Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Quest to Conquer the Butte to Butte Hill

On Saturday, a friend and I ran the "Butte to Butte" hill. This hill is about a one mile gradual climb to the top. After huffing and puffing my way up, I took a break before the downhill, and broke into Professor Pindell mode. My friend was kind enough to listen to my explanation of the technique I learned about running downhill. This technique is such that while going downhill, one puts their head forward slightly, while having a quick turnover of the legs. This turnover is much faster than the traditional long stride, where it seems you're actually trying to break, or slow your legs down. Well, I followed the technique, and I flew down the hill. Hence, I will call this technique The Roadrunner.
What I discovered in this run, is that if  I let gravity lead the way, and let go of the fear that I might fall, I truly enjoy the experience. 
That was Saturday, and today is Thursday. I ran up the "Spyglass" hill today, huffing and puffing to the top. I didn't take a break, still huffing and puffing on the downhill. I used The Roadrunner on this hill, and it seemed scary fast. It was clearly a steeper hill. Lesson learned: My experience is that every day is a different running day for me. I kinda like this, as I wouldn't want to get bored. 
Oh, and why would such a post be interesting to anyone but me? I guess I'm wanting to express how joyful running can be, not just that I'm crazy. It's not particularly easy for to get out there and "Just Do It".
 I also ask myself about the "God' connection to running. For me, it's mostly that I CAN do it. That I, for some reason have been given the legs, and lungs etc., that get me up and down the hill, and am grateful for that, even though it is not always easy
I also like the camaraderie I have with whomever I am running, as we often discuss ideas regarding Christianity and Christian community. I also take time to mull over "ideas" in my head, otherwise known as cogitating.   During a run I often talk to God, but not out loud- as if I want to live up to my Crazy Aunt Nan reputation.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Whew!



Over a week has passed since I last recounted our family happenings. So, I'll summarize the events of these past few days or so...
For Evander, I'd say his highlights were: visiting with Grandma Lois, watching,  Prince Caspian, going to a friends birthday party, and playing Wii with cousin Sam.
I'd guess Emma's were having accomplishments in both Spanish and swimming. Also, watching Prince Caspian inspired her to read the Prince Caspian book.
 Princess Paul celebrated his fortysomething birthday out of town. I missed celebrating with him, but heard that he had balloons and a cake at least.
Me, well not much this week. Just kidding.
My mom came to visit and to help me put in my garden. She is a hard worker, and wore me out! We we're able to integrate fun and food into our time together. Grandma Judie joined us at the Dairy Queen, Thursday night. The two grandmas chatted and enjoyed their Blizzards.
Saturday, Patty celebrated her thirtysomething birthday. She came to our house for a visit with Grandma Lois, whom she hadn't seen for a long time. I must say, I have the greatest sister-in-laws. Patty is Patty for sure, with her quick wit and beautiful smile, and she's remained my friend all these year, dispite my anticts.  
Here's a shout out to Grandma Judie, my favorite mother-in-law!  Her birthday on Monday completes the trifecta of family birthdays all in one week. 
Monday, we were able to enjoy an evening performance of ballet. Three little girls from church, including our Lily danced so beautifully for a doting crowd.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Thanks to BellaArtGirl for the photos, and Mother's Day love! The paper vase was from Lily-Boo.
The "Good Mother" hand prints were from the T girls.

