Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Made in China" heater melt-down

China magic With double-digits below zero this week, we bought this little heater for our living space, thinking we could save a little by not turning up the whole-house furnace. HA! Great idea that turned out to be .. when the cute little heater began to melt and stink right before our eyes and noses this morning.

I shudder to think about one of those things left on all night in a child's room. It looks so safe: not easily tipped over, protection against little fingers.

This heater is new. We bought it only a few days ago, and used it for a couple of hours on 2 consecutive days (not overnight).

More details on Make It a Masterpiece.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Manhattan Sunrise

New York City My desktop wallpaper for over a year (haven't tired of it yet!) ... picture taken from New Jersey, on the bus on the way to Staten Island and the NYC marathon, November 2006.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Appreciating January

January: all sorts of new beginnings! The New Year, another birthday (flowers below), first anniversary of starting to blog, 9th anniversary of our first visit to Weight Watchers (a total of over 100 pounds ago, altogether, for the 3 of us), time for a fresh running season and mapping out training schedules for races and the next marathon.
And new hope for managing myeloma with supplements and diet and activity, without super-drugs. Birthday flowers
Appreciating January: with icicles. Running tracks, with their tight corners that can crunch knees but also inviting straightaways, boring dreadmills but with calculators that can clock speed and distance, getting back to strength training because strong muscles make strong bones, venturing outdoors to freeze the bones but gracing us with the promise of warm spring running.
January icicles Discovery: Many people may be healthier without gluten.
One of the secrets of gluten-free baking (besides commitment to the life-saving aspect of it for some folks) is not trying to replicate gluten-laden (unhealthy) foods. Once I gave up using white rice flour and nutrition-stripped potato flour, we found new delights in ancient whole grains: teff, millet, amaranth.
Click on pictures to enlarge; hover to read captions.
Tasty new treat This January I celebrate my first year (2007) of having my own lap top computer, a year of learning to make photo albums with 8X6 inch prints of digital pictures... with captions! Because my computer expertise is spotty, I decided to record the steps for editing pictures... with my digital camera... see below. Record of steps in processing Appreciating January memories:
**the gift of being snowed in,
**standing in snow posing for Dad to take my annual birthday picture of me holding the cake Mom had made and decorated,
**the January I began teaching 4th grade in Minneapolis,
**the 3 Januarys that I was pregnant and stayed cozy indoors,
**the January day the butter hardened on the kitchen counter because the movers had the doors open while they were in and out loading our furniture and belongings,
**taking pictures of our kids out sledding and shoveling in the snow,
**braving the Minnesota winters on my journey through 3 years of seminary and a year of internship,
**running 5K races in January weather

And now, appreciating the rhythm of the changing seasons and eagerly anticipating the first spring run out on the Gateway Trail.
Geese on the ice 2007 early spring

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's a Puzzle

All finished Sweet Pea puzzled it together .... all 500 pieces... without any sidewalk engineers' comments.
I have been working on the pictures we took at Christmas.

AND.. of course ... we have been running indoors.

Happy Blogger Anniversary to us. We 2 made our first couple of entries in this blog in January of 2007. Sweet Pea does most of the "computer work" ... putting up the pictures, etc. We each have a digital camera. Her pictures usually as good as mine. Way to go, Sweetie.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Significant Birthdays for Runners

A birthday that puts a runner in a new age group is an event to celebrate. I couldn't have imagined such jubilation for chalking up another year among folks over 40. But the energy that flows in being the youngest in an age group is captivating.

Well, this is not my year for a new age group, but it will roll around soon enough. This year I will be content to run races for the joy of it, without the goal of age group awards.

So here's to the runners advancing to a new age group: May you run with new zest.
And here's to the rest of us: Happy birthday anyway.

It is winter

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Katie Couric had one on network television, so maybe it is OK for me to write about mine on a blog.

On the anniversary of my mother's funeral, (she died of colon cancer many years ago.. before colonoscopies)... I had a colonoscopy.
Results were excellent: "come back in 10 years", "fortunate that you eat such a good diet."

Note: I was disgusted that Medicare would not pay for the prep solution that came with flavor packets.. but then it seemed like prep solution without flavoring was easier to down (drank it fast with 3 straws to get it down quick, brushed my lips with a little fresh lemon to kill the aftertaste.)

indoor running We ran at the Stillwater "bubble" on the cold day this week, having run outdoors on the warmer days.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Running Outdoors in January ..... Epiphany: the Light Shines!

Above freezing both afternoons this weekend, most of the ice has melted off the streets, and we were
outdoors running. The forecast for Monday is freezing rain. More winter is an absolute. Back to indoor running this week.

hands on trains At the Minnesota Model Train Museum in Bandana Square in St. Paul, there are toy trains for visitors to play with.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Appreciate: a particular meaning

a particular meaning Appreciate: my word for the New Year. I am thinking of "value" or "cherish" or "delight in" even simply "enjoy".

Not gratitude. Gratitude is more of a giver/receiver situation. Thanksgiving. A good thing, but not what I am thinking of.

I appreciate a funny comment on my first post about appreciate..
(editor's note: I appreciate the comment on this entry.) Oh, I do appreciate every comment.

Appreciate! Appreciate Sweet Pea's cheer in the morning; Runner Don's taking pictures of the food we cook.

I'm thinking I will appreciate the first 5K race of the season.
I will appreciate the streets being clear of ice so I can run outside.
I will recognize a momentary occasion for joy when it appears.

A sunset, a child, a joke, a tender touch, a cheer offered by someone for someone else, the flavor of fresh fruit, a laptop and a cell phone that work, the sound of the dishwasher starting up, the sound of a voice I recognize, a breeze in my face, a new friend, an old friend... maybe you.

Appreciate today as the best day of the year.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

"APPRECIATE": my word for 2008

five star day There will be good things in the new year. Appreciate seems like just the right word.

And today is incredibly the best day of the year! Blessings for 2008.