Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First "Long" Run Since The Marathon

Today was my first long run since the Pensacola Marathon a couple of weeks ago.  I ran with the Running Nazi this morning on our favorite course minus the add-ons.  It was cold, but not freezing and we were dressed appropriate for the temperature.  We only ran 8 miles instead of our usual 12+ miles since I haven't been running much and my longest run so far has been only 3 miles on the treadmill.

It felt good.  I am glad I waited a while before I started running long again.  I am totally recovered and felt strong during the entire run.  I think we were running a tad bit faster than we normally do too. (at least I'd like to think so!)  This weekend we are running 13 miles.  That will be the real long run of the week.  Hope it is warmer than it was today!

The Murph Family Christmas Trees by Barbie

Living Room Christmas Tree.  The "Glamour" Tree with silver and white decorations and a sparkly silver tree skirt.   My favorite.

Dining Room Tree.  The only white Christmas Tree with multicolored lights, all the other trees are green with white lights.  I call this the "Mardi Gras" tree because of the strings of Mardi Gras beads used as garland.

Family Room 9 ft Tree.  I love this one too.  This one is the "Music and Fashion" tree with mostly red and gold ornaments.  I love the burlap garland with the music notes from Pottery Barn.  I wish I had bought another roll of it last year.  I also love the little dresses and shoes and the hanging Santa Claus suits that are on this tree and the musical ornaments.

Office Tree.  This one is the "Snow Skiing/Lodge" Tree with gondola ornaments, snow ski, snow shoes and mitten ornaments.  

Another view of the Snow ski Tree.  I love the skiing Santa ornament on the right above the gondola.

Downstairs tree in the Boy's "apartment".  A lot of the ornaments were made by him when he was younger.    This one is "The Boy's" Tree.

Another view of the family room tree with the angel precariously balanced on top.

It's a little crowded up here!  Don't try to cram a 9ft tree under an 8 ft ceiling...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fun Harassing The Jazz Cats Today

Phantom and I prefer the "black cat" Riesling.

Phantom is monitoring the food situation.  Cadence is just scarfing it down.

Phantom and I will leave the Moosehead beer to the Murph.

Crazy Ed and Boo with their Aussie Beach Dogs Shiraz....
Cadence wants no part of the reindeer antlers that I put on him.  I'll get a photo of him wearing them before Christmas....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving With The Boy

It has been a very laid back Thanksgiving weekend.  The Boy was here from college and that was nice.  He forgot to bring his dirty laundry so I didn't have to wash for him.  I hope he has enough clothes to last until after finals in a few weeks!  Phantom, who has been very good with the other cats, suddenly started acting out and going after poor Ed again.  We had to squirt Phantom so many times he stayed wet most of the weekend.  He is exhausted, sleeping under the Christmas tree now.  He also pooped on the living room couch where Ed hangs out.  I guess he was making a territorial statement.  I put aluminum foil on the couch to keep him from pooping on it.  The vet advised me to do that when he pooped last summer on the same couch and in Ed's favorite antique chair.

The Murph and I got all the outside lights hung and the wreath and the garland put up.  I got all the trees up and decorated so I think that's it,  that's enough for sure!  It's going to be party time at the Murph's house this month.  We plan on having a party for friends and then family over Christmas Day and I told the Boy he could have a party with his friends if he wants too.  One of his best friend's moved to California a few months ago and the Boy said if he had a party, I would have to fly the friend here from California.  I thought that was way sweet, but a little expensive just for a Christmas party!

The Boy somehow gets me to "help" him write papers and do book reports, but flying someone cross country is an entirely different thing.   The Boy saved up a lot of homework for me to help him with this weekend too.  I had to help him come up with ideas for 30 journal entries and then expand on some of them.  I didn't help him with all of it because that's his work.  I've been to college.  Then I helped him do a book report on a book I had never read and will never read.  It is a 700 page reference type book on Human-computer interactions and task analysis.  Can it get more boring?  I think I did pretty darn good on the report ideas though.  He was impressed that I could come up with so much to write about in such a short time.  Now he has no excuses.  He has plenty of ideas to take back to school and write about since I've gotten him started.  I just hope he turns it in!