I woke up earlier than my family on Mother's Day, so I went upstairs and compiled a CD entitled, "Mother's Day Love". Apparently, I had too many songs for one disk. But here is the play list:(This is to come, as my tech guy is in class)
The older I get, the more songs I like. Some of these songs are for fun, and some remind me of family times. I realize that many of the songs that I like are "inspirational" in genre. Yep. I guess I figure that this world/life can be difficult much of the time and I'll take help any way I can get it, and often look forward to Life beyond this world, even on Mother's Day.
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After the CD making, I was told to go back to bed, where I received cinnamon rolls and orange juice. Mr. P made me coffee, (Just like George does for Laura) and I read some of the March issue of Sunset magazine.  That was nice. Sweet Emma presented me with new PJ's that she bought with her own money! I had discussed this particular set of PJ's with her on one of our trips to Target, so she knew of my interest in said item.
 I also called my mom, but didn't talk too long, as she comes on Thursday to fill a supervisory position to help me put in my garden. For her Mother's Day, she went to breakfast with my brother, Doug and sister-in-law, Lindsay. Bud and Kes were kind enough to make dinner for her and my sister Chris. 
After coffee and conversation, we were then off to church, as we were in charge of the kids in Van's age group. We read and discussed Proverbs 31, you know, the good part about a strong woman and other great attributes of a God reveren' woman. The kids weren't as into it as I was, but it was an attempt to send some love home for the mamas.
I'll skip the part about no one showing up for hike I had planned...
We spent the afternoon watching, "Becoming Jane". I'd love to say it was a great film, but unfortunately, I fell asleep. It's a mother's prerogative to do as she pleases on Mother's Day.
Grandma Judie, Patty, Dan and Sam joined us for dinner. My family prepared the meal-Honeybaked ham, Caesar salad, and one of the foods in my top ten faves-mashed potatoes. It was delightful to share the evening with two of my favorite moms...Although the highlight of the night was when my nephew Sam gave me an unprompted puppy dog hug, while greeting me with, "Happy Mother's Day."

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Movement


Heidi and I ran the Butte to Butte today. We were the only ones doing so. Oh, that's right, it's not until July 4th! Well, we ran it because I suggested starting to practice for the downhill portion of the run. I must say when we arrived at the start of the course,  I had my own bit of fun knowing she did not know the route.  The beginning of the race appears to be a little stretch of road, then a little bump of a hill. In actuality, it keeps going up and up until there's such a steep part that one can walk more easily than run. Then it's down and down the hill. Mind you, it's not very steep, but I have to "pace" myself because I am someone who gets side aches on the downhill easily (Oh, I would love to practice my new technique of running like the roadrunner-quick turnovers barely touching the ground-it's fast. But my side aches remind me to be conservative). So I survived the hill, and now I want to know how fast(or should I say how much more than slower) I can go down the hill without keeling over. 
That was this morning, well, early morning. This Saturday, was the last day of Spring soccer for the Family Soccer Organization. Our friends came up with the idea of playing as "families" rather than individual family members playing on various teams, needing to practice more than once a week, all throughout the city. It's simple. A parent from each family plays soccer with the kids. Instead of just sitting on the sideline chatting, we join in. Now, sometimes I mix chatting and playing, but today I mostly played, and what fun!
{I'd love to show some photos from today's soccer game, but when I went to take some video of the event, I realized that I broke the video camera's battery at Disney World. It was a tight fit for the video cam and the digital cam to fit in our camera case, but if I took the battery off the video cam, it fit quite nicely. Well, we had pulled it out once to film, and when I was manipulating everything to fit, it kinda sorta fell on the ground. It was dinged, and looked OK, but it didn't work. I'd forgotten my faux pas, and only brought the video to soccer today}
So I just have to randomly describe what happens on the field...
The play looks a lot like swarm ball, especially if the adults get in the thick of the kids to try and get the ball away from them. It's not quite fair, but it is fun to get into the swarm, let them kick it back and forth between you and the kid, and then see who gets the ball. Mind you, 99% of the time, somehow the kid gets the ball. It wouldn't seem fair that the 40 year old always took the ball away from the little kids.
Then there's the comments from the kids, "Oh, you kicked that funny." 
 I said to one of the girls, "Hey, you're guarding me?" She replied, "Yes, I am" with a "Bring it On" attitude as she darted back and forth before our throw-in.
Tegan, as kids coach running down the sidelines, "That's it, that's it, that's it."
Then there were the random plays of the adults trying not to squish the kids. That's interesting trying not to run over a child, especially when you start running from behind them, and they come to a sudden, unpredictable stop. I had some near misses during the season, as one of the boys liked to slide tackle. Today, I tried to actually kick the ball with some umph, for the goal, but kicked it straight on into one of the smaller, say five year old's, chest. He didn't cry though.
Neither did I.
What's also fun is watching the adults try and hold back when they have a clear shot of goal. We have a three touch rule, as the adults team has to kick it three times to each other before they can shoot the goal, and they have to start the count over if a kid kicks the ball. Well, it takes some effort for the adults to do so, as the kid's team had twelve today, and we had about six. 
With this being our third year(?) at this, I encourage all families to forgo paying all those sports fees, and give their own FSO a go.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Waiting


