28 July 2008

Running By Dummies

ok, so, you know that FOR DUMMIES how-to book series? like, FLY FISHING FOR DUMMIES, or BETTING ON HORSE RACING FOR DUMMIES, stuff like that? well, this post is just like those books, except instead of containing advice FOR dummies, this holds pointers FROM dummies. or just one dummy.

the yours truly dummy.

(as a side note, "dummy" and all derivative forms of the word are strictly verboten in my household, so i keep waiting for an unseen buzzer and/or electric shock to go off. typing whilst cringing is more difficult that i would've thought. but moving on.)

helpful tips from a running ignoramus

1. so the thing about running is that how you feel during the first mile doesn't really count.

every morning i roll out of bed and onto the pavement, stiff and half-asleep, and i find it hard to blink with any modicum of coordination, let alone direct my limbs with synchronized grace. the whole time i'm thinking, seriously? this is a better idea than sleeping? but by the end of mile one i've morphed into that effortless jog where i feel like i could just go forever.

i know all you exercise-gurus are going to tell me this means i'm not pushing my body hard enough (or, you know, at all), but hey, i'm in a zone. let's leave me and my zone alone.

2. the other thing about running is that it's fun to wave at people. i'm an indiscriminate waver myself--i wave at ladies being dragged along by enthusiastic dogs; golf guys; old dudes sheepishly retrieving the morning paper in their pajamas, etcetera. but mostly? i wave at passing cars. here i get about a 70% waveback: the over-sixty crowd (they're my favorite) saves the rest of y'all from what would be a dismal 40%.

3. the other other thing about running is that wearing actual running shorts is loads better than those basketball or soccer shorts that hang to your knees. because, really? after about 3/8ths of a mile, you'll be sweating like a pig in a parka, legs drenched and blotchy, and you'll be wishing for something, um, breezier.

trust me when i say that running gear is not about identity statements. running gear is about not dying of heatstroke in the imminent future.

4. the last other thing about running is that how flabby you feel for the first ten minutes following your run also doesn't count.

most of the day, i'm cool with me. i mean, i don't belong in a swimsuit calendar (well, no one belongs in a swimsuit calendar, but you know what i'm saying), but i'm comfortable in my own skin. immediately after a run, however, i'm a flagrant disappointment to myself and, probably, the whole of humankind. i firmly believe that if i just slogged over six miles of pavement, i ought to have earned the chiseled figure of artemis, so it's quite a nasty shock to glance in the mirror and instead see me. i glare at all non-muscley areas and fight the urge to shriek at them: WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?

the rest of the day, though? i feel just grand.

so there you go. free tips that you will probably never need, which is mostly why they're free. go forth and slap some pavement.

25 July 2008

birthday child

This sweet child turned eight today.

Sometimes I catch myself studying the pale curve of his cheeks, and I think he's still my baby

but asplitsecondlater the light changes and he's all


stretching limbs,

growing toward a wide world that is not me.

Funny how birthdays make me walk that razor-thin wire between happy and sad. So thankful for these eight years, so wishing for a hundred more.

24 July 2008

to quote Henry James

"Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."

22 July 2008

self-portrait challenge: skills.4

move over, brits. i've got me some serious tea-partying skills.

learn more about self portrait tuesdays.

21 July 2008

indulging the list fetish

1. so boxer shorts? were totally invented for mid-july. the great thing about being a stay-at-home-mum is that you can muck about in boxer shorts and a t-shirt, and nobody looks at you weird.

except for if you go to the store. in that case, go with the jeans.

2. lately i've been reminded how much i love morning, when the world is still sleepy and fresh. i've been running again, and when i trek out early enough, it's this big expanse of quiet, and i get to talk to God, and the whole thing is all-out incredible.

3. in case you need to know how far you're running, mapmyrun.com is pretty nifty. and validating. and better than chocolate.

4. speaking of which, homemade chocolate cake + butter cream icing = bliss on a plate.

5. i love these crazy guys. (and the lens flare was totally unintentional, but i kinda like how the overall effect seems somehow sunnier.)

happy monday. :)

17 July 2008

the thankful list

1. ceiling fans
2. the shade beneath leafy trees
3. chocolate pudding
4. bubbles**
5. the honeyed haze of summer evenings
6. coldish showers

and also

7. children who remain resiliently cheerful even when i am the crabbiest mum in the history of hormones


14 July 2008

a reluctant interview w/my 10 yr old

What has been the highlight of your summer thus far?

Hawaii. The beach.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To give me all his money.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In a house. With video games.

If you could name yourself, what would you be known as?


