Archive for October, 2011

Starting Something New

It’s been declared that it’s time. It’s time to pursue something new; something that’s been a goal and desire for some time now. The farewell speech has been written, proofread, and shared.

Wings have been spread; flight has begun.

Yes, my daughter has left the clan to create and lead a new one.  😆 Hunny, of course, is right there with her. They think he’s her mother.  😆

I am not a gamer. I live with those who are, though. In the early days, the three of them would go marauding around together. I was not thrilled with online gaming, and didn’t want the kids out there unsupervised. So Hunny “sacrificed” himself to go along and supervise.

Initially, the three of them were in there, all “girls” (female characters) banging around together. It was, if nothing else, a good learning experience for the boy, who was on the receiving end of being constantly hit upon. At some point, his stuff got hacked or somehow cleaned out, and he left, disgusted. He’s got another game going, though, that Hunny can pop in and out on and supervise.

Today, the girl left the clan, to start her own. She and Daddy are off on their own, starting over, and it will be interesting to see how this new “clan” developes. I just think it’s funny.

One thing I think that is interesting and alternatively sad is how people view their avatars (characters). Some people are so wrapped up in the game that they miss what’s going on in the real world. Some also believe that the avatar is a reflection- an extension of themselves; their alter ego(s). Can you see me shaking my head?

Thank goodness the youngest two are not old enough for that yet. I will be really sad if I lose all my kids to the gaming world. If that does eventually happen, I might actually have to join them, if I can put down my book long enough.

In the meantime, I guess I’ll have to be happy that we’re all in the same room, even if they are gaming and I am running……

Starting something new- it can change your “life.”  😆  😉

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Yep. You’ve read that right. I’m a snob, and I don’t mind saying so.

Some things are just better than others, and when I am in a situation to understand this, I don’t mind saying I have a preference. I suppose that makes me a snob. 

For a considerable amount of time, I’ve been reading blogs. I’ve been reading blogs long before I got a one. A website client of mine several years ago wanted on a blog on their site, and my regular server host used WordPress for free. That was my first introduction to WordPress.

Since that point and time, while I’ve come across other blogging sites, by far, the one I’ve come into the most contact with (besides WordPress) has been Blogger.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t enjoy Blogger blogs. For one, they are soooo slow and doggy it’s frustrating. Yes, I know, I have a Windows machine and yes, I know, I need to rebuild. And yes, I know, I’m long overdue to partition and use Linux as my main OS. But until I do that, I’m stuck with what I’ve got.

One of these days, I’ll get frustrated enough and bite the bullet and just do it already. Today is not that day.

So, Blogger for me is slow and doggy, and takes forever and a day to not only get the page to load, but then to scroll down the darn page. I am not gifted with an abundance of patience.

Y’all also know my love of RSS. While I’ve taken the plunge into subscribing to some sites as a means of whittling down my home page, I primarily RSS sites, which then shows me new posts on blogs. That works fine for WordPress. Not so much for Blogger.

Not having a Blogger blog, I have no way of knowing if this is a setting that the user can control or not. I just know some of the blogs I was following I don’t get updates for anymore. I can still see them, but what posts show up are months old. I can go and check and see if they have something new, but it feels like a waste of time to always be checking just in case. This means that some I used to read I’ve given up on entirely; others I check once a month or whatever, if I remember.

Another thing is commenting. While I do appreciate being able to comment using my WP ID, this is sometimes hit or miss, I assume depending on whether or not they are talking to each other. When I comment on a WP blog, I get the option to check the box to receive additional comments by email. I always check the box.

If I say something on someone’s blog, it’s nice to be able to know if they replied back to my comment, or to follow the conversation. I do wish WP had the ability to get comments even if you haven’t commented, but until that happens, I’ll be happy with what I get.

Because Blogger doesn’t offer this option, I am loath to comment. I don’t have the inclination to actively stalk a blog in the off-chance that someone responded to me. Nor do I want to have to go back and check to see if there are other comments.

