Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday! ( Madonna plays in the background)

This post may be all over the place but here goes...I am sick right now, I have lost track of what day was what but just know that I regret not taking more pictures on Xmas day where we had a super brunch at mom and dad's then took the party to Honey's house ( our house ) where i was virtually worthless other than to get in honey's way:( I am not good at sitting idle, and despite feeling like doggie doo I was determined to be useful. Or sadly, annoyingly pesky asking for a job!
Oh well.

Yummy Rice K bars.
Mom cat really is the best cook ever. And she isnt related to TomKat. thank goodness.
These Caramel Rolls rock. They are so easy to make and so yummy. We just use Rhodes Whole wheat bread dough and brown sugar, nuts, raisins and of course some butter. These are just before they are going to cook, after having risen in a warm oven.
Here is more of that Granola that Jen H was talking about. MomCat makes it even better than i do. She ( mistakenly!) put the dark chips in before it was cool so they melted into the oats. So yummy, it turned into Chocolate Oats instead of Oats with chocolate chips.

This is Iona. Ray knows Iona. She is 13 yo. And there have been a few times we thought she was going to the happy hunting ground. Her happy place is outside chasing things, squirrels birds, etc..when she was a kid she caught a bird out of the air. And she swam about 800 yards out into Lake Superior chasing loons till she had some sort of frontal lobe wake up call and she realized she had better turn around.

Even if she cant hear too well..( at all ) and she has arthritis in her feet and if you didnt notice it, look again, she has full atrophy of her Right Temporalis muscle..she loves the Holidays as much as anyone. She puts up with our jokes about serving soup in the bowl on the right side of her head and happily still goes to get as many squeeky toys as she can fit in her mouth to let us know she is so happy we are here.

Xmas EVE at Mom and Dad's house: MY CHRISTMAS GIFT IS HONEY. ( oh and a new laptop! Sweet!)

I saw a movie last night, as i sat on the couch, wishing i was feeling better.
The FAMILY MAN. I love that movie. I know some of you have seen it. What stuck with me even though i was kinda in and out of sleep is when Tea Leoni said to Nick Cage: "If i hadnt married you, i wouldnt have any of the things I am CERTAIN, the kids, Us."
I think we often think that alot of things in our lives are certain. I do. And that is up to each of you and anyone who is kind enough to still be reading, to determine. What is CERTAIN to you?

For me I know the Holiday's reminds me that what is CERTAIN to me is Honey and my family.
Like any family we have our ups and downs but i have never doubted for one minute that my family, my sisters and brother ( I have 2 older sisters/1 younger brother ( gobiggreen 91), my parents and my extended family as well ( too many to count!) all love me. And sometimes they can only love you the best they can at that time.

I like to think that my health is a certain, but when i was blessed to be diagnosed early ( 2 years ago) with Malignant Melanoma, I realized that playing tennis outside, teaching tennis outside and looking tan and healthy doesnt always = health. Daily i try to remind myself to stay focused and to let go of the need for too much external praise/reinforcement. I try my best to train and get in my workouts. I am realizing more that this isnt something i am doing bc I want to win and be the best. Training / working out /yoga / something I am certain about. I can do what i can do. Somedays i swim super fast and I want more. Somedays i look at the Watt-ometer and think "OMG are you really spinning at ONLY 100 watts ?" But if that is what it is for today, that is what it is. Let it go. ( Yes I kidnapped that from ELF a few posts ago, but i am still thinking about it so it meant something to me )

Fabulous cousin ANN! She just got married to Hank. Ann is an aerobics instructor, and has produced DVD's called Jump Force. You may know it from the SweatShop or some other Y's in the msp area.

Uncle Angus, Cousin Sara and Cousin Todd.

I am not sure what my brother told the boys to do but whatever it was it is hilarious.
In the words of my youngest nephew "Will" on the far left, Xmas was AWESOME.
Here we have my two nephews ( in green ) and my cousin's ( Sara) kids.
Will, Will, Joe, Sam

And the oldest and wisest here, Chippy. Chippy is from Texas and is in the Children;s theatre production of the Christmas Carol. Here he is in dad's top sister's ( his mom's) new coat from Lands End...and his Harry Potter Glasses. LOVE THIS PICTURE!

