Sunday, July 29, 2018

So Hot, So Very Very Hot

July was really really hot. Well, the start of it when all my races were was very hot. Now it’s pleasant and dry. Of course. I have a race in a couple of weeks though so the heat should ramp up again. And Ragnar Great River (which I am NOT running) is towards the end of August and that is usually a terribly hot weekend.

But where has July gone? It’s August in a couple of days and then it’s a slide into fall. The years just go faster and faster I guess. September will be a huge month, what with travel to Virginia to see these three


And then off to Scotland for more selfies like this-


Cause that’s what we do best. Only I’ll have way better hair AND my teeth are fixed now. The landscapes should be as nice though.

Oh, but in August we have a trip to see these two

Blane and Melanie

Plus 10 pets and a  zucchini the size of a small dog

IMG_2058 (1)

But back to the present—and near past.

July 4th I was supposed to run a race called Red, White, and Boom in Minneapolis. However, it was soooo hot they cancelled the 1/2 and made it a half of a half, or 6.75 miles.

At first I thought, this isn’t bad-I could have run a half-

IMG_1987I have a band on my head-my hair is not that big…..

But then after about 7 blocks I thought-Nope, too hot.

IMG_1988Post Sweaty Race

So that was all fun and games.

Then, two weeks later I did a race called the Nuthouse Challenge.

This race is a 10K in the morning, a 5K in the evening, and the following morning is a half marathon. And the weather didn’t disappoint.


It started out ok. Pre 10K at Soldiers Field and the War Memorial. It was pretty hot but only 6.2 miles so not too killer. Temps in the upper 70’s along with a dew point of 70 degrees. It’s like breathing water. But I did it.

LRG_DSC01556Round Two

I can run 3.1 miles in the blazing humidity


Sadly, the 1/2 didn’t go quite as happily.

I was hot before I even started. Race start was at 8 AM. Thankfully it was somewhat overcast, but the dewpoint at that time was again 70 degrees. Temps heading upwards to 80ish. But barely which was another blessing.

However, I did want to die several times out there. There was not enough water and I stupidly didn’t carry any. Longest hottest 1/2 I have ever run.



Reflecting on the War Memorial and that I am already too hot.


And the end….


All I can think of is Death, take me now. Ugh. It is so hot right there. Growing up in a cool climate is not serving me well here and I am rethinking summer races altogether. I’d rather run in the cold. And when I get to that point I’ll be thinking-It’s 10 below, what am I doing here?


I got three of these, 5, 10, and half.

The only plus was that I won 2nd place in the challenge in my age group and got a 15 dollar gift cert to a local running store. So good for me. I guess.

Winner winner, chicken dinner


Bad picture but that’s how I looked. Bad.


I can’t even say how much I’m glad that’s over. And within a week, the temps dropped, the dewpoint is non-existant, and here we are. No races for weeks. So annoying.

We babysat Brandy for a few days-she and Lacey had a good time barking at everything that moved-


Dave enjoyed some Ice Cream…


And July rolled on.


I quit paying for parking and started to take the bus exclusively in July, after practicing for most of June. I actually love taking the bus, however, it’s been summer so ask me when it’s pouring rain and freezing cold. Maybe not so much then.

I’d like to say I get a lot of books listened to and some knitting done


I got some new and seriously cool sunglasses (finally) and I showed them off with Angie as we were working on Friday


We are really really cool.

Puddy, the worse cat known to mankind, decided that the deck wasn’t good enough anymore and there are new heights to scale…


I was able to get her down before work this day, but Dave couldn’t get her down yesterday. She eventually came down on her own and hasn’t decided to climb since. Well, yet anyway.

This coming weekend I travel to Stitches Midwest to check out another side of Stitches, and to see my friend Julie. Woop Woop. It’s almost here. I’ve been working alot these past two weeks and the thought of getting up on Friday AM and driving over to Chi-town fills me with the utmost happiness.

Till then, Jack says get that effing camera out of my face….


And Manny wishes that, for once, he knew where the bathroom was….


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Garage Sales, Baseball, and Iowa

But not at the same time.

For some reason, Cedar Rapids seems to be the happening place, and it’s easy to get to from here. This was our second concert trip in that city,  but before we went there we had a garage sale.