I have no way of knowing if this is a stock non-feature for those that have Blogger blogs; just like I have no idea if people who don’t have WP blogs can check the box and get comments in their email. I kind of think they can’t, because there are a few that have commented that I’ve replied to and asked questions that never responded, so I assume they don’t know I’ve asked a question.

Obviously, this is preferable to thinking someone is ignoring you, so I’m going with that. 😆 Anybody know for sure one way or another?

So, that’s my short list.  I like what I like. Yep, I’m a snob; a bloggy WordPress snob.  😀 (can you tell I’ve spent some time trying to read other non-WP blogs today??)  😆

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What to do, what to do….

Hunny wants my docs (rheumies) to sign off on me running any kind of distance on concrete/pavement/anything without cushion. He is worried that I am going to hurt myself and that’s going to result in me going down for more than a few days. The last time he was insistent I not do something because he thought it was going to physically harm me (although it had nothing to do with running), I ended up in such bad shape that I nearly ended up in the hospital and in bed pretty solidly for two weeks.

My argument is that the mileage is fine (10k) and I’m prepared for that.  Worst case scenario, I could either walk or not finish if something happened.

He has a voice, of course, because when I’m incapacitated (as I was earlier this week), he’s the one picking up the pieces and filling in. He doesn’t mind when it’s a freak or unexpected thing, but when it’s something I’ve set out to do despite his reservations and it goes bad, he’s not a happy camper.

Tuesday I had a weird funky episode about 45 minutes after my run.  I haven’t ever had anything like that happen before, and I haven’t had anything similar since. I was really glad I wasn’t driving, to say the least. Tuesday pm was spent in bed; some of Wednesday pm was spent in bed; I spent all of yesterday pm in bed (and really crashed hard).

I cannot argue with the logic, and certainly, in light of this new thing on Tuesday, one can counter and say that there will be other races, yada yada yada.

Obviously, I’m disappointed. To not run now, when I’ve spent the last 3 weeks really focused on this, in many ways would feel like a cop-out (even though logically I know I have real health issues that I can’t ignore). I’m annoyed to feel like I’m chickening out and “using” my illnesses as an excuse to not enter something I know I’ll have an awful finish time in.  😆

Even though my time will be atrocious (as in, some of the 10k walkers will finish with better time), the whole point for me was to set a goal and go for it, even just to finish (and yes, I keep telling myself that, in hopes I will some day believe it- honestly, I have a competitive streak and I like to do well; but here again, I know where I’m at now). The next race I’d probably have better time and longer, focused training under my belt.

The next one on the schedule is in December, and I am not sure I can physically run in colder temps (because of my Raynaud’s), because I’m supposed to gear up and avoid cold as much as possible. I’d really rather not run a sustained purple/blue, and in good conscience, I cannot say that any extent of time without blood in one’s appendages is smart and worth the possible/probably outcome. I am certain that my docs will NOT be keen on a winter run.

In all reality, that run would be out, unless it was balmy and 50 degrees, which hey, might happen. Last year, that was during our cold snap, where we had a week of sub-zero temps, with highs around -11 and -14. That weather was a total oddity, though, and unlikely to ever happen again. Most likely, it’ll be 40s to 50s, which really is not very cold for normal folks.

If that thing on Tuesday hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t think twice. I would be confident with no reservations, unless my hip was still in bad shape like it was last week.

But that thing- honestly, it left me a little shaken and concerned (mostly because we haven’t ruled out a heart issue, too :roll:), and I can’t say it can/should be entirely disregarded. I’ve dealt with so many weird, one-time bizarre things it would make your head spin (like the one time I could walk for over an hour)- but that’s the point- they are one time things and then I never have another episode.

What to do…… what to do…… anybody ever dealt with this kind of situation?  Give me your two cents, please!


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I’m Giggling

We’ve been here (in the desert SW) for nearly 16 years, and it still makes me laugh.

