Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Warning: potentially emotional and confusing post

Today was one of those draining days.  Everyone had diarrhea of the mouth.  Everyone had a problem.  Some of them were truly awful.  Everyone needed someone to listen to them.    I'm thankful that I'm in a position where I can help people.  If nothing else, I can at listen to them and let them air their troubles.

 Maybe they can work out their problems on their own.  Maybe not.  Either way, tonight I'm exhausted.  I hope I was able to help.  I wish so many times that I had a magic wand and could just fix some of the problems people have.  Sometimes I wonder why they even have those problems.  Why were they chosen to go through that particular trauma?  Why do they have to learn those hard lessons?
The amazing thing to me is the resilience of people.  Someone told me that the particular type of cancer they have been diagnosed with only has a 5% survival rate.  They don't care.  They said that someone has to be in that 5%, so why not them?  I'm cheering them on every step of the way!

Why is the human spirit so amazing?  Why don't we just quit?  Why don't we just give up?  What makes us want to do better, to be better, to try harder?  What makes us get out of bed each day and do the amazing?  And why is it that something that seems so normal to one person, seems so mind blowing to another?    I can train a dog to do completely unnatural things but if you asked me to teach a classroom of kids, both of us would be traumatized.  But to one person, what I can do is mind blowing and to me, it's no big deal.  But when I think of what they can do, I'm in awe.   There was a time I couldn't run past the mailbox and now I've done four ten mile runs in the last five weeks.  I'm even amazed by that.  But, I know people that do that all the time without even thinking twice.

I don't know the answers.  I do know that I'm blessed in so many ways.  My family, my friends, my health, my abilities, the list just keeps going.

Speaking of abilities, Good luck to all who are running the Rock & Roll Marathon this coming weekend!  Mr. P says he'd like to go there and run that race with me-so maybe someday!   That is another amazing thing that many athletes will handle like a walk in the park!!
And if you need some tips, feel free to read my Vegas post from a couple of weeks back!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Socks and Pumpkin Smoothies

Anyone that knows me, I mean really knows me, knows that my favorite gift to receive is a pair of socks.  I know it's not fancy and most even consider it boring, but I love getting new socks.  I love putting on a pair of new socks.  I love how soft and gushy they feel right off the bat.  Even better, I love it when I don't have to pay for them.  Socks seem to me like that odd thing to purchase, similar to belts and eyelash curlers.  You should probably have them, but hate to spend money on them.

But ('cause there's always a but) recently the craze amongst runners/athletes is the concept of compression socks.  apparently they help reduce muscle fatigue and promote faster muscle recovery after hard workouts.  Since they're all the rage, I had to check them out.  My friend Pam has some and she says she loves them.  Go do an internet search and you'll read the same thing.  All these people can't be wrong, can they?  I happened to find a deal on schwaggle (similar to groupon) and scored a pair of compression socks for half price.  (like $30-free shipping) There's the other thing, they're expensive.  I've never spent that much on a pair of socks-ever.

But a company called SLS3 had these super cute butterfly socks and I just couldn't resist.  I ordered the blue ones ('cause I like blue, just like my mother) but haven't worn them until today.  From what I understand, compression socks will do you the most benefit if worn during the exercise or directly after the exercise.  I've opted for wearing them after my ten mile run today.  (yes, that was ten, not a typo)  (which I totally rocked by the way!)  (not to brag-ha!)

All wrapped up!

I had to get a butterfly shot!

Does anyone remember those footie nylon thingys?  Do they still make those?  In order to put them on, you had to kinda roll them up into a big circle and then just put them over your toes and then kinda zig zag the rest of them over your foot and up your ankle.  Well, news flash, compression socks seem to have the same kind of application.  It took me five minutes and three broken fingernails to figure this out.  But I got them on, and I have to admit, they feel pretty good.   I've had them on all day.  I'm hoping taking them off won't be as big of an ordeal.   Has anyone else tried compression socks/gear?  What are your thoughts?

I also tried Jess's Pumpkin Smoothie today!!  It's pretty good!  I had to laugh, as I was mixing it up, Mr. P hollered downstairs, "Are you making margaritas?"  Maybe next time dear!