Laura and I had our second annual garage sale mid June. We had a garage full of stuff-mostly Laura’s but I put in a good lot.


See all that stuff?  Oh, Laura is in there too but she wasn’t for sale.


Anyway, this is right before we opened for biz, at which time the skies also opened up and it rained and rained until about 9:30-10ish. Well, that sort of dampened the foot traffic, so to speak, but we still didn’t do too bad. We had a lot of clothes but Laura says that doesn’t sell well and it really didn’t. But I got rid of two TV’s and a few other things. Laura got rid of a bunch of garden tools and some plants. I was amazed by what people bought.

Even though we didn’t sell as much as we hoped, we did get a good purge out of it. Next year Dave and I are targeting the garage cause it’s next on the purge list. Gah.

The very next day Dave and I went up to the cities and attended the Twins vs LA game. It was Stitch and Pitch and we had a great time.




The weather was perfect and the Twins won. What more could you ask?


The very next Tuesday we took the dogs to the boarding place and left Minnesota for Cedar Rapids, where we were going to see Brandi Carlile.

She didn’t disappoint.

The opening band was the Secret Sisters. Interestingly, we had heard them singing on the new Prairie Home Companion, which is now called something else and I don’t always listen to anymore. ANYWAY, they were the musical guests so when they came out and started singing and talking I knew who they were. They are very good and I may have to download a few songs, or at the very least get a CD.


I don’t even know why I post these bad selfies.


The venue was fabulous-



The ceiling was looking at us.


Even Brandi and the Sisters commented on the great venue.

The Secret Sisters

They not only sang great, they were pretty funny too.

Brandi Carlile


It was a rockin’ show.


I would see her again and again.

And we had to take an inside bad selfie too. I don’t know what Dave’s looking at. I’m sure it was interesting.


I really really really need to work on this. I’d get a selfie stick but when we were in Ireland we were with a person that had a selfie stick and I swore I would never have one after that. Lord have mercy, that was obnoxious. Maybe I just need an arm extension.

Did I mention the food was good too?


I realize that’s a drink, but it went with good food.

It rained quite a bit while we were there (for less than 24 hours) and the landscape was gray Iowa farm land-which I find very pretty-


It eventually broke up and got a little brighter, but never much sun.


We boarded the dogs and when we got home I figured out that they didn’t follow my instructions for feeding, didn’t give Lacey her pill, and stole the dog light off her leash. AND—Lacey has kennel cough now. She had her bordatella but it’s now always 100% effective. I don’t think she has it as bad as she could.

So they are going back in August I guess. I can’t find anywhere to board my pets that I’m satisfied with. What to do? I don’t know house sitters and Manny isn’t very house broken. That’s the problem. Although he worked and worked on it and he did this last week:


Yep, he got up on the couch so he could steal a bone Lacey hid there. That was the motivation it took. He hasn’t done it since. It was a LOT of work.

Friday was the Hot Air Balloon Rally (or whatever) at Rochesterfest so I saw this when I got to work--


They were super pretty.


Last weekend was the Zombie  Knitpocolypse (or something like that) retreat which had an open marketplace which resulted in impulse buys


Three Irish Girls, and I held back—I could have bought so much more


Oh, and that was after buying some new stuff at Angie’s store so I was in a spending mood.

The Fourth of July is coming up fast fast fast. I am running a half up in the cities on the fourth and I think the heat index is going to be back down to the 80’s. Starting today the dew points are going to be in the 70’s. That’s a lot of air conditioning happening. My training run on Saturday is going to have to be very early.

Dave is traveling to Madison this weekend so I have the house to myself. But not really cause I still have Manny. Yay.

So, that’s all the news for now. I’m home until September, with a brief Grand Forks trip in August. September is travel month for sure with the trip to Norfolk and then to Scotland. Am very excited for that.

And going to the Netherlands in January. Already checked out some yarn stores in Amsterdam.

In the meantime, this-


And Puddy, always finding the out of the way spot for some serious chillaxin’


Monday, June 11, 2018

Running Like the Wind

Wow, sorry about the delay in my blog posts. If I could keep up it would be so much easier.

