Saturday, November 28, 2015

Girl Power

Last weekend I drove to Oklahoma. Yes I did!


I went to visit Machelle, who I met wayyyy back in the day in Dutch Harbor.

That’s our little group back in the day, Machelle is second from the right. My hair? Really?

Blane was in Machelle’s wedding way back when and somewhere I have a picture  but it’s lost in picture void somewhere. Anyway, that was back then, this is now and I’m happy to say my hair looks much better. Machelle looks just as young.

Anyway, I drove down last Friday, Nov 20th. It’s a 10 hour drive but super easy and I had a book on CD which made the trip rather enjoyable.

I drove through Iowa and Missouri. Iowa has the best rest stops ever….


I thought South Dakota had the super rest stop thing down, but Iowa stepped up and now, well, here it is. South Dakota better start bringing their A game to the rest stop competition. Although they might not be aware there is a competition. Well South Dakota? You’ve been schooled. 

IMG_0935 See what I mean? Nice, even has a concrete teepee skeleton

IMG_0936 But it’s not up to the Iowa rest stop standards. My cross country driving has reached a whole new level.

Either way, I drove down there to see Machelle after 20 some years, and to run this race with her. And about 14,998 of our closest friends.

I was outrunning a winter storm--


And the weather just got better and better until I got to Machelle’s—it was 65 there in NE Oklahoma.

Machelle has  a cute little house in the country---And we had girlz weekend ahead.



Those dots are lotsa cows out there. And you know how I love some cows.

We had a delicious dinner together--


See? Better hair…

And we had a delicious breakfast the next day with Machelle’s oldest daughter Jesse


Then we went into Tulsa to get our packets for the race!


We are ready to run—dang it. Oh, did I mention that the temperature took a big dive and it was actually in the 30’s now? With some blowing cold wind? Yeah, that happened.  After the packet pick up we went to the hugest Christmas shopping experience EVER. 500 vendors with booths and this guy standing out front of the venue!

IMG_1610 See how tall he is?


He’s some sort of driller or oil worker or something. I was very impressed.

AND I was impressed with the huge vastness of the shopping area. It was awesome. I didn’t buy much but there was lots to choose from.

We wandered back home and did a little carbo loading and prepared to get up early for the race the next day.

Yep, we got up at 5ish and ate and took off. It was a hard frost and in the upper 20’s when we left. I had to borrow and extra shirt from Machelle.

Route 66 1

We were looking sharp though. My sparkle skirt bedazzled the crowd. At least in my mind it did.

The race was packed and I spent much time trying to clear a path, but I still managed a 2:06 finish, which was a miracle and a testament to my determination to run faster and faster once I got in the clear. The sun was shining and after the first couple of miles I warmed up and the race was pretty pleasant.


We are winners!!

We met up with Machelle’s husband James came home from his work and we had another delicious dinner and spent the evening chatting and having a little wine. Cause that’s how we roll!

I left on Monday. It was the nicest weekend and it was just like old times between good friends.

Planning a repeat for next year. Machelle teaches first grade—I saw her classroom, sooo cute—and she gets the week of Thanksgiving off. So next year I’m planning a longer stay. Oh, and I’ll bring more clothes…..

Thank you so much Machelle for being a hostess with the mostess.

When I got home on Monday, I found nothing had changed…..

puss Laura….

IMG_1616 Monday Night Football interrupted

Now it’s the weekend after Thanksgiving and I got no pictures taken. And next week is the Seahawk Viking game. I got some new swag.


Hoping the Viking fans don’t kill us.



Monday, November 9, 2015

Tacoma, San Diego, Carlsbad, San Diego, Portland, and Home. In that order.

But I didn’t stay long in San Diego or Portland. Just sort of passing through on my way to other places.

But I digress. As I often do.

I flew to Seattle on the 24th of October, got into my smelly rental car, and drove to Tacoma to start 10 days of eating out and drinking wine! Jeesh.

It spent Sunday knitting and visiting with my sister Martha and good friend Julie at 3rd place Books and Town Center. That is a great place, by the way. We did a little shopping—I needed some specialty fabric. That was fun. I headed back to Tacoma with thousands of my closest friends.

IMG_1558 Can you see them?


