Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Longest Run Yet!

8 miles today.  I drove up to my mom's, dropped the kiddo off, drove back here, then ran back.  Running on the road is harder on my feet and joints, but I don't feel too sore right now.  The hardest part of the running was the first hill right out of the house.  But once I was in a more downhill direction I just kind of ate up the pavement in my 5's.  It took me about an hour and 30 minutes, and I might have been able to go more, but I also am glad I didn't have to push my reserves.  Did about 12 minutes per mile, which I'm not exactly thrilled with, but as of now, I'm going to keep working on the stamina and work more on speed later.

Mom drove me and the little guy home, where he promptly curled up and zonked (Grandma wears him out).  So I went outside and just strolled around, checking on the status of my perennials.

My Forget-me-Nots, poking up out of the leaves.  By the looks at it, they should spread quite well along the back fence area near the compost.
Caught her attention away from critter chasing for a few minutes.  Good doggy!
Forsythia about to bloom.   I really love spring.  Now, maybe a nap.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Today I bought a car.  It looks kinda like the below.

 It's used, but looks great.  Hubby will probably pick it up this weekend at some point.  I'm pretty excited.  I can't wait to see it with a kayak attached to the top and a dog in the back.  On a blanket.  Layers and layers of blankets.  It'll be a really nice road trip car... and I still have my mazda for all my little running around trips.  Pretty happy.

Stuffed Bunny Tug-of-War

Yes, the competition is fierce.  The noise level of one of the participants, high.  But it's also an entertaining sport.

But, victory goes to the one who keeps her paws on the rug.  And has pointier teeth.
It's frosty here this morning, but sunny.  I think it's going to be an out-side work day.  I might even start building the raised beds that I want to get up and filled with dirt soon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Peaches Fine.

Today was... somewhat productive and somewhat lazy.  I cleaned, I played with the baby, I played Warcraft(seriously, It's the only way I can hang out with my long distance real life friends, so it's good).  I decided instead of cooking my elaborate pasta plan, I would get pizza.  And, moreso, surprise surprise, I would DRIVE DOWN AND PICK IT UP!!!  Instead of having it DELIVERED!.  Go me! 

I asked the baby if he wanted pizza.  He gave me a look, and said "Peaches fine."  I later convinced him that pizza was good.  He ate a little bit of pizza, a lot of breadsticks, and then I did give him the aforementioned peaches.  And they were fine.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Trail running.

I ran 6 miles today.  On the trail.  It was difficult.  And incredibly easy.  The miles just melted by.  But my feet are a bit bruised by rocks and roots.  I felt so attached to the trail, with my feet squishing through mud, slipping on leaves, hoping on rocks and roots that were too big to avoid.  It was amazing.  There are some cross country ski trails down near Titusville, PA.  The biggest loop is 6 miles, and there is a network of trails running through.  It's pretty hilly (I had to walk a little bit), but it's also very secluded.  My ultimate running goal is to run thisOil Creek Ultra-marathon.  I know. I'm being a bit hasty... I need to get to a half marathon first.  Then a marathon.  Then maybe 30 miles... then we'll see...

I did take a spill when my toe caught on a root.  Smashed my hip and shoulder into the ground.  Luckily it was pine needles I fell on and not rocks or just hard trail.  I didn't move for a few seconds, made sure nothing was broken, then got up and kept going.   I feel a little sore, but we'll see if more bruises appear tomorrow.
Here is the little cross country ski cottage - very cute. 
Here are my muddy, slightly bruised and scraped feet!  My next plan is to road run from here to my mom's.  8 miles.  This week.

Mmmm... Pancakes...

So yesterday I made pancakes for lunch.  I found this pancake recipe online that makes wonderful hearty wheat/oatmeal pancakes.  I used to make them with blueberries or raspberries.  Then a friend of mine's daughter showed me the wisdom of chocolate chip pancakes.  MMmmmmm.  She's very wise.  And 13.  She'll be happy that she has impressed me with her wisdom in chocolate chip pancakes.  But I've found that there is nothing more perfect then a scattering of chocolate chips in a big pancake to get my chocolate fix without resorting to a candy bar or some kind of cake/brownie concoction which I will later feel guilty about. 