Can't wait until Christmas break when he's back home again.  I miss him!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Just Hanging Out Under The Tree

Ed and Boo hanging out under the Christmas Tree

Don't disturb us.  We're good.

Writing, Not Shopping

For all of those people out shopping today on Black Friday - Good luck to you!  Me, I slept in late and now I'm home with the Murph and the Boy and the Jazz cats and plan to do most of my Christmas shopping online.  No crowded malls for me.  I did the Friday after Thanksgiving shopping frenzy once and that's enough.  I was at the mall before 3 a.m. and did find some good deals, mostly gift with purchase type deals or more money off if you shop by 9 a.m or 12 p.m, etc.  Other than that, it just isn't worth it.  I actually bought more stuff for myself than I did Christmas presents and right now I am cleaning out junk, not adding it.  I have plenty of junk to pack when we move.  I still have furniture at my house that need a home and clothes from the 80's.  Besides I need to be writing, not shopping.

I have gotten a little behind in my novel writing since we moved back home from the beach.  I only have a week to go for NaNoWrMo (national novel writing month) and I am only half way finished.  I need about 25,000 more words.  For the next week writing is first priority, well 2nd after working out.  I want to make sure I have the 50,000 words by the end of the month to finish my novel.  I didn't realize how hard it is to come up with things to write about!  I'm halfway finished and I have written about all I can think of to write about.  It's time to get a little more creative.  I can do it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving and Christmas Decorating With The Jazz Cats

Today was Christmas decorating day.  We still haven't eaten our Thanksgiving dinner, but we got a lot of decorating completed.  Last year I had a tree in every room in my house, all with their own themes.  This year I am living at the Murph's house so it was a little more difficult trying to figure out where to put everything.  All my decorations were bought for my house with a space in mind.  Here at the Murph's house I had to improvise.

We used most of my trees, but not one in every room.  He has way too many rooms that we never even use.  I put up four big trees, one in the living room, one in the office, one in the dining room, one in the family room and one in the Boy's room.  My 9 ft tree didn't fit under the Murph's 8 1/2 ft ceiling, but we got it in there anyway.  The top is a little tipped over to one side, but maybe nobody will notice....

I added my Christmas village houses with the Murph's and we have quite a little village, complete with an ice skating rink, a snow skiing mountain, library, toy shop, church, Irish pub (for my piss drunk Irishman), train station, country inn and another Victorian house and golf shop.  Sparkling "snow" is all over the house now.  I had some stuck to my forehead when I woke up this morning.

The cats LOVE all the trees.  Each one has their favorite that they are sleeping under.  They haven't tried to climb them yet which is good.  Phantom is to big, Ed and Boo too old and Cadence knows better.  Ed and Boo like the tree that's in the living room best because that room is their usual hangout anyway.  They were all over the place while I was putting them up and decorating them, especially Phantom.  He had to supervise everything.  I guess the trees meet with his approval.

We have lights outside along with garland, a blowup Santa and a blowup snowman, but the lights are not set to techno music like I had hoped.  I think we are doing good if we get the icicle lights hung over the porch roof.  Dancing lights set to music is just out of our expertise.  Phantom couldn't get outside to supervise us although he certainly tried.  He's an indoor only cat.

Now it is time to relax and wait on the turkey to finish cooking so we can eat Thanksgiving dinner.  We are having turkey, the Murph's grandmother's secret stuffing recipe, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls and apple pie.  For the Jazz Cats, turkey for Phantom and Fancy Feast chicken florentine for the rest of them.

The jazz cats are very thankful that it is Thanksgiving too.  I asked each of them what they are most thankful for and here's what the said.  Phantom is very thankful for turkey and dressing and that his boy's home from college for the holiday.  Cadence is thankful that he didn't get squirted with water today like Phantom did for going after Ed.   Ed is thankful that Phantom didn't catch him and bite him today and that he gets to hangout under a really cool tree with a nice fluffy, soft tree skirt.  Boo is just thankful to be alive and able to eat soft food everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Jazz Cats.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Girl Scout Days

I found this picture from 1977 or 1978 of my girl scout troupe taken outside my old elementary school.  I am in the back row third from the left in the navy sweat shirt.  My friend yoga girl Steph, who painted the "Deluded Disillusion" painting that I have hanging in my bedroom, is next to me in the little white hat.  Aren't we cute??