Notice the remote. Harry Potter surfing the TV channels!
They had to leave after 48 hours for his last 3 plays. My sister laughed, saying "sometimes we have to leave bc i have to go back to work...this time my 10 yo son has to go back to work!"

Chippy and Heide, we miss you, come back soon!
Mom and Dad: for being 81 years and 79 years young you continue to Amaze me. Thanks for being you and letting us have the best memories of Xmas eve and Xmas day. The real Xmas trees, me throwing up Xmas eve ( why do i always recall that?), dad: thanks for cooking the beef so that it wasnt still "quivering," Lee: thanks for doing dishes and telling me to hibernate for 2 days till i feel better, Heide : thanks for talking to me when i was napping on the couch on Xmas day, even if i felt crappy I wanted to talk to you
Aimee: thanks for the caribou card and thanks for loving my brother and being a good mom to Will and Joe And Rob: thanks for always being you, and GOBIGGREEN!
and HONEY: Thanks for putting up with me. I get a bit highstrung during the holidays and i end up in tears...and sick. I love you and am so excited to be in OUR HOUSE for Xmas 2009!
(OR can we go to mexico for Xmas 2009??!!! Feliz Navidad!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008


This is a quick random post somewhat in the Steve Stenzel mode..and in the random spirit of this time of year. Here goes:

So I have never had any issue with any sort of weird foot movements in my gait. But can you say:
MEDIAL WHIP? Whoa, this started with some winter running shoes i have and a snowy day. I thought it was just the extra lift and foot movement of running in slush and snow. But after a TM run i did it again. Ouch!

What better use of a pile of white stuff? Having had my fair share of running and adding some weight/strength into my routine it was time...

These water shoes are key, otherwise my feet just cant hack it. As is they dont get submerged.

HOLLY CATS. This was the coldest Ice Bath i have ever taken. It had me cryin' mother and doing dips just to get myself out the the pond bc i couldnt take it. Good for my Triceps i guess.
At least there was no yellow snow. Dirt, yes. I bet SPA's charge alot for an exfoliating dirt ice bath.
Easiest ICE BATH set up ever...another way to make the best of winter!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Friday was a long time coming! I had some food poisoning earlier in the week making my tummy not quite sure which end was up. Honey had alot of tough cases and surgeries and we were both feeling the tug of wanting a quiet night at home despite the invite to one of the best holiday parties ever! Each year some fantastic friends host
The SNOWBALL. Black tie optional, band, the works. Honey and I kicked it off with a nice dinner at the Grill before walking down the hall to the party.

Here are our drinks of choice. For me, "Grown up drink" as the bartender called it and for Honey.. The Winter Carnival.He embraces the "eat dessert first" motto so we both were happy. Lets just say I am SUPER DUPER glad I didnt have two of those Martinis. It could have been ugly, and there would have been too many self portraits. This is enough:)! Jey and Heidi were at the snowball as well, fun to see them, but it was SO LOUD I couldnt even think. I think i heard her say they are getting married in March and then Jey is going to try to get back to Kona! I also met GO-Go's sister who looks just like Jey!

Saturday came and as i promised coach JEN, training would get done, despite the holiday party alert:) Again, I repeat, glad I had only ONE!

Ride started out well...temps around 29 when i went out and all was good. Until i hit this....even my best attempts at riding in paste, were foiled. I had a "duh" moment and let some air out of my rear tire. I am not sure why i did this but i put about 100 lbs into the rear tire before i left. As soon as i hit the side streets i knew I was in trouble and the fishtailing started. So out some air went and on the 35 e bridge I took out more. Much better. Still had to walk some of this bc it was faster! Sadly once it freezes it will be fine. I thought about going on the women's ride but knowing it wasnt going cold at 8:30 am i headed out early, knowing there were cookies to be made later in the day...sooner i am done, the sooner i am hanging out with my sis and honey, baking.

NOTE: for the life of me, I dont know why the font keeps changing. I have tried about 10 times, i edit it, and it still saves all goofy. Sorry I am not trying to mess with your eyesight really!

Awesome view from the bridge over the Pool and Yacht. Warm enough to take my gloves off numerous times and nearly drop the camera into the river. Not good.

