Sunday, November 30, 2008

Weekend Long Run

Yesterday I did this weekend's long run, another 6 miler. This one was kinda tough. I had to work until 3:30 so the run had to come after work. If I'm running or working out after work, I like to take all my gear with me and run before I go home. If I go home, it is way to easy to get off track and never make it back out again. But, yesterday I had to go home between working and running because Rich and I both worked early shifts and Emmy and Fiona had been in the crate for 7 hours already. Emmy has been doing so well with housebreaking that I didn't want her to give up on us coming to let her out and just go in her crate, plus she is on prednisone for her HW treatment and that makes her have to pee more. So I got home, took them out, made a grocery list, chugged a sugarfree Redbull, changed clothes and headed out. It was a dreary, rainy day altho the rain had stopped by the time I left. There were lots of muddy puddles so it didn't take long, ie first 2 minutes, before my feet were soaked. It was one of those runs where you have pains during the entire thing. It started out in my right knee and along the outside of my right foot, made its way to my left elbow and lower back and just kind of hung out the whole run. It took me a couple miles to "settle in" to the run and get outside of my head and actually think about things other than running. I did find $6 on the sidewalk, and although there was nobody around I felt a little guilty about taking it...maybe I'll drop it in the Salvation Army bucket the next time I see one. I had to pee starting at about mile 3, and while I probably could have ducked behind a bush, I decided to ride it out since that is a feeling I am unaccustomed to dealing with during runs. It was fine until I was finished, but as soon as I stopped running I had to go STAT...luckily by then it was dark and there were lots of wooded areas around. And for some reason I decided that I should try out some new long-wearing red lipstick on this idea why. I'm sure I looked pretty funny out there jogging through mud puddles in old running gear with Christina Aquilera lips, but for some reason I kind of enjoyed it...and the color was still there and not too dry at the is Revlon Colorstay in Red Velvet in case you feel like you need to vamp up your next long run.
After work today I'm going straight to the gym for Body Flow for stretching and strengthening, then home to make some Rum Balls, Raspberry cookie-thingys and Baked Potato Soup. If any of it turns out decently, I'll post recipes.
Next weekend we have the Reindeer Run 5k instead of a long run. I have only done a couple 5k, and my PR is somewhere in the 31-32 minute range...this time I am shooting for sub 31:00...I know, I know...I'm slow!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Fav 5

1. Mac Paint Pot-comes in different colors, I have painterly which is shown in this pic. I know there are lots of eye primers out there, and this is the only one I have tried but I love it. It gives lids an even tone and covers up veins and that papery-ness eyelids can get. It can be worn alone or under shadow. I like to wear it alone on no-makeup days, or as a canvas for playing with colored shadows. Tinted moisturizer on the face, some paint pot and mascara on the eyes, a dab of blush on cheeks, some lip gloss and you're ready to go with a natural looking, no-fuss face.

2. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver- for all you people out there who love good quality food, and who care where that food comes from-this is a must read! It chronicles a family as they try to eat locally for a year. They grow their own fruits and vegetables, raise their own chickens, make their own cheese, and barter with like-minded neighbors. Most of us can't feasibly eat locally to this extent, but it does open your eyes and make you think about how your food got from it's field or farm or feedlot to your plate. It is a great read!

3. Sonoma Scent Studio is a great little niche/indie line of perfume from, you guessed it...Sonoma. I sampled many of their scents, liked a few, disliked a few, and LOVED one..Fireside. It is not conventionally "perfumy." It smells like a campfire, and since I have always thought that was a wonderful smell, I fell in love with this perfume. It layers beautifully with vanilla and chocolate scents, to make a smell reminiscent of making smores over a fire. Perfect for fall and winter. A little goes a long way, so my bottle should last me a really long time, and their prices are hard to beat. Here's a note from the perfumer:"Fireside combines sandalwood, cedar, resins, and incense to create the scent of burning woods, reminiscent of sitting by the fire on a cool evening." So if I smell like burning wood the next time I see you, don't worry, I did it on on purpose:)

4. Olive oil from The Olive Press in Sonoma. This past summer Rich, me and my parents went to California and we stopped in this place. It is a winery/olive oil factory. I never realized the variety of olive oils that exits. They range from very green and herbal to rich and buttery, and to me they are all delicious in their own way. My parents came home with several bottles and loved them all. We finally settled on lime infused oil. It is wonderful with vinegar as a salad dressing, or for sauteeing seafood or veggies. You can order online, and if you are looking for a unique gift for a food lover on your list, you can't go wrong with olive oil from The Olive Press. Check out their website, there is so much to choose from and it is all yummy. And if you're ever in wine country, you should definitely stop in for a tasting!
5. Smashbox O-Gloss, intuitive lip gloss with Goji-berry C complex. What is "intuitive lip gloss" you ask? Here's what Sephora's website has to say--Get a shiny pink pout all your own! This intuitive silky gloss reacts with your personal skin chemistry to transform from clear into your own custom shade of pink. Well I think that's a bunch of hooey, but I still like the gloss. It turns a nice pink shade on my lips, but I feel like it would turn the same shade on everyone. It would just look like a custom shade because the same color on different people will look like different colors. It certainly doesn't use it's little Goji-berry brain to know what shade of pink will look good on me, versus what shade would look good on you, but I fell for the gimmick and am very happy with my little pink tube of O-Gloss.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Thankful for....

In no particular order...

Shitty Kitty-guarding the wine fridge

Dickson-my first baby

Fiona-started as a foster, but we adopted her from Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue

Tanner-aka Eeyore...the lights are on but nobody's home

I couldn't find a pic of Molly, my black and white cat that we have to keep because no one else would love her. She's a pain in the butt!

-My family, both that I was born into and that I married into. My fam is so wonderful, they have never failed to love and support me in everything I do. I am also so lucky to have such great inlaws--I couldn't have picked a better family to become a part of.

