Tag Archives: walking

Le Tour de France (Just Past Half Way)

Random Thoughts

Le Tour de France.  The toughest bike race in the world.  Twenty-one days of racing, 22 teams, 198 riders risking their lives every day, 4-6 hours every day, averaging 23 – 54 kph (14.3-33.6 mph) depending on terrain, 2,173 miles (3,496.9 Km) total,  and just 2 rest days.

I said it before, I’ll say it again.  Bike racing is the toughest, most grueling sport around.  I love it.

The race first started in 1903.  A couple of nasty wars got in the way so this is only the 99th edition.  It runs from June 30 to July 22 this year.  I could write a novella on what’s happened so far this year, but I’ll leave it to you if you’re interested to read about it here http://www.cyclingnews.com/ .  Go down to Races and Results and under Tour de France you can click on whatever stage you’re interested in.  Want short video Stage Wrap-ups?  Go here: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/42363489/ns/sports-cycling/  Just scroll down to the videos.  And if for some reason you missed signing up to watch the stages live online or at your leisure, there is still time to fork out your $29.95 here:  http://tourdefrance.nbcsports.com/stages/   Just click on ‘Get Access’ in the video square.  You can watch every stage anytime for the next year.

Fun Fact:  There is a Caravan of advertisers that precedes the race start by 2 hours.  Think Macy’s Parade. It costs 150,000 Euros for 3 vehicles.  There can be up to 250 vehicles in groups of five roughly covering 20-24 km (12.4 to 14.9 miles) along with 600 caravaners, 12 gendarmes, 4 traffic motos, and 3 medical vehicles.  They estimate that the advertisers put out about 11 – 16 million pieces of merchandise a year, roughly 3,000 to 5,000 a day, each.  Investment by advertisers can cost 200,ooo to 500,000 Euros.   One total kept by a 1994 advertiser:  170,000 caps, 80,000 badges, 60,000 plastic bags, and 535,ooo copies of their race newspaper.

But what’s really fun?  These vehicles have to be stripped down to street legal every day for the road trip to the next day’s start and then reassembled.  So, too, all the media booths, awards stages, advertising booths, and staging areas for the race.  Every single day.  It’s a small army moving around the country of France for 3 weeks every year.

Life At Our House

Not much to tell here.  Did some shopping and found out that they have all the school supplies out already.  This year I will shop early, I swear!  And I took Spider Bait’s clarinet in to be repaired and cleaned and about passed out when I heard the cost.   Credit card/savings account time!  Yeesh…

Fur Babies and Other Critters

In an effort to keep my lizard from bankrupting me (this is what I get for assuming things…), I am raising crickets.  I’ve had the tub set up for a week or so, but no one was obviously laying eggs in the egg tub.  So I decided to put a ‘ladder’ (toilet paper tube) on the egg tub.  Now the females are fighting each other for good ‘spots’.  I watched one female watch another female dig her hole and when she was done the first female knocked the digger out of the hole and took it herself.  A few more days of egg laying and I’ll move that Cool Whip container into a tub by itself so when the babies hatch the parents won’t eat them.  And, of course, put a new container in for more eggs.

No cats allowed! (They think crickets are yummy, too!)

 Out In The Yard

Our header today is a rose that was here when we moved into this house.  (Ignore the blasted date.  It is my camera’s default setting.  Argh.)

I spotted a Preying Mantis hunting on my window screen over the sink at night but the pictures sucked.  Then, presto!, there it was (or maybe another smart one) on the window at lunchtime.

