Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Streaking: Day 6

I believe this is a heron enjoying the rainy, stormy day we are having here in North Texas.
He is perched atop a little patio Dean built in front of our pond.

 Today is my 6th consecutive day of running. I only ran 1 mile. I had to wait for a break in the thunder and lightening. There are storms projected for the rest of the day. In fact, it began to rain again as I finished my run. We have a handy dandy elliptical machine but no treadmill!! I had intended to run on grass today, 2 miles, and take it slow. The best laid plans of mice and runners... Tomorrow is another day! Happy Running! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The K List: A Birthday Celebration

Happy Birthday!

Pecan Pie with Chocolate Sauce at Rick's on the square in Downtown McKinney!! Yum!

Year's ago when I watched Oprah, I went from watching every day, then to watching occasionally and finally to only watching the Oprah's Favorite Things episodes. In life I am a modest consumer. Someone has to be. If someone did not appreciate art, music, books, and even material goods then capitalism would fail and all those creative people would have no one to admire their work!! I would rather be a creator and producer but so far I have been mostly a consumer.

So this is my version of Oprah's favorite things: The K List! I have to mention that my most favorite things are not material in nature but that is not what this post is about. This is about the little and sometimes big FUN things that make life different and new, or comfortable and cozy or that inspire and motivate, or maybe they are just pretty!

Here are my K List qualifiers inspired  by my birthday (yesterday) and the thoughtful gifts I received. First on the list is Lollia Breath (peony and white lily) Tranquil Bubbling Bath. Dean purchased this for me at the Sample House. It comes in a wine-like bottle complete with cork. This gift reminds me of my three favorite comfortable and soothing things: my Mr. Tub bathtub with 6 jets of pulsating streams of water, my pillow top mattress and my massage chair. If you read any of my running posts then you understand why these three rather expensive items are so important to me. The sweet scented bubble bath is the perfect accompaniment to my relaxing bath experience.

Next Parker gave me a stylus to use with another of my favorite things, my IPad. When I wake up in the morning I reach for my IPad. I activate (touch) the You Version app and Wah Lah I am instantly transported to today's designated reading in the Chronological read-the-bible-in-a-year plan. The screen is back lit which means that I can SEE it! Since I received the IPad as an anniversary/Mother's Day present back in April I have not only caught up on my Bible reading (whereof I was woefully behind) but I am now ahead of schedule!!! I also use my IPad for reading email and Facebooking. With Parker's gift of a stylus I will be able to take notes without using the tiny keyboard and I may be able to do some artist things with it...we will see.

IPad and case

IPad cover with keyboard from Brookstone

Thank you, Parker!
   My next favorite things represent two categories of things that always inspire me: Craft books/magazines and blank hopeful notebooks. Bailey presented me with a craft book and a very cool Moleskine blank notebook. The craft book was just at my artistic level: Doodling with Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets. And for me, notebooks large or small, lined or grid or blank; all represent anticipation and hope. What amazing notes will I take in this notebook, what cool pictures will I draw, what new project will I outline in this notebook, what lists will be written and crossed off, what vacations will be planned in this notebook? So much excitement for a blank page.

Doodling with Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets

I can't wait to draw him!

Another drawing opportunity. I love his eyes!

These little birds are so funny!

The Molesskine Notebook of possibilities!
And then there is the Just-For-Fun category of favorite things. My friend Nanette always sends me something to make me smile. This year it was a big happy flower that can be attached to anything because the stem has a bendy wire inside! I think everyone should have a happy flower sharing their office space.

I also love "animal" themed gifts. Nanette included in her parcel a little Russian made box with a wide-eyed kitty perched on the lid. Because Nanette lives in another city her gifts arrive by mail. This in itself is a gift. A box in the mail, not a bill or advertisement but a BOX! So exciting!

 Since this has turned into a birthday celebration post I must include some images from a few of the very cool cards I received.  There are a few cards still "in the mail" since my birthday fell on Memorial Day and my friend Paula informs me that she mailed my card from France when she was there. She says it is taking the scenic route to reach me. I don't mind, I think it is cool to get a birthday card from France.

The captions inside read: "It's your birthday, Live Dangerously!
I must state again that none of the things that appear on the K List would have any meaning to me without the "things" in life that are really important: Faith, Family and Friends. The only category missing on The K List today was books. I cannot imagine a life without literature, self-help, mystery, Christian living, Science Fiction, Adventure!  And to assist in my exploration of other worlds and ideas I  have a Kindle. That pretty much wraps up my favorite things for today. I am blessed with thoughtful and kind family and friends and they are on the top of my K List! I wish you Many Happy Returns of the Day!

Day 2 Runner's World Streaking Challenge

 When participating in a Running Streak Challenge (this one issued by Runner's World) it is important to stay motivated. Below are two of my favorite running quotes:

"I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner."
-Bart Yasso 

 "To know you are one with what you are doing, to know that you are a complete athlete, begins with believing you are a runner."
-- George Sheehan

These pictures were taken on a run at Erwin Park. We share the trail here with armadillos, mountain bikers and squirrels.
 I think the two quotes above sum up my struggle with my identity as a runner. There was a time when I could almost wholeheartedly agree with the first statement. There are no fake runners, therefore I must be a real runner. But then you come across people with some talent and then you read about their training or in my case you watch first hand (my kids) the training and discipline required to compete at a higher level and you realize "I am never going to be a competitive runner" and you wonder "Is this slogging along really running"?

On any given day I might give you a different answer because these and many other questions of life remain completely undecided for me in the day-to-day. However, when I am running, and by that I mean those days when it feels effortless, when I decide to run farther than planned or faster than planned, on those days I am a runner. I believe in that moment that I am always a runner. Then I come home, plug in my Garmin and see the raw data. I averaged a 10:39 mile again! Is that running? Is it jogging ( a word I have come to despise)? I don't know but I choose to define myself as a runner.