-My friends-I have so many fantastic friends and I count on them more than they know.

-Richard and our marriage-it is a challenge but it is a wonderful challenge. I am blessed to have a husband who loves and supports me, even when he thinks I'm crazy. And he lets me foster dogs, which means a ton of work for him too, not because he loves it but because he loves me and knows how much it means to me.

-My dogs, and the kitties too...

-My job, even tho I'd rather win the lotto and not have to have a real job, I'm thankful that I do have one, especially in these uncertain times.

-My house!

-My health, and that I have the ability to run and do the things I want to do physically.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So Sore..and sorry for the graphic pic

We are in full-force training mode now for our Myrtle Beach Half-Marathon and my body is feelin' it today. We ran 6 miles Saturday, did Body Pump on Sunday, ran 4 miles yesterday then I went to Spin class this morning for cross-training, and tomorrow is another 4 miles and Body Pump again, whew! Rich has been nursing some lower back pain, but he did manage to go to BP with me on Sunday. He just focused on the upper body parts and took it super easy on the back/squats. After a couple months of daily icing and many many chiro visits, he is doing much better so he has to be careful not to reinjure it like he did a month ago when he decided to go all out on the BP squat track. Our instructor on Sunday has a perfect body, like literally...perfect, no fat, nothing droopy or I was that much more motivated to push myself and now I'm thinking maybe I should have backed off a little. I'm trying to stay well hydrated, eat right, and get plenty of sleep as our training is only going to intensify over the next 2 months. It will all pay off though when we cross that finish line! In addition to Myrtle, we just signed up for the Napa to Sonoma half marathon on July 19, 2009. July 16 will be our 4 year anniversary, so what better way to celebrate than by running together and drinking lots of wine!

I took Emmy-lou to the vet today for her first heartworm shot. Here's how HW treatment works (there are a few varieties but this is what my vet does), go in for 1st shot, spend 4 weeks "resting" ie no running or doing anything to get the heartrate up...this is NOT easy for a 2 year old boxer to do. After the 4 weeks, go in for 2nd shot, then 24hours later go in for 3rd and final shot. These shots are no fun for the dogs, they go deep into the muscle along their spine and are extremely painful. Poor Emmy could not get comfortable when we got home, she just whined and moved from one doggie bed to the next trying to find a position that didn't hurt. She has a mild case so once the pain from the shot wears off, she should hopefully tolerate treatment well and be good as new in 8 weeks. But again, this expense (treatment runs in the $600 and up range) and pain could all be prevented had her previous owners given her hearguard or some other preventative *sigh*. Just a little visual aid......this is what a dog's heart with heartworms looks like. Pretty disgusting stuff

Monday, November 24, 2008

(supposed to have been posted last week) Friday Fav 5

I am going to post the Friday Fav 5 weekly, where I will highlight some of my favorite things. For this first edition I have chosen:
1. The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ, I have Cocoa flavor but there are multiple flavors to choose from on her website. I found this on sale on day at a boutique salon here in Charleston and I snatched it up. It is a great product because it both exfoliates and moisturizes, and it tastes great! It is a sugar scrub with an oil base, and it works great to keep your lips soft, smooth and flake-free. I use it daily before I put lipstick on. I just checked out her website and it looks like she is now making lip balm as well so I will be trying that in the future. If you can get your hands on this product, you should..I think you'll love it.

2. is a fantastic website where you can order various sizes of perfume samples or decants. They have sampler packs where you can try out a mixture of fragances from a certain brand, or with a certain main Chanel sampler, Dior sampler, or coffee fragrances, iris fragrances, best beachy citrus fragrances, etc. They have a huge selection of hard-to-find perfumes, ones that are not going to be at your local department store. I have ordered several samples from them, and the service is great. If there's a scent you are curious about trying, or one you like but want a small amount of before springing for a full bottle, this is the place for you.

3. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka-if you like sweet tea, you must try this. It is local to SC, but they
have expanded production and it is now available in many more areas of the country. I was not really expecting to like it, it just didn't sound appealing to me. But boy was I wrong. It is absolutely delicious mixed with lemonade, iced tea or even plain water with a splash of fresh lemon juice. It has become the "IT" drink in Charleston, but I don't care if is trendy I love it. And if and when it goes out of style, I will still love it. I think there are some other brands being made now, but if you can find Firefly you should stick with it. It's the original, and it is wonderful. Note: this is deceptive, it is 70 proof (I believe, don't quote me on that but I'm pretty sure) but does not taste like alcohol, just like pure heaven. Go ahead and try it, but don't blame me when you can't but the bottle down!

The Furminator deshedding brush and dry shampoo. For me this is the be all and end all of dog brushes. I tried multiple brushes and shedding blades, but they don't hold a candle to the Furminator. It will get SO much hair off your dog. It works wonders on my 2 labs, but the boxers coat is too short for it to work on. If you have a dog with medium to long hair, you need a Furminator. They are pricey, but once you use it you will agree that it is worth every penny. You can buy them at most petstores, or online. I got mine for a pretty good price on Ebay. I can't even describe how much hair this gets off Dickson and Tanner. One day I will take a picture and post it. It is a never ending job, I just brush until my arm is exhausted and feel like it is about to fall off. Do not try to use this inside! I use it outside by the trash can, so I just pull the clumps of hair off the brush and toss them straight into the trash. The dry shampoo smells like the old Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea scent, not sure if they still make that or not. You spray it on and work it into the coat. It has oils in it to moisturize the hair, and help loosen dirt and debris. I can live without the dry shampoo, although I do really like it. The Furminator is a must-have for pet owners. It also works great on the cats.