Movement 

One of the fun things that happened to me while the boys were away at Boy Scout camp was I fell down the basement steps.  No, I don’t know from how far up.  See, I was carrying boxes of cereal and snacks and stuff down to the pantry, using my chin to balance the load, and my mind was fussing and chewing over other things.  (I really need to stay out of my own head sometimes.)  The next thing I knew, lumpity bumpity,  the world was spinning and there’s pain and, bam!, I’m on the floor looking up at the light.  I think I overshot a step and slipped on the edge, ’cause the last three toes on my left foot felt like I curled them up and jumped up and down on them.  The balls of both feet were unhappy and the joint below my pinky toe on my right foot was really unhappy.  And I must have been an idiot and tried to hold on to the boxes ’cause I had edge bruises on my arms and a deep bruise under my jaw up into my mouth, like maybe a box corner got me, so talking and certain tones of voice were interesting.  But the good news?  I landed on my hip and nothing broke!  So all these years of iffy health haven’t trashed my bones into a bad zone.

Anyway, no walking for awhile.  I was going to try going out today, but was told ‘no’.  Somebody threw up in my shoes.  My one and only pair for walking/running.  *sigh*  I hope the sun is out tomorrow so I can wash them.  It’s too humid to let them dry without help.

Mug of the Day

Another by Marjolein Bastin.  And it’s midnight, so I’m off!

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I’m Baaaack

Random Thoughts

Wow.  Amazing how fast time can pass when you’re not having fun.  My monthly friend came along like 3 all at once and I felt like I got run over by a 100 car coal train.  (TMI?)  My days and nights are now screwed as I was getting up every 2 to 3 hours.  Thus my eating has been hit and miss and I’m down to 122 lbs. which is Bad.  As soon as I hit 120 or below I start getting sick.  So got to start piling on the calories.  Cranky and tired are the words for the day.

I did make it out to our local Farmer’s Market and bought myself some comfort food – Butter Toffee Peanuts.  I deserve them.  I sucked down half the bag on the trip home.  🙂  (Oh, and I also bought ‘real’ food, kohlrabi, tomatoes, plums, mmmm – just picked raspberries.)

I still haven’t decided what to do about apportioning time for the blog (here I am at 10 pm again!), I’ve been brain fried for the last week.  And I still have to do bills!  I’m also currently wrangling my husband to get him to decide what in the heck he wants to do for Father’s Day and his Birthday (the 20th).  He is being uncooperative. *Sigh* (with a slight growl)

Sitting in the grass late yesterday with my baby lizard, I was eating and looking at life in the grass and realized that in our hustle and bustle we forget how much goes on around us unnoticed.  It made me think of this quote and it’s one I need to put up somewhere where I can see it regularly.

“The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things.”  — Veronique Vienne

Life at Our House

We had a pop-up thunderstorm that made me smile.  It was over our house pouring down the rain and in the back part of our yard the sun was shining.

*****

School is out and Spider Bait is now home for the summer.  He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s going to be working his butt off helping his mother get Shtuff done.

*****

Okay, Saver of Bugs, here is the sourdough bread recipe leaving out proofing times and temps, just doing it the way I do it at home.

World Bread

  • 1/2 cup cold sponge culture
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Bake at 375

Mix the 1/2 cup of sourdough with 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 cup of water.  Cover bowl and sit on top of the refrigerator.  Do this right before you go to bed. (Note:  In the summer it should be warm enough in your room that you don’t have to do this downstairs.  Out of curiosity, you should check the temps on your dorm fridge every 15 min.  for about an hour and a half.  You might be able to raise the loaves on it.)

When you get up, add 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup water and mix well.  Cover and put up on the fridge (or in your room – you’re looking for min. 72 degrees, no more than 85).  Let it work no less than 4 hours.  Depending on how warm your room is or on top of the fridge, the culture will start to go down at about 8 hrs.  At 12 hours it is flat.  I generally like to set up the loaves at about 6 hours.  But I’ve done it all along the time frame at one time or another.

