Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a great day!  Eat all you want!
Take time to remember what you are most thankful for.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Funerals are never easy.
I have been to a few.  Not as many as some people.  Definitely more that I wish.

I went to my grandparents funerals in June and then September.  Because the funerals were held where they grew up (St. Louis) yet lived in Pittsburgh for over 50 years the family held a Memorial Service  in November for their friends and our family.
I am not going to lie-it wasn't easy.  Even though they lived full lives (93 and 94 years old).  Even though they both were not well for years.
But-is it ever?

There were bright spots amongst the sadness:
Family I had not seen in years came.  I'm the oldest grandchild so I knew them all (even if I was a child the last I saw them).
I got to revisit memories that had long since been buried.
I shocked some people at my memory.  I knew who neighbors of my great-grandmother were-and asked about their children (all my age).  I remembered the woman who helped take care of my great-grandma--even if she didn't remember me at first (I had grown-a lot).  I remembered many stories about her (she sued an internationally well known company because they continuously promoted men over her--men she trained.  She won.)  I remembered them and was able to tell my siblings and cousins all the info they ever needed to know  :)

The very best part, however, was something embedded in all of the services.  A time of remembrances.  Rather than have someone perform a Eulogy-a life story was read about each (combined at the Memorial).  Then, the people gathered were asked to speak up about their memories of them.  Stories, details, anything.  This was new to me--as I said, I haven't gone to many funerals-but none of them offered this.  My uncle, a minister, presided over all 3 services.  I know his family religion is the origin of this.  I loved it.  Friends, family and others spoke up.

I heard so many stories.  Some I already knew.  Many I didn't
Some that just reflected my grandparents personality so much we all chuckled because we could imagine the scene perfectly.
 3 men who used to work with my grandfather came to the memorial.
 I learned that my Grandfather created their pension from scratch-and made it 100% iron clad so the company couldn't touch or change it in any way. These men were so thankful-and said that he touched so many lives by doing this-even though those people didn't know him.

I learned my Grandma designed and (had) built a house for them-and the day it was finished-my grandfather got transferred.  She never got to live in her dream house.

I learned my Dad, Uncle, Aunt and their cousins had a tomato fight in the (finished) basement of my great-grandmother's house.

There were so many stories.  I need to document them.
They are gone-but memories remain.  Memories I don't want to forget.

I hope, when I am gone, there are wonderful memories of me to share.

Monday, November 15, 2010


My husband thinks I am insane.  and maybe I am.
I peruse the pictures of kids in foster care that are potentially available for adoption monthly.  It's an obsession.  It's a huge obsession-I want right now to start the process.  Actually, I wish it was already started.  I have criteria established-basically age and what level/kind of (any) "issues" we could handle.

So, he was not surprised when I shoved the computer at him and said, "Look-I want to adopt them-and I am serious."

He was not surprised at that.  I have pointed out several children before.  Usually to get him thinking about starting the process-because it can take awhile to even get approved-and "those children" will most likely be adopted...or older than we want to adopt.

He was surprised at what I showed him-a sibling group.  Not of 2...or 3 siblings...but 4 siblings.  4 perfectly adorable siblings under our age criteria.  4 children with "issues" that appear reasonable (it's foster care people-there are always issues)  4 siblings who I know I would love.  1 stop shopping.  1 crazy adoption process.  4 beautiful kids?  4 beautiful related-look alike-kids!

He thinks I am insane- and I am.  But, we could do this, right?

Ok-I admit.  The dreaming side of me is insane.  The reality side of me is trying to comprehend housing, feeding and clothing them with our budget-- from zero to 4 kids overnight.  all at once? but the dreaming side has me-well, dreaming.  All night I dreamed of them.

I am insane.  But.....what if we could do this?

For now, I will dream....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A running update

The good:
I can run a mile consistently.  I DO run a mile consistently.  I typically walk a mile, then run, then walk the rest-totaling 4 miles.
I worked up to 1.5 miles and was ready to move on and then got something-a mild cold, an allergy overload-something-which had me take a couple days off and then walk only for a day or so--and I was back to struggling to go over a mile.

The bad(?)

-I am really only running on mostly downhill graded trails. It isn't 100% downhill and you don't really notice the incline-it usually looks flat.  It has just been the way it is-not by design untilthis weekend.  Since I need a mile warm up-and that's the way the trail is.

 I have started attempting to run as much of my "easiest" neighborhood walk-which has some hills.  I do this on the days I can't get home before dark (and therefore trail running is out) and I don't have time/desire for my long neighborhood walk with the steep hills.  I need to be able to run hills-I feel like I struggle more than I should-so it's a mini monster I am battling. 

Also, I am so uncoordinated I never seem to get into a groove-I feel like I am just plodding along-and that I will fall flat on my face any minute. I envy those who run with ease. I just--don't.  My pace varies and I just can't figure out how to work on making this steady and easy.  If I have to adjust something (the ipod, lapping my stopwatch on my phone) I feel like I am flailing about. I mean I am so clumsy I tripped over the computer cord (again) and walked by my husband and knocked over several things on the end table with an empty laundry basket (again).  Within an hour-Yestderday.   Recently, when running, I hit my ankle with the heel of my other show-causing a bruise.  Which bothered me for 2 weeks.  Any tips?

So my 2 goals now are:
increase my running distance
increase my abiity to run hills

So-on goal # 1:
I decided to split a longer run on the trail-something I don't have time for now with this time change during the week.  In order to increase my distance-I looked at the trail and decided to go with another section of the trail with more downhill incline than up.  
 Yesterday, I walked 1.2 miles, ran 1.8, walked 1.8, ran 1 mile and walked .2 (3 miles out and back on the Montour trail-conveniently sectioned out for me). 
I figured this is the best way to increase my distance and time...and this will increase my endurance. Over time, I will run the entire 2.8 without a walking break.

Goal #2:  My "daily" 1 mile+ will be in the opposite direction.  To up my hills (and really, it's only a slight grade-that's what Bothers me about how much I struggle!)  and I will continue attempting to run my "easy walk" neighborhood route-

The Ugly:
My shoes.   They are driving me crazy.  They have been wonderful in keeping me from being injured-and allowing me to actually run.  But something is just not right with them anymore.
The left foot is mostly good.  I have to adjust the way it is tied it a little-not much.  Not worries.  It is the right foot that is insane.  If you look at both feet.  The right laces are pulled so much closer than the left.  They must be tight-but over the bone in my foot-not tight-not loose.  Where I tie them they have to be loose to allow movement-firmly tied hurts.  If the shoes are not exactly right-my knee clicks.  and clicks.  and clicks.  I had to adjust them 4 times the other day-and they still weren't right.  I don't have enough miles on these shoes to say they are worn out.  Throwing them in the washer helps.  I only had to adjust them once after the last wash.  I think they are stretching out over a week or two.  I need new shoes.  I need to go back to the running store and get re-fitted.  I know this.  But money's tight-so I will make due.

I need a Nike+ sensor, too because I am obsessed with timing my walks and runs--and keeping track of the distance.  My current method is not my favorite-since it's my phone and any calls stop it.

Since I am new to running-does anyone have any tips?