Moving Comfort sports bras in the Fiona and Phoebe style (oddly enough, Fiona and Phoebe are both names of boxers we've fostered in the last year and a half). In my area these are sold at Dick's Sporting Goods and at Trysports. They fit great, have excellent support and hold up well. I love them so much that I wear them exclusively and don't ever wear my Nike ones anymore. If you don't need support and can run in anything then I wouldn't spend the money on these, but if you need a little help to keep things in place while running, you should try these out. The Fiona has velcro straps that seemed odd to me, but they really do work to get a custom fit. Note: I speak only for the Fiona and Phoebe, I actually tried the Grace and the zipper rubbed a huge blister during a half-marathon, so avoid that one or at least try it on a long run before racing in it.

There you have it, the first edition of the Friday Fav 5. Anybody have any thoughts on these products or recommendations for similar, better products?

The Weekend

Better put your feet up and get comfy, this is gonna be a long one. We'll start with Twilight. I liked it, I didn't love it but I didn't expect to. I went in with the realistic expectation that it would not be as good as the book. All in all I thought the actors did a great job representing their characters, and the story stuck closely to the book. There were a few cheesy parts, like Edward's quote to Bella to "Hold on Spider-monkey." The Edward from the book would never ever have said that, but it did make me laugh so I didn't mind too much. I think the discrepancy that bothered me the most was movie-Edward's hairy chest. It is NOT supposed to be hairy. It is mentioned repeatedly in the 4-book series that his chest is smooth and perfect as marble. I'm not sure why but that really bugged me! I managed to stay awake for the whole thing, which is an accomplishment. We were definitely some of the oldest people there. When Edward came onscreen for the first time, there was a collective gasp from all the girls in there. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think he's that hot. I am not digging the pale face, looks like he's wearing matte red lipstick look. We got home at 2:30, and after taking all the dogs out for one last bathroom break it was around 3am by the time I got to sleep. I was not a happy camper when my alarm went off at 5:30...2 1/2 hours of sleep just doesn't cut it! But, it was my birthday so that put me in a good mood and made me forget about being sleepy.

The great girls that I work with brought in bagels for breakfast, and a huge delicious birthday cake. Thanks K-dawg and Flea! Then Rich and I went out for Italian that night. We were definitely acting like old fogies because we got there at like 5pm and were out of there and home by 7. It was great though, we both had yummy pasta and split a bottle of wine. Then Rich had some chocolate cake for dessert, and I had a piece of wonderful pumpkin cake. It was a great day!

Saturday morning we got up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after our early night Friday. It was cold, but for some reason I decided to run in my running skirt and a thin long-sleeved top. I hate running all bundled up in pants, gloves, hat, etc. It's a good thing it rarely gets too cold here! We drove out to Folly Beach to run along the roads there. Rich pulled ahead of me, so I just listened to my ipod and enjoyed the gorgeous sunny but cold morning. We did a 6 miler, 3 miles out and back. I felt good but stayed in my comfort zone for the first 3 miles to make sure I had the energy for the 2nd half. The first half was running into the wind and it was freezing. I saw several other people running in all their cold-weather gear and I felt like a big dummy for my lack of clothes. After the turn-around the wind was to my back and the sun on my face so it was much more comfortable. I pushed myself and ran just faster than comfortable for miles 3-5, and then even harder for mile 6. I finished up with an average pace of 11:20, which for me is excellent. I would love to go out and run sub 10-min miles, but that is just the kind of runner/jogger I am. I get there, it just takes me a while. We joke that we get our money's worth out of entry fees because it takes us longer than a lot of other people to finish :) Then we went and met some of my girlfriends from work at the Lost Dog Cafe for brunch and mimosas. Saturday night we went to our good friends the Shields' house for dinner. ES is almost 8 months pregnant and cute as she can be. Our other good friends the Ducky-larsons came over with their adorable 10month old Elliot. We all ate, drank and had a great time hanging out in front of the fireplace.

Sunday was a pretty lazy day, just hanging out at the house. We did go to Body Pump and can barely move today!

Emmy is doing great with her housetraining, she has not had an accident in her crate in several days so I think she has finally figured it out. She now knows sit, down, stay, and shake! I'll be taking her this week for her first injection of her heartworm treatment. Hopefully she'll tolerate it well and won't be too sore or sick.

Stay Tuned....

for a looooong post later today. Topics to be discussed: my birthday, our 6 mile run, first edition of the Friday Fav 5 (which was supposed to be posted last Friday but I was too lazy), Twilight movie review, and probably some dog stuff thrown in. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Going to the Twilight premier tonight

I am super excited because Rich and I (and probably every teenage girl in Charleston) are going to the midnight premier of Twilight tonight. If you've been living in a bubble lately, Twilight is the first book in a series of 4 written by Stephanie Meyer. I am a member of the CBBC, also known as the Crazy Ballatore Book Club, and we read Twilight as one of our selections. It is a love story full of all the usual teen angst, with the twist being that the boy love interest, Edward, is a vampire. It is absolutely cheesy but addicting. Everyone I know that has read the book has done so in like a day. You start and you just can't put it down. Books 2-4 go on to flesh out this relationship with quite a few twists, turns and supernatural events (I won't spoil anything for you) that will have you hooked til the last page, and then missing all the characters. It's one of those books/series that leave you feeling like something is missing in your life when you finish reading them, you find yourself wondering what Edward and Bella are up to...then you realize you're a big nerd for thinking about them in the first place! Anyway, this is definitely not Richard's number 1 choice for a movie, hello there is a Bond flick out, but since midnight officially begins my last ever birthday before the big three-0, he has kindly agreed to be my date...secretly I think he just wants to be a creepy old man and check out all the cute young girls that are sure to be up past their schoolnight bedtime for this movie, but whatever.

