Monday, June 25, 2012


It was a double feature this weekend!

2 cars, 2 dogs, 2 runs!

2 CARS: We drove up to Cleveland to visit the fam. Since the Turtle had to get his car fixed up there, I figured it'd be a good idea to take 2 cars just in case (and I didn't want to step foot in that death trap!). Good thing too, because his car wasn't fixed in time so I had to leave the Turtle back home so I could get to work today (another fun-filled night of sleeping on the couch with the TV on for me).

2 RUNS: RRB's schedule cleared up on Saturday morning, so we decided to hit the newly opened mountain bike trail he and his group had helped build. There are 3 loops going up a 1 mile hill. It was so much fun! We did 9 miles and we both felt great. I really miss running with the RRB, we used to run 3x a week together back when I was home, so it was really nice to catch up and hurdle over logs together again ( I also grossed out a woman in the ladies' room when she walked in on me soaking my head under the sink :) )

The Rock Stars back together again!

When I got home from our run, my mom was kicking herself that she passed up a mom-tourage opportunity. Well, I couldn't dissappoint and rob her of the experience! So we saddled up Sunday morning, and hit my beloved Towpath Trail. I was a little nervous because I hadn't run a 2-in-a-row in over a year, let alone with the 1st day's 9 miler being extremely hilly. But it turned out great! I felt better than I have in over a year! I was flying, didn't need to take extra breaks and was just reveling in being on my path! We took my new camera along to test it out (and cuz I'm obsessed with pictures).

My running happy dance afer I checked my Garmin and say 7:36/pace

2 DOGS: My mom is puppy-sitting my brother's dog for a week, much to Teddy's chagrin. So, I spent my free time snuggling my Teddy-kins to remind him he's still the BEST dog in the whole wide world.

Milking it for sympathy cuddles...and I bought it, hook, line & sinker
Branching out to get sympathy from passing cars
Sneaking in a cuddle with the enemy while Teddy isn't looking

The Turtle and I managed to squeeze in a trip to our favorite spot, Huntington Beach, to see the sunset over Lake Erie.

Hope all of your weekends were just as fantastic as mine!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Allow Me to Introduce You To.....

My feet!

Yes, it's high time you've met. It's actually quite rude of me to have not introduced you sooner!

Don't be fooled by the picture above, my feet are not pretty, dainty little things. I have runner's feet through and through. And I love every bit of their callused, mutated misshapenness!

My feet weren't always the gorgeous little things that they are now. They actually used to be quite normal. Until one day...............

At the end of my sophmore year of college, I was finishing up a workout in my basement. I was pretty excited because I'd just survived finals week (including the final for the dreaded Psychology of Women course, yick!) and was going to a wedding reception that night.  I must have been pretty distracted with thoughts of chocolate fountains and what shoes to wear, because I hadn't noticed how precariously I'd positioned the dumbbell on the weight bench. Next thing I knew...........


That's right. The dumbbell rolled off and fell on my left foot, smack on my big toe and the one next to it (and it also left a nice little dent in the tile). So much for that last set. Hmph.

So, I did what any normal person would do. I hobbled up the steps and started banging my head into the door in pain.

My mom came a running and assessed the damage.

I spent the next few hours sitting on the bathroom counter trying to fix my hair for the wedding, while my mom sat next to me, holding my foot in her lap as she tried to stop the bleeding.

When the time for the reception came, my toe still hadn't stopped bleeding, and my mom was doubtful about letting me go. For some reason, she seemed to think dancing the night away wouldn't help my situation!

So of course I went anyway :-) . And of course, she was right, and made a special trip out to the reception hall with fresh bandages to rewrap my toes in the parking lot so I could continue to party. We came up with a plan that if it hadn't stopped bleeding by the time I came home that night, we'd go to the ER.