They're still good with berries.  Or pecans.  Or walnuts.  Whatever you want!  Really, the possibilities are endless.  Here.  Make them.  You'll thank me.   I substitute 2% milk with the soy milk.  Regular vegetable Oil for the olive oil, and I add a bunch of cinnamon and vanilla.  Usually the cinnamon to the dry and the vanilla to the wet, because i'm afraid of getting too dangerous with my baking.
These are normal sized pancakes.  I usually make these for the baby or Jason.
These are more silver dollar sized.  Jason likes these better because he doesn't have to use utensils or something.
This is my giant chocolate chip pancake.  MMMMMM.  I like them giant.  I feel better because I can say I only ate one pancake.  Yes.  I know, excuses, excuses.
But, seriously.  Make these.  Hearty and very yum.  And the batter stays great refrigerated for up to 3 days!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where'd Zoe Go?!

She's such a tolerant dog. He was yelling, "Where'd Zoe Go!?!"  Then yanking the blanket off.  She kept looking up at me like "Why?  Why won't you help me woman?"

After the morning hijinks I dozed, then ripped some more wallpaper off, then dozed some more.  Feeling like I'm getting some kind of chest cold or something, so though I'm scheduled to run tomorrow, I might make it an easy mile or 2.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


They entertain me in the mornings.  When I'm doing my morning putterings on the computer and drinking my coffee, I can watch them chasing each other along the power lines and through the trees.  Caught one of the little guys this morning.

Went running this morning, about 3 miles... but it was a hard run.  I got to about... 3/4 of a mile in, and really struggled.  I felt like I wasn't going fast enough, or didn't have enough time, and felt like I'm never going to be able to get up to a half marathon.  I was terribly frustrated with myself, and almost threw a little temper-tantrum there in the solitude of the trail.  Then I just stopped for a moment, took a deep breath, and started up again.  I was ok after that... so I'm not sure what it was.  I hope this doesn't happen often; it's discouraging.  Need to figure out how to get through it.  I will though.  Hoping for a chance to run at least 5 miles this weekend.  We'll see what happens from there.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rice Pudding

I know rice pudding isn't everyone's cup of tea... or coffee.. or pudding... But I recently tried some when we were in Florida.  I liked it, I thought, I can make this.  So today I did.

I used the recipe here, and the only thing I altered was to add cinnamon.  Ok a lot of cinnamon, but I like cinnamon.  I used long grain rice, and all the reviews said to use a shorter grain rice and it would come out creamier.  I still think it tastes great, but if you have texture issues, or don't like raisins, then you probably won't like this anyway.

I was thinking of maybe putting pieces of apple in it next time i make it, either dried or fresh.
I think I also could have let it thicken up more, but it's all about experimentation.  And it's soo yummy.

Didn't have as a productive of a day as I would've liked today, but I stayed up too late, woke up late, and have been dragging a bit.  I did fix the toilet (the chain that pulls the thingie broke), and I bought some grass-seed to spread in the yard, and I looked at some pavers for a couple of the muddier locations in the yard.  I picked a natural looking stepping stone that i think i'll bury in the earth and let the grass grow around them.  I also want to construct 2 more raised beds, but I want to see how much painting our house this summer is going to cost first.

I took the pup out a bit ago to tear her around and get out a bit of her energy, and she found a walnut or some kind of beech nut or something, and was tossing it, rolling it around and batting at it.  So funny.  Of course I didn't have my camera outside to catch any of the action, but I'll try to get her to play with it again tomorrow.  Too funny.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It begins!!!

So today I began to clean out the garden beds.  Well, I went running first, then out to lunch, then napped, THEN I worked on the garden beds.  Mostly I just raked leaves and loosened the soil a bit.  And I had a helper.

He was helping me rake and putting leaves into his dump truck and into my wagon.  Then daddy came home and we were ready to go in to make dinner.  Ok, not really ready.  Poor guy.