Pumpkin smoothie!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gobble Gobble Turkey Day 5K Recap Thingy

Gobble Gobble!!  Yesterday I drove a billion miles (ok, like an hour) to Pammy's house and then we headed downtown to the Turkey Day 5K!  It was Pam's first official race.  I'd heard that there are approximately fourteen thousand  people that attend this thing, but really?  That's like a crazy high number for little ol' Minneapolis.  Um-news flash-there are like fourteen thousand people that attend.  Seriously.  Since I don't drive downtown for the better health and well being of the assumingly good people that hang out down there, I made Pam drive. After all,  she is big city and all that.  And I thought she knew downtown like the back of her hand-and she does, but she doesn't actually know what the streets are, she just knows how to get where she wants to go.  Very much like me when I give directions. "Turn at the green house with the chicken barn.." This did cause me some mild inner panic until I remembered that when Pam decides to accomplish a task, it will be done.  Like finding a parking ramp and getting to our run.   Thankfully, we didn't have any issues zipping into the correct parking garage (and forgetting where we left the vehicle) and then we just followed all the people that looked like they were also turkey day runners.  
I thought I was all super cool getting the 2011 number until I realized that EVERYONE got that number!
(looks like everyone is as cool as I am!-HA!)

After we got funneled into the Target Center and then back onto the street, we ended up in line for the start of the race.  Did I mention all the people??  There was great energy from the crowd and the weather was awesome-low forty's.  When the race started, it took us over nine minutes to GET to the starting line!  And then we were off!!
"Holy crowds Batman!"

Like I said, this was Pam's first race and it was only my third, but I'm really thinking I don't like to race.  I suspect it has to do with my aversion to random crowds of people.  I really don't think they're necessary.  But there we were, amongst the crowds of pilgrims and turkeys, all huffing and puffing together.  Pam and I became somewhat experts at dodging the people walking,  admiring the racing costumes, mooning over the people with their dogs (could you imagine what Bunker would have done-eek!)  and let's just face it, anyone with a stroller scared the living daylights out of us.  NO ONE WANTS TO GET CLIPPED BY A STROLLER! 
The course took us down by the river.
Some runners and city buildings of which I don't know the names...

The miles passed quickly and we had a fun! I'm not sure what our time ended up being because in my mostly zombie state of leaving the house, I forgot my garmin, and I really don't care.  I think Pam said we were in the 37 minute range.  We then headed back to Pammy's house (after finding our car!) because I had to get back and make cream cheese frosting for my pumpkin bars that we had to bring to our local Thanksgiving celebration.

Me and Pam in rare turkey form
(In order of appearance) 

It was a great way to start out a great day!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  There is so much to be thankful for in our lives!

Soon she'll make me wear raindeer antlers....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vegas Baby, Vegas!

Ah, not long after our Chicago adventure it was time for a girls trip!  Thankfully, I had enough time to do a load of laundry and read the mail, then off to the airport again!  Our destination?  Vegas!
Pammy and I flew together and Lynn caught her flights from Florida to join us as too.

Now as you know,  everyone says that "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" unless you hang with the wrong kind of friends, then you might bring something unwanted home.  But I'm not that kind of gal or friend if you get my drift.   So, that being said, I really can't divulge what all happened in Vegas.  But, I can give you some simple tips in the event you and your gal pals need to escape to the city of sin itself:

  •   Bring lots of money.  If nothing else, you'll need it to eat.  Or I guess you could just bring an entire suitcase full of food.  Even the baggage fee would be cheaper than one meal.  (I should have taken a picture of one of my breakfast bills-yikes!)

  • Never, ever, ever eat at a place called The Pink Taco.

  • Aria has the most comfy hotel bed I've ever slept in.  Ever. 

Lynn testing the comfy bed...

  • If you go see Jersey Boys you may well bring down the median age.  As long as your hair isn't already blue.

  •   If you go to the  Viva Elvis show there may be a lady that is literally waiting for the King himself to make a guest appearance.   That in itself is entertaining.   

  • Leave town and go to Red Rock Canyon.  But don't believe the park ranger dude when they tell you that you will hike three hours and see big horn sheep.  They don't exist.  It's just a cruel park ranger joke they like to play on tourists.   

Do you want to guess what I'm doing behind the rock??
  • The biggest and most important rule for Vegas-(besides the pink taco thing) always go with super fun people you love!

Pammy, Elvis, Me and Lynn

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Before you leave town...