Doing The Right Thing

Ok here's my random vent for the day.  I wrote it earlier today when I was a little angry and had to come back and edit it.  So here is the freshly edited, "nice" version without all the cuss words:

Today I had an appointment with the lawyer that handled my divorce from the Boy's father nine years ago.  I didn't want to have to do it, but I really have no choice.  The man is a tightwad and doesn't want to have to pay anything for the Boys college.  Oh, he says he will pay half, but he also said he would give the boy $20 a week spending money (yes, $20! Stop laughing!) and hasn't done any of it.

The Murph (aka Ken) pays ALL of his daughters college which is 4x the cost of the Boy's and doesn't even have anything in writing requiring him to do it.  He does it because it's the right thing to do.  Unfortunately, my ex, who I will call the Tightwad, needs a judge to point out to him (in writing) what the right thing to do is for his own son.

Over the years, Tightwad has done the minimum he can do in raising the Boy and that is only the child support which he was legally required to pay.  Nothing extra and he even wanted me to give him back some money on child support when he had the Boy during his summer visits.  He couldn't get that, of course, but he asked me to send food with the Boy on his visits and when he was taking the Boy snow skiing one time he expected me to buy the ski jacket, pants, and long underwear, gloves, etc. so the Boy would have something to wear during the trip.  A trip, by the way, that the Tightwad's dad (who's retired) probably paid for so Tightwad would go.

I actually did send food once with the Boy because the Boy said his dad wouldn't buy any food for him and he was at his dad's house by himself sometime with nothing to eat!  I also bought the ski jacket and pants for the Boy because I wanted to make sure he stayed warm on the trip and didn't trust the Tightwad to get what he needed.  If I remember correctly (that was about 5 years ago), I actually think the Tightwad wasn't going to take the Boy at all if I didn't get the clothes for him.  And no, Tightwad isn't destitute by any means.  When he says he has no money, he means he has no money in his pocket at the moment and doesn't count all his many investments accounts and the thousands of dollars he probably has in the bank.  Basically what he means is, he has money, but the Boy isn't getting it.  Not without a judge's order anyway.

 I can only wonder why Tightwad isn't even sending the Boy the $20 a week allowance that he promised him.  After all, 20 bucks isn't even all that much for a tightwad.  I've given the Boy more money than that, plus paying about $500/semester for him to meet with a tutor once a week.  The Boy can't talk to Tightwad at all about money without getting verbally attacked, so for now we just don't know what happened to the 20 bucks a week.

The first step is to send a letter to Tightwad and see what response we get.  Hopefully, he will agree to do the right thing and I won't have to take further steps.  He never agrees on anything though, so I have very low expectations.

My lawyer told me there are laws in Alabama called the Bayliss Laws which are established to support children in college full time when they are no longer minors.  It now covers tuition, books, living expenses and health insurance.  The Murph is paying for our health insurance now and doesn't mind, but Tightwad should contribute something for his own son.  We'll see.

I am concerned about the fact that the law only requires the parent to pay for college if the child keeps a 2.0 average.    The Boy struggles in school so what if he dips down to a 1.8 or 1.9 for a semester.  It doesn't seem right to me that he could loose it all.  Financial aid would be lost for sure, but Tightwad was on academic probation for most of his college career with a grade point average under 2.0!  He still graduated, got a college degree and his dad paid for it all and had two other children to put through college.  Tightwad only has one child, not three!

I don't get it.  I will NEVER get it!  I will protect my child though.  He deserves better than that.

Words of wisdom - Don't marry a tightwad.  I was young, but there were signs even back then when we were teens.   I should've run!  I should've run FAST!!

If only I were doing speed work back then...

