Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

Monday, July 31, 2006

House update

The house next to ours which was started 6 weeks after ours is at the same building stage. How can this be? Well, I heard from one salesperson that another salesperson signed the building contract for house occupancy at Sept. 1. The woman has her interest rate lockin to expire then. So, the developer is going crazy trying to get her house done (and according to the salesperson, she is a real piece of work - not nice at all!). She threatened to break the contract (after they started building), sue and all manner of what not. So being a bitch will get you in your house and being nice will get us a 2 week stay in a hotel. Let's hope there really is such a thing as karma.........

The latest pics:

An Inconvenient Truth

Yesterday, A and I went to see Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth. First off, we paid full matinee price which is really out of our usual cheapie theatre mode. AND IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY (won't hear me say that about many movies! :-)). This is one scary movie. The dvd is being released in December and I will buy it to loan out to people. Here is a link to Entertainment Weekly's cover story on Al Gore and the movie.

I voted for Gore in 2000. I wasn't happy about it but I sure wasn't going to vote for Dubya - I wasn't dumb enough to buy what the Repugs were selling. My issues with Gore were that I felt he was too compromised - he wanted the presidency so badly. He was too packaged, too self-aware, too deliberate. I felt he would make dishonest compromises in his desire to win. I now believe that if we had seen the Gore that I saw yesterday in AIT, it wouldn't have mattered that the Repugs stole Florida. Gore would have swept the nation. The man is smart, passionate and convincing. He has convinced both Andrew and I that we need to start making some changes in our lifestyles.

At one point in the film, he discusses why global warming, in spite of the scientific consensus of the situation's urgency, isn't a major political issue. He says that politicians and people don't want to know. If they know and understand the issue, it becomes a moral imperative that action be taken. The actions that will rectify the situations will entail uncomfortable change. It sounds so counter intuitive. Will people ignore an urgent problem because they just don't want to deal with making change? I believe so. I always think about a family member of mine when we were discussing the issue of factory farming and mechanized slaughter houses. She told me she didn't want to know, didn't want to hear what was happening because she liked to eat meat and wanted to continue doing so. Oh, by the way, here is a little website for all you meat eaters to visit, Meet your meat. Are you going to ignore the reality so you can keep living in your comfortable little world? Or are you going to be enough of an intelligent, caring and compassionate person to make a change?
As a parting thought.....can any of us imagine what Shrub might be doing 8 years from now? Watch this film. Try to imagine this man doing what Al Gore is.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Lake Placid Pictures

After a long, hellacious week (I am too old to recover quickly from lots of activity!) I have the pics posted from last weekend on my website:

It was a great trip. We had every conceivable weather situation except snow. The Ironman race was wonderfully exciting and full of human drama. We also did some great hiking and planting of letterboxes. I can't wait to get up there again to hike.

Here is Jen's blog account of the weekend:

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Weekend plans

This morning, after running with the beginner group (this is their first week to have no walking! Woot! They are going to run a straight 30 minutes) I am heading out for the mountains with Seekher and Thz. We are trying to go in one vehicle to save gas. Seekher and I are bringing our bikes and our plan is to bike into Lake Placid from our campsite to watch the Ironman Triathlon - a distance of about 4 miles (I hope not too hilly - foolish, huh? It *is* the Adirondacks!) We have to be there bright and early, to soak in all the pre-race nervous excitement and for the start of the swim at 7 am.

Will report back on Tuesday morning :-)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Book making for Lake Placid

I am planting a letterbox in Lake Placid this weekend. It will commemorate the annual Ironman triathlon that takes place every summer there. For three years in a row, Seekher and I have planned to head up there for the weekend to spectate at the spectacular event but something has always come up to prevent us from going. Not this year! Finally, we are going to see it. Well, Seekher and I will, Trailhoundz will be with us but probably back at the campsite putzing around, singing to the dogs and hiking :-)

I made a logbook for the letterbox. A few months ago, Thz, Budge and I found some Craftymouse letterboxes at Montezuma and she had these nifty little handbound books in them. She told me she made them from instructions on catbead's website. So, of course, I headed right over there and scarfed those instructions for myself. Here is my finished product:

The paper is handmade using mango and banana fibers. I am not thrilled with the green used for the binding but I was in a bind (ha ha) and didn't have any other appropriate colors. I think it turned out ok and gives off an appropriate aura of wood-si-ness for an Andirondack box. The stitching was harder to manuever around the covers and signatures, than I thought it would be, but it was easy to tighten up the binding after the fact.

