. She doesn't even smile after it's over (as in - "Yippee, no more saline coming out of my nostril"), blows her nose with such, um, conviction and the exercises at the end, truly inspirational - the whole performance is quite commendable, in a completely nondescript kind of way.

I know it's been over a year since Oprah discovered it, but I've never been one to be the first to try something "new" ... yes, I know this is an "ancient" technique, but I don't like to be "manipulated" by media hype either. A little stretch, but you get the point.

The experience is a bit odd, and not quite what I expected. I giggled, because I was standing with my head over the kitchen sink with a tea pot looking object filled with salt water shoved up my nose. When the water started pouring out the other side, EXACTLY AS IN THE VIDEO, I just had to laugh. Not only did it tickle, but I just pictured how it would look to someone else (mainly because I was mesmerized by the many examples on YouTube).

An important fact, that Miss Heather repeatedly reminded me, is that you must breathe out of your mouth through the entire process.


Laughing/giggling, no matter how tempting, is not one of those things that should be done while one is pouring salt water in one's nostril. It kind of bubbles, and then some of it takes a detour to your throat. I also think this will be something I do in private ... if I can swing it, alone in a dark room (with a sink). Have you ever laughed so hard that whatever you were drinking the moment before came out your nose? This is very similar.

For me, my thoughts were "don't giggle, don't breathe through your nose, don't breathe through your nose, don't do it, stop it, you're laughing, don't breathe through your nose, don't laugh, there's water coming out of your nostril, don't giggle ...". I can only hope that with practice, it won't be so funny or I can at least resist the temptation to snort.

All in all, I feel cleansed ... although I have a strong sense of being at the beach. Since I complained about all of the allergens in my neck of the woods, and since so many people have recommended this little device to me, I decided to try it. I have to believe it will make a difference (providing that I actually use it).

I have to go blow my nose now.

Oh wait, you have to see this one last video. His facial expressions are priceless.







My Groove Thing

Today's Heads or Tails Tuesday topic is Heads: Shake. To play, go here.



Yeah, I know ... but it's actually in my iPod - I have it listed in the LONG RUN playlist ... around minute 100. It's amazing what the music tempo can do to my running tempo.

Although, just recently, it came up on the shuffle during one of my short runs. Again, keep in mind, I'm not really running, per se ... just sort of jogging slowly or walking quickly with actual running movements thrown in for spice every few minutes. It's the best way for me to keep going for long periods of time.

So a few days ago, this song came up on the shuffle setting, maybe around minute 35 or 40 and I just had to dance ... getting rid of that lactic acid build up is always a good thing.

I was by the river - close to a bench overlook, so I tried to
make it look like I was stretching, thus hopefully evoking some either pity or empathy from any poor passers-by. If only I had thought to take a video with my phone.

Dance like nobody's watching, right?






Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How I would Change where I live

This is an easy one ... This week's Heads or Tails meme is "How I would change where I live" ... let me count the ways, shall I? Well, maybe not.

For nine years, I have lived in Atlanta, GA. Nine, (9), "neuf", "nove", "neun", wow - time flies. Technically, at this exact moment, I live in metro-Atlanta, although I am within 2 miles of the city - which,for those non-Atlantans, is OTP (outside-the-perimeter).

My husband, native Atlantan that he is, grew up ITP (inside the perimeter). This apparently, is a significant and quite important fact to know. Once you move OTP, from ITP, you typically PLT (pay less taxes), but do not have a VIA (very important address). All of this was completely lost on me as a YWS (Yankee who stayed).

It still is somewhat lost on me, but I have found myself specifically describing the area in which I live as the distance away it is from the Chattahoochee and the Fulton County line (which for us means Atlanta, GA mailing address). So what would I change?

Not my address ... my husband has reconciled himself to being able to see Fulton County and "The Hooch" from the stop sign at the end of the street. It means paying 3% less tax and he for some reason appreciates that.

Oh wait, I started to digress ... again.

In thinking about it seriously (because I really do routinely ask my husband if we can move), I came up with only 1 (one) giant thing I would change. Overall, it's a quite a diverse place to live with respect to culture, food, music, art, economy, politics, and other socio-economic thingies. I can circumvent the horriffic traffic on most days and the weather overall is pleasant for about 300 of the 365 days.

But I absolutely hate the pollen - HATE IT, HATE IT, HATE IT! (envison now if you will, me jumping up and down, waving my hands wildly). We get this nasty yellow/green dust beginning in April - lasting through the first of May) that coats everything from outdoor furniture to lungs. It's so thick in the air, you can SEE it ... it's just icky (I'm really trying to G-rate this). People walk around with masks over their noses and mouths for weeks.