So much for daydreaming about was flipflops that night
We never did go to the ER, even though my toes hadn't really stopped oozing til sometime the next day. I spent the next month and a half on the eliptical, wearing one running shoe and one sandal (they'd swelled so much I couldn't fit them in a shoe!). I was pretty proud strutting around in my mismatched footwear, bandage flopping around!

Fast forward to now, and my feet have never been the same.

The dumbbell cracked my big toe's nail down the middle and its had this weird line splitting it ever since (which I wear proudly as a racing stripe!).

The toe next to it never healed quite right, and as a result, has suffered from several bouts of black toe. I have very little feeling on the top of it and when a nail does grow in, it sticks up.

They do NOT make toenail clippers big enough for these suckers

And not to be left out, the same toe on my other foot got black toe years ago, and IT hasn't been the same since either!

It's like a giant callus is under my nail, pushing it up

Now that you have been properly introduced, feel free to go barf if you were disgusted or offended by any of these photos (the Turtle is pretty grossed out by fact, his groaning while reading this post was quite loud). As for me, I love these little piggies and wouldn't change them for anything! No one will ever accuse me of having pretty feet, but to me, I think they're positively glamorous. I earned these feet, and I will wear them proudly!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Beast's Enchanted Rose

Tale as old as time,
Song as old as rhyme.
Beauty and the Beast

Inspiration for my latest painting. The enchanted rose in Disney's Beauty & the Beast holds the key to the Beast turning back into a prince. It's been ages since I've watched this movie, but for some reason one of the scenes from it popped into my head a few weeks ago. While the narrator explains the Beast's backstory, there is a screen shot of the rose in a stained glass window. I couldn't get that image out of my head and knew it would be a really cool painting if I could pull it off.

The shot from the movie

I knew I had to be very exact with my lines and shapes, so I grabbed some plates from the kitchen and started making circles.

Finally, our wedding china gets used!

After that, it only took me about 15-20 minutes to sketch in the lines for the glass window pieces and the rose.

Now you can see how much erasing I end up doing

I thought this painting would be a cinch, basically just coloring in the blocks, but it wasn't quite so simple. With so many different shades of blues and pinks, a lot of color mixing goes into it. And with that, comes the dreaded guessing game of how much paint to mix. I always end up mixing too much paint then is required for an area. But that's far better than running out and then having to match that exact shade again (its nearly impossible).

I ended up doing 2-4 layers of paint per block to get a really nice opaque color, no brush strokes visible! It required a ton of patience, for which we all know I have none.

Once I finally had it all colored in, I was really dreading the outlining of each piece in black, but that turned out to be the easiest part! I'm so happy with this, and am even considering pouring some heavy duty gloss over it to give it an extremely shiny finish.

The Enchanted Rose - 18" x 24" Acrylic

 Pretty close to the original, don't ya think?

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Everyone should run with a mom-tourage! There is just no other way!

With mom visiting this week to keep me company (and escape all her normal chores and housework back home), it's been oodles of fun. Lots of shopping, walking (more on that later) and of course, working out!

But, I couldn't just let her simply relax and enjoy her visit, she had to earn her keep! So we filled up the water bottles, loaded up the bike and headed off to the  path for a sun-soaked 9-miler.

another reason Target trips are necessary: Water bottle bags!

I knew it wouldn't be the best run in the world, since my body's not used to the faster pace I run when there were some quick water breaks (thanks, mom!). Plus, the bandaid I had on my Achilles kept scrunching up until I finally gave up and ripped it off (and then had to rip off my sock that had gotten stuck into my now oozing blister. So cool). I now have a matching set of Achille's blisters, one for each foot.

It was so nice having someone to talk to while I ran. Much more entertaining than the same old songs I listen to on my iPod!

After the run (7:36/min pace!), we headed over to the Base to lift weights. Much to my horror, there was a sign up saying the gym will be closed the week of July 4th. NOOOOOOO! But, it will be for the best, because they're closing it to install 3 giant fans to try to keep our tin can gym from getting up to 100 degrees this summer. There are 2 other gyms on Base that I can use, so I'll just have to figure out where those are that week. I hate changes to my routine!!!