You might have heard that Denver got some snow- about 5 inches, which really, in the overall scope of things is not a lot of snow. Here in our northern mountains, we got a dusting of snow. Those of you who live in snowy climates knows what this means (= nothing to think twice about).

Out here, though, any kind of wet stuff that falls from the sky not only makes the news, it monopolizes it. And causes mass panic. Seriously. 

There are people posted around the state to report on the snow (and rain) falling. They each have their own segment on the news, including the towns that have fixed cameras and no live person.

Where I live, no one has ever heard of snow tires, unless they are retired from a northern state. Even then, they won’t have a set.

Where I live, there are no snowplows. Nope. You read that right. No snow plows. There may be a stray rancher who has a truck with the plow attachment, and they may pitch in to help in town if needed.

When we moved here, this also made me giggle. A town without snow plows? What do they do when it snows?

I had to wait a few years for an answer to that question. What do they do? They wait until it melts and ask people not to drive. And really, that last part is important- the not driving part. People have issues with driving when it’s wet, and snow is worse. It’s hard to get good or proficient at something you don’t have the opportunity to practice but every few years.

I had never heard of roads being closed because of snow. Where I grew up, it was a part of life, and life kept moving despite the stuff on the roads. At first, I thought these towns also didn’t have snow plows, and that was why the interstate was shut down. No, really, they (the northern towns) DO have snow plows. And the roads still get shut down.

I can see the mountain passes getting shut down. Those can be treacherous under any conditions. (and I confess, when we are on really wind-y mountain roads, I have to shut my eyes…) It does make sense to shut the roads to prevent people from falling down the mountains.

In the years since moving here, I’ve come to realize that it’s probably a combination of people not really knowing how to drive in snow combined with the rural nature of the state. No one wants to slide off the road and get stranded hundreds of miles between towns, where others are unlikely to find you. Those spots also probably won’t have cell service, either.

This Michigan girl has a late fall birthday. Generally, by the time my birthday rolled around each year, we had already had our first significant, sticking snow. When I got my driver’s license, there was already snow on the ground. I don’t mind driving in snow- I actually kind of like it!

I also like shovelling snow. Yes, I know, my brain is damaged from all those years without sunlight. You can imagine my glee, those first years in Colorado, when I had my very own snow shovel.  😆 When we moved here, I was very particular not to allow my blessed snow shovel be used for anything but snow.

A few years later, I realized it wasn’t earning its keep, and discovered quite by accident that it was perfect for scooping up leaves. So, it was repurposed and lived a good long life until a year or so ago when it literally fell apart and had to be retired.

I have not had a reason to get a new one, but I am waiting with great anticipation for the time when I can justify buying another one.  Maybe I’ll add that to my birthday list, along with rain boots……

In the meantime, I’m going to keep giggling when I watch the news.  This morning, the warning was to watch out for puddles.  Yes, that’s right- those rain puddles are dangerous stuff, and folks should stay off the road unless they “have” to be out and about.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!  😆

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Sequels!! Squee! This series in includes the titles Waiting for Morning, A Moment of Weakness, and Halfway to Forever.

If you have been reading my reviews, you may remember my recent review of Waiting for Morning. You may also recall that this is not my normal reading fare, since I generally don’t like to cry my way through books. Because this was such a recent read, I didn’t re-read this portion of the trilogy, but here’s a recap:

Hannah, a devout Christian woman, eagerly awaits the return of her husband and two daughters home from their annual fishing trip. As Hannah waits, she reflects on her blessed life with the love-of-her-life doctor husband and her two wonderful daughters. Hannah continues to wait, and as time passes, the sense of dread begins to consume her. The light at the end of that tunnel is finding Matt, an attorney whose specialty is this particular kind of case, and a renewed relationship with her surviving daughter, Jenny.

Book two, A Moment of Weakness, tells the story of Jade and Tanner, childhood friends, convinced they would grow up and marry each other. Every thing is on track until 10-year-old Jade’s mother leaves, and she and her father move to escape the legacy left behind.