Onto the Big River Trail and it was smooth sailing until i was heading home and had to climb Ohio-In the big ring (mechanical issue with my Cross bike. I know i have to get that fixed.) There was a group of runners from a ski group doing hill repeats. I loved the one that yelled to me "Put some air in those tires!" Yup. Guess you didnt see me sliding around on the ice earlier. Thanks for the advice..and see you at the top!
These water falls are so cool. But they arent when they are still there in May..and June! I was so happy to see the trail plowed. I dont know if they have plowed in the past....Last year I dont think it was plowed.....So horray! Sorry skiers :(
The rest of the day was spent making cornflake wreathes and bars. Sorry no pictures but i will say that making a wreath out of hot marshmallow and butter and cornflakes was harder than my workout and actually I was delegated to the cinnamon dot-er since i couldnt seem to do much more than pile the marshmallow into a dollop and then try to poke a hole in the middle when they cooled. ( After licking my fingers, of course.)

And today, we have rain...what the heck? I am sad for ski potentials and more sad that this will freeze ( and it will) and that means more and more slips and falls. My mom called to tell me she fell already. GAD. People put that kitty litter down for your parents. OR get them some gripping shoes. Or lend them an arm or two or three. Stepping outside their doors to get the mail or the paper is the most likely place, bc they arent expecting it and they have to do a 180 to get to the mail box, in their slippers. Seriously nobody wants a post from me on the prognosis for senior's that break a hip and then head south, and i dont mean Tucson.

Sorry to be real.

In the mean time stay upright!


There's a new city limit sign in town...get your sprinting legs ready!

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Just a quick update cuz there isnt too much going on that is blogworthy.
So to keep it simple here i go:

* Headed south to San Antonio this week for work. Hoped for nice balmy temps and while I landed at 77 degrees, our outdoor dinner was abruptly ended with 20-30 mph winds and a temp drop of 30 degrees. Say 32 is cold in Texas!

* ICAA ( international conference on Active Aging) was great. Lots of great speakers and some neat ideas for classes and of course the trade show. Wowza. Talk about an equipment lovers dream, talking Lifefitness, Hoist, True, Nautilus, PowerSystems, Nu-Step, goes on and on. Of course Spri, Theraband, and lots of people wanting to build and plan for your newest fitness center pursuit. There was a swim trainer there called a Triton Swim Trainer. I have heard of the Versa Trainer but to be honest this thing looked and was so confusing it made me commit to doing drills in the pool and on dryland since i couldnt fathom using this machine. Nor could i see any senior citizen using it.
Granted this was a Medical and also Business Athletic conference as well, but it still amazes me when vendors say "For your Seniors..." and what they mean is "For your residents that are over 50 yo."
Heck, that is crazy. Most of the residents living in the 38 sites of Independent Living, Assisted living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing are over 80 yo! And No. Please rid your mind of the thought that all retirement communities are NURSING HOMES. They arent. Actually they are quite the opposite.

Another area I spent time on was Brain Fitness and also Taiji Qigong. Both are up and comers in the retirement realm. Ok enough on work.
Oh yea I got shin splints ( lateral Peroneals) running on the river walk cement. Snow was better upon my return.

*Speaking of runs and snow. I have a new coach. I am really excited about it and at the same time nervous.
Main goal is to be injury free and to let go of all my super high expectations of myself and to be patient. I am learning to run slow. I am learning to ride my bike without feeling like i have to be in my sweetspot wattage and to swim harder than i ever have. Getting in the pain locker this summer on my TT bike has helped me open that locker in the pool. Now if only the water temp would stay below 84. Ughh. Dont get me started on that.
I still start off the block the same way i learned as an 8 yo swimmer, and am working on perfecting that little "hip hike and chin up" before I enter the water with my head DOWN. Did I say "PERFECT?" I meant, feel more comfortable. I still like to skim the water like a stone skipping on the lake, but happy to have some fun with the new dive as well.

*Honey and I watched Step Brothers last night. Funny. Too funny. I love Will Ferrel.
I made a salmon with North African Flavors and Brocollini, Bread with Olive Oil and Balsamic dipper and then ICE CREAM! Yum. I should have taken photos, but if you want the recipe let me know and I will send it to you.

*Soup today. homemade Chicken with purple potatoes and real chicken broth from the chicken not the can/box and Mushroom Bulgur. Does anyone think that bulgur tastes like Oatmeal? I made teh bulgur when i was riding the trainer for too long ( thanks Jen) this morning and off the trainer i had to taste it to see if it was "cooked" and ended up adding cinnamon and having some "more" breakfast than what i had planned.