I love running at Erwin Park, the trail is challenging but the flowers and trees are lovely.

I have never told anyone nor have I ever thought of myself as an athlete. I read books (and my Bible), make crafts, watch movies, eat Nutella, do a few crunches, run a few miles and call myself a crafty,  soulful, creative running couch potato! I am nothing if not a bundle of contradictions.
Small pond at the end of the creek bed.

 This week I feel like a runner. I ran Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and today! Participating in a running streak challenge awakens all the aches and pains and blisters that may have lain dormant in less active times. Aches and pains and blisters just scream out, "You are a runner". But not to other people. To other people I look like I'm ready for the geriatric ward where I can have deep muscle massage and do water aerobics.  So stiff and inflexible am I after running that rather than look like the fit person I am trying to be I look decrepit. Parker or Dean automatically hover near me when we exit a movie theater because they know that I will not be able to make it down the stairs without assistance. I will have stiffened up to the point that once I unfold and straighten up I can't balance or bend in any kind of fluid way to navigate steps. I watch as elderly patrons speed past me to get in line for the ladies room.

Week before last I ran 19.43 miles. Last week I only managed 14.63. I had been increasing mileage every week so it was probably not bad to have a low mileage week. Below is last week's running.


3.06 33.11



I will be excited to post next week's results. It will be interesting to see what the mileage adds up to after a week of running every day...I am trying not to merely run one mile a day to meet the criteria as I did on most of my runs back in January (my previous 30 day streak). There are many reasons to participate in this kind of challenge but today's reason is to squelch the voice in my head that questions my running identity. There are no fake runners! Happy Running!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Runner's World Challenge: Summer Streaking

Me and Jackson! See below for more pics with Jackson. Taking pictures with bunnies is tricky. They wiggle. They don't cooperate. They blend in with your clothes. They complain and use bad language.

Back in January I ran at least one mile every day for 30 days. Beginning tomorrow I will join the Runner's World Challenge and run at least one mile from Memorial Day until the 4th of July. I have a head start since I ran yesterday and this morning. When I finish I will have run 40 days consecutively. Happy Running!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

SMASHing the Senior Day Sermon

THE WORLD IS CHANGING DRAMATICALLY. Speaker John Randalls delivered the Senior Day sermon at Preston Ridge last Sunday.  While many of the High School seniors may not have heard a sermon based on 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 most athletes have come across this passage a time or two.

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, bu we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly. I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."   

The main points of the sermon were:
  • Champions run to win. (This is a command)
  •  Be Disciplined
  • Set goals
  • Strive for Excellence
  • Love God, hate sin
One of the things Mr. Randalls pointed out was that the last person a coach wants on his team is someone who just wants to make the team. If we do not want to win then we are likely to do more harm than good. Those who try to do just enough to "make the team" usually bring others down to their low standard. I have mentioned the Awesome Bible Study Ladies before and will likely mention them many more times. One of the things I most appreciate about them is that they are in the game to WIN. No one there is sitting idly by, just glad to know Jesus and slide into heaven by GRACE. My Awesome Bible Study Ladies want to finish strong...they want to cross the finish line with hearts that are  more like Jesus than when their race started. I want to be changed. I want to be sanctified not just justified by Christ's sacrifice for me.  
 I created the circle on the left page by following the directions given in this video on YouTube (video by Millande). Millande calls this a Mandala Zentangle. Since I began with a circular theme, I continued by punching out some circles and then learning a new circle based tangle. I also added dots to the border picking them up from the inside of the circular Zentangle. I repeated other motifs from the circular zentangle throughout both pages.

 The border around the scripture is Snircle. I first saw it on Pinterest, it's original source is tanglebucket. There are complete instructions on this site by Sandy Hunter.
 A closer look at the Mandala Zentangle. I purchased some circular cardstock from Michael's. I painted the white circle with watercolors to match the existing pages before I tangled the designs. I used paper tape to add interest (striped red and white). I placed one piece of tape across both pages for continuity. 

 As in my first Smashed Sermon I used a page from the Smash Pad to record the scripture from the sermon.
 This bee appeared in the video for the Mandala Zentangle, I repeated him on both pages for 
continuity OR because he is fun to draw!

 Another bee!

 More circles to go with the theme. I liked the three keys sticker, it reminded me that many sermons have three "key" points. Though this particular sermon had more.  I love this project. I enjoy thinking about the sermon, coordinating the colors, planning the layout of the pages, creating tangles and embellishments to include on the pages and the freedom.  I feel free to experiment, to try new things, to do what I want since it's my SMASHing Sermons journal and doesn't have to meet any ones expectation except my own.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Camels and Zebras and Deer - Oh My!

Parker and I after our run!
 Dean and Parker waiting for me to drive to the Greenbelt to run. Below is a chart of my last three weeks of running. Things are getting better, more miles, more days running!!


4.05 miles

6.06 miles

5 miles
15.11 miles

2.06 miles
.94 miles @ 9;21 and .25 miles @ 2:07

3.57 miles 40:03

5.94 miles
12.79 miles





All the red vehicles are home!

This was a good week of running, the weather was great, both kids are home (at least for this week) and I have increased my mileage. We did not see as many interesting things while running this week but we did see some interesting things on the drive to the Greenbelt Saturday.

Our neighbors down the road from us have two deer, two camels, a zebra, two burros, and some cows. Saturday many of their animals were right by the fence by the road. I was able to get some close-up camel shots!

 It's nice to have such WILD neighbors! Happy running!