But the azaleas and dogwoods are just delightful.

Over the past few years, I routinely get seasonal sinus infections. I've tried various remedies (if you can name it, I probably tried it) - but it just doesn't work. And no matter how much I appreciate the beauty of the flora and fauna, the pollen is disgusting. Fortunately for me, I've recently started to get sinus infections in the fall, too. I am SOOOOO LUCKY! No attractive yellow green dust, just the normal fall allergens. Apparently the relentless assault of spring has finally broken down my defenses during the fall.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor, only to find out that now I have a type allergy induced excema on my ankle and shin. Upon leaving the office, I phoned the dear husband and inquired if he would accept a doctor's written excuse as reason enough to move. He laughed, then sighed, said no ... waited for a strategic pause to see if I was going to break out into convulsive sobs (which somehow I managed to contain) and then suggested maybe we could move somewhere to the coast of Georgia ... in about 10 more years.

Oh, sure ... now we can look forward to Hurricane season. At least maybe the high winds would blow away the pollen.

If you laughed, vote for this post here.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Proof

... of my unfaithfulness to you all. Still riddled with guilt, I have made more posts in a week than I normally do in a month. And there's more to come ... but that will have to wait until tomorrow, because when I logged on tonight, the following confirmation was beaming in my in-box.
Hi Lisa,

Your article is now live at: Like a Fine Wine, Fundraising Should be Savored

My first official published piece. Sorry to gush, but it's so cool - or, well, it is to me.

To recap, I ran a full marathon (that's 26.2 miles) in January (in Phoenix). It was my first and I'll have to say it was definitely life changing in many ways. I did this in order to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of a dear friend who was diagnosed with lymphoma. I managed to raise $5000 in less than 4 months - mostly through word of mouth and blog posts but I also hosted a wine tasting fundraiser at my home. It was the latter that I wrote about for the Step By Step Fundraising web site. It's a fabulous resource for fundraising efforts - go there for ideas and be sure to tell people about them.

I have to go now and drink some wine in honor of my article and also a toast to my friend in whose honor I ran, and to the Step By Step site, and quite frankly to all of you!

Hmmmm ... methinks I will need either a smaller glass or a bigger bottle.



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My theory on the origin of meatballs & grape jelly

Awhile back, I hypothesized on the theory of how someone came up with the recipe of meatballs and grape jelly. I laugh every time I think about it. I'll do the recap here, but please click here to view the original. Please note that I'm posting two days in a row, because I'm still racked with guilt over being consumed with trying to figure out ways to monetize the blog.

I'll get straight to my primary theory - I actually have two, but you'll have to go here for the other one. This week's Heads or Tails meme is Heads: Recipe - to participate, click here.

Apparently, there are other ways to serve meatballs ... although the thought of compromising a good meatball in something other than tomato sauce has been somewhat elusive to me, I am exploring the idea. Kind of like an adventure in food.

I have had the ever classic, "cocktail wiener" - but alas, I had no idea what was in the sauce. Maybe it should have stayed that way. Now, I learn from some of my closest friends that meatballs are good in a sauce made of grape jelly, coca-cola, and chili sauce.

I say it sounds like something invented by accident by people who are stoned.

"Dude, what have you got to eat around here?"
"I don't know man, I think there are some meatballs in the fridge"

[Dude goes to fridge, starts looking for the meatballs pulls out some jelly, chili sauce, and a coke then finds the meatballs and sets everything onto counter]

"Wow, man, these meatballs need some help - hey - what are you doing?"
"I don't know dude, I thought I'd put some chili sauce on them"
"Oh no, I think I just spilled the coke in there too"

[Snort - laughter ensues]

"HA HA [as he squirts the jelly into the mix] "What else do you have in there?"
"OMG, these are the best meatballs ever!"
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Guilt, sugar, and caffeine

One of the Southern expressions I failed to interpret correctly when I first arrived here, was "gimme some sugar". Sure, I got the "gimme" part ... as in "give me", but I always thought that when someone asked for sugar, you got a cup or bowl, and poured out the white granules from the Domino bag. I'm no rocket scientist ... but I'm pretty sure that when someone asks for sugar, that's what they mean.

I was wrong.

A few mornings back, whilst still in the throws of my unfaithfulness, I decided to bake some cinnamon rolls. I figured that since I was going to run 4 or 5 miles that morning, I would just pop those fresh little morsels right in the oven and carb up on sugar before I left. I'm no elite athlete, either ... or I would be eating my favorite Clif bars for breakfast. I'm just happy running blissfully on sugar, the white granulated kind.