Bread time.  Grease both bread pans and make sure you have enough space to knead bread.  Get your small saucepan out and toss 2 tbsp butter in it at medium heat.  With my old nasty pans, you should probably do it at a notch or so below medium.  When the butter is melted, put in the 1 cup milk and heat till lukewarm.  Remove from heat and add 2 tsp. salt and 2 tbsp. sugar and mix till dissolved.  Pour into sourdough mixture and mix well.  Begin adding flour 1 cup at a time till it gets too hard to stir well.  This is usually at about 5 cups for me.  Dust kneading surface with flour and tip sourdough out of bowl and start kneading and adding the rest of the flour.  Knead till smooth and elastic.  Depending on how humid it is and how dry the flour, you may need less than the 6 cups or more.  This is the part you learn to do by feel.  You want the dough as moist as possible and still workable and elastic.  Not gummy gooey.  Not stiff as a brick.

Divide the dough into 2 loaves, knead into shape and drop into the pans.  As wide as those bread pans are moosh the dough to cover the bottom.  Cover and let raise in a warm spot till the tops are just barely below the top of the pans.  About 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.  If you forget and the dough gets above the pan sides, use a fork or the tip of a knife to burst the bubbles or the top of the crust will come off when you cut it.  Spray or brush with water and cut the tops of the loaves.  Bake at 375 for 40 to 45 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

(You are feeding your sourdough at least once a week – riiiight?)

Fur Babies and Other Friends

This poor baby deer, just out of his spots, was apparently hit by a car.  That front leg is barely moveable.  And it clearly didn’t learn much from the experience, ’cause my husband almost hit him the next night coming home!

Will someone please explain to me how in the heck this is comfortable?  He didn’t even wake up when I turned the light on to take the picture!

Out In The Yard

Our header for today is one of my daughter’s Dianthus.

My lizard with no name* is also part of the yard stuff today, or should I say –  last night.  They need sun to manufacture Vit D to process calcium and I don’t have a UV bulb up yet so I take him outside.  While sitting there, I started watching life in the grass.  It was sooo relaxing.  There is so much going on right beneath our feet.  I managed to get a couple of pictures of my lizard and a couple of the lawn’s occupants living their lives around my feet.

The Jungle

Naw, I don’t let him run free.

I’m so cute!

Busy, busy, busy, Bee. It was really hard to get a picture of one of these guys!

One of my fav’s, the Preying Mantis. That clover flower next to him is about the size of a pea.

(*What to name this lizard?  I keep calling him Squirt, but he won’t be a Squirt forever.  More on that in my next post.  I kinda liked Willow but everyone’s running away screaming on that one.  Then Cooper kinda hit me, but Spider Bait sneered at that one too.  And apparently my hair dresser says it has to have a lizardish name or a dragon name. [Spider Bait got his haircut today and was discussing my lizard.]  Suggestions?)

Movement

Also while I was miserable this past week, I had problems with my right knee.  A reminder that I need to find my ankle weights and start back on my old knee exercises.  Horseback riding in the number of hours that I was putting in back in the day plus running created a muscle imbalance that will always be with me.  When I was working and running it wasn’t so much a problem because I was also doing weight work to keep my body evened up.  It was during the off-season when the muscles began to atrophy that my knees would give me the most trouble.  At one point the imbalance pulled my kneecaps sideways, which was less than fun and had one doctor wanting to cut the muscles off the sides of my kneecaps.  Well, you know that ain’t happening.  I eventually found a doctor and runner who realized what was going on and gave me exercises to do to save my knees and keep me moving.  The catch?  It will always be there and require exercises to keep my parts where they belong.  So gotta get back to it.

Things did straighten up enough that I started walking again yesterday.  NO sore muscles!  I’m excited.  I’ll walk a couple more times and if I still have no soreness I’m going to go from 20 min. to 25 min. and see what happens.  Squee!