Last night's 3.5 mile run was excellent. Neither of us have a pedometer, altho I really really want a Garmin and am saving up for that one, so we sometimes drive our runs first to estimate distance, or we just quesstimate an amount of time and run that way. That's what we did last night, we decided on 39 minutes. It was dark and it was cold, so we were all bundled up in our warm gear. We walked a few minutes to warm up then started out nice and slow but gradually sped up to a pretty quick (for us, we're pokey) pace. The cold air felt great, we ran through some really nice neighborhoods so we lusted after all the houses, chatted and the time passed quickly. Before I knew it we were done and it was time for dinner. We had a delicious mixed green salad with lots of good toppings, grilled pork chops, lima beans and Velveeta shells & cheese. Then we caught up on a couple episodes of House and I proceeded to conk out pretty early.

Yesterday was a milestone with Emmy--it was her first day with NO ACCIDENTS! And she was crated for 8 hours!! I know these things tend to be 1 step forward, 2 steps back sometimes so I'm fully expecting extra messes today but at least yesterday she did great. I was so proud of her. She has learned to watch the other dogs to see what she is supposed to do, and she will now sit for all her treats and when it's time to put her leash on. She will *usually* do her business right away now when we go outside. She has learned down, and stay and to wait to take the treat dangling in front of her nose until I tell her "ok." We just started learning to shake yesterday, so she should have that one down in a day or so. I even let her get on the couch to cuddle with me and Rich and Fiona last night, she loved it! As I was in the shower this morning, and she stood right outside waiting on me, I was struck by the fact that we are the only people in the world who love this dog right now, her previous owners don't love her based on the fact they took her to the shelter to be killed, the rest of BRBR loves her just like they love all our rescues, but we are the only ones who really know and love her but one day she will have a person or family of her own that will love her for her whole life, just like we do ours. That is powerful to me. In a way fostering is like dog-sitting, altho you're dog sitting for a stranger you haven't met yet and who you likely will never know very well, teaching and loving their future dog until they come along to do it. People ask me, and I often ask myself, why I am involved with rescue and fostering, and that's why--to be the person to love and want an animal that nobody else in the world loved or wanted, until they get adopted and to see that throw-away dog become a treasured pet and member of the family they were always meant to be with. It is a lot of hard work, and we are ready for a long break from fostering, but I know we'll do it again in the future because it is so worth it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Biggest Loser-Why is evil Vicky still on the ranch?

<-------------This is evil Vicky who unfortunately is still at the Biggest Loser Ranch. I love The Biggest Loser. It is the only reality-type show that I watch religiously, and I have watched every season so far. This season I like the contestants a lot less than usual, at least a couple of the girls--they are very unlikeable...ok, they are manipulative, money-grubbing biatches!!! Last night I thougth Amy was going to stick to her guns and vote Vicky off, but after the week of harrassment Amy got from voting Vicky's hubby off last week, she caved and voted off sweet Colleen. Amy, bad move girl! Vicky played you, she would not hesitate to stab you in the back if it would put her ahead in the game. Evil Vicky--go home, you don't even care about being healthy, you just want the money! Whew, now I feel better to have that off my chest. It's not like I know these people, but you do get really involved in their lives after watching them week after week and everytime Vicky, or Heba for that matter, are on the screen, I have the urge to throw my shoe at the TV! Sorry for all of you non-BL fans out there because you will have no idea what I'm talking about, but if you watch BL I bet you feel the same way. Let me explain a bit about why I love this show so much. I am very interested in all things health, nutrition and fitness and that's what BL is all about. You get to see these obese people go from feeling hopeless and completely out of control to being determined and empowered. It is so inspiring to see the changes they undergo, not only physically but emotionally as they realize that they CAN be the person they dreamed of being, that they CAN do things they thought were reserved for other people but not themselves. They transform into healthy people, who can go back to their homes and communities and be role models for their families and towns. You see them struggle, because losing weight and changing your life is such a huge undertaking...but you also see them fight through it and succeed. The trainers, Bob and Jillian, are amazing people. Jillian is an in-your-face, kick-your-ass trainer with a heart of gold, while Bob comes across as a softie, that is until he makes you puke and cry during a workout. You can see that they truly care about the contestants. If you have never seen this show, I would strongly encourage you to start with the next season and watch it all the way through--whether you have weight to lose or not, you will learn something applicable to your own life.

On another note, yesterday I attempted to make my own Peppermint Mocha and it turned out pretty well so I thought I would share. I love Starbucks, but have a hard time justifiying $4-$5 more than once a week, so I restrict myself to once weekly lattes. I was really craving the peppermint mocha with this cold spell we're having, so I added a packet of fat free Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix, a little soymilk, and a couple drops of peppermint extract to my morning coffee. Delicious, and at a fraction of the calories and dollars for the 'bucks version! It would also be great with some really good quality cocoa powder.


I have been slacking on workouts this week. Last night was supposed to be 2 miles or cross-training, but I couldn't bring myself to get out of the house because it was so cold. It actually got in the 20's last night, we are not used to that here in Chucktown. Today I am recommitting to the week, and will run 3.5miles today, 3 miles tomorrow then a long run of 6 on Saturday, followed by mimosas! Hey a girl's gotta have some incentive;) Rich actually did his XT on the elliptical at the gym last night, but I was a lazy bum and stayed home. We had some yummy steaks and sweet potatoes for dinner, and hung out on the couch and had a fire in the fireplace, it was a very pleasant evening.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I thought I lost Tanner!!