But he was happy enough when we got in to come up and sit on my lap and watch a little Thomas the Tank Engine before dinner.

In other news, my daffodils should be blooming any day now.  By the look of it, it could even be tomorrow.... I can't wait!.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

...then the first day of spring.

It was very cool and calm out there this morning.  I took my annual sunrise hike, found a good place to watch the sunrise, and just enjoyed the bird song, the sound of geese and duck wing-beats as they flew overhead... the circular current in the picture was a beaver that I think the dog and I interrupted while he was trying to nibble down some saplings.
 It was more overcast than I thought would be acceptable when I clambered out of bed at 6:30, but there was an opening in the clouds just where the sun would peek through eventually.  A good kind of day.

The geese were quiet when we first settled in our spot, but once we were there, they came over from across the lake to investigate us.  They honked and chattered at us a bit, but stayed about 40 feet out from us, just drifting there.
Zoe enjoyed herself once she realized we were not going on another 10 hour pre-dawn car trip.  I had to lift her into the car when we left, because she has come to associate getting in the car in the dark with very long car rides.  She happily tore around and sniffed everything, then sat with me while we both watched the sun come up.
A muted, understated first sunrise of spring.  Lets hope it portends to a good calm season for starting things new and letting warmth and green get a foothold in the earth for another year.  Happy first day of spring everyone.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

On the last day of winter...

I mostly did things that were very springlike.  I was slothful (sort of) this morning, and after staying up too late and not sleeping great, rose a bit later than usual, puttered around the house and online, and played with the baby while hubby went for a bike ride.  Not a really energetic start.

Finally, I stopped feeling sorry for myself, and filled up my camelback up (a necessity when trail running; who wants things bouncing around on your back or in your hands when you're on the trail).  When hubby got home, I drove out to a longish trail I knew, and with the dog in her bright orange, off we went, down the trail.

It was amazing.  I do ok running on roads or paved trails.  But I really love love love trail running, especially in my 5s.  It's tricky, don't get me wrong.  I had numerous foot stubbings on roots, several squashings in particularly muddy places, some harrowing jumps over very spikey crab apple tree branches that I wasn't eager to find out if the rubber soles of the 5s would keep out and wow, beech leaves are REALLY slippery when you run on them.  But I FELT like I was running fast, and a mile and a half was gone before I knew it.  I reached the end of the trail and turned around and headed back to the trail head.  I ran about 3.5 miles total, which I was a little bummed that the trail wasn't longer... Maybe I'll just have to run it twice next time.  I did re-open a blister on my foot that I got during the race last week, but I didn't go so long as to hurt it worse.  The dog had a great time, splashing in overflowing streams and pausing to see if the few chipmunks we heard were worth chasing.  But we soon got back to the car, and leaving the windows open, drove home.  There are not more pictures of this hiking experience because I was already carrying a gps and a hydration pack and somehow I doubt running with my digital SLR would be good for the camera.

I came home to this young speed demon tearing around the yard. I couldn't even get him to stop for a photo-op.  I caught him later though, because I made his favorite for dinner, "pancakes."

Which is actually naan.  And is sooooo yummy.  The baby helped me roll it out, then I grilled it while Jason made red curry pork and rice and veggies and omg.... burning the calories on the trail run was worth it.
It was delicious.  And being super super hungry made it even better.  Oh, and you can find the recipe I use for naan here.  We don't just eat it with curry.  We make it whenever we can conceive of an excuse to eat it.  We make sandwiches out of it.  We make peanut-butter and jelly on it.  When the child sees these being made, we must wheel and deal him to eat the rest of his dinner before this.  I don't even put the minced garlic it calls for in.  And this time I was super-duper lazy and just made the dough in the bread machine.  Try it.  Your mouth will thank you.  And so will anyone you feed it too, including two year olds that say "Thank you momEE"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ahhh Spring...

Spring.  The return of birds and bees and shirtless college boys playing sand volley-ball two blocks away.  It is one of those things I will endure.  And when I drive up the street, I will drive slowly (because you know it is a residential neighborhood and there's a college.  Wouldn't want to run anyone over), and when I drive down the street, I will drive slowly.  Mmmmm...