≈ This week I spent sleeping. I suppose I needed it for my recovery after the half marathon. My running partner has been awake. She's ready to take on another challenge, while I try and nap...
I am waiting for the beginning of the big garden clean-up tomorrow. Today, I was in the house, as I haven't really tackled chore duties since the "Mountain of Laundry," so one can imagine the time it's taken just to clean the first layer. The first layer is good enough, so I'm hoping the gorgeous weather will hold out for a couple more days in order for me to get started on the garden. Tomorrow, we have the end of FSO (have I written about FSO?), onto the garden store for the kids to help pick-out my Mother's Day plants, then hopefully, I'll have time to plant them.
While I was waiting for my garden to be planted, I thought I'd show some pictures of what was happening in my yard, that perhaps, I was taking for granted.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Love Is What Matters


Today, I am lying in the hammock and reflecting on the past two days...
Emma and I just spent some time reading outside in gorgeous weather. This school year, she and I have been reading, "Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl". There is so, so much life in this book. I am moved by this life. The "realness" of her writing puts me, as the reader, right next to her in the annex.
I wish I could say I have put all my thoughts together after reading this book, but there is so much that comes to mind when reading an entry to her diary, so I will only share some of my scattered thoughts. Like today, one of the passages we read reflected a day, weather wise, that was probably similar to this day, however Anne didn't have the frivolity of such leisure time. She was not free.
Also, reading this book, I am presented with the dichotomy of  Anne's angst/imprisonment, and the freedom that we experience as modern Americans.
One of the more remarkable things about Anne was at her age, she is more educated than I will ever be.
There is so much richness to this story she tells, yet she did not live to tell her story. Her story is a short story, on which I have spent some time cogitating and having an ongoing "discussion" with God.
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Yesterday, after the half marathon, my husband graciously made the "Breakfast of Champions" with the help of my sister-in-law Patty, and my mother-in-law Judie.

Fellow half-marathoners Heidi and Maricel joined me and our respective fan clubs for breakfast.
 I'm hoping the pictures of folks spread throughout the house will tell the story, but what they won't say is that this race is a reminder of my pre-forty experience of self evaluation and self reflection that lead me to the conclusion that my life is to be about gratitude, foremost, to God and to all the magnificent gifts He gives me each and every day.
At one moment as I sat amongst my friends chatting about this and that, I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for these friends being the love and support that is here for me, big race or not. My eyes got a bit teary, and I noticed the song that was playing the the background. It was a Carrie Underwood song (Yes, sounds so "pop" of me) entitled, "So Small". The lyrics of the chorus are so true,
"Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
Is just a grain of sand
What you've been out there searchin for forever
Is in your hands
Oh, When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
Oh it sure makes everything else
Seem so small"

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Lag

I made it through post vacation mode, only to set myself up for pre-party mode. I've given myself a couple of days of rest that don't seem very restful. I'm beginning to get over jet lag, and beginning to have cleaning lag. Tomorrow is the Eugene Half Marathon, which I'm running at 7:00AM. I guess everyone else is running at 7:00AM also.
The men connected to the ladies that are running are cooking a "Husband Breakfast" for their lady champions. I am looking forward to breakfast as much as the race. So, I expect I won't be walking much tomorrow so expect the play by play tomorrow...

Friday, May 02, 2008

Tired Dogs
It's about 10:30P on Monday. I just walked around the world, at least once. We spent the day at Epcot, all eight of us that is. I didn't think to stop and get a picture of the eight of us. I would like to go on and on about what we did but I'm too tired, a good tired mind you. I told the kids my favorite ride was Test Track. They didn't let me answer, “Lunch”. Our lunch was at our favorite Italian restaurant in our known world. We went to Disney World six years ago, and ate lunch there. We loved the food. Unfortunately, I drank a big bottle of Italian water, so I could not eat my entree. This time I had no trouble eating my entree. This was a good time with our adult friends as Emma took care of the kids while we ate lunch. That was quite a gift Emma gave us. Thanks Emmers!
More later...