I didn't, he's safe and sound here...but I had quite a scare. Let me preface the story to say that my dogs don't wear collars in the house. I have had a couple instances of collars getting caught on crates, chairs, and even the carpet, and the dogs freak out and could hurt themselves if you're not there to get them unhooked. Emmy (Maura) has a collar on always because I have to be able to grab her in an instant if needed, but our 3 do not. So this afternoon I decide to go see a movie while Rich is at work. I saw Rachel Getting Married, a very depressing indie flick that left me feeling like I should stick around for a feel-good movie afterwards. I had a few errands to run, but was feeling so blah after the movie that I went straight home. **Flashback** Before leaving for the movie, I walked out the front door, got in my car and realized I hadn't locked the door. I decided to just leave it unlocked based on the fact that we live in a very safe neighborhood, and have 4 barking dogs to scare off any potential intruders. **Flashback over** So I get home from the movie, and Dickson (yellow lab) is standing in the front yard wagging his tail to welcome me home. Uh oh, he should be in the house lounging on the couch NOT in the front yard. I get out of the car, and he runs up to me and we go up to the house and I see the front door is standing wide open. The boxer girls, Fiona and Emmy, are upstairs in their bedroom in the crates so I know they are safe, and Dickson is there....but NO TANNER. For those of you who do not know our dogs, Tanner is often equated with Eeyore--he's big and dopey, not the brightest bulb on the tree. Once when I lived in Little Rock, AR with the coolest gals D and L, Tanner and Dickson got out and Dickson stayed on the porch while Tanner roamed around and wound up being picked up by animal control and carted off to the pound. I know, I know, I feel like the world's worst doggie-mom that this has happened more than once. Once I get Dickson securely in the house, I grab a leash and collar and start jogging around the neighborhood yelling "Tanner, here Tan Tan" at the top of my lungs. I make a 1.5 mile loop around the neighborhood, in my jeans no less, and no sign of Tanner. It's dark out, he's a dark dog and I am starting to panic. I call Rich at work and he tells me where a flashlight is, so I decide to run home for a light before heading back out on my bicycle to look some more. I hear 2 distinct barks coming from the dog room, Fiona and Emmy are up there pitching a fit that I haven't let them out....but....I also hear another deeper bark...IT'S TANNER. I run upstairs and found him locked in our bathroom. Now I am 100% sure I did not lock him in there before I left, so I am speculating that he went in for a delicious toilet water cocktail and somehow managed to shut the door with his tail and then couldn't get out. I still don't know how Dickson got out, maybe I didn't pull the door all the way closed when I left, maybe he jumped on it just right...but Tanner locking himself in the bathroom was a blessing in disguise. Had he actually been downstairs and the front door been open, he really would have been missing. Whew, so we are all hanging out watching Jeapardy and I am having a large Firefly sweet tea vodka lemonade to calm the nerves. I have never been so happy to see that big brown lug in all my life as I was tonight when I found him in the bathroom! Another day, another adventure...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

5 Miler and latest perfume obsession

Yesterday I ran (aka jogged slowly) the 5-mile long run on the training schedule. I decided to make it extra challenging by doing it over the Cooper River Bridge . It might not look like it, but it is a pretty good hill to run up and down, and it was uber windy. In fact, it was my windiest run ever! I am not a tiny little thing, but I couldn't run without getting blown around...I literally couldn't run straight because the wind would push me left and right. There is nothing quite like trying to make it up a hill when nature itself is trying to blow you back down! It was actually pretty fun because for some reason the bridge was packed with walkers, runners and bikes all struggling against the fierce wind, so it created a kind of camraderie of "us against the wind" on the bridge. I jogged for 63 minutes, from one side of the bridge to the other and back and it was fantastic. I was excited to get out there, my legs and lungs felt great, my music was energizing. Although good tunes make me want to dance, and it's hard to run while simultaneously doing the macarena and moving my body like a get some strange looks:) Rich is going this evening after work to get his 5 in so we'll both be on track with our training this week.

My latest hobby is perfume. I love everything about trying new scents, the ones I adore at first sniff, the ones that take a while to grow on me, and the ones I can't scrub off fast enough! I love how one whiff of a particular scent can instantly transport you back (days, months or years) to the last time you smelled it, how a scent can instantly evoke a memory you didn't even know existed in your mind. I have broadened my view of what smells good. I used to just love fruity floral things, and I still do. But now I also love Fireside, which smells like a campfire, and Bulgari Black that was intended for men and smells like new rubber tires and vanilla...odd but lovely! I recently received my order of smaples from a company called Bond No 9 that has lots of perfumes all named/scented after various parts of New York City. They have some absolutely gorgeous and fun bottles. My favorites from them are New Harlem which smells great on Richard, like cozy sweaters and roasted coffee beans; Lexington Avenue which smells like creme brulee and has a stunning black bottle with shoes all over it, Saks 5th Avenue which is a heavy, creamy gardenia in a classic black and white bottle that would be a perfect match for our black and white bedding, and West Side which is a lovely vanilla rose packaged in a bright red bottle with a big music note. There are actually 7 of these I love, I'm not sure how I can narrow it down. Plus they are ridiculously expensive, so I may just have to make do with my samples for now. Just look at these bottles, aren't they to die for!

Poor Richard, I am always chasing him down to smell my hand, my knee, my elbow, wherever I have dabbed all these samples. Luckily for me he is not one of those guys that hates perfume, so he is a good sport about it and gives me his opinions. We do have very similar tastes on what we like, so that's good. Anybody else out there have a perfume obsession? If not perfume, what is your odd hobby? Am I the only cooky one out there??

Friday, November 14, 2008

One day I WILL have a job where I don't work weekends!!

