quickie

Wow, I can’t believe it has been a year since the CHO Devil Mountain 5k. I am doiing it again this year, but haven’t been WORKING towards that goal. Last week, however, I was totally surprised by my finishing time in the Asparagus Festival 5k…a full 6 minutes faster than last year, AND I was pushing the double stroller! Needless to say I am hopeful for a ‘decent’ time this Sunday. I better get back to the gym and off the booze if I really want it to happen, right? 🙂

The shame…

I have been off the blogging track for so long that wordpress has changed some of its formatting, and I have no idea how to use it. That should explain why the last post looks so funky. Bear with me as I try to figure it all out!

New Pics!

This is what started it all. About ten years ago I got this from a friends grandmother. It was white, and had shelves on the side. I took it to my dads shop with intentions of refinishing it, and well, yeah. A few weeks ago I came home to this sitting in the living room. My dad stripped and refinished it, and added the vinyl lettering (looks etched) on the front. I finally had a place to put some of my many, many books! Finding a place for the cabinet itself is what finally got us going on the other two projects, a storage bench and new desk.Thanks Dad.

Thanks Dad.

My husband has been busy fulfilling my desire for more storage. Our house has almost no built in storage, and everything we put in just looks like stuff, rather than seeming a part of the home. Really, there is only so many pieces of furniture one room can hold!For some reason all my text for each picture iosn;t showing up. The pics will have to do for now…jsut realize these are all still a work in progress.Yay, storage!

Yay, storage!Our living room is long and narrow. This window is just to the left of the front door, and we usually kept a chair in the corner. I came up with the idea of a simple storage bench and my handy husband made it happen. The baskets are from IKEA, as they were the cheapest I could find for the size. Eventually this will have a cushion on it..once I can find someone to make it, or am brave enough to try myself. The kids toys and things are stored underneath. Just one more step in my path to total organization, plus it ads much needed seating for when we have parties. A little better than folding chairs, right?

Jason's Handiwork!

Jason’s Handiwork!We have debated using this under the stair area for a desk since we moved here. However over time we tried all kinds of other ideas..bookshelves, dresser storage and anything else you can think of. Wouldn’t you know, two and a half years later we decided: “Hey, lets try a DESK!” I had Jason build it extra deep and the whole width so all four of us could sit here if we wanted to. Plenty of space for art projects as well.
I changed the shelves from brown to white, and eventually we may paint the back wall for some contrast. Keep in mind this is a work in progress. I haven’t quite gathered all the right storage, nor have I finished sorting everything, but this is a good start! What do you think about us adding some ‘legs’ to the front? (oh, and most of the stuff underneath is waiting to find a storage container or new spot altogether.

dscn0877These little containers are also from IKEA. Intended for the kitchen, but they work perfect for small items like a stapler, pens, scissors and cords we use often. I also bought a few clips that you can hang paper items from.

Weekend Wrap-Up

Busy, busy, busy around here! Unfortunately, that means the pumpkin spice dough-nuts will have to wait until next weekend. I did make chocolate peanut butter cookies that were fab. See the recipe here.

My quest for pumpkins, pedestals and cloches only got as far as one grouping but I figure I have time, it’s still only September, right? I got distracted and hit the clearance jackpot at Home Goods…goodbye huge bare wall!
I bought something similar a few months ago but returned the pieces because they just weren’t right, and J was way less than thrilled. This pic has the Spanish colors and feel we love, but in a more streamlined presentation. Also, I found a lovely gray area rug with a pattern very similar to the wood panels. All together we are pretty happy to have some life on that wall, and something soft under out feet. Dream design? Hardly, but it has already made a great improvement.
Then I found these.
They were both on clearance, and one was missing the glass so together they were a great deal. I bought them without really having a place, but I think they’ll stay right where they are.
I can’t end this post without a shout-out to polenta. Creamy, delicious polenta. Sigh. As I mentioned last week, I was going to start a new diet, South Beach. That lasted about as long as it took me to buy a ton of veggies from Trader Joes’. So Saturday we had a very late clean-out-the-fridge meal of grilled pork tenderloin, grilled artichokes with aioli, grilled veggies skewers and blue cheese polenta all drizzled with a balsamic reduction infused with rosemary. This pic doesn’t do the meal justice, but I was too hungry to ‘style’ it.. The leftovers (and there are lots!) will be morphed into sandwiches tomorrow. (Back to WW BTW!!)
Today was spent picking my parents up from the airport which was provided a convenient reason to visit our very favorite Mexican restaurant. Tres Hermanes in Sacramento has FABULOUS food, and the mole is to die for. We didn’t eat the rest of the day. Instead we went shopping for tent-trailers. After the bear incident (details later) on our last camping adventure, we want to upgrade without losing the camping spirit. The actual purchase won’t happen for a while, but I want to start researching. Any tips would be appreciated! We have a Honda Pilot so we can only tow RV’s in the 3000 lb. range, and we prefer NOT to have the bathroom/shower. It’s creepy in such a small space.
That’s enough rambling for one evening, time for bed!