So the 50 minute trip up (I was 45 minutes early) took about 1 hour and 40 minutes to get back. Same way. No detours.

I stayed off the 5 for the rest of the time.

I had dinner with Nina and Terri (another friend of Nina’s) at home and then off to face the week.

Stopped by work on Monday to drop off the computer and check in. Same old thang. Didn’t like my cubicle real estate but it’s only for a week.

IMG_1566 Not yet set up. Ugh.

It was a sort of stressful as the UM department was ill and on vacation and eventually was just me and one other person by the end of the week. That is never good. I know just enough to be dangerous.

Shari was showing a little strain….

IMG_1568 Nice…

It was Halloween week and of course, a costume contest.


The masks were sort of creeping me out. I didn’t get a picture of the human box of wine. It was impressive. I was dressed as a case manager. I must say I was really convincing.

I left out the parts about eating out Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night, AND the potluck on Friday. That’s like a whole year of dining out for me.

Thankfully, the week ended and I survived it only to realize that the 7:50  flight I booked Saturday AM was actually Saturday PM. To change it the cheapest way possible I had to get up at 12:45—AM-- and check in to an earlier flight so I could go back to bed and then get up at 3 to get to the airport for the 6:45 plane. Jeepers. How does that even happen? Anyway, good old Alaska Air made it easy to rebook for only 25 dollar change fee so I was happy and flustered at the same time.

Cody picked me up at the San Diego airport, we dropped off my stuff and headed for the beach--

DSC01224 Carlsbad, where Cody lives.

DSC01227 Birds not wearing sun screen and taking their chances


IMG_1573 Us—wearing sunscreen.

We had lunch at the Armenian place-Keeping up the eating out roll that I was on….


DSC01229 Birds of Paradise flowers. I think I’m making a quilt about these……

Then we went to a winery for some tasting. Keeping up the wine drinking roll I was on




It was beautiful and the weather perfect. Wine was ok but we ended up getting a bottle at BevMo-they were having a 5 cent sale. One bottle regular, next one for 5 cents. It’s like you have to buy wine there.

Terri (at Nina’s) also gave me a bottle of port,  so for dinner I made stir fry, had some wine, and for dessert—this delicious port-

IMG_1569 Best. Port. Ever.

I would have kept it and brought it all the way home but I just couldn’t face trying to fit it in my suitcase….again.

Next day I ran to the beach—pant pant.

We went for a drive to Camp Pendleton and looked at where Cody works. The place is huge and has beach rentals which I am hopeful to rent for next summer-

IMG_1581 Right on the beach.

We went out to watch part of the Seahawks game.


The Privateer—I got shirts for me and Dave.

More beer, more eating out. I couldn’t stop. Crikey. I did eat some grilled asparagus for healthy appetizer before eating the pizza.

Monday came and Cody went to work and I did some homework, finished a paper, and then went for a walk.

Cody has a very nice apartment-

DSC01233 View from the deck.

I was pretty tired and ended up binge watching Orange is the New Black for most of the afternoon. I didn’t take any walk pictures. But it was a nice walk and picture worthy. You’ll just have to trust me. It rained in the evening because I was there. It’s doesn’t rain often. I’m  lucky that way.

Up early on Tuesday and headed back to the homestead.

DSC01241   DSC01242

DSC01244See ya next June San Diego.

The flight to Portland was pretty-and empty. Whole row to myself. Whole. Row. I ended up sitting by the window taking pictures of mountains.

DSC01246 I think this is Mount Jefferson

And rivers

DSC01254 The Mighty Columbia

Portland was rainy but the sun came out before I left…


And then off to Minneapolis. That flight was full. It was Delta. I remember why I don’t fly Delta.

And back to the real world of home and work.

Everyone survived my absence.

IMG_1515 I am so annoyed right now.

IMG_1497 Nice of you to come back…

Two weeks—Tulsa bound.

DSC01232 Just in case.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Retreat, Race, and Gotta Go

Whee, it’s been a whirlwind of fun and games around here. Every weekend has been packed. I’m taking a class that I have to keep up with. Work has been busy. I guess I sort of like that. In a way. It makes vacation so much more rewarding.