Whew!  And that's all I'm going to say about that!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Marathons I Want To Run In Each State

Alabama -  Mercedes (Birmingham)- already run 2x
                  Rocket City (Huntsville)- already run


Arizona - PF Changs Marathon (Phoenix) or Tuscon Marathon (Tuscon)


California- Napa Valley, Big Sur, San Francisco - don't know, there's so many to choose from!

Colorado- Boulder or Denver Marathons


Delaware- Delaware Marathon (Wilminghton)

District of Columbia-

Florida - Pensacola Marathon - already run 1x

Georgia- Georgia Marathon

Hawaii- Maui or the marathon at the end if the Ironman in Kona!

Idaho- Coeur d'Alene Marathon or the marathon at the end of Ironman Coeur d'Alene.


Illinois- Chicago Marathon (Chicago)




Louisiana- Mardi Gras Marathon (New Orleans)



Massachusetts - Boston Marathon - already run 1x


Minnesota- Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon (Minneapolis)

Mississippi- Mississippi Coast Marathon (Gulfport)



Nebraska- Omaha Marathon (Omaha)

Nevada- Rock and Roll Las Vegas Marathon (Las Vegas)

New Hampshire- New Hampshire Marathon (Bristol)

New Jersey- New Jersey Marathon (Long Branch)

New Mexico

New York- New York City Marathon (New York)

North Dakota

North Carolina

Ohio- Flying Pig Marathon (Cincinnati)




Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee- St Jude Memphis Marathon (Memphis)- already run 1x




Virginia- Marine Corps Marathon


West Virginia



Ironman Triathlon - Never Give Up

This explains why I do what I do. It isn't necessarily because I want to anymore, it's because I have to.  I'm addicted.  It's my drug.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Triathlete/Runner Amnesia

This time last week I was carbo-loading at Lillo's, an Italian restaurant in Pensacola Beach and wondering why the heck I had ever signed up for the Pensacola marathon that was the next day.  Why do I put myself under this kind of stress when I don't have too?  Why did I ever think I wanted to run a marathon in every state?  What's wrong with me?

When the alarm went off at 4:30 marathon morning, the first thing I think of is do I really want to do this?  Can I just stay in bed?  I was wide awake so I got up, got ready, ate a power bar and a banana and went to the bathroom.  I just thought, ok, let's just get this thing over with so I can come home and eat lunch with Boy and sit around wrapped in my snuggie for the rest of the day being extra nice to the Murph for putting up with me.

There were several times during the race when I really, really wished I had only signed up to do the half marathon instead of the whole thing.  I wondered now why did I want to run a marathon in every state.  Why did I want to run THIS marathon?  Did I ever want to run another marathon at all?  Maybe I would just pick the marathons that I wanted to do, which only involve about 4 or 5 states and just forget all the other states.

By mile 20 I was thinking maybe this would be it for me.  No more marathons.  Why even run at all?  Is it really that good for you?  I wasn't feeling that good.

After the race I could barely walk.  My calves have been extremely sore all week.  I tried to run for the first time today and my calves felt tight and still hurt.  I felt like somebody punched them with their fist.  I told the Murph that I thought it was not a good idea for me to run the Ruben Studdard half marathon that the Running Nazi wanted me to do with her tomorrow.

He said "I thought you had already decided you weren't going to do that. "

"Well I was only 99% sure I wasn't doing it, but now I am 100%."  He just shook his head.  He doesn't understand crazy, but being around me he's getting use to it.

It's funny how you forget the stress and pain of running marathons and other long, endurance type events (such as the Ironman).  You forget how the training takes up most of your free time and rules your entire life and everything you do and eat and sleep revolves around the training for these events.  You forget the anxiety before race day and the worries.  Do I have everything?   Did I train enough?  It's gonna hurt!

I'm not much fun to be around the days before the race and especially not race morning.  I don't handle stress very well.   Ask the Murph.

So anyway, today I've been thinking about which marathon in which state I am going to tackle next.  Maybe I should even sign up for at least one 1/2 Ironman too.  No full Ironman triathlons next year though.  Definitely not, no, well, probably not, at least not next year.

Triathlete/Runner amnesia, crazy or just plain dumb?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The $800 Water Bill?!?!