I would have photographed it, but I didn't want to compromise any laws, real or made-up, that I may have been breaking.... Maybe next week....

Anyway... more garden shots:
 More Crocuses alongside last year's Dusty Miller.  I liked the contrast.
More hiding under one of the front arborvitae.
A little volunteer yellow crocus I found in the yard.  May have to move it to the garden after the bloom fades.  I'm also considering digging up some of the clumps of crocuses and spreading them out a bit more.  I guess we'll see once the blooms are just about done and the bees have had their fill.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The return of bees.

I saw bees in the garden today.  It made me happy.  But then I had to chase after a 2 and a half year old and a dog and wait on a phone call from a painter about painting my house, so by the time I was like, "Oh I should be good and go take a photo of the return of the bees."  The sun was down on that side of the house and I'm sure the bees are back cozy in their bee-dens.  Hives.  Whichever.

So maybe tomorrow Bee photos, or maybe I'll addendum this post with photos of bees.  I do like bees.  Here is a Google Image Bee:

Awww... Cute.

So now I'm off to relax for the evening.  Tomorrow, I will chase more bees.  And 2 year old.  And dog.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day (also known as Pap's Birthday)

Yes. I'm wearing green.  But I'm not thinking about leprechauns.  I'm thinking about this guy:

This is my pap-pap Hrach as I remember him.  Wearing that white tee, putting Christmas or birthday bows on his head (I think a good 40 percent of the photos I have of Pap are with bows on his head).

The 17 of March is (was) his birthday.  I always remember when I was little being so pleased on St. Patricks' Day that I was part Irish, that we lived on Irish road, and that Pap's birthday was on St. Patrick's day.  What could be more Irish than that.

Today I was thinking about him and my Grandma Hrach alot.  I thought how we rolled down the big steep hill on the left side of their yard... while I was feeding the baby peanut butter for lunch, I thought about how they used to through the ends of the loaves of bread out to the birds, and just how much fun I had in that house with them.

I miss them.  And I don't often wax poetic about missing my loved ones.  But I do.  And today, I'll wear green, and think about Pap-pap, and miss the people that are gone a lot, and maybe be a little sad.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

First (real) spring hike

So after washing some windows this morning, running the vacuum, and making a surprise lunch for hubby (meatloaf sandwich with fries and gravy, he was pleased), the baby and I decided to go for a hike.

We went over to the Erie National Wildlife Refuge to hike the Deer Run Trail, which is about 3 miles round trip.  I like this trail because it meanders over varied terrain, there are fields and woods and water, and it loops back around, which is always better than doubling back.  The baby walked for about 10 feet before he cried "Uppies Uppies!"  So I resorted to the baby backpack.

 He was very excited about a pine cone that I picked up for him.  He later will gift it to Daddy, he told me.  The wildlife was limited... it's still pretty early, but we did see a chickadee which even volunteered to get close enough to see what we were up to, and several woolie-bears crossed our path on the trail.

The baby was a trooper the entire time, very excited, talking about the sky ("Sky Blue), the trees ("Beeeeggg Tree!), and the state of the ground (Beeeegg Hole!).  Having the hike narrated the entire time wasn't a bad thing.  We talked about what color everything was, I showed him thorns and pine cones and let him touch bark and pine trees.  Pointed out geese and a butterfly...  I know it's never too early to start, and he enjoyed the entire hike. So did the dog, though i think she may have been more happy if she had caught a chipmunk.

 I think tomorrow, (or soon) I will work in the yard.  My crocuses are in full bloom, and I want to work on the yard while it's still mooshy.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy that spring is almost here but...

Part of me will miss the snowy days.  Not the hard, crusty, hard to walk through snow, or even the really wet snow man-snow.  But the fluffy, bright, just after a snow-storm snow.  The stuff you want to cross country ski through.  The stuff like this.

And days that look like this. 

And all you want to do is keep following that road... I'll miss you winter, and though I'm happy that it is warming up, there is a part of me that's looking forward to you returning next year...