Ahh, much better.

I am on the hunt to recreate this today.

I found this pic at Sunday Baker. I LOVE it! Today is a shopping/cleaning day so I am going to try and find some items to recreate this and make my house a little more fallish. (even though the weather today is supposed to be in the 90’s!)

Also on todays agenda is pumpkin spice doughnuts. If they turn out well, I’ll post the photos and recipe.

Frustrating Friday

Ok, so this won’t be a regular feature ( I hope) but today was an almost entirely ugly day, so I am going to vent here for a bit. Let’s recap; (warning: mostly political, so if you don’t want to hear rants on immigration and the presidential campiagn, you may want to move on) I have been working A LOT more than usual outside of the home. And my messy house, frf6ji000–]j7yujhmygjk7 0157iyuhjnmj,i98ukhjmu8i9o8ikujk8ikjmnb lk,mn .lkjmn loik,ikm.oolik,o.ik,ool.uyuoplhnffrrrrrrrrqss1111222

(that was AG and Em’s contribution)

fridge full of rotting produce and kids clingyness are testaments to that fact. Thankfully things should be settling (whatever that means) down this next week. Anyway. I haven’t seen a few of my girlfriends for a while, and was thinking of arranging a couples date or a girls night with them. T stops by on Monday to deliver bday gifts for AG and me, and I find out she has had couples/girls night with J without me. Then she gives me a cute, but NOT my style, where-in-the-heck-will-i-put-this gift. sigh. THEN, on top of it, in a phone call yesterday I find out she and J have done something AGAIN without me. I feel so left out. I realize J is single-ish and T is divorced (so w/out kids 1/2 the time) but still, I would have appreciated a phone call). Pity party of one, your table is ready.

Last week I had to go to Ikea, and after returning, ordering and shopping with 2 kids, we were DONE. Stopped at McD’s (so I give me kids fast food now and then, all right??). The girl at the 2nd window gestured and sputterd “You park” *smile*, obviously no habla ingles. We waited for TEN minutes and I pulled back around, and redid the whole thing. I was SO mad. Why in the world would you put someone who can not speak the language of the country she is living in be working with the public?? She seemed very sweet, and I am glad she is working and not sitting at home, collecting govt. handouts, but the fact that I couldn’t even complete a simple transaction at a fast food resturant was totally infuriating. Then today, I took AG to her cardiologist and there was a nice family with two small boys in the waiting room. Our kids started to play together, but it was soon clear they did not speak English. My children and I were not given the opportunity to fully interact with this family because of this barrier. It made me very sad. It reminded me of when I was in the hospital with AG and the bed next to us was occupied by a young girl whos family spoke only spanish. She hadn seizures and a host of other problems which would be very frightening for anyone to watch. Translators were not available 24/7 so I witnessed the doctors and nurses struggling to keep the family up to date on what was going on. Everyone invloved was frustrated. Again, I was angry and sad. Too bad our government doesn’t see it as a benefit that everyone here speak a common language.

Dont’ get me started on the financial crisis and the presidential nominees. Let’s just say that watching the debate only confirmed my desire to vote third party. Living in CA gives me the freedom to do that, I guess, as my vote won’t really count anyway.

I’ll end this on a positive note. At AG’s visit today, I learned her tumors still are not shrinking, but the drs want to test how she can handle no meds. I am going to stop one and use a Holter monitor in a few day, and then in 6 weeks stop giving the amiadarone and follow up with a dr. visit after that. If all goes well, she will be OK, and they can submit her case for medical review. She’ll be famous! 🙂

Wow. I didn’t even get to half of the frustrations, but venting and wine has helped…

Lightness, shopping, cooking and decorating tomorrow, I promise.

A blog about a blog about me

When I first started this blog I had a very specific purpose which was to update those who supported my participation in a 5k.  Here and there I added bits about my life, but it never really went anywhere. However, the desire to write more has lingered.

The question is: why?  Do I feel that my voice needs to be heard, or that I need others to hear my voice?  What does anyone who starts a blog really hope for?  Sponsors and millions of hits so one can make a living in their pj’s?  Or something simpler, like wanting to reach out and communicate with others who share our passions?. There is much debate about how much technology has stifled  in-person contact. Email instead of a phone call or a hand-written note, shopping amazon instead of at the mall,  virtual gaming and dating…the list goes on. And texting!  Don’t get me started.  (love Qwerty!!) But blogging, well it brings together people you would otherwise have never met!  Your world has been expanded to billions of people. Martha Stewart just did a whole show about blogging and it was fascinating.  There are so many talented and interesting people that I can learn from  because of their blogs. Totally amazing.  (just hopefully not at the expense of losing ‘real’ contact with family and friends)

The blogs I read are bout all sorts of things: travel, dieting, politics, parenting, decorating, TV, books and of course food- and sometimes this is all from one person! 🙂  Back to my little corner of the blogsphere: I guess that is what I am after. Maybe I’ll get super-organized and do a topic a day, but more than likely it’ll just be what is running through my mind at 10 PM.  I hope to find some ‘kindred’ spirits out there!

