Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Summer O' Fun

School's back in session, which is always about the time of year I remember I'm an adult and have things to do.  You know, things that don't involve playing with Sam.  Because for the summer, I pretty much just play with Sam.  Particularly this summer - he's 12, and sometime around mid May it hit me that the summers when he thinks it's fun to hang with his mom may be limited.  That meant that for the past few months, no matter what the question was, the answer was yes.  "Do you want to play tennis?" yes.  "Do you want to go run in the woods?"  yes.  "Do you want to watch me do baseball drills?" yes.  "Do you want to learn to play Call of Duty with me?"  yes.  (full disclosure - that one started as "do you want to learn to play Madden?"  and I tried a yes, but it turned out that game sucked.  So I moved on to throwing C4 and firing fake artillery, and created my own Call of Duty avatar (named Beastly), and discovered that I'm way more Call of Duty than Madden.)  So with all of those yeses, this was very high on my all-time list of favorite summers.  Maybe my favorite one ever.

Photographic proof of the summer of fun:

But all good things eventually transition a bit, and school started, and I'm back in adult land.  Well, sort of, since I still tend to have a lot of the aforementioned fun.  But it also includes making jewelry, which is also high on my list of fun things.

I made quite a bit of jewelry over the summer, I just didn't actually do anything about letting anyone else *know* I was making new jewelry.  Until now, when I listed the new rings on Etsy.

I wore these all summer, and people would ask where to get them and I would say "ummmm….."  So it feels a little less loserish to now have a real answer.  "In my Etsy shop." 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bead Style

Thanks to Bead Style magazine for using one of my bangles on their blog!  

Friday, April 25, 2014

Woods Wanderings

Lots of time spent in the woods here lately.  Someone asked me how I spend my time, and I said watching baseball, working, and running in the woods.  And that's actually a pretty fair assessment, with a few side excursions now and then.  And some Pilates.

It's that time of year when Biltmore gets beautiful again.  And this isn't even the acres of flowers and towering castle - even random river banks are beautiful!

Turkey Pen.  Kelly and I have memorized Bent Creek so we've decided to venture out for Adventure Tuesdays.  In which we. . . you know, try to find some adventure.  If you consider wading across a freezing cold yet beautiful river adventurous then Turkey Pen fits the bill.  

Baseball player.

The baseball player and his elder have somewhat surprisingly turned into fishermen here lately.  Yes they have waders and everything.  Which is fortunate because mountain rivers in the spring = really cold.  Sam can state that with certainly, having fallen in a few times last weekend.

Who me, fall in?

Pack o' Boys in the creek.  The essence of youth.  If you're lucky.

Cattail Creek.

My main running buddy.  Unbeknownst to me, poodles are kick ass trail runners.

Mountain to Sea trail near Craven Gap.  A lot of rocks, not so much actual running.  But lots of fun.

If you look carefully you will see my friend's son's Flat Stanley enjoying the view.

Flat Stanley's legs are short.  He sometimes needs a ride.

Random parkway panorama.

Mountain to Sea trail at the Haw Creek overlook rock.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Remember back in January when I had the "hi res photo" fire drill?   Turns out it was more than just a fire drill - HGTV Gardens posted the article on garden gifts for bridesmaids - and my necklace is front and center!  Woohoo!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Big City

Things have been slightly manic around here for the last couple of weeks.  First I was getting ready to head out of town, then I actually was out of town, and then I was playing catch up from the out of town.  So basically a 4 day trip ended up having two weeks worth of effect.  But it was totally worth it!

Leslie, friend since the first day of college, is getting married, and so a group of us head to NYC to do some wedding dress shopping.  Because that's how she rolls.  Ok, that's a lie.  Heading to NYC to shop is kind of the opposite of how she rolls.  But her sister lives nearby in Pennsylvania, and there was a designer that she liked with a showroom in NYC, so off we went!  Like we were living someone else's life.  Which is totally fun every once in a while.

Here's what Lancaster, PA looked like when we arrived.  I'll be honest, I wasn't quite expecting this.
But then by the time we got to NYC on Saturday the weather cleared up and turned beautiful.
We hit the Northeast-in-February jackpot.  

After the (successful!) wedding dress shopping, we went to dinner at Becco.  Best.  Food.  Ever.  Then we went to see Kinky Boots.  I am not known for my great love of theater, but it turns out I made a major discovery.  I don't hate theater, I just hate bad theater.  Since this show just won a Tony Award, and featured actors that also won Tony Awards, this was not bad theater.  And so it was great.

Then, on Sunday, we headed to Philadelphia to see Leslie's nephew's band play.  If you would like to feel very, very old I suggest you go to a college bar.  But before we went to the bar we went to a very good Mexican tapas restaurant.  I can't remember the name, but I did take a picture of their impressive collection of Mexican wrestling masks.
And then it was back to Lancaster for a run on Monday morning before we flew home.  In the distance is an Amish farm.  I was a little surprised to see the Amish family unloading groceries from Costco out of a friend's Prius, but apparently that's a thing.  The Prius doesn't negate the Amish-ness if it belongs to a friend and not to the Amish themselves.  Convenient, yes?