Well, here's the thing ... on the mornings I run, I don't drink coffee before I go ... it's my little treat after the run and on long runs (over 8 miles), I use Espresso Love, the GU with caffeine in it for a little boost to get me through that last little bit. But, I digress.

So I popped the Pillsbury's into the oven, got my running clothes on and counted down the ticking clock. There were five in total ... when the timer buzzer went off, I successfully removed four from the cookie sheet but I just couldn't get that last one off ... no way, no how. I was thinking to myself, "GIMME SOME SUGAR, expletive" - translation, "I want the cinnamon rolls now, please". Finally, I just pulled off the top of the roll. And guess what I found underneath?



That's right, THE LID to the icing. I had to take a picture - definite blog fodder. After getting the large metal spatula that we use from grilling, I was able to pry the metal lid that had fused itself to the metal cookie sheet and fortunately minimized the damage to said cookie sheet. Between the laughing, crying, and the huffing and puffing it took to detach the lid, I sufficiently depleted my store of running energy - so I ate a cinnamon roll and read my latest copy of Runners World. I think the article was about nutrition.

After that workout, I felt a twinge of guilt for not actually running, since I am still technically in training for the Thanksgiving Half Marathon. So to assuage that guilt, I decided to surf the internet a bit ... and based on my confession on Friday, we all know what happened. Neither the sugar nor the monetizing your blog articles helped me feel better, just sluggish and even more guilty. Then I realized the problem, I hadn't had any caffeine yet. That would explain my failure to notice the METAL LID that I had placed on the cookie sheet. So I made myself a pot of coffee to drown my sorrows and ate another cinnamon roll and sadly to say, continued to cheat on you, my dear readers.

When my husband got home and I got to the "gimme some sugar" part of the story, I promptly received a kiss. I look at him with the "what was that for, why are you not listening to me?" expression and then realized our language barrier. It is indeed, a constant struggle - but in this particular instance, one that has it's perks.

So the moral of this story is (and I know some of you probably were wondering) three-fold. When you're training for an endurance event (in this case a half marathon), cinnamon rolls are not the breakfast of champions. When you're explaining your need for sugar to someone from the South, don't be surprised if they kiss you. And finally, by all means, if you need caffeine for your brain to function in the morning, DO NOT attempt to make something that requires you to pull things out of a can and put them in the oven.

Disclaimer: Although product placement was used profusely in this post, no payment was received by the writer neither directly or indirectly for her endorsements. :-)



Friday, September 12, 2008

Confessions of a Novice Blogger

OK, I'll admit it ... I didn't want to at first, I felt ashamed. But I just can't keep it to myself any longer.

I've been cheating on you, my dear blog readers ... There, I've said it, but I feel dirty. It all seemed so innocent when it began. I was idly surfing through blogs, reading my favorites, meeting some new ones, and then it happened ... I started skimming the ads enticing me to "blog for money". The adrenaline started to pump as I dreamed of making a gazillion dollars overnight or at least finding modest fame as a freelance writer.

Gradually, my flirting became more serious - not only did I just make casual glances on the monetizing sites, I found myself spending time clicking deeper and deeper into each of the topics. One opportunity after another, they all seemed to run together. Once, after at least two hours, I found myself in a stupor, not knowing how I got to the site I was on. There was perspiration on my brow, my heart was racing, but I felt cheap.

Then one day, I found myself answering an ad ... on a freelance writing website ... I don't know what came over me. I couldn't stop myself. I have to get myself in a program or this just might never end.

I feel oddly better now that I've confessed ... but if you don't hear from me in a while, you have every right to be suspicious. I just don't know if I can stop myself.

Maybe it's just a weird form of procrastination.


Friday, September 5, 2008

The Lazy Blogger's way out ...

Thanks again, Vixen ... I knew I could count on you. Sure, I could regale all of my faithful fans (I think I'm up to 3 now) with some enlightened, entertaining story. But I don't have it in me today ... nor apparently since last week. Or, I could actually post my cool award and award others ... but that looked like it was going to require some thought ... so thanks to Vixen, you get the post by "Lazy Bloggers Post Generator" - so awesome ... and oddly enough, can be configured to sound close to the truth ... hmmmm - those wacky Aussies.


"Oh for crying out loud! I just discovered I have not updated this since you last visited... You would not believe the fairy dust I have to clean up. Please don't abandon me!.