11 years later….. Tanner’s life is on track as his mother would have it. An internship in a small town- Tanner’s mom is certain he and Jade won’t meet, and if they do, there is no way they would remember each other. Would they?

~~Spoiler alert~~~ Because this is a trilogy, if you don’t want the answer to whether or not Jade and Tanner reconnect, stop reading here.






If you are still here, 😆 no doubt you’ve guessed the answer. Book three, Halfway to Forever, picks up both stories: Matt and Hannah; Jade and Tanner.

Matt and Tanner are partners in a law firm which specializes in defending religious freedom, and takes on high-profile cases where Christians are being persecuted, more or less. Both couples’ relationships are solid; both long for a child.

The obvious thread of all three books is, of, course, faithfulness. The faithfulness focused on isn’t the character’s faithfulness. Nope, this faithfulness is all about God’s faithfulness; His promises to us, during times of hardship and trial; His promise of faithfulness in times of plenty and of ease.

If you can get past the first book, this series is incredibly good. The first book wasn’t bad by any means, but the subject matter is tough stuff. All of the series characters are extremely well-developed, and I do think each book can stand alone. While an overview of the past is woven in, it doesn’t detract from the present story.

Because of the first book (which I gave 4.5 stars), this series gets a 4.5.  I’d give it 4 3/4 if I could.

I would definitely recommend this series to friends. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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I assume that you are, too. You do remember what Friday was, right?

Oh well, if you somehow managed to forget, you should start with my Waiting for The Rapture ponderings. For those of you too hung over disinclined to go clicking around this morning, let me summarize: 

Harold Camping, of Family Radio, had again predicted the rapture and the end of the world. This time, the rapture was going to happen on May 21, 2011. This is when, Camping said, all the Christians would be taken up into heaven while the rest of the world waited for the end of the world on October 21, 2011.

Now, you won’t find that verbiage on the Family Radio website. Nope. What you’ll find instead are comments like these:

“Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011, on the last day of the present five months period. On that day the true believers (the elect) will be raptured. We must remember that only God knows who His elect are that He saved prior to May 21.”


“Therefore we have learned from our experience of last May 21 what actually happened. All of mankind was shaken with fear. Indeed the earth (or mankind) did quake in a way it had never before been shaken. God had come spiritually to bring judgment upon the whole world.”

Ya got that? The rapture did happen, but it was invisible. I am not sure how they will explain the “annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011″ bit, but I am sure that an answer is forthcoming. The Huffington Post tried to get a comment, but was turned down.

Out of all of this, I wonder what has happened in the months since those folks quit their jobs and gave up their life savings. I wonder how they are making out; what their perspective is these days.

At any rate, I’m still here, and I assume you are, too. I think the next logical step is to be relieved that we still have a year + to think about the Mayan calendar, which ends December 21, 2012. I wonder if the Mayans predicted their own cultural demise as well…..  

Or maybe we should spend our time worrying wondering when the Yellowstone Caldera super volcano is going to blow, given the earthquakes, etc.  Are animals really leaving Yellowstone? 

In February 2011, 400 buffalo that migrated from Yellowstone in search of food were corralled and slated for slaughter. The Buffalo Field Campaign has more information on its work to stop the slaughter of Yellowstone’s wild free roaming buffalo. This whole thing just stinks to me (and breaks my heart); messing with natural migration and habitat because we are encroaching on their environment.

But hey- we won’t need to worry about the buffalo (or anything else) when the solar flares hit and take out the world’s nuclear power plants.

I guess instead of worrying, I should get back to preparing for zombies. And you should too. This is an absolute must read. After all, you know it’s serious business when the CDC puts out a warning! Make sure, though, you have a copy of The Top Ten Signs That You Might Be A Zombie so you can learn if you or your friends have already succumbed to zombification.

I’m sure you’ve already figured this out by now, but you’ll be glad to have it in writing that we here passed the zombie test.  😆

Leave me a comment and let me know what other ways the world is going to end so I can start worrying preparing for them, too!  :mrgreen: 

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Or maybe not. I don’t know. It may be too early to tell.