We have only been home for two days and today get a water bill for over $800.  WTF!  The Murph called the water and sewer company and they told him to go to the meter on the street to see if it was spinning.  If it was, then that meant we have a leak somewhere.  First of all, we had no idea where the meter was so the water company lady had to lead the Murph to where it was suppose to be via cell phone.  He found it and yes, it was spinning.   This led to where the heck was the leak.  We searched the entire house listening for water leaking sounds but heard nothing.  In two days we have heard nothing, even at night when everything is off and it is quiet.

Finally, we discovered the leak was in the crawl space under the house.  There is a small lake down there right now.  An indoor pool!  We turned all the sinks and toilets off, but it was still leaking.  We couldn't really see where exactly it was coming from since it is dark and creepy in there.  My brother works for a plumbing company but by then it was so late he had already gotten off work and the company was closed. I was able to get him on his cell phone after about an hour.  He came over and was able to turn the water off by the road.  He said he thinks a pipe has busted out in the yard right before it enters the house so we have water flowing in under the foundation of the house.

Looks like we might now be facing a weekend with no water if it isn't an easy fix tomorrow.  Also, we missed a concert that we were suppose to go to this evening.

Luckily, my house hasn't sold yet so we can go over there for showers.  It's empty, but the water works!  It will be a great opportunity to clean the attic and the basement out.  I have a lot of junk!

Welcome home!  Ugggg!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sandstorm by Darude -This Is What I Want To Do To The House For Christmas

Well I have finally got everything unpacked and put away.  It is starting to feel like home again after being away since September.  I was googling another one of my favorite spins songs last night, Sandstorm by Darude, when I came across a you tube video of christmas lights that someone had decorated their house with and choreographed it to the Sandstorm spinerval song.  I thought it was cool.  I told the Murph that that is what I wanted to do to our house for Christmas.  We could have about 50,000 lights set to the techno song I love!  The first time I was spinning to it in spin class, I got my heart rate up so high I felt like I was going to pass out.  Be careful!  Dangerous song!  Check your heart rate monitors!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back Home For The Holidays

Today we moved back home for the holiday season.  The cats were loaded up, piles of clothing that I didn't even wear and shoes and stuff all moved back home.  The jazz cats are a little tired from the drive.  Phantom and Cadence have already ganged up on the two cats we left home, Ed and Boo.  It's going to be a stressful couple of days getting use to it here again.  Hopefully, we will get the Murph's house on the market after the holidays and my house will be sold and we can move south to the coast somewhere after that.  I am ready!

My calves are still sore from the marathon on Sunday. It takes forever to heal these days.  The Running Nazi and I might to another marathon in February in New Orleans.  There is also a 1/2 marathon in Birmingham this weekend that she wants me to do.  I don't think that would be a good thing for me considering how my legs feel right now!  

Back to the real world and I don't like it.  I've already missed my annual doctor appointment that I thought was tomorrow, but was actually today and I wasn't even here yet.  Oh well.....  I have a lot to do tomorrow.

On a positive note - can't wait to decorate the house for Christmas.  I love it this time of the year with the Christmas tree up and all the lights and decorations and of course, friends and family.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera

My favorite song during spin class.  Also, heard between mile 20 and 21 on the Pensacola Marathon Course.

Running the Pensacola Marathon

Today I ran in the Pensacola Marathon.  I can't say I was trained for it but I did it and I finished and didn't even throw up or anything.  I have been running 10 to 13 mile long runs since Ironman Canada August 2010 and just kicked in a 15 mile long run and then an 18 mile long run before the taper.  I don't recommend training this way.  It makes race day a little more painful than it has to be.  I signed up months ago thinking it would motivate me to run more consistently.  Didn't work.  I also tried that with the 1/2 Ironman in Hawaii last June.  These were the first two long races I have ever done without regular consistent training.  They were also the slowest and most painful I have ever done.  I set PR's not for personal best but for personal worst!  I did finish both and got the medal so that's all that counts.