Lancaster is beautiful.  Better than the first picture.

With the bride-to-be.  We are expecting to do our hair just like this for the ceremony.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snow Day. For Real.

We finally got our snow day.  We were predicted to get at least 8", and on Wednesday school was canceled preemptively.  And then. . . nothing really happened.  It flurried.  It was cold.  That was it.  Sam and I walked to Pilates, had fun, flittered about.  But no real snow.  I got cranky.  I walked around declaring "This storm is a DUD!"  And then. . . natured payed me back.  It *really* started to snow.  (Well, for Asheville, which doesn't generally get much.)  By Thursday morning we had at least 8".  I was supposed to be working, but instead I tried to just enjoy it.  It's beginning to occur to me that, at age 11, my time is getting shorter rather than longer for Sam to want to play with his parents, and I better soak it all in and have fun.  And that's what we did.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

HRV - The Truth Teller

Continuing with recent trends, yesterday was a run in the snow.  If you can call what I've been doing with the MAF Training running (sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't), and if you can call what was on the ground snow.  It was more like a mud run with lovely scenery.

The MAF training, though, is pretty fascinating, and the HRV analysis is even more interesting.  Basically, to analyze HRV (and thus how recovered your body is), you strap on a heart rate monitor every morning and use an iPhone app to give you a reading.  So far I've decided to do whatever it says - train more - yes!  Take it easy - whatever you say.  And what's kind of interesting is that it's always right, and I often wouldn't have figured it out on my own.  I kind of always feel like crap in the morning - I'm not a morning person!  So when I stumble out of bed with the intention of running first thing in the morning, I'm not all that good at analyzing whether I'm ready to go run.  Instead it's more like - of course I feel terrible, it's morning!  But the HRV has said not to go and then I've ended up feeling like a zombie all day, thus proving it right.  And it's said to go when I really wanted to just curl up and read trashy novels all day, and it was right again and I had a good run.  So, as I told Kelly, I'm now outsourcing all decision making.  My new training plan is no training plan.  If the HRV says go, then I go, and if it says don't then I don't.

This is not very much like me, but then the things that are very much like me haven't actually served me all that well over the years, so I've decided to embrace it.  And. . . I feel better than I have in months. Nothing hurts. At all.  Which is big news.

The tiny white blob up the trail - that's Moose, my training partner. 

 I think the best thing about the HRV app is that it forces me to prioritize and make some choices.  Left to my own devices, I'll do Chisel twice a week, and a tempo run, and a track workout, and meet friends to hammer on the bike.  But with HRV telling the truth about what's going on, I know that I have to pick and choose - because if I go hard too often then I'm going to keep getting a big red NO, and have to do nothing for a few days.  Basically, I'm learning the lesson in my sporting life that I learned in my real life a long time ago:  You can do anything you want, but you can't do everything at the same time.  41 years later, I'm still taking this in.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Snow Day on the Bike

Kelly and I met at 8 this morning at Bent Creek to ride.  We have a new winter rule - anything above 20 degrees is fair game.  It's fortuitous that we revised our previous rule (which was flexible but definitely did not include temperatures below freezing), for two reasons: (1) it's been a crazy cold winter so far, so we'd NEVER make it out on the bike if we waited for it to warm up, and (2) it's also been a very wet winter, and it's sooo much nicer to ride frozen trails than boggy trails.  Or to not ride at all because it's too much of a mess.  So off we went this morning, but with a twist - in keeping with the MAF training, my heart rate was not to exceed 134.  Kelly is not normally the type that wants to ride slowly, but she seems somewhat interested/somewhat bemused by my low heart rate idea, so she came along for the ride.

We weren't expecting a ton of snow - it's all melted outside of the woods.  But not so much in the woods.

Which meant that not only were we CRAWLING up the hills to stay in my MAF zone, we were also creeping on the downhills because there were a lot of icy patches.  Which meant this was not exactly our fastest ride ever.

In fact, when we finished we simultaneously remarked that it was the slowest we'd ever ridden a bike in our life.  I'm kind of really banking on the MAF theory that you can get faster at the lower heart rate if you improve your aerobic conditioning.  Because honest to God, we couldn't get much slower.

But in the category of "there's always a silver lining", we did take a lot more time to stop and smell the roses - hence the pictures.  And we had a great time chatting, and now I'm back home and not sacked out for the rest of the day, which is convenient since I have a fair bit of work to do.

And, in our smelling the roses, we also found some cool ice climbing possibilities.  Not that I engage in such activities, but if one did (and Kelly does), this was apparently a pretty interesting find.