Mug of the Day

I really need to bake some homemade ones.   Mmmmm…

Delicious Berries, Posting Takes Sooo Much Time (2 Hrs.), Recipes for Saver (Cornbread, Potato Soup)

Random Thoughts

I have been rather crushed about how long it takes me to get these blog posts done.  And frustrated.  It takes me an average of 1 1/2 to 2 hours, sometimes less, sometimes more.  That doesn’t count the time picture-taking/cropping or looking stuff up.  So when I posted on ‘All About You Monday’ at Re-Inventing Fabulous (http://reinventingfabulous.com/) I asked the writers that post  there where I was in the ball park of posting time.  Evidently I’m not all that far out of the park.  *Sigh*  So I’m going to have to figure out how I’m going to deal with that.  I confess I didn’t really take into account what this would do to my day.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy this, I do.  And I was surprised to find out that I actually enjoy knowing I have a small group of lurkers who come here on a regular basis, from other countries, yet!  (Thanks! to all of you out there.)  But I definitely need to plan better, and figure out how to better incorporate this into my life and time frame.  Staying up late every night isn’t going to work over the long haul.  So I guess it’s time to sit down and  come up with a plan.

*****

My serviceberries on my wee tree were ripening all at once, so I went out and picked them.  I didn’t have any yogurt, but I did have vanilla ice cream.  So I put about 1/2 cup of ice cream and some milk in a bowl, mixed it and topped with berries.

***** 

“To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to keep your soul alive.”  — Robert Louis Stevenson

Life At Our House

Look what my son brought  back for me from his Band Trip.  Isn’t it sweet?  I forgot to put something in for perspective, but she would fit on a 50 cent piece.

*****

Saver of Bugs, is this yours?  I found it while looking for my running shorts.  It is a much brighter green than the picture shows.

*****

Okay, Saver of Bugs, here are a couple of recipes.  Also, when you go shopping you should consider looking for a small mixer so you don’t have to mash potatoes by hand.  Also a brush to brush butter on chicken or corn or water on bread…

Corn Bread

  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup veg. oil
  • Oven at 425 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl beat egg and oil together and then add milk.  Add to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.  If you mix too much the cornbread will be flat.  Bake in a greased 8 x 8 pan for 20 to 25 minutes.  Top should be golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean.

Potato Soup

  •  6 cups of potatoes with or without skin
  • 1 clove garlic (or – 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/2 onion (or – 1 tsp. onion powder)
  • 1 or 2 tsp. freshly ground pepper (or – 1/2 tsp canned ground pepper)
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 3 cups milk

Cut the potatoes into 1 inch-ish chunks and put into cold water.  (If you like having potato chunks in your soup, cut the potatoes into small cubes.  Hold back 1 to 3 cups of them when mixing soup and add when heating soup back up.)  Rinse potatoes and then add just enough water to cover and bring to a boil.  Once the water begins to boil, boil for 10 minutes and then check for doneness.  When you set the timer for 10 minutes, begin sautéing the onions.  Cook to preferred doneness.  When the onions are partially done throw in the garlic.  Garlic will brown quicker than the onions.  When the potatoes are done, remove from heat and pour all but about a quarter to a half-inch of water off.  Mash/mix potatoes and butter to desired consistency.  Put back on the stove on medium heat.  Add all remaining ingredients, mix and heat through.

*****

Don’t forget you can broil chicken and fish.  Don’t forget your fruit and veggies.  Buy some of them canned and you’ll have a back up for when you don’t have fresh stuff.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

I don’t particularly like Raccoons.  They are nasty, destructive little thieves.  They come to our house to steal the bird seed.  I have a large broom downstairs with their name on it.  I run and jump and whack them out of the tree with it.  If they try to get in my face, they get a face full of bristles with an occasional whack with a handle.  I’ve used the broom to golf baby raccoons off the bank behind our house.  We also shoot them with a BB gun set low so it won’t pierce their skin.  Some of them learn the sound of the gun being cocked and bail as soon as they hear it.  One raccoon even learned the sound of the front door opening (we sneak out the front and go to the side of the house to shoot them) and bailed as soon as he heard it.  It gets annoying.  Especially the ones that come after we have gone to bed and decide to start fighting.  Ever hear raccoons fight?  It sounds like you have wolves out there trying to kill each other.  And the small ones scream like a human being hurt.  *Sigh*

This is our 5 pm dinner time thief.  In the last picture she hears my son and is looking for him.  She immediately turned, started down the tree and then jumped from 10 feet up.  My cheapo camera didn’t recharge fast enough for me to catch the jump (grrrrr).