The Beaver statues, sprinkled all over the City like Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame guitars in Cleveland

It was a lot hotter than I thought

Last night, Mom and I went for out 3rd walk to Target (there just always seems to be a reason to go there!). It's about 3/4 of a mile from my house, complete with a goose-dropping obstacle course. Today, after I ride the bike, I think I'm going to wash all my stinky sweat off in our development's pool! Mwahahahaha!

We never really think thru the fact we have to carry back however much we buy

New painting coming soon!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Turtle the Graduate

Such a handsome guy
My Turtle is a graduate!

The Turtle's commencement for his Master's was this weekend, and I was so proud to see him all gussied up like Harry Potter in his graduation robes! He actually got his Master's degree in December, but the wonderful world of paperwork and bass-akwards college red tape made him miss getting his name in time for the winter ceremony. But that's ok, because June makes for much better graduation pictures!

My favorite part of graduation ceremonies are the decorations on top of the mortar boards. I planned what I would put on mine my entire senior year (ok, my entire collegiate career). Its fun and really helps your friends and family pick you out from their seats in the nosebleeds. 

I thought this was appropriate

For the Turtle's, I thought of all his geeky favorites and went with Transformers. I google-imaged the Autobot symbol and got to work. The task was a little daunting because mortar boards aren't exactly your everyday paper or canvas.... You only get one shot. Luckily, this was pretty straight forward and I was having a good night. I was able to sketch it out on the board with white colored pencil with no goofs!

Look ma, no mistakes!
I ended up coloring it in with my regular white acrylic paint, because I had a hunch the Turtle wouldn't approve of the silver glitter paint pen I'd originally planned on using. Men.

Ta da!
He was very excited and got several compliments! I was able to spot him right away from our sky-high seats at the arena. He was the only Autobot in the place!

I wore pink, using my race-dressing strategy so the Turtle would be able to spot us up in our seats

Other than that, the weekend has been pretty busy. With getting up early for the ceremony yesterday and then even earlier today to drop the Turtle off at the airport for a business trip, I'm exhausted. While he was texting me pics of himself bleary-eyed at the airport, I taunted him with a pic of my luxurious nap.

My mom's staying with me this week so I don't start seeing ghosts around every corner. Which means.....I have a mom-tourage for at least one run! I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Wings Are Back

Happy National Runner's Day!

What makes it better? I had the best run in a long time today! I really got into my groove and for the first time in months felt like my old self. I was flying. I'm so happy!

Memorial Day's trot-filled run really messed with my head, what with all the breaks I had to take. Sensible Me kept telling myself I wasn't feeling well and it was more humid than a sauna. But Freak Me kept telling myself I suck and I'm going to be back with the octogenarians and stroller pushers for the Air Force Half Marathon in September. So, I decided that I would only take water breaks every 5k during my runs. Which means, in the total of my 9 mile run, I only stop twice. Of course, this will alter slightly on the days I run outside in mugginess, but for the track, I think it's a decent plan.

My new running home

I haven't been perfect, mostly because until today I was still adjusting to my new shoes. The extra cushioning my shoes have under the balls of my feet were making it tighter there and causing the little balls under my pinkie toes to go numb. Very painful. I had to keep stopping to readjust my laces. It probably doesn't help that the calluses under my pinkie toes are the size of golf balls (I have seriously nasty feet...and I love them!)

So, I've been wearing callus removers to help trim them down over the last few days and today, I ran in thinner socks...and it worked! My feet didn't go numb at all! Wahoo!

Don't be fooled by their cuteness - these things wreak!

Bike tomorrow, which is probably a good thing because my right thigh is a little sore from always running counter clockwise. When you add last Wed. this past Mon. and today, that's 888 left turns! I might need to run outside soon to give myself a new direction.

Seriously? Couldn't you guys do something else, like odd or even dates so not every Mon is left?