This is a pic Rich snapped of me yesterday morning. It was my day off so I got to stay in bed a bit longer than usual. Sorry for the poor pic quality, it was on a cell phone in a dim room. This is a pretty common site in our room, from left foreground to right you have Tanner (the big choc lab), foster dog Maura aka "Emmy" on my pillow,me in the middle with my arm around Fiona who is not content to lay by you she must actually lay ON you, then Dickson in Rich's spot. The big lump under the covers is not a 5th dog or a dead body, it's just the pillow Rich puts under his knees at night. All the dogs wake up ready to play in the morning, but if you let them in the bed after the other person has gotten up and in the shower, they'll settle down for another hour or so.
So on my day off I did all sorts of exciting things--went to Wal-Mart, the dry cleaners, Petsmart, Bed Bath and Beyond..the works! I did buy a fabulous candle at BBB, it is Autumn Leaves by Yankee and it smells divine! I love all the Christmas ones, but felt it was a little too early for them and I finally burned all of Pumpkin Pie so Autumn Leaves is a perfect for late November. I made it to a yoga class, and it made me wonder why I don't go every week. It is perfect counterpoint for running because it stretches out all that running tightens up. And if you've never done yoga, it is much more of a workout than it seems. My abs and shoulders are really sore today! After the yoga and errands, I came home for some dog-time and we all hung out and watched Dr. Phil (napped thru that one) and Oprah. She had Jennifer Aniston on and I love her! She is costarring with Owen Wilson in Marley and Me which comes out soon. I want to see it but also dread it because it is so sad. Here's a story about when I read the book...
I bought it for my dad for Christmas a couple years ago, but figured Hey, if I'm careful not to spill anything on it, I can read it before I give it to him (tacky, I know..but it looked so good!). And it is an excellent book. It is hilarious, but it is about a dog. And dogs don't live forever. I know this, I know the book that starts with a puppy will end with an old dog that dies...yet that doesn't make it any easier to read. I had the book in my car and took it to the gym with me to finish. Well I start reading one of the last few chapters in the car in the parking lot waiting on Rich to show up. Then I start crying, then I start sobbing like my own dog just died but I can't stop by the time Rich showed up we just went home because I was too much of a blubbering mess to actually go in the gym and be seen by anyone. Anyway, back to yesterday. After Oprah, Rich came home from work and we had some delicious sweet tea vodka (Firefly brand of course, not the knock-offs!) and cooked dinner, grilled chicken and sweet potatoes if you were curious. We opened one of those boxes of salad greens, made salads, I got ready to put the lid back on the box to put it up and there was a dead bug stuck to the inside of the lid...he was definitely in there when we opened it. YUCK!! So we threw the salads in the trash and I saved the box to take back to the store because they are like $3 or $4 and I want a replacement! Then for dessert we had cupcakes from Cupcake. They are unbelievably delicious. Well, actually we had one as an appetizer and one for dessert. Yep, 2 cupcakes each and they probably each have 500 calories but they are soooooo worth it. I had strawberry and a cookies & cream, Rich had cinnamon swirl and a cookies & cream. Then we watched one of the Bourne movies, and Grey's Anatomy and called it a day. All in all a great day off!
Today we slept in, took all 4 dogs for a walk (in groups of 2, boxers and labs). Then Rich, who is SO wonderful for doing this on his days off, brought me to work. That means he has to come at 11pm and pick me up. And on his days off when I work day shifts, he gets up at 6:15am to drive me to the hospital by 7. I don't thank him enough for this. Parking downtown is terrible, so it really is the nicest thing he could do!! I barely wake up to tell him bye on the mornings he leaves early and I'm off..much less get up and drive him 40 minutes round-trip when I could be sleeping. Thanks babe! So now even though I have to work until 11pm tonight, it makes it better knowing that he (and a dog or two) will be out front waiting for me.
Sorry for the insanely long post-that's what happens when you're sitting in an ICU with nothing but a computer for 8.5 hours on a Friday night. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just Click It

Slide your eyes over to the right.....see that little box, click it. You can help provide food for animals in shelters. It's free, paid for by sponsors on the Animal Rescue Site. Add it to your favorites, click it everday! It also links to several other worthy causes, you can click them each as much as you want. Count your blessings, and help bless others. It really couldn't be any easier!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Spinning, Jogging and lip stuff

Yay, I've actually gotten my workouts in 2 days in a row! Yesterday I went to Spin class and it was wonderful. I know some people hate spinning. They think that sitting in a dark room riding a bike to nowhere for an hour sounds like torture. And I would agree, it is torturous...but I love it! It does help that I have the world's best instructor, IMO. She comes prepared with motivational speeches and pep talks for every class, and she will push you harder than you wanted to go. But afterwards you are so glad she did. It is a great cardio workout, and I'm really enjoying it on cross-training days. Rich walked Maura as his cross-training, he's a great foster dad!
Today we went to Sullivan's Island for our 3.5 miler. It was nice and sunny out, but a little cool and very breezy. We stayed at our usual pokey pace (he could go faster, but I'm more a tortoise than a hare) of about 11:00-11:30 min miles. The legs were a little sore from yesterdays spin, but overall it felt great.
On an unrelated note, our computer system crashed for a while tonight. Yep, I work in a hospital. Said computer system is vital for getting life-saving medications to patients, you'd think it would be a bit more reliable than it has proven to be. Way to go McKesson, you rock! So in my downtime I decided to clean out my tote bag. Here's what I found...

That is 6 lip products that I have accumulated this workweek, and yes it is only Wednesday. These are some of my fav products, so let's go over them. From left to right: Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush lip gloss in unknown flavor (label has rubbed off) it is a nice purply sparkle that tastes yummy. It was a gift from Richard in my stocking last Christmas. It's a miracle I have kept up with it this long! Next is Clinique High Impact lipcolor in Afterparty, another purple sparkler but this one is much darker and naughtier (get it, afterparty). It is a great fall color, and also has SPF 15, love it! Next up is Bare Escentuals lipguards in Stinson Beach. It is my favorite SPF lipgloss for beach days, it is a neutral shade with a yummy lemon flavor. Then we have a fav plumper at a bargain price-Sexy Motherpucker from Target in Nude. Altho, it is not really nude, more of a mauve. It gives you that good lip-tingle that makes you think it's working, even tho your lips only look plumper because they are now shiny from the gloss. Still, it's a fav. Then we have 2 basic balms for when you don't want or need color (not sure when this is, other than bedtime). Softlips spf20 in Vanilla flavor, and the cult favorite Burt's Bees original Beeswax Lip Balm. Not the pomegranite, not the lifeguard version...the original! Rich introduced me to this when we were dating. He was never without a tube, and it was hard to find then so we had to stock up when we could find it. Now it's everywhere, but we still love it just as much. It's minty, moisturizing. The only thing it lacks is SPF, so I use it as the bedtime balm. There you have it folks, that's about 1/10th of my total lipstick/gloss/balm/etc inventory. Can you imagine a life with no lip stuff? No way!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Small Victories