Since last time I ran a race called Women Run the Cities with my friend Mary Bronk. It’s our yearly girls weekend in the cities and we stayed up by the Mall and did a little shopping. Although I didn’t buy one thing!! AND I didn’t take any pictures. Jeepers. I did get a shot of the shirt--

IMG_1505 Nice Swag

So, since last time the next big thing was Retreat at Eagle Bluff. It’s my most favorite time of the year. My best friends are all there, Marcia, Suzie, Connie and her sister. I love to see them all and sew and sew.

I was working on my Paradise in Blooms--

DSC01160 IMG_1523 IMG_1532

That is the appliqué part which is merely a small amount of what is going to be a huge quilt. I got a bunch of border done today. I am almost to the last and final borders. Jeepers. I was also working on my double wedding ring. I vow to have both done my Christmas.

The weather was beautiful. A little cool but not bad. I had some super nice walks with Suzie and Marcia and one by myself.

IMG_1533 Morning Fog in the Valley

DSC01163 Leaves Falling on the Trail

DSC01165 Sun in the Trees.

And this weird little tableau I found in the woods….

DSC01173 (2)


It was wooden figures dressed up. Spooky.

Inside lotsa sewing going on--

 IMG_1528 (2)IMG_1527

 IMG_1526Ready to sew

It was the best. Really. I wish it could go on longer….and I‘m already waiting for next year.

The weekend after retreat I ran another 10 K called Nerland Big Woods Run. It was partially a trail race. The weather was very nice-but very windy.

Very Very Windy. I’d never run this race before. I ran pretty quick for a trail race so I was happy about that.

20151010_100318 Big Woods and Big Church.

They had a delicious bake sale and we bought some delish baked goods. Then Lil Puss decided to chew through the plastic and munch down on a couple of them. Jeesh.

IMG_1499 No. I. didn’t.

The NEXT weekend we drove down to St. Louis for the Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon.

Gosh, it was so fun. I’d never been there before and I found it very fab. I went with my friends Cathy and Tiffini and their families. And Dave too. However, I did not get one group shot. I am really slipping. Really.

I got a group pic of Cathy and her girls—they ran the 5K on Saturday.


And their finishes--

Ellie and Cathy Ellie beating Cathy!

Anna’s finish--

Anna Finish

Oh, and our group at the Expo

IMG_1555 (2) Don’t ask.

Tiff and the hydrant


Me and the Sumo


And my bud Big Boy


We get a little strange when we are out of town. What happened in Vegas is still staying in Vegas. Just saying.

St Louis had lotsa cool stuff though--

DSC01184DSC01177  DSC01190  DSC01193 DSC01194 DSC01205 DSC01191DSC01209 DSC01211 DSC01215 DSC01195DSC01216  DSC01206


And that’s not all of it. I loved that town. I saw my niece and her girl Kim-and of course, no picture. I’m ashamed of my blog skills right now.

Sunday we ran---we did get that--


The after show was Eric Hutchinson. Man he was good. Tiff’s daughter got a little video of him and her picture and an autograph. I was busy VIPing in the special tent. Oh, and getting a massage.


Really, one of the best RnR concerts yet.

Oh, and the music the day before was pretty good too.


Made me wanna dance.

We got home yesterday, Monday, and Dave and I are taking a couple of days off at home. Laura, bless her heart, took care of Biscuit and of Beta and we owe her a LOT. (Beta had one of his head shaking fits, fell down, AND pooped in the house…and yet she still said he was good-what goes on over there that THAT is considered good??) Anyway, once again my blog muse comes through.

No one was worse for the wear. Except maybe us.

IMG_1537 (2) IMG_1542 (2) I’m so tired. 

IMG_1550 (2)Thinking of the next thing…….

Next weekend I’m off to Tacoma and to see Cody in SoCal—Carlsbad. Checking out our venue for San Diego RnR relay next June.

Then—off to Tulsa to see my old old friend Machelle who I haven’t seen in 20 years. It’s going to be EPIC. (Oh, and we are running the Route 66 half.

Get ready. At least when I get to Tulsa I’ll be on a school break. Then home till Stitches in Feb. At least I think so.

I have to say the common theme in all my trips and fun has been the amazing time I’ve been having with my friends. There is nothing better. Except for maybe a cat. Sometimes.

IMG_1545 Really, you call this work?