Apparently before you leave Chicago you have to stop at a popcorn place.  They won't let you on a plane if you don't stop.  Seriously.  It's in the airplane policy manual thingy.  Why do you think they x-ray your carry on baggage?  To make sure you have popcorn in it-duh!
These popcorn places have lines out the door.  Not kidding.  All day long.
What's not love about braving the crazy popcorn lines of Chicago??  Oh yeah, except that I don't like crowds.  I'm wimpy that way.  I hung in there until we got into the building and then I bailed and ran for the outside world where I wasn't elbow to elbow with a million complete strangers.  

Mr. P says Garrett's is the best.  He would know.  He's like Mr. Chicago himself except he doesn't live or work there.  (well, not much anyway) 

Scandalously suggestive sign!

Mr. P got our popcorn!!  He's my hero!

Our favorites are the cheese and carmel.  Some folk mix them together.  Not us, that's just wayyyy to "big city" for us to handle.  I imagine it's similar to mixing peanut butter and chocolate.   No Sir, just give us one flavor at a time please.

And with that, we were now free to fly back home!  Thanks Chicago, it was a great time!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Chicago. Mr P and I got to spend the afternoon in downtown Chicago. Considering I've been THROUGH the city more times than I can count but never stopped to toddle around there, Mr. p thought I would benefit from the experience...

(not the real blues brothers) shocker-I know...

The city gets closer! Thankfully Mr P has been in downtown Chicago a bazillion times, both for work and for play. I've always shunned the city because I don't like cities and because when we've driven through in the past there seems to become type of tree shortage. I don't trust places that are "anti-tree. Since time was a bit on the shorter side, we opted for some shopping downtown.
Just an FYI- the people driving in Chicago use their horns a lot. I mean- a lot. I think I might use mine quarterly, maybe. Not these folks. WE did not get honked at but every time someone laid on the old' car kazoo, I about jumped out of my skin. I'm pretty sure it might have prematurely aged me in some manner.
We got parked and hoofed it to shop along the "miracle mile." It's exactly what it sounds like, mile of shopping and crazy people running around. Maybe they were only crazy because they were all tourists...

A picture of Paula Radcliffe the super runner (with a great name I might add) ended up in the bathroom of the big Nike store- why did that photo make it there of all places?? Where's the love??

That exhausted me so much we needed some grub. Thankfully it was "pizza Sunday" and we WERE in Chicago which is known for its pizza pie...
We put our name in at the famous Giordano's pizza place. It might be famous for other fancy folk, but I'd never heard of it before. While we were waiting one of the local feathered friends of the city decided to heed the call of nature. The biggest issue with this was that Mr. P was standing under him... (sorry-no pic of that!) So he did the "I got pooped on" hustle back to the car for a wardrobe change and I observed the humanity of Chi-town. (more so, I remember that I saw 4 horse drawn carriages and six people walking various dogs-including two Irish wolfe hounds)

He got back in plenty of time and was all cleaned up! Then we gorged ourselves on this:

Yum, yum, yum. Quite possibly my new second favorite pizza! (I'm not ready to disclose the first but we did eat a whole one on the way home from Fargo). We we're stuffed. Totally stuffed, but it was soooo good! Do you ever over indulge like that??

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The game

Ah, now we're to the reason we left our comfy cozy abode and trekked into the wild blue yonder.  The big game.  Before Mr. P, I didn't know of this whole "tailgating" thing.   Apparently, it's a common practice amongst the rest of the real world.  Every football Saturday, they gather in RV's, trucks, cars and basically whatever else they want to and bring copious amounts of food, drink, games and music and have a pre-party before the big pigskin game.   
My favorite: the buckeye cookie
I prefer to call them chocolate covered nut balls!

A pic-wind blown and happy!

Gotta love the band! Go team, go! Boiler Up!

The team really needed this win. They stormed the field like they'd won the Super Bowl!
After the game, we did more tailgating, (this means more nut balls!). One of the other cars left AND left their trash behind. That's not cool. It's not that hard to put your trash or recyclables in a bag. So, I fetched a recycle bag and picked up all their mess. Mr. P took a pic of me saving the world. I don't know how I stay humble...

Monday, November 14, 2011


We left this:
Bye Bye Snoopy!