Remember that last post where I was saying my pain level hadn’t increased despite my mileage increase? And that I wanted to be careful not to get injured because that would be an excuse not to do the 10 k?

Ya, well, humph. Saturday I kinda sorta upped my mileage again, by 1/2 a mile.  And it felt ok, more or less. I was feeling the hip by the end, but it wasn’t killing me. Sunday I took off because I upped my mileage on Saturday and J wasn’t home in the morning to go roller-blading while I ran, so I had enough excuses to pass. And hey, since my hip was still a little sore, I thought it would be better to have a break.

Monday came. Hip still pretty sore. Had to stop (!!!!!!) while out after about the first mile, because the front part of my hip was getting tighter and tighter to the point where it darn near felt frozen. Stretched it out and it was bearable; no incline work, I said, until I got it sorted out.

Tuesday came. Hip still sore, but I took it slow, and while I did some incline work, it was 1/2 mile less (total; 1/4 mile each) and here again, I went really slow.

Oh. My. Stars. I napped in the afternoon, and by the time evening came, it was on constant throb. Now I have two points of pain. I’m thinking it’s the normal bursa pain and then new stuff I think is some kind of hip flexor/iliopsoas tendonitis. Achille’s tendon. Extensor tendonitis. Iliopsoas tendonitis.

Do you see the pattern?? Yes, I know, I am dense. When one has connective tissue disease (and since Raynaud’s is a symptom of mixed connective tissue disease), you never know what is going to go haywire next.

Anyhow. Hunny is convinced that the pain is the result of running on pavement. I think it’s probably the combination of increased mileage and being in a flare. In hindsight, when I woke up on Saturday with swollen eyes, I should have not increased my mileage, and just to be safe, I should have probably done my running indoors. And then Monday and Tuesday when they were still swollen-same thing. Meh.

I medicated last night so I could sleep. Pain is not as bad today, but it’s not good. I can do a bit more stretching without having my breath taken away, so that is good.  I think. We’ll see what tomorrow (and some additional targeted exercises and stretches) brings. I haven’t registered yet for the race, but I still really want to.

And the clock is ticking. The only other race on the horizon is in December, and I am not sure how running in the cold (because of my Raynaud’s) is going to play out.

But hey- the upside is that I did manage to find a cheap pair of sunglasses that I think will work. They are not terribly dark, but since I’m looking down much of the time, I think they will be ok.

So, bloggy friends who have dealt with this, please give me your two cents! Push on? Ditch the race this time?

The only thing I actually know is that I am headed for a nap right now.  😆

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Do you remember these? Passing notes in school; sometimes from boy to girl; more often from girl to boy: 

It’s interesting to see that not only does this still happen, but it doesn’t have to happen in school!

Our 7-year-old (who has never gone to school) is in the throes of note writing. Our 10-year-old is another one that has regularly written us notes, and I think this is where our 7-year-old has gotten the inclination.

When your house is full of girls, you expect “girly” things. You expect the dress-up; the tea parties. While they also like playing with chickens, making a fort, playing in mud, playing with bugs, and hanging out and helping Daddy as he builds things with power tools, they also have girly streaks.  (Dear Lord, help me not kill them to be calm and understanding in a few years when they are all cycling together …………)

Lately, this has involved making more of their own envelopes (using bits of wrapping paper; scratch paper, and usually involving color and decorations) and notes.

Oh hang on- just got another mail delivery:

“Dear Mama,

Good morning. And is it a good morning?

Check yes or no ok.

Love, J”

I, of course, checked the “yes” box.  😆

Yesterday, my letter (and Daddy got one as well) said,

“Dear Mama,

I love you. Do you love me?

Check yes or no.

Love, J”

This particular 7-year-old is blond, dimpled, and extremely giggly. How could anyone possibly not say yes?!  😆


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Is she out of her mind? New bride Marielle Bishop wonders if she made the right choice, moving to Holly Oak. 