For all of you sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to see what happens in the "Will Maura use the bathroom outside" cliffhanger, I thought I'd let you know...SUCCESS!! By the time I got home from work last night, she had not peed in 14 hours so I knew she had to go. Rich walked her for 45 minutes earlier in the night and still nothing. I put on some warm clothes, grab a beer and leash her up. After about 15 minutes of walking around the yard and no business, I get frustrated and decide to unleash her and see if that helps. It did...within another minute or so she went. I threw a big ole party and made a huge deal of what a good thing that was and immediately gave her a piece of cheese (dogs love cheese!). This morning we all went out, and she was on the leash and she immediately went and peed first thing like the other dogs. Yay Yay Yay, I think she gets it now!!!!! She did pull so hard after Shitty Kitty that she made me drop my beer and fall down last night, but hey...gotta start somewhere. This girl is gonna cause me to break a limb soon!
Our 5 mile run turned into a 3 miler yesterday, neither of us were feeling great so we decided a shorter run was better than no run at all. We are about to head to the gym for a spin class. The teacher is so motivating and wonderful that her class is full 30 minutes before start time so you have to go really early and lay claim to a bike or you'll end up stuck in the corners where the AC doesn't circulate--that most def ain't whacha want!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Today's Adventure

So I mentioned in the last post that Maura has a strong prey drive and can't be trusted around small dogs or cats. Well this morning I opened the front door to go get something out of the car, and she somehow manages to leap down the bottom of the stairs and bolt past me out the door. I panic....there is a big rottie that lives across the street that is out in the front yard with an invisible fence a lot of the time, and the house next door has a black lab and rat terrier in their backyards. The yard is fenced, but just a little 4 foot fence that Maura could clear in a heartbeat if she wanted to. Now to the subject of my attire, I am wearing nothing but a knee-length terrycloth robe and my rainbow flip flops. Not exactly the best gear for chasiing after a speeding bullet runaway dog! She hits the door running and heads across the street, luckily the rottie was nowhere to be seen, but the lab and rat terrier start raising hell so she runs over to their fence. Just as I start to get close to her, she runs out of my reach. Finally she stops right beside their fence, just staring at the terrier who is still barking like crazy and I'm thinking "Oh my God, please do not jump the fence and go after that dog." So I take advantage of her standing still and literally dive on top of her and tackle her. She tries to wiggle away but I manage to hang onto a back leg. I have to give her credit, if she was going to ever bite me that would have been prime time but she didn't show any aggression at all to me. Once I had her by the leg, I was able to reach up and grab her collar and lead her home. I am just hoping nobody was looking out their windows at that spectacle, because I know that I flashed parts of me you don't show in public in my dive tackle! I got home and had dead leaves and grass all down my robe and in my hair, and my legs were muddy and scratched. Maura thought it was all great fun and just wagged and wagged her tail at me. I learned my lesson about being more careful at the door, and wearing more clothes!
Another thing about Maura is that she is not housebroken, and she seems to not want to go to the bathroom when we can see her. She holds and holds it until we put her in the crate to leave, then she goes in her crate. Ugh! I've been taking her out on a leash in the yard about once an hour, and she has seen the other dogs use the bathroom outside but she won't go. My theory is that her previous owners hit or severely scolded her as a method of "housebreaking" and now she is afraid to use the bathroom where anyone can see her because she thinks she'll get in trouble so she holds it until we leave. We'll work on it, and she'll get so much praise and treats the first time she goes outside so she'll learn that's where she's supposed to go! She's already had one bath today to clean her up, so hopefully we'll get this under control soon. It's just very odd because most dogs hate to go in the crate because then they have to sit in there with it, but nope not Maura......she's special:)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hogs Vs Cocks..and Maura

Friday night Rich's dear childhood friend C came to town, and yesterday morning we got up early and went to Columbia for the Arkansas Razorbacks vs SC Gamecocks game. It was a 1pm game, so there wasn't a whole lot of tailgating time beforehand, but we did manage to have a few cocktails and grill out before the game. I was the DD for the day so I stuck with Diet Coke during the game, and Red Bull after the game...can't say the same for my hubby and C. I won't post the whole hilarity of the evening to protect their privacy, but just ask me if you're curious and I'll probably spill a story or two:)

After the game we had to pick up a dog (we think she is a boxer/pit bull mix) named Maura (click for her pics) that we are temporarily fostering. Here is her story....she was an owner surrender to the Charleston animal shelter around the first of October. Her owners never gave her heartworm preventative such as Heartguard, so now she has heartworms that have to be treated. She is young and otherwise heathy, so she should pull through treatment just fine but it is an expensive and painful process for them and 100% preventable. If you have a dog, PLEASE keep it on heartworm preventative!! Anyway, Maura's owners were moving and didn't want to take her so they signed her over to be adopted or euthanized. The Charleston shelter says they get between 800-1000 animals per month. I don't know for a fact how many make it out alive, but I would guess it is <5%. You do the math..that's a lot of animals that die. This could be avoided if people would simply spay or neuter their animals. Since Maura has heartworms she was "unadoptable" so her only chance to live was to be taken in by a rescue. The shelter staff loved this sweet girl, so they kept her in the back for almost 3 weeks longer than they are supposed to, just to try to give her the chance to be rescued. Our rescue, Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue, was incredibly full but our wonderful intake coordinators found a foster home for Maura. Rich drove her to Columbia last week and she went from there to Charlotte to her new foster home. Unfortunately, Maura is a big strong girl who knows no manners or commands. It's not her fault, nobody ever cared enough to teach her how to be a good girl. So she was not a good match for her elderly foster mom because she kept knocking her over and pulling her down. So, she is back with us for now. She and Fiona have played and played this morning and are now napping together on the rug. The problem is that Maura has a strong prey drive which causes her to chase small dogs and cats, so we are trying to get her moved to a permanent foster home (the foster home that will take care of her for at least 2 months during her heartworm treatment) that doesn't have cats. Hopefully there will be someone who can trade their foster who is good with cats for Maura who is not. She is a sweet girl, and it is remarkable that she can still love people after being abandonded by the only family she had ever known. That's just a glimpse into what the world of rescue is all about, and I'm sure if you keep reading this blog you'll know more than you ever cared to know about it because it is a HUGE part of my life and will make it's way into lots of posts:)