* Oh and that coach i mentioned, what a doll. I just got a little set of clothing that didnt fit her and does fit my chicken legs and body. Super nice and super thoughtful to make time to get that sent off to me. I owe you more than a latte in Tucson. But we will start there.

* Stay warm all you midwesterners I think the 5 degree stuff is here to stay. For the rest of you, stay warm as well but no whiners about riding outside when it is 32 degrees, ok?

* Happy Week to come.
* PS I am so waiting for my new Splish suits. How long do they take to ship? I dont want my holiday suit to come on Dec 31, 2008:(

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Splish update:
Here are the two suits i just designed from Splish.
Yea I know Frosty is off center. oh well. My favorite part of the suit is the upside down Gingerbread Man on the butt, cuz dont ya ever feel like an upside down cookie in the middle of a swim set when you come into the wall and you botch your flipturn?
Well I do.
The second suit has some new Verve Sponsors on it. Wade Dr ART has joined our team and we couldnt be happier!
Thanksgiving Day Duathlon for Pie aka:
**commuting by bike to/from a 5k run.
So today started out with me jumping out of bed to check the temps. 22. Doable. no wind. So they say.
Had some food, got dressed and then packed my bag for the wardrobe change ( tho minimal) and headed out on my cross bike. Rode here:
The MBC Turkey trot is an annual "3miler, give or take" that the Boat Club puts on every year.

It is open to dogs ( meaning runners who are being pulled by their dogs) which means an interesting dynamic after you turn around and one dog is head on to another dog, on leash. Yea, could be ugly. Fortunately the runner humans had their dogs well under control. Mostly. They left the shenanigans for before and after:

So I got the Winter boots off, the riding gloves off and ditched the riding jacket. Laced up the shoes and went out with my sister and warmed up. For like 5 minutes. No wind. Yea right. There was a wind. West so we would run into it and then have it behind us on the way back.
So off we went, with the whistle start over the bridge off of Raspberry Island and onto the running path. We had a bigger 'gent block the wind for us for a bit, and sister ran right behind me for a bit. I went ahead in attempt to catch the dogs ( and their humans) and to try to keep speedster Kris Miller in sight. Kris is a very strong duathlete and recently joined in with the MBC to help the ladies win the 4 at the Head of the Charles. I still need schooling on whether it was a 4 or a quad but i know there were 4 women, dont know if there were 4 or 8 oars!

I ran for a bit with this nice guy after my windshield let me down. That is Dave D who is married to my fun friend and sushi partner MMcD. No not Mcdonalds, hardly. That is Lila their ADOREABLE otter who just did her first race. She had it easy the first year of her life and after turning 1 yo in October they decided it was time for her to get in the pain locker and start racing.
She did AWESOME in the stroller and wants to do more.

I think i freak lila out bc i am always making goofy faces and she isnt quite sure what to make of me. Maybe I do that to alot of people even if they arent 1 yo. Let me know.

So how did it go? Who won? Lets ask superstar Sandy for the results, and ST's son Bogey will try to Vanna White you a prize from the prize table:

I know Kris smoked me as she went by me in another gear, that i wasnt able to meet. But i am happy with the effort since i really just wanted to run " faster than i would have on my own." I think i was around 20:40 but then again, the course was "give or take 3 miles" so the timing may have been "give or take some seconds."Thanks Bogey, but even if the STAR OARS tshirt looked pretty cool ( and way too big) I had my eye on the real prizes..donated by Jerabek's.

Honey is on call and was stuck at the hospital all morning. So my initial plan of riding to the Boat House, running, and then riding to our new house was on hold. I did manage to get a good ride after the run, not super long, but another hour, and sister took the pie, not without some bargaining. But honey LOVES cherry pie. So the least I could do was share my prize with both my super fantastic fast sister ( she finished just about a minute after me, no dog pulling her!) and Honey. I trust her, she wont eat it ALL before i see her tonight!

Marit, if you are reading, Muriel Says hi. As do Sandy and Susan T. As you can tell the waves and the spray from the Mississippi arent as soothing as your waves in Carlsbad, but know that you are missed at the MBC!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Back to Basics

Not much going on. So when I saw the chance to just have a random blog entry without all the photos of family and nice weather in far off places or any "ha ha, you think it is cold where you is colder here" type posts ( bc you all know what snow looks like and you know what it feels like to lug your heavy mtb or cross bike up a hill) I decided that just bc I dont have anything to say, it is my blog and so i want to write something. Here goes:

~ I designed two new splish suits. One for the holidays. I like it. I like it even more now that i realize after printing it up that the snowman is not centered on my belly. No backstroke or my woeful design will be noticed!

