Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sometimes, a good pain

I am not a runner.  I say that frequently, often while running.  But usually it comes up in conversation where Alan and someone are talking about running and they'll obligingly ask me "Do you run, too?"  "Yes, but I'm not a runner." 

I don't often enjoy it, as it hurts before, during, and after.  Something is always hurting and would probably stop hurting if I would just stop running.  But it's a fast, convenient way to get a good sweaty workout usually while enjoying the outdoors.  It's even more tempting since we've moved, because there are so many pretty places to run.

I do enjoy the feeling of participating.

But I wasn't meant to run.  It's funny to me how uncomfortable some runners seem around people who say that.  It's as if they feel pity or worse yet - just don't believe you've tried hard enough or trained long enough or whatever they're thinking.  If I say I can barely manage a 5K and often have to stop and walk at some point, it seems hard for them to comprehend.

In fact, I ran a 5K this morning that took 35 minutes.  I stopped at least three times, and I really needed to pee, making it that much harder to finish.  35 minutes is not a good time for me, but I've never run a 5K under 31 or 32 minutes and likely never will.  I average an 11 minute mile, give or take.

So why complain about it yet still do it if it's hard.  I think the answer is because it's hard.  It makes me feel sort of accomplished when I'm done.  I know it's only 3 miles, but I never ran more than a mile in my life until about 8 years ago.  And I'll probably do a couple more 10Ks, too, but I'll never win my age group or set new PRs as the years go on. 

But you runners out there - take a person's word for it when she says she knows her own body and its limits.  I'm not lazy, I'm just not a runner.

P.S.  After about a dozen 5Ks and one 10K, this is my only award.  I don't remember seeing how many were in my age group, but I'm willing to bet there was ONE.  It's like saying "Congratulations, Tanya Schaeffer, for not having any competition!"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Zero for Two

I've been feeling super crafty lately, gathering up some ideas from Pinterest.com, getting supplies this weekend, and early this morning was off and running!

Project #1 was a complete failure.  I was trying to reuse an ugly mirror by doing a simple crackle paint treatment for a sort of shabby chic look.  I got the shabby alright.  So after realizing a while later that the paint just peeled off, I tried again.  Still a failure.  So now I've painted a top coat of metallic silver over layers and layers of paint, crackle stuff, etc. and am waiting to see the results.  I've already warned Alan that I'll likely be buying a new mirror this week.

Project #2 was another failure.  Okay, mostly I lost patience with that project within minutes.  I was trying to make bangle bracelets out of popsicle sticks, to later be covered with strips of fabric.  I could have bought a bunch of cheap bangles at any discount store instead of using the sticks, but my wrists are pretty small (as in freakishly bony) and normal bracelets end up closer to my elbows than my wrists.  Long story short, boiling and trying to bend the popsicle sticks was annoying and made worse when I realized they needed to dry for about a week.  I'm feeling crafty NOW, not a week from now.

Project #3 is making me nervous based on the failure rate of today.  So let me end with a success from a couple weeks ago.

These are two cafe curtains that I placed on the door to the mudroom and the window in an upstairs guest bath.  Liked the fabric so I used it for both.  Cheap, cheap curtains with no sewing!  Now our guests don't have to put on a show for the neighbors, and I can strip down in the mudroom to my whatever-I-want after working in the yard. 

Sorry, my cell phone takes crummy pictures.  (By the way, the top of the bathroom window is covered with an outside awning thing, so the curtain is more private than it looks.)

Over the next couple of days I'm making some little fabric Christmas trees and trying a recipe for pumpkin spice fudge with white chocolate.  I'll report back on either my disasters or my much needed successes. 

Is anyone else addicted to Pinterest like I am?

Friday, September 23, 2011

More better

That's what this little Vietnamese lady would say when she'd do my nails, "I make it more better."

Junior is feeling more better and back to doing what he does all day:

Baby boy had another urinary infection thanks to his owner (me) who decided it was time to take him off his prescription food.  I didn't realize the prescription was for the rest of his life.  So Wednesday after hearing him moan and meow in pain, I realized what was happening and got him into a vet.  While there and under sedation, they got those horrible mats out and gave him his overdue shots (two years).  Boy, do I know how to take care of animals or what?

Here's the part I'm still baffled by:  He was a little gentleman while in their care.  My cat was PLEASANT TO STRANGERS.  They petted him.  And picked him up.  And pressed on his abdomen.  All before sedation.  And they seemed to kind of like him.  Maybe Junior needed to get out of Midland, too. :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Subtleties

This is Junior barely able to lift his head and give a flip that I'm interrupting his nap (dark cat on a white comforter, I might add).

This is Junior hearing the four paws of Duke bounding up the stairs ready to disrupt things further.  Notice the change in his eyes?

This is Junior deciding he just doesn't have the energy to care about big red dog bouncing around his room.

And that was a typical exciting day in the life of Junior.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Garage Mahal

This is just a glimpse at Alan's half-day project that turned into a two day project, but that's okay because it's AWESOME. Isn't life just better with an organized garage? We have quite a bit more room in this garage and would like to keep it that way. What you don't see are the cabinets with neatly stored power tools and automotive stuff, the heavy tool sets hanging on the walls, and the easy access to my the lawnmower. There's a little bit left to do, but oh the joy of being able to find a hammer without ruining a manicure searching through boxes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sweet Cornbread

A long time ago, before the girls were born and their father and I had little to no spending money, we referred to this as "poor man's breakfast."  Except we didn't just eat it for breakfast - it was sometimes dinner.  We felt pretty poor, eating a lot of cheap meals and ramen and only treating ourselves to Domino's Pizza on rare occasions.  But I feel anything but poor having my day-old cornbread smothered with butter and syrup this morning!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A stew kind of day

I wonder how many people in the mid-southern states are making chili or stew tonight?  Something about that first blast of cool air just makes you all tingly inside and ready for some comfort food.  It's cool and cloudy and teasing of rain here in Tulsa, and I know back home in Midland they're getting LOTS of rain!  Such good news for them.