The weather was beautiful, however and I really enjoyed the course.  I loved running along Scenic Highway with the sun rising over Pensacola Bay.  Doing the loop around the airport wasn't that fun, but I loved, loved, loved running into Downtown Pensacola and the Historic District.  The start/finish was in the historic district along the bay and was very nice.   It was fairly flat with only two small hills and I think one was actually a bridge.  I was a little delirious by then so who knows!

Somewhere between mile 20 and mile 21 a DJ had one of my favorite spinerval songs blasting.  It is sung by Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilers and is called "Move like Jagger".  When the song comes on in Spinerval class you are required to take turns singing the "Move like Jagger, Move like Jagger" chorus.  That song made me pick up the pace to a blazing 9 minute mile speed at least.  FYI- 9 minute miles are not really that blazing but it is faster than a 12 minute mile.  I think there were some folks on the course that were walking faster than I was running.  I was passed by old men with gas and one guy wearing flip flops and a pregnant lady.  It was an interesting day!  Maybe I will do it again next year.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fire Alarm and the Jazz Cats

For the second time since we have been living in the condo, the fire alarm went off.  The last time it went off it was a false alarm.  We had just officially moved in with the jazz cats.  We can't use the elevators when the alarm is going off, so we were faced with leaving the cats in the condo and hoping it was once again only a false alarm or putting the cats in the carrier and hauling then down 17 flights of stairs.  Yes, we have 17 floors to walk down with or without the cats when we can't use the elevators.  I wasn't leaving the cats. 

This afternoon the alarm kept going off for what seemed like forever.  First the loud noise and then the recording telling us that an emergency has been reported in the building and to stop everything and get out. Do not take the elevators.  Once again I tell the Murph I am not leaving without the cats.  We look at each other trying to decide what to do and then the Murph goes out on the balcony to check for smoke and I go out in the hallway looking for the same.  All the doors to the elevators are closed and lights or flashing.  We don't see any signs of smoke so we wait for a few minutes.  I get my shoes on and touch my makeup up (of course) just in case we have to leave.

The alarm continued going off so we went out on the balcony again and look down to see several residents that have obeyed the alarm and are out in the parking lot freezing.  It was very cold and windy outside today.  Even the Murph looks nervous at this point so I get my jacket on and get one of the cat carriers out of the closet.  Cadence and Phantom are still out, looking confused but not too scared.  The last time the alarm went off the cats ran and hid and I couldn't even find them.  The Murph and I decide it's time to go ahead and load the cats up when the alarm finally stops after what seems like forever, but was probably only 15 or 20 minutes.

We go back out on the balcony just in time to see the fire chief truck leaving the complex and moments later the recording comes on saying it was a false alarm and we can return to the building. 

 Something else to think about when we decide where to live full time.  The view is awesome up here but the fire alarms are a little scary.  Hauling 2 cats down 17 flights of stairs (and one weighs about 20 pounds) not so much fun.  Luckily, it was only a false alarm again.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Love/Hate Relationship With My House

Well it looks like my house is under contract to close in December.  I have had a love hate relationship with that house over the past several years.  It has been a great house for my son and I where I have always felt safe and he has been in an A rated school system.  However, it is in a city where I never wanted to spend my entire life.  I am so ready to move on to something else.  Actually for the past several months I have been living in a different state near the coast which is where I have always wanted to be.  I can't say it doesn't feel a little strange knowing that that house where I have lived for 19 years, the only one my son has ever really known until we moved into the Murphs house last January, will not belong to me anymore.

I still remember the first time I walked in with the realtor in 1993.  I was holding the Boy and as we went from room to room I just knew it was the one.  We had looked at a ton of houses while I was pregnant and had finally given up because none seemed right.  Then when the Boy was about 6 months old we decided it was time to start house hunting again.  We found out about the house from attending an open house the listing realtor was having on another house about 4 miles away.  We didn't like that house but we told her what we were looking for and she said she had just listed a house just like what we were looking for down the road.  She gave us the address and we drove past it one day.  Our first reaction was "oh, it's one of those square houses" (meaning brick colonial, perfectly square, kind of boring) and we forgot about it and kept on looking.  After another month of not finding anything, I said we should just go look inside and see what it was like.  The realtor said it had everything we were looking for after all.  I went by myself (with the boy) and knew right away it was the one.  I called my then husband and said he needed to take a look.  The rest is history.

