Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Being Thrifty

Here I am for a random Wednesday night blog. Holla! I'm armed with my squirt bottle to keep the devil incarnate ( aka, Whelan) from mauling my arms and legs. Pretty sure he needs more toys because right now my limbs are being thrashed. Don't let this sweet face fool you.

So about my newest hobby, thrifting. I'm always one for a bargain- especially when it comes to clothing.  So, consignment shops and Goodwill it is! (Does that gross you out? Obviously it doesn't bother me too much.) And I think I'm finally coming into my own when it comes to fashion. The moment of clarity for me was when I was getting dressed to go out with my sister one night and I realized..."I'm such a teacher- all I wear is cardigans." There she was, looking like she stepped right out of InStyle, and I looked...matronly. Since then, its been a slow progression to work on changing this tradgedy. I'm still drawn to the ever faithful cardigan, but I've been experimenting lately with layering and trying to let go of the matchy- matchy look. A bit rebellious for me, but I like it. Piecing together outfits is my newest thrill. Tomorrow at work, watch out....I'm throwing in a blue scarf with an otherwise brown/yellow outfit. Is it bad that I put this much effort into what I'm going to wear to work? Maybe I have too much time on my hands. Not complaining :)

Have a nice last night of November! Tomorrow is December 1 and the Christmas season will be in full swing. Fa- ra -ra -ra- ra...ra -ra- ra- ra!
(to the tune of Deck the Halls at the Chinese restaurant on A Christmas Story)


Saturday, November 26, 2011


Oh how quickly it comes and goes. Poor Thanksgiving rarely gets the credit it is due as Christmas rushes in behind and before. I have a hard time saying goodbye so soon! My pumpkin is still on the front porch. Christmas shopping is yet to have begun. I'm still soaking in the thankful part! Though I may not have voiced it or shown it enough, I have been richly blessed and I have so much for which to be thankful.

For starters, I had an entire week off for Thanksgiving Break this year. Who else gets that much time off for Thanksgiving? Gotta love the perks of teaching.

I kicked it off with lunch at The Exchange with Grama, then a shopping spree at Sam's for cat food and litter. Grama's treat. Love when she buys me the essentials. Its like a mini-Christmas. I'm now stocked up with 48 days worth of cat food for Whelan and a 50 pound bag of cat litter. Try carrying that out of the store.

The highlight of Tuesday was Green Truck for lunch with mom and Cath. Never a disappointment there, except that we had to wait outside in the blaring sun for 30 minutes: note the squinty eyes. The rest of my day consisted of bargain hunting for clothes (my newest hobby which should be a blog in itself) and then meeting up with Ashley at Driftaway for a couple glasses (or bottles) of wine.

On Thanksgiving day I made a corn casserole and headed to see dad's side of of the family in Statesboro. Squeezed in the backseat of mom and dad's car with Cathlin and her boyfriend, it was then that I was re-introduced to Words With Friends (iphone Scrabble) and have been glued to my phone ever since. So far I've only been victorious over Cathlin, but I'm working on my skills. Here is our Statesboro family pic that we worked so hard to position away from the sun and out of the shadows. It took a few tries- thats for sure. Little Cole (front left) made sure that we all said "CHEESE!" every time.

Later when I got back home, I made an impromptu trip to Sandfly Bar and Grill to meet up with my friend, Jarred, who I never get to see anymore because he moved to the Atlanta & got a big boy job. I then proceeded to run into another old friend from highschool & was reminded that our 10 year reunion is coming up. Pretty excited, not gonna lie.

Yesterday I stayed in bed literally until 4:30 pm, getting up only to eat pumpkin chocolate chip cake with cool whip on top. Yep, that's right. And maybe I washed a load of clothes or two in the mean time. But, I found this cool website where you can put your blog into book form and have it mailed to your house as a hard back book. Ofcourse I got sucked into that project and spent most of the day cropping pictures and playing with fonts. All the while I was cozied up next to my kitten who purrs far louder and more often than what I'm used to. And I love it. He also has the softest little tummy in the world and he lets me give him sweet kisses without any protest. I know I've spent far too many hours feeling his warm little paw pads and listening to him purr in my ear.

Another wonderful part of this break has been the chance to go to yoga every day at whatever time I want. Normally I have to squeeze it in at 6:00 am before work. Not this week! No waking up at 5:20 for me! I went last night and was introduced to some Mumford and Sons music during shavasana (rest time at the end). I'm hooked. Specifically the song Timshel.

Today was my second Thanksiving with mom's side of the family at our house. Lots of games were going on. For starters, the GA/GA Tech game was on TV, but I was obviously more concerned with the Scattegories board game we had going. Much more my speed.

Looking forward to church tomorrow....and then, as dad says, "back to the ol' grind."


Saturday, November 19, 2011


Last weekend I became the accidental owner of an 8 week old kitten who had been roaming around behind Whelan's furniture store. Name, done. Whelan it is.  I went through my head listing all the reasons why I shouldn't take this kitten home, but deep down I knew he was mine. I've always vowed not to go out and buy pets, but if they find me then I will take them. I like removing the element of control. Fate is much more fun.

