Wednesday, February 25, 2009

First Reasonable Outdoor Run of 2009

"All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be that or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. And you will tell them yes."

So maybe I splashed in a few slush puddles and carefully sidestepped over a couple slick spots, but I got to breathe in the fresh air and have the wind gently blowing in my face. I'm so rejuvenated that I can hardly type. Running outside proved just the fix for the Wednesday slumps. Now, my motivation is in high gear and I'm dying to head back under the sky, pound the pavement, and add a few more miles to the training log.

As of right now, 66 days and 11 hours remain until the half-marathon in Pittsburgh. I'm pretty sure that it's time to kick this running program into full gear. I do love the gym and my nifty treadmill, but there's no substitution for being outside and enjoying a true, authentic, invigorating run.

So, as for the title of my post, "First Reasonable Outdoor Run of 2009," it's all about how the first outdoor run of the new year was a race Melissa and I ran in the middle of January--completely ridiculous and totally unreasonable.

Known as the "Fire and Ice 5K", it was much more ice than fire. Actually, as the race commenced the lovely Somerset temperature was -7 degrees. I'm sure you can sense the enthusiasm we felt as we prepared for our outdoor adventure. Thankfully, we did well and had some true fun. Yep, we're sick...

Therefore, today provided the reasonable temperature of 39.9 degrees- perfect pre-spring running weather. Call me crazy, but I had to take advantage of this rare February opportunity.

As I ran, I did more than my fair share of mind wondering. However, as I watched the sky turn from a baby blue to a tie-dyed menagerie of purple, pink, yellow, and orange, I dreamed of summer days filled with all things warm and lovely....

I enjoy the above picture because I took it on a warm summer evening. The neighborhood smelled of freshly cut grass and the remains of delicious cook-outs, the warm sun just began it's setting ritual, and young children were riding bikes, playing on swing-sets, or finding themselves fully immersed in a game of hide and seek.

Dear Summer,

I'm ready. Please come soon. I want to run outside.

Thank you,


* As you can see, I'm finally allowing myself these pleasant thoughts. Summer. Running. Freshly cut grass.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Loving Lavender

"Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life."
~John Lobbock

Creating this new little knitting project has me thinking about Lavender. As I watch the variegated yarn weave colors of purples and whites, I'm transported to a sunny field in the United Kingdom, where the Lavender plant grows aplenty. Wouldn't you love to go there and have the sun rest on your back and drop tiny strings of highlights into your hair?

As part of my summer planting, I've already promised myself a container herb garden filled with Lavender plants. All of the waiting and anticipating is driving me mad and I do so wish that the days would get a bit longer and warmer as to allow me to partake in my simple pleasure.

...sigh... Until then, I suppose I'll continue to knit this handy washie, and dream of a summer that will eventually arrive.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hanging by a Thread...or a Stem

"Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen."
~Willa Cather

Just when it appears safe to utter, make that whisper, the idea that spring hides right around the corner, the snow and wind team up to make an abrupt appearance, reminding us of the prediction made by our good friend and trusty pal, Punxsutawney Phil.

Tonight while the wind whistled and thumped against the windows, my knitting needles and I spent some precious time together. We knit and purled and turned and knit some more; enjoying the new creation blooming before our eyes.

Blooming. There it is. Another "springy" word "popping" into my vocabulary. I'm already excited for the daffodils and crocuses, tulips and cherry blossoms. Spring. So close, yet so far away.

I noticed the above leaf as I quickly rushed Charlie outside into the freezing nighttime air. As it twirled and danced like a ballerina on a stage of crystals, I couldn't help but to rush for my camera. I felt bad for the little guy.

What was once a beautiful green oak leaf, soaking up the golden sun and practicing photosynthesis like a mad man, has been reduced to a crispy, brown, dead leftover summer souvenir, struggling to find a safe location to peacefully rest.

It was sad to watch him as he worked to free himself from the harsh grip of the glittery ground covering. I'm happy to report that he did finally escape and fluttered off into the darkness, where, I like to think, he found a safe place to call home.

I'll admit it, I'm thinkin' spring!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sweet Home Somerset

"Home is the place where it feels alright to walk around without shoes."
~ Joe Moore
We've unpacked, washed clothes, and visited the the grocery story-- it's official, we're home. To me, my favorite vacation place has always been my backyard. I enjoy the quietness of nothing. Nothing to do, nowhere to go; just simple days doing whatever strikes my fancy.

Before I left my parents' humble abode, I would spend hours perched under the umbrella table with my nose in a book, or drawing useless pictures in a tablet. Crazy, I know, but very Cathy-esque.

Now, I have the pleasure of traveling to new places, exploring the sights, and witnessing the glitz and glamour. Our little Valentine hiatus to Las Vegas allowed for some much needed time away from the snow and slush and ice and cold. Thank you desert for providing such a release.

Ahh, but to be home. The little joys of being inside the walls that see and hear the story of my life.