Out in the Yard

When it quits raining I’ll get back outside in the yard again.  Our header is the yellow violas I planted weeks ago.

Movement

So I managed to get out of bed on my own.  🙂  A little sore, here and there.  I will have to do some work on my shins and knees.

 I got out again today and took Spider Bait with me.  He’s thinking about running with me.  Mom went into sMother mode and gave him the lecture about never letting anyone drag you into a car even if they have a gun (Mom,  you told me this before).  And the lecture about never getting within grabbing distance of a car that pulls up near you and stay the hell away from van doors (Mom, you told me this before).  And never leave the route you gave everyone before you left (MOMMMMM….).  Well, you get the idea.  Couldn’t help myself.

Did only 1.1 miles today and got back in 20 minutes.  Heart rate post walk was 150 for me (better), Spider Bait was 144.  Heart rate at 10 minutes post walk was 84 me (Yes!), Spider Bait was 96.  Twenty minutes post walk was still 84 for me and 76 for Spider Bait.  Tomorrow will be a day off.  I get fewer injuries on a 2 day on 1 day off schedule when starting out.

I found one of my old running outfits. (Saver of Bugs, what did you do with the shorts to my other outfit?)

Crystals

Turquoise is a common stone of blue, green, or blue/green coloration and can be found in the United States, Egypt, Mexico, China, Iran, Peru, Poland, Russia, France, Tibet, Egypt, Afghanistan, Arabia, and Myanmar.  It’s astrological associations are Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Pisces.  Chakra is the throat.

A protective stone, Turquoise has been used in amulets since time immemorial.  It assists in creative expression and the ability to see beauty in everything.  Emotionally it helps with balance and assists in meditation.  It promotes spiritual clarity and psychic abilities.  Traditional thought holds that it unites earth and sky.

Health wise, Turquoise is a multipurpose healer.  It is good for detoxification and strengthens the meridians of the body.  Wear or position it anywhere.  It is especially good for the throat, third eye, and solar plexus.

The little silver medallion says, “See the miracle that is in a single flower and find clarity.”

Mug of the Day

Another by Marjolein Bastin.  It has a teapot to match it.

Here We Go Again and I Want To Run Again

Random Thoughts

Start early, get everything in the blog, go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Uh huh.  It’s 11:16 pm.  Sigh.  I could blame the thunder storms that surprised us, but they were gone by dinner time.  I have got to get my shit together.  But there are a couple of things I wanted to get up today.  (Here you go, Saver of Bugs.  My finish time for this blog was 1:30 am)

Life At Our House

Okay, Saver of Bugs, here is the bag on wheels I told you about.  I put the little green bag on top so you could see what size it is folded up.  Let me know if this is to be shipped to you.  (I swear I’ll get some recipes up tomorrow.)

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Isn’t he cute when he’s waking up?  I turned on the light and he stayed put long enough for me to go get my camera.  I think it’s hilarious that he goes to bed whenever I turn the light out; even though there is a 15 watt light still on in the room to give everyone a twilight.

Here’s a momma squirrel who didn’t want to share with her baby.  Look up in the right hand corner of the picture.

Out in the Yard

Our header today is an Amaryllis that I found in the garage.  It survived the winter in there!

Movement

 So if you’ve been following along you know how much “not fun” I had when I moved my daughter into her new room.  However, I survived the ordeal and fully expected to wind up laid up for a long time.  But here it’s been a weekish and I’m fine.  Even the small tear I had in my biceps has gone quiet.  The only thing that is still complaining is, of course, my back.  However, I did slip on the bank down back with a load of wet laundry in my arms.  And while I didn’t fall, I did wrench things a bit.