And we went here:

Relax people, it's a diner!  It's bee on "Diners, Drive In's and Dives."  Mr. P used to eat here all the time while he was in college.  Food for the brain!
It was PACKED!!! It's a sit down counter and it was totally full and people waiting outside!  Mr. P had the "Pervis burger."  (it has peanut butter on it) I didn't try it, but I was assured it was tasty!

and then we went here:
It was the first regular boys basketball game in the newly renovated  Mackey arena. It was quite impressive. (we could barely hear the shoes squeak-therefore it was a "Mrs. P friendly game")

Cool Veterans Day Tribute
This made me laugh:  

At half time, they have people on the court with these dust mop thingys.  They have basketball zamboni!  How awesome is that??  How do you get that gig??

And the BEST part of the renovation:

  Thirty-yes, I counted them, thirty bathroom stalls in one of the women's bathrooms!!!  Finally!  Someone got it right at a sporting venue!!  Whoo hoo!!!  (it doesn't take much to make me happy!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Not just a kitchen

I realized tonight that my kitchen isn't just a kitchen.  Nope.  It might be the area where we sometimes make food, or what seems to pass as food.

It definitely is the area that houses all our eating utensils and all the dogs vitamins.  There is always stuff in the refrigerator, but it isn't always for humans and it isn't always eatible.   (just ask my mother who is smart enough that she often brings her own food to our house-sad to admit but it's true)

Refrigerator contents, or lack there of...

The kitchen is the area where we dance to music.  I'll even bust a move with the pups, they make great dance partners and they don't care that the only dance I know is the "Minnesota one finger."

It's the area where I do some dog training.  (after all, it houses copious amounts of treats!)
Bunker can jump on the counter from a dead stand still.  It's freaky and not encouraged.   

It's the area where I often pay bills.  Who else has a calculator in their pantry?

It's where we read the mail. Which also explains why there is almost always a pile of it on the counter.

Since Mulligan blew out his knee this past summer and I put that big ugly rug down so he'd have some good footing, it's now the area where I do yoga while my organic eggs are cooking every morning.  (I can only make scrambled or omelets-which are really like stuffed scrambled eggs anyway.)

Mulligan's bum knee, lying on the yoga mat AKA ugly rug

Who knew one room in a home could be so versatile and busy?

What is one of your favorite rooms?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An interview with a hero...

Here it is!!  The long awaited interview with one of my heroes!  Or is it hero-ess??  Either way, my co-worker Shannon recently rocked the Mankato Half Marathon with a new personal record of under two hours!!  It was a crazy fast 13.1 miles that she did in one hour, fifty nine minutes and eight seconds.  Wow.  That's just one of the reasons she's my hero.  She also ran a full marathon this past spring.   So, I hounded, stalked, whined  and wore her down until she agreed to do an interview with me for this blog.  It went as follows:

ME: What was your first race?

Shannon:  It was an Earth Day 5k.  I ran it out of peer pressure.  My dental office all ran it. (not where we work now)  I went into retirement after that!

Why did you start running?

To lose weight 

But you could do lots of stuff to lose weight, why run?

It was cheap!

Why do you still run?

 It's still cheap!

 What's your favorite song on your running playlist right now?

Gary Allen  "Get off on the pain"

What actor is going to play you in the movie about your life?

Demi Moore-GI Jane Style!!

You run with friends and neighbors, do they have a nickname for you?

Yes, they call me The Streak!   (I don't want to know the history of that one!)

What do you do with all the "goodies" you win from your races?

My husband built  a room onto the house, I have my own "Bling Wing!"  (WOW-what a guy!!)

What is your favorite thing about running?

The way you feel after a run.

What don't you like about running?

The first couple of miles and having to buy so many shoes.

What is your favorite pre-race meal?

Sardines and graham crackers   (um, gross, but whatever!)

If you were a zoo animal, what would you be?

A white tiger-meow!

Why did you decide to run a full marathon?

It was on my bucket list!!  Did you know that less than 1% of American's can do that??   (She is planning on doing another one and she's pumped about it!)

You're one of my heroes, who is your hero?

Dolvett from The Biggest Loser!!

Do you run with a good luck charm?

No, but I have to put on and take off my left sock five times before lacing my shoe.

What is your dream race?

One involving running in great weather, celebrities, lots of bathrooms, and camel rides when you're done!!

Thank you Shannon for taking the time to answer all my probing questions!!   You're such an inspiration to so many people!!

Shannon and I at the Graniteman 10K in September

Who is one of your heroes??