So this new little bundle of joy has found his way into my home & now my bathroom will never be the same. Kitty litter= everywhere. He hasn't quite mastered the art of keeping things neat and tidy. I vaccuum atleast twice a day at this rate. My sleep schedule= doomed. Saturday morning sleeping in is out of the question. He's hungry at 7 am no matter what and Saturday doesn't mean a thing to him. Lately, at 3 am I've been waking up to his paws on my head/face as he's trying to get comfy. Its all about you buddy- as long as YOU'RE comfortable. Using my lap top in bed= constant interupption. The screen keeps being minimized and maximized, darkened and lightened, as he unapologetically makes his way right over the keys. He also enjoys pouncing on my fingers as I type. Its like a game to see how much I can write before he goes in for the kill. My skin= scratched intermingled with teeth marks. My hands are his favorite toy. (But thats kind of my fault for letting him play rough.) The curtains in my room= forget it. Before I can clap my hands to stop him, he has scaled his way almost to the top, looking like spiderman. The screen on the door is his latest victim. Makes for a good climbing wall :(

But hey, no good thing comes without a price, right? I can sacrifice the strewn kitty litter, claw marks on my hands and curtains, and interuppted sleep for the way he purrs when I hold him and cuddles and pounces and plays with wreckless abandon. When he chases his tail, wiggles his little hiney right before he pounces, and falls asleep with squinty eyes, it makes all the madness seem not so bad. Everything is new to him and his curiousity reminds me that life can be that way for me too, if I choose to look. 

Here I go again sounding like a crazy cat lady.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

My 1st Half Marathon

As I sit laid up in my bed, with Biofreeze on both knees, I will share my reflections on the longest run of my life.

It all started back in March when I heard about the Rock N' Roll Marathon coming to Savannah. The perfect thing to scratch off my bucket list. I've always enjoyed running, but 3 miles was about my limit. So, the training began for a half-marathon (13.1 miles). I started out by printing off an on-line training schedule and followed it pretty closely all through the grueling heat-stroke days of the summer. My gym membership had expired so outside was my only option. Saturdays were saved for my "long runs" and I felt so accomplished when I finally made it 6 miles, running in circles around Forsyth. I stick with places I know! Circles worked for me- can't get lost that way, right?

Then the school year started. That's when training stopped. I had already given myself a stress fracture on the top of my foot from running, so I was forced to take a break anyway. Then came the dreaded "ant bite" on the bottom of my foot which landed me at a doc- in- a- box one Saturday afternoon. A round of antibiotics and almost a week of hobbling around later, I realized that my 1/2 marathon wasn't gonna be pretty. I had about a month until it was go- time and I had been out of commission for awhile.

As race time approached I figured I'd give the race a shot anyway since I had already paid for it. So yesterday I spent an hour in bumper to bumper traffic going over the bridge to pick up my packet. The expo made it well worth the trip cause I got some pretty cool gear!

Here is my Hippie Belt to hold my phone, keys, ID, etc.

I found some wicking compression socks I decided would be beneficial after I listened to the guy's sales pitch.

A moisture wicking headband (bandana-like)

Sport Beans & GU, all new to me, but sounded like I might need it if I was really going to trek it for 13 miles.

Later I decided a Wal-Mart trip was in order for a cheap sweatshirt and gloves that I didn't mind chunking on the road during the run once I warmed up (thank you Vicki Bradley for this idea....I'm new at this...not a clue)

Fast forward to this morning. At 4:30 AM my alarm clock chirped (Literally. I have cricket sounds as the alarm tone on my phone- its peaceful). By 5:45 I was on the Savannah Mall shuttle heading out to the races. Thank goodness for not having to deal with driving downtown- it would've been impossible. Once I got to the drop off on Bay Street I stood around trying to find warmth behind trees but my extremeties froze by the minute. Miserable.

Somehow through the sea of people, I bumped into my sister's friend Courtney and we decided to be running buddies. My dilemma was: Do I blow it out and see how far I can run without stopping? Or do I pace myself and run intervals so that I don't burn myself out and have to drop out of the race. Courtney decided she was going to "cruise" slowly and try to run without stopping, so I just followed suit.

On mile 1, I could not feel my feet. No exaggeration. My toes were so frozen that I had to watch where my feet landed beacuse they were numb & I didnt want to step in a hole and break my ankle. Around mile 3 I finally started to feel my feet again and Courtney and I realized that we were feeling pretty good for having just completed a 5k.

People were still fired up, hooting and hollering at mile 4, then around 6 or 7 it got a little more intense. Not so much laughter, just breathing. I was feeling extra excited because 6 miles had been my personal farthest. Mile 8 was the Gu station, so I told myslef I could make it
that far. (GU= you squirt it in your mouth for energy...and it's just that. GOO). Somehow I kept on trucking through mile 9...then ...10. I told myself- only 3 more miles from here!!! Then came mile 11 and thats when it really started to suck. I pushed through 11 & was overjoyed to see 12. I had run 12 miles without stopping. Amazing!!!! Surely I could go one more, right?

Mile 12 was the absolute worst. Imagine your quad muscle being stretched like a rubberband that is almost to it's breaking point. So tight!!! My legs just couldn't keep the pace so I had to alternate walking & running for that last mile. So close, yet so far away! I ran the last part through the finish line ending at 2 hours and 22 minutes. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

The rest is a blur of crowds, and medals, and water, and fruit, and energy bars. They were giving out big plastic trash bag type things to block the wind and keep our muscles warm. I wrapped one around me, found myself a spot in the sun and just....sat...and sat.....and sat.... loving the ground. The worst pain was afterwards by far. My legs have never felt that kind of pain before. I now understand why runners stretch afterwards. It was the only thing that brought relief.

At the end, Brian was kind enough to fight the mad traffic, come pick me up from downtown and carry me on his back 7 blocks to the car. I was worthless.

So as of now, I'm not sure that I will ever do another half marathon again. My body hurts too much to think of that. I can say that I've done it & that is good enough for me!