Holly Oak. Home to her new husband and his two children. Home of her new husband’s tragically and unexpectedly deceased first wife’s childhood. Home where they lived as a family when she died; where her husband and two children continued to live in the years after her death.

Home to Adelaide, the grandmother of the deceased first wife, who raised Sara from infancy.

Home to rumor and superstition from the locals. Home to a long history from the Civil War. Home to a curse of the women who live in the house?

Susan Meissner is one of my absolute most favorite authors. Her storytelling has a way of sucking you in, while twining together the past and the present. In this case, I do think the characters each could have been a little more developed. This is one of those books that easily could have been twice as long without leaving the reader feeling fatigued.

When I got to the portion near the end (I won’t spoil it for you), it was so well written it gave me total appreciation of how Susan’s mind works. That little bit there gave huge insight into one character. At the end of the book, I found myself thinking the book might have been better had those bits been woven in throughout, so that both stories were being told at the same time.

That being said, I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I would definitely recommend this book (along with her others, some of which are out on loan) to friends.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.


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Do y’all remember on VFF post #4 when I said I wouldn’t bug you but every 100 miles? Yep, it’s that time!  😀

Since you can probably tell I’m still wearing them and still running, you have probably assumed that all is well in happy-running-land, and you would be correct. I won’t bore you with all the details this time, but let’s get some summary numbers (because I’m anal like that :lol:).

Total VFF/miles record #5: 105

Total yearly miles to date: 552.56

Total VFF miles to date: 243

Miles before VFFs: 309.56

October total thus far: 49.5

If you’ve been reading along, you’ll know that I am contemplating a 10k early next month. When I first had this stupid idea stroke of genius, I was a month out. It goes without saying that I will wait until almost the last minute to register if I decide to.

I’m still working on the minutiae of running outdoors. My biggest issue, I think, is convincing hunny that I am not going to kill myself. I can’t just shrug off his concerns entirely, because when/if it goes south, he’s the one standing in the gap and picking up the pieces (read: taking over the household and taking care of me while I’m incapacitated). I am hoping I have enough time to show him that there won’t be an explosion of badness because I’m running outside.  😆

What’s noteworthy is the increase of mileage. I’ve increased by 1.5 miles and added a day, which means an addition of 12.5 miles a week. At this point, I am going for distance and not speed.

Within the daily miles, I’ve added incline training (my treadmill is so old that back when I got it, it was something to have any kind of incline, particularly combined with a space saver model. This means I have three levels of what I fondly call low, mid, and normal. 😀 ). Today I did 2 miles of incline work; 1 low; 1 mid.

What’s important to know about these two newer things (increased mileage and incline work):

  • I am not following the “don’t increase more than 10% a week” rule.  😆 You’ve already figured out I generally don’t play by the rules, unless I have a compelling reason to.
  • My pain levels have not increased. Because I am thinking about trying that thing next month, I don’t want to get myself in a position where I’m injured and can’t do it. I have noticed more hip soreness, but I’m trying to counteract that by upping my hip strengthening exercises. Injury is just one less excuse for me to have to think about, as I try to talk myself into it.  😆

While I have had some soreness, it’s not prohibitive. It hasn’t slowed me down at all to this point <knock on wood>. In reality, I think if I had 2 months of prep time, I’d certainly jump in with no reservations. I’m looking at two weeks and some change. We’ll see.  😆

On the one hand, I have the voice that says, ” Your mileage is fine- you can do this even if you have to walk some.” On the other hand, I have the voice that says, ” You’re freaking nuts.”  😆

Where I’m landing today? Today, I am encouraged by my bloggy friend runningthriver who ran a half marathon recently and then will run a marathon a short two weeks later. Today, I’m thinking that if this mother here could run a marathon and then deliver a healthy, full-term baby 7 hours later :shock:, maybe I can do a measly 10k…….  😎  :mrgreen:

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