Since this box will only be checked for maintenance once a year or so, I made it with 4 signatures of 8 sheets of 70 lb. paper. The pages can be stamped front and back, so it should last for a year's worth of letterboxer visits.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

More red peppers

I also made a recipe I found at the blog Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit, called Bright Red Pepper Pesto Linguine . It turned out very good. It was flavorful with a nice spicy bite. I used Italian hot peppers (three of them - they were about 5-6 inches long each). I also forgot to get hazlenuts so I used pine nuts instead. Personally, I think this recipe would be perfect for a first course as opposed to a main course. The flavor was very strong and I think a little of it went a long way. A didn't agree and actually ate two huge bowls of it :-)

I only have a few more peppers to use up now - these two recipes went a long way towards cleaning out my supply.

Roasted red peppers

We love roasted red peppers but to buy them in the jar is so expensive. Last year, after doing some research, I bought huge amounts of peppers at the Regional Market, roasted them and then froze them. The plan was to enjoy them as a little bit of summer through our long, dreary, cold winter. The reality? Never ate a one!!! In preparation for the big move, I started to go through the fridge and freezer to clean it out and came across all these red peppers and decided their time had come. (I also started to clean the oven - whole 'nother story there, peeps!) I whipped up some roasted red pepper hummus and a pasta dish.

The hummus recipe came from the All Recipes site (one of my favs for recipes - all nutritional information is included! Spiced Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Very easy and delicious. Because I wasn't using jarred peppers, I actually weighed mine out - and added a little extra! I added about 3 tablespoons olive oil because, well, we love olive oil! We love regular hummus but this recipe makes a nice change. I sliced a pita in half, spread the hummus in each side. Then I loaded each half with romaine lettuce, diced cucumber, tomato and avocado for A's lunch today. He also took some gluten-free crackers with all-natural peanut butter and his usual raw almonds and chocolate covered prunes. I also threw in 3 vegan chocolate chip cookies I made yesterday.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Guilty summer pleasure

Every summer there seems to be some song, some group which is ubiquitous and embodies the whole summer vibe. This summer, for me, it has turned out to be Gnarls Barkley. These two tunes have kept me bopping through the steamy heatwave inflicting us.


A has been on a dark leafy greens kick the past few months. He wants to eat them every *every* day. He thinks they are the best, most nutrious food. Eh *shrugs* I am sure they are good but they aren't on the ten superfoods list! :-) As a good partner, I do try to incorporate his ideas. I won't cook them every day but I will cook them often. Last night was broccoli rabe - one of my favorites of the greens. Some I just can't stomach - they bring back childhood memories. My mother had a huge garden and also was from the south. In the summer, dinners always included huge amounts of weird greens - beet, turnip, collards, grass, anything she could stew up. (Just kidding about the last one but some of them did look unappetizing). I do like greens but veer more towards the kale, chard, rabe types. I like them to have a bite and a bit of texture. That being said, I don't include mustard greens because what the heck are they?

Last night I made a rice, rabe and bean dish. What more could one ask for? Beans, greens and grains! It looked so pretty I took a few pictures. I did something new with the rice. I took one cup brown rice and added 1/2 cup wild rice. I picked it up in the bulk section of our co-op a while back and just never used it. It is a mixture of wild rice (which isn't really rice but seeds) that doesn't have any of the flavor mix you get when you buy the packages. I put it all into 3 cups water, brought to a boil and then simmered until the water was absorbed, about 30 minutes. It was a real nice combo. I love brown rice but the wild rice added a nice amount of texture, crunch and variety to it.

For the greens portion, I heated some olive oil in a pan and sauteed garlic, julienned carrots, the thicker bottom portions of the rabe and crushed red pepper. I planned on mincing up an onion and carmelizing it but *quelle horror!* no onion could I find! I even scrounged around in our catch-all bowl on the counter hoping to score even some shallots, but nothing. My plan was for the sweetness of the onions to help tame the bitter bite of the rabe. I used carrots instead and they looked real pretty in the finish dish. I added about 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and when the rabe stems were tender, I added in the rest of the rabe, cut in 2 inch sections. Meanwhile, I toasted 1/3 cup pine nuts until they were brown. When all the rabe was wilted down, I added the pine nuts and a can of rinsed and drained cannilini beans, heated through and served over the rice. Very nice and easy dish. A ate two servings.