Of course, there may have been another reason for my super speed today... I'm a little bit lighter!

I literally hadn't cut my hair since before my wedding, not even a trim. My logic was it would grow longer quicker. Unfortunately, it just made it ratty. (and I swear, it hasn't grown an inch in the past 1 1/2 years!) So, off it went! I haven't been this short since 2004!

I was going thru a bit of a dark period....

Hope you all enjoyed your National Running Day!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I'm Coming Home, I'm Coming Home

Ok, not exactly......


I took this pic with a disposable camera! Every pic you take there is a postcard!

Which  I swear will one day be my home. So ya know, I might as well get used to calling it that now, right?

I am so beyond excited! I have been desperate for a vacation for the last few months, spending my free time planning pretend vacations to tropical locations and cursing friends on facebook when they post their vacay pics. So, the Turtle and I bit the bullet and booked!

It's all Kroger's fault. They didn't have the Turtle's hair gel. 
He's very picky

So, then we had to go to Target to look for it there. And any trip to Target leads to the Turtle trolling around electronics for an ungodly amount of time (and me setting up house in the clothes dept). When I found the Turtle oogling a water-proof video camera, he said how perfect it would be to use in Hawaii. I completely agreed and said (whined), "Yeah, if only we were going nooooooow."

Wellllll, one thing led to another, and by the time we made it to the parking lot, we'd decided to go. By 11pm that night, our room and airfare were booked (all that fantasy-planning came in handy)!

Now I just have contain my excitement to a reasonable level until later this summer. To tide mysef over, I watched a bunch of Hawaii specials on Travel Channel and browsed thru my old Hawaii pics from trips in the past! Hawaii, here I come!!!!!!!!

Mystery Solved: The Royal Hawaiian Hotel is at the end of a rainbow

I made the Turtle get up at 4:30am to run to the sunrise...and I'll do it again, too.

Trashy romance novels were made for beaches!

On the Road to Hana

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lovely Blog Award

I've been nominated for the Lovely Blog long as I tell you 7 interesting facts about myself. Problem is, I used up all of my interesting facts last year when I got the Versatile Blogger Award. Have no fear! I've scraped the bottom of the barrel and now present to you:

 7 Semi-Interesting Facts about Me

1. I hate being late. Consequently, I hate when others are late as well. This was in direct conflict with the Turtle's "Greek Time" when we first started dating...until he learned. Mwahahaha.

2. If I'm wearing a dress, I have to throw a football. It all started when I went to my first prom. While waiting for my date to pick me up, my brothers were tossing the football around in the front yard. I hitched up my skirt and jumped right in and a tradition was born. Now, everytime a tux or a ball gown is involved, a football has to be thrown (and I don't even like football!).

Manicure be damned!

3. I have an unnatural obsession with Honey Bunches of Oats. The Fruit Blends flavors to be exact. I usually have 6-8 boxes in the closet at any given time. The Turtle says our closet looks like Doomsday Preppers.

Did I mention I was their 1st Fan of the Week?

4. I am in a time capsule. The Cleveland Bicentennial Education Time Capsule. Back in 1996, the City of Cleveland held a contest for all the area school kids to write a creative journal about what we thought the future would be like. I won! So my journal is now sitting in the Cleveland Natural History Museum, waiting to be opened in 2046.

The capsule sits under a Foucault Pendulum base in the lobby

5.  I love to read. Which made me like a kid in the candy store when I worked in a library for 10 years!

6. I'm a destructor. If it can break, I'll figure out a way, especially if it has to do with technology. I'm on my 2nd ipod and my umpteenth pair of headphones. I can snarl up the cable box like nobody's business, and don't get me started on my car radio. I managed to get a whole beach worth of sand inside my camera on our honeymoon, and to this day you can hear it grinding when the lens zooms out. And today... I broke my sunglasses on my way to work!

7. I can sleep anywhere. Car, school, movie theater, airplane, have all been christened with my Zzzzzs.