I am absolutely consumed with discovering time doesn't stand still, hoping you haven't found other blogs, just generally being the life of the party to anyone unfortunate to cross my path, my day seems to be packed from crawling out of bed at 6.30 to 11pm at which point I fall asleep on the couch. I am not complaining though. life is good.

I will try to remember I promised you I will make more of an effort to blog more often until the nice men in the white coats come back. Seriously! Unless of course the pool with the cocktail bar is heated!."



Saturday, August 30, 2008

Has LEGO heard my pleas?



Thanks again to KSM for sending me this link. I think in addition to Mom LEGO-guys, LEGO can do a whole new Political line ... although, technically speaking, Governor Palin would fall into both categories. I hear, however, that her husband is referred to as "the First Dude".

Fortunately, LEGO already has this mini figure for Todd.

I just think it's cool that somebody out there has already begun the Mom-LEGO-guy line. I'll be sitting here, waiting for my royalty checks to come in.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Phrase of the Day

Today's phrase was, "I can't believe ..." but that's not all.

Here's how it started ...

I can't believe, I'm making myself go out and run in the pouring down torrential rain ... and why is that, you ask? Because I can't believe I signed up to run another endurance event ... and the one that I ran in the rain last year ... I must be an idiot. I can't believe I'm doing this again.

At 10AM, I met some friends for brunch ... I ordered a bacon, egg, and cheese panini ... this thing was a work of art ... as a matter of fact, 3 out of 4 of us ordered it. Just the other day, I saw the guy who wrote, Eat this, not that on TV and he said " ... eat bacon and eggs ... " Who am I to argue? Especially, when face to face with a delicious cheese laden panini, I completely ignored the "stay away from hot sandwiches part of his dissertation and focused on the egg and bacon part. I can't believe I ate the whole thing ... devoured would be more appropriate here.

Sometimes I can't believe how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such good friends (who don't judge my standards!).

A portion of our conversation (after the oohing and ahing over the panini) was centered around, "I can't believe our sons are in Kindergarten". Followed closely by "I can't believe that we've known each other for over 3 years now. It seems like just yesterday our boys were in the 2 year old class together." There were a few more "I can't believe's" relating to age of their other children but thankfully, no "I can't believe's" about our ages ... some things are best left unspoken.

While there, we witnessed an angry father of one of the wait staff having it out with another member of the staff who apparently was dating (ok, I'm not sure how accurate the word dating is, but I am G-rating this) his daughter. When it got violent, they took it outside and the manager attempted to diffuse the fireworks that ensued. I can't believe how angry the dad was. This had Montel written all over it. Evidently the dad had a tremendous concern for the well being of his daughter, but whatever the boyfriend (again, being G-rated here) did or didn't do was severe enough to provoke an EXTREMELY intense response. I can't believe how angry he (the dad) was.

By noon, I was thinking of my departure from the corporate sector ... I can't believe that I actually made the leap of faith to leave. And if I was stuck in some office somewhere in some city, I wouldn't have enjoyed a delightful breakfast panini and a show.

While driving home, in the rain, my thoughts stayed to our governor, Sonny Perdue. Before Thanksgiving last year, he organized a prayer vigil on the steps of the capital to pray for rain to end the drought. God listened - it rained then (I ran in it for 3 hours on Thanksgiving day last year) ... and by Jove, it's still raining. In all seriousness, I think it's awesome that our state governor prayed and even more so that we have actually been getting rain. I can't believe he hasn't had more press about the "success" in his beliefs (both positive and negative press have been absent). Fay might actually facilitate the final "surge" we need to raise the water table.

By mid afternoon, I had tuned in to the fact that I kept saying "I can't believe" over and over again. I thought maybe I would share my phrase with my husband in attempts to clear it from my excessive use. When I spoke with him for our daily update, he went first and related a stream of consciousness flow of thoughts. Meaning his speech just flowed without a real break. Oddly enough, he kept saying "so ..." over and over again. So what, you might ask.

It went something like this ...

"So, it was a miserable commute this morning, so I tried to call you earlier but you were on the phone, so I didn't leave a message." So when I went to my appointment in the afternoon ... so [insert what happened here] ... so [this is what I did] ... so [this is what I said] ... so [here's where we are now] ... so [here's what we need to do next]. With inserted so's peppering the in between thoughts. So .... he said, "UGH, I can't stop saying "SO" ...

I said, "So?"

He said, "Yes, SO ... I can't stop saying it ... it must be my phrase for the day".

"So", what do you think happened?

Did I tell him my phrase? Did I get to relate the thing that I kept saying over and over?

Uh, no.