~Do you know who this is?
He is an '83 from Dartmouth, for the purposes of this blog, that is maybe all you need to know.
But if you want to know more, you can guess he is a likely pic by our new pres to be the head of the Treasury. or maybe he has been picked and i just havent seen a paper in a week
~ I saw the Sex in the City movie last night, wow. Big messed up.
I think Sarah Jessica Parker has some long legs..or maybe her dresses are just really short. I bet she could run pretty fast if she had to do a 5k. Maybe she will be the next J Lo in a Triathlon, without all the fuss of "oh I am so great" Sorry not a big fan of J Lo.

~My nephew cracked his jaw on the swimming pool and nearly gave uncle to be some business. Fortunately for nephew 3, nephew 2 was able to paint the stitches black with paint so that nephew 2 would look like he had the 5 0'clock shadow. When nephew 2 told us he was using paint that said "permanent" that he found in Granny and D-daddy's basement i asked him if there was also a label saying "toxic."
Luckily the painter is a smart cookie and knows what to say to cause alarm and get attention.
The paint was watercolor and it came off with some scrubbing.

~Thanksgiving will be awesome. Not sure what the weather will be, but i have a 5k lined up.
Two choices, either a charities challenge at lake como= more people, costs more but for a good cause, and i would get to see Steve in a Speedo ( maybe he has leftover donuts)
Minnesota Boat Club 3 miler ( Ok not a 5k, but who really cares) still a non-profit donation, get to run on a road not a path ( path can be dangerous, ice, lake, likely dog leashes) and it is only $5.
Plus i could see my sister and we could likely do well..since like 20 people run. Maybe she and I can get 1st and 2nd. Dreamin. Maybe. or we can win our divisions. Divisions to be determined after the race when we see who is there. Possible Divisions are:
1) Top women who both drive Volvo's.
2) Top sister division
3) Top woman ( me ) who rode her bike to the boat club that morning
4) Top woman ( Sister) who has two cats, one of whom is an Albino and also deaf.

See, there are many possibilities. IF you have never designed your own race categories to assure that you are a winner, i highly recommend it. Very good for the ego.

~Still engaged. Loving every second of it.
Happy thanksgiving to you all.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


So how do i top last weekend? I didnt try. ( I am trying to figure out why this is underlined, tho) A bit of weather came to MN after our balmy DC weekend. So it was a good chance to get the cross bike out. MN seasons mix: The Grill and Cross bike with fenders. Isnt pool and BBQ season anymore, but the grill will still get some action this winter!

Yep that is me. And now we will switch gears to the friday night fun we had thanks to our First Light Friends. My girlfriends were happy to come and celebrate with us even tho i felt like a louse for meshing parties "Girls happy hour meets Engagement celebration." Thanks to all who came to toast us.
Pat the track man! Watch out he is pumping some serious iron this winter and already talking PR's at the track.
Pat, Honey, Jill and Scott.

Judi, chuck and Bill.
Kevin and Becky. Note that if you EVER get to draft behind Big Kevin, do it. He can also RIP your tire off your bike so fast and change a flat in about 2 minutes. Very handy guy to have around. He also knows how to pick good beers:) Becky, thanks for organizing this. So much fun.
Bill, Julie and Tom.
Best of all was that other than Rich's cold ( which i am trying to get..cold-eeze cavities are on the way as well) it was so good to have the team there. This year was full of collarbone breaks. Seems that bad things come in threes? Scott at Firehouse 50, down, broken Clavicle. Pat, at the track, down, broken Clavicle. Bill...random mishap with a homeless? (seriously we arent sure) rider who came out of the path on water street as Bill was flying down the road in his aero bars. Bill got the worst of that one becoming friends with the road barrier and banging himself up so badly that his leg looked like an inflated sausage..FOR 4 WEEKS. Positive thing is he is getting a new TREK Madonne. But no new bike can replace the FIRST LIGHT health, so boys, no riding off the trainer into the wall ( no names) and by all means avoid the rollers.