We spent some time trying to figure out what is different this year.  I really haven’t done anything different except to make sure I get sleep.  Even if it means totally losing a day.  This is also the first year in 15 years that I have not gotten bronchitis and May marked a year without any sinus infections.  Usually I spend 3 to 6 months every year fighting and recovering from these two illnesses.  Sometimes I have both at the same time.  I think our unusually mild winter helped.  Whatever the reason, this sudden burst of good health has me all excited.  I would love to be able to run again.

I found my old, old running folder a bit back while looking for something I had put in the pit of ‘somewhere safe’.  I went and got it out and started pawing through it.  Wow.  Lots of stuff.  And I know there is more somewhere in this house ‘somewhere safe’.  Here’s a view of the mess that needs to be organized and I seriously need a new folder.

Do you see the woman on the right?  At the time of that article (2003, I think), Helen Klein was 80 years old and running ultra-marathons.  She did not start running until she was 55 years old.  I  admire her.  I would love for that to me some day.  I googled her and she was still running as of 2008 and I didn’t see anything that said she has died since then.  When I get some time, I’m going to do some more searches.  I would love to find out where she is right now and if she’s still running.

I dug through a drawer and found my safety vest for night running and my old wallet watch.  The battery is dead, but I will replace it.  I can’t wear battery watches as a rule.  I kill the battery dead in about 2 weeks of constant wearing.  However, I think the padding between me and the watch plus the stuff I put in the wallet section helps keep me from zapping the battery dead.  Here’s a picture of them followed by a picture of my favorite running shoes.

I started running in the Saucony Jazz back in the 80’s and have been in some version of it ever since.  These are the Original Jazz from the 80’s, retro if you will, and they only cost $55.  Awesome.

Today I saw the clock ticking away and decided to just throw my shoes on and go for a 20 minute walk before I procrastinated my way out of daylight.  As I was putting my shoes on I decided to see if I could touch my toes.  Ugh.  Nope.  So I guess one of the first charts to put together will be for stretching.  And out the door I went.

It was beautiful out if a bit windy.  But I got to watch some crows playing in the wind.  One in particular liked to shoot straight up and then spread his wings as far as they would go and let the wind flip him over.  He would then swoop and spin through the same batch of trees like a ski racer on a slalom course.  Over and over again as fast as he could.  It was so much fun to watch.

I re-learned a few things on my walk.

  • Even small boobies need support.  Definitely need to rummage around and find my sports bras (and running shorts).
  • Gotta find a hat I can live with.  The sun was killing my eyes and I can’t run with glasses on my face.  Visors are out.  They land on my nose.  I used to have this really, really light hat that was barely there, but I have no idea what happened to it.  Sigh.
  • Keep your head and eyes up!  That way you’ll have plenty of time to scramble for safety when some dumb asshole looking and leaning down to the right between the front seats steers right on a left hand bend.  (We don’t have sidewalks where I live.)

Twenty-one minutes later I was back.  That is not good.  Went out too fast.  I jumped in the car to see where I was in mileage.  Curiosity got the cat and all.  Yikes!!!  1.2 miles!  That meant I did a mile in 17.5 minutes my first time out.  I don’t know yet if I should be thrilled or not.  I’ll let you know how much trouble I have getting out of bed tomorrow.  I did have some complaining parts while I was out.  My hips weren’t happy, muscularly, but no joint complaints.  I slipped off a loose section of the pavement and had my right knee bend left.  It has grumbled a wee bit.  But so far nothing that is totally pissed.

My recovery wasn’t real good.  My start out heart rate was 84.  I was slightly jacked about going out.  My finishing heart rate was 162.  It would have been better around 140 or 150.  After 10 minutes post workout it was 102 – okay.  But at 30 minutes post workout I was still up at 96.  It should have been normal by then.  Which is a sign of overtraining for present condition.  So I can’t push any more than what I did today.   However, I’m still thrilled.  It felt so good to go out there and do this.  That crazy moving day with my daughter was good for my mind.  From George Sheehan:

“For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear the leaves and listen to the rain, and look to the day when it is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight.”

Mug of the Day