I was excited to wear socks and closed-toed shoes today, if that gives you any indication of how ready I am for cooler temps.

Back to stew.  Every time I make stew I think of Dale.  I learned how to make what I think of as southern comfort food from Mother and Dale when I was still a teenager at home - sausage and gravy, chicken fried steak, chili and stew to name a few.  (Dale always called sausage and gravy SOS or "Shit on a Shingle."  I know he didn't invent the term, but he was pretty proud of it.)  For the most part I make stew just like he showed me, although it always depends on what fresh, frozen or canned goods I have on hand.  He taught me to put the meat and potatoes on the bottom of the crock pot since they take the longest to get tender, then carrots if they're fresh, any other veggies, and last on top was onion, frozen corn, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and salt and pepper.  Here's the before it cooks and gets bubbly pic...

And here's a picture of Dale from a bajillion years ago when I was probably 14 or 15 and we were living in a mobile home out in the country.  He did a lot of the cooking, and it was almost always something FRIED.  Yummy stuff, but thankfully I didn't have to worry about fat and calories and cholesterol at the time.

So to all of you who got your crock pots out this morning or who laid some meat out to thaw for chili, enjoy your southern comfort food tonight.  And don't forget the cornbread!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I love a cheap find

You gotta love a garage/rummage/flea market sale put on by white haired ladies at an old historic garden center.  I got this clay pot for 25 cents.  All it needs is a large bunch of dried tiny flowers.

And this interesting looking bottle, also for 25 cents:

This picture and frame for $3, which I mostly wanted for the frame and glass for an old Texas map I've had for a while.  But actually the picture is starting to grow on me:

And lastly this salad or fruit or pasta bowl for $2.50:

So for six bucks I had a pretty successful 15 minutes.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Huh? Where? Whuh?

I've been trying out as many grocery stores as I can to figure out which one will make grocery shopping less sucky.  So far none have done the trick. 

I went to one yesterday and felt like I needed an orientation session on how to shop there.  I'd heard about it and seen their ads, but had no idea how TINY a place it was going to be.  Before even walking in I had to figure out how to get the grocery cart.  A nice older gentleman let me have his quarter and showed me how you put the coin in the slot to release the cart.  You get your coin back when you leave, unless you want to "pay it forward" for the next customer.  This was not a place you shop when doing a big grocery run.  And the brands were all foreign to me. 

So I get up to the checkout lines and notice people have their own bags or they take some from this shelf thing and PAY for them along with their groceries.  When it's my turn, I bought my two paper bags and checked out.  The cashier puts all your groceries back in your cart, not in the bags you bought, and you go over to a counter to get out of the way and sack your own groceries.  Then you take your cart back outside and attach it to another one to get your quarter back.

All of this is fine.  I'm certainly not above depositing a quarter, providing my own bags, and bagging my own groceries.  It was just that feeling of being the new person-who-doesn't-know-anything.

I've also noticed that about every time I'm out somewhere, I'll see someone and for a split second think "hey, that looks like..."   But then I remember it can't be them, because I'm not in Midland anymore.  I'm not home here, but it'll come someday. 

One day while at Super Target and talking to Addison on the phone, I really did see someone I knew.  I practically hung up on Addison, in fact I think I yelled "I gotta go!" and went to talk to the only other person besides Alan in Tulsa I know - our realtor.

But as awkward as I feel sometimes - being new at the gym, at the stores, getting the trash and recycling days down, asking the neighborhood kids to stop using our yard as a giant sidewalk, etc., I still like learning a new place.  And yesterday I discovered another Super Target that's closer to our house and BRAND NEW.  Like you walk in and it's almost silent, because the rest of the world doesn't know it's open yet.  I will be learning that place a lot.  :-)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Discomfort Zone

A year ago on 9/11 (no underlying reason) I started a separate blog called "God, You're Confusing as Hell."  I didn't tell anyone, because really I just wanted somewhere to start writing some thoughts down without considering an audience.  And I didn't get far, three posts to be exact.  I got bored with myself and then probably got busy with school.  I thought I would share my initial post:


Settling in

Poo.  The kids have gone home and taken their puppies with them.  But we had a great weekend.  No hustle and bustle trying to entertain everyone or showing them the city, just relaxing and chilling at home.  It felt longer than a couple weeks since I've seen them, so I can only imagine what the next few weeks will be like.  I'm planning to be back in Midland around the first of next month for Addison's birthday, but I'm sure with each visit this will get easier and feel more normal.

As much as I'm missing though - my family, my friends, and my job - I really love living here.  Tulsa is an easy city to get around, it's easy on the eyes, and the people have been friendly.

Okay, there was that one woman who came by and somewhere in the conversation said "good luck keeping up the landscaping the way the previous owners did."  Oh okay.  I guess I was exuding the lazy-white-trash-look that day.

And I'll be on yard duty this morning, meaning I'll be standing outside MY house around the time the school bus kids starting walking right up by my kitchen windows.  Maybe I should be taking pictures - I'm thinking something will get their attention eventually.