Most of this post I think will be running related because that’s what I did for three weeks in a row.

But before those runs, or maybe during those weeks, It’s all such a blur, we went and saw Paula Poundstone.  This is the second time we have seen her and she was hilarious. She is so clever and quick and can turn a joke on a dime. If you ever get the chance—go see her. She spoke about the upcoming meeting with N Korea (which at that time was off, but as we know is on again) and she made the astute observation that “they are both nutters”. Couldn’t agree more.


I couldn’t get a smiling picture no matter how hard I tried. And then I just wanted to listen.

Up next week is Brandi Carlile in Iowa. Good for us!

Oh, how could I forget this—the Royal Wedding. Jeepers. I was all over that.


I wore my tiara. Watched it live. My favorite parts were this little princess and her over the shoulder wave-


Oh my God, that kid has the wave.

And this photo bomb. Are you kidding me? The best ever


The Bishop from the Episcopal Church was preachin’ some fire. I was almost squirming because as an Episcopalian I’m not quite used to that level of intensity. At least not at any Episcopal church I ever attended.

You gotta love a Royal Wedding, it takes me away from reality and just makes me sort of happy.

But—back to reality

I ran Women Run the Cities in May-the first of three running weekends.I only ran the 10K, but it was good enough.

Beautiful day for Women to Run.


AND—I didn’t have to take a bad selfie cause here I am!



Next up was Med City 1/2 Marathon. Ugh. That wasn’t so fun. Not. At All.

They cancelled the Marathon and Marathon Relay, and the 20 mile run because of the extreme heat. And hot it was. Some saintly women around mile 11 handed me a baggie of ice which I wore under my hat until the finish. I was hot and uncomfortable and I have never seen so many people walking in a race. My finish, at 2:13 was very slow, but at least I finished.

Looking fresh at the start


Dying at the finish


I did recover enough to take a picture of my coworker-Ashley who ran the half marathon relay-(since they canceled the marathon relay)


After that, it was off to Canada on Thursday May 31st to  meet up with the team and run a little Ragnar.

Now I have been watching the weather around Toronto for a few months, and looking at the averages and calculating what I’ll run in and how the course will feel. And if you believe the averages it should have felt pretty nice. However, as we all know when I’m traveling the weather is either freezing and I don’t have the right clothes (remember Tacoma at the end of Feb?? It was snowing….) or so hot it’s ridiculous. Well, it was ridiculous. The weather was about 10-15 degrees above the norm AND the dewpoints were about 65ish. Which made my first leg so miserable I could hardly stand it. I badly miscalculated what I ate before I ran, when I was going to run, and how hot it would be. Needless to say, I suffered a LOT.

But let’s get back to the beginning.

We stayed in a hotel that offered the love tub—Scary


It’s a little bit funny with the foam roller on the edge of the tub.

One of the best things about this Ragnar was my favorite neice Katie, came and ran with us. AND designed our great magnets.


Katie and I did selfies throughout the race--





Our van before


and after--


and our team, of course-



I have to say the the course was ok but my van fam in Van One was exceptional. Everyone was chill and fun and nice and I laughed and laughed. They were simply the best. And I had the most wonderful time.

Beautiful Canada





And some action shots



Me and the best captain of any Ragnar eva!


Things you can’t get anywhere but in Canada


Team bonding-


Beer drinking--


And a whole lotta fun—except for my first leg. That was NOT fun.

Who knows? Maybe it wasn’t my last Ragnar.

In other news, Cody was thinking of me a few weeks ago….


What a good boy.

Puddy was chillin on the deck which is decked out, so to speak, with new flowers.



I got my native garden in the back and my flower garden started in the front. It will take a couple of years to get that all filled in.  I just keep putting plants in to fill it up.

Anyway, I’m home for the summer. We are going to Brandi Carlile next week in Iowa for a couple of days, and I have Stitches Midwest in August with Julie. Looking forward to both of these things immensely.

This weekend is the annual garage sale that Laura and I put on. It’s the second annual garage sale. Hoping to make some spare change for Scotland in September AND get rid of some things. I have a ways to go before I get rid of everything I should get rid of.

I’ll let you know how I do.