Greens aren't the best as leftovers but A is taking a serving with the rice in his lunch today along with a fresh, sliced kiwi, blueberries, raw almonds and chocolate covered prunes.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Food post

I made the International Quinoa Salad yesterday. It turned out pretty good. It is a perfect light summer salad. I am kicking myself though. I bought fresh corn on the cob to cut off and add to the salad and I forgot! The dressing is pretty tart. I think next time, in addition to remembering the corn, I will add a little sugar (just a touch) and up the adobo chili powder to give it even more kick. We like it spicy here.

This recipe made a humongous amount. I took some over to Budge's last night (maybe she will weigh in with her opinion on it), we ate it for dinner, I packed it in A's lunch today and there is still a big container in the fridge. I will say that A is taking quite the lunch today - it looked very pretty in his lunch box. He has a container of the quinoa salad, a container of some leftover marinated and grilled artichokes, some raw almonds and chocolate covered prunes (I personally would pass on the prunes. I would eat the chocolate off of them first though!) and a serving of fresh strawberries and blueberries. His lunch contains tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, blueberries, avocado and nuts - 6 of the ten superfoods! Pretty darn impressive, if I say so myself :-)

For dinner last night, I put the salad on romaine lettuce leaves and toasted up some buttered Columbus bread that we had leftover. A actually took the bread, put the quinoa salad on it and topped it off with a romaine lettuce leaf as the top layer. It was very good that way - easy to eat. Kind of a bread/lettuce sandwich.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Super Foods

I am scarfing this link from but I believe this information bears repeating.

Tonight, I am planning on making a quinoa salad that I saw mentioned on another blog,

I am going to use olive oil in it so it will include garlic, tomatoes and avocado - 3 of the superfoods all in one dish.

Weekend letterboxing

I picked Budge up yesterday and we headed out for a newly planted mystery box. The clue said it was in an Onondaga County park but didn't list it in the location. That park just said Mystery, New York. Well, I caught it and thought maybe some of the usual local boxers might not and we could be first finders. Well, four boxers beat us to it! These local boxers are a quick, tricky bunch! :-) Gotta get up early.........

The box was in a nice local park and it was this boxer's first plant. Very nice stamp.

We then drove around looking for a spot that might work to hide my Triskelion stamp. It is an urban location. Nothing really jumped out at me so I think I will have to go down there and walk the area, looking for a hiding place.

I then took her out to check out the house and the new paint job. She was tired and dozing in the seat and I don't think she really was all that interested (especially considering she had already seen pictures). But she sucked it up, pretended she was interested and then I took her home so she could nap. There was a big pile of tongue and groove wood in the living room for the floors. That would be awesome if that goes in this week, WOOT!!

Runs with dog?

Not this morning! We are in the midst of a heat wave - high temps and lots of humidity. So Mo stayed home and I heard him howling as I walked down the street. He would have been miserable though if I took him.

Willow Bay is in one month. It is time for me to get serious. Today's run was supposed to be 3.1 miles (race distance) I got up early and hit the pavement by 7 am. It was 78 degrees and a felt like a wet blanket. My goal was to do two big loops and one little loop - 3.1 miles. I ended up only doing the two big loops for a distance of 2.8 miles in 31.20 - 11:11 m/m.

Why do I do this to myself? It is becoming very apparent to me (after running for 3 years) that running just really isn't my thing. At one point this morning, I thought I could go faster if I just walked! I mean, c'mon! According to some 'official' definitions, I don't even run but only jog. 8 minute miles constitute running.

I have been trying to incorporate some of the posture and running techniques of the POSE method. It helps a little but my calves cramp up really quick. Maybe there is another form of exercise that will work better for me.........

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Let there be color

Finally! Some noticeable progress on the house. When we left it yesterday, the drywall spackling was being finished. Tonight we were treated to a house that the drywall was sanded, primed and covered with one coat of paint. Including the ceilings and closets! Tomorrow will hopefully be the second coat of paint.
You know how they always say on the little color swatches that it might not be a true representation of the color? Well, the two pictures above are the SAME color! LOL I don't remember the name but it was Baer something-wheat. It actually looks quite nice. I was a little shocked walking in the house because, well, there was color there and a lot of it.
Here above are two pictures of the master bedroom which (this one I remember!) is Baer escape grey. In person, it almost looks like a muted sage green. Very pretty and I am happy with it. And to top everything off, our front door received its first coat of brown paint! I do love it when stuff happens at the house - I am back to being happy and excited with it :-)

art project

Trailhoundz is trying to get me to enter the NYS Fair art show with a handmade book. Only trouble is we don't know what category to put it in. There are no art categories for bookbinding! Anyways, I am still on the fence about it - we shall see. I do have to decide soon though because the entry deadline is fast approaching.