We moved in when the Boy was 9 months old.  My ex and I ran two businesses out of it for several years - I had a home daycare in it for 5 years until the Boy started kindergarten.  I got divorced when the Boy was 10 and I got the house in the divorce settlement.  I thought it would be better to stay in it if I could so I could keep life as normal as possible for the Boy despite the separation of his parents.  The Boy and I have lived in the house until last January when the Murph and I got engaged to be married.  The house was cleaned up and cleaned out and put on the market to sale in August. The Murph just lived a couple of miles away so it wasn't that much of a change.  Same school system, fire district and library district and all.  The Murph didn't think he had to pay the $15/year library dues until I gave him my dues to pay.  He said "I have never paid these.  I don't use the library so I haven't paid them in 17 years or so."  Well, recently he got a library dues bill for over a thousand dollars and a nice little letter saying if he didn't pay the dues immediately a lien would be put on his house.  Poor Murph!  He had to cough up the money and pay his delinquent library dues.  Such a delinquent that Murph!  Just joking of course.  My library dues are paid up so hopefully there won't be any surprises when I go to closing next month!

I have to say the house looks great.  I have done a lot of remodeling over the past several years and taken out all the nasty carpet and put in all hardwood floors and updated the bathrooms, kitchen and light fixtures.  The Boy's room has been remodeled at least three times as he has gone from baby to toddler to teen.  We have also had dozens of little bird families born and raised in the birdhouse the Boy built and hung outside on the deck.

I hope the new owners will love it as much as I have over the years.  It is a perfect family home.   I will miss the house, but it is time to move on to something else.  Too bad I can't just pack the house up and move it to Florida.  I don't see too many brick colonial monstrosities on the beach though.

My House - ready for new owners...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cattitude At The Gulf Coast Arts Festival

This weekend is the Gulf Coast Arts Festival in Pensacola, Fl.  I convinced the Murph that we should go and eat out for lunch instead of going out last night.  That way we could stay in and watch the LSU vs Alabama game at home and avoid the crowds at the sports bars.  It was surprisingly easy to convince him.

We drove over after our workout and ate lunch at Dharma Blue, a cute little restaurant in a historic old house near the art festival.  The Murph usually doesn't eat lunch so I was very proud of him.  He had the spinach, feta cheese quiche and I had the chicken salad sandwich.  He didn't complain once and said he actually enjoyed the lunch and the art festival.  It was a beautiful day to be outside.  The Murph gets a little claustrophobic in crowds though and the festival was crowded.

My favorite painting was this one of the black and white tuxedo cat.  Add a black spot to the side of his nose and it could be my kitty Phantom.  My new word for the sometimes irritating things my cats do - Cattitude.

Before Halloween there were haunted tours of old Pensacola that I had wanted to do.  When I mentioned it to the Murph he just nodded his head like he thought it was a good idea.  After yesterday I now know why we never did the tour.  The Murph told me that he never had planned to do it.  He was pretending just to get me to be quiet about it.  He knew all he had to do was just keep pretending whenever I brought it up and eventually Halloween would be over and I would move on to the next thing and he would be off the hook.  If it doesn't involve beer and sports count the Murph out! (oh and movies too, he says)

My new word for the irritating things the Murph does - Murphitude!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Weekly Training Log

Only one week till marathon day!  I ran my last long run last Sunday.  It was only 18 miles (20 was my goal), but that is going to have to do for this marathon.  It took me 3 hours and 45 minutes.  On Monday I ran 2 miles on the treadmill and did 30 minutes on the elliptical to try to make up for what I didn't run on Sunday.  Tuesday I did 1 hour Spinerval class at the gym and Wednesday I did upper and lower body weights and then 20 minutes on the exercise bike.  I hit the weights pretty hard Wednesday and that is the main reason why my legs have been really sore this week.  Thursday I did 30 minutes run on the treadmill and 1 hour Spinerval class.  My legs have been sore all week, but are better today after only doing an easy 30 minutes on the elliptical yesterday.  I have been stretching and doing core work after most of my workouts too and that has helped.  My goal for the marathon is running it in around 4 hours.  As slow as I have gotten it is going to be tough.  This is the first time I have trained for a marathon without doing at least one 20+ mile long run.  It will be interesting to see how I feel afterwards.