I just started saying "so". So what do you think that means?




Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to basics

Technically, I started training again for my next endurance event ... the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. Note, I said, "technically". I'm still in a semi-state of denial that I completed the endurance events I've already completed - it's just soooo not me. But I've got the shirts to prove it, as well as the medals they kindly give you when you cross the finish line, so it must be true.

It was almost exactly a year ago that I started training for my first endurance event, the PF Chang's Rock and Marathon in Phoenix, AZ. To read about the first few runs, go here.

And so it begins again. This time, I'm not "technically" running for charity - unless you consider sympathy and pity in the charitable category. (i.e. people feel sorry for me when they see me running). I have to keep in mind, that this time last year, I could barely eek out a mile in 18 minutes (most people walk faster than that) and now I'm somewhere in the the 13 - 14 minute range. So does that mean, it's not where you're going, it's where you've been? Or is it, it's not where you've been, it's where you're going ... and in my case, going slowly.

Although greatly inspired by the 38 year old woman who won the Olympic marathon & Dara Torres who was repeatedly reminded that she was old enough to be the mother of her competitors ... (gee thanks), I'm certainly not an Olympic hopeful - but I am following along at home while sipping wine and nibbling on cheese and making catty remarks about women's beach volleyball.

I'm anticipating the catharsis that will eventually surface - when I transcend the daily grind and enter the running zone. Inevitably it will come with consistent running but ... it hasn't happened yet. I'm still entrenched in the grind and covered with muck (which could be one of the reasons I'm running so slowly or maybe I should just put down the wine glass ;-)).

So it's back to the basics again ... cadence, breathing, stretching, and ice - oh, and lots of prayer.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

LEGO girl guys discovered in Jungle



Thanks to KSM - here it is "in the plastic" ... Jungle Surprise-Girl guy ... and wow this girl-guy would be a surprise find in the jungle. Good to know that even LEGO girl-guys wear lipstick and mascara in the Amazon. What is that on the side of her face, anyway? A side burn? And what about the snake ... just because Cleopatra had one I guess.

Seriously, LEGO ... you could have done a bit better on this one ... and I'm still holding out for LEGO mom guys.

Thanks Kel!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The first day ... finally

Over the last 2 weeks, there have been a lot of "almost posts" - the ones I keep writing in my head - but never actually make it to the big screen. Here's a sampling of titles ...
"The night the lights went out in Georgia" - about losing power for a day/night. I couldn't actually compose that one, because, well, the power was out - ergo no laptop ... horrors.
"Concert in the garden" ... subtitled - "how many different beverages can you consume in an evening" ... I think that one's self explanatory.
"Ten things I DO NOT miss about working in corporate America" - centered around a telephone call I had with a potential business associate.
And finally, "Jobs that actually pay you for playing with LEGOs" - I'm still inspired by Nathan.

Unfortunately, since none of the above ever made it to print, all you get is "The first day of school ... finally."

It came, it went, I cried (but not until after he left on the big yellow bus) and then I ran - or maybe I ran and then I cried ... oh dear, now it's just a blur. Here's the bus picture. I put the rest on a link to the right ... and here ... have fun, enjoy. The bus picture is priceless, really ... he just has that look on his face as if saying ..."Mom, seriously, be done with the pictures already". But isn't it thoughtful that he humored me?

It started out in a flurry of activity ... my mom came, I actually got up by 6:00AM (forgot what that's like and quickly remembered I don't like it) and made coffee (which I do like) ... Doug manned the video, I had the still camera, we all had our pictures with Dominic who was eager to get out the door and walk the arduous 3 minute trek up the hill to the stop sign where the bus stops. There were 5 sets of parents - all with cameras and coffee and a half dozen kids who were attempting to systematically detach themselves from the onlookers. Dominic blew kisses out the window - he loves the bus and instantly started chatting with the little boy in his seat. No separation anxiety whatsoever on his part. As for me, I'm good - I just have to figure out a new routine now ... which at the moment consists of a 3 - 5 mile run before 8:30AM. I haven't quite figured out the rest of the day yet ... it's only Tuesday.

So there it is ... maybe I'll figure out how to post on a more regular basis now that I'm running again ... plus I've signed up for another half marathon in November (Thanksgiving Day) so there will be all the pain and angst of endurance training to monitor. I can feel everyone's anticipation burning a hole in the monitor even as I type. Anyway, if running fails me, there's always tales of Kindergarten - we have a meet & greet with the teacher on Thursday night and our first PTA ... oh the excitement just keeps building doesn't it?

Please stay tuned, regular programming will resume shortly.