I love you clean and sanitary shower. I'm beyond gracious that I need not consider wearing flip flops.

Oh dear bed. I'm happy to report that all linens are fresh and have never covered the greasy bodies of people who don't shower before bed. (For those of you who don't know, I'm a two shower a day kinda girl. Who likes to crawl into bed with the day's dirt and grime? eewww...)

Speaking of bed and showers, I'm about to go rinse off and climb into my cozy, clean night-time retreat. It's nice to be back.

...good nighty!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Can I Buy Some Time, Please?

"When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied."

I'm happy to report that I'm officially off the disabled list (although some may argue differently-ha!). I successfully made it through the day and have finally regained my sense of purpose. However, I have a problem. There is so much that I want to do, but many more things that I have to do. Oh the dilemma...

Lounging on the couch and spending the whole weekend feeling like complete trash, proved beyond frustrating. I know I'm sick when my favorite foods sound terrible. But, I know the end looms near when things like books and knitting fail to excite me. As I sat on the couch all weekend, I found myself extremely frustrated. There were so many of my favorite littles that I could have lost myself in, yet I could not muster the energy or the enthusiasm to adjust my pillow. Pathetic, huh?

Now, it's back to the real world where I have lesson plans to do, sub-plans to write, biography projects to grade, a new bulletin board to put up, errands to run, a suitcase to pack, and all my littles patiently beckoning me...

"Come knit," whisper the needles.

"Make some tea and get lost in my world," the book softly sighs.

"I need a fresh coat of polish," chide my tootsies.

Oh, if only I could have more time. Wouldn't it be fabulous if we could purchase free time in the same manner in which one can buy a calling card? Rather than paying for 120 pre-paid minutes of phone time, I'd love to hand over my precious greenbacks for a few moments of free-time, me-time.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Girl's Best Friend

"My little dog- an angel at my feet."
~Edith Wharton

Today was not so good, not so good at all. As a matter of fact, and to be perfectly honest, it's still not the greatest. But, at least I have my best friend, my person with fur, beside me.

Did you ever notice, how when we're at our complete worst, there's always that one person who doesn't care? You know him or her. It's that special person that doesn't care that you are smelly, gross, and in the bathroom hugging the porcelain queen.

Growing up, that person was my mom. She'd gently hold my hair back as I got sick. She'd make me cute cups of ice chips, gently rub my face, and cover me in extra soft blankets.

Then there was my dad. He always played his role, too. He'd drive to Giant Eagle, returning with boxes of Popsicles and some new magazines. For some crazy reason, I still remember that he always got the colorful Popsicles that were in the shape of Micky Mouse. Somehow, those just made me all better.

Now I'm all grown up and I've noticed that some things really do change. This is my first round of sickness in about 8 years (blessing!) and my first one without mom and dad to take care of me.

That's why I'm glad for Charlie. As I type this, she sits on my lap, right where she has been for the entire day. No matter what happened or where I went, she was beside me or nestled in the crook of my arm or watching in terror as I got sick...keeping me warm, giving me puppy kisses, and making me feel so loved.

It's truly amazing how loyal and loving puppies can be. No matter what, I know I can count on my tiny, four-pawed, furry best friend.

  • Charlie T. is 4.5 years old and no longer a puppy. I refuse to call her a dog- she's way too cute for that. A puppy she shall always be.
  • Charlie T. really isn't a puppy either. I always correct people and tell them that she's a person with fur. (She really is- come and meet her!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A New Star is Born

"To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and not worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest."
~ Unknown

Yesterday I finished my sunny yellow twinkle star. Today I began my stellar key-lime super nova. I've always loved stars...

Now it appears that I have developed an insane infatuation with knitting them. I am going to have, by far, the snazziest dishcloths and dusters on this side of the Mississippi. Actually, I think they are way too nifty for scrubbing dirty pots and pans. Oh, what to do with these crafty little do-dads?

And, much to my delight, my furry companion has joined me in my knitting frenzy. I caught her red pawed, sitting on my project the other day. I'm quite sure she was attempting the purl stitch.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Little Ray of Sunshine

"You will never find time for anything. If you want the time, you must make it."
~Charles Buxton

Today is the first day in quite a while that the sun is streaming in through the windows. It's quite refreshing, I must say.

As you know, I've been on this knitting kick. For some reason, I'd rather knit than do just about anything else... perhaps it's the cathartic knit and purl stitches, the getting lost in my thoughts, holding something soft, or seeing a new creation bloom before my eyes. Whatever the reason, I've been unable to get much else done. Wait. I take that back. I've simply resorted to cutting back on sleep.

Currently, I'm in the process of making this cute twinkle star washcloth. I find some kind of sincere enjoyment in the yellow and white variegated yarn. It brings the sunshine indoors on these cold winter days, most definitely warming me up.

I hope you find something sunny, cozy, and creative to dig into today.
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