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Archive for May, 2007

Yup. While we were house-sitting at Mary and Kristi’s… on the friggin’ coast! When he flew into the trees I was afraid I was going to witness a finch attack, but all was well :) Click on the pics for bigger views.




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Sick as a DOG. Whimper.

Ok so last week I did my last LONG run before the marathon. I completed 20 miles in 4 1/2 hours, but that was with a huge hill in the middle (me=dummy)and I ran out of sustenance and water! I’m good at planning ….not.

So after I finished this lovely (actually quite grueling and me feeling loopy and/or dehydrated most of the second half) 20 miler, I promptly got SICK! I came home and Brendan was sniffling and had a sore throat. Guess who caught it the very next day.

I did not run for 7 days solid. I kept thinking I was getting better – the first two days it was a sore throat, then the stuffy nose, then congestion in the chest (no! runner’s nightmare!) Then Voila! all better.

I ran 3 miles today and it was really tough. I felt all off balanced and heavy and awkward – like I hadn’t run in months in stead of a week. But literally, I haven’t not run for more than 3 days in the last 4 months, so 7 is a biggie. Fitness decreases rapidly and it takes 2-3 times the amount of time taken off to regain it. So with two weeks until the marathon I should be good as gold… er, or something else shiny…

~~~

In other news, I’m going to be taking classes at the University of Alaska with Joe next year. We’re going to Juneau. It gets cold and rains a lot and snows for only a few months – eep – and there are at least 6 hours of daylight during the winter – eep again. I’m looking forward to snowshoeing.

I’ve decided to finish my bachelor’s in SOMETHING – so I picked English/Literature. Joe and I talked about it and that seems like a good degree that even if I never use it professionally I wouldn’t feel like I wasted my time. I read a lot anyway, I am usually a grammar freak (except when blogging…) and am pretty good at writing papers. Plus I’ve been interested in novel writing for quite some time – I can take some classes on technique and creative writing – who knows, I might suck! But then I might not :) I’m an optimist.

In any case, I want to home school my kids and english is a pretty big part of that. We’ll give them the option of going to middle school or high school or continuing studying at home, but either way having an English/Lit. background will be a great asset. And hey, I could be a book editor or something – read books and critique them for money? Hell yes!

I’m satisfied to tell people now that I’m going whatever direction the wind is taking us. I’m sick and tired of having to re-explain our new plans and feel judged by people who don’t really know us at all. But from the outside I can see their point – I went from Art, to Kinesiology, got married, went back to Art and maybe art history, moved to Oregon where we were going to build a house which never went through, while in the meantime we’ve been trying to get our knitting business of the ground for a year, moved back to San Diego, thought I was going to school again for art, changed my mind, Joe is now going to be a math professor and we’re going to freaking Alaska for a year now! OH MY GOD. So if you ask me what we’re up to, expect it to change int he next month. The end

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I just finished Hal Higdon’s book Marathon and it’s a great resource for runners. I am about to do my last 20 mile run tomorrow, then I will gradually decrease mileage (taper) for three weeks until June 3rd, the day of the Rock and Roll Marathon! This book really gave great advice, I picked up some useful ideas. It provided motivation for me. Long miles get lonely and one can feels as if she’s the only one out there doing this. The book had all sorts of runners’ stories about trial and error, strategies, mental focus games for long runs and more.

I really like Hal Higdon’s work. He has been running since his high school days and is in his late 70s. He has run over 100 marathons in his life! And a few times he won! His best times were in the 2 hours 20minutes range – whew. Anyway, his coaching style is genuine and straightforward – and friendly too. I feel like I would get along with him quite well if we ever met in person.

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On another note, Joe and I have been housesitting for Mary and Kristi this week. The book is Kristi’s :) I had intended to read more of their books but time got away from me! I had a great week! I dubbed this week “the official Jenny vacation week”. I spent in the mornings reading and having breakfast outside on the deck or running, midday swimming in their pool and then lying in the sun for a couple hours, afternoons going out or cooking, and evenings watching movies from their plentiful DVD library while cuddling on the couch with Joe. Oh my goodness it has been a great week. I don’t want it to end! Part of the vacation terms was that there would be NO KNITTING at all. But back to work I go very soon :) Can’t wait to housesit again!

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Good Movies

Not just fun to watch movies, but really great movies, are few and far between. My husband is one of the pickiest and most skeptical movie-watcher I know. Tonight we watched Λ†The Pursuit of Happyness and Joe gave it the stamp of approval of being “a really good movie.” This happens maybe twice a year and doesn’t just apply to recent releases either. So I said I would start keeping a record of them :)

Starting now. Here are the most recent movies Joe deemed great:

V for Vendetta
The Prestige
The Pursuit of Happyness

Stay tuned.

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Oprah what?

Alright, I’ve been watching Oprah for a couple years now – on and off, ever since my favorite gym time was at 4pm and that meant one hour of cardio with the queen of talkshow. I watched it for entertainment, kind of watching from no particular point of view – “brain dead” tv with celebrities (one of my little shameful secrets is that I like to read celebrity gossip).

Recently I’ve been introduced to watching Oprah with Joe, and let me tell you, Oprah has a whole new meaning for me. Joe can’t watch the show without falling into a scoffing session. I had never really put much stock into Oprah’s show, mainly focusing on the good charity works she does and that’s about it. Now I can’t watch it without a critical eye and ear!

I’ve been noticing more and more that people seem to view Oprah as a kind of saint and her following is almost religious in their loyalty. Oprah does no wrong. Everything on Oprah’s show is the right thing to do and will make your life better. That worries me. Because it seems like the show is becoming a big opinion-fest for her. All of her favorite people, the books she reads, the doctors she sees, the per food she uses, etc. And what Oprah likes/does must be best. Then you read about the so-called “Oprah boom” phenomenon, where if it was on her show it’s an instant best seller/ instant celebrity/ etc. It’s like people (in the majority being middle aged women and mothers who influence their children, and so on) aren’t even questioning her views anymore.

The pet food thing really made me upset. She had a show the other day about dogs. Her own dog is suffering from kidney failure and so she now works with a holistic veterinary nutritionalist (who knew they existed). Except this guy advocates raw meat as the number one food for dogs. This came out of the recall on dog food (which is cast off meat parts from slaughterhouses that aren’t deemed fit for human consumption) that was tainted. I’m sad in the fist place about the content of dog food, but now in accordance with the Oprah phenomenon, I guarantee that thousands of people will be buying more and more meat.I looked online for criticisms of this particular show and when googled I came up with about 30 blogs in a row praising this information! “Puppy’s getting filet mignon tonight!” I just hope this Oprah phenomenon doesn’t cause a backward step in the fight to end cruel practices of slaughterhouses.

I can look at it and say ‘well at least the dogs aren’t being fed tumors anymore’ but domesticated dogs do not need meat to survive, they’re omnivorous (gasp!) and it’s optional for them, just like humans – as long as protein needs are met in other ways (legumes, beans, nuts, seeds with grains). Dogs can thrive on a well balanced vegetarian or vegan diet, probably more so than on canned food. This whole separate dog food thing is a relatively new idea. Dogs used to be fed table scraps and leftovers as their dinners. The idea that dogs don’t eat “people food” is bogus.

My ranting is done.

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Ode to my Shoes

What a relationship I have with these guys. I strap them onto my feet and I know I’m in for at least 45 minutes of running ahead of me… most likely more than an hour now. I have two pairs. They’re Adidas. I haven’t named them. They don’t seem to be calling out for names. They wait patiently until I am ready to head out the door and then away we go.

These are the cushy ones. If these are on my feet, I’ll be doing more than an hour of running. They’re not quite as cool looking, but we’ve spent some quality time together.
These guys are my space shoes! They’re glittery and blue with fun springy looking things on the soles! Unfortunately, I can’t wear them for more than an hour running because my forefeet get totally beat up. You might see that the front of the shoe is considerably thinner than the back. That means they’re meant for heel pounding speed. So that’s what we do! When I put on these shoes, my feet know what we’re doing today!

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Colleen

This is the sweater that has been taking most of my time lately. I’m calling her Colleen, the Irish word for ‘girl’. Not entirely original, but the name really jumped out at me. ‘Hey! That’s my name!’ It’s a piece entirely of my own design. And it is more than halfway done.

The body piece is finished, and thank goodness because it’s 200 stitches around! 120 rows of that and you’d be glad it was done too.
The cables here are on both sides of the sweater body. They’re twisted rib cables – ooh, ahh. It’s the first time I’ve ever used them, and I agonized whether or not to keep them or start over. Verdict: obviously I kept them. And they’re alright, but I probably would go with regular cables next time.
This beauty is the cabled yolk. And it is taking a long time. I’m using size 4 needles for a clean tight look. Loves it. This is my favorite part. Though I wish it would knit up quicker.
I’m knitting 50 inches worth (hooo boy!) for the yolk and it will wrap around the shoulders. There aren’t any decreases in this, so I will be pick up stitches to knit another couple inches above it so that I can make it fit over the shoulders. It will be wide necked, open almost to the shoulder.
So that’s it for now. I’m taking a short break from the many stitches. This is the mess than usually accompanies me, wherever I go! You’ll almost never see me without my canvas knitting bag full of knitting projects, and loose ends of yarn trailing behind me :)

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