I have been watching all the news about the runners in the NYC marathon which is tomorrow and I am soooo jealous!  I want to run that marathon so bad.  I have for years, but it is hard to get into.  I am going to make a little more effort to get in within the next couple of years.   I might do the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans this February with the Running Nazi too.  Of course, there is always the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham.   I have run that one several times either the half or the whole.

A cold front came through night before last and it has been cold and windy at the coast.  It seems to have calmed down out there this morning.  I am heading to the gym to workout.  I will probably run and do weights (upper body only) today.  I passed up a 5k race at the Margartitaville Hotel mainly because the entire 3.2 mile run is on the sand at the beach.  I could just see myself getting injured trying to race as hard as I can on uneven surface.  I am too competitive to just go do it for fun.  It would have been fun, but I have to focus on the marathon next week.  Couldn't get the Murph to do it either.  It didn't sound fun to him!

Friday, November 4, 2011


November is National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo) and I have taken on the challenge.  Starting Nov. 1, I have until midnight Nov. 30 to write a novel of 50,000 words.  I am writing every night before margarita/cocktail hour and so far I am averaging about 1,500 words a day.  This puts me only a little behind schedule. (I think I need about 1,600 or so words a day).  I figure I can make it up at the end of the month if I am still behind.  This is all about quantity, not quality.  Once the first draft is down I can go back and clean up the mess.  And at this moment it is a mess!

I have always wanted to write a novel.  Fiction is what I am most interested in writing, but this novel is decidedly not fiction.  It is much easier to write non fiction at this pace for me because fiction seemed too vast, endless possibilities.  I just couldn't narrow things down and come up with a good story so fast.  What I decided I need to do is just write.  I am very rusty.  It didn't use to be this hard!   I haven't written anything since my son was born 19 years ago, except to fill in his baby book with documented evidence of his first word, steps, teeth, etc.  I wrote down details of all his birthday parties, presents and friends.  I even have his first haircut clipping and most all of his baby teeth.  That's as close to writing as I have done in all these years.

I am sorry I haven't been blogging as much to past few days.  The novel writing has taken center stage now.  I am on track to have 50,000 words of garbage by the end I this month.  My first best selling novel!  Ha!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Running, Spinervals and the Pro Marriage Debate

I think I am as ready as I am going to be for the marathon in two weeks.  I ran 18 miles Sunday and it took me 3 hours and 45 minutes.  I was two miles off from my goal of 20 miles because I got a late start and the Boy was here so I wanted to get finished before he needed to leave for school.  We ate lunch together by the pool before he went back to school.

My right hamstring has been bothering me too.  I ran two miles on the treadmill Monday morning and then walked 3 miles with the Murph Monday afternoon and did 30 minutes on the elliptical Monday evening to make up for the 20 miles I didn't do.

Today I did an hour of Spinervals and then walked for an hour with the Murph.  The Spinervals class was small with only four people and we were so busy talking during most of it.  Fun!  It went by fast.  The Fitness Director/Spinerval instructor is getting married in September so one of the other condo owners in the class has taken it upon himself to tell her the horrors of being married.  She's 30 and feels that she has waited long enough and has found "the one" so I think she blows off most of what he says.  Personally, I think everybody needs to be married at least once.  I am pro marriage and pro children even though they can be a big pain in the butt sometimes.  It's all good, not bad.  She's old enough and has waited long enough.  After today, if I was her I would be scared to death of marriage though!  I should have knocked him over the head with my water bottle.

Thank god the Murph is pro marriage too!  He not only loves me, but he loves my cats (even though he denies it) and does a lot for my son (more than my son's own dad does.)  In my opinion, if you are going to spend years with someone living with them, then you should get married.  Otherwise, stay single and live alone.  Just saying...