12 July 2008

hereditary pastimes

o frabjous day! callooh! callay!

i am back.

the cute tech guy got my internet to work, even though i must point out that he employed the same unplug/switch-plugs-around/switch-them-back/replug technique i did, only i guess my modem likes him better. but i have no room for fractured egos, as i am full-to-bursting with giddiness at my sudden release from solitary confinement.

on with the show.

every once in a cerulean moon, elle takes a break from her usual LEGO constructions--you know, the battleships, the rockets, the pistol-and-rapier weaponry typical of a girl under the influence of three older brothers.

yes, every once in a while, she remembers whose child she is.

and as a nod to her mother, she builds a camera.

i knew i liked this kid.

10 July 2008

houston, we have a problem

yesterday's special surprise-du-jour was that my modem/internet stopped working, and despite my heroic unplugging and replugging in of all pluggable cords, the problem has not been resolved. go figure.

so here i am at the public library, shushing my kids across the room via ESP and death stares.

i'm really hoping my tech guy (aka the hubby) will solve all my connectivity issues when he's back in town tomorrow, but until then, enjoy the silence.

in the meantime, i shall be in my garage. painting the vbs set. still.

08 July 2008

another off the top of my head kind of list (i apologize in advance)

1. humidity is not my friend. i tried to be nice to it, but it plasters my hair to the back of my neck; slicks my floors; and makes breathing, as a whole, generally unpleasant. i know all y'all down south are muttering wimp under your breath, but i'll willingly embrace that label. i am a humidity wimp.

2. i am an awfully blessed person if my biggest complaint in sight is the current dew point.

3. i am kind of done with painting. the only thing is, the vbs set is right about at the three-fourths completed stage, so yeah. i am kind of not done with painting.

4. sweet tea is bringing on the summer sale.

a bunch of my etsy frocks and jewels are currently on sale, anywhere from 10-40 percent off, and because i cherish anyone who likes to hear me talk, i am offering all of my blog readers an additional 10% off the already reduced prices. when you make your purchase (but before you pay), just mention to me that you're a blog reader and i'll send you an adjusted invoice.

on second thought, would you like a sale code? let me give you a sale code. everything's so much more delightful with a sale code. okay, what shall it be...? here we go: HUMIDUS (which is latin for something about humidity, because apparently i am still complaining).

5. also on etsy: i added a few new dresses and a peasant top, and i even named them.

my theory here is that i got in the habit of popping out another kid every 2.3 years, but with the absence of a new baby (because elle is three now, eek!) i had to find something else to name.

so, left to right: anna, lia, and lucy.

they are all very pleased to make your acquaintance, but would be all kinds of delighted if you'd stop by and visit them at etsy. (and, you know, buy them and take them home.)

6. ooh, i have typed so long that the humidity/dew-point/barometric-pressure/whatever-else-is-involved has now morphed into a lovely downpour. i just love rain at night.

sweet dreams.

07 July 2008

vintage glaze

i apologize for my sporadic posting as of late; summer has this way of knocking our schedule off-kilter. i'll do my best to drop by here with more frequency, even just to share a summery photo or two.

a few backyard shots of my favorite girl:

see y'all soon.

02 July 2008

bookishness (and also the losing of minds and/or caulk guns)

so i'm in the middle of vbs-set-construction mayhem, which basically means my hallway and living room are littered with craft glue, paint cans, caulk guns, duct tape, and, um, thirteen 4x8' styrofoam boards. please don't drop by just now.

anyway, i owe y'all a two-month booklist (because, as you recall, i was vacationing when may's list was due), but before somebody scans the number of books below and comments on how i've been slacking, let me just explain that for three weeks in there (that would be the neurotic-packing week followed by the two chowing-plate-lunches/sitting-happily-on-the-beach weeks) i briefly had a life and therefore only read about a book per week.

and also the dog ate my homework.

but right, the books. here we go:

May/June Booklist

MISTIK LAKE Martha Brooks
SALEM FALLS Jodi Picoult
HARVESTING THE HEART by--guess who?--Jodi Picoult
THE BROKER John Grisham
DUMPING BILLY Olivia Goldsmith
THE DEAD AND THE GONE Susan Beth Pfeffer
BONE BY BONE Tony Johnston

okay, so apparently i was on a picoult binge there for a while. i borrowed two of her books from the library, and then my SIL mailed me three more. good thing she writes well.

no complete stand outs (or possibly my memory is shot, that could be it), but i most enjoyed KEEPING FAITH, AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES, and BONE BY BONE.

happy reading, dear friends.