On the training front: yesterday was supposed to be a 5 mile training run. Since we were gone all day, we said we would do it today. Well after all the fun Rich had yesterday, I don't think running 5 miles is going to make it on his To-Do list for today. So..we're putting it off until tomorrow morning which I hate to do, but I'd rather wait and run together than go by myself this afternoon. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Good Morning. This morning I feel like posting about my girlfriends, and just how important you all are. Girlfriends see you at your best and at your worst, and they love you just as the same at both. They are there to laugh with you, cry with you, get mad with you....they are just there for you and that is worth so much. I feel very lucky to have such good friends, and I just hate that most of you are so far away (or that I am so far away from most of you). Some of you I have known just a few months, and some of you I have known for over half of my life. Some of you live just a few minutes away, but many of you are spread all over the country (heck, all over the world at the moment). I love that even though we may not see each other as often as we would like, or may not call as often as we should, every time we are together again we pick right back up where we left off and it was like we were never apart. I think of you all every day. As cheesy as this is, I feel like I have all these invisible strings that flow from me to each of you and that the web they create keeps me grounded and connected. Just know that I love each of you and you are in my mind and my heart every single day, and my life is fuller and richer because you are a part of it. Muah!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What Fiona did while Richard was in the shower

Why oh why do I still continue to buy her doggie beds? She sleeps in our bed half the time, and the other half she spends destroying her beds because she wants to be in ours. Spoiled? Yup!

TGFS (Thank God for Starbucks)

Good Morning all my loyal readers (haha)! As you may know, Rich and I are training to run our 2nd half marathon together (my 3rd, but hey who's counting) on Valentine's Day in Myrtle Beach, SC. I hope this blog will help keep me accountable with training. Yesterday was pretty busy for me. I got off work and headed straight to the chiropractor. I have been having a lot of pain in my right arm-I thought it was carpal tunnel but the chiro thinks it is from nerves being compressed in my upper spine. Who fact, I don't care what it is as long as he can help! Rich has been going for a couple months for lower back pain and has had good results. I don't enjoy going, it is very uncomfortable for me to lay there and let him move the bones in my neck and back around. Anyway, yesterday was a 3-mile run + strength training day. After the chiro I headed to the gym and did 3 miles on the treadmill which was torturous. Treadmill running is the worst in my opinion, plus I forgot my headphones so I just had to stare at Oprah and try to guess what fabulous words of wisdom she was dishing out (sorry Rich, I know you think she is the devil). Then I am feeling super proud of myself for actually getting thru the run, but no time to dwell on that because it was time for Body Pump (BP). Now I really enjoy BP for the most part--it is a great one hour workout that really works just about every part of your body. For those of you unfamiliar with the wonder that is BP, it is broken down into songs, and you work out a different muscle group to each track. I like them all except for the lunge track. It is at that point in every BP class that my mind starts telling me "Hey, a saggy arse is not that big of a deal...this pain is not natural, it's not good for you, stop lunging!!!" But I didn't stop, I toughed it out and soon it was over. This morning I have that pleasant soreness that lets you know you accomplished something, and it makes me thankful that I did not listen to the voice in my head telling me to stop.

After BP I had 45 minutes to drive home, shower and change for dinner out with work friends, feed and play with the dogs and drive downtown. Several people from work and I went to dinner at a nice restaurant in downtown Charleston that was celebrating it's 9th birthday with lots of yummy specials, including $5 expresso martinis. To me, delicious martinis are like cookies or potato chips, maybe there are people out there who can have just one, but I am not one of them. I knew it was going to be a late evening, and that I had to get up early this morning for work so I told myself that I would not have any alcohol at dinner. So I was the only non-drinker at the table, and had to reiterate multiple times that I am in fact NOT pregnant (apparently that is the only acceptable reason for eating without drinking). It was tough to resist the martinis and champagne that everyone was enjoying, but it was pretty entertaining to be the sober observer. So now to the title of today's blog, this morning I rewarded myself for my incredible (one) night of self-discipline with a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, and it was worth it. Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

First post

I am jumping on the blogging bandwagon. I make no promises how this will go, since I am less tech savvy than your average toddler. I may post regularly or I may post obsessively at first then get bored with it, that's more my style...who's just something I'm trying out. I plan on posting about any number of things, but mostly just about our life together and all the fun and craziness that goes along with it. So let me just begin by saying welcome to Adventures in our Funny Farm, and explain why I chose the name. I chose Adventures because that is what our lives are--even the most mundane day is never boring around our house, and Richard and I both love trying new things and going new places. I chose Funny because life is funny, even though I have been accused of having a black cloud over my head (I think this refers to a lack of a sense of humor) but that is just not true, sometimes I just laugh on the inside:) I chose Farm because...well really, if you're reading this, you know us and know that needs no explanation. We currently have 3 dogs: Dickson, Tanner and Fiona and 2 cats Molly and Shi!$y Kitty. We volunteer with Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue so there is usually an extra dog or 2 around the house as well.