If you blog, tell me why!

The Truth

I finally bit the bullet and got the courage to photograph my home. It is a 1200+ sq.ft. duplex that we bought 2 years ago with my sister. It’s great to like your neighbors! 🙂 The home had been a rental for many years and was a real dump with “good bones”, and exactly what we had been looking for in a first home: small, affordable, old and in a nice location. We lived with my parents for about 6 months as we painted, had the hardwood floors refinished, gutted the kitchen and updated the bathroom. When we moved in, the kitchen was still not finished, so take out was on the menu every night. (hello, weight gain).

The whole process has been fun, challenging and a lot of hard work, mainly for J. The hardest part (other than not having a lot of $ to work with) is deciding just how much to do. We realize this is not our ‘forever’ home, yet we are going to be living here for few more years. Each improvement was carefully weighed bases upon how much we thought it would improve the value of the home and our quality of life while we are here verses its cost. Soapstone countertops became granite tiles, cabinets are from Ikea and the layout remains the same. Baseboards have been added, new blinds, toilets, fixtures, flooring (in some rooms) and appliances show some of our taste modified for the project.

There is still much to do!  In the next few weeks we are getting a new cart and subway tiles in the kitchen, doors are getting painted and new knobs.  And then, hopefully, we can turn our focus to decorating.  Most of our time and money has been dedicated to improving the home itself, so it will be nice to have the resources to make it look great too. Plus, storage is a major problem here and I want to get organized. Suggestions are welcome!

She’s ba-ack

That’s right, folks. I’m back.  Many days went by with the thought, “I should blog this” and yet I never found (made) time.  Recently inspired by Beth and Alice, I logged in and here I go.

Although this blog was originally about my C25K journey and The Children’s Hospital Run, it will now be filled with the incredibly fascinating details of my life.  🙂  I’m starting a new diet (sigh), organizing/decorating the house, cooking new dishes and raising the most precious little people.

First up: taking photos of my house.  Wow.  Talk about motivating.  I thought things were looking OK (bare but clean) until I imagined posting pictures of each room for the world (my tens of readers, at least) to see.  My goal is to get the living room and kitchen up today.  Off to it!!

Update!

Wow, things have been crazy around here, and I don’t really even know why. I’ll begin with the most recent news. AG had an appointment with her cardiologist today. While we were hoping to hear the tumors (rhabdomyomas) had shrunk, that was not the case, yet they didn’t grow either! The best news of the visit was that I can quit the 12 AM med, and spread the others out over 8 hours. THIS IS HUGE! For the past 9 months I have been giving her meds at 12 AM, 6AM, 9AM, 12 noon, 6 PM and 9 PM. Translation: no sleep. I have to stay awake waiting for midnight to roll around and usually by then I got a 2nd wind, and went to sleep between 1 and 2, only to have to get up again at 6. 60 minutes just did a big report on how important a good nights rest is for your health, and I look forward to testing out those claims! 🙂

As for C25K, I haven’t given up totally, just haven’t been doing it. It is getting really hot here and I am usually too tired to get up and run early (see above). Jason added the kids to our gym membership so now I can go in the morning with them and get a good workout in. The gym has just been remodeled and they have a really great new play area that the kids love. My running goals haven’t changed, but I will be spending the next few weeks making up for lost time.

Same goes for the diet. I truly believe diet and excercise go hand in hand, I seem to do better with both if I make the effort for both. Make sense?? Tomorrow I am going to WW to buy the digital points caluclator and get back on track. AG’s 1st birthday is 2 months away and I would like to actually like to be in a picture with her. PLUS, Jason has dropped a LOT of weight recently, seemingly without tryingn as men seem to do.  PISSES me off.  AAAH! But he looks great, feels great and I am proud of him.

I mentioned potty training a while back, and I am pleased to report Emily is mostly potty trained and has been for a while now.  She is such an amazing little girl.  Our whole PT experience was pretty painless.  I left the little potty (BJORN brand) in the living room, bought a few books and watched “Elmos’ Potty).  Some mornings I would get her up and sit her on the potty and then put her in underwear.  If she didn’t seem interested, I waited a week and tried again.  One day, she went first thing, and then again and again.  After that day the biggest effort was in emptying the potty, otherwise she did everything on her own.  Thesd days most ‘accidents’ revolve around her trying to go on the big potty by herself.  I still put her in a diaper at nap and nighttime, but even those are dry most of the time.  So my best advice is to wait until THEY are ready.  Logical and true.

There have been lots of other things going on around here, but those stories will have to wait as AG needs some mama time before bed.  Peace.  🙂