House smouse!

We ended up talking to the dry wall guy yesterday at the house. He said he was finished 'mudding' and that today they would sand the walls and ceilings in the morning and prime in the afternoon. Finally, something different will be happening! He said we could have paint and the hardwoods done by next week :-0 My sister is coming over this afternoon to spend some time and I will take her out to see it.

A few more flood pics

The Flood of '06

We had quite a bit of rain last night and it got to the point where the storm sewers just couldn't handle all of it and it started backing up pretty fast. At the deepest point, in the middle of our road, it was thigh deep. Within 2 hours though, it was all gone. In the mean time, kids were having fun in the water. People would start to drive down the street, see the water, gun their vehicles and then stop about half way through and back up. In the meantime, they created a wake that actually washed water into people's houses. I did see one guy out there with his dog and kid. The dog was having a great time and the kid was actually trying to swim in the water. WITH HIS FACE DOWN!!! What parent lets their kids put their faces in water like that???? OMG! I wouldn't even let mine play in it. Hey, if the storm sewers are backing up - who knows what's in that water?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I got my hair cut last week. Now, I am not a hair nazi, frankly, I don't care what my hair looks like as long as it is semi presentable and doesn't take too much of my time. I like to say the difference between a good haircut and a bad one is a week. Well, it's been almost a week and my hair is not presentable. This is a bad cut. I hate it. I don't think it is the stylist's fault (she is actually very good) I think my hair just sucks. It is just bad hair. No way around it.

In the same vein, Sunday, I took the two hounds over to some friend's house for a social gathering. There was dried drool splashed all over the side of my car from them sticking their heads out the window. I go to the car wash rains today. Hummmmpf..............

House boredom

We went to check up on the house yesterday evening. After 2 minutes we both were just like, 'let's blow this boring place'. Nothing to see, probably just filled 2 nail holes yesterday. I do think though they are done with the patching and most of the sanding so hopefully something more visible will be done soon - some paint, anything!

We did get a message from the building manager that he is arranging for an August 18 certificate of occupancy. So he thinks 5 weeks will be enough time to get everything done. We shall see.

I attended Jen's weight lifting class on Monday. Haven't gone to one in months. Went to the gym early, ran 2 miles on the treadmill and took the class. I am slated to run 3 miles today. Am I going to be able to? Nope. I can hardly move. Everything hurts - my quads, tris, calves, abs. WTH? I knew I would be hurting a bit so I took it easy in the class, but my gosh.......I feel like I am 90 everytime I try to get out of a chair! Running has been pushed back a day :-)

Monday, July 10, 2006

House Update

Well, I am back to being bored with the house (I am such a product of the modern world). Day after day all they do is spackle the walls so nothing really changes. Word is paint will be going up soon :-)

Bad mojo?

Nah, the website is back up and running - Thank goodness! I finally finished the clues to the 7 Wonders up in Happy Valley and now they are listed on Atlasquest and LBNA. This is such a cool series - stamps are carved by 4 other boxers and myself, and the stamps are awesome. Well, theirs are, mine are the weak links :-) I don't expect this series to get much traffic. It is out of the way and it is a long hike - about 11 miles. But the boxers brave enough will find some great stamps, a great hike and two really neat lakes (one with a causeway that goes all the way across it)

website woes

Where did my website go? Check it out Nothing there! I started last night trying to upload and it just won't work. Not only will it not upload, it replaced my website with nothing! WTH?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

House update

Wow, the holiday weekend really did a number on my posting habit. Also, my running habit but I am really feeling guilty about that so the less said the better.

Some updated house pics. When those crews show up to work, they really get stuff done. Unfortunately, they only show up 2 days a week :-) Ok, I might be exaggerating, but honestly, I have come to the conclusion that a house can be built in a month, if you just work 5 days a week on it :-) Oh, and I included a cute one of Angus - just because!